Obama Puts Israel on Ice

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The Obama administration is putting another full-court press on Israel. First it was “settlements”—not to build a single home for a Jew in Judea, Samaria, or parts of Jerusalem. Now it’s even graver—not to defend itself against a growing existential threat.

The pressure is both public and behind the scenes. On Sunday, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told CNN: “It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran. A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their [Israel’s] long-term objectives….”

On Monday—what fortuitous timing—the New York Times reported that Israel was incapable of such a strike anyway because “its pilots would have to fly more than 1,000 miles across unfriendly airspace, refuel in the air en route, fight off Iran’s air defenses, attack multiple underground sites simultaneously—and use at least 100 planes.” The Times quoted various U.S. defense analysts who support that assessment.

Meanwhile National Security Adviser Tom Donilon has been the latest in a series of top U.S. officials to come to Israel and tell its leaders behind closed doors that they should trust in the god of sanctions. Israel Hayom reports that in an exchange between Donilon and Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak and chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, “Israel…demanded that the U.S. challenge Iran to immediately put an end to its nuclear program.” The U.S.—not surprisingly—responded by “urg[ing] Israel to allow sanctions against Iran to do the job and cease planning for a military strike.”

And the confrontation is set to continue. Next in line to visit Israel is U.S. national director of intelligence James Clapper on Thursday. Meanwhile Donilon has invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to come to the U.S. and meet with President Obama on March 5.

The U.S., in other words, sees stopping Israel as very serious, top-priority business. As the Wall Street Journal asks: “Is the Obama Administration more concerned that Iran may get a nuclear weapon, or that Israel may use military force to prevent Iran from doing so?”

But is the administration right? Would an Israeli strike on Iran be futile and fail to achieve its objectives? Can the sanctions be counted on instead?

As David P. Goldman reports, last week German security expert Hans Rühe—head of the German Defense Ministry’s planning department between 1982-1988—offered in Die Welt a diametrically different view of Israel’s capacity to hit Iran. Rühe, says Goldman, calling him “one of the toughest and most perspicacious analysts” of the Cold War period, is “highly confident that Israel could knock out Iran’s nuclear program for a decade or more with about 25 of its 87 F-15 fighter-bombers and a smaller number of its F-16s.”

Israeli commentator Aharon Lapidot notes that “the New York Times article failed to factor in the [Israeli air force’s] operational wisdom, its use of unexpected methods…that makes its operations such astonishing successes, often leaving the world slack-jawed.” Lapidot goes on to mention the IAF’s legendary exploits in the Six Day War, the Entebbe Raid, and other cases.

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  • amos33

    Obama tells Israel to 'Trust in the God of Sanctions" and who might that God be? Himself?

    • Asher

      It is really pathetic that we have such ignorant, complacent and apathetic politicians in office, who have no sense of urgency to help Israel or help the World…What a far cry from the character of our founding fathers who put God, the people, and the nation before Self and ambition.

      • sam

        You must be talking about Netanyahu. This war monger is dangerous just like all the extreme zionists who are not even semitic. The European Jews came to the Middle East and could not adapt so they force the native populations to conform or get out. What would you do if some foreign power came to your house and just stole it? Maybe you would join Hamas.

        • aspacia

          Jews are a distinct ethnic group, and numerous DNA tests reveal that Jews have a distinct traits. You bought the Muslim lies. "While the Jews of today are connected historically and religiously to the Jews of ancient Israel, the DNA evidence also indicates that a significant amount of Jewish ancestry can be traced directly back to their Israelite/Middle Eastern ancestors. However, these ancestors represented a heterogeneous mix of Semitic and Mediterranean groups, even at their very beginnings. . .Dr. Skorecki, a nephrologist already involved in molecular genetic research, contacted Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona, a pioneer in Y chromosome research, and the Cohanim DNA study was born. Their findings clearly indicated that the Cohanim did indeed share a common ancestor. They discovered that a particular haplotype was found in 97 out of the 106 participants tested. This haplotype has come to be known as the “Cohen Modal Haplotype” or “CMH”. According to the study, calculations for dating the CMH yielded a time frame of 106 generations from the ancestral founder of the lineage – approximately 3,300 years ago (Thomas et al. 1998).

          Not only did the genetic researchers corroborate the oral history of an ancient Jewish priestly caste, but they also confirmed the genetic link between both Sephardic and Ashkenazi populations, indicating that before the two populations separated, those who shared the CMH also shared common Israelite ancestry. Today, the CMH is considered not only the standard genetic signature of the priestly Cohanim, but also the yardstick by which all Jewish DNA is compared for determination of Israelite genetic ancestry. Thus, if a haplogroup is not shared by both Sephardim and Ashkenazim at a similar frequency, then it is generally not considered to be of Israelite origin. "

          Here is the whole link: http://www.jogg.info/11/coffman.htm

  • crackerjack

    This Obama bashing is childish. Obama represents US interests, not Israeli interests.

    Israel has neither the intent nor capability for a comprehensive campainge against Iran.Taking on Persia would need a concerted international effort.

    The last thing Israel needs is isolating itsef by beginning a war it cannot handle and dragging the West against its stated will into a conflict that could last for many years.

    This would be percieved as Israel's war with a reluctant and disgruntled West trying to contain and clean up the mess and all casualties will be placed squarely at Israel's door.

