It wasn’t until February 17 — almost a month after he was inaugurated — that Joe Biden got around to calling America’s main ally in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. If his goal was to alienate the prime minister, he was fantastically successful.
Israel has dealt with presidents who offered lukewarm support for Israel in the past, so Biden’s disapproval of settlements, the treatment of Palestinians, the moribund peace process, and Netanyahu personally doesn’t really matter. Israel will pursue its own security goals and if the U.S. doesn’t like it, that’s their problem.
You might think it was a sea change in relations with the United States when Biden took office. Donald Trump was an enthusiastic supporter of the Jewish state and had its back at every turn.
But Israel has never put all their stock in the U.S., realizing the fickleness of public opinion and the rising anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. They will act and plan according to their own interests.
That includes updating their plans to attack Iranian nuclear sites.
Israel has identified numerous targets inside Iran that would hurt its ability to develop a nuclear bomb.
“If the world stops them before, it’s very much good. But if not, we must stand independently and we must defend ourselves by ourselves,” Gantz said in his first sit-down interview with an American outlet.
Indeed, with Iran refusing to allow UN inspectors into the country and recent reports pointing to additional nuclear sites not previously disclosed, something big may be brewing.
Netanyahu isn’t bellicose about it. He states matter-of-factly what Israel will do to prevent Iran from making a nuclear bomb.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will do whatever it takes to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, regardless of whether Washington reenters the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.
“I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and so far, we’ve been successful,” Netanyahu said Thursday.
In an interview earlier Thursday with Fox News, Netanyahu said he believes Biden “understands… that my commitment to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons is absolute.”
And the Israelis are fully prepared to go to war with Hezbollah — again.
Amid increasing regional tension over Iranian proxy action and violations of the 2015 nuclear deal, intelligence assessments state that Iran will likely target Israel using proxies in Syria and Lebanon during 2021.
Gantz said the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has hundreds of thousands of rockets. A classified map of targets shared with Fox News shows many of the rockets among civilian areas along the Israeli border.
“This is a target map. Each one of them has been checked legally, operationally, intelligence-wise and we are ready to fight,” Gantz added.
An attack on Iran would bring Syria, Lebanon, and perhaps Iraq into a regional war with Israel that would quickly degenerate into other nations choosing sides. Netanyahu doesn’t want that. No sane person would. But the Iranians may leave him no choice.