Obama Threatened to Shoot Down Israeli Jets Attacking Iran Nuclear Facilities
One indication of the parlous state of the U.S.-Israel relationship in the Age of Obama is a story issued by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reporting that in 2012, President Obama threatened to shoot Israeli planes out of the sky if they were sent to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. The Al Jarida story was picked up by Ma’an, a news agency based in Bethlehem. It was then picked up by an Israeli news site, and has since reached Western media outlets.
The report indicated that President Obama’s alleged threat forced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel an attack that had been carefully planned. Israeli pilots, according to the account, trained for the bombing raid over a period of weeks and were even able to penetrate Iranian airspace undetected on a trial run. Al Jarida also reported that the Netanyahu and his ministers decided to thwart any US-Iranian deal as posing an existential threat to Israel.
While this report has since been challenged, there can be no mistaking President Obama’s tilt toward Iran, which has extended throughout his presidency. When the Iranian people began a rebellion against the mullahs early in Obama’s term, he offered no statement of encouragement, and in fact discouraged the rebellion, announcing that he felt he could successfully negotiate with the mullahs.
This was the rebellion in which the regime opened fire on Iranian civilians in the streets, with the murder of one Iranian woman, identified only as “Neda” being captured on video.
As for Israel, any strike planned by Netanyahu in 2012 against Iranian nuclear facilities would have been Israel’s third against a nuclear facility. In 1981, the Israeli Air Force took out a suspected nuclear site in Iraq, and in 2007, they took out a suspected site in Syria. Twice Israel has protected America from extremist regimes that sought nuclear weapons to be used either to blackmail modern societies, very much including the U.S., or to attack them. At this point, a decision by Israel not to strike at the Iranian nuclear facilities would constitute a break from past practice.
Netanyahu recently addressed the U.S. Congress, over President Obama’s vociferous objections. The Prime Minister announced that the days when Jews would remain passive in the face of attacks against them, or against the Jewish state, were over. Let’ s hope that, for the sake of America’s own security if not also for Israel’s, he meant what he said.