Israel Has Much Higher Claims to The West Bank Than Golan Heights

On March 21, 2019, US President Donald Trump said that it was time to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The nature of the timing was viewed by cynics as a nod to help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win the election happening in a couple of weeks. For people who understand the nature of the strategic security need for the Golan, the timing had much more to do with the ending of the eight-year civil war in Syria and the rapidly expanding deployment of Iranian forces into Syria. An Iranian-Syrian axis in the Golan Heights would certainly lead to a war with Israel which would kill tens of thousands of people, conservatively.

While there was certainly some benefit politically to Netanyahu for the gesture, the rationale for Israel’s control of the plateau is definitely about security. But the arguments applied to the Golan are relatively weak compared to all of the reasons Israel should have sovereignty over the “West Bank.”

History

Jews lived in the Golan Heights for thousands of years. The ancient Kingdom of Israel occupied most of southern Lebanon and Syria and dozens of synagogues over 1000 years old can be found in the area. But most Jews did not live in that area, certainly compared to the West Bank, over the past 100 years.

Religion

There are no particularly important religious sites for Jews in the Golan. However, almost all of the sacred sites for Jews are located in the “West Bank,” which the Jordanians seized in 1949 including Jerusalem, the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus/Shechem.

Legal

When the global powers opted to divide the Ottoman Empire after World War I, they set some arbitrary lines. The French took the mandates of Lebanon and Syria and the British took Palestine. While the Syrians wanted control of all of Palestine, the global powers allotted Syria the Golan Heights, and Syria controlled the area until Israel attacked it in a preemptive defensive war in 1967.

The situation could not be more different regarding the “West Bank.” That area has always been a core part of the Jewish holy land for thousands of years. It was set as an integral part of the Jewish Homeland in international law in 1920 and 1922, specifically stating that no person should be denied the right to live there based on their religion.

The Jordanian army seized the land of Palestine and annexed it in 1949, contrary to all international laws, and evicted all of the Jewish inhabitants. The Jordanians then attacked Israel again in 1967 and lost the land for which they never had any rights.

Security

The security situation in the Golan is extraordinary, due both to the height and reach of the area which can cover all of northern Israel, as well as the military operation of an Iranian-Syrian pact.

But the security situation from the West Bank is also severe. The spine of the western West Bank is very high and overlooks all of Israel’s major population centers and airport. The miles of borders dwarf the size of borders in the Golan and Gaza.


The contrast between the Golan Heights and the West Bank is striking:

  • Original rights: Syria was allotted the Golan Heights roughly 100 years ago, while the West Bank was allotted to the Jewish homeland at the same time.
  • Rights of holder: Israel took the Golan from Syria which had rights to the land, while Israel took the West Bank from Jordan which had NO RIGHTS to the land.
  • Method of acquisition: Israel took the Golan in a preemptive attack, and took the West Bank in a DEFENSIVE ATTACK.
  • History/connection: While Israel has a connection to the Golan Heights, it pales compared to the eternal connection to the “West Bank” and Jerusalem.

It was President Barack Obama who saw the Israeli-Arab Conflict as one based purely on security. If he were president today and saw Iran embedding itself into Syria, he might have sought to help secure Israel’s rights and defenses in the Golan, just as Trump announced.

But Trump sees the Jewish State from more than just a security or political standpoint. As he appreciates the long history, deep religious connection and legal rights of Israel to the West Bank, one must foresee Trump embracing Israel’s annexation of that region as well.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

I call BS: You Never Recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

Maybe Truman Should Not Have Recognized Israel

The US Recognizes Israel’s Reality

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Reuters Can’t Spare Ink on Iranian Anti-Semitism

There are very few news services that remain unbiased in the Arab-Israel Conflict. Progressive media like The New York Times report over and again that Israel is a far right-wing racist country while the Arab countries are moderates. Meanwhile, Fox News will forever take Israel’s side in the conflict. It often seems that the only party to report on the news while providing context in a neutral fashion is Reuters.

That had been the hope anyway.

On February 16, 2019, Reuters posted an article called “Iran Rejects Anti-Semitism Allegation by Pence.”  In the first two paragraphs, Reuters relayed the charge by the US Vice President against Iran, without including a single word of an actual quote. Over the next three paragraphs, the media outlet relayed the response by Iran that the Pence accusation was ridiculous and quoted two Iranian officials, using 71 of their own words.


US Vice President visits Auschwitz Death Camp in Poland

Reuters had quoted a few words from Pence a few days earlier when he made the comments about Iran after to visiting the Auschwitz Nazi Death Camp in Poland. In that article, Reuters sought to give some context to the state of Jews in Iran:

“Iran’s ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000-20,000 from 85,000 at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but it is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East outside Israel.”

It would repeat the exact sentence in the February 19 article.

How is a drop in the Jewish population by 82% over the past 40 years not underscored with horror? Why did Reuters add the word “but,” to make it sound that the Islamic Republic of Iran isn’t ruthless and horrible in its treatment of the minority Jewish population? First, the only reason why Iran has more Jews than other Arab countries in the region including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Iraq was that those countries wiped out their ancient Jewish populations between 1948 and 1978, while the pre-1979 Islamic Revolution Iran (headed by the American ally, the Shah) retained most its Jews. But once Iran declared war on the West in 1979, it has been rapidly ridding its Jews. Second, to put the 82% decline of the Jewish population in perspective, the Arab population in Israel over the past 40 years has grown by 166%, from 706,000 to 1.88 million. If the Israeli Arab population had gone the way of Iranian Jews for the past 40 years, the current Arab population in Israel would be just 127,000, less than 7% of the current total. Where is the false outcry of ethnic cleansing and where is it actually happening, and why is Reuters failing to point it out?

The February 19 article went on to quote an Iranian leader that “the Holocaust was a disaster,” seemingly refuting Pence’s charge. However Reuters would write nothing about the annual Holocaust cartoon contest  that Iran holds each year. It made no mention of the Supreme Islamic Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei questioning whether the Holocaust ever happened. A curious omission, considering the basis of Pence’s comment stemmed from his visit to a Nazi Death Camp.

