In recent weeks, Israelis have obsessively questioned whether Netanyahu and Barak are really planning a strike or if they are just putting up a front to pressure Europe and the U.S. to impose tougher sanctions. I believe that both of these things are true, but as a senior intelligence officer who often participates in meetings with Israel’s top leadership told me, the only individuals who really know their intentions are, of course, Netanyahu and Barak, and recent statements that no decision is imminent must surely be taken into account.
After speaking with many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012. Perhaps in the small and ever-diminishing window that is left, the United States will choose to intervene after all, but here, from the Israeli perspective, there is not much hope for that. Instead there is that peculiar Israeli mixture of fear — rooted in the sense that Israel is dependent on the tacit support of other nations to survive — and tenacity, the fierce conviction, right or wrong, that only the Israelis can ultimately defend themselves.