According to Gantz and Ashkenazi’s associates, the correct way to go about the issue with the new administration is to immediately convene a team of professionals to work with the Americans, creating a sincere and in-depth dialogue and trying to bridge the gaps between Jerusalem and Washington. These associates argue that taking the opposite tack by explicitly threatening a military strike would only spur the Americans into a hasty return to the previous agreement with Iran in order to preclude unilateral Israeli military action. “That could be a mistake that would haunt us for generations,” the senior Israeli diplomatic source told Al-Monitor.
Against this backdrop, the upcoming March elections will be crucial not only in terms of Netanyahu’s fate and his trial on corruption charges, but also regarding Israel’s role in the renewed contacts with Iran. A Netanyahu victory would renew conflict between the Washington and Jerusalem, this time on steroids. Netanyahu’s replacement after 12 years in office would signal a new era of dialogue and dispute resolution and a return to the way things were.