Like so many others, I am reading as much as I can about the deal with Iran. I am not an expert on foreign policy or politics in general but since this agreement has such potential impact on our world and, particularly on Israel, I want to share some preliminary thoughts.
I know it is very complicated and full of potential pitfalls, but I want desperately to believe that this is a positive development.
Let me explain why I say this.
I want to believe it because especially with the continuation of sanctions likely to be opposed in the future by nations who have supported them in the past, I don’t see an option other than a military action to limit or stop Iran’s nuclear program. Military action would be disastrous and the use of diplomacy is a great step forward.
I want to believe it because, from what I read, many Iranians, especially young Iranians,want their nation to join the world community. Some are beginning to reject the type of leadership that has brought them the sanctions and the exclusion of the rest of the world. This agreement may help that process along.
I want to believe it because I endorse so much of the domestic agenda of President Obama’s administration and I want to feel as comfortable with the foreign policy agenda.
I want to believe it because I was opposed to the way that Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his disagreement with the negotiations in his ill conceived and disrespectful speech to Congress in March. While his concerns were and are legitimate, I found myself becoming even more willing to trust our President as their conflict deepened.
And finally, I admit it that I want to believe it because I have always been one to be optimistic in the long run about how our world can be a peaceful place with all.
But, all of this being said, I realize that this treaty is a tremendous risk.
It is a risk to deal with a nation which sponsors terror and which expresses virulent hatred to the US and certainly to Israel. Iran does present a threat to Israel and in that sense, it most certainly is a risk.
But, I cringe when I hear Prime Minister Netanyahu say yesterday was one of the darkest days in history. I cringe when I read people comparing this “deal” to the agreement that Prime Minister Chamberlain made with Adolf Hitler. I cringe when I see people accuse the President and the entire administration of anti-Semitism. I can not accept these extreme statements. But, I do understand the fear and these perspectives need to be taken into account as we move forward.
The bottom line is I believe that we all need to take a deep breath and be circumspect in our praise or our condemnation. The deal is by no means such a positive development that it is the cause for unquestioned celebration. However, it also does not strike me as cause for such talk of certain doom.
We all know that risks need to be taken for progress. Time will tell, of course, whether the risk was worth taking and whether there will be real, verifiable and positive progress.
May we all be blessed with peace and safety.