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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘red line’

Kinneret Water Level Rises

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

The Kinneret Bot reports:

In the last 2 days the water level of the Kinneret rose 2cm to -212.38m, 62cm above the lower red line.

This rise has been due to the rain that Israel has been having over the past 2 days.

Remembering Where We Came From

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Many are saying that this year will be momentous. They say that this will be the year when the decision whether to attack Iran will be made, that this will be a decisive year in the political arena, and that this year will be an unforgettable one – engraved in history.

I am not at all sure if these predictions will come about. The upheavals waiting to happen are not about military or political moves. They are part of a much broader strategic structure.

I do not believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will order the army to carry out an open attack on Iran. I think that the time to have done so was when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared his intention to destroy Israel and began practical preparations to achieve his goal. From the moment that Israel chose the strategy of passing the buck to the world’s nations, the legitimacy of Israeli action against Iran was lost. Both the world and the Israeli Left agree on that. Israel’s repeated attempts to force the world to act are like trying to close the stable doors after the horses have escaped. And if the U.S. defines a “red line” for Iran, will it be worth more than President Eisenhower’s guarantee?

When Israel retreated from Sinai after the 1956 Sinai Campaign, the Americans agreed in writing that they would not allow Egypt to blockade the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. When Egyptian President Nasser invaded the Sinai and blocked the straits, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol called President Lyndon Johnson and reminded him of the U.S. guarantee – the unambiguous, signed “red line” that the Americans provided in exchange for Israel’s retreat. “I can’t find my copy,” LBJ stonewalled over the phone. Now, Israel is pressuring President Obama to give us another guarantee that will conveniently get “lost” when it is needed most.

I will be more than happy if my evaluation is wrong, as I do not want to go to war. But more than fearing war, I fear that Israel will slowly disintegrate, making war extraneous. I cannot see how Israel, in the long term, can exist and flourish in a nuclear Middle East under Iranian hegemony. More than fearing war, I fear that our enemies will not need it to achieve their goals.

Will 5773 be an election year in Israel? While uncertain, the Likud is currently gearing up for elections. But events over the past few months have shown that elections do not necessarily take place even when the date is set. I am much less confident about my take on this issue than I am on the Iranian matter. But I would not be surprised if by Rosh Hashanah of next year, the elections will still not have taken place.

Reality will shape the Jewish state’s society in 5773 more than we will shape it. Culturally, we are living in extremely unstable times. These cultural changes, symbolized by the birthrate of only one child per family, are currently expressed in an economic crisis that will make Western economies collapse. The rise of radical Islam will rear its head and the Middle East will return to its natural, pre-World War I state. The mask of modern nation-states will disintegrate and the expanse will once more be tribal. A country that is not Arab will claim hegemony: That nation will be either Turkey or Iran – if the latter achieves nuclear capabilities.

This is not prophecy. It is simply an educated evaluation based on the processes that are unfolding before our eyes. Events can play out in any number of ways, but we must prepare for any eventuality.

The questions that Israel must ask itself are much broader than the question of a nuclear Iran. Are we preparing the next generation for the new world or are we still committed to the old order? Are we equipping the next generation with a clear answer to the questions of identity and destiny? Are we building a culture of liberty that can overcome the enslavement that is engulfing the world?

On Rosh Hashanah, we crowned the King of the world. We blew the shofar and declared that we accept His dominion – His dominion, and no other.

Senate Overwhelmingly Endorses ‘Capability’ Red Line on Iran

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly endorsed language that sets a red line for Iran “nuclear capability.”

The non-binding resolution, introduced in February by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), says that “it is a vital national interest of the United States to prevent the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”

The resolution passed late Friday by a vote of 90-1, with only Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voting against.

The language is in line with Israel’s red lines and goes further than the Obama administration, which has set as a red line Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon.

It is not precisely clear what “capability” entails. A number of experts believe Iran already has crossed that threshold and is capable of manufacturing a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its nuclear program is strictly peaceful.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the resolution’s passage.

“AIPAC applauds the Senate for rejecting a policy of containment of an Iranian nuclear weapons capability and calling for an increase in sanctions against the world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” the group said in a statement.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed similar language in May, and the term “capability” has made it into other legislation, including the most recent sanctions legislation.

America’s Ambivalent Iran Doctrine

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Is Washington’s refusal to set red lines over Iran’s nuclear military program spurring Tehran to continue onward, towards nuclear weapons possession, at full speed?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has issued a call for clear red lines to be defined by the international community. The idea behind the lines is simple: A breach of them by Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons will trigger action against it.

Jerusalem presumably believes that without red lines, Iran will simply not take the threat of military force seriously enough to freeze its uranium enrichment, or enter into further negotiations in any meaningful way.

Washington, saying that the only red line it abides by is the production of nuclear weapons, rejected this call. Any further red lines, President Barack Obama said earlier this month, would constrain the U.S.’s room to maneuver.

Furthermore, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, countries are not governed by red lines.

However, as Dr. Emily Landau, a senior arms control expert from Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies pointed out Obama himself used red lines twice this year — and did so effectively.

In the first instance, when Iran threatened to respond to economic sanctions by closing off the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane, through which much of the world’s oil passes, Obama said that doing so would constitute an unacceptable breach of a red line. Sure enough, Iran backed off, and downplayed its own threat within a few weeks.

The second use of a red line came after it emerged that Syrian dictator Basher Assad was moving deadly chemical weapons around Syria. Obama said that any further movements of the unconventional weapons, or signs that they were about to be used, would constitute a breach of a red line. There have been no further reports of chemical weapons on the move in war-torn Syria.

Iran knows that the U.S. is being selective about its use of red lines, and that the Obama Administration is reluctant to use this same pressure mechanism on its nuclear program.

What conclusion is Iran likely to take away? One need look no farther than Iran’s rapidly progressing uranium enrichment drive, its continuing refusal to allow IAEA experts access to nuclear facilities, and the fact that no serious negotiations between the P5+1 representatives (the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) and Iran are on the horizon.

The threat of military force is supposed to be one of three critical pillars of a comprehensive policy to persuade the Iranian regime to stop its march towards atomic bombs.

The second pillar, biting sanctions, is in place, and is taking its toll on the Iranian economy. But the sanctions have utterly failed to convince Tehran to change course on its nuclear program. So long as the worsening Iranian economy does not influence the rate of uranium enrichment, sanctions cannot be considered to have worked.

The third and last pillar, diplomacy, is currently dead in the water, after three failed rounds of negotiations this year.

All three pillars are tied to each other – a structural weakness in one means the other two cannot function properly. In this instance, it is the pillar of a credible military threat that is looking weak, and a refusal to discuss red lines is contributing to that weakness.

Ironically, the less credible the threat of military force is, the more likely it is that military force will eventually have to be used.

Some in the Obama Administration, such as Defense Secretary Panetta, have pointed out that Israel too has not set red lines on Iran. But Israel is not involved in negotiations with Iran, and a red line pressure mechanism would be of no use to Israel — a fact that makes Panetta’s claim appear rather cynical in the eyes of Israeli national security analysts.

There are other factors leading Iran to confirm its belief that the international community is not serious about stopping its nuclear program.

One of them is the public spat between Netanyahu and Obama over these very issues. The open argument, which has escalated into unprecedented feuding via international media outlets, will surely give Iran more cause to trivialize international resolve and unity.

When chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said last month that an Israeli strike would only delay Iranian nuclear progress, but not destroy the program, he seemed to be stating the obvious. Read between the lines, however, and Dempsey appeared to be hinting that a delay caused by an Israeli strike would not be significant.

The comment seemed to be part of an open U.S. media campaign to dissuade Israel from striking. What it may have done instead was damage Israeli deterrence in Iranian eyes.

The lack of red lines, diplomatic arguments among allies, and an unconvincing threat of military force will all lead Iran to move forward on its nuclear program.

In the meantime, it seems fair to believe that Iran is quickly approaching Israel’s own, unannounced red line.

Sharansky Complaining Iran Fears Hurt Aliya Stats

Monday, August 20th, 2012

A JTA story quotes Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky who said the fear of a war with Iran has caused Jews in the Diaspora to delay their aliyah plans.

Sharansky told Israel Radio on Sunday that potential immigrants who had finalized their plans to move to Israel have delayed their arrival by several months because they are afraid of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and an Iranian response.

Sharansky complained that public discussions by Israeli politicians and defense officials about an Iran strike “have crossed every red line.”

I used to live on Grand Street near the FDR Drive, where any international security expert would have told you was one of the safest places on the planet. One morning, from the panorama window of my two-bedroom apartment, I saw a silver bullet circle the second Trade Tower, about a mile from my home, and smack into it in a giant ball of fire.

I didn’t see the first plane go into the first tower, hardly anybody did. But I and millions around the globe saw that second agent of horror.

Over the following 11 years, the U.S. economy collapsed around us, thousands of American lives have been lost on the battlefield, trillions were wasted on bizarre expenditures and still, no one and nothing in America is safe.

If I were Sharansky, I would not complain so much about the heated exchange of opinions about the next most crucial decision our political leadership is expected to make. It’s a democracy, and what’s more, it’s a Jewish democracy. Blabbering all over the place is what we do, and rightfully so.

I’m surprised at Sharansky, dubbing this no-holds-barred debate as crossing “every red line.” He should remember reds and lines, and should tell our U.S. brethren (and sistren) that the real danger is not in a Jewish style noise, but in a Soviet style silence.

Jewish folks on Grand Street and further west, in Jersey and all the way out to Long Beach, Ca. – there’s nothing to be afraid of. We have a better army here, dollar for dollar, than the one defending you over there, and we have a better economy, also dollar for dollar.  Honestly, go ahead, start packing, you’ll never regret it.

AG Urged to Probe Leftist Academics Telling Pilots to Refuse Bombing Iran Nukes

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

The publication of a petition disseminated by university lecturers calling on Israeli Air Force pilots to disobey an order to attack Iran if so commanded, is raising public uproar, Mekor Rishon reports.

As was first published in Mekor Rishon last week, some 400 people – including prominent academic and legal figures – signed a petition in which they call on the pilots to disobey an order to attack the nuclear facilities.

Labor Party Chairperson Shelly Yachimovich said that the academics’ petition is crossing a red line. “I completely disagree with the lecturers’ petition calling on the pilots to disobey an order if they were commanded to attack Iran. This is a call for rebellion and it undermines the unity of Israeli society and the values of democracy. Criticism of the political echelon is legitimate, important and necessary, however giving specific instructions to IDF soldiers crosses a red line,” stated Yachimovich.

The Legal Forum on Behalf of Eretz Yisrael approached the Attorney General, via attorney Yossi Fuchs, in an attempt to open a criminal investigation against the petition signers. In their appeal they stressed that a democracy must defend itself and that the law must be strictly enforced, including calling on Israeli police to launch a criminal investigation for the crimes of incitement and provocation to disobey a legal order at a time of war, a crime that is punishable by 7 years of imprisonment.

The Im Tirtzu movement also approached Attorney General Weinstein with an appeal to open an investigation, on suspicion of another crime – attempting to overthrow the government.

“These explicit matters do not leave room for doubt,” the activists wrote to Weinstein. “If Israeli law applies to everyone equally, the Attorney General must order the opening of an immediate investigation of the formulators and signers of this petition on suspicion of rebellion.”

Defensive Systems: Like Taking Aspirin Against Infection?

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Policymakers can use defensive systems such as “Iron Dome” to either facilitate attacking the enemy or ignoring it.

As many analysts predicted, Israeli policymakers consistently opt for the latter function. And that’s unfortunate.

Because if the only thing the defensive system does is enable policymakers to indefinitely postpone addressing the very real challenge that the enemy presents, that turns the implementation of the defensive system into the equivalent of prescribing aspirin to treat a spreading infection.

The aspirin may temporarily relieve the pain – but the infection will continue to grow. And the “infection” in the Gaza Strip is most definitely growing by leaps and bounds.

Not only are the range, payloads and accuracy of the weapons in Gaza constantly improving, the area inside Israel that is subject to actual ongoing attack is also continually expanding.

When this farce began, only a limited rural area near the Gaza Strip was being hit. Each time the range was extended there was talk that a red line had been crossed. But it is now clear that these lines in the sand had no meaning. Today over a million Israelis are in range of the weapons already launched from the Gaza Strip.

It is reasonable to assume that the trend will continue and that we will find ourselves accepting rockets slamming into Tel Aviv to the same extent that we accept them slamming into Ashdod today.

What now?

It would appear that the Arabs are in the driver’s seat for the Gaza Strip saga. They can continue indefinitely to improve their offensive capabilities as long as they don’t shoot too much.

Only the Arabs can compel the Netanyahu team to act.

Yes. It is very frustrating.

But there is something valuable that we can take from this experience: recognition of the limitations that our leadership apparently have. And that’s a very important thing to know. It is something critical to remember. Because one day our leaders may propose yet another concession to the Arabs. One involving relinquishing Israeli control over some area.

And on that day our leaders will promise that there are “iron clad” arrangements to prevent those areas from becoming a repeat of Gaza today. And they will further assure us that should these arrangements fail that Israel will act swiftly and resolutely to redress the violations.

But we will remember March 2012. We will remember March 2012 and we will remind our leaders about March 2012. That with all the respect and admiration that we have for our leaders, we know only too well their limitations.

And since we know that they cannot deliver on their promises to enforce the agreements that are supposed to protect us from the consequences of Israeli territorial concessions, such concessions are simply unworkable.

Since Thursday Kinneret Level Rises 7.9 Inches

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

The stormy winter rain system is almost gone, but this morning saw encouraging statistics for precipitation nationwide, with an especially positive impact on the state of Israel’s National Lake, the beloved Kinneret. The storm which raged throughout Israel since last Thursday has added an almost inconceivable 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) to the lake’s water level.

The Water Authority’s Amir Givati told Channel 2 News that “from the beginning of this rain system we saw an increase of 30 centimeters (11.8 inches), which is a sharp and highly unusual spike. This greatly improved the situation at the Kinneret – which is now 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) above the “lower red line.” This after many long months of staying well below the same red line.

The weather report in Israel predicts blue skies and sunny days through the holiday of Purim.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/since-thursday-kinneret-level-rises-7-9-inches/2012/03/04/

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