Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy (bit.ly/2kP6FkZ). Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Sep. 18, 2019 3 min read

One aspect of Netanyahu failing to secure victory in Israel yesterday is that it'll be weeks before Israel has a stable elected government that could assent to a coalition-based military action against Iran, and of course if Netanyahu isn't PM, that assent may never come at all.

1/ Indeed, we mustn't exclude the possibility that the reason Trump is deciding to respond to the attack on the Saudi oil refinery with higher sanctions on Iran rather than a military strike (or more) is because he no longer has a clear coalition partner in Israel he can rely on.

2/ Right now Lindsey Graham is on CNN implying he's surprised that *sanctions* are the response Trump is making, and that he understands a coalition may be being built for military action. All this seems to confirm that the Israeli election just had a profound effect on America.

3/ Proof of Conspiracy documents how Netanyahu was critical to the geopolitical conspiracy that aided Trump's election. Without Netanyahu, Trump is differently situated, as some of the value heading to Russia, Saudi Arabia, and UAE in the "grand bargain" was to come from Israel.

4/ It's not clear that Benny Gantz (who could end up as Israel's Prime Minister) would take the same approach to holding war-planning sessions with the UAE, or sharing military technology with the Saudis, or floating a trilateral defense pact with Russia, or supporting a new GCC.

5/ Trump's ability to publicly partner with MBS of Saudi Arabia without the "reputation laundering" provided by Israel also partnering with him is minimal following MBS having assassinated a Washington Post journalist. So there's a chance the Red Sea Conspiracy could fall apart.

6/ On the other hand, Trump's pride and hatred of Obama will prevent him from doing the *right* thing, which is re-entering the Iran nuclear deal, so it's not clear how he gets himself out of this without *some* sort of military action. These new sanctions are a stalling tactic.

7/ Trump's foreign policy was based on the assumption the Red Sea co-conspirators could all, in their individual countries, assure their reelection perpetually via legal or illegal means. I imagine he believed the Saudis would interfere with the Israeli election to aid Netanyahu.

8/ (I say this because there is some evidence to suggest that the Saudis interfered with the *last* Israeli election to aid Netanyahu, albeit unsuccessfully because Netanyahu was not able to form a government, which circumstance led to yesterday's "do-over" election.)

9/ While the Arab party in Israel has never been part of a coalition government, it shocked Israel by winning more seats than ever, which raises a question: if it was Gantz's only way of securing a majority, would/could he partner with them, or vice versa? How would Israel react?

10/ To be clear, I'm not saying that'll happen. I'm saying whoever the Israeli president picks to get first shot at forming a government has 6 weeks to do it, and no clear path. Gantz seems to have more options and an argument he deserves the first shot, but *how* would he do it?

NOTE/ If any Americans reading this wonder why I'm going on about the recent Israeli election, it's because how Israel forms its government over the next 8 weeks may well determine whether America enters its most ill-advised war since Vietnam. In other words, this is everything.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



Bookmark

____
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.