JTA reports for The New York Jewish Week that Israel’s intelligence minister and a member of the Cabinet’s defense forum Yisrael Katz told Israeli Army Radio that U.S. defense officials “updated Israel in real time” on the Trump administration’s missile attack at Shayrat Air Base in Syria in the early morning hours of April 7.
The attack killed 18 Syrian civilians, including 5 children (AFP) — which is most ironic because Trump had justified the missile strike as a retaliation against Syrian children being killed by an alleged chemical attack allegedly by the Assad government.
Both Yisrael Katz and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu heaped praises on Trump for the missile attack. Katz enthused:
“There are things that only the No. 1 superpower in the world can do. In contrast to the failed policy of leading from behind, which led to Iran’s entrenchment, the United States has restored America’s regional leadership in a big way in the Middle East.”
Netanyahu praised Trump in a statement that Trump, “in both word and action,” had “sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision.” Israel “hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”
In 1993, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment WMD proliferation assessment recorded Israel as a country generally reported as having undeclared offensive chemical warfare capabilities. Former US deputy assistant secretary of defense responsible for chemical and biological defense Dr. Bill Richardson said in 1998 “I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time… There’s no doubt they’ve had stuff for years.”
Israel is believed to have developed an offensive biological warfare capability. The US Congress Office of Technology Assessment records Israel as a country possessing a long-term, undeclared biological warfare program. Israel is not a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
Even the U.S. Congress wasn’t “updated in real time” about the U.S. missile attack.
CBS/AP reports, April 7, 2017:
The U.S. missile strikes Thursday on a Syrian air base were conducted without formal congressional approval….
Trump did let Congress know of his plans to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles Thursday evening…. A White House official said more than two dozen members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, were briefed Thursday by White House and Cabinet officials. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the No. 3 U.S. official, said he was among those informed.
So what is it about Israel that warrants its government having the unique privilege of being “updated in real time” on a U.S. missile attack against a third country?
Inquiring minds really want to know.
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