When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to speak to Congress and the American people to warn of the danger of Iran’s nuclear program, and the shortcomings of the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton’s pick for her vice president, Senator Tim Kaine, was among the Democrats who boycotted his speech.
Kaine followed that cowardly and shameful act by joining Congresswoman and head of the Democratic National Convention Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, my close friend Senator Cory Booker and other Democrats in the House and Senate who followed Obama’s lead like lemmings off a national security cliff when he demanded they support his catastrophic deal with Iran. In the Senate, Cory and others supported a filibuster that guaranteed there would not even be a vote.
On the single most important vote affecting Israel’s security, one on which both the Israeli government and opposition agreed should be defeated, the Democrats chose political expediency over principle and the lives of Israelis.
I singled out Booker and Wasserman-Schultz because they were among the most shocking supporters of the Iran deal, given the massive Jewish backing both had throughout their careers, and the repeated public promises both made to the Jewish community to protect Israel, which they betrayed when they voted to give the murderers in Tehran $150 billion. Thanks to the catastrophic deal Iran has the resources to escalate the destabilization of the region, further advance its nuclear ambitions, research and develop more deadly ballistic missiles and support global terrorism.
The people around Cory apparently warned him that if he voted against the president and bucked his party on Iran, he would be committing political suicide.
With this supporters eyeing the vice presidential spot on Hillary Clinton’s ticket, they persuaded him ultimately to support a deal that he clearly did not believe in and, after being passed over for VP, did not advance his career. In short, Cory was persuaded to look the other way on genocidal incitement that most targeted a community that has always loved and supported him in favor of political promises that amounted to zero.
Of all the people to have betrayed Israel and the Jewish people over the Iran deal, however, Schultz was the most insincere. She had always traded on her Jewish identity to gain currency in politics and had massive Jewish financial backing. Her support of the Iran deal, amid Iran’s near daily genocidal incitement against her people, was the ultimate betrayal. It was downright embarrassing when she went on CNN to shed crocodile tears about how torn up she was about the deal. If she really cared about Israel’s security, she would have voted against the agreement. Period. Tears mean nothing.
Action is everything.
Now, the Democratic Party has discovered that anyone who betrays their people on issues of genocidal incitement is probably not going to be very trustworthy on lesser matters; Schultz abused her power as head of the DNC and attempted to undermine Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.
I have long said that politicians who lack conviction in one important area will show they have no conviction in other areas either. Schultz demonstrated with the Iran deal that she would do anything – including selling out the security of her people – for political gain.
Schultz’s political career is, for all intents and purposes, over. But Booker still potentially has a promising career ahead of him, despite losing the VP sweepstakes.
He could still enhance that career and win back the supporters he betrayed if he would admit he made a mistake in supporting the nuclear deal and call for a response to Iran’s violations of the agreement and other UN resolutions. He can also give a speech on the floor of the Senate demanding that continued Iranian genocidal incitement against Israel should indefinitely delay the easing of sanctions until Iran finally stops.
Contrary to the claims of the president, Iran has not changed its policies toward the United States. If anything, it may be more hostile, in part because it disrespects the weakness Obama displayed in the negotiations and his reaction to its provocations after reaching an agreement. As expected, Iran has increased its involvement in backing the tyrannical Syrian regime, continued efforts to destabilize its neighbors, and remains the patron of Hezbollah terrorists. Although Iran has not received the full economic windfall from the agreement yet, the billions of dollars that were released to Iran, combined with the rush by Western companies to make deals with Tehran (including the despicable decision by Boeing to sell planes to aid the radical Islamic regime), have strengthened the hardliners and given them more resources for sponsoring terrorism and mayhem.
In just the past two weeks, we’ve learned the situation is even worse. Though it comes as no surprise to anyone with a scintilla of common sense and knowledge about Iran, the government is actively cheating on the agreement while President Barack Obama hides his head in the sand out of fear that enforcing the deal would cause his prize legacy achievement to unravel.
Thanks to a leak from German intelligence – and surely Obama has the same information, but perhaps chose to keep it from the American people – we know there have been “extensive Iranian attempts” to acquire illicit materials, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology.” This revelation was followed by the disclosure of a part of the nuclear deal that was never revealed to the public.
Instead of Iran being precluded from engaging in nuclear activities for 15 years, we now know that after 11 years Iran can start replacing its current centrifuges with more advanced ones. As a result, instead of Iran having a one-year breakout time (which, absurdly, was considered a great achievement as opposed to destroying Iran’s capability altogether), the figure is actually six months or less.
Worse, even after the news came out, Obama chose to ignore it.
The Iran deal may not be one of the major issues in this campaign, but it is a test of the Democrats’ integrity and willingness to admit they made a mistake.
It is even more important that Clinton and Kaine acknowledge the shortcomings of the disastrous deal they supported and pledge to reassert the original demands Obama had insisted upon before capitulating to Iranian threats. They should not want to be a party to the Obama legacy, which is not a great diplomatic breakthrough but the destabilization of the Middle East, the endangering of Israel and the growth of radical Islamic threats to the region and beyond.
The author, “America’s rabbi,” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America,” is executive director of The World Values Network, which promotes universal values in politics and culture, and is the international best-selling author of 30 books, including his forthcoming, The Israel Warriors Handbook. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.