Q and A
Will Israel attack Iran?
The Riverdale YM-YWHA hosted a talk on Tuesday, “Israel vs. Iran – Is War Imminent?” to discuss a question that has been on the minds of politicians, military leaders and people across the world: will Israel attack Iran?
If you missed the talk, here’s a Q and A from the speakers, Dr. Ronen Bergman, a senior political and military analyst for Israel’s largest circulated daily newspaper,Yedioth Aharonoth, and Rabbi Irving Greenberg, former rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center and professor at Yeshiva University.
Dr. Ronen Bergman
1. In your opinion, will Israel attack Iran? Would it be justified in doing so?
I think that the chances in recent weeks of an Israeli strike on Iran has somewhat diminished because of the strong sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the international community against Iran, as well as the pressure Israel sustained from the U.S. trying to convince it to delay the approximate time of an aerial strike. Now, I do not think the likelihood of a strike is imminent.
But at the end of the day, if nothing profound is changed and the Iranians continue to work to assemble their nuclear project, Israel will still face the same crucial dramatic dilemma it faces today – to accept a nuclear, military Iran or to pursue a military strike. It is clear that the initial reaction to this strike would be condemnation against Israel as well as international repercussions, but history sometimes judges things differently, so I cannot tell what will happen over time.
2. Do you believe that Israel has the military capability to achieve its goals? If not, would it require U.S. military support?
Israel would not get U.S. military support for a strike, at least not under the current circumstances. That said, Israel has the capability to create significant damage to an Iranian nuclear site, but that would just result in a delay of the project for three to five years.
3. What would be the repercussions of such an attack?
The Iranians would react and could strike Israel with missiles; they are also able to launch a counter strike on the Middle East, including parties such as Hezbollah. This could mean the launch of rockets and missiles against Israel and could ignite a new confrontation in the Middle East. There are people who say that the other players, the proxy, have their own political agendas and they would not necessarily be able and willing to wage an all out war against Israel because that would take a toll on them as well.
Israeli citizens would be at the front of this war.