Friday, May 08, 2009

jc feature on israeli air force preparations for iran attack

There's a depressing article dated 7 May in the Jewish Chronicle (under "lifestyle" features) on "how Israel's air force is preparing for the ultimate mission", by a gung-ho Anshel Pfeffer who excitedly describes his experience in an F-16 simulator: "from 8,000 feet, the houses of Gaza City seem peaceful, wreathed in low, wispy clouds, coming in from the sparkling blue Mediterranean. I bank right and begin spiralling downwards, aiming for the Hamas headquarters in the centre of town, where I will level out at 2,000 ft for my bombing run."

He ends his feature: "In the background to all this is what the air force commanders euphemistically call 'the special mission', or 'operations in the outer envelope'. No Israeli combat pilot will ever allow himself to be quoted on the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. But almost everything they do is focused on preparing themselves for that day. When they talk about flying against threats, it is the Iranian advanced missile systems they are referring to. And when Erez talks of training sessions when “we just fly over Israel around and around to get used to being many hours in the cockpit”, it is the 2000-mile round trip to the Natanz reactor pilots are preparing for.

"Over the past decade, Israel has purchased a squadron of 25 specially modified F-15Is and four squadrons of 102 F-16Is. All these planes have been fitted with special fuel tanks to carry out long-range strategic precision attacks. No-one has any illusion as to their purpose."

The website has a poll on "are the anti-Zionists really anti-Semites?" Currently 48 per cent agree, 52 per cent disagree, but the number of votes is only 107.

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