“Ha,” renowned Middle East expert Barry Rubin replied when asked by The Daily Caller if Israelis believe President Obama has their back in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat, as he recently publicly proclaimed.
“Of course not. And everyone knows it, even though they need to be polite in public since Israel must deal with the president that American people elected.”
Rubin is a professor at the Interdisciplinary Center (ICD) in Herzliya, Israel and director of the ICD Global Research in International Affairs Center. A prolific author of well over a dozen books on the Middle East, American foreign policy and the origins of anti-Americanism, Rubin’s latest book is an introduction to Israel appropriately entitled, “Israel: An Introduction.”
“The most important theme is one that was once central but has generally been forgotten: Israel is a remarkable success story,” Rubin said of his new book.
“We should remember the difficulties it faced in transforming a land without resources, surviving so much hostility, and turning a people with many differences and no military or governmental experience into a stable and prosperous democratic nation.”
TheDC recently talked to Rubin about his new book, the turmoil in the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear threat and much more. See the full interview below:
You have previously written that you don’t believe Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities? Do you still believe that? Or do you think that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is now seriously considering a strike?
Not exactly. What I have written is that there was never a possibility that Israel would attack Iran now, meaning 2012. There is a high possibility of an attack in the 2013-2015 period.
Do Israelis trust President Obama to have their back, as he recently declared he did?
Ha. Of course not. And everyone knows it, even though they need to be polite in public since Israel must deal with the president that American people elected.
Do you believe a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel?
Of course it is an existential threat. The question is whether that threat can be dealt with by means other than an attack to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. I believe that there is a better alternative strategy, which is a U.S.-backed Israeli ability to attack Tehran’s facilities if it needed to do so, plus real credible containment and a multi-level defensive system. Let’s remember, by the way, that when the Democratic Party’s single largest contributor asked Sen. Hillary Clinton what she would do in the face of an Iranian nuclear threat to attack Israel, she said she would flatten them. Sen. Barack Obama said he would study the matter. Obama’s weakness and waste of time has made things much worse and has made a future war more, not less, likely.
What do you think have been President Obama’s greatest weaknesses handling the crises in the Middle East that have arisen during his tenure?
His misunderstanding and romance with anti-American, anti-Semitic revolutionary Islamists. His embrace of the Islamist regime in Turkey. His slowness and uncertainty in countering Iran’s growing power, with the conventional and subversive means used by Tehran being as dangerous as nuclear weapons. His failure to support Israel and his making the diplomatic peace process worse. It is a very long list.