Israeli Leadership Change Is A Giant Step Toward War With Iran


            The replacement of Tzipi Livni as leader of the opposition Kadema bloc by Shaul Mofaz is a giant step on the road to war with Iran.  Mofaz, who was born in Iran and lived there until he was eight years old, is a right-winger who attended the Marine Corps Staff and Command College in Quantico, Virginia and, after a stint as Commander of the Israel Defense Forces on the West Bank, rose to become Chief of Staff.


            Under normal circumstances, a leadership change of a party trailing badly in the polls would not be significant; but this is not the case in Israel, now.  Benjamin Netanyahu stole the election from Tzipi Livni, with the help of Shimon Peres.  Like George W. Bush, leaders who steal elections have only one tactic in their quiver, force.  After all, leaders in democracies who refuse to accept the verdict of their own voters have no respect for anyone or anything but themselves. Livni is, by Israeli standards, a moderate who is genuinely interested in coming to an accommodation with the Palestinians.  There is only one key on Netanyahu’s piano, war.


            If Netanyahu has learned anything in this, his second lap at the helm of Israel, it is that Israel can not go to war with Iran without the backing of the United States.  Israel can not defeat Iran, but it is strong enough to create a provocation to try and goad Iran into an attack on American troops, ships or interests and force the United States into a fight with Iran.  This is Israel’s current strategy.


            Israel is too small to go to war at all without a national unity government.  The bad blood and ideological differences between Livni and Netanyahu precluded such a national unity government.  Now, with Mofaz as the leader of Kadema, such a national unity government is both possible and, in ideological terms, already a reality.  Israel is probably now engaged is provoking an “October surprise” in the American presidential election to ensure the United States fights Iran and Obama loses the election.


            With friends like the Israelis, the United States has no need of enemies.


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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf