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Shas spiritual leader may have paved way for attack on Iran

Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef (מיכאלי/ Wikimedia Commons CC BY SA 3.0)

Last week, Benjamin Netanyahu sent National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror to the spiritual leader of Shas, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Apparently, this was done to convince the rabbi of the need to attack Iran. According to Haaretz political analyst Yossi Verter, Shas ministers Eli Yishai and Ariel Attias, “both members of the security cabinet, are thought to be opposed to an Iran attack.”

Verter continues:

There are 14 ministers in the security cabinet; eight of them in the above-mentioned octet (the forum of eight – A.K.). At the moment, two are definitely in favor of an Iran attack: Netanyahu and Barak. Two others are thought to be supporters: Avigdor Lieberman and Yuval Steinitz. It’s believed four are against: Yishai, Dan Meridor, Benny Begin and Moshe Ya’alon.

According to Verter, Ya’alon is showing signs of “weakness,” and might soon switch sides, out of “political considerations.” But Netanyahu may already have a majority in the octet based on what Rabbi Yosef said in his weekly Saturday night address, as the Jerusalem Post reports:

The Rabbi responded during his weekly address: “When we say the blessing over the dates at our Rosh Hashana meal this year, and we ask God to ‘bring an end to our enemies,’ we should be thinking about Iran, those evil ones who threaten Israel. May the Lord destroy them.”

The blessing over the date, tamar in Hebrew, is that God “put an end to the enemies, haters and those who wish evil” upon the Israelites.

Last Saturday, during his weekly Torah lesson, Yosef briefly mentioned as an aside the issue of Iran’s nuclear program.

“A second Haman, also from Persia, intends to do evil to us,” he said in reference to a Persian enemy of the Jewish people recorded in the Biblical book of Esther.

“We need to stand in prayer with all our hearts before God,” he continued.

So, it just may be that Amidror’s visit went well beyond expectations. According to Verter’s count, if Yishai has gotten any instructions from above and is now with Bibi, it’s 5-3 in the octet. With Ya’alon wobbling…

Of course, Netanyahu and Barak still have to deal with the fact that a majority of the public is against an attack, not to mention the IDF top brass. Oh, and there are the Americans, too, who aren’t too happy about it.

But hey, baby steps, right?

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    1. Khaled Cheema

      May the Lord shit on them from a great height.

      So let it be Written!
      So let it be Done!

      Reply to Comment
      • bdubs

        If Mitt Romney becomes president, Israel will get Americas full military backing

        Reply to Comment
    2. If only “bring an end to our enemies” could come to mean “an opponent need not be an enemy.” In the present case, public comment seems to say Israel cannot succeed alone. Obama will do nothing before the election. Bibi’s stance almost seems an attempt to place a wild card in that election. Perhaps at home, too.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Piotr Berman

      If Rabbit
      Was bigger
      And fatter
      And stronger,
      Or bigger
      Than Tigger,
      If Tigger was smaller,

      Then Tigger’s bad habit
      Of bouncing at Rabbit

      Would matter
      No longer,
      If Rabbit
      Was taller

      Poor Israel, if Iran was smaller, or leaner, etc. all that business would be concluded long time ago. As it is, it matters only little if USA supports Israel in attacking Iran or not. Very few Asian nations support such an attack, and their opposition may bring a major humiliation to USA (or worse) in the aftermath of an attack.

      Hezbollah war of 2006 showed that it is very hard to prevent missile fire if missiles are prepositioned in tunnels and bunkers, neither by bombardment nor by ground attack. This means that Iran may close the Strait of Hormuz for cargoes going to countries that do not impose sanctions on Israel for its attack, and pretty modest requirement could be that Israel pays reparations.

      If a number of countries, including India, China, Russia, Pakistan etc. will be supportive of such resolution of the conflict, what can USA do?

      Reply to Comment
    4. I am having trouble grasping how Netanyahu and his gang don’t realize that attacking Iran will result in massive destruction in Israel. Do they really believe the scenario that they can prevent Iran from retaliating? Are they really that egotistical and stupid???? Do they not realize that when you attack another country for no reason, it is only a matter of time before that country applies all the resources it has to damage you? And how does a senior rabbi get to where he calls a group of people an enemy who have never taken a single action against Jews in Israel?

      I guess Israel is going to be one more example where pride grows and grows until there is a mighty fall.

      Reply to Comment