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A wild card for Bam (NEW YORK POST EDITORIAL) 05/03/12) Source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/wild_card_for_bam_9h5XpYN0i3jDhJm5XqmWjO
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In a surprise development, Israel is moving to national elections this fall, more than a year ahead of schedule.
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And the result — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a heavy favorite — could affect the US presidential race.
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Netanyahu’s Likud party yesterday introduced a measure calling for the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to dissolve. It has the support of the other major parties, so elections for a new Knesset likely will be held Sept. 4.
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Although largely prompted by domestic developments, the election — not surprisingly — also will be seen as a referendum on Netanyahu’s hard line on Iran’s nuclear threat.
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He’s made no secret of his deep skepticism of the Obama administration’s diplomacy-and-sanctions approach.
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And he’s right to be skeptical, of course.
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Iran, after all, is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear-weapons capability.
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And Tehran likewise has made no secret of its lust to liquidate the state of Israel.
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US intelligence officials pretend Iran isn’t seeking to actually build nukes, while some political analysts suggest its rhetoric is mere bluster.
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But those aren’t assumptions any responsible Israeli leader can safely make.
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Which is why Netanyahu continually raises the possibility of an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
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Iran probably won’t be a major issue in the Israeli campaign, in which Netanyahu, riding high in the polls, is aided by a seriously splintered opposition.
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But it almost certainly will surface, and in a big way, in the fall contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney — as will the issue of US support for Israel generally under this administration.
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And the question will have to be asked as to which candidate is better prepared — or, perhaps more to the point, willing — to work with a freshly re-elected, politically strengthened Netanyahu to nullify the Iranian threat.
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One way or another. (Copyright 2012 NYP Holdings, Inc. 05/03/12)
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