As George Santayana warned, here is that stubborn history, ready to repeat itself, unless we decide to alter its course.
On September 30, 1938, leaders of four major nations — Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Neville Chamberlain, and Édouard Daladier — signed the Munich Agreement, giving Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland to Germany. Czechoslovakia’s representatives were not permitted at the negotiations table. Chamberlain later proclaimed, “I believe it is peace for our time.”
On July 14, 2015, six major world powers signed an agreement with Iran, whose regime calls for the annihilation of Israel. Israel was not at the table for these negotiations. Peace for our time?
We had hoped that any deal would include truly verifiable inspections; force Iran to disclose its prior nuclear production; release sanctions gradually, commensurate with Iranian compliance; force Iran to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure and block its nuclear production for decades.
We got none of those things. What we did get is the prospect of a richer, more powerful nuclear-armed Iran, with billions of dollars to wreak even more carnage than in the past.
And we must heed the past: On Oct. 23, 1983, Iran sent a truck carrying 18,000 pounds of explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, while a second car bomb was driven into a French military building a few miles away. 241 American and 58 French soldiers were killed. This was the deadliest terrorist attack against Americans up to that time.
There isn’t enough space in this letter to list the rest of Iran’s crimes.
Yet Iran has continued to call for death to Israel and the United States and the agreement makes no demands for changes in its terrorist behavior.
It has already changed the Middle East by fueling a nuclear arms race in the world’s most volatile area, with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations looking to procure their own nuclear programs. The timing could not be worse, with the Saudis and their Sunni allies fighting Iranian terror puppets in Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza, and Syria — whose leader, Bashar al-Assad, is still using chlorine gas to kill his own people.
Incredibly, the Ledger’s editorial supports a suggestion to arm “Israel with B-52 strategic bombers (capable of delivering 15-ton “bunker buster” bombs upon Iranian lairs) as a way of allaying Israel’s concerns.”
Thus, we are asked to support a deal to prevent war… by arming Israel for war.
We can stop this madness.
In early October of 1943, just before Yom Kippur, more than 400 rabbis marched on Washington, D.C. to plead with President Roosevelt to form a special agency “to rescue the remainder of the Jewish nation in Europe.” Roosevelt refused to meet with them (they settled for speaking to Vice President Henry Wallace) and many of the rabbis believed they had failed. But their actions helped bring about the War Refugee Board.
An estimated 200,000 Jewish lives were saved. The rabbis had stood up to world powers to alter the course of history.
It will be close to Yom Kippur of this year when Congress votes on this very bad deal. We must urge a vote against it, standing up, even to world powers, lest history repeat itself.
June S. Neal
(Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting)
Delray Beach, Fla.
I want to express my extreme displeasure with the Ledger’s editorial “The Iran Deal: A Work of Devilish Compromises” (July 24, 2015), supporting the Iran nuclear deal.
It is hard for me to understand why you support a deal that enables Iran to get a nuclear bomb in 10 years, has an extremely weak inspection process, enables Iran to purchase ballistic missiles and conventional arms, does not require Iran to renounce the country’s goal of destroying Israel, provides Iran with immediate sanction relief which can be used to finance terrorism, and enables them to continue with nuclear research.
In your editorial, you mention three alternatives but omit the most important one: to walk away from this deal and negotiate a better one. No deal is better than a terrible deal.
You opine that Israel should engage the United States to obtain arms to allay fears and “repair the rift” between Israel and the United States.
When Israel is threatened with destruction and her enemy is getting the means to do so it must make its case public.
In summary, the Jewish Ledger has taken a terrible position on this issue and you, as an advocate, should know better.