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Can/Will Israel Act Alone?
President Obama’s credibility is not high, and his assurances that all options are on the table, he’s got your back, he doesn’t bluff, etc. are rhetorical phrases that no country would rely upon. But the current crisis is not simply a matter of the President’s personal credibility. The central premise of Zionism is Jews must ultimately rely upon themselves, and not others, in such matters -- which is why Netanyahu, and Sharon before him, constantly insist on Israel’s right to defend itself by itself. It is not in the DNA of any Israeli prime minister, much less Netanyahu, to put Israel in a position of relying at the end of the day on the word of a foreign leader for its ultimate security.
Can Israel act alone against Iran? Will Israel act alone? To answer that question, you need to know a little history, and then know what Netanyahu has said about that history just a couple weeks ago. You need to understand what happened in the 1967 war and the 1973 war, and then the lessons that Netanyahu drew from those two wars, and the relationship of that lesson to the central creed of Zionism.
If Israel sees itself being backed into a corner where it is about to lose the ability to protect itself, by itself, it will act before it is too late. It is a lesson of Israeli history the current prime minister not only knows but has articulated in terms that could not be clearer. As Dore Gold said a number of years ago in an appearance before Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, when he was asked if Israel could act against Iran on its own: I have no inside information, but Israel has had more than a decade to prepare for the moment.