Netanyahu, Brexit, and President Obama’s Intervention

In a joint press conference in London with Prime Minister David Cameron, Barack Obama tried to persuade Britons to vote in favor of remaining in the European Union in their upcoming referendum. Noting that the British press has unsurprisingly criticized the president for meddling in the country’s affairs, Alan Dershowitz recalls Obama’s similar complaints about a foreign leader inserting himself into U.S. policy discussions:

President Obama defended his actions [in Britain] by suggesting that in a democracy, friends should be able to speak their minds, even when they are visiting another country. . . . [But he did not] stop at merely giving the British voters unsolicited advice, he also issued a not-so-veiled threat. He said that “the UK is going to be in the back of the queue” on trade agreements if it exits the EU. . . .

Recall how outraged the same President Obama was when the prime minister of a friendly country, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke his mind about the Iran deal.

There are, of course, differences: first, Israel has a far greater stake in the Iran deal than the United States has in whatever decision the British voters make about Brexit [Britain’s possible departure from the EU]; second, Benjamin Netanyahu was representing the nearly unanimous view of his countrymen, whereas there is little evidence of whether Americans favor or oppose Brexit in large numbers. . . .

So what is it Mr. President? Should friends speak their minds about controversial issues when visiting another country, or should they keep their views to themselves? . . .

The president owes . . . Prime Minister Netanyahu an apology, and so do those Democratic members of Congress who rudely stayed away from Netanyahu’s informative address.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, David Cameron, European Union, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, United Kingdom

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy