Article of the day, by Eitan Haber: Remember the Judgment Day war

Posted: June 3, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Iran, Israel, Middle East, Own Articles, Politics, Press and Media, US

1973_Yom_Kippur

EITAN HABER, A veteran journalist, responds to many critics of Benjamin Netanyahu and his “paranoid” idea of Iran being a danger to Israel. Haber writes that Israel should remember the lessons of the Yom Kippur (Judgment Day) war in 1973. In upcoming weeks before the war, Israel had all possible indications of war coming (besides clear declaration by Arab leaders). Yet, high-ranking Israeli intelligence officials – and some in the government – decided to ignore the warning, instead focusing on ‘The Concept’, according to which Egypt was not yet ready to attack and Syria wouldn’t attack without it. Yet, the officers of AMAN – IDF’s intelligence branch – believed in concept so much, they were sure the enemy would not strike, thus the attack itself came as a total surprise to most.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may indeed be paranoid, haunted by the Holocaust, obsessive, and a chronic coward – yet he is completely right to place the Iranian nuclear threat at the top of Israel’s agenda, while also trying to push it onto the American agenda.

If Netanyahu is wrong or if he is deceiving us, and if it turns out that we merely cried wolf, Bibi will be slammed from all directions. He is already used to it.

Yet if this is not the case, then the prime minister was completely justified in presenting Obama with a matter which could be a life and death question for us. Negligent handling of this matter would border on treason.

While I do not believe striking Iran is a swell option, Israel walking it alone is one even worse. While Bush’s US supported Israel, Iranians had something to think about before planning development of an actual nuclear weapon.

Obama’s approach might do as well – diplomacy is a good way, and a preferred way, out of the conflict. Yet, as we have seen on many occasions, radical Arab statesmen will use diplomacy as a sign of weakness, trumpeting it all over their media and press.

For current US President, it is important to comprehend an important axiom: Ahmadinejad might only want nuclear electricity. However, his plans could indeed be hostile. In this case, Obama does not have the years – many years – he needs to improve relationship with the Arab world, on expense of Israel. While diplomacy is a great option, some toughness in his stance would not be out of order.

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