Israelis and the Obama Administration

The Fellowship  |  June 4, 2015

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I like being right. But, when it comes to Iran I hope that I’m wrong. Unfortunately, it seems that when it comes to Iran, all of us who oppose the nuclear deal being touted as a major success have never been so right about anything.

Earlier this week, The New York Times – not exactly one of President Obama’s fiercest critics – reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found a 20% increase in Iran’s uranium stockpile, an increase which occurred during the same negotiations Obama has hailed as having frozen Iran’s enrichment program.

It will be interesting to see the White House explain this debacle especially since its press secretary claimed on March 2 that negotiations have rolled back Iran’s nuclear development:

But in the context of these talks, we’ve actually succeeded in not just halting Iran’s progress as it relates to their nuclear program but actually rolling it back in several key areas, including reducing and eliminating their stockpile of highly enriched uranium. So I think the evidence indicates that this sanctions regime has been effective.

It would be great if this fanciful storyline were true, that the West has Iran in a corner, and that the negotiations have accomplished something other than enabling Iran to become a nuclear power.

But I live in the Middle East. My house is within the Iranians’ reach. So my fellow Israelis and I cannot engage in such wishful interpretations.

Here in Israel, the frustration with the Obama administration’s handling of Iran is palpable. The American president’s Israeli television interview this week only made matters worse.

During his interview with Israeli Channel 2, Obama lectured us Israelis about our values, and urged us not to worry about Iran or Palestinian terror – he’s got our back, so what could go wrong?

President Obama then then explained that Prime Minister Netanyahu, who just won a landslide election, is “predisposed” to worry about security threats. So are we to believe that because of his hyper-sensitivity to the safety of the millions of Israeli lives he is sworn to protect, Netanyahu is blind to opportunities for peace and stability opportunities which the American president, thousands of miles away from ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, has a better angle on?

Israelis appreciate the relationship our country has enjoyed with the U.S. We are extremely grateful for the military, financial, and diplomatic help we have received, and believe that our relationship will certainly outlast the Obama presidency. But whatever the White House is trying to sell us on Iran, we are not buying!

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