Israeli and U.S. media confirm that Israel launched its second attack on Syrian military targets in three days. Haaretz says that both attacks were against Iranian Fateh-100 series surface-to-surface missiles and destined for its Hezbollah allies. Israel calls these weapons a “game changer,” by which they probably mean that in the last war Israel fought with Hezbollah, the latter used relatively inaccurate missiles fired into Israel which, while they caused serious damage and killed both soldiers and civilians, the new munitions would be much more lethal, accurate, and have longer range. The latest generation of Fateh 100, announced in 2012, has a 175-mile range, meaning that from southern Lebanon it could reach most of Israeli territory.
The NY Times reports based on anonymous Israel sources that the shipment bombed also contained Scud Ds which have a much longer range (over 400 miles) that could reach to Israel’s southern tip of Eilat. Possession of such weapons by Hezbollah and their use in a future conflict would induce terror in the Israeli civilian population and might make the prospect of war untenable. That’s why Israel has to ensure at all costs that its enemy doesn’t have them. The IDF expects another war with Hezbollah and wants not to have its hands tied behind its back by a public that deserts it after those Fateh-100s begin to hit Tel Aviv and Haifa.
A huge fireball lit up the Damascus skyline along with accompanying explosions around 4AM Sunday morning, which was likely the warehouse storing the weapons going up in flames.
It appears that these attacks are laying the groundwork for two future conflicts. The most certain one is with Hezbollah. Israel believes that with the potential loss of the Assad regime and Syria as a transshipment point for Iran’s advanced weapons, Hezbollah and Iran are conducting intensive and hasty weapons transfers they might otherwise be able to perform over a longer time period.
Israel’s military establishment in the past 24 hours has talked explicitly about a coming war against Hezbollah. In the neat and tidy semi-delusional world in which its military strategists live, they gave a licking to Hamas during Operation Pillar of Cloud. Next, they will take on Hezbollah. After this, they will have defanged Iran’s two most effective anti-Israel proxies. Then Israel can go after the chief prize, Iran.
Much of this may be bluff or banter. But I have little doubt that Israel is either planning for an imminent war against Hezbollah; or that one will happen through circumstances as in 2006, when Hezbollah attacked IDF forces at the border. Israel’s attacks against Syria bring the day of the next war that much closer.
Another question is how willing Israel is to get involved in Syria’s civil war. If it detects an imminent military victory by Islamist forces who might be inimical to its interests, would it be emboldened to intervene in a more muscular way–the same way it is urging the U.S. to do now? To do so, would be the height of folly for Israel. There is no better way for it to stain any potential ally than announce who it supports. It would have to find a toady like the South Lebanon Army, which did Israel’s dirty work for twenty years in that country until the IDF withdrew a decade ago. But for Israel to attempt this in Syria would mean the kiss of death to whoever it annointed.
don’t you think it’s kind of sad that after 2 yrs of on going conflict and thousands of dead, only after israel bombs warehouse storages you post these last two posts?
i mean look at the topic before these two posts….
Deïr Yassin says
New hasbarista around ? Dozens of others have spewed exactly the same BS before you. First, Richard has written on Syria before, and secondly, why don’t you read the “About” to see what the focus of this blog is.
bonjour, i’ve searched this blog for the word “syria” – and the first article which it’s title didn’t mention Israel specifically is “James Rubin Advocates Syrian Regime Change, U.S. Military Intervention to Defang Iran” june 12 2012…
your only response can’t be others have said what you said. what’s your point? you live in far france (i’ve got family there btw) but i live here! i’ve been in all those places you talk about, i fought some of the battles i’m sure you commented on and i’ve seen what is really going on, not in a photo or video, but in real life. it’s not as black and white as you think it is. and i say that to both side of the conflict. if you read my comments non of them are one sided. the term “hasbarista” might be an insult by you, but one sided ppl like you aren’t the solution to our problems and by our i mean israeli and palestinians.
