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I still don't buy the hype about Iran

Maybe I’m in denial. Or maybe I’m naive. Even though I trust and respect Richard Silverstein, I don’t buy his latest leak: Bibi’s Secret War Plan. It’s the Israeli government’s newest psychological operation. 

Silverstein writes:

In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel’s war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer.

He goes on to explain that his source hopes “to expose the argument and plans” the Bibi-Barak duo are making behind the scenes.

You can read some of the details of what Silverstein and his leak call Bibi’s war plans on Silverstein’s blog. To sum it up, the thing basically reads like a trashy action novel–which bolsters Silverstein’s assessment that it is a “sales pitch for war.”

I don’t doubt that the document is real. I don’t doubt that it came from somewhere inside  the Israeli government. What I doubt is the veracity of Silverstein’s source’s claim that this document is being used to “persuade high-level Israeli officials.”

It’s not an attack that Bibi’s peddling. It’s the idea of one. And the people he’s really pitching it to is international community, via the media.

While Bibi might talk like a duck, he isn’t one. He has admitted that sanctions against Iran are working and he knows Israel will pay a huge political price for an attack on Iran. Bibi is a do-nothing, status-quo Prime Minister. He’s not going to make any big moves. And both peace and war are big moves.

That’s why the document, as Silverstein says, was shared with “selected journalists who are in the trusted inner media circle.” The media is simply a tool to achieve two things: 1) to pressure the international community into pressuring Iran to stop its nuclear program so that Israel can remain the region’s mightiest military power; 2) to divert international attention from the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan Heights.

You see? I’ve even fallen prey to the trap. Rather than writing a post about the Israeli army’s raid on the Palestinian village Kufr Qaddoum, during which a minor was arrested; rather than writing about the Palestinian hunger strikers (yes, there are still Palestinians on hunger strike!); rather than writing about the fact that Arab farmers in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights get one-fifth the amount of water than their Jewish counterparts (even though they pay taxes to the Israeli government); rather than writing about infuriating tax hikes and the outrageous cost of living; rather than writing about the fact that Israeli demolitions of Palestinian and Bedouin structures in the West Bank are at an all-time high (according to the latest numbers from the UN); rather than writing about any of that, I just wasted my time on Bibi’s massive game of “hold me back.”

UPDATE: It just keeps getting weirder. Apparently at least part of the text that Silverstein received first appeared on Fresh several days ago. Silverstein claims that he has the original document and that the text he received was quite different than the Fresh version which, Silverstein says, was “embellished.” The Fresh text, however, was published with the caveat that the scenario is “based on foreign and open sources only.”

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    COMMENTS

    1. Jack

      You are not living in denial Mya, this is just another way for the israeli leaders to portraying themselves as the “mad dog” (remember Dayan), the aggressive, we-are-serious-about-war gimmick.

      US have time after time clearly statuated that they are not ready to use force nor threaten to use force and frankly, they have been quite tough on this with Israel. This in turn is something Israel cannot accept so while they are making the impression that they are indeed a “mad dog” that are portraying themselves as being on the brink to attack its basically a signal to the world to become more united with Israel aggressive attitude towards Iran, otherwhise Israel will carry out a strike, a strike that Israel knew US will to have to clean up and be involved in, more than Israel itself.

      Remember in 1973, when there was nuclear weapons blackmail against the US? Israel urged US to send aid, US didnt respond to this demand, in return Israel began to load its nuclear device, paving the way for demise. US changed its way quick and provided aid to Israel. Israel always use this kind of technique and people are getting used to it so it doest work any longer.

      As for the document, sure there could be legit, but seriously, this document read as spiced up novel and its probably just another propaganda effort aimed for the journalist to spread and be busy with for some time. Another attempt to create fear in the public, that they are serious.

      Simply, aslong as US dont support war by this time and they surely dont taking in regard what have been said lately (nor does any other state else), this is just another warmongering operation.

      Also note how warmongering Israel have become after the Arab spring, this is in part what every thing is about, while US cant simply bribe corrupt arab leaders any more to be ‘friendly’ to the occupation, Israel understand that the pressure on the occupation and annexation will increase, so these threats are a show of desperation too and fits, as Mya correctly say, as diversion from the occupation but also the self-immolation, economic situation, immigrant conflict etc, basically to rally-around-the-flag.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Piotr Berman

      “A barrage of hundreds of cruise missiles will pound command and control systems, research and development facilities, and the residences of senior personnel in the nuclear and missile development apparatus. Intelligence gathered over years will be utilized to completely decapitate Iran’s professional and command ranks in these fields.”

