The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT & ANALYSIS -

IN PAINT­ING such a very gloomy pic­ture of a nu­clear at­tack on Is­rael, Benny Mor­ris over­looks that old adage about “peo­ple in glass houses” ( JC, Jan­uary 19). There would be a bit more than 20 to 50 years of ra­dioac­tiv­ity at the Dome of the Rock for the ag­gres­sors to worry about.

The re­cent war in Le­banon might of­fer some clues. The fail­ure of the Le­banese gov­ern­ment to con­trol Hizbol­lah led to the de­struc­tion of vast swathes of that coun­try’s in­fra­struc­ture.

What do peo­ple sup­pose would be Is­rael’s pre­pared re­sponse to a nu­clear strike? The war in Le­banon has demon­strated, if noth­ing else, that if oth­ers can­not re­strain at­tacks on Is­rael, there may be a price to pay.

De­spite all the hor­rors it has faced, the Jewish “na­tion” sur­vived dis­per­sal with­out any ter­ri­tory and with­out ac­cess to any shrines. The lat­ter is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for those reli­gions wed­ded to their shrines — their “glass houses”. That is their vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

One won­ders how they might fare should those shrines be ren­dered un­ap­proach­able. In short, for those rail­ing at Is­rael, its ex­is­tence would be as noth­ing com­pared to the ef­fects of its de­struc­tion.

The lead­ers of Is­rael’s en­e­mies must surely know and, if not, some­one might have a quiet word in their ear and per­haps sug­gest they mo­ti­vate them­selves to sit at the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble and make a last­ing peace. John Gold­man De Walden Street, Lon­don W1 PRO­FES­SOR Benny Mor­ris’s con­ceiv­able, but un­likely, “dooms­day sce­nario” dis­misses too glibly the po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on the na­tion which sees it­self as the cham­pion of the Shia cause. Would Iran re­ally risk ir­repara­ble de­struc­tion by a counter at­tack, leav­ing Is­lam in the hands of their Sunni Arab ri­vals?

And why does he as­sume the re­cent war with Le­banon was a fail­ure? Is­rael’s north­ern border has never been safer from rocket at­tack and no mat­ter what his fol­low­ers say to cam­era, Nas­ral­lah is hardly flavour of the month with those whose res­i­dences have been de­stroyed by his mis­con­ceived ven­ture, which he him­self has cat­e­gorised as a mis­take. Is­rael has al­ways been threat­ened, but is as safe to­day, with no greater rea­son for pes­simism, than at any other time in its his­tory. RL Har­ris Heath­side Road, North­wood, Middx

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