There is no problem on this blog with the right of the state of Israel not merely to exist, but also to expect to be able to do so in an atmosphere of security within its borders – as well as normalising relations with its neighbours. So when Egypt, and also Jordan, made their peace, this could only be A Good Thing. Then, following the exit of the Shah, there was the question of Iran.
Since the Ayatollah Khomeini flew in from Paris all those years ago, the situation in the country has been one where the clerics hold power, and others have to accommodate themselves to their demands. And now the country, which has made severely hostile noises towards Israel, has a nuclear programme. But then came the agreement in Geneva the other day.
Basically, the pause button has been pressed. During the next six months, those who have worked on the current interim agreement can move towards something more permanent. But Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu will, as David Blair at the Telegraph has pointed out, not be satisfied with anything short of a total Iranian surrender. And this is a view held by many on the right in the UK.
That view, more or less, is that nothing short of total and unequivocal support of whatever Israel demands of the West is acceptable, that no other point of view is valid (such things are often howled down as anti-Semitism), the other side is always to blame if any dispute breaks out, the IDF never puts a boot wrong, and anyone supporting the Palestinian cause is a rotten leftie Guardian reading poo hole.
And, to no surprise at all, this faction has been protesting long and loud about the Geneva deal, not least the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, sneering at William ‘Ague for supposedly appearing before a Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) gathering yesterday, only to be given a reception ranging from polite to downright frosty.
The Fawkes folks put the boot in with “He sounded like a Cathy Ashton mouthpiece”, perpetuating their press pals’ laughably wrong take on the EU’s high representative for foreign policy. In support has come Raheem “Call me Ray” Kassam, asserting that the CFI crowd were “pissed off”, that Master ‘Ague “Sounds like a stooge”, and that he was “patronising” his audience.
But the reality is that nobody who matters is interested in this fringe view. Agreement is not reached by one party rubbing the other’s nose in the dirt. And, as Peter Oborne has pointed out, the deal reached in Geneva is what Iran offered the West in 2005, only for Tone and his pal Dubya to reject it. Netanyahu knows he has to accept that the deal has been done. His cheerleaders in the UK need to follow.
They should remember their Churchill: “Jaw-jaw ish better than war-war”.