Maariv quoted an unnamed diplomatic source in Jerusalem Sunday who bluntly called US President Barack Obama a "coward" for stepping back from an attack on Syria.
"Obama is a coward; it is obvious that he does not want to attack and is looking for reinforcement [for this approach]. It is hard to believe that after Congress turns down his request, he will go on an operation like this on his own, without support from the international community, without the suport of public opinion and without Congress,” the source said.
Maariv says that while Israel's official position on the possible intervention in Syria is a neutral one, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would very much like to see a limited US strike in Syria, which would bring back credible US deterrence to the region.
However, sources in the prime minister's office told the newspaper that the Obama administration does not want to become involved in Middle Eastern wars. Netanyahu is concerned, they said, that US hesitancy on acting in Syria also sends a negative message to Iran, that the US will not act militarily to stop Tehran's nuclear weapons program.
The sources added that US vacillation means that Israel will probably have to take action on its own against Iran's nuclear weapons project.