Some Israelis feel an urgency to attack Iran

With international efforts to increase sanctions against Iran at a standstill, many Israelis believe their nation alone stands in the way of Tehran eventually building nuclear weapons.

By Ashraf Khalil and Paul Richter
The Los Angeles Times

But officials and analysts in Jerusalem also acknowledge that a unilateral attack is fraught with danger and might fail to cripple Iran’s bomb-making abilities. Much of the international community quietly wants Israel to launch a strike, the officials say, but only if it succeeds.

They will be very happy if we do their dirty work for them,” said Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv. “The world is moving into ‘What can we do about it?’ mode. There is a strong instinct here to do it on our own.”

To many in Israel, the situation is reminiscent of 1981, when the Jewish state acted on its own in bombing the Osirak reactor in Iraq, and last year, when it launched a unilateral strike on a suspected nuclear site in Syria.

A wild card in the equation is Israel’s own political situation. With parliamentary elections on the horizon, no leader in Jerusalem is a dove concerning Iran.

Last month, the U.N. Security Council voted to extend sanctions on Iran, but failed to add new strictures. Immediately after, Israeli Cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer charged that “the world has resigned itself to the fact that Iran is going to be a nuclear power. . . . This means only one thing: that we have to look out for ourselves.”

Patrick Clawson, a longtime Iran analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, believes an Israeli strike on Iran would be received with gratitude in some capitals, provided it worked. “Success would have a thousand fathers,” he said. “A lot of Arab countries would be pleased.”

Several Sunni Arab governments, especially the Persian Gulf states, openly worry that a nuclear Iran, a predominantly Shiite Muslim nation, would extend its growing regional influence.

In Israel, the issue of whether to strike first against Iranian nuclear facilities remains a steady topic of debate.

“I don’t know which direction this is going to go in Israel,” said Emily Landau, director of arms control and regional security programs at the Institute for National Security Studies, an Israeli think tank.

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One Response to “Some Israelis feel an urgency to attack Iran”

  1. attendingtheworld Says:

    Since its creation, Israel has always been an aggressor, a terrorist and one that spreads turmoil and hovoc in the Middle East. All wrapped up in a flag of “we’re defending ourselves” but the reality of the events and situation is otherwise.

    Why isn’t the world worried about the Israelis use of their nuclear arsenal and destroying the Middle East especially when they almost used this – Operation Samson – during the 1973 Yom Kippur war, in which Israel was almost divided in half in defeat?


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