In this column in the American Prospect, (“What a No Vote on the iran Deal Would Mean“), Gershom Gorenberg’s writes as an Israeli whose personal security and that of his family is on the line. He makes the observation that if he had remained in the Los Angeles area rather than making aliya to Israel over 40 years ago, Brad Sherman (pictured above) would be his representative in Congress. His article’s sub-title: “To keep their seats safe, Chuck Schumer and Brad Sherman are willing to make Israel much less safe.”
This is the core of Gorenberg’s piece:
. . . In Israel, the most prominent dissenters from Netanyahu’s position are veterans of its military and intelligence agencies. There’s Shlomo Brom, ex-head of strategic planning in the Israeli general staff, who has debunked precisely the myths about the Vienna accord that fill Schumer and Sherman’s statements. Ami Ayalon, former commander of the Israeli Navy and ex-head of the Shin Bet security service, has stated that “when it comes to Iran’s nuclear capability, this [deal] is the best option.” Yuval Diskin, another former Shin Bet director, this week tweeted in Hebrew that he “identifies absolutely” with Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column on why Israelis should support the accord.
Yes, I’m picking my experts (though if space and patience allowed, I could list many more). What Ayalon, Brom, Diskin, and colleagues who have expressed similar views have in common is that—to use Hebrew slang—they’re not “vegetarians.” They know there’s sometimes no choice but to use military force. But they also have an utterly unromantic understanding of the costs of using force and the limits of what it can accomplish. They are the kind of security experts that a Democratic member of Congress should want to consult. (There’s little point in discussing which experts a Republican lawmaker should consult: The GOP’s fundamental principle is that any agreement reached by Barack Obama is illegitimate, which meshes sweetly with Netanyahu’s core belief that all diplomacy is delusion.)
I could go point by point through the errors in Schumer and Sherman’s criticisms of the deal. It’s either mistaken or deliberately misleading to state, as Schumer does, that there’s a “24-day delay before we can inspect.” That’s the outside limit for reimposing sanctions if Iran blocks inspection of a previously unknown site. It’s mistaken or deceptive to imply, as Sherman does, that Iran will be free to pursue a weapons program in 15 years. Inspections, surveillance, and the ban on nuclear weapons last long after that.
But the real flaw in Sherman and Schumer’s arguments—and in Netanyahu’s—is that they measure the accord against the ideal agreement that those men wanted, or against the one they claim that Obama could have reached. Such arguments are appropriate for an academic seminar. …
Again, click here to read his entire article online.