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July 26, 2016 7:10 am

The Decline and Fall of Supporters of the Iran Deal

avatar by Shmuley Boteach

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Senator Cory Booker. Photo: Wikipedia.

Senator Cory Booker. Photo: Wikipedia.

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to speak to Congress and the American people to warn of the danger of Iran’s nuclear program and the shortcomings of the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration, Senator Tim Kaine was among the Democrats who boycotted his speech.

Kaine followed that cowardly and shameful act by joining Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, my close friend Senator Cory Booker and other Democrats in the House and Senate who followed Obama’s lead — like lemmings off a national security cliff — when he demanded they support his catastrophic deal with Iran. In the Senate, Cory and others supported a filibuster that guaranteed there would not even be a vote. On the single-most important vote affecting Israel’s security, one on which both the Israeli government and opposition agreed should be defeated, the Democrats chose political expediency over principle and the lives of Israelis.

I singled out my friend, Cory Booker, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, because they were among the most shocking supporters of the Iran deal, given the massive Jewish backing both had throughout their careers, and the repeated public promises both made to the Jewish community to protect Israel, which they betrayed when they voted to give the murderers in Tehran $150 billion. Thanks to the catastrophic deal, Iran has the resources to escalate the destabilization of the region; further advance its nuclear ambitions; research and develop more deadly ballistic missiles; and support global terrorism.

The people around Cory apparently warned him that if he voted against the president and bucked his party on Iran, he would be committing political suicide. With his supporters eyeing the vice presidential spot on Hillary Clinton’s ticket, they persuaded him ultimately to support a deal that he clearly did not believe in and, after being passed over for VP, did not advance his career. In short, Cory was persuaded to look the other way against genocidal incitement that most targeted a community that has always loved and supported him in favor of political promises that amounted to zero.

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Of all the people who supported the Iran deal, Wasserman Schultz was the most insincere. She had always traded on her Jewish identity to gain currency in politics and had massive Jewish financial backing. Her support of the Iran deal, amid Iran’s near daily genocidal incitement against her people, was the ultimate betrayal. It was downright embarrassing when she went on CNN to cry crocodile tears about how torn up she was about the deal. If she really cared about Israel’s security, she would have voted against the agreement. Period.

Tears mean nothing. Action is everything.

Now, the Democratic party has discovered that anyone who betrays their people on issues of genocidal incitement is probably not going to be very trustworthy on lesser matters, like abusing her power as head of the DNC and attempting to undermine Bernie Sanders, when she was supposed to be neutral.

I have long said that politicians who lack conviction in one important area will show they have no conviction in other areas as well. Wasserman Schultz demonstrated with the Iran deal that she would do anything — including selling out the security of her people — for political gain.

The political career of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is, for all intents and purposes, over. But Cory Booker still has a potentially promising career ahead of him, despite losing the VP sweepstakes. He could still enhance that career and win back the supporters he betrayed if he would admit he made a mistake by supporting the nuclear deal and call for a response to Iran’s violations of the agreement and other UN resolutions. Cory can also give a speech on the floor of the Senate demanding that continued Iranian genocidal incitement against Israel should indefinitely delay the easing of sanctions until Iran finally stops.

Contrary to the claims of the president, Iran has not changed its policies toward the United States. If anything, it may be more hostile, in part because it disrespects the weakness Obama displayed in the negotiations and his reaction to its provocations after reaching an agreement. As expected, Iran has increased its involvement in backing the tyrannical Syrian regime, continued efforts to destabilize its neighbors, and remains the patron of Hezbollah terrorists. Although Iran has not received the full economic windfall from the agreement yet, the billions of dollars that were released to it, combined with the rush by Western companies to make deals with Tehran (including the despicable decision by Boeing to sell planes to aid the radical Islamic regime), have strengthened the hardliners and given them more resources for sponsoring terror and mayhem.

In just the last two weeks, we’ve learned the situation is even worse. Though it comes as no surprise to anyone with a scintilla of common sense and knowledge about Iran, the government is actively cheating on the agreement while Obama hides his head in the sand, out of fear that enforcing the deal would cause his prize legacy achievement to unravel.

Thanks to a leak from German intelligence — and surely Obama has the same information, but perhaps chose to keep it from the American people — we know there have been “extensive Iranian attempts” to acquire illicit materials, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology.” This revelation was followed by the disclosure of a part of the nuclear deal that was never revealed to the public. Instead of Iran being precluded from engaging in nuclear activities for 15 years, we now know that after 11 years, Iran can start replacing its current centrifuges with more advanced ones. As a result, instead of Iran having a one-year breakout time (which, absurdly, was considered a great achievement as opposed to destroying Iran’s capability altogether) it will have one that is six months or less.

Worse, even after the news came out, Obama chose to ignore it.

The Iran deal may not be one of the major issues in this campaign, but it is a test of the Democrats’ integrity and willingness to admit they made a mistake.

