Ehud Barak Leon Panetta hug 390.
(photo credit: Ariel Harmoni / GPO)
Whether it’s because elections are in the air or because of real disagreements
between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on how
to engage the Obama administration on Iran, sources close to Barak insisted this
week that he is the key to maintaining a sturdy bridge between Jerusalem and
And it is this bridge, the sources believe, that must not be
damaged for any reason, for it is crucial to Israel’s national
According to these sources, the alliance with the US will be
paramount if and when a security escalation occurs due to the fall of the Assad
regime. In this regard, Israeli and American defense planners are believed to be
holding intensive discussions on contingency options to deal with unguarded
chemical weapons that could fall into the hands of terrorists.
decides to go it alone and strike Iran’s nuclear sites without American
cooperation or approval, it would still require support from Washington to avoid
diplomatic isolation the day after, Barak’s associates have argued.
further these and other goals, such as Israel’s evolving missile defense
program, which is largely financed by the US, Barak is working with the Obama
Administration, the Pentagon and both parties in Congress, the associates
On Wednesday, Channel 2 cited Netanyahu as having accused Barak with
stoking divisions between the two countries, and then presenting himself as the
“savior.” Irrespective of who is right, some members of the public are likely to
be unsettled by the fact that public feuding is taking place in the highest
echelons of Israel’s leadership as the region burns with instability and the
threat posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons program is far from being lifted.