We regard a defining element of sanity as the desire to live. And we regard a defining element of morality as the valuing of human life. Neither applies to Islamists such as those who govern Iran. Their motto, as so often expressed by its Hamas and Hezbollah allies, is "We value death as much as you [Jews, Americans, Westerners in general] value life." For people like Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the vision of millions of Iranian Muslims dying from a counterstrike while Israel burns is not frightening; it is a necessary sacrifice.
If the answers to the first two questions are as clearly in the affirmative as I have argued, the only remaining question is whether Israel or anyone else can stop these plans from materializing.
The one nonviolent way of doing so is sanctions. A worldwide vise of economic, social and political sanctions against the Iranian regime should be tried and might work. That is certainly my first choice and, one presumes, Israel's as well.
But it now appears unlikely that the world is willing to suffocate the Iranian regime as it did the South African apartheid regime. Iran has oil; South Africa had none. Iran has worldwide support from Muslim regimes, which do not threaten a fellow Muslim regime, especially over its being too anti-Israel; South Africa had virtually no such allies. Iran has almost automatic support from at least two Security Council members, Russia and China; South Africa had no equivalent support. And much of the world is more exercised about white racism against blacks than about genocidal threats against Jews.
Therefore, if the world does not unite in ostracizing the Iranian regime, there remains only one other way to stop it from attempting to destroy Israel -- destroy its nuclear facilities.
There are strong arguments against Israel doing so. But if Israel believes that Iran will soon have the ability to attack it with nuclear weapons, and that Iran will do so, it is difficult to argue that Israel wait and run the risk of experiencing another Holocaust.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”