JTA reports: When it comes to the deal between Iran and major powers, Israel and the pro-Israel community are retreating from a strategy of confrontation and working instead to influence the contours of a final agreement.
In a conference call last week, Howard Kohr, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s executive director, advised pro-Israel activists and leaders not to confront the Obama administration directly over the “difference of strategy” between the United States and Israel on Iran. Instead, Kohr said to focus on passing new sanctions as a means of shaping a final deal.
AIPAC would not comment on the call, which was first revealed Dec. 3 in a Zionist Organization of America news release criticizing AIPAC’s approach. But Kohr’s advice comports with a recent rhetorical pivot by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who initially excoriated the interim deal with Iran reached last month in Geneva as a “historic mistake.”
This week, meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem, Netanyahu significantly downplayed his unhappiness with the interim deal and said he was focused instead on the outcome of the six-month period established to reach a final accord over Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu is sending a team to Washington in the coming days to consult with US officials on how best to influence a final deal.
“We believe that in a final deal, unlike the interim deal, it’s crucial to bring about a final agreement about determination of Iran’s military and nuclear capability,” Netanyahu said. [Continue reading…]