Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Those not seen

Hersh in the New Yorker on Israel and Iran mentions in passing
"....Ephraim Sneh, a Labor Party member of the Knesset, .... Deputy Defense Minister. Sneh, who served previously in that position under Ehud Barak, has for years insisted that action be taken to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. In an interview this month with the Jerusalem Post, Sneh expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of diplomacy or international sanctions in curbing Iran:

The danger isn’t as much Ahmadinejad’s deciding to launch an attack but Israel’s living under a dark cloud of fear from a leader committed to its destruction. . . . Most Israelis would prefer not to live here; most Jews would prefer not to come here with families, and Israelis who can live abroad will . . . I am afraid Ahmadinejad will be able to kill the Zionist dream without pushing a button. That’s why we must prevent this regime from obtaining nuclear capability at all costs.

This is also, in essence, a point that isn't often made when considering such things as, say, Hamas or Hezbollah rocketing Israel. It's not simply the (pretty ineffective) impact on the existing Israelis they're thinking about, it's the deterrent effect on possible new Israelis, which shifts the political cost/benefit calculations considerably. The mere existence of conflict weakens Israel (and determines its Fort Apache ideology, which may or many not be a political minus for H/H.

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