Akiva Eldar writes: The murderer who shot students in a Jewish school in Toulouse yesterday, like the one who shot black-skinned French paratroopers a few days earlier, required no motive other than hatred of foreigners and those who are different. Chronic sufferers from anti-Semitism and xenophobia need no special pretexts for their racism.
Nevertheless, an Israeli attack on Iran that sent gas prices soaring would be seized by by right-wing extremists like those who support Marine Le Pen. Thanks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s babble in Washington, even if the United States is the one that ultimately attacks Iran’s nuclear reactors, the bill will (also) be submitted to Jewish communities abroad. The State of Israel, which was established as a haven for Jews from those who hate it, may instead wind up becoming a threat to Jews.
What do you do when the polls show that a solid majority of Israelis refuse to risk being among the 500 casualties of retaliatory Iranian missile strikes on which Defense Minister Ehud Barak is prepared to gamble? The Prime Minister’s Office takes comfort in polls showing increasing American support for military action against Iran. Netanyahu’s spokesmen managed to sell this dramatic headline to several important media outlets as a personal accomplishment by their boss.
Indeed, a Wall Street Journal/CNN poll published the day after Netanyahu’s address to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC showed that 52 percent of Americans favored a military strike on Iran if the only other option were standing idly by. But when the respondents were presented with a larger range of options, a completely different picture emerged.