Skeptical Netanyahu knows he’s ‘spoiling the party’ on Iran

PM doesn’t want anyone easing the pressure until there’s real change in Tehran’s nuclear program. But it’s a stance that isolating Israel, while Rouhani leads his country in from the cold

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, August 25, 2013 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, August 25, 2013 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)

SOURCE

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers aren’t alone in their skepticism of Tehran’s newly friendly face. But Jerusalem’s refusal to consider giving the Iranians a chance to prove their sincerity, and to do as little as possible to acknowledge the ostensible goodwill gestures — as underlined by the Israeli delegation solo boycott of President Hasan Rouhani’s UN speech on Tuesday — threatens to isolate Israel rather than the Islamist foe it so mistrusts.

Jerusalem is well aware of this. Netanyahu knows he’s “spoiling the party,” an official told The Times of Israel with striking candor. But the prime minister, said the official, sees a “moral obligation” in insisting that Iran be measured by deeds not speeches, in urging the world not to be misled by empty rhetoric.