The Prime Minister criticized the proposed deal between Iran and Western powers over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. “This is a bad deal – a very, very bad deal,” he said. Throwing etiquette to the wind, Netanyahu’s public rebuke was a diplomatic last resort, perhaps the verbal equivalent of a military strike on Iran.
And understandably so. For months now, the Obama Administration has hung the specter of a nuclear Iran over Israel’s head to ply many a painful concession on the Palestinian front.
Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported recently that the U.S. has been pretty straightforward in impressing on Netanyahu that if Israel walks down the U.S. path of “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority, “it will be easier for the U.S. to support Israel’s position” when it comes to Iran.
Surely Israel’s decision to release 106 Arab convicts, guilty of the most heinous crimes, was strongly influenced by the looming nuclear threat and Obama’s promise to help curb it in a satisfactory manner.
Imagine Netanyahu’s consternation when he discovered that the Americans had quite something else in mind.
Now entrenched in the peace talks and faced with a string of threats if he pulls out, including isolation and a third Intifada, as enumerated by John Kerry before leaving Israel last week, Netanyahu’s leverage with the U.S. is limited. In the throes of the nuclear negotiations, a strike on Iran would surely herald a diplomatic tsunami for Israel. With his hands tied, Netanyahu’s best option right now is to shout.
The tone of a recent statement released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also conveyed a feeling of betrayal.
In a sharp turnaround from agreeing to a temporary suspension of lobbying for sanctions after a meeting with White House leaders only two weeks ago, ADL national director Abraham Foxman called for new “crippling” sanctions to be passed by the Senate.
“I wanted to give the Obama Administration a chance to demonstrate that they could make real progress on this issue,” Foxman said, going on to admonish the Administration on the nuclear issue and a number of other matters.
This position is even more noteworthy considering that it comes from a group that hosted U.S. officials as senior as Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel at recent events, and has taken to Obama’s corner at some pivotal moments of conflict with members of the U.S. Jewish community.
It seems apparent that both Netanyahu and some Jewish groups feel that Obama has played the same “If you like your (health insurance) plan, you can keep it” bait and switch game as he did with Obamacare, only this time with a nuclear twist.
The next confrontation is set to play out in Congress, where Obama is now going head to head with Jewish and pro-Israel groups who believe, as Israel does, that America and the world’s best interests are served by keeping the Iran sanctions pressure valve turned all the way up.
The battle is over a new sanctions bill that has passed the House and now awaits a Senate vote. If the bill is passed, it will send a clear message to the Administration and Iran that the American people do not favor compromise with the Mullahs that allows them to retain their nuclear infrastructure.
According to BuzzFeed Democratic leaders in Congress are under “an extraordinary amount of pressure” from President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to back the White House on delaying new sanctions.
The stage is set, and the voice of uncompromising rejection of Iran’s nuclear capability must be heard. Zionists of America arise.
The author is the Editor-in-Chief of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.