In “Kristol connects” I wrote about Bill Kristol’s presentation to the Minnesota chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition this past Monday. I noted that Bill connected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem the day before with columns by former IDF chief of intelligence Amos Yadlin and former Netanyahu national security adviser Yaacov Amidror.
Bill had had the benefit of an advance look at the then forthcoming Weekly Standard article “Getting Ready for a bad deal” by Elliott Abrams that is now published in the current issue. Abrams reviews Netanyahu’s speech along with the two columns and draws this understated conclusion:
These three statements, from Israel’s prime minister and two of its leading security figures, are of course meant to toughen the American position in the coming talks. Watching the P5+1 effort to conclude a deal with Iran by the July deadline, the three men are urging tougher terms than many in the West (not to mention Russia and China) seem willing to require. They are restating the point that a bad deal is, as American officials have agreed at least in principle, worse than no deal, because it would offer false assurances that we’ve stopped Iran while strengthening the Islamic Republic through the elimination of economic sanctions. And they are reminding us, yet again, that while the P5+1 may be willing to take a chance and let Iran progress a bit more slowly toward a bomb, Israel may make a different calculation and “draw its own conclusions.”
It may be difficult to think of Israel acting alone in the face of a widely celebrated nuclear deal with Iran or even in the face of continuing negotiations that function as a cover for Iran’s progress toward a usable weapon. But watching Israel’s prime minister deliver his warning from Yad Vashem, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, is a reminder that Jewish history has taught Israel’s leaders powerful lessons about the past—and the dangers the future holds.
I urge readers interested in the subject to check out Abrams’s article as well as the Netanyahu speech and the two columns he reviews.