Published at Jewish Business News
by Ilan Shavit
Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, who has spearheaded the White House’s campaign aimed at stopping Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress, has had a dramatic change of heart.
The left-leaning columnist, who chipped at the PM’s credibility in the recent past, most memorably with his quote from an anonymous White House official who told him: “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickens***,” on Sunday published a dramatically different account of how he sees the case against Iran.
While still criticizing Netanyahu for turning the Iran nuclear negotiations into “a stress test of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Goldberg adamantly supports the essence of the PM’s message and is much more critical of what is beginning to appear to be a weak U.S. deal with the Islamic Revolution.
“Netanyahu has a credible case to make,” Goldberg writes. “The deal that seems to be taking shape right now does not fill me—or many others who support a diplomatic solution to this crisis—with confidence.”
Goldberg continues: “Reports suggest that the prospective agreement will legitimate Iran’s right to enrich uranium (a ‘right’ that doesn’t actually exist in international law); it will allow Iran to maintain many thousands of operating centrifuges; and it will lapse after 10 or 15 years, at which point Iran would theoretically be free to go nuclear.”
That’s a reversal fitting of the Purim story.
Goldberg might as well have been quoting from Netanyahu’s talking points sheet.
He continues, again, sounding more like a Likud pamphlet than the good old, left-leaning Goldberg of only a few weeks ago:
“This is a very dangerous moment for Obama and for the world. He has made many promises, and if he fails to keep them—if he inadvertently (or, God forbid, advertently) sets Iran on the path to the nuclear threshold, he will be forever remembered as the president who sparked a nuclear-arms race in the world’s most volatile region, and for breaking a decades-old promise to Israel that the United States would defend its existence and viability as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
And he concludes:
“Netanyahu obviously believes that Obama doesn’t have his, or Israel’s, back. There will be no convincing Netanyahu that Obama is anything but a dangerous adversary. But if a consensus forms in high-level Israeli security circles (where there is a minimum of Obama-related hysterics) that the president has agreed to a weak deal, one that provides a glide path for Iran toward the nuclear threshold, then we will be able to say, fairly, that Obama’s promises to Israel were not kept.”