While John Kerry was putting on a show in the Mideast, Congress was showing where the US really stands. I elaborate at Lobelog.
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Posted in Congress, Israel, Palestine, United States, tagged AIPAC, Americans for Peace Now, Barack Obama, Barbara Lee, Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Elon, Congress, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, foreign policy, Iran, Israel, J Street, John Kerry, Palestine, Shimon Peres, Syria, Yitzhak Rabin on May 25, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Israel, Palestine, United States, tagged AIPAC, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, diplomacy, European Union, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Iran, Iran nuclear, Israel, Israel Lobby, Israeli Settlements, James Baker, John Kerry, Palestine, settlement freeze, Syria, Tzipi Livni, Yitzhak Shamir on May 22, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Posted in Israel, Syria, tagged AIPAC, Assad, Barack Obama, chemical weapons, GCC, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah, Iran, Iran threat, Israel, Israel Lobby, Lebanon, red line, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Syrian civil war on May 1, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Israel, tagged AIPAC, Aviv Kochavi, Barack Obama, Benny Begin, Benny Gantz, Dan Meridor, diplomacy, Ehud Barak, FDD, foreign policy, foundation for defense of democracies, IAEA, Iran, Iran nuclear, Iran sanctions, Iran threat, Iraq, Israel, Jennifer Rubin, Moshe Ya'alon, Mossad, Naftali Bennett, Neoconservatives, Netanyahu, New York Times, nuclear, Obama, P5+1, Sanctions, Shin Bet, Tamir Pardo, Tzipi Livni, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Yair Lapid, Yoram Cohen on March 28, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
This article originally appeared at LobeLog.
The new Israeli government features a security braintrust that might be a bit more reasonable on Iran, but is likely to be even more hawkish both in the immediate region
and within the country itself. Gone are voices from the Israeli right who favored a more reasoned and diplomatic approach to their right-wing agenda. They have been replaced by figures who want more direct action and refuse even the pretense of a two-state solution.
On Iran, the retirement of Ehud Barak removes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leading supporter in his effort for a strike on Iran sooner rather than later, whether that be carried out by Israel or, preferably, the United States. He is replaced by Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon. Bogey is also an Iran hawk, but is not in favor of Israel launching an attack other than as a last resort. He is far more content than Barak to allow the United States to take the lead and wants Israel to act only if it becomes apparent that the US will not. That puts him pretty well in line with the Israeli military and intelligence leadership in practice, though he sees Iran as more of a threat than they do.
In fact, no one in the current or even the outgoing inner circle came close to matching Barak’s eagerness for military action against Iran. Only Netanyahu himself could match him, and he remains daunted by the lack of support for his position in Israel. The ongoing hawkishness in the US Congress and President Barack Obama’s repeated statements holding firm to a military option and refusing a policy of containment also blunt Netanyahu’s resolve. It would seem that, at least for the time being, the calls for war on Iran will be fueled more in the United States than in Israel.
Ya’alon is a former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, but he did not have a distinguished term of service there, was not well-liked and returns without a great deal of good will among the military and intelligence services’ leadership. In fact, colleagues in Israel tell me there is a good deal of consternation in those services regarding Bogey’s appointment. But for now, they will wait and see how he acts. For a deeper look at Ya’alon, see my recent piece on him here. (more…)