Israel Kept in the Dark During Nuclear Talks


Israel Kept in the Dark During Nuclear Talks

Israel’s exclusion reveals the extent of its damaged relationship with the U.S.

Besides Iran gaining nuclear weapons, what is the greatest threat to Israel’s existence?

Trumpet columnist Stephen Flurry gave the answer in 2007: “Besides an Iranian bomb, the greatest threat to Israel’s existence is diminished support from its long-time ally, the United States.”

Now flash forward eight years since that was written. With the change in U.S. leadership came a significant transformation in the U.S.-Israel alliance. The deep bond that existed from the 1960s through George W. Bush’s administration is all but nonexistent today.

Recent events highlight this broken relationship and the incredible danger it represents to Israel. Israel’s two biggest threats are combining right now in a single action: nuclear negotiations.

The U.S.’s ongoing efforts to make a deal with Iran so that it gives up its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief has been a wedge driven deep into U.S.-Israel relations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been one of the most vocal critics to a deal with Iran. This is understandable; Iran’s leaders call for Israel’s destruction on a near-daily basis. In the midst of nuclear negotiations in November 2014, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave a nine-point plan for destroying Israel.

But Israel’s opposition to a bad deal has only served to draw the ire and condemnation of the liberal government in Washington. U.S. President Barack Obama has been angered by Netanyahu’s criticism, seeing it as a countermand to over a year of negotiations.

Netanyahu has been accused of jeopardizing peace and misconstruing the facts of the deal. These accusations have come from Mr. Obama, his spokespeople and various levels within the current administration. Last week those allegations turned into action.

The White House openly admitted that it was keeping Israel in the dark on key facts about the nuclear deal. This move is not only a slap in the face of a long-standing alliance, it compromises Israel’s national security. This tiny nation in the Middle East has everything to lose if a deal is struck allowing Iran to continue its race for a nuclear weapon. Israel needs to know every minute detail so it can ascertain the threat posed by Iran. Keeping Israel “in the loop” would seem a logical courtesy for any close ally.

Nothing could be further from reality though today. Israel is kept in the dark while the U.S. speaks with Israel’s mortal enemy. The U.S. doesn’t perceive Iran as the threat that Israel does. Washington has been hoodwinked by the smiling Hassan Rouhani into believing Iran legitimately wants a deal.

The two biggest threats to Israel’s survival—nuclear Iran and a shattered U.S.-Israel alliance—are becoming reality before our eyes. And the current negotiations are only strengthening those threats.

Iran has always protested that its nuclear program is peaceful, and as such no aspects should be dismantled. That simply means that Iran won’t make a bomb today, but has the potential to do so tomorrow. Israel has always claimed that a bad deal would involve Iran retaining its entire infrastructure. We don’t know what details the U.S. is keeping from Israel, but whatever they are, Washington clearly believes they would upset Israel and bring more condemnation on the negotiations.

Israel’s Channel 10 sited unnamed officials who claim President Obama has already agreed to 80 percent of Iran’s demands. American compromises could leave Iran with a breakout capacity—the time needed to create a nuke—of just a few months. The less Israel knows about the details of the deal, the less accurate it can be in judging that breakout time to gauge an appropriate response.

Watch as this relationship between the U.S. and Israel continues to deteriorate as nuclear talks with Iran continue behind closed doors.

Netanyahu is scheduled to speak before the U.S. Congress in March and explain a few truths about the threats posed by Iran. But could it be too little too late? The current administration has already excluded Israel from the negotiations. And it now seems willing to forge ahead with a deal even if it risks placing Israel squarely in Iran’s nuclear crosshairs.