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The Wages of Weakness
More Hawk Talk out of Israel

On Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did a 180 and announced that he is now leaning toward unilateral military action against Iran’s nuclear program. Yesterday brought news that the IDF has allocated $2.89 billion toward preparation for a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities in 2014. Earlier today, during a talk with high-school students, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz took the podium to talk about the preparations already underway :

 “I did not even mention the dozens of secret activities, some of which took place last week, and [some] just as we speak,” he said. ”I am talking about close range operations and long-range ones — Iran, and so on. These are not areas that are beyond the IDF’s reach.”

The remarks were recorded and broadcast by Israel’s Channel 10 News.

The TV report asserted that Gantz’s comments represented a first “definitive” acknowledgment that Israel is capable of military intervention in Iran and constituted a hint from the chief of General Staff that this kind of activity was already happening. The station’s military correspondent added that “thousands of people” are involved daily in operations—mainly involving intelligence-gathering, but also involving elite army units—aimed at preventing Israel’s enemies from arming, putting them on the defensive, preventing attacks, and notably “preventing Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities.”

Seasoned observers of Israeli behavior say that it’s when they are not talking that they are about to do something. But this past week’s statements and reports are certainly signposts on a road that ends, at some yet unspecified point in the distance, with a strike on Iran.

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  • Blaton Hardey

    Let’s not be foolish and over-interpret every little thing going on or not going on in Israel. There’s virtually nothing new in this news item. Pep-talk to high school students is not a declaration of war.

    • Curious Mayhem

      But public talk like this ends Israel’s 15-year deference to the US on this matter. Israel will figure out whatever is in its interest and do it. The US, including the empty suit in the White House, will learn of it like the rest of us, on the news.

      • Blaton Hardey

        Sort of. But for the past 2+ years Israeli ground forces have operated extensively in Lebanon and Syria and they didn’t ask for US green light. They just allowed the Americans to know about these ops. IDF relations with the US are very.. weird. Not as much trust as you would think.

  • Pete

    Can Israel pull anything significant off?

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