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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

David Ignatius, "How the Iran deal became the most strategic success of Obama’s presidency": David, Are You Willing to Debate Dershowitz?



In a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "How the Iran deal became the most strategic success of Obama’s presidency," David Ignatius would have us know that Obama's nuclear deal with Iran is a "strategic success," despite the fact that it flies in the face of a majority of American voters and significant majorities in both houses of Congress. It is also amazing that Ignatius's op-ed makes no mention of the continuing incarceration of WaPo reporter Jason Rezaian in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison.

In response to Ignatius's opinion piece, I have written the following letter to Mike Larabee, op-ed editor at WaPo:


Dear Mike,

In his Washington Post opinion piece entitled "How the Iran deal became the most strategic success of Obama’s presidency," David Ignatius writes:

"But Obama’s bet is endorsed by many leading strategists in the United States and abroad. Even in Israel, there’s grudging support from a growing share of the national-security establishment, who see the deal as preferable to any realistic alternative. The outliers are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the U.S Republican leadership, who reject an agreement most nations endorse."

To support his claim that there is "grudging support from a growing share of the Israeli national security establishment," Mr. Ignatius cites a July 22, 2015 article entitled "How an Iran deal can be good for Israel, according to some Israelis who know what they’re talking about" by Ishaan Tharoor.

First, this article, which is almost two months old, refers to "some Israelis," and not a "growing share" of Israel's "national security establishment." In fact, the article makes reference to only three persons from Israel's "national security establishment," all retired from the said establishment, who favor the deal:

• Ami Ayalon, former head of the Shin Bet," who is 70 years old and retired from the Shin Bet 15 years ago.
• Efraim Halevy, former chief of the Mossad, who is 80 years old and left the Mossad 13 years ago.
• Meir Dagan, former chief of the Mossad, who is 70 years old and left the Mossad in 2011.

The article also makes reference to "Amos Yadlin, a retired air force general and former head of Israeli military intelligence," however, as noted at the bottom of Tharoor's article:

"Clarification: The headline on earlier versions of this post – “How the Iran deal is good for Israel, according to Israelis who know what they’re talking about” – did not reflect the nuance of some of the positions of Israeli officials cited. The headline has been changed to reflect this. Additionally, the post was updated soon after publishing to include language noting that Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israeli military intelligence, is 'not a fan of the deal,' but that he has 'called for Israeli calm and cooperation with Washington.'"

In short, the article cited by Mr. Ignatius does not support his contention that there is "grudging support from a growing share of the Israeli national security establishment."
Moreover, regarding Mr. Ignatius's claim that Netanyahu is an "outlier," Mr. Ignatius fails to mention polls showing that Israelis are strongly opposed to the nuclear deal with Iran, and that even the Israeli opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, strongly opposes the deal. As observed in an August 12 article entitled "Polls Show Israelis Strongly Oppose Iran Nuclear Deal - A look at several Israeli public opinion polls shows a broad consensus against the deal that seems to transcend conventional political divides," published by the left-of-center Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

"Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog is not happy with the Iran nuclear deal signed last month – to put it mildly. And he’s not the only high-profile Israeli from the center-left – among them some prominent peace activists, writers and commentators – to voice dissent, or at least skepticism."

In short, I believe that Mr. Ignatius's opinion piece is in need of immediate correction.

By the way, Alan Dershowitz, who twice voted for President Obama, is adamantly opposed to the nuclear deal with Iran. (Is Mr. Dershowitz also an "outlier"?) Perhaps Mr. Ignatius would care to debate Mr. Dershowitz on the deal's merits?

Best,
Jeffrey


Stay tuned . . .

2 comments:

  1. WH point is now to preserve USA 'credibility'.

    Count the times the Senate Dems (Reid) say "move on". At the end of yesterday's 'debate', Senator McConnell wants Iran to recognize Israel's right to exist and release the four Americans in Iran jails.


    North Korea is the wild card, but winning ugly is a win, to the echo chamber.

    ok, Trump is the real wild card. Tune in tomorrow to survey the post-debate talking points.

    America: land of the free and Reality TV;
    home of the brave talking points...

    The debate may continue through the next election, no matter what the reality.

    k

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  2. Correct... the real wild card is Trump himself. Don't think for a moment though that he'll be a better choice for Israel than Clinton.
    Trump's Hollywood character was probably portrayed best by Thomas F. Wilson who plays an older 'Biff' in the film 'Back to the Future 2'. A neighborhood bully who becomes one of the richest and powerful men in the country (in 2015!).
    Ann Coulter is one of his biggest fans. Here is what she had to say about the Jews during the debate:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11871409/Ann-Coulter-racist-Jews-tweets-Meet-Americas-most-hated-woman.html

    ReplyDelete