Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to strike Iran before the 2012 election. A report from Israel’s Channel 10 news claims that since the harsher international sanctions have yielded nothing from Iran, the time to act cannot be delayed. There was talk that Netanyahu would meet with Barack Obama after the late September UN General Assembly meeting in New York, but that meeting seems to have been scuttled.
In the last week, Hezbollah MP Walid Sakariya said that the nuclear weapon Iran is allegedly developing is specifically to eradicate Israel. The retired general said that, once Iran had nuclear weapons, their use would benefit Syria as well as Iran: “This nuclear weapon is intended to create a balance of terror with Israel, to finish off the Zionist enterprise, and to end all Israeli aggression against the Arab nation. The entire equation in the Middle East will change.”
Of course, Iranian officials always state that their nuclear program is only meant to be used peacefully. But now, Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi, the virulent Muslim Brotherhood’s leader, is visiting Iran, which is the first time since the Camp David accords that the ties between the two countries have been reestablished.
Netanyahu is certainly correct if he believes the Obama Administration cannot be trusted; after Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta met with Morsi at the end of July, he praised him this way:
I was convinced that President Morsi is his own man, and that he is the president of all the Egyptian people. It is my view, based on what I have seen, that President Morsi and Field Marshal Tantawi have a very good relationship and are working together towards the same ends.
Less than two weeks later, Morsi fired Tantawi and consolidated power, and there were reports that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood brethren were crucifying opponents.
Because Netanyahu has a clear majority in the Knesset, he is free to act. And he knows if Obama is reelected, any hope for U.S. support will be dim indeed.