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Author Topic: Is an Israeli strike on Iran imminent?  (Read 1319 times)
Beet
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« on: August 14, 2012, 08:27:06 pm »
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Israel Plans For Iran Strike As Citizens Say Government Serious

“Our leaders seem to have gotten very hawkish in their speeches and this time it seems they mean what they say,” said Yoram Lands, 68, a professor of business administration, who was picking up new masks for himself and his wife at a distribution center in the mall.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Aug. 1 that time “is running out” for a peaceful solution to Iran’s atomic program. The Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper reported Aug. 10 that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are considering bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities before U.S. elections on Nov. 6. Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said government policy is not to comment on media speculation.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-14/israel-plans-for-iran-strike-as-citizens-say-government-serious.html

This would be crazy, IMO.
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 11:11:11 pm »
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If they can really destroy the nuclear program with a strike, it would be crazy not to go for it immediately and never mind American politics or that of any other country.
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dead0man
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 11:15:06 pm »
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I'd prefer they just keep killing the people building the nuke stuff and making the facilities play AC/DC while spinning the doodads and whatchawiggits (highly technical terms) to the breaking point....but I understand their concern.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 04:47:03 pm »
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      Well, every nuclear program should be destroyed. No sense in being halfhearted about it and only destroying that of one country, other than to make people of a certain persuasion happy.
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dead0man
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2012, 11:28:13 pm »
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Israel 'prepared for 30-day war with Iran'
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The purported leaked Israeli memo suggests that the military operation would begin with a massive cyber-attack against Iran's infrastructure, followed by a barrage of ballistic missiles launched at its nuclear facilities.

Military command-and-control systems, research and development facilities, and the homes of senior figures in nuclear and missile development would also be targeted.

Only then would manned aircraft be sent in to attack "a short-list of those targets which require further assault".

<snip>

He echoed an assessment by Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who said that it was believed that some 500 people in Israel might be killed.

"There might be fewer dead, or more, perhaps... but this is the scenario for which we are preparing, in accordance with the best expert advice."

"The assessments are for a war that will last 30 days on several fronts," he added, alluding to the possibility of attacks by the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shia Islamist movement, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip.

<snip>
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2012, 11:30:53 pm »
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...and it seems like the "leaked" memo is shenanigans.  Feel free to ignore the above.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 12:22:57 am »
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If they can really destroy the nuclear program with a strike, it would be crazy not to go for it immediately and never mind American politics or that of any other country.

Are you serious? This is a major international move... the politics of many foreign countries outside of Israel must be considered. Not that I think trying to blackmail the US President by launching a war at the height of the political campaign is a good idea.

Here is what they say now:
Quote
Israel would be willing to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, even if doing so only delayed its ability to produce nuclear weapons for a few years, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said.

“One, two, three, four years are a long time in the Middle East -- look what’s happened in the last year” in terms of political change, Oren said yesterday at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington. “In our neighborhood, those are the rules of the game.”
Israeli leaders have stressed this month that time is running out for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear program that Israel regards as an existential threat.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-15/israel-would-strike-iran-to-gain-a-few-years-oren-says.html

Well yes, and a strike would probably rally Iranians and increase the support of the present government, as well as its determination to acquire nuclear strike capability. The problem is that after a delay of a few years, the international environment will be worse for Israel than now, and they openly admit the technology situation will be the same. It sounds like a case of short-term gain for long-term pain.

Additionally, the precise liberalization of politics in the Arab world in the past couple years have increased the danger to Israel. Popular anger won't be so easily contained by authoritarian regimes; Camp David is weakened as it is.
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dead0man
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 12:41:40 am »
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Fact:Iran supports/funds/arms organizations that kill Israeli citizens
Fact:Iran is working on creating nuclear weapons

How long should Israel wait before doing something to make sure those two facts don't merge?  I'll grant that the Hezzys setting off a nuke in Tel Aviv isn't likely to happen next week or even next year, but at some point those long odds aren't going to be so long.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 12:51:55 am »
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Fact:Iran supports/funds/arms organizations that kill Israeli citizens

There's a difference between sending money to Hezbollah and using a nuke in terrorism. By that logic you should think Pakistan will nuke New Delhi for no reason- it ain't gonna happen. And it's an insane way to think. If everybody thought like that, the world would be in WW3 in no time.

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Fact:Iran is working on creating nuclear weapons

How is that a fact?

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WASHINGTON, Aug 9 (Reuters) - The United States still believes that Iran is not on the verge of having a nuclear weapon and that Tehran has not made a decision to pursue one, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

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How long should Israel wait before doing something to make sure those two facts don't merge?  I'll grant that the Hezzys setting off a nuke in Tel Aviv isn't likely to happen next week or even next year, but at some point those long odds aren't going to be so long.

Except by Israel's own admission, they cannot 'make sure' of anything. In fact, it is possible that an unprovoked attack would in the long run do more to make sure they do merge (however still unlikely).
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dead0man
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 01:44:30 am »
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Fact:Iran supports/funds/arms organizations that kill Israeli citizens

There's a difference between sending money to Hezbollah and using a nuke in terrorism. By that logic you should think Pakistan will nuke New Delhi for no reason- it ain't gonna happen. And it's an insane way to think. If everybody thought like that, the world would be in WW3 in no time.
Well at least you are accepting that Iran is an aggressor in this game unlike some others.

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Fact:Iran is working on creating nuclear weapons

How is that a fact?

Quote
WASHINGTON, Aug 9 (Reuters) - The United States still believes that Iran is not on the verge of having a nuclear weapon and that Tehran has not made a decision to pursue one, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
Depends on what the latest NIE says....but do you REALLY think they aren't working on it?
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How long should Israel wait before doing something to make sure those two facts don't merge?  I'll grant that the Hezzys setting off a nuke in Tel Aviv isn't likely to happen next week or even next year, but at some point those long odds aren't going to be so long.

Except by Israel's own admission, they cannot 'make sure' of anything. In fact, it is possible that an unprovoked attack would in the long run do more to make sure they do merge (however still unlikely).
Well yeah, very few things in life are "sure things", but if the guy sitting across from you, the guy always threatening you and getting his friends to punch you in the back head when you aren't looking, is fiddling with something behind his back and you strongly suspect he's putting a gun together...how long are you going to wait before you do something.  Sure, doing something might not help, but it's better than ignoring it or wishing it would all just go away.

Again, I don't think Israel should (or will) attack Iran tomorrow, but I understand their concern.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 08:24:12 am »
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The main reason Iran isn't working to construct a nuclear bomb right now is simple.  They don't have the materials on hand to make one.  What they are doing is gathering what they need to do it.
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2012, 09:17:17 am »
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if Iran could knock out Israel or the US' nuclear capacity with a strike, they'd be crazy not to go for it immediately.
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MooMooMoo
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2012, 10:47:03 am »
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People are making at least a strike on Iran sound good. The only question is why I thought it as bad in the first place. I think I need to be reminded of the consequences. What could Iran do or anyone do for that matter?
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2012, 02:11:29 pm »
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This thread again? First time I've noticed jmf's absence. I'm sure he would be predicting imminent war as always.
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2012, 04:24:50 pm »
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Fact:Iran supports/funds/arms organizations that kill Israeli citizens
Fact:Iran is working on creating nuclear weapons

How long should Israel wait before doing something to make sure those two facts don't merge?  I'll grant that the Hezzys setting off a nuke in Tel Aviv isn't likely to happen next week or even next year, but at some point those long odds aren't going to be so long.

This would be assuming that the Iranian government wants to commit suicide, and if you think that is the case, you need to make a much, much more convincing argument. Just saying they are a religious government that has vowed to wipe Israel of the face of this earth is not enough. It's quite obvious everything the government in Iran does is to assure it's own survival, which would include saber rattling with the Israelis and the US. This seemingly crazy behavior, from our perspective, is actually them ensuring their viability. It's much easier to stop protests in the street when you can get them behind hating Israel, the imperialist US or something that would cause national pride like an Iranian nuclear bomb. Any strike by the Israel or the US would be counterproductive, only help the current regime politically and will be a complete waste of money since Iran would not give away a nuclear bomb to terrorists.

