Yesterday Amir Oren published a piece in Haaretz about the Iran deal and the view of some of Iran analysts working for the Israeli military intelligence. Among other things, in the article he states:
“There are those in the Intelligence Corps, including those in the research division dealing with Iran, who have a very positive view of the nuclear agreement. “
Last night I was interviewed alongside Amir for the i24 news program, where Amir discussed his article in more details. He also mentioned an unprecedented intelligence sharing offer being made by the U.S which would give Israel access to raw intelligence material which no one else except the US would have. Netanyahu has not accepted this offer.
And how some in the military intelligence community are very concerned about the damage being caused to the Israel – US relations.
You can watch interview here:
A new row has broken out between the Netanyahu and Obama administrations.
Former head of the Mossad Meir Dagan. Source
According to the Guardian:
The US has accused Israel of spying on international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Meanwhile according to the Wall Street Journal which first broke this story, its not just the alleged spying thats really upsetting the Obama administration:
“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.
This new story reminded me of a quote which I read, by Meir Dagan the former chief of the Mossad.
In an interview with the Yediot Ahronot newspaper on the 27th of February he stated:
“What message does it send when our prime minister says that we don’t need information from the talks and that we have our own sources? Is he implying that we are spying on the United States?”
What this statement possibly tells us is that there were already concerns in Israel that Netanyahu’s statements alone, for whatever reason, could make the Americans think that Israel was spying on them.
The fact that this concern was aired in Israel 3 weeks before the Obama administration made the accusations is certainly noteworthy.
These are just assumptions. But what is not an assumption is that every week many of us think Israel – US government relations can’t get any worst, and every week reality proves us wrong.
This has got to stop.
Prime Minister Netanyahu just finished his speech at the Congress.
As I have stated before I respect and support his right to speak anywhere he wishes, but at a reasonable cost. His decision to sideline the President of the US so he can speak at the Congress could be too costly and detrimental to the interests of U.S – Israel relations.
Now that he has spoken, I have the following questions to ask:
1 – How many Congressmen/women did Netanyahu convince with his speech? 10, 20, 50?
This is an important question to ask, as the state of Israel has just taken a great risk by side lining President of America, for the sake of this speech. The goal was to convince Congressmen/women to vote against a deal with Iran. So did Netanyahu achieve this goal? How many Congressmen/women did he convince?
2 – What if Khamenei says no to a deal?
We have to remember that Netanyahu took the great risk of alienating the President of the United States for the sake of his speech, before Khamenei has even accepted the current deal. What if after all this, Khamenei says no to a deal? That he did not want a deal after all?
I agree with Netanyahu that Iran should stop calling for the annihilation of the state of Israel. Its repulsive and highly offensive to the citizens of this country.
The citizens of Israel deserve an answer for Question 1. Additionally, if Iran leader Khamenei ultimately says no to a deal, then as an Israeli tax payer, I will want my money back. Millions of Shekels would have been spent on this trip for nothing.
While we are all focused on Netanyahu’s upcoming speech at the Congress, we seem to have missed another piece of important news: according to the French newspaper Le Figaro, Khamenei has stage four cancer.
Citing western intelligence sources, the newspaper says he has two more years to live.
Lets not forget that Khamenei was admitted to hospital last year (around September) for a prostate cancer surgery.
What impact will his death have on the question of his succession?
I address the this scenario in my piece for Al Jazeera America last year.
I am not against Netanyahu’s right to voice his concerns regarding a possible Iran deal.
I am against the way he is trying to address his concerns.
I am against the way he is treating the US government and the US president.
Since when slapping your most loyal friend in the face hurt your enemies?
I don’t want the current rulers of Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Not for a second. Not even for a nanosecond. Never. No, no, no, no, a thousand times NO to a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Iran.
But at the same time, I don’t agree with the way Netanyahu has been managing the Iran question on behalf of Israel and Israelis. I know he is doing his job, but his method is causing damage to the credibility of Israel’s legitimate concerns regarding why it does not want the current rulers of Iran to have a nuclear weapon.
In my recent interview with SKY news, I have explained why.
You gotta give it to Netanyahu, he is certainly persistent.
This clip of him which is circulating the web in Israel (loony tunes music and all), shows how at the start of the recent Paris march of leaders, he was at the second row.
Then you see how he tried to break his way into the first row of world leaders.
And then when he does, the African head of state whom he gets close to (I think he is the leader of Mali) tries to move away from him, but is pushed back into position by the French president.
Really something :-)
Credit for this clip goes to Hadashot Kikar Shabbat site in Israel.