Jan 09

- More Israel disclosures in Snowden’s trove of ‘significant stories’ – Greenwald (RT, Jan 7, 2013):

Glenn Greenwald, the investigative journalist who first published Edward Snowden leaks, said that the NSA whistleblower still has “a huge number of very significant stories to reveal,” including those relating to Israel.

“There definitely are stories left that involve the Middle East, that involve Israel. The reporting is going to continue at roughly the same pace that has been happening,” the former Guardian journalist said in an interview with Channel 10 television station that aired Monday night.

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Jan 12

- Olmert raps Netanyahu for wasting billions on Iran hallucinations (PressTV, Jan 12, 2013):

Former Israeli premier has criticized hawkish Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for wasting billions of shekels for preparing futile war plans against Iran.

“In the past two years we have spent more than 11 billion shekels on security hallucinations that were not performed and will not be performed,” Ehud Olmert said in a Friday interview with Israeli television network Channel 2 News.

“They scared the world for a year and in the end didn’t do anything,” charged Olmert, referring to Netanyahu’s war rhetoric against Iran’s civilian nuclear program during the past months.

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Oct 18

- U.N. Human Rights Council endorses Gaza war crimes report



Added: 16. Oktober 2009

On 15 October 2009, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came to give the annual King Abdullah II Leadership Lecture at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

Outraged that a man responsible for war crimes in Palestine and Lebanon that killed more than three thousand people during his term of office, community members confronted Olmert inside the lecture hall effectively preventing him from delivering his speech.

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Feb 24


Palestinian civilians and medics run to safety during an Israeli strike over a UN school in Beit Lahia, Gaza (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

White phosphorus bombs used by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip were produced and supplied by American arms manufacturers, according to an Amnesty International report that called for a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel.

The report documented dozens of weapons used by Israel and Hamas during the three-week offensive, concluding that both groups had carried out attacks on civilians constituting war crimes punishable by international law. The UN Security Council should impose an embargo until a mechanism was established to ensure that military equipment was not used to carry out such violations, said Amnesty.

Donatella Rovera, who headed the Amnesty fact-finding mission, said that the group had systematically collected and catalogued shells across Gaza, and traced serial numbers back to factory production lines in the US.

“All of the evidence points to the failure of America to exercise due oversight of what they sell to Israel, which is in breach of their own laws… which require that weapons will not be sold to a country where they will be misused. And the manner in which these weapons were used in Gaza is a war crime.”

The human rights group said that weapons experts in Gaza found white phosphorus artillery shells marked M825 A1 – a US-made munition – throughout the coastal strip. The Times published photographic evidence that Israel was using the M825 A1 shells on January 8. At that time, Israeli military spokesmen denied that the weapon was being used, saying: “This is what we call a quiet shell – it has no explosives and no white phosphorus”.

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Jan 16


A UN foreign worker runs outside the UN warehouse in Gaza City after it was hit by Israeli strikes

ISRAELI shells set ablaze a food warehouse at UN headquarters in Gaza yesterday, destroying tons of emergency rations intended for needy Gaza civilians, a senior UN official said. A pall of black smoke rose from the UN compound, visible across Gaza City. Flour spilled on the ground and mixed with soot as Palestinian firefighters tried to douse the flames.

“The main warehouse was badly damaged by what appeared to be white phosphorus shells,” UN humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes said at a news briefing in New York.

“Those on the ground don’t have any doubt that’s what they were. If you were looking for confirmation, that looks like it to me.” The compound belongs to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (Unwra).

The rights group Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using white phosphorus, which can create smoke screens or mark targets but also makes a devastating incendiary weapon.

Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said the military fired artillery shells at the UN compound after Hamas militants opened fire from the location, a version of events John Ging, director of Unwra in Gaza, rejected as “nonsense”

Mr Ging said Israeli shells first hit a courtyard filled with refugees, then struck garages and the UN’s main warehouse, sending thousands of tons of food aid up in flames. Later, fuel supplies ignited, sending a thick plume of smoke into the air.

“It’s a total disaster for us,” said Mr Ging, adding that the UN had warned the Israeli its shelling put the compound in danger.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, who is in the region to encourage a ceasefire, demanded a “full explanation” and said the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, had told him there had been a “grave mistake”.

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Jan 13

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said a telephone call he made to U.S. President George W. Bush last week forced Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a U.N. vote on the Gaza war, leaving her “shamed.”

Pouring on political bravado in a speech late Monday, Olmert said he demanded to talk to Bush with only 10 minutes to spare before a U.N. Security Council vote Thursday on a resolution opposed by Israel calling for an immediate cease-fire.

“When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the U.N. resolution … I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech,” Olmert said.

“I said, ‘I don’t care. I have to talk to him now,’” Olmert said, describing Bush, who leaves office on January 20, as “an unparalleled friend” of Israel.

“They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, ‘You can’t vote in favour of this resolution.’ He said, ‘Listen, I don’t know about it, I didn’t see it, I’m not familiar with the phrasing.’”

Olmert said he then told Bush: “‘I’m familiar with it. You can’t vote in favour.’

“He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it — a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and manoeuvred for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged,” Olmert said.

Fourteen of the Security Council’s 15 members supported the resolution, which has failed to halt Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip and Hamas’s cross-border rocket fire.

Olmert, under police investigation over alleged corruption, resigned as prime minister in September but is serving in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed after Israel’s February 10 parliamentary election. Continue reading »

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Jan 03

Israel’s government has approved the call-up of tens of thousands of reservist soldiers, it was annnounced Saturday, almost simultaneously with the launch of a Gaza ground incursion aimed at halting rocket fire on Israel’s southern communities.

Related articles:
- Bush clears way for Israeli ground operation, updates Obama
- Israel launches ground operation in Gaza Strip
- Barak: Gaza invasion won’t be short, and it won’t be easy
- Hamas: Gaza will become graveyard for Israeli troops
- EU presidency: Israel ground op in Gaza ‘defensive not offensive’

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office said in a statement that, in accordance with a secret cabinet discussion Friday, the government ordered the armed forces “to draft the necessary reservists, on a scale of tens of thousands of troops.”

The Gaza ground operation launched Saturday had actually been approved last week, but Olmert promised his ministers that when the time came to begin the offensive, it would first be brought for fresh approval by the security cabinet. On Thursday night, Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a meeting that lasted until 4 A.M., during which it was decided that that time had come.

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Jan 03


Final preparations by Israeli troops

DEBKAfile‘s Washington source report that in a telephone conversation with prime minister Ehud Olmert, US president George W. Bush okayed Israeli air, sea and ground operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He promised the US would veto a resolution condemning Israel at the UN Security Council meeting next Monday. Early Saturday morning, Jan. 3, Day 8 of Israel’s Gaza operation, US and British media described the Israeli invasion as hours away.

In his weekly radio address – brought forward by a day, the US president spoke with exceptional firmness: “Another one-way ceasefire that leads to rocket attacks on Israel is not acceptable,” he said. “This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas – a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction.”

He noted that “Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a coup and routinely violated an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire…” and went on to define the exit point for Israel’s military operation:

“Promises from Hamas will not suffice,” he said. There must be “monitoring mechanisms in place to help ensure that smuggling of weapons to terrorist groups in Gaza comes to an end.”

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Dec 30

A column of Israeli armored vehicles is deployed in a farmer's field Tuesday near the Gaza border.
A column of Israeli armored vehicles is deployed in a farmer’s field Tuesday near the Gaza border.

GAZA CITY (CNN) — Israel’s fourth day of attacks in Gaza sent the Palestinian death toll to more than 375 as the Jewish state’s prime minister warned Tuesday that the air offensive marked only the beginning, according to officials.

“We are currently at the first stage of the operation,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told President Shimon Peres during a morning briefing, officials said.


Related article: World rallies around Palestinians amid Gaza offensive


A girl in Caracas, Venezuela, holds a sign reading, “No more massacre in Gaza” at Israel’s embassy Monday.


Olmert’s summation came a day after Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel’s parliament that the campaign launched Saturday marked an “all-out war” against Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza. Continue reading »

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Dec 28

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) — Israel’s cabinet agreed to call up as many as 7,000 army reservists, signaling that two days of air raids on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip may be followed by a ground invasion to halt rocket attacks.

“This will be a long, difficult and painful operation,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told ministers in Jerusalem today, according to Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel, before the call-up was approved by a committee of parliament.

As many as 285 Palestinians have been killed in the raids, the deadliest such attack since the 1967 Six-Day War. Israel began the bombardment yesterday after dozens of rockets were fired by Islamic militants at its southern towns following the Dec. 19 expiration of a six-month cease-fire with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Warplanes today struck Hamas government offices in Gaza and 40 tunnels dug under the border with Egypt to bypass an Israeli blockade.

