October 5, 2011
There are mounting signs that the right-wing Israeli government may think the timing is right for an attack on Iran, with growing alarms inside Israel about alleged Iranian progress on building a nuclear bomb – and with President Barack Obama fearing loss of key Jewish political support in 2012 if he doesn’t go along.
On Sept. 26, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Iran’s alleged progress, telling interviewer Charlie Rose that “time is short” before Iran obtains nuclear weapons and poses a direct threat to Israel and the rest of the world.
Yet, the key factor in any Israeli decision to send its aircraft and missiles to Iran is the degree to which Netanyahu and other hard-line Likud leaders believe that President Obama is locked into giving blanket support to Israel — particularly as Election 2012 draws near.
The Israelis might well conclude that the formidable effectiveness of the Likud Lobby and kneejerk support of the U.S. Congress as well as still powerful neoconservatives in the Executive Branch (and on the opinion pages of major American newspapers) amount to solid assurance of automatic support for pretty much anything Israel decides to do.
If Israel translates this into a green light to attack Iran, the rest of the world — even Washington — may get little or no warning.