Netanyahu: 'I'll push the button on Iran if I must'he will push the button on Iran if he has to.
"I guarantee that as if I'm re-elected as prime minister I will not allow Iran to get a nuclear bomb," Netanyahu said in an interview. Asked if he was really capable of "pressing the button," Netanyahu replied: "I am capable, if I have to. I hope that I won't have to."Netanyahu's biggest problem if he decides to push that button may not be the President of the United States, whomever that may be. It may be his own army and intelligence services.
He emphasized that he was not "rushing to war," and indicated that he would prefer to solve the issue through international sanctions. "Iran is progressing, step by step," he said. "Today we are not begging other people to help us. Today we are prepared ourselves."
The first part of the report, previewed Sunday, detailed how Netanyahu and Barak ordered the IDF to raise its alert level ahead of a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010, a move which drew virulent objections from both the IDF and Mossad chiefs.
During a meeting of select senior ministers in 2010, Netanyahu allegedly ordered the IDF to raise its state of alert to “P-plus,” reserved for an imminent state of war, according to the report. Netanyahu was rebuffed by then-IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who said they considered the order “illegal.”IDF soldiers are all trained not to obey 'obviously illegal' orders. Ashkenazi and Dagan - who were both holdovers from the Olmert government - are both gone. Whether their replacements will implement a decision that Netanyahu claims to be his to make remains to be seen.
Unfortuntely, there are a lot of Israelis who still don't appreciate the implications of living with a nuclear Iran, mainly because the government has been afraid of promoting mass flight. A Haaretz poll a couple of years ago found that 23% of Israelis would emigrate if Iran went nuclear. Perhaps the government is afraid of that number growing. But perhaps we have to take the plunge and at least discuss the consequences with the other 77%. Too many Israelis don't seem to get it and therefore won't support a strike.
Of course, removing the fear that the President of the United States will abandon us if we choose to attack by ourselves would help a lot of Israelis to support a strike on Iran.