As Beet pointed out, the situation is similar to India and Pakistan. Pakistan has sent over thousands of terrorists into India over the last 25 years, and will continue to do so, but I highly doubt they would ever arm them with nuclear weapons. Every government's concern is self preservation, including seemingly crazy ones like Pakistan and Iran. I don't understand the thought process of crazies in our congress like Louie Gohmert, but I do understand that whatever he is doing, it's so that he will get re-elected again.
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2012, 04:27:22 pm »
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People are making at least a strike on Iran sound good. The only question is why I thought it as bad in the first place. I think I need to be reminded of the consequences. What could Iran do or anyone do for that matter?

So you like to give the impression that the US is an imperial power? You don't think there are consequences to that? Did you not learn anything from the war in Iraq?
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2012, 06:15:13 pm »
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People are making at least a strike on Iran sound good. The only question is why I thought it as bad in the first place. I think I need to be reminded of the consequences. What could Iran do or anyone do for that matter?

So you like to give the impression that the US is an imperial power? You don't think there are consequences to that? Did you not learn anything from the war in Iraq?



Would pulling a 1982 be the same as pulling a 2003? I am feeling a little more hawkish because the rest of the world seems to be less in a position to actually do anything about us. If the global economy was growing and these NIC guys that are potential competitors were doing better, I would be concerned about them forming some sort of anti-US alliance...
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the result is a sense that we were told to attend a lavish dinner party that was going to be wonderful and by the time we got there, all the lobster and steak had been eaten, a fight had broken out, the police had been called and all that was left was warm beer and chips.
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2012, 07:25:13 pm »
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Of course Iran is unlikely to attack Israel out of the blue.  But that doesn't mean that MAD is always going to work, or that Iranian nukes wouldn't increase the probability of nuclear weapons eventually being used.  Read Fred Kaplan on this:

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/opinions/ci_20396836/op-ed-why-israel-may-attack-iran-before

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There were several times during the Cold War when America's finely tuned radars mistook a flock of geese for a flight of Soviet missiles or when a software glitch produced a false warning of an attack. In all these instances, the leaders could afford to wait a bit to see how the signals panned out.

According to David Hoffman's frightening book "The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy," there was an incident in 1983 when a Soviet early-warning satellite picked up signals of an American missile attack. The signal in this case was never straightened out; the system kept warning of an attack all the way until the point when the warheads would have exploded, had there really been an attack. Luckily, the Soviet lieutenant colonel at the monitoring station, thinking that this couldn't really be happening, decided - on his own authority - to tell his commander that it was a false alarm and, therefore, there was no need to launch the Soviets' own ICBMs. He was lying: According to the warning system, the attack was real. But by lying, he probably prevented World War III.

It's not at all clear that an Iranian or Israeli officer would keep his cool under similar circumstances - especially if the false warning coincided with a diplomatic crisis or a military exercise or some other moment of extraordinary tension.

I believe there was also a ~30 minute or so flight time for the ICBMs between the US and USSR, whereas the flight time between Iran and Israel would be much shorter, so any decision on retaliation to an apparent attack would have to be made in a split second.

That said, I'm not sure there's much that can be done to stop the Iranians from getting nukes if they really want them (as opposed to simply slowing them down).
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2012, 12:37:35 am »
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People are making at least a strike on Iran sound good. The only question is why I thought it as bad in the first place. I think I need to be reminded of the consequences. What could Iran do or anyone do for that matter?

So you like to give the impression that the US is an imperial power? You don't think there are consequences to that? Did you not learn anything from the war in Iraq?



Would pulling a 1982 be the same as pulling a 2003? I am feeling a little more hawkish because the rest of the world seems to be less in a position to actually do anything about us. If the global economy was growing and these NIC guys that are potential competitors were doing better, I would be concerned about them forming some sort of anti-US alliance...

So just because we are able to bully people we should? Again, the consequences don't always show up immediately. Our debt is bad enough as it is, wasting more money getting into these conflicts is the last thing we need. The only silver lining of attacking Iran is that they are hated by most everybody, including the Sunnis.

