October surprise?

Israelis give their view.

Iran president mahmoud Ahmadinejad Natanz 521 R (photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran president mahmoud Ahmadinejad Natanz 521 R
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Recent headlines have touted the possibility of an “October Surprise” in the form of an Israeli unilateral strike against Iran’s renegade nuclear program before the US presidential elections in November. This has stirred a very robust public debate in Israel over whether the nation could and should go it alone. Yet there has not been a sense of panic or urgency, as the school year has just started out as normal and everyone has been preparing for the Jewish High Holidays.
Still, this presented a good opportunity for The Christian Edition to take to the streets and ask ordinary Israelis whether they expect the Netanyahu government to take action soon and if the country is truly prepared to face what may lie ahead? Here are some responses.
Asaf, a longtime resident of Jerusalem: “It’s a hard question. I don’t know for how long we can wait with attacking Iran... I don’t think Israel can be safe with Iran having nuclear weapons, after what Ahmadinejad has been saying... If an attack happens I hope it will be under a US lead, because I don’t think that Israel is able to attack alone... You need more forces that can be delivered a long distance. The US has the capabilities to do this, something which Israel lacks. Whoever attacks Iran, it will be a mess anyway and I don’t know where it is going to end... Is Israel ready for a war? I don’t think that we have enough shelters and that they are in a condition whereby people can stay for several days.”
Miriam, a new immigrant from Canada: “I think that Israel needs to say it’s going to attack Iran, but I don’t know if they are actually going to attack. I rather think the covert operations are more important than the overt actions, and I am not sure that the American elections have any bearing on this...
Israel can’t count on the US leadership, so whatever Israel does we do on our own... I think that Bibi [Netanyahu] has done a really good job diplomatically in the West with his UN speech. I think he is doing the best he can and I don’t see anyone who could do a better job, but I am not particularly happy with what is going on.”
Ilan, from Jerusalem: “I don’t think it will happen, and I surely hope it won’t happen. But if it were to happen I think they should do it under a larger coalition and not just the US lead. To do it alone now would be somewhat suicidal.”
Joy, originally from Britain:“I believe Israel will attack Iran, but I can’t answer if it will happen before or after the US election. I think there is a lot of talk going on at the moment which is causing unnecessary fear among people.
Some are already canceling their visit to Israel in October... We know it’s coming but we are not sure yet of when. I am more inclined for Israel to attack without the US in the lead; I don’t really see why Israel should follow America who is telling them what to do... I am a firm supporter of Bibi Netanyahu. I think he is doing a good job and I pray for him every day that he will have the wisdom and guidance needed to lead this country, and that he will look to God actually instead of hearing all the advisers and countries telling him what to do. He’s got a hard job, but I like him and I’m confident in him and he is the right man for this moment.”
Aryeh, a taxi driver: “Nobody knows what will be in the future, if Israel attacks or not. Nobody knows. I think that Israel must attack, and the best would be if Israel and the United states would do it together, but who knows what will be. Am I confident that Bibi Netanyahu and his advisers will make the right decision? Yes! This is the government of Israel; they will do the right thing!”