Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Israelis Think War with Iran is Inevitable

Argues Yossi Klein Halevi in ‘WSJ’ op-ed

Print Email

In an op-ed the Wall Street Journal titled “The Return of Israel’s Existential Dread” (whether it ever really left is debatable), journalist Yossi Klein Halevi parses the growing sense among Israelis that war with Iran is inevitable. He sees this zeitgeist shift reflected in everything from Sabbath dinner conversation to a postcard demarcating how long residents in different parts of the country would have to seek shelter if attacked. He notes that the public remained discomfited by the possibility of Iran signing on to the proposed U.N. deal for shipping its uranium abroad—“If Iranian leaders are prepared to sign an agreement, Israelis argue, that’s because they know something the rest of us don’t”—which is probably for the best, as Iran officially rejected the proposal this morning.

Halevi gives several good reasons (besides being a militarized society that has faced near constant threats to its existence over its short 60 year history) why Israel might be falling into the state of mind characterized by a phrase from early in its history: “Ein breira, there’s no choice.” One is the nature of Iran, which, particularly under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has established itself as near-impossibly unreasonable. As Halevi puts it: “A regime that assembles the world’s crackpots to deny the most documented atrocity in history—at the very moment it is trying to fend off sanctions and convince the international community of its sanity—may well be immune to rational self-interest.”

Another is a question “Israelis have been asking themselves … with increasing urgency: Should we attack Iran if all other options fail?” If all other options have failed, then, presumably, the only alternative to war would be suicide; and, while Jews have fallen back on that last resort in dire historical circumstances, it’s definitely antithetical to the Israeli psyche. But what happens when the populace starts to think of war as inevitable, even as no one wants to see it happen? Does the territory implied by the words “all other options” widen to include innovative and marginal ideas in an attempt to stave off disaster, or does everyone resign themselves to gritting their teeth and pulling the trigger as quickly as possible?

The Return of Israel’s Existential Dread [WSJ]

Print Email

Good write-up, I am regular visitor of oneˇ¦s web site, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Be a Mensch. Support Tablet.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Israelis Think War with Iran is Inevitable

Argues Yossi Klein Halevi in ‘WSJ’ op-ed

More on Tablet:

11 Non-Jewish Celebrities—and 2 Jewish Ones—Show Off Their Hebrew Tattoos

By Marjorie Ingall — You don’t have to be Jewish to sport Hebrew ink. But some of these stars should have thought twice before going under the needle.