Saturday, November 01, 2008

Iran edges closer to nuclear weapons

From Associated press, 31/10/08, by GEORGE JAHN [my own emphasis added - SL]:

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Iran has recently tested ways of recovering highly enriched uranium from waste reactor fuel in a covert bid to expand its nuclear program, according to an intelligence assessment made available to The Associated Press.

The intelligence, provided by a member of the 145-nation International Atomic Energy Agency, also says a report will soon be submitted to the Iranian leadership for a decision on whether to go ahead with the project.

... the alleged experiment appears plausible — if not as a fast track to weapons capability then as an incremental step that could move it further along that path.

....The 3-page intelligence report, drawn from Iranian sources within the country, says the source material would be highly enriched — some at above 90 percent, the rest at 20 percent.
In contrast, Iran's enrichment program under constant IAEA monitoring has churned out material that is less than 5 percent enriched, in line with the fuel needs of modern reactors....

...The laboratories and the Tehran Nuclear Research Center, where the research reactor is located, have figured in numerous experiments that have raised the suspicion level about Iran, including plutonium separation attempts that Iran owned up to only after it was pressed by IAEA experts probing its nuclear past.

If the information is accurate then Iran is "trying to get their nose in the tent" of reprocessing material potentially suitable for a warhead, said David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security tracks suspect secret proliferators.

....Both Albright and a senior Vienna-based diplomat agreed that the alleged experiment roughly jibed with Saddam's efforts to chemically process research reactor fuel to recover enriched uranium — in the case of Baghdad, enough and at a sufficiently high level of enrichment to make a bomb.

... Iranian reprocessing plans could be part of Tehran's attempts to push the nuclear envelope.

U.S.-led efforts for swift and tough U.N. sanctions on Iran have been consistently blocked by Russia and China, which have strategic and economic ties to Tehran. It also has support of developing countries traditionally suspicious of Washington.

That has allowed the Islamic Republic to forge ahead with uranium enrichment, defying weak and delayed sanctions and moving further toward developing weapons capability — now anywhere from six months to several years away, depending on the source.

Iran may be banking on further international inaction if it announces it will reprocess spent fuel from the TNRC reactor, perhaps arguing that it will need it as a source for new fuel for that facility .... If allowed to do so, it will have moved another step ahead on the path to being able to develop warhead material.

"It's the idea that Iran wants to slowly develop nuclear weapons capability under the tent and it does it slowly so that people will accept it," said Albright. "It's (a matter of) keeping your head down, moving slowly and deliberately and winning at each step."

Friday, October 31, 2008

'Oldest' Hebrew text found

In case anyone is in doubt about Jewish claims to Jerusalem...see this from, October 31, 2008, by Reuters correspondents in Jerusalem:

ARCHAEOLOGISTS in Israel said today they had unearthed the oldest Hebrew text ever found, while excavating a fortress city overlooking a valley where the Bible says David slew Goliath.

The dig's uncovering of the past near the ancient battlefield in the Valley of Elah, now home to wineries and a satellite station, could have implications for the emotional debate over the future of Jerusalem, some 20km away.

Archaeologists from the Hebrew University said they found five lines of text written in black ink on a shard of pottery dug up at a five-acre (two-hectare) site called Elah Fortress, or Khirbet Qeiyafa.

Experts have not yet been able to decipher the text fully, but carbon dating of artefacts found at the site indicates the Hebrew inscription was written about 3000 years ago, predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by 1000 years, the archaeologists said.

Several words, including "judge", "slave" and "king", could be identified and the experts said they hoped the text would shed light on how alphabetic scripts developed.

In a finding that could have symbolic value for Israel, the archaeologists said other items discovered at the fortress dig indicated there was most likely a strong king and central government in Jerusalem during the period scholars believe that David ruled the holy city and ancient Israel....

..."The chronology and geography of Khirbet Qeiyafa create a unique meeting point between the mythology, history, historiography and archaeology of King David," said Yosef Garfinkel, the lead archaeologist at the fortress site.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Energy as an Element of Israel's National Security

From The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Vol. 8, No. 13, 26 October 2008, by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Minister of National Infrastructures:
  • Israel today is at the height of a revolution whose main focus is the integration of natural gas into the electricity and industrial sectors. The desalination plant in Ashkelon, which is one of the largest in the world, is using natural gas, as is the paper mill in Hadera.
  • Israel is in contact with the government of Turkey regarding the construction of an infrastructure corridor called the Med Stream, which is planned to contain three pipelines. One is for crude oil, meaning that what arrives through the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline or the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline will continue on to Israel. The second pipeline will be for natural gas. The third pipeline could be used for water, electricity, or even fiber optic communications.
  • Israel is one of the leading countries in the world in developing technologies to produce electricity through renewable energy, mostly in the solar field. The National Infrastructures Ministry envisions a plan up to the year 2020 that will guarantee energy in the coming decades based on 40 percent natural gas, 40 percent coal, and up to 20 percent renewable energy.
  • Ahmadinejad with nuclear weaponry means a different Middle East, and the first victim is not going to be Israel. The first victims are going to be Arab countries, the Sunni countries in the Gulf area, Egypt and Jordan. Some of them are the West's best allies, but the West is keeping quiet. The answer to this threat is very clear: cooperation and coordination between all countries, because all of us are going to be targets.
  • If Europe and America want to guarantee their security, then they have to respond to Iran. It doesn't have to be a military response. It's enough that a decision be taken to totally isolate Iran - no import, no export. If this is done, then it will be enough.

To view the full article, click here.

U.N. to Probe Suspected Syrian Nuclear Site

From The Wall Street Journal, OCTOBER 28, 2008:

VIENNA, Austria -- Freshly evaluated soil and air samples from a Syrian site bombed by Israel on suspicion it was a covert nuclear reactor provide enough evidence to push ahead with a U.N. probe, diplomats said Tuesday.

... the diplomats told The Associated Press that the IAEA's final evaluation, completed a few days ago, has the agency convinced it needs to press on with its investigation.

...The U.S. says the facility hit by Israeli warplanes nearly 13 months ago was a nearly completed reactor that -- when on line -- could produce plutonium, a pathway to nuclear arms....

Syria raid killed terrorist leader

From the Miami Herald, Mon, Oct. 27, 2008, by JONATHAN S. LANDAY AND NANCY A. YOUSSEF:

A CIA-led raid on a compound in eastern Syria killed an al-Qaida in Iraq commander who oversaw the smuggling into Iraq of foreign fighters whose attacks claimed thousands of Iraqi and American lives, three U.S. officials said Monday.

The body of Badran Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, an Iraqi national who used the nom de guerre Abu Ghadiya, was flown out of Syria on a U.S. helicopter at the end of the operation Sunday by CIA paramilitary officers and special forces, one U.S. official said.

"It was a successful operation," a second U.S. official told McClatchy Newspapers. "The bottom line: This was a significant blow to the foreign fighter pipeline between Syria and Iraq."

...The three U.S. officials, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity because the operation was classified, declined to reveal other details of the raid. A CIA spokesman declined to comment.

..."He is the guy who produced the most prolific of the foreign fighters networks," said the first U.S. official, adding that the extremists he smuggled into Iraq were responsible for attacks that "killed thousands of Iraqis and our own U.S. forces."

On Feb. 28, the Treasury Department announced a freeze on any U.S. assets belonging to al-Mazidih and three of his associates, charging that they were smuggling "money, weapons, terrorists, and other resources through Syria to al Qaida in Iraq, including to (al-Qaida) commanders."

..."Badran obtained false passports for foreign terrorists, provided passports, weapons, guides, safe houses, and allowances to foreign terrorists in Syria and those preparing to cross the border into Iraq," it said. "As of the spring of 2007, Badran facilitated the movement of AQI operatives into Iraq via the Syrian border. Badran also directed another Syria-based AQI facilitator to provide safe haven and supplies to foreign fighters," the Treasury said. "This AQI facilitator, working directly for Badran, facilitated the movement of foreign fighters primarily from Gulf countries, through Syria into Iraq."

