From Israel, It Looks Different

[Ha'aretz] Aluf Benn - This is the assessment of the situation at the top diplomatic and military levels in Israel: Iran is moving, unhindered, toward a nuclear bomb. Blocking it with economic sanctions has failed, mainly because Russia, Germany and Italy refuse to stop doing business with the Iranians. Two options remain on the table: to come to terms with Iran's nuclearization because there is no alternative, or to stop it by force. The chances of an American attack appear small. Israel, it seems, is waiting for Bush's decision, which will be taken during the coming year, before it decides to attack Iran itself. From Jerusalem, the Iranian threat looks much more palpable and scarier and the response much simpler and more focused. Presumably, Iran, like Iraq and Syria in their turn, will find it hard to respond. Perhaps it will launch some missiles at Israel plus Hizbullah rockets from Lebanon, and perhaps it will initiate a terror attack on an Israeli target abroad. This would be painful but bearable and would be perceived as a justified price for getting rid of an existential threat. Someone who lives in Chicago or Miami can live comfortably with an Iranian bomb, just as he lived under the Soviet threat. An inhabitant of Tel Aviv must be far more worried. In its refusal of sanctions and serious organization against Iran, the world is quietly pushing Israel toward a decision to attack.

2007-10-19 01:00:00

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