A flurry of articles, reports and statements in the past few days by Israeli and American officials have raised the speculation that Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities … soon.
Yesterday, Washington Post Reporter David Ignatius said that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Penatta:
"Believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June - before Iran enters what Israelis described as a 'zone of immunity' to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon - and only the United States could then stop them militarily."
This week, several Israeli leaders warned of the growing Iranian threat.
On Wednesday, Israel's Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said that most important issue and the biggest threat facing Israel was Iran.
He said, "There is no doubt that Iran is striving for a bomb. If it does so within a year or a bit more it will be able to allocate resources and we will see it happening. Iran is a problem of the whole world, of this region and of Israel."
As if to emphasize the point that Iran is a global threat, on Thursday, Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon said Iran is now developing missiles capable of hitting the U.S.
Ya'alon stated "This regime (Iran) has already built missile capability" and added that the R&D missile center where the recent explosion took place was developing a missile with a 10,000 kilometer range.
He said it was "aimed at America not us... Our claim is that the military problem in Iran needs to be stopped… Such a non-conventional regime should not have such non-conventional capabilities."
Later on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that if sanctions don't work, then Iran must face a military strike.
He said, "A nuclear Iran will be more complicated to deal with, more dangerous and mosre costly in blood than if it were stopped today. In other words, he who says in English 'later' may find that 'later is too late.'"
Finally, last week, Ronen Bergem, an Israeli investigative journalist wrote in the New York Times that, "After speaking with many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012."
It sounds and appears that Israel and Iran are on a collision course. The stakes are enormous, the consequences unpredictable and the impact global.
Certainly a time to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the Middle East, and for the leaders of Israel and the U.S.