Burman: Will Obama be successful in convincing Netanyahu not to strike Iran?

By: /
5 March, 2012
Tony Burman
By: Tony Burman
Former head of CBC News and Al Jazeera English

In any rational world, the answer would be “yes”. If an attack happened, the biggest loser would be Israel. Iran’s retaliation would be brutal, and it would further isolate Israel in the region. An attack would also only delay Iran’s nuclear development by a year or two. Incredibly, it would come when sanctions against Iran are actually working, the regime in Tehran has never been weaker and U.S. officials don’t believe Iran has yet decided to make a nuclear bomb. Polls in the last two weeks indicate that both Israelis and Americans are skeptical of Netanyahu’s war-mongering. Only 19% of Israelis would support an attack without U.S. support, and 51% of Americans want the U.S. to remain neutral. Obama has sadly developed a track record of caving in to excessive Israeli demands. But my guess is that this time, with so much at stake, Obama The Realist will win over Netanyahu The Neighbourhood Bully.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter