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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Will Israel Attack Iran's Nuclear Weapons Development Facilities?

This blog entry is intended for my friends in Arlington and McLean, who seem a bit confused. Allow me to enlighten you without getting myself into too much trouble, as is my wont.

Today, as reported by The Jerusalem Post (http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=282286), former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk stated that "US officials" are of the belief that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak are attempting to fool them into believing that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear weapons development facilities is imminent:

"Indyk said that the United States 'was convinced that Israel would attack' Iran's nuclear program during the spring months earlier this year, speaking in an interview with Army Radio on Thursday.

After no Israeli strike took place, Indyk said that the US officials felt as though they had been duped by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's ruse.

The former ambassador added that there is a sense within the US government that Washington is once again being misled by Israeli declarations and leaks."

Well, those "US officials," i.e. Obama and friends, are once again mistaken: Although Israel would prefer to be joined by others in an attack upon Iran's nuclear weapons development facilities, this is no "ruse."

First, I would begin by referencing two declarations from Menachem Begin that underlie Israeli policy. First, after the Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981, Begin wrote:

"Let the world know that under no circumstances will Israel ever allow an enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction against our people. If ever such a threat reoccurs we shall take whatever preemptive measures are necessary to defend the citizens of Israel with all the means at our disposal."

And then there was the second, more basic statement of principle from Begin in May 1981, which was quoted by Romney during his recent visit to Jerusalem (http://www.mittromney.com/learn/mitt/speeches/2012/07/remarks-jerusalem):

"[I]f an enemy of our people says he seeks to destroy us, believe him."

Now consider the torrent of threats to exterminate Israel issued by Iranian officials in recent months. Just last Friday, Iranian President Ahmadinejad declared (http://news.yahoo.com/tumour-israel-soon-destroyed-ahmadinejad-091548418.html):

"The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour. The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land.... A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists."

It would be hard for anyone to misconstrue Iran's intentions. Yes, Israel will act, and if necessary will act on its own, to eliminate this menace.

When will Israel act? Sorry, but I already told you that I don't intend to get myself into hot water; however, it can simply be said that there are a host of factors weighing upon the timing of any such mission, including:

• The ultimate termination of negotiations between the P5+1, led by an imbecilic Catherine Ashton, and Iran, which were destined for failure from the start.
• The ongoing civil war in Syria, particularly with an eye to who gains control over Syria's massive chemical weapons stockpiles.
• The weakening effect of the civil war in Syria on Hezbollah in Lebanon, which possesses some 50,000 rockets and missiles, aimed at Israeli population centers.
• Recent attempts to initiate terror attacks from Sinai into Israel and the armored response of Egypt's new Islamic Brotherhood government.
• The ongoing failure of Obama's belated and inadequately enforced economic sanctions to persuade Iran to curtail its nuclear weapons development program.
• The absence of trust between Obama and Netanyahu, which could have been allayed by a visit to Jerusalem by Obama, but then Obama refuses to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel's capital.

As I often explain to my children, life is a balancing act, and timing is everything.

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