If war breaks out between Iran and Israel, it likely would last for ”years and not weeks,” according to Bar-Ilan University researcher Dr. Moshe Vered. Iran also might target Jews around the world.
He calls on Israel to internalize the prospect of an unprecedented lengthy war and explains that once the government and public understand the threat, they will be better prepared to find ways to shorten the conflict.
A researcher at the university’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, he recently published a sobering paper that based his hypothesis on the Iranian Shi’ite Muslim approach that the very existence of Israel is an insult to Muslims. He states that its philosophy is that “Allah promises them victory” and there is an obligation of Muslims to sacrifice themselves and surrender material goods for the sake of annihilating the Jewish State.
Entitled “The length and conditions for ending a future war between Iran and Israel,” the research paper notes that Iran fought Iraq for eight years despite suffering the deaths of half a million people, with another two million wounded and catastrophic damage to the economic infrastructure, amounting to $100 billion.
Dr. Vered (pictured at left) pointed out that the war ended only when the Shi’ite rulers in Iran realized that the regime was in jeopardy. Until then, the leaders felt there was no room for compromise.
He rules out ideas that a quick missile war would put an end to a conflict because neither side would score a “knock-out,” and Iran does not have the capability of successfully attacking Israel with hundreds of long-range missiles.
He predicts it is more likely that if Israel initiates a pre-emptive strike, Iran will play the role of the victim and let the international community condemn Israel. At the same time, Tehran would secretly ferry troops into Syria and Lebanon, possibly through Shi’ite communities in Iraq and with the silent approval of Turkey.
The next stage in the war would be massive rocket attacks by Hamas from the south and Hizbullah from the north. Israeli military intelligence officials estimate that both terrorist organizations possess advanced missiles far beyond what were used in the 34-day-old Second Lebanon War in 2006.
With long-range weapons that could be fired from deep in Lebanon, Israel would be forced into capturing most of the country, and face a deadly and costly guerilla war. At the same time, a massive military threat from Syrian territory to the Golan Heights would require large numbers of reservists to defend the region.
El Al planes to be targeted?
Iran also probably would try to target Jews around the world, especially El Al planes, synagogues, Israeli offices abroad and Jewish community centers. Hamas would resume suicide attacks against Israel.
Dr. Vered points out that there are those who think that Iran’s verbal threats against Israel are for internal political consumption, in which case war is a distant possibility. However, Shi’ite fundamentalism requires a “holy war” to wipe out Israel, whose existence violates Muslim principles against Jews ruling ”Muslim land,” meaning Israel, and having sovereignty over Muslims in the country. Israel also stands in Iran's way to become the dominant force in the Middle East.
Muslim rulers always have tolerated Jews on condition that they are a small minority and dependent on their host rulers, Dr. Vered explains.
His sees three possibilities for a quick end to a war, barring a new level of understanding and preparedness by Israel. International interference and the use of nuclear weapons, presumably by Israel, are two options.
However, he explains that whereas world leaders previously shortened Israeli-Arab wars, with Israel usually having the upper hand, the Jewish State presumably would not be in such an advantageous position against Iran. The result would be pressure on Tehran, where the Shi’ite philosophy does not allow compromise.
Pressure would be wielded against Israel if the Israeli Air Force were to bomb Iran’s oil fields, causing the price of oil to soar. Iran would use that circumstance to strengthen its determination to annihilate Israel.
The use of nuclear weapons is far off in the horizon, Dr. Vered avers.
He sees one other solution to shorten the war: an American decision to join Israel and strike Iran.
Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua