Iran's Hassan Rowhani Wants to Make a Nuclear Deal — Leaving Israel Isolated

News Analysis

Man of the Moment: Iran’s Hassan Rowhani, who returned from his historic trip to the U.S., appears to be a man who wants to take yes for an answer.
getty images
Man of the Moment: Iran’s Hassan Rowhani, who returned from his historic trip to the U.S., appears to be a man who wants to take yes for an answer.

By Larry Cohler-Esses

Published September 28, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

As with his rejection of what “everybody understands” about the contours of a deal with the Palestinians, this stance risks driving Israel further into international isolation. But it’s even worse; unlike the Palestinian issue, this issue is not one on which the United States or other Western countries accept that Israel is the key negotiating partner. Unless Israel’s supporters in Congress succeed in upending the whole premise the administration accepts as the basis for these talks — as Israel hopes they will — Netanyahu will simply get left in the dust as the rest of the world moves forward — and quite quickly at that.

Most importantly, Israel’s position will leave it with no way to influence the issues that actually are being discussed by those who are at the table — issues in which it has a crucial interest.

Ironically, this may end up being a case of “be careful what you wish for.” For years, Netanyahu has insisted that the nuclear threat of Iran must be addressed before the world demands that he prioritize negotiating an end to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, with all the risks that process will entail. Furthermore, he has demanded that any negotiating process set up to address the Iran issue take no more than a few months — six maximum, he said back in 2009, the last time the prospect of such talks emerged, lest Iran just stretch things out while it continues to enrich. And now, that is precisely what both sides seem set to do: Resolve the Iran nuclear issue first, as he remains mired in talks with the Palestinian Authority, and resolve the Iran issue in “months, not years,” as Rowhani put it last week in New York.

Though the Security Council and the IAEA have both demanded that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment, that is not because Iran has no right to do so. To the contrary, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran — but not Israel — is a signatory, guarantees all those who sign it a right to enrich uranium, so long they do so under conditions of international transparency and monitoring that enable others to ensure the enrichment is for peaceful purposes only. Iran’s failure to satisfy those conditions up to now is what has led to the suspension demands. But if Iran can address those demands to the satisfaction of the countries setting out on this new negotiation process, it will be able to reassert its rights under the treaty.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.