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When Will Israel Bomb Iran?

Writing at Tablet,  Michael Weiss dispels forecasts of an imminent Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear targets, an assumption that was given greater weight by Joe Biden's recent remarks that seemed to give Jerusalem a green light should it feel the time is right. Biden's specific comment, that "Israel can determine for itself — it's a sovereign nation — what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," was perfectly sensible and pretty much in line with long-standing American policy vis a vis Israeli security concerns, but predictably angered those who think that Israel should uncritically follow the dictates of the Obama White House, and put its trust in an administration which foolishly links the Iranian nuclear program to the non-existent "peace process." Anyway, here's Weiss throwing water on predictions of an impending Israeli attack:

Andrew Apostolou, a researcher who has covered Iran for more than a decade and now works at Freedom House, a democracy promotion group, says that Israel is locked in a wait-and-see mode, planning to let U.S. diplomacy exhaust itself. Matthew Silver, a historian at Emek Yezreel College in the Galilee, agrees: “Netanyahu figures, ‘okay, let Obama talk to the mullahs. It’s a preordained failure.’” That the Israeli prime minister is making loud noises about a possible military strike, Apostolou says, suggests one won’t come anytime soon. “If the Israelis really wanted to scare the Americans, they’d say nothing. When the Israelis go really quiet, that’s when you have to start worrying.”

 --James Kirchick