A new Jerusalem Post poll shows that a majority of Israelis support an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities if the U. S. leads, but only a minority support an attack by Israel alone.
This comes at a time when some top current and former Israeli officials are publicly opposing an attack, and when it seems clear that Benjamin Netanyahu will need to hold elections this fall, rather than next year as he had planned.
The former head of Israel’s domestic security service, Yuval Diskin, recently said that Netanyahu and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, can’t be trusted on Iran because they are moved by “messianic feelings.”
The current army chief of staff, Benny Gantz, said that the Iranian threat is less imminent than Netanyahu suggests, and that he believes Iran has not yet decided whether or not to build a nuclear bomb.
An Israeli newspaper, Maariv, claims that President Obama offered Prime Minister Netanyahu more advanced weapons (bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes) to delay an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations until next year (after our election).
Previous reports have said that Israel sees a window of about six to nine months to attack Iran before it enters a “zone of immunity,” where Israel’s existing weapons won’t be able to stop Iran’s production of a nuclear weapon because so much of Iran’s nuclear program will have gone deep underground. That window won’t last until 2013.
This reported offer certainly makes sense. One of the issues creating a difference between Israel and the U. S. is the window for an effective attack, since our superior weaponry lets us postpone a strike longer. Giving Israel a capability closer to ours buys them more time.
Although President Obama assured the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (“AIPAC”) this morning that we would stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and got a standing ovation, he didn’t convince Mitt.
Campaigning in Georgia, Mitt declared: “If Barack Obama is reelected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change.”