THE FORWARD – There is a deep crack emerging in the veneer of wall-to-wall support offered by Israel’s political leadership to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his war against the Iran nuclear agreement.

The crack has a name you might recognize: the Israeli security establishment. You know — the folks whose job it is to identify and address threats to Israel’s safety. A small but growing group of high-power ex-commanders has been speaking out in media interviews and op-ed essays in the past few days, saying that Netanyahu has got the Iran issue wrong.

It’s not yet what you’d call an avalanche of dissent. But against the pro-Netanyahu unanimity among the politicians, coalition and opposition alike, the skepticism emerging from the security community stands out in striking relief. As unanimous as the politicians are in backing the prime minister, the generals and spymasters are nearly as unanimous in questioning him. Generals publicly backing Netanyahu can be counted on — well — one finger.

Many of the security insiders say the deal signed in Vienna on July 14 isn’t as bad as Netanyahu claims. Some call it good for Israel. Others say it’s bad, but it’s a done deal and Israel should make the best of it. Either way, they agree that Israel should work with the Obama administration to plot implementation, rather than mobilize Congress against the White House.

All agree that undermining Israel’s alliance with America is a far greater existential threat than anything Iran does.

Who are these critics? They include a former chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin , who now heads Israel’s main defense think tank; a former chief of arms technology, Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael , who now chairs both The Israel Space Agency and the science ministry’s research and development council; a former chief of military operations, Israel Ziv ; a near-legendary architect of Israeli military intelligence, Dov Tamari ; a former director of the Shin Bet domestic security service, Ami Ayalon , and a former director of the Mossad intelligence agency, Efraim Halevy . And there are others.

The list would be longer if we included security figures who spoke in favor of the Lausanne framework agreement in April, which was the basis for this deal, but haven’t addressed the new agreement. And we’re not including anyone who retired with a rank below brigadier general. We’re just discussing the architects of Israeli defense.

The roster should also include a onetime chief of military intelligence, Israel Defense Forces chief of staff and prime minister named Ehud Barak. He was Netanyahu’s defense minister from 2009 to 2013 and helped develop his Iran strategy. In a television interview the day the agreement was signed, Barak said he wouldn’t criticize his old boss or tell him what to do. But he did just that.

Barak called the nuclear deal a “bad deal” that legitimizes Iran as a nuclear threshold state. He predicted that Iran would have a nuclear weapon within a decade. But, he said, Israel “can live with whatever happens there. We are the strongest state in the Middle East, militarily, strategically, economically — and diplomatically, if we’re not foolish.”

Again contradicting Netanyahu, Barak said: “The most important thing we need to do right now is restore working relations with the White House. That’s the only place where we can formulate what constitutes a violation, what’s a smoking gun and how to respond.”

In part, that means Israel “cannot position itself as a political player in the American Congress. Individuals can certainly speak to Americans they know personally and explain to them why this is a bad agreement from Israel’s viewpoint. That’s legitimate. But Israel as a state operating within the internal framework of another friendly state — that’s problematic.”

Israel, Barak said, is “not in an apocalyptic situation. We are not in Europe 1938” — an implied jab at Netanyahu’s frequent invocation of the Allies’ appeasement of Hitler at Munich — “and not Palestine 1947,” when newborn Israel faced five Arab armies alone.

That’s the generals’ central theme: Don’t panic. “We need to be calm,” said Yadlin, the former military intelligence chief, in a Ynet online interview .

“The agreement isn’t good, but Israel can deal with it.” Instead of “blowing off steam,” he said, Israel should be talking with the United States to prepare responses to violations.

By contrast, Ben-Yisrael, who has twice won the Israel Prize for contributions to Israel’s weapons technology, told Walla! News that the Vienna agreement is “not bad at all, perhaps even good for Israel.” True, Iran still calls for Israel’s destruction. But, he said, from the nuclear perspective — which is what the negotiations were about — “it prevents a nuclear bomb for 15 years, which is not bad at all.”

Halevy, the former Mossad director, elaborated on Ben-Yisrael’s point in a scathing Ynet op-ed . From the start, Israel “maintained that the Iranian threat is a unique, existential threat.” It wanted the international community to address the threat, and it did. “That was the only goal of the biting sanctions against Iran,” he wrote.

