Butters and Benjamin Netanyahu are both itching for a new war on Iran - and, in Butters' case, not just against their nuclear program but their entire conventional military, i.e. full-scale not just pre-emptive but punitive war on a regime the US government opposes. On what grounds in international law or just war theory, one wonders? Meanwhile, Larison thinks I'm wrong to link the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Israel-Iran grudge match:

Iran is not the threat hawks claim it is, and the more serious danger to Israel’s political future is the perpetuation of the occupation on account of demography and the ultimate unsustainability of a democratic government ruling over a subject majority. In other words, Israel’s government has mistakenly identified the minimal, deterrable threat as the urgent, immediate one, and treats the much more significant threat to its long-term survival as an acceptable, manageable situation.

The “linkage” argument essentially endorses this basic misunderstanding and tries to use it to dictate Israeli policy, when the right answer is to stop encouraging the Israeli government in the belief that Iran is an urgent, immediate threat that must be stopped and to discourage Israel very strongly from taking any arbitrary military action.

I take the point. I don't believe Iran's potential nuclear weapon capacity is an existential threat to the Jewish state; while the occupation of the West Bank surely is. I was presenting a way to persuade Israel of this, by noting that their interests align with the Sunni dictatorships and even Europe on Iran and yet they cannot really ally with them without ending the occupation. But since this is premised on the idea that the Israelis see containment and sanctions as enough - and they don't - it's probably not worth even trying to persuade them.

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