BLOG 262 July 20, 2015
Jay Leno’s in Israel cracking jokes at Natanyahu. “I know him to be a man of his word – unless of course the word is spoken the day before an election.” Are they laughing in Israel?
A carton appeared in an Israeli newspaper. One person says, “The US President is saying ‘trust me on Iran, I know what I’m doing.” The other person says, “Just like US Presidents have known what they were doing on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria?” Are they laughing in Washington?
The Iran nuclear negotiations and agreement has pushed Israel and the US further apart than they have ever been. The United States and five other countries are being told by the leader of one nation that they are wrong. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and the USA signed off on the agreement. The agreement is predicted to be Obama’s most significant diplomatic achievement. Prime Minister Netanyahu says they all made a “historic mistake.”
Even retired major general Giora Eiland who headed Israel’s National Security Council a decade ago believes Israel should stop opposing the agreement. He said fighting it would be “counterproductive.” Would Netanyahu listen? No.
Can Netanyahu win with Congress? Probably not. Will he loose big time with Obama and his administration? He already has and will only sink further –win or lose the current battle. Why is it worth the effort to fight to a bloody finish?
- President Obama believes the agreement could bring moderation in Iran and set the stage to bring it closer to the International community and thereby change its hostile attitude.
Prime Minister Natanyahu does not agree.
- President Obama argues they have obtained the best deal possible and that sanctions have succeeded. Iran will used the money to bring relief to their national economy.
Prime Minister Natanyahu argues Iran will use this released wealth to prop up its radical allies Syria and Hezbollah and only further destabilize the region.
3, The nations negotiating the agreement believe they have the means to detect any failure on Iran’s part to keep their end of the bargain. The six nation allies believe Iran will approach the deal in good faith.
Most Israelis believe the Iranians will attempt to cheat at every turn.
Who is right and who is wrong? Probably –and frighteningly – only time will tell.
At this point, Obama is certainly not anti-Israel but neither is he their “best friend ever.”
Israelis argue that his ideology blinds him. He fails to grasp how dangerous Islamism actually is. He tends to see the Palestinians as a Third World people victimized by whites. He can not even utter the phrase “Islamist terrorism.”
On the other hand, Natanyahu has proved to be a flip-flopping, double-speak politician who can be as obstinate as a brick wall. His logic is blurred by fears from the Holocaust.
Both men need to step back and take a deep breath – as does the public. The agreement achieved in Vienna is narrow in its scope and doesn’t pretend to solve a host of other problems –like American prisoners in Iran jails and Iran’s support of terrorism. It simply puts the lid on pursuit of a nuclear bomb for a limited period of time.
The question the world has to consider is whether that solution is better than nothing.