For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
It should be too obvious to have to say so but unfortunately some people don't get it: dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran is an extraordinarily important task in which the lives of millions of people will be at risk. Such a policy cannot be based on wishful thinking, on faith in the "rationality" of Iran, or on faith in the competence of the current U.S. government. This is not an issue of ""left-wing" or "right-wing" interpretation but of policy analysis.
What concerns me is that the mainstream debate regarding containment is being conducted in a flippant and sloppy manner, based on some questionable assumptions. Attempts to critique those concepts are blithely dismissed rather than seen as pointing out serious issues and necessary adjustments. At present, this seems an abstract debate. In future, though, the failure to consider and plan could be the source of a major tragedy.
In my view, the most likely outcome is not a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, or an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel. While these are, of course, real possibilities, too much focus has been devoted to them. I want to suggest two other scenarios that are more likely: a U.S.-Iran war based on American mistakes and Iranian miscalculations, or huge strategic gains for Iran and revolutionary Islamism in the Middle East.
Another key point is the common error of assuming that there is only one "rational" response by Middle Eastern regimes or states and that this has to be a mirror image of how American experts or policymakers would respond. What is required of an expert is to understand the particular rational response--based on perceptions, history, power structure, ideology, and other factors--that takes place in the context of a specific country's leadership making decisions.
Rational responses are not necessarily moderate ones. For example, based on his "rational" response that Iran was weak, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran and set off a long, bloody war. Based on his "rational" response that America would not intervene, Saddam invaded Kuwait setting off a world crisis and another war. Neither of these moves was "irrational," they were merely based on false perceptions and mistaken assumptions that were quite understandable given Saddam's world view and information.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"