Israel Must Be ‘Eliminated’

Thursday's Editorial - September 27, 2012

Questions

1.  What did the following Iranian political, religious or military leaders say about Israel?
a)  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, quoting Supreme Leader* Ayatollah Khomeini
b)  Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in February 2012
c)  Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff of the armed forces, in May 2012
d)  Ayatollah Khomeine, in the 1980s
e)  Former Iranian President Akbar Rafsanjani (described by the Western media as a moderate) in 2001
 
*Supreme Leader is a position created in the Iranian constitution as the highest ranking political and religious authority of Iran
 
2.  The WSJ (Wall Street Journal) editors write in paragraph 11 "we hear in U.S. and European policy circles that Israel is overreacting to such publicly stated intentions because Iran would never act on them..."  
Do you think Israel is overreacting to these statements by Iranian leaders? Explain your answer.
 
3.  Responding to U.S. and Europeans who say "in any case, Israel has its own nuclear deterrent" the editors assert: "But no one believes Israel would launch a nuclear first-strike to wipe out Tehran, and an Israeli counterstrike would be too late to protect Israel from being 'eliminated.'"
Do you agree with this assertion by the WSJ editors?  Explain your answer.
 
4.  Danny Danon, deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) and a member of the ruling Likud Party said recently:
"We have the military capability to deal with this threat [from Iran] by ourselves, but I think that should not be the case. It should not be the war of Jews against Iran. It should be the war of the global Western society that fights against the threat. And, unfortunately, I don't see it happening in the near future. We see that the leadership in the United States is not willing to take a leadership role."
Do you agree with Mr. Danon's assertion that: "It should be the war of the global Western society that fights against the threat"? Explain your answer.
 
5.  Mr. Danon also said: "If we have to choose between allowing Iran to build a bomb or to bomb Iran, I think we have no other option but to do whatever is necessary to not allow Iran to become nuclear -- because history has told us we cannot ignore a leader who is speaking against the Jewish people."
Do you think Mr. Danon's explanation for why Israel "has no other option" is a strong argument?  Explain your answer.