“It is clear to everyone that there is no way to end this without some sort of ground offensive,” Shmuel Bar, director of studies at the Institute for Policy and Planning at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center in Israel, said of the call-up. “This is one of the lessons learned from the second Lebanon War, that air strikes alone cannot prevent missile or rocket attacks.”

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Dec 05

Media Release Jun. 13, 2007

The Mumbai based group alleged that Al-Qaeda is a front organization of CIA and MOSSAD. “There is enough evidence that the Al-Qaeda is a front organization of the CIA and MOSSAD.

The Bush junta has used the bogey of terror and of Al Qaeda to justify his unending and ever expanding Global War on Terror, which is only a means of capturing the resources of the world and of establishing the sole hegemony of Israel in West Asia,” said the group of activists and intellectuals.

The group is holding a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday to “expose the links between Al-Qaeda and the CIA-MOSSAD”.

Holding American-Israeli operation accomplices of the 9/11 attack on the WTC, the spokesman of the group said that this has been widely written about in USA and Europe itself and more than 50% of the American people and far more Europeans, now believe and are convinced about this fact.

He said that sections of the Indian ruling political and military elite are importing the same Bush-Olmert formula into India. “The increasing terror attacks only serve the cause of the Indian elite and divide the masses along communal lines.

It is only the ordinary Indians who are the victims of terror either in temples, mosques, buses or trains,” he said adding that practically no political leader suffers a similar fate, where the terrorists are apprehended and killed in “encounters”.

“Every terror attack is meant to push and drag the Indian masses further into the waiting arms of Uncle Sam and the Israeli Goliath.

Every terror attack spreads further hatred for Muslims and Islam and weakens the Indian Muslim community,” he said.

Source: India Daily

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Nov 25


British journalist and peace activist Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of Palestinian development envoy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair visits a family in the Rafah refugee camp, south Gaza on Sep. 14. Booth arrived in Gaza on a boat carrying human rights activists protesting against an Israeli blockade. (UPI)

GAZA CITY, Gaza — Half of Gaza’s bakeries have closed down and the other half have resorted to animal feed to produce bread as Israel’s complete blockade of the coastal territory enters its 19th day.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon alarmed at the escalating humanitarian crisis called incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week and demanded that he lift the blockade.

Following the continued closure, the secretary-general reiterated his appeal on Friday but to no avail.

Karen AbuZayd, commissioner-general for the U.N.’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which supports Palestinian refugees, warned that a humanitarian “catastrophe” loomed if Israel continued to prevent aid from reaching Gaza.

“It’s been closed for so much longer than ever before. We have nothing in our warehouses. It will be a catastrophe if this persists; a disaster,” said AbuZayd.

AbuZayd added that the human toll of this month’s closure of the territories was “the gravest since the early days of the second intifada or Palestinian uprising.

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Nov 21


The White House, announcing the meeting with Mr Olmert, gave little indication that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions would be at the top of the agenda

President Bush is to hold White House talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday after publication of a nuclear watchdog’s report this week showing that Iran may have stockpiled enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb.

The International Atomic Energy Agency believes that Iran has amassed 630kg of low enriched (=useless) uranium, up from 480kg in late August. Some experts believe this is enough to produce the weapons-grade material needed for a crude nuclear device similar in size to that which America used to destroy the city of Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.

Sean McCormack, the US State Department spokesman, said: “It’s concerning. This is a matter that will be taken up next week at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting.” Asked if Tehran now had sufficient material to build a bomb, he suggested that there were different opinions. “Some said it was enough; others said it was not enough, but close,” said Mr McCormack. “In any case, you don’t want Iran to get close.”

In its report, the IAEA said that Iran was working hard roughly to double its number of operating centrifuges. European diplomats say that Iran might have 6,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of the year – and plans to install another 3,000 early next year.

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Oct 05


A nuclear weapon will not give Iran ‘immunity’ from an Israeli strike, Kouchner warned

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warned that Israel would strike archfoe Iran before it was able to develop nuclear weapons, in comments published on Sunday.

“I honestly don’t believe (a nuclear weapon) will give any immunity to Iran,” Kouchner said in an interview conducted in English with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper during a two-day visit to the region.

