Former intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, now head of the Institute for National Security Studies, said in an interview that Israel is facing one of its gravest security crises. “I have not seen a May this dangerous since May 1967,” he told Yediot Achronot, referencing the tension-filled month before the outbreak of the Six Day War.
One of the main reasons for Yadlin’s concern is the possibility of an Iranian attack on Israel, with Tehran threatening “revenge” on Israel for the recent attack on the Iranian T-4 base in central Syria. Over the weekend, Hossein Salami, the second-in-command of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said that Iran could “erase Israel” and “destroy its air force.” All that would be left for Israelis would be to “flee to the sea.” Yadlin said that while Iran had no such capability, it was capable of causing damage to the air force, and “the air force is an important factor in our ability to defend ourselves.”
Neither Israel nor Iran is interested in an outright confrontation, Yadlin said, “but both sides are determined not to concede anything. I do not denigrate the Iranians’ capabilities, but on the other hand would not want to be in their place, as we have significant capabilities, and with its presence in Syria, Iran exposes itself. We cannot allow them to have a permanent presence in Syria. We have to be very clear with ourselves on what threat we cannot tolerate, and what threat it would be better not to confront them on,” he added.