Barak: Waiting on Iran would be more dangerous

Defense minister says discussions on Iranian are more in-depth than ever; Mofaz: PM trying to scare public with talk of war.

August 16, 2012 14:52
2 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Defense Minister Ehud Barak 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday discussed the timing of a possible military strike on Iran, saying, "it would be much more complicated, much more dangerous and much more expensive - to deal with a nuclear[-armed] Iran in the future."

Barak, speaking to the Knesset plenum, added that discussions surrounding the issue are unprecedented in their thoroughness.

"In all the wars and peacemaking in Israel's history, there is no issue that has been dealt with in such depth as Iran has," he said.

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Addressing the media attention on the issue, often critical, the defense minister added, "the decision to attack Iran, should the time come, will be made by the government and not by groups of citizens nor editorials."

Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz on Thursday accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of a "corrupt and cynical maneuver" for appointing former Kadima MK Avi Dichter as home front defense minister. Mofaz spoke at the Knesset during a dual ceremony swearing Dichter into his new position and the Knesset's newest MK, Ahmad Dabah, as Dichter's replacement on the Kadima list.

"A home front defense minister should not be a rubber stamp for a hasty attack that has not been coordinated with the United States," Mofaz said following the swearing-in.

"Mister prime minister, you are trying to scare the public and the truth is we are scared," the Kadima chairman continued, adding, "We are scared because you are leading in such a irresponsible way."

He continued his attack on the prime minister regarding a possible military strike on Iran, saying Netanyahu "is playing a dangerous game that will endanger our children's future."

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin swore in Kadima MK Ahmed Dabah just moments before Mofaz spoke.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dabah said he is "proud to be a part of the Knesset representing the country where I, my children and grandchildren were born."

Addressing the position of Arabs in Israel, Dabah, who is the 17th non-Jewish member of the Knesset, noted that representation of minorities has grown in the legislative body. "We'll fight for equality and respect for Arab citizens," he said.

Dabah joined the Likud in 1992, and broke off from the party with former prime minister Ariel Sharon. Kadima insiders say he was placed high on Sharon’s never-published list for the 17th Knesset, but was pushed to the 51st spot by former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

Kadima’s list for the 18th Knesset had Dabah in the 36th spot. The faction has 28 seats in the Knesset, and Dabah is Kadima’s seventh replacement-MK since 2009.

Dabah has nine children, and owns a chain of supermarkets and a slaughterhouse. Formerly, he was not only the mayor of Deir-el- Assad, but also head of the Shagur Local Council.

Lahav Harkov and staff contributed to this report.

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