Israel and the Iraq War:

Tony Judt in the New York Times: "Prominent Israeli leaders ... pressed very hard for the invasion of Iraq." Is there any evidence that this is true? Certainly, Israelis of just about every ideological stripe were happy to have Saddam taken out, given that, among other things, he financed suicide murderers, and had launched missles at Israel in 1990. But that's very different from suggesting that Israeli leaders lobbied the Bush Administration to invade Iraq. Israeli leaders can't even persuade Secretary of State Rice that it needs to keep the crossing between Israel and Gaza closed for security reasons; why would they bother trying to lobby the Bush Administration on an Iraq invasion (especially when any leak of such pressure would make it much more difficult for the Administration to invade Iraq?) I've certainly seen many, many, indications that before and after the Iraq war, Israel has pressed the U.S. to do something about Iran [with the implicit threat that Israel might be forced to do something drastic otherwise], but other than consistent repitition on the Left, is there any actual, documented evidence, that Israeli officials lobbied the administration to invade Iraq, as opposed to just cheering from afar? This is not a rhetorical question; I'm open to correction on this, and I hope the Times is, too, if Judt's claim is not supportable.

Judt has a lot more to say about the Walt-Mearsheimer paper, much of it foolish, but I'm getting tired of the topic; how much more "ink" must we waste on a screed so poorly done that even Noam Chomsky disavows it? But here's a critique from a Ha'aretz columnist, who notes that quoting the most left-wing sources in a left-wing Israeli newspaper does not exactly constitute a fair sampling of Israeli opinion.

UPDATE: In the Comments, Frank Cross points to this well-documented critique of the thesis that Israel pushed for war with Iraq, by Martin Kramer.

Meanwhile, so far (3:40 p.m.) no one has provided contrary evidence.