Predictable — or is it?

Senior officials in Jerusalem expressed concern recently over the sharp decline in the coordination between Israel and the United States on security and state affairs since President Barack Obama’s entered the White House and especially since the formation of Israel’s new government…

“Obama’s people brief their Israeli counterparts in advance much less about security and Middle East policy activities than the Bush administration used to,” the officials said.

In addition, when they do brief Israeli officials, they don’t consult with them or coordinate their statements in advance.

This has caused several coordination “malfunctions” between the two states in the past two months, they said…

[A senior] official said the new administration no longer seems to see Israel as a “special” or “extraordinary” state in the Middle East, with which the U.S. must maintain a different dialogue than with other states.

Serious question: If you’re Obama and your worst nightmare is an unexpected Israeli attack on Iran that provokes a regional war and jeopardizes the world’s oil supply, why on earth would you alienate the Israeli leadership? Wouldn’t you want to get as close to them as possible, to exert maximum influence? This doesn’t add up. It’s almost like saying, “We’re not friends anymore, so do whatever you want.” Plausible deniability, in other words.

For the record, a near-majority says that if Israel attacks, the U.S. should “help.” Only 37 percent say we should do nothing.