Israeli Takes Iranian Threat Seriously

As in the sport of wrestling, Israel and Iran seem to be equal-weight opponents. The fight, though, will not be a sports competition where rules are followed. Rather, it would be a fight to the very end, until one dies a gruesome bloody death, while spectators are either shocked to immobility by the horrors they have just witnessed or cheering for the fulfillment of their wildest dreams.

The world thinks-along with Israel-that Israel’s power is superior to Iran’s. Most are convinced – and thus expect – Israel will attack Iran and prevail. However, the proposition that Israel will have the upper hand must be heavily reconsidered. Unless Israel decides it needs and wants to win, she will lose.

Never underestimate an opponent, especially when the stakes are so high. Whether or not the safe landing of the American drone by the Iranians proved Iran’s transparent technological superiority, Israel’s 2006 debacle in Lebanon was a clear indication that communications and electronic warfare are Iran’s strength.

There will be a few surprises up Iran’s sleeves. Once such arsenal is unleashed, the Iranian’s true nature, boundless hatred and ironclad determination will reveal themselves, so we must be ready. Thus, when Israel’s Defense Minister Barak states “Israel’s finger is always on the trigger,” meaning not that it is trigger-happy but ready at all times, one observes the state of readiness as essential.

Can one further conclude that Israel is finally getting serious? Is she indeed ready for whatever the near future might bring?

Lately access has been granted to some of Israel’s more guarded defense units, with very clear implications about Iran and about Israel’s readiness. Several examples: Satellite imaging is used to zoom into specific locations in Iran while the TV viewer is told where and at what the military is looking. Special forces dispatched in real time, as one watches a live broadcast on Israeli TV. A visit onboard an Israeli submarine a few weeks ago was neither a coincidence nor simply an invitation to dine aboard a (nuclear) submarine.

A special Command formed to fight threats deep in enemy territory, possibly half the way around the world, recently conducted well-covered exercises. The media was conspicuously present.

I am reminded of the time when Defense Minister Barak was the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. One winter-day twenty years ago at the top of the news at high noon, the subject matter of a top-secret analysis was announced: The nuclear threat against Israel.

Much has changed over the last two decades, except players and methods. These remain the same. And so, the above televised “releases” amount to communication between two-equal-weight-opponents. They both carefully monitor whatever is said on the other side and absorb the particular meaning each time.

Clearly, the Israeli establishment is taking the Iranian threat seriously enough. At the moment each side is engaged in posturing, sprinkled with attempt at deceit, alias propaganda, but the real fighting is yet to commence.

Is Israel on edge? Is she alone, against what she perceives to be a very formidable opponent and a real existential threat? No one else in the world seems to understand or care to do anything about Iran.

First, the USA reveled in an annual report that proved the ineptness of those at the State Department. Then the world stood and marveled at Iran’s steadfast admission any nuclear development is for “peaceful purposes only.” Lastly, Iran, the ever-cunning-negotiator-of-a-thousand-years, took things slowly. Why anger or upset a world adamant to ignore reality?

Whether nervous or actually awakening, Israel is reacting to things that until now were conveniently, yet-unwisely, ignored. For everything there is time, and the errors of putting things aside (like bombardment of civilian centers from Gaza or the constant incitement by the Palestinian Authority) are finally deemed dangerous. They cannot be forgiven, forgotten or ignored any more.

Israel must indeed be edgy. Let us look at one of the symptoms. There are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) devoted to translating and bringing the incitement by the Arabs, Israel’s so-called “peace partners,” to the attention of the world and decision makers. These NGOs include The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and others. They are independent of the Government since their funding comes from contributions. The body of work they have produced over the years is substantial, and yet it is only a recent broadcast that caught the attention of Israel’s top leadership.

A clip from January 9th, 2012, on PA TV (Fatah) was highlighted by Dr. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik of PMW. Suddenly they are the center of attention, celebrities-in-the-making, and Prime Minister’s Netanyahu’s media adviser focuses on the newly discovered incitement by the Palestinian Mufti in Jerusalem.

We wrote long ago that private NGOs should not be doing the work of the Israeli Government or the Israel Defense Forces, and that Israel must fight her battles, which she repeatedly refused to do. Now something has changed, and the change is deep and meaningful.

