"I do indeed argue that a nuclear Iran does not constitute an existential threat to Israel. If one day we wake up and discover that Iran has nuclear weapons, that does not mean the start of the countdown to the end of Israel's existence. Israel need not despair."
"We have deterrent capability and preventive capability. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, Israel will be able to design a true operational response that will be able to cope with that."
"I am absolutely appalled when I hear our leaders talking as though there were no Israel Defense Forces and as though there were no State of Israel and as though Auschwitz is liable to be repeated."
Iran is no existential threat, he stressed. Force is an unacceptable option. "Going to war is an absolute and irreversible act that entails high costs." A possible generational war could follow, he believes. Preventing it should be prioritized.
Halevy stopped short of saying attacking Iran would be disastrous. However, his comments strongly suggested it. He urges all possible options for peace, not war.
"It's always worth remembering," he said, "that the greatest victory in war is the victory that is achieved without firing a shot." In other words, war accomplishes nothing. Peace should be pursued at all costs.
On August 31, Haaretz discussed the "secret reason for Netanyahu's timing" on attacking Iran, saying:
"The reason behind the timing of a possible attack".is one big act of deception." Netanyahu is more bluster than bite. He's a hothead. His rhetoric and reasoning disengage.
He and Barak believe whatever they do, Washington's support will follow. "This is deception." Netanyahu "is misleading people." He depends on US support. Nonetheless, his rhetoric does much to undermine it.
His narrow vision is hardline. He wants his way regardless of Washington's position. Does he really want war or is he faking it? As prime minister from 1996 - 1999 and since 2009, he never initiated one.
Why now when no strategic threat exists? Why when the potential consequences may be disastrous? If he goes it alone and fails, he'll be condemned and risk isolation.
He and Barak understand and won't attack without Washington's agreement and ideally its partnership in a joint attack.
"In private conversations," he fears Obama "will take revenge for the overt efforts to defeat him and will prevent (him) from attacking Iran."
For this reason only, "some reliable sources say" he'll attack Iran during the Democrat National Convention next week "when the timing is the worst for Israel. That's the price of" showing support for Romney.
That's a price too high to pay. Doing so would risk Israel's security. It might also force Netanyahu to resign or replaced.