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Netanyahu and Barak Gambling With Israeli Lives, US Relations

Yossi Melman writes that Israel's prime minister and defense minister are clearly preparing the groundwork for a cabinet vote on whether to bomb Iran. Why the rush? Netanyahu and Barak may be trying to provoke Iran to lose its nerve and stage a pre-emptive strike, which is dangerous enough, but they should also take care to preserve US support.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits across from Defence Minister Ehud Barak during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem March 11, 2012. Israeli aircraft on Sunday killed three Palestinians medical sources in Gaza said, and militants fired rockets into Israel in a third day of cross-border attacks. "We are at the height of this round (of violence), " Netanyahu told his cabinet. "We have exacted a heavy price from them and we will continue to act as needed."  REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - T

TEL AVIV — Ehud Barak is playing with fire, and we may all get burned. Based on the Israeli defense minister’s declarations in recent weeks, on and off the record, it seems that he stands solidly with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program. They are clearly preparing the groundwork for a fateful vote by the Israeli cabinet on whether to bomb Iran.

Their target date seems to be sometime in October, after the Jewish high holidays next month — in part before bad weather may make the skies over Iran impenetrable to Israel’s air force, but also because they feel less certain of support by the United States after America’s election day on November 6.

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