Netanyahu Lands in NYC, Heading to UN
The plane carrying Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu landed in New York Thursday morning and Netanyahu is to address the U.N. General Assembly at 1:00 p.m. local time (7:00 p.m. Israel time).
News reports quoting sources in Netanyahu's entourage said Thursday that in his speech, he will, for the first time, spell out the specific "red lines" that he believes must trigger an attack on Iran, should Iran cross them.
Netanyahu has said that Iran needs to be told in no uncertain terms that if it crosses particular thresholds in its nuclear weapons program, it will be militarily attacked.
U.S. President Barack Obama has repeatedly said that he will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons. However, he has also obstinately insisted, ever since taking office, that Iran could still be persuaded to abandon its nuclear weapons ambition through diplomacy coupled with sanctions.
U.S. warships have amassed in the Persian Gulf, where they recently held maneuvers along with allied navies. However, Israel's leadership does not fully trust Obama to take action against Iran before it obtains a nuclear weapon, and probably suspects that his pro-Islamic sentiment makes him averse to launching a war against a Muslim country. Action against a country that already possesses a nuclear weapon may prove impossible.
Since the U.S. under Obama refuses to threaten Iran in a way that would cause it to stop its nuclear weapons development, it has fallen on the shoulders of Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu to stand at the helm of the effort to intimidate the Islamist regime. This is not a comfortable position for Israel, which does not have the U.S.'s superpower status.
Through intense diplomatic efforts, and by showing that Israel intends to take action against Iran on its own if need be, Netanyahu has succeeded in turning the world's attention on Iran. While not taking sides in the U.S. election, it is highly probable that he hopes Republican Mitt Romney will win the White House in November, and that Romney will not leave Israel dangling in the wind in the face of the Iranian threat as Obama has.
Should Obama defeat Romney, Israel may have no choice but to strike Iran on its own. If the U.S. does not join this war, the conflict's escalation may be swift and Israel may have to resort to using unconventional weapons itself. This, in turn, will have unforseeable consequences, and could cause other Muslim countries to join the fray.
A war in which the U.S. is involved from the outset would probably end much more quickly and less unpredictably, seeing as the U.S. military is huge in comparison to Iran's and can swiftly crush the Islamic regime's armed force. The U.S. defense budget is said to be 100 times larger than Iran's.
U.S. voters, however, are tired of the fighting in the Middle East after two protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many of them may find comfort in Obama's perception that there is no real need for U.S. action in the Middle East. While many Americans see Israel as an strong ally that shares a common culture and Bible-based faith, others see Israel as a manipulative country that wants the U.S. to fight its wars for it. Even the U.S. press is trying to depict Israel as meddling in the U.S. election.
Netanyahu is bound to have all of these things in mind as he addresses the U.N.