It is quite disturbing for the president to ask any US organization to turn against a democratic ally for the sake of appeasing and accommodating a dictatorship and longtime enemy. But it is morally disgraceful to pressure Jews to turn their back on the Jewish state when Israel will be on the front line of possible nuclear annihilation by an enemy which has publicly stated its sinister intentions.
It is quite unscrupulous to ask Jews who live with the legacy of the Holocaust to be an accomplice to the culmination of the Iranian nuclear weapon program by agreeing to give more time for negotiations with President Rohani, who has boasted of using previous negotiations with the West as a delaying tactic. But it is quite shameless to ask US Jewish leaders to repeat a dark chapter of their history and be silent again and do nothing to save their own fellow Jews as they did during World War II in order to save face with another US president.
The Obama administration is pressuring Jewish organizations to stall action on the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, a vital economic sanctions bill that has already passed the GOP-controlled House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support and is currently awaiting further action by the Senate Banking Committee.
It was reported that on October 29 the White House arranged a last-minute meeting with a group of Jewish leaders from organizations that previously challenged the Obama policy on Iran by supporting imposing further sanctions while excluding from the meeting those left leaning organizations who have been already on board. The meeting was arranged amid an escalation of signals that the Obama and Netanyahu governments are parting ways on Iran strategy.
The Jewish organizations must say no to Obama’s outrageous pressure and follow the lessons we were forced to learn from our history that appeasing and accommodating evil lead only to more evil toward our people.
It's 1939 all over again
It seems Obama wants again to improve the atmosphere for the next round of the negotiations with Iran. Despite the Obama administration’s insistence that the negotiations in October went well, in reality those discussions did not produce any substantive progress other than superficial niceties such as a report that the Iranian chief negotiator spoke for the first time to the other participants in English rather than in Farsi, nothing was achieved. While Obama is worrying about atmosphere, it seems the Iranians are using the time to rush towards the finish line.
The Washington based Institute for Science and International Security, claimed on October 23 that Iran is now capable of producing enough weapons grade uranium for a nuclear bomb in as little as a month. According to the ISS, which has tracked Iran’s nuclear program for several years, Iran has significantly shortened the time needed to “break out” to a nuclear bomb with the installation of new centrifuges in the Fordo and Natanz plants. On October 28, Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Association, said that Iran could actually produce enough weapons grade uranium for a nuclear weapon within two weeks.
These recent reports about Iran’s breakout capacity show that the Obama administration is running out of time for talk with Iran and the only way to stop them is by force. Delaying lobbying efforts by Jewish organizations will only give more time for Obama and Kerry to be sucked into another Iranian attempt to run out the clock while talking and empower Obama to strike a bad deal to avoid confrontation.
The US resolve to confront Iran into freezing enrichment and dismantling its nuclear program has been weakening. The New York Times reported that National Security Advisor Susan Rice's new Middle East policy envisions a nuclear deal with Iran and includes no demands that Iran suspend nuclear enrichment.
Secretary of State Kerry, in comments widely interpreted as a rebuke of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as a fear monger, belittled Israeli urgent concerns about an imminent nuclear Iran saying that he has no patience for those warning about the dangers of these diplomatic talks saying that “we will not succumb to those fear tactics and forces that suggest otherwise."
It is 1939 all over again. Then and now the US policy of staying away from confronting evil in favor of isolationism is bad news for the Jews.
A report published in Haaretz on November 1, claiming that US Jewish leaders have agreed to halt their lobbying efforts in support of a new sanctions bill against Iran, has been roundly denied by these organizations.
Hopefully, the Jewish organizations that care about Israeli survival are aware of the potentially disastrous consequences for Israel of giving Iran more time.
Shoula Romano Horing is an attorney. Her website: www.shoularomanohoring.com