WILL ISRAEL ATTACK IRAN? Must read story in the Sunday New York Times

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UPDATED: The Sunday New York Times magazine has published a must-read story by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, one of the most respected Israeli journalists following the Iran story over several decades. It is headlined, “Will Israel Attack Iran?” Bergman’s conclusion: “After speaking with many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012. Perhaps in the small and ever-diminishing window that is left, the United States will choose to intervene after all, but here, from the Israeli perspective, there is not much hope for that. Instead there is that peculiar Israeli mixture of fear — rooted in the sense that Israel is dependent on the tacit support of other nations to survive — and tenacity, the fierce conviction, right or wrong, that only the Israelis can ultimately defend themselves.”

Excerpts from the article’s first page:

  • As the Sabbath evening approached on Jan. 13, Ehud Barak paced the wide living-room floor of his home high above a street in north Tel Aviv, its walls lined with thousands of books on subjects ranging from philosophy and poetry to military strategy. Barak, the Israeli defense minister, is the most decorated soldier in the country’s history and one of its most experienced and controversial politicians. He has served as chief of the general staff for the Israel Defense Forces, interior minister, foreign minister and prime minister. He now faces, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and 12 other members of Israel’s inner security cabinet, the most important decision of his life — whether to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran. We met in the late afternoon, and our conversation — the first of several over the next week — lasted for two and a half hours, long past nightfall. ‘This is not about some abstract concept,’ Barak said as he gazed out at the lights of Tel Aviv, ‘but a genuine concern. The Iranians are, after all, a nation whose leaders have set themselves a strategic goal of wiping Israel off the map.’….
  • Netanyahu and Barak have both repeatedly stressed that a decision has not yet been made and that a deadline for making one has not been set. As we spoke, however, Barak laid out three categories of questions, which he characterized as ‘Israel’s ability to act,’ ‘international legitimacy’ and ‘necessity,’ all of which require affirmative responses before a decision is made to attack:
  • 1.) Does Israel have the ability to cause severe damage to Iran’s nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project? And can the military and the Israeli people withstand the inevitable counterattack?
  • 2.) Does Israel have overt or tacit support, particularly from America, for carrying out an attack?
  • 3.) Have all other possibilities for the containment of Iran’s nuclear threat been exhausted, bringing Israel to the point of last resort? If so, is this the last opportunity for an attack?
  • For the first time since the Iranian nuclear threat emerged in the mid-1990s, at least some of Israel’s most powerful leaders believe that the response to all of these questions is yes….

I would urge you to read the whole story, pray over it, share it with friends and discuss its implications. It’s that important. It reads, in part, like portions of The Tehran Initiative — but this is real life, and it is very sobering.

NOTE: I’m in Jacksonville, Florida, today at a national pastors conference. During the final session which begins at 5pm eastern, I will give the final message on “The Pastor and the Future”. My text will be Daniel chapter 5, “the handwriting on the wall” and I’ll be speaking on the lessons we can draw from the prophecies about Daniel and how to apply them to the handwriting on the wall we currently see with regards to the mounting tensions between Israel and Iran, and the growing risk of the American economy and society imploding. In that context, I’d be grateful for your prayers and later I’ll post my notes for the message.

ALSO WORTH NOTING: An important story in the London Telegraph: Iran moving closer to stage where it will be too late to destroy nuclear facilities, Israel warns; Iran is moving closer to the point when it will be too late to destroy its nuclear facilities with a precision air strike, Israel’s defence minister has warned”



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