It’s been widely reported that Israel’s National security adviser, Mr. Yaakov Amidror, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and others have consulted with, and have tried to persuade, Chacham Ovadia Yosef, head of the Shas Party’s Moetzet Chachmei Hatorah, regarding an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.
At this point, however, Chacham Ovadia has indicated that he would not be supportive of unilateral action by Israel against Iran. This decision by the 92-year-old gadol could have tangible consequences if and when the Israeli cabinet would be in a position to vote on such a move.
The Shomrei Sfarad party has 11 Knesset seats and is a member of the coalition government.
Shas, led by Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias, has thus far opposed an attack. Their stance won’t change unless Chacham Ovadiah’s does.
If Netanyahu does indeed decide to proceed with a strike on Iran, a possibility that seems to be increasing with every passing day, it would apparently have to be without the approbation of Chacham Ovadiah.
The final say on whether or not Israel will go it alone against Iran’s nuclear facilities will partially depend on the Obama Administration and on whether or not the Saudis and the Gulf states will give their tacit approval.
Interestingly, as an aside, it took Yitzchak Rabin three meetings with Chacham Ovadiah to present the outline of the Oslo Accord with the Palestinians. Ariel Sharon went twice to convince Chacham Ovadiah of his decision to expel the Jewish residents of Gush Katif. “Your plan is terrible, and in the future it will become clear how mistaken your plan is. I suggest that you do not implement it,” Chacham Ovadiah told him at the time.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert updated Chacham Ovadiah on the night before the attack on the nuclear reactor in Syria and he went to his house on the first day of the second Lebanon war.
In the last stages of the operation before the release of Gilad Shalit, Chacham Ovadiah’s approval was necessary to complete the list of prisoners to be freed.
Sources say that there continues to be a pressure campaign on the Shas party and others by the Prime Minister’s office to support a possible attack against Iran, but thus far Chacham Ovadiah is in opposition.
Rav Ovadia alluded to an attack on Iran during a recent drasha, when he said, “Hashem should have mercy on us. We need the mercy of our Creator, may His name be blessed and exalted. He has mercy on us, like a father has for his children. We are beseeching Hashem not to let the evil thoughts of these wicked men materialize. May Hashem pay them what they deserve. Like Hashem did to Haman, so He should do good for us. We turn to Hashem to have pity on us. We have no other recourse, but to rely on our Father in Heaven.”
(Matzav.com Newscenter Israel News Bureau}