Israeli Army Resisted March to Iran War

Objected to Bibi Strike Plan in '10: Report

By Reuters

Published November 05, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered Israeli defence chiefs in 2010 to prepare for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities but were rebuffed, a television report said.

Excerpts released on Monday of an Israeli Channel 2 documentary said the armed forces’ chief of staff at the time, Gabi Ashkenazi, and Mossad intelligence head Meir Dagan both objected to the order to raise the military’s alert level to “F-Plus”, which means a strike could be imminent.

Barak, interviewed on the Uvda investigative show, said Ashkenazi told him the army did not have the operational capability for a successful strike against Iran’s nuclear programme, which Israel believes is aimed at producing weapons, an allegation Tehran denies.

The documentary said Ashkenazi disputes Barak’s account and that he told confidants that while the military was capable of carrying out such an attack, to do so would be a strategic mistake.

Ashkenazi, the report added, cautioned that just giving the order to raise the alert status could set off a chain of events that could spiral out of control and lead to a wider conflict.

In an excerpt broadcast before the programme airs later on Monday, Barak played down the significance of the alert order.

“It is not true that creating a situation in which the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) … are on alert for a few hours or a few days to carry out certain operations forces Israel to go through with them,” Barak said.

Dagan, who since his retirement as Mossad chief has voiced opposition to a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, accused Netanyahu and Barak at the time of trying to launch a war illegally without cabinet approval, the television report said, citing participants at security discussions.

Barak and Netanyahu have since signalled that an attack on Iran was not imminent. In September, Netanyahu told the United Nations that Tehran would be on the brink of nuclear weapons’ capability only in the spring or summer of 2013.

Barak said last week that Iran has pulled back on its nuclear programme, which has given Israel more time to contemplate its next steps.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.