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

By: /
March 4, 2012

The relationship between the two is not warm. Right-wing nationalist opinion in Israel and the Jewish diaspora is wary of Obama, and this is an election year so the president needs to be cautious. On the other hand, the broad American public is unlikely to support another war in the close aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are other possibly determining factors. The first is the Republican primaries that may well assure Obama's re-election. Netanyahu will need to pay attention to the likelihood that Obama may be around for a long long time.

The second factor is financial: Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. economic and military aid in American history, amounting to billions of dollars a year, so Israel can assert its independence only so far.

Putting this together my guess is that Obama won't budge. In any event, the diplomatic dance will say volumes about the balance of power in Israel, in the White House, and in Congress.