“First, because you will hit them before. And this is the danger. Israel has always said it will not wait for the bomb to be ready. I think that (the Iranians) know. Everyone knows.”

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Sep 21

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel’s scandal-tainted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned on Sunday, setting the stage for weeks of more political turmoil as the horse-trading begins to form a new government.

Olmert , who is battling a swathe of corruption allegations, handed a brief letter to President Shimon Peres announcing that “in line with his commitments, he is submitting his resignation,” the president’s office said.

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Sep 08

JERUSALEM – The Israeli police on Sunday recommended indicting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on charges including bribe-taking, fraud and breach of trust.

The recommendation, which followed a corruption investigation that unfolded over several months, has no legal weight of its own. The decision whether to charge the prime minister lies with the attorney general, Menachem Mazuz. It is likely to come in a few weeks, after Mr. Olmert has been granted a hearing. Mr. Olmert’s lawyers immediately issued a statement that the police recommendation had “no meaning.”

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Sep 07

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel allowed Palestinian security forces in the West Bank to receive a shipment of about 1,000 Kalashnikov rifles and tens of thousands of bullets in a step aimed at bolstering the moderate Palestinian government there, an Israeli defense official said Friday.

Shipments of this type remain sensitive for Israel because weapons provided to Palestinian security forces during peace talks in the 1990s were used against Israelis when those talks broke down in violence in 2000. But balancing those concerns are fears that if moderate forces are too weak they might lose control of the West Bank to Hamas, the hardline Islamic group that seized power in the Gaza Strip last year.

The weapons shipment reached the Palestinians through Jordan about one week ago, the Israeli official said. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arranged the transfer when they met August 31, he said.

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Jul 13

As Tehran tests new missiles, America believes only a show of force can deter President Ahmadinejad


President George W Bush: US officials acknowledge that no American president can afford to remain idle if Israel is threatened

President George W Bush has told the Israeli government that he may be prepared to approve a future military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities if negotiations with Tehran break down, according to a senior Pentagon official.

Despite the opposition of his own generals and widespread scepticism that America is ready to risk the military, political and economic consequences of an airborne strike on Iran, the president has given an “amber light” to an Israeli plan to attack Iran’s main nuclear sites with long-range bombing sorties, the official told The Sunday Times.

“Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you’re ready,” the official said. But the Israelis have also been told that they can expect no help from American forces and will not be able to use US military bases in Iraq for logistical support.

Nor is it certain that Bush’s amber light would ever turn to green without irrefutable evidence of lethal Iranian hostility. Tehran’s test launches of medium-range ballistic missiles last week were seen in Washington as provocative and poorly judged, but both the Pentagon and the CIA concluded that they did not represent an immediate threat of attack against Israeli or US targets.

“It’s really all down to the Israelis,” the Pentagon official added. “This administration will not attack Iran. This has already been decided. But the president is really preoccupied with the nuclear threat against Israel and I know he doesn’t believe that anything but force will deter Iran.”

The official added that Israel had not so far presented Bush with a convincing military proposal. “If there is no solid plan, the amber will never turn to green,” he said.

There was also resistance inside the Pentagon from officers concerned about Iranian retaliation. “The uniform people are opposed to the attack plans, mainly because they think it will endanger our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the source said.

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Jul 12

6700 Tons of Radioactive Debris Shipped From Kuwait to Idaho
The shipment across the ocean, unloading at Longview, Washington State port, transport by rail, and burial in Idaho endangers not only the residents of these areas but poses a significant agricultural threat through introduction of pests, microbes, etc. foreign to our nation.

Doug Rokke, Ph.D. – BLN Contributing Writer

(Note: Dr. Doug Rokke is the former Director of the U.S. Army’s Depleted Uranium Project. It was his task to clean up the radioactive battlefields of the Gulf War. Today, this leading opponent of nuclear warfare is vitally concerned that sand contaminated by radioactive munitions exploded in the Middle East has been shipped to Idaho for burial. And more, much more. He asked me to call his warning to public attention.)

During the summer of 1991, the United States military had collected artillery, tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, conventional and unconventional munitions, trucks, etc. at Camp Doha in Kuwait.

As result of carelessness this weapons depot caught fire with consequent catastrophic explosion resulting in death, injury, illness and extensive environmental contamination from depleted uranium and conventional explosives.

