So far, Israel’s strategy for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons has not failed. But Bret Stephens’ piece in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, “Israel’s Failing Strategy,” provided a fine recipe for ensuring that it will. In it, the neocon columnist surpasses himself.
President Obama, asserts Stephens, has clearly demonstrated his unwillingness to strike Iran and, moreover, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also gone wobbly. Now the United States and Iran are making diplomatic overtures, putting Netanyahu in a political predicament for which “he largely has himself to blame for not acting in time.” To “get out of this trap”, Stephens advocates that Israel should downgrade its relations with Washington and unilaterally strike Iran, irrespective of whether progress is made in US-Iran talks. Any conclusion this outlandish can only be founded on faulty premises, and Stephens’ assessment is no exception.