Israel's Cabinet, and not the media, will decide whether Israel takes military action to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset on Thursday.
During a particularly stormy session called to approve the appointment of Avi Dichter as homefront defense minister, Barak said Israel is facing a complicated situation regarding Iran.
"There are dangers in the situation today," Barak said. "It's not simple. There is no lack of dangers, no lack of unpredictable results in dealing with Iran today."
Barak emphasized, however, that it would be "incomparably" more dangerous, complicated, and costly, both in terms of lives and resources, to deal with a nuclear-armed Iran in the future. "I think that these matters require cool, orderly thinking, that is not necessarily in shades of black and white," Barak said.
He added that internal government deliberations on the Iran issue have been "open, attentive, and transparent."
"There is no issue in the past generation, not on peace and not on war, that has been dealt with in such depth," he said.
"The decision [on whether to strike Iran], if it is required, will be made by the government, and not by a group of citizens or editorial articles," Barak stated.
Dichter's appointment was approved by 41-26.
Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech to the Knesset on Thursday. "Dichter is a worthy and experienced person," Mofaz said. "But, with this appointment, the prime minister is spearheading a mistaken, corrupt and cynical process."
Addressing Netanyahu directly, Mofaz said "you are playing a dangerous and irresponsible game with the future of the entire nation. Not everything is politics, sir. Your survival does not justify all means."