I caught up Sunday with Yossi Klein Halevi, the American-born Israeli author of the masterful Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation, who is in the U.S. on a book tour. He had strong words of condemnation for the nuclear deal reached in Geneva with Iran.
“I think it’s a betrayal. The Obama administration had to be dragged into supporting sanctions. It took the administration three years to sign up for crippling sanctions. And now, just as they’re starting to work, the administration is beginning to dismantle the system. That’s a betrayal.
“The are laying the groundwork for another North Korea. One way or another, they are going to reach the finish line. They’re either going to do it through subterfuge, or by pocketing the gains from this deal and then not moving forward to the final status agreement and then daring the international community not to implement the sanctions. The hard part is creating the network of sanctions. The easy part is dismantling them.
“Before this deal, there were two credible threats to a nuclear Iran. One was the sanctions effort, and the other was a Israeli strike. The deal with Iran undercuts both. If israel doesn’t strike, Iran will go nuclear. And the price of an Israeli strike has now has risen exponentially.
I asked Halevi about Jeffrey Goldberg’s conclusion that the deal was the “least-worst thing that could have happened.”
“If you’re going to make a deal, this is the best deal they could make. But there should not have been a deal. The Iranian regime was being cornered. Sanctions might even have brought about the fall of the regime. This is an unthinkable surrender.
“Obama has created a condition in which Iran will be gradually reaccepted into the international community, and Israel could well find itself a pariah. That’s Obama’s gift to the Jewish people.
“I think this deal makes an Israeli strike inevitable.”