WASHINGTON – Despite many threats, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still hasn’t decided whether to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, raising questions among analysts, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Regional analysts say that Israel’s lack of action has less to do with military capability than concern about isolating itself, especially from the United States. In the long run, Israel knows that Washington’s interest in the region will wane as the U.S. becomes more energy independent.
For the U.S., an Iran with a nuclear weapon, if it decides to take that path, would be less of a threat than it would be to Israel.
“The United States faces little or no direct risk from a few, low-grade Iranian nukes,” according to a report by the open intelligence group Stratfor. “The threat to the United States is indirect: A nuclear Iran threatens U.S. allies, including Israel – and, thus, threatens America’s reputation for power in the Middle East and the world.
“This is a substantial risk, but not one of the same magnitude that Israel faces,” the report said. “It is from this differentiation of risk that the tension arises between Washington and Jerusalem.
“Washington can only attack Iran if it faces literally no other choice,” it said. “Of course, Jerusalem would describe its own policy likewise, but Jerusalem’s red line is closer and more acute than Washington’s.”
Analysts say that given the potential for isolation from the U.S., the long term isn’t looking good for Israel, with the uncertainty among Middle East countries and the increasing rise of Sunni militancy sweeping the region.
The concern aboutU.S. interest in the Middle East also will be a major factor in long-term outlook.
Analysts also say that one thing aggravating the U.S.-Israeli relationship is the issue over settlement construction in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. The concern is that Israel is taking land that was to be incorporated in a separate Palestinian state.
Netanyahu has declared that the land in question will remain part of Israel in any peace deal with the Palestinians.
The Israeli prime minister has called on the Palestinians to resume bilateral talks. However, the Palestinians say there is nothing to talk about as long as settlements are being constructed on land that would be part of a new Palestinian state.
“Beginning in a decade or so, the United States will have relatively little need of energy from the Persian Gulf, reducing measurably its geopolitical interest in the region,” the Stratfor report said. “This will make Israel even lonelier.”
Unless there is a dramatic change in Iran politically in the near future, Israel then will have to continue contending with a nuclear state.
“Israel’s strategic peril may, in fact, have no solution,” Stratfor said. “And that means it will have to manage its partnership with Washington even more adroitly.”
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