Perhaps you are among those who remain alert for a Middle East war and the ushering in of the anti-Christ with seven years of tribulation. Or, maybe you have no opinion about the return of Christ, but have an interest in foreign policy. To take yet another view, maybe you are just on edge about the possibility of another armed international entanglement reaching into and through our military.How about the price of oil? That could be affected, so our already rising gas prices might really go stratospheric under the right conditions.
Then there is the presidential election in the first part of November. If a Middle East skirmish were to break out would how would voter intent be affected?
News reports about potential Israeli activity toward Iran are still all over the map. Truly, only God knows what might happen. But that He does is enough.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing domestic problems at home the past few weeks, began frantically banging his “I am threatening to attack Iran” drum.
One reason, which has gotten little publicity in the United States, is that Netanyahu has budget problems. His government has to make decisions on its defense spending at a time when his country faces some of the same economic problems that we do in the United States.
Like Pentagon boosters in this country, Netanyahu and his allies favor more defense spending, and they play up growing threats. The new theme is that the window is closing for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, even if Israel has to go it alone.
From the Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom:
In a bid to garner more support for a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent National Security Council chief Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror to meet with Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef last week.
During the confidential meeting, Amidror gave Yosef an updated situational assessment of Iran’s nuclear program and presented Netanyahu’s position on the issue.
This was not the first time that Amidror has met with Yosef and other ultra-Orthodox leaders to brief them on national security matters.
According to a report on the Kikar Hashabat news website, Yosef’s opposition to a military strike against Iran has softened following last week’s meeting with Amidror. However, the report said, Yosef has yet to express his opinion and more meetings with government officials are expected on the matter. Haaretz reported that on Saturday evening, a day after his meeting with Amidror, Yosef said in his weekly sermon: “You know what situation we’re in, there are evil people, Iran, about to destroy us … We must pray before [God] with all our heart.”
At HuffPo Dr. Josef Olmert believes Israel’s debate is more than about Iran. Olmert believes the nation is debating its own soul. He says:
By going public the way he did, [President Simon] Peres dramatically shed light on the debate which is tearing apart the Israeli political establishment and polarizing public opinion: Israel’s policy with regard to a state whose leaders publicly call for the complete liquidation of the Jewish state and which many believe is feverishly developing the weapon which can achieve that exact goal.
On the face of it, the debate in Israel is yet another strategic-security question to be resolved, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the debate is much more profound, and it touches most delicate issues, which have to do with the very essence of Israeli statehood and national character. To start with, Peres’ appearance is an unprecedented move by a state president, and as such calls into question the nature of the relationships between the presidency and the hitherto undisputed center of power in Israel, the prime minister, who in this particular case, is strongly supported by his defense minister. The question aroused yesterday will not be decided by a court of law, rather in the court of public opinion, where the affection and respect felt towards President Peres will be tested against the political support given to P.M Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, the Hebrew/English online paper, Haaretz, reports the very argument over the prospect of war with Iran demonstrates a maturing democracy in Israel:
But the disagreement over a war with Iran also bares the limitations of the public debate and the slightness of its influence on decision makers. Netanyahu and Barak hear their rivals and respond to the criticism by hardening their positions. The louder the voices of those who oppose military action the greater the resolve of the prime minister and the defense minister to strike the Iranians, and the more they paint themselves into a corner. How could they explain a decision against an attack after Netanyahu’s talk of a “second Holocaust” and the well-argued interview given by “the decision maker” to my colleague Ari Shavit?
The preparations for attacking Iran set an important precedent of bringing the Israeli public into the critical decision of going to war, instead of presenting it with a destructive fait accompli. That is the right way to make decisions in a democracy. But “the wisdom of the crowd” does not by definition guarantee the quality of the decisions and it cannot substitute for the leader, who controls the agenda.
Two questions: Do you see anything that signals some kind of “end times” agenda in this? And, how do you see things playing out in our presidential election if 1) Israel goes to war with Iran, or 2) if we are baited into war with Iran instead?