Philip Weiss: “Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before a meeting in Geneva January 14, 2015. Zarif said on Wednesday that his meeting with Kerry was important to see if progress could be made in narrowing differences on his country's disputed nuclear program.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking (SWITZERLAND - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4LDZW
Brother, aren’t we glad that we kicked the man from Tel Aviv out of the political equation?”

…by Jonas E. Alexis


Philip Weiss is optimistic about how the Congress is going to respond to the Iran deal: “President Obama is going to win his Iran deal inside the American government, maybe overwhelmingly; that the Congress is going to fail to veto it by a large margin.”

Weiss has produced some reasoned responses as to why the deal will work. His first reason is quite simple: Benjamin Netanyahu.

I can see his point here because virtually every sensible and reasonable person seems to know that Netanyahu is weird. In fact, Norman Finkelstein has said that Netanyahu “happens to be a maniac.” Finkelstein has repeated that remark elsewhere.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Paul R. Pillar has recently and implicitly deconstructed Netanyahu’s claim that a bad deal is worse than no deal.[1] President Obama himself, as the Guardian puts it, “vows to veto any Republican attempt to derail the Iran nuclear deal.”[2] Obama said:

“No deal means no lasting constraints on Iran’s nuclear program. Such a scenario would make it more likely that other countries in the region would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear weapons, threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world.”[3]

Obama seemed to be talking to Netanyahu or the Israeli regime when he said:

“This is not the time for politics or posturing. Tough talk from Washington does not solve problems. Hard-nosed diplomacy, leadership that has united the world’s major powers, offers a more effective way to verify that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon.”[4]

So, Weiss is right on target here. Netanyahu obviously has no solid political defenses at this present moment, and repeating incestuous statements like “Iran is the most dangerous regime in the world” will not do. The Jewish Journal seems to figure this out. The leaders in Israel are indeed mad about the deal, “but no one,” says the journal, “not even the prime minister, rattled the sabers of war.”[5]

Israeli military analyst Amos Harel added, “An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites is no longer a relevant scenario.”[6] To much of Netanyahu’s chagrin, U.N. Council backs the Iran deal. The Guardian declared that the deal was “a triumph of diplomacy.”[7] It gets worse:

The European Union approved the Iran nuclear deal with world powers on Monday, a first step toward lifting Europe’s economic sanctions against Tehran that the bloc hopes will send a signal that the U.S. Congress will follow.

“In a message mainly aimed at skeptical voices in the U.S. Congress and strong resistance from Israel, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels stressed that there was no better option available.”

Iranian writers and journalists are also happy about the deal. As Ali Gharib has recently put it, “As an Iranian-American, both sides of my split identity rejoice at a nuclear deal.”[8]

One can safely say that the Obama administration has played a huge role in politically deconstructing Netanyahu’s grand scheme. Even Zionist outlets such as News Max have acknowledged that—though in a perverse way:

“In 2010, Obama humiliated Netanyahu when he abruptly terminated a meeting with the prime minister and left him at the White House while he went to have lunch with vice president Joe Biden. Netanyahu was not invited to join them.

“At the same meeting, The White House refused to allow non-official photographers to record it, leading one observer to remark that Netanyahu was being treated ‘as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator.’

“Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry has lobbied world leaders to support U.S. negotiations to create a Palestinian state, distressing Netanyahu to the point that Haaretz reported: ‘Bibi hates Kerry and won’t listen to him.’ Netanyahu has ruled out creation of a Palestinian state.

“The Obama administration has issued sharp denunciations of Netanyahu’s plans for new construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“When Netanyahu traveled to the U.S. for an address at the United Nations in September 2012, the White House said Obama would not meet with him, claiming ‘the president’s schedule will not permit that.’

