Israel today is facing threats unlike any other in its extraordinary history. In a period of tremendous global instability, the nation is beginning to tremble violently, highlighted by the recent internal unrest in Hebron. Wars and rumors of war are swirling about; fear frothing amongst continual conflict with the Palestinians; horrors howling in the winds surrounding the Jewish land. Amid this chaos, cold, unrepentant action must be taken by Israel against her greatest threat.
Israel’s greatest threat is of course the Islamic Republic of Iran. Little reminder is needed of Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s pernicious pronouncements against Israel. Despicably, Iran’s Vice President Esfandyar Rahim Mashaei recently called for the “the world to destroy Israel.” Moreover Iran’s meddling in militant matters to the north (Hizbullah) and south of Israel (Hamas) is also plainly clear.
The full-scale Iranian rearmament of Hizbullah combined with its global statements to destroy Israel should be cause for the immediate censure and international condemnation of Iran. Not since 1967 has the threat of impending war been more obvious than it is right now, today, against Israel.
The stark reality of the threat posed by Iran is that recent reports indicate the country has already enriched enough uranium to produce at least one nuclear bomb. Unlike in 1981, when Israel made the bold, correct decision to destroy Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program, Iran’s program today has more than surpassed the initial nuclear progress that Saddam assembled at Osirak.
Upon first examination, it seems Israel may have already missed the ideal window of opportunity to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability. Contentious situations across the Middle East have certainly forced Israel’s hand since 2003. The American invasion of Iraq at least temporarily delayed any Israeli action against Iran. This, given the outside chance President Bush might do the dirty work for Israel while in Iraq, or at least do so with Israel’s direct help.
Global outcry at the very prospect of an attack against Iran played a serious role in dampening those prospects. Nearly six years on, the reality is completely different. The world’s outcry cannot stop Israel from defending her very existence.
Thus in spite of all of their local turmoil, Israelis must ask themselves some serious, absolute questions about the fate of their nation and cherished people within the Middle East. The answers are incredibly difficult to swallow.
Is Israel prepared to live in the Middle East with an Iranian nation equipped with and willing to use a nuclear weapon that could be smuggled into Jerusalem, or Tel Aviv, detonated instantly, destroying the Israel that was fought for so valiantly so many times? Such an attack would be nearly impossible to trace or quickly pin on Iran. Surely an Israeli response to such an attack would be rapidly deployed; the problem is, by then, the horrifying damage will have already been done.
What about the prospect of such a nuclear device being supplied to Hizbullah, assembled on some sort of “dirty rocket” and launched into Israel? Is Israel prepared to respond with the same force, in an international environment already prepared to descend on Israel today?
Moreover, now that Iran is nearly equipped with such nuclear power, can Israel even remotely question Iran's intentions when President Ahmadinejad agrees with the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's proclamation that “Israel must be wiped off the map?" Ahmadinejad disturbingly called this a "very wise statement." This is the same man that coldly denies the Holocaust.
If Israeli leaders cannot answer these questions, then their decision has already been made: Action must be taken now to destroy - completely, unequivocally - Iran’s nuclear weapons capability. Full stop. Israel cannot make the mistake of relying on negotiations to halt Iran’s weapons program.
Over 5000 centrifuges are already in operation; over 600kg of low-enriched uranium has already been produced. New Iranian vitriol toward Israel emerges nearly every day. There is no longer any time to question Iran’s ultimate objectives given these growing physical absolutes.
Indeed, Iran is fully intent on dragging out Barack Obama’s impending negotiation process. Ideally January 21st, 2009 could mark the opening of US-Iran negotiations; alas by then Iran could have shown the world their bomb.
Thus, the final questions are these: What will be worse for Israel? Responding to global condemnation and Hizbullah’s certain counter-attack after Israel bombs Iran’s nuclear facilities? Or Israel not even being able to make a response after multiple dirty nuclear bombs are detonated across the Jewish State by Hizbullah or Iran in the future?
Israel’s problem has never been a question of understanding Iran’s intentions. Israel’s problem has always been about delaying the inevitable response to Iran’s outspoken, destructive, and revolting aims.
The writing is on the wall and Israel’s very existence is at stake. The time to hesitate was yesterday. Action must be taken now against such an obvious enemy. Israel simply has no other choice.