the “about” section of this blog:
“I’ve been writing Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, since February, 2003. It focuses on Israeli-Palestinian peace and includes commentary on U.S. politics and human rights. Technorati ranks this blog 21st of all world politics blogs and a member of the Top 100 in that category.”
it’s says there “human rights”, you see? either Richard ment it in general (that would explain the rape attorney in the earlier post) then i think he should have written much more about the topic in the syrian context, or he ment the israeli – palestinian conflict human right, and to that i ask where is the violation of palestinian human rights by israel in syria?
of course i know everything is connected and so does richard (he mentioned hamas above). and that’s the point of my comment. in the m.e there is no small picture, you can’t focus on the israel actions without understanding the larger picture. and you can’t judge israel by it’s actions without knowing the full picture.
Richard Silverstein says
Funny, but ALL your comments are one-sided. You’re so programmed you don’t realize you’re programmed as a pro-Israel booster.
The problem isn’t that Deir Yassin is one-sided. Besides. if people like you were truly fair & balanced she might not feel the need to express herself as categorically as she does. When faced with such extreme views, one naturally states one’s own views as strongly as possible.
My comment rules make clear that I don’t accept challenges from pro-Israel readers to write on subjects they choose for me. If you think you understand my interests & have a suggestion for a subject or story you may suggest a specific one. But telling me I need to write about Syrian human rights violations or Chinese human rights violations represents a complete misunderstanding of this blog’s mission. Read the comment rules very carefully.
“When faced with such extreme views, one naturally states one’s own views as strongly as possible.”
you are right – but it goes both ways. i think your views are extreme as well. but i’m not (and if i did it wasn’t my intention) ignoring what deir yassin said by calling it Propoganda or “laughing until i peed”. try to talk to me rather than just attack me and giving me nicknames. i’m pretty much mainstream israeli – i’m the audience you need to talk to and listen to (and persuade) in order to understand what’s it like living here – there are two sides in this story and as i said nothing here is black and white.
and i don’t think i’m one sided (maybe the reason it comes out like that is in the sentence i just quoted above). i’m of course what you call pro-israel (without an adjective just like you). it doesn’t mean i can’t criticize my country. but i also know how to balance things. and i know when the critic by your blogs or commentators are on the spot and when they are way off. and you are not balanced and you know that. if you’d like i’ll give you examples. i don’t think you do though :).
about my “arab” friend, i have a poster in my apt – “Yehudim and Aravim mesarvim lehiot oyvim” – jews and ARABS refuse to be enemies – that’s HADASH slogen written for the last elections. so you are not as accurate as you might think and maybe we could learn a thing or too from each other.
and it’s too bad you couldn’t care about my arabs friends, because in the end that’s the only real thing that can end this conflict – becoming friends.
Richard Silverstein says
I don’t know whether you are “mainstream Israeli.” But if you mean you’re part of the Israeli mass that elected over the past 10 yrs or so, the most disastrous governments ever elected in the history of the State–is that something to feel proud of? As for whether I need to talk to you or listen to you–I beg your pardon. It’s you (Israelis) who need to be listening to others with differing views. If you think you’re going down the right road, then go somewhere else than here. If you think your country is headed for disaster you need to chart a new course.
I have no responsibility to persuade you or anyone else you’re headed for disaster. That’s your problem. I’m no glutton for punishment. Nor am I a schoolteacher required to teach lessons to hard-headed, unwilling students. My views are my own. They’re available to any & all willing to listen.
The idea that I need to persuade you or Israelis of anything is insulting & laughable. It turns this into a game where you can say–well, Silverstein wasn’t persuasive enough. So we went on our merry way & did whatever we wanted to do to the Palestinians. If he’d only tried harder or loved us more or treated us with more empathy, then who knows how much more he could’ve done on our behalf. That’s a lose-lose situation.
Actually, there aren’t really two sides to the story and things are pretty much black & white. THere’s only one truth, not two. And that truth isn’t grey, but pretty much black & white. You can make it confusing & complicated & morally ambiguous all you like. That will only obfuscate what must be done & eventually will be done whether you like it or not.
