The Mossad Didn’t Prove Iran Is Working on a Nuclear Weapon, but That’s Not the Point

In a televised speech on Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israeli intelligence spirited tens of thousands of documents, both physical and digital, out of Iran’s secret nuclear archive. Among these data, said the prime minister, is evidence that the Islamic Republic had been working on developing atomic weapons long after 2003, contrary to the claims it made as part of the 2015 nuclear deal. David Horovitz explains why these revelations matter:

Netanyahu did not seek to claim that Israel had attained smoking-gun evidence that Iran has breached the terms of the . . . 2015 agreement with the ayatollahs. The critics sneering at his ostensible failure to produce a post-2015 smoking gun are—deliberately, as is their wont—missing the point. . . .

It is Israel’s deeply unhappy assessment that the deal is so negligent, so misconceived, so badly constructed, that the Iranians have no need whatsoever to breach it. . . . Why, after all, would they violate the terms of an agreement that, while ostensibly designed to ensure they cannot achieve a nuclear-weapons arsenal, nonetheless entitles them to continue research and development of centrifuges to enrich uranium so that when the deal’s terms expire, they will have mastered an enrichment process ten times faster than the process they had managed before the deal came into force? (They’re already boasting, not incidentally, that they have accelerated the process since they signed the accord.)

Why would they violate the terms of an agreement that does not prevent them from continuing to develop their ballistic-missile program—the means of delivery for their anticipated nuclear devices—to bring Europe and the United States into range? Why would they violate the terms of an agreement that left significant parts of their nuclear program intact? . . . Israel’s contention is not that Iran is breaching the deal. It is, rather, that this agreement, far from preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear-weapons arsenal, paves Iran’s path to it. . . .

Netanyahu’s critics further assert that there was nothing new in the material he presented—nothing new in the showcasing of Iran’s own evidence of its deceit, and of the specifics of its nuclear-weapons program. First of all, that criticism is patently false. The International Atomic Energy Agency, in its own reporting, has never claimed to have attained remotely comparable access to Iran’s own documentation. . . . [S]econdly, if it is the [deal’s Western negotiators’] contention that they knew every detail of the program as now conclusively presented by Netanyahu, and knew therefore the precise extent of Iran’s duplicity, then how could they possibly have negotiated so lax an accord with the ayatollahs?

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy

Zionists Can, and Do, Criticize Israel. Are Anti-Zionists Capable of Criticizing Anti-Semitism?

Dec. 12 2018

Last week, the New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg defended the newly elected anti-Israel congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, ostensibly arguing that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism aren’t identical. Abe Greenwald comments:

Tlaib . . . has tweeted and retweeted her enthusiasm for terrorists such as Rasmea Odeh, who murdered two American students in a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969. If Tlaib’s anti-Zionism is of the Jew-loving kind, she has a funny way of showing it.

Ilhan Omar, for her part, once tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” And wouldn’t you know it, just because she believes that Zionist hypnotists have cast global spells masking Israeli evil, some people think she’s anti-Semitic! Go figure! . . .

Goldberg spends the bulk of her column trying very hard to uncouple American Jewishness from Israel. To do that, she enumerates Israel’s sins, as she sees them. . . . [But] her basic premise is at odds with reality. Zionists aren’t afraid of finding fault with Israel and don’t need to embrace anti-Zionism in order to [do so]. A poll conducted in October by the Jewish Electorate Institute found that a majority of Americans Jews have no problem both supporting Israel and criticizing it. And unlike Goldberg, they have no problem criticizing anti-Semitism, either.

Goldberg gives the game away entirely when she discusses the discomfort that liberal American Jews have felt in “defending multi-ethnic pluralism here, where they’re in the minority, while treating it as unspeakable in Israel, where Jews are the majority.” She adds: “American white nationalists, some of whom liken their project to Zionism, love to poke at this contradiction.” Read that again. She thinks the white nationalists have a point. Because, really, what anti-Semite doesn’t?

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, New York Times