“Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and the destruction of the close strategic alliance between the US administration and Israel will bring Iran closer to a nuclear bomb,” over 180 of Israel’s top former military and intelligence officials said Sunday.
Netanyahu took off for the US Sunday morning to give a speech to Congress that has sparked outrage both in Israel and the US, where critics have accused him of using the speech to bolster his own political chances in the March 17 Knesset elections.
The group, known as Commanders for Israel's Security, warned that Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress is a clear and present danger to the strategic alliance between the US and Israel, and actually helps Iran.
At a press conference held Sunday in Tel Aviv, as Netanyahu was taking off for the US, six former generals (some considered legends among Israelis), attempted make the case that far from preventing the Iran from reaching a nuclear bomb through a deal with the world, Netanyahu's speech will actually bring Iran closer to such a goal.
“When the Israeli prime minister argues that his speech will stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, he is not only misleading Israel – he is actually strengthening Iran,” said Gen. (res.) Amnon Reshef, the former head of Israel’s armored corps and the founder of the group.
Gen. (res) Amiram Levin, the former northern district commander for the IDF who also served as deputy chief of the Mossad, explained that Iran gained from the political divide the speech has caused among Israel supporters in the US.
“The American people see the rift between Israel and the administration. The Israeli public sees it. And more important: the Mulas in Iran see it. Iran wants Netanyahu’s speech – since it understands that it will weaken Israel’s bipartisan bond with the US.
"For Iran, a strategically weak Israel is an asset which will help Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, since they know that it will prevent a viable military option against them," Levin explained.
Gen. (res.) Ran Ronen, a famous pilot and former Israeli console in Los Angles said Netanyahu speech would aleinetie the White House and thus poses a real security threat to Israel.
“The US and its president are not enemies of Israel. They are its closest allies. A policy that alienates them is not only wrong – but also poses a strategic threat to Israel’s security. Pushing Israel to the front of the international effort to foil Iran’s nuclear program will not only cause these efforts to fail, it will also prevent an effective international military action if one will be needed.”
Reshef, the founder of Commanders for Israel’s security, reiterated that the movement is non-partisan and included members from the entire political spectrum in Israel – including Likud.
“We are not telling Israelis who to vote for and are not politically motivated. All we care about is Israel’s security and the policy needed to strengthen it – including a security-diplomatic initiative between Israel and moderate Arab countries,” he said.
Only a few days ago, in an exclusive interview to Ynet's print publication, the former head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, told Ynet that he agrees with prime minister on threat posed by a nuclear Iran, but warned that Netanyahu "is single-handedly motivating the Americans into rushing to reach an agreement."
"Netanyahu," Dagan claimed, "is the person that has caused Israel the most strategic damage when it comes to the Iranian issue is the prime minister."