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August 16, 2012 10:46 am

7 Reasons Why Israel Should Neutralize the Iranian Threat Today

avatar by Dovid Efune

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IAF F-16 Aircraft. Photo: wiki commons.

Israeli media is buzzing with talk of an imminent IAF strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and in many cases, is voicing strong opposition to military action. Arguments against a strike from major Hebrew publications point to perceived Israeli weakness, including the charges that Israel isn’t prepared for this military conflict, and that the price of war would be too dear.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who has been described as “the most influential journalist/blogger on matters related to Israel”, weighed in on the subject, listing “7 Reasons Why Israel Should Not Attack Iran’s Nuclear Facilities.” Bizarrely at his bottom line, he is concerned “that an Israeli attack would inadvertently create conditions for an acceleration of the Iranian nuclear program.” This is an unlikely outcome even as a worst case scenario. In his argument he simultaneously undermines the strength and preparedness of the IDF, the global interest in halting Iranian nuclear progress, the American public’s support for the Jewish state, and the will of the Iranian people to overthrow their oppressive masters. Goldberg has come a long way since 2002, when he wrote that “the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.”

In passing, Goldberg cites the risk of weakening international sanctions as one of his reasons for Israel not to strike Iran. He fails however to make the possibility of their success a central theme of his case. I have therefore assumed that he is in agreement with U.S. and Israeli officials that the current sanctions program has not affected Iran’s nuclear ambitions at all.

In response to Goldberg’s list, below I offer 7 Reasons why Israel should neutralize the Iranian threat today. Each argument is presented as a direct reply to the items he has listed that can be read on The Altantic’s website.

1.       The only possible justification for jeopardizing the lives of innocents, whether soldiers, first responders or even civilians is in the interest of guaranteeing prevention of future devastation and loss of life that is far greater. What a nuclear Iran promises is nothing short of an atomic holocaust and possibly a third world war such as has never been seen before. The equation here couldn’t be more straightforward, considering the alternative; the world has no choice.

2.       Whilst there are significant risks involved in an Israeli strike on Iran, and each scenario presents its own challenges, Israel has a near perfect track record of success in pre-emptive air force missions. The most notable of which include, the Six Day War, Operation Entebbe, Operation Opera (the bombing of the Iraqi Osirak reactor), and Operation Orchard (the destruction of Syria’s nuclear plant).

3.       In the event that an Israeli strike only delays Iran’s ambitions, the growing economic and military cost brought upon the country by the belligerence of the Ayatollahs could inspire the revitalization of the green revolution. Ordinary Iranians understand that their isolation is a result of their leaders’ recalcitrance and may seize the opportunity to rise up from within.

World powers all have an interest in keeping Iran in check, and whilst they may publicly berate Israel, in practice they are unlikely to withdraw their own efforts to this end.

4.       Sunni Arabs and others that are among those that stand to benefit greatly from the halting of the nuclear program would be empowered by Iran’s weakening, especially in their battle against Assad in Syria whose maniacal regime is practically propped up by the Iranians. In 2010, Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia “repeatedly exhorted the United States to cut off the head of the snake by launching military strikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables,” made public by Wikileaks. In private, Arab leaders throughout the Middle East would be eternally grateful, further turning on Iran and its Shiite allies.

5.       By accelerating the inevitable confrontation between the West and Iran, Israel would be forcing the struggle to play out when the stakes are at their lowest. Any action initiated once Iran is nuclear, risks greater loss of life. Additionally, Israel is able to take advantage of the ‘surprise element’ factor.

6.       It is highly unlikely that Iran would retaliate against American targets, especially if the United States continues to publicly distance itself from Israeli actions. The Iranians understand that drawing America into a potential conflict would spell their imminent demise.
Americans overwhelmingly support Israel and recognize that the Iranian threat affects their interests as well. In a March 13th 2012 Reuters poll, a majority of U.S. citizens backed a U.S. strike on the Iranian nuclear program by a margin of 56% – 39%, and they will be most grateful that Israel is doing the bulk of the work, even if it means dealing with Iranian blow-back.
President Obama’s reluctance is a factor of concern to Netanyahu, but all the more reason to take action now. With the American public behind the Israelis, if Obama dithered in backing up the Jewish state when push came to shove, he would be sealing his own political demise. If re-elected after his upcoming election, there is no telling how he might respond.

7.       The current American President hasn’t done nearly enough to assuage the concerns of the Israelis and prove his seriousness about preventing Iran from going nuclear. He hasn’t clarified his red lines or deadlines, has allowed exemptions from sanctions to various countries and has obliged the luxuriating positions of Iran’s negotiators.  He has shown himself to practice the realpolitik diplomacy of Henry Kissinger that speaks to interests over morals, casting aside time honored allegiances in favor of immediate diplomatic gain. As such Israel’s simply can’t risk entrusting the fate of its citizens into his hands.

The situation we find ourselves in at present is by no means pleasant and has only been furthered by the short sighted freak-show of stumbling buffoonery that makes up much of the leadership of the world’s global powers today. All the more reason for clear minded visionaries to take bold, well considered actions.

In the meantime, Americans like Jeffrey Goldberg should stay their tongues, lay down their pens, and bow their heads in humble awe of the sacrifice pledged by IDF servicemen, their families and the nation of Israel, which once again offers the blood of its youth in the service of world peace, asking for nothing in return.

The author is the editor of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • All people participating in the ongoing speculation about strikes or not at Iran has to be aware of the risks. We are talking about war! When said, one must consider what it is all about. It is not Israel as a trigger-happy nation out to find a suitable opponent to argue there is on hand here. Whether we sit in a comfortable office, somewhere in a big city in America or Europe, or cultivate the land in a kibbutz, the key to strike the nuclear facilities in enemy-land has only one answer: Attack!
    The above arguments get the issue of war and quiet open. Aside from these arguments there are speculations about the Iranian president’s mental mindsets. Some say that the priesthood wants to provoke an Israeli attack. Even an atomic Amagedon will not scare them – they seek the Apocalypse. Do not be fooled. Why did bin Laden hide like a nervous rodent first in caves in Tora Bora later in a strong fortressed bungalow in Pakistan?
    All of the high-commanding Nazis did everything to escape their destiny in the devastated Berlin, in 1945. Despite their verbal deathwish, it was quite just words. The willingness to kill millions did not apply to their own dear bodies. As for the brown-caped mullahs of the Sharia-State, their deathwishes are not for their kin. Well kill them, then!

  • Liz

    Instead of letting Israel dispatch Iran’s nuclear program early on, as Israel did Iraq’s in the 1980’s, the West has forced her to stand by, watching Iran’s facilities grow evermore dangerous. It seems to me, holding Israel back this way is part of the West’s larger plan to help the Arabs eliminate Israel. With that in mind, I certainly hope, in addition to preparing its airman for the task and everyone else for the consequences, that Israel prepares a message of response for when the world goes into hysterics, chastising Israel for defending herself. she should remind everyone how Saudi Arabia and other Arab states begged the U.S. to do it, and then promise not to ever stand down as she did for years this time around, when the Jewish State is faced with such a dangerous threat again.

  • Chaya

    Don’t forget the Six-Day War. People were saying pretty much the same thing as they are now.

    As we say after Alenu:

    “Contrive a scheme but it shall be foiled, construe an evil plot but it shall not prevail, for G-d is with us.” Yeshiahu 8:10.

    Doesn’t anyone believe in G-d anymore?

  • Let those on the left or the right, or even center, who would advise Israeli elected officials on what actions they should take, move to Israel.

    They could then put their lives where their words are, or where they may have contributed funds. That also puts Prof. Dershowitz, Sheldon Adelson, and the American advocacy groups on the right and left in Israel.

    And it also could remove any shadow of doubt that American Jews vote for what they believe is best for America, rather than any other country–just as we would hope that Israelis vote for what they believe is best for Israel, rather than any other country.

  • The reason Israel will attack the Iranian nuclear facilities is actually quite straightforward. The
    choice is stark, either use everything you’ve got to delay Iran getting the bomb for a year and hope that something will change in the meantime, like the American electorate electing a president who does not promote the Muslim Brotherhood, or face being incinerated by the Mahdi seeking apocalyptic Twelvers. Simply put, Israel has no other choice, and when someone has no other choice they do things which to others would seem incredible.

    David Grossman vs. Bernard Lewis. Whom do you trust more on Iran?

  • Mark NYC

    In addition to attacking their nuclear weapons programs, I think that the Israeli’s also need to cripple the source of money that allows them to develop such capabilities, both now and in the future (i.e., after an Israeli strike). Specifically, they need to attack the Iranians capability to produce and sell oil. This would cause an enormous howl from those who benefit from these supplies, but who cares. During WWII,the Allies didn’t hesitate to bomb the strategic assets of their enemies to win their war. They also didn’t hesitate to bomb cities in both Germany and Japan despite the large loss of civilian life.

  • George

    Rather then “offering” their children to fight the Israelis are scared to death of writers like you who sit in conformt of your NY office and encourage a amagadon scenario of a war with Iran.

  • Kill the bastards! As General Patton explained in his articulate fashion : The purpose of war is to make the other dumb bastard die for his country! Kill the bastards!

  • Lillian Freedman

    kol hakavod! so glad you are writing so articulately for all of us. Sorry we didnt get to meet when I was in New York.Keep up the important work you are doing,Lillian