Benjamin Netanyahu Undercut!
From Newshoggers friend and contributor Gareth Porter we have this:
By staking out a policy line on Iran reflecting the views of the Israeli national security leadership, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz has undercut the Benjamin Netanyahu government’s carefully planned strategy to get U.S. President Barack Obama to threaten war against Iran if it doesn’t give up its nuclear programme.
It could be the beginning of a process by which Netanyahu begins to climb down from a militarily aggressive policy that has provoked unprecedented dissent from high-ranking active and retired military and intelligence officials.
Mofaz, who brought his Kadima Party into the Netanyahu government in a May 9 deal, is a former Israeli chief of staff who had made threatening statements about Iran’s nuclear programme as minister of defence in Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government from 2003 to 2006.
This is a very refreshing and hopeful sign. We knew that the Israeli military and intellegence services were opposed to an attack on Iran.
Even before adding Mofaz, Netanyahu was unable to muster a majority in the nine-member Israeli “security forum”, which must approve a decision to go to war, according to a May 31 Ynet News report.
Only Netanyahu, Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman were said to be supporting an attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities, at least in principle. The other six, including IDF Chief Gantz, Mossad Chief Pardo and Mofaz, were all opposed.
Since Netanyahu could not get his own government to agree to an attack on Iran he was trying to politically force the Obama administration to do it via pressure on congress. Mofaz just blew that ship out of the water.