Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak to Congress tomorrow to discuss the threat a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to Israel, the region and the world. But in a different historical timeline, he might not have been, putting his energies into military cleanup actions closer to home instead.
From the Zionist Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva:
Report: Obama Threatened to Shoot Down IAF Iran Strike
The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
Following Obama's threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.
According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel's back.
The report claimed that an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
I obviously can't confirm or document what Obama actually did or didn't tell Netanyahu, but the paper goes on to cite Zbigniew Brzezinski as the original source of the option, based on an interview he gave The Daily Beast back in 2009:
Former US diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski, who enthusiastically campaigned for Obama in 2008, called on him to shoot down Israeli planes if they attack Iran. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” said the former national security advisor to former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“We have to be serious about denying them that right,” he said. “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a 'Liberty' in reverse.’"
Denying America's oldest ally in the Middle East the opportunity to preemptively defend itself against an existential nuclear threat not only to its own survival but but also to setting off a region-wide nuclear arms race, on the pain of physically shooting down its Air Force (and who would prevail there?) seems to me an awfully high price to pay for some watery thin porridge of Obama's personal legacy deal with Iran as currently constituted.
But a true national leader - unlike what we have - does what he has to do, so tomorrow Netanyahu will be in Washington, hat in hand, trying to convince Congress simply to strengthen sanctions against Iran rather than giving them the nuclear store.