How Did Jerusalem React to the Death of Egypt’s President Nasser?

Monday marks the 45th anniversary of the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser, arch-foe of the state of Israel. Herewith, a summary of Israeli government reactions, based on declassified documents and reports in the contemporary press:

[At a cabinet meeting the day after Nasser’s death], Prime Minister Golda Meir . . . reported that President Zalman Shazar wanted to make a radio statement on Nasser’s death. The tourism minister, Moshe Kol, said there was no reason for generosity toward Nasser: his policies were a failure and, while driving out the British and the French, he had let in the Russians. Nasser could have been a great leader, [said Kol], but had wasted his efforts on trying to destroy Israel. However, a new ruler in Egypt might take a different line, and Kol agreed with [Moshe] Dayan that Israel should take the initiative.

Several ministers favored an official statement by Shazar or Golda, but the interior minister, Yosef Burg, said they should approach the question “without malice and without hypocrisy.” Surely, [argued Burg], the Jewish community of Shushan would not have sent a telegram of sympathy to the family of Haman (who had plotted to destroy the Jews).

Read more at Israel's Documented Story

More about: Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Golda Meir, History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism, Zalman Shazar

How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy