Haaretz reports: The U.S. national security adviser has shared with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the United States’ contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran.
According to a senior American official, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon briefed Netanyahu on the plans during Donilon’s visit to Israel two weeks ago. According to the official, who requested anonymity, Netanyahu hosted Donilon at a three-hour dinner. For part of the time, Israel’s national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, was on hand.
Donilon sought to make clear that the United States is seriously preparing for the possibility that negotiations will reach a dead end and military action will become necessary. He said reports of such preparations were not just a way to assuage Israel’s concerns.
Donilon’s talks in Jerusalem were the most significant so far between American and Israeli officials here in recent weeks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns have been in Israel as well.
Reuters reports: A senior Israeli official denied on Sunday a newspaper report that President Barack Obama’s national security adviser had briefed Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a U.S. contingency plan to attack Iran should diplomacy fail to curb its nuclear programme.
“Nothing in the article is correct. Donilon did not meet the prime minister for dinner, he did not meet him one-on-one, nor did he present operational plans to attack Iran,” the senior official, who declined to be named given the sensitivity of the issue, told Reuters.
Note: the Haaretz report does not claim this was a one-on-one meeting. Perhaps Donilon did not meet Netanyahu for dinner — maybe it was brunch. And Donilon wasn’t, according to Haaretz, presenting operational plans — he was presenting contingency plans.
While the Israelis present this non-denial denial, more significantly the White House is saying nothing. Why would Obama want to offer any revisions to this self-serving narrative while his competitor is in Israel?
Mitt Romney is shut behind closed doors hustling up donations from casino boss Sheldon Adelson and his buddies while Obama is pledging billions in aid, access to military technology previously withheld and the promise of a long-threatened war — all music to the ears of Netanyahu and the Israel lobby.