Sedra: Will Obama be successful in convincing Netanyahu not to strike Iran?
It is a shame that, in a US election year, there is precious little 'traction' in seeking to constrain the enthusiasm for war currently mounting in particular American and Israeli political circles. As I write these words, Obama is speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), desperate to convince the lobby that he "will take no options off the table" and he "will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests." That war with Iran would prove an utter catastrophe for the Middle East as a whole, to say nothing of the United States and its interests, seems not to factor into this reckless rhetoric. On the Iranian domestic scene, unyielding threats of military action serve as a pretext for the regime to continue clamping down on the reform movement. In the Arab world, where the 2011 uprisings have led to fiercer criticism of the double standards of US policy, ordinary people ask why Israel is deemed worthy of nuclear weapons while Iran is not. And if Israel strikes Iran, the already precarious Egypt-Israel peace treaty will almost certainly be relegated to the dust bin. Egypt may even reconsider its position in the current nonproliferation regime. I can only hope that US pressure on Israel behind the scenes is considerably greater than that currently applied in the glare of the public eye.