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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Thomas Friedman, "If I Were an Israeli Looking at the Iran Deal": But You're Not!

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "If I Were an Israeli Looking at the Iran Deal," Thomas Friedman speculates how he might react to Obama's deal with Iran if he were an Israeli grocer, general or prime minister, when in fact this would-be Middle East expert and Obama sycophant is a mere fool. Explaining that as an Israeli grocer he would "reject this deal from my gut," Friedman goes on to say what he might think if he were an Israeli general and prime minister:

"And Iran’s ayatollahs have long demonstrated they are not suicidal. As the Israeli strategists Shai Feldman and Ariel Levite wrote recently in National Interest: 'It is noteworthy that during its thirty-six-year history the Islamic Republic [of Iran] never gambled its survival as Iraq’s Saddam Hussein did three times' — by launching a war against Iran in 1980, invading Kuwait in 1990 and betting that George W. Bush would not attack him in 2003. If I were an Israeli general, I wouldn’t love this deal, but I could see its advantages, especially if the U.S. enhanced its deterrence.

If I were Israel’s prime minister, I’d start by admitting that my country faces two existential threats: One, external, is an Iranian bomb and the other, internal, is the failure to separate from the West Bank Palestinians into two states, leaving only a one-state solution where Israel would end up governing so many Palestinians it could no longer be a Jewish democracy."

"Iran’s ayatollahs have long demonstrated they are not suicidal"? Or stated otherwise, mutually assured destruction would prevent Iran from launching a nuclear attack against Israel? No way. None other than Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the fourth president of Iran, declared: "Israel is much smaller than Iran in landmass and therefore far more vulnerable to nuclear attack." And as reported a month ago in a Times of Israel article entitled "Ex-Iran president: Israel a fake, temporary regime" by Tamar Pileggi:

"Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told a Hezbollah-affiliated outlet that he was confident that the 'forged and temporary Israeli entity' would be wiped off the map, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. According to the report, Rafsanjani, often described by Western media as a moderate in Iranian politics, said that Israel was an alien existence forged into the body of a nation which would eventually be destroyed."

No mention of Rafsanjani by Tom.

But Iran's ayatollahs don't even have to be suicidal to plot the destruction of Israel. Iran has supplied Hezbollah in Lebanon with 130,000 missiles, all pointed at Israel, which is approximately the size of New Jersey. Sure, they are not nuclear-tipped, but they do constitute an existential threat. Over the past several years, Iran was forced to cut back on aid to Hezbollah owing to budgetary constraints stemming from international sanctions. Thanks to Obama, those sanctions will now be removed, and as even acknowledged by Susan Rice, significant funds for arms will once again be flowing to Hezbollah when Iran receives some 50 billion dollars for signing Obama's nuclear deal. Those missiles will not be used against Israel? Hezbollah's Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah will launch them in a blink of an eye if he receives instructions to do so from Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei. As Nasrallah declared in the past, "If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

Friedman also ignores recent Iranian funding of Hamas tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel, which are being readied for the next round of fighting.

Friedman concludes his op-ed by taking a swipe at Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu with one of the West Wing's tired talking points:

"Unfortunately, Israel has a prime minister whose strategy is to reject the Iran deal without any credible Plan B and to downplay the internal threat without any credible Plan A."

However, as noted by Senator Chuck Schumer, when he announced that he would be voting against Obama's deal with Khamenei:

"[I]f one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement."

I am not an Israeli grocer, general or prime minister; however, there is no doubt in my mind that if Congress is unable to override Obama's forthcoming veto, Iran will cheat on this agreement, and Obama, if still president, will not respond. Meanwhile, Hezbollah and Hamas will be awash in funds to attack Israel, and the next war will be in the offing.

Imagine yourself an Israeli? From your mansion in Maryland, don't even try, Tom.


  1. Reading back on comments I wrote on your blog in response to another Tom Friedman op-ed on November 7, 2012, "How the next four years of US foreign policy in the Middle East might pan out...", more than ever before, I'm terrified to think what will transpire in the next 16 months. By design, BO has left Israel with only bad and worse choices. Consequently, Israel must do whatever it takes to ensure it's own survival - even if it's in stark contrast to the policies of the current administration.

  2. Kerry throws a new threat into the dis-information campaign:

    "If we turn around and nix the deal and then tell them, 'You're going to have to obey our rules and sanctions anyway,' that is a recipe, very quickly ... for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at a Reuters Newsmaker event.

    [includes the hour long video to keep track of Kerry's points. enough.]