The Emergency Committee for Israel is warning that President Barack Obama can’t keep promises–whether it’s on health care or Iran. The neoconservative group’s latest video warns that the American people can’t trust the president, and that he’s the one marching towards a war with Iran.
It’s the latest salvo from right-wingers seeking to scuttle a diplomatic deal with Iran over its nuclear energy program. Since the breakdown of talks with Iran in Geneva last weekend, American neoconservatives, along with Israeli officials, have come out against a deal with the Islamic Republic.
The video attempts to capitalize on the health care debacle the Obama administration has found itself in. Just like with Obama’s misleading promise to Americans that they can keep their health insurance if they want it, the ad says, the American people shouldn’t trust his promise that he has “Israel’s back” on Iran. For good measure, the neocon group run by right-winger Noah Pollak and founded by Bill Kristol implicitly criticizes Obama for not bombing Syria when Bashar al-Assad crossed the president’s “red line.”
The end of the ad is of a nuclear bomb exploding.
The group has devoted much of its energy to attacking Obama over his Iran policy, even as his administration supported crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic. In 2012, an advertisement called on the U.S. to “act” by attacking Iran.
The Emergency Committee for Israel is joining a campaign waged by Israel that has grown over the last week, with an anonymous government official telling Haaretz that Secretary of State John Kerry can’t be trusted on Iran.
Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Twitter account posted this misleading message:
Israel’s friends in Congress have taken up the call to scuttle a deal too. On Wednesday, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who has forged close ties to AIPAC, told reporters that Kerry’s briefing on Iran that day was “fairly anti-Israeli.” Kirk added: “This administration like Neville Chamberlain is yielding a large and bloody conflict in the Middle East involving Iranian nuclear weapons that will now be part of our children’s future. And the best way to prevent that from happening is to continue sanctions.” Israel’s Economy Minister, Naftali Bennett, is in Washington to lobby Congress to keep up the sanctions.
And Foreign Policy magazine’s John Hudson reports that Israel and the Obama administration are locked in an “information war” over a deal with Iran. Hudson reports that “Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are storming Capitol Hill in an effort to discredit the Obama administration’s interim nuclear deal with Iran…As a result, lawmakers have begun citing a range of facts and figures the Obama administration says are wildly inaccurate.” Those figures concern the amount of money in sanctions relief Iran could get from a deal, and the amount of time Iran’s nuclear enrichment program would be set back.
Iran experts in favor of a diplomatic deal, though, warn that continued sanctions could scuttle a rapprochement, and in turn lead the U.S. on a path towards war. That was a message echoed by the White House yesterday.
The campaign against diplomacy with Iran comes as the International Atomic Energy Agency released a reporting indicating the country has slowed its nuclear program down. As Reuters reported, the report states that “Iran has stopped expanding its uranium enrichment capacity” and that “no further major components had been added to a potential plutonium-producing reactor that worries the United States and its allies.”
Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance remains unchanged, though. “I am not impressed with reports that we hear that Iran has not expanded its nuclear facilities and the reason for that is they don’t need to,” he said. “They’ve got enough facilities, enough centrifuges to develop and to complete the fissile material which is at the core of an atomic bomb.”