In 2010, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aimed to provoke Iran into a war with Israel that would eventually drag in the United States. Yossi Melman at Al-Monitor:
The truth is that Netanyahu and Barak did not order the military to plan a direct, all-out attack on Iran. Their true intention was to trigger a chain of events which would create tension and provoke Iran, and eventually could have led to a war that might drag in the United States.
Think about the context of this. Netanyahu and Barak so desperately craved war that they sought to harass and threaten Iran in order to appear a credible and imminent enough threat that Iran would strike preemptively, despite being a much weaker power. And the US – Israel’s one major ally, their primary source of economic and military aid, the only reason the international community hasn’t forced them to stop committing crimes against the Palestinians – was to get dragged into this long and discretionary war.
American taxpayers are giving up $3 billion dollars a year, plus a poisoned political system where submissive deference to Israel is all but mandatory, to a country that literally planned to get thousands of our soldiers killed, hundreds of billions of our dollars wasted, and to destabilize the entire Middle East.
One such scary scenario was the possibility that Iranian intelligence could have noticed the Israeli military preparations and decided to stage a pre-emptive strike against Israel or US targets in the region. Israel, in such a situation, would have claimed that it was a victim of Iranian aggression and retaliated. America, too, could have found itself caught up in an unpredictable circle of violence.
Sources who were privy to the secret deliberations told me that Ashkenazi and Dagan eventually managed to convince the security cabinet and then the full cabinet, which are the only authorized bodies to decide on war and other vital issues, that Netanyahu and Barak were playing with fire and may not only ignite a regional war in the Middle East, but also ruin decades of close, intimate strategic cooperation with the US.
Imagine the outrage, the indignation, if it were publicly revealed that the leadership in any other country in the world did this to the United States. Can you even imagine any plausible scenario where aid and support would continue?
By the way, we’ve seen this kind of thinking before right here in the United States. In September, Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy caught a lot of attention when he suggested the United States should provoke Iran into starting a war. These examples should illustrate just how (un)necessary a war with Iran is, given that Iran seemingly refuses to be the one to start it.