There has rightly been a good deal of coverage in these pages of the political fallout from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. But there has been less analysis of the content of the speech itself. And, in fact, while Bibi’s speech was rhetorically superb, it was also full of contradictions and lacking in actual substance or new ideas.
As he’s done before, Netanyahu painted a picture of Iran as a messianic entity incapable of any thought other than the destruction of Israel and the West, while at the same time implying that more stringent sanctions are all it will take to get them to fall in line. He presented an ideal nuclear agreement that would be impossible to attain. And he presented no real, feasible alternative to a reasonable deal that might already be in the works. Instead, he suggests terms for a deal that would cause negotiations to fall apart and the international sanctions regime currently in place to collapse. Iran would be left unmonitored and unrestrained in its nuclear ambitions.
Netanyahu says that no deal is better than a bad deal. But holding out for a pie-in-the-sky, unachievable deal is by far the worst option of all.
Co-Chair, J Street NYC