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Posts Tagged ‘strike’

Elliot Abrams: Americans Support Israeli Strike on Iran; Iranians Don’t Fear Obama

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Former advisor to George W. Bush Elliot Abrams stated in an interview that the American people would support an Israeli strike on Iran and criticized the Obama Administration for its handling of Iran’s nuclear threat, calling Obama’s approach “weak.”

“The President has made one big mistake . . . We have not made the Iranians afraid of a strike and I think they ought to be afraid of a strike – of an American strike in reality,” Abrams said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post.

Abrams said that this may be the reason why Iran has no desire to conclude an agreement with the Permanent Members of the Security Council and Germany (the so-called “P5+1”).

“They do not think it’s possible. They do not think it’s in the cards. I think that is one of the reasons diplomacy has failed – and it has failed,” he said.

As for an Israeli strike, Abrams said it would be “justifiable” given the danger Iran poses to Israel.

Abrams credited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “helping along” the sanctions regime against Iran with his public statements.

“I think the Europeans, for example, would not have supported sanctions as much as they have, nor, I think, the Russians [or] the Chinese, had it not been for Israel’s drawing attention to the threat from Iran and drawing attention to the possibility that Israel would feel [it] must act against that threat,” Abrams said.

Abrams predicted that Obama would not be able to take punitive measures against Israel for such a strike, saying that “in an election year it’s particularly hard for a president …to take a position against Israel as the American people are taking a position in favor of Israel.”

Abrams also revealed that one of the reasons President Bush pursued the Annapolis Peace Conference and the renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with such vigor towards the end of his term was that then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the administration such efforts had a good chance of success.

Former Cheney Aide: Obama, Like Bush Before Him, Won’t Strike Iran

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

JERUSALEM – In a column appearing in the Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom, David Wurmser, who served as senior Middle East adviser to former vice president Dick Cheney, warned the Israeli government that President Obama would not assist the Jewish state if it launched a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear and military installations.

“I had always believed the U.S. would do the right thing at the last minute, but at this moment, I don’t expect the U.S. cavalry to ride alongside Israel, even at the last minute,” wrote Wurmser. He also maintained that “Israeli experts,” including former government and military personnel, who have publicly stated that America is “obligated” to stop Iran’s nuclear program misunderstand American foreign policy.

Wurmser acknowledged that former president George W. Bush had several opportunities to stop Iran’s fledgling nuclear program but did not launch a preemptive strike. (According to published reports, Wurmser and Cheney discussed asking Israel to launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s Natanz nuclear installation in 2007.)

Obama, Wurmser wrote, will not alter U.S. policy. “America…will only wake up and act if something terrible happens and American interests are attacked. Until that happens, much to my chagrin, our ally [Israel] will have to go it alone.”

President Bush also refused to attack Syria’s fledgling nuclear installation after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert presented the White House with intelligence about the Syrian operation. Faced with Bush’s unwillingness to act, Olmert sent Israeli warplanes to pulverize the al-Kibar nuclear station in September 2007.

According to Israel’s Channel 10 military correspondent Alon Ben-David, U.S. reluctance to take action is the prime reason Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “determined to launch an attack on Iran before the November presidential election.”

Ben-David added that Netanyahu believes economic sanctions against Iran have not prevented the Iranian regime from accelerating its nuclear weapons program and the window of opportunity to destroy or set back the Iranian nuclear agenda will be lost in the next few months.

While there have been reports that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and several other high-ranking Israeli defense and intelligence officials are against attacking Iranian targets without American assistance, Netanyahu apparently has lined up significant political support for an attack.

Last week’s appointment of former Shin Bet commander and Kadima Knesset member Avi Dichter as minister of the home front fueled speculation that Dichter supports Netanyahu’s military agenda. Dichter has been asked by Netanyahu to prepare to defend the country’s infrastructure and civilian population against expected Hizbullah/Iranian or Syrian military retaliation in the event of an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran.

Last week the Israeli and American navies conducted several exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Pentagon previously reported that a second aircraft carrier battle group would deploy in the Eastern Mediterranean in early September in order to buttress America’s fleet. Meanwhile, President Obama warned that American forces would act if Syrian dictator Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on civilians or attempted to transfer weapons of mass destruction to hostile forces, i.e. Hizbullah or Iran.

