Israel’s enemies probably will not wage war in 2013, and the Palestinian Authority will not make concessions, former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told a seminar at the University of Haifa.
“If I had to stand before the Cabinet today and estimate the probability of war in 2013, I would say there probably will be none,” he stated. Yadlin explained that Hizbullah is well aware that Israel’s deterrence is very high.
He also noted that Israel is threatened just as much by the campaign to make it appear illegitimate as it is by missiles and rockets.
Concerning Iran, Yadlin estimated that although the nuclear threat recently has been taken off the daily agenda as an “immediate” problem, it will return in 2013. “The moment that Iran has a nuclear weapon, it will become a direct threat to Israel," he declared.
“The moment that Iranians decide to take the last step towards dropping a bomb, it will take them 4-6 months to achieve this.”
He said that the United States remains the ”strongest and greatest” power in the world and that Israel should work to make sure the American administration does not distant itself from Israel. “President Obama has publicly stated he will not agree to allow a nuclear-armed Iran, and Israel and the United States see eye-to-eye on this,” he added.
Yadlin explained that there is a problem of trust. He said, “Sometimes, many politicians do not carry out after elections the promises they made before elections. There is a problem to accept a declaration on such a critical subject as the Iranian threat.”
He added there also is a problem connected to “relations between two specific individuals,” meaning President Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Yadlin also expressed serous doubts that the Palestinian Authority will agree to any concessions, including giving up the demand to flood Israel with several million foreign Arabs claiming Israel as home.
He said that he thinks Israel should give up parts of eastern Jerusalem but recognized that it is irrelevant because of Abbas’ refusal to compromise.
“The Palestinian Authority cannot out…concessions and therefore has chosen a very well-crafted strategy to get the world make Israel accept concessions while the PA makes none at all," he observed.
Yadlin said that in the event of a stalemate, Israel must take the initiative and withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria, but only after implementing lessons learned from mistakes it made in the way it pulled forces out of Lebanon and Gaza,.
He said that Israel made a costly mistake in giving up security over the Philadelphi smuggling route along the Gazan-Egyptian border, and that the country must retain the Jordan Valley during any withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
The second mistake, he said, was Israel’s total withdrawal from Gaza, “up until the last inch.” “We though by doing so, would gain legitimacy in the eyes of the world, but we got absolutely nothing out of it,” according to Yadlin.