The Bush administration, which for years has expressed frustration over what it charges have been Syria's lackluster efforts to stop foreign Islamic fighters from crossing into Iraq, refused to publicly acknowledge the operation.

...Pentagon officials were tight-lipped about the operation. But they were quick to defend the decision to cross the border, with one saying that if nations that sponsor terrorist networks won't go after them, "we will."

...The Iraqi government defended the raid. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said that Syria had refused to hand over foreign fighters who'd taken refuge there after killing 13 Iraqi border guards....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is America really going to do this?

From The Spectator, Friday, 24th October 2008, by Melanie Phillips [with my own emphasis added - SL]:

...the prospect of an Obama presidency is giving ...many people nightmares.... if he wins, US defences will be emasculated at a time of unprecedented international peril and the enemies of America and the free world will seize their opportunity to destroy the west.

... the only way to assess their position is to look at each man in the round, at what his general attitude is towards war and self-defence, aggression and appeasement, the values of the west and those of its enemies and – perhaps most crucially of all – the nature of the advisers and associates to whom he is listening. As I have said before, I do not trust McCain; I think his judgment is erratic and impetuous, and sometimes wrong. But on the big picture, he gets it. He will defend America and the free world whereas Obama will undermine them and aid their enemies.

Here’s why. McCain believes in protecting and defending America as it is. Obama tells the world he is ashamed of America and wants to change it into something else. McCain stands for American exceptionalism, the belief that American values are superior to tyrannies. Obama stands for the expiation of America’s original sin in oppressing black people, the third world and the poor.

Obama thinks world conflicts are basically the west’s fault, and so it must right the injustices it has inflicted. That’s why he believes in ‘soft power’ — diplomacy, aid, rectifying ‘grievances’ (thus legitimising them, encouraging terror and promoting injustice) and resolving conflict by talking. As a result, he will take an axe to America’s defences at the very time when they need to be built up. He has said he will ‘cut investments in unproven missile defense systems’; he will ‘not weaponize space’; he will ‘slow our development of future combat systems’; and he will also ‘not develop nuclear weapons,’ pledging to seek ‘deep cuts’ in America’s arsenal, thus unilaterally disabling its nuclear deterrent as Russia and China engage in massive military buildups.

McCain understands that an Islamic war of conquest is being waged on a number of diverse fronts which all have to be seen in relation to each other.

For Obama, however, the real source of evil in the world is America. The evil represented by Iran and the Islamic jihadists is apparently all America’s fault. ‘A lot of evil’s been perpetuated based on the claim that we were fighting evil,’ he said. Last May, he dismissed Iran as a tiny place which posed no threat to the US -- before reversing himself the very next day when he said Iran was a great threat which had to be defeated.

He has also said that Hezbollah and Hamas have ‘legitimate grievances’. Really? And what might they be? Their grievances are a) the existence of Israel b) its support by America c) the absence of salafist Islam in the world. Does Obama think these ‘grievances’ are legitimate?

To solve world conflict, Obama places his faith in the UN club of terror and tyranny, which is currently fuelling the murderous global demonisation of Israel for having the temerity to defend itself and is even now preparing for a rerun of its own anti-Jew hate-fest of Durban 2, which preceded 9/11 by a matter of days.

McCain understands that Israel is the victim rather than the victimiser in the Middle East, that it is surrounded by genocidal enemies whose undiminished intention is to destroy it as a Jewish state, and that is both the first line of defence against the Islamist attack on the free world and its most immediate and important target.

Obama dismisses the threat from Islamism, shows zero grasp of the strategic threat to the region and the world from the encirclement of Israel by Iran, displays a similar failure to grasp the strategic importance of Iraq, thinks Israel is instead the source of Arab and Muslim aggression against the west, believes that a Palestinian state would promote world peace and considers that Israel – particularly through the ‘settlements’ – is the principal obstacle to that happy outcome. Accordingly, Obama has said he wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders – actually the strategically indefensible 1948 cease-fire line, known accordingly as the ‘Auschwitz borders’.

