Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is dropping in for a quick visit to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa before heading off to a more important meeting with American President Barack Obama.
It’s more than a courtesy visit to Washington. The future of the world could be at stake. There could be a nuclear war.
Netanyahu is worried that Iran could have a nuclear bomb by the end of the summer and might use it on Israel.
So what does he do? Wait to see what Iran does, or attack Iran first, and try to destroy the Iranian bomb factory, if his spies can find it? Or does he line up the United States on his side, to threaten a U.S. nuclear attack on Iran, and scare Iranian political leaders into keeping their bomb to themselves.
So where does Stephen Harper fit in? Well, Harper is one of the few world leaders on Netanyahu’s side apart from Obama. So by coming first to Ottawa Netanyahu collects some good publicity on his way to Washington.
Netanyahu and Harper are planning to stand side by side at a Friday morning press conference. Then they walk along the corridors under flags of both countries for a chat.
We know Obama will urge Netanyahu to hang in there a little while longer before rushing off and bombing Iran.
Is Harper going to be a hawk and side with Netanyahu and contradict Obama or stick with Canada’s traditional policy of promoting peace, not war, in the Middle East.
Netanyahu said last Monday that Iran’s nuclear program “will be at the centre of our talks.”
Netanyahu may try to go over Obama’s head to American Jewish public opinion. This is an election year in the U.S. and Obama needs all the Jewish votes he can get.
His country is the only one in the world right now that can save Israel if Iran attacks. So Netanyahu needs Obama.
Obama helped out Netanyahu in January when he said Iran is the greatest threat to global security. The hawk talk pleased Netanyahu. There was another reason. Republican presidential contenders often claim Obama is soft on Iran.
Obama told the CBC: “In my judgment, these are people who have a particular fanatically religious worldview, and their statements imply no hesitation of use nuclear weapons if it achieves their religious or political purposes.”
Obama goes further than his military. The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, described Iran as a “rational actor” and said that right now an Iranian strike is not likely.
The fear among American military is that Israel, a less populous country, 9 million versus 90 million people in Iran, may choose to attack this spring, as early as April and quickly go down fighting or resort to nuclear war.
The last thing Obama needs is a world war in an election year – even less, nuclear war.
Israelis worry that if Iran builds the bomb this summer, it will be too late.
Sure the United States could strike back at Iran for attacking Israel, but that would be a little late for Israel wouldn’t it?