Iran attack decision nears, Israeli elite locks down

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits across from Defence Minister Ehud Barak during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem March 11, 2012. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

A private door opens from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in central Jerusalem directly into a long, modestly furnished, half-paneled room decorated with modern paintings by Israeli artists and a copy of Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence. It contains little more than a long wooden table, brown leather chairs and a single old-fashioned white projector screen.

This inner sanctum at the end of a corridor between Netanyahu’s private room and the office of his top military adviser, is where one of the decade’s most momentous military decisions could soon be taken: to launch an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

Time for that decision is fast running out and the mood in Jerusalem is hardening.

Iran continues to enrich uranium in defiance of international pressure, saying it needs the fuel for its civilian nuclear program. The West is convinced that Tehran’s real objective is to build an atomic bomb – something which the Jewish state will never accept because its leaders consider a nuclear armed-Iran a threat to its very existence.

Adding to the international pressure, U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said this week American military plans to strike Iran were “ready” and the option was “fully available”.

The central role Iran plays in Netanyahu’s deliberations is reflected in the huge map of the Middle East hanging by the door of his office. Israel lies on one edge, with Iran taking pride of place in the centre.

Experts say that within a few months, much of Iran’s nuclear program will have been moved deep underground beneath the Fordow mountain, making a successful military strike much more difficult.


As the deadline for a decision draws nearer, the public pronouncements of Israel’s top officials and military have changed. After hawkish warnings about a possible strike earlier this year, their language of late has been more guarded and clues to their intentions more difficult to discern.

“The top of the government has gone into lockdown,” one official said. “Nobody is saying anything publicly. That in itself tells you a lot about where things stand.”

Last week Netanyahu pulled off a spectacular political surprise, creating a coalition of national unity and delaying elections which everyone believed were inevitable. The maneuver also led to speculation that the Israeli leader wanted a broad, strong government to lead a military campaign.

The inclusion of the Iranian-born former Israeli chief of staff and veteran soldier, Gen. Shaul Mofaz, in the coalition, fuelled that speculation – even though both Mofaz and Netanyahu deny that Iran was mentioned in the coalition negotiations.

“I think they have made a decision to attack,” said one senior Israeli figure with close ties to the leadership. “It is going to happen. The window of opportunity is before the U.S. presidential election in November. This way they will bounce the Americans into supporting them.”

Those close to Netanyahu are more cautious, saying no assumptions should be made about an attack on Iran – an attack with such potentially devastating consequences across the volatile Middle East that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas even went so far as to predict in an interview with Reuters last week that it would be “the end of the world”.

Israelis particularly fear retaliation from Iran’s proxy militias – the Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon and the Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip. Both are believed to possess large arsenals of rockets which could hit major Israeli towns and cities.

Hezbollah’s deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem told Reuters in February that an Israeli attack on Iran would set the whole Middle East ablaze “with no limit to the fires”. “Gone are the days when Israel decides to strike, and the people are silent,” he said.

The Israeli Prime Minister and his key allies repeat for public consumption the mantra that economic sanctions against Iran must be given time to work and that now is not the time to speak about military options.

Top officials explain the new coalition on purely domestic grounds, saying it was needed to tackle the thorny and divisive issue of pressing Orthodox Jews into military service – in other words, that its formation has much more to do with the agenda inside Israel than abroad.


Diplomats are divided. “I think the Iran thing is a red herring,” said one senior Western envoy. “This is 98 percent about domestic politics”. Others are less convinced.

Mofaz himself refuses to speak about military action against Iran, even in the theoretical.

A military veteran with almost 40 years’ operational experience, whose office in the Israeli parliament displays a poster of Israeli warplanes flying low over the Auschwitz concentration camp, he scoffs at the idea that his Iranian descent gives him special influence on an Iran attack decision. He derides the idea any serious official in the know would talk to visiting journalists about such a sensitive military subject.

But behind the carefully evasive language of top officials, basic facts are clear. Time is running out. Iran’s nuclear program – regarded by Netanyahu as an existential threat to the state of Israel – will soon be buried deep enough underground to render an Israeli attack impossible. The Jewish state’s options are narrowing.

“I think they’ve gone into lockdown mode now,” the senior Western diplomat said. “Whatever happens next, whatever they decide, we will not find out until it happens.”

There are indeed those who see in Israeli posturing over Iran only bluff intended to press world powers into harsher sanctions and avoid war. Some military experts openly doubt how much damage Israel could inflict. The risk of a fiasco is big.

