Secretary Kerry Poses for a Group Photo With Fellow EU, P5+1 Foreign Ministers and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif After Reaching Iran Nuclear Deal.
(photo credit: STATE DEPARTMENT PHOTO)
So where do we go from here? A lot of good friends of the Jewish community voted for the Iran deal. I publicly called out those who were my friends for not living up to their stated promises and values. One cannot play politics with Israel’s survival.
And then there were those who, while not directly involved in the deal, decided to weigh in even though they admitted they didn’t know all the facts.
Genocide is a serious business. Iran has repeatedly promised to annihilate Israel. If there is one lesson we can all take from the deal, it’s that those who confess to not having thoroughly examined the issue might be better off staying out.
Among those attending Senator Cory Booker’s emergency meeting with New Jersey Jewish leaders the Tuesday after he declared his support for the deal was NJ State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. I have met Weinberg on several occasions.
She is a sweet and decent woman. But she was dead wrong on Iran.
Weinberg came out in support of Senator Booker’s decision to support the Iran deal. She admitted that she had not been briefed on any classified aspects of the agreement and said that she supports the deal based on various reports she had heard in the media.
Apparently, her decision was based in part on the logic that “whether there are problems with the inspections, it’s better than having no inspections.”
But using her reasoning one could also conclude that it is better having a fox guard a hen house than no one at all. Weinberg also claimed that “the more we talk the better the chances of peace in the Middle East.”
But surely Ms. Weinberg does not seriously believe that what the women and children currently being raped and murdered by ISIS need is more talk? Is more talk what Israel needs as Hezbollah updates its thousands of missiles with Iran’s new billions in cash so that they cannot be detected or stopped by the Iron Dome before reigning death on Israeli cities? Is more talk what the millions of innocent Christians throughout the Middle East need as their communities are eliminated, and their lives snuffed out? Or do they all require action? There is a time for words and there is a time for action. When genocides occur and future genocides are being threatened and planned, words without action are not only unhelpful they’re downright destructive. Just ask the people of Rwanda who heard endless UN condemnations of the mass slaughter in 1994 only to be utterly abandoned by the nations of the world. Chamberlain also chose only words and his cowardice threw gasoline on a fire that engulfed the world.
President Obama falsely characterized the opponents of Iran deal as wanting war. Nothing could be further from the truth. What we sought, and did not get, was the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure or the imposition of tighter sanctions.
Iran is an oil superpower and needs “peaceful” nuclear energy the way a rabbi needs a ham sandwich.
Like many Jewish lawmakers who supported the deal, most notably Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Weinberg invoked her Jewishness in backing the president, describing herself as a “feisty Jewish grandmother.” As I said, Weinberg is a fine Jewish woman and a devoted public servant. But a Jewish grandmother gets worried at the idea of her grandson falling down and skinning his knee. A Jewish grandmother gets upset and defensive at the idea of a bully striking her grandson. And a Jewish grandmother shows some concern when an Islamist regime repeatedly promises to murder her relative amid the promise of a second holocaust of the Jews.
Weinberg’s approach to Iran, the world’s largest sponsor of terror, receiving $150 billion by which to further murder children throughout the world, borders on nonchalance. Shouldn’t powerful elected officials who witnessed the murder of six million of their number just 70 years ago have sought briefings on the nuclear deal before coming out in support? And it’s not only Jewish lives that are at stake.
What so many supporters of the deal did not realize is that the safety of the United States is also hanging in the balance. Booker himself admitted in his statement supporting the deal that Iran wants to destroy the United States. If Iran obtains a nuclear bomb – and Booker also said in his statement that we should expect Iran to cheat – our sense of security will be forever changed. Iran will engage in nuclear blackmail, forestalling any Western attempts to curb their expansion of support of terror proxies that kill American soldiers. The repeated saber-rattling of North Korea, and its murder of South Korean soldiers with no repercussions, will repeat itself in the Middle East.
It may be a done deal, but it’s worth noting that Weinberg’s and others supporters’ knee-jerk reaction in favoring what the political establishment laid out, and her resorting to talking points to support this flawed deal, is the opposite of the Jewish values she represents. Iran hangs gay men from cranes in city squares. Iran stones women to death. Iran shoots peaceful protesters through the heart in front of the world. And Iran has lied for more than a decade about its nuclear program but were caught red-handed.
So why have we now legitimized this deal? And what if President Obama plans to go further – as many believe – and reopens the iconic American embassy in Tehran, appointing an ambassador, before the end of his term? Would Democratic lawmakers support bringing in a regime from the cold that savagely brutalizes its own people? No person of conscience can be silent as Iran proudly proclaims and plans the annihilation of Israel and the exportation of terror around the globe.
Those who did not even publicly object to Iran’s repeated promise to exterminate six million Jews in Israel have degraded, however unwittingly, the victims of genocide the world over who once had cause to believe that ‘Never Again’ actually meant Never Again.
The deal may be done. But the fight against Iran’s brutality and genocidal ambitions continues.
Shmuley Boteach, whom ‘The Washington Post’ calls ‘the most famous Rabbi in America,’ served as Rabbi at Oxford University for 11 years where he won The London Times Preacher of the Year Award. Boteach will shortly publish ‘The Israel Warrior’s Handbook.’ Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.