Social Question

Qingu's avatar

Are Israel's leaders completely delusional?

Asked by Qingu (21140 points ) January 25th, 2012

Will Israel Attack Iran? — from the New York Times. Read the whole thing (it’s long).

Basically, the reporter, along with a number of experts, believe that it’s all but inevitable that Israel is going to unilaterally attack Iran in an attempt to take out its nuclear program.

Experts also believe that such an attack would at best delay nuclear capability for a year, would probably start a regional war involving Hezbollah and Syria, and would likely draw the United States into the war.

The Israeli leaders interviewed in the article believe, or say they believe, that Iran is actually going to attack them with a nuclear weapon. The deputy prime minister brought up the possibility of Iranians smuggling in a nuke to the United States through the Mexican border.

These are the kinds of positions that people like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich hold, and that are usually dismissed as laughably ignorant.

Are Israel’s leaders “bluffing,” or are they actually crazy enough to attack Iran?

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28 Answers

King_Pariah's avatar

Well if you look at the last time Israel attacked another nation (Iraq) to stunt/shut down their nuclear program it went relatively well. So if it went well last time, why not this time?

blueiiznh's avatar

I think it’s a big ploy to sell newspapers.

Qingu's avatar

@King_Pariah, the article talks about that. It didn’t actually go well. It was a temporary setback, and what’s more Iran has probably learned from Iraq.

Also, what on earth is the endgame for Israel? Start yet another war with their neighbors, completely unprovoked this time, with a justification (illegal nuclear weapons development) that would apply equally to themselves?

I mean, there are some Israelis like Netanyahu (and my aunt) who apparently believe and accept that Israel should just be in a state of almost constant war and military occupation. Which is fucked up.

King_Pariah's avatar

Whoa whoa whoa. I think the article must have confused Iran’s bombing of the facility with Israel’s Operation Opera. Operation Opera was indeed a success and the setback was permanent. Iran’s bombing of the facility however was a temporary setback from which Iraq quickly recovered from with help from the French which in turn caused Israel to decide to finish the job. And in 2003 we found documents that did point to that Saddam wanted to, after crushing Iran (which we all know went down the drain), he intended to attack Israel. The bombing of the plant was effective in that it hit Saddam where it hurts, his wallet, which in turn resulted in the French abandoning the project because the combination of the loss in this investment and fighting a war with Iran drained Iraq’s treasury to an enormous extent. I’d say it went well other than the disgust from the international community. And frankly I’m surprised that only 11 people died when there were so many people still working on it at the time of the bombing.

judochop's avatar

Yes. It appears that all of the worlds leaders are delusional.

Blondesjon's avatar

I think the most terrifying aspect of this whole game is how India and Pakistan will decide to play their hands if Israel does indeed decide to nuke Iran.

can’t world leaders just sit down a play a game of risk to figure this shit out?

saint's avatar

No doubt. A reasonable person would ignore the threats of destruction by their Arab and Persian neighbors, and wait patiently for Tel Aviv to be flattened by a fireball.

Qingu's avatar

@King_Pariah, you’re right. I had read that section wrong, apparently. There are some other rather crucial difference between that operation and attacking Iran now. One being, Iraq was currently at war with Iran at the time, which undoubtably contributed to their inability to recover from the attack. Related to this is the fact that Iraq, unlike Iran, has in the past started wars with countries and invaded them. Iraq’s military and nuclear infrastructure, at the time, also appears to have been significantly less advanced than that of Iran’s toda. What’s especially troubling is that every expert interviewed in this article says that airstrikes on Iranian nuke sites will be a temporary setback.

@saint, what threats of destruction? Are you referring to Ahmadinejad, who is not in control of Iran, and whose quote about “wiping Israel off the face of the map” likely referred to giving people in Israel-occupied territory the right to vote in Israeli elections?

Do you actually think Iran would launch a nuclear weapon at Tel Aviv unprovoked? Do you think Iran’s leaders are somehow not cognizant of what would happen immediately afterwards?

Qingu's avatar

@Blondesjon, Israel isn’t talking about nuking Iran, just using conventional airstrikes to take out Iran’s nuclear sites.

Nuclear weapons would not necessarily come into play. It almost certainly would result in a regional war, however.

fluxflow's avatar

There is nothing delusional about the Israeli’s. They’re an unstoppable force. Their track record on wars is impeccable. They single-handedly defeated the entire middle east when they teamed up to attack Israel on more then one occasion. The Israeli’s are just foolish for giving the land back to these people after kicking their ass. Especially when they repeatedly attack Israeli.

So given their track record, I don’t think they fear any wars since they’re the victors. When was that stuxnet virus used on the Iran plant? Two-three years ago? If a virus can delay an entire plant for 3 years, then I would assume a physical strike would delay it for a lot longer then 3 years.

By the way, all Arabs are allowed to vote even in occupied locations. What evidence do you have that they are not allowed to vote? You have a legitimate source?

Qingu's avatar

@fluxflow, it’s weird that you confuse “military skill” with intelligence or a firm grasp of geopolitics. What good is winning every war against (poor, poorly equipped) neighboring countries if you are still living in a constant state of war and universally hated? Like I asked someone else: what is Israel’s endgame? Netanyahu doesn’t seem to have one.

As for your faith in physical strikes based on your (completely inaccurate) assessment of the Stuxnet virus’ effects, I’m curious what your credentials are, Stranger On The Internet. Do you work for Mossad, the IDF, or the CIA? The article I cited quotes from people who do, all of whom dispute your assessment.

And are you seriously contesting that Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank are not allowed to vote in Israeli elections?

fluxflow's avatar

Actually, studies show Jews have the highest IQ in the world. Mossad (Israeli intelligence agency) is ranked one of the best in the World. Israeli military is ranked one of the best in the world. Now what exactly am I confused about here?

Israel never drew first blood. They’re the one’e who are constantly being attacked by its neighbors. They’re just defending themselves. If those countries are “poorly equipped for war” as you say, which isn’t true either since they showed the modern weapons they had, then it shows how dumb they’re for constantly going to war with a much more powerful nation.

Antisemitism is nothing new. Jews have been hated through-out Jewish history. They’re one of the most persecuted people out there. Although I’m not sure where do you get this view that Israel is universally hated? For example, USA, UK, Germany, India, Canada, China and Czech Republic are all allies of Israel. Turkey was too, until the incident.

Striking Iran would be the first time Israel would attack first, and with a president who said he wants to wipe them out, I don’t think it’s hard to believe that he would use that plant for war rather then energy. The end game is to protect Israel by striking first. Just like the United States had in mind when attacking Iraq.

What is inaccurate about the Stuxnet effect? It did exactly what it was suppose to. It has already delayed Iran’s plant for 2–3 years.

I said I assume that if virus can do so much damage, then a physical strike would be worse. Quote me where Mossad the IDF say that an attack on the plant will only delay it for a year?

Yes, I’m contesting. They’re allowed to vote, they’re allowed to apply for citizenship.

The myth “Israel has long sought to deny residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip their political rights.”

The fact _“Given the constraints of Israel’s security requirements, efforts were made from the outset to allow Palestinians the greatest possible freedom. After the Six-Day War, the traditional pro-Jordanian leadership continued to hold many civil service positions and was paid by Jordan. Municipal elections were held in 1972 and 1976. For the first time, women and non-landowners were allowed to vote.”

fluxflow's avatar

Here too. “Most of the Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967, were offered Israeli citizenship, but refused, not wanting to recognize Israeli sovereignty. They became permanent residents.[9] They are entitled to municipal services and have municipal voting rights.[10]
‘Arab Citizens of Israel

Qingu's avatar

@fluxflow, you didn’t even attempt to answer my question.

What is Israel’s end game? What is the exit strategy for the state of almost constant warfare with the country’s neighbors? Because it seems to me that Netanyahu and his coalition are satisfied with the status quo.

And that is unacceptable to me, as it is to much of the rest of the world—which is why, contrary to your “Israel has lots of allies,” the country is constantly censured in the UN and only escapes repurcussions because the US has veto power.

As for Stuxnet, it wiped out a fifth of the country’s centrifuges. Tying this to a 2–3 year delay may be credible, or it may not (it didn’t reduce their know-how or capability and centrifuges can be replaced). In any case, comparing Stuxnet to a physical strike is comparing apples to oranges, and you have yet to explain why you are justified in your optimistic outlook as opposed to all of the experts interviewed in the article.

In the audience at that lecture was Rafi Eitan, 85, one of the Mossad’s most seasoned and well-known operatives. Eitan agreed with Dagan that Israel lacked the capabilities to attack Iran. When I spoke with him in October, Eitan said: “As early as 2006 (when Eitan was a senior cabinet minister), I told the cabinet that Israel couldn’t afford to attack Iran. First of all, because the home front is not ready. I told anyone who wanted and still wants to attack, they should just think about two missiles a day, no more than that, falling on Tel Aviv. And what will you do then? Beyond that, our attack won’t cause them significant damage. I was told during one of the discussions that it would delay them for three years, and I replied, ‘Not even three months.’ After all, they have scattered their facilities all over the country and under the ground. ‘What harm can you do to them?’ I asked. ‘You’ll manage to hit the entrances, and they’ll have them rebuilt in three months.’ ”

The article also notes that there is huge uncertainty about the utility of any attack, noting Iran’s copious anti-air defenses, its expectation of being attacked, its locating essential elements so deep underground that bunker busting bombs can’t penetrate, the need for IDF aircraft to refuel, and Iran’s promise of retaliation if attacked. Hell, we don’t even know for sure how far along Iran is from actually having weapons-grade material in the first place—especially if Iran is as nefarious and secretive as Israel is asserting as justification for attacking in the first place.

