Akiva Eldar in Haaretz:
Recently I had a heart-to-heart talk with a beloved relative who was born in this country, in an effort to persuade her to return and bring up her children in Israel. I was reminded of this conversation when I read the speeches made last week by the two leaders of the nation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, at the graduation ceremony of the National Security College.
In his speech Netanyahu presented the five leading challenges that threaten the country: the Iranian nuclear program, the missile threat, cyber warfare, problems near the borders and the stockpiling of weapons in the region. He promised Israel would do its utmost to stop the Iranian nuclear program. He vowed that, to the extent that it is necessary, Israel would surround additional parts of the country with security fences, alter the composition of its forces and increase the defense budget.
Barak went even further in enumerating the disasters that confront us and could destroy us. The challenges we face, he said, are among the most complex and complicated that the state has faced in its entire existence. He warned that the Iranian nuclear plan could turn into an existential threat against the state, prophesized that neither diplomacy nor sanctions would be able to stop it, and promised not to remove any option from the agenda to thwart it. For dessert, the minister promised that Israel would not stand by idly watching while sophisticated weapons systems are transferred from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.