News24

Israel - Iran threat dwarfs all others

2012-08-12 18:08

Jerusalem - The threat from Iran dwarfs all other challenges the Jewish state faces, Israel's prime minister declared on Sunday, as high-level hints of a possible Israeli attack on Iran's suspect nuclear programme mounted.

One indirect indication came on Sunday, when Israel's military began sending mock text messages to cellphones warning of incoming missiles, part of a nationwide experiment that is to continue through Thursday and reach hundreds of thousands of cellphone users.

Last week, defence officials confirmed that Israel's top-tier missile defence system has been upgraded.

"All threats directed at the Israeli home front are dwarfed by another threat, different in its magnitude and substance, and so I have repeated and shall repeat: Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday.

The prime minister's opening statement at the Cabinet meeting is open to reporters, providing him with a channel for a weekly public message.

Sceptics say Israel is rattling its sabres as part of a diplomatic campaign but would hesitate to actually attack Iran, because of the real possibility that it could trigger an all-out war targeting Israel from several directions at once.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and designed to produce energy and medical isotopes, but Israel, like much of the international community, thinks it could be a cover to build bombs.

Netanyahu said earlier this month that Israel has not decided whether to launch an attack. But he and other leading Israeli officials have noted that tough international sanctions have not pressured Iran to abandon its suspect uranium enrichment programme - a process that has civilian uses but could also be used to build bombs.

Some senior officials have suggested in the past that Israel cannot wait beyond early fall to strike, as Iran moves key facilities into fortified underground bunkers out of the reach of Israeli bombs.

Time running out

Over the weekend, a senior "decision-maker" widely identified as Defence Minister Ehud Barak was quoted by an Israeli newspaper as saying that "the sword hanging over our neck today is a lot sharper than the sword that hung over our neck" before the Jewish state went to war with three Arab nations in 1967.

Although Israeli leaders haven't explicitly threatened to attack, they have been saying for years that they would not tolerate a nuclear Iran, and "all options are on the table." The US has a similar policy.

Standing beside US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta earlier this month, Netanyahu warned that time was quickly running out to stop Iran from achieving nuclear capability.

The United States has said it would be prepared to use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But with its superior fire power, it could wait longer than Israel could to strike at Iran's underground facilities, and experts have judged Washington has more than a year to act.

Another factor in the timing could be the US presidential election in November, where a Mideast flare-up sending oil prices soaring could harm President Barack Obama's re-election chances.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney said over the weekend that Obama "remains committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," but that the US still thinks there is time to persuade Iran through sanctions and diplomacy.

While Netanyahu and Barak have concentrated on the perceived nuclear threat, critics of an attack - including a recently retired spymaster and previous internal security chief - have warned of its repercussions.

At best, they say, Israel could set back Iran's nuclear development for two to three years, and at worst, trigger a harsh retaliation from Iran and its proxies in Lebanon and Gaza - and possibly set off a region-wide war.

Comments
  • jack.russel.14268769 - 2012-08-12 18:30

    Iran with nuclear bombs is a problem for everybody not just Israel. Bomb them back to the stone age before they drop one on you. Surrounded by 300 million people that want to exterminate you. I ffel more sorry for you than I do for my fellow country men

      Werewabbit - 2012-08-12 19:05

      Jack i agree: living on the tip of Africa is a safe place to be

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-12 19:40

      Arabs in a recent Brookings poll ranked the major threats to the region as Israel (88 percent), the United States (77 percent) and Iran (10 percent). It is interesting that U.S. officials, as revealed in released WikiLeaks cables, totally ignored Arab public opinion, keeping to the views of the reigning dictators, just like you.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 04:36

      Fidel in a recent post on News24 (the US/Mandela thread) called Nelson Mandela a phony, an Uncle Tom, a lackey of the West.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-13 11:19

      Most of the ME aren't even aloud a Isreali to comment on their media either so not surprising there is a strong correlation to the propaganda. eg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneers_of_Tomorrow (This goes out to kids in the vein of sesame street)

      watchman.smith - 2012-08-13 18:00

      I think Syria is the country to watch at the moment. I think that what is happening there is very prophetic and one will shortly see the prophecy regarding Damascus see Isaiah Ch. 17 in particular Vs 1-3 and then 14. In one night she will be reduced to rubble. Iran who is ancient Persia will perhaps slow down on her rhetoric toward Israel for a while till Armageddon where she will pick it up again and join Gog (Russia) to destroy Israel, but will come up against the God of Israel, Jesus Christ!

  • shahied.mohamed.9 - 2012-08-12 19:05

    Why so afraid of Israel ....have they not fled from Lebanon with their tail between their leggs !!

      africanwolf - 2012-08-12 19:18

      Not before they Introduced many terrorists to the 72 virgins :) Remember it's God's duty to punish terrorists , but it's Israel's duty to make sure they meet :)

      watchman.smith - 2012-08-12 19:26

      Israel is a sovereign state given to the Jewish nation by God / Yaweh / Jehovah. Israel is the only country on earth given a title deed by God Almighty, who is our sovereign Lord Jesus Christ. God said it and that seals it! Why do you think Australia was Judged with floods and why the state of Queensland? Because their Foreign Minister "Rudd" demanded Israel to show her Nuclear sites, which was a big no no!! The real issue here is not just Israel, but primarily Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. God's word says, "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." Zec 12:3. So there if you mess with Israel in deed and in word don't expect to not get whacked!

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-08-12 20:27

      Watchman's post is a perfect example of Poe's law

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-12 21:32

      You are very ignorant shahied. Israel certainly did not flee Lebanon. And Israel has the right to be afraid of sick islamist extremists who threaten her destruction.

      lotus.river.5 - 2012-08-12 23:28

      Your precious israel is going to lead this world into another world war.israel thinks its got god given supremacy over others and treats their neighbours like inferiors.i say let the west leave them with their middle eastern neighbours to fight and leave them stateless again.until they realise that the world is for all who live in it,and no race is better or more entitled than the next.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 04:38

      Watchman, I'm afraid that's as delusional as Hitler's idea that Germans were the perfect, God-given race.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 04:41

      Mohammed, unfortunately you've bought the lies sold to you by unelected dictators and human-life-demeaning Madrasas. 100 million Muslims in the Middle East have freed themselves from these lies. Will you? Or will you continue to give them license to kill or maim hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 09:03

      Lotus, by the same token EVERY religious group, every religion, should receive the same crass treatment you're suggesting. They all believe they're the chosen, superior path to God.

      watchman.smith - 2012-08-13 17:56

      @fred.fraser.12 - I can see you're neither here nor there, like a piece of drift wood! However I don't hold to any faith except the true faith, which is in Jesus Christ, no religion or no Church affiliation, only Jesus Christ Crucified. If what I stated is not true and delusional, then can you please explain Zec 12:3?"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." Is that not what is happening presently around the world today? Is Jerusalem not a contentious issue with the world and like a burdensome stone to them? Is this not a prophecy fulfilled in our day? I think it is and know that it is.

      watchman.smith - 2012-08-14 18:59

      @ Patrick. This whole issue is about what is contained in the Bible it can't be ignored, so you may reject the Bible, but I'll keep on hugging it or cuddling it!

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-12 19:42

    Iran is an economic and strategic threat to certain vested interests but apart from that its posture is primarily defensive. Any leader worth his salt will be striving to get nuclear weapons and keep hold of them. That's the only valid protection against the might of Western governments and her allies, who will find all kind of excuses if your country has something they want. Self defence from all the plots, wars and hidden agendas of Western countries is a human right. Iran needs to develop nuclear weapons for her own strategic defense. It is an absolute nonsense for the West and Israel to be pointing the finger at Iran over its nuclear ambitions when these very nations are sitting on and hiding behind vile, obscene stacks of stinking nuclear weapons. Maybe it's time nuclear armed Israel stopped playing the victim card & became a responsible mature member of the community of Nations...

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-12 21:31

      Fidel, have you looked up the difference between "secular" and "circular" yet? You are a very stupid person. You defend iran's attempt to obtain nuclear weapons, but you attack Israel's attempt to block iran. Why? Why does Israel not have the right to defend itself against a violent, repressive, aggressive, imperialistic and extreme islamist regime intent on Israel's destruction? What gives you the right to tell the Jews they cannot act to defend their lives from attack? You racist Jew-hater

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-12 21:41

      That depends whether you are able to construct a sentence that isn't some crass attempt at insult. A Jew hater is no longer someone who hates Jews, but a person who the Talmudic Jews hate.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 04:47

      Fidel has effectively blinded himself with immature anti-West beliefs to the extent that he cannot even see the difference between a legitimate, people-chosen government and one that has hijacked the state for its own selfish gain at the expense of the citizens of that country. Nevermind, Iranians are champing at the bit to free themselves and reclaim their government. Iran is bubbling with anticipation. No-one is going to stop them, not even self-blinded people like Fidel who have even decided that Nelson Mandela is phony, a lackey of the West. Imagine that.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 08:58

      Fidel, another FYI: all Jews are Talmudic Jews.

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-13 10:17

      Fidel, what a stupid thing to say. Meaningless and absurd, just like all the other vomit that you spew instead of words.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-13 10:57

      What is meaningless is your poorly constructed argument of calling anyone that disagrees with you or Israel a "Jew-hater". A quick and easy way to try to sway the political debate by anyone who construes any sort of political criticism of Israel as criticism of Jews. The insinuation of anti-semitism/Jew-hater is disgusting and mendacious! It is as transparent as it is fake. I've seen the same tactic used by rabid Jews like you and it's starting to wear thin.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-13 11:13

