Archive for the War Category
In a last minute deal, Israel’s largest party joined the government to form a grand coalition and push back planned elections to the end of 2013.
The politicians in the this government are mostly committed to remain in their seats, and not rocking the boat in the near future. This certainly reduces the chances of a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities and will add to the downward pressure on oil prices.
The Israeli parliament was already deep in the process of approving early elections on September 4th. Also politicians were warming up, and many seemed keen to go to the people, including PM Binyamin Netanyahu, who leads the right-wing government.
Yet the leader of Israel’s largest party, centrist Kadima, was set for a severe loss in these elections. Also defense minister Ehud Barak was likely to end his career gaining no seats in the new parliament. Also some other leaders had an interest to cling to power and avoid elections, fearing the recovering Labor Party and a new party led by former journalist Yair Lapid.
In a deal made late at night, just before the final vote on the election law, Kadima and ruling party Likud reached a deal: Kadima’s leader, Shaul Mofaz would join the government. The elections are now pushed back to the original date: late 2013. Perhaps Netanyahu saw Hollande’s victory in France and feared the same fate.
Shaul Mofaz is a former chief of staff, like defense minister Barak. Nevertheless, Mofaz, born in Iran, is openly opposed to any strike on Iran and said that this is not the time and that this should be left for the Americans.
He also blamed Prime Minister Netanyahu for manipulating the Iranian story to change the agenda from the social justice protests that rocked the country in the summer of 2011 and are still high on the agenda.
Mofaz did not live up to his word by joining Netanyahu’s government. However, with a coalition encompassing most of the current parliament, and with elections due only in a year and a half, it’s hard to see the current leaders rushing for an attack on Iran.
In addition, the US is putting pressure on Israel not to make any move at least until the US elections in November.
Israel, Iran, Oil and the Dollar
So, it’s reasonable to expect that Israel will not strike Iran at least in the next 6 months and will also move to other things on the Israeli agenda such as recruiting ultra orthodox Jews to the army, as the controversial “Tal law” expires.
Lower rhetoric or no rhetoric regarding Iran means more downward pressure on oil prices. This goes hand in hand with the global slowdown that already weighs on crude oil.
Lower oil prices leave more money in the pockets of Americans, boost the US economy and support a stronger dollar.
RAF Typhoon jets have arrived at an air base in London in preparation for the Olympic Games as military chiefs said they were ready to react to a “9/11-type attack”.
The four high-speed jets landed at RAF Northolt in west London ahead of a major military exercise to test security for London 2012. It is the first time fighter aircraft have been stationed at the base since the Second World War.
The Typhoons will take part in Exercise Olympic Guardian, a nine-day training operation over the skies of the capital and the home counties that runs from until May 10.
Air Vice-Marshal Stuart Atha, air component commander for Olympics air security, said: “What we will have is a plan that has many levels to it which will allow us to deal at one end – which is that 9/11-type attack – perhaps down to the lower and the slower type of threat that we may face.
“There is no specific threat and all we are doing is having in place what we would describe as prudent and appropriate measures in place, in order that we could react if required in a timely and appropriate fashion.”
Air Vice-Marshal Atha said he hoped the exercise would have “an effect on the mind” of any potential attackers, and added: “I would hope when they see how we are preparing they might be deterred from making any threats to the Games.”
The RAF warned that people in south-east England will notice an increase in air activity at certain times, in particular this weekend.
Other aircraft involved in the exercise include Royal Navy Sea King helicopters temporarily based at RAF Northolt, RAF Puma helicopters based at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford, east London, and Army and Royal Navy Lynx helicopters on HMS Ocean in the Thames.
Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond said: “Whilst there is no specific threat to the Games, we have to be ready to assist in delivering a safe and secure Olympics for all to enjoy.
“The fact that our state-of-the-art Typhoons will be stationed at RAF Northolt underlines the commitment of the Ministry of Defence and our armed forces to keeping the public safe at a time when the world will be watching us.”