Jeffrey Goldberg believes that Israel will likely attack Iran before July 2011. He arrived at his conclusion from interviewing Israeli leaders. He rates the odds of an attack at over 50%.
Israel likes to tie up neighbors in negotiations, not wanting to fight a multi-front war. Fatah President Abbas isn't rushing to the negotiating table. Gaza is in shambles.
Lebanon is in the midst of a spat with the United States over military aid being used against Israel. Iran offers to fill in any gap left by U.S. withdrawal of support. U.S. officials took umbrage at this gesture.
Rep. Howard Berman put a hold on $100 million in U.S. military aid for Lebanon. Is the U.S. trying to lock up Lebanon before an Israeli attack on Iran? Howard Berman spilled the beans before Israel pummeled Gaza in December 2008.
On December 18, 2008 Berman's interview with the Jerusalem Post stated:
"There is obviously a big price to pay for deciding to take military action, but I think the US should support the Israeli decision on this.”
Tony Blair did likewise, implicating Obama's top foreign aids, General James L. Jones and Hillary Clinton as approving a change in strategy. Bombs fell December 27, 2008.
Stick wielding leaders draw in the sand. If Israel is to attack Iran's nuclear plant, they must do it soon. It's scheduled to open in September. Otherwise, they'll have to bomb a reactor with fuel rods.
As for Howard Berman, he told the Jerusalem Post, "he became a Zionist, before he became a Democrat." I take it he's operating from that perspective. As for Obama, he's remarkably consistent with his predecessor on Israel. Blair pointed to Iran in the midst of Gaza's razing. Is it their turn?
Update: Romania has said it will stand by Israel in the case of an Israeli attack on Iran.
Update 2: Abbas will decide whether to enter direct negotiations with Israel. Formal talks could begin within days.
Update 3: Russia to load nuclear fuel into Bushehr reactor on August 21.