Monday, June 18, 2007

Well, Now He's a MK

Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael (or, and Isaac Ben-Israel) is the son of a Lechi fighter, a retired IDF major general, a professor of security studies at Tel Aviv University and chairman of the Israel Space Agency. He will also replace Shimon Peres as a Kadima MK.

He has an op-ed in the Washington Times written together with Louis Rene Beres, a professor of law, called Deterring Iran.

In it he writes:

Thoughtful steps are needed to prevent a regional nuclear war. These will require awareness of how a nuclear war might start in the Middle East, and an informed Israeli identification of the best available strategic doctrine. To protect itself against a still-nuclearizing and recalcitrant Iran, Israel's best course may well be a prompt and law-enforcing conventional pre-emption.

Without pre-emption, if Iran goes nuclear, Israel could feel compelled to end its policy of nuclear ambiguity. Taking the "bomb out of the basement" could allow Israel to enhance its strategic deterrent, but Jerusalem could still never be quite certain of enemy rationality.

Every state has the right to defend against aggression, especially where attacks would involve mass-destruction weapons. Now facing the risk of genocidal war from Iran, Israel would not itself consider the first use of nuclear weapons. But should Iranian nuclear weapons ever be unleashed against Israel's cities, either directly or via terrorist proxies, Tehran should understand fully that Israel would respond with at least proportionate destructiveness.

Well, now that he's a MK, he gets to participate in making the decision.

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