Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid on Tuesday evening blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after it was reported that U.S. President Barack Obama secured the support of 41 Senators for the Iran nuclear deal, thus preventing a vote on a Republican-backed resolution to keep sanctions against Iran in place and reject the deal.
Lapid blamed Netanyahu and his vocal opposition to the Iran deal for the majority in Congress, saying, “All of Netanyahu’s theories crashed and we found out that he was wrong all along.”
Lapid continued, “In vain Netanyahu led us to a confrontation with the American government. In vain he split and tore up Jewish communities. In vain he turned the state of Israel into a satellite state of the Republican Party and involved us in American politics.”
“In vain he hurt the strength of the pro-Israel AIPAC. In vain he prevented Israel from being involved in and influencing the formulation of this bad agreement and improving what could still be improved,” he charged.
“And worst of all,” continued Lapid, “in vain he harmed Israel's military deterrence and made the Arab states understand that Israel and the United States are not as close as in the past. This is not only a complete failure, it is the Day of Atonement of Israel’s foreign policy.”
The Likud responded harshly to the comments, saying, "Lapid's musings indicate a lack of understanding, but worse than that – they are irresponsible.”
“The vote in Congress has yet to take place and instead of standing by the Prime Minister, Lapid prefers to leverage the minority position in Congress in order to win some cheap points using considerations of petty politics. That's what hurts the interests of the State of Israel and Israel's public relations efforts.”
“Anyone who thinks that the Israeli Prime Minister should keep his head down, keep quiet and not point out the inherent dangers in the agreement – is wrong and misleading,” said the Likud.
“The Prime Minister was able to implement in American public opinion and Congress that Iran is the enemy and Israel is the ally that should be strengthened, and this is what will serve the security of Israel in the future,” the statement concluded.
Earlier on Tuesday, senior diplomatic officials in Jerusalem responded to the news that Obama had secured the necessary congressional support for the Iran deal, with one official saying, "There is an overwhelming majority of the American public and members of Congress who are opposed to the agreement with Iran.”