Since Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s visit to Israel last week, during which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu openly and in Panetta’s presence decried U.S. policy toward Iran as ineffective, Israeli media have been reporting further bitter charges against Washington by Israeli officials.
On Sunday Ynet, website of the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, reported that “the Obama administration’s efforts to calm down the Israeli government on the topic of Iran have not made an impression with Jerusalem decision makers,” and that
Senior officials…leveled severe criticism against the US, declaring that the American position on a date for a military strike against Iran was a “wretched red line.”
“The US’ stance is pushing the Iranians to become a country at the brink [of nuclear capability],” explained sources well versed in the nuclear issue. “The Americans are de facto allowing the Iranians to continue to enrich uranium and become a country at the brink. We are not prepared to allow that [to happen].”
Ynet quotes the officials as saying further:
“The Americans say that the ayatollahs’ decision to construct a bomb is the red line…. Who knows when they’ll decide and what they’ll decide.
“The centrifuges are spinning and the uranium enrichment level is growing significantly over the past few months. The Iranians are not impressed with the threats and continue on their path in spite of the heavy sanctions.”
And on Monday the daily Israel Hayom reported that a senior Foreign Ministry official had “slammed the U.S. administration for refusing to declare the P5+1 talks with Iran a failure.” Those talks have now stalled with no date set for a further round. And yet—centrifuges spinning and all—European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the chief Iranian negotiator have agreed to discuss things again at the end of this month.
“[T]he Iranians,” the Foreign Ministry official told Israel Hayom, “think that they are protected because of the talks,” and “added that many Israeli officials believed the coming elections were the reason behind the U.S.’s refusal to declare that the talks had broken down, as the administration did not want to be responsible for further rises in fuel prices.”
The mood of growing alarm about Iran, and growing frustration over the Obama administration’s failure to deal realistically with the problem, is only exacerbated by mounting global-jihad activity on Israel’s borders.
To the north, on Sunday analysts for the daily Haaretz warned of “growing involvement of Al-Qaida operatives in the fighting against the Syrian army,” with several thousand Al-Qaida fighters now in Syria and some of them “fully cooperating with the rebels’ Free Syrian Army.”
The immediate concern in Israel is that Al-Qaida and other global-jihad terrorists will encroach on Israel’s Golan Heights border with Syria, and the Israeli army has been preparing for that contingency—along with the even graver scenario of Assad’s chemical and biological weapons falling into terrorist hands.
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