Thursday, April 02, 2015

Iran on Israel’s Borders

By Moshe Feiglin

More than one hundred thousand weapons grade, precise missiles (some of them guided missiles) are lurking on Israel’s northern border.  In the era of Google Earth, it is easy to aim them at any strategic target anywhere in Israel. Iran by and large decides whether or not to launch those missiles. This is an unprecedented strategic change (a bad one, of course) that has taken place in our region over the decade. It has far-reaching implications for Israel’s ability to defend itself.
Behind the public’s back, without any serious discussion in the cabinet or Israel’s media, Israel’s government has allowed a fundamental and essential change in Israel’s security situation to play out before its eyes. The destruction wrought by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima (which is what Iran is currently capable of developing) is comparable to the payload delivered by 750 Scud missiles. This means that from a tactical standpoint – the ability to destroy and neutralize Israel’s infrastructure – the threat on Israel’s northern border due to Israel’s fiasco is no less than the threat of at least one nuclear bomb.
What led to this situation? How did Israel allow it to happen?
Our present situation is the result of UN Security Council resolution 1701. This resolution was energetically advanced by Israel’s former foreign minister during the Olmert administration: Tzippy Livni. Did Resolution 1701 allow the Hizballah to advance missiles up to Israel’s border? On the surface, just the opposite seems to be true. According to the resolution, the entire area between the Litani River in Lebanon and Israel’s northern border is supposed to be demilitarized and completely free of missiles. So how is it that the complete opposite resulted?
The answer is that neither the Israelis, nor the UN Security Council – and certainly not the Hizballah – believed for one moment that the agreement would be fulfilled. Everyone knew that as soon as Israel would retreat from Lebanon, the Hizballah would re-arm the entire area – even more than before the war. But Israel’s leaders and certainly the world leaders were looking for a rug under which to sweep the glowing embers; they were looking for a way to wriggle out of their basic obligation to the security of their nation and to return to ‘normal’ while creating the illusion that they had actually fulfilled their duty. Resolution 1701 was an excellent rug under which to hide the ‘atomic bomb’ that was deployed in its wake (!), unopposed, on Israel’s northern border.
Even the Defense Minister at that time, Ehud Barak (the same person who fled Lebanon 8 years before that, under pressure from former radio broadcaster and current Labor Party MK Shelly Yechimovitz) timidly complained about Resolution 1701 in private, saying that the resolution was not good and that the situation with Lebanon was worse than before the war (NRG August 13, ’08).
But Livni insisted, saying that Israel had “three options: To conquer Lebanon, to leave Lebanon with no arrangement in place or to create change. We have created change in South Lebanon. Those who think they have a better idea are invited to put it on the table.” (ibid)
Was Livni’s option really better than war or than leaving Lebanon without an arrangement?
The answer is that Livni’s ‘arrangement’ turned out to be the worst option. This ‘arrangement’ was really just a smoke screen for the public, allowing the politicians to wriggle out of their responsibility for state security and nonetheless to continue to conduct state business without criticism.
Israel reaped the fruits of the glowing embers it had left behind when Barak ordered the hasty 2000 retreat from Lebanon in the form of the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Today, we are reaping the fruits of the war’s disgraceful end –Resolution 1701 – in the form of the ‘Iranian bomb’ casting its shadow on our northern border. Sooner or later (without a doubt) it will be activated.
In answer to the facts enumerated here and in other sources, we will always hear the empty words, “The IDF will always know how to defend the State of Israel in all situations.”
The arrogance of those vacuous words did not help the residents of Kiryat Shmona and Haifa after Israel’s retreat from the north. It also did not help the residents of Sderot and Beer Sheva after the retreats in the south.
The talks in Lausanne that pretend to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capabilities are a broader and more sophisticated version of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. The Iranians understand that Obama, Putin and the Europeans do not really have a red line beyond which they are willing to go to war to prevent them from becoming a nuclear power. They understand that their negotiating partners are not interested in maintaining the present sanctions. In other words, the Iranians understand that none of those world leaders will lose any sleep out of fear that their successors will have to deal with a nuclear Iran. All of them have more urgent troubles. All of them assume that the immediate threat is directed at the Jews and not at them. All of them prefer to put their faith in technological defense systems and at any rate, the Iranian bomb is not an existential threat to their large countries, which can absorb a hit and still react by wiping Iran off the face of the earth.
The last thing that Obama and the Europeans want now is a war between Iran and its accomplices. Putin, on the other hand, does not feel threatened at all by Iran and as far as he is concerned, it is no problem if the enemy (Iran) of his enemy (the US) will preserve its strength.
In effect, the name of the game in  Lausanne is not how to stop Iran, but rather, how to allow the world to turn its back and allow Iran to become nuclear without disturbing Obama, the Europeans and all the rest.
The sly Iranians understand the rules of this game. They are in a win-win situation. It is worth their while to engage in long and ineffective negotiations. They will trumpet whatever they get above-board as a major victory. And what they do not get as part of the pact, they will grab anyway – with no sanctions. Just like their accomplices, Hizballah, did in Lebanon.
Israel’s citizens must understand that a nuclear Iran means a Pax-Irania that will surround us on all sides – and a war that will dwarf all that we have endured in the past. It behooves us to remember that if the British had had a Churchill when Hitler was just starting out, the lives of 74 million people would have been saved: six million Jews among them.

No comments: