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Hot Topic: Will Israel Attack Iran?

Can Israel wait for diplomacy?

PJ Editors


December 13, 2013 - 12:42 pm

The recent deal struck between the West and Iran that is supposed to limit Iran’s nuclear program has put Israel in a difficult position. Its major ally — the U.S. — has chosen a diplomatic route to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. But the deal will only last six months and there is no guarantee diplomacy will work.

As Norman Podhoretz wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently, a “new consensus” on Iran has emerged that posits the notion that the only thing worse than Iran getting the bomb is taking military action to prevent it.

Adherents of the new consensus would have us believe that only two choices remain: a war to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons or containment of a nuclear Iran—with containment the only responsible option. Yet as an unregenerate upholder of the old consensus, I remain convinced that containment is impossible, from which it follows that the two choices before us are not war vs. containment but a conventional war now or a nuclear war later.

Given how very unlikely it is that President Obama, despite his all-options-on-the-table protestations to the contrary, would ever take military action, the only hope rests with Israel. If, then, Israel fails to strike now, Iran will get the bomb. And when it does, the Israelis will be forced to decide whether to wait for a nuclear attack and then to retaliate out of the rubble, or to pre-empt with a nuclear strike of their own. But the Iranians will be faced with the same dilemma. Under these unprecedentedly hair-trigger circumstances, it will take no time before one of them tries to beat the other to the punch.

We’ve heard from the pundits and politicians. Now it’s your turn. Will Israel still attack Iran despite the recently signed agreement to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment program? Please leave your thoughts in the comments. If you’re not registered to comment, please take a few seconds to do so.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The real question is, will Iran use that 6 months to finally complete its quest to become a nuclear power, ready to flex its muscles. On that account, I have no doubt. The second Israel believes it has, they ill strike with a massive air strike and missile attack. Those sites will become radioactive slag. Israel has so much to loose, it can't afford to allow Iran to blackmail other less-than-friendly states in the area. Fatalistically, I don't see any other option open for them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Iran Strategies:

1) If you are a Jew in Israel and Iran gets nukes, you have 10 to minutes of life left. Iran will sacrifice as many of its people as necessary to destroy Israel. They have made that clear over and over.

2) Iran gets nukes and through proxy armies. attacks Israel forever. Israel at that point is in a hopeless situation.

If Israel wishes to survive as the Jewish nation, it has one choice and one choice only.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think Israel will attack. And I think they will use rocket delivered nukes to do it. Rockets will sideline Obama. Fordow and one or two of the main nuclear sites in Iran could be hit with neutron devices to kill as many scientists and technicians as possible followed up a minute later by a very small very dirty device which would render the sites "hot" for a thousand years. No rebuild there. Israel could use 4 or 5 EMPs spread over the country and if they work as described, every vehicle, train, plane, telephone, computer, television or anything else with a chip that is not "hardened" will be toast. No electricity, no water (no pumps), no refrigeration. Their army will have to march on foot. The IAF could then come in and mop up where it needs to. Israel could demand unconditional surrender or nuke Iran's major port facilities which will guarantee mass starvation. It's sort of what Iran plans to do to the USA when it has nukes. Israel has no choice because Iran has threatened to wipe it off the map. Unlike the leftist do goodies, I think that when your enemy threatens to wipe you off the map, you should annihilate him as soon as you can reach the button.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (69)
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Fifth columnist tactics would be the most efficient and effective. Send small arms and ammunition along with trained organizers from NATO to begin a serious sabotage and terror campaign within Iran. Take out major power players. Let the people of Iran regain their freedom by themselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Israel will not attack, because prime minister Netanyahu is too week. It will be for somebody else to do the job, even if in a non-conventional manner.

I'm sorry to disappoint the rational people that understand that Israel MUST attack, I wish I could believe this would happen, but I cannot.