Perhaps the strongest clue as to Israel’s real intentions is to be found in Netanyahu’s private office, behind his desk. Officials say the Israeli premier was strongly influenced by his father, who died last month at the age of 102.

Benzion Netanyahu was a distinguished scholar of Jewish history and his strong sense of the past lives on in Benjamin, who laments to visitors that “most people’s sense of history goes back to breakfast time”.

On a shelf behind Netanyahu’s desk, along with pictures of his family, is a photograph of Winston Churchill. Netanyahu admires the British wartime premier because he saw the true dangers posed by Nazi Germany to the world at a time when many other politicians argued for appeasing Hitler.

The parallels with modern-day Iran are obvious and Netanyahu is explicit about the dangers he believes are posed by militant Islam: as he puts it, its convulsive power, its cult of death and its ideological zeal.

But Churchill, although eloquent on the dangers posed by the rise of Nazi Germany during the 1930s, ultimately failed to prevent Hitler’s ascent to power, the world war he unleashed or the Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered.

Netanyahu, those who know him say, is determined to avoid going down in history as the man who shirked his opportunity to stop Iran going nuclear. (Additional reporting by Samia Nakhoul and Crispian Balmer; editing by Ralph Boulton)


  1. #1 by jaffiote on 05/18/2012 - 9:34

    The poor helpless innocent humanitarian Israel must always pretend being under immense threat of full extermination by its racist bloody Arabs….to receive more and more billions from the US and Europeans, more FREE nuclear submarines from Germany ( who is still paying endlessly for Hitler’s alleged crimes !!) more petro-dollars from Arab puppet regimes, more economic and media support….. Israel did neither steal other peoples homeland, nor robbed their properties,lands,orchards,industries,education,past,present and future uprooting them from their thousands’ years historical country , dispersing them over the whole world….Israel does not own the 4th worldwide military, neither have +200 atomic bombs in stock since decades…Israel did never wage bloody wars neither on Egypt, nor Lebanon,nor Syria or Gaza murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians….It is enough …let them start this war against Iran and put an end of either sides !!! Enough is enough !!

  2. #2 by speak the truth on 05/18/2012 - 9:34

    Lets be clear here. I dont believe Israel has the guts or the will power to take on Iran alone. They simply would lose quick. They need the US to go in with them, with Obama and the 16 US intel agencies repeatedly say they do not believe the zionist intell, and that Israel has another “chalabi” liar lined up (a mossad agent) who will repeat the lies of the Israel into the ear of AIPAC who then spread the lies to the zionist owned Congress and Senate. Israel has more than 400 nuclear warheads and thats true back in the 70’s when Vanunu told the truth…so how many they have today is unknown, since THEY refuse any IAEA or foreign monitors to see what they have. The US and other western powers are arming the israelies to the point nothing but a world war against them will be able to stop them from their fear mongering, colonialist aspirations to control all the middle east. I saw a story yesterday where an international poll was done and Israel is ranked as low as North Korea by the world community. Israel is losing its power, its edge, it can no longer con the world into their “victimhood status”, as we all know who the victims are that would be the rest of the planet. Its all sabre rattling, cuz ole Mutt Robme is going to visit Israel. Mutt will tell them anything they want to hear…bomb the world if necessary to become the first Mormon President. So lets stand behind Obama and OUR intell agencies who are not interested in bombing Iran or going to war with Iran..thats all right wing fearmongering.

  3. #3 by Gary on 05/18/2012 - 9:34

    Filthy jews doing what filthy jews have done since the beginning of their pathetic existence; plotting another war to be fought by their useful gentile lackies. All so they can realize their dream of ersatz israel. If only the goyim had read the Protocols…

  4. #4 by SazzyLilSmartAzz on 05/18/2012 - 9:34

    I don’t think Israel will attack Iran for various reasons but will force America to strike instead.

  5. #5 by Kermit on 05/18/2012 - 9:34

    The Great Heist

    U.S. Loots Iranian Assets

  6. #6 by 30.06 on 05/18/2012 - 9:34

  7. #7 by Adalberto Erazo Jr. on 05/18/2012 - 9:34

    @ Jaffiote
    “…let them start this war against Iran and put an end of either sides !!!”

    Excuse me! The only end I want to see is the end of IsraHell. It was the United States and the western countries who started this mess by aiding and abetting this unnatural demonic state called IsraHell in the first place. The people of the region are the victims. Iran is the victim here.

    If you want this to end then you should include yourself in it Jaffiote.

  8. #8 by hamansrevenge on 05/19/2012 - 9:34

    Israeli chicken shits do great against helpless women and rock-throwing kids; they will never go it alone against a country like Iran, they would lose big time; unless they do use the Sampson option and then it’s a Pyrrhic victory to say the least. If I had to speculate

    I would say they are reminding all of the spineless Congressmen about the videos they have of them with little girls and boys (a la Franklin Cover up) so they can secure the necessary votes to go to war and have the U.S. do it for them.

  9. #9 by Al_Hind on 05/19/2012 - 9:34

    Wow: Amazing Iran:

  10. #10 by on 05/19/2012 - 9:34

    If the heebie-jeebies start this “Final-War” that they ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE in-order to create their “jewish-Utopia” then all-bets-are-off and things may very well not go the way that they had intended.

    I pray to God that the military-men across our planet realize this reality and do the right thing.


    The planet MUST UNITE to stop this MORTAL-THREAT.


  11. #11 by Jim on 05/19/2012 - 9:34

    Reuters; Echoing Jewish lies. How any organization can still say straight-faced that “6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust” is embarrassing. Funny how no Zionist organization will debate the matter; it’s like 9-11, it can’t be debated. They’d be buried by the facts and evidence against them.

    The seminal book by Arthur R. Butz, “The Hoax of the Twentieth Century; The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry”, has stood the test of time for over 35 years. Within its nearly 500 pages are facts and evidence that cannot be denied. It should be required reading.

    The notion of the “Holocaust” as presented by World Zionism is preposterous, absurd, and a bald-faced lie. That it is against the law to debate it in so many western nations is a crime in itself, and even more outrageous.

    “Holocaust Industry” by Norman Finkelstein should also be required reading. I’d make both books required reading in US High Schools! HA! Imagine the squealing and howls that would cause! OY!

  12. #12 by Jim on 05/19/2012 - 9:34

    If Israel attacks, and her planes are not shot out of the air, and a torrent of rockets don’t land with accuracy on Israel, that will be the end of any hope. I’m sick and tired of these Arab states being so helpless in the face of the aggression directed towards them. What the hell is Russia’s and China’s problem? Why have they not buried Iran with modern weapons? Yeah, I hear Iran has Silk Worms or whatever, but nothing ever seems to materialize once the shooting starts. I sure hope I’m wrong this time around and Israel gets her ass handed to her. We’ll see.

  13. #13 by Jim on 05/19/2012 - 9:34

    Al Hind; Thanks for the video; every stupid American should see it. I’m forwarding it to everyone.
    Tis is what Israel and the US want to destroy.

  14. #14 by Ingrid B on 05/19/2012 - 9:34

    @Al_Hind : Iran is so beautiful, and the people are so happy..

  15. #15 by SazzyLilSmartAzz on 05/19/2012 - 9:34

    Thank you Al Hind. Iran is a beautiful country. May God protect her from UGLY Israel and it’s US whores.

  16. #16 by heroay on 06/20/2012 - 9:34

    Reuters, another whore for Zion. Churchill was half-‘yew’. “Raise of Germany” meant, 1) Disposal of thieving ashkenazi banksters – RAT$child proxies – who destroyed Germany for the second time. 2) Removal of utter filth, corruption, and human degradation, only the pariah ashkenazi Neanderthal can create. 3) Restore Germany to the top economically, socially, culturally, while the world sunk into a Depression fabricated by the same ashkenazi rats.

    Reuter’s mouth whores and shrunk brains ignore it was “Jews Declare World War on Germany” in 1934, after khazar Roosevelt stole every gold ounce from Americans pockets, and stole the US gold bullion at Fort Knox, for the European ashkenazi banksters. And don’t remember either that these ‘yews’ invented the HoloHoax since WW1, but nobody paid attention to their petty scam. And sizzled.

    Think ‘Roosevelt’, and the skimming and impoverishing of Americans, to the ground, while the rats enriched themselves by buying America for pennies on the dollar; with Fiat toy money. And go back half a century from then, when the rats started to clamor “Germany Must Perish”, a criminal conspiracy on print.

    As for 6 Million Hoaxes, Reuter’s whores should digest “Simple Arithmetic vs the 6 Million Myth”, and be ashamed of repeating the money thieving Mantra for non-existing ‘victims’ and ‘survivors of victims’… of lying rapine rats.

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