In his book ‘The Fifth Discipline’ the author Peter Senge tells the story of the boiling frog. A frog placed in a pan of boiling water will jump straight out of it. However, a frog placed in a pan of cold water that is then slowly brought to a boil will swim around in circles inside the pan, getting groggier and groggier, until it is boiled to death.
Imagine it is summer 1975. Israel’s Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin is woken up early in the morning by his military secretary. An urgent meeting with the defence minister, the chief of staff, the head of Mossad and the head of military intelligence takes place. A shocking picture is presented to the Prime Minister.
It emerges that overnight, Iranian backed revolutions took place simultaneously in the Lebanon and in the Gaza strip. Iranian cargo ships and transport planes landed hundreds of thousands of missiles and rockets on Syrian, Lebanese and Gazan soil which were quickly dispersed and made ready to be fired deep into Israel. At the same time the Iranian regime announced a comprehensive and well advanced nuclear programme, hitherto kept secret, which although described as peaceful, had all the hallmarks of a nuclear weapon development effort at its final stages.
It is highly likely that Rabin would have declared a national emergency, placed the army at the highest state of alert, ordered an immediate call of all reserve units and prepared Israel for an imminent war. He would also have asked the chief of staff to present within hours his plans for a massive pre-emptive strike that will disrupt enemy plans and reduce the impact of the impending attack.
The events described above have all happened – but not overnight. They took over thirty years to unfold. During that period the water in which the Israeli frog was swimming was slowly brought to the boil. It did not jump out and it is now facing a grave and mortal danger.