“If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks,” Efraim Halevy, the wise and wily former Mossad chief observed in an Israel Radio interview early this month.Well, what some Israelis in the know are saying amounts to, “Never mind the Iranians, it’s the Israelis who need to be fearful. And we are. We’re terrified. We’re terrified our leaders are drawing us into disaster.”But there’s another sound, too — other voices just as frantic. Do it, they urge. Do it, before it’s too late.Trust your judgment. This is the eve of ’67 again. The imperative is to act.When Halevy spoke, there were actually about 14 weeks until the US presidential elections. Now there are about 10. Ten weeks before America votes. Ten weeks before the skies cloud over, and complex, distant air strikes become still more complex. Ten weeks. Count them down.
But there are other insiders, too — others, who empathize with Netanyahu’s parallels between the Iranian threat and the Holocaust, and some who go further. Germany had to gear up, gradually and protractedly, for the manufacture of mass murder. With Iran, if unchecked, genocide for the Jewish state could be attempted with the press of a button. No time then for a Churchill to shake us all out of our lethargy, slowly make up for lost time, and turn back the tide.Yes, these insiders say, there are powerful arguments in favor of doing nothing — hoping the sanctions work, or the Iranians give ground in diplomatic channels, or sabotage has a deeper impact, or the regime is ousted or, when all else fails, America does have the will to utilize its military might. But how realistic are any of those hopes, they ask? What have sanctions and diplomacy done for us so far? How profoundly have the Stuxnet-style viruses and disappearing scientists set back the program? Does the Iranian regime look remotely wobbly? And can we really, truly, existentially expect — because our lives could depend upon it — that second-term-Obama or first-term-Romney would send in the bombers?The mighty Jewish state placing its destiny in the hands of, either, an untried president heading a parochial, unpredictable party, or a familiar president who didn’t even take a stand against the regime when the Iranian people were trying to rise up against it three years ago?Where the insiders who support and those who oppose an imminent Israeli military strike on Iran agree is that Netanyahu’s temptation to order it stems in large part from his conviction that a re-elected Obama cannot be fully trusted to use force if all else fails to stop Iran, and that a president Romney might be still less likely to do so.Insiders say Barak has told Netanyahu that Israel’s window of opportunity for action — for seriously impacting the Iranian program — closes at the end of the year.But allowing Israel’s window of military opportunity to shut without acting may turn out to be an act of restraint with catastrophic consequences, retort those in the better-strike-soon camp.
Vice Prime Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon spoke at a memorial ceremony in Bulgaria on Tuesday for the victims of the Burgas terror attack.
The ceremony, which was held at the main synagogue in Sofia, began with a moment of silence in honor of the victims.
"Iran must not acquire nuclear weapons. We must work together, with determination and hard work, utilizing all of the means at our disposal,” he said. “We must not give up, or sweep reality under the carpet. We must impose harsher sanctions and not live under the illusion that we are dealing with a conventional regime.”“We must not take any option off of the table. Before it is too late, we must force the violent, tyrannical regime to face a dilemma: a bomb or survival,” he added.
Any Israeli attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities are unlikely to cause a Fukushima-scale disaster unless a Russian-built reactor is destroyed, experts say.They could, however, release toxic chemicals - rather than high levels of radiation - causing local contamination affecting health and the environment. That was also the case from US-led strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq during the Gulf Wars."I doubt that the radiation effects would be great," said Hans Blix, a former head of UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."There could be some chemical hazard (from an Israeli attack on Iran's uranium refining plants) but I'd think it would be limited to any nearby communities," said Edwin Lyman, a nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington.
Most experts contacted said that Israel would not target the Bushehr nuclear reactor on Iran's Gulf coast, which started providing electricity to the grid last September. Such an attack could release a Fukushima-style radioactive plume that could spread to the entire region - including Israel.
"An attack against Bushehr nuclear power plant would probably be a violation of international law," Blix said
With thousands of Syrians fleeing their nation’s devastating conflict to neighboring countries, Jordan is being inundated with refugees – with about 2,000 refugees arriving in the northern part of the Hashemite Kingdom each night, a United Nations spokesperson said Tuesday.In the last week alone, 10,200 refugees have arrived there, presenting a challenge both to the Jordanian government and to aid workers trying to house people arriving, in many cases, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Crossing on foot in the dark of night, it’s rarely possible to carry much else.“Compared to previous weeks, which saw around 400-500 people arriving daily, up to 5,000 people have been arriving at the borders every day over the past two weeks. In the past 24 hours over 3,000 Syrians are reported to have crossed into Turkey, with a further 7,000 expected to cross in the coming days,” Fleming said.
Two rockets and a mortar were fired from Gaza into the Eshkol Region in the Western Negev Tuesday evening.