'High and dry'
DEBKAfile reports on what Ehud Olmert is likely to find
in his meeting with President Bush tomorrow. It's not pretty:
Israel, in contrast, will find itself high and dry in the Middle East. After being downgraded by the Lebanon War’s outcome, the Olmert government will be obliged to accept the crack of the American whip - at least until it can build a new security option that is not dependent on Washington’s new Middle East strategy.
A clear-eyed evaluation of this prospect was ventured Friday, Nov. 10, by the new deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh, who urged Israel in a Jerusalem Post interview to prepare to thwart Iran’s drive for a nuclear capability “at all costs”. The chances of the international community instituting effective sanctions against Iran were not high, said Sneh. “My working assumption is that they won't succeed." If Iran is allowed to acquire the bomb, he said, many people will leave Israel because no one is keen to be “scorched.” Ahmadinejad will be able to “wipe out the Zionist dream without pushing a button.”
The Israeli official’s comment was a rejoinder to the US ambassador to Israel Richard Jones’ dismissal of Israel’s ability to mount a military operation against Iran. Speaking to a select group of Israeli journalists on Nov. 7 - under cover of an anonymous “senior American official,” Jones warned Israel against attempting an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations because, in America’s opinion, it could not succeed.
But no sooner had the deputy defense minister spoken, when the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem denied that Sneh had represented the views of Ehud Olmert. By this denial, the Israeli prime minister cut out the ground ahead his Washington talks from under any independent Israeli posture in its own defense, which might have offset the deep erosion in American support for Israel.