JG: Is there a chance that Israel is over-reacting to the language that comes out of Tehran? Let me ask this another way: Is it possible to over-learn the lessons of Jewish history?
SP: If we have to make a mistake of overreaction or underreaction, I think I prefer the overreaction to underreaction.
There is an Israeli consensus on Iran. For obvious and understandable reasons, they don’t want Iran—a state that refuses to recognises its existence and whose president talks about its destruction—to go nuclear.
If the Israelis conclude that no one else will act to stop Iran gaining nuclear weapons, then there is a significant chance that they will feel compelled to act themselves. Those who think the United States and the West should ignore this factor in their thinking about the Iran problem are just being unrealistic.