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lligllHlHl'll[|gl " _ ' 1 ,   ' Jlijlill,mUallnilunllilRHtllLllmll|i HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 17, 2009 Attack From page 16A ous defensive measures they have taken, the IAF will use two types of U.S.-made smart bombs. According to reports in the foreign media, 600 of these bombs--nicknamed "bunker busters"--have been sold to Israel. One is called GBU-27, it weighs about 900 kilos and it can penetrate a 2.4-meter layer of concrete. The other is called GBU-28 and weighs 2,268 kilos; this monster can penetrate 6 meters of concrete and another layer of earth 30 meters deep. But for these bombs to penetrate ultra- protected Iranian facilities, IAF pilots will have to strike the targetswith absolute accuracy and at an optimal angle. "But the challenges facing the IAF do not end there. Iran has built a dense aerial- defense system thatwill make it hard for Israeli planes to reach their targets unscathed. Among other things, the Iranians have deployed bat- teries of Hawk, SA-5 and SA-2 surface-to-air missiles, plus they have SA-7, SA-15, Rapier, Crotale and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. "Fur- thermore, 1,700 anti-aircraft guns protect the nuclear facilities--not to mention the 158 combat aircraft that might take part in defending Iran's skies. Most of those planes are outdated, but they may be scrambled to intercept the IAF, which will thus have to use part of its strike force to deal with the situation. "However, all these obsta- cles are nothing compared to the S-300V (SA-12 Giant) anti- aircraft defense system, which various reports say Russia may have secretly supplied to Iran recently. If the Iranians indeed have this defense system, all of the IAF's calculations, and all of the considerations for and against a strike, will have to be overhauled. The Russian system is so sophisticated and tamper-proof that the aircraft attrition rates could reach 20-30 percent: In other words, out of a strike force of 90 aircraft, 20 to 25 would be downed. This, the authors say, is 'a loss Israel would hardly accept in paying.' "If Israel also decides to attack the famous reactor in Bushehr, an ecological disaster and mass deaths will result. The contamination released into the air in the form of radionuclides would spread over a large area, and thousands of Iranianswho live nearby would be killed imme- diately; in addition, possibly hundreds ofthousandswould subsequently die of cancer. Because northerly winds blow in the area throughout most of the year, the authors conclude that, 'most definitely Bahrain, Qatar and the U.A.E. will be heavily affected by the radionuclides.' "The difficulty involved in an IAF strike would become a moot point if ballistic missiles wind up being used instead of combat aircraft. The Iranians cannot defend against ballistic missiles. The study lays bare Israel's missile program and points to three missile ver- sions it has developed: Jericho I, II and III. The Jericho I has a 500-kilometer range, a 450-kilogram warhead, and can carry a 20-kiloton nuclear weapon. Jericho II has a 1,500-kilometer range, and entered service in 1990. It can carry a 1-megaton nuclear warhead. Jericho III is an intercontinental bal- listic missile with a range of 4,800-6,500 kilometers, and can carry a multi-megaton nuclear warhead. The study says the latter was expected to enter service in 2008. "The authors apparently do not insinuate that Israel will launch missiles carrying nuclear warheads, but rather conventional warheads. By their calculation itwill take 42 Jericho III missiles to destroy the three Iranian facilities, as- suming that they all hit their marks, which is extremely difficult. It is not enough to hit the target area: To destroy the facilities it is necessary to hit certain points of only a few meters in size. It is doubtful the Jerichos' accuracy can be relied on, and that all of them will hit those critical spots with precision. "The study also analyzes the possible Iranian response to an Israeli strike. In all like- lihood the result would be to spur Iranians to continue and even accelerate their nuclear program, to create reliable deterrence in the face of an aggressive Israel. Iran would also withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which until now has enabled its nuclear program to be monitored, to a certain degree, through inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency. "An Israeli strike would immediately put a stop to the international community's attempts to pressure Iran into suspending development of nuclear weapons. "Iran would also, almost certainly, retaliate against Israel directly. It might attack targets here with Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, whose range covers all of Israel. Afew might even be equipped with chemi- cal warheads. In addition, the Iranians would use Hezbollah and Hamas to dispatch waves of suicide bombers into Israel. The Second Lebanon War showed us Hezbollah's rocket capability, and the experience of the past eight years has been instructive regarding Hamas'ability to fireQassams from the Gaza Strip. Hezbol- lah launched 4,000 rockets from South Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War, and their effect on northern Israel has not been forgotten: Life was nearly paralyzed for a whole month. Since then the Lebanese organization's stockpile was replenished and enhanced, and it now has some 40,000 rockets. Israel does not have a response to those rockets. The rocket defense systems now being developed (Iron Dome and Magic Wand) are still far from completion, and even after they become operational, it is doubtful they will prove effective against thousands of rockets launched at Israel. "An Israeli strike on Iran would also sow instability in the Middle East. The Iranians would make use of the Shi'ites in Iraq, support Taliban fight- ers and improve their combat capabilities in Afghanistan. They also might attackAmeri- can interests in the region, especially in countries that host U.S. military forces, such as Qatar and Bahrain... "So what should Israeli policy makers conclude from this American study? That an IAF strike on Iran would be complicated and problem- atic, and that the chance of it succeeding is not great. That they must weigh all of the far- reaching ramifications that an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would have, and that they must not be fooled by promises, should PAGE 23A Hamed Saber/http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamed Khaju Bridge in Isfahan. An old Persian proverb says, "Isfahan is half the world." The Jewish community of Isfahan is an ancient one. Today, estimates put the Jewish population of the city at perhaps 1,000 to 2,000. any be made, by Israel Defense Forces officers who present the attack plan as having good odds for success. One of the conclusions from Toukan and Cordesman's study is that it is questionable whether Israel has the military capability to destroy Iran's nuclear pro- gram, or even to delay it for several years. "Therefore, if the diplo- matic contacts the Obama administration is initiating with Iran prove useless, and if in the wake of their expected failure the American president does not decide to attack Iran, it is likely that Iran will possess nuclear weapons in a relatively short time. It seems, therefore, that policy makers in Jerusalem should begin preparing, mentally and op- erationally, for a situation in which Iran is a nuclear power with a strike capability against Israel. This is the place to emphasize Israel's mistake in hypingthe Iranian threat. The regime in Tehran is certainly a bitter and inflexible rival, but from there it's a long way to presenting it as a truly exis- tential threat to Israel. "Iran's involvement in ter- ror in our region is troubling, but a distinction must be made between a willingness to bankroll terrorists, and an intention to launch nuclear missiles against Israel. Even if Iran gets nuclear weapons, Israel's power of deterrence will suffice to dissuade any Iranian ruler from even con- templating launching nuclear weapons against it." But other experts have challenged Cordesman's as- sesment. The Weekly Stan- dard interviewed Israeli in- telligence experts who see many of the same costs as Cordesman but emerge with a different conclusion (maybe because they live in Israel): "Still, after the costs and benefits are weighed and the enigmas and imponderables are given their due, the Is- raeli experts come back to where they begin: Only after every other option has been exhausted should a military strike be launched. No one else went as far as former Mossad head Efraim Halevy, who warned that an Israeli attack would 'change the whole configuration of the Middle East,' producing 'a chasm between Israel and the rest of the region' that would have 'effects that would last 100 years.' "By far the dominant view in Israel is the view espoused by John McCain: The only thing worse than the con- sequences of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be the consequences of a nuclear Iran. Short of a full-scale military strike, Israel also has a clandestine option involving the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, sabotage of Iranian facilities, and targeted killings. Nor would this represent a new policy... "And the experts agree that time is running out: Absent dramatic action--by the United States, the interna- tional community, Israel, or some combination--Iran is on track to join the nuclear club sometime between 2011 and 2014. For a variety of reasons--President Obama's attempt to engage Iran may prove futile, the international community may be unable to maintain effective sanctions, the mullahs may hang on to power, an Israeli attack might fail, Israel might elect not to attack Iran--Israelis are compelled to contemplate the structure of an effective containment regime. "The challenges are im- mense. Realists argue that containment based upon the doctrine of mutual assured destruction worked for the 40 -year Cold War and will work in the Middle East. But they overlook that in the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 it almost failed. The realists also rely on a facile analogy. The distinctive variables that Iran and the Middle East add to the mix cast grave doubts on any easy application of Cold War logic." So now what? Rob Eshman is the editor- in-chief of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. This article is excerpted from his blog on the Journal's Web site at www.jewishjournal.com. Divorce From page 18A Todd Edelman, director of marketing for Oranim Educational Initiatives, said Lifshitz wrote to the Oranim Birthright alumni of his deci- sion on Monday "to clear the air on what was going on. It's almost a moment of sadness," he said. By severing from Birthright Israel, Lifshitz will now effec- tively be turning down many more potential applicants than just the 10,000 he was frustrated about this summer. But he said he is confident that future Birthright participants will find other organizations thatwill eagerly provide them with trips. Within the next few days, Birthright officials intend to announce that this winter's trips will carry some 10,000 participants, about the same number as this summer, according to a source who works closely with Birthright Israel. The source described Lif- shitz as a former"small-time provider" who became very successful with the advent of Birthright, acknowledging that his aggressive market- ing style attracted many participants. And a number of them became happy Ora- nim alumni who view his departure from Birthright as a low moment for the organization. "What it comes down to is that Momo and Oranim have built up a strong reputation, especially among secular and Reform Jews," said Stephen Robert Morse, a three-time Oranim trip leader and one- time participant. He argues that although another organi- zation could technically "pick up the slack," this would not be in the best interests of the participants--particularly the non-religious applicants who are simply interested in Israel. "I enjoyed my experiences with Oranim because reli- gion wasn't forced down my throat," Morse continued. "Instead, I learned about life in Israel, I made friends, I experienced nature and I partied." "The trip we took was one of the best I've taken in my life, and I have recom- mended Oranim to count- less other people," agreed Maxie Glass, who attended a trip two years ago and still remains close with many of her bus-mates. "No one I know speaks as highly of their Birthright experience as Oranim alumni." At this point, Oranim has decided only that it will call off trips for this winter, and there is no way to predict what will happen beyond that season, according to Lifshitz. Whether or not Oranim comes back into the Birth- right fold, one thing is clear-- Momo will not be compro- mising his vision, according to Edelman, his colleague. "He's not going to change his ideology." Reprinted with permission from the New York Jewish Week, www.jewishweek.com. Imrnirgrant From page 24A migrating to the United States, nearly half of them to the Los Angeles area. During 2007, the Chicago- based nonprofit, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, along with the Jew- ish Agency in Israel, offered $10,000 per person to encour- age Jews to leave Iran and im- migrate to Israel. IFCJ officials reported that of the 20,000 Jews still living in Iran, only 125 accepted the offer and immigrated to Israel. Frank Nikbakht, an Iranian Jewish activist and director of the LJ.-based Committee for Minority Rights in Iran, said despite the Iranian regime's hostility toward Israel and treat- ment of Jews as second-class citizens, a substantial number of Jews continue to stay in Iran because they feel they will face economic and cultural chal- lenges if they leave the country. "Some successful and re- sourceful Jews [in Iran] have either a false sense of security or are willing to take risks, hoping to outlast the regime," Nikbakht said. "Some have converted to Islam or other 'safer' religions, such as Chris- tianity, to help them survive." For his part, Tabari said he still has a fondness for Iran and hopes to travel back there at a later date to visit with his other family members. Likewise, he said his wife is planning to care for his mother while he is looking for employment in Los Angeles' film industry. "I am a very optimistic man and believe strongly that God will help us," Tabari said. "America is a land of opportu- nity, and we are hoping for the best here." Reprinted with permission from the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. For more about U.S. Iranian Jews, visit Karmel Melamed's blog: www. jewishjournal.com/iraniana- mericanjews.