I’ve held my tongue (and typing finger). Until now.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election Congressional field trip is more likely to result in long-lasting damage to the U.S.-Israeli relationship than result in some sudden reversal of the U.S. effort to reach a nuclear agreement between Iran and key world powers.

Today is not the day  to debate the fine points of an agreement that has not yet been made. That’s a Netanyahu specialty. Let’s assume he will more than adequately scaremonger to whoever shows up to hear his campaign ad on  Tuesday.

Suffice it to say that if you view Iran as your mortal enemy, don’t believe it will ultimately abide by any commitments it makes, and don’t believe that key Iranian leaders are rational actors, then any agreement with Iran will always be suspect. But going around the U.S. administration to Congress is a scorched earth tactic designed by idiot savants whose specialized skill seems to be weakening a heretofore strong bipartisan U.S.-Israeli relationship.

On Sunday, a group of over 180 Israeli security officials questioned Netanyahu’s judgment and indicated they felt his actions will weaken Israel’s relationship with the U.S. and  are a far greater existential threat to Israel than the Iranian nuclear threat. (Click the link to read the entire Jerusalem Post article.) Those views are shared by many other Israeli political figures.

But when a U.S.-based pro-Israel group like J Street makes these same points, critics allege it is because J Street supporters are (pick one) self-hating Jews, naïve, ahistorical or just plain anti-Israel. So when this group of Israeli officials, most with deep security backgrounds, make the same points, Netanyahu’s Likud party acolytes are left with a dilemma. What to do?

We learned today. Likud released a statement that suggested these officials should not be seen as credible because — unbelievably! — they all  supported the Oslo agreement and the Arab Peace initiative and are, when it comes down to it, obviously too liberal. If that’s a sign of the type of argument Netanyahu will use on Tuesday, he will almost certainly do more to strengthen his opposition and weaken his nervous supporters.

My War Zone Experiences (And Brian Williams’ and Bill O’ Reilly’s)

by Jeff Pozmantier February 25, 2015

Like Brian Williams, I braved enemy combat. I somehow managed to survive the  2014 Israeli destruction of Gaza and Hamas tunneling into  Israeli border towns. In the height of the conflict I was but a mile away in the underground Sderot command center. And I listened to the shelling and watched a security camera tape showing  a missile that exploded two […]

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One Question Israel Needs To Ask

by Jeff Pozmantier February 1, 2015

Before we get to the question, a caveat: You may have your own question. That’s OK. Or so I’ll say to keep the Middle East blogging peace. Group-think isn’t necessarily a good thing. Although when it comes to Israeli or Palestinian issues, it would certainly help to at least occasionally have alignment, if only to model behavior for our protagonists and reduce […]

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Israel: A Country Seen Through Different Eyes

by Jeff Pozmantier December 18, 2014

I recently traveled to Israel and the West Bank with a group of Jews and Presbyterians. Although I had already written roughly 1500 words about our  trip, I decided to stop with my description of our first day. (I gave up with probably another five or six thousand words to go. Brevity and I have a kind of Walt and Jesse meth-making relationship. Some days […]

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I Was A Temporary Palestinian: Seven Hours Was Rough — Imagine Seven Decades

by Jeff Pozmantier November 21, 2014

You, too, can become a temporary Palestinian: Step 1 —  In preparation for a security check as you enter Israel-controlled areas, place your passport on the seat of your “Arab” bus taking you from Ramallah, Palestine In Waiting’s seat of government. Step 2 — When the Israeli soldiers board your bus, flash your best Texas grin (actually any non-Palestinian grin will do) and proudly hold up that passport  for […]

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Netanyahu Intends To Keep Intending

by Jeff Pozmantier October 20, 2014

I intend to wear my seat belt and drive the speed limit. I intend to pick up my dog’s yard contributions in a nice baggy. I intend to (one day) organize my desk drawers. The Cubs intend to (one century)  win the…oh never mind — some things will just never happen. Intent and fulfillment don’t have to be strangers. In the […]

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A Two-State Strategy Is Israel’s Strongest Weapon

by Jeff Pozmantier August 27, 2014

The New York Times’ Tom Friedman has incredibly insightful friends and colleagues he loves to reference is his articles. Alas, many  of my friends lean more inciteful than insightful. One loves to make historical analogies. At least those that fit his confirmation biases. For him, every negotiation with an enemy is Neville Chamberlain seeking to appease Hitler.  Why talk with […]

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Back To The Future? What To Do With Gaza

by Jeff Pozmantier August 15, 2014

In 1977, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance pitched the idea of a UN trusteeship for the Palestinian territories. That was to be the first step in getting  to a Palestinian homeland. Little was Cy to know that 37 years later his idea would be adopted by Israel’s Official P.R. Nightmare and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (who all sentient beings should be […]

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How To Filter News Updates On Operation Protective Edge (And How To Avoid Having To Name Another War)

by Jeff Pozmantier August 9, 2014

First, the most important question: What Knesset committee names these things? Is a list of military operation names compiled in advance just like the list of hurricane names? After all, recommended actions in Gaza wars and Gulf Coast hurricanes are similar: Cat 1 hurricane — minor damage; shelter in place, except if you live in a frame home or a […]

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Israelis and Palestinians: Best Recipe For Solving The Crisis

by Jeff Pozmantier August 2, 2014

My Friday started with our family’s shih tzu /cairn terrier/rabbit mix lick-assaulting my leg, feet, and hands, and ended with an email that added 15,000 miles to my Mileage Plus account….followed by another lick-assaulting. Plus as an added bonus, a family verbal assaulting: You’re going to Israel? Who intentionally goes to a war? What can you possibly accomplish other than worry […]

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