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Deciphering Biden

David Hazony and Jennifer Rubin both weighed in yesterday on VP Joe Biden’s comments about a possible Israeli strike on Iran. I wish I could see a silver lining in the interview. But I think the language used by the VP is purposely vague and could actually be construed the opposite way. Consider this:

Biden also said Israel is “entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that. But there is no pressure from any nation that’s going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed” — which means that a sovereign Israel may see Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat, but a sovereign America may not let such perception influence its policy of engagement: “What we believe is in the national interest of the United States, which we, coincidentally, believe is also in the interest of Israel and the whole world.”

Biden, in fact, seems to be saying that U.S. engagement with Iran is in Israel’s interest — not bombing. He goes on to say that this course of action is “in the national interest of the U.S.” — presumably a strike would sabotage engagement and thus run contrary to U.S. national interest. He adds that “coincidentally,” this behavior also serves Israel’s interest and the interest of the world community. How is a strike going to coincide with this interest? Biden’s statement could be just as easily construed as a warning to Israel — don’t do it, you are harming our interest and, in the process, yours as well. And the world’s — which means, if you go ahead, you are alone.

Of course, Israel is “sovereign” and can choose to isolate itself by standing in the way of the U.S. — but it may not be the wisest course of action. So don’t hold your breath — this administration will stay the course for now.

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