Sunday, October 14, 2012

Holocaust Fears in Israel

But what Israelis really dread is the prospect of Iran getting nuclear weapons. "We're a small country, about the size of Wales. They only need to drop four or five Hiroshima-sized bombs and there won't be many of us left," said Mr Bloom.

"I don't think ordinary Iranians hate Jews but their president Ahmadinejad does. When he opens his mouth, he might as well have a little moustache and a slanty haircut.

"It's a tough one for us, difficult to know what Israel should do. Israel has always fought preventative wars, and when you have this nutter threatening us you hope for a diplomatic solution. But can we wait?"

A terrifying homemade film imaging what could happen if Iran gets the bomb has made many Israelis question whether they should wait.

Israel's Last Day, viewed half a million times on Youtube, imagines a young couple driving to her mother's home during an Iranian air attack when nuclear bombs explode. The five-minute film, made with amateur actors for extra realism, and computer-generated mushroom clouds, is a nightmarish vision from video-editor Ronen Barany, 33.

"I wanted to produce something shocking, to wake people up," he said at his home outside Jerusalem. "It took Hitler six years to kill six million Jews. It would take Ahmadinejad six minutes." Mr Barany, a father of two, was born in Romania. Many of his relatives died at Auschwitz.

He does not relish the prospect of a new war and hopes that diplomacy will end Iran's nuclear programme. If that fails he thinks an American attack would be the best option.

"I don't fully trust America though – in the end Israelis can't trust anybody except ourselves," he said.

He is sure that Israelis are coming round to the necessity of an air raid on Iran. "Two years ago nobody wanted to think about this. But today people worry that Iran is capable of doing something crazy. The fear is that the fanatics will do one last terrible thing when their regime is dying. People are starting to say, 'let's do something before it is too late'. We had one Holocaust. We don't want another one."
If Israel believes it is facing an existential crises, they aren't going to have the patience for diplomacy. Israel might be willing to wait a few months for a new American administration, but if Obama wins, I wouldn't expect them to wait too long.

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