PM Netanyahu says:

“Today, most governments around the world are silent in the face of calls by the Palestinian mufti to kill Jews simply because they are Jews.

“What is most chilling is the fact that there is here a legacy of hatred and annihilation because this mufti is following in the footsteps of that previous mufti.

“Haj Amin al-Husseini was one of the architects of the Final Solution. He traveled to Berlin. He lobbied and implored Hitler, as was stated by Adolf Eichmann’s deputy at the Nuremberg trials, and this is documented in other sources, and persuaded him more than anyone else to carry out the Final Solution. Not to allow the Jews to leave lest they come here but to annihilate them, to incinerate them. He established Balkan Muslim Waffen-SS units.

“He broadcast and preached the annihilation of Jews and, more than anyone else, poisoned Arab leaders against Zionism and against the Jewish People. And here is his successor, today, instead of calling for peace and reconciliation, calling for the annihilation of Jews simply because they are Jews.

“I hear condemnations if there is a house in Gilo or a balcony in Ramot, I hear this from everyone. Where are condemnations of the mufti? Not the previous mufti but the current one?”

For those who follow Israel closely, this is a major earthquake. The Israeli PM instructing the Attorney General to initiate a criminal investigation changes doing nothing into taking action. And Israel has become so comfortable doing nothing, whatever the cost. Bomb our cities; we acquiesce. Burn our products; we are silent. Call for our destruction; wait, let us see how we can help you. Fire missiles at our critical infrastructure; let us ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity to Gaza.

The situation deteriorated to such a point no one took Israel seriously any longer, not even Israel. Yet are we now starting to see a change?

It cannot be the words of Mufti (Muslim clergy) Muhammad Hussein. He only recited the Muslim tradition that states:

“The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.

The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.

Then the stones or trees will call

‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’

Except the Gharqad tree.”

He only connected the Hadith, to modern-day times:

“Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad surrounding the settlements and colonies. This is Palestine, when we talk about it, from the beginning of the Jihad, with the continuation of the Jihad, with the struggle, and with the way of the Martyrs.”

This is indeed Palestine, from the River to the Sea, from Syria and Lebanon to Egypt. There is no Israel, only eternal “Palestine.”

Ancient teachings brought to modern-day Middle East, where Israeli towns and cities are called “settlements and colonies,” homicide bombers and other terrorists are glorified as “martyrs” and for the end of days to materialize, devout Muslims must fight (and kill) the Jews and all non-believers.

Why is anyone surprised? Israelis themselves call Jewish towns and cities throughout Judea and Samaria “settlements.” Israeli artists refuse to appear there, and the government continues to pay them. Israeli professors call to boycott Israel, and their employment is as secure as ever. Israelis prefer to look away as some of their own flock participate in the attempts against Israel’s very existence.

Arab members of the Knesset go along with terrorists and glorify martyrs from the podium at the Knesset. So why would anyone take Israel seriously? She, apparently, is not bothering to do it herself. Even the Prime Minister’s sudden attack has not translated into a global assault by Israel’s Foreign Ministry against the PA and its continued incitement. Another opportunity missed. Alas, the Foreign Ministry is not much different than the State Department.

Something must have changed over the past few weeks. Maybe the Prime Minister is under immense stress, seeing his opponent up close and personal. As they stand facing each other, they and no one else, while the world acts as spectator. The noise in the background was deafening at first, then it was gone altogether. Israel is finally focused, and the threat is real and palpable.

War is about to break out any minute, and we will not be allowed to say, “We did not know” or “We were not ready.” We knew, for a very long time, but we knowingly ignored. Thus, we are not really ready, despite Defense Minister Barak’s posturing.

Ready or not-and pray Israel is indeed ready as its Defense Minister says-Israel is finally forced to face reality. Gather up, Jews and Gentiles alike, for whatever happens in that arena down below will affect everyone around the world. Israel is just the world’s proxy, and Iran is determined to take over.

The end of days is near, and it will be a time when no tree, no stone can hide any Jew. The Jewish People do not need to hide from anyone, for now they have discovered they were actually hiding from themselves. It is time to face the world and fight back against all who want to see Israel eliminated.

Those who wish ill unto Israel beware. She may pay a very dear price, but will survive. You will not. History has taught us this lesson.

In the series “Postcards from Israel,” Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related – the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts – and so is this “point – counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives.