Dear Friends of Israel,
“An Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be a blessing for the ayatollahs,” said an Iranian dissident now living in the USA, who recently visited Israel. In his opinion, such a strike would permanently silence the opposition to the Islamic Republic and its leadership. Playing the role of victims of an Israeli attack would guarantee them worldwide sympathy. The regime would also gain legitimacy in the eyes of its own people that it lost after the 2009 elections, when it violently suppressed protests against the contested elections.
For a regime devoted to paranoid conspiracies, blaming Israel for all of its peoples’ hardships, an Israeli attack would be all the proof that Tehran needs to focus the eyes of the public on Israel, effectively silencing dissent within Iran. The Iranian dissident believes that an international boycott would be more effective, because that would remove the financial means that they need to stay in power.
A similar conclusion was reached by the Israeli reporter, Barry Rubin in his article in the Jerusalem Post, entitled, “Israel is not about to attack Iran: Get used to it!” Of course, there are other reports in the media, and even some voices in Israel’s leadership, that have expressed just the opposite. Why? Because that’s a good way—indeed the only way Israel has—to pressure Western countries to work harder on the issue, to increase sanctions and diplomatic efforts.
Furthermore, asks Rubin, “If Israel attacks Iran now, does that mean Iran would never get nuclear weapons?” On the contrary, it would merely postpone that outcome for at most a year or two. Such an attack would give Iran a real reason for the future use of atomic weapons, with the support of many countries.
The entire world, including the United States, is decidedly against an Israeli operation. Launching such an attack would ensure a level of international isolation far higher than what exists today. Barry Rubin also questions whether an Israeli attack could even be successful. He details all the problems that such an operation might encounter, then comes to the conclusion that it’s an absurd idea.
A common and strong argument in favor of a strike against Iran is that its regime is irrational and wants to destroy Israel, even if the resulting counter-attack would kill millions of Iranians and wreck the country.
Although this scenario cannot be ruled out entirely, Rubin believes it is far from a certainty. Tehran is seeking nuclear weapons to make itself invulnerable to the costs of its non-nuclear subversion and support for terrorist and revolutionary forces. A lot of what the Iranian leadership says is demagoguery to build support for itself at home, and to convince the masses to ignore its incompetence and mismanagement.
Barry Rubin concludes, “Whether you hope for or fear an Israeli attack on Iran, it isn’t going to happen.”
The current events in the Arabic countries, particularly Syria right now, show us that the Arabic masses are no longer accepting without question the arguments of their leaders, that Israel and the Jews are responsible for their misery. Moreover, they are beginning to rise up against their abusers and oppressors.
The big question that has yet to be answered is, “Will the successive, new governments be any better?” What does all this mean for Israel? One thing that’s certain; Israel must be more watchful than ever.
In the comforting certainty that the guardian of Israel neither sleeps nor rests, “Shalom.”