I find it difficult to know if this is merely a further attempt to ratchet up the pressure on the Obama administration and Iran or if it is the real deal. Israel’s Channel 10 reports the PM Netanyahu is determined to strike Iran’s nuclear capabilities before the US election.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is determined to attack Iran before the US elections,” Israel’s Channel 10 News claimed on Monday night, and Israel is now “closer than ever” to a strike designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive.

The TV station’s military reporter Alon Ben-David, who earlier this year was given extensive access to the Israel Air Force as it trained for a possible attack, reported that, since upgraded sanctions against Iran have failed to force a suspension of the Iranian nuclear program in the past two months, “from the prime minister’s point of view, the time for action is getting ever closer.”

Asked by the news anchor in the Hebrew-language TV report how close Israel now was to “a decision and perhaps an attack,” Ben-David said: “It appears that we are closer than ever.”

He said it seemed that Netanyahu was not waiting for a much-discussed possible meeting with US President Barack Obama, after the UN General Assembly gathering in New York late next month — indeed, “it’s not clear that there’ll be a meeting.” In any case, said Ben-David, “I doubt Obama could say anything that would convince Netanyahu to delay a possible attack.”

This is the type of October surprise from which no one can calculate the fallout, for Israel, the US elections, and the world. If it does happen, we can expect at least a limited war in the Middle East and a worldwide recession. The shock of the attack, the uncertainty, and the substantial short to mid term impact on oil prices would assuredly throw the world back into major recession.

And that would be worth the price if we can prevent Israel from becoming a smoking ruin. Alas, that is probably the least guaranteed outcome. But never again means never again.

*subhead*Rumors of war.*subhead*