For most of this past election year, Israeli military planners have been wrestling with the twin problems of Iran and a change of administrations in Washington. The Israeli military was more comfortable with the idea of continued diplomacy with Iran under a McCain administration than it is an Obama administration. McCain was a known quantity. Obama is not.
And what is known about Obama and members of his new administration is not comforting; Obama is reportedly considering Daniel Kurtzner as his special Middle East envoy. Kurtzer earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University. In his dissertation, he blamed the Israeli response to terror attacks for "the radicalization of those Palestinians to violence" whom Kurtzner term "guerrillas" – not terrorists. Kurtzner isn't exactly known in Israeli military circles as a hawk.
According to a report in this week's Jerusalem Post, Israeli Defense Forces are working out attack plans for Iran's nuclear sites that do not involve coordination with the U.S. The Post said that the IDF began working out alternatives after Ehud Olmert asked for, and was expressly denied, a green light to attack Iran.
Iran is already believed to have enough enriched uranium to construct at least one nuclear bomb and, with more than 5,000 centrifuges in operation in Natanz and plans to enlarge enrichment to ultimately involve 54,000 centrifuges, Israel's window of opportunity to put an end to the threat before it is too late is rapidly closing.
Granted, Barack Obama the president may see things differently than Barack Obama the candidate. But Ahmadinejad is a known threat, Obama a largely unknown quantity.
There is an old saying to the effect that it is "better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission," but Israel only has until Jan. 20 to exercise that option.
Israel finds itself at the point of a spear consisting of Iran to the east and Syria to the north. In between are Hezbollah and Hamas.
Syria's chemical and biological arsenals are extensive. Syria's missile delivery systems were proved by Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War.
But according to Bible prophecy, Iran survives the Israeli strike and plays a major role in the coming Russian-led Gog-Magog Alliance foretold by the Prophet Ezekiel. Israel also survives, since the Gog-Magog Alliance eventually marches against it.
But according to Bible prophecy, Damascus, the world's oldest continuously inhabited city, has a much less certain future.
"The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap." (Isaiah 17:1)
Should Syria use chemical weapons against Israel, there is little doubt Israel will respond with tactical nukes. That is precisely the way Isaiah describes it.
"The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not." (Isaiah 17:13-14)