When he visits Israel next month, US President Barack Obama will tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a “window of opportunity” for a military strike on Iran will open in June, according to an Israeli TV report Monday evening.
Obama will come bearing the message that if diplomatic efforts and sanctions don’t bear fruit, Israel should “sit tight” and let Washington take the stage, even if that means remaining on the sidelines during a U.S. military operation, Channel 10 reported. Netanyahu will be asked to refrain from any military action and keep a low profile, avoiding even the mention of a strike, the report said, citing unnamed officials. Translate “citing unnamed officials” as “the administration leaked.”
There is no way I can put an optimistic interpretation on this. There are four things that immediately come to mind:
First, Israel is asked to put its trust in the Obama Administration to deal with an existential threat. Simply, would you take this bet?
Second, the U.S. armed forces are stretched extremely thin as a result of the budgeting policies of the administration, and now by the likely sequester of funds. For example, the USS Harry S. Truman, scheduled to deploy to the Persian Gulf this month, will not do so (h/t: JD). The U.S. is not in a position to ‘gear up’ for anything major.
Third, Obama is said to be offering this to Israel. What will Israel be expected to do in return? I don’t have to tell you, do I? Hint: it involves the Palestinians.
Fourth, the demand to ‘remain on the sidelines’ is a direct attack on Israel’s sovereignty as well as an invitation to disaster. When the first Tomahawk hits Iran, Israel will be attacked by Hizballah, which has stockpiled 50,000 missiles for just this occasion, and probably also by Hamas. Iran, too will throw whatever it can against Israel.
The policy of ‘no self-defense’ would result in the deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Israelis. It is as stark as that.
And what is the reason for this tactically foolish restriction? Wouldn’t it be better if the U.S. had Israel on its side? This is part of the deal, because the Arab world, as it did in 1993, wants to see Israel hurt and Israelis die. It is offensive to the Saudis, for example, when Jews dare to raise a hand to Arabs or Muslims. This is why Israel was required to suffer bombardment by Iraqi scuds during the Gulf War, and why it is expected to do nothing when Iranian proxies try to tear it apart.
Obama’s policy is Saudi policy. That is where the irrational push to create a Palestinian state comes from, and that is where the handcuffs on the IDF are forged.
Netanyahu must tell Barack Hussein Obama to take his promises and go home.
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