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Thursday, February 26, 2015 

The right time and place

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein wrote in defense of Netanyahu's speech to Congress next week in the LA Times:
Imagine for a moment that your neighbor down the street was engaged in some basement science that could level your house and even kill you, if he so desired. Your best friend, who happens to live some distance away, out of harm's reach, can end the threat to your life and property but is now trying to legalize your neighbor's dangerous work. What would you do?

This is the situation facing Israel on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress, a speech preceded by so much talk of protocol and partisanship that we seem to have lost the forest for the trees. It is clear that for more than a decade, Iran has been illicitly developing nuclear capabilities and thumbing its nose at efforts to monitor its progress in accordance with international guidelines. During that period, Iran has worked assiduously to expand its influence throughout the Middle East. Iranian money, arms and training assistance have enabled Hezbollah and Hamas to rank alongside Al Qaeda and Islamic State as the world's most dangerous terrorist organizations. And throughout, Iran has never hidden its hatred for Israel or its desire to expunge it from the historical record.

The international community has realized the serious dangers posed by a nuclear Iran and has embarked on a noble and necessary effort to bring the Iranian project to a halt. No achievement could be more important than resolving this issue peacefully through negotiations that maintain sanctions on Iran and ensure it is free of centrifuges, heavy-water reactors, enrichment facilities and programs to develop intercontinental delivery systems.

We have a historic opportunity to dismantle Iran's nuclear program; unfortunately, the agreement taking shape falls short of what we can achieve. The proposed deal would place limits on Iran's nuclear program but will not eliminate it or even, in the long term, contain it. And though Iran would be subject to rigorous international inspections, it has never been forthcoming on its nuclear program — not even during the current round of negotiations, as a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report makes clear.
This is all the more reason why the speech must be given. And for those who have such a problem with it, they'd do well to consider what Jeffery Wiesenfeld has to say about grovelers like "rabbi" Stephen Wise, who cared far more about acceptance by Washington's elite than the millions of Jewish lives he turned his back on in Europe. Such cowards are exactly what cause disaster, and all those who oppose the speech to Congress are only doing the same disfavor, not just for Jews, but for everyone civilized.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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