Geneva deal a victory

Op-ed: Israel acting like isolated, deceived, over-righteous country, insisting on snatching loss from jaws of victory

If a year ago someone would have guessed that in November 2013 Syria would be disarmed of chemical weapons following a Security Council resolution, and that Iran would sign an agreement restricting its nuclear program significantly – and all this without any Israeli involvement – he would have been dismissed as a fool in Israel. But that is the geopolitical reality taking shape.


On the one hand, Netanyahu is right in the clarifications he is voicing about the Geneva agreement. His skepticism is deeply rooted in reality and in the Iranian patterns of action. On the other hand, the prime minister's conduct in the international arena is puzzling. A public and blatant presentation of the differences of opinion with the United States undermines the alliance between the two countries, weakens Israel's power of deterrence and weakens the US as well, and therefore Israel too.


If the image in the world is that the US did not update Israel, and that Israel did not really influence the internal American process, the continuation of the image is that the alliance is weakening. The US is a strategic asset for Israel – and not the other way around, as many tend to repeat persistently for many years. When you weaken a president you weaken yourself. That's the equation.


Israel could have and should have declared victory. We said it was an international matter – and the world acted. A cautious victory, a victory whose value will be measured over time, a victory requiring a sober and alert observation of what is happening in Iran – but a victory.


But Israel has been acting in recent days like an isolated, deceived and over-righteous country, which insists on snatching a loss from the jaws of victory. In an analogy to a different field, Netanyahu could have claimed to have scored a hard-pressed winning goal of 1:0 in the first match, but instead he laments that his fellow team members prevented him from scoring three goals.


Netanyahu is raising meaningful points about the problematic character of the Geneva agreement: It leaves Iran as a nuclear threshold country, it conceals a danger of "ongoing transience," and it is even a withdrawal from the Security Council resolutions which called for a complete freeze of the Iranian nuclear program. What Netanyahu is not doing is acknowledging reality: The agreement was inevitable from the moment Rohani was elected Iranian president.


Israel's job is now to stand on guard and shorten the period of time between "nuclear capability" and "nuclear threshold" to "military nukes." That is done through an ongoing and sincere dialogue with the US, and not through cries of despair and gloomy prophecies about an agreement which is an established fact.


Moreover, anyone who tries to thwart the agreement through "friends in Congress" (and fails), should not be surprised if he is accused later on of pushing the US to a war it doesn't want, even if his perception of Iran stems from accurately reading the map.



פרסום ראשון: 11.26.13, 20:02
 new comment
This will delete your current comment