Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has raised eyebrows with some tough talk toward Iran, which is strongly believed to be developing nuclear weapons.
In a recent speech, the prime minister did not mince words:
"[A] security philosophy cannot rely on defense alone," he said. "It must also include offensive capabilities, which is the very foundation of deterrence. We operate and will continue to operate intensely and determinately against those who threaten the security of the state of Israel and its citizens.
He continued: "Our policy is guided by two main principles: The first is, 'If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first,' and the second is, 'If anyone harms us, his blood is on his own hands.'"
Netanyahu's words are timely, because Iran in recent years has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, and Iran is a state sponsor of terrorists who target Israel.
Moreover, according to news accounts, Netanyahu may be seeking support from his Cabinet for Israeli military strikes against sites where Israel believes Iranian nuclear weapons are being developed.
Israel can scarcely afford to wait for the "international community" or the U.N. to act decisively to prevent radical Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons with which to threaten or attack Israel.
And it would not be the first time Israel has acted preemptively to ward off attack. Israel bombed a nuclear site in Iraq 30 years ago and a similar site in Syria back in 2007. Israel was heavily criticized by some nations for those measures, but none of the "critics" offered a sensible alternative that would have safeguarded Israel's security.
Attacking Iran's nuclear sites would be risky, of course. The most obvious and frightening question is whether the attack would lead to full-scale war. It's also uncertain that Israel could take out all of Iran's scattered nuclear facilities.
But considering Iran's menacing words and its support for terrorism, it is understandable that Israel does not want to allow Iran to become a nuclear power.