Now, he stated, the government tries “to change the rules of the game and include additional demands from Iran in the agreement, like recognizing Israel and halting support for terror.” By threatening to block an agreement that addresses Israel’s “existential-cardinal” goal because it doesn’t address other, nonexistential issues, Halevy wrote, Netanyahu raises the suspicion that he doesn’t want a deal at all.

It’s impossible to say for certain whether the dozen or so ex-generals and spymasters who have spoken out are representative of the broader security community. But there are hints. Netanyahu has replaced top personnel repeatedly, but each new cohort takes the same stance: opposing precipitate action; denying that Iran represents an existential threat, insisting that Iran’s leadership is rational and responds to negotiation and deterrence.

Last January, the Mossad’s director, Tamir Pardo, told a group of senators that imposing new sanctions on Iran, something Netanyahu favored, would undermine the nuclear talks. Now, recent news reports say, Netanyahu has ordered all personnel to avoid discussing Iran, presumably to silence Pardo and his colleagues. It’s also reported that the military set up a task force to prepare a list of requests from Washington to help Israel cope with the new Iranian reality, but that Netanyahu had forbidden any such discussion, arguing that it effectively condoned the nuclear deal.

Israel’s military has a long history of approaching big issues pragmatically, avoiding ideology and big theories. Over the past six years, this has caused steadily mounting tension between the security services and Netanyahu, who is as ideological a prime minister as Israel has ever seen.

On the Palestinian issue, the military often seems to turn up on one side of Israel’s ideological divide, though not for ideological reasons. On Iran there hasn’t been a side with which the military can line up. Sources close to the Knesset say lawmakers with doubts about current policy are silent, fearing attacks on their patriotism. The uniformed personnel have been shut down. And so, as Netanyahu approaches a fateful showdown in Washington, the old veterans are out there on their own.

  1. #1 by Jo Syphus on 07/26/2015 - 9:34

    US is losing the competition for Persian mind to the Russians. The best explanation Kennedy gave Khrushchev for the reason why US supports Israel was that is acts a “lightening rod for Arab anger”. Now it is just the opposite and the US still supports Israel.

  2. #2 by ariadnatheo on 07/26/2015 - 9:34

    We should remember that the much-ballyhooed “cracks” are divergent opinions on TACTICS only.

  3. #3 by Isaac on 07/26/2015 - 9:34

    Yes. Still crazy after all these years. As long as the US government is controlled by these diabolical beings the foreign policy will be the same no matter how many crimes Israel does in the face of the whole world. The good thing about this is that many people are awakening from the slumber that has kept many people silent.

  4. #4 by imhotep on 07/27/2015 - 9:34

    The US government ( as a collective ) is going after Iran’s wealth.

  5. #5 by imhotep on 07/27/2015 - 9:34

    The sanctions on Iran did some damages, and it gave the government something else to think about everyday they awoke. But I have a suspicion that the United States government is going after Iran’s wealth. The nuclear provided constant pressure on Iran as far as the US government is concerned. Now its time to get down to real Business and go after the wealth.

    Decades ago, the U.S. government was capped at international investments at about 4 to 5 percent. Over the decades, legislation has been passed to allow a much great percentage so as to invest internationally. Collectively (from school districts and municipalities and all the way of to the Federal level) the US government is the biggest holder of corporate stock. What does this mean? They own the working shares and are The primary share holder of these transnational corporations, as well as the domestic ones. They own them.

    They own the majority of shares of pharma, petroleum, brokerage firms, mortgage offices, insurance companies, etc. They own them thru stock ownership. Audit the Fed? Forget it. Its been audited every year since 1913. Look at the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports that are produced each year.

    The ‘government’ is The primary investor. The Democratic and the Republican Parties are Private Associations; big money. Another reason the ‘jew’ has their noses planted firmly in both parties.

    Trade policies, banking policies, mortgage / loan policies, etc..all designed to increase gross profits as they cry they have to cut this program or slash that program. They’ve expanded their earnings when they invade and this TPP is the same type of instrument at its core. They are eyeing Iran’s wealth and they’re going after it. They have already started crunching the numbers probably the same way Haliburton and Cheney sized up Iraq’s oil wealth.

    How did it happen? Well, one reason is taxation. In a fair / honest system…any excess tax monies would be returned back to Joe Public. But that didn’t happen. They kept a lot of it. Then what did they do? They invested it. For you? No. For me? No. For them? Yes.

    The American government was not supposed to be a For Profit Enterprise. It was not supposed to be in the Business of Business. One day will they share their collective wealth because they will have a change of heart? Don’t count on it. They are not ‘broke’ and ‘busted”. Far from it ,and what they did is then began to turn those financial instruments and funny money into hard assets.

    They are using this nuclear issue as leverage to crack into Iran’s wealth. I suspect they (the US) is doing the same with some of the countries involved in the South China Sea. The China threat is being used as leverage to make trade policies more palatable to countries that other wise would not negotiate.

  6. #6 by imhotep on 07/27/2015 - 9:34

    So yes, MG and ariadnetheo are correct; same goal / different tactics. I see the division being more along the lines of ‘wealth management’ as being the other side of the equation. Netanyahu wanted open missile campaign. That got the red light. The green gets the go.

    Rewind back to Mexico when the economy was pulled out from underneath Mexico. The peso nose dived. They did the same with the USSR. They actually did it twice in America already.

    The ‘banker bailout’ was one very large pick pocket operation…in open view I might add.

    Notice how these jack asses continually get out on the floor or behind a podium and talk about “budgets”. It’s budget this and budget that, and budget plug these and those.

    What’s a budget? If I earn 4500 USD each month, then out of those funds I have to cover my expenditures. So, I make a budget to allocate this money for that, and that money for this. Is this my Total Net Worth? No. A budget does not represent total assets. A budget is only taking into consideration where certain funds are coming from, and what they will go towards.

    Hell..anybody can put together a budget and overspend. That’s easy.

    Irag, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Egypt, Morocco, Libya. Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, etc….precise targets for corporate takeovers. Not merges. Takeovers. Syria & Iran are still in process. Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos too actually. (TPP).

    There will be an orchestrated fiscal cliff for Joe Public and his family. Others wont be effected.

  7. #7 by imhotep on 07/28/2015 - 9:34

    Ohhh China, ye of so little experience and thinking that you can play with the big, rabid dogs of London. Don’t you know that as they negotiate with you, they will also have a few daggers lined up for you just in case. Ya got a lot to learn and now you’ve been running around as if your heads have been cut plum off.

  8. #8 by imhotep on 07/28/2015 - 9:34

    I wonder if China still admires the ‘jew’. It’s they that said they admire ‘jewish’ people because they are “smart”, “good with money and finance”, and “business”. Silly goose. The ‘jew’ created your boom. They built you and now…you will experience an exhilarating rush as the blood leaves your body and they suck you dry. But you still don’t know what hit you.

    “The scale of China’s response to the crash, which has wiped out 30 per cent of its stock markets’ value in less than a month, shows that the Communist Party is afraid of losing control.”.

    “The crash has left officials in Beijing, so used to enacting total control of every aspect of China’s economy, looking ineffective. Worse, investors see their seemingly desperate responses as worsening the panic.

    “If the supposedly omnipotent Communist Party have shown such ineptitude with regard to stock markets, who’s to say the same thing won’t happen with the wider economy?” said Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets. “.

    “A loss of confidence in Beijing explains why the market continues to fall even as the government has enacted a new policy every day to try to stem the bleeding. “.

    “In a show of just how afraid Chinese companies are, 1,476 stocks out of 2,808 listed companies in China, which represent some $2.6-trillion worth of equity, have suspended trading of their shares. There has been no clarity around the suspensions and how long they could last, with some analysts saying weeks or months is not out of the question.”.

    * Read These Three Paragraphs Two Times* ~
    ““Some [corporate] bank loans [in China] have been extended with shares of listed companies put up as collateral,” said economists at Nomura.

    Nick Lawson, managing director at Deutsche Bank, noted how much worse the crash could be if the trading halts didn’t take place.

    “Stocks are being suspended by the companies themselves because many have bank loans backed by shares which the banks themselves may want to liquidate, joining the queues of margin sellers,” he said.”.

    From the article: China overtakes Greece as the Biggest Threat to Global Markets

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