Today Charles Krauthammer has a scary piece in the Washington Post saying that it’s May 1967, and once again Israel’s neighbors are threatening the Jewish state, and Israel must launch a preemptive strike. MJ Rosenberg rightly describes Krauthammer as “salivating” for war.
Well, American neoconservatives and their fellow traveler Jeffrey Goldberg all see the new coalition government in Israel as increasing the likelihood of an attack on Iran. Three quotes:
Elliott Abrams at Council on Foreign Relations cites Netanyahu’s new Kadima coalition partner’s alleged dovishness on Iran but says Shaul Mofaz would be willing to strike.
He has been cautious in some statements on striking Iran, less so in others. In April he spoke:
“If we see Iran getting closer to a military nuclear capability and the US acting against its own interest and allowing a sword on our neck, I will be the first to support Israel taking action,” he said. “On this there would be no coalition and opposition. But the sword is not there yet.”
Should Netanyahu decide the sword is there, having Kadima and Mofaz–a former IDF Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense–on his side will be of great value.
Krauthammer in the Washington Post:
for Israelis today, it is May ’67. The dread is not quite as acute: The mood is not despair, just foreboding. Time is running out, but not quite as fast. War is not four days away, but it looms. Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence — nuclear weapons in the hands of apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel’s annihilation — since May ’67. The world is again telling Israelis to do nothing as it looks for a way out. But if such a way is not found — as in ’67 — Israelis know that they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves.
Such a fateful decision demands a national consensus. By creating the largest coalition in nearly three decades, Netanyahu is establishing the political premise for a preemptive strike, should it come to that. The new government commands an astonishing 94 Knesset seats out of 120, described by one Israeli columnist as a “hundred tons of solid concrete.”
So much for the recent media hype about some great domestic resistance to Netanyahu’s hard line on Iran. Two notable retired intelligence figures were widely covered here for coming out against him. Little noted was that one had been passed over by Netanyahu to be the head of Mossad, while the other had been fired by Netanyahu as Mossad chief (hence the job opening).
Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic also sees the Iran strike as more likely (of course he’s been carrying water for the warriors forever). Goldberg says the two leading motivations for Netanyahu’s coup-de-government are:
1) Bibi is forming the closest thing he can to a national unity government in order to strike Iran if he feels the upcoming P5 + 1 talks about Iran’s nuclear program have failed. Mofaz is on record against a raid, but his support would be important, and no doubt Netanyahu (and his sidekick, Ehud Barak, the defense minister) could convince him that it is necessary, if they come to the conclusion that they have to act….
6) Bibi wants to be able to say to President Obama: More than three-quarters of the Knesset is with me. I am Israel.