The February 19 article would continue with another paragraph meant to provide context for the reader, this one about the nature of Iran’s threats against Israel:

“A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander in January threatened Israel, which Iran does not recognize, with destruction if it attacks Iran, state media reported.”

Note that Reuters wrote that Iran said it would destroy Israel as a matter of self defense, seemingly a reasonable stance. Reuters neglected to write about Khamenei’s comment that Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that must be fought and removed to realize the “complete liberation of Palestine.” Those vile Iranian comments from its Supreme Leader have absolutely nothing to do with Iran responding to an Israeli attack; they were simply threats of destruction.

Biased reporting against Israel is a hallmark of outfits like The New York Times and CNN. It is distressing to see more balanced media like Reuters whitewashing the genocidal calls and actions from Iran. #AlternativeFacts


Related First.One.Through articles:

Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

In the Shadow of the Holocaust, The New York Times Fails to Flag Muslim Anti-Semitism

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Abbas’s Speech and the Window into Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

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BDS is a Movement by Radical Islamists and Far-Left Progressives to Block Your Freedoms

In countries that embrace both capitalism and democracy, there is an appreciation of the ability to buy any legal product from any vendor within the country and from an allied country. That freedom is under assault by radical Islamists and far-left progressives.

Full Personal Freedom to Buy/
Limits on Selling Preferences

The ability to purchase legal goods from a company in good standing from an ally is natural. It is up to the individual – say an American citizen – to choose to buy an item to his liking – perhaps Droste Chocolate from the Netherlands or an Audi automobile from Germany. People are not compelled to purchase the item either because of a preference regarding the item (maybe they don’t like the taste of Droste Chocolate) or because they have an issue with the government (not buying anything German because of the Holocaust.) The legal structure of the society enables each person to make a buying decision on their own.

However, such rights are not so absolute when it comes to SELLING something. As examples, a person cannot decide to only sell their home to a white person any more than a store owner can prevent a gay person from buying a soda. Anti-discrimination laws specifically disallow such actions. A business or individual can decide not to sell something, but once a decision is made to sell a product, everyone must have equal access to acquire the item.

BDS

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel portrays itself as a human rights effort to pressure Israel to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. It is not. It is an anti-Semitic movement designed to eradicate Zionism launched by Radical Islamists that has begun to co-opt far left-wing Progressives (RIAPs, Radical Islamists and Progressives).

The RIAPs often compare Israel to the apartheid regime in South Africa in their quest for BDS, which has many flaws:

  1. There are two parties in this conflict. As opposed to the apartheid regime in South Africa which limited freedoms for its own citizens, the Israel-Arab conflict is between distinct parties.
  2. The United Nations and dozens of Arab and Muslim countries back the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority has tremendous support from many countries around the world, including the United Nations itself. The blacks in South Africa were an isolated minority trying to fight for rights against its own government.
  3. Israel has attempted to forge a peace agreement. For several decades, the Israeli government has tried to reach a peace agreement with the Arabs in the region. The dynamic here is not one of desire to reach a settlement, but a gap between the positions of the Israelis and PA.
  4. The Israeli government has a good track record. The Israelis gave up land for peace with Egypt and were able to reach a peace agreement with Jordan. Israel gave control of Gaza and sections of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority. For their part, the PA has not even been able to reach any settlements with rival parties.

Which party really needs pressure / help in getting to a peace deal?


Protesters hold signs calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS)
in Washington, D.C., August 2, 2014.
(photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

More to the point being addressed here, BDS prevents ordinary people from buying the Israeli products they desire.

As noted above, any individual can make a personal choice to avoid buying products made in Israel or the Israeli territories in Judea and Samaria. But establishing a boycott infringes on the rights of other people who very much want to purchase the products and services from the leading liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.

If progressives really cared about human rights, shouldn’t they have lambasted the Obama Administration for not only handing $150 billion to Iran, a country that hangs gays by cranes in the middle of Tehran and executes minors? Shouldn’t the progressives have been further incensed with Obama for promising to import Iranian rugs, caviar and pistachios (see page 67 of the JCPOA).

How can progressives approve of the importation of goods from a country that executes gays and minors, but seek to boycott a country which has only reached a peaceful settlement with some of its Arab neighbors?

It is because the RIAPs believe that Israel is a completely illegal Zionist Project. Iran and other regressive Islamic societies like Saudi Arabia may be vile, but they are viewed by the extremist groups as legitimate. Meanwhile, they contend that Israel is illegal at its core and should cease to exist.

Consider the platform in Black Lives Matter “Invest – Divest” which declared America’s support for Israel, its “Global War on Terror,” and AFRICOM as simply tools of colonialism under the mask of combating terror. Under the BLM worldview, Israel is an extension of the racist American colonial project, putting Jews in homes where they do not belong, stealing from people of color.

These extremists do not simply have their own disturbing anti-Semitic worldview in which Jews are uniquely denied their history, heritage and basic human rights, but want to force every person to comply with their anti-Semitic agenda. They seek to rob every American of their choice of doing business with Israel.

BDS is the toxic combination of stealing individual freedom and forcing people to participate in antisemitism. Organizations that participate in BDS should be fined in the same manner as those that have policies that discriminate against any group.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

BDS and Christian Persecution

Please Don’t Vote for a Democratic Socialist

When Power Talks the Truth

Denying Entry and Citizenship

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem

The Personalisation of War

Iran’s New Favorite Jewish Scholars

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The Time Factor in the Israeli-Arab Conflict

It is true. Time moves at a different pace for the players in the Middle East.

Looking for some proof?

  • The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said in September 2016: “We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine.” No joke. He asked Great Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration from 100 years prior that sought to facilitate the emigration of Jews to their holy land.
  • A poll of Palestinians conducted in March 2018 found that only 9% of Palestinians believed that there would be peace with Israel within 100 years.

