Dear Obama: Oppose Iran and We'll Love You

On eve of visit, one Israeli explains his nation's nuclear fears
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2008 8:58 PM CDT
In this video image, an Israeli soldier points his gun at a Palestinian during a demonstration against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank village of Nilin, near Modin, July 7, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – On the eve of Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, Yossi Klein Halevi writes to him in the New Republic about Israel's fears. Like many nations, Israel is well-inclined towards Obama: It has no fear of his Muslim middle name and recently hailed his description of Israeli security as "sacrosanct." Yet Israelis worry that as president, Obama would fail to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Above all else, we dread a nuclear Iran," Halevi writes. "No one knows whether the regime would be mad enough to risk nuclear war. But Israel will not place itself in a position to find out." Israelis “need to hear,” beyond bland “all options on the table” talk, that Obama would be ready to strike Iran or support Israeli attacks, should Iran achieve nuclear success.