Israeli officials are running a major lobbying effort to put an end to the nuclear deal that the Obama administration has struck with Iran. Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders fear for the future of their country as they see Iran only getting more powerful from the deal.
It is a difficult position for Israel as congressional Democrats and the Obama administration are in support of the deal, seeing it as part of their legacy. Vice President Biden has set aside two separate trips to speak with congressional Democrats at Capitol Hill about the increased lobbying efforts by Israel.
According to White House spokesperson Eric Schultz, President Obama has been having his own conversations with lawmakers to push the deal forward. Israel puts Democrats in a tough position to choose between supporting this deal and making America’s most important Middle Eastern ally happy.
The deadline is September for lawmakers to discuss the bill’s implications and approve or disapprove. It seems a majority of Republicans want to disapprove the deal. Congress seems out of options as President Obama has made it clear that he will veto any attempt to stop the deal from going through.
If the veto is made, Congress is unlikely to come up with the two-thirds majority vote to overrule the veto. Dylan Williams, a left-leaning Israeli says, “I think the government of Israel will continue and even ramp up its efforts to kill the agreement”. Netanyahu warns that this deal would threaten the security of the United States as well as Israel.
Last year alone, Israel spent $2.5 million on a team of lobbyists to push their ideas. Netanyahu, a proven bi-partisan, must be careful not to isolate himself or the Israeli government further from congressional Democrats during this process.
Republicans are said to be supporting the Israeli efforts while President Obama said he is listening to arguments opposing the deal but says he has yet to hear a compelling argument.