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Media Analyses





The NYT on Israel, Iran: What's the Deal?


In an editorial last week falsely claiming that Israel has been "inveighing against any deal" with Iran, The New York Times once again demonstrates the steep tilt against the Jewish state which permeates both its opinion and news coverage.
 
The Nov. 11 editorial ("Iran Nuclear Talks: Unfinished, but Alive"), stated:
Second, if all those inveighing against any deal — namely members of Congress, Israel and Saudi Arabia — see the weekend results as a new opportunity to sabotage it, what is the alternative?
Israel is not opposed to "any deal" and is not "inveighing against any deal." In fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly made the distinction between what he calls a "bad" deal or agreement and a "good" deal, and has expressed support for the latter.
 
After meeting with Secretary of State Kerry earlier this month, Netanyahu said:
Iran is in economic distress and it is possible to get a better deal.Before easing sanctions we need to get a good deal, not a bad deal.
At the Nov. 10 weekly cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister stated:
Over the weekend I spoke with US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. I told them that according to the information reaching Israel, the apparent deal is bad and dangerous. It is dangerous not just for us, it is also dangerous for them. It is dangerous for world peace because it lowers the pressure of sanctions that took years to build while on the other hand, Iran, in practice, retains its nuclear enrichment capability as well as the ability to advance along the plutonium track. I emphasize that the proffered deal does not include the dismantling of even one centrifuge. I asked all the leaders – why the haste? I proposed that they wait, that they consider the matter seriously. This is an historic process and these are historic decisions. I asked to wait. It is good that this is what was decided in the end but I am not deluding myself – there is a strong desire to reach an agreement, I hope not an agreement at any price, and if there is to be an agreement then it needs to be a good agreement and not a bad agreement. I hope that they will reach a good agreement and we will do our utmost to convince the major powers and the leaders to avoid a bad agreement.
On Oct. 13, Yuval Steinitz, Israel's Minister for Intelligence Affairs and International Relations, said on the BBC:
Israel is not against the diplomatic negotiations of the P5+1 with Iran. These diplomatic negotiations are going on and off for almost ten years, starting from 2003, and then the Iranians had only 160 centrifuges – today they have close to 20,000. But we are not closing the door to diplomatic solutions: on the contrary. If the United States and the P5+1 will succeed to reach [an] inclusive and satisfactory diplomatic solution, we will be glad to endorse it. [emphasis added]
Likewise, the Times of Israel on Oct. 14 reported about Steinitz's position in favor of a diplomatic deal:
energy for civilian purposes, he said Monday. “We want the Geneva talks to succeed. We don’t close the door on a diplomatic solution,” he said.  . . .
Israel insists than any agreement prohibit Iran from independently enriching uranium and require the regime to ship out its stockpile of already enriched material. “What we’re saying is a very simple thing: Demand the only rational, logical, satisfactory solution. Nuclear civilian energy: yes. Uranium enrichment: no. It’s that simple,” Steinitz said.
At the Nov. 12 the Bloomberg Fuel Choices Summit, he stated:
With every passing day, Iran is under growing economic pressure. One need not be hasty to conclude a bad deal. The time that has been achieved must be utilized for a good deal which dismantles Iran's military nuclear capabilities.
In the Knesset on Nov. 13, Netanyahu reiterated:
There are not just two possibilities on the Iranian issue: A bad deal - or war. This is incorrect. There is a third possibility - and that is continuing the pressure of sanctions. I would even say that a bad deal is liable to lead to the second, undesired, result. There is no reason to submit to Iranian diktat; neither is there any reason to be hasty. Iran is under very harsh economic pressure and the advantage is with those applying the pressure. It is possible to achieve a good deal to dismantle Iran's military nuclear capability. This cannot be achieved by the proposal now being discussed in Geneva. That proposal would make a gaping hole in the sanctions through which the air could escape from the pressure of the sanctions. Iran is being asked to do very little. All of its centrifuges would be left intact; not even one centrifuge would be dismantled and the underground facilities would also remain. This is not necessary because it is possible to continue the pressure.
While Israel has not been "inveighing against any deal" with Iran, one may wonder why The New York Times continues to weigh in against Israel regardless of the facts. 

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