A new twist in President Obama’s relationship with Israel: Though he was publicly calling for more concessions to Palestine, the president also covertly approved Israel’s longstanding request for “bunker buster” bombs. Some 55 of the special weapons were sent to Israel just after Obama entered office, officials from the US and Israel tell Newsweek. The bombs could be effective in an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Israel had first sought the bombs in 2005; two years later, President Bush told then-PM Ehud Olmert that he’d have the weapons ready in 2009 or 2010. Obama delivered the weapons in early 2009, insiders say. US military chiefs were OK with the sale, says one, but feared it could be interpreted by Israelis and Iranians as a “green light” for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Obama also ordered “the military to ratchet up the cooperation at every level with Israel,” says a Democratic rep. Newsweek's full piece comes out on Monday. (Read more President Obama stories.)