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Posted on Apr 22, 2012 11:56:43 AM PDT
Israel shields public from war risks with Iran
By Gareth Porter

TEL AVIV - The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been telling Israelis that Israel can attack Iran with minimal civilian Israeli casualties as a result of retaliation, and that reassuring message appears to have headed off any widespread Israeli fear of war with Iran and other adversaries.

But the message that Iran is too weak to threaten an effective counter-attack is contradicted by one of Israel's leading experts on Iranian missiles and the head of its missile defense program for nearly a decade, who says Iranian missiles are capable of doing significant damage to Israeli targets.

The Israeli population has shown little serious anxiety about the possibility of war with Iran, in large part because they have not been told that it involves a risk of Iranian missiles destroying

Israeli neighborhoods and key economic and administrative targets.

"People are not losing sleep over this," Yossi Alpher, a consultant and writer on strategic issues and former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, told Inter Press Service (IPS) in an interview. "This is not a preoccupation of the public the way the suicide bombers were a decade ago."

Alpher says one reason for the widespread lack of urgency about a possible war with Iran is that the scenarios involving such a war are "so nebulous in the eyes of the public that it's difficult for them to focus on it".

Aluf Benn, the editor in chief of Ha'aretz, told IPS in an interview, "There is no war mentality," although he added, "that could change overnight." One reason for the relative public calm about the issue, he suggested, is the official view that Iran's ability to retaliate is "very limited".

Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in Bloomberg on March 20, "Some Israel officials believe Iran's leaders might choose to play down the insult of a raid and launch a handful of rockets at Tel Aviv as an angry gesture rather than declare all-out war."

But Uzi Rubin, who was in charge of Israel's missile defense from 1991 to 1999 and presided over the development of the Arrow anti-missile system, has a much more sombre view of Iran's capabilities.

The "bad news" for Israel, Rubin told IPS in an interview, is that the primary factor affecting Iran's capability to retaliate is the rapidly declining cost of increased precision in ballistic missiles. Within a very short time, Iran has already improved the accuracy of its missiles from a few kilometers from the target to just a few meters, according to Rubin.

That improvement would give Iran the ability to hit key Israeli economic infrastructure and administrative targets, he said. "I'm asking my military friends how they feel about waging war without electricity," said Rubin.

The consequences of Iranian missile strikes on administrative targets could be even more serious, Rubin believes. "If the civilian government collapses," he said, "the military will find it difficult to wage a war."

Rubin is even worried that, if the accuracy of Iranian missiles improves further, which he believes is "bound to happen", Iran will be able to carry out pinpoint attacks on Israel's air bases, which are concentrated in just a few places.

Some Israeli analysts have suggested that Israel could hit Iranian missiles in a pre-emptive strike, but Rubin said Israel can no longer count on being able to hit Iranian missiles before they are launched.

Iran's longer-range missiles have always been displayed on mobile transporter erector launchers (TELs), as Rubin pointed out in an article in Arms Control Today earlier this year. "The message was clear," Rubin wrote. "Iran's missile force is fully mobile, hence, not pre-emptable."

Rubin, who has argued for more resources to be devoted to the Arrow anti-missile system, acknowledged that it can only limit the number of missiles that get through. In an e-mail to IPS, he cited the Arrow system's record of more than 80% success in various tests over the years, but also noted that such a record "does not assure an identical success rate in real combat".

The United States and Israel began in 2009 developing a new version of the Arrow missile defense system called "Reshef" - "Flash" - or "Arrow 3", aimed at intercepting Iranian missiles above the atmosphere and farther away from Israeli territory than the earlier version of the Arrow. The new anti-missile system can alter the trajectory of the defensive missile and distinguish decoys from real missile re-entry vehicles.

Until last November, the Arrow 3 system was not expected to become operational until 2015. And that plan was regarded by US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) as probably too ambitious, because such a system would normally take a decade from conception to deployment.

But Xinhua news agency reported in November that Israeli Air Force officials said they expected Arrow 3 to become operational by mid-2013, cutting even that abbreviated timeline for development of the system in half.

Nevertheless, the ability of the Arrow 3 system to shoot down an incoming missile still has not been announced, although an Israeli official said on March 1 that such a test would take place after the meeting between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu.

In December 2008, Western intelligence sources were reported by Israel's Ynet News as saying the improved version of the Shahab 3 missile had gone into production earlier that year and that Iran was believed to be able to produce 75 of the improved missiles annually.

General Gabi Ashkenazi, then Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, told a visiting congressional delegation in November 2009 that Iran already had 300 missiles capable of hitting Israeli targets, according to a US State Department cable released by WikiLeaks.

Those reports suggest that Iran now has roughly 450 missiles that could reach Israel, half of which were improved models with much greater precision. Even if only one-fifth of those missiles got through Israel's missile defenses, Israeli cities could be hit by at least 100, most of which would be able to hit targets with relative accuracy.

The Netanyahu government has sought to minimize the threat of Iranian retaliation for an Israeli strike against Iran in part by likening war with Iran to those fought against Hezbollah and Palestinian rockets in recent years, which have resulted in relatively few Israeli civilian casualties.

That was the message that Israeli military officials conveyed to the Israeli news media after an escalation of violence between the IDF and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza earlier this month.

Columnist Zvi Barel of Ha'aretz speculated on March 11 that the purpose of the escalation, provoked by the IDF assassination of Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committee in Gaza, was to show the Israeli public that Israeli missile defense system could protect the population against rockets that the IDF linked to Iran.

Barel went even further. "After Iron Dome demonstrated its 95% effectiveness," he wrote, "there is no better proof to Israel's citizens that they will not suffer serious damage following an assault on Iran."

The success of the Iron Dome against short-range rockets from Gaza is irrelevant, however, to what could be expected from a relatively untested Arrow system against Iranian ballistic missiles aimed at Israeli targets.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 11:59:31 AM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Hello Lawrence A. Dickerson,

Thanks for the OT summary on the treatment of Gentiles. May I ask if you believe that this somehow justifies rounding them all up and exterminating them?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 12:00:57 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Hello Omnimus,

Your warning to us was even less coherent than most of your posts. That is, however, quite an achievement in its own right.

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 12:32:01 PM PDT
22 April 2012 Last updated at 15:08 ET Share this pageEmailPrint

Egypt scraps Israel gas supply deal

Egyptian officials say they have scrapped an agreement to supply Israel with natural gas.

Israel received around 40% of its gas supplies from Egypt and uses it to generate electricity.

The announcement comes after the cross-border pipeline suffered numerous sabotage attacks which cut supplies.

Egypt was the first Middle East country to sign a peace accord with Israel, and the energy deal has been a key part of agreements between the two state.

A statement from the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company said it was ending supplies because the terms of its contract had been breached.

Ampal, the Israeli company which buys the gas, said in a statement that it considers the attempt to terminate the contract "unlawful and in bad faith", and demanded its withdrawal.

There have been 14 attacks on the gas pipeline since last year's uprising which unseated the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.

The deal to send gas to Israel has been heavily criticised.

Meanwhile unrest in northern Egypt has increased, partly due to tensions with heavily-armed Bedouin tribes who live there.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 12:36:44 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Ahh, Lawrence A. Dickerson gets his groove back on and demonstrates why he's hailed far and wide as the SPAM KING.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 12:59:23 PM PDT
Lee Kaplan says:
Poppycock. There is abundant historical and archeological information the Western Wall was the wall of the Temple. For one thing, excavations underneath the wall extend all around the temple exterior and include Jewish holy sites with entrances the Turks allowed Jews for centuries to pray at but not enter the grounds themselves once the Muslims took it over. There is a tour there today one can see and even trace the building of the wall to the day it stopped when Herod died and funds ran out. The Muslims have now concocted a myth that the wall was where Mohammed tied up his horse. That is a fabrication. Your sources are made up or repeating anti-Israel propaganda. GO AWAY!!! SHOO!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 1:04:32 PM PDT
Susanna says:
Hello Lee Kaplan,

Welcome to the cesspool of antisemites.

Although Lawrence Dickerson has been banned from several fora, Amazon has not yet seen fit to do so. LAD spends all day and all night spamming the threads with anti Jew and anti Israel propaganda.

I don't know if you have checked out the threads on this particular forum. Yesterday, Amazon removed a Holocaust denial thread, which is odd considering there have been six or seven of them running in the past. There are plenty of other threads for the anitsemites however.

There is also one for the pro Israel posters as well :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 1:50:34 PM PDT
William B says:

RE: "...abundant historical and archeological information...'

You're correct, of course, there are few ancient sites on earth better attested to than the temple mount. Dickerson is a spamming troll and most often ignored.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 1:54:07 PM PDT
\\As if I care what a bigot thinks. I think not. \\

The reality is that you don't care about facts, just tribe.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 1:57:45 PM PDT
\\if some of those folks had their way, there wouldn't be a Jew left alive east of Suez. Or in some cases, anywhere else.

Can anyone help me? \\

Read Chomsky and Finkelstein for a start, and see me in the morning.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 2:03:34 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
The horses tied up there belonged to the Knights Templar, not Muhammad. He never got anywhere near Jerusalem and "Al Aqsa" was the site of the Templars' Commandery.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 2:05:30 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Why would you read Chomsky and Finklestein, Bookish. Chomsky is a traitor to his country and Finklestein's parents both survived the same Holocaust you deny?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 2:11:14 PM PDT
Says who? You are a blatant liar.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 2:14:06 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Well, everybody who's read Chomsky to begin with and anybody who knows anything about Finklestein. Blatant lying is your forte, Bookish.

I wouldn't dream of horning in.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 5:44:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 5:53:53 PM PDT
Rachel says:

My dad said that Jews gave a conscience to the world with the Ten Commandments, and the world has not forgiven us. That Superego can be though, and make people feel guilty.
What better way to live than to live without a moral compass.
You can do what you want and not feel guilty at all. BY killing Jews and mistreating them they are killing the messenger, but the truth is that ethics and human rights must exist.
yea someone will remind me about the Rx for Palestinians, and I would answer that their are preparing their own medications.
This a shot at a good answer.

Stay well>

Rachel :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 5:49:59 PM PDT
J. Schwarz says:
You wouldn't know a fact if it bit you in the rear. Your facts like you are full of it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 2:10:10 AM PDT
\\You can do what you want and not feel guilty at all. BY killing Jews and mistreating them they are killing the messenger, but the truth is that ethics and human rights must exist.\\

Moses lived long ago, and your refusal to see other revelation is only based on the sin of pride. Your lies here are proof plenty that zionist ideology is a failure and scam.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 3:49:02 AM PDT
William B says:
It must be a gnat - I sense buzzing.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 5:15:59 AM PDT
J. Schwarz says:
Must be a racist gnat.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 5:56:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 5:59:24 AM PDT
Omnimus says:
What does the Torah say about plural marriages of women to a man? I am interested on your take of that, and why or if it doesn't continue.

My assumption is it is perfectly lawful under the Tanakh, however Jews will at least conform to the law of the state in which they reside, at least for appearances.
I find nothing inherently wrong with that, but I would think women would (object and J. is truly a matriarchal cult).

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 8:21:49 AM PDT
Omnimus says:
It is clear that some of you+ think what I write is a hee-haw, but it is also clear that it is a revelation of truth.

A Jew, religious or otherwise (how can that be?) must definitely believe that God exists, or he certainly is not.

It therefore must be a certainty that God spoke to Moshe at Mount Horeb and gave him those 2 tablets of testimony, written in stone, on both sides and the tenements of the law.

It should also be realized that God doesn't change his mind: he was, is and forever will be: what was, is, and will be is written in stone, as they say. No one, not even Moshe would be able to change that.

Now Moshe came down from the mountain, and in anger/rage/ignorance, smashed those two books that God had given him. My revelation believes those 2 books to be Bersite and Shemot. Why wouldn't one believe that? Those were written with the finger of God. Then Moshe called his people and told them to go about and murder their kindred, and the Levites did according to the word of Moshe. It is clearly blasphemy, and that viciousness continues...

God is omnicient, quite aware of all that was, is, and will be. It was a terrible thing he was to do with this irreverent hateful people.

Read the last of Shemot, I will quote it here:
34. And the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan. . :
35. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud rested upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan. . :
36. When the cloud rose up from over the Mishkan, the children of Israel set out in all their journeys. . :
37. But if the cloud did not rise up, they did not set out until the day that it rose. . :
38. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the Mishkan by day, and there was fire within it at night, before the eyes of the entire house of Israel in all their journeys. . :

Now I believe in prophesy, and I think you all truly do as well, and your dreams reveal it, doesn't it?

A cloud by day and fire by night before the eyes of the entire house of Israel in all their journeys.

I know prophesy is real.. And you+, do you+ know why? Because it comes to me, I suspect to you as well, or at least the reverent ones amongst you+

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 10:25:17 AM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Something comes to you, Omnimus. Are you sure it isn't the abyss looking back?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 10:41:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 5:55:16 PM PDT
Rachel says:
Rabbeinu Gershom prohibited that in the Year 1 000 of the common era, and not for appearances.

