Time’s Joe Klein on Netanyahu’s saber-rattling: ‘This is a fool’s errand’


Joe Klein, Time’s political columnist and author of six books, said the war talk coming from Israel’s leadership, in which the country’s prime minister appeared to be pushing the United States toward military action was “absolutely outrageous and disgusting.”

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly criticized the United States for not doing more to thwart Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“The world tells Israel ‘Wait, there’s still time’. And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’” Netanyahu said Tuesday, speaking in English.

 “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” he added, addressing a news conference with Bulgaria’s prime minister.

“I don’t think I’ve ever, in the 40 years I’ve been doing this, have heard of another example of an American ally trying to push us into war as blatantly and trying to influence an American election as blatantly as Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud party in Israel is doing right now,” Klein said during Morning Joe Wednesday. “I think it’s absolutely outrageous and disgusting. It’s not a way that friends treat each other. It’s cynical and brazen.”

While the United States and Israel continue to argue over what diplomatic steps are necessary prior to any military action, Klein called war with the country, “a fool’s errand.” “It would be a ridiculous war,” he said.


Klein suggested that U.S. sanctions against the country are hurting not only the people of Iran, but also its business class and the Revolutionary Guards.

“The Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful force in the country, control 30% to 40% of the economy and these sanctions are really biting them,” he said. “Very soon they’re going to start hampering the Revolutionary Guards ability to buy weapons and to pay their members.”

He also suggested that should Iran develop a nuclear weapon the policy already in place for nuclear armed countries, containment, could work.

Moreover, though, Klein, who has visited Iran, said the leadership “do not want to have their country destroyed by American weaponry or Israeli weaponry,” and will try to avoid war.