With regard to Iran, Israel is currently facing two options. It can launch a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, which will allow Israel to survive intact while inflicting minimal loss of life or property against Iran. Alternatively, it can allow Iran to take a preemptive strike against Israel (which would be a nuclear strike), which will result in the complete destruction of Israel and her people. Faced with that choice, what would you do?
I’m thinking of that because my friend the Bald-Headed Geek directed my attention to Bob Federman’s article about the situation facing Israel. Whether in the old paper media or the new blogosphere, there are regular articles about the existential risks facing Israel, but everybody in European and American politics seems to ignore them.
I’m sure they’ll ignore this one too (pity, really), but that probably won’t matter to Israel. Federman’s point is that, with Olmert gone, Israel will almost certainly act on the two lessons she learned from the Holocaust: When a nation says it intends to destroy you, believe it; and you can’t trust anyone other than the Jews to take care of the Jews — and that’s true no matter how well-intentioned others are. America, for example, is a good friend to Israel, as are most American citizens. Nevertheless, without feeling the existential pressure that is an everyday feature of Israeli life, it’s almost impossible for America to respond appropriately to Israel’s security needs.
I leave you with some of Federman’s thoughts:
As each day passes, it becomes more obvious that Iran’s real intention is to develop nuclear weapons. Why does Iran need nuclear weapons? Iranian leaders have given us the answer- they seek the destruction of Israel- yet the world has chosen to ignore it.
Unfortunately, some analysts naively believe that Iran’s threats to Israel are a recent innovation of the current President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The truth is that the goal of the destruction of Israel has long been a fundamental pillar of Iran’s foreign policy. Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, said in a sermon on Iranian television on December 15, 2000, “Iran’s position, which was first expressed by the Imam Khomeini and stated several times by those responsible, is that the cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region.”
However, there is no doubt that Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has taken this madness to a new level. His repeated calls to “wipe Israel off the map” were also accompanied by a government sponsored conference titled “A World Without Zionism” (October, 2005). His most recent outrage was calling Israel “a stinking corpse” on the occasion of its 60th birthday.
Israelis cannot ignore these threats and for good reason. They know that Iran backs its threatening words with deeds. This became evident during the summer of 2006. Following the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, proceeded to fire 4,000 rockets into the cities of northern Israel. These rockets, which were supplied by Iran, sent a clear message to every Israeli: When Iranian leaders speak of the destruction of Israel, they need to be taken for their word.
UPDATE: Just to remind you what Israel is dealing with when it comes to Iran and nuclear weapons.