July 23, 2015
Ameinu, the largest grassroots progressive Zionist organization in North America, has followed the negotiations over a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China) with a combination of hope and apprehension. Our core goal has been to see the best possible deal — one that could reasonably be supported by all P5+1 partners and Iran — to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
It is our conclusion that this deal meets this goal and that rejecting the agreement would lead to tragic consequences for the U.S., Israel and the world.
While we hope the deal will expeditiously move to the implementation phase, we are deeply aware of the distress it is causing to some in the United States, to many in Israel and to Saudi Arabia and other allies in the Arab world. These security concerns must be taken seriously. To that end, Ameinu has urged that an international consensus be forged to address both implementation of the nuclear agreement, as well as security issues relating to Iranian support for terrorist groups, destabilization of the region and human rights violations.
Because enhancing security is our primary concern, Ameinu believes the perspectives of Israeli security experts are vitally important in evaluating the agreement. Below you will find brief excerpts and links to a wide array of Israeli security experts and analysts who have come out publicly in support of the nuclear deal and who are urging that a campaign to overturn the deal not be undertaken.
Former Member of Knesset and Mayor of Haifa and Yeruham; Retired IDF Major-General
“Nearly every day since the nuclear agreement with Iran was finalized, more Israeli generals and security chiefs have come forward with the same message: The deal is surprisingly good for Israel’s security. And as a retired major general who oversaw many elements of the Israeli military, I feel it is my duty to join my colleagues…I must state loud and clear — this agreement is better than no agreement and must not be rejected…The most heartening piece of the deal is that it has real teeth to enforce Iran’s compliance. It will impose the strictest inspections program in history, providing 24/7 monitoring of Iranian facilities, and giving inspectors access to literally every inch of the country…And due to Uranium’s near-eternal half-life, Iran will not be able to conceal the damning evidence if it decides to move toward a weapon…For Israel’s sake and all the people of the Middle East, we must not miss this opportunity.”
Learn more at http://blogs.rollcall.com/beltway-insiders/for-israels-sake-dont-reject-the-iran-agreement-commentary/?dcz=.
Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu (August 3, 2015)
Dozens of former senior members of Israel’s defense establishment
Read the open letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, funded by the Blue White Future organization, which urges him to accept the nuclear accord with Iran as a “done deal” and renew Israel’s trust with the U.S. in order to prepare for the deal’s challenges.
Learn more at http://www.haaretz.com/beta/1.669390?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook.
Former IDF Lieutenant Colonel; Physics professor at Tel Aviv University; Former lead scientist at Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor
“So what has changed? The agreement that was signed between the powers and Iran delays the Iranian nuclear program by 15 years at least, and maybe more. The deal was written by nuclear experts and blocks every path I know to the bomb. The Iranians may be celebrating, but they have in fact swallowed a very bitter pill, more so than they would like to let on.”
Learn more at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4680188,00.html.
Former Israeli Deputy National Security Advisor
“For at least the next decade, Israel will not have to live under the threat of a nuclear Iran and will not face the danger of annihilation. For Israel, that is a major achievement. It will enable Israel to divert precious resources to more immediate threats, like Hezbollah’s more than 130,000 rockets, Hamas and the Islamic State, and no less important, to pressing domestic needs…No agreement is ironclad, but the inspections provisions provide a high degree of confidence that Iran will not be able to renew the nuclear program without its being detected. A regime that has staked so much on this agreement will be reluctant to incur the costs.”
Learn more at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/20/opinion/a-good-deal-for-israel.html?_r=0.
Former Mossad Director; Former head of the National Security Council
“Without an agreement, Iran will be free to do as it pleases, while the sanctions regime will anyway crumble, as many of the world’s countries will rush to Tehran to sign profitable contracts…Why if the nuclear issue is of existential-cardinal importance, what is the point in annulling an agreement which keeps Iran away from the bomb in order to try and insert clauses regarding terror, which is definitely not an existential threat to Israel? As far as terror is concerned, other economic and financial sanctions have been declared, and they will remain valid.”
Learn more at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4681951,00.html.
Former Director of the Shin Bet; Former Navy Commander-in-Chief
“When negotiations began, Iran was two months away from acquiring enough material for a [nuclear] bomb. Now it will be 12 months…Israelis are failing to distinguish between reducing Iran’s nuclear capability and Iran being the biggest devil in the Middle East.”
Learn more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/21/ex-intel-chief-iran-deal-good-for-israel.html.
Israeli expert on Iran and nuclear issues
“With what Netanyahu is suggesting, which is the continuation of the current tensions with Iran until Iran completely capitulates … Iran would only need two months to make a nuclear weapon…Nobody is trusting Iran, the Iranian regime…It’s not about trust – it’s about mistrust and verify.”
Learn more at http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/.premium-1.667121.
Chair of Israel’s Space Agency; Former IDF general
“There is a dialogue of the deaf. The agreement is not bad at all, and even good for Israel…The U.S. leader said that the agreement removes the nuclear threat for a decade or two, and he is correct. In terms of the narrow nuclear issue, it removes the danger for a long time, and prevents a nuclear bomb for the next fifteen years. And it’s not bad at all.”
Learn more at http://news.walla.co.il/item/2872982 (text in Hebrew).
Molad – The Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy
“Why is the deal better than the alternatives? First, it will roll back Iran’s nuclear program, which is currently mere months away from a nuclear bomb, and maintain this roll back for at least ten years. During that time, emergency scenarios for dealing with an Iranian attempt to acquire nuclear weapons can be further developed, not to mention the fact that it is not certain that Iran will breakout once the decade is over. Also, as part of the deal, the U.S. Administration is offering Israel added security guarantees that can help improve intelligence and operative capabilities for a future strike on Iran.”
Learn more at http://www.molad.org/images/upload/files/Iran-Deal-Eng.pdf.
The Peace and Security Association
Represents hundreds of Israeli security experts, IDF veterans, Mossad, Shin Bet and Israeli police
“Although the agreement signed in Vienna between the world powers and Iran is not optimal, it should remove the immediate threat of an Iranian break-out leading to a nuclear military capability within a few months, as the situation without the agreement and prior to the interim agreement was evaluated. The agreement is expected to lengthen the break-out time to 12 months for at least 10 years.”
Learn more at http://www.peace-security.org.il/page/95/The-position-of-the-Council-on-the-Agreement-with-Iran.aspx.
Israeli expert on nuclear issues
“When it comes to the bottom line, a complex compromise was achieved that from Israel’s standpoint has good and less good elements. Diplomatic wisdom requires Israel, in close coordination with the United States particularly on the intelligence level, to put together a package of understandings that will compensate and balance the problematic and weaker parts of the agreement. If Israel manages to create such a package, it will certainly be able to live with the agreement.”
Learn more at http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.666481.
Former Israeli Air Force General, IDF military attaché to Washington, D.C. and head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate; Director of The Institute for National Security Studies
“Israel must reach understandings with the United States regarding a shared and coordinated way to confront the risks stemming from the agreement. Such agreements and understandings should include the following areas: intelligence cooperation to compensate for lapses in the realm of inspections; a clear definition of what constitutes significant violation of the agreement; response mechanisms in the event of violation; and a security aid package to improve Israel’s ability both to contend with the threats that will stem from the strengthening of Iran and its terrorist proxies, and to thwart an Iranian breakout toward a bomb. These understandings should be anchored in a side agreement between Israel and the United States.”
Learn more at http://www.inss.org.il/index.aspx?id=4538&articleid=10100.
Former senior official in Israeli Foreign Ministry; Former Director of The Institute for National Security Studies
“It is imperative that Israel realize that though the agreement has become a reality, the debate in the US and especially in Congress has just begun, particularly as the legislation calls for the administration to submit periodical reports both on Iran’s implementation of the JCPA and on other issues, such as Iran’s support for terror. Through sophisticated diplomacy, Israel will be able to influence the discussions, those in Congress and those between the US and Iran, staying away from the political domestic rift that will inevitably widen in the US presidential race. The Iran nuclear file, troubling as it is, is just one of the long term dangers Israel is facing. The more immediate regional threats have to do with the radicalization and fragmentation processes in the region and the proliferation of weapons that are not categorized as WMD but have a significant destructive power. These are the issues that should be on the top of the agenda in a healthier, less acrimonious dialogue that is based a higher degree of trust.”
Learn more at http://www.inss.org.il/index.aspx?id=4538&articleid=10086.
Former IDF Major General
“There is no one in Israel who thinks the nuclear agreement is a good agreement, but the discussion should not focus on that. Because this agreement is the best among all other alternatives, and any military strike – as successful as it may be – would not have delayed even 20% of what the agreement will delay, not to mention the risk of another flare-up with Hezbollah, which an operation against Iran would have generated. The agreement is an established fact, and it’s not particularly bad as far as Israel is concerned.”
Learn more at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4680698,00.html.
Former Israeli Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Foreign Minister and IDF Chief of General Staff
“The most important thing we need to do right now is restore working relations with the White House. That’s the only place where we can formulate what constitutes a violation, what’s a smoking fun and how to respond.”
Learn more at http://forward.com/opinion/312461/cracks-widen-as-israel-security-insiders-break-with-politicians-on-iran-dea/.
Former Director of the Shin Bet and Minister of Science, Technology and Space; Current Member of Knesset
“The way things work in Israel is this: When a deal is signed, a report is presented or an international agreement reached, first there is an overwhelming wave of defamatory comments, such as ‘It is a bad deal’ and ‘It is disastrous for Israel’…Only after these statements are made, people begin to ask whether anyone actually looked into the alternatives. Is freezing the Iranian nuclear program for what could amount to 10 years really so bad? In practical terms, there are some good clauses in the agreement with Iran. I also agree that it is not an ideal agreement. Due to our troubled relationship with the United States, we weren’t a partner in this agreement. A better agreement could have been reached. I say that it’s a good thing we have an agreement, but it could have been a better agreement.”
Learn more at http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/07/israel-interview-peri-yesh-atid-iran-nuke-deal-liberman.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+[English]&utm_campaign=7c855aa7f0-July_28_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-7c855aa7f0-93129625.