Morden, India and Pakistan are closer by than Iran and Israel.
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2012, 12:46:55 am »
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I guess this country just needs a war every 10 years, doesn't it? Ah f it.
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London Man
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2012, 04:49:14 am »
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People are making at least a strike on Iran sound good. The only question is why I thought it as bad in the first place. I think I need to be reminded of the consequences. What could Iran do or anyone do for that matter?

Iran could close the Straits of Hormuz for a few days or weeks before the combined forces of the GCC, the US and Israel destroy most of its military, combined with launching high-explosive ballistic missiles at most of the Middle East.

It'd lose, but the damage to the global economy would be rather large.
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2012, 04:56:41 am »
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Morden, India and Pakistan are closer by than Iran and Israel.

Yes, and that's not exactly the safest situation in the world either.

My point is that any pair of nations with nukes who have an antagonistic relationship with each other is something worth worrying about.  You can't assume that because MAD has worked since the 1940s, that it's going to work forever.
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« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2012, 05:14:33 am »
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Morden, India and Pakistan are closer by than Iran and Israel.

Yes, and that's not exactly the safest situation in the world either.

My point is that any pair of nations with nukes who have an antagonistic relationship with each other is something worth worrying about.  You can't assume that because MAD has worked since the 1940s, that it's going to work forever.


Exactly. A Soviet sub came close to firing a nuclear torpedo during the Cuban Missiles Crisis as well.
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2012, 11:54:29 am »
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Fox News: Most Israelis Oppose Strike against Iran

Israel's tough talk of military action against Iran's nuclear program has unleashed a strong backlash at home, with a growing number of voices urging the government not to attack without the support of the United States.

...

"I'm very afraid. I want peace, not war. I absolutely don't want Israel to strike Iran," said Pnina Grinbaum, a 55-year-old government clerk in Jerusalem.
Opinion polls have shown that while Israelis agree a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave threat, most think Israel should not act alone but coordinate any military option with Washington .
Israel's figurehead president, Shimon Peres, appeared to take a swipe at Barak and Netanyahu on Thursday when he told a popular news program that Israel must trust President Barack Obama's pledges to prevent Iran from getting a bomb.
"It is clear to us now that we cannot do this alone," Peres said. "It is clear to us that we need to work together with America."

"I'm very nervous about the Iranian threat and it's kind of creepy that I'm getting a gas mask right now," 25-year-old Cheryl Lieberman, a recent immigrant from New York, said Thursday as she stood in line for a mask at a Jerusalem mall.
A new poll issued Thursday said 61 percent of Israelis believe Iran should not be attacked without U.S. consent. The Dahaf Institute poll of 516 people had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points. Other surveys have shown similar reluctance to have Israel act alone.
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2012, 12:25:39 pm »
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Fox News: Most Israelis Oppose Strike against Iran

Israel's tough talk of military action against Iran's nuclear program has unleashed a strong backlash at home, with a growing number of voices urging the government not to attack without the support of the United States.

...

"I'm very afraid. I want peace, not war. I absolutely don't want Israel to strike Iran," said Pnina Grinbaum, a 55-year-old government clerk in Jerusalem.
Opinion polls have shown that while Israelis agree a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave threat, most think Israel should not act alone but coordinate any military option with Washington .
Israel's figurehead president, Shimon Peres, appeared to take a swipe at Barak and Netanyahu on Thursday when he told a popular news program that Israel must trust President Barack Obama's pledges to prevent Iran from getting a bomb.
"It is clear to us now that we cannot do this alone," Peres said. "It is clear to us that we need to work together with America."

"I'm very nervous about the Iranian threat and it's kind of creepy that I'm getting a gas mask right now," 25-year-old Cheryl Lieberman, a recent immigrant from New York, said Thursday as she stood in line for a mask at a Jerusalem mall.
A new poll issued Thursday said 61 percent of Israelis believe Iran should not be attacked without U.S. consent. The Dahaf Institute poll of 516 people had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points. Other surveys have shown similar reluctance to have Israel act alone.

This alone should be cause enough not to regard a solo Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities as 'imminent'. 
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