Israel's Plan to Attack Iran Put on Hold Until Next Year at the Earliest

Damning U.S. war simulation forces Ehud Barak to reconsider attack plans; Americans pledge more money for Iron Dome antimissile system.

Amir Oren
Amir Oren
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Amir Oren
Amir Oren

At 8:58 P.M. on Tuesday, Israel's 2012 war against Iran came to a quiet end. The capricious plans for a huge aerial attack were returned to the deep recesses of safes and hearts. The war may not have been canceled but it has certainly been postponed. For a while, at least, we can sound the all clear: It won't happen this year. Until further notice, Israel Air Force Flight 007 will not be taking off.

According to a war simulation conducted by the U.S. Central Command, the Iranians could kill 200 Americans with a single missile response to an Israeli attack. An investigative committee would not spare any admiral or general, minister or president. The meaning of this U.S. scenario is that the blood of these 200 would be on Israel's hands.

The base in Parchin where Iran conducted nuclear tests.Credit: Google Earth, GeoEye

The moment the public dispute over whether to attack Iran is put in those terms, Israel has no real option to attack in contravention of American declarations and warnings.

That's the negative side. The complementary positive side was presented this week, on Tuesday evening. At 8:20, Pentagon spokesman George Little announced that the Defense Department would be seeking more money to help Israel fund the Iron Dome antimissile defense system.

Noting that support for Israel's security was a top priority for U.S. President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Little said that, given the Iron Dome system's success in intercepting 80 percent of the rockets fired from Gaza this month, the Defense Department "intends to request an appropriate level of funding to support such acquisitions, based on Israeli requirements and production capacity."

Thirty-eight minutes after that, Defense Minister Ehud Barak publicly thanked both Panetta and himself ("The decision was the result of contacts between the Defense Ministry and the Pentagon" ).

Israelis may be the world champions of chutzpah, but even biting the hand that feeds you has its limits when the bitten hand is liable to hit back. When Barak thanked the Obama administration "for helping strengthen Israel's security," he was abandoning the pretension to act against Iran without permission before the U.S. presidential elections in November.

For all intents and purposes, it was an announcement that this war was being postponed until at least the spring of 2013.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism