Lapid and Netanyahu are competing to show who is sterner over the developing Iran pact.
Former Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the country in real time on Facebook on Wednesday evening at the Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv.
With a grave and concerned look, Netanyahu added, “I want to draw your attention to a development that throws a dark shadow on our security and our future.” He issued a warning over the “terrible,” “destructive,” and “very, very dreadful” agreement that Iran and the West were negotiating.
As usual, Netanyahu followed his address with a multimedia presentation, and the makeshift stage with Israeli flags in the background resembled the briefing room in the Prime Minister’s Office.
It’s possible to have déjà vu. Netanyahu is predicting tragedy as Washington tries to reach a deal with Tehran once more.
He delivered the same message for international viewers a few hours earlier and gave ominous appearances on Fox News and Al-Arabiya. He expressed concern that the agreement will “pave Iran’s route with wealth, a golden paved expressway to a nuclear weapon.” “This is crazy! The height of foolishness, this!”
2015 Deal all over Again
but only for a short while. Yair Lapid is the one leading Israeli attempt to obstruct the resuscitation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, despite Netanyahu’s efforts to decorate his campaign offices with a premiership-like atmosphere (JCPOA).
A few hours before to Netanyahu’s remarks, Lapid himself told foreign media that the planned agreement is poor and will not obligate Israel if it is approved.
Their statements were fundamentally the same, but their styles, tones, and backgrounds were noticeably different. Since taking office last year, the Bennett-Lapid administration has taken the position that conflicts and differences with the Biden administration should be handled discreetly, with influence being used behind closed doors.
Its strategy contrasts sharply with Netanyahu’s direct and outspoken 2015 campaign against President Barack Obama, which culminated in the Israeli prime minister’s speech before Congress in March 2015.
Between the two Democratic administrations that sought a nuclear agreement, there was one led by Donald Trump, who pulled out of it in 2018. This allowed Iran to accelerate its uranium enrichment, evade international inspections, and progress its nuclear program to the highest level ever.
Former prime minister Naftali Bennett said he was “deeply hurt” to see that the Iranian file had been neglected when Netanyahu was in office when he initially took over last year.
However, the political narrative is dominated by Netanyahu’s overall attitude to the deal and is hardly contested. Therefore, from the Israeli perspective, which is held by Netanyahu, Lapid, and the majority of the senior security commanders, the new deal currently on the table has the same major shortcomings as the previous pact; yet, because Tehran has grown so much more powerful, it is really worse.
Jerusalem went into emergency mode after hearing that efforts to restore the agreement were making headway.
Lapid invited the international press to a special briefing in the Prime Minister’s Office the following day. Netanyahu’s spokesperson also scheduled a news conference of his own and a campaign against foreign media shortly after it had begun.
The Iran nuclear agreement is Netanyahu’s pet project, and discussing it puts him back in his element and in a lot more comfortable place than the current theme dominating the Likud campaign, which is the economy and the cost of living.