I have been following Israel’s problem with Iran from afar, but they seem to be in a terrible dilemma. They don’t seem to have any good choices relative to their present relationship with Iran — they don’t even have any bad choices — all they have are horrible choices.
Israel’s first horrible choice is to do nothing, but that is totally unacceptable when their competitors, in this case Iran, claim they are going to annihilate Israel at the first opportunity and are building the weapons to do so. Another option for Israel is to attack Iran’s atomic bomb construction projects with conventional weapons, but even if successful, that will only infuriate the Iranians and set their A-bomb program back by several months, if at all. Also, it will serve to unite the whole Arab world against Israel and make their already disliked state even more unpopular. Another possible alternative, and now it gets really horrible, is to attack the known Iranian war-making facilities with Israel’s atomic weapons. These can be delivered with missiles from Israel, from submarine-launched missiles from the Indian Ocean, possibly from the Gulf which would be closer, and with aerial refueled manned fighters. That would trigger terrible repercussions against Israel for launching an “unprovoked” attack. It would also put at risk the whole world being sucked into a more general conflagration, perhaps a WW III.
Another possibility and an even more horrible one would be to attack the state of Iran with a strategy of annihilating the threat for a longer time, say thirty years, by attacking not only the military targets but the whole war-making possibility of the nation. In bald words a strategy of total war against Iran and its people. That strategy would kill not only a few thousand people near the atomic weapons and military sites, but vast numbers of people in the cities. That policy would almost certainly create a climate of universal hatred of Israel and her people which would be permanent. That is unacceptable to everyone. No one wants to live in a world where permanent hatred exists between nations.
All of those options are very bad! There is another option: it is for Israel to announce that they will move their people out of the Middle East into a new homeland. If they made that a real option it might be possible to avoid all of the horror that is implied in the previous ones. This isn’t impossible because once before, in 1948, they moved into their present land as an option, so it seems they could move to another homeland as an option. Of course that is declared to be totally unacceptable nowadays, so the other options must be reconsidered, but they are totally unacceptable. Everything is unacceptable but some are totally unacceptable.
Perhaps they are now in a situation similar to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
To be, or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. — Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia! — Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.
Perhaps, the pale cast of thought, of inaction, is best. To fight and die nobly after a fair fight at least leaves your surviving people the possibility of living in the future without being hated.