If Israel, under three prime ministers, has warned that Irans nuclear program poses an existential threat to Israel, then why has Israel not attacked Iran? Why has Israel played along with the sanctions strategy of two American presidents?
After Israels eight-day war in Gaza, we know why. Simply and frighteningly put, Israel cannot take out Irans nuclear facilities other than by using a nuclear weapon herself.
It doesnt take a skilled diplomat to read the signs of dissatisfaction coming from Israel over the sanctions strategy. Nor does it take a top general to read the implication coming from this recent eight-day war. Watch:
Israel attacked over 1,000 Hamas terrorist sites without wholly stopping Hamas missile fire into Israel. Israel had free reign in the skies. Israeli planes needed to travel less (usually, much less) than 100 miles to strike their targets. Israeli planes met no anti-missile fire. Not to mention, these Hamas rockets, though deadly, are relatively puny compared to the missiles Iran presumably possesses. 1,000 successful Israeli missions, right next door, no resistance and still, Israel cannot take out Hamas military power in eight full days.
So how is Israel going to take out Irans nuclear program in a few hours of strikes, hundreds of miles from home, over Iranian skies protected by anti-missile missiles? In a word, Israel cant do it with conventional weaponry. That is why Israel has mounted a decade-long campaign to convince the US and the EU that Iran is a world problem, not just an Israel problem. That is why Israel has not acted against Iran until now. Israel knows the only way it can mount a successful mission against Iran is with a nuclear weapon. That, Israel truly will not do unless its back is absolutely against the wall.
That is why Israel, we surmise, has played along with the sanctions of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, even though these sanctions, at the very worst, will damage Irans economy.
Sanctions, however tight, will have no effect on Irans military program. First, Iran will retain the pipeline to Russia and China for the military hardware it doesnt produce itself. Second, Iran has evaded, can and will evade the banking limitations that sanctions impose, in order to pay for this hardware.
For decades Israel has said, when asked if it possesses nuclear weapons, Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. That evasion will be tested if Irans nuclear program is not stopped, because Israel does not seem capable of stopping it with conventional weapons; and because the US, all the talk by Obama to the contrary notwithstanding, does not seem inclined to go to war against Iran. More frightening than the prospect of a war against Iran is the prospect of a nuclear attack on Iran.
All the more reason to face down Iran now. As the former American ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, recently told the IJN, the US is going to be blamed for whatever Israel does against Iran, so the US might as well do it, because the US can do it right without using nuclear weapons.
Copyright © 2012 by the Intermountain Jewish News