Netanyahu playing into Iran’s nuclear hands (Guest Voice)
Netanyahu playing into Iran’s nuclear hands
By Rabbi Dow Marmur
JERUSALEM (SDONA) — Iran does indeed constitute a major threat to the existence of Israel. Both the pronouncements of many of its leaders and the actions of its stooges Hezbollah and Hamas point to it. It’s, therefore, not surprising that Prime Minister Netanyahu should want to alert the world to that danger and, at the same time, rightly stress that Israel is by no means the only country at risk from Iran.
But a much greater threat than Iran is a rupture in the relationship between the United States of America and the State of Israel. Netanyahu’s scheduled address to both houses of the US Congress to warn Americans against the danger of Iran may contribute to that rupture and thus, instead of protecting Israel, he may be exposing it to the ire of the United States Administration and its disastrous consequences for the Jewish state.
The cumulative reactions from many quarters, including responsible leaders of American Jewry, point in that direction. The US ambassador to Israel is said to have spelled it out in detail to the foreign ministry in Jerusalem. It seems that among those who’re misleading the prime minister of Israel are Ron Dermer, his ambassador in Washington, and Sheldon Adelson, the American-Jewish casino tycoon.
Those who are said to have a great interest in the success of the situation that the two (plus no doubt many other like-minded individuals) have created are the Iranians. For their own sinister reasons they don’t seem to be keen on a deal with the Americans over their nuclear arsenal, but may find themselves compelled to agree not to provoke the United States to further sanctions and not to stir up more opposition in their own country.
On the other hand, if the negotiations fail because of the Republican pressure on the American Administration, the Iranian regime is likely to be jubilant. Netanyahu will have had a pyrrhic victory with disastrous consequences, not only for his country but arguably for the whole world.
The most sensible and most courageous thing for Netanyahu would be to agree not to go to Washington, or at least to “postpone” his address to Congress until after the elections in Israel, should he still be prime minister. But even if he had the maturity and the wisdom to do so, he may find it difficult because his major opposition (the Zionist Union) would then claim victory and his potential coalition partners (Bennett, Lieberman & Co) would be able to tell hard-line Likud supporters that their leader has clay feet and, if they want Israel to be macho, they should vote for them.
Of course, if Netanyahu has really Israel’s best interests at heart, being taunted shouldn’t deter him from doing the right thing, even if it means losing face, but – dare I say t? – not losing the election may be more important to him than the future of the country and the well-being of its citizens.
Whether the same citizens will see through this and not vote for Netanyahu remains to be seen. I’m among those hoping that the opposition will come from within, not from the American counter effort by the tycoon Daniel Abraham whose allegedly massive financing of the “V.15” campaign to topple the present government may be welcome by some. But this (albeit to liberals more congenial) interference from abroad is ultimately no less odious than the antics of Sheldon Adelson.
In the end, only voters in Israel must decide – for better or worse.
Rabbi Marmur,spiritual leader emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, now resides in Israel. Your comment may be posted in the space provided below or sent to [email protected] This article was originally published in San Diego Jewish World which like TMV is a member of the San Diego Online Media Association.