Whether 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future, the Palestinians view the situation as stagnant. They hold onto perceived injuries of 100 years ago as if they just occurred, and imagine that they will feel the same in a century as well.

Is the Arab-Israel Conflict inherently unsolvable, or is the nature of how Arabs in the Middle East consider time simply different than how Israel and western societies relate to it?

Democracy-versus-Dictatorship

Political matters typically require immediate attention, such as budgets, trade policies, military contracts and establishing treaties. Governments seek to move at the pace of life – in the present – so the protagonists act to effectuate policies under their administration and ideally witness the associated results.

That mode of thinking is actually only relevant in a democracy. A government with a finite term that must seek re-election from its citizens is vulnerable to having a short stint in office. Its “present” is fleeting. However, a dictatorship has no set term limit of being in office or caring much about the opinions of its populace. Its “present” might extend for decades.

Consider the lengths of time that Arab leaders have stayed in power in the Middle East:

  • Syria. Bashar al-Assad has been in power for 17 years and counting while he decimates his country. His father Hafez al-Assad was the leader for 29 years.
  • Jordan. King Abdullah II has been king for over 19 years. He took over from his father King Hussein who was king for 47 years.
  • Saudi Arabia. The monarchs of Saudi Arabia have all been from the same family for generations, starting with Ibn Saud in 1932.
  • Egypt. Hosni Mubarak ruled for almost 30 years until the Arab Spring swept him out. The country tried democracy electing Mohamed Morsi, but he was quickly kicked out after just a year in office.
  • Libya. Muammar Gadaffi headed the country for 42 years until he was killed.
  • Tunisia. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ruled for 24 years until he was swept out by the Arab Spring

The list goes on, even for non-countries.

The Palestinian Authority held elections in 2005 to elect a president for a four-year term. The victor, Mahmoud Abbas, has not held elections since then and remains as the acting-President nine years after his term expired.

The leadership in the Arab world is entrenched. The only method of deposing the leaders and changing the direction of the country is often by assassination, coup or civil war, such as those raging in Syria and Yemen.

In contrast, democracies do not stay entrenched, as the citizens vote for new leaders every few years. Healthy, peaceful democracies have established term limits for the highest office. As such, the leaders in democracies are cognizant of the most precious resource – time. They know that they have a short window to take action and make their mark on society. They can stretch that time by being very mindful of their citizenry, but ultimately, the time remains short.

A dramatic contrast in the orientation of time between democracies and dictatorships.

Secular-versus-Religion

When it comes to the Middle East, religion plays a significant role in politics and government.

Many of the wars that rage in the Middle East stem from the divide within Islam between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Iran and Iraq are predominantly Shiite, while much of the rest of the region is Sunni.

The civil war in Syria is as much about the majority Sunni Muslims fighting the Shia dictator that rules the country, as it is about a country seeking a new direction. Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war in Yemen about the future direction of that country, whether it will be headed by Shia or Sunni leaders.

In the Middle East, the battle between religions and sects has the added layer of the sensitivity regarding holy sites.

The region is packed with holy sites for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The fights for control extend beyond physical land and resources, to the spiritual centers for different people.

These spiritual locations operate on a different plane. They exist beyond time.

When competing parties fight over control of holy sites, they operate in the dimension of the divine, and consequently engage in a timeless dance. The earthly connection to the Heavens is eternally rooted in a handful of discrete locations, and it is impossible to “walk away” from those anchors. To do so would be akin to being a traitor and apostate. Relinquishing a holy site to a another sect – or even worse, a different religion – would forever tarnish a person’s reputation and that of his entire family. It would be seen as the ultimate failure, an embarrassment.

Conversely, a person could achieve eternal honor by becoming a ‘shahid,’ a martyr in Arabic, by fighting to the death to protect and/or seize a religious site.

The risk-reward mathematics drives a bloody calculation. On one side, there is a consideration of compromise and relinquishing some control over holy land to enable a better day-to-day life for one’s people, but forever be viewed as a traitor to one’s religion. On the other, is the fight for a holy cause that may not yield any benefits for one’s community, but ensures a revered space within one’s society. Is a better job for a few years a worthy trade-off to an eternity with 72 virgins? (Out of curiosity, do they stay virgins for eternity, meaning there is never any sex?)

Israel and Palestinians

Within the Islamic world stretching from Morocco to Indonesia, lies the only Jewish State, Israel.

Israel is more than a little unique in the Middle East. As the sole true democracy, its leadership changes often according to the desire of the Israeli citizens. The prime minister and parliament (Knesset) may be right-of-center at one time, and left-of-center shortly thereafter.

The current Israeli Prime Minister is Benjamin Netanyahu who has won several elections, and may set a record for the longest serving leader of the country, perhaps passing David Ben Gurion if he stays in power until July 16, 2019. The democracy has not instituted term limits as it is still in a state of war with many of its neighbors.

The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been in power since 2005, not by winning several elections, but by not conducting any. If he had, he would have been thrown from office many years ago by a population that considers him to be both corrupt and ineffective at governing (he’s great at stealing).

Even without a country, Abbas is a dictator, holding onto power without the blessing of his constituents. He stands above his people and above the law as he tries to grasp at the penumbra on the holy land. He imagines himself a timeless champion fighting on behalf of nearly 2 billion Muslims worldwide against the “Zionist Invasion.”

From his vantage point, Abbas can look back in time 100 years as though he were talking to someone in the back seat of a car. The Balfour Declaration of 100 years ago is still yapping, and the Jews keep piling on and will seemingly overload the car over the next 100 years. Time only changes the number of Jews in the car, but will not change his attitude towards Jews regarding their rights to sit in the car, let alone take the wheel.

For their part, the Israelis have made many offers for peace both with Palestinian Arabs as well as Egypt and Jordan over the years. Leaders like Ehud Barak and Ehud Omert knew that they had short windows in office to make a better more peaceful future for their citizens. They attempted different approaches towards compromise with the PA, only to be shut down each time. Real compromises, even in the very small Jewish Holy Land, which received no responses.

Dictators like Abbas have a different calculus, especially since he will be second-guessed by dozens of other dictators that have an interest in Muslim holy sites in Israel. The attitude and approach cannot be moderated by time. The Palestinian Arabs feel the same way:

Time is irrelevant. Feelings trump facts and frustrate a pathway to peace. But it doesn’t matter. Peace is not the goal. Control of the land and the holy sites are paramount. Issues like the economy, security, healthcare and rights always rank at the bottom of every Palestinian poll.

The unaccomplished former US Secretary of State John Kerry understood the Arab world’s perception of time. Kerry suggested in January 2018 that the Palestinians “hold on and be strong,” and “play for time, that he [Abbas] will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.” Hey, Abbas! You are a dictator and Israel and the United States are democracies. You can wait it out. Screw today. Stick it out and wait for a better payday.

Play for time. Only democracies have a shot clock.


The Western World views time very differently than the Arab Middle East. As secular democracies, the West seeks to enjoy and improve life in the here-and-now, while the Arab Middle East is a world of religious dictatorships where time is not a critical factor. Any negotiations between parties that view time so differently must be mindful in considering short-term and long-term situations and goals, and adjust. Specifically, a democracy must adapt to either be willing to wait forever and show no rush towards concluding a deal (adopt the Arab approach), or demonstrate that time is an enemy to the dictatorship (force the Arabs to play with a shot clock too).

Israel has slowly learned the lesson. Will the rest of the West?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Failing Negotiation 101: The United States

Failing Negotiation 102: Europe

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Nikki Haley Channels Robert Aumann at the UN Security Council

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Would You Rather Have Sovereignty or Control

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

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Buckets of Deplorable Presidential Endorsements

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president has sought to portray her Republican challenger Donald Trump as a racist, and those that support him as racists. Both she and President Barack Obama should consider that those same people endorsed them as well.

David Duke

David Duke is a leader of the racist group the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and is currently running for the Senate from Louisiana. He proclaimed that he would be the “biggest supporter” of Trump from his position in Congress. Clinton used the endorsement as an opportunity to portray half of Trump supporters as “deplorables” who are “irredeemable.” In doing so, she sought to send a message that anyone that votes for Trump is either a “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic,or is happy to associate with such people.

There is no question that David Duke deserves the charge of a deplorable and maintains the views that Clinton ascribed.  However, it was that same David Duke that came out in favor of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. Should that have been a warning that the Democrats were advancing a deplorable deal?

Iran

Iran is listed by the US State Department as an official state sponsor of terror (one of only three countries with such designation).   Iran celebrated the nuclear deal brokered by Obama.  Does its support mean that Obama strengthened global terrorism?

Qatar

The government of Qatar supports Hamas, a virulently anti-Semitic terrorist group whose goal is the complete destruction of a US ally, Israel.

But the Clinton Foundation was happy to accept a $1 million gift from Qatar in 2011, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.  The Qatar government bought Bill Clinton’s former Vice President Al Gore’s cable channel, Current TV for $500 million in 2013. That deal netted Gore a personal gain of roughly $17 million.  That channel and social media site, AJ+, continue to spew anti-Israel commentary and incite violence against Israel.

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a well-earned reputation of falling into Clinton’s “basket of deplorables.”  It is the only country in the world that received a ZERO for women’s empowerment by the World Economic Forum. It kills anyone that converts from Islam (apostasy), a right that is clearly protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The country also condemns people to death for homosexuality – even minors.

This deplorable country gave the Clinton Foundation well over $10 million according to PolitiFact.

clinton-deplorables
Hillary Clinton addressing liberals at a campaign fund raiser
September 9, 2016

The Washington Post listed many other problematic parties supporting Hillary Clinton, including Algeria, Kuwait and Oman. The Arab countries continue to support her candidacy.


Donald Trump did not solicit the endorsement of David Duke, but was nevertheless rebuked for not immediately distancing himself from the man (which Trump did do later). But Clinton hammered continuously on the campaign trail and in advertisements that Trump supporters were racists, misogynists, xenophobes and homophobes. (The last claim is pretty remarkable, as Trump stood before the entire Republican National Committee, and drew loud applause for his pro-gay comments).

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton actively courted the support of some of the most deplorable countries in the world, who are homophobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic and racist.

Does Clinton claim that any endorsement from a “deplorable” means that all all (or at least half) supporters are terrible as well? Hillary Clinton often claims that Russia supports Trump and is behind her email scandal.  But that same Russia also supported the Iranian nuclear deal.  Does she want us all to revisit that toxic deal negotiated by Obama, Kerry and herself?

As Clinton and Obama trash the “deplorable” Trump supporters, they should consider their own tainted glass houses, in which some of the worst deplorables in the world gave them direct financial support and endorsed their most controversial policies.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Deplorable Definition

Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem. Time to Return the Favor

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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Grading Evil and Evil Doers

On December 14, 2015, US President Obama told Americans that “the United States and our Armed Forces continue to lead the global coalition in our mission to destroy the terrorist group ISIL (the Islamic State).”  He laid out the ongoing efforts to “destroy” the group in its various facets, including “their fighting positions, bunkers and staging areas; their heavy weapons, bomb-making factories, compounds and training camps.

He used the word “destroy” five times in the speech.

That address stood in sharp contrast to his detailed comments on fighting “violent extremism.”

On February 18, 2015, Obama penned a piece in the Los Angeles Times called “Our Fight Against Violent Extremism.” He mentioned terrorism and terrorist threats from a range of countries, including: Yemen; Libya; Syria; Iraq; US; Canada; Australia; France; Denmark; Pakistan; Somalia and Nigeria.  His plan to deal with the global threat involved several initiatives: “We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem. Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians. We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so…. Our focus will be on empowering local communities.”

