As expected, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and Netta Barzilay made it to the finals
in the Eurovision competition - making top
stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers along with the IDF call to open bomb shelters in the Golan Heights
followed by an attack in Syria that was attributed to Israel.
Trump also said he will reinstate powerful sanctions
on Iran. Iranian President
Hassan Rohani responded saying that Iran will remain in the nuclear deal, but
talks with the European members of the deal fail, the Islamic Republic will enrich uranium "more than before
... in next weeks." The day before the decision, the Iranian rial was at a near record low
. The European members of the agreement said they rejected
Trump’s declaration and
that they hoped he would change his mind.
The commentators had much to say about the significance of Trump’s decision to pull out from the Iran nuclear deal
and much of it expressed
concern on the one hand, some were even impressed (see Commentary/Analysis below). Everyone agreed it was a
great achievement for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who called it a brave decision,
although how long it would stay that
way was still to be seen. Haaretz reported that US Jews were torn over the decision.
Saudis and other Sunni Gulf states were thrilled.
Fear of an Iranian reprisal to either Israel’s attack on an Iranian military base in Syria earlier in the week or
to Trump’s announcement continued to keep Israeli leaders tense - and threatening. Speaking at the Herzliya
Security Conference, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said, “While we're shedding blood fighting (Iran’s) tentacles, the octopus's
is lounging in its chair and enjoying itself." Israel's doctrine should therefore be by "aiming at
the head of the octopus and not its tentacles."
A series of statements and moves took place parallel to Trump’s announcement. Prior to the announcement, Netanyahu accused Iran of deploying arms in Syria
to threaten Israel. After the
announcement, the IDF ordered local authorities to ready bomb shelters,
deployed an Iron Dome
battery in the Golan Heights and called up some reservist forces. Then came the missile attack on a base south of Damascus.
Syrian news agency:
'Missile defenses intercepted 2 Israeli missiles'; 9 militiamen reported killed.
From friends to foes: How Israel and Iran turned into arch-enemies
The two countries enjoyed good relations for 30 years, but since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Israel and Iran
have been a study in enmity – despite not sharing a border or having any territorial disputes. (David B. Green,
Trump Tells World to Drop Dead as Netanyahu Dictates His Nixing of Iran Deal
+) Israeli prime minister hopes decision to withdraw from agreement will
see Iran go the way of the Soviet Union once harsh sanctions kick in.
*Breaking the rules
(Nahum Barnea, Yedioth
speech yesterday and Netanyahu's meeting with Putin today create new rules of the game in Israel's dealing
with Iran. Netanyahu strives for a situation in which the US will prevent an attack on Israel from Iran, and
Russia will thwart an Iranian attack from Russia. There is a triple gamble here: Netanyahu is counting on the
Khameini's caution, Trump's reliability and Putin's generosity, three traits that have not been found among
them to date. We need to pray that it will succeed, for him and for us. In the meantime, the gamble is
working. The Iranians still have no reacted to the two bombs that hit their forces and missiles in Syria. Even
on the attack last night, near Damascus, they have avoided in the meantime responding...The question is what
will happen if instead of breaking, the ayatollahs choose war, or, what is more likely, the area will
deteriorate into war as the result of a hasty, uncalculated move, of one of the actors. Will Trump be ready,
in order to protect Israel and Saudi Arabia, to open a new front in the Middle East? If he does that, it will
be contradict everything he promised voters...Trump is the opposite of Obama in another way: Obama
doubted America's greatness, doubted its righteousness, doubted its pretension
to be a model to
others. He acted in his second term at the White House, not as a leader of the world, but as a one who
oversees the dismantling of his company. Trump lacks doubts. It's possible that his gut feeling about
America's position is a more efficient tool in foreign policy than Obama's educated doubtfulness...Putin will
receive Netanyahu (today) and wil make clear to Netanyahu that Russia does what is good for it. There are no
deals for celebrities: What Netanyahu did not achieve in the seven prior meetings with Putin he won't achieve
in the eighth.
Withdrawal with an asterisk: Trump allows Iran and the world to rethink their steps
) Ostensibly, the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement is Netanyahu's
wet dream, but not necessarily a zero-sum game. The victory of the prime minister does not mean a crushing
defeat for Tehran…It should be made clear, however, that the significance of Trump's announcement is not that
a war is at hand. Last night, the IDF informed the residents of the Golan Heights to prepare for the
possibility of an Iranian response. At the same time, a limited mobilization of intelligence units and
anti-aircraft units began. It is estimated that if the scenario is realized, short-range missiles will be
launched into bases or communities on the Golan Heights, a decision that is not willing to take risks, but is
not necessarily related to the Trump announcement and the nuclear program "If Iran decides to respond by
firing rockets at the Golan or the Galilee, it will be in order to avenge Israel for the attacks on Iranian
bases in Syria attributed to it, disconnected from the moves related to the nuclear agreement…In
this interim period Iran will be able to calculate its moves. It will try to assure for itself that the impact
of the US sanctions will be minimized,
and will try to achieve this by means of contacts with
the other five signatory countries - Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China - to ensure that they do not
withdraw from the agreement. If Iran reaches the conclusion that US sanctions will trigger a second wave of
sanctions by companies in the world that will cease to trade and invest in it, it may announce its withdrawal
from the nuclear agreement. Even then it will not necessarily run for the bomb.
