Δευτέρα, 7 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Former Mossad Chief Halevy: Iran Attack ‘Will Impact Region For 100 Years’

Richard Silverstein
Eurasia Review

November 6, 2011

Ynet reports that Ephraim Halevy, a former Mossad director, said yesterday that Iran poses no “existential threat” to Israel and that attacking it must truly be a last resort.  Anyone considering such a strike must realize that it would impact not just Israel, but the entire region for the next 100 years.  If this was all Halevy said it would be important, but mere reinforcement of views already expressed forcefully by Meir Dagan, the most recent past Mossad chief.  What renders the former’s views even more interesting is that he identifies what he considers an even greater existential threat to Israel: the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox):
Haredi radicalism has darkened our lives.  It endangers us even more than Ahmadinejad.
His attack on Haredim is shorthand for an entire range of social developments within Israeli society that includes, but goes beyond merely the ultra-Orthodox.  Halevy, who himself was raised in the moderate Orthodox Bnai Akiva youth movement, refers to the increasing religious and political radicalization of the entire Orthodox movement in Israel.  There has always been friction between secular and religious within Israel.  But in the past, there were streams within the Orthodox movement which held moderate political and halachic views.  Parties like the National Religious Party were ones which accepted a separation between synagogue and state.  They participated in governing coalitions and were statist in orientation.  They didn’t believe the State should be subordinate to the Jewish religion orhalacha.  Leaders like Josef Burg (Avrum Burg’s father) were also sober-minded and incorruptible.

Today’s Orthodox are increasingly extreme in their views.  The moderate religious parties are long extinct.  In their place are the ultra-Orthodox, who are much more socially separatist and militant.  They view Israeli secular society as a world–and a state apart from them.  They participate in politics because of the spoils it brings them in financial subsidies, and not for patriotic reasons.  For them, the State of Israel is not an end, but a means toward a successor regime that fulfills the tenets of Judaism as they see it.

Haredim generally don’t join the IDF and receive dispensation from military service as long as they are studying in yeshivot.  When Haredim do join the army they serve in military units which are among the most brutal in their treatment of the Palestinians.  Which brings us to Haredi political activism.  Many of them are the extreme among the settlers.  Their yeshivotand settlements produce the most virulent and homicidal of the Jewish terrorists in places like Yitzhar, Tapuach, and Itamar (among others).

So when Halevy calls the Haredim an existential threat the term is shorthand for a whole set of phenomena that have developed inside Israel over the past few decades and moved Israel from a place which suffered from a divide between secular and religious; into a society in which, while the secular still existed, they had been co-opted and subsumed into a state that moved more and more in the direction of racism, intolerance, and authoritarianism.  These noxious elements, while always present even among secular Israelis, became far more pronounced as Haredi culture did.

Though Halevy doesn’t mention this explicitly, I’m sure he’d liken the increasing militancy of the Haredim and their settler members with that of militant Islam.  Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda have their counterparts in Israel’s most violent settler rabbis and Kahanist MKs like Baruch Marzel, Michael Ben Ari, and a number of others.  While it is true that Jewish terror has not achieved the level of violence of the terror acts of Al Qaeda, that is because Jewish religious extremism has had to struggle against the secular, democratic values of Israel to find traction.  That’s why the process of radicalization has been gradual within the nation.  Within Muslim states like Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, there were few countervailing influences to hold back this fundamentalist tide.

Iran will be able to build nuclear bomb within months, IAEA says

Western experts say IAEA report to reveal Iran has already acquired knowledge, technology, and resources to achieve nuclear capability.

By Yossi Melman and Reuters

Iran has already acquired the knowledge, technology, and resources to create a nuclear bomb within months, according to Western experts who were briefed on the intelligence information due to be released in this week's report by the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to the experts, Iranian scientists acquired the knowledge with the help of weapons scientists from Russia, Pakistan and North Korea.
iran - Haaretz - November 6 2011 Parchin military base, about 30 kilometers from Tehran.
Photo by: Haaretz

Haaretz reported last week that other experts also estimated that Iran could assemble a nuclear bomb within months and carry out an underground nuclear experiment if it wishes to do so. The decision to assemble the weapon is effectively in the hands of Iranian leaders, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the helm.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the intelligence also supports concerns that Iran continued to conduct weapons-related nuclear research after 2003, when U.S. intelligence agencies believed Iran halted the research in response to international pressure.

Western powers believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear energy program. Tehran denies wanting atom bombs, saying it is enriching uranium only to power reactors for electricity generation.
The United States, the European Union and their allies have imposed economic sanctions on Tehran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program. The United States and Israel have repeatedly hinted at the possible use of force against Iranian nuclear sites, eliciting threats of fierce retaliation from the Islamic Republic.
New disclosures in the IAEA report provide details on an apparent secret research program that was more ambitious, more organized and more successful than commonly suspected, The Washington Post said.

The Post quoted David Albright, a former IAEA official who reviewed the agency's findings, as saying that based on the intelligence the UN agency has concluded that Iran "has sufficient information to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device" using highly enriched uranium as its fissile core.

Albright described some of the highlights at a private conference of intelligence professionals last week, the newspaper said, adding that it had obtained slides from the presentation and a summary of Albright's notes.

Σχέδια επίθεσης του Ισραήλ στο Ιράν

Δύο πρώην στελέχη της Μοσάντ κατηγορούνται ότι κρύβονται πίσω από τη διαρροή

Ο Ισραηλινός πρωθυπουργός Μπέντζαμιν Νετανιάχου λέγεται ότι έχει δώσει εντολή για τη διερεύνηση της διαρροής των σχεδίων του Ισραήλ να επιτεθεί εναντίον των πυρηνικών εγκαταστάσεων του Ιράν, όπως αποκάλυψε -την Πέμπτη- κουβεϊτιανή εφημερίδα, ενισχύοντας έτσι τη σχετική εικοτολογία. Σύμφωνα με το δημοσίευμα της al Jarida, οι υπόνοιες στρέφονται εναντίον των πρώην επικεφαλής της Μοσάντ, Μέιρ Ντάγκαν και Γιουβάλ Ντισκίν, οι οποίοι διαφωνούν με τα σχέδια του πρωθυπουργού Νετανιάχου και του υπουργού Αμύνης Εχούντ Μπάρακ να πλήξουν ιρανικές πυρηνικές εγκαταστάσεις. Η εφημερίδα εικάζει ότι στόχος της διαρροής ήταν να αποτρέψει μια επίθεση, η οποία είχε περάσει από το στάδιο της συζήτησης στην εφαρμογή.

Οι Ντάγκαν και Ντίσκιν είναι αντίθετοι με τη λήψη στρατιωτικής δράσης και τον περασμένο Ιανουάριο, ο προσφάτως απολυθείς Ντάγκαν, ο οποίος εθεωρείτο «γεράκι» όταν ήταν επικεφαλής της Μοσάντ, είχε πει για το ενδεχόμενο μιας επίθεσης στο Ιράν ότι είναι «η πιο ηλίθια ιδέα». «Ο πρωθυπουργός έχει αποφασίσει να επιτεθεί στο Ιράν, αλλά προς το παρόν δεν έχει εξασφαλίσει την απαιτούμενη πλειοψηφία για την έγκριση μιας τέτοιας απόφασης από το υπουργικό του συμβούλιο», δήλωσε στην εφημερίδα «Χααρέτζ», Ισραηλινός αξιωματούχος, υπό τον όρο της ανωνυμίας του.

Ωστόσο, ακόμη και καλά πληροφορημένοι παρατηρητές, όπως παρατηρεί η Guardian, παραδέχονται ότι δυσκολεύονται να κατανοήσουν τι πραγματικά συμβαίνει στο παρασκήνιο. «Φαίνεται ότι μόνο ο Νετανιάχου και ο Μπάρακ γνωρίζουν κι ενδεχομένως δεν έχουν αποφασίσει ακόμη», επισήμαναν οι έγκριτοι σχολιαστές Αμος Χάρελ και Αβι Ισαχάροφ, της «Χααρέτζ».

Η σχετική συζήτηση στο Ισραήλ ενισχύθηκε περαιτέρω μετά την επιτυχημένη δοκιμή νέου βαλλιστικού συστήματος μεγάλου βεληνεκούς και ασκήσεων ετοιμότητας για το ενδεχόμενο επίθεσης κατά της χώρας με πυραύλους. Πάντως, οι Ισραηλινοί εμφανίζονται διχασμένοι απέναντι σε μια στρατιωτική επίθεση κατά του Ιράν με το 41% να τάσσεται υπέρ, 39% κατά και 20% να μην έχει άποψη.