      This is serious massive slaughter! Purposeful slaughter of thousands of people, including families and neighbors. Basically, this reads like a plan for the beginning of a total war. Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz and keep it close until Israel is sanctioned by UNSC (or forever), with the diplomatic support of Russia, China and a lot of other countries. And of course the retaliation on Israel would be as massive as “Shia axis” can muster, which can be quite a bit.

      I guess that the true target is Finance Ministry.

      Reply to Comment
    3. ‘The madman strategy can be related to Niccolò Machiavelli, who, in his Discourses on Livy (book 3, chapter 2) discusses how it is at times “a very wise thing to simulate madness”.’

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madman_theory

      Now, what were we talking about before? Oh yes, the occupation.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Rob Pliskin

      There is a comment by “vova” on RS’s Tikkun Olam blog on this ‘story’ giving a Hebrew language link and describing it as a make-believe blog from several days ago, which RS’s “leak” follows nearly verbatim. You Hebrew speakers might want to check it out and then get back to the rest of us. Everything else until this is confirmed as a real leak is just air coming out of someone’s balloon….

      Reply to Comment
    5. If you’re right, let’s hope the consequences of this hype will not be worse than an actual attack.
      The US elections are approaching, one thing you forgot to mention.
      As Ray McGovern wrote this week: “An agreed-upon casus belli can be hard to create when one partner wants war within the next 12 weeks and the other does not. The pressure from Netanyahu and neocon cheerleaders like Jennifer Rubin — not to mention Mitt Romney — will increase as the election draws nearer, agreed-upon casus belli or not.”

      Reply to Comment
    6. Kolumn9

      Oh, who knows? It could be a real plan or not. In either case the threats have already worked in getting heavy sanctions placed on Iran and in securing explicit American commitments about preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. None of these things change significantly even after an Israeli strike and depending on Iran’s reaction might even be strengthened. So, the Israeli strike is possible as a means of pushing Iran away from the capacity of building nuclear weapons and as a means of letting Iran damage itself in escalating the confrontation with the Americans. I agree with the assessment that Bibi is a status quo leader that is not likely to take risks except where he thinks the status quo would be irreparably damaged were no action to be taken. A nuclear Iran might fall under that scenario.
      .

      @Piotr, the Russians and the Chinese would support the closing of the straights of Hormuz? Ha! The Chinese might even join an American flotilla to open it up! This is before even considering the fact that this is a sure way for Iran to choke itself out since it is entirely reliant on the straights for all its trade. There is also no faster way for Iran to get into a shooting war with the Americans than to try to close the straights. The Americans will just reflag all the Kuwaiti and Saudi tankers with the stars and stripes and an attack on any of them as they are crossing international waterways is an attack on the US and accordingly the Iranians would be going against the full might of the USAF and USN. This wouldn’t be the first time this scenario plays out and the Iranians wouldn’t be so stupid as to try a failed tactic a second time.
      .

      As for UNSC sanctions on Israel. What precisely would those sanctions demand? An end to strikes on Iran when the strikes on Iran have already ended? You might see a condemnation of the Israeli attack and a call on all parties for restraint. As the Israeli attack is likely to be followed by some kind of Iranian retaliation, the UNSC will quickly move on to trying to stop the Iranians from escalating. UNSC and international responses follow the ‘spilled milk’ line of reasoning, so I have no idea what you are expecting here.
      .

      As for retaliation by the ‘Shia Axis’, you must mean Hezbollah because that is the only proxy Iran has that is still standing and Hezbollah would be signing its political death warrant in Lebanon if the Lebanese economy got destroyed due to a war fought entirely out of Iranian interests. Of course there will be retaliation, but I have yet to see a credible concrete account of what that would look like from a single author that is fundamentally different from a slightly escalated Second Lebanon War. This is especially the case since Syria imploded.

      Reply to Comment
    7. You are right to be skeptical. But I think in the end it will be clear that this fanciful document “leaked” to Richard Silverstein was neither a genuine briefing nor psychological warfare coming from within the Israeli government. Its sci-fi absurdity renders it unbelievable as real war planning and ineffective as psy-op.
      Plus there is the fact that it is almost a verbatim duplication of a post on the Israeli site fresh.co.il dated August 11, preceded by the disclaimer: “Everything written below is based on official Israeli publications, foreign publications, and the author’s imagination.”
      http://www.fresh.co.il/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=567269

      Reply to Comment
    8. Ali Saleh Shamkhani

      The zionist entity could not do much harm to Liechtenstein, much less a regional superpower like Iran. Hezbollah nearly made it to Tiberias when Livni begged the UN for peace.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Jeff

      ” Silverstein claims that he has the original document and that the text he received was quite different than the Fresh version ”

      Except it’s not Mya, which shows why your trust and respect for Mr. Silverstein is misplaced. He was passed a phony plan lifted off a web site and claimed it was passed by a trusted source. The man is full of bull and this proves it.