      Do you honestly think Iran attaining a nuclear bomb is a going to yield positive consequences ? Its going to cause massive instability , weapons races and threats (if you think the Saudi's will let Iran have one and not them? ).It has established territorial claims on Bahrain , Qatar, UAE and Kuwait . Its leaders have vocally put out their thoughts on the their wishes for the return of the 12th Imam (fantasic stuff there). So personally i see nothing but negative implications from Iran ( a totalitarian theocracy) achieving nuclear weaponry , which it undoubtedly is trying to get. If any support to Iran needs to be pressed its for the green movement within Iran and not for nuclear ambitious theocratic dictators . Senseless western conspiracies are not arguement for nuclear capability considering the very real potential for catastrophic consequences which these guys want to see happen.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-13 11:49

      @Ninja You are staring the clock for the 'Middle East arms race' at a point which suits you, and completely ignore that there's already a nuclear armed nation in the ME, as well as others on its periphery. It's ridiculous of you to claim that an existing Israeli bomb is entirely benign, whereas a putative Iranian one is going to spark an arms race. If the US was not involved in adventurism and trying to take over the world then Iran developing nuclear power would not be an issue at all. Iranian rulers are smart enough to know that giving up nuclear technology will not stop Israel/US via its proxies to come up with other excuses and threats against Iran. Not as long as there are huge amounts of gas and oil sitting on Iranian subterranean. (Europe has to be weaned of its dependency on Russian energy as this strengthens Russia) Russia lived with a nuclear armed west, or India and Pakistan, why cant Israel, and please no more propaganda nonsense about Iran wanting to "wipe Israel off the map".

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-13 12:25

      Did i claim anything about Isreal? Blah blah , west taking over the world nonsense , there is no arguing with that irrationality. The Russia /American cold war was based on 'mutually assured destruction' a tentative stalemate and not nearly living with it, it also resulted in the stockpiling of weapons and the very point of the arguement. India and pakistan is neither a good situation and russia lives with that because they aren't pointed at them but each other ,and they are still in a nuclear arms race recently testing delivery balistics. The west sits on nukes but a lot less and further weapons development is going to change that, also they are subject to NPT and umbrella agreements. ps: Saying you will remove the state from the sands of time is really not a far leap of translation to wiping off the map, unless it has some other subtext the rest are not aware of.

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-13 14:00

      Fidel - you are such a joke. You call me a "rabid Jew" and in the same breath deny you are a Jew-hater! What a pathetic cretin you are. You are the same person who has called for a second holocaust. Do you think we do not remember your sick, Jew-hating, racist comments?

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-13 14:01

      Fidel: I am not insinuating anything. I am calling you directly a Jew-hater. Which you are by your own admission.

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-13 14:07

      Fidel your argument is as riduculous as you are. Just because it is ALLEGED that Israel has nuclear weapons, does not mean that Israel cannot try to stop iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Israel has been threatened by iran who has publicly and on many occasions threatened to destroy Israel. iran is a murderous, totalitarian, fanatical islamist state bent on imperial and colonial ambitions. Who gives you the right to tell Israel that it cannot seek to defend itself from this vicious aggressor? You are a Jew-hater who thinks that iran has the right to arm itself and Israel does not have the right to defend itself.

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-13 16:00

      Fidel on what basis do you think that iran's leadership is rational - they are islamist fanatical extremists who believe that they will bring about an islamic paradise by destroying Irael. They really believe that. They are as hate-filled, insane, aggressive and illogical as you. You are a sick animal who should be put down. You are a racist Jew-hater. you disgust me, you vile Holocaust-denier. You have no grasp of reality. You need help.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 16:27

      Fidel believes Nelson Mandela is a phony, a lackey of the West, an Uncle Tom. It should be no surprise then that he doesn't see that calling someone "a rabid Jew" is racist. Truly, he has effectively blinded himself to common human sensibilities.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 16:31

      Israel was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what is sometimes called "occupied territories". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes sometimes going too far, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys.

  • matt.mclaughlin.7545 - 2012-08-12 19:52

    From a historical perspective, Iran seeks to regain its historical primacy over the Arabian Gulf, a status begrudgingly ceded to the interests of nuclear states. Additionally, status quo efforts to inhibit Iranian nuclear development are woefully inadequate: Russia refuses to cooperate with sanctions, even going so far as to provide Iran with an S-300 missile defense system, and China insists on diplomatic negotiations with Iran, citing commercial interests in Iran’s oil and gas sector. Geographical motive, historical ambition, and inter-state factionalism have thus set the stage for the emergence of Iran as a nuclear state.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-13 04:49

      Primacy, hegemony, domination, and all similar goals and ideologies are Old World. They will not work in the new physics of the New World.

  • boom.baracus - 2012-08-13 14:10

    Fidel seeks to draw attention away from the real issue: iran is a violent, aggressive, imperialist state, by its own admission. It is sworn to the destruction of Israel. It is a fanatical islamist aggressor. Israel and all states threatened by iran have the right to protect and defend themselves. Anyone who thinks that iran's rights to nuclear weapons trumps the rights of Jews to life is a sick, twisted, Jew-hater.

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