What Bulgaria bombing means to Israel, Iran and US

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 19, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


MICHAEL OREN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: I will certainly choose the time and place, and we will react firmly. The Israeli people, state, army of Israel will defend itself and Iranians will know they cannot shed Israeli blood with impunity.


BRET BAIER, HOST: Ambassador Michael Oren of Israel joining us earlier in the show, this on a day where a bus carrying Israeli youth exploded in a Bulgarian resort killing at least six so far, wounding some 32. The Israeli prime minister reacted quickly saying this, "All signs point to Iran. This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world. Israel will react strongly to Iran's terror." I asked the ambassador about that that was his answer, the time of Israel's choosing. Charles, what about this?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I think Israel will react strongly but not rashly. When our embassies were attacked in 1998 in Tanzania and Kenya, we responded by launching attacks with missiles into Afghanistan and destroying a factory in the Sudan. That's not, I think, what Israel is going to do. If it attacked physically Iran, it could trigger a war and that would not be at a time of Israel's choosing. I think it will be pushed into a war and I think it's too wise to undertake that.

I think what Israel will do is what it traditionally does, as it did on the attack on its athletes in the Olympics 40 years ago where it finds out methodically who did it and all of a sudden terrorists all over the world turn up dead. That is I think the kind of response that Israel will do.

On the nuclear issue, it either will or will not attack, but I think it will be on a different timetable.

BAIER: This, Juan, adds to all of this that is building between Israel and Iran.

JUAN WILLIAMS, THEHILL.COM: There's no question. The thing is, what will be measured retaliation? And from, again, the U.S. interest, what does it call for the U.S. to do to support Israel to make it very clear --

BAIER: You are looking at the bus, by the way.

WILLIAMS: -- that the U.S. believes that Iran was involved in this attack and has evidence of it? We have not heard any such evidence thus far, but clearly Israel believes, and asking the U.S. to support the idea, that Iran is perpetrator of these horrific crimes against these young Israelis.

BAIER: There are similar attacks or attempted attacks in India, Georgia, Cyprus. You have seen the attempted attack on the ambassador to Saudi Arabia in here Washington, D.C. So there is a track record here.

WILLIAMS: We don't know, I think in terms of attack here in the U.S., we believe that it was directly tied to Iranians. We don't know the about the entirety of the record in terms of evidence. The question is what is the appropriate response? And will it, given the tensions about the Iranian nuclear capability, will it mean that now Israel feels that the U.S. will approve of launching that attack?


PAT BUCHANAN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: This was an atrocity, a murderous atrocity against civilians. Secondly, it was probably a reprisal for the Iranian scientists, five of whom were murdered in Tehran. But, third, it was a provocation.  For the Iranians to do something like this in broad daylight, murdering civilians, they had to think through what the Israeli reaction is going to be. And the Israelis ought to think through and ask themselves why did they do this to our people? What do they expect to us do? When do they expect to us to do it?

That's why I tend to agree with Charles on this. The Israelis ought to think through how they are going to counter attack against this and not do anything rationally. This is like a red cape snapped in front of a bull.  The Iranians are expecting a reaction, and the Israelis ought not to comply. I would think here of the old adage revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

BAIER: This is also the 18th anniversary of a bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina, 18 years ago killing 85 people.

KRAUTHAMMER: Which is why that is a large piece of evidence. The Iranians whom our own State Department says is the bigger exporter of terror in the world were clearly behind that, and that is not Israel speaking or Zionist speaking. That was an Argentinean inquiry into the bombing and it concluded that it was Iran behind it.

Think about this. It wasn't an Israeli embassy. It was a Jewish community center, as you have one in Washington. The attack was on Jews.  It was a way -- look, this is retaliation for the attack happening today in Bulgaria on Jews, tell me what the attack in Argentina was in retaliation for. It's in retaliation for Israel's existence. That's the grievance Iran has with Israel.

BUCHANAN: Do the Iranians want Israelis to strike Iran now? That would be my question, because, you know, why would they -- you do something like this in broad daylight, and the natural reaction is we're coming right for you to pay you back and maybe we'll hit Natanz, or something like that.  What do the Iranians want Israelis to do is my question.

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