“Obama does think there is still room for negotiations,. It’s a very courageous thing to say in this atmosphere. In the end, this is what I think: Making foreign policy on Iran a serious issue in the US elections — what Romney has done, in itself — is a heavy blow to the ultimate interests of the United States and Israel.”
The Times of Israel reports that former Mossad head Ephraim Halevi says sanctions against Iran are working very well and the Mitt Romney's position on Iran and his belligerent posturing is not only wrong, it deals "a heavy blow to the ultimate interests of the United States and Israel”:
Halevy's interview with Al-Monitor concludes with the money quote, which the Times of Israel inexplicably left out:
Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy spoke out in favor of US President Barack Obama’s strategy for coping with Iran through sanctions and diplomacy, while criticizing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for taking an extreme position.
“The goal of economic sanctions is to convince Iran’s leaders to abandon their nuclear drive, not to prepare the ground for a military strike,” Halevy said in an interview to Israel Radio Monday morning.
Halevy said that if it wasn’t for Obama’s “brave” strategy, Tehran would not now be facing a severe economic crisis. He added that engaging in negotiations with Iran doesn’t mean putting aside sanctions.
The former head of Israel’s spy agency criticized Romney’s policy on Iran, arguing that the Republican challenger’s refusal to hold talks with Tehran leaves no room for any options other than conducting a military strike.…
On Sunday, Halevy said in an interview with Al-Monitor that Israel and the US must engage in a dialogue with Iran to understand how their adversaries think.
“In order to be effective with one’s enemies, you have to have two essential capabilities: To overcome them by force if necessary… and do everything you can to get into their minds and try to understand how they see things… and where, if at all, there is room for common ground of one kind or another,” said Halevy. “I think that what we have had over the years is an abundance of one side, and a dearth of the other.”…
…“What has happened, in order to meet public opinion, both Israel and the US governments have tied our own hands,” Halevy said, referring to prohibitions on US contacts, for instance, with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. “In the end, you create an inherent disadvantage for yourself.”
“On Iran, you have to go much deeper,” Halevy said. “You have to understand what it is that makes Iran tick.”…
Striking a deal with Iran will be “extremely difficult,” Halevy said. “It needs a lot of creativity. And courage, political courage.”
“The perception is that Israel is going through the stages of sanctions, etc. not with the idea or conviction that at the end, the other side will yield,” he said. “If the purpose was to exert pressure to bring the other side to the table, the rhetoric should be different.
“Obama does think there is still room for negotiations,” Halevy said. “It’s a very courageous thing to say in this atmosphere. In the end, this is what I think: Making foreign policy on Iran a serious issue in the US elections — what Romney has done, in itself — is a heavy blow to the ultimate interests of the United States and Israel.”
You can disagree with Halevy (and the dozens of other military and intelligence experts in Israel and the hundreds more around the world who agree with Halevy), but you can't call Obama an "antisemite" or "anti-Israel" for agreeing with him.