By his own account, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to Washington this month with two goals. One was to continue his 15-year campaign to push Iran’s nuclear program to the top of the world’s agenda. That mission was accomplished, Netanyahu declared to the Knesset on Wednesday. The other aim was to hear Washington acknowledge that Israel has the right to launch a military operation on its own against Iran if it sees fit. “This position was positively received in the United States, I would even say in the most profound way,” he said.Sponsored Ads
With that, the Israeli Premier launched an extended argument for defying American requests for restraint and going ahead with a strike on Iran. He cited as precedent the bold calls of three of his predecessors: David Ben-Gurion’s decision to announce independence in 1948 despite the U.S. Secretary of State’s advice to wait; Levi Eshkol’s decision to launch the 1967 Six-Day War despite President Lyndon Johnson’s warning; and Menachem Begin’s 1981 decision to strike Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Osirak (though Ronald Reagan appeared mostly amused when he heard about that strike, famously remarking, “Boys will be boys!”).