War by Other Means

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Every day, it becomes increasingly evident that the Obama administration is waging a diplomatic war against Israel, where it is determined to twist the perception of Israel in the eyes of the American public to that of foe, while manipulating the perception of Iran to that of friend. It has become so blatant, that every morning when I reach for the newspaper, I brace myself for the latest blow to Israel to come out of the Oval Office.

Earlier this week, it was the orchestrated leak to The Wall Street Journal suggesting that the Israelis have been spying on the Americans in their talks with Iran and relaying the information to Congress. First of all, this is a patently preposterous claim. The executive branch has a constitutional obligation to inform the legislative branch about arms treaties. As former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said at an Endowment for Middle East Truth-sponsored event on Capitol Hill last week, there is no conceivable way that the negotiations with Iran can possibly be characterized as anything other than an arms control treaty. According to the U.S. Constitution, a treaty requires Senate approval. That means that the president must send all details of the negotiations to the Senate for their “advice and consent.” As the article in the Journal pointed out, “The espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers.”

The fact that someone in the White House is complaining about members of Congress knowing too many details of the negotiations, and concluding that they must have gotten the privileged information through Israel, obviously means the president is not fulfilling his constitutional duty, which he swore to fulfill when he put his hand on the Bible and took his oath of office.

Aside from the inappropriateness of the complaint, there is the substance of the complaint. In case anyone has been asleep for the last several decades, Israel is living in a pretty tough neighborhood. Notwithstanding the facts that a) on Nov. 4 the Iranians mark the annual Death to America Day during which millions of people come out onto the streets and routinely burn the American flag to commemorate the seizing of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979; b) last weekend, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched yet another Death to America tirade; and c) the Iranians are working on intercontinental ballistic missiles. They do not need intercontinental ballistic missiles to reach Tel Aviv.

We know, however, that Israel will be first in the crosshairs of an Iranian nuclear attack. Therefore, the Israeli government is hardly a disinterested party in these negotiations. The only way that the Israelis even found out that the Obama administration was negotiating with the Islamic republic over their nuclear program was through the Saudis, who revealed it to them in March 2013. The Saudis, for their part, are trembling in their shoes as they watch Sanaa, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut being taken over by Iran, one by one. They view Iran as their number one enemy. The Saudis see the U.S. administration throwing Israel under the bus and they are signing deals with South Korea, Pakistan, China, Argentina and France to build nuclear plants.

The U.S. administration stopped briefing Israel about the Iranian negotiations when the Israelis raised concerns about the weakness of American negotiating position. We now learn that the Iranians want nothing in writing, which brings up these obvious questions: How good a deal can it possibly be if they won’t even write it down? How can we monitor compliance to an agreement if there is no written record of what has been agreed upon?

Today we also learned that Washington has caved to Iran’s demand to continue enriching uranium in the underground military bunker at Fordo. This means that even if Iran decides to kick out the inspectors, under this agreement they will still have international consent to continue the enrichment.

Speaking of inspectors, on Monday, Yukiya Amano, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. agency charged with monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, said, “We are still not in a position to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is [for a] peaceful purpose. Progress has been very limited in clarifying issues with possible military dimensions.”

But President Barack Obama and his henchmen are prepared to willfully turn a blind eye to this kind of behavior. This is tantamount to a woman believing an abusive boyfriend who promises to stop beating her up after they get married.

The Obama administration is so determined to whitewash the behavior of the Iranians that when State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked about the Iranian supreme leader’s “Death to America tirade over the weekend” her response was, “He has to say this for domestic consumption.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is determined to cherry-pick statements made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the heat of an election referring to the necessity to get out the vote because of the renewed strength of a united Arab block vote (some of whose members represent parties that unabashedly claim they want Israel destroyed). But Obama cannot excuse these remarks so easily. Earlier this week, Obama said in reference to Netanyahu’s comments, “This can’t be reduced to a matter of, let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbayah,” These are the sort of words that are often reserved for the members of a terrorist state, not for a democratic ally.

And because of words that the prime minister said during the heat of an election.

I remember another candidate who, when he was running for office, told an American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in 2008: “Finally, let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel. Sometimes there are no alternatives to confrontation.” That candidate was Barack Obama.

The obvious double standard that has been selectively used against the prime minister of Israel in efforts to dismiss his very serious and valid concerns about a diplomatic agreement with the Islamic republic, gives new meaning to Karl Von Clausewitz’s definition of diplomacy as “warfare by other means.”

Originally published at Israel Hayom: https://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=12105


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The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. EMET (which means truth in Hebrew) prides itself on challenging the falsehoods and misrepresentations that abound in U.S. Middle East policy.

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