If you were a security minister serving your country wouldn’t you think you’d have devoted a great deal of cabinet discussion to any decision to attack a neighboring country? You might think that, but then again you wouldn’t be an Israeli cabinet minister if you did.
Yediot Achronot reported in its print edition (and for a few minutes in its online edition) that Israel’s 14-member security cabinet would deal with the Iranian crisis for the first time. This news was considered so sensitive that the military censor forced Yediot to censor its coverage. The revised version here (and in English) says the deliberation on the subject was “rare.” Reuters reported earlier that the nine-member security executive, which Netanyahu uses to sound out his most important security matters, hadn’t discussed Iran since last October.
The ten-hour meeting also dealt with Israel’s military capabilities in striking Iran. This could mean that the ministers were regaled with the actual plan of attack, weapons systems to be used, etc. Or it could mean that some ministers intended to express skepticism at Israel’s ability to degrade Iran’s nuclear capabilities in any serious way.
Ynet noted that no operational decisions were made at the meeting. The main reason for this is that there is no consensus among the ministers about the advisability of such a military operation. A participant in the meeting called Israel’s current policy “playing poker” with the west so as not to allow the international community to believe it had unlimited time to deal with the subject. He also said the ministers were told there were yet more new sanctions that could be imposed to “strangle Iran.”
UPDATE: Netanyahu was so angry at this leak to Yediot that he canceled a follow-up meeting of this body that was intended to continue the discussions about an Iran attack.
I reported here that the Netanyahu government has offered a “compromise” of sorts to Obama, saying it would defer an attack if Obama would lay out his “red lines” along with specific dates by which the U.S. would proceed with an attack if Iran hadn’t abandoned its alleged nuclear weapons program. Though there are reports that Obama is weighing this proposal, it’s not clear whether this is wishful thinking on the part of those who advanced the proposal in the first place; or whether it’s true.
Yediot also reported that Bibi and U.S. ambassador Dan Shapiro got into a heated argument during a meeting that included House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers. The prime minister had complained that Obama was not giving Israel the support it deserved in its struggle against Iran. My Israeli source says the account of the argument is probably exaggerated by a newspaper which opposes an attack, and which also dislikes Netanyahu. Regardless, this is an interesting barometer of a major media outlet’s perspective on the issue.
Netanyahu has also directed the Home Front ministry to examine the vulnerabilities of Israel’s energy sector should there be an Iranian response to an Israeli attack. The prime minister wants to develop defenses to protect this vital infrastructure. Though words are cheap, don’t you think it’s going to a lot of trouble if you’re merely playing poker regarding an Iran strike, to get into such pointed preparations for an Iranian counter-attack?
The people at Antiwar.com think the Israel-Iran war won’t happen because of the shift in IDF commanders that was announced on Tuesday. If the plan has been drafted and set in stone, it would not matter whom is commanding what, just that they do their jobs during the war.
Here is the Antiwar piece:
Israeli war drums muted on Iran
There are increasing signs that the threat of military action is receding, for now
The odds against an Israeli military strike on Iran in the next few months appear to be lengthening, and perhaps the strongest evidence comes from none other than Binyamin Netanyahu, the man who has beaten the war drums loudest over the past few months.
By calling for clear international (read US) ‘red lines’ containing Iran’s nuclear programme, the Israeli prime minister has put the focus back on diplomacy, and given himself a ladder to climb down from his earlier rhetoric.
Meanwhile, Ehud Barak, the defence minister who had claimed that Iran was approaching a ‘zone of immunity’ beyond which it could not be stopped, is now reported to be against an Israeli attack (£) before the coming US presidential elections.
For me thats a tactical move only. Maybe they found out that starting the war right now would help Obama to get reelected. As Israel expects stronger support of Romney they might have changed their mind.
Or they noticed that they would end up in a disaster if attacking alone?
Netanyahu’s Israel is reeling and is in major (and historic) disarray at this particular juncture after having been stiffed and stuffed on their in-motion attack plans on Iran – this is an critically important time for Palestine to move FORWARD IMMEDIATELY with securing it’s UN General Assembly ‘automatic majority’ vote to give Palestine it’s Non-Member status and access to the ICC where Palestine can lay the foundations for suing the Apartheid apparatus out of existence
Doesn’t Abbas (whom I believe is 90% quisling) understand that Iran is the whole figleaf by which Netanayhu covers Apartheid, and has been and will continue to use it to guarantee that Palestine and it’s Apartheid control will never be dismantled? Of course he does…
Israel is an expert at getting unlimited bites at the apple and the Neocons/Israeli Lobby have developed these same advantages for themselves – they get to lie, hoax, and drag us into Iraq and then get away scot-free with it and now form Romney’s entire foreign policy staff as well as significant proportion of Obama’s (Ross, JJ Goldberg, Kagan, and Kristol come to mind)
The time for Palestine to ‘strike’ for is while the iron is hot and it will never be more droopy and melty and hot than being in near total disarray than having to back off it’s in-motion attack plans on Iran
Abbas does remember that the US vetoed or would manipulate the entire UN Sec Council to DENY Palestinian membership just last year?
Palestine not only needs to bank their UN GA vote and access at the ICC NOW at the UNGA 2012 – it needs to get rid of the Abbas and the Neocon favorite Fayeed
Fortunately there are voices in Palestine that are pressuring the PA leadership to not delay the UNGA vote until after the Nov US elections.
After the Nov elections? – what a load of hogwash for the US who will veto Palestine any chance it gets
The fight needs to be taken to the Israelis NOW – when the moment is riper than it will probably ever be.
Israel’s cover (the Iran attack and whole farce around it) for apartheid has been blown and Palestinian’s best chance at the soft exposed belly of Apartheid is completely exposed
This is the window for Palestine’s opportunity to make major and historic advances in establishing the Palestinian state (even if it is now ONE STATE, which it is) and ending Apartheid forever. Let’s not let Israel move into their ‘zone of immunity’ again by having their Israeli Lobby/US pressure Palestine out of their UN GA vote in Sept 2010 (ie, NOW)
Well, I find it a Chutzpa to claim that Israel is using Iran as a fig-leaf in regard to its dealings with the Palestinians. It was in fact Iran that used Israel as a card to gain popularity among Arabs and advance its regional hegemony aspirations by posturing itself as the champion of the Palestinian case. Admittedly, it worked for a while and an Arab axis has been formed around Iran. That is however over now: Hamas is going Egypt way, Hezbollah calmed down after the 2006 war (albeit not rhetorically, where in fact it has increased volume) and Syria is on the way out (and when Assad goes a lot of “secrets” will see the light of the day – further harming Iran, possibly considerably).
Not only the axis has evaporated but so did also any standing Iran may have had in the “Arab street”. The insurgence there and its brutal suppression reminded Arabs of their own problems and, indeed, by their recent impressive strides on the path to democracy they have in fact left Iran behind. It is not for no reason that both Hamas and the PA now shun Iran. The ship is sinking – gamble failed.
everything i have ever read makes the simple point that israel does not have the military capability to attack Iran.
they need permission just to fly into certain air space..but..lets put that all aside.
obama it seems clear will not ever agree to an attack just like bush would never do.
netanyahu comes across as close to raving on the issue since it appears obvious he responds to obamas position.
so what is the point of all this war talk if it cant actually happen?
and why does not a single report of how close israel is to attacking Iran Never! include the Iranian response?
is it expected that Iran who has told the world of their response if attacked is just like bibi raving?
i dont get That impression.
maybe it would be wise for people much more capable then me to put together some pieces of what an actual attack would do to the world since it invites certainly WW3 or worse.
seems to me That type of analysis is much more valuable than trying to figure out ad infinitum the ravings of bibi netanyahu.
US Aircraft Carrier Stennis Is Now En Route To Join Enterprise And Eisenhower Off Iranian Coast
Israel sees Iranian nuclear weapons as an existential threat, and plans are in place to carry out strikes to cripple the nuclear program by the middle of next month. Middle East expert Mike Evans says his discussions with top Israeli officials this week suggest there is a strong likelihood the attacks will take place between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.
And there’s a new moon on October 15…
a blogger, ReubenNYC, posted the following gem in the WashPost article on the fiasco security cabinet meeting,
” Security Cabinet meeting:
Nuttyyahoo: Welcome everyone to the cabinet meeting. Lets all be seated so we can begin.
Avigdor Lieberman: Where should I sit?
Ehud Barak: Just give me a moment Im buying some stocks in companies that are going to profit. (Yes Moishe 5000 shares you heard me!!) Ok Im finished
Nuttyyahoo: Are you ready Yishai? Who is the guy in the Turban next to you?
Yishai : He is my spiritual advisor Rabbi Yosef. I go nowhere without consulting him!
Rabbi Yosef : *mumbles incoherently*
Nuttyyahoo: Can you give him a can of ensure and shut him up please. Hes babbling something about muslims.
Yishai: How dare you! He is my mentor.
Nuttyyahoo: Some mentor . Where was he during the Carmel fire? Replenishing his depends supply? Ok ok boys lets get the meeting started already!
Avigdor Lieberman: Where should I sit?
Nuttyyahoo: You are sitting Yvette just shut up!
Avigdor Lieberman: Ok. I vote to attack.
Nuttyyahoo: I havent even started the meeting yet Yvette please just shut up
Avigdor Lieberman: Ok where do I sit?
Nuttyyahoo: oiy vey
Rabbi Yosef : *mumbles* Yisrael
Nuttyyahoo: Yishai , keep him quiet!!
Ehud Barak: *cell phone rings* *whispers into phone*
Nuttyyahoo: Ehud turn your phone off before I feed you some Polonium tainted cheeseballs!
Ehud Barak *I gotta go. shalom* Ok Im ready
Nuttyyahoo: Boys I bring you all together today to discuss a matter of Israeli importance. We must attack Iran now and soon! Lets take a vote. All in favor of the USA attacking Iran say aye, against say nay
Yishai: aye of course!! wait one second….*whispers to Rabbi Yosef* Yes ok aye! He said it was ok and for the record I was not responsible for the Carmel fire.
Ehud: Yes aye but I need to make some moves first and roll over a new condo I just bought with that aid money..I mean from my investments
Rabbi Yosef :*mumbles incoherently* the evil Iranians *falls asleep*
Nuttyahoo: Yvette put the gun down and tell me your vote.
Avigdor Lieberman: What was the question?
Nuttyyahoo: oye vey. “
Piotr Berman says
I somehow doubt the details of the meeting minutes that were leaked to Reuven NYC. As we know in this blog, leaked documents can be doctored. In particular, it was a super secret meeting, so perhaps all communication devices were taken from the minister, and no outside members, no matter how senile and forgetful, were permitted, except from selected expert from intelligence agencies. And the meeting slogged for seven to ten hours, while the minutes only show, well, the initial minutes when the ministers were settling down.
Meeting hour 3. Minister ask questions after the presentation of the military plan.
Q. Do you plan to use kosher tabouli, and if yes, who will decide if it is kosher?
A. What do you mean?
Q. You were talking about really, really small tabouli.
A. No, no! These were micro tubules.
Q. This is exactly what I said, tiny tabouli.
A. No, no! Tubules are not tabouli. They are a nanomaterial.
Q. A material for nannies?
This continues to hour 4. Questioning was interrupted when minister X started to snore very loudly, minister Y was assigned the duty to wake up X as soon as he starts to snore. Soon Y quietly dosed off and Y started to snore again.
Richard Silverstein says
My super secret Israeli source confirms that this is a verbatim transcription of the actual dialogue from the meeting!