It is even more important that Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine acknowledge the shortcomings of the disastrous deal they supported, and pledge to reassert the original demands Obama had insisted upon before capitulating to Iranian threats. They should not want to be a party to the Obama legacy, which is not a great diplomatic breakthrough but the destabilization of the Middle East, the endangering of Israel, and the growth of radical Islamic threats to the region and beyond.

“America’s Rabbi,” Shmuley Boteach, whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America” is Executive Director of The World Values Network, which promotes universal values in politics and culture, and is the international best-selling author of 30 books, including his forthcoming, “The Israel Warriors Handbook.” 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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  • Shmuley Boteach has played fast and loose with the truth before. Here is an excellent piece giving some background for those who want to evaluate his believability.

    http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/meet-shmuley-boteach-right-wing-reality-show-rabbi-hustling-his-way-trump-campaign

    And former head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission seems to have a different view of the Iran deal. Here is what he wrote

    http://jstreet.org/blog/post/i-ran-israels-atomic-energy-commission-i-know-the-iran-deal-is-working-_1

    I ran Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission. I know the Iran deal is working.

    July 12th, 2016

    By Uzi Eilam

    It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been a year since the United States and five other major powers signed an agreement with Iran to defang its nuclear program.

    At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was making dire warnings that the agreement might confront Israel with the specter of a second Holocaust. He urged American Members of Congress to reject the agreement — casting it as a disaster for Israeli security.

    Yet while the PM made his opinions known loud and clear, many senior Israeli military and intelligence officers, nuclear experts and strategic analysts were quietly arguing that this was a good deal for Israel that would actually make us much safer. As one of these experts, I did not hesitate to speak out openly about my strong support for the agreement.

    As the former Director General of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, I was one of more than a dozen Israeli security and nuclear experts who, with J Street’s help, came to the United States to make this case directly to US lawmakers. Thanks in part to our efforts — your efforts and mine — we succeeded in defeating those who tried to undermine diplomacy and kill the agreement.

    Since the deal was signed, Iran has reduced its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent — leaving them with an amount far below what is needed to build even one bomb. They have dismantled 12,000 centrifuges, blocking their capacity to enrich uranium. They have agreed to an increased presence of IAEA inspectors on the ground, the installation of the most modern monitoring equipment and unprecedented surveillance of the entire uranium and centrifuge supply chains. Finally, they have removed and disabled the core of the plutonium reactor they had almost finished constructing in Arak and filled it in with cement.

    Simply put, every single one of their pathways to a nuclear weapon has been blocked. The deal has been a major success. Don’t just take my word for it — listen to what other senior Israeli security leaders have to say.
    • IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot: “The deal has actually removed “the most serious danger to Israel’s existence for the foreseeable future, and greatly reduced the threat over the longer term.”
    • Former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy: “This agreement closes the roads and blocks the road to Iranian nuclear military capabilities for at least a decade. And I believe that the arrangements that have been agreed between the parties give us a credible answer to the Iranian military threat, at least for a decade, if not longer.”
    • Former head of Israeli Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin: “The agreement rolls back the Iranian nuclear program to the point of a breakout time of one year, reduces the scope of the program, and places it under a verification regime that is much more invasive than the current system and includes access to military facilities. For at least the next ten years, the threat of nuclear armament in Iran has been reduced.”
    • Lieutenant General Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s Defense Minister until quite recently, made clear last month that Israel does not face an existential threat from Iran.

    These colleagues of mine know what they’re talking about. For decades they were responsible for Israel’s security. We all know that this agreement wasn’t perfect — no agreement could be. Iran remains a threat to Israel and to the region — and the deal, focused on stopping Iran’s nuclear program, could not also address its support for terror. We felt that our top priority had to be ensuring that a malign actor like Iran cannot gain access to nuclear weapons.

    Now, thanks to the incredible monitoring and verification work of IAEA inspectors, this deal ensures that Iran cannot gain access to the bomb. It gives us — Israelis and Americans — time, and incredible insight and access into what Iran is and isn’t doing. It has disrupted and dramatically rolled back a nuclear program that was extensive and accelerating, and instead given us space to develop new defensive systems against any future threats. And it’s accomplished all that without the need for a dangerous and disastrous war — without needing to put Israeli soldiers and civilians in harm’s way.

    After a year, the truth is plain. With all due respect to Prime Minister Netanyahu, he was flat out wrong — and my colleagues and I were right.

    This was and remains a good agreement. It’s made Israel and the world safer.

    For that, I know that all of us are thankful.

    – Uzi Eilam
    Former Director of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission

  • Eric R.

    Shmuely:

    Unfortunately, Comrade Booker is my Senator, just like he is yours.

    The fact is that black Democrats, being among the most left-wing elements in the party, frankly hate Jews, love Palestinians, and have no problem if their beloved Palestinians were to wipe out every last Jew off the face of the earth, including leftist Jews.

    You need only look at the alliance/synergy between the racist Jew-haters of BLM and the racist Jew-haters of the BDS movement to see this.

    In Booker’s case,it just took the Iran vote to bring this out. He just strung you along all these years from Oxford on.

    You pine for him like a lost love.

    Forget it. He was never yours.

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