Op-Ed: Only in Israel Series: On the Receiving End of Iran
Dr. Harold GoldmeierThe writer is a former Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University...
The press is saturated with jabber about Israel attacking Iran to set back or destroy its ability to launch a nuclear attack on Israel.
Israel says it is capable and ready to launch a preventive strike against Iran, but is showing great restraint and respect for the U.N., America, and Europe by waiting; she is giving sanctions and negotiations a chance to dissuade Iran--likely, to no avail.
Israel was justified attacking Egypt to keep the Suez Canal open, and in 1967 when the Arab states prepared to attack Israel from multiple directions. The Yom Kippur War Israel nearly lost is a text book case of what happens when a nation does not take preemptive action to protect against existential hostile developments and military build ups.
Last week, Iran again called for Israel's annihilation - not just for Israel to give back land, and sponsored Israel Annihilation Day parades in cities around the world. 120 nations came to the NAM Conference in Tehran, including Ban ki-Moon - never mind his criticism - giving the lie to attempts to isolate the country that blatantly threatens a UN member.
Israel's restraint has nothing to do with election considerations in America. The world has been talking about this for years prior to the current presidential race. That is an anti-Israel canard spewed by regular critics of the Netanyahu government.
Nobody, not the government, not the people, not the military want a war. Israel is thriving on a cold peace with her neighbor States and Palestinian Arab governments. It manages terrorist incursions. The economy steams ahead, and the real estate market bubbles and boils creating new millionaires everyday. Another group of 350 olim arrived this week, despite the talk of war with Iran.
The American government is pressuring her to wait; as a good friend of America and other Western nations, Israel is risking a lot keeping its attack plans tucked away, while Iran develops nuclear weapons to be launched via her new long range missiles. Even some Arab governments urge attacks on Iran, because they fear her maniacal, megalomaniac leaders.
President Obama owes it to the American people to have Congress debate America's role in stopping a nuclear armed Iran from terrorizing the world. The time is over for American policy on this matter being debated in the Oval Office and op-ed columns. This matter may require a declaration of war, and the debate should not be delayed any longer or the continuing subject of banal prattle.
Supporting an Israeli attack, or an American war with Iran, whatever form that attack takes, deserves hearings before elected officials. European nations and Britain should also debate the matter.
Israel's patience, restraint, and most critically, Israel's time, are running thin, as Iran skirts on the brink of actually becoming a nuclear warmonger, evermore boisterous in its threats to Israel, increasing evidence of financial and material support for terror acts around the world, and sinister undermining of other Arab governments.
Israel's restraint and deference to America has brought us to this juncture, not any contrivance to interfere with an election. Rolling those dice would be just stupid, and Netanyahu is not a stupid man.
(Author's postscript: And how are American Jews reacting to the situation? The teaching positions of several in the English-speaking program of a local college are eliminated, because of too few students; the feeling is some parents are not sending their children right now to Israel or letting them remain a second year.)