Haaretz Calls on Peres to Torpedo Iran Attack
By Richard Silverstein
Oren’s column marks the 55th anniversary of the opening of the 1956 Sinai War. This was a military enterprise in which Shimon Peres, along with Moshe Dayan and David Ben Gurion (Peres’ political patron) played decisive roles. From Israel’s point of view there were numerous successes and failures. But among the latter was this:
This reminds us, that while Iran is certainly no representative of the Arab spring, an Israeli attack upon it will certainly arouse the combined ire of the entire Arab world and place Israel even more firmly among those resisting the forces of history which have swept the region and toppled authoritarian regimes.
The Haaretz columnist also points out that Israel went to war with Britain and France as partners, but without the foreknowledge or support of the U.S. This was a fateful mistake as Pres. Eisenhower became enraged at the military adventure and demanded that conditions be returned to status quo ante, which is more or less what happened. Today, Israel can no longer play this sort of game. It has no military partners as it did in 1956 and the U.S. is its only remaining ally. Without U.S. support or at least connivance, Israel will be hard-pressed to act.
The benefit to Bibi in this case is that Obama is no Ike. He has neither the stature nor the military command experience to face down Bibi if the latter decides to go for broke. So the question is whether Leon Panetta gave Israel a green, yellow or red light (as Bush gave Olmert) regarding Iran when he discussed an attack on his last visit. It may perhaps be in realization of this fact that Oren turns to the grey eminence, Peres, to stop the future war (Haaretz’s English translation is defective in the last paragraph, so I’ve partially used it and fixed the errors below):
Amir Oren is a reporter who enjoys speaking in elaborate allegorical terms especially involving secret intelligence or military operations and so the fact that he uses the theatrical metaphor here is natural. But an Israeli friend notes that the “dress rehearsal” above could very likely refer to actual military maneuvers meant to simulate and prepare for an Iran attack. Israel is known to have done such a preparatory operation a few years ago around the time that Meir Dagan says he talked the ministers out of initiating such an attack. So the likelihood of such a military rehearsal now is very real. The timing would still allow Israel to send its F-16s to bomb Iran before the heavy rains and cloud cover of the Persian Gulf winter sets in, making such an operation less feasible.