Panetta Says ‘No Decision Made,’ But War Fever Picks Up Pace in Israel

Netanyahu Leaves Little Doubt of Eagerness to Attack Iran

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta today insisted, as he so often does, that “no decision” has been made by Israel on attacking Iran. Usually the claim warrants little reaction, but today it rings so enormously hollow that it is attracting a lot of attention.

For the past week Israel’s media has told a decidedly different story, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loudly selling the war to anyone who will listen. Polls show Israel’s public nowhere near convinced of the war, but as Netanyahu will remind you, he’s the decider.

For the past 30 years Israel has gone into bouts of “war fever” getting fired up at the prospect of an imminent attack on Iran. This time feels different though, and media coverage is telling the story of a hysteria between Netanyahu and Barak, with the two bent on starting this war come hell or high water.

The paperwork may not be filled out, but the idea that a “decision” hasn’t been made seems disingenuous at this point. Benjamin Netanyahu has most assuredly decided to hitch his legacy to the idea of starting a war on Iran, and while it is still possible the nation’s high court or its military or even his own cabinet might stop him before it is too late, it isn’t a matter of making a decision.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of