**Posted by Phineas
Israeli journalist Caroline Glick thinks they did:
Since last week’s announcement by the State Department that it was sanctioning the Israeli firm Ofer Brothers’ Shipping for reportedly violating US law by trading with Iran, there has been a deluge of news reports alleging that the Ofer Brother’s ships were used by the Mossad and perhaps the IDF to infiltrate and exfiltrate agents into and out of Iran.
There are number of troubling aspects to the story. First, it strikes me as odd that the announcement about the sanctions was made by the State Department. If I am not mistaken, these decisions and announcements are usually made by the Treasury Department. Why would the State Department have taken the unusual step of announcing the sanctions and take the step against an Israeli shipping company?
Second, it strikes me as odd that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan felt compelled to issue an impassioned defense of the Ofer Brothers Shipping company. Dagan is in the midst of an unprecedented, arguably illegal and certainly unseemly campaign to delegitimize Prime Minister Binyamin Netayahu. It seems strange that, in the midst of this offensive, Dagan would divert his attention to the Ofer Brothers Shipping woes. He must have been deeply shocked by the US move to do so.
The third reason this is so shocking is that the timing of the announcement cannot be viewed as coincidental. The rare State Department announcement came just after Netanyahu wiped the floor with Obama in the Congress and as the Republicans are wisely using Obama’s hatred of Israel and his love for anti-American political forces in the region as a campaign issue for 2012. It is hard not to reach the conclusion that the announcement was deliberately released at this juncture to weaken US public support for Israel.
In other words, in a fit of pique because Netanyahu dared to stand up for his country’s interests (1), Obama (2) burned an important Israeli intelligence asset, one valuable to our security, too, given our interests in foiling the mullah’s plans to develop and deploy nuclear weapons.
If Glick is right, this is an absolutely appalling exercise in self-defeating pettiness on the part of the Obama administration. There is no greater nor more urgent issue facing American national security than keeping a bunch of religious fanatics who want to bring about the Shiite apocalypse from getting their hands on nukes. This matter is so serious that, in my opinion, Tehran’s imminent possession of nuclear weapons justifies war.
But, instead, we pimp-slap our closest allies in the region, the people who probably planted the Stuxnet virus that slowed down Iran’s program and who likely have assets in place we would need in a showdown. As Glick asks, how on Earth are the Israelis supposed to trust us after something like this?
All because Obama made a fool of himself and Netanyahu wouldn’t back down.
I really hope Glick is wrong about this, because it otherwise says some dark and scary things about the maturity and seriousness of the people running our foreign policy in a very dangerous world.
And I sure hope 2013 sees the adults back in charge.
(1) Evidently an alien concept to certain presidents.
(2) Because you know he either originated this or approved the idea. This wouldn’t happen without him.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)