Obama’s plan to fight global violent extremism was broad.  Below is a review of Obama’s approach for confronting evil and evil-doers.

Evil to Destroy

President Obama referred to an “evil ideology” when he commented on the murder of American photojournalist Luke Somers.  For Obama, the evil of AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) was a “disregard for life” that threated to “harm our [American] citizens.”

Regarding ISIL/ the Islamic State, the evil was described in a similar manner.  In November 2015, after attacks in France and Turkey, Obama said ISIL is the face of evil. Our goal, as I’ve said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization.”  He echoed comments he made with French President Hollande just a few days before when he saidthis barbaric terrorist group — ISIL, or Daesh — and its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us.  It cannot be tolerated.  It must be destroyed.”

Evil had certain traits: barbarity and murder.  According to Obama, the root of the evil ideology was to “promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims.

Particular evil that needed to be destroyed, was evil that threated America, and in some cases, its allies.  Other evil could be addressed using other methods.

Consider Obama’s comments over his presidency about his desire to destroy evil.  It is limited to two terrorist groups who attacked Americans: al Qaeda and ISIL/ Islamic State.

  • December 1, 2009: “America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda’s terrorist network and to protect our common security.
  • March 28, 2010: “Our broad mission is clear:  We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al Qaeda and its extremist allies.  That is our mission [in Afghanistan].”
  • October 29, 2010: “we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government to disrupt plotting by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to destroy this al Qaeda affiliate.
  • September 10, 2014: “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
  • February 11, 2015: “America’s armed forces are working with some 60 nations to degrade and destroy ISIL, a terrorist group that has committed countless barbaric atrocities and poses a grave threat to the people and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, regional stability, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners.”
  • July 6, 2015: “ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple… Our main objective is to degrade and destroy this group through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.

Obama with military leaders
Obama discussing anti-Islamic State plan, surrounded by military leaders including
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff on July 6, 2015 (photo: DoD/ Glenn Fawcett)

ISIL/ Islamic State and al Qaeda remain the only groups targeted for destruction by Obama.

Condemned Evil

There are other groups – and countries –  that are barbaric murderous entities which are not in Obama’s crosshairs.  They receive Obama’s condemnation and disapproval, but not concerted military attention.

Boko Haram is a barbaric, murderous terrorist group operating in Nigeria.  Like the Islamic State, it seeks to install an Islamic country in the place of the Nigerian secular government through a murderous campaign.

Obama has condemned the group’s actions, but remained measured in his call for action:

  • May 7, 2014 (an offer to help find abducted teenaged girls): “Boko Haram, this terrorist organization that’s been operating in Nigeria, has been killing people and innocent civilians for a very long time. We’ve always identified them as one of the worst local or regional terrorist organizations there is out there…So what we’ve done is we have offered — and it’s been accepted — help from our military and law enforcement officials. We’re going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them. In the short term, our goal obviously is to help the international community and the Nigerian government as a team to do everything we can to recover these young ladies. But we’re also going to have to deal with the broader problem of organizations like this that can cause such havoc in people’s day-to-day lives.” Obama did not offer to help destroy Boko Haram.
  • March 23, 2015: “Boko Haram, a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children must be stopped…. by casting your ballot you can help secure your nation’s progress.”  Obama gave no support to destroy the group; he just suggested that Nigerians vote peacefully in elections and the Boko Haram threat would disappear.
  • July 10, 2015: “[The president of Nigeria is] very concerned about the spread of Boko Haram and the violence that’s taken place there, and the atrocities that they’ve carried out, and has a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts inside of his country.” Obama noted the President of Nigeria’s concern, but did not mention his own.

While the evil of Boko Haram and other groups operating in Africa was the same, the Obama Administration would not target the groups for destruction as Americans were not targeted.  Obama would only condemn the evil and offer American support:

  • In Chad: “support the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their ongoing struggle to defeat Boko Haram
  • In Lebanon: “fully support the Lebanese authorities as they conduct their investigation… reaffirms its commitment to Lebanon’s security, and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Lebanon in confronting terrorism

The same evil ideology is held by other groups such as al-Shabaab in Somalia which has killed hundreds.  In Ethiopia, after a brutal attack in the country’s capital, Obama saidWe don’t need to send our own marines in to do the fighting: The Ethiopians are tough fighters and the Kenyans and Ugandans have been serious about what they’re doing.”  The comment suggested that Obama’s modus operandi is that America will only engage militarily to destroy evil, if the local government is ill-equipped to do so.

Tolerated Evil

The evil ideology of barbarism and murder is not confined to a few terrorist groups that “promote a twisted interpretation of religion.”  Several countries also engage in barbarity of its own citizens.  Consider Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria.  These countries commit barbarity including:

  • killing gays by hanging them from cranes in the streets and throwing them off buildings;
  • stoning people to death for adultery;
  • beheading people in the middle of the streets;
  • executing minors;
  • capital punishment for activities that do not hurt anyone such as apostasy (converting from Islam)

The Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, crossing an Obama “red line.”  However, in the end, it did not matter.  Obama would not attack the Syrian government, and opted to negotiate with them to remove chemical weapons.

Regarding Iran, Obama stated that while they may be anti-Semitic, the country’s leaders were not so consumed by evil that they would do something that would harm their own interests.  Obama would not attack the country, but chose to negotiate to slow the pace of its nuclear program, even as the Iranian leaders chanted “Death to America.”

And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which publicly beheads “witches” and apostates, remains an American ally.  It receives billions of dollars of military hardware from the US.

ObamaAbdullah
Obama and the Saudi King

In short, evil perpetuated by countries is tolerated by the Obama administration.  The one country where Obama decided to launch an attack to remove its leader was Libya, a much less evil regime than in Syria, Iran or Saudi Arabia.  It just happened to be easier to remove Muammar Gaddafi, than the leaders of other countries.

Ignored Evil

The last category of Obama’s treatment of evil is “Ignored Evil”.  It is basically the same as “Tolerated Evil” except it is used for a group rather than for a country.

Palestinian Arabs have many groups that are labelled terrorist organizations by the US State Department including: Abu Nidal; Hamas; Palestine Liberation Front; Palestinian Islamic Jihad; Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine; PFLP- General Command; and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, among others.  These groups have stated their intention to destroy Israel, a US ally; to target Jews for murder; and install an Islamic state in Israel. The groups also torture fellow Arabs if there is suspicion of collaboration with Israel, and drag their bodies through the streets.

Obama has not called for these groups to be destroyed.  He does not tolerate their evil, as he doesn’t negotiate with them.  He simply ignores their barbarity, as he pushes Israel to tolerate and negotiate with them.

While Obama may state that he has “no sympathy for Hamas, he pushed Israel to release terrorists in exchange for… nothing.  When Hamas and Fatah announced a unity government in June 2014, the Obama administration said “we intend to work with this government.

There are Palestinian groups that are not labelled by the US as terrorists, that also incite violence against Israelis.  Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas called for jihad several times against Israel without rebuke from the Obama administration.

Conclusion

Obama has refused to label the evil that touches much of the world as “violent Islamic terrorism”.  By doing so, he compartmentalized the evil ideology: between those that threaten America and those that don’t; between established governments and terrorist groups seeking to replace countries.

As described above, each category received a particular treatment by the USA.  Only in Israel, did Obama opt to break his formula by ignoring the radical Palestinian jihadists, as acknowledging their evil, would likely undermine any chance for a two-state solution with Israel.

While some liberals think the nature of the evil ideology is different in particular places, most people understand the contours of jihadist terrorism and remain angered by Obama’s refusal to call out the religious barbarity in various corners of the world by its proper name.  Israel supporters are particularly enraged by Obama’s unique treatment of Palestinian Arab jihadist violence.

Liberals remain convinced that not all evil is the same, and that the barbarity has nothing to do with Islam.  Conservatives believe that all violent jihadist violence is very much the same, and should be dealt with in a singular fashion.

However, for Obama, remaining obtuse about the nature of the evil ideology enables flexibility in engaging particular evil-doers, while avoiding a broader conflict with the Muslim world.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Pick Your Jihad; Choose Your Infidel

The Banners of Jihad

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

My Terrorism

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Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

“Double standards” is defined as a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another.” Double Standards are typically viewed as unjust, and some countries (like the government of Israel) complain when they are held to more rigorous standards of behavior than its neighbors by political bodies like the United Nations. Curiously, in 2015, some US Democratic candidates for president have introduced a new concept of “Half Standards,” in which they actively and happily pursue policies for other countries which are much less rigorous than they expect for Americans.

Democrats on Gun Control for Americans

After the killing of two journalists on air in August 2015, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders stated that he would introduce “constructive gun control legislation which most significantly gets guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.” Similarly, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented that she is in favor of “reform that keeps weapons out of the hands that should not have them.

Such calls for gun control is not without controversy, as most Americans view the right to bear arms as a fundamental right laid out in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights that “shall not be infringed.” How can the government decide that there are parties that “should not have them [guns]?” Will the government take steps to block certain individuals from this right the way that it blocks felons from voting?

Who “should not have them“? Clinton called out “domestic abusers, the violently unstable” as targets who would lose the right to bear arms. Will the US courts create a system of defining such individuals?

What exactly will these “bad” people be prevented from owning?  In their call for new gun legislation, how far will the ownership limitations go? Will a domestic abuser be restricted from purchasing a new gun or will they also need to forfeit guns they currently own? What about ammunition? If a person has factories that make guns and ammo, would they be forced to sell it? If they ran a mine that sourced all of the raw materials to make guns or ammunition, would they be forced to shut it down? In short, would a “violently unstable” person be allowed to own and run an entire gun manufacturing infrastructure and warehouse even if they promised to give up having a gun in their home?

Contrast these Democrats’ positions about barring certain Americans from owning guns, with their positions on Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

Democrats Supporting the Iranian JCPOA

Clinton gave a strong defense of the nuclear agreement with Iran on September 9, 2015, even while she noted the many short-comings of the JCPOA.

Hillary Brookings
Hillary Clinton at the Brookings Institute discussing her support of the JCPOA
September 9, 2015

Iran is a “violently unstable” player: The US State Department has long considered the Islamic Republic of Iran to be a supporter of terrorism, one of only three countries with such designation. The Iranian government has been hostile to America since 1979 and continues to call for the “Death of America”.

…and will remain a “violently unstable” player: Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made clear in several interviews, that “this deal is not contingent on Iran changing its behavior. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that a change in the behavior of the Iranian regime should be an integral part of a timetable of sanctions relief to the Iranians, the Obama administration made clear that such notion would not be part of any Plan Of Action.

Iran “should not have them (WMDs)”: US President Barack Obama repeatedly stated that the Iranian regime should never be armed with weapons of mass destruction. He has tried to convince Americans that the JCPOA will keep Iran from actually being in possession of such nuclear weapons, and Clinton and Sanders agree that the JCPOA would accomplish such task.

…but will maintain the entire food chain of processing WMDs: While Iran would technically not have a nuclear bomb IF it adheres to everything in the JCPOA, it will continue to have everything required to manufacture and deliver such weapons:

  • Uranium mines left untouched
  • It maintains a stockpile of uranium
  • Thousands of centrifuges (6,104 by the White House count) for enrichment left intact
  • Heavy-water nuclear plant Arak is “redesigned” but not dismantled
  • Enrichment facilities of Natanz and Fordow will both remain operational
  • Obtain new short- and long-range ballistic missiles (available in 5 to 8 years)

iran_nuclear_624
Iranian Nuclear Infrastructure
(from BBC website)

Would Clinton and Sanders enable “violently unstable” Americans that have a constitutional right to bear arms, keep an entire weapons making assembly line? Why do they promote a “half standard” for a “violently unstable” country to maintain a vast nuclear weapons infrastructure?


Related First One Through articles:

Some Ugly Supporters of the P5+1 Iran Deal

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

Is the Iran Deal a Domestic Matter (NY Times) or an International Matter (Wall Street Journal)

The New Endorsed Parameters of Peaceful Nuclear Power

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Snack-Pack Inspections

A Satire

Scene: A conference room with dozens of politicians, including the senior members of the P5+1 team and Iran, negotiating terms to the comprehensive nuclear agreement. The hour is late and people are agitated and sleepy. Each country team is mostly talking amongst themselves.

P5+1
(photo: Getty Images)

Sensing the moment is right to bring up a new deal point, US Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to catch everyone’s attention.

US Secretary John Kerry (in a loud clear voice): “We have gone through the various points of this agreement and concluded that we cannot approve it without additional security precautions. As such, we insist on automatic ‘snapback sanctions’ if there is a material breach of the terms of the agreement.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi: “What are ‘snack-pack sanctions’?”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “’’Snack-pack inspections’. It is another excuse for the Americans to snoop around.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: “I won’t agree to it. That is outrageous. Why must you Americans continue to compromise on our dignity?!”

Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: “Mohammad, please. It is not that big a condition. Use the American request to push forward some of your own ideas.”

Zarif: “Why are Iranian snacks anyone’s concern? You have pushed too far!”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius: “The Americans are big snackers, they cannot help themselves! Eating all of that fast food and potato chips!”

Aide to Kerry blurts out: “Potato chips are just cold French fries!”

Fabius: “Your ‘French Fries’ are not from France, you idiot!”

Westerwelle (laughing while patting his stomach): “The Americans don’t just snack- they snack BIG. They turn warehouses into giant snack stores.  That’s why they have snacks in packs. Can you imagine!”

Kerry: “People! I said ‘snapback sanctions’ not ‘snack-pack inspections’. We need some teeth in this agreement.”

Fabius: “You Americans are real gluttons, sinking you teeth into everything. Why do you have to always focus on consuming so much garbage?”

Zarif: “I cannot agree!”

Lavrov (in a loud, condescending voice): “Hey, Mr. Ketchup, let’s say we agree with snack-pack inspections. But you would have to agree to import some of our snacks too. For example, some Beluga caviar. It would be a nice improvement for your abused tongues.”

Zarif: “We get to export our caviar to the Americans again? This would be excellent!”

Lavrov (in a hushed voice to Zarif): “You and I will discuss later where the caviar will actually come from.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague: “Does that satisfy your appetite, John?”

Yi: “Be careful Mohammad. Your country is about to be flooded with McDonalds!”

Zarif: “I’ll tell you, I will take up to 20 McDonalds, but America must agree to take our pistachios as well.”

Lavrov (out loud, but absent-mindedly): “But Russia doesn’t export pistachios.”

Hague: “Well, maybe Iran could also start to import our ‘Smarties’ now.”

Kerry: “People! This is not about exporting chocolate to Iran!”

Lavrov: “Hey Mr. Heinz! Did you marry a Hershey too? Keep quiet and we’ll handle the details of your new request.”

The conference room breaks down into lots of side conversations. After a minute, Kerry pushes away from the table disgusted, and leaves the room with some aides.


Scene: Outside the conference room, Secretary Kerry walks the halls with two assistants with a phone clutched in his hand.

Kerry (agitated): “Yes, Mr. President…. Yes, I brought it up…. How did it go?.. Well, let me sum it up this way. The other members of the P5+1 team are now renaming the streets in front of the American embassies in their cities ‘Hershey Highway’.”


Related First One Through article:

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

Congress should Vote on the Deal, not on the Disappointment nor on the President

The long saga of global bodies negotiating over Iran’s nuclear program ended a significant phase on July 14, 2015, when the parties concluded a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna, Austria. The negotiation has now entered the “approval” phase by various bodies including the US Congress. The initial reviews and comments of the JCPOA have been heated and ugly.

The Disappointment

On August 7, 2015, David Brooks of the New York Times wrote an op-ed piece entitled “3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran”. Brooks enumerated the various points that make many Americans angry about the terms of the JCPOA, specifically, the failure to realize the stated goals set out by the Obama administration:

  • Prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power
  • Dismantle the nuclear infrastructure
  • Remove their ability to enrich uranium
  • Close the Fordow Heavy water reactor enrichment facility
  • Force Iran to disclose all past nuclear activities
  • Anywhere, anytime inspections
  • No sanctions relief until all of the above have been accomplished

Brooks concluded that none of Obama’s stated objectives were realized. He referred to the agreement as a “partial surrender” to Iran that came about because of the poor tactics of team Obama.

However, that is not the question before Congress. If Congress were to vote on whether the JCPOA produced a disappointing result, the vote would be nearly unanimous (with the exception of a few Obama puppets).  But Congress is not being asked to opine if this was the best deal that could have been achieved, but whether the deal is good enough.

The President

On August 10, 2015, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke out against the president’s tactics in aggressively trying to sell the JCPOA. In “White House Should Leave Politics Out of Iran Deal,” Bloomberg admonished Obama for name-calling opponents of the deal war-mongers and for threatening payback against any politician who dared to vote against the deal. For his part, Bloomberg concluded that the JCPOA was extremely marginal at best, and that Obama’s forceful defense of the deal was “grossly overstating” his case.

The “especially disappointing” behavior by the White House was politics at its worst, particularly when so much is on the line, according to Bloomberg. Politicians should not vote on this significant agreement based on politics or party loyalty; they must vote based on the deal’s merits.

The Deal

On August 7, 2015, New York Senator Charles Schumer detailed his rationale for not supporting the JCPOA. He analyzed the deal based on three criteria:

  • Preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons over the next ten years
  • The position of Iran’s nuclear capabilities at the sunset of the deal
  • The cost of the agreement in terms of giving Iran sanctions relief

In terms of the negotiating team’s primary mission of preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, Schumer stated that there “are serious weaknesses in the agreement,” including the lack of anytime-anywhere inspections and that the US would need approval of a majority of China, Russia and the Europeans to enforce inspections. Overall, he thought the deal’s terms were not compelling.

