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

Aug. 14 2015

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.

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Read more at Gatestone

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

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia