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 Will Israel run Obama's red light?

From the Jerusalem Post
February 18, 2010 Thursday 4 AdarI 5770 18:21 IST

Will Israel run Obama's red light on Iran ?

If the US gives Israel a firm red, the gov’t will have to approach the oncoming fateful intersection with extreme caution.

It is symbolic that the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff chose Valentine’s Day to come here to talk about the meaning of the color red. It is a passionate color that can lead to violence and warfare, or it can signal a love that transcends time, a true bond. It is the banner that leads the troops to war; and a warning of danger up ahead. Red is the color of blood, courage and sacrifice, love, life and death.

The thinking within the Israeli military community is that when the chips are down, at the precise moment when Israel believes it has no choice but to attack Iran and no better operational window within which to do it, the US cannot stand in Israel’s way, cannot give Jerusalem a red light.

As so many observers of Israeli drivers’ traffic habits can attest to, a red light does not always mean you can’t drive through it. There are terrible risks involved, there may be collisions, pileups and casualties, but if you need to get to the other side, then nobody is going to stop you. In some parts of the world, you can even turn at red lights if there is no oncoming traffic.

Biden expected in Israel within a month, apparently to discuss Iran

There are some lines allies don’t cross with each other, and there are others that simply need to be crossed, with all the genuine sadness and acceptance of consequences that comes with crossing them. America won’t want Israel to fly through its red light all the way to Natanz, Isfahan and other such sites, placing its troops in the region in danger of Iranian retaliation, and scuttling President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world.

Some say that even if America gave Israel an explicit red light against attacking Iran, and Israel drove through it, nobody would believe that the US hadn’t given Jerusalem a green light, or even a yellow light.

Russia won’t want Israel to fly through its red light to Bushehr, which it is currently building at an enormous profit. Israel won’t want Russia to cross a red light and deliver the fearsome S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to the Iranians. But if the Russians feel that they simply must cross that red light (the Iranians have already paid for the system, at enormous profit to Moscow) then they’ll cross it, and Israel will have to find a way around the S-300, which will be, at the end of the day, just another technical puzzle to solve, like so many others.

But what would happen to US-Israel ties if Israel flew through a US red light to attack Iran’s
nuclear facilities? Not much, according to one school of thought. While officials in the US administration would cry foul and may even impose some penalties, some experts argue that popular American opinion would be understanding of Israel, even sympathetic.

Even were US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf to bear the brunt of an Iranian retaliation over an Israeli attack, most Americans, so the thinking goes, wouldn’t turn that into a major issue. Most Americans are even now oblivious to the fact that 15,000 of their soldiers have launched a massive offensive against the Taliban.

However, many experts believe that Israel will not drive through an explicit American red light. That would simply be too great a risk. If, hypothetically, it did, the consequences would be strategically catastrophic for Israel.

What would happen if Israel violated an American red light may hinge on the results of an attack on Iran. If the attack resembles the 2007 bombing of the Syrian nuclear reactor, which was destroyed, eliciting no Syrian response, the strategic alliance between Jerusalem and Washington may hold firm at some levels, and even recover over time.

However, if the mission is not a clear-cut success, if Iran’s nuclear march is not halted or significantly set back, if the Iranian people unite behind their increasingly illegitimate regime, if Iran strikes out and severely harms American troops in the region, if America’s Gulf allies are overrun and if world oil prices shoot up and stay up, then there is a strong possibility Washington could decide Israel is a country that is not entitled to American support.

Israel could lose its best friend in the world. America could withdraw its support for Israel in the Security Council, where Israel will face severe diplomatic fallout, and even sanctions. America could halt military assistance to Israel. Then we would truly be all alone in the world.

How would Obama react? He has been seeking broad consensus for sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards, which controls Iran’s nuclear weapons program and much of the country’s economy. He wants more time for these sanctions to work. He has just appointed an envoy to the Muslim world to be emissary to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. He has launched an offensive in Afghanistan, is getting increasingly embroiled in Pakistan, and has promised to withdraw American troops from Iraq. He has a lot to lose in an Israeli strike on Iran.

