Israel told visiting US Gen. Dempsey that Obama would get no more than 12 hours notice before an attack on Iran, the London Times reports.
Israeli officials told visiting USS Chief Joint of Staffs Martin Dempsey that it would give President Barack Obama no more than 12 hours notice if and when it attacks Iran, The London Times reported Sunday.
The Netanyahu government also will not coordinate with the United States an attack on the Islamic Republic, according to the report, the latest in a number of suposed scenarios concerning cooperation or lack of it between Jerusalem and Washington.
It is left to speculation whether the rumors are based on facts or are leaked by officials to mask the possibility of secret military coordination.
The London Times said its sources explained that that Israel fears that President Obama would try to torpedo an Israel attack if more notice were given because he is concerned that Iran will respond by blocking the Strait of Hormuz, sparking a rise in the price of oil that could cripple Western economies. If the attack were to occur in the next 10 months, it would put President Obama in a tight spot on the eve of his bid for re-election.
President Shimon Peres told Dempsey, “I am sure that in this fight [against Iran] we will emerge victorious. It is a fight that does not belong exclusively to the United States or Israel, but a global struggle to create a safe world for all peoples.”
Dempsey, on his first official visit to Israel, was wined and dined by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gants, who went so far as to arrange an IDF orchestra rendition of song made famous by Frank Sinatra, one of Dempsey’s favorite singers.
Dempsey tried to play down the postponement of what was billed as the largest-ever joint military drill between the Israeli and American armies, involving thousands of U.S. Army soldiers.
Published reasons for the delay have ranged from budgetary constraints, logistical problems to a signal from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he distrusts President Obama’s commitment to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Dempsey maintained that the delay, which was announced by Israel, will give both countries more time to prepare and “achieve a better outcome.”
The top American general left Israel on Friday, before the Sabbath began.
US and Israel on ‘Collision Course’
By Uzi Mahnaimi
January 22, 2012 “The Times” — ISRAEL has warned the US’s top general that it will give Washington just 12 hours’ notice if it decides to launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The refusal to give more advance warning, which would prevent the US blocking the raid, is the latest sign of a breakdown of trust between the two allies over Israel’s response to Iranian ambitions to develop nuclear weapons.
The impasse was highlighted after a meeting in Tel Aviv between General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, and Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, last week.
This followed a stormy transatlantic conversation between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which Mr Netanyahu turned down Mr Obama’s request for early warning of an attack on Iran.
Mr Netanyahu suspects that Mr Obama, fearful of soaring energy prices, will go to any lengths to stop an attack going ahead before the US presidential election in November.
The US and the EU have opted for tighter sanctions to deter Iran from building a bomb.
EU foreign ministers meeting today are expected to ban Iranian oil imports. But the Israeli Prime Minister is concerned that military action may ultimately be necessary.
The Israeli army has already undertaken intensive training and its elite 35th Paratroopers Brigade is preparing for long-range operations.
Publicly the Americans and Israelis are playing down their differences. But Ron Ben-Yishai, a leading defence commentator, wrote last week on the Ynet website that “Israel and the US are on a head-on collision course unheard of in recent history.”
A large joint anti-missile exercise planned for April has already been cancelled, officially for “technical and logistical reasons”.
“All lies,” said an Israeli defence official, who claimed that Washington had pulled out as an expression of its displeasure. “We were shocked,” the official said. “It’s been planned for the last two years.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, January 22, 2012 “INR”