Israel’s greatest nightmare

The worst nightmare would be for Obama to spinelessly back down from Iran


President Barack Obama drew a line in the sand concerning the terror regime in Syria and its leader, Bashar Assad. That red line had more to do with sending a signal to the country’s sponsor, Iran. The war is being directed by its Revolutionary Guard Corps and by Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy. It provides the arms, funding, and troops to fuel and feed Assad’s objectives. With Iran the turn of a screwdriver away from becoming a nuclear nation, it is bumping up against Binyamin Netanyahu’s own red line.

During his speech at the September 2012 UN General Assembly, the Israeli prime minister indicated that the line fell at the point when Iran would have amassed enough 20 percent uranium to produce an atomic bomb. He further specified that point would fall sometime in spring or late summer 2013. Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, has suggested: “By sometime next year [2013], Iran could potentially amass enough 20 percent enriched material that could—if Iran decides to expel inspectors and convert the material to weapons grade—provide enough nuclear material for one bomb.”

The worst nightmare for Israel would be for President Obama to spinelessly back down from Iran under the guise of seeking US Congressional support. After all, 85 percent of all US troops killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan were felled by IEDs from Iran. Not Syria, but Iran, needs to be targeted; its leaders are fueling and feeding the civil war.

US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas explained this week: “Of the nine rebel groups fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, seven of them may well have some significant ties to al Qaeda. The truth is our enemies in Syria are killing each other and innocent civilians. This is not a US foreign policy threat; Iran, the epicenter of world terror is.”

In September 1979, I sat in the home of former Israeli intelligence director Isser Harel, a senior adviser to then prime minister Menachem Begin. Another liberal left president, Jimmy Carter, was in office at that time. I asked Harel what Mr. Carter’s spineless, unapologetic presidency would do to the Middle East. He replied that it would get Anwar Sadat, the US ally in Egypt, killed. Secondly, he said it would embolden Iran and terror regimes to ultimately strike New York City’s tallest building.

That interview appeared in The Jerusalem Post on September 30, 2011, following the 9/11 attacks. Harel also said that when Ronald Reagan raised his hand to be sworn into office during the Inauguration, the US hostages in Iran would be released. Little did I know that President Carter and Cyrus Vance had been negotiating behind the scenes through the Algerians. In the early morning hours just prior to Reagan’s Inauguration, Carter would transfer $7.9 billion through the Federal Reserve Bank to the Bank of England and ultimately to Iran. He did, in essence, buy back the hostages.

The Iranians have tested President Obama and have been given the go-ahead. I have met with many Iranian leaders, including Iran’s former foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with whom I arranged his only interview with the Fox News Network. I am very familiar with their apocalyptic obsession to usher in the Mahdi, the Islamic messiah, after confronting the “Great Satan,” America, and the “Little Satan,” Israel.

Ahmadinejad believed that he had seen a green light while speaking to the UN General Assembly in 2005. He said it was so powerful that no one blinked for 27 to 28 minutes. He insisted that those listening were totally mesmerized by his eloquence. It is obvious to me that the mullahs in Iran are again seeing a light. During the Fox Network interview, I observed that no Iranian politician was permitted into the room with Ahmadinejad, only Islamic mullahs. They sat in a row of chairs behind him, almost as if they were watching the world’s heavyweight champ throwing a knockout blow.

This is precisely what they believe at this moment. The current resident of the White House is a Jimmy Carter on steroids. Mr. Obama has declared that there will be no boots on the ground, no regime change, and Assad will not be killed. Not to go after a mass murderer responsible for having gassed his own people, including hundreds of children, is an unspeakable and horrifying nightmare for Israel, whose inhabitants know something about being gassed. For Iran, it is simply a sign that its leaders have to pay scant attention before going atomic. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu now knows with certainty that Barack Obama will not confront Iran’s leaders and their atomic ambitions. President Obama’s shot across the bow will embolden radical Islam and make life a living hell for Israel. His hesitation will force Mr. Netanyahu to push the timetable for an attack on Iran forward.

Now the US has five destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean with a combined total of 200 Tomahawk missiles. The USS Nimitz carrier and strike group, which includes a cruiser and four destroyers, are standing by for orders to proceed to the area. In the Middle East, it appears there is a window of opportunity for an attack.

On Barack Obama’s only trip to Israel as president, in March 2013, he intoned in Hebrew, “Atem lo levad “ (you are not alone). I was being hosted by Brigadier General Tomer Bar at a Northern Command air force base. When I asked him if he believed President Obama would stand with Israel, he answered the question by handing me a framed photo. It is a picture of Auschwitz with three Israeli jets flying overhead. The caption says:

“We, the Israel Air Force pilots in the sky over the camps of atrocities have risen from the ashes of millions of victims and we carry their silent cries. We salute their courage and pledge to serve as the defenders of the Jewish people and their state, Israel. Auschwitz, September 4, 2003.”

Tomer Bar told me that every Israeli pilot sees that photo on air force bases throughout the nation. It reminds them that ultimately Israel has to defend herself and depend upon no one. He added a handwritten scripture from Psalms 78:19:

            “The voice of the thunder was in the heavens…the earth trembled and shook.”


Dr. Michael Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His latest novel, The Locket, based on the pursuit, arrest, trial, and execution of Adolf Eichmann, debuted at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in June 2013.