By Rabbi Dow Marmur.
You cannot read about the agreement with Iran in Israel without having countless questions. Here are some:
Is Lausanne 2015 like Munich 1938 and worse? It’s impossible to listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu and the clones who speak on his behalf without asking this question. And it’s equally impossible to assume that they always tell the truth.
Is Netanyahu deliberately misrepresenting the tentative deal struck in Lausanne with the Iranians because of his own agenda or is he correctly exposing President Obama as naïve and worse who, like Chamberlain years ago, wants to avoid war at all cost and in the process endangers the future of the world in general and the Jews in particular?
Is Secretary of State Kerry a seasoned diplomat committed to the security of Israel or is he throwing the Jews under a nuclear bus?
Can we not take seriously the threats to destroy Israel that continue to come from Iran, reflected in vile pronouncements from Tehran and manifest in the terrorist organizations Iran sponsors in different parts of the world, including Israel’s borders? Or should we trust Uncle Sam that he really has Israel’s interests at heart and believe Obama that the United States won’t let Israel down come what may?
Questions abound. Answers are scarce.
The only way I’m able to make sense of the situation without being lulled into believing what politicians tell us is to look at alternatives: Continued sanctions, made even more severe, which seems to be Netanyahu’s recommendation? Have they not done harm to Iran’s economy by primarily punishing ordinary citizens without stopping the development of its nuclear capability? Like in North Korea, the general population may suffer, but those in power thrive and their nuclear program hasn’t been stopped.
Would it be realistic for America and her allies to go to war with Iran after the failure of its other interventions in the region? Isn’t President Obama conscious of this and, therefore, isn’t he looking for a credible alternative by showing great vision and displaying exemplary statesmanship?
Israeli generals occasionally issue veiled threats about going it alone, but do they really believe that the Jewish state can bring the Islamic republic to its knees? Yes, as rumor has it, Israel may have nuclear capability of its own, but wouldn’t using it spell suicide for Israel and thus fulfill Iran’s dream by self-inflicted irreparable harm to Israel of historic dimensions?
Just when I was about to despair, the blog by Professor Howard Adelman of York University in Toronto arrived. His analysis has made it possible for me – and I hope for many others to enjoy Passover, the festival of freedom. Here’s an excerpt:
“To say this [the Lausanne framework] is an enormous foreign policy achievement for the Obama administration is an understatement. At the same time, when Israeli leaders insist a military attack on Iran’s facilities remain a possibility (they always theoretically will) or that the negotiations must include recognition of Israel’s right to exist, we enter the arena of cuckoo land and it is embarrassing.”
Instead of being intimidated partisan politicians I choose to trust my friend and pray, as the saying goes, that his words will reach God’s ears.
Jerusalem 4.4.15 (Motzaei Shabbat, Chol Hamo’ed Pesach)
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By Rabbi Dow Marmur.