Settlement Reality Check

Israel’s construction in smaller settlements has steadily decreased; not so, Washington’s obsessive and misplaced demands for a total freeze. 

Read more at Foreign Affairs

More about: Settlements, West Bank


No, Israel’s Intelligence Establishment Doesn’t Support the Iran Deal

Over the past month, stories have appeared in the press about retired Israeli security officials expressing support for the Iranian nuclear deal. Now there are claims that an IDF intelligence assessment, not yet released to the public, also defends the agreement. The claims, writes Martin Kramer, are “politicized nonsense”:

Not everyone with a pension and an opinion is equal. Most of the people who argue that Israel should not fight the agreement still think it’s a bad one; they simply believe there is no point in provoking President Obama when the deal will inevitably be approved and implemented. This argument is not the same as supporting the deal—it is resigned acquiescence. . . . .

But what about [the] claim of “game-changing” assessments issued by current intelligence officials? . . . [T]he intelligence assessment is that Iran won’t be able to build a bomb under the terms of the agreement. (That is, if Iran doesn’t cheat—the assessment says the mechanisms for inspection are flawed.) Iran might even show short-term restraint in terms of its support of terrorism to consolidate its gains from sanctions relief. But the estimate also holds that when the agreement expires, Iran will be only weeks away from a nuclear breakout.

In the meantime, Iran will have gained undeserved legitimacy from the deal. . . . The bottom line of the assessment, as reported in the press, is that the risks of the deal outweigh the opportunities. [T]he “eruption of dissent” [from Netanyahu’s position] is imaginary.

Read more at Sandbox

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Intelligence, Iran nuclear program, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy