Israel is now getting ready, not only to act against Iran, but also to fend off Iran’s friends. History, especially of the Holocaust, drives them more than anything else. But the Egyptians might have brought matters to a head without thinking, when they canceled an energy deal with Israel.
Israel calls up troops
Recently the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (Tzahal), Rav Aluf Benny Gantz, demanded and got from the Knesset the authority to call up 22 battalions of reservists. Earlier this week he called up six of them. Today, WND‘s G2 Bulletin said where Gantz put them. He ordered “most” of them to the Camp David Treaty Line between the Sinai and the Negev, and sent the rest to the Golan Heights, southwest of Damascus.
The Golan Heights, especially the bluff that overlooks Damascus, has always been thick with Tzahal. Last year, they repulsed several Syrian civilians who tried to knock down the fence and cross the 1973 armistice line. But the Tzahal haven’t invested the Negev as heavily. While Hosni Mubarak ran Egypt, the Sinai-Negev border stayed quiet. Now Egypt is in turmoil. A temporary military council runs Egypt now. That council has pulled Egyptian troops back deep into the Sinai. This has left Bedouin and Al-Qa’ida groups free to infiltrate the border and kill and maim Israelis on the Israel side.
So on its face, the Tzahal has good reason to reinforce the Negev. But the reasons might go further than worrying about the Sinai becoming lawless.
Egypt reneges on a deal
Two weeks ago, an Egyptian company canceled a 20-year deal to sell natural gas to Israel. That deal still had 13 years to run. But terrorists groups have blown up the Egypt-Israel gas pipeline fourteen times since the Arab Spring. Now the Egyptians say that Israel has failed to pay for its natural gas for four months running. Israeli officials deny not paying its bill.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted, on the day after Egypt turned off the gas, that Egypt acted out of nothing more than business reasons. But other officials spoke vaguely of bad “implications” for the Camp David Treaty. They probably mean that some candidates for President of Egypt have promised to break that treaty to get votes. Officials at the Israeli company that bought the gas said that they were thinking of suing the Egyptians or pressing them in some other way.
That was two weeks ago. No one has said a word since.
Israel was getting 40 percent of its natural gas through this pipeline. The rest, presumably, comes from a vast new natural gas field in the northeastern Mediterranean that Israel found back in the winter of 2010. Hank Pellisier of the World Future Society suggested in October of 2010 that Israel would have plenty of gas for its own needs and perhaps even enough to export to Greece or Turkey. That is, if its navy could protect those fields from attack.
The Orot Rabin plant in Hadera, along the Coastal Road, can convert between coal and oil. Israel now burns coal there, coal that it buys from Australia and South Africa. (Israel also has three other power plants that burn coal.)
G2 Bulletin speculates that Israel might want to recapture the Sinai to regain control of its oil wells. The Camp David Treaty grants Israel the right of first refusal on oil from those wells. Egypt agreed to this to get the Sinai back. (Israel captured it in the first days of the Six-day War.) But now Egypt has canceled the gas deal, Will they cancel the oil deal next?
But Israel has another, more pressing reason for concern: Iran.
The Iran bomb
The Islamic Republic of Iran has never made a secret of its hatred of Israel or its contempt for diplomatic norms. “Iran won’t play the international-relations game,” said an Army reserve major in 1980, during the “Iran Hostage Crisis.” For years, Iran’s figurehead President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has vowed to “wipe Israel off the map.” The real powers-that-be in Iran, the ayatollahs, have never once censured him for talking that way.
Dwight Kehoe of Tea Party Advocacy Tracking Hub (TPATH) said today that the Jewish state will not wait for the Iranians to fire a missile at them, or to give a bomb to someone else to do the same thing. They will strike Iran, and soon. (Arnaud de Borchgrave said earlier that Netanyahu feels that the American election campaign is the perfect time to strike. In other words, he dares putative President Barack H. Obama to criticize his country for trying to stop another Holocaust.)
Kehoe cites an ex-Marine officer who prefers to stay nameless. This source suggests that Israeli planes will first attack air bases and harbors, to destroy Iran’s ability to answer Israel directly. Then Israel will attack the nuclear laboratories and other development sites. Nor would planes be the only weapons. Commentator Mike Evans said three days ago that the Tzahal navy got a new Dolphin-class submarine, its fourth, from the Germans.
Everyone in Israel knows that the rockets will fly as soon as their own planes take off. That’s why Rav Aluf Gantz wants as many troops as possible, ready to secure all borders, drive deep into the Sinai, and even retake Gaza, at least long enough to destroy Gazan rocket stockpiles and launchers. He might also have to drive into southern Lebanon. Israel has never liked to occupy southern Lebanon for long.
Kehoe suggested that “another oil-producing kingdom, notorious for its fear of Iran,” might join Israel as a co-belligerent in the war to come. The most likely candidate is Saudi Arabia.
CNAV has learned independently that the Tzahal were on more maneuvers than usual, as far back as January of 2012. Could this be why?
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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