“The Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government,” reports the London Times.
“Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid requiring pinpoint aerial strikes are the acquisition of three Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack. Two nationwide civil defence drills will help to prepare the public for the retaliation that Israel could face. ‘Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words,’ one senior defence official told The Times.”
“Officials believe that Israel could be required to hit more than a dozen targets, including moving convoys. The sites include Natanz, where thousands of centrifuges produce enriched uranium; Esfahan, where 250 tonnes of gas is stored in tunnels; and Arak, where a heavy water reactor produces plutonium….Colonel Hilik Sofer told Haaretz, a daily Israeli newspaper, that the drill would ‘train for a reality in which during war missiles can fall on any part of the country without warning … We want the citizens to understand that war can happen tomorrow morning.‘”
Officials in Jerusalem believe time is rapidly running out to deal with Iran’s nuclear weapons program decisively. They would certainly prefer that diplomatic initiatives and economic sanctions work, but there is no evidence whatsoever that such initiatives are working. This is why the Netanyahu administration is steadily preparing for war, bringing in his political rival Ehud Barak to be Defense Minister, making former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon his Deputy Prime Minister, accelerating the Israel missile defense testing program, and warning about the apocalyptic death cult running Iran today.
It is critical that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu sit down and discuss the Iran crisis immediately. The best case scenario would be for the U.S. and Israel to be united in a realistic plan to stop Tehran’s nuclear program. Thus far, however, the White House does not even appear to have invited the new Israeli Prime Minister to come to Washington. U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell met with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv this week and tried to pressure him to divide Jerusalem and giveaway the West Bank, but Mitchell did not apparently extend a specific invitation to Netanyahu to meet the President.
Why not? Israel has historically been America’s strongest ally in the Middle East. But the White House appears to be shifting allegiances to the Muslim world and is engaging in an aggressive effort to court the Muslim world. A few examples:
- President Obama gave his first TV interview on coming into office to al-Arabiya, an Arab-Muslim satellite network
- President Obama recently bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia
- President Obama delivered a major address to the Muslim world in Turkey, and is rumored to be planning another major address in a Muslim-majority country soon.
- President Obama has invited Jordanian King Abdullah II to Washington on April 21.
As I wrote here several days ago, I see a train wreck coming in U.S.-Israel relations. We are fast approaching the worst season in the relationship between our two countries diplomatically in 61 years. All the more reason we need to pray for peace, but prepare for war.
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- Jerusalem Post: ‘IAF readying swift strike on Iran’
- MEMRI: Ahmadinejad to West: You Are Weak, Your Hands Are Empty, And You Can’t Force Us to Do Anything; Nearly 7,000 Centrifuges Are Spinning Today at Natanz, Mocking You
- Haaretz: What would be the timetable for Israel strike on Iran?
- Australian newspaper: Obama’s stance worries Israelis
- Egyptian state paper: ‘Axis of evil’ tried to overthrow regime
- Haaretz: Hezbollah and Iran have become Egyptian target
- Who will represent Israel at May’s AIPAC conference? (probably not Netanyahu)