[Note that Israel crippled that Iraqi nuclear plant 25 years ago with an attack (over the weekend) that cost no lives.  Iran is a country with a population roughly 3 times that of Iraq and a critical location that could cripple the world’s supply of oil, if attacked.  It would be virtually impossible to destroy its dispersed nuclear equipment.  Thus, it does not look from here that military solutions are the way to go.  One of the gains of our American election may be that it will rescue Israel from what could manifestly become an impotent suicidal gesture. Let us hope for better.  Peace in the region still is the best course for all involved there.  We need an American foreign policy that strives for that end.  Ed Kent]


Last update – 14:03 10/11/2006
Ephraim Sneh: Israel may be forced to attack Iran
By Haaretz Service and the Associated Press

Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh suggested in comments published Friday that Israel might be forced to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program – the clearest statement yet of this possibility from a high-ranking Israeli official.

“I am not advocating an Israeli pre-emptive military action against Iran and I am aware of its possible repercussions,” Sneh told The Jerusalem Post daily. “I consider it a last resort. But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort,” hey said.

Sneh’s tough talk is the boldest to date by a high-ranking Israeli official. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other leaders frequently discuss the Iranian threat in grave terms, but stop short of discussing military action against Tehran.

The former Israel Defense Forces brigadier general said that Israel cannot afford “living under a dark cloud of fear from a leader committed to its destruction.” Under such a threat, he said, “most Israelis would prefer not to live here; most Jews would prefer not to come here with their families; and Israelis who can live abroad will.”

“People are not enthusiastic about being scorched,” he said.

Sneh said Israel’s greatest possible danger could be Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ability “to kill the Zionist dream without pushing a button. That’s why we must prevent this regime from obtaining nuclear capability at all costs.”

The deputy minister said that while he hopes that efficient sanctions would be imposed by the international community against Iran, “the chances are not high… My working assumption is that they won’t succeed.”

Government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Sneh’s comments did not necessarily reflect the view of the government or Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Israel crippled Iraq’s nuclear program 25 years ago with an airstrike on its unfinished nuclear reactor at Osiraq. Experts say Iran has learned from Iraq’s mistakes, scattering its nuclear facilities and building some underground.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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