      Reply to Comment
    10. sh

      Nonetheless, Silverstein’s report was deemed credible by the BBC, which gave it considerable coverage on its Newshour programme yesterday. Of course Israel newscasts rubbished it this morning, implied it was Google salad (not a literal quote, I hasten to add).

      Reply to Comment
    11. Prometheus

      Ali,
      Israel could wipe Iran from the face of earth completely within less than 24 hours.

      Reply to Comment
    12. sh

      Altogether, I couldn’t help noticing, hearing the a.m. news earlier this morning, the sudden presence in the news of subjects normally given a wide berth. In addition to the digs at bloggers in general and Silverstein in particular, we were told that three children had been arrested in Wadi Hilweh (Silwan) for throwing stones and had been interrogated in the presence of their parents. As though the presence of parents was the norm, the newscaster then added that figures for stone-throwing at Jews had tumbled as a result of measures taken against children like these and would continue to be the policy until they were zero.
      .
      Programmes kicked out and replaced by sentimental pap, attempts to get rid of Keren Neubach, main presenter of the only programme still worth listening to on Reshet Bet, giving an “acceptable” slant to news that one could, until now, only read on the internet… something’s happening out there.

      Reply to Comment
    13. “Israel could wipe Iran from the face of earth completely within less than 24 hours.”

      Hahahahahah. With nukes, maybe. (And I’d like to see the world’s reaction to a first-strike nuke attack) Wih conventional weaponry? You wish.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Jack

      Prometheus,
      I bet they can, one just have to look back historically to see how laws of war is put aside when they reign, which fully proves what a horrific threat they pose to all of us.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Prometheus

      Atlas,
      Your comment is rather dumb. Even USA is not capable of wiping Iran off the face of the Earth with conventional weapons. As of world reaction – your naivete is too great for me to spoil it.
      .
      Jack,
      Your reference to the violation of laws of war is laughable because:
      1 – you don’t know what these laws are and how they must be applied.
      2 – violation of the same laws by other parties is going unnoticed by you
      .
      What poses a really horrific threat is you ignorance, judeophobia and hypocrisy.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Jack

      Prometheus,
      If you keep using ad hominem I am sure 972 mag will not tolerate it. Please conduct discussion in a respective manner without oneliner and insults.

      As for the question I have made no references to violation in this thread. Just chill and stop being so confused, and respond accordingly to the topic.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Prometheus

      Jack,
      “laws of war is put aside” = “laws of war violated”

      Reply to Comment
    18. Jack

      Prometheus,
      Its not even violated, according to Israel there is no application of lets say Geneva conventions so according to them they dont violate any laws of war.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Prometheus

      And again – violation (or disregard or putting aside) of the same laws and conventions by other parties is going totally unnoticed by you which means that you are singling out Israel because of your judeophobia.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Come on, Prometheus. Show me how I’m wrong. Show me how the use of nukes from a country that claims not having them in a first strike without warning against a country that hasn’t attacked them is going to be received with apathy in the rest of the world. Show me how the USA is going to be able to maintain its political and economical support of Israel, considering that right now it’s maintained through a legal loophole supported by the technical inexistance of those nukes. Come on, show me. Show some of that political savvy you brag about. Don’t be a coward. Show me you’re hardcore. Be AN HERO.

      Reply to Comment
    21. charles

      I have read his blog, and knowing that war is the continuation of politics, when I see dogs barking this way, the probability that they bite remains low.
      When they will stop barking, this is the moment of real worries.
      Because in Israel, the motto is more: if you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk, don’t bark, don’t nothing.
      So, we are at a stage of enfuming each other, attracting one’s attention here and there so at the end no-one will know from where the hit will come from.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Jack

      Prometheus,
      Classic scheme, shift to another subject. Yes it goes unnoticed of the simple reason Israel havent adhered to the treaties compared to other states (that are heavily involved in wars). Dont blame me for Israel put aside international law.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Prometheus

      Atlas,
      I’d happily show you this and lot of other interesting things, however since you know nothing on the subject (“the use of nukes from a country that claims not having them” – you see, Israel have never claimed that it has no nukes) it will take me at least 10 hours and will cost you $500 per hour.
      .
      “now it’s maintained through a legal loophole supported by the technical inexistance of those nukes.”
      .
      Nonsense.
      .
      A hero.
      Well, ok. I’ll give you an English lesson for free.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Prometheus

      Jack,
      “the simple reason Israel havent adhered to the treaties compared to other states”
      .
      As you was not able to name #2 most racist state – simply because you have no idea, you won’t be able to name relevant treaties Israel haven’t adhere, and even if you name them you’ll still be missing numerous violations of these treaties by other states – simply because you hate Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Jack

      Prometheus,
      Geneva conventions are like the name, different conventions, some of these conventions dealing with specific conduct of war, some of these conventions have Israel not recognized.
      It interesting how you are not even are aware of how your obvious diversion of topic is. I give you one more chance to conduct this debate in a serious manner.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Prometheus

      Jack,
      As I’ve told earlier – you have no idea what conventions have Israel violated and who are the other violators of the said conventions.
      .
      It is not possible to conduct a serious debate with someone who claims that, for instance, Iran has not violated NPT.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Jack

      Prometheus,
      You could go to Amnesty international, B’tselem, International Red cross, you can go check UN reports on Jenin attack, on Lebanon 2006 war, on Gaza 2009 war, on Goldstone etc etc. They are along with other organizations in consensus that Israel have commited various crimes, maybe even including the severe crime against humanity. In these reports you find israeli violations, including the Geneva conventions (they refer to some treaties Israel dont even recognize). Let me know if you want links provided.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Prometheus

      Jack,
      The very fact that you, for example, put blame on Lebanon 2006 war on Israel shows that your position is anti-Israeli from the very beginning.
      .
      Also, you are not disturbed by multiple violations (of same treaties etc.) by the opposing forces, neither by violations of the very same treaties by other countries.
      .
      Besides all that, you are totally ignoring all and any events which caused Israel to take certain steps.
      .
      By your standard the militant operations against Israel shall be conducted at any way – after all, Jews have no right for the country.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Jack

      Prometheus,
      Once again you are confused, I have not even touched upon who started the war. You need to chill, I just spoke of the violations and putting aside of laws of war that is systematic when it comes to Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Laurent Szyster

      What don’t you buy precisely ?

      That Mr Silverstein may be a “tricky” Dick, just another egomaniac, ready to make stuff up and pander to vile “anti-zionist” fantasms … if that can get him some publicity ?

      No, that you cannot buy.

      You would rather come up with a conspiracy theory of the israeli government to explain the moronic behaviour of that guy you “trust and respect” so much.

      Because, even if he is an amateur and you are a professionnal, both of you followed the same slippery slope down into the gutter. He did it on his own and for free, you got there for cash and mainstream medias.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Bluegrass Picker

      No one can wipe Iran off the map in 24 hours. And no one has any reason to try. The present course of events is the exception; the normal course of events throughout history has been, for Farsi-speaking rulers to try and get close to any Hebrew kingdom that can find (or manufacture, if need be) in the Levant.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Prometheus

      Jack,
      “I have not even touched upon who started the war. ”
      .
      Exactly. You don’t care what are the circumstances. Israel is guilty as charged.
      .
      “I just spoke of the violations and putting aside of laws of war that is systematic when it comes to Israel.”
      .
      And again – systematic violations by other countries/entities do not bother you. Because you hate Israel. Not complicated, right?

      Reply to Comment
    33. Well, little Promy, I’m a little short on cash right now. Tell you what: I’ll teach you how to develop actual intelligence and knowledge instead of pretending you are something other than a pathetic delusional loser that lurks in the Internet, and you teach me about whatever you teach. For a little extra, I can even give you lessons on how to remove your head off your ass. It involves a crowbar. 😉

      Reply to Comment
    34. Prometheus

      Atlas,
      Apparently you have not mastered the crowbar part just yet, so I’ll have to decline your offer – I only take lessons from masters.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Jack

      Prometheus,
      I was talking about the crimes and setting aside of laws, that is regardless who started the fight. Do you deny crimes and setting aside of laws by Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    36. Prometheus

      “I was talking about the crimes and setting aside of laws, that is regardless who started the fight.”
      .
      That is in your world only.
      .
      “Do you deny crimes and setting aside of laws by Israel?”
      .
      You haven’t mentioned anything specific, so there is nothing to deny or approve.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Jack

      Prometheus,
      So you deny Israel commit crimes? Its a very simple question.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Prometheus

      Jack,
      It is not a question at all.
      .
      What crimes? By what jurisdiction?
      .
      Are you aware that 3 000 000 Israeli women commit crimes by Saudian law on a daily basis?

      Reply to Comment
    39. Jack

      Prometheus,
      The question seems to be troublesome for you, have Israel commited crimes or not during their war? You are not a revisionist are you?

      Reply to Comment
    40. Prometheus

      Jack,
      What crimes and by what jurisdiction?
      .
      You are not asking a question – you are making a judeophobic statement.

      Reply to Comment
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