“US misconceptions regarding Iran could bring about another Yom Kippur War in our region,” said Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter at a cultural event at the Holon Theater Saturday.
The internal security minister strongly condemned the US intelligence report on Iran, especially what he referred to as its “misguided” perspective on the Iranian nuclear program. “We were unable to convince the US of the immediacy and proximity of the Iranian nuclear threat,” said Dichter, who also noted that “the area threatened by Iranian missiles is now within its strike range, and includes most North African, as well as European, countries.”
Dichter minced no words regarding the report’s draftsmen as well, claiming that “US assessment of the Iranian nuclear threat is seriously flawed, and we can only hope that the US can address these errors.” He further stated that “Israel and other countries troubled by the Iranian nuclear menace must help the US revamp its strategy vis a vis Iran through shared intelligence as well as other means.”
Misguided US policy can also hamper the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to Dichter, especially as the US is acting as an intermediary between the two sides: “Erroneous American judgment regarding the implementation of the Road Map, most notably whether Israel has lived up to its commitments therein, could prove especially deleterious to Israel,” he stated.
'Old City part of Israel'
Would Israel take the initiative and strike at Iran? To that Dichter answers with an empathic no: “Israel may be fourth in the world when it comes to exporting arms, but it is unequivocally not a superpower. Israel is merely one small country, and it is a true superpower (such as the US) that must address the Iranian nuclear threat.”
On the national front, Dichter emphasized the importance of ceding the Golan Heights as part of a future peace accord with Syria. “The price for as peace deal with Syria is cession of the Golan Heights, there are no if's and's or but's about it,” said Dichter.
“Anyone who wants to make peace with Syria is, in essence, also agreeing to Israeli withdrawal from the Golan. The only question remaining is what security guarantees Israel will receive in return for these concessions.”
The internal security minister also addressed Vice Premier Haim Ramon’s proposed plan for partitioning the city of Jerusalem, and consigning its holy sights to international monitors.
“The Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are decidedly and unequivocally part of the State of Israel. Our police forces are doing all that’s in their power to ensure that it stays that way,” said Dichter.
Dichter also addressed the situation in Gaza noting that: “We must create a massive deterrence vis a vie Hamas in order to stop the ongoing Qassam rocket attacks and suicide bombings within Israel’s towns and cities. We must utilize all that is our arsenal—including economic sanctions and military strikes—in order to make it crystal clears to Hamas that firing Qassam rockets into Israel is not worth their while.”