Benjamin Netanyahu recently repeated his call for decisive action against Iran, saying, “We have never had a situation in the history of the world in which a radical regime with a retrograde ideology and apparently known ambitions on the use of force will get access to the weapons of mass death. The coming year or two—this is the timetable we are talking about—will be a pivot of history. (…) If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, then a terribly dangerous threshold will be crossed.”
Today, on Fox News Channel, Netanyahu again firmly linked Gaza, Hezbollah and their funding and arming with Iran, and specifically President Ahmadinejad.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious decree to Muslims around the world on Sunday, ordering them to defend Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks “in any way possible.”
A group of Iranian hard-line clerics is signing up volunteers to fight in the Gaza Strip in response to Israel’s air strikes that have killed at least 300 Palestinians, a news agency reported on Monday.
Time Magazine’s Tony Karon writes: “This is, however, an Israeli election season in which polls show voters moving so quickly to the right that even the hawkish front runner, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, is losing support to parties more extreme than his own.”
By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
Israel Sees Existential Fight: Enemies, Uncertainty All Around
Israel’s Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu attends a party meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem October 27, 2008.REUTERS/Eliana Aponte/Files
Netanyahu said Hamas “commits a double war crime: Attacking [Israeli] civilians and hiding behind [Palestinian] civilians.”
Netanyahu rejected all accusation of using force disproportionately. “Israel is not using even a fraction of its power. The Israeli army is doing what any normal defense force would do.”
“I think all decent people everywhere should back Israel in this just action of self defense,” Netanyahu concluded.
Netanyahu is in an election battle at home in Israel.
From The Jerusalem Post
Among the many negative consequences of the Second Lebanon War in summer 2006 was the distraction it provided from Iran’s nuclear program.Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is ahead of Kadima leader Tzipi Livni in Israel, according to a poll by Maagar Mochot released by Israel Radio. 28 per cent of respondents think Netanyahu is the most appropriate politician to serve as prime minister, while 25 per cent select Livni.
Retired U.S. Army General Bob Scales said on the Fox News Channel that the rockets Hamas is launching into Israel are made in Iran using a Soviet design….
Remnants of several types of rockets. Experts say the country of origin can often be determined from such remains….
An Israeli television poll showed 81 percent of Israelis backed the massive attacks on the coastal strip, ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, in a bid to stop Palestinian militants firing rockets into southern Israel.
Whether Livni can defeat the right-wing leader at the polls may depend on whether Israel achieves its objective without incurring heavy Israeli civilian or military casualties, analysts said.
Both Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak are gambling with their political careers by launching this attack on Hamas, they said.
“If they hadn’t taken action, they would have been finished politically,” though the outcome is uncertain, said Shmuel Sandler of Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv.
He said the Christmas holiday, the global economic crisis and the presidential interregnum in the United States made for good timing for Israel to launch its offensive after Hamas declared its 6-month-old truce with Israel dead on December 19.
“Hamas didn’t understand how they fell into a trap, between Washington not functioning at Christmas and all eyes turned on the world economic crisis,” Sandler said.
Read the rest:
So focused was the international community on 34 days of fighting, and so inarticulate was Israel in explaining that it was (indecisively) confronting the Iranian takeover of southern Lebanon, that Teheran slipped gratefully into the global shadows, there to quietly advance its progress toward the bomb.
Today, there is a danger of the same process repeating itself.
Hizbullah is an Iranian creation. Hamas is not. But it has drawn itself increasingly into Iran’s orbit.
Read the rest:
Iran Diplomat Says Gaza Violence is US Plot Against Islamic World
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)