Decision by Netanyahu, Barak to strike Iran is almost final — Israel TVPM believes Iran’s regime is aiming to ‘destroy the Jewish people,’ does not think Obama will resort to force. Nuclear drive ‘further ahead’ than previously thought. In a year, Israeli action could have only ‘negligible effect’.(Times of Israel) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have “almost finally” decided on an Israeli strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities this fall, and a final decision will be taken “soon,” Israel’s main TV news broadcast reported on Friday evening.
Channel 2 News, the country’s leading news program, devoted much of its Friday night broadcast to the issue, detailing the pros and cons that, it said, have taken Netanyahu and Barak to the brink of approving an Israeli military attack despite opposition from the Obama administration and from many Israeli security chiefs.
Critically, the station’s diplomatic correspondent Udi Segal said, Israel does not believe that the US will take military action as Iran closes in on the bomb.
The US, the TV report said, has not provided Israel with details of an attack plan. President Obama has not promised to attack Iran if all else fails. Conditions cited by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for an American attack do not calm Israeli concerns. And Obama has a record of seeking UN and Arab League approval before action. All these factors, in Jerusalem’s mind, underline the growing conviction of Netanyahu and Barak that Israel will have to tackle Iran alone, the TV report said.
Israel’s leaders have also noted that president George W. Bush vowed repeatedly that North Korea would not be allowed to attain a nuclear weapons capability — a vow that proved empty.
Obama does not want to intervene militarily before the presidential elections in November, and it is doubtful that he would act afterwards, runs the Israeli assessment, the TV report said. Obama may believe that the US can live with a nuclear Iran, but Israel cannot, the report quoted those in “Netanyahu’s circle” as saying.