How the White House Smeared Benjamin Netanyahu to Sell the Iran Deal

Testifying before Congress, Michael Doran explains how the Obama administration worked to conceal its true intentions in making a deal with Iran, namely to realign the U.S. with the Islamic Republic and disengage from America’s historic allies in the region. The White House further obscured discussion of the deal’s merits by attempting to manipulate an all-too-pliant media; these efforts included what Doran terms a “venomous whisper campaign” to cast the Israeli prime minister “as the villain of the Middle East peace process, an arch-nationalist with unseemly ties to the Republican party who refuses to make the necessary compromises to bring about an historic reconciliation with the Palestinians.” (Video, 7 minutes. A version can be found at the link below.)

Read more at House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

More about: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations

 

The Possible Death of Mohammad Deif, and What It Means

On Saturday, Israeli jets destroyed a building in southern Gaza, killing a Hamas brigade commander named Rafa Salameh. Salameh is one of the most important figures in the Hamas hierarchy, but he was not the primary target. Rather it was Mohammad Deif, who is Yahya Sinwar’s number-two and is thought to be the architect and planner of numerous terrorist attacks, of Hamas’s tunnel network, and of the October 7 invasion itself. Deif has survived at least five Israeli attempts on his life, and the IDF has consequently been especially reluctant to confirm that he had been killed. Yet it seems that it is possible, and perhaps likely, that he was.

Kobi Michael notes that Deif’s demise would have major symbolic value and, moreover, deprive Hamas of important operational know-how. But he also has some words of caution:

The elimination of Deif becomes even more significant given the current reality of severe damage to Hamas’s military wing and its transition to terrorism and guerrilla warfare. However, it is important to remember that organizations such as Hamas and Hizballah are more than the sum of their components or commanders. Israel has previously eliminated the leaders of these organizations and other very senior military figures, and yet the organizations continued to grow, develop, and become more significant security threats to Israel, while establishing their status as political players in the Palestinian and Lebanese arenas.

As for the possibility that Deif’s death will harden Hamas’s position in the hostage negotiations, Tamir Hayman writes:

In my opinion, even if there is a bump in the road now, it is not a strategic one. The reasons that Hamas decided to compromise its demands in the [hostage] deal stem from the operational pressure it is under [and] the fear that the pressure exerted by the IDF will increase.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas