Israeli Official Refuses to Deny Authenticity of Iran Attack Plan Document
UPDATE: I was also reminded by a reader that MK Danny Danon, when interviewed on BBC Newshour (program audio file), treated the Iran war document as an authentic government document.
Amidst the barrage of hostility and derision here (in the comment threads) and elsewhere that greeted my publication of an Israeli government plan for an attack on Iran, I had one response which clinched my case that the document was genuine: no Israeli official had denied its authenticity. It turns out that while I was right in principle, an Israeli official had commented on the document. I didn’t discover this until tonight.
In the Jerusalem Post last Wednesday, its far-right columnist, Herb Keinon, wrote this on the subject:
One government official said there is “a lot of press speculation out there, and everyone has their ‘secret source.’ It is not the government’s policy to comment on any piece of speculation.”
Keinon actually wrote that this constituted a “dismissal” of my report. But that’s not so. If you review the statement, the official refused to comment at all and merely called a great deal of commentary about Israel’s plan regarding Iran “speculation.” He lumped my report in with all the rest using that term. But this is by no means a denial or dismissal. At most you could call it a non-denial denial.
So I put it again to those who accuse me of plagiarizing a purported Fresh fantasy post: let me know when an Israeli official directly contradicts my source and says this document is a fake. Till then, you’re whistlin’ in the wind.
In the past year, I’ve reported that Yossi Melman was likely fired from Haaretz, possibly due to being a paid informant for Stratfor. Prior to that I noted that he’d flatteringly profiled Raymond Tanter, the MEK’s leading U.S. academic acolyte and a former teacher. I also criticized Melman’s new book about Israel’s vaunted intelligence capabilities as being a fictionalized, sensationalized, romanticized mess. So it should surprise no one that he’s taken to his new home, Walla, to offer payback. There he’s denounced me and the credibility of my Iran plan document. The idea that he would rely on the Fresh forum, Israel’s equivalent of the Drudge Report, to attempt to prove his claim, is not only laughable, but should be beneath the dignity of a serious journalist, which Melman clearly is no longer.
I’d also remind him that not so long ago he wrote about me in Haaretz:
Silverstein’s blog is important because he exposes the security services and the courts in all their nakedness.
Once I began goring his ox, my blog suddenly became far less important and it was payback time.
In the midst of writing last night’s post about attacks on me from the left, I came across a powerful quotation from a leading British politician, Enoch Powell. While no one in their right mind admires Powell flirtation with English fascism, he did say something wise on an entirely different subject relating directly to those on the left who deny the possibility that Israel will attack Iran:
History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen.
This also reminds me in a peculiar way of Winston Churchill’s lonely pre-WWII campaign demanding that Britain recognize the danger posed by the Nazi menace. When the UK political leadership was mollifying Hitler and denying the certainty of war, Churchill said Britain was delaying the inevitable. The goal of those like me who warn of the likelihood of war is to stop one. But we can’t stop it till we recognize, as Churchill did, that one may be right around the corner.
In other ways this is the opposite of Churchill. We don’t want a crusade against Iran or Israel, as he crusaded against Nazi Germany. We want to warn the world that Israel’s leaders are hell-bent on a path that will be destructive for the entire region, including Israel. There are those on the left who argue that anyone who talks of war against Iran, even those who oppose it, are somehow doing Israel’s bidding. I summarily reject this claim.
Mitchell Plitnick is one who says that for years he’s denied that Israel would attack Iran. But recent word from his own high level and trusted sources have convinced him that such a catastrophic outcome is more likely than he believed. Plitnick’s source added a new element to the mix that I hadn’t heard before. He claimed that Bibi not only wanted to destroy Iran as a rival power, but he wanted to use this opportunity to remake Israel politically. His ultimate goal was to emasculate all the democratic structures that had undergirded Israeli society. In the past, I’d called this guaranteeing a permanent right-wing majority. Netanyahu has already done much to dismantle any semblance of democracy. A war, with the attendant national unity expected from every citizen, would offer further opportunities for Bibi to consolidate power and turn Israel into an authoritarian state:
The idea is horrifying. This would be an Israeli police state…While this seems much bolder than anything I’ve come to expect from Bibi, it could be seen as a natural outgrowth of the growing fascist tendencies he has displayed in his second go-round as Prime Minister.
…Are Bibi and Barak so reckless and hungry for power that they will…destroy Israeli democracy just to set back Iran’s nuclear program for a few years?
I don’t think so. But credible and concerned Israelis do. If Israel does go to Iran alone, I’ll know they were right.
One of the key warnings I offer in this blog is that Israel, as a national security state, is on a slippery slope towards the abyss. It has slipped the bonds of its former democratic values. The more wars it fights the more liberties and freedoms it loses. Fighting yet another war could seal the nation’s flight toward the authoritarianism and eventual oblivion (not a fate I relish at all).
Thanks to all those, both readers, authors of blogs like Velvet Underground, and media outlets like the BBC, who have understood the value of what I’ve been doing and stood by me and my credibility.
28 thoughts on “Israeli Official Refuses to Deny Authenticity of Iran Attack Plan Document – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
RE: “Till then, you’re whistlin’ in the wind.” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: OMG, you’re droppin’ yo’ dadgum ‘g’s again (whistlin’). Expect acclaimed phonologist Adam Holland to pounce!
FOR BACKGROUND SEE: “Adam Holland: Negro’s Greatest Friend” – https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2011/08/20/adam-holland-negros-greatest-friend/
Richard, whether you’re right or wrong on this one doesn’t matter. You’re one of the best and most courageous bloggers out there. Carry on!
If I’m not mistaken, Israel’s decision to go to war is voted by a ‘war council’, whose majority, at the present time, is opposed to war. This sounds democratic to me. No?
Yes & no. You may not have read my post about the new government rules that will permit Bibi to keep bringing up matters until he gets a vote that permits him to do what he wants. This really will come down to a decision of two. The rest will not matter. If the two want a war, they will get one. That’s my belief based on consultation with Israelis who have great experience in these matters.
Israel has been at war since its existence (actually long before, i.e. hagannah, irgun, etc.) sixty-five years ago. Israel has attacked every one of its neighbors for “security” reasons. Lobbying and posturing for war with Iran began before the bombing stopped in Iraq.
Israel has seen to the destruction of Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and is now going for a big bite with Iran to reduce the middle east to poverty and misery.
And all of it possible because of support from the US.
Keep up your wonderful writing.
Yeah, because Israel’s been responsible for the civil war in Syria or the coups in Egypt. Or the wars that have destroyed Iraq. And it’s obviously at fault for the dictatorships and religious fundamentalism that have crushed the spirit of the people across the Middle-East.
Uh….Egypt hasn’t been destroyed. It’s in the midst of a revolution. I should know; I live here. You give too much credit to Israel; the Arabs are rising and will take back their countries after generations of western imperialism and internal corruption have brought about this “poverty and misery,” caused not only by the US “protecting” its special friend, Israel. The middle east has not been destroyed but is still powerful enough for Israel to still be deathly afraid of it.
USA (too) ‘s gone in the fascist direction already what with presidents OKing torture, assassination, drone warfare, attacks on countries w/o previous attack on USA by them, and now (recently) a STATUTE OKing indefinite detention without H/R (in USA called “due process”). Many of the ideals of America and most of the UN have been trashed, and the USA’s preserving Israel’s 45-year trashing of the laws of war (occupation variety) by granting Israel and its leaders impunity and immunity (which USA also grants its own leaders) is part-and-parcel of the package.
Brinkmanship might end up with the brinkmen accidently going over the brink. This risk, along with the tail’s noisy threats to wag its obliging dog into yet another quagmire, should be discussed and warned against.
As I commented before, this whole ongoing Iranfest is a spin designed to keep away from mainstream news items like the following. They, the spinners, must be doing a superb job, managing to keep even Tikun Olam off it. Let me be their spoiler.
