In decertifying Iran deal, Trump caves to Israel. But who will say so?

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The Iran Deal is in danger. Donald Trump is said to plan to decertify Iran’s compliance with the deal by October 15 and kick it over to Congress to reimpose sanctions, or not.

And one problem is that supporters of the deal aren’t naming the Number One Enemy of the deal, which is Israel and its lobby. Maybe they forget, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress in 2015, trying to preempt the U.S. president’s signature foreign policy achievement. Maybe they forget that President Obama stated at the height of the fight for the deal that only Israel opposed the deal openly, of all countries in the world, but if he sided with Israel it would be an “abrogation” of his constitutional duty to protect the interests of the American people.

The New York Times all but leaves out the Israel angle in this explainer on the deal, by the usually-superb Rick Gladstone. Why has Trump called it the worst deal? What do other politicians have to say about it? Why is Trump so hostile? Gladstone raises these political angles with only one glancing reference to Israel.

Similarly, the Washington Post says that Trump’s decision on the deal could cause a “major breach” with European allies, but there is no reference to the Israeli interest pressing the U.S. A European official speaks anonymously to the Post about the fearful Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, working to reimpose sanctions.

“But we’re convinced somebody like Cotton will go out with a bill,” said the official… “That will cause a crisis among the Republicans. . . . Nobody wants to appear to be defending Iran. Nobody wants to appear to be defending Obama.”

Tom Cotton got elevated to the Senate from the House in Arkansas in 2014 in part through a $1 million campaign contribution from Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel. Cotton immediately became the neocon horse in the Senate, battling the Iran deal at every turn.

Another political meteor, UN ambassador Nikki Haley, (who’s said says she’s going to kick Israel’s foes in her high heels), is already promoting Cotton’s criticisms of the Iran deal.

As for that “crisis” among Republicans over the deal, how much does that have to do with the mother’s milk of politics, money? At Lobelog, Eli Clifton says that Trump is caving to three billionaire donors: Bernard Marcus, Paul Singer, and Sheldon Adelson. “All three have funded groups that sought to thwart the negotiations leading to the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, official name of the deal], including [Mark] Dubowitz’s FDD [Foundation for the Defense of Democracies], and have given generously to Trump.”

At least Clifton identifies Israel’s role in trying to torpedo the deal. And as for the three billionaires, they’re all giant supporters of right wing Israel. Adelson has of course called for the nuking of Iran, as reported here first, and says he regretted not serving in the Israeli army. Paul Singer backs certain liberal causes domestically, such as LGBT rights, but turns into a neoconservative when it comes to the Jewish state (Commentary magazine, the Kagan clan, the Republican Jewish Coalition).

That’s the best thing about this battle; the billionaires are rightwing Zionists, but the Zionist lobby in the U.S. is splitting over the Iran deal. J Street is strongly defending the deal, (citing Israel’s genuine interest, as usual). So the Israel lobby has fractured over the deal, as it is also split over Netanyahu and the two-state solution. There is open infighting inside the lobby, and things are poppin loose. To the point that the Jewish Forward has run an article by the lobby’s leading critic.

The American people’s interest is clearly in maintaining this deal. But we’ve taken a big step backward from summer 2015, when the Israel interest could be named, by Obama and John Kerry. Unless our press calls out the country that’s trying to undermine the deal, it will be a lot easier for politicians to gain cover for their opposition.

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“Jeff b” will be along any minute to sing an old Stevie Wonder song.

Whether the Iran deal is good or not for the world is the first question and I follow the Israeli generals who say that it is good. The politics here is partially Israeli lobby, but also the vacuousness of the Republican party. It used to be the party of stuffed shirts and Wall Street types, but no longer. It is now the party that really thrills at chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” It is a party that… Read more »

i don’t think trump is going to decertify the deal. Eli Clifton says that Trump is caving to three billionaire donors: Bernard Marcus, Paul Singer, and Sheldon Adelson. clifton wrote, “Trump is expected to “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal….according to the Washington Post” (my bold). then he wrote: perhaps a bigger pressure on Trump to decertify comes from three of his biggest political donors: Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer, and Bernard Marcus. i’m just mentioning this… Read more »

This is ‘interesting’: “U.S. Ambassador’s Adviser Ran ‘Dark Money’ Nonprofit That Donated $1m to Right-wing Israeli Group Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone has been working for U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman for several months, but previously worked at Shining City, which gave millions of shekels to Im Tirzu from unknown sources … Im Tirtzu defines itself as a Zionist movement, but is best known for its media campaign at the end of 2015 when it branded… Read more »

Nobody is caving to Israel. Even Obama said outright the deal wasn’t a’good’ deal but only that it was’the best’ deal he could manage. That Europeans are squawking about its merits to me, is a great reason to go the opposite direction. Russia,(or should I say Putin?) … Of course he wants his buffer of Iranian influence exactly the way the Soviet wanted a eastern Balkan/euro buffer. . I think only a fool believes the… Read more »