Jackson Diehl is probably the smartest foreign affairs columnist writing today, but he misses something crucial about Israel and Jewish history in his current column. He writes:

Contrary to what it would like Iran and the rest of the world to believe, Israel would not attack Tehran's nuclear facilities without U.S. consent. Militarily, it would be next to impossible; politically, it would be suicidal to flout the United States on a matter of such strategic importance. If there is armed action against Iran during the next several years, it will be because Netanyahu somehow persuades or compels Obama to overrule the prevailing judgment of the U.S. government, which is that an attack is not a viable option.

But national suicide is a Jewish specialty! For instance, those schmucks on Masada, and Bar-Kochba. Not to mention the settlement movement. I'm not sure that wanting to protect yourself from the Iranian nuclear program qualifies as national suicide (and I'm not sure an Israeli attack would bring about a permanent rupture in American-Israeli relations), but I'm reasonably sure that settlements are self-destructive. Here's why. For more on the general subject, I recommend reading Yehoshafat Harkabi. 

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