The chances of Israel allowing Iran to build a nuclear bomb are next to zero. In 1981 the Israeli Air Force destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in Baghdad, and in 2007 destroyed the Syrian al-Kibar nuclear reactor. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a student of Winston Churchill, and publicly stated, in front of the UN General Assembly, September, 2012, that Israel would not allow Iran to cross a “red line“, in which its underground centrifuges reached a “zone of immunity”, where Israel could no longer prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb. President Obama purportedly offered the Israel Air Force air refueling capacity, additional bunker busting bombs, and military aid, in exchange for delaying its attack of Iran until the spring of 2013, after the U.S. elections in November.
During President Obama’s second term he is traveling to Israel, March 20, to purportedly ask Prime Minister Netanyahu to delay an Israeli unilateral attack, and allow sanctions and diplomacy to run their course. Shimon Peres, Israel’s 89 year old President, has publicly stated he is opposed to a unilateral strike by Israel, and is convinced, if diplomacy fails, President Obama will order a military strike. Vice President Biden has declared, “The President is not bluffing!”. Which some skeptics believe should be translated, “he is bluffing”. The new U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, seems undecided if U.S. policy is containment or prevention.
President Obama’s first visit to Israel, as a sitting president, just happens to be on the first day of spring, on March 20. Because of winter cloud cover in Iran, the window for a unilateral attack by Israel, is between spring of 2013 and a “red line”, possibly sometime this spring or summer. As a long awaited showdown between Israel and Iran approaches, the climax will build, and President Obama will apparently delay the inevitable, as long as he can, to allow diplomacy to take its course.
If diplomacy fails, and the U.S. fails to take military action, the real issue is, can Netanyahu get enough votes in his new Security Cabinet, after the January 22 election in Israel? Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s new Defense Minister is considered a relatively moderate on the Iran issue, and desires diplomacy up to a point. At the other extreme, incoming Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, does not see a nuclear Iran as an “existential threat”. Yair Lapid, former TV anchorman, representing the center left labor party, came in third with 15 seats. Netanyahu pledged to remove the military draft exemption for orthodox Jews, in order to obtain Yair Lipid’s support. While Lapid is politically center left, he is a military lightweight, and some political experts believe he will not be able to off-set Netanyahu’s strong hawkishness towards Iran. Netanyahu’s Likud party needs Tzipi Livni’s support for a political coalition, but her vote may not be needed for Netanyahu to obtain a majority vote on the Security Council, which would be necessary to give the order to strike Iran.
It is true that Ya’alon is one of the Group of Eight member (the "Octet" forum that convenes on diplomatic and security issues) who opposed an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities without American backup. Nevertheless, over the last few months, he seems to have found a way to ensure support by the United States while also siding with Israel’s right and duty to defend itself. So as far as this issue is concerned, Netanyahu can rest easy: Ya’alon has no intentions of tripping him up on the Iranian issue. On the contrary, he will be Netanyahu’s partner. His recent statements, including in private talks, verify this.
Why is Prime Minister, Netanyahu so obsessed with denying Iran access to nuclear weapons? (1) Iran sitting on the choke point of the Strait of Hormuz, with nuclear tipped cruise missiles, would command control of the Persian Gulf, and allow it to set the world price of crude oil. (2) Sunni Persian Gulf nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, would feel the need to also go nuclear. (3) Israel is a tiny nation, only 9 to 71 miles wide, and a nuclear Iran would be an existential threat to Israel. (4) Iran’s grand Ayatollah, Ali Khamenei, is a Shiite Twelver, who believes the Twelfth Imam, who went into hiding in the 9th Century, will only return in the end times, when the world is in chaos. (5) Lastly, Shiite Twelvers are extremists, who believe in the destruction of the nation Israel and Zionism.
Pressure from President Obama, public opinion in Israel, and in the world at large, will apparently force Netanyahu to sit through the charade of diplomacy with Iran during the spring, and at least part of the summer. However, at some time, possibly in the fall of 2013, no one should be surprised if the Israeli Air Force takes out Iran’s centrifuges buried underground at Fordow, near Qom. However, only God knows for sure.
For more information on the crisis in the Middle East, and the culture war,
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or the book, “Tea Party Culture War: a clash of worldviews”, by author Stephen Johnston