Addressing the Knesset plenum on a session devoted to the 1973 Yom Kippur War,
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
delivered a message to Tehran, suggesting that when it comes to Iran's
nuclear program, a preemptive strike should be considered.
"The lessons of the (Yom Kippur) war have been with us for the past four decades," Netanyahu said. "They are intertwined with the cumulative insights of the other wars and battles we've endured. The first lesson is to never underestimate the threats, never underestimate the enemy and never ignore the signs of danger.
"The second lesson is not to give up in advance on a preemptive strike."
The prime minister added however that "Not every situation requires such a blow – you must consider things carefully and cautiously – but there are circumstances in which the thought of an international response to such a move is not equal to the heavy price we might be forced to pay for suffering a strategic blow to which we would respond later – perhaps too late.
"A preemptive war is one of the hardest decisions a government is forced to take, since it will never be able to prove what would have happened if it didn't work," Netanyahu added.
He also noted that the key difference, in his opinion, between the 1967 Six Day War
and the Yom Kippur War "was first and foremost enfolded in the fact that in the Six Day War we launched a preemptive strike against the enemies around us and in the Yom Kippur War, despite early signs, the government opted to take in the enemy's attack with all its might."
At the end of the Knesset session, the prime minister addressed an earlier telephone conversation he had with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Netanyahu had congratulated Abbas on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the Palestinian presidential spokesman reported.
The premier linked Israel's issues with Iran
to the State's ties with the Palestinian Authority, noting that "Iran has taken over Lebanon
and half of the Palestinian people through proxies – Hamas
and Islamic Jihad,"
adding that "one could say Iran has taken over the Middle East and has no interest in compromise or agreement, only in removing us."
According to the PM, Hamas and Islamic Jihad were taking over territories: "When we left Gaza and gave the keys to the Palestinian Authority, they (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) took over; when we left Lebanon, they took over. And the result wasn’t peace; it was 12,000 rockets launched at Israeli
cities and some 70-80,000 missiles and rockets around us.
"If we don’t address this threat – there will be no peace. There will be the White House lawn, or awards in Oslo, but there will be no peace.
"Achieving peace between us and the Palestinians, or at least with half of the Palestinian population, is something that is important to us for obvious reasons. We don’t want a bi-national state. For different reasons, we are not interested in war. Who is? Who among us doesn’t want peace? We want real, sustainable peace. Not the pretense of peace, not temporary peace. This peace must take into account the forces at work around us – Iran, Hezbollah,
Hamas, Jihad and al-Qaeda.
Also addressing the plenum during the Yom Kippur War session, Meretz
Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On referred to a possible Israeli strike on Iran, saying: "We should learn a thing or two about humility, about our dependence on our allies and about our status in the international community. We cannot do everything that comes to mind – even if some in our midst believe the messiah is on our side – without taking into account the international implications of Israeli policy. We cannot work alone against Iran, and fortunately we don’t have to."
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