Obama would thus speak to Iran’s genocidal mullahs without preconditions on his side (the same mullahs have now laid down their own preconditions for America: pull all US troops out of the Middle East, and abandon support for ‘Zionist’ Israel) but has said he would have problems dealing with an Israeli government headed by a member of Israel’s Likud Party.

In similar vein, it is notable that Obama opposed the congressional resolution labelling the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization, which passed the Senate by a wide margin with support from both parties. And had he had his way, there would have been no ‘surge’ in Iraq and America would instead have run up the white flag, with the incalculable bloodbath and strengthening of the jihad that would have followed.

Obama assumes that Islamic terrorism is driven by despair, poverty, inflammatory US policy and the American presence on Muslim soil in the Persian Gulf. Thus he adopts the agenda of the Islamists themselves. This is not surprising since many of his connections suggest that that the man who may be elected President of a country upon which the Islamists have declared war is himself firmly in the Islamists’ camp.

Daniel Pipes lists Obama’s extensive connections to Islamists in general and the Nation of Islam in particular, and concludes with this astounding observation:

Obama's multiple links to anti-Americans and subversives mean he would fail the standard security clearance process for Federal employees. Islamic aggression represents America’s strategic enemy; Obama’s many insalubrious connections raise grave doubts about his fitness to serve as America's commander-in-chief.
The hatred that these Islamist connections entertain towards Israel is reflected amongst Obama’s own advisers. With one notable exception in Dennis Ross, whose late arrival in Camp Obama suggests a cosmetic exercise designed to allay alarm among Israel supporters, his advisers are overwhelmingly not only hostile to Israel but perpetrate the loathesome canard that Jews have too much power over American policy.

The former Carter adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, for example, not only denounced Israel’s war against Hezbollah thus:

I think what the Israelis are doing today [2006] for example in Lebanon is in
effect– maybe not in intent – the killing of hostages
but also supports Mearsheimer and Walt’s notorious smear that the Jews have subverted America’s foreign policy in the interests of Israel.

Merrill McPeak, vice chairman of Obama’s campaign and his chief military adviser, has similarly blamed problems in the Middle East on the influence of people who live in New York City and Miami (guess who) whom no ‘politician wants to run against’ and who he says exercise undue influence on America’s foreign affairs.

Most revolting of all is Samantha Power, a very close adviser whom Obama fired for calling Hillary a ‘monster’ but who says she still expects to be in Obama’s administration. Not only has Power has advocated the ending of all aid to Israel and redirecting it to the Palestinians, but she has spoken about the need to land a ‘mammoth force’ of US troops in Israel to protect the Palestinians from Israeli attempts at genocide (sic) -- and has complained that criticism of Barack Obama all too often came down to what was ‘good for the Jews’.

There are, alas, many in the west for whom all this is music to their ears. Whether through wickedness, ideology, stupidity or derangement, they firmly believe that the ultimate source of conflict in the world derives at root from America and Israel, whose societies, culture and values they want to see emasculated or destroyed altogether.

They are drooling at the prospect that an Obama presidency will bring that about.

The rest of us can’t sleep at night.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Demographic implosion in Muslim societies


... the UN Population Division reports a sharp decline of fertility rates (number of births per woman) in Muslim and Arab countries, excluding Afghanistan and Yemen.

The myth of "doubling population every 20 years" has been shattered ....

...The director-general of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, stated, during a UNESCO conference on "Population: From Explosion to Implosion," that "there is an abrupt slowdown in the rate of growth... also in many countries where women have only limited access to education and employment... There is not the slightest reason to assume that the decline in fertility will miraculously stop just at replacement level (2.1 births per woman)... Before 2000, the young always outnumbered their elders; for some years now it has been the other way around."

THE collapse of fertility rates in Muslim countries is a derivative of modernization and Westernization, rapid urbanization and internal security concerns by dictators fearing the consequences of the widening gap between population growth and economic growth. As a result, the UN Population Division has reduced its 2050 population projections by 25 percent, from 12 billion to 9 billion, possibly shrinking to 7.4 billion.