Recently the emirate of Kuwait required the United States Department of Defense to remove the contamination. Consequently, over 6,700 tons of contaminated soil sand and other residue was collected and has been shipped back to the United States for burial by American Ecology at Boise Idaho.

When Bob Nichols, an investigative journalist, and I contacted American Ecology we found out that they had absolutely no knowledge of U.S. Army Regulation 700-48, U.S. Army PAM 700-48, U.S. Army Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278, and all of the medical orders dealing with depleted uranium contamination, environmental remediation procedures, safety, and medical care .

They had never heard of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for dealing with mixed – hazardous waste such as radioactive materials and conventional explosives byproducts. (reference “Approaches for the Remediation of Federal Facility Sites Contaminated with Explosives or Radioactive Wastes”, EPA/625/R-93/013, September 1993).

The shipment across the ocean, unloading at Longview, Washington State port, transport by rail, and burial in Idaho endangers not only the residents of these areas but poses a significant agricultural threat through introduction of pests, microbes, etc. foreign to our nation.

Sadly the known adverse health and environmental hazards from uranium weapons contamination are in our own backyard. The EPA has listed the former Nuclear Metals- Starmet uranium weapons manufacturing site in Concord Ma. On EPA’s Superfund National Priority List because it poses a significant risk to public health and the environment.

Related articles:
- Over 70,000 deaths, and over 1 million disabilities among American soldiers attributed to Iraq Wars says U.S. government data
- IRAQ: ‘Special Weapons’ Have a Fallout on Babies
- War-related birth defects in Fallujah
- Cheney can only call Iraq a success if he has a mindset like Hitler
- Wartime PTSD cases jumped roughly 50 pct. in 2007
- Soldier suicides could trump war tolls: US health official
- The Weapon of Mass Destruction Is Cancer

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Jul 08

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran will hit Tel Aviv, U.S. shipping in the Gulf and American interests around the world if it is attacked over its disputed nuclear activities, an aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

“The first bullet fired by America at Iran will be followed by Iran burning down its vital interests around the globe,” the students news agency ISNA quoted Ali Shirazi as saying in a speech to Revolutionary Guards.

The United States and its allies suspect Iran is trying to build nuclear bombs. Tehran says its program is peaceful.

“The Zionist regime is pressuring White House officials to attack Iran. If they commit such a stupidity, Tel Aviv and U.S. shipping in the Persian Gulf will be Iran’s first targets and they will be burned,” Shirazi was quoted as saying.

Shirazi, a mid-level cleric, is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards.

The Iranian nation will never accept bullying. The Iranian nation is a nation of believers which believes in jihad and martyrdom. No army in the world can confront it,” he added.

In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokesman, Mark Regev, declined to comment on the threat to hit Tel Aviv, saying only: “Shirazi’s words speak for themselves.”

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Jul 08

Related articles:
- Ron Paul: Nancy Pelosi pulled Iran bill on orders of Israel
- Ex-weapons inspector says Iran not pursuing nukes, but U.S. will attack before ‘09
- Senate report exposes key role of the Israel lobby in fomenting war with Iran
- A Declaration of U.S. Independence from Israel
- And the winner is … the Israel lobby
- US Congress approves Israel aid increase

Jews in Palestine stirring up War

Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Minister of Defense:

“On the same US trip, Mr. Mofaz told a pro-Israeli lobby group that a nuclear Iran was “intolerable.” “The implicit message of his statements was that if the Iranian nuclear program is not stopped in the next number of months, Israel will have to take action of its own – perhaps even to attack – to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into Iranian hands,” analyst Amir Rappaport wrote in the Ma’ariv newspaper.” (Nicole Gaouette ‘Israel: Iran is now danger No. 1′); “In November, Israeli media reported that Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, on a trip to Washington, told US officials that “under no circumstances would Israel be able to abide by nuclear weapons in Iranian possession.”

” Israeli Minister of Defense, Shaul Mofaz, affirmed that in view of Teheran’s nuclear plans, Tel Aviv should “not count on diplomatic negotiations but prepare other solutions”.” (James Petras ‘Israel’s War Deadline: Iran in the Crosshairs’). A month later, “Israel’s defense minister hinted Saturday that the Jewish state is preparing for military action to stop Iran’s nuclear program, but said international diplomacy must be the first course of action. “Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing,” Shaul Mofaz said.” (Talk of military action in Iran standoff’); “And Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz went further, speaking directly to Iran’s president: “I address you as someone who leads his country with an ideology of hate, terror, and anti-Semitism. I suggest you look at history and see what happened to others who tried to wipe out the Jewish people. … Israel is not prepared to accept the nuclear arming of Iran, and it must prepare to defend itself, with all that implies.” ” (Quoted in Patrick J Buchanan ‘Bush’s Dilemma: Iran vs. Israel’); “Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was asked whether Israel was ready to use military action if the Security Council proved unable to act against what Israel and the West believe is a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program. “My answer to this question is that the state of Israel has the right give all the security that is needed to the people in Israel. We have to defend ourselves,” Mofaz told Reuters after a meeting with his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung.” (Louis Charbonneau ‘Israel will have to Act on Iran if UN Can’t').

Uzi Arad, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy:

“Iran has a clandestine nuclear program that is very ambitious,” says Uzi Arad, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy in Herzilya. “That country thinks big and fast and … poses a threat that is very real. Should it acquire nuclear weapons or even come close, it would completely alter the Middle East. It’s a very ominous threat.” (Nicole Gaouette ‘Israel: Iran is now danger No. 1′)

Meir Dagan, director of Mossad:

“Meir Dagan, director of Israel’s external intelligence agency, the Mossad, told a parliamentary committee this month that Iran posed an “existential threat” to Israel, according to the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. He reportedly assured committee members that Israel could deal with this threat.” (Nicole Gaouette ‘Israel: Iran is now danger No. 1′)

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Jun 28

(The economy is falling apart, the former middle class is living in their cars, the U.S. are broke but….

The US Congress has approved a 170 million dollar increase in security assistance to Israel as part of its new 10-year, 30 billion dollar defense aid commitment to the Jewish state.

The money for Israel was part of a larger supplemental spending bill that included 162 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation gained final approval in a 92-6 Senate vote late Thursday.

America’s pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, welcomed the congressional action, saying it would increase US aid to Israel to 2.55 billion dollars in fiscal year 2009, up from 2.38 billion dollars this year.

“The US commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge is the cornerstone of American policy in the region,” AIPAC said in a statement Friday.

…and this is how Israel will spend the money:

- Israel flexes muscles with Iran attack drill

- Israel launches ‘Iran Command’ for war

- A human rights crime in Gaza By Jimmy Carter

- Israeli siege leads to soaring anemia in Gaza newborns

- Israel Causes UN Food Aid Relief For Gaza to Halt

- U.N. chief condemns Israel after Gaza clash

…What should be done? Michael Scheuer, Former Head of the CIA Bin Laden Unit:

- ISRAEL is NOT WORTH A SINGLE AMERICAN LIFE OR DOLLAR

- The Infinite Unknown)

“This year’s package holds heightened significance for US security interests, as the US and Israel face new challenges from Iran’s drive to acquire nuclear weapons as well as the growing influence of radical anti-western forces to Israel’s south in Gaza and to the north in Lebanon.”

The package was unveiled by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on July 30 as part of a new military pact with US allies in the Middle East in a bid to “counter the negative influences” of militant groups Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah as well as arch enemies Iran and Syria.

The aid includes a 20 billion dollar weapons package for Saudi Arabia, a 13 billion dollar package for Egypt, and reportedly arms deals worth at least 20 billion dollars for other Gulf states.

The military aid to Israel reflected an increase in value of more than 25 percent, Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said, describing the package as a considerable improvement and very important element for national security. Continue reading »

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Jun 21

Israeli aircraft have conducted a long-range mission designed to prepare for a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and to send a message to the world that it is ready to take military action if diplomacy fails to halt Tehran’s atomic programme.

An Israeli political official familiar with the drill, held early this month, said that the Iranians should “read the writing on the wall . . . This was a dress rehearsal, and the Iranians should read the script before they continue with their programme for nuclear weapons. If diplomacy does not yield results, Israel will take military steps to halt Tehran’s production of bomb-grade uranium.”

Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that he would be forced to leave his position if Iran were attacked. “A military strike, in my opinion, would be worse than anything possible,” he told al-Arabiya television station. “It would turn the region into a fireball.It will mean that Iran, if it is not already making nuclear weapons, will launch a crash course to build nuclear weapons with the blessing of all Iranians, even those in the West.”

Western states suspect Iran of secretly aiming to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran insists that its nuclear facilities are intended to produce electricity.

