Netanyahu Playing Politics With Israeli National Security

Americans may naively equate Netanyahu with Israel, but Israelis have their lives on the line, and they are not so easily deluded. Perhaps Americans who consider Israelis their friends and allies should listen to them.

The sudden urgency in Netanyahu’s calls for war against Iran may seem bizarre to the thoughtful; after all, Iran’s behavior has not changed in decades and numerous high-level Israeli military-intelligence officials, most prominently recently retired Mossad chief Meir Dagan, have put their careers, personal freedom, and reputations on the line to oppose Netanyahu’s warmongering. Netanyahu of course has his reasons, and an Israeli explanation—far from the naïve view common in the U.S. equating Netanyahu with Israeli national interest—follows:

Israel has an existential interest in waiting until the spring before deciding whether to attack Iran, as indicated by the opposition of leaders of the security establishment to an attack now….

But Netanyahu’s personal interests are diametrically opposed to those of the country he leads….

Americans fear Netanyahu’s effort to drag the United States into war against its will, as well as attempts to raise gas prices as a means of kicking Obama out of the White House in November because of the economy….

getting portrayed as being a member of the Romney-Netanyahu-Sheldon Adelson trinity…is the most reckless of all breaches of trust, and Netanyahu – not Israel – must pay the price of taking the risk. Netanyahu must wait for the U.S. elections. If he loses his bet and Obama wins, Netanyahu should be so kind as to resign. The soldiers and citizens of Israel shall not be sacrificed on the altar of Netanyahu’s bets. [Sefi Rachlevsky, “The Secret Reason for Netanyahu’s Timing on Iran War,” Haaretz 8/29/12.]


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