Former Deputy Defense Minister Says Israel May Be Compelled To Attack Iran's Nuclear Facilities By November

Tyler Durden's picture

Who would have thought that Obama's fate would be decided not by his
passage of the "historic" healthcare reform, or his pathological
inability to disengage from the kleptos on Wall Street, or even the
exponential growth in the US debt, but by what is shaping up to be a
November (potentially Nuclear) D-Day out in the middle east. Pakistani
newspaper The Nation, quotes former Israeli defense minister Ephraim Sneh, who in an Op-Ed in Haaretz, says that "Israel will be compelled to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities by this November unless
the US and its allies enact crippling sanctions that will undermine the
regime in Tehran." It appears that Israel is not taking the recent
deterioration in its relations with the US lightly. If China and the
whole botched CNY issue is any indication of just how incompetent and
impotent US foreign policy has become, Obama has about 6 months before
the defense/war complex sounds the victory horn (and the president gets
to experience first hand just how much better unemployment in this
country really is getting) in the shadow of the mushroom cloud.

More from the Nation:

In an Op-Ed in the Israeli left-wing daily, Haaretz, former deputy defence minister Brig-Gen Ephraim Sneh argues that Iran will probably have “a nuclear bomb or two” by 2011. “An Israeli military campaign against Iran’s nuclear installations is likely to cripple that country’s nuclear project for a number of years. The retaliation against Israel would be painful, but bearable,” he said. Sneh believes that the “acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran during Obama’s term would do him a great deal of political damage,” but that the damage to Obama resulting from an Israeli strike on Iran “would be devastating.” November is the time for elections in the United States.

Nevertheless, he writes, “for practical reasons, in the absence of genuine sanctions, Israel will not be able to wait until the end of next winter, which means it would have to act around the congressional elections in November, thereby sealing Obama’s fate as president.” Sneh says he does not foresee any U.S. military strikes on Iran. In a recent report for the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), military analyst Anthony Cordesman concluded that Israel will have to use low-yield earth-penetrating nuclear weapons if it wants to take out deeply-buried nuclear sites in Iran.

“Israel is reported to possess a 200 kilogram nuclear warhead containing 6 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium that could be mounted on the sea launched cruise missiles and producing a Yield of 20 kilo tons,” Cordesman writes in the CSIS study he co-authored by Abdullah Toukan.

As possible nuclear war is a somewhat sensitive issue, we decided to track down Sneh's original Op-Ed. We present it below.

The current crisis between Israel and the United
States is fundamental and serious. Even if a nominal solution is found,
it will be temporary, until the next one, which won't be far off. These
crises are harmful to our national interests, and a true, enduring
solution must be implemented. To achieve this, there are 10 assumptions
that must be taken into account:

1. Israel cannot keep up a confrontation with its friends for long
while its legitimacy is being eroded. This will soon begin to adversely
affect the economy, based as it is on exports.

2. Without a genuine pause in settlement expansion
and construction in East Jerusalem, Israel will continue to lose the
support of friends and international legitimacy.

3. Israel cannot live in the shadow of a nuclear
Iran. Immigration will cease, more young people will emigrate and
foreign investments will diminish. An Israel that is no longer a safe
home for Diaspora Jews and is not characterized by entrepreneurship and
excellence means an end to the Zionist dream.

A nuclear Iran will increase the audacity of the region's
extremists, threaten the moderates and lead within a few years to the
acquisition of nuclear weapons by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The regional
balance of power will change to Israel's disadvantage.

4. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in accordance with his strong
beliefs on this matter, cannot allow himself to be the leader on whose
watch Iran acquires nuclear weapons.

5. In the absence of "crippling sanctions" that will undermine the
regime in Tehran, it is reasonable to assume that by 2011 Iran will
have a nuclear bomb or two.

6. An Israeli military campaign against Iran's nuclear
installations is likely to cripple that country's nuclear project for a
number of years. The retaliation against Israel would be painful, but

7. U.S. President Barack Obama would find it difficult, if only for
internal political reasons, to take military action against Iran and
thereby open a new theater for war, in addition to Iraq and

8. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran during Obama's term
would do him a great deal of political damage. The damage that the
resulting independent Israeli strike would cause Obama - soaring
gasoline prices and American casualties in retaliatory operations -
would be devastating.

9. For practical reasons, in the absence of genuine sanctions,
Israel will not be able to wait until the end of next winter, which
means it would have to act around the congressional elections in
November, thereby sealing Obama's fate as president

10. Without international legitimacy, and with its friends mad at it, Israel would find it very difficult to act on its own.

