News / Middle East

Israeli Cabinet Mulls Response to Iran Threat

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, February 5, 2012.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, February 5, 2012.
Robert Berger

Growing tensions between Israel and Iran topped the agenda at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the Cabinet meeting by referring to a statement last week by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who described Israel as “a cancerous tumor that must be cut off.”

Netanyahu said the only way to ensure Israel’s survival in a region where Iran’s ruler talks “about destroying Israel,” is to continue to develop the nation’s military might.

A strong army “is the only guarantee of peace,” he said, “and Israel's only defense if peace unravels.”

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Israel and the West believe Tehran is building nuclear weapons that could threaten the existence of the Jewish state. Israeli officials are warning publicly that Iran is close to “the point of no return”- the point where military action to stop Iran from acquiring the atom bomb would be too late.

Israel has said time and again that if international sanctions against Iran fail, it is prepared to take military action on its own. This has raised growing alarm in the West.

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was quoted by The Washington Post as saying that he believes Israel might attack Iran this year, possibly as early as April.

Jerusalem Post defense analyst Yaakov Katz says time for a diplomatic solution is running out.

“The window is definitely closing,” he said.

Katz says Israel has the firepower to back up the threat.

“Israel has created over the years a viable military option, that is in place potentially, if it decides to take unilateral military action to stop Iran’s nuclear program,”

Many analysts question how effective an Israeli attack would be, considering that Iran is 1,200 kilometers from Israel and its nuclear facilities are spread out and fortified deep underground. But last week, Israel’s Deputy Premier Moshe Ya’alon, a former army chief, said that all of Iran’s nuclear sites are “vulnerable” to military strikes.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid