Israeli officials say they won't warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions told the Associated Press. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at theWhite House and Capitol Hill.Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel's potential attack.The U.S. has been working with the Israelis for months to persuade them that an attack would be only a temporary setback to Iran's nuclear program.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivered the message to a series of top-level U.S. visitors to the country, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House national security adviser and the director of national intelligence, and top U.S. lawmakers, all trying to close the trust gap between Israel and the U.S. over how to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions.Netanyahu delivered the same message to all the Americans who have traveled to Israel for talks, the U.S. official said.But the apparent decision to keep the U.S. in the dark also stems from Israel's frustration with the White House.After a visit by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon in particular, they became convinced the Americans would neither take military action, nor go along with unilateral action by Israel against Iran. The Israelis concluded they would have to conduct a strike unilaterally -- a point they are likely to hammer home in a series of meetings over the next two weeks in Washington, the official said.
Israeli officials have made it clear they won’t warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, a U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press on Monday.
The official said the pronouncement was delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations.
Netanyahu is widely believed to back Barak, who believes a pre-emptive military strike on Iran's nuclear program must be made before Tehran enters "the immunity zone."
Barak's so-called "immunity zone" is a theoretical point of no return after which Iran's nuclear program would be so diffuse and well protected that an Israeli strike could not sufficiently delay Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
The remarks seem to back recent reports, according to which Israeli officials told Dempsey that Israel would give President Barack Obama no more than 12 hours notice if and when it attacks Iran.
The report said that the Netanyahu government also will not coordinate with the United States an attack on the Islamic Republic.
The secret warning is likely to worry US officials and begin the high level meetings with Israel and the US far apart on how to handle Iran.
Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, a staunch Democrat and ardent supporter of Israel, said on Monday that he has declared a personal war on the liberal media watchdog, Media Matters, for its harsh and biased coverage of Israel.Dershowitz’s campaign comes as a result of presidential officials holding regular meetings and weekly with Media Matters on campaign strategy.“I will speak to every Jewish group that invites me, and I think it’s fair to say I speak to more Jewish groups than probably any other in the world. I spoke to over a million Jews over the years,” Dershowitz said. “You know, just last Thursday I spoke to 1,200; just in the next weeks alone I’ll be speaking — and in the past weeks — to thousands of American Jews. And believe me, I will not let them ignore this issue.”
“I don’t know whether President Obama has any idea that Media Matters has turned the corner against Israel in this way,” Dershowitz told the “Aaron Klein Investigative” program on New York’s WABC Radio, on Sunday.
“I can tell you this: He will know very shortly, because I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters,” he asserted.
Lebanon's Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn on Monday warned Israel against “any foolishness in attacking Lebanon.”
Ghosn, who is currently on an official visit to Tehran, met Sunday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who told him that Lebanon and Iran "should work toward unity to confront the West and Israel."
Military analysts say an Israeli strike on Tehran's nuclear program could result in Iran pushing Hizbullah to use its vast arsenal of rockets against the Jewish state.
Hizbullah denies its actions are dictated by Tehran, but the group is deeply beholden to Iran and would likely find itself with little choice but to spark a new war with Israel.
That has left regional observers – and Lebanese officials – wondering if Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike on Hizbullah even as IAF pilots striking in Iran radioed "bombs away."
The Christian pastor sentenced to death in Iran last week for leaving Islamand converting to Christianity was confirmed alive as of early Sunday, sources close to his attorneys told Fox News.Supporters fear Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old father of two who was arrested more than two years ago on charges of apostasy, fear he may be executed at any time, as death sentences in Iran can be carried out immediately or dragged out for years.
Others fear Nadarkhani will be used in broader political negotiations as Iran endures crippling sanctions and international pressure in response to its nuclear agenda and rogue discourse. The number of executions in Iran has increased significantly in the last month.
“If a human being becomes a bargaining chip for the ayatollah, that’s not a situation that will lead to anything positive,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a human rights advocacy group that has led international campaigns to free Nadarkhani.