On Iran, listen to the euphony between crackpot right-wing raving in Israel and the crackpot raving of the American Likudniks
Haaretz illustrated the Yossi Verter piece referenced below with this remembrance of Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu addressing Congress last March at the invitation of aspiring American Likudnik House Speaker "Sunny John" Boehner.
"Sometimes it’s hard to know where Sheldon Adelson, the biggest Republican donor, ends and Netanyahu begins."
-- Haaretz's Yossi Verter, in "Netanyahu lost his
Iran bet, but his next gamble may be disastrous"
Iran bet, but his next gamble may be disastrous"
The braying jackasses of the American Right take on a somewhat different rhetorical character when their chorus is led by the Likud-firsters whose primary allegiance is not to the American Republican Party but to the Israeli Likud. The rhetoric tends to take on a graven-on-Mt. Sinai character, with an in-our-face confidence in and commitment to the lies and delusions the American Likudniks pull out of their stinky behinds which pretends to biblical certainty. (If you need to have your image refreshed, check out any post by washingtonpost.com's designated right-wing gargoyle, Jennifer Rubin.)
Not surprisingly, the nuclear deal with Iran came into the world as an automatic target of the jenniferrubinites. Since most of these people are as lazy as they are stupid and dishonest, which is to say plenty lazy, they probably still don't know what's included in the agreement, but that never mattered. As I was saying the other day, they don't have to know what's in it to know that it's the awfulest agreement in the history of agreements, and the parties to it -- well, let's be blunt, that Kenyan dupe-or-devil Obama -- have either stupidly or knowingly betrayed all decent folk, not to mention striking a dagger to the heart of Israel.
All of this was a given. Does this sound familiar at all?
Even before the details of the agreement were known, and without having any idea what was or wasn’t included, senior Likud officials were firing cannon shells through the electronic media. Talking points that had been sent to them in advance contained three main points: 1. The agreement is bad, terrible, and awful; 2. If not for Netanyahu, the situation would have been much worse, much earlier; 3. The opposition is to blame and ought to be ashamed for not being supportive enough/for being critical now/for not standing tensely quiet at the side of the prime minister, meaning the State of Israel.The specifics here relate to Israeli politics, and so isn't familiar because the jenniferrubinites don't acknowledge Israeli politics, only the politics of the crack-brained devils of Likud.
The paragraph is from a piece written midweek last week by Haaretz's Yossi Verter, headlined "Netanyahu lost his Iran bet, but his next gamble may be disastrous," with an even more provocative deck: "After the deal was announced, the prime minister's appearance was that of a desperate gambler who had lost everything. But now he wants to wreck what’s left of U.S.-Israel relations."
Here's how Yossi began his piece:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks defeated. He was ashen-faced on Tuesday next to the Dutch foreign minister at their joint press conference in Jerusalem; his appearance was that of a desperate gambler who had lost everything. The Iranian nuclear agreement, against which he had vigorously and repeatedly warned, had become a fait accompli. The deal over which he had declared political war on the president of the United States, while breaking all the rules of diplomatic relations between friendly countries, had become a reality, for better or worse.Now I don't suggest that Haaretz represents views that are held universally in Israel, but I suspect that anyone conditioned by the bullying rhetoric of the American Likudniks may be surprised to learn that on Bibi Netanyahu's home turf he's not regarded as a biblical sage but as a grubby and often dangerous politician.
"The prime minister himself," Yossi wrote, "hastened Tuesday to call on the opposition to 'put petty politics aside and unite for the State of Israel's national interests,' as if the Iranian nukes hadn't served as an effective political weapon for him during every recent election campaign." Does this sound familiar? With the American Right too, if you're beating the drum for hard-core right-wing ideology, you're speaking truth on behalf of the national interest, whereas any disagreements are dismissed as "petty politics." (Of course if such disagreements happen to touch on any possibility fallibility in the Likud worldview, you're also automatically branded an Enemy of Israel.)
Yossi actually gives Bibi "credit for stubbornly putting the nuclear issue on the global agenda, significantly contributing to the intensified sanctions on Iran."
On the other hand, he lost his brakes when he did not hesitate to hook up with the Republican Party in its campaign against U.S. President Barack Obama. Sometimes it’s hard to know where Sheldon Adelson, the biggest Republican donor, ends and Netanyahu begins.Which brings us to what Bibi is up to now.
Netanyahu’s spokespeople said he plans to “kill himself” pursuing the last remaining option for scuttling the deal – preventing its ratification by the U.S. House of Representatives – by persuading Democratic congressmen to defect to the Republican camp and vote against their president. The destruction and devastation he avoided inflicting on the nuclear facilities scattered throughout Iran, he now wants to wreck on what’s left of U.S.-Israel relations. Here we again see his compulsive gambler syndrome: After losing his pants, he’s now putting his underwear on the roulette wheel in a move that experts on American politics say hasn’t much of a chance.I'm not so sure that this gamble is a sure loser. The American Likudniks and the rest of their right-wing brethren, not to mention the great Right-Wing Noise Machine, know how to press buttons with the American public which can whip up a lot of influential hysteria. It's Yossi's judgment, though, that "in this context, the call by Likud ministers for 'internal cohesion that's been lacking until now' sounds pathetic." And he asks:
Why exactly is Netanyahu demanding that Labor’s Isaac Herzog, Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, Meretz’s Zehava Galon and Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman join him? So they can share responsibility for the worsening of the fight between Israel and the leader of the free world?Yossi proceeds to describe a political moment in Israel that again sounds grubbily familiar:
Herzog and Lapid were competing with each other on Tuesdayto show whose patriotism was greater. Lapid drew first with an interview he gave to a foreign television network. But Herzog landed a crushing blow on him by tweeting that he had spoken with the prime minister and would soon be traveling to the United States “to advance a package of security measures to suit the new situation.”
Perhaps Herzog has been named defense minister and nobody told us. Perhaps something else is going on between him and Netanyahu, and under the pretext of the “new situation,” the chairman of Zionist Union plans to bring his party into Netanyahu’s government.