THE SPINE JUNE 15, 2008
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (on whose board I sit) has just issued a task-force report on U.S. - Israel relations. Prepared by Dennis Ross, a peace processor from the Clinton days and frequent contributor to TNR (see, for example, here, here and here), and Robert Satloff, the head of the Institute and also a writer for TNR (see here and here), the document's insides have been scrutinized, worked over and finally approved by an across-the-board panel of the foreign policy intelligentsia, some of its conformists and many of its dissenters. And so reports Shmuel Rosner in Ha'aretz.Tony Lake and even Susan Rice from the Obama campaign have signed on, as have luminaries of the McCain effort like James Woolsey. Plus other serious folk like deeply independent, politically unpredictable terrorism-counterterrorism specialist Richard Clarke and former senator Bob Kerrey.Pay attention to this broad front because it deals specifically with "how to deepen US-Israeli cooperation on the Iranian nuclear challenge." It is critical of the National Intelligence Estimate's report on Tehran's atomic designs. Moreover, the analysis recognizes that "prevention" is an infinitely more preferable position to be in with Ahmadinejad's nukes than deterrence.I know this may convince Walt and Mearsheimer that the Israel/Jewish lobby has now co-opted some more of the foreign policy aristocracy, and they may now be left alone with James Baker and Zbigniew Bzrezinski upholding their Arabisant version of the national interest. God knows whether The Nation will have to endorse Ralph Nader who at least can be trusted to despise Israel.