Saturday, October 29, 2005

Iran Solidifies Terrorist Sponsorship

Iran scoffed at worldwide outrage over their call for the annihilation of Israel, and even upped the ante this weekend by promising a $10,000 reward to Islamic Jihad if they launch rocket attacks against Tel Aviv. (The Sunday Times: Tehran ‘bounty’ for attack on Israel).

According to Israeli intelligence reports, Iran has a triple threat aimed at Israel including long range missiles in Lebanon, the use of terrorist organizations like Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and via new terrorist controlled arsenals in the West Bank. Over the past year, Islamic Jihad has overtaken Hamas as the leader in attacks against Israel, prompting a series of Israeli retaliatory strikes against their bases in both the West Bank and Gaza.

Islamic Jihad is yet another terrorist organization headquartered in Damascus, further implicating Syria as a terrorist sponsoring state. Its annual budget of several million dollars is financed almost exclusively by Iran.

Israeli patience must be wearing thin by now, and the brazen statements coming out of Tehran may be the last straw. There have already been a series of Israeli strikes against Islamic Jihad missile factories based on intelligence provided by the Palestinian Authority. There has been increasing cooperation between the two sides, especially against Islamic Jihad and Hamas, since these terrorist groups are the greatest inhibitor to peace in the entire Palestinian - Israeli conflict. How long it will be before Israel takes the battle directly to the source of funding in Iran and to the terrorist headquarters in Syria is anybody's guess, but I have no doubt such plans are already being discussed.

Iran may well be on borrowed time. While the US and the EU may be willing to extend the diplomatic talks aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear technology, Israel does not have that luxury and may be forced to act if the US doesn't. Israel has far too much to lose if Iran succeeds in obtaining nuclear weapons. There's little doubt that the first test of an Iranian nuclear device will be in the heart of Israel. There's also no doubt that Israel is not going to wait long enough to see if it's a successful test. When it comes to Israel's survival, a preemptive strike is their only option.


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