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The writing is on the wall. The same international community that sanctioned the last war against Iraq (based on institutional originated disinformation and bypassing the UN) would need to lead one against Israel. That is, if it wasn’t want to be considered hypocrite. After all, the Goldstone Report – now accepted by the UN Human Rights Commission – defined Israel as a terrorist organization in article 1690 (and others).
Some would ask “how come a Christian is writing about a war?” Sometimes the task of a Christian is to point out the truth, to say what will happen if God is not accepted; the personal price he’ll pay for that is of no consequence. So, this article is not a call for war, but a call for Israeli citizens to repent, to understand the wrong they are committing daily, to stop it and to indemnify its victims properly. Otherwise? Probably the war abovementioned would take place.
How would such a war look? That’s the topic of this article. As with my article about “MI5, CAZAB and Israel” I am in danger of falling into certain legal traps that may harm my refugee status; thus I’ll refer to public information where possible and to my military analysis capabilities gained through my training as an IDF officer. In no place I’ll use factual information gained in my service as an officer. Having served in various strategic units can become a drawback later in life. Wherever I cannot expand on facts or the reasoning process, I’ll place an asterisk (*).
The IDF has an image of strength. Reality is different. Those judging weapons by their number commit a serious error; an intentional one as part of the IDF intimidation tactic is: “we have hundreds of American fighters, you can’t win.” Mmm... Let’s see the real picture; what are the IDF weak points:
-. An army too big for its country. A “rush hour” effect during the organization of the army for a war would transform most main roads into a long caravan of useless steel. We have all seen pictures of unmoving Israeli tanks on the Lebanese mountainous roads. Moreover, tanks within Israel are transported on semi-trailers and are thus dead weight.
-. Narrow corridors force the army to move through certain roads. I did write recently about the importance of Ariel in the defense of a second corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
-. One continuous front. This can be solved with a Vertical Bypass (*), but the last can be blocked.
-. Hostile islands in the form of Palestinian cities demanding a strong policing presence of the IDF.
-. Strategic concentration of forces in a few central points. (*)
-. Limited amounts of weapons; without a massive infusion of American armaments during a total conflict the IDF can fight only a given amount of days. (*)
-. Outdated Equipment. Several of the IDF divisions use obsolete equipment and their capability to move is close to zero. (*)
-. Inflated statistics. Many reserve soldiers wouldn’t arrive if called in an emergency. The IDF is smaller than it looks. (*)
-. Structural weak points. Israeli weapons suffer of intrinsic weak points The Merkava Tank weak points were publicly disclosed in their failures in Gaza. An article I published about Dow Chemical illustrates other points.
-. The Israeli Air Force is portrayed as the strongest arm of the IDF. In 2006 the IDF was for the first time in many years under the command of an air force officer. He didn’t trust the “greens” (Hebrew slang for ground forces) and kept them on hold while he sent the “blues” – the air force – to ruthlessly attack Lebanon. In parallel, he found time to call his broker and sell his entire portfolio in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, causing an additional embarrassment to the Israeli administration. The entire operation failed miserably. The Israeli air force is built for single tactical strikes and not for strategic fighting against highly dispersed ground forces. After the first surprise, the air attacks become an annoyance but not an impassable frontier. In any case Israel’s fuel reserves are vulnerable. (*)
-. Cultural weak points. Many Israeli citizens oppose the Zionist regime. They would appear at a conflict point blocking the regime operations in a myriad of ways, even by just walking away.
From here onwards, the plans for such an event seem easier that when looking at propagandistic sources claiming Israel has the Xth strongest army in the whole world (next they’ll claim that’s true for the whole galaxy).
How would an international army approach such an event? Most probably by attacking several points at once. A maritime landing nearby Netanya would dissect the country in two at its narrowest point is an obvious beginning. Two special forces would concentrate on the main general headquarters of the army – concentrating in their isolation rather than their destruction. (*) A few strategic junctions – especially the one in the north which is the IDF weakest point (*) and Glilot, where the Mossad and other units are located – would be locked with the use of a few snipers or other force multipliers (*). Bab el-Wad – the narrowest point on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway – would also be an obvious target. Other weak points exist (*)
American weapons convoys would be blocked by targeting the Haifa Port – the largest in the country – rather than by attacking the American ships. An international force entering from Jordan into the Jezreel Valley and advancing rapidly to the port may achieve that easily, as well as blocking the Northern Command organization activities (*). Attacking the Northern Command itself is useless (*), but isolating it is rather doable.
Under such dramatic conditions the IDF may change its operational plans (*) and make a painful decision. The Southern Command may be ordered to give up the Negev Desert and concentrate on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway and in the northern side of the Gaza Strip. This Command may be the first one to collapse (*) offering comfortable access to the international army forces entering from southern Jordan.
Can this plan succeed? This depends on the scenario chosen. If catching Israel by surprise, it’ll collapse in hours. Considering the time it takes recruiting and organizing an international army that is an improbable case. The other is building up the force slowly while Israel spends out its reserves. The Israeli society cannot survive without American grains and fuel. Blocking the ports and building up the ground forces in the surrounding countries may result in fantastic results, maybe even to an unconditional surrender of the terrorist Zionist regime before even one bullet is shot.
In the first article of this series I commented on a possible result of Israel being recently defined as a terrorist organization by the Human Rights Commission of the UN. An international army could be sent – as it was to Iraq – in an attempt to stop the atrocities of the Zionist regime and to restore democracy to the area. It was shown that if well organized such an effort has large probabilities of success, while inflicting a minimum of damages to human lives.
Yet, Israel owns an impressive amount of chemical industries. If ignoring their locations and specific dangers, such a force may cause a chemical disaster of astounding dimensions. This article is an introductory one to the topic, commenting on the dangers only in general lines.
The largest dangers are concentrated in two zones, both of them densely populated: Haifa and Beer Sheva. Haifa is home to the Oil Refineries, the Gadot Chemical Port and various industries. The docks of Gadot hold large quantities of highly reactive chemicals at all times, especially for the plastic and agrochemical industries. Its location implies the whole of the Haifa Bay could be contaminated if the containers were harmed to the extent of stopping the port activities at all, or at least limiting them seriously.
Wait a minute… did I say Oil Refineries? Does Israel have oil wells? Not exactly. During the days of the British Mandate on Palestine, there was an oil pipe from Iraq to Haifa, marked in old maps with an “H.” It still exists and is strategically important (*) though it is inactive. However, the refineries are very active. What’s the economic point of importing crude oil and distilling it for local consumption? That’s not the point – the financial side seldom is the key when dealing with Israel. Oil refineries use mono- di- and tri- ethanol amines in the oil purification process. Does this list ring a bell? Triethanolamine – usually known as TEA – is a precursor of chemical weapons and is smuggled out from the refineries to other industrial locations. The spilling of these and other chemical products stored and used in refineries may cause a serious ecological disaster. The adjacent streams are already heavily polluted; many soldiers from the marine commando suffer of cancer due to their training sessions in these waters.
Still related to the oil industry are the vast subterranean reservoirs of military and civilian grade gasoline. If spilled they could contaminate the limited water subterranean wells under the West Bank. Access to these waters is one of the main drives of Israel for holding empty mountainous areas along the Samarian mounts. The extensive use of these waters in recent years caused a serious lowering of their levels, transforming the surrounding ground (i.e. the whole of central Israel) into a highly thirsty sponge readily absorbing any liquids, and increasing thus the rate of the contamination process in the case of a spill.
The industries in Beer Sheva include mainly those related to by-products of salts extracted from the Dead Sea by the Dead Sea Works – formerly known as the Palestine Potash Company. The salts are used for the production of agrochemical products and for the bromine related industries, mainly for the production of fire retardants. Most synthetic carpets in the world use fire-retardants produced here. The extraction of the salts is done on the southern side of the Dead Sea, where all the evaporation pools can be seen, but its chemical processing is done in several plants in the outskirts of Beer Sheva. There, two corporations make the processing: Makhteshim-Agan for the agrochemical products and ICL (Israel Chemical) for the bromine industry. Even those knowing very little chemistry know bromine is highly reactive and poisonous; the same goes for fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. That means unusual quantities of pollutants are produced and stored next to the city.
Yet, the danger here is unexpectedly large since the Makhteshim plant (Makhteshim and Agan are two different companies in the corporation owned by Koor and each has its own plant) produces methyl isocyanate.
What’s methyl isocyanate? This extremely toxic substance is used in the production of pesticides. It became famous during the night of December 3, 1984, when it was spilled in the Bhopal installations of a company now owned by Dow Chemical. Defined as the worst industrial disaster in history, it caused the death of thousands, many more were crippled and the ground is still contaminated there. Dow Chemical learned nothing; it is a major provider of Oil Refineries, Makhteshim, Agan and ICL via the Jacobson Agencies in Hertzeliya Pituach. More details on this appear in my book The Cross of Bethlehem.
At all times, there are hundreds of kilograms of this substance waiting for further process at the Makhteshim plant.
Is this the whole picture? Hardly so, Israel has the potential of becoming the scene of the worst industrial disaster, overtaking Bhopal by several orders of magnitude.
Ha-Yarkon Street and Black Sheep
In my actual country of residence they have problems understanding many Biblical stories. For them, the Jordan River equals the Amazon, while the Negev Desert is probably as big as the Sahara. Biblical Jerusalem is in their eyes as large as modern New York. The truth is that crossing the Jordan with a boat would be difficult, unless you find a short enough one. Including a coffee break, you can walk across Biblical Jerusalem in an hour. The Negev can be divided into many different regions, each one unique and… tiny. In the central areas of the country, one city ends where the next one begins.
Israel is doll-sized. Every geographical region is petite. Changes are abrupt and often. The small distance separating the steamy Mediterranean coast from Jerusalem’s January snows is just sixty kilometers. These pose a complex reality for large military maneuvers, as the IDF has found time and again. A rush hour roadblock of tank carrying semi-trailers is a sight comic in its absurdity.
Valleys are narrow. Only three are wide enough to allow good highways: the Jordan valley up to Kiryat Shmona, the Jezreel Valley and the coastal plains adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. Only the last features highways, two parallel ones to be exact. The duplicity is not casual, if one is destroyed the second would still allow the desperate move of Israeli forces. Moreover, one of them may become an IDF emergence runway if a military airport is badly damaged.
This is a though reality. Only one army can control the ground, there is no enough room for two of them. One may control a spot and the second may be fighting for it, but that's the maximal extent of sharing the limited space allows. A violent decision would take place. Technically there are columns (a unit composed of several divisions); in practice they can't move. Technically there are open spaces; in practice all of them have adjacent control points. Technically the IDF controls the strategic points; in practice it is a very heavy sitting duck.
