web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


J Street Makes an Attack on Iran More Likely

Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz.
Photo Credit: Gidon Markowicz/Flash90

J Street, which calls itself “pro-Israel and pro-peace”, is now making it more likely that Israel and/or the United States will have no choice but to take military action against Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The Israeli government is facing what may be its most daunting existential challenge since the founding of the State and certainly since the eve of the 1967 War. There are no perfect solutions to the problem posed by Iran’s determination to develop nuclear weapons capable of destroying Israel. It has become clear that sanctions, coupled with diplomatic efforts, may hurt Iran, but will never pressure them into giving up their quest for nuclear weapons. It has also become clear, as President Obama has stated, that containment of a nuclear Iran is not an option. The only thing that will deter Iran from moving forward with its nuclear program is a credible threat of military action by the United States.

The Iranian leaders must come to believe that the United States is really keeping its military option on the table. If the Iranian mullahs truly believe that the United States will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, they may well decide that the pain caused by sanctions is not worth the benefits of going forward, since they will never be able to achieve their goal.

This is one instance where “saber rattling” and “beating the drums of war” may actually help to avoid war. But the rattling and the drumming must be credible in the eyes and ears of those to whom it is directed—namely the Iranian leaders.

America’s commitment to keep the military option on the table must also be credible to Israel’s leaders, who must decide whether to rely on the United States or whether to risk unilateral military action—and if so, when. If Israel acts too quickly, it risks alienating its most important ally. If it waits too long, it risks allowing the Iranians to develop immunity against a successful Israeli attack. Whatever action or inaction it undertakes involves considerable and serious potential downsides. In a democracy, such risks must be evaluated and decided on by elected officials whose job it is to protect the security of the nation and its citizens. No nation can outsource existential decisions to even its closest allies. Each nation must determine its own policies based on its own assessments of risks and benefits.

President Obama has now settled on a policy for the United States. Pursuant to this policy, the President has assured Israel that if Israel forbears from attacking Iran, and that if Iran crosses certain thresholds, the United States will attack and destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program. For this policy to succeed, both Iran and Israel must believe Obama’s conditional “sword rattling” and “drum beating.” They must know that he is speaking truthfully when he says, “I don’t bluff.”

Now comes J Street, which is perceived, by both Iranian and Israeli leaders, as close to the Obama Administration. In its most recent mass emailing, Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s leader, urges his followers to undercut the Obama policy by demanding that President Obama stop threatening military action against Iran and that “the drums of war” must be silenced.

Without distinguishing between an Israeli and an American military attack, J Street mendaciously claims that “top Israeli security experts and former officials warned about the inefficacy and disastrous consequences of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities” and that “many in the American and Israeli intelligence and security establishments believe that a strike on Iran would fail to end Iran’s nuclear program and may even accelerate it….”

While this may be true of a unilateral Israeli strike, it is totally untrue of an American or joint attack, which many of these experts acknowledge would wreak havoc on the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Many of these same experts have explicitly called for the United States to maintain its military option as a last resort. But J Street, on its website, expressly “oppose[s] legislation authorizing, encouraging or in other ways laying the groundwork for the use of military force against Iran.” Such legislation refers exclusively to an American, not an Israeli, attack. But “laying the groundwork for the use of military force against Iran” by the United States is precisely what is needed to deter Iran from going forward with its nuclear weapons program. By credibly laying such groundwork, the United States reduces the chances that it will actually need to employ its military option. By undercutting the threat of employing the military option, J Street increases the likelihood that it will have to be used.

J Street, in addition to undercutting mainstream Israeli and American policy toward Iran, has also mischaracterized the views of those it cites in support of its position, including former Mossad chiefs Meir Dagan and Efraim Halevy. It cites these two Israeli security experts as opposing an American strike and an Americanthreat to strike. Both Dagan and Halevy have repeatedly said, however, that the American military option “must always be on the table.”

J Street should get out of the business of telling Israel how to balance existential risks regarding the security of its citizens. It should stop undercutting American policy with regard to Iran. And as an organization that claims it is both pro-Israel and pro-peace, it should recognize that its superficial approach to this complex problem is bad for peace, bad for Israel and bad for American efforts to prevent a nuclear Iran without the need for a military attack.

If drums and sabers can prevent the need for bombs and rockets, let them beat and rattle on!

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “J Street Makes an Attack on Iran More Likely”

  1. Mark L. Shane says:

    j st. is a 5th column element like ngo's and shehadist islamofascists..not one bit better. the less others influence Israel, the cleaner it's decisions. loose lips still sink ships.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Alan M. Dershowitz
Netanyahu wants more room on the table for the military option to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Revealing intelligence assessments that suggest Netanyahu is bluffing only encourages the Iranians.

The Iron Dome was called on for the first time in 2013 to intercept a missile fired by terrorists in Sinai at Eilat.

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.

“Continuum of Civilianality:” Who is a civilian and who is a combatant is often a matter of degree.

Re-posted with permission from The Gatestone Institute How many times have you heard on television or read in the media that the Gaza Strip is “the most densely populated area in the world”? Repeating this statement, however, does not make it true. There are dense parts of Gaza, especially Gaza City, Beit Hanoun and Khan […]

Qatar’s wealth and Turkey’s size should not preclude us from telling it as it is: Qatar and Turkey are among the worst villains in the Gaza tragedy.

Many American experts—diplomatic, nuclear, political, economic—believe that even the risks to the United States exceed the benefits.

The immediate choice for the world today is not between diplomacy and preventive war. We have a third option: to maintain or even increase the sanctions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-street-makes-an-attack-on-iran-more-likely/2012/08/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: