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Why Israel really advocates war on Iran
Mohammed Ayoob
Adjunct Scholar
3/13/2012

During the past few weeks the drums of war have been beating loud and clear. Prime Minister Netanyahu, during his meeting with President Obama and his speech to AIPAC, made it very clear that Israel reserves the right to attack Iran if it comes to it - even against the wishes of the United States. Ostensibly the difference between Washington and Tel Aviv seems to be on the issue of timing. This, in turn, is based on divergent interpretations of where the red line should be drawn in terms of Iran’s presumed nuclear capacity. While a highly subjective definition of “nuclear capability” appears to be the red line for Israel, “weaponization” or at least clear evidence of it is Washington’s preferred red line.

This semantic difference hides a fundamental disjuncture between American and Israeli approaches to the subject. Israel defines the red line in terms of its narrow strategic and political interests in the Middle East…


Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor of International Relations at Michigan State University and adjunct scholar at ISPU.

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