Listing the strategic points is easy, just find the entry and exit junctions along the country's main routes. Foolishly, Israel placed major strategic bases next to them. These can be destroyed or blocked from several thousand miles. Mystified Israeli soldiers would shoot M16 American or oxidized Galil (Israeli Kalashnikov’s clones) guns at intercontinental ballistic missiles; that is if they'll spot them before they hit ground.
This article is about strategic routes in and to Israel. Technically, Israel is an American island in Southwestern Asia and depends on American ships and in Zim for its supply of food and weapons. The blocking of its main port can be achieved chemically; this was described in the second article of this series. The overall picture described until now is highly complex for the IDF; defending Israel may become an impossible liability for it. What does an army do under such conditions?
Few countries recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital; the UN and the US do not recognize it. Consequently most embassies are in Tel Aviv. Most of them are along the streets next to the city's beautiful promenade on the Mediterranean shore. Ha-Yarkon Street is the name of the game for the main embassies; secondary ones can be found on the adjacent streets. Why is that? Washington's Sixth Fleet would evacuate the staff of most embassies and the coward Zionist leaders while the Israeli citizens perish under a total attack. And yes, the Warring Family would be on the ships down to their last black sheep.
Dimona is not Israel’s Lifeline: On Zim and Gadot
On Nuclear Propaganda
It is difficult to read the newspapers without finding a reference to nuclear weapons and their dangers. It is difficult to understand the journalists’ fastidiousness on the point, unless these articles are implanted by the indefatigable conspirators and their masters in yet another attempt to distract and frighten the masses from the real issues. Today, I was informed by a faithful reader of yet another new nuclear technology “recently discovered by a non-nuclear country and highly lethal;” actually one of my Chemical Physics professors at the Tel Aviv University developed it for Dimona at least thirty years ago. Why do we see this obsession? Nuclear weapons are almost useless. They are very expensive toys that can be used only in an improbable Armageddon scenario.
Moreover, they have an asymmetric nature. Large societies suffering from a limited nuclear attack would survive it. See Japan. However, small societies would perish. Israel cannot survive such an attack, while its neighbors will.
So, if all the Israeli nuclear talk is just aimed at distracting, then what are the real strategic points? I mentioned several ones in the Defeating Israel articles of this website, and want to use this opportunity to expand on some of them.
For most readers it is difficult to comprehend the Israeli reality because they live in very large societies, importing and exporting products is easy for them in a variety of ways. However, despite its geographical location, the Israeli society behaves like a highly isolated island. A country-sized jail controlled by security services with no regard for human rights or the law. The main access line to this island is called Zim (Tzim would be a better phonetic representation of the name).
Zim’s importance is evident just by reading its history. It was founded in 1945, by the Jewish Agency, the Histadrut (General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel) and the Israel Maritime League. The first two were the civil organizations that laid the base for the future state. Zim’s flag is based on the one designed by Theodor Herzl in 1896 as the future national emblem of the State of Israel. Herzl’s banner included seven six-pointed golden stars in a white field. No other civil organization in Israel can show such a patriotic pedigree and emblems.
In 1953, some of the money from the reparations agreement between Israel and West Germany was allocated to a massive expansion of its fleet (and I thought the damages were intended for the refugees! Silly me…). In 2004 the company was formally privatized – it was bought by the Ofer Brothers Group, but that has little meaning in Israel; the brothers already had a significant ownership of the company. As in other events described in The Cross of Bethlehem, the government sold the company at a fraction of its price to a single bidder chosen by the government. The state still has a “State Share,” which allows it to intervene on the company’s operation. Moreover, the brothers also own Israel Chemicals and Oil Refineries in Haifa; they are key figures in the Israeli industry. I have already commented about the importance of the Oil Refineries.
All these – and more – single out Zim as a strategic company. It is Israel’s lifeline. It brings wheat and oil from the US: Israel doesn’t produce enough food to feed its citizens and has no oil. The list goes one with any strategic product imaginable; secret cargo aimed for special industries may be normal. Blocking Zim’s service during a military conflict will strangle Israel to death, especially since it depends on the Haifa Port for its normal functioning.
In the Defeating Israel articles of this website, I commented also on the vulnerability of Israel supply lines. They depend heavily on one port in Haifa Bay. Gadot Chemical Tankers and Terminals is located there and acts as the major pier for chemical products in the country, shipping, storing, and distributing liquid chemicals, oils, and a large variety of materials for the local industry. A major spill of these in the bay may seem of little consequence during a war – after all ships can float even in polluted waters.
Reality is more complex. A key issue for Israel during a war would be to retain its capability to attack foreign ships attempting to enter the port while letting friendly ships download their content at the docks. This is a complex task which heavily depends on a maritime commando force capable of working in what would be extremely crowded and dangerous waters; let me skip the details.
The Gadot docks contain huge quantities of glycols. By themselves they are quite innocuous; you can see them listed in every shampoo bottle. These types of chemicals are related to soaps. What makes soap soapy? Simply, the ability to dissolve greasy and oily substances into water. Glycols would allow many toxic products stored there to dissolve into the bay waters, blocking almost entirely the capability of soldiers to work underwater and thus the facto blocking Israel’s military capabilities in the area.
On the Theory of Mass Distraction
This is just an example of a strategic lifeline of Israel that is completely unrelated to the nuclear issue. It can be easily expanded from open sources; there are no secrets in this article, just an example of basic military thinking. Yet, everybody is distracted by nuke-talk.
In the article “Netanyahu’s Zigzag: Bravo Bibi!” I commented about an ongoing nuclear embargo on Israel by the US and on a political zigzag of Benjamin Netanyahu when he cancelled his attendance of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) on April 12-13. Israel seems to care very little about these. The Israeli Administration is doing nothing about the embargo – a short and pale article in Maariv – and it cancelled Netanyahu’s participation without second thoughts. Where is the typical Israeli aggression in these cases? Why don’t we see red-faced Israeli ambassadors openly attacking the US Administration, Turkey and Egypt on these recent events? Why isn’t Netanyahu threatening with retaliations? Simply, because the nuke-talk is just that, a smoke screen of no strategic value.
“Hamovil Haartzi” is Hebrew for “The National Water Carrier” (the word “water” doesn’t appear in the title) and refers to a series of water canals, pipes, tunnels, pumping stations and reservoirs that transfer water from the Sea of Galilee (actually a lake) to the center and south. It was constructed between 1953 and 1964; back then it was aimed mainly for agriculture. Over time, Israel became an urbanized society and now the carrier provides mainly drinking water to the very populated central part of Israel, namely to “Gush Dan” –Tel Aviv’s metropolitan area.
Water enters the carrier through a long pipeline submerged in the northern part of Sea of Galilee. Then it passes to a reservoir and is pumped through the Sapir Pumping Station. The water flows into the open Jordan Canal, an open canal crossing Nahal Amud and Nahal Tzalmon (two important wadis in the north). The Tzalmon Reservoir includes a pumping station of the same name which lifts the water up to the Ya’akov Tunnel, after which it uses an open canal to cross the Beit Netofa Valley into two additional reservoirs. Here is a main purification palnt, which not only cleans sediments and impurities but monitors the water has not been poisoned along the way. This has been ever a major concern of the Israeli Administration. From here the water enters a closed pipeline – so that it cannot be accessed anymore by sabotaging agents – and is transported to the Yarkon-Negev Plant near Rosh HaAyin. From here it is distributed to the thirsty denizens of Gush Dan and the south.
Along many years the poisoning of the water was of concern. Monitoring and protecting the carrier was vital since this is a strategic installation. People must drink water in that hot climate. I want to ask Mr. Bibi: How difficult do you think would be to aim a missile from afar and onto the carrier? How long would it take until Tel Aviv runs out of Coca Cola Light? Do you – and your administration – still think you have a leverage of force in the ongoing peace process?
Fuel Embargo on Israel
Can a fuel embargo be imposed on Israel to enforce its surrendering international terrorism?
Fuel Embargo on Israel
Following the Yom Kippur War, the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, or the OAPEC (the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia), proclaimed an oil embargo in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military during that war. The embargo took place between October 1973 and March 1974. The oil prices kept rising following the embargo for more than a decade. Eventually, this embargo changed the global economy, but failed to impose a legitimate and responsible regime in Israel or to create an independent Palestinian state, which was one of the conditions imposed by the UN for the independence of Israel. Can an oil embargo be used in the future for righting the wrongs?
The idea seems strange at first. The power of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has diminished somewhat since then, due to the market modernization and subsequent discovery and development of large oil reserves in Alaska, the North Sea, Canada, the Gulf of Mexico, and the opening up of the Russian market. Indonesia withdrew from the membership in the organization and Iraq is just an American puppet. As of 2010, OPEC is providing only about a third of the world’s oil consumption. Moreover, global warming is leading us to a more responsible use of energy, with more efficient technologies being constantly implemented.
However, a basic fact won’t change: the total consumption of energy would continue to grow, being pushed ahead by rapidly growing economies, like those of China and India. Undeveloped societies would mature; population will continue to grow. Not only that, water purification would begin to consume substantial amounts of energy in the foreseeable future, and desalination is an expensive process.
With an increasing consciousness on the importance of safe and ecological systems, it isn’t probable nuclear technologies would fill the gap, unless an unexpected breakthrough happens in the field of nuclear fusion. In the near future, we’ll still depend on dirty coal and petroleum for recharging our gadgets. South Africa’s next major energy plant would be a coal one provided by General Electric. China is practically burning all the coal reserves of Australia. The list goes on.
In such a reality, what’s the relevant parameter? Would OAPEC be able to impose an oil embargo on Israel in the next decade? In order to answer this, an extrapolation of OAPEC future’s position must be done. Two important facts can help on this. First, the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico leaves little doubt restrictions would be imposed by the US on drilling. That means that de facto the US oil reserves have decreased. Second, it is true that OPEC provides only a third of the world’s oil, but its reserves are two thirds of the global ones. By far, this is the most important point. Assuming a proportionate distribution of undiscovered and undrilled oil in the world, in the long run the OPEC countries reserves would be even larger (because the rest of the world is depleting its reserves more rapidly; this is what is called a differential analysis). Inevitably, that means its bargaining power would increase, bringing it to the same position – or even a stronger one – that it was in 1973. A more powerful embargo may be implemented.
After all, Israel may be defeated with peaceful means.
Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi in his visit to Damascus in late April said “backing the cause of Palestine and world oppressed nations is among Iran's priorities,” and “Iran and Syria should exercise vigilance.” Such comments are not new, however, now they are increasingly backed by Jordan. King Abdullah II is warning about the situation time and again. Last time was on April 29, when he said “I am afraid the tension could develop into an explosion with all parties paying the price,” during the annual conference of Jordanian ambassadors.
Amos Harel published an article in Haaretz on April 28, 2010, named “Netanyahu is incapable of making peace - but does Israel care?” He claims several interesting things, among them: “Israelis have completely lost faith in Palestinian sincerity in the wake of a wave of murderous attacks that followed the outbreak of the second intifada,” “Israelis living within the Green Line once again feel safe,” “The economy has weathered the global crisis remarkably well, hi-tech industry is flourishing. So why worry?,” “all of which make a settlement even more unlikely: The lesson most Israelis draw from the retreat from Gaza and Lebanon is that evacuating occupied territory just brings more rockets,” “How can Israel redress the decline in its legitimacy?” and “when in the West the occupation is increasingly associated with apartheid?” The most important statement is at the very end: “Somehow - and I know the analogy is imperfect - events of the past year are reminiscent of the prelude to the Yom Kippur War. Conversations with senior army officers reveal similar fears. The Middle East is in for a long, difficult summer. We can only hope the pessimists are wrong.”
War is in the air. Parts of the most probable scenario were described in several of the articles of this series. Missiles would probably have a main role in such an event. Probably missiles from Iran and Lebanon would hit main Israeli cities and targets, while an army would enter from the north and east. During the war against Iraq in 1991 I was still studying at the Tel Aviv University and teaching at the Green Village, see The Cross of Bethlehem. The Green Village is one junction away from Glilot, where Ostrovsky pinpoints the Mossad headquarters; other strategic installations are at the place. Back then, a few Iraqi missiles with primitive heads completely disrupted life for a month or so. This time it would be much worse.
Shelly Yacimovich (also spelled Yachimovich) is a Knesset member for the Labor Party. She reached the position following a long career at the state radio, where she had a very popular news program for years. Many years ago she disclosed Israeli nuclear missiles are stored at – and would be launched from – an air force base called “Wing 2,” located near Moshav Zeharia, southwest of Jerusalem.
One of the most prominent buildings in Tel Aviv is the needle of the Ministry of Defense, also known as “marganit.” The place is located atop the “bor” (“hole”), the infamous underground headquarters of the IDF. There is no doubt this place would be targeted in case of a war. Probably life in the area would be disrupted to such an extent that the army would need to activate a secondary protocol and relocate its headquarters. In The Cross of Bethlehem there is a good hint regarding this alternative. Guessing the location is not difficult.
The Holy Grail of any army is capturing the enemy’s headquarters. This is a fast way of achieving victory. The next war will be messy for Israel. Missiles hitting the very heart of the country, Palestinian forces everywhere. Would the last be able to block the relocation of the headquarters? Would they be able to capture their secondary location? This would be an awesome and quick turnover of the strategic situation. A nuclear Palestine would be able to block an imperialist counterattack.
Israelis are practically brainwashed with a sentence uttered by Theodor Herzl many years ago. “Im tirtzu ein zo hagada” he said, meaning “If you want, this won’t be a legend,” and referring to the State of Israel. The wheel of history turns round and round and now it seems we are approaching the right moment for the Palestinians to use this sentence with regard to their own future.
Merry Fortnight: On the IDF Strength
For how long can the IDF stand strong?
Things are changing. Talks of Israel as a Terror State have reached the Security Council. The first descriptions of an international force delivered to impose justice on Israel published in this website were defined as highly improbable by some readers. One reader was disgusted by the merry picture I chose for The Day After Israel; he didn’t realize that for refugees, life begins the day after Israel would be defeated. Yet, one reader - a friend and fellow refugee – sent me an email following the recent massacre merrily claiming Israel would soon be defeated.
It’s not a surprise we both claim the same, while most foreign analysts say otherwise. Simply we know the IDF from within. The mighty reservists divisions on the IDF war plans are mostly units equipped with obsolete vehicles and weapons. The only working communications systems is the civil cellular network. Many reservists wouldn’t show up if called in an emergency. I have described all this in detail in The Cross of Bethlehem.
In the first articles of this series I described probable moves of the international army sent to Israel. I would like to do the same for the IDF moves, but I’m still exploring a legal way of doing so. Meanwhile, a relatively safe and interesting question is for how long would the IDF be able to function under such an attack?
There are many variables influencing the answer to that question. Some of them are unpredictable. For example, what would be the result of the initial hostilities? Would supply lines be severed? Would the international force be able to impose a maritime blockade on Israel, so that Zim and the American 6th Fleet would be rendered useless?
Despite the difficulties, answering the main question – for how long would the IDF stand – is very important for the allied forces, since it has deep implications in the planning of the operation. Making certain assumptions would simplify the task of answering it. Let’s say a maritime blockade is placed before Zim manages to bring enough supplies to change the strategic picture. Let’s say the IDF becomes fully operational as per the existing plan apparently named Metsada (Masada). Moreover, let’s say that for the whole operation the IDF remains cohesive, with open routes among its units. What would happen then?
Israel is small. So small that an army of the IDF ssize has troubles maneuvering within it. So small it completely depends on supplies from abroad. These are kept in large and very obvious bases; except for two, they are located on central junctions and are vulnerable. Apparently also NATO keeps warehouses in Israel, near Tefen and Nahal Sorek; the IDF would confiscate them in case of war, thus gaining some crucial supplies.
