White House officials have curtailed the sharing of information with Israel over concerns Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, passed negotiating instructions regarding American nuclear talks with Iran to Israeli journalists, who, in turn, broadcast the guidelines on Israeli television.
The erupting controversy, which further strains U.S.-Israeli relations, is a direct result of a late-January news account which appeared in The Times of Israel and reported an unnamed senior Israeli official had informed Israeli media outlets the United States was prepared to allow Iran a higher number of centrifuges than Israel was previously aware and the United States was willing to agree to a majority of Iran’s demands in a proposed nuclear deal. The Obama administration claims Netanyahu was the source of the leaks; the Israelis responded to White House claims by announcing the terms of the deal with Iran were known to the public.
More frightening than this news about alleged leaks is an American-negotiated design which allows Iran to have the capability for nuclear devices and betraying our Israeli friends.
Explaining the White House’s manifold failures with their “engagement” policy has become difficult to analyze, but when the White House disassociates itself from the vital partner, Israel, it represents a growing brazenness in the conduct of its foreign policy in the region.
There are some deeply-disturbing conclusions to draw from the White House’s recent actions: (a) The Obama administration is casting Israel aside as unworthy partners and dissolved the mutual interest the two allies shared when decisions which entail Israel’s survival are critical; (b) the approach is to spare no word of praise for Tehran and shout down the urgent pleas from Israel; (c) while Washington court tyrants in Tehran, the Iranians chortle at American warnings and Israel, the only democracy in the troubled region, remains a target; (d) this policy not only puts Israel at risk, it deeply strains American credibility and creates and deepens an atmosphere of distrust among all of our allies; (e) and the White House is hoping for a needed breakthrough the Obama administration can trumpet as a vindication of their strategy with Iran.
As Iran policy slips off the rails, Obama acts as if Israel is speaking out of turn. The United States needs to remain completely hostile to any endeavor which allows Iran to continue a program enabling them to acquire or create a nuclear weapon. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, a troubled region made even more distressed because of recent civil strife in Egypt, Yemen and Iraq.
[Washington Post] [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]