Terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah likely have “unfinished business” with Israel, former national security adviser and ex-deputy chief of staff Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Dayan, who will be addressing the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York on June 7, warned that both Hamas and Hezbollah can be expected to attack Israel again, as “they are terror organizations – terrorism is what they do for a living.”
Although Israeli deterrence can work to some degree, it will probably, at some point, run out, he said, as it did last summer with Hamas.
Israel should not be going to war every year or two, but, rather, if attacked again, it should seek to eliminate terrorist leaderships, and push hostile organizations out of their territorial bases, said Dayan.
“If no one attacks us from Lebanon, Gaza or Syria, then there will be no war,” he stressed. “But if war is forced on us again, we have to defeat the terror organizations.”
Both Hezbollah and Hamas would profit if Iran joins the nuclear club, Dayan, who is currently chairman of the National Lottery of Israel, said. They would be able to operate under a nuclear umbrella provided by Tehran, if Iran broke through to the weaponization stage.
Regionally, Dayan said, a nuclear Iran would trigger an arms race in the Middle East, with other states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia seeking to equalize by getting their own nuclear bombs.
That would end up creating a “nuclear mob” rather than a nuclear club, he said, a development that would create a “very unstable planet.”
Dayan urged the international community to avoid this scenario by going back and seeking a good agreement with Iran, an outcome, he said, that would be better than a military strike. An oil embargo and economic sanctions could achieve this goal, he argued.
Israel, for its part, has to take on the unpleasant role of threatening to activate the military option if Iran breaks through to the nuclear weapons stage.
“We must make it clear that we will do the best we can to not allow Iran to go nuclear.
This requires us to threaten, with a loaded gun. No one believes a threat with an unloaded gun,” Dayan added.
“We have to continue to warn [the world] and explain how to reach a good agreement by continuing the sanctions.
There is also the question of monitoring the nuclear program.
The Iranians could operate outside of the area of supervision, or they could erode the supervision,” he said.