Good Reads on Bibi-Boehner, P5+1 Progress

by Jim Lobe

For those who want to keep up with the Bibi-Boehner fiasco and prospects for an agreement between the P5+1 and Iran by the end of March, there has been some good reading material published on the Web in the last few days.

First, The Forward’s Natan Guttman put out an excellent piece a week ago entitled “Why Israel Lobby is Biggest Casualty of Feud Over Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech,” which appears to bear out my initial reaction to Boehner’s announced speech. Now Peter Beinart has written on the same theme in his column in Haaretz: “Netanyahu’s Real Victims: The American Jewish Establishment.”

Also on the Bibi speech, CNN Wednesday released the results of a poll conducted last weekend that found that nearly two-thirds of respondents considered Boehner’s invitation—in the absence of consulting first with Obama—to have been a mistake. Only one third said it was the right thing to do. And only 52% of self-identified Republicans thought it was the right thing.

Remarkably, Josh Rogin at Bloomberg News released the results of another poll specially commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP) which, given its sponsorship, unsurprisingly found much more support for Netanyahu. You can judge for yourself the validity of this poll, but I found the questions—one of which called Bibi “one of the world’s most knowledgeable leaders on the Middle East and Iranian nuclear program” (recall his expertise on Iraq’s nuclear program in 2002)—highly tendentious, to say the least. I was surprised and disappointed that Rogin, an accomplished reporter who established his reputation at Foreign Policy‘s “Cable” blog, apparently agreed with TIP to serve as the vehicle for releasing this poll despite both its clearly political sponsorship and its questionable content. The poll was also conducted by Nathan Klein, who has been a pollster for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to the inimitable Laura Rozen.

Finally, Barbara Slavin, who, like Laura, writes for Al-Monitor most of the time and occasionally for LobeLog and IPS, published an excellent op-ed, entitled “Effort to Thwart Iran Deal Won’t Have Intended Effect,” on Netanyahu’s gambit and the state of play in the P5+1 negotiations on Voice of America’s website Wednesday.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. Handwriting on the wall, or wishful thinking? Let’s hope that the talks are successful in regards with Iran’s Nuclear situation. Let’s also hope that the stooges realize who pays the bill in this country, and it Ain’t Netanyahoo or the minions that the Israeli lobby pays-bribes-for the vote[s]. Selling out ones own country for the few silver coins received, begs the question of who else is bribing them?

  2. Thanks Jim Lobe. This situation is fascinating to me. I hope it will become a turning point in American/Israeli relations. American support of Israel absolutely needs to become a politicized issue and average American people need to learn about the enormous amount of influence and control Israel exerts on this country, often to ill effect. Benjamin Netanyahu may be just the man to make that happen!

    I found Barbara Slavin’s article very interesting as well, and she linked to another good one, here:

    There’s a lot of important speculation in this Kaplan/Goldenberg National Interest article about just how bad the ramifications might be if no agreement with Iran is reached, and that is something you don’t hear enough about in the mainstream news. Probably because the loudest voices shouting belong to doom-mongering neocons, who seem either very short sighted or very myopic to me. And thanks also for your definition of of neoconservatism, which I found very helpful. BTW, you are quoted in a very good book I’m reading, The Road To Iraq, by Muhammed Idrees Ahmad.

    I was glad to find your blog. I am learning a lot.

  3. Jim Lobe, thank you so much for your recommended sites!

    Norman, very good point. It is amazing to me that our reps in congress are receiving money from the orgs that are associated with Israel and yet the republicans disseminating disinformation today that Obama doesn’t love this country!!
    I hope the negotiation are successful but I’m not confident.

  4. It’s shameful that most of the Republicans in our Congress have become Puppet’s to Israel and its Lobby, I guess at the end of the day whomever makes more campaign contributions to their campaign ends up owning the congressional candidates . I hope that ISIS and Al Qaeda don’t learn from AIPAC or else they might end up making more contributions then AIPAC and then they will be running America.

  5. Perfidy of extirpated traditions of diplomatic decorum in the end will be otiose to those who have instigated it.

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