The Israelis Who Prevented a War With Iran

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Netanyahu came close to ordering airstrikes in 2010 — but was thwarted by his own security chiefs.

  • Anshel Pfeffer
  • FP

As the shadow conflict being waged between Israel and Iran in Syria has intensified in recent days, the risk has grown that the two countries — among the strongest in the region — may soon find themselves in an all-out war.

KHAN YOUNIS REFUGEE CAMP - GAZA STRIP - SEPTEMBER 01: An Israeli tanks guards the vacant Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim on September 1, 2005 in the southern Gaza Strip. According to reports from Israeli security sources, Israel aims to withdrawal troops from the occupied Gaza Strip by September 15 following the evacuation of Jewish settlers from the territory. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)

KHAN YOUNIS REFUGEE CAMP – GAZA STRIP – SEPTEMBER 01: An Israeli tanks guards the vacant Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim on September 1, 2005 in the southern Gaza Strip. According to reports from Israeli security sources, Israel aims to withdrawal troops from the occupied Gaza Strip by September 15 following the evacuation of Jewish settlers from the territory. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)

But this isn’t the first time Israel and Iran have approached the precipice.

Nearly a decade ago, at the start of Benjamin Netanyahu’s second term as prime minister (he’s now well into his fourth), the Israeli leader seriously considered launching air strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

U.S. President Barack Obama leaned hard on Israel to hold its fire.

But when Netanyahu…

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