Nuclear Iran – Debating The Point of No Return

Photo: Atlantic Magazine

September 2010  

By Jeffrey Goldberg  

Cover Story Excerpt:  For the Obama administration, the prospect of a nuclearized Iran is dismal to contemplate— it would create major new national-security challenges and crush the president’s dream of ending nuclear proliferation. But the view from Jerusalem is still more dire: a nuclearized Iran represents, among other things, a threat to Israel’s very existence. In the gap between Washington’s and Jerusalem’s views of Iran lies the question: who, if anyone, will stop Iran before it goes nuclear, and how? As Washington and Jerusalem study each other intensely, here’s an inside look at the strategic calculations on both sides—and at how, if things remain on the current course, an Israeli air strike will unfold.  

Read complete essay here.  

(Note:  the essay is long and you may prefer reading it from a printed copy.)  


The Atlantic has additional coverage.  For more points-of-view, click here and below:  

A Long Way From the Point of No Return With Iran  

Indyk: U.S. More Likely to Bomb Iran Than Israel  


Also, refer to our previous post on this topic:  Can Iran Be Contained?  


And, Jeffrey Goldberg’s essay includes this passage:  

Most critically, Sneh [Ephraim Sneh, a former general and former deputy defense minister] said, if Israel is no longer understood by its 6 million Jewish citizens, and by the roughly 7 million Jews who live outside of Israel, to be a “natural safe haven,” then its raison d’être will have been subverted. He directed my attention to a framed photograph on his wall of three Israeli air force F-15s flying over Auschwitz, in Poland. The Israelis had been invited in 2003 by the Polish air force to make this highly symbolic flight. The photograph was not new to me; I had seen it before on a dozen office walls in the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. “You see those planes?” Sneh asked me. “That’s the picture I look at all the time. When someone says that they will wipe out the Jews, we have to deny him the tools. The problem with the photograph is that we were too late.”  


Watch this moving YouTube video of the Israeli Air Force ceremony and F-15 flyover at Auschwitz in 2003.  

For more on the ceremony, click here.  


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