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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 4:21 am | Mostly Cloudy 53º


Commentary: Support Obama’s Anti-nuke Treaty with Iran

When the 47 Republican senators fired off their infamous “Letter” to Ayatollah Khameini in March — undermining our government’s anti-nuclear arms negotiations with Iran even before negotiators had finished — how did Khameini respond?

Along with his usual stale rhetoric about the Satanic “West”, Khameini showed he actually understood the motivation of these 47 near-traitors. He said, “All countries, according to the international norms, remain faithful to their commitments even after their governments change, but the American senators are officially announcing that at the end of the term of their current government, their commitments will be considered null and void.”

Honestly, how did these 47 leaders think they were supporting the USA?

Ben Franklin wrote in his Almanac that one should “Love your Enemies, for they tell you your faults,” whereas most supposed “friends” rarely tell you unpleasant but important truths about yourself.

When the president’s State Department, led by John Kerry, concludes a foreign agreement, then there is time for the U.S. Senate to support the bill or vote against it (Constitution, Article II, sect. 2: The Senate does not ratify treaties—the Senate approves or rejects a resolution of ratification.).

But when 47 Republican U.S. senators — exalted mandarins in our federal hierarchy — betray the executive branch’s top guy, Obama, and crudely violate the president’s constitutional role as America’s foreign policy voice to the world, we then have to listen to the Ayatollah again.

However much you detest him, he is giving us some important information about one of our major flaws: anti-Americans in the Senate.

Inevitably, the roles of Jewish American citizens and of the state of Israel get drawn into this discussion.

Sander M. Levin, the longest-serving Jewish member of the House, supports this deal in the interests of peace for Israel and co-existence with Iran. Just before Obama’s main speech in support at American University on Aug. 5, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke directly to selected American Jews against the bill on Aug. 4, the day before Obama’s address.

Some American Jews at the our local Temple B’nai Brith on San Antonio Creek Road attended the synagogue Aug. 4 to listen to this foreign P.M. in their sanctuary, before hearing their U.S. president speak on the anti-nuke agreement.

What if Japanese P.M. Abe made a live teleconference call with the 1.3 million Japanese-American citizens in the USA, lobbying them to support an upcoming foreign treaty favorable to Japan on the eve of the president’s major speech on the same topic?

Netanyahu’s cleverly timed direct intervention in our country’s domestic discussions insult the office of the presidency as well as President Obama personally.

Although I’ve always accepted Israel’s existence and the “political Zionism” of 1947/48, I reject the post-1967 theocratic “religious Zionism”.

Israel is a foreign country, and her interests don’t always jibe perfectly with ours. Israeli P.M. Netanyahu continues to campaign ferociously against the anti-nuke treaty, even haranguing against it during a special March 3 joint session of Congress, and talked down to adoring Republican representatives who showered him with 23 sophomoric standing ovations.

Mr. Netanyahu is the P.M. of Israel, and a strong ally. We have a unique and strong relationship with Israel, but our interests and Israel’s do not always coincide.

We just released an American Jew, Jonathan Pollard, after he served his full 30-year term for spying for and providing top-secret classified information to Israel. We do have divergent interests, and the Israelis certainly acknowledge this, thus they spy on us.

Obama has unsuccessfully tried to get the government of Israel to stop supporting the illegal and provocative colonies planted in the Arab area of the West Bank. Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected this while Israelis continue to build huge new apartment complexes in Arabic East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu also refuses to negotiate with the Palestinians (Abbas) on a Two-State solution to the problems there. Our interest is to further peace and support a Two-State solution bringing peace to the region, but Israel’s interest certainly is different, at least according to Bibi Netanyahu.

Everyone in Israel knows that Netanyahu has a “Moses complex.” He has to “save” Israel, a commendable general goal, but he constantly cries out “Second holocaust,” and refused to de-escalate with his “demon” Iran (whom we or he can bomb to smithereens at anytime).

However, I see his role as that of Aaron, who with the golden calf of fear, will terribly damage the very Israel he loves.

Many in Israel’s military and defense circles, including former spy chiefs (e.g. Ami Ayalon), also support Obama’s anti-nuke deal with Iran. They see that the only alternative is outright war. Those who deny this conclusion need to read up on the history of relations between Israel and her Arab neighbors since 1948 (Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land is excellent).

Netanyahu openly intervenes in an American political issue — and few here are outraged. Where are our proud patriotic conservative friends crying out about sovereignty?

Perhaps President Obama should have made live Skype telecasts to Israel haranguing American-born Israelis to vote against Netanyahu’s coalition in the late March Knesset elections?

Vacillation at the American core; a rottenness at the center of our political process with the legislative branch (the 47) usurping foreign policy functions the Constitution specifically assigns to the president (executive branch: Constitution Article II): perhaps it takes an “enemy” to help us visualize the frightful Congressional decay in Washington, D.C.

With the secretary of state, whom he appoints, the president manages all official contacts with foreign governments.

Many thoughtful Israelis carefully point out that Israel’s staunch relationship with the USA is far more vital to their national security than Netanyahu’s frantic fulminations against Iran and spats with Obama.

We’ve given Israel over $121 billion since 1948, and Israel itself currently possesses at least 80 nuclear bombs, with excellent delivery methods available.

Thoughtful American Jews are reappraising their dual allegiances to the USA and to Israel, and understand how the interests of both countries are well-served by a senatorial refusal to overturn this hard-fought anti-nuke treaty.

The Senate bill by Sen. Corker should approve the signed anti-nukes treaty with Iran to avoid more conflict in the Middle East. I encourage all voters to support this anti-nuclear proliferation treaty and to ponder Netanyahu’s direct intervention in internal American political discussions.

Dan E. McCaslin, Ph.D. has published artifacts from Israel [Athlit harbor] in his book STONE ANCHORS IN ANTIQUITY (Goteborg, 1980). Professional: history teacher since 1980 at Crane School, Santa Barbara, CA; columnist and outdoor writer for Noozhawk.

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