Israel Can't Attack Iran Alone: Peres

Ruling Party Lawmakers Slam Elder Statesman

By JTA

Published August 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel President Shimon Peres said that Israel cannot attack Iran on its own.

“We can delay the Iranian nuclear plan, but it is clear to us that we need to go with the United States,” Peres said during an interview with Channel 2 television. “President Barack Obama is determined to stop Iran and Israel cannot do it.”

The official position of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is that Israel may attack Iran if that is the only way to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Israel’s president, who largely fills ceremonial tasks but is often a respected veteran politician, is selected by the Knesset.

The remarks were sharply criticized by several Knesset members in the ruling coalition.

Zeev Elkin, a Likud Knesset member, said he “regretted to see that Peres is returning to his days during the signing of the Oslo Accords, and proposes to once again gamble on the security of Israelis and hope for the best.”

Peres, as foreign minister for Yitzhak Rabin’s 1992-1995 government, initiated and pushed the at first secret negotiations with the Palestinians, which formally became known as the Oslo Accords for the Scandinavian city in which they were first hammered out.

Elkin said Peres had opposed the successful Israeli strike on the suspected Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. Had Peres’ warning been heeded then, Elkin said, “Saddam Hussein would have fired missiles of a different kind at Israel” during the Gulf War, Elkin said.

At the time, Peres was leader of the opposition Labor Party.

The statements were “an unabashed and explicit attack on the official policy of the government of the State of Israel, which was elected by the people. The people did not elect the president,” Gilrad Erdan, minister for environmental protection, also told Israel Army Radio on Friday.

The chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, also criticized Peres for publicly expressing his opinion.

“In the State of Israel, the president has a symbolic role, whereas the prime minister and the cabinet members are the decision makers. Sticking to this division is particularly important on such important issues,” Sharansky told Army Radio.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.