New York Times commentator Thomas Friedman
praised US President Barack Obama
on Wednesday for redefining the Iranian issue as not being simply about Israel’s security, but about US national security and global security.
"The only question I have when it comes to President Obama and Israel
is whether he is the most pro-Israel president in history or just one of the most," he said.
Friedman also claimed that the US should lead the international effort against Iran adding that "America is the only country that can truly take down Iran’s nuclear program." Friedman said that if it comes to war the US will to act to protect the global system, not just Israel.
He noted that the decision whether to attack Iran or not coincides with the US election year. "The last thing Israel or American friends of Israel — Jewish and Christian — want is to give their enemies a chance to claim that Israel is using its political clout to embroil America in a war that is not in its interest." This could easily happen, he said, because backing for Israel today has never been more politicized.
He added that "money in politics has never been more important for running campaigns, and the Israel lobby — both its Jewish and evangelical Christian wings — has never been more influential, because of its ability to direct campaign contributions to supportive candidates."
Friedman also cautioned of "the unintended and unanticipated consequences of the Iraq war or Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. That’s not a reason for paralysis. It’s a reason to heed Obama’s call to give diplomacy and biting sanctions a chance to work, while keeping the threat of force on the table."