Why Israel Won’t Go It Alone
Image Credit: White House

Why Israel Won’t Go It Alone


If you want to know whether Israel is about to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities then you’d be better served looking at Iran-related policy and statements emanating from Washington DC than speculative reports from the Israeli press.

The possibility of an Israeli strike has been thrust into the spotlight again following reports in the Israeli media speculating that an agreement has been reached between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Netanyahu to take the military option against Iran’s facilities. Although these reports were later denied by Barak, new reports quickly emerged that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had also been convinced to back a military strike. Meanwhile, other members of the security cabinet, including Interior Minister Eli Yishai, are reported to be undecided and “losing sleep” over this matter.

The fact that Israel tested a new missile in the midst of all this added credibility to speculation that something could be afoot, especially with reports emerging that the Israeli Air Force recently took part in a joint NATO exercise focused on practicing long-range attacks.

Still, regardless of whether Netanyahu and Barak really do intend to attack Iran, it’s exceedingly unlikely Israel’s leaders, as hawkish as they may be, would attack Iran without U.S. permission. The Israeli government may feel comfortable challenging the United States over the issue of settlements, but striking Iran is a very different matter.

It wouldn’t matter who is in charge at the White House and how pro-Israel they may or may not be – a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, without U.S. consent, would likely have severe consequences for Israel-U.S. relations. After all, the building of settlements doesn’t directly risk American lives and the U.S. economy. Attacking Iran without U.S. permission could and would.

For a start, the United States still has troops in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and any unilateral attack by the government of Israel against Iran could put the lives of U.S. soldiers there in jeopardy of Iranian retaliation. It could also create a massive spike in oil prices, something which could have severe consequences for an already struggling U.S. economy. To take such action without securing U.S. approval would risk undermining American interests in an unprecedented way, a reality that successive Israeli governments have been fully aware of.

Israel’s leaders have, of course, continued to threaten Iran’s nuclear program, stating that “all options remain on the table.” But such rhetoric masks an extreme pragmatism on Israel-U.S. ties over issues as serious as Iran, not least because of the $3 billion in aid that Israel receives from the United States, as well as the support of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. A unilateral attack without U.S. consent could put both at risk.

Some have suggested that Barack Obama, standing for reelection in 2012, has his hands tied as he needs both the Jewish and Evangelical vote. But this in no way guarantees support for a unilateral strike – the sight of U.S. casualties and a massive jump in oil prices following an Israeli attack would also infuriate Republicans if U.S. permission hadn’t been granted.

June 2, 2013 at 06:55

Israel won't go it alone, because Israel is inherently weak and badly positioned for a long military engagement.

Let's not forget that little Hezbollah kicked Israel's ass not too long ago, using weapons (more than likely) provided by Iran.  Now, imagine if Iran used the entire Persian might against the Israeli mite on the Mediterranean.  After all, American forces in Iraq are no longer a buffer to Persian might.  In fact, the Shiites in Iraq would welcome Iranian tanks and soldiers, as well as join them in militias.

So, if you actually think that Israel has the guts (or temerity) to attack Iran, then let Israel suffer its fate.  It's been a thorn in America's side for too long, keeping us from establishing better relations with the Muslim nations in that part of the world.

We've paid for Israeli intransigence long enough, with a just peace never possible while the Israelis believe that America will not abandon them, despite their torturing of the facts.  After all, the Israelis insist on absorbing Palestine eventually, without according the populace equality under the law as first-tier Israeli citizens.  "Best to keep the Palestinians in ghetto-ized camps."  I'm just waiting for the day that Israel declares the Final Solution to the Palestinian problem, instead of indulging in these periodic turkey shoots in the Gaza Strip where they've managed to kill thousands of women and children.

Israel will not go it alone for the same reason that my little brother, a swaggering bully by all accounts, will not walk our neighborhood streets alone…because he'd get his ass beat.


[...] Why Israel Won’t Go It Alone [...]

Major Lowen Gil Marquez, Phil Army
November 15, 2011 at 13:56

Pakistan in 1972 were able to build nuclear reactor and advance enriched uranium thru Dr Adul Qadeer Khan a Pakistani working in Amsterdam URENCO owned by British and German, even that nuclear building were constructed in Capital of Pakistan and under the eye of CIA and m16 they were not able to stop by the West because of the importance of Pakistan as staging point to counter the Russians in Afghanistan by the US, this they made to have a deal not to use it military hardware, in Iran it can may be have their Nuclear power plant for civilian purpose only if it is viable thru series of analysis and evaluation of the project. .

rod starns
November 13, 2011 at 06:53

threatening to attack other countries is war mongering and it does not lead to peace and stability.the only option the iranians have is to threaten retaliation.

November 12, 2011 at 15:23

From my point of view, there would not be a military strike against Iran because there is worldwide news about speculating to do so. If there is a real plan to do that, we ordinary people wouldn’t have a clue. In other words, why would you want to alert your opponent/enemy to be ready?

As an ordinary person on this Earth, I wish Iran, Israel, & any others can coexist in harmony. Peace…

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