The highly portentous, Chinese-brokered deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran is at once a move toward peace and signal of war (“Saudi deal with Iran worries Israel, shakes up Middle East,” web, March 11).

It strengthens Israel’s archenemy and so must fast-track Israel’s plans for countering an existential threat.

For years Israel has practiced restraint while Iran blatantly continues building its nuclear-bomb capabilities. The Chinese move shifts the probabilities in Iran’s favor, while world powers continue to demand Israel’s forbearance. 

It is clear that every misjudgment, every failure to prepare or respond accordingly to an existential threat jeopardizes many lives, and almost certainly Israel‘s very existence. Such pressure, continuing day after day, year after year, must exasperate those living under the threat of a disastrous attack and inure them to the countermeasures from which other nations recoil. Many see that as a controllable human failing, when survival is clearly a human biological imperative. 

The Chinese have affected Israel’s strategic balance of compliance with international pressures and the Jewish state is taking action to survive. At this point, the reason for the Chinese move is secondary to the effect. If one nation credibly threatens another with violent destruction, whose right of action is justifiable — those who threaten or those who are mortally threatened?


Richmond, Virginia

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