In his tone, at least, Mr. Obama is working to reassure Israel. In an interview published on
Friday, Mr. Obama reiterated his pledge to prevent Iran from acaquiring a nuclear weapon —
with force, if necessary — and ruled out a policy of accepting but seeking to contain a
nuclear-armed Iran. The Israeli government, he said, recognizes that “as president of the United States, I don’t bluff.”
The White House’s choice of interviewer — Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for
the magazine The Atlantic — was carefully calculated. Mr. Goldberg is closely read among
Jews in America; in 2010, he wrote an article exploring the situations under which Israel would attack Iran.
American Jews are anything but monolithic. More dovish groups, like J Street, are trying to
make a case against a pre-emptive Israeli strike. But for the next few days, Aipac will set the tone for an intense debate over the Iranian nuclear threat.
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