More than a hundred Israeli F16 and F15 fighter jets took part in manoeuvres over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece to prepare for possible long-range strikes. The central command for the Greek Air Force said yesterday that it had taken part in “joint training exercises” with Israel near Crete. Continue reading »

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Jun 19

ISRAEL’S Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has warned the radical Islamic movement Hamas that the truce due to take effect today is the last chance to avoid a massive military incursion into the Gaza Strip.

In an exclusive interview with the Herald – his first interview with the Australian media in four years – Mr Olmert said the people of Gaza were “pissed off with Hamas” and sick and tired of the years of violence.

Since Israel withdrew from Gaza three years ago, the 250,000 residents who surround Gaza have been subjected to almost daily rocket attacks from Palestinian militants.

“You think the people of Adelaide would put up with this?” demanded Mr Olmert. “Or the people of Brisbane?

“I think the strategy of Hamas, which does not want to recognise Israel’s right to exist in the first place, and the extremism, and the fanaticism, and the religious dogmatism is the enemy of peace. We are at the end of our tolerance with regard to terror in Gaza.”

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Jun 18


The Israeli Air Force is known for its “inventive solutions to military problems,” says Bruce Riedel, a Middle East expert who has strong contacts to Israel. “Israeli military planners tell me it is mission doable.”

The Israeli government no longer believes that sanctions can prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. A broad consensus in favor of a military strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities — without the Americans, if necessary — is beginning to take shape.

Dani Yatom, a member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, was invited to attend a NATO conference in Brussels last year. While reviewing the agenda, Yatom, a retired major general, was surprised to see that the meeting was titled “The Iranian Challenge” and not “The Iranian Threat.”

When a speaker with a French accent mentioned that a US military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities would be the most dangerous scenario of all, Yatom said, politely but firmly: “Sir, you are wrong. The worst scenario would be if Iran acquired an atom bomb.”

Yatom, 63, has spent most of his life in the military. He was a military adviser to former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and, in the mid-1990s, was named head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. Nevertheless, Yatom, a member of the Labor Party, is not some reckless hawk. Unlike most Knesset members, he flatly rejects, for example, a major Israeli offensive against the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

But Yatom’s willingness to strike a compromise ends when he is asked what he considers to be the best response to the Iranian nuclear program. “We no longer believe in the effectiveness of sanctions,” says Yatom. “A military operation is needed if the world wants to stop Iran.”

When Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former defense minister, expressed similar sentiments 10 days ago, they were viewed, especially in Europe, as the isolated opinions of a card-carrying hardliner seeking to score points with the electorate in a bid to succeed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. In truth, however, there is now a consensus within the Israeli government that an air strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities has become unavoidable. “Most members of the Israeli cabinet no longer believe that sanctions will convince President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to change course,” says Minister of Immigrant Absorption Yaakov Edri.

The one question over which Israel’s various political groups disagree is the timing of an attack. The doves argue that diplomatic efforts by the United Nations should be allowed to continue until Iran is on the verge of completing the bomb. That way, Israel could at least argue convincingly that all non-military options had been exhausted. Continue reading »

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Jun 13

JERUSALEM – Six months ago, after American intelligence agencies declared that Iran had shelved its nuclear-weapons program, the chances of a U.S. or Israeli military strike on the Islamic Republic before President Bush left office seemed remote.

Now, thanks to persistent pressure from Israeli hawks and newly stated concerns by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the idea of a targeted strike meant to cripple Iran’s nuclear program is getting a new hearing.

As Bush travels across Europe to gain support for possible new sanctions against Iran, Israeli leaders have been working to lay the psychological foundation for a possible military strike if diplomacy falters.

In public threats and private briefings with American decision-makers, Israeli officials have been making the case that a military strike may be the only way to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Temperatures are rising,” said Emily Landau, an Iran specialist at the Institute for National Security Studies, an independent Israeli research center.

Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have met twice in recent weeks for extended talks on Iran. America’s intelligence chief, Mike McConnell, has traveled to Israel for private briefings, and Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz publicly declared that a military strike on Iran may be “unavoidable.”

In Germany on Wednesday, Bush said that “all options are on the table” if Iran doesn’t abandon its uranium enrichment programs.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad greeted Bush’s initiative by mocking the latest international efforts. Continue reading »

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Jun 09

Israeli army officials told the Jerusalem Post news paper that the Israeli government will conduct a medium range ground offensive targeting Gaza before any truce deal with the Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza takes effect.

