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Tag Archives: Israël

FRONTLINE "Dreams of Obama"

I am but Benjamin will have to take the blame!

A new flurry of threats by Israeli leaders to strike Iran on their own has coincided with a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to finalize an arms deal that will guarantee Israel’s regional military supremacy over the Middle East for a decade or two.

Last week, Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz boast that Israel can act alone if need be and that’s true. But this was without saying that before yesterday; Israel’s military capabilities were not enough to deliver a knockout blow against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, the in-flight refueling capability being the key factor in such a long-range operation.

Well, yesterday, the United States made Israel’s dream possible.

First, in March, Obama brokered a rapprochement between Turkey and Israel and now this. Why press Israel not to attack Iran, for fear of igniting a region-wide conflagration, and then provide it with the very systems they need to make such and attack possible? Is there something in the wind here that I long suspected and feared?

The Israelis have long threatened to unleash unilateral airstrikes on Iran, despite U.S. pressures not to and despite their own limitations. They’ve been pretty quiet in recent months. Then last week, the Pentagon announced the Israeli government was seeking to buy 86.4 million gallons of petroleum products, mostly fuel used by Israeli air force jets.

Is there something in the air?

Yesterday, the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced the signature of an armaments deal that will ensure the military supremacy of Israel over the Middle East for the next two decades. Hagel pointed out that the deal involves the selling of defense platforms never before made available by the United States to another country, adding that he had begun talks with Ya’alon about a future assistance program to Israel for 2017, when the current agreement ends.

“We are in a tough neighborhood in the Middle East,” Ya’alon said. “Iran is a security threat which funds Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. It is involved in terrorism in the whole world – Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya.” Ya’alon said that while he prefers a diplomatic solution to end the Iranian nuclear program, Israel is prepared to defend itself by itself.

Finally, last week, the Pentagon announced it was sending 200 American soldiers to Jordan, adding that the deployment could end up being part of a larger movement of 20,000 soldiers to secure loose chemical weapons in neighboring Syria.

There is definitely something cooking!

While the American and Israeli defense officials are welcoming their new arms sale agreement as a major step toward increasing Israel’s military strength, some others Israeli officials are saying that this new deal is still leaving them without the weapons they need if they decide to attack Iran’s deepest and best-protected nuclear sites.

The new weapons sale package includes aircraft for midair refueling and missiles that can cripple an adversary’s air defense system. But what the Israelis wanted most was a weapons system that is missing from the package: a giant bunker-busting bomb designed to penetrate earth and reinforced concrete to destroy deeply buried sites. According to both American and Israeli analysts, this weapon known as “Massive Ordnance Penetrator”, is the only weapon that would have a chance of destroying the Iranian nuclear fuel enrichment center at Fordow, which is buried more than 200 feet under a mountain outside the holy city of Qum.

Iran having consistently denied that it wants nuclear weapons and has called its uranium enrichment activities peaceful, the Obama administration always has been and is still reluctant to even discuss selling such capability to the Israelis pointing to a decision by President Obama to send advanced refueling tanker planes to Israel that would make it possible for the country’s fighter aircraft to reach as far as Iran.  A similar refueling capability was turned down during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

To attack or not to attack, that is the question!

“It’s all about timetables,” said Dore Gold, the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a member of Mr. Netanyahu’s inner circle of strategists: “If you say the goal is to halt Iran in the enrichment phase, you don’t have much time, maybe you can give it another year or more.”

The bets are open!

JMD

Michel Ouellette JMD
Public Affairs & Communications
Author, Novelist, and Futurist
jmdlive@live.ca

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Demain ? L’an prochain ? 2015 ou 2018 ?

Par le passé, les États-Unis s’étaient toujours opposés et refusés à fournir quel qu’avantage militaire que ce soit à Israël sur l’Iran mais voici que les États-Unis viennent à peine de changer leur fusil d’épaule : Une entente pour la fourniture d’armements conclue entre les États-Unis, Israël, l’Arabie Saoudite et les Émirats arabes Unis vient d’être signée pour un montant de dix milliards de dollars. Cette entente assurera maintenant à Israël un avantage certain sur les capacités militaires de l’Iran. Si ce n’est pas un feu vert implicite donné à Israël pour se lancer dans l’aventure de frappes militaires contre les sites nucléaires iraniens, cela y ressemble fort.

Probablement consciente de ce risque (calculé), l’administration américaine, par prudence (ou par aveuglement volontaire), a beaucoup insisté pour que sa décision de fournir des armements sophistiqués à l’État juif ne soit pas interprétée comme un accord tacite à une accélération de la planification d’une attaque de l’Iran et, en ce sens, a refusé de fournir à Israël l’arme ultime qui lui aurait permis une attaque immédiate des installations nucléaires iraniennes : le M.O.P « The Massive Ordnance Penetrator,» bombe de pénétration massive fort utile pour détruire les bunkers nucléaires souterrains des Iraniens.

Le secrétaire américain à la défense, Chuck Hagel, a  par contre reconnu que ce contrat de vente d’armes américaines à Israël était un “signal très clair pour l’Iran”. Israël “prendra la décision qu’il doit prendre pour se protéger et se défendre lui-même”, a-t-il ajouté.

Les paris sont ouverts !

JMD

Michel Ouellette JMD
Public Affairs & Communications
Author, Novelist, and Futurist
jmdlive@live.ca

 

Benny Gantz

Benny Gantz: Israel can attack Iran on its own anytime

 

“Israel’s army is capable of attacking Iran on its own without foreign support” says Israeli Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.

Asked if Israel’s military could wage attacks “alone” against the Islamic republic, Gantz replied: “Yes, absolutely. We have our plans and forecasts… if the time comes we’ll decide on whether to take military action against Tehran.”

In a separate interview, Gantz said the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran was not imminent, and that sanctions imposed by the international community should be given priority to stop Tehran’s nuclear drive.

In a third interview, with Israeli military radio, Gantz also warned of the security threat posed by neighbouring Syria’s civil war: “The rebels are for now engaged in combat against the army of President Bashar al-Assad, but it’s clear there will be a second war, possibly between current opponents of Assad, or possibly directed at us.”

JMD

Benny_Gantz_portrait

Le chef d’état-major israélien Benny Gantz

Interrogé sur les capacités de l’armée israélienne d’attaquer seule l’Iran, le chef d’état-major israélien Benny Gantz a affirmé mardi que l’armée israélienne avait les capacités d’agir seule contre le programme nucléaire controversé de l’Iran.

«Oui, absolument. Nous avons nos plans, nos prévisions, nos évaluations (…) le moment venu nous déciderons», a-t-il affirmé dans une interview à l’occasion du 65e anniversaire de la création de l’État d’ Israël.

«Nous avons la capacité de faire face aux dangers posés par l’Iran, mais je ne veux pas entrer dans les détails opérationnels», a-t-il ajouté.

JMD

Iran-Israel

There will be no warning

In the fall of 2012, worried about the progress of Iranian nuclear program, the United States and Israel made a common attempt to strengthen their economic and military pressure on Iran. While the United States was increasing its naval presence in the Persian Gulf, Israel was defying the Iranian authorities.

Today, nothing has change and we are still in the dark about a still possible Israeli-Iranian conflict. All what we know is that over the years, Iran made significant progress in developing its own uranium enrichment technology. At the underground Fordo plant, over a thousand centrifuges have been installed, most of them operating at full capacity in September 2012. In August of 2010, the Bushehr nuclear plant was completed and operational. Since then, we assisted to this constant and persistent mutual exchange of threats between Tel Aviv and Tehran.

Over time, many analysts were inclined to think of a possible Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities. It did not happen. If this had happen, the response from Iran would have been devastating.

In May 2011, the former head of Mossad, Meir Dagan warned the Israeli government about a possible doomsday scenario. Dagan did not believe in a possibility of destroying the Iranian nuclear program with a single strike. At the same time, the United States and the allied Western countries had nearly exhausted their entire arsenal of economic sanctions against Iran. Such arsenal of sanctions was renewed in 2012 and the pressure on Damascus maintained.

Since then, we did not hear much from either the Iranian or the Israeli side and the question about the possible nuclear weapons allegedly being secretly developed by Iran is still unclear. Whatever the answer to this question is, I can tell you something: Iran and Israel are no North Korea; Iran and Israel are no Syria! If either one or the other has belligerent thoughts towards one another, we will be the last ones to know.

There will be no warning; there will be no barking; there will be no talk!

JMD

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Benyamin Nétanyahou

PHOTO: AFP

Jérusalem, le 27 janvier 2013Le premier ministre israélien Benyamin Nétanyahou a indiqué dimanche, le 27 janvier qu’il voulait former un gouvernement «large» et «stable» afin de faire face aux «importantes menaces» visant Israël, provenant notamment de l’Iran. «La région entière est secouée par la violence et nous devons être prêts, forts et déterminés face à toute éventualité», déclare Nétanyahou. «Je vais donc m’efforcer de constituer le gouvernement le plus large et le plus stable possible afin de faire face à toutes les importantes menaces sécuritaires qui visent Israël.»

Évoquant la journée internationale à la mémoire des victimes de la Shoah, il a accusé les dirigeants iraniens de «nier l’existence de l’Holocauste tout en préparant ce qu’ils croient être le prochain Holocauste: la destruction de l’État juif et, en remet : «Ils n’arrêtent pas leur course incessante et systématique pour obtenir des armes nucléaires afin d’y parvenir. Nous ne prenons pas ces menaces à la légère et nous les empêcherons, c’est notre première priorité en tant que gouvernement et en tant que peuple», a assuré Nétanyahou.

Malgré les démentis des autorités iraniennes, menaçant même Téhéran de frappes «préventives», Benyamin, comme toujours, insiste sur la menace représentée par l’accession de l’Iran au nucléaire militaire et souligne la nécessité “d’observer ce qui se passe en Iran et en Syrie. Selon certains, le premier ministre israélien aurait déjà entrepris des discussions avec les chefs des agences de sécurité israéliennes et ses principaux ministres en ce qui concerne la question Syrienne et la possible existence d’un stock d’armes de destruction massive qui y serait entreposé.

JMD

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas

 “… a move that will strengthen the Palestinians’ legal basis for pursuing possible war-crimes prosecutions against Israeli troops and set up a showdown with the United States and Israel.”

The U.N. General Assembly is poised to recognize Palestine as a “Non-member Observer State” on Thursday. The Palestinians are expected to win the Thursday vote by an overwhelming margin, diplomats.

132 countries have recognized the state of Palestine and supporters hope the vote will provide a desperately needed political boost to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party has been eclipsed in recent weeks by rival Hamas.

U.S. officials say a negotiated settlement with Israel is the only way to establish a Palestinian state.

JMD

jmdlive@live.ca

Read more: The Washington Post