Iran, Syria May Talk Big, But Will They Act?

(Ha'aretz) Yoel Marcus - The banquet at Syrian President Bashar Assad's palace last weekend for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah is certainly in Iran's interest, but it is unclear whether it is in Syria's. Assad's regime is among those Iran would like to bring down. Assad is not only not Shi'ite, he is not religious. As for Ahmadinejad, he has a big mouth - he does not understand that the more he threatens us with a second Holocaust, the more he spurs Israel to build greater means of deterrence and increases its willingness to use them. The reasoning, as Ronen Bergman wrote last week in Yediot Ahronot, which won the day when former Prime Minister Menachem Begin ordered the bombing of the Iraqi reactor and by which the Syrian reactor was bombed, is that a country calling for the destruction of Israel must not be given the means to do so. Our deterrence is based on force and the willingness to use it in the face of a threat to our survival. Israel's reputation is built on deterrence. Iran, full of itself, could presume that we will not act or we will not be allowed to act. But good intelligence on their part can depend on precedents where we did act in similar circumstances.

2010-03-03 07:56:38

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