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In front-page editorial, Pro-Netanyahu paper supports attack on Iran

Amos Regev, the editor of Israel Hayom: “[An attack on Iran] would be difficult. It would be daring. But it’s possible.”

"Difficult, daring, possible." Headline of Israel Hayom calling for attack on Iran, March 15, 2012.

In an uncommon front-page, top-headline piece, Amos Regev, the editor of daily Israel Hayom, discusses the decision regarding an Israel military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Regev, a member of Binyamin Netanyahu’s inner circle between his two terms as Prime Minister, attacks those speaking against the war, and concludes that “Yes, it’s possible to attack – and to succeed.”

Israel Hayom, launched in 2007 by international casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is known for its deep commitment to supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu. The paper – now the most widely read daily in Israel – is distributed for free; lately, it was revealed the paper’s senior political analyst is also employed for advising and speech writing at the Prime Minister Office.

On major issues, Israel Hayom has always reflected the personal position of Prime Minister Netanyahu. Regev’s long piece – more than 1600 words –  featured on the paper’s front page Thursday, titled: “don’t be cocky and don’t be afraid.” It opens with a critique of those expecting the United States to solve the Iranian problem for Israel.

In a paragraph that echoes recent statements by Israeli sources, Regev accuses president Obama of double talk. He quotes the conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer:

A fair-minded observer might judge that Israel’s desire to not go gently into the darkness carries higher moral urgency than the political future of one man, even if he is president of the United States.

Regev claims that comparing the Iranian threat to the Holocaust is both historically and politically correct: “comparing the Nazis to Tehran? Absolutely. For one simple reason – it’s true,” writes Regev, before criticizing the American intelligence community for failing to grasp the threat, as they missed Al Qaeda’s threats before 9/11. “Beside, the US Army is not winning so much lately,” says Regev, referring to the war in Afghanistan.

The bottom line comes towards the end (my translation):

It would be very convenient for all of us if the Iranian crisis just disappears with the wave of a magic wand. But the problem is not going anywhere and is only getting worse each day. That is why we must solve it. And we can solve it. Some people say an attack on Iran will “set the Middle East ablaze.” Others say an attack on Iran would shock the Middle East, but after an initial spike in oil prices, will not trigger a dramatic change. It would simply solve the problem, they say, just as the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear plant destroyed Iraq’s nuclear program once and for all. If it took Iran 20 years to get to where they are today in their nuclear program, who is to say that they will recover from a military strike in a year or two?

The final paragraph states again: “With or without the Americans, it [an attack on Iran] would be difficult. It would be daring. But it’s possible.”

Not only the supporters (mouthpieces?) of Netanyahu at Israel Hayom think that the time for war is near. His critics at Haaretz are alarmed: in an another unusual piece at the liberal paper’s online edition, editor Aluf Benn, writes:

To use Netanyahu’s “duck allegory“, what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war, and not just a “bluff” or a diversion tactic. Until his trip to Washington, Netanyahu and his supporters in the media refrained from such explicit wording and made do with hints. But since he’s been back, Netanyahu has issued an emergency call-up for himself and the Israeli public.

Read also:
War with Iran is closer than we think

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    1. aristeides

      In other words, Sheldon Adelson wants an attack on Iran because he’s Netanyahu’s boy.

      Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      We’ve been smoking, eating and sleeping Iran for months now with ever-increasing intensity. Not a newscast goes by without a mention. Would they really be making such a hullaballoo if they were actually going to do it?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Piotr Berman

      I have my doubts, Aristeides. In what sense is Sheldon Adelson dependent on Netanyahu? Conversely, is Netanyahu dependent in Adelson? In his heyday, Murdoch was a kingmaker in Britain, and I think Adelson craves a similar position. Israel is a small state, hence a good playground for a tycoon so inclined.

      Did Netanyahu brainwash Adelson? Possibly, Netanyahu is Adelson’s boy because he wants to attack Iran. At least, he talks a good game.

      “Daring, difficult, possible”. I would add “double or nothing”.

      Reply to Comment
    4. John Yorke

      The whole thing is either one big bluff on the part of the West and Israel or the world is heading towards yet another conflict that, frankly, it could well do without. We have enough problems with the ones we’ve got at the moment; we certainly don’t need any more just now.

      But what to do?

      Let’s assume the worst case scenario.

      The current situation progresses to the point where all sides have boxed themselves into the proverbial corner and no option is left other than to take the traditional way out. No one likes the idea; there are grave doubts about the morality, the efficacy and the outcome of such a move but there it is and, since no viable alternative has presented itself, the matter goes forward. The consequences are, more or less, what one might expect. Many more deaths, more destruction and the further polarisation of a situation already well established in that regard.

      So, not exactly the best result one could hope for. Indeed, it’s not even a result. All that’s really been accomplished is an increase in the deterioration of a region that has endured far too many battles in the past and now has to cope with the aftermath of yet another.

      Let’s see how the best case scenario might look.

      Everyone decides that warfare and other such violent activity can no longer be tolerated and, in the interests of all concerned, a better method must be sourced, one that caters to the more immediate aspects of the dispute and also provides ample opportunity for addressing its longer-term issues.

      Now, that’s a tall order and no mistake. But it has to be filled if the world is ever to emerge from the shadows of a predicament as dire as this one.


      ‘When all think alike, then no one is thinking.’

      Reply to Comment
    5. Mareli

      Adelson should do his gambling at his casino and not in Middle East politics. Maybe the IAF should fly over Iran and drop Adelson off in Teheran if he is so anxious to fight a war there.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Amazona

      Mareli, great idea perhaps we could drop off Bibi too.

      Reply to Comment