Netanyahu: "I Won"

That was the banner headline in Israel's Ma'ariv yesterday. The piece was apparently ghost-written by John Mearsheimer:

Netanyahu is pleased by the fact that the Americans failed, so he said, to twist his arm and that ultimately, in the duel between him and the Obama administration, he was the one who emerged with the upper hand. We did not make concessions on our red lines and they failed to make us fold and to drag us to places we didn’t want to go, said Netanyahu, according to people who heard him speak.

And the paper breathlessly predicts total Obama capitulation when Netanyahu visits Washington next week. Why this apparent volte-face by the president? Eli Bardenstein explains:

Political sources in Israel described the planned meeting as “the peak of the campaign for Israel and the Jews that has been pursued by the Obama administration in the past number of weeks.” ... Another reason for the administration’s desire to end the crisis is the fear of failure in the upcoming Congressional elections in November. “The Democratic Party’s coffers are empty. Many Democrat members of Congress and Senators have complained that if the hazing of Israel were to continue, they would be unable to obtain donations from Jews and were liable to lose the elections,” said one source in Washington.

Netanyahu understandably denies his gleeful trouncing of Obama. But he did win, triumphantly. Between the Israeli prime minister and the US president, few doubt who has the most clout. What concerns me most of all is that Netanyahu, having defeated the US president so easily on a minimal request, will take this as a green light for war against Iran.