|Saul Roth||August 1st 2012|
Wolrd Jewish Daily
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a defiant tone in a series of television interviews on Tuesday night. Speaking to all of Israel's television channels, he stated that whatever his advisors and military staff may think about an attack on Iran's nuclear program, the final decision will be his and his alone. Netanyahu's remarks were in response to a a story published earlier that day by Yediot Aharonot, Israel's best-selling daily.
According to Yediot: "the US administration believes Israel’s top military and intelligence brass – including IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, Air Force Commander Maj.- Gen. Amir Eshel, Head of Military Intelligence Maj.- Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Mossad head Tamir Pardo, and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yoram Cohen – are all opposed to an Israeli attack without US backing." The Israeli media has never much cared for Netanyahu, and the reporters grilled him extensively on his plans for a strike on Iran and his reaction to what is perceived as strong opposition to such a move in the security establishment.
In response, Netanyahu repeatedly emphasized that such fateful decisions must be left to the elected political leadership. “That is the way it has always been, and will always be,” he said. To illustrate the point, Netanyahu said that former prime minister Menachem Begin chose in 1981 to attack the nuclear reactor in Iraq despite opposition at the time from the heads of the Mossad and military intelligence.
In regard to Iran, Netanyahu's message was absolute and unequivocal. "It is working to destroy us," he said, "and is preparing atom bombs to destroy us. As much as it is dependent on me, I will not let that happen."In his recent visit to Jerusalem, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney repeatedly asserted he would support any Israeli military decision.