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert - File 2008
Israeli PM Ehud Olmert

The officials said that it’s likely the operation will be approved this coming Tuesday during the meeting between the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his defense Minister Ehud Barak.

According to army officials, Israel does not want to appear weak, by accepting the truce deal while Palestinian resistance groups are still firing home made-shells from Gaza toward nearby Israeli areas. Continue reading »

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Jun 08

Gaza decision in days

Army is ready for Gaza operation, waiting for Olmert to make final decision

“The sand in the hourglass is running out,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised Thursday in a meeting with municipal leaders in the Gaza region.

His words could be understood to mean that a significant IDF operation in Gaza is in the cards, and that we are not talking about months or weeks from now, but rather, something that will take place within days. The military blow, he said, will come before the lull.

Barak is attempting to blur his message and refrain from giving Hamas any clues, but it appears he already decided – even before the cabinet meeting and consultations with other ministers – that a truce with Hamas without a military blow that precedes it is no longer a realistic option.

It appears that on this issue he is in agreement with the prime minister. The IDF chief of staff also decided that there is no other way but a military operation, even though the political leadership is unable to point to a required diplomatic achievement that would stem from this high-risk military move.

The army would perhaps prefer air attacks accompanied by some ground operations against a very large number of Hamas targets. Yet this is not very realistic, because for such activity to take place military intelligence and the Shin Bet are supposed to provide hundreds of high-quality targets, and this, how shall we put it, is not quite working out.

What is left is to take over problematic areas on the ground, using the air power lever, in the hopes that developments would not require a reserves call-up and full occupation of the Strip.

On Thursday, we still saw contacts between the Defense Ministry and the Egyptians regarding the answers Israel is supposed to provide to the truce offer and regarding a trip by top defense official Amos Gilad to Egypt. For the time being, Gilad is not going anywhere, Hamas is not giving any good reason to believe in the truce, and the IDF is on alert ahead of various types of operations in the Strip.

We are talking about phased activity, the plans are in place, and the army is practicing at this time. If the activity expands to occupying significant parts of the Strip for long periods of time there is also a plan for a reserves call-up.

Hamas must be laughing

The IDF is prepared to engage in fighting vis-à-vis Gaza within a short period of time. What are we waiting for? Why does it have to take days? We’ve already been there. Bush came and went, and the 60th birthday celebrations are over. So what’s the excuse now for not taking off the gloves against Gaza? The Shavuot holiday? Indeed, that’s a good reason not to spoil the people’s mood and the trips to the Negev. But Shavuot will be followed by summer vacation and then by Rosh Hashana. We can always find reasons to postpone tough decisions.

(Madness alive and well. – The Infinite Unknown)

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Jun 08

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) – Iran demanded action from the U.N. Security Council about an Israeli threat to attack its nuclear sites if it continues uranium enrichment, according to a letter released on Saturday by Iranian U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee.

Israeli Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz was quoted on Friday in an Israeli newspaper saying that an attack on Iran looks “unavoidable” given the apparent failure of sanctions to deny Tehran technology with bomb-making potential.

“Such a dangerous threat against a sovereign state and a member of the United Nations constitutes a manifest violation of international law and contravenes the most fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and, thus, requires a resolute and clear response on the part of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council,” Khazaee’s letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, dated June 6, said.

Iran has defied Western pressure to abandon its uranium enrichment projects, which it says are for peaceful electricity generation.

Tehran has also threatened to retaliate against Israel, believed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal, and U.S. targets in the Gulf, if there is any attack on Iran.

Mofaz’s threat against Iran was the most explicit from a member of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government, which has preferred to hint at a possible use of force. Continue reading »

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Jun 07

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites looks “unavoidable” given the apparent failure of sanctions to deny Tehran technology with bomb-making potential, one of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s deputies said on Friday.

If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective,” Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

“Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable,” said the former army chief who has also been defense minister.

It was the most explicit threat yet against Iran from a member of Olmert’s government, which, like the Bush administration, has preferred to hint at force as a last resort should U.N. Security Council sanctions be deemed a dead end.

(If Israel attacks Iran then Israel has intentionally started World War III.
Prepare yourself NOW:
“Solution” – The Infinite Unknown)

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