The Detroit Jewish News asked experts on Israel, foreign policy, religion and/or other relevant fields to answer important questions on everyone’s mind in the midst of the recent news from the Middle East. Here are some of their answers.
The U.S. just pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Will this be good or bad for Israel in the short run? What about in the long run?
Pulling out of the Iranian deal harms Israel both in the short and long term, whatever the current Prime Minister may say. Israeli generals and intelligence officials basically supported and benefited from the agreement, especially from knowing inspection details of Iran’s status. Now momentum for a regional nuclear arms race is renewed with Saudis the next likely candidate (with Pakistani help?). We should recall that ISIS would probably now rule in Baghdad if it were not for Iran’s backing of militias to oppose them in Iraq. None of this Iranian crackdown makes Israelis safer and, indeed, it makes an Israeli-Iranian war more likely, with both the U.S. and Russia standing by conceivably to participate. Watch out.
Dr. Michael Pytlik:
The Iran nuclear arrangement was working, according to what are supposed to be objective sources and our Wwestern allies. Pulling out of the Iran deal is another poorly planned and potentially dangerous move. While Washington suggests that a better plan will replace the arrangement that was formulated by the Obama administration, no plan exists. No careful and methodical foreign policy is in place, and this is the ultimate danger. The implications of this move have already been felt in the reactions by Syria and Israel in recent weeks. This move cannot lead to a better future as it is currently situated. If a better plan exists, it is not evident; nor is there anyone with enough credibility to steer the course, sadly. This is a move that was a shot from the hip.
The short answer is: No one knows for certain what the impact of the U.S. pulling out of the JCPOA will be for Israel, or any other country, for the simple fact that no one can predict the future. Has the JCPOA been working thus far to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons? Most world leaders, inspectors and the intelligence community agree that is has been. Other than Netanyahu, no one of consequence has any significant concerns. Iran not becoming a nuclear power is obviously to Israel’s benefit; whether or not this U.S. decision prolongs or shortens the path to that circumstance is yet to be seen. In addition, the JCPOA has delayed not only Iran but other Middle Eastern states from developing or trying to acquire nuclear weapons. Abandoning the deal could precipitate an nuclear arms race in the Middle East, which would be a nightmare for Israel. Ultimately, though, no one knows for certain, and anyone who claims to know for certain should be met with deep skepticism.