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October 5, 2016 5:08 pm

Middle East Expert: Democratic VP Candidate Tim Kaine ‘Grossly Distorted’ Israeli Military Chief’s View of Iran Deal

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Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence face off during Tuesday's vice presidential debate. Photo: Screenshot.

Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence face off during Tuesday’s vice presidential debate. Photo: Screenshot.

Democratic candidate Tim Kaine “grossly misrepresented and distorted” the IDF chief of staff’s view of the Iran nuclear agreement during the vice presidential debate on Tuesday night, a Middle East expert told The Algemeiner.

Speaking with The Algemeiner on Wednesday, Dr. Emily B. Landau, a senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), expressed dismay over Kaine’s assertion — made during a back-and-forth with his Republican counterpart Mike Pence — that the head of the Israeli military, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, had said the Iran nuclear deal had kept the Islamic Republic from getting a nuclear weapon.

In fact, Landau said, the Eisenkot statement in question — which was made during a speech at an INSS conference in January — was far more nuanced.

“While General Eisenkot’s message was different from things we’ve heard from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with less of a focus on worst case scenarios, what Eisenkot said was nowhere near a conclusion that the Iran deal prevented Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” Landau, the head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at the INSS, noted. “That’s just absolutely not what he said.”

Eisenkot, Landau emphasized, did not call the nuclear deal a historic turning point, despite media reports to the contrary.

“He instead described it as a strategic turning point and that’s a very different thing,” Landau said. “While he acknowledged that the deal gave Israel five years of strategic breathing space, as Iran wants to get the full benefits of sanctions relief, he also said Israel remained concerned about the 15-year timeline, due to the fact that Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions — which are closely tied to its regional interests — have not changed.”

Furthermore, Landau said, Eisenkot is only the latest Israeli defense official to have had his words “misconstrued”  by US proponents of the Iran deal.

“Many statements by Israeli officials have been detached from their context and brought directly into the US debate by the administration as if they are just clear-cut statements in support of the deal — when, in fact, they were more ambiguous and meant for internal Israeli consumption,” Landau said. “I don’t think it’s innocent. It’s politically motivated. It’s a message we keep hearing from the Obama administration — they are trying to bring the Israeli defense establishment into the fold of the supporters of the Iran deal, as if to say to the American public, ‘Look, if the Israeli defense establishment is behind this deal, then how can anyone be critical of it?’ And this has been going on for a very long time.”

In a conversation with The Algemeiner on Wednesday, a senior official at an American Jewish organization echoed Landau’s sentiment.

“People who defend the Iran deal have nothing factual to say, so instead they push talking points that are half-true and untrue,” the official said. “It speaks volumes. The actual deal as it really exists can’t be defended, so people who try end up having to mislead about what it does and who supports it.”

Just last month, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told a Washington Institute for Near East Policy forum that he was not aware of any Israeli security officials who supported the Iran deal.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, an ABC News fact-check of the vice presidential debate determined that Kaine lied when he claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had, during her time as secretary of state, helped “eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot.”

“The nuclear agreement reached between six world powers and Iran last year does not completely eliminate the Iranian nuclear program,” the fact-check said.

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  • David in Israel

    A Democrat lied?!? Go figure. Good luck, America.

  • Peter

    Kaine where did you get the information about the Israel which is a 100% LIE, you are catching bad habits from HILLARY, and you and her want to win??? Pence made a fool of you as he is twice the man you are!!!

  • ReformSchool

    Hillary Clinton does not appear long for this world. Not voting Trump-Pence would quickly bring President Kaine. If that out-of-control, fast-talking thug ever becomes President, we won’t have long to sing “So Long, Mom!”

  • Peter Joffe

    Hillary and her VP candidate do not know if it is Christmas Day or Doomsday. To them there is no difference but I do think that they would prefer Iran to Nuke Israel than to nuke Washington and mess up the newly pained White House?

  • Tony Trenton

    Kaine is following the Clinton doctrine of Lies, Deception and Exaggeration .


    • stephen

      Vote for your lives, your children. Your family , your future …..
      Triumph vote Trump.

  • Jonah

    God, “Kaine where is your brother?…..Kaine, how should I know? The blood line of democratic liars goes back to Adam and Eve. Is he still lying and scheming to kill his brother Able (Israel)?We do know one thing he is a liar…..according to Netanyahu….Bebe called Obama out on the Iranian deal.

  • Senator Kaine’s pedestrian comments about the deeply-flawed Iranian nuclear deal are a “preview of coming attractions,” if Mrs. Clinton moves back into the White House.

  • aj nitzberg

    The dog that did not bark – why can’t kaine make his argument without lying ?


    What do you call a deal that is a 10 year deferred nuclear license for a nation that holds an annual Death to America Day, supports proxy terrorist organizations and threatens to flatten one of our allies? A threat to our national security set in place by Obama that no amount of smoke and mirrors can hide.

  • graylens

    The Obama/Kerry/hillary troika has lied about every aspect of the Iran deal, including the fact the iran has not adopted or ratified the agreement. The Administration has concealed the secret agreements that allow the iranians free range to develop nuclear weapons, missiles, technology and guarantee the lifting of sanction, and contrary to Obamas assurances once the sanctions are gone they will not be reinstated. When the iranians take the next step and use or threaten to use nukes Obama, Kerry et al will be safe in think tanks,universities or Wall Street. The Israelis and locals will pay the price

  • zvi gross

    Obama admin…lies…lies…and more lies.

  • Michael

    So here’s how it works. The Democrats come to the debates armed with a huge bucket of slop. They have contempt for the average American voter and believe their only knowledge is going to come from the debate that they’re watching. They throw the slop of half-truths, quarter truths, no truths, blatant distortions of Truth along with the kitchen sink and hope there’s so much slop on the wall that the ignorant voter is actually going to believe the lies.
    It’s disgusting. It stinks.

  • Efram Paul

    What do you expect from a dedicated antisemite who hates Israel?