The Iran Threat: Clear and Present Danger

(New York Sun) Amnon Rubinstein - * Beyond the rhetoric relating to the Iranian menace lies a clear and present danger to the very existence of Israel. The facts are that only one country is the immediate target for a nuclear holocaust: Israel. * The fact is that there is no indication that international pressure and possible sanctions - which in all probability will anyway be vetoed by China and Russia - will be efficacious. * The facts are that the president of a powerful and rich country openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map; that Israel is tiny and totally vulnerable to such attacks; that in fact one well-aimed Hiroshima-type old fashioned nuclear device could destroy the Jewish state and thus complete that which President Ahmadinejad claims did not happen in Europe. * Can mutual deterrence of the sort that saved humanity during the Cold War be effective here? Such an assumption is doubtful. The motives that move Iran's leadership are fundamentally religious, and rational considerations play little, if any, role. * Consider the fact that Iran's president is not deterred by the fact that "wiping off" Israel would inevitably mean "wiping off" tens of thousands of devout Palestinian Muslims - for whom this jihad is ostensibly launched. * Indeed, Iran's policy on nuclear armament and its threats to annihilate Israel elevates the idea of suicide bombers to the level of national strategy. * All this may seem unnecessarily alarmist. But the history of the 20th century has taught us to take seriously threats uttered by armed dictators full of hate and ill will. The writer is president of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.

2006-04-19 00:00:00

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