No electable Israeli politician would attack the Iranian nuclear facilities. Every one of them is too broad-minded for that. Olmert, Livni, Netanyahu – anyone’s mind is besieged by hundreds of considerations. US? Europe? Russia? Left? Human rights? Saudis? Home front readiness? Public approval of the subsequent fighting? Chances of Iran rebuilding its nuclear facilities? In the conundrum of those questions, the question of Iranian nuclear threat is lost. Indeed, most analysts agree, there is no direct threat. Iran won’t nuke Israel but rather provide nuclear shield for Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas to wear Israel down with conventional and guerrilla operations with no fear of massive reprisal.

The Iranian nuclear threat is vague. Iran only runs 1,300 centrifuges, a far cry from the minimally feasible 3,000 centrifuges. Things often go wrong with nuclear enrichment. Centrifuges don’t now produce weapons-grade uranium; further enrichment is required, certain to be noticed by IAEA inspectors. Nuclear warhead design isn’t an easy job; even if constructing a nuclear warhead, Iran would shrink from risking its one or two nuclear charges in easily interceptable missiles. Delivering a large nuclear assembly in sea container would result in low-yield ground-level blast only. Thoughtful analysis suggests that the Iranian threat is over-hyped – at least, for the current prime minister’s term.

It took Menachem Begin’s simplicity to bomb the Iraqi reactor. For Begin, the issue was only one: the immediate security of Jewish people. To that end, young Begin was prepared to cooperate with Nazis against the British occupiers. Begin didn’t play diplomatic games: when the World Zionist Organization frantically discussed the creation of Israel with foreign states, Begin’s Irgun kept bombing British installations in the occupied Palestine. The WZO screamed that Begin harms Jewish prospects for ever-diminishing state. Perhaps. Begin, however, didn’t attempt to calculate a few moves in advance. He was solving the immediate problem.

When accused of violating his electoral promises of tough response to Palestinian terrorism, Ariel Sharon remarked that what is seen from here (prime-minister’s office) isn’t seen from there (the streets). How true. Prime minister’s horizon is much wider than of any individual Jew. Prime minister considers many things, and the immediate security of rank-and-file Jews is only one consideration among others. If a prime minister narrow-mindedly concentrates on Jewish interests, other members of the Security Cabinet would remind him of diplomatic, economic, humanitarian and whatever other consequences. Even if Olmert decides on bombing Iran tonight, the Labor side of the Security Cabinet would block his move.

Israeli politicians became too sophisticated to simply destroy Iranian nuclear capabilities. And anyway, there are 53 Pakistani nuclear bombs.