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The Associated Press is reporting that Israel will not warn the Obama Administration if they decide to launch a preemptive strike against Iran.

The “official reason” according to the AP is Israel would keep the US in the dark  to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel’s potential attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivered the message to a series of top-level U.S. visitors to the country, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House national security adviser and the director of national intelligence, and top U.S. lawmakers, all trying to close the trust gap between Israel and the U.S. over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Netanyahu delivered the same message to all the Americans who have traveled to Israel for talks, the U.S. official said.

First of all this is not “breaking News” the U.K. Telegraph reported this exchange a month ago

Once all but a handful of trusted staff had left the room, Mr Panetta conveyed an urgent message from Barack Obama. The president, Mr Panetta said, wanted an unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations without first seeking Washington’s clearance.

The two Israelis were notably evasive in their response, according to sources both in Israel and the United States.

“They did not suggest that military action was being planned or was imminent, but neither did they give any assurances that Israel would first seek Washington’s permission, or even inform the White House in advance that a mission was underway,” one said.

 Don’t take any of this as proof of an imminent Israeli attack.  No attack will be made unless Israel is sure they can delay the Iranian weapons program for years. Dr Barry Rubin, Israel insider and scholar of Middle East politics reports:

To start a war with Iran now doesn’t make any sense. It will not stop that country from getting nuclear weapons and it would make a nuclear war in the coming years more rather than less likely. Israel has no international support. Russia is practically threatening a war against Israel if it does launch such an operation.

The logistics of an attack are difficult, though not impossible. A lot can go wrong. You don’t want to try such an operation unless you really have to do so. The bottom line is that an Israeli attack on Iran at present is simply not necessary. A lot of the Israeli rhetoric is clearly intended to press the West toward greater activism and tougher sanctions.

Indeed, all of the reasons why Israel is not about to attack Iran are just plain ignored in the media. Defense Minister Ehud Barak explains that no decision is made and that Israeli policy is only to attack if Iran is about to get deliverable nuclear weapons. He suggests that this won’t happen in the next year. The biggest Israeli critic of launching an attack states that Israel decided not to do so and his worst complaint against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is that he wants to keep discussing the possibility, not that he has decided on an attack.
So if no attack is imminent why is the Israeli Government refusing to warn the Obama administration about an attack if it ever happens.  That is simple, after three years the Israeli Government has learned not to trust President Obama.  Lets face it, one of Obama’s first acts was to break an agreement the US had with Israel about adding housing units to existing communities in Judea and Samaria, and new communities in Israel’s capital Jerusalem (confirmed by Bush Undersecretary of State Elliot Abrams). To compound the issue, the Obama administration said Israel was lying about the deal.
Throughout his three years in office,  President Obama has gone out of his way to criticize Israel while ignoring Palestinian incitement. Most recently (last May) he tried to undercut Israel’s negotiating position by calling on Israel to begin negotiations by conceding the end-point (the 1949 Armistice lines), while never demanding that the Palestinians recognize a Jewish State of Israel.
Israel realizes the time is not right to attack Iran, but it also understands that the time may come after this November’s Election. The reason behind that refusal is should Obama win reelection, his present anti-Israeli positions will worsen. After all he will no longer need the votes and cash of the vast majority of Jews who he counts among his supporters.
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