Israel won't attack Iran without US go-ahead

Matti Golan

Everything is possible, except for one thing: that Israel would attack Iran without coordinating it with the world's great power and Israel's only friend.

What is really going on between Israel and the US over Iran? Is what we read and hear all that there is? In other words, is Israel really planning to attack Iran without coordination with the US? Does Washington really oppose an Israeli attack on Iran?

Reports say yes, that is exactly the case. But these reports do not meet my test of common sense, and at the margins the reports, at least to me, do not make sense.

For example, reports that the US is protecting its facilities and bases in Europe on the basis of an assessment that Israel will attack Iran and that a counterattack would soon follow. I read these reports that the US has accepted the possibility of an Israeli attack, and that all the superpower can say in the matter is that it is readying for such a possibility.

Protection? That's a response?

I would expect that alongside protecting its facilities, the US would press Israel not to attack; and not just the usual and not-so-painful pressure, but measures that fit the deed. After all, an Israeli attack would result in an Iranian response.

What this response would entail, and whether it would target Israel or other countries as well - this cannot be known, but it is possible. The US knows this - how could it not know - and its response is to protect facilities? Not a full assault on Israel with all the means at its disposal (non-military means of course)? Behind the scenes?

Obviously, there are people who will say that the US is undoubtedly doing just this behind the scenes. I don’t buy it. I know a bit about how these things work, and the accepted way to work is both behind the scenes and on the front stage. If there were real and serious pressures, we would know about them. The US would make sure that we know, because it would undoubtedly want to create public opinion, which is an integral part of managing pressure.

The bottom line that I want to reach is that if there are disagreements between Israel and the US, they are at the margins. I believe that there is no such thing that Israel would embark on an action with such severe consequences, possibly even existential consequences, without coordination with the US. There is no such thing, in my opinion, that President Barack Obama will be woken up one night with the news of an Israeli attack. If Israel were to attack, it will be with his consent, support, and knowledge.

So how do I explain the many reports that Israel will launch an attack without coordinating it with the US? It seems like a game to me. It's objective? Many to give the US an alibi, as if it didn’t know, in order to avoid a confrontation with Iran; maybe it's a smokescreen to conceal the real contacts and agreements between Washington and Jerusalem; and maybe it's disinformation targeting Iran.

Everything is possible, except for one thing: that Israel would attack Iran without coordinating it with the world's great power and Israel's only friend. It does not matter what is said and asserted, I don’t believe it.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 17, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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