Trump’s decertification of the Iran deal is sad news of course, though there are some silver linings. Nothing may come of it. The Congress might woof a lot but leave it alone. Germany, France, and Britain have already slapped the president down– they “stand committed” to the deal. Though look who was quick to “congratulate” the president:
“Israel embraces this opportunity,” Netanyahu says. And so should every leader responsible for “the security of the world.”
So it is clear as ever who is against the deal. Israel and its lobby. That’s all, folks. The other night on NBC, Andrea Mitchell said that Trump would gladden “his base” by decertifying the deal, but this is simply a lie. Trump’s base of disaffected white voters in red states don’t care about Iran. The pro-Israel wing does. Trump’s “billionaire donors”– three rightwing Israel supporters– care. The media’s evasion of this central question is more transparent than ever.
The leading Israel lobby group AIPAC was quick to adore the president on his speech. “POTUS policy objectives: Confront Iran’s regional aggression and fix dangerous flaws in the nuclear deal.”
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) October 14, 2017
Too bad that Susan Rice didn’t openly confront AIPAC when she had power, as national security adviser to Obama, and ambassador to the U.N. Though Obama tried to call out Israel, in his great, I’d be abrogating my constitutional duties speech, when he said he couldn’t defer to Netanyahu.
Israel runs through all arguments on the deal. Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which is funded by Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus and is all about Israel, stole Netanyahu’s line on PBS last night–“Fix it or nix it”– without crediting the Israeli p.m. The Republican Jewish Coalition promptly declared that Trump has bolstered Israel’s security. The Israel Project at least tells us what the real problem with Iran is: It helps Hamas and Hezbollah, Israel’s pesky enemies. That’s an existential threat to the west?
While supporters of the deal also have to salute Israel in order to seem plausible. Rob Malley cited “Prime Minister Netanyahu” approvingly last night on the News Hour– Netanyahu described Iran’s “existential threat” back in 2014 and we have addressed it. Fred Kaplan invokes “the vast majority of Israeli military and intelligence officers.” Trudy Rubin cites Ami Ayalon and other Israeli “security experts.” So does J Street: “Killing the JCPOA would also increase the threat to Israel – which is why the majority of the Israeli security establishment believes the agreement should be maintained.”
So Israel’s security interest is what matters– the establishment agrees. South Korea and Japan should have it so good when it comes to North Korea. But they don’t.
The lobby’s friends in the Senate are very happy. Tom Cotton wants regime change. While Marco Rubio says the deal is “Munich” for the 21st century. Iran is going to take over Europe, cracks Ben Rhodes. We really are going nuts.
Thanks to Max Blumenthal and James North.