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Issues of the Day The Government’s Iran Stance and the Prevailing Doubt

Given the dangers inherent to a nuclear Iran, with its stated intention of destroying Israel and its hegemonic designs on the region,  the Israeli public debate on whether to launch a military strike against  this adversary is remarkable in several respects: It has shown how Israelis, ranging from officials (including President Shimon Peres)  to ordinary civilians feel free to  dissent against government decision. It also reveals how little confidence military experts, the media and ordinary people have in the Netanyahu-Barak government.

The case against Israel undertaking a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities includes the limited utility, perhaps even futility, of such an operation in arresting that country’s designs. Further, such an attack would likely result in a  state of war, including hostilities on multiple fronts and missile attacks on Israeli population centers emanating from Iran, the south of Lebanon and Gaza. Rockets are posed that could inflict heavy casualties and damage on Israel.

President Peres maintains that his American counterpart is committed to stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. An exceedingly broad spectrum of defense and security experts assert that Israel can achieve little without America’s involvement in providing ordinance and logistics sufficient to destroy Iranian nuclear installations.

By persisting in prosecuting what the prevailing consensus deems would be an ill-advised, perhaps even pyrrhic undertaking the Netanyahu and Barak government fortify the impression that they are more interested in extraneous concerns, specifically their political survival, than in steering the country through the multiple domestic, regional and international issues that demand difficult decisions. Among the pressing concerns that the Netanyahu government doggedly neglects are Israel’s socioeconomic fracture lines and the state of no-peace, with the Palestinian issue and the end of the occupation at its core.


Israel has a keen interest in the international effort to stop a nuclear Iran and it should contribute in every way possible to that mobilization. Our leaders may not, however, use the Iranian issue to forestall progress on the other vital matters affecting the future welfare of the country or to drag us unnecessarily into war. 

© Yosef Gotlieb, . All rights reserved