For instance, the fertility rate in Iran - the flagship of radical Islam - has declined from nine births per woman, 30 years ago, to 1.8 births in 2007. The Muslim religious establishment has also played a key role in decreasing fertility rates in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, from eight and seven births per woman 30 years ago, to less than four and less than 2.5 respectively in 2007.
Jordan, which is demographically close to Judea and Samaria, and Syria have demonstrated a diminished fertility rate: from eight, 30 years ago, to less than 3.5 in 2007. A substantial dive of fertility rates in Muslim countries - trending toward two births per woman - is documented by the Population Resource Center in Washington, DC.

...THE Bennett Zimmerman-led American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG) has documented a similar demographic trend among the Arab population of Judea and Samaria (currently four births per woman, and trending downward).

...The sharp lowering of fertility rate among "Green Line" (pre-1967 Israel) Arabs, from nine births per woman in 1969 to 3.5 in 2007, has been the outcome of their successful integration into Israel's education, employment, commerce, health, banking, cultural, political and sports infrastructures. The annual number of Arab births stabilized at approximately 39,000 between 1995-2007. The Arab fertility rate converges swiftly toward the Jewish fertility rate (2.8 births per woman).

ON the other hand, Israel's Jewish demography has been non-normative as far as the impact of education and income levels on the level of fertility rates is concerned. The annual number of Jewish births (including among those immigrants from the former USSR who have yet to be recognized as Jews by the rabbinate) rose by 40% between 1995-2007.

The number of Jewish births has increased from 69% of total births in 1995 to 74% in 2006 and 75% in 2007. The secular sector - and particularly the immigrants from the former Soviet Union - has been by and large responsible for such an impressive rise.

The Jewish demographic tailwind is bolstered by the (highly under-utilized) potential of immigration - which has increased due to the global economic collapse - from the former USSR, the US, West Europe, Latin America, South Africa, etc.

Recent demographic trends bode well for the solid, long-term Jewish majority of 67% within the "Green Line" and in Judea and Samaria, compared with a 33% and 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and 1900 respectively between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

Israel's policy-makers and public opinion-molders should base their assessments on thoroughly-documented demographic optimism and not on baseless demographic fatalism, in order to avoid erroneous assumptions, which yield erroneous and self-destructive policy decisions.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama lead drops to 5 points

From Reuters, Sun Oct 26, 2008, by Andrew Quinn:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama's lead over Republican rival John McCain has dropped to 5 points, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Sunday.

Obama leads McCain by 49 percent to 44 percent among likely U.S. voters in the daily tracking poll, which has a margin of error of 2.9 points. Obama's lead has dropped over the last three days after hitting a high of 12 points on Thursday.

...Obama, 47, took the lead in most national polls in recent weeks as the financial crisis and plunging stock market seized center stage ahead of the November 4 election.

McCain, 72, appeared slow to respond to Obama's financial message but in recent days has ramped up the economic themes of his own campaign. On Saturday the Arizona Republican warned voters of the dangers of what he termed a Democratic take-over in both the White House and Congress.

Obama has countered by seeking to link McCain's proposals to the policies of outgoing Republican President George W. Bush, who fares very poorly in public approval surveys.
Obama's lead among voters making less than $35,000 per year remains substantial at a little over 70 percent. But McCain, who had previously scored well only with the highest income brackets, now holds slight leads among voters in all income groups starting at $35,000 and above.

"You've got to think that it is tax-and-spend that concerns them. Is McCain starting to connect with the middle class?" [pollster John] Zogby said.

Obama still had solid, if slightly diminished, leads among two important groups which could play pivotal roles in the November 4 election. Among independents he had a 14 point lead, down from a peak of 29 points. Women also still backed Obama by a 14-point margin, down from 20 points late last week.

McCain, who once had a 4-point deficit among male voters, now has a 4-point lead at 48-44 percent. And whites back McCain by a 12-point margin, up from 6 points on Friday....

Livni to call elections

From Ynet News, 25/10/08, by Attila Somfalvi:

Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni expected to inform President Shimon Peres Sunday that she has failed in forming new government; following intense consultations with aides, foreign minister to call general elections...