O H ! yes, we pray for the country in which we live and hope that the leaders would be wise and that Jews should find peace in that country. You can find this prayer in Many American synagogues engraved in a special wall.

In Judaism, Orthodox at least it is men who make the laws, but it is true that in time women also contribute and some things are adapted as women suggest. It is a rabbinic world, I don't mind one bit.

My feminist views is tied to be allowed to learn as much as anybody else. I don't care for being a rabbi a cantor, not even a principal of a Jewish school. Tried the latter hatted the job.I do what I love teach and with no parents around; a delight.


Posted on Apr 23, 2012 11:50:43 AM PDT
Israel's constant posturing with military threats,implied or actual,bring negative attention to the government thus the people,further inflaming the notion that Israel is a constant threat to the world.When will the Israeli government learn that a peaceful coexistence with her neighbors demands tactful diplomacy and cohesive agreements between all parties.

Egypt's military leader responds to Lieberman with threat of violenceCairo seeks clarification after foreign minister reportedly branded Egypt more dangerous than IranBy ELHANAN MILLER April 23, 2012, 5:36 pm 6
Egypt's military leader Mohammad Hussein Tantawi (photo credit: AP/DOD, Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison, File)RELATED TOPICS
n remarks apparently directed at Israel, Field Marshal Muhammad Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and the country's de facto leader, threatened on Monday to thwart any foreign aggression against Egypt. He was speaking in the wake of reports, widely covered in the Egyptian media, that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has warned of an imminent military threat emanating from Egypt.

"Our borders are constantly burning, but we do not attack any neighboring country but only protect our borders," Tantawi told Egyptian press during a live ammunition maneuver in the Sinai Peninsula titled "Nasr 7." "If anyone comes close to Egypt's border, we will break their leg. Therefore, our forces must be in a perpetual state of alert."

A second senior military figure, Major General Muhammad Higazi, commander of Egypt's Second Field Army, also issued a tacit threat, warning that potential aggressors should "reconsider before thinking of attacking any part of Egypt's territory."

In Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry sought to calm the dispute. "The foreign minister was interviewed today on two Israeli radio stations," a spokesman said on Monday evening, "and he made it very clear that both sides have a clear interest in keeping the peace agreement."

On Sunday, the Hebrew daily Maariv reported that Lieberman recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning him about a potential threat from Egypt and requesting that Israel's southern command be reinforced by three military divisions. "The Egyptian issue is much more disturbing than the Iranian problem," Lieberman was reported to have said during closed discussions on the topic.

Lieberman's comments were prominently covered in Egyptian media on Monday, sparking condemnation from commentators and politicians.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry asked the Israeli government on Monday to clarify the statements attributed to Lieberman.

Foreign Minister Muhammad Amr asked his ambassador in Tel Aviv to inquire about statements comparing the Egyptian threat to that of Iran, establishment daily Al-Ahram reported Monday.

"[The Egyptian ambassador] will convey Egypt's bewilderment at the publication of such words, attributed to a senior official in the Israeli government," read a statement issued by Egypt's Foreign Ministry.

According to Maariv, Lieberman also criticized the fighting capabilities of the seven battalions Egypt sent to the Sinai recently to combat al-Qaeda operatives in the peninsula. The minister could not rule out the possibility that Egypt will divert more substantial military forces to the Sinai following the election of a new president in June, in violation of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, Maariv reported.

Tensions remain high between Israel and Egypt following news Sunday that Egypt has annulled its natural gas agreement with Israel. In addition to Tantawi, another senior Egyptian officer retorted with a tacit threat of his own toward Israel.

"The Egyptian fighter will secure the eastern borders of the country," said Major General Muhammad Higazi, commander of Egypt's Second Field Army, during the Sinai maneuver. "The ongoing training is a clear message for all to reconsider before thinking of attacking any part of Egypt's territory," he told Al-Ahram.

The daily quoted Higazi as saying that Egypt's armed forces sent troops to the northern Sinai city of Al-Arish, near the border with the Gaza Strip, "without asking permission from anyone."

"We act based on what influences us, not according to what the other side [Israel] imposes on us," Higazi added.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 11:51:50 AM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Once again Lawrence A. Dickerson depletes our national reserve of SPAM.
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