The mainstream media have frequently framed their discussions about U.S. and Israeli policy toward Iran as a debate between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about whether to strike Iran immediately or to wait to see if sanctions work. This narrative has set the framework for a march toward war by excluding from the discourse the non-violent option: that we not use coercion to achieve our ends.

The Obama administration has done little to disrupt this troubling narrative. Following in the path of George W. Bush, Obama has instead helped to legitimize the notion of a preemptive U.S. military strike against Iran — a nation that has never taken direct military action against the United States.

Indeed Ben-Dror Yemini, the opinion editor for the Israeli daily newspaper Ma’ariv, said this March that Obama couldn’t have been much clearer in...

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