[The Israeli government and its lobby, and its neoconservative US
allies, convinced Donald Trump to sabotage the Iran deal. The forces
that pushed for the Iraq war 16 years ago are sowing destruction
again. The broken Iran treaty leaves no doubt; you cannot resist Trump
without resisting Israel.] [https://portside.org/] 

 THE BROKEN IRAN TREATY: TO RESIST TRUMP IS TO RESIST ISRAEL  
[https://portside.org/2018-05-12/broken-iran-treaty-resist-trump-resist-israel]


 

 Philip Weiss 
 May 9, 2018
Mondoweiss [http://mondoweiss.net/2018/05/wrecking-politicized-israel]


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 _ The Israeli government and its lobby, and its neoconservative US
allies, convinced Donald Trump to sabotage the Iran deal. The forces
that pushed for the Iraq war 16 years ago are sowing destruction
again. The broken Iran treaty leaves no doubt; you cannot resist Trump
without resisting Israel. _ 

 President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the
Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017., US Embassy photo 

 

It almost goes without saying that yesterday was one of the most
depressing days in memory. Here was a massive fragile edifice of
recent history, the Iran deal, that had seemed to almost all of us
such a great step forward, a labor of statesmanship by so many diverse
figures around the globe working together to advance cross-cultural
respect and comity, and Trump took a dufus’s sledge hammer to it.
You could hear fear in anchors’ voices: suddenly the world was less
safe.

If there was one bright spot in the day, it was the almost universal
anger and anguish that followed Trump’s speech, and the
determination to try and undo his action by any means the rest of us
can. Even the neoconservatives who have pushed this action seemed
afraid of what it meant
[https://twitter.com/mattduss/status/994185813784256512]. Even Chuck
Schumer, who had opposed his own president on the Iran deal three
years ago because of the “threat to Israel,”
[http://mondoweiss.net/2018/03/schumer-opposed-because/] was against
Trump.

The grievous action would thus seem to be somewhat self-healing,
inasmuch as it discredits the U.S. in the eyes of the world, and even
lifts the prestige of Iran. “There are now two Wests. One, led by
the leaders of Germany, France + UK, which believes in liberal
democracy and international law,” Peter Beinart writes. 
[https://twitter.com/PeterBeinart/status/994009613946245123]“And a
second, headquartered in Washington + Jerusalem, which holds those
values in contempt.”

Jerusalem. That is the other great breakthrough in Trump’s nihilism.
There’s no doubt whose fingerprints are all over this action: the
Israeli government and its lobby. The foolish State Department
briefing on the
[https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/05/281959.htm] decision makes
it clear how important to Trump was Netanyahu’s dog-and-pony act of
a week before, featuring old intelligence to state that Iran lied
about its nuclear ambitions. The New York Times front-page analysis 
[https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/us/politics/trump-iran-nuclear-deal-news-analysis-.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news]is
also frank about Netanyahu’s role in giving Trump the pretext for
his announcement (though of course Saudi influence is uppermost in the
view of the Times).

Ali Abunimah was blunter
[https://twitter.com/AliAbunimah/status/993918057604177921]:

BREAKING: Donald Trump, spokesperson for US President Benjamin
Netanyahu, announces pullout from Iran nuclear deal.

This represents a breakthrough because in defending the deal and
making its destruction a political issue, as they promise they will,
Democrats will have to take on Israel and the lobby. Yes, they will
cover their behind by saying what J Street and Nancy Pelosi do,
lots  [https://twitter.com/NancyPelosi/status/993648676726853634]of
former Israeli security chiefs were for the deal. But that’s a
figleaf. There is a powerful rightwing Israel lobby, and Netanyahu is
the leader. These are the same forces that pushed for the Iraq war 16
years ago to such ill effect for the Middle East, and they are sowing
destruction once again.

