Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, ex-Mossad Director Efraim Halevy summed up the current chilly relationship between the United States and Israel with a joke.
“When we had problems with the United States, people in Israel jokingly said we should go to war with the United States,” Halevy said. “And the problem would be not what would happen if we would lose the war, but what happens if we win the war?”
Halevy, speaking on a conference call sponsored by the Israel Policy Forum, said that the old line shed light on the Israeli government’s current opposition to the Obama administration’s ongoing negotiations with Iran over the country’s nuclear program.
“That of course highlights the somewhat ridiculous situation we might be in if an Israeli effort to derail the entire process would succeed,” the former intelligence chief said.
He added that “the consequences would be untold,” and said that Israel should “heal whatever needs to be healed” with the United States.
Halevy said that he thought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to treat the nascent Iranian nuclear program as a threat, but he criticized the prime minister for abandoning diplomacy for “pure military approach.”
“Now the situation is: we don’t talk about anything else, we talk about security, period,” he said. “I think we deprive ourselves and the prime minster deprives himself of a vital tool.”
He called the situation “regrettable” and said “a lot could be done” if the status quo would change.
“This should mean of course a realization on his part that would have to bite the bullet on some of these issues that politically are very, very difficult to tackle in practical means,” he said.