Netanyahu’s mouthpiece largely parrots the prime minister’s warnings and fears; leading columnists in other newspapers label the deal a personal failure for Netanyahu, warn that the ground-breaking agreement actually puts a military option back on the table.
By Edo Konrad and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Even before the historic nuclear agreement with Iran was announced Tuesday morning, Israel’s most widely read newspaper was parroting the prime minister’s condemnations of what he termed “a deal at any cost.” The front-page headline in Israel Hayom, which is regarded as a mouthpiece for Netanyahu, read: “A deal full of holes; concessions at any cost.”
Writing in Israel Hayom after the deal was signed a few hours after the newspaper went to print, former Israeli ambassador and Netanyahu ally Zalman Shoval wrote that the battlefield must now move to Congress, where Israel must convince the Americans not approve the agreement. Shoval goes on to warn that Israel’s considerations regarding its relationship with the U.S., “both in general and specifically when it comes to the Palestinian issue,” will change.
Writing in the Jerusalem Post-owned Maariv website, leading columnist Ben Caspit lamented what he described as Netanyahu’s personal failure. The only thing Netanyahu has been talking about, to anybody who will listen, at any opportunity, and for 20 years, Caspit wrote, is stopping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Israel’s prime minister could have gotten a better deal, Caspit argued, if only he had played things smart — if he had been nicer to Obama, if he had appeased the administration and the world. “But Netanyahu preferred Sheldon [Adelson] and [Ron] Dermer and the radical settlers instead of the rational path.”
Also writing in Maariv, former Haaretz columnist and intelligence expert Yossi Melman argued that the deal is actually a success for Israel. For nearly a decade, decision-makers in Jerusalem knew they could only delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Through a combination of diplomacy, sanctions and covert assassinations and sabotage, and concluding with the deal signed in Vienna, Melman argues, Israel has accomplished just that.
“Even if the deal isn’t the best, the sky will not fall on Israel,” Melman writes. “[Israel will continue to be a strong regional power, with the best army, which has the most modern technology, and according to foreign publications, with a large arsenal of nuclear weapons.”
It’s bizarre to hear the Israeli government express deep fears and let...Read More