At the end of the day, it may all come down to how clear and explicit the American red light to Israel is. If President Obama looks Prime Minister Netanyahu in the eyes and says, “Absolutely not,” then it will be extremely unlikely Israel will attack Iran. But in politics and diplomacy, there are many different ways of saying no, many different ways of interpreting a “no,” many different shades of red. Sometimes things are not so cut-and-dry, red is not always black and white.

But the parade of US officials here will be reminding their Israeli counterparts that red is a primary color, not made up of some green, some yellow and some white. It is not magenta, it is not crimson. If the Americans give Israel a firm red, in the clearest possible terms, and they really mean it, then there is no room for constructive ambiguity, and those in the driver’s seat of Israel’s car will have to approach the oncoming fateful intersection with extreme caution.

כל הזכויות שמורות © -2009 נט אפיקי תקשורת אינטר מדיה בע”מ

 2010/2/18 19:24

Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3165

 Re: Will Israel run Obama's red light?

. . . red is not always black and white.

This is an interesting statement when one considers the properties of color and light, the blood of Jesus Christ, and the forces of good and evil.

 2010/2/18 20:00Profile

 Re: Will Israel run Obama's red light?

Endgame: a future scenario for Israel

 2010/2/18 20:30

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: Will Israel run Obama's red light?

However, many experts believe that Israel will not drive through an explicit American red light. That would simply be too great a risk. If, hypothetically, it did, the consequences would be strategically catastrophic for Israel.

I love it when "Experts" say things like this. I wonder if they are "Experts" in history, more than likely they are "Experts" in spin.

Uthant (Head of the UN at the time,) Lindon B. Johnson, and many others told Israel they could not retaliate against Nasser and his "vast" Egyptian army. The sentiment of the entire world was against Israel doing anything to defend itself. After months and months of deliberations, the inevitable happened, I am sure all the big movers and players knew in their hearts it would end as it did, Moshe Dayan, Eshkol, Ariel Sharon, Bar-Lev, Rabin, Weisman, and a nation of cornered soldiers brought the thunder to all opposition in only six days during 1967.

The situation is not much different now. When pinned against a pharaoh and a deep wet grave, the Jewish people no longer have a Moses, and a rod, and a way through the red-sea. They have, instead, the cunning, and ravaging might of a starved and cornered lion. If they feel pinned, they will attack. If America refuses to stand with her, they will go against her wishes. They have a drive within them (I believe it to be an ungodly one) but a drive nonetheless to annihilate all opposition to their deterministic reasoning based upon their perceived rights to hegemony.

At this time, Israel drove right through the "red light" America had been putting up for months. When they finally decided to run it, they did so in a Ferrari at full tilt, no regrets, no remorse.

The only difference between then and now? The perceived price for twiddling thumbs at the intersection could be exponentially more costly to them as a people than the intersection in 1967 was.


History is repeating itself again, and "Experts" prove they don't even pay attention to recent history...


I pray for the peace of Christ, through the gospel of our Lord, to crescendo in His fledgling church, such that it would drive these people to jealousy, drive them to their knees...that they might have true peace.

The lack of political peace in the Middle east today is a mirror for the lack of spiritual peace within their hearts.
May we not forget these people in our prayers, and may we live lives worthy of jealousy! Come Lord quickly Maranatha!

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/2/18 23:32Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: Video Link

Endgame: a future scenario for Israel

I just watched that video Natan, and all I have to say is that there is a veritable cauldron of response that desires to erupt from me after watching that. Problem is...I would probably break some forum rules...the commentary by Etgar Keret made my heart break...

When he said that the Jews are not a people but a metaphor...and that historian talked about how the "Christian" love for Israel was only so far as them being slaughtered by the Messiah till they repent...

Ack, this made a mash of my brains. I start to feel as if Art Katz was right about all this more and more each day. When the rubber really meets the road, all the sentimentality in the world is going to be bondless (Richard Perles statements in that documentary are going to be proven very wrong I think.) The diplomatic molecule is going to bust and go nuclear. Sentimentality will not hold protons together any better than "nuclear glue" does when things start splitting.

Truly a cup trembleth.

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/2/19 0:49Profile

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