But the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran has rattled Israel's self-confidence. Its politicians and generals warn of a "second Holocaust" if, as in the 1930s, the world stands by while a heavily armed nation declares war against the Jews.Sounds pretty clear. But I found this particularly astounding:
Spelling out that scenario, Israeli officials have begun an unusually open campaign to muster international political and economic pressures against Iran. They warn that time is growing short and hint that they will resort to force if those pressures fail to prevent Iran's development of an atomic weapon.
Israeli leaders fear that an Iranian bomb would undermine their nation's security even if Tehran never detonated it. That Israel has its own nuclear arsenal would not counteract the psychological and strategic blow, they believe.
Israel began secretly preparing in the early 1990s for a possible air raid on Iran's then-nascent nuclear facilities and has been making oblique public statements about such planning for three years.
What is new is Israel's abandonment of quiet diplomacy to rally others to its side. Until a few months ago, Israeli leaders worried that high-profile lobbying would backfire and provoke accusations that they were trying to drag the United States and its allies into a war.
Israel strongly prefers that the world keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons through crippling, dissuasive economic sanctions, Olmert said. But he added: "We have the right to full freedom of action in defense of our vital interests. We will not hesitate to use it."
In such an environment [nuclear Iran], many Israelis might flee. A December poll in the newspaper Maariv found that 27% of Israelis would leave or consider leaving if Iran acquired nuclear weapons. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they believed Iran would drop a nuclear weapon on Israel.That looks like a nuclear Iran is seen as a real existential threat by a significant number of Israeli's, as compared to the trumped up existential threat Americans feel (hey dude, they're going to take away my SUV!!!!)
I'm a very lucky person with every allergy known to man but still happy to be enjoying a wonderful life living in the best place in the world!