Though it may seem strange in the US, where the question of selling the public on a war is more of an afterthought, in Israel it is serious business. That’s because Israeli civilians fear that an attack on Iran would spawn a retaliatory strike and a major regional war that would have them in the crosshairs.
To that end, Israeli officials continue to downplay the seriousness of that retaliatory strike, with military officials today claiming that if Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas launched a coordinated missile attack across Israel, they would cause “less than 300 Israeli casualties.”
This statement is nothing short of incredible, particularly since Israeli officials often visit the West with stories of Iran’s massive missile arsenal threatening the entire planet. It is the least casualties predicted yet, and a considerable drop-off from the “500 killed” predicted by Ehud Barak as a result of an Iran-only retaliatory strike.
The claims are designed, of course, to convince the average Israeli civilian that they won’t be too likely to be killed in the ensuing war that the government plans to start. Yet the statement must also raise questions about not just the case for war, but why the United States feels to need to hurl billions of dollars in additional weaponry at Israel annually, if the “worst case scenario” is truly so tame.
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