A former Israeli national security adviser who is a retired Major General in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has claimed that Barack Obama forced Israel to abandon attacking Iranian nuclear sites last year.
According to the Israeli paper Mida, Giora Eiland said, “Israel has the capability to destroy the Iranian nuclear program,” but White House officials told Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, who was ready to issue the order, to jettison the strike. Eiland asserted, “At that time the prime minister thought that we were at the crossroads with regard to the Iranian nuclear program.”
There are many areas where Israel is free to act independently: building in Jerusalem, striking in Gaza, and other areas in our region, where we do not need an approval from the U.S.–even when they do not like it. But when it comes to issues that affect the broader American interests, we cannot act contrary to their considerations. Israel does not require U.S. approval for its military actions–unless the U.S. unequivocally demands that we refrain from a particular action.
Morris Amitay, a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), noting Obama’s reluctance to attack Syria, said, “Eiland is a very serious and well-informed guy. Also, I know that the Israeli military believes it can significantly delay any Iranian nuclear weapons capability and has some surprising tactics which have not, to my knowledge been disseminated. What else gives credence to [Obama’s] warnings against an attack fits well with his overall reluctance to use military force.”
Eiland concluded, “As time passed, we are again finding ourselves at the same crossroads–only with less time, and between a rock and a hard place. A lack of decision is a dramatic decision in and of itself.”