War, like politics, has a habit of making strange bedfellows. Just when we’d heard that Bibi Netanyahu had a clear 8-6 majority in the cabinet favoring a war against Iran, we hear a new report that Avigdor Lieberman and his two Yisrael Beitenu ministers may join other opponents of an attack and throw a major wrench into the proceedings. That means that Dan Meridor, Eli Yishai, Bogie Yaalon, and Benny Begin will join Lieberman and his two colleagues, making the vote 7-7, by my count. If you speak Hebrew, you can watch this segment in which the correspondent covers this story. It begins around the 16:00 mark.
For the life of me I don’t understand why Lieberman and Yaalon oppose the war. They’re among the most rapid Arab-haters and as far-right and hawkish as any Israeli leader can be. There may be an explanation for Lieberman’s opposition, though. He, as I’ve written here before, is a close ally of the Kremlin. In fact, Israelis who accuse him of corruption and other sins claim he is an agent, bought and paid for, of the Russians. The truth? Who can say? But I definitely would not dismiss this rumor out of hand. Lieberman is about as dirty as they come.
Yaalon, according to the Israeli media, opposes an attack on Iran because he hates Ehud Barak’s guts (both were former IDF chiefs of staff with very different politics). Talk about pettiness. But hey, I don’t care what their reason is. I don’t look gift horses in the mouth.
At any rate, Lieberman on an international tour told Yediot that an Israeli strike against Iran would be a “nightmare.” He deferred to his Chinese hosts saying they had enormous leverage with Iran, which he asked them to utilize on Israel’s behalf.