Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday, June 1, accused the week-old Bennet-Lapid government of surrendering to Washington Israel’s freedom of action on its national security. In a broadcast cut short by N12 TV, he said: “For all my years in office as prime minister and in all my conversations with US leaders on Iran, I made it clear that, while we would consider their position, from that point on, we reserve control of our own freedom of action.” However, Netanyahu charged, that after just three days as alternate prime minister and foreign minister, Yair Lapid on June 17, gave Secretary of State Artur Blinken a promise not to catch the US by surprise.
“I can hardly imagine Israel showing Iran a more flaccid face,” the former prime minister said. “From now on, Tehran will take it for granted that Israel is tied down on any action against its nuclear program by having to check first with Washington.”
DEBKAfile, in an exclusive analysis on June 17, noted that Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochal had his work cut out in his mission to Washington to break through the Biden administration’s policy of treating Iran’s nuclear threat as susceptible to diplomacy.
The point made by Netanyahu for the benefit of the new government is that he, like his predecessors, appreciated the US as a close friend and ally but drew the line at kowtowing in the capacity of a satellite. However, the Netanyahu statement received little or no media coverage and was cut short by TV newscasts to make way for the new Iranian president’s first speech..