U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, left, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington in March.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may attempt to exploit election season pressures to get Barack Obama to support an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear sites, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern writes.
Last week, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevi told Israeli TV viewers, “The next 12 weeks are very critical in trying to assess whether Israel will attack Iran, with or without American backup.”
It would be all too understandable, given Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s experience with President Obama, that Netanyahu has come away with the impression that Obama can be bullied, particularly when he finds himself in a tight political spot.
… Virtually precluded, in Netanyahu’s view, is any possibility that Obama could keep U.S. military forces on the sidelines if Israel and Iran became embroiled in serious hostilities. What I believe the Israeli leader worries most about is the possibility that a second-term Obama would feel much freer not to commit U.S. forces on Israel’s side. A second-term Obama also might use U.S. leverage to force Israeli concessions on thorny issues relating to Palestine.