In his latest tantrum, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the opportunity to bash the world's hard-won nuclear deal with Iran.
Netanyahu doesn't like the fact that Iran will pay $30,000 apiece to Palestinian families whose homes were bulldozed by Israel, and $7,000 apiece to the families of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces. Iran calls it compensation for the victims of Israeli terror; Netanyahu calls it "aid[ing] terrorism."
Putting aside moral questions about Iran's payments, or which side has the terrorists, Netanyahu once again sounded alarm bells about Iran and nuclear weapons.
It's the same thing he's been saying for years: In 2005, the Israelis insisted that Iran would reach the "point of no return" and develop nuclear weapons capability within 12 months. The next year, Israeli leaders said the same thing, and they've been repeating themselves every year for the decade since. It's like the boy who cried wolf.
Here's the thing: The signatories of the nuclear deal with Iran -- the U.S., the U.K., China, Russia and France -- all agree that compromising with the Iranians is a much better option for world peace than Israel's favored foreign policy stance. If it were up to Israel, Iran would remain under crippling sanctions, no diplomatic channels would be open, and the world would be blind to what's actually happening inside the country.
With the deal, Iran made concrete concessions in exchange for having sanctions lifted. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will constantly monitor activity at Iran's nuclear sites. The country agreed to redesign fuel reactors according to the IAEA's demands. Iran also agreed to a long list of measures that would ensure nuclear technology in the country can be used only for fuel, not for weapons.
By every measure, that's a more mature, intelligent approach to nuclear non-proliferation than the Israel-sponsored policies of the George W. Bush administration. Those policies can be summed up in a single sentence: Call Iran evil, refuse to communicate with the Iranians, and hope that Iran simply gives up on its nuclear ambitions.
And this is from the same factions that created the problem in the first place. With the enthusiastic backing of Israeli lobbyists and neoconservatives, the U.S. invaded Iraq and created a power vacuum. The lone lunatic who kept Iran in check -- Saddam Hussein -- was removed from power, and suddenly the country became the major power in the Middle East, with no true rival.
That's the problem with wars. They create power vacuums. It's a lesson taught throughout human history. It's the reason Libya is in chaos, and millions of refugees are flooding Europe. It was the reason for the insurgency in the early days after the Iraq war, and it's the reason why the Islamic State was born.
It took a long time for the U.S. to re-learn that lesson, and it took the election of a president who has a pragmatic approach to working with enemies, instead of freezing them out, amping up the rhetoric, and potentially taking the world to the brink of nuclear war.
The Iran nuclear deal isn't perfect. Nothing is. But unless Israel offers a better solution -- a solution that acknowledges the interests of the world, not just Israel -- the Iran deal is the best we've got.