Bibi and Barak Battle for Israeli Public Opinion Over Iran

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

All four of Israel’s major newspapers featured Iran in their headlines in their weekend editions. In Ha’aretz, Ari Shavit, who has been pro-strike, wrote: “Top Israeli Official: the Iranian Nuclear Threat is bigger than the threat faced by Israel before the Six Day War”
That “top Israeli official” (no extra points for guessing who he may be), told Shavit: “If Iran gets nuclear weapons, no one will be able to stop her when she provokes her neighbours,” adding, “what happened in the Rhineland in 1936 will be child’s play compared to happens with Iran.” The official continued: “If we don’t act, Iran will almost certainly go nuclear. If we do act, there is a chance Iran won’t go nuclear in the years to come, or might never go nuclear.” Assessing the risks to the homeland, the source told Shavit that the number of casualties Israel would suffer in any war with Iran would be less than the number of casualties suffered by the “Harel Brigade”(part of Palmach) in the 1948 war of Independence.

The description in the article left almost no doubt that the “official” in question is Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Wrote Shavit: “This decision maker is a controversial figure. At times, he was seen as a savior, then dismissed as a leper (מצורע), and again a savior, then a leper again. Even his opponents, however, agree that he is very intelligent. Even those who disagree with him point to his unique strategic experience, his half-century spent at the very center of Israeli decision making processes. Not just once or twice has he been at the absolute center. One very late night he opened the door to me…with a grand piano at his back he told me his point of view for two and a half hours.”

It is well known around Israel that Ehud Barak plays the piano. Chief of staff in the nineties, then the great white of hope of the left for peace as prime minister in the late nineties, later comeback kid as head again of the labor party. Recently, he presided over the splitting of the labor party and the formation of his new ‘Independence’ party and a bedrock member of Netanyahu’s coalition.

In Ma’ariv, meanwhile, the headline read: “37% of Israelis say Iranian possession of nuclear weapons could lead to a second Holocaust.” They then produced a series of polls attempting to gauge the public mood before a strike. 41% of Israelis say only military action will stop Iran, “only” (according to Ma’ariv) 22% believe in sanctions, 35% prefer a US strike to an Israeli one, 40% trust Netanyahu and Barak while 27% don’t.

Unsurprisingly, Israel Ha’yom has also promoted a pro-strike approach. “Iran intensifies weapon development,” screamed the headline, accompanied by a picture of Ahmadinejad flashing his fingers in a victory sign to the Israeli public. The paper quotes the Israeli chief of staff: “we are preparing ourselves for a multi-front confrontation.”

This weekend, the only newspaper that has adopted an anti-strike approach is Yediot-Ah’aronot: “Netanyahu and Barak are determined to attack Iran in the fall,” ran the headline. “Barak,” the story proceeded, “sat top generals down for a meeting in his office, but came across fierce resistance. Later, he again tried to persuade them in a conversation at a Mossad-run location. This didn’t help either. All the army professionals expressed opposition to a strike without the backing of the United States, and asked the same question: what happens on the Israeli home front the day after?”

When four of out four newspapers in Israel deal with any single subject one can count on the fact that there is a deliberate effort by some personnel to set the headlines on fire. Netanyahu and Barak are now fighting hard to win over the hearts and minds of the Israeli public to a strike on Iran – and the media blitz is a tool they are using to persuade recalcitrant generals.
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

It’s My Opinion: Weathering The Storm

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

South Florida will soon be marking the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, the last Category 5 hurricane to strike the United States. The storm hit South Miami-Dade county on August 24, 1992. It left a path of devastation.

I remember that the National Hurricane Center was issuing warnings when my husband’s friend called and urged us to ride out the storm with him. He lived in a southwest Miami area called the Falls. His house seemed so safe. We were in a house in Miami Beach, only a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and in an evacuation area. A storm surge was feared.

Our family decided to evacuate elsewhere. Our friend’s roof was blown off of his house during the terrible storm. Our house remained intact.

Andrew plowed into Florida with 165 mph winds. It spawned many tornadoes in its wake. Later, my husband and I would be part of a convoy bringing supplies to a shul in one of the hardest hit areas. We rode on the highway, and as far as the eye could see there were houses without roofs or windows. There were no utility poles or trees. There was no telephone or electric service. It looked like a scene from a nuclear disaster.

People had painted desperate pleas to their insurance companies on the walls. “HELP US!” the pleas read. Many wrote out their policy numbers. Some had other messages. A popular post was, “You Loot – We Shoot.”

Many of the people who were in the Southwest/Homestead area had taken the traditional hurricane precautions. They had bottles of water, canned food and batteries for their radios, but the aftermath of the disaster went on for months and in some cases longer. Water and food soon ran out and batteries went dead.

We make plans. We make contingency plans. We are reminded of the Yiddish adage, “Man plans and G-d laughs.” Bubby was right!

There are issues and problems. There are matters and concerns that are totally out of our hands. We think we are able to determine our fate. In reality, the only thing we determine is how we will respond to what life dishes out.

