I’ve long felt that Joe Biden passed the “kishkes” test when it came to his support for Israel. Since meeting Golda Meir as a junior senator in 1973, the man has met every Israeli prime minister. Like many others in our community, I took for granted that he’d always have Israel’s back, in a world obsessed with maligning the world’s only Jewish state.
I wish I still felt that way.
Whether Biden realizes it or not, the terrible deal he’s about to make with the terror regime in Iran endangers Israel and the rest of the region.
It’s widely accepted by now that in his zeal to get Iran to sign a nuclear deal—any nuclear deal, apparently–Biden has squandered America’s enormous leverage and caved to virtually every Iranian demand.
I’ve read countless analyses from experts across the political spectrum, and they’re pretty consistent with this conclusion from a former intelligence officer specializing on Iranian terrorism, Michael Pregent, writing in Newsweek: “If the Biden administration jumps back into the Iran nuclear deal without addressing undeclared sites, sunset clauses, ballistic missiles, regional behavior, terrorism and human rights, then it will have entered a worse deal than even the one in 2015.”
Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt, who can hardly be called an extremist, also cautioned that Biden’s deal is “far from adequate to confront the full range of threats generated by this regime.”
What kind of regime? Greenblatt spells it out: “The largest state sponsor of anti-Semitism on the planet, constantly churning out genocidal memes and disseminating hostile propaganda against Jews,” one whose “stated desire to annihilate the Jewish state must be taken seriously.”
Beyond this genocidal threat to Israel, Greenblatt adds the broader “danger that Iran poses to the region and the world through its support of proxy militias and employment of terror as statecraft,” with “activities [that] span nearly every continent [as] they have left death and debris in their wake in countries such as Argentina, Lebanon, Turkey, Bulgaria and even in the U.S.”
Biden’s own Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie has called Iran’s 3,000 ballistic missiles “the greatest threat to the region’s security.” Nothing in the deal addresses that threat.
It’s perplexing why Biden would think that freeing up billions in sanctions relief to such a terror regime in return for dubious promises from a cheating and deceitful country would be such a good idea.
I’ve heard several explanations: He views the deal as upholding his and former President Barack Obama’s legacy; he wants to undo anything that former President Donald Trump did; he’s desperate for any kind of “win” after the disastrous exit from Afghanistan; he needs to lower gas prices to boost his approval numbers, and removing the sanctions against oil-wealthy Iran will help do that; he’s just following the advice of his overeager negotiators in Vienna (which would mean, of course, ignoring the three members of his Iran team who quit last month because Biden was being too soft.)
The truth, however, is that it doesn’t really matter why Biden has caved to Iran. What matters is that he seems determined to push a deal through no matter what, and the Jewish world must not remain silent.
Should we be grateful that the Russians, reeling from global sanctions, have introduced last-minute demands that may scuttle the deal? Not necessarily. Just like we saw with his former boss, Obama, when the most powerful man in the world decides he wants a deal—and that intention has been conveyed loud and clear to the wily Mullahs in Tehran—he gets his way, regardless of the obstacles, and regardless of how lousy the final deal is.
From what I hear from sources, the real stumbling block is the Iranian insistence (not unreasonable, I may add) that a future administration won’t just cancel the deal, as the Trump administration did. Because it’s so hard to offer such guarantees, if anything kills the deal, that will be it.
But because Iran desperately needs the sanctions lifted, some kind of compromise is likely. The perverted irony is that the most hated country on the planet right now, Russia, may be asked to play a role to overcome that final hurdle.
As the final hour approaches, the Jewish world must not wait until the deal is sealed to express its outrage. President Biden has every right to sign a deal that may well endanger Israel and the region, and we have every right to let him know that we feel betrayed by a friend.
David Suissa is editor-in-chief and publisher of Tribe Media Corp, and “Jewish Journal.” He can be reached at email@example.com.
This article was first published by the Jewish Journal.