President Obama apparently is at it again. A report has emerged citing an unnamed source, that any effort by the US to curtail Iran's development of their nuclear program will be directly tied to Israel's commitment to peace with the Palestinians.
Some of the details remain rather ambiguous. For example, when did Obama communicate this to Prime Minister Netanyahu? Another unknown is whether he's referring to peace talks taking place, or if they are successful?
While certain details remain unclear, this is not the first time Obama has in essence blackmailed Israel. Virtually the same suggestion was floated early his first term. Along with this, he engaged in some other activities which brought serious strain to relations between the two countries.
For example, he threatened to expose a confidential understanding between Israel and the US regarding the existence of nuclear capabilities at Israel's Dimona facility. Additionally, routine travel of scientists from Israel was interrupted.
In fact, Obama initiated so many anti-Israel actions during his first term that at one point both houses of Congress sent him letters signed by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers, telling him to stop treating Israel so unfairly. Such a public rebuke is extremely rare.
Yet some three years hence the president apparently hasn't learned his lesson. Aside from the sheer strong-arm tactic by Obama, the question I have is why is he butting into the affairs of Israel and the Palestinians regarding Iran? Iran is a separate nation which has no voice in the issues between Israel and the Palestinians. Iran has also made it clear it wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. This is unrelated to any potential outcome of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
So what good does peace between Israel and the Palestinians do if the goal of Iran is to wipe Israel out? This gross misjudgment by President Obama is just one in a long list of international matters reflecting poor decision making on the part of the US and its intelligence community. The reason Iran wants to wipe Israel out is because their religious leaders believe they must annihilate the Jews in accordance with their beliefs.
Mr. Obama needs to concentrate his efforts on preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons regardless of what happens between Israel and the Palestinians. In fact, I submit that if a peace agreement is reached it will actually make matters worse regarding Iran. Why? With a peace deal Israel's continued existence will bother Iran. It will also likely mean Israel will retain most, if not complete control over Jerusalem. Iran will be quite displeased with this and likely will continue to threaten Israel's existence.
If Obama seeks peace between Israel and the Palestinians, he needs to stop pressuring Israel into making all the sacrifices, such as giving up huge amounts of land and releasing murderers from prison. His efforts should be directed at the Palestinians to stop fomenting and glorifying terrorism, and to accept Israel's right to exist.
Forcing Israel to be the only party to make sacrifices will not achieve a meaningful peace. Moreover, Iran is going to continue to threaten Israel and the US as long as Israel exists. Mr. Obama needs to surround himself with staff and intelligence who have a realistic understanding of the Middle East, rather than those who continue to reflect his incorrect and anti-Israel views. Such views will not bring peace, and will not prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.
Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page