Israel, mako/Channel 2
By Udi Segal
In the Netanyahu cabinet, with Ya'alon in favor, there is a clear-cut majority for an attack on Iran. It’s not always that one straight line passes through all the points, but even in our strange region of the world, the Middle East, it may happen.
Translated by Viktoria Lymar
Edited by Steven Stenzler
13 July 2013
The world long since can’t take its eyes off the numerous upheavals occurring in the Arab world. The coup in Egypt, civil war in Syria, and fighting in the Sinai. But of one thing we have not heard recently – Iran's nuclear armament. Our political correspondent Udi Segal, in a special column, tells us that soon, if things progress according to the PM Netanyahu's plan, this state of affairs is going to change. "Netanyahu will have to cast the die already in the coming months – whether to attack Iran before winter?"
Over recent weeks, the sight has been turned to Egypt, to the Syrian civil war, and to the Iranian elections. What looks to have faded a bit is actually the debate on Tehran's ongoing attempts to obtain a nuclear bomb. Iran is on the table, or at least Netanyahu is trying to put it back on Obama's table. Everything around is burning, developing. The turmoil in Egypt, the situation in Syria, the goings-on in the Sinai. And meanwhile, the centrifuges at Fordow continue to spin.
At Arak, there advances the development of a plutonium reactor, and the Iranian opposition even reports of a new nuclear facility at an old site – and the world is waiting. And here exactly is the problem. The political top brass in Israel, Netanyahu and [Defense Minister] Ya'alon, are concerned about the patient and passive approach of the White House. Obama is waiting for Iran’s President Rouhani to assume office next month, and then they will try to resume the negotiations, perhaps via the direct channel, and then give it a shot.
While the time has been passing by, and the uranium – accumulating, and the window – closing. Israel is trying to revive the embers of the military threat on Iran. Netanyahu is planning in the upcoming days a renewed move of public diplomacy. Again the talk about the decisive moment; the outgoing ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, is comparing Netanyahu to [Prime Minister Levi] Eshkol of 1967, and the Prime Minister is spreading hints in his usual manner: “When there was need for that, he acted. Even when it was about an action far away from our borders...”
So here are some points to think about: Israel wants Washington to act now, to put a real test to the Iranian President Rouhani: Nuke or economy, atomic bomb or collapse. To strengthen the sanctions, to enhance the pressure, to create a genuine military threat.
Without that, Netanyahu will have to reach an [ultimate] decision already in the coming months – whether to strike Iran by the winter. This time estimate includes the following scenario – assaulting Iran would lead to firing dozens of missiles at Israel by Hezbollah, and necessitate an Israeli military ground operation in Lebanon, possibly up to the occupation of the country by the IDF.
Others say that such a move will not entail a regional war. In Netanyahu's cabinet, if Ya'alon is for it, there’s a clear majority for an attack on Iran. It’s not always that one straight line passes through all the points, but even in our odd region of the world, the Middle East, it may happen.
Original Hebrew article + VIDEO:
Photo credit: mako/Channel 2