Dennis Ross, a former administration official who knows Israeli leaders well, said in an interview that Netanyahu probably hasn’t decided on the best strategy. Ross said that many Israeli military leaders are urging the prime minister to begin working on a joint U.S.-Israeli strategy based on the deal’s premise that Iran’s nuclear program will indeed be frozen for 15 years. “How do you take advantage of those 15 years?” Ross asked.
But having walked so far out on a limb, the Israeli leader may not be ready to retreat toward pragmatism yet — at least not publicly. Pro-Israel lobbying groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee may hope to mend fences with Democratic members of Congress and restore bipartisan support for Israel, but hard-line Republicans, such as wealthy casino owner and campaign contributor Sheldon Adelson, may want to push partisan politics even further — toward a realignment that portrays the GOP as Israel’s only reliable friend.
“Netanyahu doesn’t want to validate the Iran agreement,” Satloff said. “The Israelis weren’t at the table, and they aren’t bound by what was agreed.” At the same time, he predicts that Netanyahu will gradually move to consolidate joint U.S.-Israeli deterrence measures against Iran.