There Is Nothing Untoward about Netanyahu’s Lobbying Against the Iran Deal

President Obama and his supporters have censured Israel’s prime minister for his vocal opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran, suggesting that he has severely violated diplomatic protocol. Alan Dershowitz writes that nothing could be further from the truth:

Benjamin Netanyahu is acting properly in lobbying against the Iran deal. And President Obama is acting improperly in accusing him of interfering in American foreign policy and suggesting that no other foreign leader has ever tried to do so: “I do not recall a similar example.”

President Obama is as wrong about American history as he is about policy. Many foreign leaders have tried to influence U.S. foreign policy when their national interests are involved. . . . Winston Churchill appeared in front of Congress and lobbied heavily to have America change its isolationist policy during the run up to World War II. Nor can President Obama claim ignorance about recent events, when he himself sent David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, to lobby Congress in favor of the Iran deal. . . .

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s nation has a far greater stake in the Iran deal than most of the countries that negotiated it. But Israel was excluded from the negotiations. Any leader of Israel would and should try to exercise whatever influence he might have in the ongoing debate over the deal. . . . Does President Obama really believe that Israeli leaders are required to remain silent and simply accept the consequences of a deal that puts Israel’s population at risk? . . .

President Obama’s attack on Prime Minister Netanyahu, for doing exactly what he himself would be doing if the shoe were on the other foot, has encouraged Israel-bashers to accuse opponents of the deal of dual loyalty. . . . The president should stop attacking both the domestic and international critics of the deal and engage us on the merits.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran nuclear program, Israel & Zionism, U.S. Foreign policy, Winston Churchill

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security