This weekend it looks like for many Israelis “Hasimon Nafal” which is a term from the time in Israel that pay phones used tokens(the token dropped), so the phrase means that suddenly people started to get it. The get it in this case, is the fact the PM Netanyahu might be steering the ship of state on to the rocks with his policy on the Iran agreement. It started with the President Ruby Rivlin being asked in an interview what he thought of the policy. His answer was that the most important strategic asset Israel has is it’s relations with the United States. The second most important strategic asset Israel has is it’s relations with the United States and the third most important strategic asset Israel has is it’s relations with the United States.
Rivlins remarks suddenly made it ok to criticize the Prime Minister. MK Omer Bar Lev from the Zionist Camp and the former commander of the elite Sayert Matkal wrote a long post on Facebook saying the agreement is not so bad. General (ret) Yossi Kuperwasser who was the commander of the Central Command and military advisor to PM Sharon, on the main Friday night news on Channel 10 stated that what is going on in Washington is a disaster and it will weaken Israel. We must accept the idea that this is done deal, and the Americans do not have to ask us when they enter into an agreement.
Political analysts believe despite the Shumer decision President Obama has the votes to sustain the veto. They are starting to ask the question and what if Netanyahu wins. What then. Of course no one has the answer. Most Israelis still support the PM, but questions are finally being asked.
Two last points, I read Senator Shumer’s statement and he like other critics raises good questions, but of course he does not answer the question what will happen if the Congress overrides the veto, his statement seems more like, it’s a problematic agreement and therefore I will vote against so my conscious is clear.
Which brings me to some of the Jewish supporters. Peter Beinhart had a ridiculous article in Ha’aretz saying that Iran is not an existential threat to Israel. It’s a ridiculous article based that boils down to the fact that until now they have not tried to destroy Israel, therefore they will not in the future. Yitzhak Rabin recognized Iran as a potential existential threat and that was one of his reasons for pursuing Oslo. Supporters of the agreement including J Street need to acknowledge Israelis very real fears that if given a chance Iran would wipe us off the map, but explain why this agreement is the best of some poor options.
Tomorrow I will try to interview of few Israeli politicians and put together a Newsweek article for Monday on the main theme of this post.