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Mr. President, Iran is the enemy, not Israel


For U.S. President Barack Obama, the nuclear deal with Iran has become a personal issue, and that’s a shame • What can he say now that his fellow Democrats are opposing the deal, are they also like the “hard-liners” in Iran?

It is still difficult to predict how big of a majority in Congress, if it all, will reject the nuclear deal with Iran on September 17. This weekend, however, U.S. President Barack Obama suffered a setback when senior Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer decided to oppose the deal and jeopardize the Obama legacy.

And Schumer is not alone. In the House of Representatives, Congressmen Eliot Engel (New York), Steve Israel (New York) and Brad Sherman (California) have declared their opposition to the deal. Sherman, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, was the sixth Jewish Democrat to voice his opposition. He compared the deal to the movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” saying: “I might be willing to accept the good with the bad during the first year of the agreement. But we must force modifications of the agreement, and extensions of its nuclear restrictions, before it gets ugly.”

What, then, will Obama say now? Will he reiterate the petty and extremely political comparison he made last week in a speech at American University, when he said, “It’s those hard-liners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” Is it possible that the Democratic party also consists of these “hard-liners”?

Perhaps the president will continue playing the game, no less dangerous than the deal itself, in which he draws a connection between the “supporters of the Iraq war” to those opposing the deal, simultaneously sending a conspicuous hint to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC? Is the president unaware that at stake is the most important international agreement of the modern era? Does he not understand that this isn’t about a country’s economic fate (Greece), but a country’s existence (Israel)? And does the president not understand that since its establishment in 1951, this is perhaps AIPAC’s moment of truth?

Beware the revenge campaign

It’s a shame Obama is making the Iranian nuclear issue personal. Whoever is not with him is against him. Iran is the enemy, Mr. President. Not you. Iran is the enemy — not Israel. America is still the “Great Satan,” Israel is still the “Little Satan” and the ayatollahs still aren’t holy. Even the prominent Democratic supporter, Haim Saban, has understood the danger and has joined the opposition.

It is exceedingly rare for Congress to reject an administration decision related to foreign policy. Too recall an instance of the Senate rejecting an agreement, we must go back to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the 14 Points plan proposed by one of the greatest American presidents, Woodrow Wilson (also a Democrat, also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize that same year). That was nearly 100 years ago.


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