“In March 2014, Obama pressed Netanyahu to accept a peace deal with the Palestinians as the deadline neared for both sides to sign on to a U.S.-brokered framework for a peace accord. If Netanyahu wasn’t happy with the solution being suggested, Obama said, ‘he needs to articulate an alternative approach,’ a remark that was reportedly not appreciated by the prime minister.

“In the wake of Netanyahu’s recent election victory, Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough scheduled a speech to J Street, an Israel advocacy group that often criticizes the Israeli government and especially Netanyahu.

“The White House signaled Wednesday that it could reverse its decades-old policy of using its veto in the U.N. Security Council to protect Israel, and refuse to veto resolutions related to the Palestinians, in particular those condemning the Jewish state’s settlement policy in Palestinian territory.”

So, we have seen some victory so far! All options are no longer on the table for the mad man in Tel Aviv. The Republican Party, as Trevor Timm has argued, hates the deal because the “bomb Iran” song got too boring and no one seriously wants to sing it anymore.[9] Thomas Sowell has proved Timm’s point when he said that:

“The United States seems at this moment about to break the record for the worst political blunder of all time, with its Obama administration deal that will make a nuclear Iran virtually inevitable.”[10]

Sorry, Dr. Sowell, we are no longer living in the age of manipulation. Obviously Sowell’s political father, Benjamin Netanyahu, now has to rethink things and needs to choose his words carefully. He can no longer go to the UN and present his ridiculous and sophomoric drawing. The “Road Runner and Coyote” script is not an option at all![11] The mad man has been forced to leave things like that in Tel Aviv because the entertaining season is over. You remember how the White House poked fun at Netanyahu’s cartoon drawing?[12]


Well, things are getting pretty tight for the mad man in Tel Aviv, and newspapers in Israel are saying that Netanyahu needs to give the Iran deal a chance.[13] What is equally worse is that Lindsey Graham and John McCain cannot help him anymore, though they are still his puppets, willing to die for their master. To give a classic example, Netanyahu has recently appeared on National Public Radio, which is a Zionist cell, and has politically stripped himself naked. This was quite obvious to the interviewer.[14]

So, unless you have been living in the Zionist camp for the past few years and have never gotten a chance to observe what Netanyahu has been up to for the past eight years or so, you know that this man is a pathological liar. Weiss writes,

“Chris Matthews said the other night that Americans don’t like him [Netanyahu]. Opposition to the deal is now firmly associated with Netanyahu, and this is a great thing for the battle. ‘Can you imagine the politics of this deal if Israel had a sophisticated, attractive, eloquent leader?’ James North said to me today.”

Philip Weiss
Philip Weiss

Weiss mentions Obama himself as his second piece of evidence that Netanyahu will fail. But I’m going to give my take as to why Obama might get a chance to win the deal. Obama accepts the Israeli/Zionist thesis that Iran is a terrorist state.[15] Though I would never have taken that dangerous route, this could be a good philosophical strategy to destroy or defuse the Israeli flame and Zionist position.

Even if Iran is a terror state,[16] says Obama, that certainly is no good reason to abandon peaceful resolution. I can again conceive this point. Didn’t the United States strike a deal with diabolical dictators like Joseph Stalin during World War II to destabilize the vast majority of German civilians?[17] Didn’t Stalin end up slaughtering more than 30 million people within a few years?[18] Has Iran surpassed that figure? Hasn’t Iran done its best to work with the United States for years?[19]

So, Obama was actually making a historical point here. Both the United States and Israel would benefit from a reasonable deal with Iran. Obama even moves on to make the case that the deal will allow the IAEA to inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran has agreed to this proposition since time immemorial. That is why they signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty a long time ago.