    • Gamaliel

      Obama represents Obama's interests, not U.S. interests. He won't keep out illegal aliens and his justice department won't allow checking their status because he knows they'll vote for him. He sues Arizona for trying to enforce the law despite the crime and murder of Americans by the aliens crossing the border. He knows that an Iranian attack on American bases would be harmful to his reelection chances and he would rather have a nuclear armed Iran then not get reelected. He blocks oil development which is clearly in the U.S. interest, because he wants the environmentalist vote and he wants to redistribute the wealth with carbon taxes. Russia's army is expanding and it is starting nuclear submarine patrols because of all it's oil money, America's army is contracting because Obama doesn't develop the oil we have and block projects such as the keystone pipeline that would bring oil to the U.S.. A nuclear Iran is the equivalent of the 9/11 perpetrators all having their fingers on nuclear buttons, this is the catastrophe Obama will not prevent and is doing everything he can to prevent Israel from preventing.

      • ETCJWF

        Very well said, Gamaliel. Obama’s only interest is getting re-elected and certainly not the wellfare of the United States. If Obama is re-elected (Heaven help us if that happens) he will find himself having to make up for his mistake of not dealing with Iran now, and it will be a task that may not be achievable at that point. It is always better to deal with a problem head-on. You may make a wrong decision along the way, but at least you have taken action. Indeciscion in the wild (as in the world we live in) will get you eaten…

        • Asher

          Obama's policies put us in this shape. The World still runs on Oil and shutting down any other policies of being Oil Independent aside from the Middle East is his plan.

        • aspacia

          ETCJWF, what makes you believe he will deal with Iran at any time in the future.

    • Gamaliel

      I forgot to mention Obama is getting us more and more into debt which postpones and magnifies the oncoming economic disaster. This is not in America’s interest but it certainly increases his chances of getting reelected. Charging more to the American credit card to pay off debt will bring disaster.

    • Cynic

      If Obama represented US interests he would be making the US energy independent and forcing the reduction in the price of crude to benefit American industry.
      What he does represent is a threat to America’s future.
      But then you’ll only realize that when you’re knee deep in it.

    • stern

      crackerjack, take a look at this: http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.a

      The JPost reports that Iranian missiles may be able to hit the US in 2 – 3 years.

      Still think this is just an Israeli interest?

      • aspacia


        cracked is a virulent Judeophobe.

      • Raymond in DC

        That reference is to Iran's ability to strike the US with ICBMs (not far off as they're already capable of launching small satellites). Iran *already* has the ability to hit the US using IRBMs launched from cargo ships plying the Atlantic.

    • ziontruth

      "Obama represents US interests, not Israeli interests."

      Correct. I wish more policymakers in Israel would bear that in mind.

      "Taking on Persia would need a concerted international effort."

      If the Jewish people have learned anything from the Holocaust, it is not to rely on other nations for their security.

      "The last thing Israel needs is isolating itsef…"

      That horse is already out of the barn. We have nothing to lose anymore.

      "…and dragging the West…"

      So much power those Jews and their state have! And the Muslims, on the other hand—have they any power at all? Are they ever responsible for anything they do?

      This is what's called The Soft Bigotry Of Low Expectations. It's the Left's very own form of racism (true racism!), favored by them because they can market it as—wait for it—anti-racism.

      "…and all casualties will be placed squarely at Israel's door."

      Ah, looks like Kakba1920 has hired you as a worker at his niqab factory to help him make veiled threats.

      • aspacia

        And if faced with another genocide, and too many loses, Israel will irradiate every oil field in the ME, and frankly I would not blame her.

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    As a point of reference to one and all. After the Holocaust a core decision was made by our people, and in general terms it would be expressed as follows.
    Anti-Semitic elements harming or threatening to harm our people must internalize that swift retribution will be brought upon them. Sooner rather than later those leading or in any way aiding attacks will be caught and dealt with.
    Eichman was hanged, incinerated and dispersed and others were traced and eliminated. In Iran leading elements in their rush to nuclear weapons found their dedication detrimental. Granted that the temporary Israeli leadership is still handcuffed by the Oslo mentality, but the people cowebs are being removed.
    I doubt very much that the true interests of the US are better served by being subservient to the islamic cult of death, but if it is so decided there, their choice.
    What is in store anywhere where islamics gain power is best represented by what those demons are doing in Syria and in Iran, Afghanistam and in Aza, Egypt, etc. Add Somalia for a token.
    If that ghastly, murderous way of life is what the US people prefers, it would surprise all normal humanity.
    Personal interests may temporarily affect some US structures, but not for long.

    • aspacia

      Too many in the US do not want to know the facts and prefer not to face the imminent danger.

  • Flowerknife_us

    If any action by Israel is going to lead to a broader conflict in the region then the Nuclear sites need not be the first target. Transportation fuel production. Power generation for the nuclear sites. Major pumping stations for pipeline exports. All those places where there is little in the way of point defenses.

    If Iran starts shooting at all its neighbors then more than likely the Israelis would be welcome to come back for another go.

    Iran could be put in a real pinch with little in the way to directly strike back. Especially when their proxies support network crumbling around them.

  • Ghostwriter

    President Obama is living in a fantasy world. He believes that he can talk the Iranians out of a nuclear weapon. The problem for Obama is that the Israelis are living in the real world and are about out of patience with his fantasies. They're not going to stand by and get wiped out. They're going to strike,sooner or later.

    • aspacia

      Most academics reside in Oz along with O.

  • Raymond in DC

    "The Obama administration thinks it has time and indeed seems more worried about the effects of an Israeli strike—particularly rising oil prices and economic disruptions in an election year."

    If Obama was worried about rising oil prices, why did he authorize military action against Libya which (surprise!) resulted in higher oil prices?