Shimon Peres Has Undermined Israel’s Promise of “Never Again”

April 18, 2013 8:51 am 8 comments

U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres at the President's Residence March 20. 2013 Photo: Facebook.

Since 1948, Israel has been guided by a simple principle: never again. Never again will the Jewish people be helpless and defenseless. And never again will six million Jews put their security in someone else’s hands. This is a founding tenet of the Jewish state, and it’s a principle that every Israeli leader, including Shimon Peres, has supported.

So it was quite surprising to read Mr. Peres’ recent comments in The Times of Israel, where he once again repeated his complete confidence that President Obama will use military action against Iran if all diplomatic efforts fail.

Peres is without question an iconic Israeli leader. And he has recently taken strong stances on Hamas and the Palestinian peace process. But his comments on Iran are alarming, and they undermine Israel’s policy of “never again.”

The Holocaust was barely three years old when the State of Israel was founded, and Israel’s leaders promised that they would never again allow the Jewish people to be slaughtered as they had been in Europe. Israel would build itself into a strong, powerful nation – and it would rise up to confront anyone who sought to exterminate the Jewish people.

Israel’s leaders were also guided by another principle: that Israel couldn’t trust its security to anyone else. They knew that if times got tough, the world might abandon the Jewish state, just as it had abandoned the six million Jews in Europe.

This belief was immediately proven correct in 1948. As Israel stood on the brink of annihilation, greatly outgunned and outnumbered, the United States and Europe refused to intervene. It was only through Israel’s own actions and its fortitude that the Jewish state survived. And this self-reliance is why Israel still exists today.

Despite those who accuse American Jews of dual loyalty and warn about the “Israeli lobby” in Washington, American Jews are Americans first. We understand that Israel and America will sometimes have different interests, and we expect our leaders to do what’s in the best interest of America. Israel must realize this, and understand that it can’t put its security in the hands of the United States of America.

This principle applies to Republican and Democratic administrations. For example, President George W. Bush was one of Israel’s strongest supporters in the White House. But when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came to Bush in 2007 asking America to destroy Syria’s nuclear weapons plant, President Bush refused, deciding that America could not take such an action.

But Olmert knew that for Israel, preventing the Syrians from building a nuclear program was a necessity. So he ordered a unilateral Israeli strike (a move that, today, is almost universally praised).

What drove Olmert’s decision? He understood that Israel could not put its security in anyone else’s hands – even its great ally the United States, or its great friend George W. Bush. Never again.

An Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program is obviously a much tougher call, and there are strong arguments on both sides. But Israeli cannot place its security in the hands of America and President Obama.

America and Israel face different threats from Iran. And for all the terrible consequences that would arise from a nuclear Iran, the Islamic state would never be able to destroy America and its 300 million citizens.

Unfortunately, less than 70 years ago, we saw that it is possible to destroy six million Jews.

With peaceful efforts near failure, Israel may soon be forced to weigh the risks and decide whether or not to strike Iran. But if the United States refuses to act, Israel must make this calculation according to its own interests, just as Americans (and American Jews) expect President Obama to make his decision based on America’s interests.

8 Comments

  • How many of the world’s Christians have named their sons Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s second son? Barack Hussein Obama claims to practice Christianity. For one
    raised by Muslim and Atheist parents and grandparents; with formative education in Muslim schools and nations; who paid huge legal fees to suppress his legal records; is that claim Credible or Laughable? Truth or Taqqiya?

    The Nations see passivity and tolerance as weaknesses. Peres snd Obama share a disability. Socialists tend to view the world as they wish it to be, rather than as it is. Americans surviving their delusion is is due to size and remoteness. The shrinking world is testing Americans’ mettle. Lacking both size and remoteness {and trapped between Islam and the sea) an Israel without Hashem would be catastrophic—and pointless.

    Hashem continues to test us, as history records.

  • >>And for all the terrible consequences that would arise from a nuclear Iran, the Islamic state would never be able to destroy America and its 300 million citizens.

    If only this were true. An ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack could kill 85-90% of all American in a matter of weeks because of the collapse of the infrastructure that enables the country to function. This why we’re hearing what we are about the North Koreans and their misisle effort: A sincle nuclear warhead exploded 500 or so miles above Kansas could take out almost the entire country.

  • Every country –large or small -has its own needs and priorities; sometimes those requirements intersect with those of others but there are always individual considerations that may take precedence. While the United States and Israel are both democracies with shared values, the threat by radical Islam to destroy both the ‘big Satan’ (the U.S.) and the ‘little Satan’ (Israel) creates an immediate urgency for the Jewish state that is not so for the American government. Its small size and geographic proximity to Iran with its nuclear potential bring an existential danger that will likely necessitate a defensive move by Israel to prevent a more catastrophic result; it is inconceivable that the country would wait for the possible action of the U.S. when President Obama has chosen to continue on a failed diplomatic route.

  • I understand what is being said but I do take a difference with one statement i.e. “President Obama will do what is in America’s best interest”. More than half of America do not believe that because of the policies he has instituted. He came as a destroyer of America’s economy so he can rebuild it the way he wishes. His desire is to turn America into a Socialist/Communist Nation. He is no friend to Israel or America.

  • It is very naive of the author of this commentary to suggest that it would be better if the President of Israel announced to the world that he does not believe what President Obama says and promises regarding Iran and the safety of Israel. I am glad the author is not the President of Israel — stiff necked, arrogant, and politically juvenile! Peres is wise to state his complete confidence that President Obama will use military action against Iran if all diplomatic efforts fail, instead of taunting the President of the greatest ally and question his words. Yet Israel needs to be alert and wise, as they say, trust but verify.

  • Jeff Blankfort

    If Israel attacks Iran it will be the last war it starts because the international community, seeing the disastrous effects it will have on the global economy, will say “Enough of this Israeli-centric bullshit!” and will employ economic sanctions against Israel that will make BDS look like lox and and cream cheese on a bagel.

  • pinchas baram

    There are 2 points to keep in mind about Shimon Peres.

    Point #1. He is a total knee-jerk sunny optimist. This is why he has lived so long (doesn’t have the high blood pressure and heart problems that sad and anxious people have).
    Paradoxically, his up-beat disposition is also why he has been a DISASTER as a foreign-policy advisor. Case in point of course is the Oslo Fiasco and all the kissy krap with yasser arafat which he initiated and brainwashed the public into believing, AND STILL BELIEVES IN.
    Now his new gospel is that Obama will save Israel, no matter what. As Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Comics would say, what, me worry?

    Point #2 is to always remember Point #1.

  • As much as I respect Pres. Perez, I believe it is way time for him to retire.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.