“They are grimly accepting the reality Mitt won’t win,” the former official said. [...] “The desperation has grown in the face of the opposition of growing and already large numbers of respected current and former Israeli security, nuclear, diplomatic and intelligence experts to any attack on Iran at this time, and more pointedly, against a unilateral Israeli offensive. … And, in particular, when Barack Obama’s campaign appears to surging,” [said Bradley Burston, a columnist with the liberal Haaretz newspaper] – [Politico]
THAT’S WHAT it’s being called in some quarters. A predictable “Bibi eruption,” as Politico’s Glenn Thrush labeled it, in a post that has a much wider net than what’s been previously offered at Politico on the complex subject of Israel. Netanyahu’s political positioning and rhetorical challenges are as predictable as they are a headache, coming during prime time election season for maximum affect and leverage.
After the challenge to Secretary Clinton refusing the red line argument on Iran and military action, Prime Minister Netanyahu boldly challenged the Administration’s policy.
Glenn Thrush got P.J. Crowley on the record, as well as others, on the difficult relationship between Israel’s old school leader versus the global view of America’s new age thinker, who brings to the negotiating table a point of view that engenders demagoguery on the right from Republicans, while freaking out Netanyahu who simply cannot relate to Obama.
“There is a lack of rapport between these two men — they don’t like each other very much. Plus, there are serious differences between our interests and Israel’s own security interests,” said former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who was present for several of Obama’s nine face-to-face meetings with Netanyahu.
“I don’t think that Netanyahu is trying to influence the outcome of our election, though a lot of people see it that way,” Crowley said. “It’s about agenda-setting. He just watched two conventions where Israel and Iran were mentioned, but not significantly discussed, even with the whole rigmarole [at the Democratic convention] about Jerusalem in the platform. He’s trying to get it onto the front burner.”
[...] “Bibi knows that this is his moment of maximum leverage. His ability to influence Obama after the election will be zilch,” said Kenneth Pollack, senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, who thinks Netanyahu’s drumbeat on Iran motivated the administration to push for a harder regimen of sanctions than Obama would otherwise have pursued. “Netanyahu’s goal is one of two things: to get Iran to stop enriching, or to get the U.S. to help strike Iran. He’s not trying to get the green light to strike Iran on his own, that would be a very bad third choice,” Pollack added. “Have these outbursts been successful? Absolutely. The administration is very concerned he’ll strike on his own — and they are driven as much by their fear Israel will start a war as they are by anything Iran is actually doing.”