Life is precarious. It is fragile. It is a constant test. There are many wakeup calls. Unfortunately, sometimes we need a hard hit to get and keep our attention.

Needs Work

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

An Arab inspects a terrorist’s motorcycle that was hit by an Israeli air strike in Dir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, Tuesday. The IAF targeted motorized rocket launching terrorist teams, killing them before they were able to fire even more rockets into civilian areas in Israel.

The Big Gorilla at the Presidential Conference

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

The Big Gorilla that is not hiding in any room here at the Presidential Conference is Iran. Most of the main speakers have come to tell Israel what it should, or should not, do about Iran. Dennis Ross seems to believe that it is acceptable to give Iran nuclear capabilities so long as we can ensure that it will only use the nuclear power for civilian uses. Sure, that’s going to work for how long, I want to ask him?

And when they do convert it to military power…how long will it take the world to do something. No, I don’t mean how long will it take for them to protest it, I mean how long will it take to get the world to do something! Do something.

Dennis Ross says that there is simply no way that a military strike against Iran will be successful…and again, I want to ask him how he knows…and even if he does know…do we have another option?

It is, quite simply, ridiculous. The Jordanian and Egyptian journalists offer suggestions – Israel should do the right thing, though how they define the right thing would certainly not be as we would. The Turkish diplomat (yes, I’ll go at some point and post their names) wants Israel to know that it isn’t too late and we certainly can repair the relationship with Turkey. All we have to do is apologize.

After all, he says, Turkish civilians were hurt and killed. Civilians? Hardly…Apologize? Um….no.

The most realistic and helpful comments on Iran came today from Gabi Ashkenazi. He says that the military option is and should be the last option and yet it must remain on the table because if other options are to succeed, the only way it can succeed is if the threat of military action remains.

In fact, Ashkenazi explains, the more the threat of military intervention is on the table, is considered real, the more likely all non-military responses can work. It’s such a logical and simple reality – one that so many of those who have come here for a few days to preach to us want to ignore.

The big gorilla at this conference is Iran – I doubt that those who came here to give advice are managing to notice that we here in Israel do actually understand what is happening with Iran, understand very well, as Dennis Ross felt he had to tell us, that we have to be concerned not only with the strike itself, but the day after the strike.

My advice to the many guests here at the conference – trust us. Really, trust us. We are very aware. We live here, here in the reality that is the Middle East.

Ninety Year Old Man Joins Hunger-Strike Against Ulpana Neighborhood Relocation

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has reportedly decided to remove five buildings from the Uplana neighborhood in Beit El. He intends to completely uproot the buildings and resituate them on nearby land owned by the military. As a form of compensation, he plans to build tens of new homes in Beit El, ten for each one removed.

Several people have decided to go on a hunger-strike to protest the decision and demand that Ministers vote for the “Regulation Law”, which will set a statute of limitation for claims against existing communities in Judea and Samaria that are allegedly constructed on privately owned land. According to the suggested law, should the claims be proven in court, the buildings would remain in place, and the claimant would receive monetary compensation or land of equal value. The strikers are rejecting Netanyahu’s seemingly generous offer.

Dvir Raz, 31, a father of 3, has been on a hunger strike for five consecutive days, since Wednesday morning. He intends to continue his strike at least until this coming Wednesday, when the vote for the “Regulation Law” will take place. He lives in Amona, a community with similar legal issues. He explained that he is striking with a demand that the Prime Minister find a proper legislative solution to all the lands in legal dispute and which may encounter similar difficulties to those which have arisen at the Ulpana neighborhood.

“The Prime Minister is currently offering a specific solution to this current crisis. We demand that he offer an all encompassing solution to all lands which may be in dispute. We demand that the Prime Minister offer a comprehensive resolution in order to stop the flood of court claims against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The organizations submitting these court petitions are doing so not out of care for the alleged Palestinian owners who have never lived on these lands, but because they are bent on the destruction of as many Jewish settlements as possible. The Ministry of Defense has already announced that they will not enable the alleged owners of the Beit El land to live on it because it is within the limits of Beit El. What we have here is an absurd situation in which everyone loses. This is destruction for the sake of destruction”, Raz stated.

Four more strikers joined the protesters this morning, including a ninety year old man, Avraham Nocham, of Anatot. Nocham, an artist, explained that he has decided to join the strike out of empathy and identification with the strikers’ objectives. “I am very sensitive to these issues,” he told Tazpit News Agency. “Many times the development of these incidents is frightening. I have come to join the struggle and strike in hope of a positive outcome.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/ninety-year-old-man-joins-hunger-strike-against-ulpana-neighborhood-relocation/2012/06/03/

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