Friday, 2 May 2008

As Israel marks Holocaust, future looms dark, by Con Coughlin

In The Daily Telegraph

"One former Israeli cabinet minister this week likened the danger posed by Iran's attempts to acquire nuclear weapons to the Holocaust. "Sixty-five years after Auschwitz, we cannot allow someone who wants to wipe Israel off the map to obtain the tools to get away with it," said Ephraim Sneh, Israel's former deputy defence minister.

The reality of the potential Iranian threat has been graphically brought home by revelations about last September's Israeli air strike against a top-secret military facility in northern Syria. At first Israelis took great pride in the ability of their air force to conduct such a daring mission undetected.

That has been replaced by deepening concern over the revelations that the Syrians were close to setting up a nuclear facility that could have produced two bombs worth of plutonium within a year.

The question many Israelis are now asking is that, if the Syrians, whose every move is closely monitored by Israeli spy satellites, were able to achieve so much progress with their nuclear programme, how much does the West really know about the true extent of the Iranian programme, much of which is hidden away at secret locations in remote areas of the country?

Most Israelis will try to banish such gloomy thoughts as they set about anniversary celebrations; but deep in their hearts they know they will need all the courage and fortitude that has got them this far if they are to withstand the grave challenges that still lie ahead."

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