As we noted last week, the Israelis are signalling that they will go along with the Iran deal, but they want a lot of military largesse in order to do so. And you thought this was a matter of principle on the part of the Israelis, and Iran is an existential threat? Turns out it is a bargaining chip, and who are they bargaining, but the United States, the country that already gives Israel $3 billion a year, much of that in weapons.
This is news to make a cynic grin. Amos Harel in Haaretz reports that Washington and Jerusalem are “discussing massive compensation for Iranian nuclear deal”:
Although Israel continues to publicly oppose the emerging agreement, unofficial contacts have begun. U.S. likely to provide Israel with more F-35 combat aircraft, missile defense systems.
The United States and Israel have begun preliminary, unofficial contacts regarding special American military aid for Israel due to developments in the Middle East.
Jason Ditz at Antiwar.com, says “US Eager to Placate, but Israeli government split on terms”:
US State Department officials have expressed puzzlement about Israel’s hesitance in naming a price, but it likely that this split will continue for awhile until Israel issues actual demands.
Demands. How will Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein feel about our best friend in the world making demands on us for it to go along with a historic agreement for world peace?
Ditz says that the Israeli Foreign Ministry is worried about the appearance of hypocrisy, over a red line, no less:
The Foreign Ministry are also concerned, having been the ministry heavily campaigning internationally about the “threat” of the deal, that they will appear to have surrendered to the US.
And cynics are responding to the news. “My big fat Israeli arsenal,” Uri Misgav writes in Haaretz:
It warms the heart to hear of the Pentagon’s “compensation deal” with Israel in exchange for the agreement with Iran.
The deal consists of 8,000 smart bombs, 14,500 smart bomb guidance systems, 50 bunker busters, 4,100 “small” bombs (only 110 kilograms of explosives) and 3,000 Hellfire missiles for the Apache helicopters. The overall cost is $1.8 billion. This does not include separate deals for another 3,000 bomb guidance kits and enlarging the F-35 stealth bomber fleet.
He is on my theme, the end of the Jewish paradigm.
This is what remains of the Jewish genius: smart bombs, student trips to the Warsaw Ghetto and swearing-in ceremonies for military recruits in Masada.
This cynic tweets:
Thank you America. Now we can kill more @palestinian @IsraelApartheid is backed by the full support of the US government.
Uri Avnery is also cynical:
What I see is the US increasing its support of the Netanyahu regime, offering huge new arms deliveries as “compensation” for the budding Iran nuclear deal. John Kerry, humiliated by Netanyahu and treated with open contempt, is groveling somewhere at our feet. Obama boasts that he has done more for “Israel” (meaning the Israeli Right) than any other president.
Here is some evidence of the exchange, from last week. US approves nearly $2 billion in munitions sales to Israel.
The US State Department has approved a massive arms sale to Israel for a variety of munitions including the joint direct attack munition, laser-guided paveway, small diameter bomb, hellfire missile and advanced medium-range air-to-air missile in a potential deal worth an estimated $1.9 billion to domestic arms suppliers. The sale is foreshadowed in a notice to Congress published today by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency…. The sale, if finalized, would be a windfall for US arms supplier, principally Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Ellwood Group and Raytheon.
By the way, the Israeli defense minister’s shocking citation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as role models for Israel’s conduct vis-a-vis Iran has gotten picked up in the MSM since we complained of a blackout. The Times of Israel ran the story.
And so did The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor, noting Iran’s complaint to the U.N.:
Iran’s envoy to the United Nations sent a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, as well as the Security Council, protesting recent remarks made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who invoked the United States’ dropping of atomic bombs on Japan during World War II when responding to a question of how to deal with Iran at a conference in Tel Aviv this month.
The Iranian letter, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency, said Yaalon’s comments showed “the [Israeli] regime’s aggressive nature” and was an indication of Israel’s own extensive, covert nuclear arsenal, whose existence remains an open secret.
But Yaalon seemed to acknowledge that Israel has nukes; and Iran is pressing for Israel to get rid of its nukes. So maybe there is an upside to these deals? Military Times says the U.S. is pushing for nonproliferation.
The United States has sent a top official to Israel in an effort to revive talks on a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons, a central issue of a nuclear treaty review conference that some fear will end Friday without progress on global disarmament. The State Department confirmed that the assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation was in Israel to discuss the issue.
Establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons in one of the world’s most tense regions is a rare point of agreement between the United States and Russia these days. Frustrated by the delay of a conference on the zone that was supposed to take place three years ago, Russia has proposed that UN-led talks be held no later than March 2016. Secretary of State John Kerry this month called the proposed zone an “ambitious goal and fraught with challenges” but worth pursuing.
Pie in the sky? State Department briefing last week:
QUESTION: In the future, if it ever comes to pass that the Middle East is declared as a nuclear weapons-free zone, it should include Israel, right?
MS [Marie] HARF: I don’t have much more to share for you than this