See this (English & video): http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4269971,00.html
What Iran should/must/will do before November:
Call barakyahou’s bluff, get out of the NPT and announce to the world they successfully tested their nuke; just like Pakistan did. Thus establishing a long term status quo and re-gaining its status as untouchable. It pains me to say this but the world will be safer with a nuclear Iran and a less warmongering israel.
Barakyahou’s supposed message from God is israel’s crossing of the rubicon which will eventually result in Iranium.
The Islamic Republic of Iran refrains from building nukes out of principle, not because of any international pressure. They are in the NPT because they actually do not want to see the proliferation of nuclear weapons, an obvious threat to everyone.
It is certainly not Netanyahu’s belligerent posturing that determines Iran’s actions here, bluff or not.
If this document was a piece of propaganda that was deliberately leaked then it is pointless to expect any government official to deny it.
After all, if you’ve gone to the trouble of seeding some misinformation in the press then you run the very real risk of killing the story by denying its authenticity; best to say nothing, even better to hint that it is all speculation.
There is no doubt that everything you are saying here is true.
The only thing that doesn’t make sense is why your source chose to leak the document to the Fresh website.
And why would the person who posted it there change/edit the text and try to pass it off as his own original theories?
You would think having received such an important leak (and having a pretty amazing scoop), they would have handled it differently (I know very little about the site, but it must be significant enough for your source to leak them the document).
That second question is anybody’s guess, but the first issue maybe you can answer.
Since your source is someone you trust and have apparently known for some time, do you have any insights into what might have motivated him or her to give the document over to the poster at Fresh (apparently, without giving you a heads up that they were doing so)?
dear richard your ministry of defence is playing games with us all ,note the reference in your report to ‘blue and white satellite'[offeq 8] what the above ministry is terrified of is a leak as to the capabilities of offeg 8s successor offeq 9 which unusually was launched from israel proper not india as was offeq 8…..so by definition the attack on iran is impossible without the unheralded advances of offeq 9 [capabilities still heavily classified]
peter dawson radford coldwarrabbit
Thanks, I had no idea there was an Ofek 9 launched from Israel.
U.S. official: Israeli leaks are damaging efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program
The recent spate of Israeli leaks about a possible strike on Iran are undermining efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program, a senior American official charged last week.
Thank you @ Richard indeed “one of the best and most courageous bloggers out there. Carry on!”
> “Thanks to all those, both readers, authors of blogs like Velvet Underground, and media outlets like the BBC, who have understood the value of what I’ve been doing and stood by me and my credibility.”
Just wanted to add that one of the German newspapers picked up your story in detail too, praising your credebility. The newspaper is sold all over Germany, I’d call it one of the leading media here a link to article, linking to your bblog.
Thanks for letting me know.
I am one of the skeptics, namely, that Israel cannot attack Iran, while perhaps some leaders want to. However, keeping the issue “on the table” increases self-importance of Netanyahu, Barak and some others, plus it diverts attention from “real action” which is continuing dispossession and oppression.
One objection to an attack is that given modular and disperse nature of the program (whatever it is doing) a limited attack will not disable it. This is addressed in the leaked plan. For this reason, it could be circulated to be leaked. But there is another objection: a disabling strike as described constitutes serious unprovoked slaughter, giving Iran a lot of support for various retaliatory measures. If Israeli navy participates, maritime exclusion zone near Iran coast will be understandable and supported, especially if exception will be made for tankers going to countries that repudiated the attack and abandoned sanctions on Iran. China and India may be among the first to use it. A massive attack will also make the siege of US forces in Afghanistan a certainty. One problem is that USA would be rightfully blamed for actions of its proxy. If USA cannot control lavishly supported proxy state, that just means that USA is an incompetent and unworthy, and the sooner it will get out of Asia the better.
The question is how long can Netanyahu rattle the sabre without looking silly. It definitely helps to provide fresh material to the act.
