Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bad deal with Iran, ‘Death to Israel’ Day--and G-d

Iran leaders appear to feel pretty good about how they’ve handled world powers in nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. As you may already know, P5+1 is a group of six nations  which, in 2006, joined together to discuss with Iran its nuclear development program. The term P5 refers to five permanent members of the UN Security Council who make up the core of the group. The five include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The +1 refers to Germany, the sixth member.

These six nations have been ‘negotiating’ with Iran for 9 years. Their goal has been to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. June 30, 2015 was a deadline to ‘fish or cut bait’---finalize a verifiable deal or walk away with nothing in hand. That deadline passed. So has a second post-June 30 deadline. Now, July 13, 2015 looms as another deadline—or just another date in a series of deadlines.

There’s been a growing fear that the world cannot walk away from a deal. An Iran nuclear agreement is too important to fail (Lyse Doucet, “Is this the moment of truth for an Iran deal?” BBC News, July 11, 2015). The feeling appears to be that ‘we’ve worked too hard for too long to let this deal die’ (ibid). A final deal could be sealed by this sense of  desperation.

Iran’s leaders seem to know this. They’re already gloating (“Iran 'managed to charm the world' at nuclear deal talks, says Hassan Rouhani”, The Guardian, July 11, 2015). On the final day for this latest deadline, Iranian diplomats working in Zurich (the site of the talks) have been photographed working together “all wearing large smiles” (Michael Wilner, “Iran declares 'good news' as nuclear deal appears imminent”, Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2015).

They’re that happy. They’re that close to triumph.

The world, meanwhile, isn’t smiling. Some worry that failure to sign a deal with Iran would mean war (Jamal Abdi, “War with Iran is the Only Alternative to An Iran P5+1 Nuclear Deal, Warns Top Lawmaker”, Global Research, July 12, 2015). The focus of this argument is fear. The selling point is, ‘a bad deal is better than no deal’.

Of course, that’s the exact opposite of what the Obama Administration had been ‘selling’ since before Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the US Congress (in March 2015). Netanyahu warned that a deal with Iran wouldn’t stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon; it would pave the way to that weapon (Paul Mirengoff, “Why no deal is better than Obama’s deal”, Foreign Policy, March 4, 2015). Naturally, Netanyahu was viciously demonized for expressing such pessimism.

After all, the Obama Administration argued, it had been saying for more than a year-and-a-half that no deal was far better than a bad deal (Daniel Politi, “John Kerry: No Deal With Iran Is Better Than a Bad Deal”, Slate, November 10, 2013). The US’s attitude towards Netanyahu was, how dare he suggest we would accept a bad deal?

Now we read (BBC, ibid) that this deal could be too important to ignore. We learn that, essentially, a bad deal would in fact be very much better than no deal. No deal could mean war! (Global Research, above, ibid).

That’s why Iranians are gloating. They feel they’re about to get exactly what they want: a signed paper that won’t stop them.

They’re so confident, they’re letting it be known that a pro-Teheran advocacy group accused of concealing illicit ties to the Iranian regime has begun to demand from the US Congress to pull back sanctions so that Iran can get Ballistic Missiles (Adam Kredo, “Pro-Tehran Lobby Demands Iran Be Given Ballistic Missiles”, Washington Free Beacon, July 10, 2015). They’re so confident, they celebrate a ‘Death to Israel’ Day. On the eve of a third ‘final’ deadline for their negotiations, Iranian leaders goad millions of Iranians to chant ‘Death to Israel’ (Ari Yashar, "Iran Talks Extend 'Over Weekend' Amid 'Death to Israel' Chants", Arutz Sheva, July 10, 2015).

They don’t care what anybody thinks. They’re confident. They’re proud of their desire to destroy Israel. They’re proud of what a nuclear weapon could do for them. They’re proud of how well they have ‘charmed’ the world.

The world, meanwhile, bites its fingernails. It won’t stand up for itself. It certainly won’t stand up for Israel.

The G-d of Israel has a Story for you. It’s the Story of the Final Jewish Redemption. In the HafTorah we read just yesterday, July 11, 2015, G-d tells the prophet Yirmiyahu, “Israel is holy to G-d, the first fruit of His harvest; whoever tries to destroy her will be held guilty, and evil will befall him (Yirmiyahu 2:3).

Iran seeks to destroy Israel. It charms the world and chants, ‘Death to Israel’. You say you don’t believe that Iran’s passion to destroy Israel and the world’s passion for cowardice could play a role in G-d’s Jewish Redemption Story?

Stay tuned.


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