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August 05, 2015

Kerry in The Atlantic: Israeli Opposition to Iran Deal "Emotional"

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Secretary of State John Kerry gave a lengthy interview to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in which he tries to make the case for Congress to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran Deal.

Perhaps deal supporters should ask Kerry to stop trying to sell the deal.

In the interview, he says that Congressional rejection of the deal would be “the ultimate screwing” of Iran. To the majority of Americans, that may sound like a good thing.

Kerry claims the Iran deal is good for Israel:

Kerry: Look, I’ve gone through this backwards and forwards a hundred times and I’m telling you, this deal is as pro-Israel, as pro-Israel’s security, as it gets. And I believe that just saying no to this is, in fact, reckless.

Goldberg: So why do you think you can’t convince the majority of Israelis, or the majority of the organized Jewish community, of this?

Kerry: Because there’s a huge level of fear and mistrust and, frankly, there’s an inherent sense that, given Iran’s gains and avoidance in the past, that somehow they’re going to avoid something again. It’s a visceral feeling, it’s very emotional and visceral and I’m very in tune with that and very sensitive to that.

In other words, Israeli leaders across the political spectrum, Israeli military experts and the vast majority of the Israeli people are just hysterical. In fact, he seems to think Israelis make too much of constant Iranian threats to destroy the Jewish state:

Goldberg: Do you believe that Iranian leaders sincerely seek the elimination of the Jewish state?

Kerry: I think they have a fundamental ideological confrontation with Israel at this particular moment. Whether or not that translates into active steps to, quote, “Wipe it,” you know...

Goldberg: Wipe it off the map.

Kerry: I don’t know the answer to that. I haven’t seen anything that says to me—they’ve got 80,000 rockets in Hezbollah pointed at Israel, and any number of choices could have been made. They didn’t make the bomb when they had enough material for 10 to 12. They’ve signed on to an agreement where they say they’ll never try and make one and we have a mechanism in place where we can prove that. So I don’t want to get locked into that debate. I think it’s a waste of time here.

Kerry “doesn’t know” if Iran is serious about eliminating Israel and that considering that issue is “a waste of time.” That may be true for Kerry and the rest of the Obama administration, but for Israelis, it’s hard to imagine what would be a better use of time.

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Posted by SC at August 5, 2015 09:34 AM

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