Tag Archives: Israel

An Israeli conversation about the recent missile tests by #Iran

17 Apr

What message do the latest missile tests by Iran send to Israel, and to the international community? Why is Iran carrying out these missile tests now? What implications will they have for the nuclear agreement and for Israel? Who is gaining the upper hand in Iran: the government or the regime? How should Israel view the recent developments in Iran ?

These are some of the questions answered by the Israeli panelists in Jerusalem, which were:

  • Amir Oren is a senior correspondent and columnist for Haaretz and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. He writes about defense and military affairs, the government and international relations.
  • DR Eldad Pardo teaches at the Rothberg School, Hebrew University, Research Director at The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE).
  • Meir Javedanfar teaches at the IDC Herzliya and is a researcher at the Meir Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Haifa University

Russia fighter aircraft breached Israel air space (too), so what??!!

29 Nov

In 1970, relations between Israel and the USSR were bad. Really bad. The Soviets were supporting Egypt against Israel. Their pilots were even flying Egyptian aircraft. On one occasion n 1970, they ambushed an Israeli aircraft and damaged it. To deter the Soviets from ever taking such action again, five days later the Israeli air force shot down 5 Soviet MiGs in retaliation. No Israeli aircraft were ever attacked by Soviet-piloted MiGs after that.

Fast forward 45 years later. We now share a border with the Russian air force, which is based in Syria. One of their fighter jets recently breached Turkish territory (after numerous warnings and demands by the Turks). What happened? It was shot down.

Well, it turns out that Russian aircraft have breached our territory, on more than one occasion. And what happened? (Lets remember that Israel shot down a Syrian aircraft last year after breached our territory). Well in the case of Russians, the only thing that were engaged were the phone lines, not Russian aircraft. According to Amos Gilad, director of the political-security division in the Israeli Defense Ministry:

“Russian air force pilots at times cross into Israeli air space. [But] thanks to the excellent security coordination [between Israel and Russia], which started right after the meeting between [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin [two months ago], and in which defined areas of operation were set, the Israel Defense Forces and the Russian military agreed on security agreements,”..“If there is a violation [of Israeli airspace], we know what to do and how to prevent an escalation,”.

What about Israeli aircraft breaching Syrian airspace to attack Hezbollah targets in that country? Would the Russians attack Israeli planes during such operations? well, the statement below by Gilad makes the Israel – Russian agreement regarding the rules of engagement over Syria pretty clear:

“in understandings with the Russians, Israel has the freedom to operate to prevent the transfer of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah.”


So what does One State solution for #Israel and #Palestine look like?

2 Nov

I don’t believe for a moment that Benjamin Netanyahu really believes in the two-state solution. He says he does, but I don’t believe him.

The reason? As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Netanyahu has shown himself to be the antithesis of the two-state solution. Before the current round of violence began, Mahmoud Abbas was cooperating with Israel in the all-important field of security. Co-operation from his forces was unprecedented. And what did he get for it? a slap in the face, in the form of settlement expansions. In fact settlement expansion between 2009 and 2014 surged under Netanyahu. So while Abbas tried to work with us, the Netanyahu government worked against him.

Meanwhile some people are proposing a “one state” solution as an alternative: Palestinians and Israelis living together in a single state, under one government.

Now let me repeat that again: Palestinians and Israelis living together in a single state, under one government.

Do you have any idea what that would be like? Let me tell you: infinitely more bloodshed and violence than anything we have seen before. And in case you don’t believe me, just watch this video below. Its very accurate.

Netanayahu and his chum Naftali Bennet, the man who has advocated annexing the largest parts of the West Bank (area C-60% of the West Bank) are inadvertently taking us towards the one state solution. No one is saying trying to reach peace will mean you will get peace. But whats more dangerous is doing nothing, or worst, strengthening extremists by expanding settlements and giving Palestinians in the West Bank no incentive whatsoever to work with us, because lets face it, when they did, instead of helping them we hurt them.

I, as a Jew and as an Israeli deserve to have my own state where all of its citiziens live in equality, no matter which race, religion or sex they belong to, as per our declaration of independence.

The Palestinians also deserve to have their own state, next to mine. Two states, for two peoples.

And unless we try, and I emphasize try, to reach some kind of an agreement, two things will be sure: the Palestinians will not have a state, and more importantly (to me), I will no longer have a state either.  Or if I have one it will be the reincarnation of Apartheid South Africa. And we all know what happened to that.


