The Administration’s Desperate Bid to “Reassure” Israel
Haaretzreports on the administration’s latest desperate bid to “reassure” a bad client government:
Although neither side has said so explicitly, the Obama administration plans to provide Israel substantial defense compensation if an agreement is signed between Tehran and the world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program.
Reports that Israel will be “compensated” for accepting a nuclear deal that is obviously in their interest make clear just how unbalanced and dysfunctional the U.S.-Israel relationship truly is. Restricting and monitoring Iran’s nuclear program benefits Israel, and that won’t happen unless the current negotiations are successful. Despite the best efforts of the current Israeli government to undermine and sabotage those negotiations, the talks are drawing closer to a final agreement that will impair Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon for more than a decade at least. The idea that Israel needs to be “compensated” to accept an arrangement that ensures that it will be the sole nuclear-weapons state in the region for a long time to come is absurd. If anything, Israel should be offering “compensation” to Washington for the needless headaches regarding the nuclear talks that it has caused over the last year and half. If the U.S. goes ahead with providing the additional military aid mentioned in these reports, it shows that the administration will generously reward the Israeli government’s attempts at sabotage. The U.S. is volunteering to bribe a client government that has actively tried to derail a major U.S. diplomatic initiative. That can only invite more of the same behavior in the future.
The U.S. is proposing to buy off Israel to agree to something that makes Israel more secure. That’s not because the U.S. actually needs Israeli approval for an agreement to which Israel is not a party, but because in spite of everything that Netanyahu has done to interfere with the nuclear talks the administration is incapable of refusing to send Israel more weapons and support. The Obama administration is frequently criticized by hawks for not doing enough for allies and clients, but these latest reports should remind everyone that it obsequiously caters to U.S. clients’ complaints and demands to an extraordinary degree. If the Obama administration doesn’t do absolutely everything that client governments want, it does far more than it has to or should.