Bibi’s big show

Joseph Aaron

Talk about theatre of the absurd. Talk about the idiot leading the idiot. Talk about the Israeli version of ‘Fox and Friends.’

I still haven’t been able to uncringe myself after watching one of the most cheesy pieces of political performance art ever. Trump’s rallies look like Laurence Olivier playing Hamlet compared to the piece of kabuki baloney that Netanyahu just put on.

Though I disagree with just about everything the Bibi stands for, and though I have nothing but contempt for his amazing political cowardice, the one thing I have always thought Bibi was good at was putting on a show, at theatrics, at being effective at communicating whatever he was peddling at the moment.

But Bibi’s speech in which he so proudly sprung his ‘big Iran surprise’ was so embarrassing that the word embarrassing doesn’t begin to cover it. Nor does the word pathetic, a joke, so transparently conniving was it.

Look, we get it, the Bibi doesn’t like the Iran deal, never has, never will. In fact, he hates it so much he had the unprecedented chutzpah to collude with Republicans behind the back of the president of the United States to come to our country to speak to our Congress to savage a policy of the leader of our country. There is no foreign leader in the entire history of our republic who had the gall and the lack of grace to do that. But the Bibi, all gall and no grace, did just that.

And now he’s raised his all gall and no grace game to an ever more outrageous level. On May 12, the Donald will decide whether to renew this country’s involvement in the Iran deal. Because it looks like he plans to make the tragic and destructive decision to pull out of the deal, no less than the president of France and the chancellor of Germany came to the United States last week to try to talk him out of pulling out, to warn him about how stupid and counterproductive such a move would be.

And so, ever the cynical, manipulative, ugly and weasely political operative, the Bibi just happened to pick this week, right after Macron’s and Merkel’s visits and just before Trump has to make his big decision, to go on TV to announce that, ta-dah, Israel had flown into Iran and spirited away a half ton of documents proving positively that Iran has lied in the past and that it had been working on a nuclear program in the past.

Note that he talked only about the past, only about things going on in Iran before the nuclear deal. He said nothing, not a word, about what Iran has been doing since the deal was signed.

That’s because Iran has completely totally 100 percent been abiding by the terms of the deal. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Consider that a couple of weeks ago, then CIA director now secretary of state Mike Pompeo, testifying before Congress, said that all the intelligence agencies in this country agree that Iran has been abiding by the deal.

Consider also that just a week ago, the secretary of defense, Mad Dog James Mattis said that after having read all 156 pages of the Iran agreement three separate times, he concluded “it is written almost with an assumption that Iran would try to cheat. So the verification…is actually pretty robust as far as our intrusive ability to get in” with IAEA inspectors. Meaning we know Iran might cheat so we have very good inspections and, said Mattis, the inspections show that Iran is completely keeping the deal.

So both the head of the CIA and the head of the defense department said Iran is keeping its part of the deal. Before they were forced out, secretary of state Tillerson and national security advisor McMaster also said Iran was keeping the deal. And Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster all agreed it is in the best interests of the United States to stay in the agreement.

But if you don’t trust American officials, how about this. Just recently, 26 former top-ranking Israeli military and security officials issued a statement urging the United States to maintain the nuclear agreement with Iran. In their letter, they unequivocally say that the deal is working and that a U.S. decision to pull out would undermine Israel’s security.

Here’s some of what they wrote. “As former military officers and leaders in Israeli security agencies, we believe it is in Israel’s best interest that the United States maintains the nuclear agreement with Iran. One of the greatest threats facing Israel has been the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons. For more than two years, that threat has been blocked by the Iran nuclear agreement.

“American abandonment of the agreement would undermine not just the deal, but Israel’s security as well. It would cause a division on a central question of Middle East security between the United States and Israel’s European allies. By doing so, it would further empower the deal’s hardline Iranian opponents — and most importantly The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Should US abandonment of the agreement lead to the pact’s demise, the consequences for Israeli security could be even more dire. Iran could resume the full scope of its former nuclear activities — or advance well beyond them ahead of time — unrestricted and unmonitored. Israel and its allies would be forced to consider taking drastic measures to attempt to restrain or destroy Iran’s nuclear program, including military operations that might trigger a major escalation and drive the entire region into direct confrontation, with no guarantee of achieving their goal.”

Among those signing the statement were more than a dozen Israeli generals, the former director of the Shin Bet, Israel’s top security agency, and the former director general of the Israeli atomic energy commission.

But the Bibi clearly doesn’t care about any of them. He knows Trump is a moron, easily played, and so he figured he would play him in his obsessive, indeed psychotic, quest to get rid of the Iran deal. Why Bibi is so opposed to the deal, considering all the military and security experts who are for it, is best left to the psychiatrists. But I personally believe it is the result of his daddy issues. His father was a historian who concluded from all his research that the world always has hated Jews, will always hate Jews, that Jews can rely on no one, that everyone wants all of us dead and that we can’t ever trust anyone about anything.

Bibi has been prime minister of Israel longer than anyone except Ben-Gurion. And yet name one, just one, bold, courageous move he has made. Take your time. You can’t. Agree with them or not, every single other prime minister has made a bold decision, Begin made peace with Egypt, Rabin with the Palestinians, Sharon pulled out of Gaza, Barak pulled out of Lebanon, Olmert made a sweeping peace proposal to Abbas and even Shamir didn’t retaliate when Scud missiles from Iraq rained on Israel because he understood that was the right decision. All showed guts in those moves and in others. Bibi never does anything bold. Hell, even Trump in a recent phone call with the Bibi, asked him if he genuinely wants to make peace. When even Trump has a feeling you are full of baloney, you know you are full of baloney.

Bibi’s performance was an insult and a disgrace. First, he is the prime minister of Israel who went on Israeli TV to address the Israeli public. And yet his speech was not in Hebrew but in English. Showing he wasn’t talking-to his own people but only trying to snooker the easily snookered Trump into pulling out of the deal.

I’m not even sure Bibi knows anymore why he wants out, he just knows he’s been obsessed with it for so long, that even though actually pulling out would have drastic consequences for Israel, he is mindlessly driven to grab his chance now that Trump is in the White House. Bibi and Trump, two of a kind, both jokers.

Bibi has insanely and irrationally convinced himself that Iran is an existential threat to Israel. The irony being that if the deal falls apart because Trump pulls out at the urging of Bibi, Iran will be free to go full force in developing the bomb and might have one in a year or less. Thanks to Bibi.

What was surprising is not that Bibi gave his little performance, but how lame and sad it was. His absurd graphics like a huge sign that read ‘Iran lied, ‘his theatrical unveiling of shelves of what he claimed were top secret documents even though we have no idea if they were just a prop, his collection of 183 compact discs, his showing of videos, his strutting around the stage.

Most importantly was that he gave absolutely no evidence, nothing, that Iran has violated the agreement since it was signed, or that Iran, since the agreement, has been working on a nuclear program. He gave no proof of that at all, only that before the deal they had been working on a nuclear program.

And I guess he doesn’t understand that the deal was made precisely because, yes indeed they were working on a nuclear program; and that they have stopped working on a nuclear program precisely because of the deal.

How absurd it all was, was seen shortly after Bibi’s kabuki theatre, when the White House backed him up, issuing a statement saying “Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people.”

One problem. Since findings by international inspectors have found Iran to be in compliance with the nuclear deal, the White House, just hours later, had to change its statement from the present to the past tense, saying “Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program.”

Yes, had, not has. Meaning yes, in the past before the agreement, it had a robust clandestine nuclear weapons program. Had. Not has, as the White House originally and wrongly said and had to correct. Just like Bibi only talked about the past, not at what has been since the deal and what is today.

The one thing I thought Bibi was good at was PR, at BS, at making his case. But his case against the deal is so wrong headed and so ridiculous that he looked like a fool standing up there on his fake movie set with his props of fake papers and cds, talking about his huge shocking discovery that Iran used to have a nuclear program, something the whole world has long known, something that is no news at all, let alone big news, and something that exactly explains why Obama made the deal he did and why it would be insane for Trump to pull out of it.

The deal is working, but Bibi is still stuck in the past, blathering on like a lunatic who has lost his mind, obsessively muttering like Captain Queeg in ‘The Caine Mutiny,’ to the one person equally as ignorant and stubborn as he is, namely Trump. The sad, scary fact is that Bibi and Trump together might be leading us into the very disaster, to a nuclear Iran, that the deal has saved and is saving us from.

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