Bachmann at Sunday’s ZOA dinner: Netanyahu may be forced soon to action on Iran

by Heather Robinson

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Midtown, New York City–In the wake of President Barack Obama’s announcement on Sunday that Iran will be given $7 billion in sanctions relief and no new sanctions will be imposed on the Islamic Republic, Jewish groups worldwide are sounding the alarm. Last night at the Zionist Organization of America’s Justice Louis D. Brandeis award dinner at the Grand Hyatt in midtown, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach spoke. Casino magnate, American activist, and Israel advocate Sheldon Adelson delivered the Ben Hecht Award for Israel activism to journalist and U.N. watchdog Anne Bayefsky.

The Iran deal hung over the celebration like a curtain of mist, prompting many remarks concerning Israel’s  precarious and solitary position. “This is a time when the world needs a Churchill, but instead, the United States has a Chamberlain,” said Huckabee.

Sometimes when one pays close attention to an issue for a long time, one can become desensitized to its urgency. Such has been my experience with concern about Iran gaining nuclear capability. This weekend’s developments and yesterday’s ZOA gathering brought home to me the potentially dire situation Israel and the free world face.

The deal Obama and heads of state of France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia struck will undermine the efficacy of sanctions that people of conscience in the international community labored to impose on the Islamic Republic over the course of a decade. The blindness of the international community in acquiescing to a rogue state whose leaders’ assurances are not worth the paper they are written on is astonishing to me, as is the shameful fact that so many Jewish Americans helped put into office a President for whom the security of Israel is not a top priority at a time like this.

By what means will the U.S. seek to hold Iran to its promise? This is a nation that has continuously undermined all efforts to monitor its ongoing effort to develop nuclear weapons, whose stated intention – never rescinded – is to destroy the Jewish State.

As ZOA President Morton Klein said when he took the podium at last night’s affair: “Obama has said, ‘I will never allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Period.’

“He has also said, ‘If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. Period.’

Call me an alarmist, but this situation is alarming.

Even Obama’s choice of words is alarming. From NBC news: “These steps,” President Barack Obama said late Saturday, will “cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb.”

Iran’s “most likely paths?” What about its “less likely paths?” To me, it sounds like the U.S. President is no longer even claiming that the world has a zero tolerance for Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, but that we are hedging our bets.

I sat next to a young man at the dinner who shared his belief that everything is orchestrated and Obama and Israel are working together. I want to keep an open mind, but I think that most of the time, things are pretty much what they seem. It would appear that Israel is pretty much on its own. Today Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called this so-called deal an “historic mistake.”

At any rate, it is hard to justify putting more money into the pockets of a regime that has targeted civilians around the world for slaughter, declared its intention to destroy Israel, and for years orchestrated some of the most savage and gruesome attacks on Americans who served in Iraq.

In other remarks at tonight’s ZOA dinner, Congresswoman and former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called out U.S. members of Congress, Senators, and even leaders of Jewish organizations (other than ZOA) for doing little or nothing during these past several weeks to prevent this weakening of sanctions.

“You know, it’s real easy to talk about being a good friend of Israel,” said Bachmann. “Where were members of Congress in these last few weeks [that Iran was being given this loophole around sanctions]? Where were the U.S. Senators in the last few weeks on sanctions? What have they said? What have they done? Where have the Jewish organizations been these last few weeks? It’s one thing to be a good friend when times are good. It’s another thing to make the case that Israel has the right to defend itself and that may include the right to bomb nuclear facilities.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach gave the invocation.

“What will [the Iranians] do with [these] millions?” Boteach asked. “They will hurt people. This is a clash of values.”

Bachmann concluded with these words: “Netanyahu may be forced soon to do what the U.S. and other nations have made clear they will not do. I’m not here with gloom and doom but with gratitude that the great nation of Israel is lighting a candle. The people of Israel believe in life. L’chaim. That’s what we believe the future of Israel is and always will be.”

This entry was written by and posted on November 25, 2013 at 2:05 am and filed under Blog.