Don’t Bet Against Israel on Iran


iran-israelBy Dan Ephron

Israeli officials are pushing back against what appears to be a growing perception among experts and analysts that its military lacks the capability to deal a significant blow to Iran’s nuclear installations, warning skeptics not to underestimate the Jewish state.

The officials, including currently serving political figures and retired military officers, pointed out in interviews with The Daily Beast that Israel has a history of surprising its enemies and surpassing expectations, from the lightning assault of the 1967 war to the daring rescue operation for hostages at Entebbe in 1976.

Their remarks seemed calculated to counter reports like the one in The New York Times last week that suggested Israeli planes would face huge challenges in reaching Iran and destroying its nuclear installations, which are buried deep in the ground and scattered throughout the country.

But even as the officials sought to cast doubt about the assessments, they were unlikely to dispel the suspicion that Israel might be deliberately overstating its capabilities in order to prod the United States and other powers to deepen economic sanctions against Iran and, if necessary, launch their own military action to stop Tehran’s uranium enrichment.

“These reports don’t tell the whole story,” said one senior official who, like all the others, asked not be identified discussing Iran. “If we need to do it [attack Iran’s nuclear facilities], believe me, there are enough ways.”

Others echoed the remarks, including a retired senior officer who said: “People take us seriously because we have a record in these things. Nobody should doubt us.”

Israel has been warning for years that Iran is developing nuclear weapons capability, a claim that was largely substantiated by an International Atomic Energy Agency report last November. Tension over the Iranian program has risen dramatically in recent months, with Israeli leaders repeatedly vowingto prevent Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold by whatever means necessary.

The United States takes the threat seriously. Fearing an Israeli attack would set the Middle East ablaze and tilt the world economy back toward an economic recession, President Obama has dispatched to Jerusalem a series of high-ranking officials to pressure Israel to give the latest round of sanctions – including an oil embargo and measures against Iran’s central bank-a chance to work.

Obama is expected to press the point personally with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the two men meet in Washington next month.

But a growing number of analysts, including Israelis, are now saying openly that Israel’s warnings are at least partly a disinformation campaign.

The skeptics include Martin van Creveld, Israel’s preeminent military historian and theorist, who said in an interview that Israel could do some damage to the Iranian program but could not knock it out.

“I would not be surprised if there was a strong element of political theater” to the Israeli threats, he said.

Barry Rubin, an Israeli expert on terrorism and international affairs, described the notion that Israel would attack Iran as “an absurd idea” and concluded: “It isn’t going to happen.”

“So why are Israelis talking about a potential attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities? Because that’s a good way-indeed, the only way Israel has-to pressure Western countries to work harder on the issue, to increase sanctions and diplomatic efforts,” Rubin wrote on Pajamas Media.

The officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the doubters weren’t seeing the whole picture. One alluded to advanced technology that Israel possesses that could not be factored into the analysis of experts because it remains secret. Others said some skepticism-from analysts or even from government insiders-always preceded Israel’s major operations, including its 1981 attack on Iraq’s nuclear plant.

One former Israeli official, speaking to a group of journalists recently, also rejected the idea that Iran’s response to an Israeli attack would upend the region.

“My assessment is that Iran will react but it will be calculated and according to Iranian means. The Iranians cannot set the Middle East on fire,” the former official said. “It will not be the doomsday promises of Iran… They do not have the capability to do what they threaten to do.”

Asked if Israel has the capability to deal a serious blow to Iran’s program, he said: “If not, why is everybody worried?”

{The Daily Beast/ Newscenter}


  1. And then there’s the disaster of the Yom Kippur War, where we almost got wiped off the map because of faulty intelligence and bad judgment.

    And the first lebanese War where we eventually had to withdraw.

    And the second Lebanese War where Dan Halutz totally miscalculated what was needed, and we lost men for no reason.

    Remember, Iran has a lot of money and a very big friend to its north. And Iran isn’t a Third World country – it’s got lots of educated scientists, tehcnology, and sophisticated weapons. It is definitely not North Korea. The most we could do is slow it down. The world usually runs al pi derech hateva, and expecting it not to be is being someich on a nes – and remember please that we’re forbidden to do that.

  2. NO MATTER WHEN OR WHAT. ”ABLAZE IS THE FEAR MONGERS ONLY..I see middle east ablaze right now. How come no one does? ANSWER: because the level of tolerance and acceptance has been lowered a few terrorist attacks in ISRAEL has been considered commonplace.SHOULD ISRAEL SHOUT OUT? I think so.And a few hundred daily in syria or or russia? ITS NOT FOR HUMANITIES SAKE. ITS because its ISRAEL THAT ACCPETS STANDARDS NOT IMPOSED ON ANY OTHER COUNTRY.

  3. If G-d forbid a regional war breaks out in the Middle East and Israel is forced to fight her opponents will come off much worse. The problem is however that any “strategist” who is saying that if 1,000 Israelis, 10,000 Americans and 1,000,000 Iranians die it will be ok they are insane. There are a multitude of possible scenarios that can unfold over the coming days and weeks. People should beware of self-fulfilling prophecies. What we think may happen often does end up happening.

    There are various calenders; i.e. Christian Gregorian Feb. 2012; Jewish Adar 5772; Muslim Thul-Qedah 1432; Iran Nuclear Fuel Enrichment hits critical red line Soon ???; etc.
    The divine timetable will trump them all.
    Time really is reaching a critical juncture.

    The next 45 days are absolutely pivotal. The decisions that Khamenei, Bibi, Obama, Assad et al. make in these days are crucial to the peace of the Holy Land, Middle East and World.

  4. I have a feeling of no one will have to raise a finger against iran because iran will self destruct, they are well on their way to that after their banking will be cut of from the world banking they are kaput no income no ability to wage wars its own people will revolt this is what will happen mark my words everyone.

  5. only one option left to prevent iran from destroying Israel its TESHUVA & BITACHON WITH EMUNA

    1)return to Hashem with Teshuva from the heart

    2)put your Faith & trust in Hastem-alone-& nobody else & then we will be free of Issues. for one that trusts Hashem lacks nothing that is good (tehillim 34)

  6. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Obama and New York Times by publicly discounting Israel’s military capabilities, regardless whether there is truth to what they are saying, increases the chance of war. It’s better if Iran and the Arabs think Israel can inflict great distruction, even if much of it is bluff. They would act more cautiously. If they think Israel is weak, they would certainly strike. Both Obama and New York Times have a history of stabbing Israel and Jews in the back. This is their most recent attempt.