What is Israel really doing about Iran?

In his final briefing to the Knesset as head of Military Intelligence, Aluf Amos Yadlin summed up the security situation last week, at the end of his five-year term, by saying the security front is unusually quiet and that Israel's intelligence coverage of its enemies has improved - but that the next war, if and when it erupts, will be worse than its predecessors, meaning many more missiles raining down, especially for the home front.

Yadlin, who is retiring after 40 years in the Israel Defense Forces, warned Knesset members "not to be misled" by the current calm. He warned that if another war breaks out, it is likely to be a much wider conflict than the last two, and the casualties (civilians) will almost certainly be much higher. By linking the possibility of another major war breaking out in the North and the South to the situation with Iran, Yadlin has inadvertently affirmed what President Barack Hussein Obama refuses to admit to the American public, that Iran is the main force behind the arming of Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq against American forces, and in Lebanon and Gaza, against Israel.  

Most of Israel's intelligence activity relating to Iran remains a deep secret. What is Israel really doing to delay Iran's nuclear program or thwart arms smuggling to Lebanon and Gaza? We don't know.

What operations is it conducting in other countries? We don't know that either - though we do know that a Military Intelligence officer was decorated by the chief of staff this week for an unspecified secret operation. And here's something else we don't know: Was this really Yadlin's final briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee? That is far from certain.

Yadlin has been well-regarded by his political and military superiors - both the last Israel Defense Forces chief of staff and the current one, both the last government and the current one - and is considered a leading candidate to replace Meir Dagan as head of the Mossad either this year or next (depending on whether Dagan's term, which is scheduled to end in December, is extended for another few months). Yadlin may not be eager for the job, but one can assume he would accept it if the prime minister and defense minister offer it to him.

The key factor in determining whether such an offer is made is likely to be his view of an Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Yadlin, who participated in the 1981 attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor is the last of the pilots still in active military service, has never expressed an opinion on this matter in public; indeed, he has given few interviews at all and made few public appearances in general.

Mossad Head Meir Dagan and IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi have repeatedly been described over the last year as leading advocates of a covert approach to Iran. However, both of them will soon leave office. Their successors' views on this issue will presumably to have a major impact on all senior defense appointments in the coming months.


Leftist march of folly, Hijacking Rabin’s Legacy

Once again, Rabin Square has been the site of the ritual rally marking Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Notably, it took place under the theme "Remembering together; Preserving the Hope" – a slogan that could hardly be more inappropriate and misleading.

PM Netanyahu pointed out in his speech in the Knesset on the 15th annual commemoration of Rabin's assassination, in which he cited portions from Rabin's final parliamentary address, of which much of his political credo has been forgotten  leaving a deceptive fog of misconceptions that shroud what has become know, as "Rabin's Legacy."

It is thus crucial that the public in Israel, and beyond, be reminded of the contents of this speech, for nothing else can more be more legitimately deemed "Rabin's Legacy."

The address was made on October 5th, 1995 exactly a month prior to Rabin's assassination. In that address, Rabin, the recently announced Nobel Peace laureate, rejected the two-state formula. In his view of the permanent solution regarding the Palestinian entity, he stipulated that this should " …be an entity which is less than a state… and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority."

Referring to the final frontiers of the country, he was unequivocal: "The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six-Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines."

As for what was to be included in Israel's permanent borders he prescribed that, at minimum, four elements must be ensured: A united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty as the nation's capital; the Jordan Valley as Israel's security border; the incorporation of existing settlements across the 1967 "Green Line" into the sovereign territory of Israel; and the establishment of new settlement bloc across the Green Line.

Rabin's daughter, Dalia, recently shared with the public that her father hadn't been completely happy with the way the peace process was going and had considered halting it. As for the current period, the Rabin family has finally realized that politicizing the assassination - making Rabin a hero of the left would deny Yitzhak Rabin the admiration of the country as a whole.