Israel’s existential threat crisis

I’m trying to make up my mind, you know, about ‘it’. Should I be worried about it, really worried about it, somewhat worried about it? Should I panic? Should I pack an emergency suitcase? Or is it not as serious as some people make it out to be?

As a Jew born into the generation of Jews who are lucky enough to have come back to our historical homeland – after 2,000 years of exile and horror – you can understand my anxiety when serious people tell me that Iran’s nuclear program threatens to put an end to this historic homecoming.

But I’m confused. I don’t know what to think [does it matter what any of us think?]. I don’t know what to think because the serious people in Israel are saying contradictory things about Iran’s threat to Israel.

Take a look:

Danny Yatom, former head of the Mossad: Nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States: Nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel

Tamir Pardo, current head of the Mossad: Nuclear Iran is not an existential threat to Israel

Efraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad: Nuclear Iran is not an existential threat to Israel (the ultra-Orthodox are more of an existential threat)

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen: Nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel

Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister: Nuclear Iran is not an existential threat to Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister: Nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel

Shimon Peres, Israeli President: Nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel.

So, which is it?

These are all serious people. They’ve all got access to intelligence and assessments. So what’s behind the disparity in their conclusions?

Is it existential, or not? I think it’s time we Israelis were told. If it’s existential, then how are we supposed to feel and behave? What conclusions should we draw? What provisions should we buy and can we get some government subsidies/ discounts on emergency goods? Do we need special insurance? And if it’s not an existential threat, then what’s all the fuss about? And then why do some people still insist on saying that they “defend our right to exist” if we’re under no existential threat?

It’s clear that we’re having an existential threat crisis.