web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Diplomacy Is Best But…

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

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The Obama Administration’s preference for diplomacy with Iran over military action is commendable. There is a chance that diplomacy may even achieve more than sanctions. This possibility lies at the root of the deal recently undertaken with regard to Iran’s nuclear program.

No one knows for certain whether Iran is for real when it promises never to seek or develop any nuclear weapons in exchange for an end to sanctions and to its international isolation. No one knows for sure whether there is an internal struggle going on within Iran in which that issue is being debated and considered. No one knows for sure whether the deal recently signed will encourage those who favor ending Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons (if there are any such) or whether it will strengthen hardliners who are simply playing for time. The only certainty is that we are uncertain about the true Iranian motivations underlying its willingness to enter into negotiations and to freeze its nuclear program for six months in exchange for a reduction in sanctions.

Diplomacy under conditions of uncertainty always entails risks on all sides. The United States is prepared to take the risk because it has far less to lose if it turns out to be wrong. Israel and Saudi Arabia are unwilling to shoulder the risk because they have so much more to lose if the American assessment turns out to be wrong.

Many American experts—diplomatic, nuclear, political, economic—believe that even the risks to the United States exceed the benefits, and that accordingly this was a bad deal for our country. Others disagree. The important point is that this is not only a dispute between the United States and Israel, as some seem to be characterizing it. It is a hotly disputed issue within the United States, within the Democratic Party, among nuclear experts and within the diplomatic establishment.

Nor should this be seen by those who oppose the deal, as I do, as a demonstration of bad faith on the part of the Obama Administration toward Israel. This a reasonable disagreement between friends as to the best course of action, both over the short and long terms. The stakes, however, are exceedingly high for Israel, because it cannot afford for the United States to be wrong in its assessment and balancing of the acknowledged risks.

I think the United States is wrong, because I believe that the supreme leader of Iran is determined to secure the ability to obtain nuclear weapons in its quest for hegemony over the Middle East. I do not believe that the smiling face of its newly-elected (with the approval of the supreme leader) president reflects the attitude of the current Iranian leadership. I also believe that one of the goals of the Iranian leadership is to drive a deep wedge between the United States and its allies in the Middle East, especially Israel and Saudi Arabia. This deal has helped to do that.

Now that the six month clock has begun to tick, what can be done to make the best out of a dangerous situation? First, Congress can hang two Swords of Damocles over the neck of Iran. It can now authorize the president to take military action in the event that Iran breaks its part of the deal and secretly begins to move toward developing nuclear weapons. Second, it can legislate harsh sanctions that would automatically go into effect if it became clear that Iran was simply buying time and had no interest in halting its nuclear weapons program.

The Iranians came to the negotiating table only because of a combination of harsh sanctions and a realistic military option. Both of these sticks must be kept on the table if the carrot of reduced sanctions is to have any possibility of working.

Israel too must maintain its military pressure on Iran, and the United States should make it clear that if Israel were to feel the need to deploy its military option as a last resort, it could count on the support of the United States.

These are tense and dangerous times. The risks on all sides are considerable. This is the time for allies to stick together and not to allow their differences to create the kind of wedge that Iran seeks to encourage and exploit. Unless there is a concerted commitment to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capacity, the end result will replicate the North Korean model, where the façade of diplomacy was used as a cover by North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

If Iran ends up using this deal to help it develop nuclear weapons, the result would be a game changer that could cause a catastrophe. An Iran armed with nuclear weapons must be prevented at all costs, as President Obama has promised to do. We must keep our word and keep the military option on the table if diplomacy fails, as it may well do. The only thing more dangerous than a military attack against Iran’s nuclear weapons program would be a nuclear-armed Iran.

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.

5 Responses to “Diplomacy Is Best But…”

  1. Blah blah blah. Dershowitz dances around as usual. This has everything to do with Obama isolating Israel. This has everything to do with Obamas agenda which is not the agenda Americans are aware of. You know when terrorist organizations are celebrating and the president is calling this a great historic event – THERES A REALLY BIG PROBLEM.

  2. Blah blah blah. Dershowitz dances around as usual. This has everything to do with Obama isolating Israel. This has everything to do with Obamas agenda which is not the agenda Americans are aware of. You know when terrorist organizations are celebrating and the president is calling this a great historic event – THERES A REALLY BIG PROBLEM.

  3. America, sans Obama, is a Christian dominated country. People seem to think that evangelicals and conservatives are the only ones to have Jewish interests safely protected. Christians have one thing in their agenda, conversion of Jews to their dead god. Point: Stop leaving Israel’s existence to one American enemy or another. Both Iran and the US bide their time to destroy Jews and Israel in one way or the other.

  4. Thank you Mr. Dershowitz – Your voice is one of the few truly balanced and reasonable to speak on this subject.

  5. Vladimir Weissman says:

    George Friedman of the Stratfor argues that Israel cannot do a thing, because it is DEPENDENT (as in totally dependent) on the US for fighter aircraft. Other smart people seem to believe that Israel could go it alone, all advantages and disadvantages taken into account. I do hope the latter are right. If not, Israel ought to make sacrifices and work hard to become totally independent of the US – or anyone for that matter. If the US after 2014/16 again goes back to supporting Israel, so much the better. As long as Israel does not need anybody to allow or ban what she can do. Wasn't there an Israeli fighter aircraft? Can they not manufacture spare parts and amo for the existing ones? In not, they should get busy in a BIG hurry. After all, Israel won the War of Independence without help from anybody, and the US first began helping under LBJ.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in NY late Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, ahead of Netanyahu's speech at UN General Assembly  set for the next day.
India May Change UN Vote; Bibi Says Israel to Protect Citizens
Latest Indepth Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

President Shimon Peres receives the Congrssional Gold Medal.

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

KidSport-Everybody-Is-A-Winner1

“D-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!”

This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

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/opinions/diplomacy-is-best-but/2013/11/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: