Israel faces painful decision on Iranian nuclear weapons

Israel faces painful decision on Iranian nuclear weapons

March 12th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

The "international community" is condemning Israel for contemplating strikes against what are believed to be nuclear weapons-making facilities in Iran. That condemnation is predictable and unjust.

Israel destroyed an Iraqi nuclear site in 1981. And in 2007, Israel hit a Syrian site where it was strongly suspected that Communist North Korea was aiding Syria's nuclear ambitions. The world owed Israel a debt of thanks, but instead Israel was criticized in both cases. And now, critics complain that Israel may start a war if it attacks Iran's nuclear sites.

What the critics do not say is what Israel is supposed to do in the face of threats by radical Iran against Israel's existence. It's not as if Iran has never coupled threats with action. It has been behind deadly terrorist attacks in Israel and elsewhere for decades. Just last October, U.S. authorities disrupted a plot by Iran to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States and to bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington.

It would be irresponsible for Israel not to take some limited measures now to keep Iran from getting nukes. Otherwise Israel will eventually face far bleaker choices against a nuclear-armed Iran.

The words of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill come to mind: "[I]f you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves."