The headline in Ha’aretz today is cause for concern. Apparently Likud Party sources have said that a general election is likely to be held between September and November – at just the time the US presidential race is heading down the final straight and a champing at the bit Mitt Romney is keen to see Netanyahu get past the post in Israel.
As usual with Israeli politics, the stated reasons for an early election are varied and complex depending on which Israeli newspaper one reads. However, whatever the reason for an election, the timing of it should be of great concern to both the US and Iran by simple virtue of the fact that Netanyahu would be almost assured of a landslide victory if, prior to the election, Israel launched an initial attack against Iran which Obama could then follow up on leaving Israel to attack and destroy Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The destruction of Israel’s enemies would bring glory to Netanyahu and sweeping victory at the polls for the Likud and the right-wing Zionist parties of Israel while regime change in Iran as a result of a massive follow-up bombing attack against Iran by the US would bring certain victory for Obama.
On the other hand, the failure by Netanyahu to bring the confrontation against Iran to a head by election time will almost certainly cost him his office – and with it will go any future opportunity for him to realise his goal of creating a Greater Israel. For Obama, war against Iran would be better fought after the next US presidential election when he has nothing to lose. However, if Netanyahu forces Obama’s hand by insisting on confronting Iran, Obama will throw every ounce of US muscle into the fight to ensure not just that Iran is deprived of its so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’, but that there is ‘regime change’ in Iran.