After US Rebuke, Israel Scrambles to Climb Down From War Rhetoric

Israeli Army Shuffle Seen as Evidence Attack Isn't Imminent

After Gen. Martin Dempsey’s comments last week laid out an extremely clear US opposition, Israeli officials are scrambling to re-frame their incredibly hawkish statements on attacking Iran.

Immediately after Gen. Dempsey’s comments Israeli officials were angry. Within a day they went from angry to puzzled. At this point they seem to be resigned to the idea that the comments were a game-changer, and for them a plan-changer.

Israeli officials had been hinting at launching the attack unilaterally in the weeks leading up to the US presidential election, but after the rebuke analysts say that they are preparing a “climbdown,” and the Obama Administration is likely to offer some sort of conciliatory effort.

The first sign of this shift came today, with the announcement of a shuffling of top Israeli military brass, including the appointment of a new operations chief, almost certainly not the action of a military planning a huge war in the next two months.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of