If you are pro-Israel as you describe yourself then of course there must be an adjective: you’re either a nationalist, a racist, a liberal Zionist, a Likudnik, a settler. Those are the adjectives that must accompany the form of pro-Israel that you use. The only form that may use the term pro Israel without an adjective are those who support a pragmatic Israel that is willing to make vital compromises & return to 67 border, share Jerusalem & recognize the Right of Return. Those Jews are really & truly pro-Israel. As for you, you’re anti-Israel. Not consciously so, of course. But that doesn’t mean much. You just don’t know that your views will lead to Israel’s eventual destruction.
I don’t know what “balanced” means. It means to me morally compromised. There is one truth, one justice. There may be some nuance to these things. But they are basically a unitary whole. Claiming that there are two sides, there is ambiguity & that balance is required to understand all this is merely an excuse that diverts us from what needs to be done.
You have no right to hang that poster in the apartment. Because you don’t believe in it. If you think you believe in it then you’re deceiving yourself. You are an enemy of the Palestinians by your comments here. So expressing the views you have shows you to be Palestine’s enemy. Thus you have no right to say you refuse to be an enemy of Palestine. Hanging a poster gives you no right to claim moral purity.
I don’t give a crap about your “becoming friends” mantra. It’s bullshit. You won’t give Palestinians what they need, political power. You won’t understand Palestinians, you won’t understand their views, their interests. Instead you offer them friendship. Instead you offer anecdotes of good Arabs & how friendly you are with them. Phooey on that!
The Mighty Cynic says
“Actually, there aren’t really two sides to the story and things are pretty much black & white. THere’s only one truth, not two. And that truth isn’t grey, but pretty much black & white. You can make it confusing & complicated & morally ambiguous all you like. That will only obfuscate what must be done & eventually will be done whether you like it or not.”
To the original poster: Richard Silverstein is one of the (only) best things that ever happened to Israel. You need to read what he just wrote you 50x over and take it to heart. You are your own worse enemy.
Richard Silverstein says
@Bluto Thanks. His comment got under my skin.
[comment deleted for violating comment rules: read them. Arguments made scores of times before by the Hasabara mob will not be revived here. Please do not repeat the same old arguments. It gets boring. If you want to peddle this stuff, do it elsewhere]
it’s ok richard i realized that our “relationship” won’t work. it’s easier to delete comments than to face them. which none of you have. your answers are directed at me personally without almost any real argument.
just for the record you brought up the topic of israeli democracy in the earlier thread – can it be that you are violating you own rules?
next time you write something about the israeli censorship think of what just happened here.
au revoir to you too deir yassin
Deïr Yassin says
“I realized that our ‘relationship’ won’t work”
Translation: I can’t dump my propaganda here without being contradicted.
Au revoir, bye, ciao. Sniff sniff….
not contradicted – censored
Richard Silverstein says
Every one of the points in your comment has been raised many times here before you & rebutted countless times. I’m not in the business of conducting endless hasbara debates, though that of course would suit you fine since it would turn the comment threads into an endless mashup of hasbara memes.
So whine about censorship all up you want (they’ve done that here before as well). But if you want to participate pick a subject directly related to the post & say something new or original. If you return to the same old-same old, you’ll not be published.
If Noam Chomsky were to submit an article to National Review and NR were to not run it, that would not be “censorship”: NR is a private publication and has the right to decide what it will and will not publish. Richard is similarly a private actor and has the right to decide what does and does not appear on his blog. If you are that upset about how Richard runs his blog, then you are free to start your own blog on which you, too, can exercise complete editorial control.
So no, Noam, you have not been “censored”.
Deïr Yassin says
Haha, I was amazed by that Hadash-poster in his appartment too. And the friendship-BS: colonizers and colonized being friends. No need to make any change. Reminds me of “Ilan” who treated his Palestinians peones like ‘family’, that is HE went to their family parties, I’m not sure it was the other way around too.
Yes, the right response to the Israeli electorate responsible for the Israeli government leading the state (and citizens) to ruin. It does get tiresome this “balanced, two sided” sort of thing. In fact, a “balanced” view serves the right wing Israeli propagandist by implying legitimacy suggesting that there are two legitimate claims to Palestine, for example, or two opposing forces, and suggests long-standing and complicated grievances. Justice doesn’t have “friends,” doesn’t make nice in tough situations and has only one face.
Mr Silverstein, I ask how long can the excuse of ” preventing the transfer of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah” be used? Yes, Syria has provided them with weaponry, but under this pretext you can attack every military and ammunitons site in Syria claiming that it may be transferred to Hezbollah. Regardless of which Orwellian terms Israel wants to use to justify these strikes, it is an unprovoked attack violating international law.
Elad R says
please correct, It’s not Fateh-100 but Fateh-110
Both the US and Israeli media have confirmed that Israeli airforce conducted its second unprovoked air raid on Damascus during last 24 hours. CNN, CBS, NBC, NYT, CBC and Israeli Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronot – all reported the news with different angles. According to Syrian and Lebanese sources, Israeli jets fired missiles using Lebanese airspace (Israelis are very mindful of Russian-made Syrian air-defense shield) which hit four targets at Damascus airport. The targets hit were; a jet-fuel depot, Syrian Army ammunition warehouses, military airstrips and a civilian cargo airplane that had arrived from Iran.
Israeli version is that its jets fired missile on a Syrian weapon convoy carrying Iranian-made Fateh-100 advanced missiles for Lebanese Islamic Resistance Hizbullah which defeated Jewish army in Summer 2006. This Israeli propaganda lie was given top coverage by the Zionist-controlled mainstream media. How true is Israeli version of the story can be judged by early false rumor by Israeli intelligence that Syrian army had used chemical weapons against the USrael-sponsored anti-Assad rebels. The Zionist regime has been arming Syrian rebels via Croatia and Jordan.
In an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo in San Jose, Costa Rica on Saturday, Israeli poodle, Barack Obama, stated that the Zionist entity has the right to protect itself from what he called advanced weapons shipments to Lebanon.
Israeli airstrikes were most probably to provide aerial umbrella to protect the rebels who have failed to defeat Syrian army during the last 25 months. “This could be a comfortable solution to the US, Turkey and Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt) that are not ready to get involved directly without international support. Israel will create a new routine in which Syria will be a legitimate area for its airforce strikes as Lebanon is,” reported Yedioth Ahronot.
Tony Cartalucci, a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, wrote on May 4: “In reality, the pressure placed on Syria’s borders by both Israel and its partners, prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey in the north, is a part of documented plan to relieve pressure on the western, Israeli, Saudi-Qatari armed and funded terrorists currently collapsing inside Syria“.
The Israeli goal for its latest false flag operation is to draw the US into Syrian conflict on behalf of Israel by inciting Syria or Hizbullah to retaliate. If it happens, Israeli stooges in US Congress and Senate will force Obama administration to declare war on Syria in defense of Israel as part of US-Israel defense pact. That would amount to US army doing Israel’s dirty work in Syria as the Lebanese Christian militia Phalangist did in the past before both Jewish army and Philangist were defeated by Hizbullah fighters in 2000.
The Mighty Cynic says
IMHO, I think you are kowtowing too much to the media representations of why the strikes occurred, which were pretty much supplied by the least trustworthy source around.
A 10,000 foot view shows clearly that Assad’s forces had regained footing over the North and East — strategic locations — in the last few weeks and the militants were clearly on the back pedal.
These sorties had everything to do with providing assistance to the Al Qaeda militants Israel (and the rest of the Israeli “influenced” coalition) fund and aid militarily.
This was a huge mistake by Israel, having succumbed to what seemed like a green-light from a friendly administration, akin to when Saddam invaded Kuwait.
How about that underground super bunker built by the US Army Corps of Engineers just in time? Unrelated, I’m sure…
Ummm… Could this be translated into English? The writer seems to have watched a significant number too many conspiracy programmes.
Israel is not exactly the smartest cookie around the middle east (truth be told, I suspect the middle east causes brain leaks in its inhabitants), but the above suggestion makes no sense even in a Brian Herber’s par-excretance sequels.
The Mighty Cynic says
Your groundless and insulting reply aside, you have said absolutely nothing. The analysis above is supported well by the facts on the ground, whereas your basis of rejection is the same party that was trying to falsify intelligence regarding the Syrian army allegedly using Sarin gas.
The UN investigation just concluded that it was the militants (Al Qaeda), the very ones Israel covertly arms and funds, that used the Sarin gas.
Step 1: Force a political red line upon America via fifth column apparatus. (AIPAC, foreign pressure from the Likudists)
Step 2: Create conditions by which there is an appearance of that red line being crossed.
Step 3: Falsify intelligence to support the point, provide such intelligence to other parties in the public eye.
As for your “conspiracy” accusation, feel free to explain why the US Army Corps of Engineers built a super bunker for Israel’s elite underground and you don’t have an invitation either. #pawn
The Mighty Cynic says
More proof that I am right and you just hasbarat:
“Netanyahu to Assad: Air Strikes Were Not Meant to Aid Rebels”
Curious reaction by the strategically feeble. It’s quite obvious that this was the intention and Netanyahu’s subsequent denial of it is hyper-defensive.
Who is fooling who? Do you have an invitation to the super bunker that Richard even wrote a great piece about or are you still deluded into thinking they build those for fun?
The Mighty Cynic says
The link: *****www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/06/israel-assad-syria-airstrikes-did-not-aim-to-help-rebels_n_3221250.html?utm_hp_ref=world
You said: “Possession of such weapons by Hezbollah and their use in a future conflict would induce terror in the Israeli civilian population and might make the prospect of war untenable. That’s why Israel has to ensure at all costs that its enemy doesn’t have them. The IDF expects another war with Hezbollah and wants not to have its hands tied behind its back by a public that deserts it after those Fateh-100s begin to hit Tel Aviv and Haifa.”
I can’t say that I agree with your analysis here. You seem to be arguing that these “game changing” weapons will somehow force Israel into a MAD situation where the only winning move is not to play. I don’t think this is the case. While these weapons will indeed make Hezbollah a significantly more dangerous threat, it’s not simply not enough to bring about a MAD situation.
Also, the idea of MAD is that both sides are in a stalemate where neither attacks. If Hezbollah were to attack Tel Aviv, the Israeli public would not desert the IDF. Quite the opposite, actually, such an attack would instantly rally the Israeli public behind the IDF.
Richard Silverstein says
I thought it was clear I was speaking in the voice of the Israeli military officials who hold these views. My views are somewhat more ambivalent than these. I don’t favor war and don’t want Hezbollah to have more lethal weapons than it has. But I don’t want Israel to have the weapons it has either. My feelings are “a pox on both their houses.”
I think that initially the public might rally around the IDF. But I believe shortly thereafter Israelis would realize there are limits on their power.
I rather suspect that it would take a longer time than it would take Israel to bomb the bejeebus out of South Lebanon, Beirut and bits of the Bequaa Valley. They soul-searching and inquests may (will?) come later.
Nope. A couple of hits on the toney suburbs of Tel Aviv would be sufficient to bring about a US sponsored ceasefire.
This Israeli statement (” The IDF expects another war with Hezbollah”) clearly means that Israel expects (i.e., intends) to attack southern Lebanon. They want to be able to get away with such an attack without significant military or civilian losses. Hence they want a more-or-less powerless Hezbollah. The criminal, planning his next robbery, naturally seeks to disable the security alarms in the target.
One wonders : if Hezbollah has/had actually received more powerful and more numerous weapons, would they have reason (and would they dare) to attack Israel? I think not, but I am no expert. To me Israel’s power to bomb any and all neighboring nations to smithereens seems clear. Therefore, this quoted sentence merely means Israel wishes to not only be able to do it but to be able to do it without provocation and without sufffering any losses.
