According to this report in the UAE newspaper The National, Israel nearly bombed a convoy headed from Syria to Lebanon that the Israelis believed was carrying advanced weaponry, presumably the Scud missiles that reportedly have been transferred to Hezbollah. A U.S. official told The National:
I can’t promise you that planes were actually in the air, but it was close, very close. The White House had to talk them down from the attack and promised that Kerry would use strong language [with the Syrian president, Bashar Assad]
It wasn’t clear from reports whether the “White House” made the statement about Kerry with a straight face. But when asked how the meeting between Kerry and Assad went, the U.S. official replied, “In light of where we are now, what do you think?”
Having “insulted” Vice President Biden when he was in Israel, Israel understandably might not have wanted to undermine John Kerry’s visit to Damascus. On the other hand, Israel shouldn’t let the jaunts of lame Democratic pols dictate either its housing policy or its response to security threats.
In light of President Obama’s approach to Israel (and Iran) we can only hope that the White House’s days of “talking down” Israel are drawing to a close.