Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The US Israel Relationship and Iran
America, Syria and Israel - Martin Kramer
Israelis got a preview this past week of what the Middle East would look like during a possible Iran crisis, and they didn't like what they saw. What Israelis found alarming was the way Mr. Obama shifted the burden of decision. Every one of his Syrian maneuvers was viewed as a dry run for his conduct in a likely future crisis over Iran's nuclear drive.
Israelis always imagined they would go to Mr. Obama with a crucial piece of highly sensitive intelligence on Iranian progress, and he would make good on his promise to block Iran with a swift presidential decision. So his punt to Congress over what John Kerry called an "unbelievably small" strike left Israelis rubbing their eyes. If this is now standard operating procedure in Washington, can Israel afford to wait if action against Iran becomes urgent?
The Syrian episode has shown how dead-set both Congress and U.S. public opinion are against U.S. military action in the Middle East. Bottom line: The chance that Israel may need to act first against Iran has gone up.
The writer is president of Shalem College in Jerusalem.
(Wall Street Journal)