Testing Obama's mettle

From THE JERUSALEM POST Oct. 24, 2008, by Caroline Glick:

... This week, Obama's running-mate Senator Joseph Biden gave Obama supporters a good reason to change their minds.

In much-reported remarks to campaign donors in Seattle on Sunday, Biden warned that if Obama is elected to the White House, it will take America's adversaries no time at all to test him. In his words, "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama…. The world is looking…. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate....And he's gonna need help….We're gonna need you to use your influence…within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

...In speaking as he did, Biden essentially acknowledged three things.
First, he recognized that Obama projects an image of weakness and naiveté internationally that invite America's adversaries to challenge him.
Second, by stating that if Obama is tested a crisis will ensue, Biden made clear that Obama will fail the tests he is handed as a newly inaugurated president. After all, when an able leader is tested, he acts wisely and secures his nation's interests while averting a crisis.
Finally, Biden made clear that Obama's failure will be widely noted, and hence, "it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

...Unfortunately, it appears that Biden knows exactly what he is talking about.

Take Iran for example. Obama has stated outright that if he is elected US president he will offer to conduct direct negotiations with his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions. Yet two weeks ago...Iranian Vice President for Media Affairs Mehdi Kalhor stipulated that Iran will only agree to meet with a US leader after America has bowed to Teheran's will. ...Iran has since done its best to make its preconditions palatable for an Obama administration. This it has done by claiming that it will not attack the US, it will only attack Israel.

Just after Kalhor's interview, Seyed Safavi, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told a diplomatic audience in London that Iranian leadership circles are now debating the option of attacking Israel without attacking US forces in the region. Safavi added that chances for direct negotiations between the US and Iran will increase if Obama is elected. Alluding to Kalhor's remarks, Safavi claimed that sanctions against Iran have failed and that if the US expects Iran to stop enriching uranium, it will have to take "firm and significant" steps in Iran's direction.

Then on Wednesday, in a visit to US-ally Bahrain, the speaker of the Iranian parliament Ali Larijani gave Obama the regime's official endorsement. Larijani said, "We are leaning more in favor of Barack Obama because he is more flexible and rational."

Iran's pre-US election behavior indicates that Iran will waste no time testing Obama's mettle. Iran is behaving as if it fully expects Obama to do what his supporter Rev. Jesse Jackson expects him to do. That is, like Jackson, Iran expects Obama to end "Zionist control" of US foreign policy. And to aid the process, the Iranians are willing to leave US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan alone as they attack Israel with their nascent nuclear arsenal shortly after Obama is inaugurated.

In his remarks on Sunday Biden made clear that he does not believe that Obama will agree to use the US military to confront Iran or any other enemy. His rejection of the use of force is not due to a sense that force is not necessary. Rather it is due to his dim assessment of America's military capabilities. In his words, "We do not have the military capacity, nor have we ever, quite frankly, in the last 20 years, to dictate outcomes. … It's so much more complicated than that. And Barack gets it."

Given the Democratic ticket's belief that the US military is too weak to protect American interests, it could be expected that Obama and Biden would support strengthening the US military. But the opposite is the case. Obama has called for slashing the US military budget, cutting back the US's anti-missile programs and scaling back drastically the US nuclear arsenal. That is, although Obama has claimed that he will never take the option of the use of force off the table, by refusing to strengthen the US military which he perceives as weak, he is making certain that the US military option is ineffectual.

...Iran will likely be the first US adversary to test Obama. And Obama will have no idea what to do. While Obama has stated repeatedly that a nuclear-armed Iran is a "game-changer," Obama's own rule book for international relations has no relevance for dealing with Iran's game.... he has given them reason to believe that under his leadership, the mullahs can defeat America.

AMERICA STANDS to elect its new president in times of nearly unprecedented dangers. Iran is on the threshold of nuclear weapons. Thanks to the Bush administration, North Korea now feels free to vastly expand its nuclear proliferation activities. Oil rich states like Venezuela, Russia and Iran recognize that with global oil prices decreasing, now is the time to strike before they are impoverished. And the international economic turmoil will cause Western nations to recoil from international confrontations and so embolden rogue states to attack their interests.

For Israel, this state of affairs could not be more dire....