Some very interesting analysis on Forbes about the ramifications of your document:
Why There Could Be Collateral Damage From An Israeli First Strike On Iran
Great stuff, Bob, thanks!
Carbon fibre munitions were used in and around Belgrade during the Kosovo crisis.
They sort of worked. But I don’t think they contained “whiskers” as such (this refers to a particular type of crystalline filament) and I didn’t read many reports of collateral damage from these. Mind you, such stories may simply have been spiked when the Chinese Embassy was blasted and one of the one hundred HARM missiles launched, with no effect, against an important Serbian Radar by the USAF, USN and the Luftwaffe, went off to hit a radio ham’s shack in Hungary instead.
(The radar was taken down by a single BAe Alarm missile loaded onto a RAF Tornado F3 fighter’s Sidewinder rail and cued, through the existing Sidewinder interface, by the Tornado’s self- protection suite. This lash-up turned out to be more capable than the electronics on the dedicated electronic warfare ECR Tornadoes used by the Luftwaffe. Albert Einstein’s definition of madness is “doing the same thing again and expecting something different to happen” and that certainly describes the immensely expensive German-American campaign against that one radar station.)
Collateral damage from cyber warfare is more of a problem, and I’m not sure that Israel’s existing cyber campaign against Iran hasn’t already caused one or two train crashes involving signalling equipment based on Siemens PLCs.
Mary, I wish you understand that Egypt and other Arab nations spent too much energy on the wrong target. Israel is and has never been no their main problem, perhaps not a problem at all for them. Israel of course did not destroy and Arab country but Arab countries paid huge price in antagonizing it and unnecessarily so. The big hope is that the rise of democratic forces will change that and people will stop being distracted by the “Israel issue”. The alternative is more bloodshed, which of course Israel very much fears but so should also the Arab countries.
Thanks for a perfect example of Orientalism run amok. Edward Said, where are you when we need you?
Churchill’s gut reaction to Hitler, similar to his reaction to Stalin, was because he recognized something of the French Revolution about them both.
If the Terror was not a prototype for the Holocaust, I don’t know what was.
I’m not sure what you mean about Enoch Powell’s flirtation with English Fascism: he didn’t actually flirt with anyone, and his humour tended to be so deadpan you could never be sure he was joking.
The Rivers of Blood Speech was mostly a case of Powell carelessly thinking that the press and other politicians would recognize all the allusions to the troubles of Ancient Rome in his speech: none of them were that well educated. The sort of mistake that Boris Johnson might make, several times a day instead of once in a career. In the war against fascism, Powell fought effectively and bravely.
Powell was never in favour of ANY individual being victimised for their race or any other distinction: he saw individuals as being of worth. What he did think, though, was that groups of people collided to make history and this could be a bloody process. It is hard to look at the Middle East today, or at any time in recorded history, and not see that this is indeed true.
Fascism is a species of socialism (Himmler once had bottles thrown at him for admitting this in public) and it sees no real role for any individual except the leader, and even he take son qualities and personality not his own.
This is so at odds with the libertarian right-wing conservatism of Enoch Powell that it’s hard to believe that he entertained any thoughts in common with a fascist, though some left-wingers are sufficiently ignorant and lazy as to presume that any species of right winger is a nasty fascist.
Fascism is corporatism, and its original symbol (on Sicily) was the bundle of surveying sticks that were used as a Roman symbol of authority and power. (Also see book of Ezekiel.) The clear message is that everything you own, buddy, belongs to the state, even if you’re allowed to practice a bit of free enterprise and capitalism for the time being.
That’s far closer to the present leaders of Israel than ever it was to Enoch Powell, who was inclined to see a man’s private property as inviolate.
It’s also rather close to a lot of “right-wing” Americans who have very little respect for the individual, unless he’s rich enough to have acquired the equivalent of corporate mass.
Richard… perhaps you and i could visit over a cup of coffee sometime… ??? we have much to discuss
You & I have nothing to discuss. You’re a racist Islamophobe & I don’t waste time on such people.