Israel’s Nightmares

Israel’s paramount priority is to prevent an Iranian regime imbued with an absolute ideology from gaining possession of nuclear arms, the “absolute weapon." But Israel's conviction that everything must be done to avoid this outcome contrasts starkly with the fatalism that dominates Israelis' thinking about themselves and their relations with the Palestinians.

Paris – “It is reasonable to believe in miracles,” David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, once said. Today’s Israelis do not seem to believe in miracles. Instead, more than ever before they are obsessed by nightmares, foremost among them, the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

To prevent a regime imbued with an absolute ideology from gaining possession of the “absolute weapon” is Israel’s paramount priority. Everything must be done, even a unilateral military strike, to prevent or at least delay Iran’s acquisition of such a weapon. This Israeli conviction on what it considers an existential issue stands in stark contrast with the fatalism that otherwise dominates Israelis’ thinking about themselves and their relations with the Palestinians.

How is this fatalism manifesting itself, where does it come from, and what can be done to transcend it?

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