Yossi Melman at PostGlobal

Yossi Melman

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Melman is a senior commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He specializes in intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. An author of seven books on these topics, his most recent book, The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran was published recently by Carroll & Graf. Close.

Yossi Melman

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Melman is a senior commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He specializes in intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. An author of seven books on these topics, his most recent book, The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran was published recently by Carroll & Graf. more »

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Israel Won't Move Without U.S. Approval

The recent leaks to the U.S. news media (New York Times and ABC News) have created a wrong impression and sent a false message that an Israeli attack on Iran is imminent. Far from the truth. No decision to attack Iran has been made in Israel. Certainly no date has been fixed. Israel will decide, if at all, to disrupt Iran's nuclear program only as a last resort after international diplomacy fails. More importantly, such a decision will be taken only after serious consultation with the American administration. Coordinating its actions with America is the key factor in all Israeli crucial decisions. This has been the Israeli practice since 1967. Israel launched its combat campaigns since then only after realizing or understanding that the U.S. either sanctions the military operation or has no objection to it or turn a blind eye. These were the cases in June 1967, in June 1982 and in July 2006. In two other cases Israel didn't respond as it had wished, fearing that the U.S. would be against it. In October 1973, the Israeli cabinet, led by Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, decided against a preemptory strike against Egypt and Syria. For the same reason, In January 1991 Israel didn't respond to the launching of 40 Iraqi Scud missiles against its urban centers. The George H. W. Bush administration said to Israel: don't do it. So Israel didn't do it. If the U.S. doesn't approve an Israeli military operation, Israel will not attack Iran. Full stop.

True the recent leaks may well serve Israeli interests to increase the pressure on the international community to act against Iran but above all they reflect confusion and power struggle within the U.S. administration in the twilight time of a weak administration. We are still far away - a matter of at least one year - before Israel will realize that it has no other option to attack Iran's nuclear sites. And even then it would be a cautious decision, taking into consideration all the ramifications on Israel, the region and the world. And, once again, only after consulting with the next administration.

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