On the day Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her maiden voyage to Israel in her new pivotal role in American foreign policy, the Middle East Newsline confirmed Israel’s top military brass have begun examining the contingency that Israel could potentially face an Iranian threat without any American help.

The Israeli military’s General Staff has drafted studies to determine the feasibility of an Israeli strike on Iran and Syria. These studies assume that Israel would act alone in a multi-front war directed by Iran.

“An ‘Axis of Evil’ coordinated between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas will require Israel to wage a campaign against it that will require our best efforts and abilities,” Israel Navy commander Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom said on Feb. 22.

These military plans reflect an assessment by the Israeli intelligence community that the United States would not confront Iran and Syria, regardless of their threat to the region. The contingency assessment envisions that President Barack Obama would suspend sanctions against Iran and Syria as part of a new U.S. reconciliation policy with Damascus and Tehran.

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“Israel will take no option off the table,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Israeli Cabinet on Feb. 22.

At this point, the Israeli General Staff has been divided over the feasibility of any attack on Iran without U.S. assistance. Several Israeli generals, including Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Israeli military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, remain skeptical over Israel’s military capability to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.

The Israeli military has assessed that Iran could direct Hezbollah and its Palestinian allies to escalate attacks against Israel from Lebanon. Declassified Israeli intelligence reports assert that Hezbollah was being equipped and trained for a war with Israel that could include Syria.

In any war with Tehran or its proxies, Israel’s military planners assess that its bases would be leading targets of Iranian and Syrian missile attacks. The Israeli military has established a unit in the General Staff to ensure the protection of these bases.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.