In 1981, after destroying Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, Prime Minister Menachem Begin laid out the “Begin Doctrine” which explains that any hostile country that calls for Israel’s destruction should be prevented from having the means to do so. In a press conference after the attack, Begin said:
“We chose this moment: now, not later, because later may be too late, perhaps forever. And if we stood by idly, two, three years, at the most four years, and Saddam Hussein would have produced his three, four, five bombs. … Then, this country and this people would have been lost, after the Holocaust. Another Holocaust would have happened in the history of the Jewish people. Never again, never again! Tell your friends, tell anyone you meet, we shall defend our people with all the means at our disposal. We shall not allow any enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction turned against us.”
The Begin Doctrine was on display again in 2007 when Israel destroyed Syria’s nuclear reactor and has been trying to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for years. Do you think Israel has the right to prevent other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons if the entire international community assumes Israel already possesses them? Why or why not? Do you identify with Begin’s quote?