During the Iraq debacle there was a reluctance to call out the Israel
lobby for its role. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer were smeared for
stating what Col. Lawrence Wilkerson said was “obvious,” that the
war probably wouldn’t have happened without the lobby. To this day
the Democratic Party is afraid of that analysis–
[https://www.jns.org/opinion/dont-let-koch-dollars-work-against-israel/]surely
because it could divide the base and endanger campaign fundraising
[http://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/forward-columnist-and-emilys-list-leader-relate-gigantic-shocking-role-of-jewish-democratic-donors/].

But that analysis seems inevitable today because the politics are now
so envenomed, and Israel’s influence is so transparent. Netanyahu
is one of the most hated figures for the progressive Democratic base,
and the hate temperature just went up, a lot. Dylan Williams of J
Street puts out
[https://twitter.com/dylanotes/status/991024073542131712/video/1] Netanyahu’s
crazy speech recommending the Iraq War to Congress 16 years ago, and J
Street is vowing revenge. “All of those who have sought to undermine
the agreement by spreading fear and misinformation about it will bear
their share of the culpability,” it writes. 
[http://jstreet.org/press-releases/beyond-blunder-abandonment-iran-deal-assault-international-peace-security/#.WvLhT6QvyM9] (Democratic
Senators) Ben Cardin, Bob Menendez and Chuck Schumer better keep
their heads down.

Lobelog, the most honest site about policy-making in Washington, is
filled with frank descriptions of Israel’s influence. Minutes after
Trump ripped through the awning, Eli Clifton reported on the three
billionaires behind Trump
[https://lobelog.com/three-billionaires-paved-way-for-trumps-iran-deal-withdrawal/] who
should be blamed for the decision, Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus,
and Paul Singer, all of them rightwing Jewish supporters of Israel.

Paul Pillar called out the Israel lobby in a piece
[https://lobelog.com/hold-the-deal-killers-accountable/] titled
“Hold the Deal-Killers Accountable.”

The other major motivation [for Trump] is to stay in step with the
preferences of the right-wing government of Israel. The political and
financial mechanisms include fear among American politicians of
antagonizing the lobby that works on that government’s behalf. They
also include wealthy supporters of that government bankrolling
advocacy groups dedicated to sustaining tension and confrontation with
Iran
[https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ryan-costello/adelson--fdd-want-to-nuke_b_4159584.html],
with opposition to the JCPOA at the core of that effort.

At Foreign Policy, Steve Walt also named the forces
[https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/08/the-art-of-the-regime-change/] behind
the decision: “Israel, the hard-line wing of the Israel lobby (e.g.,
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Foundation for Defense
of Democracies, United Against Nuclear Iran), and hawks including
National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
and many others. Their great fear was that the United States and its
Middle East allies might eventually have to acknowledge Iran as a
legitimate regional power and grant it some degree of regional
influence.”

This spring both wings of the Israel lobby, AIPAC on the right and J
Street on the left, vowed that support for Israel must stay
bipartisan. Trump’s Iran destruction has ended any hope that the two
sides can stay synchronized. AIPAC is now making nice to Trump
[https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/245650] even as J
Street is pledging resistance.

Resistance means calling out Netanyahu and his neoconservative allies.
It means identifying Israel’s very non-existential interest in
destroying the Iran deal: because Iran and Hezbollah are a threat to
its regional hegemony. It means making clear that when Trump says
Iranian missiles threaten the U.S., he is parroting the lies of his
dear friend Netanyahu.

Netanyahu embodies the security state of Israel; his rightwing
coalition is not going anywhere, and the center left mimics it. All
those good leftists support the slaughter
[http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/generational-display-conference/] of
unarmed Gaza protesters.

Avenging the Iran deal means speaking plainly about Netanyahu’s
influence in our politics. Obama defeated Netanyahu three years ago.
Now Netanyahu has defeated Obama. In the wreckage lies the outline of
a strategy. Resisting Trump means resisting Israel.

_[Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net. He
thanks Scott Roth and James North for their contribution to this
article._]

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