Aug 14, 2010
WASHINGTON — Pro-Israeli journalist Jeffrey Goldberg’s article  in The Atlantic magazine was evidently aimed at showing why the Barack Obama administration should worry that it risks an attack by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran in the coming months unless it takes a much more menacing line toward Iran’s nuclear program.
But the article provides new evidence that senior figures in the Israeli intelligence and military leadership oppose such a strike against Iran and believe that Netanyahu’s apocalyptic rhetoric about an Iranian nuclear threat as an “existential threat” is unnecessary and self-defeating.
Although not reported by Goldberg, Israeli military and intelligence figures began to express their opposition to such rhetoric on Iran in the early 1990s, and Netanyahu acted to end such talk when he became prime minister in 1996.
The Goldberg article also reveals extreme Israeli sensitivity to any move by Obama to publicly demand that Israel desist from such a strike, reflecting the reality that the Israeli government could not go ahead with any strike without being assured of US direct involvement in the war with Iran.
Goldberg argues that a likely scenario some months in the future is that Israeli officials will call their US counterparts to inform them that Israeli planes are already on their way to bomb Iranian nuclear sites.