A fascinating move by Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu. Moving the elections up, elections that you are supposedly scheduled to win with a 'strong mandate' for action against the threat of Iran. The speculation is that he might have more flexibility to take action on Iran should he have the support of the Israeli people while the US president is facing a potential re-election loss. Given the president's political expedient decision making, what would happen if he then came out in complete defense of Israel and pledged a full out war against anyone who would attack Israel? That could play well with potential swing voters. Another war, more chaos, more opportunity.
Ammon Abramovich, one of the best-known Israeli commentators on the
popular Channel 2 news station, suggested that Netanyahu may, in fact,
be calling the election early so that he can come back to power with a
decisive governing majority while President Obama is still hamstrung by
elections here in the United States, and thus powerless to stop him from
attacking Iran. The Times of Israel explains the reasoning behind this alarming prediction:
Abramovich said that the dramatic decision to bring the
elections forward relates to Iran. After the September elections, which
all polls show Netanyahu winning easily, he will head a transition
government for several weeks while a new coalition is formed. During
that period, Netanyahu “will not be beholden to the voters,” and will be
free to take decisions on Iran that many Israelis might not support,
Furthermore, he will still have his trusted Defense Minister, Ehud
Barak, at his side. Barak is seen as unlikely to fare well in the
elections, and may not even retain his Knesset seat, but would retain
the defense portfolio until a new coalition is formed.
And finally, said Abramovich, the September-October period would see
Obama, who has publicly urged more patience in allowing diplomacy and
sanctions to have their impact on Iran, in the final stages of the
presidential election campaign, with a consequent reduced capacity to
try to pressure Israel into holding off military intervention.
Obama, “on the eve of elections, won’t dare criticize
Israel,” said Abramovich. From Netanyahu’s point of view, “the
conditions would be fantastic.”
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has given some credence to this
theory with this ominous quote regarding Iran: “The moment of truth is
That’s not to say that Israel has no concerns about war with Iran –
the country is small enough that the fallout from just one nuclear bomb
being dropped would do serious, possibly fatal damage, which has led
some Israeli officials to label the country a “one bomb state.” Clearly,
if Netanyahu is planning to attack Iran, this will factor into his
calculations, and a decision to attack would suggest that he expects far
more than one bomb to be involved if he doesn’t act. We’ll be keeping
an eye on this story.
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