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Pushing Peace

How Israel Can Help the United States Strike a Deal With Iran -- And Why It Should

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and other members of the U.S. delegation listen as Netanyahu addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, October 1, 2013. Mike Segar / Courtesy Reuters

The moment that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped he could avoid is fast approaching: high-level negotiations between the United States and Iran that could lead to a deal that ends the decade-long standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program. As Obama has welcomed the new approach of Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, and taken concrete steps to test Tehran’s sincerity, Netanyahu has been quick to dismiss Rouhani and call for more sanctions. It is increasingly clear that Netanyahu ultimately fears the success of diplomacy, not its failure. But Israel, and its national security establishment, should not see a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear standoff as a threat.

Contrary to Israel’s public line, Netanyahu’s worry is not that the Iranians would cheat on any agreement, or that Rouhani would prove to be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Rather, Netanyahu and much of Israel’s security

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