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Israel succeeds when it strikes first (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) Dan Margalit 08/19/12) Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2432
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A few words in favor of an immediate Israeli attack on Iran: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah really mean it when they say they will destroy Israel. Purists tend to disagree with this comparison, but that doesn´t make it invalid: Adolf Hitler announced in advance what he was planning to do, and he was not taken seriously. True, America declares that it will prevent the ayatollahs from gaining nuclear weapons capability, but American also had good intentions when it came to North Korea and Pakistan, in vain.
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This is particularly true at a time when economic sanctions are failing to achieve the desired results, and the world is largely ignoring the fact that negotiations between the West and sly Tehran have completely failed. In Israel, meanwhile, there is unprecedented opposition: Men are shaking their fellow men to their foundations for no good reason, telling lies upon lies, and while a public debate on the issue is entirely legitimate, there are those who are trying to expropriate the government´s authority to decide, and to sow panic. President Shimon Peres, overstepping the bounds of his authority, declares that not only is he opposed to a strike at this time, he is against any kind of military action. We mustn´t believe those who claim that when they´ve had it up to here with the plutonium they will support an attack. They will always find a reason to oppose.
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A few words against an immediate Israeli attack on Iran: Israel´s actions have prompted the global community to impose tough sanctions on Iran and to confront Tehran over its nuclear program. We must give U.S. President Barack Obama, who has publicly vowed to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons capability, an opportunity to live up to his word. Israel only has limited capabilities — to delay the production of an Iranian nuclear bomb by a few years — but an attack on Iran now would only ignite the Middle East. When the top echelons of the defense establishment voice opposition to such a move, their opinion should be given a lot of weight when the government makes its final decision.
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Furthermore, an attack could launch an all-out Israel-Iran war, which could last for a long time. At best, it would prompt a slow but consistent trickle of missiles directed at Israel from Iran and its satellites. Add to that the financial cost of such a move, which, in reality, we have already begun to pay. An Israeli attack would be considered an irreparable insult to Obama, who has every chance of being re-elected president of the U.S. Haste makes waste.
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The debate is legitimate, even though it has taken on dimensions that indicate a lot of baseless hatred. But as it develops, it would be wise to add a few more ingredients, such as the fact that, ever since the War of Independence, every pre-emptive strike launched by Israel (Sinai, Six-Day War) has been a success. Its only failure came when, in efforts to appease the U.S., the government forbade the army from carrying out a pre-emptive strike ahead of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Is history now repeating itself?
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On the other hand, a democratic government cannot launch a pre- emptive war when most of the defense establishment opposes such a move. How will this problem be resolved if an attack becomes a reality?
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This too is clear: The pro and con list is irrelevant if the talk of a strike is merely an effort by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to pressure the world into blocking Iran and arming Israel with the necessary weapons to carry out a strike. If that is the case, and there is no proof one way or the other, it is clear that the debate within Israel is detrimental to Israel´s interests. In this case, the chatter stemming from opposition to a military strike has overpowered the national interest.
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