With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu due at the White House Monday for talks with Pres. Obama about the Iran nuclear program, Yossi Klein Halevi, Israel correspondent for the strongly pro-Israel New Republic, writes that Netanyahu will seek a clear, public Obama declaration that the U.S. will use military force (no more of this “all options on the table” shilly-shallying) to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.
If Netanyahu can’t get that (which Halevi doubts he can),he predicts that Israel will move forward with plans to strike the Iranian program before it gets past the point at which Israel believes it can stop Iran from making a bomb and a delivery vehicle. Here’s the Halevi quote:
“Israel needs a public, unambiguous warning from Obama to Iran that, if sanctions fail, America will use military force—that a nuclear Iran is as much a red line for this administration as, say, an Iranian blockade of the Straits of Hormuz. Only that kind of threat has the chance of restoring American credibility—not only for Israel, but also for the Arab world and, not least, for Iran.
Given that Obama is unlikely to make that threat, Israel will hope, at least, for a change in the administration’s signals about an Israeli strike. Iranian leaders need to hear from Obama that Israel has the right to defend itself against a nuclear threat.
And if that message, too, is not forthcoming? Faced with an imminent existential dilemma, Israel will probably opt for preemptive self-defense, even if that means risking its special relationship with America—a different kind of existential threat.”
This is getting pretty creepy.