A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
November 3, 2011- Attack on Iran?
One subject has dominated the news here in the past few days, and that is whether Israel is planning, to attack Iran. The discussions which began, as I reported earlier this week, from an article that appeared in Yediot Achronot on Friday, have spread to all forms of media, both in Israel and throughout the world. This discussion comes in advance of the release of an alarming UN report expected to show that Iran’s nuclear armament program is further along than previously reported. To make the speculation all the more real, the media focused on an Israeli Aiforce exercise in Italy, where the IAF practiced long range attacks, and Israel's test firing yesterday of what seems to be a new Israeli ballistic missile. Of course, both the joint airforce exercise and the missile launch were planned months ago, but they did conveniently focus the world's attention on what Israel might do.
Will Israel actually go it alone? or is it all posturing to get others to act? I hope it is the later, but I am certainly not sure. That an Iranian nuclear weapon imperils Israel I have no doubt. If we could eliminate that threat with a single strike, as we did with Iraq, I would be cheering the government on. However, at the moment that seems unlikely, though probably not impossible.
This Saturday night we will commemorate 16 years since the assassination of then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Today, when I reflect at why he pushed for Oslo and the Peace Agreement, I remember that it was not for any love of Arafat, or the Palestinians, but rather because he recognized the real threat Israel was going to face in the coming decades was from Iran, and therefore he needed to neutralize the conflict with the Palestinians. Unfortunately, the current Israeli government has taken nearly the opposite path.
So where does this leave us? Living in downtown Tel Aviv somehow makes the threat a little ,more real. What course would I choose... Rely on the Arrow Anti-Missile system to down any incoming missile? try to stop the Iranian program before its too late by launching an airstrike? Hope sanction that have had no true effect to date will start to work? I think between the options I would choose the Arrow system, combined with deterrence. Of course that is only if our continued sabatoge of their program eventually fails, and the US cannot be convinced to attack. It is not an easy choice, but I fear the unintended consequences of a unilateral Israeli strike, and I further fear this society, one which forced the government to exchange one soldier for 1,000 terrorist is not ready to endure the possibility of large scale missile attacks from North and South that will probably be a consequence of an attack on Iran.