Should Israelis Debate War With Iran?

With Public Split, Securocrats Say Silence Would Be Better

By Nathan Jeffay

Published November 11, 2011, issue of November 18, 2011.
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While opposition leader Tzipi Livni has issued repeated pleas for the international community to take harsher steps against Iran, she is keeping quiet on the subject of what Israel’s plan should be. “Leaders need to make decisions, ones that are not necessarily popular with the public,” Gil Messing, her aide, told the Forward. Labor Party Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich described an attack as “very dangerous” and a “megalomaniacal adventure” that her party will not support, but on the subject of the public debate specifically, her spokeswoman had no comment.

Even Iranian-born academic Soli Shahvar, who has spoken out against a strike on almost every Israeli television and radio station, is sympathetic to the government’s position, saying that it stems from an understandable fear that someone will reveal sensitive information in the course of discussions. Shahvar, director of Haifa University’s Ezri Center for Iran & Persian Gulf Studies, commented, “I think those who said the discussion should be limited are apprehensive of someone crossing a line and saying something he shouldn’t have said.”

Contact Nathan Jeffay at jeffay@forward.com


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