Over at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg says that the “most consequential news from the Middle East today” is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s promise to keep oil prices under $100 a barrel. Why does this matter? Argues Goldberg:
Because it clears the way for an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. I’m not suggesting coordination between Israel and Saudi Arabia on this, any more than I would ever suggest that Superpacs coordinate with presidential campaign staffs. I’m merely noting that one factor that inhibits Israel from striking at Iran is fear that an attack will cause Iran to retaliate against Persian Gulf shipping (among other things), which would cause oil prices to skyrocket, which would, of course, generate a fair amount of anger directed against Israel.
The “blame Israel first” crowd continues to interpret the Iran-US crisis as an example of a sinister Israel lobby pushing the US into a war to serve the ambitions of the Jewish state. Not only does this analysis miss the vital US interests at stake in the region and the threat Iran poses to a balance of power the United States needs, it misses the reality that for several years now some of the strongest, most consistent pressures on Washington to act against Iran have come from the Arab world.The Arab Lobby’s strong pressure for war against Iran is a major factor in French, British and even German hawkishness as well in this crisis.But the blame Israel firsters don’t care; if we have a war with Iran they will know who to blame.