AMOS YADLIN 311 (R).
(photo credit: Gil Magen/Reuters)
"A little paranoia can't hurt" when dealing with Iran, former IDF Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said at Labor's first Ideological Conference on Sunday.
"We shouldn't panic, but we shouldn't be euphoric either," Yadlin explained.
The former intelligence chief added that a Holocaust-denying country that calls to destroy Israel and has weapons of mass destruction does not yet exist, but once it does, it will be an existential threat, "a term that I do not use lightly," he said.
Yadlin was one of the experts asked to speak at the Labor Ideological Conference, where over 1,100 party members gathered in Jaffa to brainstorm about the contents of the party's platform on security, economics, society, education and other topics in the next elections. The event was the first of its kind for any political party in Israel.
According to Yadlin, "whoever takes the option [of attacking Iran] off the table, is making a mistake." There must be a credible threat of an Israeli attack in order for sanctions on Iran to work, he explained.
If sanctions are ineffective, Israel will have to choose whether to bomb or be bombed, Yadlin added.
However, he explained that there is no simple solution, and "the days of eight planes in Iraq or six days of war have passed." Our enemies are as clever as we are, and they know our advantages and disadvantages, Yadlin said.
In addition, Yadlin explained that Israel must wait until an attack is necessary, otherwise it will not be considered legitimate in the eyes of the world.
"Iran is not just Israel's problem, it is the problem of the entire international community," he said. "Israel should not jump ahead and take the responsibility for an issue that others are having trouble dealing with."
Yadlin also said that the current defense budget is not large enough, as it does not take into consideration regional changes and the possibility that the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan will be broken.
Following speeches by Yadlin and former Bank of Israel deputy governor Avia Spivak, Labor leader Shelly Yacimvoich sent her party's members, gathered at 60 round tables, to discuss topics for their platform.
"You are taking part in renewing and building the party, because you are the Labor party," she said to the crowd. "You give our vision meaning."
Labor does not need strategists or campaign managers to write its platform, because it is in the heads and hearts of its members, Yacimovich added.
Yacimovich predicted that elections will be in September or October, and that Labor will be more prepared than any other party, citing "thousands of new members around the country bringing new blood to flow in our veins. Our renewal is a real miracle," she stated.
"Labor's leaders don't just talk and clap. We are building our party from the bottom up," MK Isaac Herzog told The Jerusalem Post. "We started with experts that are not affiliated with our party, so we can learn."
The MK said "it's a joy to be with people delving into our problems and coming up with solutions."
Herzog pointed out that one of the leader's of last summer's social demonstrations, Stav Shaffir, spoke at the event, calling Labor "the political organization expressing the objectives of the protestors."
According to Herzog, the Ideological Conference deals with all topics in Israeli life, because Labor is not a niche party, and is a part of general Israeli culture.