Extraordinary Traffic Between Tel Aviv and Washington

I'm traveling overseas just now, so blogging will be light, but I couldn't let this small observation go unmentioned: If you had just emerged from a cave, and had no idea if Israel and Iran were at war, and the only data point you had was the extraordinary traffic between Washington and Tel Aviv -- every senior defense official of both Israel and the U.S. more or less continuously in flight to either the Pentagon or the Kirya, the Israeli defense ministry in Tel Aviv -- you would probably make the assumption that open warfare had already begun, or that it was about to begin. Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, is now heading, again, to Washington, a few days before his prime minister; the traffic toward Israel has been relentless, as well: Not a week goes by in which the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, or the director of national intelligence, or other figures of equivalent rank, is not heading toward Israel. Presumably, the Israeli message is, We can't wait any longer. The American message is, please wait, we've got this. It definitely feels as if we are reaching a climax in this ongoing drama. I hope not, of course. I believe there is time. But the American reaction to the Israelis suggests that the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu believes there is no time. 

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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