The drums of war have been sounding especially loudly of late in Israel. As Stephen Walt wrote in Foreign Policy, the media have been playing a dutiful role in regurgitating the talking points of Israel’s war party, chief among them Ehud Barak and Bibi Netanyahu. That’s almost to be expected. But what’s neither expected nor acceptable is amplifying the most delusional of the pro-war talking points, as Maariv did today in its lead story. The screaming headline of the print edition: U.S. Will Be Forced to Join in Israeli Attack. The online headline and subheading is also instructive:
American Officials: If Israel Attacks, the U.S. Will Join in the Operation
Political and diplomatic sources in both the Republican and Democratic Parties passed to the prime minister’s office and to the Israeli ambassador [Oren] messages in this vein. In their estimation, Obama will be forced to defend Israel in the face of an Iranian missile attack because aiding Israel will help him get re-elected.