According to the Nashera news agency, extensive Israeli Air Force activity has taken place over the country’s coastal regions, Israel Radio reported.
Sources in the United Nations asserted that Israel has more than doubled its overflights of Lebanese airspace compared to the previous year, suggesting preparations for possible action against Syria or Hezbollah.
Israel’s proposal that Iran totally dismantle its nuclear capacity in exchange for sanctions relief would likely lead to war, a top White House official said.
The official, in a conference call Wednesday with think tanks and advocacy groups sympathetic to the Obama administration’s Iran strategy, outlined the proposal that the major powers will put to Iran at a third round of negotiations in Geneva beginning Thursday.
Jerusalem is “unpleasantly surprised” that, as of Thursday afternoon, the Obama administration had not unequivocally condemned vicious anti-Israel statements made Wednesday morning by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, senior Israeli officials told The Times of Israel.
In an address to an assembly of tens of thousands of Basij militiamen, Khamenei declared that Israel was doomed to fail and characterized the “Zionist regime” as the “sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region.” He also said Israelis “cannot be called human beings.” Footage of the event showed the crowd shouting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
At a meeting Thursday morning with Jewish leaders in Moscow, Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu said today’s Iran reminded him “of the dark regimes of the past that plotted against us first and then against all of humanity,” and thus had to prevented from attaining nuclear weapons. “The real Iran is what the leader of Iran, Khamenei, said yesterday,” said Netanyahu. “He called Jews ‘rabid dogs’ and said that they were not human. The public responded to him with calls of ‘Death to America! Death to Israel!’ Doesn’t this sound familiar to you? This is the real Iran! We are not confused,” said Netanyahu.
On Wednesday, in response to a reporter’s question, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki called the comments “not helpful.” She said, in full: but we still believe that both sides are negotiating in good faith. We still believe that we’re closer than we were going into Geneva, and we still feel that we have an opportunity to move forward on a diplomatic path with the Iranians, and I would feel pretty confident in saying that the other P5+1 members feel the same way.”
“Precisely during the course of those negotiations [in Geneva], Khamenei spoke out in the most extreme, inflammatory and disgraceful manner against the State of Israel,” Bar noted. “Khamenei’s remarks are clearly reminiscent of similarly brutal, racist statements made by racist, dictatorial regimes in the past, including that of the Nazis. ‘The Israelis cannot be called human beings because they are animals… A rabid dog… Israel is doomed to destruction.’ Exactly the same declarations were made against Jews, blacks, and others by the Nazis in the 1930s.”
And yet, protested Bar, “I was disappointed to hear no strong condemnation nor any official censure whatsoever by the United States, the European countries, nor the EU itself. These comments from Khamenei, in the middle of talks with the world’s powers, allow the world to understand with what kind of regime we are dealing, and with whose leaders the world has been trying to reach a reasonable compromise in recent days. But reasonable compromises are made with reasonable people, not with inciting, racist, bloodthirsty leaders who intend to annihilate a democratic state – a UN member – and who are not ashamed to say it out loud.”