Israel and Iran engaged in a duel of messages on Wednesday and Thursday (October 14-15), with Russia standing behind Iran.
Israeli military and intelligence sources were uncharacteristically forthcoming when they revealed on Thursday, Oct. 15, that 3,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards troops had secretly landed in Syria. This was the largest Iranian ground force ever to set foot in Syria.
Until now, Israel had kept under close wraps any intelligence obtained about the movement of the Iranian forces. However, in consideration of the large number of troops, the continuation of the Russian and Iranian airlifts of forces to Syria, and the possibility that the Iranian troops could be deployed on the Syrian side of the Golan, Israeli leaders decided to go public in this latest development.
This is because of their grave concern that Iran may take advantage of the IDF’s transfer of forces from its northern borders to the domestic fronts for quelling the current outbreak of Palestinian terrorist violence, to go for territorial gains on the Golan and the Israel-Lebanon border.
The IDF released information Wednesday night that it had sent drone and intelligence gathering units from the Northern Command to the center of the country to deal with the Palestinian terror.
Fearing the IDF may strike its forces in Syria, Tehran sent Jerusalem a deterrent message: the revelation of its underground tunnel networks for launching and storing ballistic missiles.
The missiles were shown loaded on dozens of giant trucks with team standing ready for launching, to show Israel that all his ready for immediate action, including war.
Revolutionary Guards chiefs were shown on Iran’s state TV inspecting the tunnels and the missiles and trampling contemptuously on US and Israeli flags.
The previous day, Iran announced that its forces had conducted a test of the new “Emad” long-range ballistic missile, without specifying the weapon’s range or the date and location of the launch.
In Washington, the Obama administration’s response to these messages was low-key, describing the ballistic missiles as a certain violation of the UN arms embargo against Iran.
Israel’s political leaders have rightly expressed anger at the US State Department’s hostile characterizations of the Palestinian terrorist onslaught. Secretary of State John Kerry’s claims, parroted by his spokesmen, that Israel is either entirely to blame for Palestinian terrorism or shares the blame equally with the Palestinians, are baseless lies.
Kerry and his spokesmen have alleged that the current Palestinian convulsion of murderous violence is a product of “a massive increase in settlements.” Yet as Haaretz reported this week, Israel has built fewer homes for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria since 2009, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (and President Barack Obama) entered office, than it had since 1995. The steep increase in the Jewish population in the areas is almost entirely the result of Jewish women having babies.
The other accusations the State Department has leveled against Israel – that it incites violence and engages in terrorism – are so obscene that there is no point in trying to set the record straight. Quite simply, an administration comfortable with libeling Israel in this way doesn’t want to know the truth.
While at this point it is abundantly clear that Kerry like the administration he serves has an unpleasant, irrational obsession with the Jewish state, it’s hard to shake the conclusion that there is more going on here than simply opposition to Israel.
For instance his claim this week that “Unless we get going, a two-state solution could conceivably be stolen from everybody,” is more an assault on reality generally than on Israel in particular.
There is no chance that Palestinian Authority Chairman and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas will agree to make peace with Israel. We know this not only because Abbas rejected peace and a Palestinian state when then-prime minister Ehud Olmert offered him both in 2008. We know this as well because three years ago Abbas rejected the idea of a negotiated settlement and opted instead to use the UN to gain international recognition of a Palestinian state at war with Israel.
For the past several years, Obama and his advisers have collaborated with Abbas’s UN strategy by refusing to commit themselves to vetoing a UN Security Council resolution mandating the establishment of a Palestinian state.
In so doing, they have shown that they want Israel to vacate Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria no matter what.
The current round of Palestinian terrorism, like last year’s offensive, has been largely undertaken by Arabs who live in Israel – either Israeli citizens from the Galilee or permanent residents from Jerusalem. The natural response that many Israelis have had to the fact that it is our fellow citizens and residents of our capital city that are perpetrating the violence has been to hope that a way can be found to finally separate from them.
Israelis who preach separation from the Palestinians as a strategic goal claim that the reason the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem – like the Palestinians of Gaza and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon before them – oppose Israel is because Israel controls the territory they live in. Accordingly, they argue, if Israel quits these areas – as it withdrew from Gaza and south Lebanon in the past – the Palestinians will stop their attacks.