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Israel’s concerns about Iran, and its difficulties in coordinating with America on how to stop the Islamist regime, came to a head last night in a remarkable TV documentary, “Uvda” (Fact), on Channel 2.

In the show, Netanyahu vowed to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear program by whatever means necessary — even in outright defiance of American objections — if neither sanctions, nor other international action, achieves that goal.

When it was put to him that the US has opposed a unilateral Israeli resort to force, Netanyahu said Obama had stated that Israel has the right to defend itself as it sees fit, and that Israel dare not entrust its future to others, even to the United States. Israel’s prime ministers had ignored US disapproval in establishing the country in 1948 and preempting the Arab attack in the 1967 war, Netanyahu noted.

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert arrives to the District Court in Jerusalem, September, 2012 (photo credit: Oren Nahshon/Flash90)
Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmertt(photo credit: Oren Nahshon/Flash90)

A major theme of the hour-long program featured withering criticism by former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who is considering making a political comeback ahead of January’s general elections, of the handling of the Iranian threat by Netanyahu and Barak. Olmert also blasted Netanyahu for damaging Israeli ties with the Obama administration.

Lambasting Netanyahu’s evident readiness to strike at Iran if all else fails, even in defiance of the United States, Olmert asked mockingly which planes, bombs and special technologies Israel would use — underlining the centrality of American military hardware to Israel’s military capacity. Without naming names, he wondered who Netanyahu would turn to “if something is missing” from the range of equipment needed for an attack or the re-supply needed to sustain one. “Would it be to the people in whose faces we’re spitting,” he wondered, “those who we’re trying to prevent being president of the United States?”

Olmert was reviving allegations that Netanyahu has sought to undermine the Obama presidency and encourage Romney.

Responding directly to Olmert’s comments, Netanyahu said such an approach could require Israel, unacceptably, to subcontract its destiny to others. “We’re supposed to say there’s nothing we can do?” he asked rhetorically, rejecting the notion. “If our backs are to the wall, we’ll do what’s necessary,” he said.

More on the program in our report here.

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