Letter: U.S. must back Israel versus Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the conclusion

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the conclusion of an annual pro-Palestinian rally at the Tehran University campus, in Tehran, Iran. Iran's president says Israel's existence is an "insult to all humanity." (Aug. 17, 2012) (Credit: AP)

No one knows for sure if an Israeli attack on Iran is imminent or the rhetoric is just psychological saber-rattling ["Obama should go talk to Israelis," Opinion, Aug. 23]. But if Israel goes ahead with such an attack, it is crucial that America stand fully behind Israel, and provide air support as well. Many in the United States still believe that an Israeli attack at this time is premature and prefer to continue with negotiations and sanctions.

However, in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, President John F. Kennedy was at the brink of a war to ensure that nuclear arms should be nowhere within range of our mainland. Although that was a case with photographed nuclear bases, and this is a case based on solid Israeli intelligence, there are two other elements that affect the total picture: Israel knows only too well what threats of annihilation can lead to, and Israel is about the size of New Jersey, surrounded by Arab enemies.

Israeli attacks on the nuclear reactors in Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007, although criticized at the time, in hindsight have both proven to be lifesaving actions. Just think how history would have changed if not for these bold moves. But to accomplish this in Iran, Israel needs a partner.

Rabbi Tuvia Teldon, Commack

Editor's note: The writer is the director of Chabad Lubavitch of Long Island.

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