Hopefully, I'm wrong.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
War with Islam is inevitable. They are hell bent on taking over the entire planet. With the technology of the West they are gathering the means to attempt to make their wish come true. They have placed their agents in every country that matters. It will be the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's all over again. When the smoke clears political correctness will be out the window. America be reborn as we once knew her.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let's see. Fact: Iran has pledged over and over again that they will "wipe Israel off the map." Fact: They are continuing to enrich uranium at an increasing rate. Fact: Iran has provided state supported aid to terrorists resulting in scores of deaths around the globe. Fact: Iran is busily developing an ICBM that has the range to reach Israel. These "facts" add up to the unavoidable conclusion that Israel will strike Iran. When? We don't know, but as soon as Iran develops a bomb and the ability to deliver it, the light has definitely turned "green." I don't know if the US can stop the inevitable - even with a strong president which we definitely DO NOT have. This could get really ugly, really quickly. The smart thing would be for Iran to back away from their current behavior, but "smart" and Iran's government don't go together. The "martyrs" better get ready.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Israel should strike now! Everyday that passes makes winning the peace a potentially more risky challenge and the cost in all terms greater! In the end ,despite Obama if necessary, the USA will back Israel!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree, but we have to be realistic about the risks involved.

I believe the bulk of the American people will understand and support Israel's action. But the "bulk of the American people" are not at the levers of American foreign and defense poilcy today. And the people who are, sure don't represent the "bulk of the American people".

Obama and his current foreign policy/defense team are the most rabidly anti-Israel in U.S. history. It would not surprise me if some of them are Iranian moles (e.g., Hagel). Hagel is an anti-Semite goon if ever there was, and I believe he gets positively stoned off of the prospect of shooting at Israelis.

In the immediate wake of an Israeli strike, Iran will attempt to blockade the Strait of Hormuz. This will result in a massive spike in oil and gas prices. You can expect prices at the pump to be seven, eight bucks a gallon for a little while. The stock market will also take a massive dive, thousands of points. The U.S. Navy will have to re-open the Strait of Hormuz, and while I am confident of our ability to do this, Chinese-supplied Iranian weapons may inflict losses on U.S. forces while doing this.

All of the above will be blamed by the Obama lapdog, Israel bashing MSM as the fault of those "paranoid, trigger-happy Israelis", who "would not give peace a chance". Again, while I expect most Americans will accept Israel's need to act anyway, a large minority will not, and egged on tacitly by Obama and openly by the media, I expect there to be out-and-out pogroms against Jews and Jewish community institutions, as well as terrorism by self-motivated Islamic hotheads and/or Iranian proxy sleeper cells. Again, the Obama administration and his media proxies will blame Israel for all of this.

I would not rule out the prospect that Obama will use U.S. military assets to interfere with an Israeli strike. Israel may or may not be able to overcome this, but even if they do, if there is an aerial shootout between such assets, this means U.S. body bags courtesy of the Israeli Air Force. The crisis that will result will be unprecedented in our bilateral relations. Lest you think this is a far-fetched scenario, remember that Zbigniew Brzezinski, who is known to have advised Obama on foreign policy, is a) dead set against military pre-emption of Iran, and b) an open advocate of the U.S. military stopping Israel from doing so; he is on public record to this effect.

Ultimately, this may all blow up in Obama's face politically, many times worse than Obamacare. It won't be too hot for Israel, either, given the disproportionate coverage you just KNOW the MSM is going to give to the shrill, hysterical - and substantial - anti-Israel minority that will be enraged by Israel's actions.

In spite of all of this, as I say in my entry below from yesterday, while I think the odds are at best 50/50 of an Israeli strike in the next six months, if not maybe somewhat less (or maybe somewhat more if the interim agreement falls apart for any reason in the meantime), there is a very plausible chance Israel will act. But with this president, the costs for doing so are going to be very, very high.

FYI, I'm among the 22% of American Jews who voted for McCain in '08, and the alleged 30-32% (depending on where you get your figures) who voted for Romney in '12. I understood, thought did not agree with, my co-ethno-religionists who voted for Obama in '08; to this day, I cannot fathom the reasoning of those that voted for that s***head in '12. I really can't explain that. But I hope they are "happy" now with their idiotic choice. And may those American Jewish leaders/opinion makers who carried water for Obama in '12, and encouraged Jews here to vote for him a second time, may they rot in Hell.

We couldn't have stopped Obama in '08 even if we'd wanted to. But we MIGHT have been able to stop him in '12. May G-d help Israel now; that is all she has left, besides the IDF. My fellow American Jews have proven themselves to be worthless as far as she is concerned, I am sad to say.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First, we have to understand the larger context in which this issue is relevant.

Obama NEVER intended to stop Iran militarily, but MIGHT have supported Israel in doing so IF Israel capitulated to a Saudi-style "peace" deal with the PLO/PA that would amount to slow assisted suicide for Israel as a Jewish state.

Since, under Netanyahu, Israel seems unwilling to capitulate on the Palestinian issue, Obama has put up maximum resistance to any unilateral action against Iran, since a successful Israeli strike on Iran's nuke sites would take away Obama's most important tool of coercive leverage on the Palestninian issue.

It is no coincidence that the time frame for the "interim deal" between Obama and Iran just happens to match the time frame Obama has allotted for wrapping up a "final status" deal between Israel and the PLO/PA. At the end of this six months, Israel may well find herself no longer in a position to act effectively on her own in any event, and will thus be completely dependend on U.S. action which would only happen - if it happened at all, this seems to be what the U.S. under Obama has hinted at - once the Israeli capitulate to the PLO/PA.

At thiis point, given the Syrian debacle of this past summer, Israel no longer believes the U.S. will ever act militarily against Iran. So, this leverage has been lost, and whether or not Israel acts, this observer is certain that Israel is not going to cave in on a deal with the Palestinians. At the very least, Netanyahu's actual attitude - diplomatic niceties aside - is thus towards Obama: "You screwed me on Iran, so you sure as hell are not going to get your deal between Israel and the PLO/PA that you've wanted so badly...You can just kiss that goodbye!"

Under Netanyahu, I believe his strategy for the next three years is to run out the clock on Obama with respect to the Palestinian issue, and hope that he can put off the dire need for an overt strike on Iran for that same time frame via assasinations, sabotage, computer viruses, etc. Failing that, all he has left to hope for is that the mullahs will be overthrown from within before Iran can field a substantial nuclear force on her ballistic missile fleet; while they may be very close to getting a bomb, operational capability on their favored delivery means is probably still a few years away.

Israel probably retains the means, as of right now, to carry out an effective strike on Iran's nuke weapons program. I'd define "effective" as setting them back at least five years. But how much longer they will be able to do this with high confidence is the question; that window may indeed be closing very soon. And once Iran gets even one bomb, then the perceived risks of retaliation will be too great even for Israel, so then Iran would be home free to develop their arsenal.

The problem Israel faces in the near term, in what remains of her window for effective unilateral action, is that Obama will very likely tip off Iran to an impending strike by Israel. This "interim agreement' gives them the "justification" for doing this, and they have all but openly warned that they will. In fact, I would not put it past Obama & Co. to order U.S. military assets in the region to actively oppose an Israeli strike. I don't think any previous U.S. president would have done this, but in Obama's case, this is plausible.

So, given the risks Israeli planners would face in the cases of either Obama tipping off Iran, or even Obama using the U.S. military as the air defense force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I would say chances are against an Israeli strike for the time being.

But, all that said, I would not rule out Israeli action entirely; far from it. This is a matter of existential importance to Israel, and Netanyahu has staked the lion's share of his political career on endless assurances that he will not let Iran get the bomb. If Iran gets the bomb anyway, Netanyahu's political stock and historical legacy will be lower than whale doo-doo. No national leader wants to face such an outcome, and the stakes are obviously maximum for Israel generally on this issue. In his favor is the fact that unlike as recently as a year or so ago, Netanyahu now has his government and the people of Israel in general behind him on striking Iran; prior to this past summer, there was disunity in Netanyahu's cabinet over this, and Israelis still expected the U.S. to take the lead. They no longer do. That is important.

So, all things considered, I'd say there is at best a 50/50 chance of overt unilateral Israeli action against Iran in the next six months. This goes up if the U.S. Congress ignores Obama and institutes a sanctions regime that causes Iran to scuttle the agreement, and this could very well happen. Though, I think the Iranians are cunning enough to keep "talking" with the U.S. so as to use Obama to forestall an Israeli strike to the fullest extent they can.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No rational nation wishes to start a war. War is un predictable once started cannot be controlled and will branch off into places no one even the Iranian's would wish to go.
The Japanese Empire never had a clue that their attack on Pearl Harbor would lead to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
That two week war planned in 1914 was never predicted to destroy the entire youthful generation of the nations involved.
With nukes all it will take is one mad launch Commander or an incident in Gaza. Then Iran and Israel will be ruins along with the Gazan's and the Holy sites of several religions.
A Nuclear Pre-Empt strike by either nation will end both.
A conventional Pre-empt strike would at least leave both nations intact until massive amounts of weapons finally ruins both. No doubt a Conventional war would last years and grow larger as every Islamic nation joins in.
No one knows what will happen after war starts, the war will go it's own way.
With nukes at least it will end faster.
I personally don't believe either Iran or Israel will atom bomb each other.
A third party would be needed to strike the spark.
No, Israel will not preemptively attack Iran, the unknown and the risks are too great.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The author of this article says, “the two choices before us are not war vs. containment but a conventional war now or a nuclear war later.”

What a load of horse manure. His claim that Iran would arm itself with a nuclear weapon for the purposes of starting a suicidal war is utterly ridiculous. Please spare me the ignorant argument that Iranians do not think rationally.

Iran is the only country in the Middle East not in ruins or in the process of being destroyed by U.S. aggression and inner turmoil. The fact that Iran has managed to keep itself relatively intact in the Middle East would suggest that they are entirely rational and fully capable of making prudent decision concerning their own welfare.

Stop allowing yourselves to be manipulated. You’re like children who’ve heard far too many ghost stories jumping at every shadow.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We have had a nuclear option since 1961. We have the finest delivery systems in the world. We have the ability to do what we must.
However at this point a nuclear attack on Iran is not necessary.
It is vital to remember that a large proportion of Iranian civilians hates the ruling junta even more than the rest of us. These are the people people Obama betrayed when they begged for his help. This, as I said then, would be remembered as the greatest disaster of his despotic regime.
Military strikes against Iranian facilities accompanied by a massive civilian uprising might be ables to execute regime change in Iran.
What the American Congress should push for is a massive support effort for regime change in Iran. That would benefit not only Israel but the rest of the freedom loving world as well.
Remember Israel is in Irans backyard and vice versa. once nuclear material is released in the atmosphere there is no telling which way the wind blows. And despite the Iranian attempt to demonstrate it's being motivated by ideological worship of an " end times " scenario this must be viewed as what it really is- a atactic to push it's enemies into a corner. Their own willingness to bide time and negotiate, even falsely, as well as their concerted diplomatic attempts to win friends reveals a much more level headed point of view.
Do they want Israel's destruction? Yes. Do they think they can do it on the battlefield? Maybe. Would they prefer to attack when they have truly, diplomatically, isolated Israel so that Israel is denied vital supplies by both American and European partners? Yes.
Make no mistake. The Iranians and the militant Islamist regimes are targeting Israel first but not only.
The biggest obstacle facing world peace are not the demons ruling Iran.
It is the demon in the White House.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The bottom line outcome is martial law. Suspension of the Constitution and elections.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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