Thursday, 26 December 2013

Isreal's Concern over US led diplomacy

By:                    Kanwal Abidi
                     Political Journalist

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dedicated a large part of his speech on Dec.18 at the Likud Party convention to the Iranian nuclear program. He behaved in an alien way, dismayed by the Iran deal - as if “no agreement” had been signed between the world powers and Iran. He carried same old threatening tone with the bottom line that “Israel will not accept a nuclear bomb.”
The Likud activists present at the party convention did not welcome the Netanyahu’s speech about Iran and termed it as an anachronistic speech, lacking in vision, and most of all, detached from the international reality
In Washington, the decision to turn a new chapter in relations with Iran, for the first time in decade has, begun to repair operational, bureaucratic and ideological constraints that have defined US policies in the region. Consequently, there is more room for critical thinking by the Washington policymaking bureaucracy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lack of insight towards Obama’s efforts on Natanz and Itamar – could result him to troubles in the months ahead.
The mere significance of the fact that “world powers are giving diplomacy a chance”, but only in Netanyahu’s world the diplomacy time clock been frozen. 
During an October visit to Rome, Netanyahu acknowledged that “the solution of the Iranian issue may have a decisive influence on the Palestinian issue — for bad and for good.” Obama has left no doubt that the train on Iran has left the station, apparently without Netanyahu aboard.
Keeping Israel happy on the grounds, President Obama, therefore, stated in a recent address on 8 Dec in Washington that “the United States’ military cooperation with Israel has never been stronger. Our intelligence cooperation with Israel has never been stronger. Our support of Israel’s security has never been stronger."
PM Netanyahu responded to the flattery words of Obama not with zest and fervor, but exhibited serious cause of concerns over Natanz – the Iranian nuclear fuel enrichment site and Itamar – one of the Israeli settlements in the west bank.  
There are widespread fears fewer in number but more virulent, of the relationship between Natanz and Itamar, that is, the connection between Iran’s relations with the West and Israel-Palestine peace. Upon this issue, John Kerry remarks leaves no doubt that the Obama administration considers these two threats to regional security to be conceptually connected.
In both Natanz and Itamar, US is adopting the standard of increasing mutual security through agreement — not through war, or by force, or continuing occupation — and enabling a US-led diplomacy to create a stable framework for peace that will in each case increase Israel's security. Netanyahu sees only the looming dangers of this holistic connection and the challenges it presents to the world.
President Obama in his year - end news conference, from the White House, on 20 Dec, Friday, spoke on various issues of Obamacare, health laws and diplomacy pursued with the Iran. Obama categorically stated few facts and came out forceful in his speech that “America has nothing to fear from Iran.”
“We lose nothing under this negotiation deal” stated Obama and further added “if negotiations would fail – Iran knows very well, they can come under high economic pressure.” He assured the American nation that we can do it in “one day” any day to burden Iran, once again by the sanctions.  American political analysts’ state that in Obama’s speech was a hidden message for Netanyahu that he does not need to worry about Iran anymore - as he has everything under the table set to
 At the end, he wished his nation and the world a “happy new Year” with a concrete and a definite message of “diplomacy as an end unto itself.” But, on the other hand, PM Netanyahu has serious reservations for Iran and US diplomacy game and has left the message that “Deal is a Christmas present” for @Iran.

KANWAL ABIDI                                                          
Political Analyst & Journalist / President Mishal Welfare Trust / Peace Activist

Twitter @KANWALanalyst