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.
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Against

Amnon Lipkin-Shahak
Amnon Lipkin-Shahak

Amnon Lipkin-Shahak

Former IDF chief of staff; former head of military intelligence

What he said and where

Told The Times of Israel on August 14 that there is no need to rush into a strike

What it means

Has faith in intentions of the United States to stop an Iranian bomb; accords great weight to reported opposition to a strike of current IDF chief, Mossad chief, military intelligence chief, Shin Bet chief and commander of air force.

“I have complete faith in the security officials and give a lot of weight to their opinion.”


Shaul Mofaz
Shaul Mofaz

Shaul Mofaz

Ex-defense minister, ex-IDF chief of staff

What he said and where

Accused Netanyahu of “inflating” the Iranian nuclear threat for political purposes on Israel’s Channel Two, March 29. As opposition leader, has made stopping the strike one of his major political banners.

What it means

Believes an attack would achieve only limited results alongside “loss of life, grave damage to the home front and deep erosion of Israel’s political situation.”

“Such action is immoral and operationally illogical under the circumstances.”’


Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres

President, former prime minister, former defense minister, former director-general of defense ministry

What he said and where

Restated his opposition to unilateral Israeli action in an August 16 interview with Channel Two television.

What it means

Believes Israel must coordinate with Washington; says he trusts President Obama and that Israel can at best delay an Iranian bomb by acting alone.

“It’s clear to us that we cannot do it alone. We have to proceed together with the Americans.”’


Uri Sagi

Former chief of military intelligence

What he said and where

Voiced opposition to Iran attack in an August 17 interview with Haaretz.

What it means

Believes any action cannot succeed without backing from the United States and that Israel cannot afford to go against America’s position.

“This is a worldwide and regional problem, and Israel is trying to take the chestnuts out of the fire all by itself….This does not work.”


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