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Israel may or may not attack Iran, but Hezbollah cannot take chances. In the event of regime change in Tehran and concomitant replacement of Assad with a pro-Saudi ruler, Hezbollah would be left standing naked. Neither the West nor Israel or Lebanese Christians would think twice then before ousting it.

And so it would be silly for Hezbollah to wait for a possible showdown with Iran. Instead, it makes sense to attack Israel now with rockets, thus starting a controversial regional war to draw attention away from Iran, making possible a negotiated political settlement for Hezbollah to stay in power.

Avi DichterThe former Shabak head says that Israel needs to re-occupy Gaza for ’several years’ in order to cleanse it of terrorist organizations.

It is worth remembering that Dichter supported Sharon’s ill-fated withdrawal from Gaza five years ago. But how can a person so well informed be so silly as to suggest that Israeli occupation can rid Gaza of terrorists? We failed to do just that in Lebanon for eighteen years, and our success in the West Bank has been very limited, punctuated time and again by intifadas, grassroots terrorism, and Hamas activity.

The Israeli president said that Iran is six months away from going nuclear. Certainly, Peres’ estimates are based on what he is told by Mossad and the military intelligence.

But in other forums these experts have given completely different timetables, giving Israel about two more years for procrastination.

By suggesting that Israel is closer to the nuclear option, Peres hardly endorses Netanyahu’s stance in his conflict with the intelligence chiefs who oppose the strike. Instead, he tries to woo the White House into acting against Iran. Which would be nice to see, but would be no substitute for an Israeli attack.

Shimon Peres

November 2011
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