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

Aug. 27 2015

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.

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

The Palestinian Authority Is Part of the Problem, Not the Solution

Jan. 31 2023

On Thursday, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials announced that they had ceased all security cooperation with Israel; the next two days saw two deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. But the PA has in the past made numerous threats that it will sever its ties with the Israeli government, and has so far never made good on them. Efraim Inbar poses a different set of questions: does cooperation with Palestinian leaders who actively encourage—and provide financial incentives for—the murder of Jews really help Israel protect its citizens? And might there be a better alternative?

The PA leader Mahmoud Abbas seems unable to rule effectively, i.e., to maintain a modicum of law and order in the territories under his control. He lost Gaza to Hamas in 2007, and we now see the “Lebanonization” of the PA taking place in the West Bank: the emergence of myriad armed groups, with some displaying only limited loyalty to the PA, and others, especially the Islamists, trying to undermine the current regime.

[The PA’s] education system and media continue propagating tremendous hostility toward Jews while blaming Israel for all Palestinian problems. Security cooperation with Israel primarily concerns apprehending armed activists of the Islamist opposition, as the PA often turns a blind eye to terrorist activities against Israel. In short, Abbas and his coterie are part of the problem, not of the solution. Jerusalem should thus think twice about promoting efforts to preserve PA rule and prevent a descent into chaos while rejecting the reoccupation of the West Bank.

Chaos is indeed not a pleasant prospect. Chaos in the territories poses a security problem to Israel, but one that will be mitigated if the various Palestinian militias vying for influence compete with each other. A succession struggle following the death of Abbas could divert attention from fighting hated Israel and prevent coordination in the low-intensity conflict against it. In addition, anarchy in the territories may give Israel a freer hand in dealing with the terrorists.

Furthermore, chaos might ultimately yield positive results. The collapse of the PA will weaken the Palestinian national movement, which heretofore has been a source of endemic violence and is a recipe for regional instability in the future.

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More about: Israeli Security, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror