The US leader was rebuffed last month when he demanded private guarantees that no strike would go ahead without White House notification, suggesting Israel no longer plans to “seek Washington’s permission”, sources said. The disclosure, made by insiders briefed on a top-secret meeting between America’s most senior defense chief and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s hawkish prime minister, comes amid concerns that Iran’s continuing progress towards nuclear weapons capability means the Jewish state has all but lost hope for a diplomatic solution.
On Tuesday, UN weapons inspectors released their most damning report to date into Iran’s nuclear activities, saying for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon. It was with that grave possiblity in mind that Leon Panetta, the US defense secretary, flew into Israel last month on what was ostensibly a routine trip.
Officially, his brief was restricted to the Middle East peace process, but the most important part of his mission was a private meeting with Mr Netanyahu and the defense minister, Ehud Barak. Once all but a handful of trusted staff had left the room, Mr Panetta conveyed an urgent message from Barack Obama. The president, Mr Panetta said, wanted an unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations without first seeking Washington’s clearance.
The two Israelis were notably evasive in their response, according to sources both in Israel and the United States.
“They did not suggest that military action was being planned or was imminent, but neither did they give any assurances that Israel would first seek Washington’s permission, or even inform the White House in advance that a mission was underway,” one said.
With O in office I can’t expect Israel to let him know in advance. Maybe in the very beginning of his presidency (benefit of the doubt, try to develop a good relationship) but not now. Especially as things have developed between them (remember comments caught last week with the open-mic?)/ China & Russia are roadblocking stricter sanctions being issued against Iran so despite the news and reminders issued in the IAEA report, things continue as they were. If you or I were an Israeli we would expect our government to protect us – true? The USA can fly thousands of drones into sovereign territories to kill people who are perceived to be enemies of our nation. Run unannounced feet on the ground missions to assassinate terrorists in sovereign nations. Do you see the hypocrisy of O?