No country has more to lose from a military confrontation with Iran than Israel — and no country has more to gain than Israel from a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.
And yet, an overwhelming majority in the Jewish State views the Iran deal as a catastrophic mistake, one that potentially threatens the country’s very existence. This reality alone should make you think twice about the Obama administration’s claim that it negotiated a strong deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Critics of Israel’s position on the Iran deal are often quick to paint Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a warmonger. But why would Netanyahu be anxious for a military confrontation? Israel would likely be the main target of any Iranian response to a strike on its nuclear program, even if the attack was conducted by the United States. With Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah armed with an estimated 100,000 rockets in southern Lebanon, the consequences of an Iranian retaliation could be very grave for the Jewish State.
Conversely, Israel would benefit most from a deal with Iran that actually prevented the Islamic Republic from being able to obtain nuclear weapons capability. A good deal would eliminate the threat of an apocalyptically anti-Semitic regime being able to gain the means to make its genocidal dreams a reality. At the same time, a good deal would remove the need for a possible military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities that could precipitate a bloody confrontation between Israel and Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah.
All this makes Israel’s opposition to the Iran deal worth paying attention to. Israel has every incentive to want to believe the deal negotiated in Vienna earlier this month is a good one. But very few leaders in Israel are comforted by the agreement. It’s not just Netanyahu who hates the deal. A wide spectrum of Israeli leaders — from both the left and right — view the Iran deal as disastrous, including the head of the Zionist Union, Israel’s leading left-of-center opposition party.
The deal “will unleash a lion from the cage, it will have a direct influence over the balance of power in our region, it’s going to affect our borders, and it will affect the safety of my children,” argued Zionist Union party leader Isaac Herzog, who generally is a staunch opponent of Netanyahu.
In a country where the joke is for every two Israelis, you have three opinions, a remarkable 71 percent of the population believes the Iran deal will bring the Islamic Republic closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon. Sure, there are some dissenters, including some former members of Israel’s security establishment. But many of those former officials aren’t dissenting over whether or not the Iran deal is bad — many seem to think it is — but over whether the deal presents as serious a threat to Israel as some Israeli leaders suggest.
The point is that when the country which would most benefit from a peaceful resolution to the Iran’s nuclear program feels that the deal agreed to is catastrophic, perhaps the West should stop and reconsider what it just signed on to. After all, while the threat of a nuclear Iran may be most acute in Israel, the Islamic Republic has made its intentions known about what it wants to do to America: destroy it.