Tel Aviv, the night before the ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s assassination

31 Oct

Tomorrow (Saturday), we will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Bill Clinton will be one of the main speakers at the event.

In honor of this event, the Tel Aviv municipality has placed numerous famous photos of the late Israeli prime minister in the square where he was assassinated (Yitzhak Rabin square).

I wanted to share them with you.

The older I get, the more I realize what a tragedy his assassination was, and the more it hurts.


The Tel Aviv municipality tonight, adorned in lights showing our national flag.


The words “Shalom Khaver” (goodbye friend) flashed across Tel Aviv municipality. These were Bill Clinton’s words at Rabin’s funeral ceremony.


Poster of IDF Chief of Staff General Yitzhak Rabin and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan after the Six Days war.


IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin, visiting an IDF base with Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. Can you see Ariel Sharon standing behind them?


Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visiting the USSR in the 90s.

What does the #Israel nuclear commission think about the #Iran nuclear deal?

23 Oct

What exactly is the job of the Israeli nuclear commission?

The commission not only oversees Israel’s nuclear facilities, but has also acted in an advisory capacity to Israel’s government in recent years, analyzing technical information to try to determine the length of time it would take for Iran to produce a nuclear weapon.

And what does it think about the recent nuclear deal?

The Mossad was asked to assassinate Ayatollah Khomeini

23 Aug

The interview below with Yossi Alpher who was the Mossad’s former Iran desk officer reveals how the Mossad turned down a request by former Iranian Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiyar to assassinate Ayatollah Khomeini.

He also talks about how if the current regime in Iran changes its stance towards Israel, there would be a very long line of Israelis willing to reestablish ties and to do business with the regime in Tehran, and the sense of betrayal which some Israelis feel towards president Obama.

Yossi Alpher has recently published a book on Israel’s relations with non-Arab countries in the region, including Iran in the 70s.

You can watch the interview here:

My comments on the #Iran nuclear deal for the FPA

23 Jul

Two days ago, The Foreign Press Association in Israel (FPA) invited Dr Dore Gold, the Director General of the Israel Foreign Ministry and the former head of the Conservative kham-netanThink Tank JCPA to present the Israeli government’s position on Iran and the nuclear talks.

The FPA then gave me the floor to comment on the official Israeli government’s position, as presented by Dr Gold.

The summary of both of our comments was published in this report by the Jerusalem Post.

Just one correction: where it says “Iran’s ethnic cleansing of Sunnis ” is wrong. I stated “Iran regime Shiite allies ethnic cleansing of Sunnis”

Here is a summary of my points.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian- born analyst who now lives in Tel Aviv and lectures at the IDC Herzliya, took issue with some of Gold’s statements Because Iran is obliged to allow inspection of undeclared sites, it cannot hide nuclear activity, he insisted.

“Nuclear material is extremely difficult to remove from air, land, or water,” he said, and therefore no matter what Iran might do, it would not succeed in hiding its nuclear operations.

The deal is not about trusting the Iranian regime, he insisted. “When it’s not in their interests they don’t keep deals. When it is in their interests they keep deals that others would throw away. Nobody trusts the Iranian regime, but you have to look at their political eco system. It’s not a question about trust. It’s a question about mistrust and verification.”

Javedanfar also made the point that if the Iranians had wanted to make a nuclear weapon, they would have done so before the agreement.

He suggested that what the West does not understand is that “in Iran there is a regime and there is a government, and we have to make that distinction.”

President Hassan Rouhani does not make any decisions without the instructions or approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Javedanfar, who remarked that Khamenei is now distancing himself from Rouhani and letting him take the blame for anything that looks like compromise on Iran’s part in the agreement.

“If you want a moderate Iran, you have to worry about Rouhani,” he said.

Javedanfar left room for hope by saying that “Iran’s image in the region is starting to nosedive.” Iran’s ethnic cleansing of Sunnis is impacting on the region and is contributing to a strong anti-Iran coalition, said Javedanfar.

Talking peace with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would make Israel’s position more acceptable in the region, he added.

As an Iranian who knows the language and the mentality of his former fellow countrymen, Javedanfar was adamant that “the Iranian regime is not an existential threat to Israel. It is a strategic threat.”