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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuPhoto by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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(LifeSiteNews) — With tensions rising in the Middle East, the world waits to see whether Israel’s response to the Iranian and Hezbollah attacks will spark a potentially nuclear war.

Faced with defeat in its Gaza campaign, and isolated by a world shocked at its actions, the Zionist regime of Benjamin Netanyahu is in the process of deciding the degree of its response. As many commentators warn, it is a move which may spark a conflict which no attempt at containment will be able to control.

Calibration vs. escalation

There are two strategies at play here. One is the “calibration” of the Biden administration which seeks to contain the crisis and prevent the outbreak of war. The second is the strategy of escalation which is alleged to be that of the Netanyahu regime in Israel: escalation to trigger direct U.S. involvement.

Reports that the U.S. sought to “calibrate” Iran’s response to the Israeli bombing of its consulate in Syria appear to have confirmed a U.S. strategy to contain the crisis and prevent a wider war – so far.

READ: Western leadership’s detachment from reality is causing terror and death across the globe

This “calibration” appears to have resulted in an Iranian strike which avoided causing deaths, “proving a point” that it can and will strike Israeli targets if provoked.

Israel’s attack on the Iranian consular and embassy complex killed seven, by contrast, including two Iranian generals. The U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “Diplomatic premises have immunity and Israel violated this principle by attacking the Iranian consulate.”

Help Christians in Gaza to survive ongoing war

The U.S. “calibration” was observed by Iran, with its attacks on Israel rumored to have been “signed off” by the U.S. in the Financial Times report of April 12, published hours before the attacks began by Hezbollah, and a day in advance of Iranian drone and missile strikes on Israel:

Iran has signalled to allies and western nations that it will retaliate against a suspected Israeli air strike on its Damascus consulate in a ‘calibrated’ manner to keep an all-out regional conflict at bay, according to officials briefed on the talks.

Back-channel diplomacy, said to be via Oman, had secured this “calibrated” deal.

Tehran is unlikely to target Israeli diplomatic facilities in the region, said an official briefed on talks between Iran and Oman, the Gulf state that has often facilitated back-channel diplomacy between Tehran and Washington.

Iran appears to have shared its plan of attack with the U.S., whose CIA director William Burns was in the region during the period of this agreement.

U.S. intelligence on any impending attack appears to be detailed and specific, according to the officials briefed on the situation, giving Israel a window to prepare its defences.

This also allowed the United States and British military to play a significant role in the shooting down of Iranian drones and missiles during the Iranian attack, a fact barely noted in most Western media.

With a nuclear threat in Israel, and the potential to involve the United States and Russia, the world awaits the Israeli response to the drone and missile strikes by Hezbollah and Iran over the past weekend. Will Israel restrict its response, as the Iranians did?

Retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor thinks not. He believes that Netanyahu will follow a strategy of escalation, which not only risks the existence of Israel, but also a potentially nuclear war.

Speaking to Catholic host Judge Antony Napolitano, Macgregor spoke of his fears of an escalation to all-out war. The reason why Israel may spark this conflict is because it enjoys the backing of the U.S. military:

Netanyahu and his War cabinet have a trump card: [this] is the United States armed forces – the backing of the United States.

What of the fact that Biden has stated the U.S. will not participate in an Israeli attack on Iran? Macgregor says of the Israelis, “I don’t think they pay any attention to anything that President Biden says”

Speaking on Biden’s statement, he continued: “We know that he said we would not join in any future retaliation against Iran – but I don’t think they [the Israelis] take that seriously.”

Macgregor says this is because the Israel lobby has more power than the president of the United States, stating that they “have more influence on the hill and inside our government right now than President Biden does.”

Analysts have agreed for years that Israel cannot match Iran or Hezbollah militarily – alone. Yet Macgregor – along with Scott Ritter, Alastair Crooke, and others such as The Duran – believes that the Netanyahu strategy is to escalate to these wars. The aim is to trigger direct U.S. military intervention.

As Napolitano asks, “Does [Netanyahu] understand that Russia might enter the picture if it appears that Iran’s back is to the wall?”

“He is aware of it,” says Macgregor, “but he may not believe it.”

READ: Israel remains defiant as UN Security Council passes Gaza ceasefire resolution while US abstains

What motivates this recklessness by Netanyahu? According to Macgregor, it is his belief that the U.S. will back him – all the way into a war with Russia.

“He’s betting heavily on us [the USA] – that whatever he does we will back him; whatever he does we will ultimately support it.”

Macgregor says this bet also relies on the belief that “we are prepared to go to war against Iran and, if necessary, against Russia.”

The former senior adviser to the Trump Defense Department warned that the U.S. is not capable of fighting a war on this scale.

“I’ve said for the last couple of years we are not prepared for a major regional war.” This fact may explain America’s hesitancy to endorse this war, alongside concerns for an already beleaguered election campaign for Joe Biden.

Macgregor’s bleak assessment is compounded by a long history of Israeli nuclear brinkmanship.

Nuclear blackmail

Israel has a history of “nuclear blackmail” dating back to the Yom Kippur war of 1973, during which the Israeli leadership is alleged to have suggested the first use of its still-unacknowledged nuclear weapons to pressure the United States into sending military aid.

In 1991, Israel mobilized ground launched nuclear weapons in response to the launch of Scud missiles into its territory by then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

What is more ominous is the Israeli nuclear doctrine known as the “Samson Option.” As Seymour Hersh outlined in his 1991 book of the same name, this policy states that in the event of an “existential threat” to Israel, it will launch nuclear weapons at surrounding population centers.

As the illustration shows below, Israel has the capability to strike deep within Russia and across Europe, as well as the Middle East and Africa.

[Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2020 ]
If this sounds insane, that is because it is supposed to. The former Israeli general and one time Defense Minister Moshe Dayan infamously said, “Israel must be like a mad dog: too dangerous to bother.”

With the calibration strategy of the Biden administration seemingly containing the “mad mullahs” of Iran, the question now is how mad is the Israeli dog? The Israeli threat to use nuclear weapons if faced with a war it cannot win is an established doctrine. Will the Netanyahu regime proceed to provoke this kind of war with Hezbollah and Iran?

Calls for restraint

An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday saw the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres appeal for “restraint” in the Middle East.

“The people of the region are confronting a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict,” he told the session, convened at the request of the Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. “Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate. Now is the time for maximum restraint.”

NATO ally Turkey has responded with a charge that Netanyahu is “solely responsible” for the crisis, accusing the West of “double standards” in ignoring the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria. This attack, in violation of the international legal norm of diplomatic immunity, was said by the Iranian, Russian, and other delegates to have provoked the Hezbollah and Iranian retaliation.

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Robert Wood told the council that the U.S. “is not seeking escalation.”

Signs are emerging that Israel is itself seeking to avoid escalation to war. An April 16 report strongly suggest that the Netanyahu regime will stick to the calibration plan set out by the Biden administration. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The IDF has decided how it will counter-strike Iran and its proxies but has not yet settled on the timing; multiple sources told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

A meeting scheduled on Tuesday to finalize an attack on Iran was postponed, indicating that Israel’s response may be considered and timed carefully. The meeting is expected to take place today, April 17.

The Jerusalem Post continued, warning that things may nevertheless change:

Because the timing is still variable and because of all the necessary complex preparations, the current decision could change.

An encouraging note was sounded, according to the Post’s sources:

However, the very development of a decision shows the severity and determination of Israel’s leadership to strike back, though all indications are that Jerusalem still seeks to tamp down the attack to avoid spiraling into a regional war.

US expects ‘limited scope’ of Israeli response

CNN reported yesterday and today that “The United States expects that Israel’s military response to Iran’s strikes will be limited in scope,” according to “a senior administration official and a source familiar with the intelligence.”

