Contrary to what critics have claimed, war is not the only alternative to the deal with Iran currently being considered by Washington. Now, Alan Dershowitz argues, the Obama administration is obliged to answer the Israeli prime minister’s proposals for a better deal:
The decision to accept or reject a deal with Iran over its nuclear-weapons program may be the most important foreign-policy issue of the 21st century. Many members of Congress, perhaps most, agree with the prime minister of Israel rather than with the president of the United States on this issue. . . . Perhaps the president can persuade Congress to support this deal, but [his administration] must engage with, rather than ignore, our duly elected representatives of the people. . . .
The administration must now answer one fundamental question: Why would you allow the Iranian regime to develop nuclear weapons in ten years, if at that time they were still exporting terrorism, bullying their Arab neighbors, and threatening to exterminate Israel? Why not, at the very least, condition any “sunset” provision on a change in the actions of this criminal regime? The answer may be that we can’t get them to agree to this condition. If that is the case, then this is indeed a bad deal that is worse than no deal. It would be far better to increase economic sanctions and other pressures than to end them in exchange for a mere postponement of Iran’s obtaining a nuclear arsenal.
There may be better answers, but the ball is now in Obama’s court to provide them, rather than to avoid answering Netanyahu’s reasonable questions with irrelevant answers about “protocol” and personal attacks on the messenger.