Date: Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 5:58 AM
Subject: Re: Avnery on Iran
To: William R. Polk
Your remarks are very thougtht-provokimg.
Of course, when we are dealing with shallow politicians under all kinds of political
pressures. logic plays only a minor role. The dangers you point out certainly exist.
However, on consideration, I stick to my original contention, that a military attack by
Israel is unlikely. (In don't use the words "low probability", because they have a special
connotation in Israel - the two words were used by Army Intelligence about the
likelihood of an Egyptian attack in 1973, a few days before it happened.) My distincet
feeling is that the IDF is not eager to start this particular operation.
I agree that if Israel attacks, circumstances will compel the US to follow suit. I think
that just because of that the US is sending the most high-ranking officials to warn
Netanyahu not to do so.
I agree that the general de-nuclearization of the Middle East is the best alternative, but
I am not sanguine about it. It can come only after a peace agreement between Israel
and the Palestinians (as well as with Syria) has been signed. Before that, there will be
no support for it in Israeli public opinion. A good reason for Obama & Co. to press
hard for this to come about.
There is practicvally no discussion whatsoever in Isral about this whole subject. It is
left to the government and army.
The Holocaust mentally causes almost all Israelis to believe that a nuclear weapon, as
a means of last resort, is good for the Jews.
Your point about the costs of the whole thing is interesting. In my 10 years in the
Knesset, the point was never mentioned. The costs are well hidden somewhere in the
budget. I wonder what this thing really costs us.
Thanks for repeating your kind invitation. It is very seductive. However, I am writing
my memoirs, and can do this only at home, because all the materials I need are here.
Your age makes no impression here - with 86 I easily trump it.
Thanks and all the best,