Netanyahu, however, would like the West to abandon all that. Netanyahu “told Israel’s security cabinet this week that no concessions should be made to Iran until it stops calling for the destruction of the US and Israel.”[20]

Isn’t this statement vacuous and therefore worthless? When was the last time that Iran called for the destruction of the US and Israel? Yes, Iran does talk about the Zionist regime dominating both the US and Israel. Just like the Soviet Union had a different image without Bolshevism, Israel and the United States will have a different worldview without the Zionist regime. To cite again the Ayatollah Khomeini, the United States

“exploits the oppressed people of the world by means of the large-scale propaganda campaigns that are coordinated for it by international Zionism.”[21]

This is indeed a rational and historical point and is quite different from Netanyahu’s incestuous claim that Iran calls for the destruction of Israel and the United States. As Gareth Porter has pointed out in his book Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, no serious person believes Netanyahu’s complete fabrication here.[22] And if you doubt that Khomeini is wrong, then do not forget what happened to Iraq in 2003.

The sad part of this story is that Netanyahu will not even allow the IAEA to inspect Israel’s nuclear facilities. In fact, everyone knows by now that Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons. They even brag that they can annihilate much of the West in a matter of hours. As Paul R. Pillar pointed out back in 2012, if Israeli officials wants to be consistent, they can live with a nuclear Iran.[23]

Weiss declared that the third reason the deal will work is that the American people are waking up from what Kant would have called “my dogmatic slumber.” Weiss said:

“It is obvious to anyone who has their ear to the ground that a large majority of the American people want this deal, want a new chapter in the Middle East that does not include drone assassinations and people they know coming home with brain injuries and prosthetic limbs.”

Moreover, it is pretty hard for Netanyahu to play the anti-Semitism card now because J Street, a Jewish group, does not like Netanyahu’s proposal. J. Street states quite plainly:

“Call your Congressperson. We are the majority! Opponents of the deal – many of whom are the same people who brought us the invasion of Iraq – are already hard at work. CNN says 53 percent of Americans supported the deal in April, it’s bound to be higher now.

“The deal represents the US zeitgeist. Charleston, prison reform, Cuba; the belief that people can change, the people’s rage against war as an answer. Shapeshifter Matthew J. Dowd, George W. Bush’s former pollster, speaks for many when he says we need to turn the page on a broken policy:

“‘I am surprised by GOP who advocates for change, but thinks a 50 yr old Cuba policy and 30 yr. Iran policy should still be in place. Why do some require more data and verification on the path to peace than on path to war? Difference in approach to Iraq and Iran is amazing.’

“‘I will find it astonishing if bipartisan majority votes against Iran deal, and voted for Iraq War. less trustworthy intelligence on Iraq.

“Dianne Feinstein is going to support the deal, according to a well-placed friend. Nancy Pelosi supported it strongly last night. The National Jewish Democratic Coalition came out strongly for it today. Diplomats and nuclear experts are lining up to support it. Ambassador Power has been outspoken, spending some capital. The Carnegie Center and the Atlantic Council have held events extremely supportive of the deal.”

Weiss says that Chuck Schumer is another reason to think that the deal will work:

“This is anticlimactic: The central figure in the potential opposition is bound to support the deal. The National Jewish Democratic Coalition tipped his hand for him today.

“In fact, it is now dangerous politically for Schumer to oppose the deal.  Reread his remarks to that Orthodox Jewish audience in June warning them that when it comes to dual loyalty, he has to put aside the interests of the Jewish people and support the interests of the American people.

“Former Obama Pentagon official Ilan Goldenberg said at the Carnegie Center event yesterday that Israel had all these fearful reasons why it’s against the deal, but the US government is not going to ‘let the tail wag the dog.’

“Hearing a Jewish former Pentagon official even suggest that the tail can wag the dog and that’s a bad thing– that’s Iraq War Redux, it means that the cat is out of the bag. Schumer won’t go near this. He can’t be seen to embrace Netanyahu.”

Weiss’ eighth reason is that many American Jews are rising against Netanyahu.

“The deal is causing them to turn openly against the Israel lobby and the identification with the warmongering state.

“J Street is leading establishment Jewish opinion. It put out a poll showing that 59 percent of American Jews support a final agreement like this one. They are demonstrating an old political principle that Schumer stood up for: if you are going to test us on dual loyalty, we are going to pull out our American flags.

