Yes, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Israel, just a few hotel blocks from where we’re staying. While Dr. Rice is trying to prepare the Middle East players for a summit in Annapolis, Md., in a few weeks, we’re trying to make sense of this Israeli-Iranian conflict while we broadcast our live radio show from Jerusalem.

What was most shocking about our first day on the ground was Israel’s obsession with Iran. They truly believe that unlike other Arab leaders that have threatened Israel since her existence, Iran actually has the capacity to put its rhetoric into action. Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, they’re developing nuclear capability and it’s purported that they’re supporting Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. They feel Israel and the Western values of the U.S are detrimental to the Islamic order.

We’ve heard the rumblings from the Bush administration about an attack on Iran and thought it was insane given the catastrophic situation in Iraq. However, being in Israel, one begins to realize that Iran’s mission is one of religious conviction that makes them believe that for the higher good and their mystic connection with God they must rid the world of Israel and eventually the United States.

In other words, they’re here to bring about Armageddon, and if they lose their lives in the process they believe they will be rewarded in the afterlife. If half of what I’m hearing here in Israel is true, then the Bush administration’s warlike message to Iran may be long overdue.

Williams is in Israel until Oct. 21. — Ed.