Vilnai: Israel is more ready than ever for war
By GIL HOFFMAN
LAST UPDATED: 08/17/2012 16:25
In interview with 'The Jerusalem Post' outgoing home front defense minister says Israel will only go to war with Iran "if the sword was clearly at our throats"; claims home front prepared for possible multi-front attack.
MATAN VILNA’I Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
Outgoing home front defense minister Matan Vilna’i nearly gave people who care about Israel around the world a heart attack this week, even though he really intended to ease their fears. Vilna’i gave a parting interview to Ma’ariv’s veteran Knesset correspondent, Arik Bender, headlined “Vilna’i: There is no reason for hysteria, the home front is ready.” Just as he did in other interviews, he downplayed threats and boasted about the work he had done to prepare Israel for any eventuality.
But the Reuters news agency took a quote from Vilna’i out of context and headlined its reports, which were published around the world, “Israeli minister: Possible war with Iran could be month-long affair with 500 dead.” Coming from the ultimate expert on Israel’s readiness for war, who happens to be moving 7,130 kilometers away next Wednesday to Beijing, it is no wonder such a headline set off alarm bells. But those familiar with Vilna’i know he did not intend to scare anyone. Vilnai’s deep voice and calm demeanor could act as a sedative for even the most stressed. He is not running away from Israel to China.
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