Former IDF general and Zionist Camp candidate for the defense ministry Amos Yadlin said Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before AIPAC Monday was, in essence, “an apology” for the damage he’s caused to relations with the administration and to bipartisan Congressional support for Israel.
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“The prime minister spoke fantastic English and the audience loved him and loved what he said,” Yadlin told Haaretz. “But the significance of what he said is that the prime minister is well aware of the damage that he caused to our relations with the administration and that he is perceived here as cooperating with only one political party, and thus hurting the critically important bipartisan support for Israel. In essence, he apologized for these things.”
“As the Zionist Camp’s candidate for defense minister,” Yadlin added, “I have to say that Iran and its nuclear program won’t be stopped by speeches but by deeds and by collaboration with our most important ally. We share the same objective – that Iran won’t acquire nuclear weapons. This is what the President has stated.
Netanyahu is hurting our effort: Instead of uniting Congress around a decision to impose additional sanctions or to enhance supervision over the proposed agreement, everyone is dealing only with the visit of the prime minister, how everything was done behind the president’s back, is this the right time and so on and so forth.”
“The entire discussion is being diverted from the super-important issue of whether the agreement is distancing or nearing the Iranian bomb,” Yadlin said.
In an appearance before a large AIPAC forum, however, Yadlin expressed his own concerns about the administration’s handling of talks with Iran: He said that even though the administration says that “no deal is better than a bad deal” it has refrained from defining what a “bad deal” means, so that there can be a constant erosion in its positions. He added that the North Korean precedent raises concerns that the monitoring of any deal with Iran will be inadequate and that the administration hasn’t spelled out its reaction if Iran violates the deal.