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July 13, 2015 11:18 am

To Obama, Iran’s Threats Never Matter

avatar by Shmuley Boteach

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Anti-Israel protests took place on Al Quds Day. Photo: The World Values Network.

Anti-Israel protests took place on “Al Quds Day.” Photo: The World Values Network.

On Friday, “Al Quds Day,” Iran had an orgy of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” chants. I witnessed some of it here in Toronto where I’m filming a new TV series. Thousands of Israel haters protested in front of the American consulate accusing Israel of being a Nazi state and perpetrating a holocaust against the Palestinians.

The entire nuclear deal with Iran, which may be agreed before this column is published, is predicated on the idea that Iran’s words don’t matter. They’re for domestic consumption only. They don’t really mean they want to kill millions of Americans and the six million Jews of Israel.

And yet, President Obama who says that these words don’t much matter is the same leader who took a very different approach to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s words about a Palestinian state. “We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership,” President Obama told The Huffington Post. The President said Netanyahu’s statement was cause for a “reassessment” of American ties with Israel.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest echoed the sentiment in his White House briefing that the Prime Minister’s words could bring punishment. “Words matter,” he said. There could be “consequences” for Netanyahu’s statements. “Everybody who’s in a position to speak on behalf of their government understands that that’s the case, and particularly when we’re talking about a matter as serious as this one.”

Well, what about the matter as serious as wanting to destroy America and Israel. That seems pretty serious to me.

So, according to the White House, when foreign leaders speak, it matters. What they say is consequential. Bibi’s going to have to pay for his remarks.

But, there is an exception. None of this applies to Iran? The Iranians are screaming in their thousands and tens of thousands, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that America has to die, even as John Kerry is expressing optimism the very same day that the United States is going to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran where we’ll trust them not to build bombs to kill millions of people.

Suddenly, Iran’s words don’t matter?

The most hair-raising aspect about the American rapprochement with the barbaric government of Iran is that it has all happened while Iran has continued to repeatedly threaten the annihilation of the Jewish people. Ayatollah Khamenei has called Jews dogs and tweeted as recently as this past November that “there is no cure for Israel other than annihilation.”

Now, if words matter, how can the United States continue to speak to his government while they are openly threatening a second holocaust? Why did President Obama and John Kerry not establish a repudiation of these genocidal words and threats as a precondition for any talks?

The hypocrisy is startling. And it leads to a more important point.

By now it’s pretty clear to most that President Obama kind of dislikes Prime Minister Netanyahu more than any other world leader. His hostility to the Prime Minister has become so pronounced that a famously cool President finds it difficult to control his emotions when it comes to Bibi.

But am I the only one who finds it just a touch unseemly for the leader of the free world to kind of despise the leader of the only free country in the Middle East while he continually gives a pass to Khamenei, the genocidal wannabe?

The President has a good relationship with Erdogan, the tyrant of Turkey, who has destroyed his nation’s democracy and allows fighters to pass through his nation to join ISIS and decapitate American journalists. President Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia to pay his personal condolences upon the passing of arch-misogynist King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a man who wouldn’t even allow women to drive a car.

But he finds Netanyahu odious. Go figure.

For years we Americans have heard that our President is cerebral and unflappable. That he famously remains controlled under the most emotionally challenging circumstances. It turns out that this is true for every world leader except one, Benjamin Netanyahu, who makes the President’s blood boil.

Don’t we deserve to know why?

If the two leaders merely had bad personal chemistry, I could understand. They’re not the best of friends. Fine. But for Obama the dislike of Netanyahu has become visceral.

I’ll leave it to the armchair analysts to explain why. What’s far more important to me is why President Obama hasn’t even once warned the government of Iran to stop publicly calling for the destruction of his own country, America, and the annihilation of all Israeli Jews.

Would it be so hard for the President to say at a press conference, “We want to get this deal with Iran done. But let me be clear. It will not proceed so long as Iran publicly calls for the death of my fellow countrymen and the holocaust of Israel’s Jews. The United States is opposed to genocide on every level, including genocidal incitement. Ayatollah Khamenei’s public calls for the destruction of the United States and Israel is a red line that will lead to the collapse of these talks, should they continue.”

Such a statement would be righteous, courageous, and inspiring. And it might go a long way toward the President recapturing some of the moral authority he has lost ever since this appeasement of Iran began.

Yes Mr. President. Words do matter.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbis,” whom Newsweek and The Washington Post call “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is an award-winning columnist and the international best-selling author of 30 books, including his most recent, “Kosher Lust.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Vijay Pengonda

    The writer can barely hide his dismay that the US did not follow the script written for it in Tel Aviv that demanded the US to attack and destroy Iran. Like was done in Iraq in 2003.

  • David

    Well Written.

    Boteach asked why Obama could not insist that the Iranians stop encouraging hatred and death to America, his own country and to Israel.

    The answer to the former is simple: Obama is not an American. He was not born in America and was raised in Indonesia a Moslem country. He has suppressed his college records on which applications he allegedly put that he was foreign born.

    Regarding Israel, he is a Moslem and is an anti-semite. Nothing could be clearer.

    • Bryna Weiss

      When you write such ridiculous and absurd lies, you lose all credibility.

    • HaroldT

      And 70% of American “Jews” voted for him !!

  • Larry Andrews

    This is what has happened in the Middle East during President Obama’s terms. Libya is in complete chaos. Iraq is in complete chaos. Syria is in complete chaos. Yemen is in complete chaos. Egypt is on the verge of financial collapse. Israel has been castigated at
    every opportunity. And, the Islamic Republic of Iran is more powerful now than at any time since its establishment. Now there’s an intelligent strategy!! The Islamic Republic of Iran is a totalitarian theocracy without freedom of speech, without freedom of press, without free elections, and is the number one state sponsor of terrorism committing barbaric human rights violations. The next president of the United States needs to completely and totally repudiate this appeasement of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and launch strategic air strikes to destroy all of its nuclear infrastructure. In the Middle East, “might makes right”.
    And, that is the only way to stop the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

  • Peter Joffe

    Mr Obama, why do you negotiate with terrorists? You should know that they will lie and cheat until, they get their way and when they do, what are you going to do about it? Tge Quran even instructs them to use whatever gile they can to get their way. Perhaps you have booked you spot next to Mohammad in ‘paradise’ and you are prepared to sacrifice the USA to get there??

  • Geoff

    To President Obama the only words tat matter are his. His ideology is encapulated within the bubble that surrounds his world. The President surrounds himself with fellow travelers who believe tat because of their caring, compassion and abundance of Social Justice that the rivers will flow with “milk and honey” and all the world will hod and “imagine” while drink a coke.

  • Lauren Goldman

    Last summer’s war exposed Obama for who he is; more than his enmity toward Netanyahu, he has a problem with Israel. From the minute Israel began to defend itself against the daily bombardment of rockets from Gaza, Obama counseled Israel to “use restraint”, and condemned every action by Israel, yet he never uttered a negative word toward Hamas. In the midst of hostilities, he decided to halt all weapons deliveries to Israel (which were contracted and paid for), to “review the process of purchasing and delivering weapons.”
    He has never once used the words ‘islamic’ or ‘muslim’ with ‘terrorism’ or ‘jihad’, concerning terrorist activity worldwide, even though these are who the terrorists are. When he said he “has Israel’s back” I had a bad feeling and he has justified that feeling in spades. I just hope that real damage to Israel can be avoided until he is gone.

  • Bigolfascist

    And the majority of American Jews voted for Obama TWICE??? I wish I could get an explanation as to WHY???? THIS is the transformation of America that American Jews wanted? Well, I’m just an old Caucasian guy, but to turn on the only friend we’ve ever had in the Middle East is not the fundamental change we need, nor want.

  • Well said, Rabbi Boteach!

  • Fred

    Obama is honest in one way he does not like the Jews & Israel and he say and does it with actions. He is Muslim at heart. Being brought up Muslim it is easy for him do help in demonising Israel & Jews in general. His deal with Iran done by stealth is like Chamberlains deal with Hitler almost verbatim. To sacrifice the Jewish people to another Holocaust seem of no consequence to Obama. He will be remembered as one of the worse Presidents US had.

  • Rabbi S.B. courageously says it as it is. And what he doesn’t say makes it even clearer.


  • Yale

    The reason Netanyahu bothers Obama so much is that he is the only leader who has dared to state publicly that the emporer is naked, that Obama is simply wrong about so many of the issues in the Middle East.

  • Marty Erann

    Kudos to Rabbi Boteach, for a very bright and powerful article. But Rabbi Boteach does not go far enough, and in any case HIS words should appear in the Huffing and Puffing Pots, as well as Vox and Salon and the Washington Post, not just the Algemeiner. Is the Jewish leadership in America repeating the history of the 40’s — proving Santayana to be right?

  • zg

    Obama is an open America and Israel hater. I belive that this traitor will have his day in court as one of the worst national traitors America had.ť

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Obama doesn’t care because he is a sociopath!

  • The only words Obama reveres are the Koranic celebration of Muhammad personally decapitating 600 – 900 unarmed Jews.

  • Obama did nothing to help Iranians who were trying to overthrow the mullahs in 2009. On the other hand, he spoke against Mubarak, and actually assisted in the revolution that toppled Libya’s Qaddafi. Obama is consistently anti-Sunni and pro-Shiite. I don’t know why this hasn’t been noticed.