Israel’s Failed Anti-Iranian Nuclear Deal Campaign
A detailed Wall Street Journal report explained how Netanyahu’s congressional campaign proved counterproductive. It failed to achieve enough support to derail the Iran nuclear deal.
It alienated some congressional members for challenging Obama irresponsibly. In early August, Netanyahu met with 22 US Democrat lawmakers, said the Journal.
For two hours, he “worked the room,” using props and answering questions posed, said the Journal. “(H)is feelings were clear.”
He lied claiming the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “would seriously jeopardize Israel’s security.”
“The Aug. 9 session in the prime minister’s office was a telling moment in an extraordinary campaign by Mr. Netanyahu to scuttle the agreement.”
“Both supporters and opponents say they can’t recall any other foreign government inserting itself so directly into an American political debate, especially against a deal the White House considers a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s legacy.”
“The high stakes Israeli campaign has left the White House furious and many Democrats resentful.” It fell flat – 37 senators now support JCPOC, more than enough to sustain an Obama veto.
Former Democrat national security staff member Daniel Harsha called Israel’s campaign against a US president’s initiative “without parallel.”
White House efforts followed in response. The Journal cited congressional aides saying they rarely ever saw “the Obama administration mount such intensive outreach.”
Members of Israel’s security establishment expressed concern about “the consequences of Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign on US-Israeli relations.”
Former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy said he “never s(aw) such an effort, almost in broad daylight, to involved ourselves in internal American politics, to work on the ground to try to effect a political outcome.”
Halevy’s spy agency successor Meir Dagan explained “(f)riendly countries are not supposed to do this to each other.”
No other nation anywhere could get away with a campaign like Netanyahu (and AIPAC) undertook. Obama countered it – meeting privately with congressional members, holding Situation Room briefings and conducting other lobbying efforts.
John Kerry invited lawmakers to his Nantucket home for discussions. Despite Obama and Netanyahu clearly disliking each other, US/Israeli relations remain rock-solid.
Washington offered Israel increased annual military aide – a teaspoon of sugar to help the Iran nuclear deal to go down, an offer Netanyahu deferred accepting while campaigning to derail JCPOC.
Near unanimous US bipartisan support for Israel is longstanding. Nothing suggests change, despite an unnamed senior Obama administration official saying “the damage is done.”
Netanyahu broke “all the rules. People are angry.” He pressured lawmakers – irresponsibly claiming they had a “moral” choice on an issue threatening Israel’s security, polar opposite truth.
The Journal said only two of the 22 Democrat lawmakers meeting with Netanyahu last month said they oppose JCPOC. Seven others indicated support.
Israel hasn’t given up the fight to derail it. It remains to be seen what Netanyahu has in mind for Plan B.