Countdown: Israel Faces Historic Decision

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Last week, a top Iranian official said some within Iran are recommending their government launch a preemptive strike against Israel.

According to the official, the attack would stop Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. It's one more indication of the rising tensions between the two nations.

Today best-selling author Joel Rosenberg joined The 700 Club for a more in depth look at the situation in the Middle East. Click play to watch the interview.

Who's the True Aggressor?

The question in the Middle East has often been, will Israel attack Iran? But some wonder, would Iran first strike Israel to stop attacks on its nuclear facilities?

Middle East analyst Caroline Glick is the author of the book Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad.

"We always act as though we decide whether we attack or not, but really the side that's been attacking on their own initiative - whether it's in Iraq or Afghanistan or Israel - since 1979 has been Iran."

Glick warns that Iran's history of aggression shows what will happen if they get nuclear bombs.

She said, "It's made it absolutely clear that if they acquire them they will use them. And use them first and foremost against the Jewish people and the State of Israel. They have to be stopped."

Glick says Israel is especially vulnerable.

"From the perspective of a missile attack, only one needs to go in," Glick said. "You've heard of a one-horse town. This is a one-bomb country. The density of the population on the coastal plain is so high that one bomb could really decimate the country."

If Israel tries to stop Iran, many analysts speculate the strike might come between the U.S. elections on November 4 and the inauguration of the next U.S. President on January 20.

That timetable revolves around the U.S. election cycle, but others warn Israel might have another time frame in mind.

Russia is reportedly set to deliver nuclear fuel to Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant by the end of this year or beginning of next year. It could eventually produce enough plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

Nuke Clock Winds Down

Some say if Israel wants to stop the Bushehr plant, it has a limited time frame.

"If they're going to do it before they load the uranium fuel as they did with the Iraqi reactor in 1981 they need to it probably within the next two to four months. If they're going to do it before it operates they have maybe six to eight months is my best estimate," nuclear engineer Tim Dart said.

Glick said, "We bombed Osirik when we did and we bombed in Syria when we did because they were right before that point when they get hot."

Dart says once a nuclear plant goes "hot," it becomes a Chernobyl waiting to happen.

"After you operate a reactor it makes a witch's brew of radioactive isotopes, plutonium, amorisium, cesium, stranium, krypton - all these elements and the health hazards that they would release to the atmosphere would be horrible and a horrible insult to the environment," Dart said.

"The whole world community would be in an uproar," he said. "Again it would be similar to a Chernobyl. And the Israelis can not afford to create a Chernobyl event over there."

Given the nature of the dangers, it appears that within the next several months, Israel faces one of the most important decisions in its history.

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Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief

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