Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rift widens in Israel over war on Iran

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Friction among Israeli spy officials and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are on the rise over the prospect of a military conflict with Iran.

Israeli Minister for the Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan have both warned Netanyahu that should the regime launch an attack on Iran, more than 1,000 rockets will hit “central Israel for an undetermined period of time” on a daily basis, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.

In a series of remarks in May, the former Mossad chief said that any Israeli aerial attack against Iran's nuclear facilities would be “the stupidest thing,” and warned that any such measure “could start a regional war which will include missile fire from Iran.”

Earlier in the month, a source close to prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's group said Israeli jet fighters had conducted drills at a military base in Iraq in order to strike targets inside Iran.

Dagan also expressed fears that "reckless and irresponsible individuals" within the premier's circle may ignore the US opposition to an attack on Iran and Washington's demand to go ahead with talks with the Palestinian side based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East War.

In reaction to Dagan's assessment, Netanyahu's associates accused the former spy chief of being a “traitor,” “saboteur,” and “gang leader.”

Meanwhile, as apocalyptic messianism is growing stronger in Israel more than any place in the world, Netanyahu has been perceived as the 'messianic core' among extremist Jewish circles.

On June 1st, Netanyahu celebrated the 44th anniversary of "Jerusalem Reunification Day," among the extremist rabbis at Mercaz Harav Kook, a yeshiva and the center of religious settler messianic ideology.

At the ceremony, the premier praised the Harav Kook rabbis, who are mostly notorious for inciting the idea of murdering non-Jews and conducting ethnic cleansing, as “the elite special ops unit that leads [Israel].”

On their part, the rabbis welcomed Netanyahu, who has recently returned from a US visit, as an anointed king, over his refusal to give in to Washington demands to offer advantages to the Palestinian side.

In his May visit to the US, Netanyahu rejected US President Barack Obama's call for withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territories to the 1967 borders.

The Palestinians oppose any Israeli presence in their future state, saying they will ask the United Nations to recognize their independence in September.

The UN General Assembly is expected to discuss the establishment of a Palestinian state in September.

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been on hold since the two sides resumed the talks in Washington in September 2010.

The two sides failed to continue the talks after Tel Aviv refused to extend a 10-month partial freeze on its illegal settlement activities.

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