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An Israeli Pre-Emptive Strike on Iran?

Would a preemptive strike be worth the price? Or is stopping what many Israelis perceive as an existential threat worth any risk?

An Iranian military truck with a picture of President Hassan Rouhan carries a rocket and displays a banner reading "Death to Israel" during a parade marking the country's National Army Day, in Tehran, April 18, 2017. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
An Iranian military truck with a picture of President Hassan Rouhan carries a rocket and displays a banner reading "Death to Israel" during a parade marking the country's National Army Day, in Tehran, April 18, 2017. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

As Iran approaches the nuclear threshold, Israeli leaders are explicitly warning of an imminent preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. The IDF has begun training for precisely that possibility.

The consequences of an Iranian-Israeli war would be devastating. Is a preemptive strike worth the price? Or is stopping what many Israelis perceive as a potential existential threat worth any risk? How does Jewish tradition define a legitimate act of self-defense? And as we approach the point of no return, how should Israelis and Diaspora Jews speak about this increasingly realistic scenario?

For Heaven’s Sake is a podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage Project that revives the lost art of Jewish debate for the sake of illuminating a topic, not sowing division. The podcast draws its name from the concept of Machloket l’shem shemayim, “Disagreeing for the sake of heaven.”

Subscribe to For Heaven’s Sake on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you receive your podcasts.

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