Burman: Will Obama be successful in convincing Netanyahu not to strike Iran?

By: /
March 5, 2012
Ryerson School of Journalism, world affairs columnist for the Toronto Star, and former head of Al Jazeera English and CBC News

In any rational world, the answer would be “yes”. If an attack happened, the biggest loser would be Israel. Iran’s retaliation would be brutal, and it would further isolate Israel in the region. An attack would also only delay Iran’s nuclear development by a year or two. Incredibly, it would come when sanctions against Iran are actually working, the regime in Tehran has never been weaker and U.S. officials don’t believe Iran has yet decided to make a nuclear bomb. Polls in the last two weeks indicate that both Israelis and Americans are skeptical of Netanyahu’s war-mongering. Only 19% of Israelis would support an attack without U.S. support, and 51% of Americans want the U.S. to remain neutral. Obama has sadly developed a track record of caving in to excessive Israeli demands. But my guess is that this time, with so much at stake, Obama The Realist will win over Netanyahu The Neighbourhood Bully.