That was the word from an unnamed top Israeli official, familiar with the ongoing conversation, in comments to Reuters. The debate within Israel over the attack, which reached a fevered pace just weeks ago, has come to a virtual halt, and the new coalition government has stopped talking about the upcoming war in public, apparently satisfied that they have won the argument.
“Nobody is saying anything publicly,” noted another official, who termed the situation a sort of “lockdown” for Israel’s cabinet leadership. Even the question of when the war will start seems to be answered, with officials pointing again to the weeks leading up to the US election.
“The window of opportunity is before the U.S. presidential election in November. This way they will bounce the Americans into supporting them.” Obama aides have likewise referred to the weeks before the vote as the “sweet spot” for the war.
It is this near certitude about the wisdom of starting a war that has Israeli officials scared to death of the P5+1 negotiations next week in Baghdad. Though the US is always around to try to foil any deals reached, the latest word has been that the sides are making serious progress, and could spoil Netanyahu’s crusade into Tehran.