Israel is backing down from her threats to bomb Iran.
In a scathing loss of face for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, diplomatic sources in Israel have revealed that President Shimon Peres will meet privately with President Obama at the White House before – repeat before Netanyahu.
High level sources in Israel have just leaked a sanitized version of the President’s plan to the Israeli press. But, there is much more to the story. In his meeting at the White House, Peres will inform Obama that Netanyahu has performed poorly in his handling of the Iran nuclear crisis and that bellicose statements from the Prime Minister’s cabinet have been both self-intimidating and self-destructive.
Then after meeting with Peres, Obama will address AIPAC and finally meet with Netanyahu to counsel him on the sad fact of the self-inflicted damage to the diplomatic credibility of his right-wing government. More on the diplomatic kabuki in due course.
According to a report in Haaretz, by Yossi Verter (February 22, 2012), entitled Peres to tell Obama Israel should not strike Iran soon,
“officials say President reportedly feels recent threats by Israeli spokesmen are unnecessary warmongering, believes Iran issue should be handled by superpowers. …
President Shimon Peres is expected to tell U.S. President Barack Obama early next month that he does not believe Israel should attack Iran in the near future.
Peres told officials that there is no point in what he called the “unceasing self-intimidation” being voiced by senior Israeli spokesmen. This is what he intends to tell Obama.
Peres has told officials that the recent threats by Israel are unnecessary warmongering and that Israel should leave the Iran issue to the superpowers, first and foremost the United States.
Peres leaves for the United States on Tuesday, and the following Sunday he is to meet with Obama in Washington on the sidelines of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.
Peres’ meeting with the U.S. president will take place a day before Netanyahu meets with Obama. Netanyahu will arrive in Washington after a visit to Canada.
When Obama meets with Netanyahu, he will already know what Peres thinks – information he will use in his meeting with Netanyahu.
Peres is expected to tell Obama that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is still the best Palestinian partner with whom to reach a peace agreement.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview yesterday that Israel will not bow to U.S. and Russian pressure in deciding whether to attack Iran.
Speaking on Channel 2, Lieberman rebuffed suggestions that warnings against striking Iran would affect Israeli decision making, saying the decision “is not their business.”