A disastrous withdrawal - who will pay?
(Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth
) …After almost a
decade at the head of the government, Netanyahu can list for himself an amazing achievement, which usually only
appears in science fiction books: An American president fulfills word for word his world perspective on an issue
that appears to him as imperative, the existential threat that Iran faces us with. All this with the sad fact that
until now it was not possible to point to a diplomatic single success or achievement that Netanyahu leaves behind
him. Not regarding an arrangement with the Palestinians and not a breakthrough with the Arab world. Nevertheless,
it is important to remember that the Israelis are the immediate candidates to pay the price of the decision that
Trump made. There are no happy wars: the IDF, declared the Prime Minister yesterday, is strong and prepared. The
IDF, promised Netanyahu, will win. But the war between Israel and Iran could have a heavy price in blood on our
side. The shelters in the north were opened to a great extent as a result of Trump’s decision: our fears will
follow us through the coming period…
A Disastrous Pullout
) Netanyahu might think that Israelis should be grateful to
Trump, but at this point the U.S. pullout endangers the world and threatens Israel.
Trump out - We understood what you are against. And what’s the alternative?
) None of the three ways that it is possible to interpret Trump’s announcement offer a
‘Default B.’ No other plan, no policy. I announced, I declared, I stood by my word, terrible deal. And what
instead? What about the implications? What is the strategy? At his most important moment as president, in the field
of foreign policy, Trump remained Trump: an agent of chaos.
Trump Quits Iran Deal: A Career-defining Moment for Netanyahu That May Have a Price
+) Twenty-five years ago an up-and-coming Likud legislator published a
column on the Iranian nuclear threat. Now let's see if Israel gets what he wished for.
Tough times for Iran
(Dr. Ephraim Kam, Israel Hayom
) Iran may be a regional superpower, but it has good reason to keep
retaliatory actions against Israel small, because any face-off could develop into a broader conflict and put
Iran's other interests at risk.
Nixing of Nuclear Deal Turns Rohani Into Lame Duck, Empowers Conservatives in Tehran
+) Trump’s decision to exit the nuclear agreement actually presents Iran
as the responsible country, one upholding the agreement to the letter.
Trump first: The president was burning to prove that he is decides all the world's problems
(Shlomo Shamir, Maariv
) In his statement, it seems that the US leader simply could not resist
until the official date, to announce a decision and chose a process that demonstrates his ability and his
uncontrollable urge to shock the international arena.
Trump Casts Himself as Vigilante Sheriff After Quitting Iran Nuclear Dea
l (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz
+) Netanyahu has taken a risky gamble, as the chief instigator of a
dramatic shift in U.S. policy, one that could ultimately embroil it in another Middle East war.
Israel’s message to Tehran: An unusual IDF order and a ‘preventive strike’
) The alleged Israeli attack on a base used by Iranian militias near
Damascus, and the earlier order to open bomb shelters in the Golan Heights, may have been an attempt to make
it clear to Iran’s moderate camp, led by President Rouhani, that the Revolutionary Guards are adopting a
policy that could harm their country at this sensitive time.
Trump and Netanyahu are triggering a risky, unnecessary war of choice in the Middle East
+) But neither Israel's prime minister, nor other regional U.S. allies,
have any assurances America will stick around to manage the dangerous fallout from the Iran deal's
Is it Kennedy or Trump? The possibility that the world would block the Shiite bomb was
(Ben Caspit, Maariv
) While the American president read the summary of Netanyahu's speeches
yesterday, word for word, the shelters in the Golan were opened and war winds began to blow over our heads
with tremendous speed.
How the U.S. State Department Deleted the Occupied Territories
(Gerard Horton, Haaretz
+) Its official reports now adopt the 'occupation denial' language of
senior Trump appointees. But the damage to America's credibility won't be limited to Israel/Palestine: Russia
and China will also have reason to celebrate.
Elor Azaria's release: In another moment, Azaria will be lighting a torch on Independence Day
(Anat Moshe, Maariv
) The family's joy at the release of its son Elor is obvious. But the
public expression of excitement by senior public figures is not only incomprehensible, it also has a bad
taste, morally and publicly.
By Emasculating High Court, Religious Minority Exposes Itself to Tyranny of Israel’s Secular
(Chemi Shalev, Haaretz
+) Perceptions of the court as bastion of interventionist leftists are
just an illusion.
Between two poles: Portman denies supporting BDS but has acted according to its intentions
) The phenomenon that is now more dangerous than extreme right-wing
anti-Semitism is precisely the one coming from the left. FYI to the film actress.
In Israel, Fun Is for Right-wingers
(Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz
+) When the left is deliberating whether it’s permissible to enjoy the
Giro d’Italia bicycle race, sing old Israeli songs or watch an air force flyover, it’s playing the right's