I agree with the “without suffering any losses” bit. Minimizing losses on the Israeli side is the point of the Israeli Defense Force. Everything action the IDF takes it supposedly takes in the name of protecting Israeli (civilian and military) lives.
And it’s equally obvious to me that Israel is preparing for a military front with Hezbollah. As you say, it’ll probably be a front where Israel attacks first (or reacts to an event, as in the 2nd Lebanon war). Israel is known for preemptive strikes.
I don’t exactly understand the without provocation bit, though. It seems to me that Hezbollah getting long range weapons is exactly the provocation the warmongers need. What I’m saying is that if Hezbollah got long range weapons, and maybe even chemical weapons, and threatened to use them — well, that would basically force the IDF to act, and let all the warmongers loose of their chains, right?
Hezbollah having these dangerous weapons would not make the prospect of war untenable, but rather inevitable. Therefore, bombing these arms shipments actually delays war, doesn’t it?
RE: “Israeli and U.S. media confirm that Israel launched its second attack on Syrian military targets in three days. . . It appears that these attacks are laying the groundwork for two future conflicts.” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: Israel apparently realizes that the sarin gas ploy is not going to work.
SEE: “U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator”, by Reuters, 5/05/12
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/05/us-syria-crisis-un-idUSBRE94409Z20130505
AND SEE: “Former Bush administration official: Israel may be behind use of chemical arms in Syria”, Chemi Shalev, Haaretz, May 4 2013 [EXCERPT] Retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff, believes that the chemical weapons used in Syria may have been an Israeli “false flag” operation aimed at implicating Bashar Assad’s regime. Wilkerson made his astounding assertion in a May 2 interview on Current TV’s Young Turks program. Current TV, once owned by Al Gore, was recently purchased by al-Jazeera. Wilkerson said that the evidence that it was Assad’s regime that had used the chemical weapons was “flaky” and that it could very well have been the rebels or Israel who were the perpetrators. Asked why Israel would do such a thing, Wilkerson said:
SOURCE – http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/isnt-it-slightly-surprising-that-haaretz-jpost-covered-this/
P.S. HACKED FEBRUARY E-MAIL INVOLVING A QATARI SCHEME TO STAGE A FALSE FLAG CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK IN SYRIA – http://www.voltairenet.org/article177357.html
RE: “Israeli and U.S. media confirm that Israel launched its second attack on Syrian military targets in three days. Haaretz says that both attacks were against Iranian Fateh-100 series surface-to-surface missiles and destined for its Hezbollah allies.” ~ R.S.
ALSO SEE: “The Israeli-Jihadist Alliance”, by Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, 5/06/13
ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/05/05/the-israeli-jihadist-alliance/
Richard Silverstein says
Generally, I think Justin Raimondo is a sack of horseshit for personal reasons. ANd this column probably is as well. For one thing, Israel never “nurtured” Hamas. It certainly welcomed Hamas as a balance to Fatah, but it never treated Hamas as it did the South Lebanon Army or other similar more hands-on initiatives.
But the truth is that if Syria is a weak, divided country beset by doctrinal, ideological, ethnic hatreds (cf, Fatah-Hamas split) that is to Israel’s advantage.
Richard, Gen. Meir Dagan agrees with you on a regime change in Damascus.
Speaking at the Jerusalem Post conference in New york on Sunday, Gen. Meir Dagan, former head of Israeli Mossad, said that removal of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from power “will be highly beneficial for Israel from a strategic point of view; weaking Hizbullah, Iran and Hamas in the process“, reported Israeli daily Ha’aretz on April 29, 2013.
maybe it has been omitted because it is obvious but still it needs to be said that these attacks are direct intervention by israel and by extension the US into the syrian civil war.
reasonable people long ago stopped believing the various excuses used to justify such murderous bombings and obviously the silence of this government to condemn them implys consent.
i see nothing but escalation in the region and eventual all out war ending with nothing less than nuclear bombing.
this escalation is nothing less then an affront to humanity that pleases only the psychotic who view and defend it as something noble.
if you are sensitive to all this suffering you know it is now out of control.
use your imagination as to where it will all end.