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War on Iran?

Talk of an Israeli attack on Iran, which has been simmering for years alongside Tehran’s development of its nuclear program, has recently taken an upswing. The Israeli leadership is sharply divided on the matter, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak leading the calls for a strike, and the security establishment largely opposing unilateral action. An Israeli military operation could have enormous global impact – some fear it could lead to all-out war in the Middle East, or could swing the coming U.S. presidential election. In their comprehensive coverage, +972 bloggers debate the merits, motivations and implications of a strike. 

  • Cuban missile crisis, 50 years later: Lessons for Israel

    JFK courted nuclear war with the Soviets, now Israel is courting a confrontation with the Iranians. But how can Israel contemplate starting a war against another country, a war that will not be negligible and could be devastating, for doing the same thing that it has been doing for over 40 years? I love it when people say there's no comparing a nuclear Iran to a nuclear Soviet Union because, after all, the Soviets weren't really a threat to blow up America, people weren't afraid they would just go crazy and push the button - they weren't religious fanatics like the…

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  • Price tag of the Iran scare campaign revealed

    Between NIS 10 and 11 billion were used in preparations for an attack that was never meant to happen. This incredibly expensive and ultimately failed political maneuver should be the focus of the next election.  Unless Netanyahu is crazier than is commonly assumed, Israel will not attack Iran in the near future. Until quite recently, Netanyahu stubbornly claimed that Israel must attack Iran before the 2012 U.S. presidential elections. This was a calculated attempt by Netanyahu to put pressure on Barack Obama and advance the chances of Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. This attempt at psychological warfare utterly failed: Obama, ice-cold, didn't blink; he referred to Netanyahu's demands…

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  • A rift between Netanyahu and Barak? Not so fast

    Political maneuvering scores headlines in Israel and abroad. The New York Times reported this morning on a "growing rift" between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The disagreements between the two regarding the strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and the government's attitude towards the American administration have found their way into the public sphere, with proxies for both sides attacking each other on every possible issue, from policy to personal character. So, the strongest political alliance Israel has known in years is coming to an end? Don't be so sure. Despite the obvious differences in their political approach…

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  • Why I hate those Bibi memes

    They serve as Netanyahu's echo chamber, they divert attention from the real issues at hand and they disguise political desperation as internet-activism. Memes shouldn't be more than inside jokes, but nowadays they seem to lead the conversation.  On Thursday night, Ami Kaufman posted on this site a collection of memes dealing with the Looney Toons bomb Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used during his UN speech. Posted before any other local or international news source, it was one of the most successful items our site ever had (over 3,000 likes and counting). But did these memes aid the public debate, or truly criticize…

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  • Bibi's ACME bomb at UNGA inspires Israeli meme artists

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (or should I say Bib E. Coyote?) had a lot of people worldwide holding their stomachs with laughter as he held his Looney Tune ACME bomb above the UNGA podium. The Israeli meme artists, as usual, were quick to respond. Here are a few (I may update as the creativity surges):  

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  • Israel rejects U.S. nuclear non-proliferation initiative

    Israeli exceptionalism continues. Iran is not allowed to go nuclear but it is perfectly okay for Israel to remain nuclear: that's the message Israel sends the world as it opposes a U.S.-backed conference about a nuclear-free Middle East. Here's what I wrote in March about the issue in The New York Times' Room for Debate: Might Israel attend the meeting about a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East in Finland? Certainly. Just like it has "participated" in the peace process — with no real intention of making concessions. In both cases, there are no consequences for Israel sticking to its agenda. So why would…

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  • Iranian analyst: For a fair offer, Iran will compromise on its nuclear program

    By Eyal Clyne (From Hebrew: Ofer Neiman) "The Iranian government is so heavily invested in the nuclear project, that if it were to give up this flag, it would mean nothing less than political suicide […] Iranian leaders have publicly chained themselves to this issue, to the extent that now it's a matter of political survival. One cannot just raise one's hands in surrender after years of investment and sacrifice… but for a fair package deal, which will acknowledge their rights, they will compromise… If they will be offered a decent way out, which can be brought to the [Iranian]…

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  • Can you keep nuclear bombs without having an active reactor?

    Following Larry Derfner's post, I wondered whether Israel could close down its reactor and keep some of the nukes it is said to have, perhaps as a first step on the road to a nuclear-free Middle East. I asked Dr. Avner Cohen whether it's possible to keep the bombs without an active reactor (according to foreign sources, Israel is said to have between 100 and 400 nuclear bombs). Here is his immediate response: Theoretically, it's possible to hold a simple nuclear weapon – meaning a "Nagasaki" (Plutonium) bomb and even a "Hiroshima" (enriched Uranium bomb) for a [long] period of…

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  • If Israel wants to end the race, let it get rid of its nukes

    Iran didn't start the Mideast nuclear arms race - Israel did. Nearly all the frightening forecasts of what life would be like with a nuclear Iran strike me as being hollow. I'm not worried about Iran nuking Israel - because the Iranians don't want to commit suicide. I'm not worried about Iran giving nukes to terror organizations that would nuke Israel - because Israel's second-strike capacity, with its estimated 200 nuclear bombs, would devastate the Islamic world and the Islamic world knows it. I'm not worried that Iran's "proxies," such as Hezbollah and Hamas, would feel free under an Iranian "nuclear…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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