A December poll in the newspaper Maariv found that 27% of Israelis would leave or consider leaving if Iran acquired nuclear weapons. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they believed Iran would drop a nuclear weapon on Israel. - Los Angeles TimesDavid Seaton's News Links
The quote above defines the problem. The chance of Iran ever attacking Israel with atomic weapons are minimal. Israel has submarines at sea with nuclear missiles, so its second strike capability is assured. Persians are a very rational people, (study their carpets) and as Chirac said -- before he was forced to retract -- Tehran would disappear in an Israeli counter-attack. No, the problem is one of nerves. As America and the Soviet Union did during the cold war, Israelis would have to live with possibility of an error or a mad man unleashing Armageddon... in Megiddo. Improbable, but possible. Anyone who lived the 50s and 60s in the USSR or the USA can tell you how it feels.
Since the digital revolution, Israel's economy has gone through a sea-change. Its new prosperity is said to be based on about 20,000 highly qualified, English speaking, engineers. These people are, by definition, completely "portable", they could be out of the country, with new, highly paid jobs and working papers in a few days, if not hours. If that happened the Israeli economy would simply collapse.
If Israel loses its exclusive on atomic weapons then just a periodic rise in tensions between Israel and Iran, without it ever getting to "Cuban Missile Crisis" proportions, would see the women and children of this cyber-elite enplaned for Silicon Valley with hubby soon to follow.
So that is what the fuss is really about. Either Israel completely dominates the Middle East with an unanswerable capacity to terrorize its neighbors or its "best and the brightest" will decamp. DS
Israel sounds alarm on Iran's nuclear efforts - Los Angeles Times
Abstract: Israel's possession of nuclear weapons since the late 1960s, though rarely acknowledged by its leaders, has worked as a deterrent until now. "For decades, the Arab countries … knew they couldn't beat Israel, so there was no coalition forming against us," said Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, director of the Defense Ministry's Political-Military Bureau. But soon, he said, "the Iranians could create a belief that they can beat us, and under their umbrella create an axis that will destabilize the Middle East." Also, Sunni Arab countries — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan and Libya — could strive to build atomic weapons to compete with Shiite Iran, making any regional conflict a potential nuclear tinderbox, he said. In such an environment, many Israelis might flee. A December poll in the newspaper Maariv found that 27% of Israelis would leave or consider leaving if Iran acquired nuclear weapons. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they believed Iran would drop a nuclear weapon on Israel. READ IT ALL