For Megan, Eric, and BarryRich.
As to pros and cons of Israel striking Iran before the American Presidential election, some people always value boldness, although there is always a British style counterargument (technically called muddling through) for caution in making moves of potentially large consequences, as to the risk of inducing things you can't possibly totally understand in advance, like a war with Iran.
That's why it's the NFL, not college, if the Cowboys have a lot of rings too. as to boldness, asd there is the motto of SAS, "To the Bold, Victory."
In general, the argument for "Muddling Through," like the argument for not lunging into a war with Iran, has a sound logical foundation in dynamic systems theory as to the Implicit Function Theorem being unrealistic for large Delta X in many cases, in Redneck, "Look before you just leap, dumbass."
As to the parties, smaller countries sometimes have delusions as to Dachshunds that believe they are a Prussian Shepherd that can order an American Pit Bull around, although the Persans have been a problem with the West needing periodic and totally crushing to the point of near extermination military defeat since Marathon and Thermopylae, and which had nothing to do with Dachshunds, as to the other party in this matter.
This is not a situation that tends to induce optimism particularly.
"Persia? Well, they had an intrusting history, until they thought they could repeat Carrhae, and instead got a military defeat at the hands of America that made the Mongols look like Mr. Rogers."
As to Israel in all this, what was was, pick a date, as it doesn't matter now, and any alleged "Pandora" was opened long before 1949, like with Dreyfus, or the Ohkrana organized pogrom at Odessa in 1903, as to the repsonsibility to ensure the basic safety of the State of Israel of the members of the Security Council, and the non-nuclear armed informal members of the Security Council, i.e. Germany and Japan, if King Ibn Saud wasn't all wrong in his discussions on this matter with Roosevelt in the Great Bitter Lake in 1945.
Basic safety is not Prussia either, if Israel as Belgium went away a long time ago.
The analysis that follows is based on the assumption that Netanyahu is a power maximizing and risk acceptant actor, i.e. the he likes to gamble to a point, if he is not irrationally bold.
As to scenarios, it will be assumed that Israel would consider influencing an American election, in order to get more favorable future policy, if only very warily so in the author's view, and to be clear not as the main motive, which is understandable fear of a nuclear armed Iran.
As to why such a thing would be treated with caution, beyond the consequences for the Israeli-American relationship, not all the Diaspora would support such a thing in the name of allegedly Right Wing values and alleged perceived Right Wing interests, if that part of the Diaspora and has been decreasing in power steadily, e.g. the "neo-cons" and has more importantly as a mentality decreased in Israel proper.
As to making foreign policy decisions to influence other governments domestic politics, like Russia in Byelorus and Ukrania and China in East and South Asia, and of course in America as well, we do the same thing too in a general sense: ask a Guatamalan about Arbenz or a Chilean about Allende, as to the lack of hypocrisy in the analysis to follows, grounded in Thucydides Melian Dialogue:
"For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences- either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us- and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."
Having estabilished certain factual and methodological predicates, here are the two scenarios that are mutually exclusive and logically exhaustive.
Scenario I: Netanyahu is fundamentally bluffing, and therefore is waiting to be bailed out by someone, partly Iran as to a deal that he can sell, and so therefore will not strike before the election, in the end.
That would really settle that issue, if that is not the author's view.
Scenario II is that BN is not bluffing and that he does strike before the election, because he has never been bluffing, Scenario One and Two eing mutually exclusive and logically exhaustive as to the question at hand, whether or not Special Weapons were used in tactical application. (Noticed Red Chongqing, suggest red Yellow River only response function. Wo xiang shi erde Clausewitzde Zhonguode.)
As to Scenario II, the author has good reason to believe that BN is rick acceptant.
Netanyahu in that view will run a real risk of war as to launching a unilateral Israelis strike, partly because of tactical limitations on Israeli conventional systems that make for a sooner than later argument, especially given the difficulties that might occur were Special Weapons to be used.
As to other motives, Cruella warned someone about uttering "1967," instead of the safer 242, and other people said 1967 Lite and only a legal fiction to al Aqsa for $40 billion over ten years and a Palestinian State.
An Arab whispered in a little birdy's ear that $40 billion is pocket change for the al Saud, if that makes people envious everywhere too, which is why the Al Saud are unwise to foment hostility to their fellow Semites in Israel.
If Iran does nothing to start Scenario II, likely, as they already would suspect a false flag might be considered and so would want to be Caesar's Wife, then if BN strikes before the election, if Iran does nothing or or does what amounts to nothing, all is well.
In the author's view however, Ahmadinejad, the Pasdaran, Khamenei etc are in fact devout Twelver Shia who are likely to interpret such a strike as a license to attack the interests of the ultimate cause of that attack, which would be correctly viewed as the party who supplied the weapons, namely the United States.
That is what Netanyahu knows in fact that he is in part dealing/gambling with, namely the response to an Israeli strike of an Iranian attack on the shipping lanes in the Gulf, which if not properly managed would be potentially dangerous to basic American national survival in the form we know now. This increases his leverage to a point, but one would think he would be relatively careful with that leverage too, given the possibility of pulling the whole world down onto his head in the event things go poorly as to interacting reactions of various states.
That is and always has been the argument for making the best out of a bad situation, and acting with boldness in terms of American military deployments to the region, if it could end badly too, the latter the argument for hoping everyone is bluffing and muddling through on the hope that Scenario I always holds.
As to Netanyahu's calculation, he may swerve at the last moment as the credibility of the threat to strike moves the Iranians move close to his position, even risk acceptant as he is, when he sees that you can't know how a huge oil price spike plays out here, or who would be blamed most either.
When however you realize that the more likely meta-scenario is that Netanyahu is going to try to force Obama and America all in, because he sees a mortal threat from Iran primarily, then it seems to the author that the correct response in a perfect world would be to move as many heavy bombers to the region with a "Take the American Offer Or Go to Heaven, whoever objects to the offer, Ohio Class submarines to bombard any party who resists the proposed settlement, Russia and China included, only should they chose to militarily support Iran."
If we are the Sheriff, it is now time to act like that, if there are huge risks all around this problem, always the argument for all parties to just muddle through, which however means a non-nuclear Iran at something close to Israeli "red lines," if offering Iran some things to salve their wounded pride, plus that of Russia and China, would seem prudent on balance, if some regard such things as showing hesitation, but that's why the planes should go in the first place.
That of course is a scary proposition to use nuclear weapons with the Russian Federation, but a unilateral Israeli strike, would kill a huge number of Americans indirectly by raising gas prices to unsupportable levels in the current environment, like over seven dollars a gallon.
No American wins in that scenario, and so the correct response it would seem like, just as a pure calculation of power, would be from the point of view of Obama to move a truly massive, overkill level of force to the Gulf, tell Iran this is the deal, near Israeli "Red Lines," and tell the Dachshunds if they don't like it, planes and subs can attack in any direction, and tell the Arabs that if they don't force Abbas and Hamas to make a deal, that's the same principle, and of course that the Sheriff is armed for Bears and Dragons if they are dumb enough to get involved any more unhelpfully than they have over the years trying to tire the American Sheriff out.