Time to Retain Our Freedom
All Jewish holidays can be invoked to serve as metaphors for current events. The same goes for the Bible as a whole. Indeed, with a tweak of the Hebrew from ancient to modern, one might mistake the Five Books of Moses for a bound volume of daily newspaper clippings.
This is why holidays constitute both a blessing and a curse for media outlets. On the one hand, any anniversary worthy of note provides automatic content. On the other, it creates a problem where originality is concerned.
Passover is no exception.
By the time those of us who celebrate it sit down and take our first bite of matzah, we will have been stuffed to the gills with articles and broadcasts about the origins, spiritual significance and caloric value of unleavened bread.
Ditto for the concept of freedom from bondage, which is what the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is all about. The more we hear and read about it in a contemporary context, the more saturated we become, and the less we absorb. It is a form of inurement, brought on by repetition.
The trouble is that in the midst of all the current cacophony, something truly earth-shattering is happening that requires the undivided attention of the free world (yes, there’s that “freedom” analogy again) and action on the part of the Jewish one.
On Thursday, when the greatest concern across Israel was whether the gefilte fish at the seder would be good enough for the mother-in-law, a dangerous deal was being reached in Lausanne, Switzerland, between the P5+1 countries (the US, the UK, China, Russia, France and Germany) and Iran on the latter’s nuclear weapons program.
To be more precise, a “framework” for an agreement was finally forged, after eight days of talks with an intransigent Islamic republic, one of whose generals said that the destruction of Israel was “non-negotiable.”
Before examining the details of the document, which is slated to be signed by June 30, let us give credence to the remark about Tehran’s plans for the Jewish state.
Not only has Iran been supplying Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza with money and arms; not only has it done the same for the West Bank terrorists under the Palestinian Authority, while calling on them to wage a third intifada; but, more recently, it has been equipping rockets with guided warheads and smuggling them to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
If this doesn’t sound like preparation for the next war — and for testing the ability to attach nuclear material to those warheads — I’m chopped liver. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask Saudi Arabia, which is so disturbed by the prospect of a nuclear Iran that it offered Israel its airspace for a military attack. The Gulf States, Iran’s more immediate neighbors, are also rooting for an Israeli operation.
But President Barack Obama has indicated that he will stop at nothing to realize his goal of reaching a diplomatic solution with a regime whose mantra since coming to power in 1979 has been, and still is, “Death to America.”
He has made it just as clear that he considers the landslide re-election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month to be no less of a threat to Mideast stability than a “peaceful,” mullah-led nuclear program.
So, what is this “framework” that was dictated by Iran and agreed upon by Obama’s front man, Secretary of State John Kerry, and the other fantasy-land negotiators?
A joint statement made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini spelled it out, after a reiteration of the aim of the talks.
“As agreed in November 2013, we gathered here to find solutions towards reaching a comprehensive resolution that will ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program and the comprehensive lifting of all sanctions,” they said.
This, by itself, is enough to make one’s heart sink and hair stand on end.
But the terms of the agreement are mortifying:
“As Iran pursues a peaceful nuclear program, Iran’s enrichment capacity, enrichment level and stockpile will be limited for specified durations, and there will be no other enrichment facility than Natanz. Iran’s research and development on centrifuges will be carried out on a scope and schedule that has been mutually agreed.
“Fordo will be converted from an enrichment site into a nuclear, physics and technology center. International collaboration will be encouraged in agreed areas of research. There will not be any fissile material at Fordo.
“An international joint venture will assist Iran in redesigning and rebuilding a modernized Heavy Water Research Reactor in Arak that will not produce weapons grade plutonium. There will be no reprocessing and the spent fuel will be exported.
“A set of measures have been agreed to monitor the provisions of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]. …The International Atomic Energy Agency will be permitted the use of modern technologies and will have enhanced access through agreed procedures, including to clarify past and present issues.
“Iran will take part in international cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy, which can include supply of power and research reactors. Another important area of cooperation will be in the field of nuclear safety and security. The EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the U.S. will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments.
“A new U.N. Security Council Resolution will endorse the JCPOA, terminate all previous nuclear-related resolutions and incorporate certain restrictive measures for a mutually agreed period of time.”
In other words, a complete capitulation to religion-driven despots with a jihadi agenda has been finalized.
Remembering the release from slavery is not sufficient this week. Now is the time to worry about retaining that freedom — and to do something to secure it.
Ruthie Blum is the editor of Voice of Israel talk radio (voiceofisrael.com). This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.