The president of the United States, Barack Obama, might not fully understand that, from Iran’s viewpoint, Israel and the United States are indistinguishable as enemies. Iran’s nuclear hopes seem to be seen by the president as a threat to a U.S. ally rather than a direct threat to his nation.
It seems to me that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned about this. As reported by The Associated Press:
Looking directly at Obama, Netanyahu said Iran is right about one thing: Israel and the United States are indistinguishable as Iran’s enemies. ‘We are you and you are us,’ he said.”
Here’s a riddle: consider a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the pig and the chicken? Answer: The chicken is involved; the pig is committed!
So, on the issue of preventing Iran from getting nuclear arms, is America a chicken or a pig—does America believe a nuclear-armed Iran is a clear, imminent danger or merely another bothersome rogue nation like North Korea?
There is no doubt Israel is committed—it’s very existence is on the line. A very few nuclear bombs, well placed, could literally wipe that small country off the map. And it can cite Iran’s repeated calls for Israel’s destruction to add credence to its fears. The threat to the United States is not nearly so direct or so dire.
I believe that under President Obama, Israel is less safe than it was in the face of a hostile enemy like Iran, for, although the U.S. remains committed to Israel’s security, it will not easily enter into another Middle East war.
From what I have read recently, U.S. officials believe that Iran has the capability to build a nuclear weapon, but has not yet decided to do so. They believe there is still time for sanctions to work, that is, to pressure Iran into giving up on their military nuclear ambitions.
For many Israeli officials, however, the threat is seen as too great to wait. To them, a preemptive strike is the more prudent route.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, reportedly said in Vienna on Monday that his organization harbours “serious concerns” that Iran may be hiding a secret atomic weapons program. “The agency continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program,” he said.
Fortunately, or so it seems to those who fear for Israel, President Obama will has not directly asked or demand that Israel stand down. He apparently acknowledges Israel’s right to defend itself as it sees fit.