“US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon’s visit here two weeks ago was plainly another part of the Administration’s ongoing effort to convince the Israeli leadership that it is genuinely ready, capable and willing to resort to force if necessary — whether or not Donilon went into the specifics of a potential US strike, as Haaretz reported Sunday and the PMO denied.
Quietly, behind-the-scenes, too, the US is being careful to keep Israel fully in the loop regarding the progress — or lack thereof — on the diplomatic front, with Wendy Sherman, the US representative to the P5+1 talks, constantly updating and consulting with Israeli officials including National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror.
Yet the different emphases between Washington and Jerusalem are out there for all to hear. The president and his senior officials publicly reiterate their belief that time has not run out on diplomacy, and that sanctions are having an ever-greater impact. The prime minister and his key ministers declare repeatedly that diplomacy just gives Iran “a freebie” to expand its stocks of enriched uranium and work on its delivery systems, that sanctions are not sufficiently crippling and that, as Barak restated only last Thursday, dealing with a would-be nuclear Iran today will be a lot less complex and costly than tackling a nuclear Iran tomorrow.”