Israel: We Will Attack Iran Without Warning US

US officials trying hard to convince them not to strike

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 28, 2012 7:48 AM CST

(Newser) – Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak have been quietly telling every American official who visits Israel the same thing: When Israel strikes Iran, it won't warn the US first, a US intelligence official tells the AP. In part, that's a courtesy; Israel believes keeping the US in the dark will minimize the blame the US takes for not stopping the attack. But it's also a rebuke, because Israel has become convinced the US won't strike Iran, and won't back Israel up if it does.

The US is desperately trying to talk Israel out of such a strike, arguing that it would amount to little more than a temporary setback for Iran's nuclear ambitions. But outwardly the two nations are trying to project an image of unity, with Barak visiting Washington this week and Netanyahu visiting next week. Intelligence officials, meanwhile, have been trying to break the impasse, offering to let Israel use US bases to launch the attack in exchange for advance warning.

Israeli F-15 fighter jets refuel during an air show at the graduation ceremony of Israeli pilots in the Hatzerim air force base, June 30, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP)
Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak speaks during a panel session at the Open Forum Davos 2012, Jan. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Patrick B. Kraemer)
An Israeli F-15 fighterjet lands during an air show at the graduation ceremony of Israeli pilots in the Hatzerim air force base, June 30, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP)
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