As for Iran “wanting to wipe Israel out,” I have several questions. (1) Do you realize that most Muslims, including likely Ahmadinejad, clearly believe that Israel should not politically exist, since the area it occupies is almost majority Muslim? (2) Do you actually believe that Iran would start a war, or launch a nuclear attack, on Israel based solely on this single statement of Ahmedinejad? Please answer these questions.

Finally, your statements about Palestinians are just farcical. I take it, based on your response, you don’t actually need me to point out that (whatever you’d like to spin Israel’s intentions), residents of the West Bank and Gaza—areas occupied by Israel—cannot actually participate in Israeli elections?

fluxflow's avatar

The neighbors are not interested in peace, so there is nothing to talk about accept defending oneself. That is the end game.

@Qingu wrote, ”And that is unacceptable to me, as it is to much of the rest of the world—which is why, contrary to your “Israel has lots of allies,” the country is constantly censured in the UN and only escapes repurcussions because the US has veto power.”

Nope, that is another lie. Facts are against you.

Again, it has nothing to do with their know-how or capability. The goal was to delay the plant, and that virus was successful.

I see, so an ex-Mossad expert says an attack will be ineffective, alright. I guess it’s something to consider for the Israeli administration. I’m sure Israeli strategic analysts disagree. I think one of the leading strategic analysts of Israel said the attack would delay it for 3–5 years. I’ll try and find his name.

1. Yes, I understand Muslims don’t want Israel to exist, nothing new here.
2. Yes, I believe Iran can and will launch an attack on Israel based on what Ahmedinejad said. The Nazi’s said they were just following orders, I don’t doubt Iranian’s would do the same.

Sorry chief, but the facts are against you. Arabs are allowed to vote.

Qingu's avatar

Israel’s neighbors certainly don’t like Israel (can you blame them), but it’s BS to say they are “not interested in peace.” Obviously many people living in the middle east, particularly those who belong to terrorist groups, are not interested in peace. On the other hand, many Arabs strongly support a two-state solution. (Abbas’ party strongly supports the two-state solution… and then Netanyahu torpedoed the negotiations when he took office.)

It’s true that almost no Arabs support the status quo—military occupation of the millions of people living in West Bank and Gaza. But that’s different from saying they “don’t support peace.”

Now, you say you believe that Iran will launch an attack on Israel… citing the Nazis’ behavior as evidence. You then go on to say that “Arabs are allowed to vote,” apparently not cognizant that I was talking about Palestinians living in occupied territories and not Arab Israeli citizens. These two statements are both so ignorant that I’m honestly not sure how to respond, so I’ll just let them speak for themselves.

fluxflow's avatar

@Qingu,

Those “occupied” have every human right and privilege as the rest of the Israeli citizens. If you keep repeating lies, it’s not going to become truth.

How much more evidence do I need to site for you?

Palestinians allowed to vote in East Jerusalem, but Israel bars Hamas from election

Palestinians allowed to vote in East Jerusalem

Israel to Allow Palestinian Voting in East Jerusalem

“In the January 25, 2006 Palestinian Legislative Elections, 6,300 East Jerusalem Arabs were registered and permitted to vote locally. All other residents had to travel to West Bank polling stations. Hamas won four seats and Fatah two, even though Hamas was barred by Israel from campaigning in the city.”

“As residents, East Jerusalemites rejecting Israeli citizenship have the right to vote in municipal elections and play a role in the administration of the city. Residents pay taxes, and following a 1988 Israeli Supreme Court ruling, East Jerusalem residents are guaranteed the right to social security benefits and state health care.”

I’m done conversing with you about this topic because you haven’t said a single shred of truth accept quoting the new york times. Too many lies from one person. Goodbye.

You second question is asking for an opinion, not a fact. If the leader of the country threatens you, you don’t take it lightly. Just like when someone threatens you with murder, you don’t take it lightly. Also, if you read any history, Iran had ties with Nazi’s.

Qingu's avatar

East Jerusalem is not Gaza or the West Bank. You’re either ignorant of the geography of the place we are talking about or else you are being intentionally deceptive.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Qingu's avatar

OMG. I don’t understand why you are not understanding this.

Here is a map of Israel: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/asia/il.htm Notice the big areas that say GAZA STRIP and WEST BANK.

The population of the Gaza Strip is 1.6 million people. None of them can vote in Israeli elections.

The population of West Bank is about 1.7 million people. Almost none of them can vote in Israeli elections.

The West Bank zags through the Israeli city of Jerusalem. “East Jerusalem” is the part of this city that is in the West Bank. Here is where it gets complicated. Because in a two-state solution, West Bank would become its own sovereign country… but Israel wants to keep all of Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem.

So, yes, Israel allows the few tens of thousand people living in East Jerusalem the right to vote in Israeli elections. It also lets Jewish settlers living in West Bank to vote in Israeli elections. The rest of the 1.7 million people living in the West Bank cannot vote in Israeli elections.

It is important to me, for my faith in humanity, that you are able to grasp this. Can you let me know if you now understand?

fluxflow's avatar

Sorry, but you didnt provided any evidence that they’re not allowed to vote. I, however, did.

As my evidence shows, the residents in gaza and the west bank are all allowed to vote and have all the right as every Israeli citizen. All 3.3 million of them.

Furthmore, I have shown evidence that when they talk about East Jeresulem, it is including Gaza and the west bank.

Only people like you who need to spin every situation (probably for some hidden agenda) will try to manipulate the facts. You obviously still don’t and most will not understand.

Qingu's avatar

LOL, I’m too trusting.

Your own sources don’t even say what you think they say. Palestinians living in East Jerusalem were allowed to vote… in Palestinian elections. Not Israeli elections.

Your latest comment is amazing.

“I have shown evidence that when they talk about East Jeresulem, it is including Gaza and The west bank.”

All you have just shown is that you know virtually nothing about the country which you have such strong feelings for. May I ask how old you are, sir or ma’am?

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Qingu's avatar

I sure as hell hope you’re a kid.

fluxflow's avatar

I sure as hell hope you stop being dishonest.

King_Pariah's avatar

brings up a seat and whips out the popcorn

zensky's avatar

Geography:
Israel is only 1/6 of 1% of the land mass of the Middle East.
Israel is roughly half the size of Lake Michigan.
The Sea of Galilee, at 695 ft. Below sea level, is the lowest freshwater lake in the world.
The Dead Sea is the lowest surface point on earth, at about 1,373 feet below sea level.
Israel is the only nation in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.
Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited town in the world.
The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is the oldest, continually used cemetery in the world.

Demographics:
Israel ‘s population is half the size of Metro New York City.
Israel has only 2% of the population of the Middle East .
Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees per capita in the world.
Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world – by a large margin.
Israel has the highest number of scientists and technicians per capita in the world – by a large margin.
Israel has the highest number of engineers per capita in the world.
Israel has the highest number of PhD’s per capita in the world.
Israel has the highest number of physicians per capita in the world.
Israel has the largest percentage of its workforce employed in technical professions in the world.
Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation in the world, per capita.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population has grown over the last 50 years.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians, Muslims and Jews are all freeto vote.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where women enjoy full political rights.

Economics:
Israel has the largest number of startup companies per capita in the world.
Israel is the world’s largest wholesale diamond center, finally surpassing Antwerp in the 1970’s.
Most of the cut &polished diamonds in the world come from Israel.
Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies outside of the US and Canada.
Israel was the first country to have a free trade agreement with the United States.
Apart from the Silicon Valley, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world.

Electronics:
The cell phone was developed in Israel at Motorola’s largest development center.
The Voice Mail technology was developed in Israel.
In the early 80’s, IBM chose an Israeli-designed computer chip as the brains for its first personal computers.
The first anti-virus software for computers was developed in Israel in 1979.
Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed in Israel by

Microsoft:
Both the Pentium-4 and Centurion processors were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel .
The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
Israel has the highest number of home computers per capita in the world.
The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ was developed in 1996 by 4 young Israelis.
Israel was the first Middle Eastern country to launch a satellite, the Ofek 1, on September 19, 1988.

Culture:
Hebrew is the only case of a dead national language being revived in all of world history.
Hebrew had not been spoken as a native tongue by anyone for centuries.
Today it is the native tongue of millions of people.
Israel has more museums per capita than any other nation in the world.
Israel has more orchestras per capita than any other nation in the world.
Israel publishes more books per capita than any other nation in the world.
Israel publishes more books translated from other languages than any other nation in the world.
Israel reads more books per capita than any other nation in the world.
The most independent and free Arabic press in the Middle East is in Israel.

Military/Security:
Israel has the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the US.
Israel has the world’s most impenetrable airline security.
Israel spends more money per capita on its own protection than any country in the world.

Other:
Israel’s dairy cows are the most productive dairy cows in the world.
They average 25,432 pounds of milk per cow per year, compared to just 18,747 pounds from American cows; 17,085 from Canadian cows; 13,778 from European Union cows; 10,207 from Australian cows; and 6,600 from Chinese cows.
Israel has more in-vitro fertilization per capita than anywhere in the world, and it’s free.
Israelis, per capita, are the world’s biggest consumers of fruits and vegetables.
Of the 175 UN Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

Of the 690 UN General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel

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