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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Israel to Obama: Publicly declare that you will use force against Iran by the opening of the UN General Assembly... or else

The Hebrew newspaper Maariv is reporting that Israel has given an ultimatum to President Obama: Either he must be publicly declare by the opening of the United Nations General Assembly (on the eve of Yom Kippur) that he will use force to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, or Israel will attack Iran. According to Maariv (screen capped above, Hat Tip: Didi Remez via Twitter), Israel's Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry are in negotiations with the Obama administration over the wording of such a declaration. (Full story in Hebrew here).

According to Maariv, Israel's leaders understand that Obama cannot give an order to attack Iran before the elections. On the other hand, Israel believes that it's window to stop Iran will close around the time of the elections. Therefore, it is willing to make due with a public declaration by Obama, either at the UN General Assembly, or in some other manner by the end of Obama's speech to the Assembly on September 25. According to Maariv, that would give Israel sufficient trust in Obama to be confident that he would do what needs to be done to stop Iran.

Of course, if Obama were to make such a declaration, he would want to make it closer to the elections so that it would have maximum effect for his reelection bid.

I find this story hard to believe. I find it hard to believe that Obama will make such a declaration, I find it hard to believe that Netanyahu and Barak would place their trust in such a declaration, and I find it hardest to believe that Obama would actually follow through and use force to stop Iran if that becomes necessary. Iran is not Osama Bin Laden.

What could go wrong?

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