On the second point, Schumer was even more negative and stated “we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.

Regarding the non-nuclear components of the deal, Schumer was extremely clear in opposing the enablement of a state-sponsor of terrorism to obtain billions in funds and access to ballistic missiles: “When it comes to the non-nuclear aspects of the deal, I think there is a strong case that we are better off without an agreement than with one.”

Senator Schumer analyzed and articulated his assessment of the deal. He avoided voting based on the deal’s disappointment, and based on his president’s rhetoric.

Schumer
NY Senator Charles Schumer
(photo: Getty images)

Vote Ramifications

President Obama has stated that the only alternative to this deal is war. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that there is no “better deal” out there nor is there an opportunity to renegotiate this one.

Yet, those claims are far from clear. Based on behavior of both Obama and Kerry, it would be easy to conclude that these are just their opinions dressed as facts as they attempt to forcefully push through the JCPOA.

There is no clear answer as to the impact of the US voting down the JCPOA.  While procedurally, it is understood that Obama outmaneuvered Congress in only needing one-third instead of a two-thirds vote to secure his deal, what happens if Congress does manage to have the votes?  Obama claims that Iran gets the best of all worlds and gets sanctions relief from the rest of the world while it moves forward with a nuclear program.  That is hard to imagine. That inherently implies that the rest of the world doesn’t care if Iran has nuclear weapons and it is only the USA that is applying the pressure.  If Obama really believes that, then a negative US vote is an opportunity to renegotiate.

Conclusions

Disappointment: The JCPOA is clearly a disappointing result, especially considering the many years that tough sanctions were imposed on Iran as well as the severely depressed recent price of oil applied intense pressure on the regime that will be hard to ever replicate. Together with significant American troops next door in Afghanistan, the P5+1 had tremendous leverage to force complete capitulation by Iran.

The President: Obama is overselling his weak deal as a “strong deal” (in his words) and is bullying his fellow Democrats into submission. If the deal is as strong as he claims, it should be able to stand on its own merits.

The Deal: The deal by itself seems borderline at best. Perhaps it is better than nothing- but only if it costs nothing. The significant sanctions relief and various deal terms make the marginal deal appear unacceptable.

Ramifications: Congress must vote on the deal based on its merits and not based on the disappointing terms nor Obama’s threats. But it must also better understand the ramifications of rejecting the deal.  Kerry’s losing face is not a reason to alter one’s vote on something so important.

Congress and the American people must understand the actual ramifications of turning down the JCPOA without the aggressive salesmanship of the White House.


Related FirstOneThrough articles:

The Obama Administration Lays Foundation of Blame at Israel for a Potential War with Iran

Obama’s White Lie on his Red Line

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

The New Nuclear Normal

Some Global Supporters of the P5+1 Iran Deal

Obama’s bright white lie on his red line.

US President Obama gave a speech about the broad support the Iranian deal enjoys: “because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and nonproliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors who served under Republican and Democratic presidents support it.

There are others that strongly support the deal too that Obama failed to highlight:

  • Syria’s president Basher al-Assad, the man who has waged a war with this own people that has killed over 220,000 people thus far told the Iranian leader: “In the name of the Syrian people, I congratulate you and the people of Iran on this historic achievement.
  • Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon was impressed that Iran now had “global recognition as a member of the nuclear club.
  • David Duke, the former member of Congress and head of the KKK was happy that the Iranian deal would likely keep Israel from attacking Iran

assad_iran_083013_1385159834190

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Tehran 25 January 2001.(photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

 

As part of this agreement, Iran will get funds in the range between Obama’s estimate of $56 billion to as much as $150 billion.  Not surprisingly. this makes the various terrorist entities that are financed by Iran quite happy including (parenthetical is the year when placed on the US State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations):

These Iranian-backed terrorist groups are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians and continue to destabilize the Middle East and beyond..

In Obama’s attempt to sell the Iranian deal, he cited many allies that endorsed the deal while specifically avoiding mention of America’s enemies that also support it.  How does one account for the fact that both US allies and foes celebrate the deal? Is the deal actually beneficial to all of the parties, or do some countries simply not understand the deal’s details?

  • The Western world gets to curtail Iran’s nuclear program and avoids a war in the near-term
  • Iran gets to avoid a war, keep its nuclear infrastructure intact, global legitimacy, does not have to change its behavior regarding backing terrorism, and gets tens of billions of dollars in cash
  • Iran’s allies get access to funds and arms from Iran in the near and medium-term, and potentially a nuclear-armed Iranian-sponsor in the not-too-distant future

Obama deliberately does not discuss the many enemies of the United States that support the P5+1 deal and their long list of reasons for doing so. Instead, he makes comments that it is only the Iranian hardliners (and Republicans and Israel) who oppose the agreement. By doing so, he attempts to conceal the enormous benefits granted to Iran (and its proxies) in the agreement. It is pure marketing and a bright white lie over his old red lines.

do not enter
A bright White Lie over a Red Line
(Do Not Enter)


The party Obama highlighted as not being happy with the deal is Israel. A few reasons:

  • Iran will be allowed to continue to call for Israel’s annihilation
  • Iran will have billions of dollars that will not be constrained in any manner from funding terrorist groups that target Israel
  • Iran will get access to a range of ballistic missiles in as little of five years
  • Within 10-15 years, Iran will be a threshold nuclear state
  • The structure of the deal provides Iran opportunity to break the terms and develop nuclear weapons within ten years

In other words, there is a little something (or a lot) for everyone in the deal, with the exception of Israel.


Related FirstOneThrough articles:

The Obama Administration Lays Foundation of Blame at Israel for a Potential War with Iran

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

O’bama, Where Art Thou?

Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences

For Obama, Israeli security is not so time-sensitive

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking