Israel Must Be Ready to Save the World from a Nuclear Iran

Yesterday, the Associated Press confirmed that international inspectors have discovered 83.7-percent-enriched uranium near an Iranian nuclear reactor. The 2015 nuclear agreement allowed the Islamic Republic to enrich to a maximum of 3.67 percent; 90 percent is considered the minimum necessary for building atomic weapons. Richard Goldberg notes that the same UN resolution that ratified the 2015 deal also gives its signatories a way to respond—one that they have uniformly refused to implement in the wake of past violations, and show little interest in implementing now:

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 replaced all prior resolutions on Iran—removing the international demand that Iran halt all enrichment activities, striking the outright UN prohibition on Iranian ballistic-missile testing, and establishing a series of expirations dates on other key international restrictions. . . . But UNSCR 2231 came with one condition: if Iran ever violated its own commitments under the nuclear deal, any party to the agreement could notify the Security Council and restore all prior sanctions and restrictions in 30 days. This process is called “snapback,” and France—like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany—has the individual power and prerogative to trigger it.

If the recent confirmation that Iran has enriched uranium to just-under the 90-percent weapons-grade threshold—a line many analysts long believed to be a trigger for military action—does not force Paris, Berlin, or London to complete the UN snapback process—a political action—Jerusalem should finally accept the reality that Israel will need to confront this threat on its own terms, in its own ways, and on its own timelines. There is no cavalry coming from Paris or any other Western capital.

Tehran knows the difference between deterrence and deference, between pressure and platitude. Today, it fears only one country: Israel. This tiny democracy of nine million people will soon be forced to act in a manner that preserves freedom and prosperity for every American and European threatened by the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. The best Benjamin Netanyahu can hope for is a “thank you” when the job is done.

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7