“Again, the Iran deal reveals the fact that Jews who support Israel support war. The curtain of Iraq has been pulled back. What a moment for Jewish identity; and I tell you: young Jews are going to run away from this identification with their hair on fire, Jewish public opinion is shifting before our eyes.”

Weiss’ last reason is quite interesting:

“The Israel lobby. AIPAC has told its employees to forget their summer vacation and fight this deal, but Ron Kampeas also reports that they know they’re going to lose.

“AIPAC insiders say they know they might lose this time, too, but say they have little choice given the existential threats they believe the deal poses to Israel.

“Wolf Blitzer and Ilan Goldenberg have both said in recent days that the greatest danger of all to Israel is the continued fraying of the special relationship between the countries, and the ways that Israel is becoming a partisan (Republican) issue.

“A lot of us love that this is happening, but smarter heads in the lobby are going to realize they have a doubly losing hand and are going to stop fighting the president, soon, and turn to the real problem, #1.”

This maybe President Obama’s best moment, and he seems to be seizing it. Let us hope that he goes all the way.

[1] Paul R. Pillar, “The Iran Agreement and the Meaning of Risk, National Interest, July 18, 2015.

[2] Paul Lewis, “Obama vows to veto any Republican attempt to derail Iran nuclear deal,” Guardian, July 14, 2015.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Noga Tarnopolsky, “Israel won’t strike Iran alone, no matter how much it hates the nuclear deal,” Jewish Journal, July 16, 2015.

[6] Ibid.

[7] “The Guardian view on the Iran nuclear deal: a triumph of diplomacy,” Guardian, July 14, 2015.

[8] Ali Gharib, “As an Iranian-American, both sides of my split identity rejoice at a nuclear deal,” Guardian, July 15, 2015.

[9] Trevor Timm, “Republicans hate the Iran nuclear deal because it means we won’t bomb Iran,” Guardian, July 14, 2015.

[10] Thomas Sowell, “A Historic Catastrophe,” Jewish World Review, July 21, 2015.

[11] Paul R. Pillar actually wrote a good article on this back in 2012. Paul R. Pillar, “Netanyahu Dumbs It Down,” National Interest, September 28, 2012.

[12]“Is the White House poking fun at Netanyahu on Twitter?,” Haaretz, April 9, 2015.

[13] “Give the Iran nuclear agreement a chance,” Haaretz, April 14, 2015.

[14] Elizabeth Jensen, “On ‘Cutting Off’ An Interview Subject,” National Public Radio, July 17, 2015.

[15] This is not the case at all. Again, for those who are new to this topic, see for example Trita Parsi, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); A Single Roll of Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011); Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran (New York: Picador, 2013).

[16] Obama should definitely have brought up the fact that it wasn’t Iran that assassinated Iranian scientists in 2010; it was the terrorist state known as Israel.

[17] See for example R. M. Douglas, Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the German after the Second World War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 202012); Giles MacDonogh, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation (New York: Basic Books, 2009); Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006); Thomas Goodrich, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947 (Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2007).

[18] See for example Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzez Paczkowski, et al., The Black Book of Communism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999); Steven Rosefielde, The Red Holocaust (New York: Routledge, 2010).

[19] Trita Parsi, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); A Single Roll of Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011).

[20] Dan Murphy, “Israel’s Netanyahu is pushing hard against Iran nuclear deal. But others are pushing back,” Christian Science Monitor, July 20, 2015.

[21] Quoted in E. Michael Jones, “The Great Satan and Me: Reflections on Iran and Postmodernism’s Faustian Pact,” Culture Wars, July 2015.

[22] Gareth Porter, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2014).

[23] Paul R. Pillar, “We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran,” Washington Monthly, March/April 2012.

Author Details
Read Jonas Alexis’s latest posts here >>>

Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.
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