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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Michael Oren

Should Israel have a red line on Iran?

In America, all events — domestic and foreign — are currently seen through the prism of the presidential elections. In Israel, though, our prism is not political but existential. Iran’s irrational rulers daily pledge to wipe us off the map while rapidly producing the nuclear capability to do it. Can they be stopped, we ask ourselves, and, if so, by whom? Is there still time?

The Iranian nuclear threat has been publicly discussed in Israel’s free press and keenly debated. Some argue that Iran has yet to produce a nuclear weapon and that Israel must not act alone. Others warn that time is running out and that Israel is duty-bound to defend itself. Irrespective of their differences, though, Israeli security experts agree that sanctions, though damaging to the Iranian economy, have not slowed Iran’s nuclear program. They agree that diplomacy, in spite of increasing flexibility in the international community’s bargaining position, has not produced a single Iranian concession. A nuclear-empowered Iran, Israeli commentators concur, presents not one but several existential threats to the Jewish state.

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