In his NY Times op-ed, Ari Shavit feeds the scare stories about what will happen if Israel strikes Iran's nuke program, but says Israel nevertheless won't have a choice unless the West gets real serious about Iran real soon.
In an op-ed a day later (yesterday) in his own paper Haaretz, Shavit cites at length from a "senior Israeli official" who says Iran without the bomb is a paper tiger and an Israeli strike won't have such terrible consequences. The "official"--who sounds a hell of a lot like Ehud Barak--is much more on the money, I strongly believe, than Shavit in his typically perverse (in part) NY Times op-ed.
The "Israeli official," in Shavit's column, explains his views to an "American guest" at the former's home in Tel Aviv. Barak, of course, lives in Tel Aviv. Also, hardly anyone--maybe no one, except Netanyahu himself, who lives in Jerussalem--would have the authority to say the things that the "official" tells the American. What is also interesting is that Shavit, who I don't particularly like but I think is a person of integrity, got detailed information about this little chat.
Barak leaks info to Shavit--as a counter to the U.S.-administration-leaked garbage that's been coming out in the NY Times, aimed at trying to scare Israel out of acting. And maybe also as a counter to Shavit's own NY Times op-ed.
I also don't particularly like Barak, but I do appreciate his smart and constructive role on the Iran issue these days. And it also explains, at least in part, why the like-minded or similar-minded Netanyahu has made Barak his key ally these past few years, though they have different political backgrounds.