The negotiation between the P5 + 1 and Iran ended in Passover, giving Israel the feeling that it was indeed passed over by world powers, this time in an inverse sense to Biblical history.

The word Seder means order, and that is precisely what is required to do with Iran’s nuclear program i.e. to neutralize this threat before it becomes too dangerous. Passover was full of miracles for the Jews in Egypt, but none happened for those in the holy land this time. Israel’s terms for an agreement with Iran were too drastic for the P5 + 1. In the Bible there were attempts to persuade the Egyptian Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go. Today talks with the Iranian dictator aim to let the nuclear program go.

Iran refused to give up its nuclear project, so the P5 + 1 decided to negotiate, just as Moses did with Pharaoh. The P5 + 1 managed to convince Iran to reach a deal after implementing “soft power” against Iran, mostly sanctions, analogous perhaps to the relatively mild plagues of Egypt such as lice. Iran did suffer but not too much, enabling the Iranian regime to insist on keeping its nuclear program. Israel holds that the blows against its Iranian nemesis should have been much tougher, with the P5 + 1 and/or Israel threatening to launch hail and fire on Iran’s nuclear sites, as a last resort.

As far as Israel is concerned the P5 + 1 have now left Israel to its fate. Based on past experience with Iran there is not much hope Iran keeps its word on this. Iran claims it accepts the restraints on its nuclear program as long as Iran can go on running the nuclear project inside its territory. For Israel it is similar to the Jews in Egypt accepting a Pharaoh’s assurance to treat them better if they only relinquish their demand to leave his country.

Israel regards the leaders of Iran as modern Pharaoh and the deal between the P5 + 1 and Iran as a kind of Pyramid scheme… i.e. persuading the P5 + 1 to believe Iran by promising to deliver something Iran would not actually give. Iran would do its best to convince the international community it is cooperating, but actually Iran would do its worst by striving to possess nuclear weapon capability. Iran has already proven the difficulty of forcing it to admit it has a plan – let alone taking actual steps – for developing nuclear weapons. Locating the evidence i.e. the “smoking gun” in Iran is like searching for the Afikoman (a hidden piece of matza, the finding of which is rewarded).

For Israel allowing this deal to be approved is like eating and swallowing the maror (the bitter vegetable symbol of the harsh life in Egypt), despite some in Israel who maintain their country could live with Iran’s nuclear project. There are internal disputes about the deal in Iran too, so at least Israel and Iran have this in common.

Iran has also been supporting guerrilla and terror groups in the Gaza Strip for more than a decade. Sending military supply from Iran to the Gaza Strip requires crossing the Red Sea. The Pharaoh’s chariots, which pursued the Jews after the latter left Egypt, drowned in the Red Sea. Israel did not sink Iranian military aid in the Red Sea, but on more than one occasion Israeli troops seized ships that were loaded with weapons, ammunition etc.

All in all this Passover was not a happy holiday for those in Israel who are worried about Iran’s nuclear project. They also realize Israel has no choice, and find solace in the fact that it could have been much worse. Others hope that since the final deal is not yet signed, there may be a change in favor of Israel further on.

Jews often comfort one another by saying: “we have survived the Pharaoh and we will overcome this too”.