IAF chief: Take Iran threats seriously


Israel’s top guns took to the American television airwaves to say Iranian threats must be taken seriously.

Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Shkedy, the Israel Air Force chief, said on the CBS program “60 Minutes” that Iran’s nuclear program and hard-line leadership pose threats to the Jewish state’s existence.

“They are talking about what they think about the State of Israel. They are talking about destroying and wiping us from the earth,” Shkedy told correspondent Bob Simon in an interview aired Sunday. “We should remember. We cannot forget. We should trust only ourselves.”

During the Holocaust, Shkedy continued, “people didn’t believe that Hitler was serious about what he said. I suggest not to repeat this way of thinking and to prepare ourselves for what they are planning. We should be prepared for everything.”

Israel has hinted that it could resort to military force against Iranian nuclear facilities if international diplomatic pressure fails to rein in Tehran’s atomic ambitions. But many experts believe the targets in Iran are too distant, numerous and fortified for Israel to take on alone.

Also appearing on “60 Minutes” was Ze’ev Raz, who commanded Israel’s landmark bombing run against the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981.

“We had one point to destroy. They have many points, many of them deep under the mountains … underground, and it’s a much more complicated problem [than in] 1981,” Raz said. “I really hope it will be solved another way. There is only one thing worse than the Israel Air Force having to do it – Iran having a nuclear bomb.”

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