Israel's Establishment Speaks Out on Iran

Insiders Divided Like Never Before Over Looming War

By J.J. Goldberg and Ben Lynfield

Published August 26, 2012, issue of August 31, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Against

Uzi Arad
Uzi Arad

Uzi Arad

Former head of National Security Council, former director of research for the Mossad

What he said and where

Told Forward columnist J.J. Goldberg that Israel must work with Washington, not unilaterally, against Iranian nuclear threat in July 22 interview.

What it means

Believes Israel alone cannot stop Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability over the long run.

“One needs American leadership, one needs American resources. One needs American abilities, either diplomatic or military.”


Gabi Ashkenazi
Gabi Ashkenazi

Gabi Ashkenazi

Former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff

What he said and where

Voiced opposition to a unilateral strike at a Jerusalem Post conference in New York on April 29.

What it means

Views the problem as an international one; Israel must act as part of an international alliance; sanctions worked in 2003, when Iran froze nuclear research under international pressure.

“I think we still have time. It is not tomorrow morning.”


Ami Ayalon
Ami Ayalon

Ami Ayalon

Former head of Shin Bet

What he said and where

Told Forward columnist J.J. Goldberg on July 8 that an Israeli strike would only delay the Iranian nuclear program.

What it means

Sees U.S. and NATO participation as crucial for success of a strike.

“The perception should be that we did everything possible in the diplomatic track [so] it’s now legitimate to act.”


Meir Dagan
Meir Dagan

Meir Dagan

Former head of the Mossad

What he said and where

Opposed attack at Hebrew University conference on May 6, 2011, and in frequent interviews since.

What it means

Doubts pilots could reach enough of Iran’s well-scattered nuclear targets; attack will trigger a war with unpredictable consequences; takes President Obama at his word that the United States won’t allow Iran to become a nuclear state.

Called attack proposal “the stupidest thing I ever heard.”’


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!
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • 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:
  • 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.