Time alone will tell if Netanyahu's bluster is real. No one wins if Iran is attacked. The same holds for Syria and Hezbollah.
Major General (res.) Amos Yadlin believes an attack is imminent. He also discounts alleged urgency. What do these former security chiefs know that others don't?
Former intelligence officers get security briefings even though they're not involved in planning or decision-making. They know how to analyze information and read between the lines.
Whatever Netanyahu prefers, high level Israelis urge caution. They also have doubts about challenging a formidable foe.
Overseas, "Netanyahu has had to ward off a series of messages and signals casting doubt about the desirability of an attack." Washington wants nothing this aggressive pre-election.
Hopefully cooler Israeli heads outnumber and outweigh hawks. Haaretz commentator Gideon Levy is one. On August 5, he headlined "Another avoidable war," saying:
"Like its predecessors, the next war is being portrayed as unavoidable. It's hard to see how it could be more successful than the previous ones. It's easy to see how it could be the most terrible."
Officials on both sides speak publicly. Some expect war in weeks. Others strongly oppose it. Is Israel about to launch "another avoidable war?"
It had four or five earlier. None turned out well. Previous failures may pale in comparison to attacking Iran, Syria and/or Hezbollah.
Israel always declares wars waged successful after fighting them. Later analysis proves otherwise. Hezbollah in 2006 was a shadow of its current strength. It hit Israel hard enough to give it pause about attacking again. Syria and Iran have formidable militaries.
Israel's bite may prove less effective than its bark. Posturing about an unavoidable war doesn't wash. No one threatens Israel. Attacking nations able to strike back in kind shows recklessness combined with lawlessness.
Lying publicly about likely Israeli casualties is shameless and irresponsible. Several hundred are mentioned. Expect many thousands, considerable destruction, and Israeli nuclear facilities attacked.
Dimona is one of many. They're prime targets in response to attacking comparable Iranian sites. Israel and surrounding areas will become irradiated. Risking it should be denounced.
Levy's article opposes war but misses the point. He asks who decides who lives or dies? Strikes against Israeli nuclear sites affect all Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, and others. Targeting Iranian facilities harms millions more.
Radiation contamination touches everyone. Nuclear wars aren't winnable. They're lose-lose writ large.
Levy said thousands of Israelis may be killed and wounded. At issue are millions throughout the region and multiples more in Iran. They weren't mentioned in his article.