The U.S. and European nations are preparing a further round of sanctions on Iran, as U.S. National Security Adviser and former campaign manager Jake Sullivan issued a statement condemning Iran, but making no mention of Israel’s role in the crisis.

CNN’s report shows the precarious nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship. While Israel relies on the U.S. to supply its arms and funding to continue its war, Israel does not appear to reciprocate with reliable communication.

According to the U.K.’s Sky News, one Biden administration source told CNN of the U.S. “hope” that Israel would “give some warning” to the U.S. government.

We would hope that they would give us some warning so that we’re prepared to protect our personnel, not just military but diplomatic throughout the region.

Yet there is “no guarantee” they will do so – because of the likelihood that Israel’s response would be opposed by the U.S.

But there’s no guarantee they will give us a heads-up, and they know when they give us a heads-up we’re likely to again register our objection to whatever they’re about to conduct.

While this official was “confident that there will be de-escalation” if Israel does not respond, they added, “any additional move now opens up a series of other possibilities, some of which are quite frightening.”

The mad dog is barking, and the world awaits its bite.

Intensifying violence

Israel has intensified its attacks on southern Lebanon, in response to an initial drone attack launched from the area by Hezbollah on Friday. In addition, armed Israeli settlers in the West Bank yesterday attacked and killed Palestinians, as Israeli media reports Zionist extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir is “targeting left wing activists” in the nominally Palestinian zone.

Ben-Gvir, who is Israel’s national security minister, has included Israelis in his denunciation of “anarchists… who confront Israeli soldiers,” reported by the Times of Israel. With no mention of the fact that the Zionist settlers initiated the violence, he said, “My outlook is zero tolerance for those who harm security, settlers and the State of Israel.”

According to Al Jazeera, Israel yesterday fired a missile into a playground, killing eleven children.

The latest waves of Israeli violence, and its threatened response to Iran, indicate a desperate need for a “victory,” as former high-level person in both British intelligence (MI6) and European Union diplomacy, Alastair Crooke told Napolitano in a separate interview.

Speaking on April 16, Crooke warned that “something has changed.”

Something has changed in the air. The Israelis have the sense of defeat which they haven’t had until now.

Echoing reports in Haaretz and the Wall Street Journal in recent days that Israel has lost the war in Gaza, Crooke stressed that the Netanyahu regime is in urgent need of a win – on and off the battlefield.

Gaza has been a defeat… wherever you look there is a defeat.

The economy is tanking and the sides of the box are closing in on Israel.

He asks “where is the way out for Israel? They need a diversion – they need something to get out of this – and that’s where this great victory comes in.”

What would this “victory” be for Netanyahu?

“Netanyahu for all these years has always been [saying]‘Target Iran’”

Crooke sees in this the clear path of a strategy of escalation for Israel – against the coordinated efforts to “calibrate” retaliation to avoid a wider war.

“This is why I think we may see this conflict escalate further… even though everyone has been trying very hard to not allow that to happen.”

Together with Macgregor and others, Crooke sees in the current crisis the political survival of Israel’s leadership gambled against that of the state of Israel – and the security of the world from a devastating war. Biden has reportedly told Netanyahu that the U.S. “will not take part in a strike on Iran.” Will Netanyahu gamble that the U.S. will save Israel if he proceeds to start a war he is certain to lose without American intervention?

Facing criminal prosecution on leaving office, and with mounting protests in Israel calling for his removal, Foreign Policy reported on Monday that the Iranian attacks had “thrown Netanyahu a lifeline.”

Whether this lifeline means death for millions is a decision which now lies with a “mad dog.”

Before you make up your mind about this conflict and possibly post a comment, be sure to watch the above videos, or at the very least, watch this short one from a Jew who went to Israel with great hope and then learned what was done to the Palestinians. It is a moving, sincere testament.

Tell Congress to stop the Biden administration from funding wars in Ukraine and Israel