US President Barack Obama takes the stage to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, February 5, 2015. Flanking Obama are Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey (L) and Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
When House Speaker John Boehner and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out-maneuvered President Barack Obama by planning for Netanyahu to address the US Congress this March, they did something risky. For AIPAC, bipartisanship is the holy grail of the American-Israeli relationship and this move may now cause a split along party lines. There is also the danger that the planned speech may raise the specter of anti-Semitism in America where there are already have been minority voices that have said in the past that Israel is conducting its foreign policy at the expense of American foreign policy.
In a recent op ed, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman said: “Many of Israel’s friends will be uncomfortable, and the anti-Semites, who claim Israel controls Washington, will have a field day.” Interestingly, Friedman implicated himself when he wrote, in the aftermath of Netanyahu’s previous speech to the US Congress, “I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics.
That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”
The relationship between Obama and Netanyahu has deteriorated to the point that White House official Valerie Jarrett promised that Netanyahu “will pay” for insisting on speaking to the US Congress. Now, there is the specter of regime change in Israel, where US-funded NGOs are actively seeking the unseating of Netanyahu, something that would no doubt bring pleasure to the Obama White House.
Regime change is something Obama has never pursued in his six years in the Oval Office, even when only months after he received the Nobel Peace Prize hundreds of thousands of protesters in Iran called on him to support their fight for freedom.
Obama betrayed the Iranian people by accepting the results of an election fixed by former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the world’s biggest Holocaust denier.
The current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is considered a “moderate” by the EU, the UN and US.
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A state-sponsored cultural center in the Iran that this “moderate” rules over has announced a competition in response to the Charlie Hebdo cover depicting the Prophet Mohammed, with a $12,000 prize for the best cartoon satirizing (read: ridiculing) the Holocaust, proving that Iran continues to be the biggest purveyor of Holocaust denial in the world.
The supreme leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Khamenei, only months ago proclaimed, “Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist. ...This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it.” For Iran, America is the Great Satan and Israel is its little brother; Khamenei never fails to mention that Israel is a cancer that must be removed.
Is this really the state that the US wants to make a deal with? According to reports, the US is shifting its policy toward Syria in a way that will allow Syrian President Bashar Assad to remain in power, effectively giving Iran (with the aid of Hezbollah) a free hand in Lebanon and Syria where in 2014 alone 76,000 Syrians were killed because of the Iranian-backed Assad regime.
AS IMPERFECT as the idea of Israel’s prime minister speaking to the American Congress is, and with all its pitfalls, Netanyahu wants to stop Iran from crossing the threshold and becoming a nuclear power because there’s no going back. Though President Obama has in the past pledged that he has Israel’s back, Netanyahu clearly has serious doubts. According to many observers, Obama is concerned about his legacy, with only two years left in his presidency. This Nobel Peace Prize winner has not brokered peace anywhere.
Now Obama is willing to negotiate with Iran on issues that in the past were non-negotiable, like allowing Iran to enrich uranium, even though Iran has an intercontinental missile program that would endanger the United States. Thirty-six years ago then-president Jimmy Carter, another Nobel Peace Prize winner, stood by and allowed the shah to fall in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The world is still suffering from the aftershocks.
It’s now or never for Obama.
If he chooses the path of appeasement with Iran, the world will never be the same.The writer was a senior producer of CNN’s Jerusalem bureau for 20-plus years and is a veteran international television news producer and recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award.
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