Benjamin Netanyahu is full of disdain for the nuclear deal with Iran, even though it’s packed with concessions. J.J. Goldberg asks why Israel’s leader finds it so hard to accept a big win.
An old Jewish tale says only a fool would give money to a beggar, then be upset that he has money. Likewise, Israel cannot have it both ways when it comes to Palestinian unity.
Israel’s security professionals are taking a common-sense approach to peace talks. That increasingly puts them on a collision course with right-wing ideologues.
Just about everybody who follows Israeli affairs with any seriousness these days agrees that the peace process is dead, that the two sides are too far apart for any deal and besides there’s nobody to talk to. The one big exception is the Israeli intelligence and defense establishment, which remains a stronghold of optimism that a deal can be reached in the near term. Which is weird, because they’re the ones who presumably know the inner workings and thinking of the two sides better than anyone.
Leslie Stahl’s “60 Minutes” interview Sunday night with former Mossad chief Meir Dagan (transcript) gave important exposure to his views on the folly of attacking Iran. However, she got two things very wrong, both of which weakened the strength of his case against a military strike. The bottom line is, she let you think Dagan is a lone voice. In fact, it’s Bibi Netanyahu who’s nearly alone on this. The trouble is, Bibi’s the one who gets to make the decision. That’s why Dagan and nearly every other military or intelligence chief is speaking out against him: They’re scared of him.
I just returned from a few weeks in Israel, and was there during the dramatic denouement of the Gilad Shalit story. The trip reminded me why it’s important for those of us who observe and comment and tear our hair out over Israel to actually experience the country as a place — as opposed to an abstract concept — every once in a while.
The former head of Israel’s Mossad, Efraim Halevy, has some harsh words about American foreign policy in the cover story of the June issue of The Atlantic. The story, by journalist David Samuels, is a fascinating, in-depth exploration of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s ambitious effort to straighten up the mess that is the Middle East.