The time has come for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to confront US President
A short summary of events from the past three days: On
Tuesday morning, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Analysis Division
Itay Brun revealed that the Syrian government has already used
“lethal chemical weapons,” against Syrian civilians and opposition forces. Brun
described footage of people visibly suffering the impact of chemical agents,
apparently sarin gas.
Hours later, US Secretary of State John Kerry said
Netanyahu had told him on the telephone that “he was not in a position to
confirm” Brun’s statement.
It is hard to imagine the US was taken by
surprise by Brun’s statement. Just the day before, Brun briefed visiting US
Defense secretary Chuck Hagel on Syria. It is not possible he failed to mention
the same information.
And of course it isn’t just the IDF saying that
Syrian President Bashar Assad is using chemical weapons. The British and the
French are also saying this.
But as a European source told Ma’ariv, the
Americans don’t want to know the facts. The facts will make them do something
about Syria’s chemical weapons. And they don’t want to do anything about Syria’s
So they force Netanyahu to disown his own
Thursday afternoon, in a speech in Abu Dhabi, Hagel
confirmed, “with some degree of varying confidence,” that Syria used chemical
weapons, at least on a “small scale.”
What the administration means by
“some degree of varying confidence,” is of course, unknowable with any degree of
Then there is Iran.
Also on Tuesday, the
former head of IDF Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, said
that Iran has already crossed the red line Israel set last year. It has already
stockpiled 170 kg. of medium-enriched uranium, and can quickly produce the other
80 kg. necessary to reach the 250 kg. threshold Netanyahu said will mark Iran’s
achievement of breakout capability where it can build a nuclear arsenal whenever
Yadlin made a half-hearted effort Wednesday to walk back his
pronouncements. But his basic message remained the same: The die has been
Due to American pressure on Israel not to act, and due to the White
House’s rejection of clearcut reports about Iran’s stockpile of enriched
uranium, Iran has crossed the threshold. Iran will be a nuclear power unless its
uranium enrichment installations and other nuclear sites are destroyed or
True, the Americans set a different red line for Iran than
Israel. They say they will not allow Iran to assemble a nuclear bomb. But to
believe that the US has the capacity and the will to prevent Iran from climbing
the top rung on the nuclear ladder is to believe in the tooth fairy – (see, for
instance, North Korea).
Iran has threatened to use it nuclear arsenal to
destroy Israel. Have we now placed our survival in the hands of Tinkerbell? And
yet, rather than acknowledge what Iran has done, Netanyahu, President Shimon
Peres and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon carry on with the tired act of talking
about the need for a credible military option but saying that there is still
time for sanctions and other non-military means to block Iran’s quest for the
Perhaps our leaders are repeating these lies because they want to
present a unified US-Israel front to the world. But the effect is just the
What their statements really demonstrate is that Israel has
been brought to its knees by its superpower patron that has implemented a policy
that has enabled Iran to become a nuclear power.
Indeed, the US has
allowed Iran to cross the nuclear threshold while requiring Israel to pretend
the course the US has followed is a responsible one.
that the US has agreed to sell Israel advanced weapons specifically geared
towards attacking Iran should also be seen in this light. Israel reportedly
spent a year negotiating this deal. But immediately after its details were
published, the US started backing away from its supposed commitment to supply
them. The US will not provide Israel with bunker-buster bombs.
not provide Israel with the bombers necessary to use the bombs Israel isn’t
getting. And anyway, by the time Israel gets the items the US is selling – like
mid-air refuelers – it will be too late.
When, after overthrowing Saddam
Hussein’s regime in Iraq, the US failed to find chemical weapons in the country,
then-president George W. Bush’s Democratic opponents accused Bush of having
politicized intelligence to justify his decision to topple Saddam. In truth,
there is no evidence that Bush purposely distorted intelligence reports.
Israel’s intelligence agencies, and perhaps French ones, were the only allied
intelligence arms that had concluded Saddam’s chemical weapons – to the extent
he had them – did not represent a threat.
The fact that Bush preferred US
and British intelligence estimates over Israeli ones doesn’t mean that he
In contrast, what Obama and his advisers are
doing represents the worst case of politicizing intelligence since Stalin
arrested his senior security brass rather than heed their warnings of the coming
German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.
Never in US history has
there been a greater misuse and abuse of US intelligence agencies than there is
today, under the Obama administration.
Take the Boston Marathon bombings.
Each day more and more reports come out about the information US agencies had –
for years – regarding the threat posed by the Boston Marathon
But how could the FBI have possibly acted on those threats?
Obama has outlawed all discussion or study of jihad, Islamism, radical Islam and
the Koran by US federal government agencies. The only law enforcement agency
that monitors Islamic websites is the New York Police Department.
chief Ray Kelly has bravely maintained his policy despite massive pressure from
the media and the political class to end his surveillance
Everywhere else, from the Boston Police Department to the FBI
and CIA, US officials are barred from discussing the threat posed by jihadists
or even acknowledging they exist. People were impressed that Obama referred to
the terrorist attack in Boston as a terrorist attack, because according to the
administration-dictated federal lexicon, use of the word terrorism is forbidden,
particularly when the act in question was perpetrated by Muslims.
there are the Palestinians. On Thursday, it was reported that in the midst of
everything happening in the Middle East, Obama is planning to host a peace
conference in Washington in June to reinstate negotiations between Israel and
The terms of reference for the conference are
reportedly the 2002 Arab League “peace plan.”
Among other things, that
plan requires Israel to accept millions of hostile foreign-born Arabs to
whatever rump state it retains following a “peace” agreement with the PLO. In
exchange for Israel agreeing to destroy itself, the Arab peace plan says the
Arabs will agree to have “regular” relations with Israel. (“Regular” by the way,
is a term devoid of meaning.) During his visit here last week, Kerry announced
that the new US policy towards the Palestinians is to pour billions of dollars
into the Palestinian economy. Among other things, the administration is going to
convince US companies like Coca-Cola to open huge plants in Judea and
Sounds fine. But as usual, there is a catch. The administration
wants US firms to build their factories in Area C, the area of Judea and Samaria
over which, in accordance with the agreements they signed with Israel, the
Palestinians agreed Israel should hold sole control.
In essence, the
policy Kerry announced is simply an American version of the EU’s policy of
seeking to force Israel to give up control over Area C.
Area C, of
course, is where all the Israeli communities are, and almost no Palestinians
Those Israeli communities and the 350,000 Jews who live in them are
the strongest assertion of Israeli sovereign rights to Judea and Samaria. So the
EU – and now the Americans – are doing everything they can to force Israel to
destroy them. The campaign to coerce Israel into surrendering its sole control
over Area C is a central component of that plan.
It cannot be said often
enough: The administration’s focus on the Palestinian conflict with Israel in
the midst of the violent disintegration of the Arab state system and the rise of
jihadist forces throughout the region, coupled with Iran’s steady emergence as a
regional power, is only understandable in the framework of a psychiatric –
rather than policy – analysis.
For the past five years, perhaps
Netanyahu’s greatest achievement in office has been his adroit avoidance of
confrontations with Obama. With no one other than the US willing to stand with
Israel in public, it is an important national interest for Jerusalem not to have
any confrontations with Washington if they can possibly be avoided.
attempt to avoid confrontations is what made Netanyahu agree to Obama’s
anti-Jewish demand to deny Jews their property rights in Judea and Samaria in
2010. This is undoubtedly what stood behind Netanyahu’s decision to apologize to
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan during Obama’s visit to Israel last month.
That apology constituted a moral abandonment of the IDF naval commandos who
Netanyahu’s government sent – virtually unarmed – to face Turkish terrorists
affiliated with al-Qaida and Hamas aboard the Mavi Marmara terror
To a degree, all of Netanyahu’s seemingly unjustifiable actions can
be justified when weighed against the need to avoid a confrontation with
But by now, after five years, with Iran having passed Israel’s
red line, and with chemical weapons already in play in Syria, the jig is
Obama does not have Israel’s back.
Contrary to the constant,
grinding rhetorical prattle of American and Israeli politicos, Obama will not
lift a finger to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. He will not lift a
finger to prevent chemical weapons from being transferred to the likes of
al-Qaida and Hezbollah, and their colleagues in Syria, or used by the Syrian
From Benghazi to Boston, from Tehran to Damascus, Obama’s policy
is to not fight forces of jihad, whether they are individuals, organizations or
states. And his obsession with Palestinian statehood shows that he would rather
coerce Israel to make concessions to Palestinian Jew-haters and terrorists than
devote his time and energy into preventing Iran from becoming the jihadist North
Korea or from keeping sarin, VX and mustard gas out of the hands of Iran’s
terrorist underlings and their Sunni competitors.
No, Israel doesn’t want
a confrontation with Washington. But we don’t have any choice
The time has come to take matters into our own hands on Syria
and Iran. In Syria, either Israel takes care of the chemical weapons, or if we
can’t, Netanyahu must go before the cameras and tell the world everything we
know about Syria’s chemical weapons and pointedly demand world – that is US –
action to secure them.
As for Iran, either Israel must launch an attack
without delay, or if we can’t, then Netanyahu has to publicly state that the
time for diplomacy is over. Either Iran is attacked or it gets the
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