According to the top military analyst for Israel’s Hebrew Language Channel 10, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “determined to attack Iran before the US elections,” once again bringing the timetable for war into what Obama Administration officials earlier this year called the “sweet spot” for such a war.
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been loudly pushing for the war for months, and have openly spurned popular opposition as well as criticism from the military’s leadership. The Obama Administration is said to be trying to push for a delay until after the vote but the analyst, Alon Ben-David, added that “I doubt Obama could say anything that would convince Netanyahu to delay.”
Meanwhile, defense officials have been pushing 91-year-old Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of much of the religious right in Israel, to weigh in on the attack. Yosef has regularly called for the deaths of those he perceives as “enemies” of Israel.
US officials have gone relatively quiet on the matter, with Gen. Martin Dempsey saying the US is not under any pressure to “back” an Israeli attack. That doesn’t mean that an attack might not happen unilaterally, however.