The Iranian-Israeli War

[New Republic] Yossi Klein Halevi - Regardless of the affiliation of the actual perpetrator of the massacre of eight students in a yeshiva library in Jerusalem last week, the ultimate responsibility for this attack, as for almost all the terror attacks on Israel in recent years, lies with Iran. The Palestinian struggle is no longer about creating an independent state. It is about being a front-line participant in the Iranian-led jihad to destroy Israel, evolving from a nationalist to a religious war. A real solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict can only be reached by dealing with its primary instigator: Iran. After Yasser Arafat launched a war against Israel in September 2000, he initiated an alliance with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Until then, Iran's only client within the Palestinian national movement had been the Islamic Jihad, the smallest of the Palestinian terrorist factions. According to a former chief of Israeli military intelligence, Arafat promised the Iranians that he would turn Gaza into a second southern Lebanon, and Iran began providing weapons and funds to Arafat's Fatah. In January 2002, Israel intercepted the Karine A, a ship carrying Iranian-supplied Katyusha rockets and mortars and C-4 explosives for use in suicide bombings. Three years ago, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshal orchestrated a formal alliance and today Hamas is an integral part of the Iranian war against Israel. Iran has trained hundreds of Hamas operatives - and continues to fund individual members of Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigades. The writer is a senior fellow at the Adelson Center for Strategic Studies of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

2008-03-12 01:00:00

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