Benjamin Netanyahu is a lot like former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, who once bragged he would “make Attila the Hun look like a faggot.” The Israeli PM has not only publicly scolded Barack Obama, he has warned him. He is giving him orders. Or at least he thinks he is:
Israel is pressing Barack Obama for an explicit threat of military action against Iran if sanctions fail and Tehran’s nuclear programme advances beyond specified “red lines”…
… Netanyahu… is expected to raise the issue at a White House meeting on Monday after weeks of intense diplomacy in which Obama has dispatched senior officials – including his intelligence, national security and military chiefs – to Jerusalem to try and dampen down talk of an attack.
Diplomats say that Israel is angered by the Obama administration’s public disparaging of early military action against Iran, saying that it weakens the prospect of Tehran taking the warnings from Israel seriously.
The two sides are attempting to agree a joint public statement to paper over the divide but talks will not be made easier by a deepening distrust in which the Israelis question Obama’s commitment to confront Iran while the White House is frustrated by what it sees as political interference by Netanyahu to mobilise support for Israel’s position in the US Congress.
Is Netanyahu taking heat from U.S. legislators for publicly disrespecting Obama? Are you kidding? Congress is too busy bowing to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group, which just happens to be meeting in Washington this weekend.
Obama mildly admonished Netanyahu in a speech to AIPAC today: “Already, there is too much loose talk of war.” But he also said, “I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I’ve made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.”
How long before Iran is attacked? Take a look at Obama’s record and ask yourself how often he has withstood pressure to make major concessions on policy issues. Then ask yourself how likely he is to stand up — or even pretend to stand up – to AIPAC in an election year.