Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo by Nir Kafri
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The Axis has been inactive for the last couple of weeks while I have been on vacation but now it’s back just when the Israel-Iran conflict seems to be nearing its crescendo. Normal service will be resumed with daily and I hope twice-daily blogs in a few hours, meanwhile, you can read this week’s Babylon and Jerusalem column where I try to answer this question -

“Despite the repeated warnings by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the pro-Bibi section in the media that Iran poses a grave threat to all Israelis and must be dealt with, not even a third of the public is convinced of their case.

After being bombarded for years with ominous details - the precise number of kilograms of uranium enriched in the centrifuges of Natanz, and to what degree of purity, the range of Shahab-3 missiles, the number of warheads - you could have assumed that by now the public would have been clamoring for an attack.

But while the polls show that the right-wing and religious bloc of parties still command a nearly unassailable majority were elections to be held today, many of those who support Netanyahu as a leader oppose his central policy.”

My answer is that Netanyahu and Barak have failed at the critical test – convincing Israelis that war is the only option.

“Since its establishment 64 years ago, Israel's leaders have insisted that it will not fight a war that is not a milhemet ein-breira, a war of no choice... Some outsiders see Israel as a belligerent and militaristic society, but the truth is that while the IDF remains the most respected public institution and the number of young men and women volunteering for combat units and officer's courses is as high as ever, it is hard to push Israelis to war.”

Read the entire column here.