The leadership of the leftist Physicians for Human Rights organization sent on Wednesday a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, calling them not to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
The letter, signed by many senior doctors, states, “You are preparing the ground to attack or launch an offensive, words which cover up the most terrible word, war, against Iran's nuclear facilities.
“Such an attack, surgical as it may be, is expected to result in a major war which will cost - allegedly - a few hundred fatalities according to estimates by experts in the security system,” reads the letter. “Indeed, we do not have all the data presented to you, but those dry figures far from reflect the real number of victims of such a war, if this nightmare scenario that you and your fellow Cabinet members are promoting will actually come into being."
The doctors criticize in the letter the conduct of the security experts who support the attack, saying, “Those experts omitted from their math many thousands of injuries at different levels and victims of trauma and post-trauma. The experts also exempted themselves from dealing with the question of how hospitals, emergency rooms and interior health departments, which during normal times must cope with an intolerable load, will deal with multiple casualties after you press the start button and give the signal for a war, the consequences of which no one knows.
“Going to war, Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. Minister of Defense, is certainly a ‘step which is no fun,’ to paraphrase the words of one of the ministers. Going to war, Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. Minister of Defense, means killing, destruction, pain and sorrow.”
The physicians conclude by writing, “As men and women of medicine - of mind and body alike - we appeal to you to prevent the residents of Israel from becoming victims of an operation that will in any case only delay and not prevent a nuclear Iran. We believe that the war you are starting is - by definition - a war of choice. We believe that the State of Israel will know how to deal with any future scenario, whether it happens or not, without the need for this certain destruction.”
Speculation has increased over the past few days about an Israeli strike aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Some have speculated that such an attack by Israel could likely occur in September or October.
On Monday, the daily newspaper Maariv reported that Israel has received assurances from the Obama administration, as well as the camp of Republican presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney, that the United States will join a war against Iran on Israel's side, if such a war breaks out.
On Tuesday, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta attempted to play down a possible Israeli attack in Iran.
Dempsey told reporters that he believes an attack by Israel “can delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities,” while Panetta said he did not believe that Israel has made a decision regarding an attack on Iran.
Earlier this week, about 200 people demonstrated outside Barak’s home in Tel Aviv. The demonstrators were protesting against an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and shouted “No to war” and “No to an attack on Iran.”