Israeli Officials Consider Attacking Iran, Believing Trump Won’t Oppose It

Israel's long-time ambition for Iran War may be coming to a head

The New York Times may have referred to it as “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran,” but it’s hardly a secret that Israeli and US hawks have been angling for a war against Iran for decades.

Trying to advance a war narrative is a high priority for the hawks, and recent reports suggest that the Netanyahu government is once again actively considering just unilaterally attacking Iran without US permission.

That may seem like a very bold move, but some in the cabinet are arguing it really isn’t, saying Trump’s determination to be the most pro-Israel president ever means he’s probably not do anything to actively oppose Israeli aggression.

In recent history, of course, US policy has been to ignore Israeli aggression, or outright endorse it internationally. Israeli officials had reason to believe that President Obama would resist an attack however during their last major run-up to an attack, in 2012, which they ultimately called off.

Timing may be the key to any immediate attack. Israel faces elections in just two weeks, and Netanyahu’s recent attacks on “Iranian proxies” across the region were already seen as a bid for a last minute bump. He may believe, with polls still showing him trailing, that a direct attack is the next step.

The history of Israel’s foreign policy in recent years, indeed decades has been heavily Iran-centric, both with the various governments playing up Iran as an existential threat, and lobbying heavily to keep the US from making any positive diplomatic efforts.

This long-time acrimony is no secret to Iran, either, which is why Iran has spent the past decades building up its air defenses and potential retaliation in the event the long-threatened attack happens.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.