Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)
Just days ago, we learned, via what we were told was an accidental slip by Senator Dianne Feinstein, that Mossad officials were in the US for discussions with officials there with regard to Iran.
Then on Thursday, there were two occurrences in tandem. Here in Israel, Defense Minister Barak delivered a forceful speech at the Herzliya Conference that included these statements:
“Today, unlike the past, there is wide global understanding that it is vital to prevent Iran from going nuclear and that no option must be taken off the table. Today, unlike the past, there is wide global understanding that if the sanctions fail to achieve the desired result of stopping the Iranian military nuclear program, there will be a need to consider an operation…
“Today, unlike the past, the world has no doubt that the military nuclear program is steadily nearing ripeness and is about to enter the ‘immunity zone.’ From that point on, the Iranian regime will be able to act to complete the program, with no effective disturbance and a time that is convenient for it…
“He who says ‘later,’ may find that it is ‘too late.'”
Was he delivering notice to the world? Or letting Iran know that it had better take the threat of a military strike seriously?
In the US, David Ignatius, in his Washington Post column on the same day, indicated that:
“[US Secretary of Defense] Panetta believes there is strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.”
Panetta, when questioned, didn’t refute this report — a report that has a different tone from what we’ve been hearing.
What are we seeing here?
Are we to believe that the timing of these two statements (and the mutual allusion to “a zone of immunity”), coming shortly after a meeting on this issue between Israelis and Americans, is merely coincidental? Could it be that the two heads of the defense establishments of their respective nations are on the same page with regard to Israeli intentions?
Or is Panetta seeking to subvert Israeli plans? What sort of business is this — announcing when it is likely that Israel will strike? A strike is best achieved with an element of surprise. But then again, Barak made it clear that such an attack would have to be soon.
Only questions tonight… a good many questions on a subject of the highest priority.
Before closing, I recommend Yoram Ettinger’s piece advocating an Israeli attack on Iran at all costs:
We should pay the price, he says, it will be well worth it.
“Opponents of an attack warn that it could potentially result in a harsh response from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, international anger directed at Israel over higher oil prices, a wave of terror and Persian Gulf turbulence. Yet, these pale in comparison to the deadly cost of a nuclear threat….
“A pre-emptive attack against Iran would exact a non-lethal and short-term cost, but would boost Israel’s long-term strategic image.”
An then a link to a video — sent to me by multiple sources — of British commentator Douglas Murray at a Cambridge Union Debate. The issue is Europe’s lack of support for Israel, and his position is delivered fearlessly and brilliantly.
More to follow shortly.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.