Let’s say the allies army fails to target these warehouse bases, and thus the IDF would be able to show its full strength. Fuel, weapons, ammunitions, and vehicles: everything goes according to the IDF plans, except for the maritime blockade. These assumptions mean going a long way towards Israel, in fact overestimating its real power. I’m being nice, don’t you think so, Mr Dagan?
What would happen then? Some supplies are less critical than others. Some of them can be made to last some more time. However, certain articles are strategic in nature: without them, the IDF would be rendered useless. Without quoting any sources or making a more detailed analysis, let my educated guess be: fourteen days. A merry fortnight. And after it? To the Beach!
It was an unusually beautiful autumn morning. In the Mediterranean climate of the area, that meant fresh air with just the right amount of humidity, not too cold for walking around in a casual T-shirt. The Israeli soldiers were fixing the electronic fence near the Good Fence. Hezbollah soldiers were watching them. Everything was as usual. Almost. This time, one of the Israeli soldiers didn’t like the look of one of his opponents. He shot him on his face with his American produced M-16. The other Hezbollah soldiers left the place carrying their dead friend. The Israeli soldiers reported the event and continued working on the fence.
A few minutes later, the Israeli soldiers by the fence dropped their tools on the spot and left as fast as they could. They could see nothing unusual, but the noise of faraway explosions told them that rockets were being fired from Lebanon. Hezbollah was retaliating.
IDF Northern Command - 150m Underground
Thirty minutes later, the major general in charge of the Northern Command in Tzfat, entered the nuclear-attack protected bunker near the town. He was worried. Hezbollah had launched a massive rocket-attack against the Finger of the Galilee. The air force counter-attack was delayed due to the surprise of the event.
An hour later, Metula was destroyed. Kiryat Shmona was in the way to be destroyed. Nobody knew how many victims were since the communications had been cut; approaching the area was impossible.
Two hours later a witness reported that Hezbollah warriors had crossed the border. By noon it was clear they have conquered the two towns. In the early afternoon, the B’not Yaakov (Jacob’s Daughters) Junction and Bridge to the Golan Heights were under heavy fire. The Syrians didn’t wait. As soon as the bridge was destroyed, they attacked through Kuneitra. Tel Avital – the main Israeli intelligence base in the area – was destroyed within minutes.
The Minister of Defense didn’t wait to get an accurate report. He activated “Metzada” (Masada), the defensive operative plan of the IDF in case of a massive attack from across the border. The recruiting of the reserve army began.
Next Morning – Jezreel Valley
The major general watched the Jezreel Valley from the relative safety of the Gilboa. He had decided to leave Tzfat a few hours ago, after the Syrians did reach the Jordan River line. That was expected in the “Metzada” plan. However, the plan didn’t prepare for the case in which that would happen in parallel with the conquest of the Finger of the Galilee. Moreover, he was at his present location because all the area north of the Jezreel Valley was under attack of missiles from Lebanon. The IDF couldn’t move his heavy divisions from the Haifa Bay area to the Golan Heights due to the violence of the attacks. Syria had achieved a solid win.
Unrest began in the Palestinian cities of the West Bank. The minister of defense activated “Sde Katzuz,” the operative plan in the case of a Palestinian upheaval. A bit later, satellite pictures told him that an army began moving toward Israel from Iran. It would cross Iraq and presumably Jordan quickly and arrive at the meeting point of the Jordan and Jezreel valleys within a few days. It could also cross Syria; its plans weren’t clear at this point. Turkey had blocked its air space to Israeli aircraft. The Egyptian president couldn’t be contacted. His deputy kept repeating to the Israeli liaison officer that Israel had been defined as a terror state by the UN Human Rights Council on October 16, 2009.
Without waiting, the minister ordered the deployment of the “Ash” Division (the special unit described in The Cross of Bethlehem). Soon, the vertical bypass unit would create a second front near the H2 area in Syria. The last would be forced to fight also backwards; their advance would be stopped.
Meanwhile, in Wing 2 – Near Jerusalem
Lieutenant General A. was worried. The attack had been a surprise. Tel Aviv was under missiles attack and he decided to move his headquarters to Wing 2, a safer location near Jerusalem. Beyond being prepared as an alternative headquarters, it was also the launching site for the nuclear Jericho missiles. Under the circumstances, they could be handy. The news was bad. Before landing, the troops of the “Ash” Division reported that Syrian forces were patrolling the H2 area and dropping landmines on the ground. Unable to land, most of the unit had been destroyed while in the air by light artillery.
Later That Day
The Syrians didn’t wait. That had been their error in the 1973 war. This time they rushed ahead. Again, they didn’t obey expectations. Instead of advancing through the Jezreel Valley towards Haifa, they moved southwards through the Jordan Valley. The IDF there was busy with the Palestinian turmoil and couldn’t deal effectively with the unexpected enemy. Moreover, the recruitment rate was well below the 50% of the force. The Jerusalem Division had become a small brigade unable to control its extensive territory. Across the road from its headquarters was the biblical village of Bethany – though now it featured a different name - the irony didn’t escape the division commander. Jerusalem was not far from being reached by the enemy’s artillery.
"We cannot move effectively; it’s over," said Lieutenant General A. to the prime minister over the secure line usually known in the IDF as “red-line.”
"Where is the American Sixth Fleet," asked the politician.
"They are approaching Tel Aviv."
"Prepare the evacuation."
The public had panicked. Instead of obeying the recruitment orders, they began moving southwards. 4*4 trucks were already entering the Sinai Peninsula illegally. There was nothing the Israeli Administration could do. The nuclear option hadn’t been activated; other plans made more sense, but they demanded a quick relocation.
The silent call system was activated. People that used to be important began approaching the Tel Aviv Port, on the northern side of that city. American boats took them to the fleet awaiting the refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. The Mossad would relocate to New York and London in the following hours.
The prime minister advanced along the pier. He carried nothing with him; everything he needed was already prepared in the new seat of the exile government.
"Wait for me," Hannah Frenk shouted at him. She was carrying her laptop with an air of self-importance that suited the moment. The prime minister turned around slowly. In parallel he took out of his pocket a device looking pretty much as a cell phone. Without hesitation he pointed the sonic weapon at the girl and activated it. She dropped to the ground and he boarded the boat. He was safe.
I got several answers to the series of articles called “Defeating Israel.” There, I described a feasible scenario in which an international army intervenes in Israel in order to stop what the Human Rights Commission of the UN described as terror inflicting acts of Israel. One of the answers claimed that the scenario described there wouldn’t happen since Israel will fall from within before that. Actually, this answer was rather good, though it ignores the timeline and rates of both processes. An international army may intervene there within a few years, while the internal decay of the Israeli society is a slow – but steady – process that may take decades.
On the second week of April 2010, Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview to the Hebrew media in which he claimed that Israel’s situation has never been better. He claimed that Israel would position itself as a local economic power and a worldwide technological one. Looking from atop the very thin ice covering a very deep lake, this statement may make sense. Israel wasn’t damaged in the recent international crisis. Due to the revaluation of the local currency it looks like Israelis are producing more and thus the staggering national debt looks of little relevance.
Was my faithful reader wrong? Or is Mr. Bibi throwing snow on the voters’ eyes for the sake of the Warring Family et al. Deep Pockets? One of the people better qualified for giving an answer is Professor Dani Ben David, from Tel Aviv University. He’s warning about the constant deterioration of the Israeli society in the last three decades. Despite being ignored by the politicians, he enjoys of high prestige and his predictions during the economic crisis of 2001-2002 proved being good. I want to quote from a recent publication of him, in which he analyzes the probable future of the Israeli society. The publication was in Hebrew, thus I apologize if my translation of certain economic terms wouldn’t fit parallel English terms; I believe the text would still be clear.
Ben David claims the main three parameters defining a society are the general level of life, the poverty level and the inequality level. When one of these parameters is in troubles, the society passes through a crisis. When all three parameters are in dangerous levels along long periods of time, then the society is in a path of self-destruction. Where is Israel?
The general level of life in Israel doesn’t succeed to meet the one in Western countries; since the 1970’s the relative gap between the two is actually growing. That is causing an emigration of the best educated Israelis. Moreover, the poverty level and the inequality level in Israel are among the highest in the West and face a constant process of expansion. I do describe the intentional discriminating policies of the Israeli Administration extensively in The Cross of Bethlehem. The result is that the ever-diminishing part of the society paying the high taxes imposed by the Israeli Administration suffers of an ongoing difficulty in providing the funds needed for the social services fore the growing segment of poor people. Educated Israelis capable of finding jobs abroad do that.
Ben David made an extrapolation of the education system basing it in the changes of the last decade. I’ll skip the details, but the exercise shows that in 2040, roughly 80% of the students would be in the Arabic or Haredi educational streams. These streams are those who provide the smallest contribution to the local industry. Moreover, in the last thirty years the Haredim contribute less and less – in relative terms – to the economy. Overall and due to these causes, the Israeli economy fails to grow in relative terms since the 1970s. The educational system is also in a rapid deterioration, with Jewish students getting low rating in the international scene, while the Arabic ones rate as in Third World countries. The Haredim are not even checked on these scales. On the whole, the grow of the economy is slow and is almost the exclusive result of the population growth: since the 1970s, Israeli workers are not becoming more productive in relative terms. The demographic changes – a constant increase of the Haredim and Palestinian citizens – make a change of these parameters almost impossible. Unlike in the 1990s it is not possible to bring a million Russians anymore; thus the current changes are almost irreversible.
These are the main points of his analysis. The State of Israel wouldn’t be viable in 2040. However, in the Middle East, forty years are almost an eternity. Many things can happen, like the appearance of a leader strong enough to fix some of the economic problems. Thus, as my reader pointed out and as most Israelis know, Israel is in a self-destruction path. Would that happen before an international force imposes a just peace in the area? God knows, we can only keep praying for a peaceful solution in which all humans living in the area would enjoy Freedom and Equality.
Suzerain of Syria
On March 5, 2010, Haaretz published an article named “Israel treading carefully to avoid war with Syria” in which it is obvious the journalist – Amos Harel – is using information provided by the IDF and the Ministry of Defense. The article claims that the IDF has substantially modified a massive exercise and “omitted simulations of war with Syria. Instead, the IDF fought mock battles in preparation for clashes with Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in the Gaza Strip.” Moreover, “Israel has been at pains to cool tensions with Syria and prevent misunderstandings that could spiral into confrontation on its northern border,” and “at the same time, the government exploited both public and covert channels to send soothing messages to Damascus.”
This is not new; the IDF has acted similarly in the past. However, this time other measures were taken in parallel. The army cancelled emergency call-up drills for large numbers of regular forces and reserves, fearing Syria might mistake such a move as mobilization for war. The IDF regular forces are relatively small, without calling the reserve army; the IDF is even too small for an efficient defensive role. The assumption of all plans is that Syria would conquer the Golan Heights in the first 24 hours of the next conflict and that the IDF would need to fight its way upwards. Silent or public emergency recruitment of the reserve army is a crucial step in the preparations of the IDF for a conflict, especially since it is assumed many reserve soldiers would “vote with their feet” and choose to skip the next war by not arriving if called. The big question is which percentage of the army would appear and how many units would be functional. Without this knowledge, the central command cannot effectively make plans. The exercise was cancelled, showing respect for Syria. The IDF is clearly subject to Syrian decisions.
Furthermore, I commented on the ineffectiveness of the missiles developed by Rafael against a massive missile attack against Israel. Afterwards, Minister of Defense Ehud Barak said last week at a Washington Institute memorial lecture that Hezbollah has around 45,000 missiles and rockets in Lebanon. Moreover, “Syria likely supplied Hezbollah with Russian shoulder-launched Igla antiaircraft missiles, which, they say, could threaten Israeli F-16 fighter planes over Lebanon.” The numbers and quality of this equipment assure Israel cannot anymore attack effectively Lebanon, especially considering that the IDF was effectively defeated against a much weaker Hezbollah in 2006.
Overall, it seems Lieutenant General Ashkenazi and his boss – Ehud Barak – have recognized the IDF – fully recruited or not – has no chance to win even a limited conflict involving just Syria and the Hezbollah and are making all efforts to minimize a conflict even by modifying essential exercises. Israel counts on the American help in such a case, especially of the Sixth Fleet patrolling the Mediterranean Sea. Should America supply such help to a country that was defined as a terrorist organization by the Human Rights Commission of the UN? If help is provided, would President Obama be able to justify it to – let’s say – the Iraqi people?
The Day after Israel
On December 27, 2008, when the Israeli society began its savage attack on Gaza, it died. On October 16, 2009, the UN Human Rights commission placed the tombstone over Israel when it defined that state as a terrorist entity. The details of what will happen now are unclear, but the path is well defined. The UN General Assembly may accept the Goldstone Report and place war crimes charges against Israeli political and military figures at the International Court of Justice. In order to add an historical dimension to the event, the trials should take place in Nuremberg. Moreover, the UN gave conditioned sovereignty to Israel; since the last failed to fulfill the imposed conditions, the sovereignty should be taken back. I described – in very broad lines – a possible scenario of the coming events in a series of articles named Defeating Israel.
What will happen the day after? Probably the Palestinians would declare independence; their right to do so was established by the UN on the same day it did so for Israel. The new state would include all the territories west of the Jordan River. After all, Palestinians built most of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Beer Sheva and the Jewish settlements.
What will happen to the Jewish population? I believe the Palestinians would offer citizenship to those former Israeli citizens who didn’t take part in war crimes. Those who did would be judged; a proper punishment would be sentencing them to forced works building the institutions of the new state. I also believe most Jews would decide to leave the Middle East. Is the international community ready to deal with several million refugees? Should this community allow former Israeli citizens to apply for refugee status considering the antecedent that the state of Israel actively persecuted and attacked those of its citizens that got refuge elsewhere? Let’s say the international community decides to behave properly and deny refugee status to those former citizens of the State of Israel that didn’t actively oppose the criminal regime. These unrecognized refugees would settle down on camps along borderline zones; I can imagine a few in the Sinai Desert.
That’s not all. There would be a problem with the many Israeli citizens enjoying double citizenship. Let me expand on a typical and important example. Benjamin Netanyahu apparently has an American citizenship. He claims to have renounced it before its first round a Prime Minister, but he never provided any proofs of that. At the same time, Yedihot Aharonot (the largest Hebrew newspaper) claimed he was a CIA agent, trained in his long years in the US. He claims he was a furniture dealer during that period, but considering his position as a heir to the Mishpaha Lohemet, also this claim is dubious – to say the least. Tsahi Hanegbi was said, by the same newspaper, to have a “black box” of data proving Netanyahu’s anomalous affiliations. Being Hanegbi another member of the Mishpaha Lohemet – and thus beyond the reach of the Mossad assassination teams – he became a minister in Netanyahu’s government, giving credibility to the unproven claims. In any case, this group would pose a new threat.
Seldom had any other group in history proved better its being a Fifth Column against humanity wherever they settle. Should the US let Israeli refugees regroup on its land? “We lost Palestine, let’s take Pennsylvania!” Leonard Cohen (“cohen” means “priest” in Hebrew) wrote a scary song mentioning Manhattan and Berlin. At the defeat moment, Netanyahu may take it seriously; find his American passport under his bed and rush - still on his pajamas - to his soldiers. As mentioned by the Israeli media recently he has a private army based outside Israel, usually known as the “Mossad.”
In his book, Ostrovsky described the Mossad headquarters next to Glilot Junction in detail. The buildings are rather useless. The organization can resettle in Manhattan, London or Milan overnight. Most agents would survive the fall of the State of Israel. Is the international community prepared to deal with this unholy reincarnation of evil?
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