1967 REDUX? Israeli historian Benny Morris argues in Tablet that the Middle East could be on the verge of another conflict a la 1967.
Mofaz will join Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a three-man kitchen Cabinet or the fuller eight-man “Inner Cabinet,” where the call of whether or not to launch a military strike against Iran will be decided. Both Netanyahu and Barak are on record as pessimists when it comes to the possibility that sanctions or diplomacy will stop Tehran’s march toward nuclear weapons. Both have made it clear that Israel will have to rely on its armed forces to resolve the problem, whether or not Washington gives Jerusalem a green light.
Thinking in Jerusalem is currently focused on the period between July, when a further round of sanctions against Iran will kick in, and the American presidential elections in November. Netanyahu and Barak believe that President Obama will find it very difficult to punish Israel for attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities just before the elections, since Obama will need the help of Jewish donors and voters, and other supporters of Israel, to win. On the other hand, an Israeli strike after the November elections will incur Obama’s wrath—and, some fear, could translate into sanctions against Israel.
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD sheds its mask.
Some of us have seen through these guys all along. When I met with Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Essam El-Erian in Cairo he gave me the most bizarre and frankly deranged interview of my entire career so far.
IN THE WAKE OF THE SURGE: The Kindle version of my Iraq book, In the Wake of the Surge, has been reduced in price to 7.99.
NO SURPRISE THERE: Al Ahram reports that the Egyptian military has suspended the upcoming presidential elections.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Are Egypt and Israel gearing up for a fight?
I LINK, YOU DECIDE: World Affairs published two Iran-related pieces today. Elliot Abrams explains the grounds for an Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Robert Wexler, meanwhile, argues that the Israelis should wait.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Seemingly everyone in Libya has guns. The place is awash not just with AK-47s and the like, but also rocket-propelled grenade launchers, anti-aircraft guns, and lord knows what else.