Netanyahu Reaffirms Alliance with U.S. Following Defense Ministry Rebuke

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday reaffirmed the strong U.S.-Israel alliance after Israel’s Defense Ministry sent out a statement rejecting President Obama’s Thursday’s assertion that Israeli military officials believe the Iranian nuclear deal is being enforced beyond expectations.

“While Israel’s view on the Iran deal remains unchanged, Prime Minister Netanyahu firmly believes that Israel has no greater ally than the United States,” a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister read.

Earlier Friday, the Defense Ministry headed by Avigdor Lieberman likened the nuclear deal to the failed 1938 Munich agreement. “The Israeli defense establishment believes that agreements have value only if they are based on reality. They have no value if the facts on the ground are opposite to the ones the agreement is based on,” the statement read. “The Munich Agreements didn’t prevent World War II and the Holocaust because their fundamental assumption – that Nazi Germany can be partner to any agreement – was false, and because world leaders at the time ignored clear statements made by Hitler and other Nazi leaders.”

“Hence, the defense establishment, like the rest of the Israeli people and many in the world, understands that agreements of this kind signed between the world powers and Iran are not helpful, but only harm the uncompromising struggle that must be undertaken against a terrorist state like Iran.”

On Thursday, President Obama pointed out that the nuclear deal has been working for over a year despite initial warnings and pessimistic predictions that the Iranians would violate the terms of the agreement. “It’s now been well over a year since the agreement with Iran to stop its nuclear program was signed and by all accounts it has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work,” Obama said in a press conference at the Pentagon. “It’s not just the assessment of our intelligence community, it’s the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community – the country that was most opposed to this deal that acknowledges that this has been a game changer and that Iran has abided by the deal, and that they no longer have the sort of short-term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons.”

In his Friday statement, Netanyahu said it is important now that “both those who supported the deal and those who opposed it work together to achieve three goals: 1. Keep Iran’s feet to the fire to ensure that it doesn’t violate the deal; 2. Confront Iran’s regional aggression; and 3. Dismantle Iran’s global terror network.”

“Prime Minister Netanyahu looks forward to translating those goals into a common policy and to further strengthening the alliance between Israel and the United States with President Obama and with the next U.S. administration,” the statement read.

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