Israel’s response to the nuclear deal with Iran is about what was expected. Benjamin Netanyahu is stomping around like a toddler who missed his nap, denouncing the terms long before he could have possibly taken the time to read them. Much like a toddler, who will make a scene at the store with the agenda of getting something he wants, Netanyahu has begun what will surely be sixty days of keywords and talking points aimed at sparking an emotional response from right-wing extremists both in Israel and in the U.S. while Congress discusses its options.
He doesn’t have to worry about the U.S. The deal was struck by the Obama administration, meaning to the GOP base, especially the extreme and fringe right, it’s bad. Very, very bad. They have neither the intelligence nor the desire to seek the available information to understand the deal, so they will revert to “it supports Muslims,” and will ultimately result in a Mullah occupying the White House.
Bibi knows the deal will pass. His antics are nothing but showmanship.
After the whining and crying, after Bibi has expended all of his available bully tactics, after Congress approves a bill refusing to lift sanctions, the inevitable veto and failed override, the Iran nuclear deal will become a reality. Once the need for public posturing is over and he’s thoroughly exhausted from kicking, stomping and holding his breath until he turns blue, Netanyahu will turn to the next phase of his agenda, an increase in aid and some form of military hardware package to keep his country “safe” from an Iran whose nuclear capacities just went in the toilet.
The deal between the P5+1 and Iran cuts off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. A path that both American and Israeli intelligence say Iran hasn’t even started down. Regardless, under the new deal, their breakout time would be a year or more, and they would be under close supervision. Under the deal the U.S. and its allies would have plenty of time to respond, rather than scrambling for a resolution and going to war (remind you of anything?) without the deal, which is of course what Republicans and Netanyahu want.
The GOP wants war for profit, Netanyahu wants Iran crippled. Neither of those things is going to happen and they know it. Still, the show must go on.
A safer Middle East means Israel needs more money?
Of course it does. We currently supply Israel with $3 Billion a year in aid. Israel isn’t exactly destitute. In terms of straight numbers, they’re in better shape than we are. But alas, they are Israel. The lone, sovereign democracy in a land of kings, tribes, and warring factions. They must have defenses in place to combat the impending doom.
In most regards this is true. There are those in the Middle East who would love to see Israel obliterated. Iran, for example, has called for the ultimate destruction of Israel on many occasions. The religious sect the United States helped install in the Iranian coup of 1953, just as the country was on the verge of joining western civilization, ensured a long-standing and profitable military standoff for more than 60 years.
So, in return for the religion-based governments we favored in the latter part of the last century, we got a never-ending cycle of giving Israel money for weapons that we then turned around and sold them. The military-industrial complex at its finest.
When Bibi is done stomping and crying, this is where he’ll go next, and it won’t be on any small-scale.
The New York Times reports that talks with Israel before the deal leaned towards an increase to the ridiculously generous $3 billion aid package we already give them to between $4.2 and $4.5 billion for the next ten years.
Because, Iran won’t have the capability to go nuclear.
But, we must appease the Israelis. We won’t ask them to stop killing, torturing, and violating the human rights of Palestinians or to acknowledge them as a people or a state, demands like that would be unreasonable and futile. We won’t ask them to put aside their stubborn ways and sit at a table with someone besides Egypt, who opposes the Muslim Brotherhood and therefore Hamas, or Saudi Arabia, whose millennium-old battle between Shiite and Sunni keeps them at odds with Iran, we’ll just give them money just because.
Maybe a few more F-15I Fighters? How about some more cash for the Arrow defense system? We hear one didn’t work so well in 2014, and even though that’s not our fault or our problem, we’ll send some cash to fix it, no need to spend your own money defending yourselves.
At what point can we stop feeling sorry for Israel?
We’ve stood by them for decades. Lately we watch with pursed lips as they send missiles into residential neighborhoods because they “have the right to defend themselves.” We see the human rights of innocent Palestinians disregarded because Hamas exists. We give them whatever support they ask for. We have to. They’ve been persecuted as a people for 5000 years.
At some point somebody will have to call shenanigans and ask Israel to stand on its own. You want Iran to stop pursuing nuclear weapons? Rather than pretending you have none and asking for a nuclear guarantee, meaning if Iran attacks with a nuke the US will nuke them for you, lay yours out on the desert floor for all to see then destroy them as an act of good faith.
They can’t do that, then they wouldn’t be able to defend themselves.
Israel isn’t some weak child on the playground that needs help warding off bullies. Israel is a capable nuclear power with an impressive military and incredible resolve. Just like the United States, when it stops caving to the paranoia and fear of its right-wing factions, fewer on the world stage will point and laugh and more will be willing to sit down for lunch and discuss the future.
Until then we get the whiny crybaby who won’t pull his own money out to pay for lunch after ordering the lobster bisque and truffle salad.
Featured image via screen capture