In two major national magazines this week, there are simultaneous articles on the confrontation between Israel and Iran over the latter’s probable development of nuclear weapons. The articles in The Atlantic and The New Yorker are written from two separate countries, but they could just as well have come from two different planets.
For his lengthy Atlantic piece, reporter Jeffrey Goldberg talked to more than 40 current and former Israeli military and civilian officials. He says there is a consensus that there is better than a 50 percent chance that Israel will strike Iran by next July — if the Islamic Republic is seen being three months away from assembling a nuclear bomb that could fit on a missile.
That strike could come without permission from the United States, even though the Israelis realize it might only postpone an Iranian bomb and create untold havoc in the region and beyond. In other words, some deadly serious business being discussed by the country’s top leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who talked at length with Goldberg shortly before returning to the premiership.