Now that we have
absorbed the shock of Obama’s capitulation to the Iranians, it is time to face
hard realities and plan for the future.
It is sobering to realize that
despite the fact that American public support for Israel is at an all-time high,
the Obama administration was deceitful, lied, and effectively betrayed Israel.
It behaved likewise toward its long-standing Arab allies, and dashed the
aspirations of those Iranians seeking release from the brutal dictatorship of
the fanatical ayatollah regime. Unless Ayatollah Khamenei miraculously reverses
his relentless xenophobia, Obama’s legacy will be that of the American president
who appeased the most barbaric Islamic fundamentalist regime in the
Make no mistake. The genocidal Islamic fundamentalists ruling Iran
are contemporary Nazis, reinforced with messianic beliefs. Like the Nazis, they
aim to impose their demonic ideology on the entire world and proudly proclaim
their goal to defeat the “Great Satan” (America) and wipe the “rabid dog of the
region” (Israel) off the map.
Analogies to the 1938 Munich agreement when
the major powers appeased Hitler are painfully apt. But as Wall Street Journal
columnist Bret Stephens has correctly noted, Chamberlain appeased Hitler when
the UK was weak and unprepared. Obama capitulated to the Iranians from a
position of strength, when sanctions were threatening to undermine their
Obama also failed to absorb the lesson of trusting the
duplicitous North Koreans and ironically delegated the initial 12 months of
clandestine advance negotiations with Iran to Wendy Sherman, the same State
Department official who negotiated the North Korean fiasco.
approach was certainly not impulsive. It reflected the Third World philosophy he
articulated immediately following his re-election. His stated goals then were to
diminish US involvement around the globe, end the war against Islamic
fundamentalism and “engage” with rogue states – specifically Iran. He has since
implemented this strategy with actions which included humiliating Israel,
failing to stand by long-term Arab allies and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood
conquest of Egypt.
In the Geneva forum both parties achieved their
Obama and his partners, willing to concede on virtually everything
in their desperation to obtain an agreement, succeeded in doing so. The Iranians
gained legitimization as a threshold nuclear state without conceding anything of
substance and received a windfall of billions of dollars.
president Hassan Rouhani triumphantly proclaimed, “The right of Iran to enrich
uranium was accepted by the world powers... the architecture of sanctions will
begin to break down.” The repeated Obama threat about employing military action
as a last resort has lost all credibility and the Iranians feel complacent that
Israel is unable to act while they “negotiate” with the US.
now being accused of warmongering, despite the fact that it has the most to lose
in a conflict and had hoped the Iranians could be pressured by sanctions to back
down without resort to military action. The reality is that Obama’s appeasement
of this draconian regime will only embolden the radical fanatics one of whose
stated objectives is to impose global sharia law, almost guaranteeing a future
Israel was fortunate to have Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at
the helm during this crisis despite the circumstantial limitations. His
effective global undoubtedly triggered the imposition of global sanctions and
prevented the Iranians from quietly achieving their objectives.
VISIT to Israel in March and his repeated undertakings that Israel could rely on
him to prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear bomb encouraged Netanyahu
to make major concessions to the Americans, including the highly unpopular and
morally repulsive release of mass murderers in order to “induce” the
Palestinians to engage in peace talks.
Obama’s betrayal obviously shocked
Netanyahu. In response, he outlined Israel’s position and exposed the dangers of
the agreement, knowing that this would anger the Americans and their allies, who
were in a state of euphoria with their one-sided agreement and embarrassed by
exposure of their impotence.
To counter the challenges even from within
his own congressional party, Obama invited Israel to become engaged in an
advisory capacity in relation to future negotiations. In response Netanyahu has
somewhat softened his tone and concentrated on drawing attention to minimum
requirements for a final deal with the Iranians – even though he is aware that
Israel’s input will have a negligible impact on the outcome.
criticism from his political adversaries and the hostile media, all polls show
that the Israeli public overwhelmingly endorses Netanyahu’s critique of the
Where does this leave the “unshakable bond”
between the US and Israel? The relationship has unquestionably become strained
as President Obama increasingly considered Israel as an obstacle to his quest to
Yet, despite the probability of further turbulent
confrontations in the near future, the unique shared values between Israelis and
Americans will prevent a real breakdown.
The dominant feelings toward
Israel have never been more positive than today and there is every hope that
despite the current tensions, the vox populi will ensure that Israel and America
retain their relationship and that the traditional trust which prevailed in the
past will be resumed in the future.
This is reinforced by the fact that,
despite the tensions, the Obama administration has never wavered from assuring
Americans that it will always stand by Israel’s security and has in fact
strengthened military support for Israel.
The US remains crucial to
Israel’s survival. Of course, Israel should become more self-reliant and seek
additional partners. But any suggestion that Russia, China or a European country
could substitute for the United States is absurd.
To retain American
public and Congressional support will require delicate diplomacy by Israel and
the active support of assertive American Jewish leaders and pro-Israel Christian
groups. In the past, supporters of Israel were basically in sync with the
administration, but today this is not the case.
Already, the Obama
administration has been exerting pressure on Jewish organizational leaders not
to “rock the boat.” Some critics are already making analogies to Roosevelt’s
intimidation and silencing of Jewish leaders during the Holocaust and the
administration’s efforts to muzzle the Jewish leadership.
climate, ugly anti-Semitic accusations are emerging.
Jews are being
accused of dual loyalties and warmongering, seeking to “drag America into
Until recently, AIPAC and the major Jewish agencies such as
the Presidents Conference, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation
League, the World Jewish Congress and prominent Jewish activists resolutely
resisted pressures to endorse the administration’s position and were outspokenly
critical of the Iranian sellout.
Even Alan Dershowitz, one of Obama’s
most loyal Jewish followers, warned that this “could be a cataclysmic error of
gigantic proportions” and “could become a Chamberlain moment” for the
But now Jewish criticism has become more muted.
CEO Howard Kohr has called on AIPAC supporters to stop criticizing President
Obama and his administration and concentrate exclusively on lobbying for
intensified sanctions. He defended this approach on the grounds that the Geneva
agreement only amounted to a “difference of strategy” with Israel on how to
prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. His supporters argue that although
Obama may have betrayed Israel’s trust, he also deceived all his allies in the
Privately, some Jewish establishment leaders warn that direct
confrontation with Obama will have negative consequences on the American Israeli
relationship. They also allege – mistakenly – that Israel is deeply divided over
They justify their approach by relating to the war-weariness
of the American people and concern that isolationism is growing at the
congressional level. They argue that only those American Jews vehemently opposed
to Obama encourage open criticism of the president and claim that most are
willing to wait and see.
Jewish leaders undoubtedly also face pressures
from their liberal constituents and donors and fear that if they are perceived
by the administration as being too outspoken, they will be denied access and
Thus, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA ) headed by
Mort Klein emerged as the principal organization continuing to lambast the
administration for having abandoned Israel. It also publicly reprimanded AIPAC
for “its imprudent, deeply troubling words that are at odds with Israel’s
position... The Iran deal is a repudiation of the need to stop Iran... We must
be unalterably opposed to it and say why, loudly and clearly, not prattle about
After the ZOA condemnation of AIPAC , ADL head, Abe
Foxman, who had endorsed the muted AIPAC approach, stated emphatically that he
was “embarrassed by our government’s acceptance of Iran’s blackmail” and
described secret US talks with Tehran as a “violation of the special
relationship with Israel.”
The overview of recent events should
nevertheless be viewed in perspective. While it is reasonable to suggest that
the US and its allies are repeating the scenario of appeasement policies
undertaken by Chamberlain, Israel today is not Czechoslovakia of 1938. It is not
a vassal state and will not allow itself to be sacrificed in order to placate
the successors of Nazism.
The IDF today is the most powerful military
force in the region, capable of deterring an onslaught by all its adversaries
combined. Its neighbors Egypt and Syria are beset by internal problems and the
Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations are mired in their own crises. In
relation to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Gulf states will quietly be supportive of
Besides, America is one of the few countries whose people expect
leaders to be guided by moral values rather than realpolitik. The remarks by
President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry at the Saban Conference effusively
praising Israel and reiterating the US commitment to stand by us, reflects the
shared values and support which Israel enjoys among the American
Despite the current tensions, continued delicate but determined
diplomacy and our common interest in resisting Islamic fundamentalism will
sustain the relationship with the US. Hopefully, a more friendly future
administration will also restore the trust between both countries.
today, as in the past, we must never subordinate our security to third parties
and recognize that in the last resort, we can only rely on our strength and
ability to defend ourselves.
The writer’s website can be viewed at
www.wordfromjerusalem.com. He may be contacted at email@example.com