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Israeli Cabinet Ministers Who Had Opposed Iran Strike Now Favor Attack – OpEd

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FoxNews reports that those Israeli cabinet ministers who’d previously opposed a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities have changed their mind and now oppose it:

Sources close to senior Israeli cabinet officials told Fox News that senior ministers who used to oppose a strike are now for it.  They believe sanctions won’t be tough enough on Iran, and point to Israel’s 1981 attack on an Iraqi nuclear facility — which was never rebuilt — as compelling precedent.

But other analysts warn the situation 20 years ago in Iraq is not like the current situation in Iran, where nuclear sites are spread out and harder to penetrate.

Though the report doesn’t specify which ministers changed their view, even a shift of one would offer Netanyahu a majority in the senior ministerial committee which approves such major governmental decisions.  This would mean, if true, that Netanyahu has surmounted the final hurdle in gaining approval for an Iran attack.  Which would mean that unless the domestic and international campaign against an attack has any impact on the decision makers, an assault could begin at any time.

Though virtually all current and past Shabak and Mossad directors oppose a strike, there’s always one dissenting voice.  In this case, it’s Danny Yatom, former Mossad chief who supports an assault on Iran (Hebrew).  You’ll recall that Yatom was the fellow responsible for the botched assassination attempt on Khaled Meshal in Jordan.  That was the time when the assassins not only failed to kill the target, but they were caught doing so.  This allowed the Jordanians to demand the antidote for the poison in return for safe passage of the would-be killers back to Israel.  The entire mess caused a major rift between Israel’s formerly best ally in the Arab world.

Just as in the Meshal incident, Israel cannot possible achieve its mission in attacking Iran.  At best, it can delay the inevitable.  Just think what was the result of the Meshal affair: the victim became a folk hero and rose through the ranks to become Hamas’ supreme leader.  That’s what happens in nature too when you fail to kill an elephant or lion, but only wound it.  Your quarry becomes enraged and a far more dangerous creature than had you not attacked at all.

Israel can only wound Iran.  It cannot land a knockout blow.

Sources close to senior Israeli cabinet officials told Fox News that senior ministers who used to oppose a strike are now for it.
They believe sanctions won’t be tough enough on Iran, and point to Israel’s 1981 attack on an Iraqi nuclear facility — which was never rebuilt — as compelling precedent.

But other analysts warn the situation 20 years ago in Iraq is not like the current situation in Iran, where nuclear sites are spread out and harder to penetrate.

 

This article appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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