Newsletter : 7fax1228.txt
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Officials Defend Decision to Publicize Iranian Aliyah
Israeli government and Jewish Agency officials responded Thursday to arguments that the
recent aliyah (immigration) of 40 Iranian Jews should have remained a secret.
The publicity was meant to reach Jews still living in Iran, officials argue, and to
show them that they are wanted in Israel. Previous arrivals from Iran have not been
publicized, and several sources involved with the Iranian Jewish community expressed
concern that the recent publicity could lead to increased surveillance of Iran's Jews.
The event was not reported on Israel's Farsi radio.
Iranian Jewish Organization Denies Involvement in Jewish Emigration
By VOA News
Iran's main Jewish organization has denied any involvement in a secret Israeli
operation to help a group of 40 Iranian Jews immigrate to Israel.
The immigrants flew to Israel Tuesday via an unnamed third country after leaving behind
all their properties and possessions in Iran. They are the largest single group to migrate
to Israel since Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Tehran Jewish Committee said it has never
organized Jewish emigration from Iran and that Jews have good living conditions in the
Islamic republic and are free to practice their religion.
The Iranian Jewish organization also accused Israeli authorities of spreading lies
about the state of Iran's Jewish community and bribing Iranian Jews to emigrate. Some of
the Iranian Jews who arrived in Israel Tuesday complained of religious discrimination by
Iran's Islamic authorities.
Iran does not recognize Israel and its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the
Jewish state to be "wiped off the map." Out of the estimated 100,000 Jews who lived in
Iran before the Islamic Revolution, only about 25,000 remain.
The Unthinkable Consequences of an Iran-Israel Nuclear Exchange
By Anthony Cordesman & UPI (Analysis and Commentary by Emanuel Winston)
Anthony Cordesman, a strategist at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and
International Studies, has estimated the consequences if Tehran gets the bomb and a
nuclear exchange with Israel ensues.
He expects, writes Martin Walker of United Press International, some 16 million to 28
million Iranians dead within 21 days, and between 200,000 and 800,000 Israelis dead within
the same time frame. The total of deaths beyond 21 days could rise very much higher,
depending on civil defense and public health facilities, where Israel has a major
It is theoretically possible that the Israeli state, economy and organized society
might just survive such an almost-mortal blow. Iran would not survive as an organized
society. "Iranian recovery is not possible in the normal sense of the term," Cordesman
notes. The difference in the death tolls is largely because Israel is believed to have
more nuclear weapons of very much higher yield (some of 1 megaton), and Israel is
deploying the Arrow advanced anti-missile system in addition to its Patriot batteries.
Fewer Iranian weapons would get through.
Anthony Cordesman thinks the unthinkable: Why such disparities in numbers? Because of
differences in yield.
The biggest bomb that Iran is expected to have is 100 kilotons, which can inflict
third-degree burns on exposed flesh at 8 miles; Israel's 1-megaton bombs can inflict
third-degree burns at 24 miles. Moreover, the radiation fallout from an air-burst of such
a 1-megaton bomb can kill unsheltered people at up to 80 miles within 18 hours as the
radiation plume drifts. (Jordan, by the way, would suffer severe radiation damage from an
Iranian strike on Tel Aviv.)
Cordesman assumes that Iran, with less than 30 nuclear warheads in the period after
2010, would aim for the main population centers of Tel Aviv and Haifa, while Israel would
have more than 200 warheads and far better delivery systems, including cruise missiles
launched from its three Dolphin-class submarines.
The assumption is that Israel would be going for Iran's nuclear development centers in
Tehran, Natanz, Ardekan, Saghand, Gashin, Bushehr, Aral, Isfahan and Lashkar A'bad. Israel
would also likely target the main population centers of Tehran, Tabriz, Qazvin, Isfahan,
Shiraz, Yazd, Kerman, Qom, Ahwaz and Kermanshah. Cordesman points out that the city of
Tehran, with a population of 15 million in its metropolitan area, is "a topographic basin
with mountain reflector. Nearly ideal nuclear killing ground."
Further, Cordesman expects that Israel would need to keep a "reserve strike capability
to ensure no other power can capitalize on Iranian strike" and might target "key Arab
neighbors" Syria, Egypt, and the Persian Gulf states in particular.
Israel would have various options, including a limited nuclear strike on the region
mainly inhabited by the Alawite minority from which come the ruling Assad dynasty. A
full-scale Israeli attack on Syria would kill up to 18 million people within 21 days;
Syrian recovery would not be possible. A Syrian attack with all its reputed chemical and
biological warfare assets could kill up to 800,000 Israelis, but Israeli society would
An Israeli attack on Egypt would likely strike at the main population centers of Cairo,
Alexandria, Damietta, Port Said, Suez, Luxor and Aswan. Cordesman does not give a death
toll here, but it would certainly be in the tens of millions. It would also destroy the
Suez Canal and almost certainly destroy the Aswan Dam, sending monstrous floods down the
Nile to sweep away the glowing rubble. It would mean the end of Egypt as a functioning
Cordesman also lists the oil wells, refineries and ports along the Gulf that could also
be targets in the event of a mass nuclear response by an Israel convinced that it was
being dealt a potentially mortal blow. Being contained within the region, such a nuclear
exchange might not be Armageddon for the human race; it would certainly be Armageddon for
the global economy.
Walker concludes that Cordesman's analysis spells out "the end of Persian civilization,
quite probably the end of Egyptian civilization, and the end of the Oil Age. This would
also mean the end of globalization and the extraordinary accretions in world trade and
growth and prosperity that are hauling hundreds of millions of Chinese and Indians and
others out of poverty."
Comments by Emanuel Winston: (1) Cordesman's projections continue the work of private
individuals making available to the public what usually is the exclusive domain of
intelligence services For another example pertaining to the Iranian nuclear program see
the work of Whitney Raas and Austin Long, as summarized by me in "Israeli Jets vs. Iranian
If Cordesman's projections are at all accurate, they directly contradict the blithe
assumptions of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former Iranian president, who asserted in
December 2001, concerning an exchange of nuclear weapons with Israel:
If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in
possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an
atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce minor
damages in the Muslim world.
In other words, Rafsanjani was saying, an exchange would wipe out Israel's smaller
population but leave Iran functioning. But Cordesman draws precisely the opposite
conclusion. One hopes he is being heard by non-apocalyptic leaders in Tehran.
Again, assuming his analysis is sound, the stakes in an Iran-Israel nuclear exchange are
both far higher and of far more universal import (China, India, the global economy?) than
Anyone still in favor of permitting the Iranians, who do have an apocalyptic leadership,
to get nuclear weapons? (November 21, 2007)
Cordesman's analysis of a nuclear exchange between Israel and her neighbors is
reasonable - as far as it goes. However, behind Cordesman's thinking, without stating it
plainly, is the idea that other nations (even our friends) might wish to pre-empt and hit
Israel so she could not respond to a nuclear strike by Iran.
In which case, it would be prudent for Israel to float some cargo ships under foreign
flag, into certain harbors, carrying nuclear devices. A warning would go out to such
nations as Russia, among others, to the effect that it would be wise not to launch
missiles at Israel from ships, submarines, aircraft or any other methods.
After Israel has responded to Iran and other Arab and/or Muslim countries, those ships
would quietly leave those ports unless, of course, they too were vaporized.
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