Should Israelis be allowed to get away with deceiving the world about their nuclear program when they’re demanding transparency from Iran?
Above is a video of a panel on Sunday at J Street, the Israel lobby group, at the Washington Convention Center. There were five Members of the Israeli Knesset on stage, and the moderator was a sixth Israeli, Udi Segal, diplomatic correspondent of Channel 2 News.
You can watch Segal and two Members of Knesset engage in bantering obfuscation about Israel’s nuclear program, in front of a couple of thousand Americans.
Go to minute 26:30. Tzachi Hanegbi, a Likud parliamentarian, the affable balding fellow with the purple tie, talks about Iran’s nuclear program, and Segal, on the left, and Merav Michaeli, the woman in black next to him, who represents Labor, chime in.
Hanegbi: The prime minister of Israel says, and the president of the United States is also saying, that it’s not enough [for Iran] to smile, and it’s not enough to be pragmatic and moderate in rhetoric..…[Quoting Obama] The conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable. This is what we stand for, and we know exactly what has to be done….
Segal: A few minutes ago, there was an interview with foreign minister Zarif of Iran on ABC. And… he refers to what Netanyahu is saying for the last 23 years. From 1991 Benjamin Netanyahu is saying Iran’s going to have nuclear weapons in 6 months and we still don’t have– we don’t want nuclear weapons. Israel is the one to have 2 warheads, nuclear warheads.
Hanegbi: That’s what he said.
Segal: That’s what he said.
Michaeli: That’s a little different.
Segal: To be clear on that. That’s what he said. 200
Michaeli: According to a foreign publisher, yes.
Segal: I’m asking, What do you say to Foreign Minister Zarif of Iran.
Hagnebi. I saw his declaration and I feel sorry for him because he‘s contradicting the spirit of Rouhani’s Iranian approach. Iran problem is not is not Netanyahu’s so-called lies. It’s the decisions of the IAEA….
As they had this banter about Israel supposedly having nuclear weapons, people in the audience laughed. Today in the Washington Post, Walter Pincus says in the name of transparency, Israel should admit it has nuclear weapons.
It’s time for Israel to stop making military threats and to propose an imaginative diplomatic move — risky as it may seem — to help ease nuclear tensions in the Middle East.
It can start by acknowledging its own nuclear weapons program.
He’s right. And I wonder why a liberal American group is enabling Israeli officials to get away with this kind of deception, even as they’re demanding accountability from Iran.
H/t commenter Lysias.