These 10 assumptions show how complicated the situation is.
Weighing them up with each other begs a single solution to the crisis
with the United States: quit building. Israel should enact an
open-ended freeze of settlement and outpost expansion, refrain from
building new neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and stop construction for
Jews in Arab neighborhoods.

The United States, independently of the UN Security Council, where
sanctions would be shorn of any teeth, would implement its legislation
on sanctions against Iran (an embargo on the sale of fuel and on
investment in and upgrades for Iran's oil and gas industries, and a
total boycott of its banking system). In so doing, it would be joined
by its natural partners and important European states.

Only such an integrated solution would meet both America's and
Israel's security requirements. The prime minister would find a
majority in the Knesset that would rather have cooperation with the
United States on this matter of survival than please the extreme right

The writer is a former cabinet minister and chairman of the Center for Strategic Dialogue at Netanya Academic College.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Truth Excavator's picture

Not if the U.S beat them to it.

Kristol: U.S strike on Iran better than Israeli strike



Bear's picture

Read the posts for this video ... a real talent laden group over there

jeff montanye's picture

some are obviously using a language not their native tongue, but not a one supported israel.  imo anything remotely like what sneh proposes would deeply alter, probably irrevocably, the u.s. people's (as opposed to the frightened and bought government's) perception of and support for israel.  and not a moment too soon (actually about 43 years late).

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

That PNAC son of a bitch!  Yeah I am talking about his father!  9/11 was an inside job!

chindit13's picture

Another goddamn fucking chickenhawk, along with Cheney, Perl, Adelman, Wolfowitz, Feith.  The only solution any of them knows to any problem is for somebody other than them to blow up somebody else.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

How the hell did this get **junked**????!!!

All he said was that the said men....or as I like to call them, devil worshiping inbreds......were quote, "chickenhawks".  And their only solution is to start wars!  Thats what they do.  And they are chickens!  Why didn't Irv's son Billy boy serve some time in the infantry?  Why don't any of these windbags send their kids?  I would have loved to see the Bush twins in uniform...'nawadimean?  hehe ;) 

Well, fear monger, and write movie reviews in their stupid magazines. Don't you have something better to do, Podheretz?!?!?!?!  Man, running (ruining) the world must get boring. 

Avatar by John Podheretz:

Missing_Link's picture

Not if the U.S beat them to it.

Kristol: U.S strike on Iran better than Israeli strike

TruthExcavator, while I personally support both wars and would like nothing better than to see the Iranian regime pounded into the dirt, it's clearly not going to happen on Obama's watch.  Why even bother pissing people off with irresponsible statements like this?

Truth Excavator's picture

O ye, of little faith.

Why do you doubt that the American war machine is not going to start another war? If they have to, they will get rid of Obama just as they did of Osama.

Missing_Link's picture

O, ye of little brains!

It's obvious that the current wars have very little support left, and any attempt at yet another front would face massive resistance not only from anti-war lefties but from those of us on the right who want smaller government and balanced budgets.

A war machine feeds off of public support as its fuel, and our tank is almost empty.


If they have to, they will get rid of Obama just as they did of Osama.


Ummm  ...  What are you smoking?


Last I checked, Osama was still on the loose.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Link, how often do you junk me?

buzzsaw99's picture

I love those last two paragraphs. Hey Israel, kiss my booty. You want a war with Iran go right ahead. Maybe we won't shoot down your planes. That's the only concession. The gall to dictate to the usa and europe to do as they say and thumb our noses at the UN. How about this, pack your shit and move. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

orange juice's picture

 It's about Iran being run by someone who is completely unsound and definately not stable. Like Israel or not, Iran does not need access to nuclear material period.  Europe would be within range, dirty bombs could profligate the region it would be an absolute mess of a disaster.

buzzsaw99's picture

So pre-emptive nukes are the answer? Starving people who are unable to effect change within Iran is the answer? How about we throw the ruler of Iran and the ruler of israel into the octogon for a death match instead? It is unacceptable for either country to have nukes.

Spitzer's picture

Its because of people like you that make these problems get out of control. We should have bombed them a long time ago

MagicHandPuppet's picture

I agree with Spitzer... we should have bombed Israel a long time ago.

Bear's picture

Wow ... I thought the posts at YouTube were bad ... why so much anti semitism?

MagicHandPuppet's picture

'twas sarcasm.... I honestly don't think anyone should be bombed... just pointing out how stupid the previous post was ("we should have bombed 'them' a long time ago").  Regarding anti-semitism, I don't care what race or religion anyone is.  That is all pointless crap.  But, regarding the Israeli goobermint, they along with the US goobermint are the aggressors and their semite neighbors are the victims.  peace.

merehuman's picture

maybe because so many folks in the white house are jewish? And have israely passports?

For a multi cultural country like ours, thats a hell of a coincidence

anony's picture

Blankein,geithner,orszag,bernanke,summers,paulson,greenspan,rubin,friedman,fuld,frank,thain,dodd,mozillo,o'neal,gensler, cassano, blankfein, shapiro,yellin, fink,kashkari,blankfein.

Imagine, if you will, that their names were instead:

Corleone, tattaglia, genovese, rossi, rocco, assante, lovecchio, gotti, o'leary, mannella, lombardo, roma, sinatra,capone,luciano.

Think there might be a little anti-sicilianism?



jeff montanye's picture

when oh bloody when will israel firsters stop using anti-semitism (itself a poor term, for arabs are also semites) as a false flag for anti-israel (or, more properly, anti-zionist or anti-likud or anti-war criminals headquartered in tel aviv/jerusalem)?  answer: never; it helps with an argument that on its own merits is without merit.  created as a "safe haven" for jews after the crimes of the nazis horrified the world, israel is the only place where jews are routinely killed for being jewish.  general george marshall was right: harry truman never should have supported its establishment.  jews would have been far, far safer (as would we) had they stayed right where they were at the end of ww2.

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Israel is one of the most, if not the most, racist places on the planet.  Do you think the "jewish state" wants multiculturalism?  No.  Do you think they are going to stop their expansion of settlements into land that is not theirs so jews can live?  No.  

I have plenty of jewish friends, but the State of Israel is a menace to society, just like the Government of the US.

If there was a terrorist problem in the US, at least one of these neocons would have had an assassination attempt.  Has not happened.


caconhma's picture

You are right.

Regardless of how many nukes Israel has, it will take just 2-3 nukes to wipe them out permanently.

anony's picture

If they don't want to go peacefully, it's their funeral. But they are taunting Iran ONLY because they know that when push comes to shove, NO american POTUS in hock to AIPAC, and other jewish lobbies, will dare to back down.  Israel knows, whether the guy who wrote the article or not does, that the american government is already bought and stamped paid for by jewish power in this country.



tmosley's picture

2-3 nukes won't do much good against their fleet of nuclear submarines, which would turn any attacking nation into glass.

Nukes promote peace--always.

jeff montanye's picture

maybe not bombed it but certainly not armed it to the teeth, countenanced their doing to the palestinians, et. al. what is remarkably like what the nazis did to european jews before maybe 1942, allowed it to develop nuclear weapons in violation of u.s. law (actually true--check it out) and brought down the well-deserved wrath of muslims on our ignorant nation such that we are fighting endless war in the muslim world so as to end whatever american empire existed (shouldn't have) in bankruptcy and infamy.  ike was right at suez.  we should have stuck with that.

Optimusprime's picture

At the very least we should make it clear we WILL shoot down the Israeli jets if they try to "go it alone" by overflying territory under our air control.  Israeli sub-launched missiles are another problem entirely.  

The notion that WE should do Isael's dirty work is odious.  There is already "proliferation" in the Middle East, from Israel--who stole nuclear technology from the US.  Ever hear of Jonathan Pollard?  The hypocrisy (treachery?) of the neo-cons is breathtaking.



akak's picture

"I agree with Spitzer... we should have bombed Israel a long time ago."

Hear hear!

I have yet to see that 51st star that Israel apparently represents on Old Glory.

And THREE "Junk" stars for your tongue-in-cheek post!  My, isn't the Mossad troll brigade busy today!

Shameful's picture

All wars problems should be solved with cage match to the death by the country leaders. televised of course.  Might bring some peace if these guys had some skin in the game.  What should they care, they will order the boys to war and while they improvise the country and bring about loss of life they line their pockert.s  Let them fight first.  Imagine if Bush had to duke it out mano-a-mano with Saddam?

nedwardkelly's picture

"Imagine if Bush had to duke it out mano-a-mano with Saddam?"

That's the first time I've ever seen a fight proposed that I'd pay to watch on PPV.

1fortheroad's picture

Now thats something I would pay to see.

Shameful's picture

Hmm lets expand this out.  So who is stable?  How about Chavez?  What if he could buy a nuke from Russia?  We better take him out...Russia to because they could see a nuke.  Pakistan is unstable and has a nuke, invade them to.  Why not simply pre-emptive strike the planet?  Hell with a global decapitation strike we could remove all possible enemies and get rid of our external debt!  Get the president on the line I have a solution to all out problems!  Declare war on all other nations!!!  America will only be safe if all other nations are nothing but mounds of smoking glass and radioactive dust!

/sarcasm of course

b_thunder's picture

if chavez gets clsoe to getting the bomb - you betcha he'll be taken out.  do the words "cuban missile crisis" mean anythign to you?

of course, it would be better to take out kremlin, before they sell their nukes to chavez


Shameful's picture

Again why not take out all other nations right now?  After all we are going to have problems in the future and might not be able to afford a super bloated military?  Why not attack the whole planet right now?

Why is the USA allowed to have the nuke when we are the only nation to use it on another?  What threat is there if anther nation having one?  Didn't the Soviets have them for a while, even with a cold war?

If you're for a massive war good on you.  I expect you to volunteer to fight, or buy war bonds.  You should probably volunteer right now, sure they could use a person like you in the service.

jeff montanye's picture

your points are very well taken.  nickels to napalm the thunderous one has never seen combat, but even if he (and it's almost always a he) has, he's still ludicrously wrong.

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Don't forget that the US will need to declare war on US too, because it is a potential threat.

Schlep's picture

That's right, "we have always been at war with Eurasia"

sporb's picture

I guess you mean Ahmadinejad. He doesn't run the country. Facts are available.

Anomymous's picture

...not interested in facts thanks.These pussies wanna bomb some shit.



delacroix's picture

israel is the only undeclared nuclear power in the world. iran, has complied with every IAEA regulation, and signed the non proliferation treaty. israel is the only country, threatening attack. so who is the unstable leadership. the intentional blindness is staggering

hangemhigh's picture

These are indeed are the true facts of the matter at hand............

Alexandra Hamilton's picture

and you think that attacking Iran with nuclear weapons is a sane man's decision???

dark pools of soros's picture

I always said just give them Idaho.. call it New Jewland for all i care just get outta the business of worshipping old dirt

E pluribus unum's picture

If we did that, they'd immediately declare war on Montana

Popo's picture

LOL. And who wouldn't "thumb their noses at the UN?". Is there some reason a coalition of mostly non-democratic nations should have some sort of global influence?

Israel should hit them now. Iran is the one thumbing their noses at the NPT. And Iran is the nation with a long and established history of supplying arms to terrorist groups. Fuck 'em. The Iranian people need to either overthrow their leadership (right now) or go down the road to Hell that their leadership is taking them down.

jeff montanye's picture

"non-democrat"?  when do the arabs in the israeli-occupied (for nearly half a century) lands get to vote for knesset candidates?  non-proliferation treaty?  israel doesn't admit its arsenal of nukes.  if it did, according to current u.s. law, the u.s. govt would be restricted in its assistance to israel.  arms to terrorist groups?  israel was established by terrorism (king david hotel, etc.) and its hegemony cemented by a terrorist (menachem begin) not to mention a long line of war criminals.  america's subservience to israel is both deeply evil and deeply impractical.  it is a further, egregious example of the kind of vanities (the wars on drugs and terrrism may be others) that the coming bonfire of bankruptcy will consume.   

Popo's picture

> "non-proliferation treaty? israel doesn't admit its arsenal of nukes."

Uh... maybe because Israel, not being a signatory to the NPT is under absolutely no obligation to report its nuclear arsenal to anyone?

Grappa's picture

" The Iranian people need to either overthrow their leadership (right now) or go down the road to Hell that their leadership is taking them down."


That leadership is there because US of A decided that the democraticly chosen and legit regime which was before this one had to be erased. So now we are dealing with something that we have AGAIN caused ourselves. Keep on killing boys, there will be more terrorists than ever after this.


Also you can say this: " The American people need to either overthrow their leadership (right now) or go down the road to Hell that their leadership is taking them down." about americans as well.

Crab Cake's picture

"I am become death, destroyer of worlds," - J Robert Oppenheimer (Bhahavad Gita)

It is only a matter of time before Shiva dances. 

Economic earthquakes of the size and magnitude we are experiencing are always followed by tsunamis of war.