Monday, February 6th | 15 Shevat 5783

December 18, 2013 3:27 pm

Iran Sanctions Are a Thing of the Past

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avatar by Dovid Efune


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau looks on as U.S. President Barack Obama signs a guestbook. Photo: Facebook

The initial hubbub surrounding the deal struck in Geneva last month between Iran and world powers over the country’s nuclear program has all but died down.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for one, has refrained of late from trumpeting his passionate opposition to the deal at every public opportunity.

Pro-Israel groups seeking to maneuver around the White House by advocating for a new round of sanctions in Congress have been more or less stunted. Obama will have his way it now seems, and by extension so will Iran. The Senate clearly is a big structure that houses very small men. They are aware mostly that the President is on a fool’s errand; Chuck Schumer, Robert Menendez and others have indicated as much.

Pushing for new sanctions is now a game of the past. AIPAC, the ADL, WJC and others are talking of fixing holes in a dam that has already given way. China, India and EU nations are itching for increased bi lateral trade with the Islamic Republic.

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The sad truth is that the product of our as-of-yet impotency in stopping the mullahs, is that the crossroads the world now faces offers a nuclear Iran on the one hand, and an Israeli strike on Iran’s enrichment facilities on the other. Or, as iconic commentator Norman Podhoretz put it, writing for The Wall Street Journal: the choice is between “a conventional war now or a nuclear war later.”

The Zionist Organization of America’s Mort Klein agreed when he said last week that “there is now probably no way Iran can be prevented from becoming a nuclear power except through military action.”

For Israel, the risks in taking unilateral military action are twofold; the first is the possible military blow-back from Iran and its terror proxies, and the second is the diplomatic fallout from those world leaders who worship in the temple of “negotiations.”

For American Zionists and all other activists who are unwilling to pass on to their children a world darkened by the looming shadow of a nuclear Iran, their focus must be to work tirelessly to mitigate the latter risk.

One option in that regard could be for AIPAC to spearhead a letter in Congress that affirms Israel’s “right to defend itself by itself” (code for Israel’s right to order an Iran strike if it deems that to be the only option). Such an initiative could attract broad bi-partisan support. After all, the President himself has made similar statements. It should be an easy sell.

A declaration of this sort would empower Israel in its decision making process and show the President that the American people are more sympathetic to Israel’s predicament than he is. It would also send a signal to the White House that any punitive measures under consideration in the event of an Israeli strike are likely to be counteracted by Congress.

There should also be a concerted effort to push Administration officials to continuously stress their assertion that they support Israel’s right to independence of action and defense.

Past comments and more recent reports have strongly indicated that the U.S. has warned Israel against moving without its approval. But the fact that Obama himself has said that he “would not expect the prime minister (Netanayhu) to make a decision about his country’s security and defer that to any other country,” means that the administration has accepted this position at least for the purpose of public posture.

The more that Administration officials are confronted on this point, and the more they are challenged to reinforce it, the harder it will become for them to back away from it if an Israeli strike becomes a reality.

Additionally, for Iran, which has shown just how seriously it takes Israel’s red lines by being so careful not to cross the threshold Netanyahu announced at the UN in September of last year, the military threat will begin to return. The mullahs are operating on the assumption that the U.S. will never strike their reactors, but if they get the impression that it may allow Israel to do so, they may be forced to reevaluate their estimations.

After all, is not the practical enactment of the Zionist creed that never again shall the destiny or the defense of the Jewish people be left in the hands of others.

The author is the Editor-in-Chief of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at [email protected].

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