Daily Israel Report

Demonstrators Outside Barak's Home: No Strike on Iran

About 200 people demonstrate against an attack on Iran outside the home of Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/13/2012, 4:41 AM

Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Flash 90

About 200 people demonstrated on Sunday evening outside the home of Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv. The demonstrators were protesting against an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Channel 10 News reported that the protesters shouted “No to war” and “No to an attack on Iran.”

One demonstrator was detained by police after he held up a picture of Barak in a Nazi officer’s uniform. The other protesters forced him to lower the sign before his arrest.

Among the participants in the demonstration was Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon, who said, “A government that does not know how to put out fires must not be allowed to go to war. It is unconscionable folly to initiate a military operation that all the professionals and experts explain will have no chance of succeeding and will hurt underprivileged citizens who have no safe room or shelter.”

A Tel Aviv councilman predicted on Sunday that it will take 24 hours to get all the bomb shelters in the city open in the event of a missile strike.

City councilman Moshe Tiomkin, who was quoted Sunday by Army Radio, said that all of the city's 400 public shelters would be open and ready for use within a day. Tiomkin is in charge of defense and emergency management for the city.

However, the Home Front Command was not as confident and said that in the event of a missile strike on Tel Aviv, it may take up to 48 hours to get all the public shelters in the city open.

Meanwhile, a Channel 10 survey conducted by the Dialogue Institute found that 46% of Israelis believe that Israel should not attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. 32% said Israel should attack Iran and 22% say they do not know.

Also on Sunday, Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accused the government of creating "hysteria" over Iran and said that there is no need for an immediate strike against its nuclear facilities.

"There is no reason to get uptight," he said in a panel at the Ono Academic College, "certainly not in the immediate range. Iran has still not drawn near to that threshold that would force us to reassess the situation. I think it is not right and not responsible to act in a way that blatantly ignores the interests of additional bodies, among them those of the greatest friend that Israel has."

Olmert blamed senior members of the government and Knesset of "blabbing" too much about a planned strike and named Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak as people causing "fear and discomfort" in the Israeli populace by talking too much.

Former IDF Operations Commander Yisrael Ziv warned on Sunday that an Israeli military attack on Iran would ignite a regional war.

Ziv reiterated other officials' observations that an attack cannot be compared with the aerial strike on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 and said, “We are talking about a number of operations and not just one.”

He also warned that a flood of statements from the offices of the Prime Minister and the Defense Ministry signal a “worrisome lack of security” in the government.