There is one central element missing in the New York Times’ steady drumbeat of coverage of late over whether and when Israel would initiate military action against Iran’s nuclear sites.

Neither in its editorial (“Iran, Israel and the United States,” March 5) nor at least its four most recent stories, including the paper’s lead article March 4, has the Times explained precisely why Israel is considering such a bold move. And that is because the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, repeatedly has announced his country’s intentions to destroy the Jewish State.

As a Holocaust denier whose views on these issues mirror the Supreme Leader of Iran and the powerful Revolutionary Guard, Ahmadinejad has proclaimed “death to Israel,” calling it, at various times, a germ, a cancer and a bearer of the “banner of Satan.”

Perhaps he has spoken out with such vile rhetoric for so long that the shock of his words and motivation has had a dulling effect on us.

But shouldn’t that hateful, threatening intent, combined with Tehran’s commitment to a nuclear program that even the United Nations says is aimed at producing a bomb, be cited by the Times in its lengthy reports on the current controversy?

The Times did note in its editorial Monday that Iran’s “malign intent toward Israel” is “undeniable.” But its recent news reports make the assumption that the reader knows just why Israel seems so bent on striking out at Iran’s sites. Why not just tell them?

Also, the Page 1 story in Sunday’s Times, “U.S. Backers of Israel Pressure Obama Over Policy On Iran,” had an unfortunate historical echo for seasoned AIPAC veterans in that it sought to portray the president as a beleaguered individual facing off against large numbers of angry Jews.

(It was reminiscent of the first President Bush’s 1991 comments that he was “one lonely little guy” up against “some powerful political forces” consisting of “a thousand lobbyist on the Hill.” That remark, for which he apologized, was prompted by AIPAC lobbyists supporting a major loan guarantee to Israel.)

The lead sentence in Sunday’s Times story said that Israel’s “most powerful American advocates are mounting an extraordinary public campaign to pressure President Obama into hardening American policy toward Iran over its nuclear program.”

The next sentence noted that the president “is being buffeted by demands” from “nearly 14,000 American Jews and other supporters.”
Makes you feel sorry for the poor guy.

Maybe if the Times reported that the leaders of Iran are theologically and politically opposed to the very existence of a Zionist state in the Mideast and deeply determined to produce a nuclear bomb its readers would understand why so many Americans, Jews and Christians alike, are worried, and advocating for the administration to put the pressure on our enemy rather than our ally.