Monday night, July 13th was the evening Gala of the 10th Annual Christians United with Israel D.C. Summit. With thousands in attendance, many of the celebrated speakers focused on the negotiations between the world powers and Iran, and all agreed the emerging details of what is considered to be an imminent deal could be catastrophic for Israel, for America and for the entire world.
During the day, several of the Republicans competing for the Republican nomination for the presidential race were present to talk about Israel and the Middle East. Those present were Florida’s former Governor Jeb Bush, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Minnesota’s former Governor Mike Huckabee, New York’s former Governor George Pataki, and Pennsylvania’s former Senator Rick Santorum.
Before the dinner break there was a Middle East briefing by experts Erick Stakelbeck, Malcolm Hoenlein, Bret Stephens and Dr. Yoram Hazony, which was followed by a satellite address from Jerusalem by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Following the dinner, the formal celebration, “A Night to Honor Israel” took place. Speakers included the Pastor John Hagee, founder and national chairman of CUFI, radio talk show host Dennis Prager, and Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer.
Ambassador Dermer’s speech was very much focused on Iran.
He includes lots of zingers such as “Last year I asked you to stand with Israel during war, tonight I ask you to stand with Israel to prevent war.” Another one: “That deal will not block Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb. It will pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal.” And here’s a particularly significant one which could not have been lost on the American audience: “I’ve got a newsflash for you. Israel is on the same continent as Iran. So those intercontinental ballistic missiles are not for us. They’re for you.”
The whole thing is worth reading. Here it is:
Happy 10th Anniversary, CUFI.
Thank you for a decade of standing with Israel.
Thank you, Pastor Hagee and Diana Hagee.
Thank you for founding this great organization and for decades of unwavering support for Israel.
Thank you CUFI students for standing up to lies and for speaking truth.
Thank you CUFI for providing a voice to the thousands of supporters of Israel who are here tonight and to the millions of Christian friends of Israel across America.
Today, more than ever, Christians stand united with Israel.
And today, more than ever, Israel stands united with Christians.
As the Middle East continues its descent into barbarism and chaos, life for Christians there has become nasty, brutish and short.
A century ago, 20% of the region’s population was Christian.
Today, Christians account for less than 4% of the population.
As the forces of militant Islam sweep across the region, ancient Christian communities are being decimated and Christians are being decapitated.
Israel is proud to be a light in the darkness – a shining city on a hill with a growing and thriving Christian community – five times as large it was in 1948, the year the modern state of Israel was born.
Israel will continue to stand up proudly for Christians in the Middle East, just as I know that Christians will continue to stand up proudly for Israel right here in America.
Ladies and Gentleman,
Today, Israel needs the voice of its Christian friends more than ever.
Last year, as Hamas missiles rained down from Gaza on Israel, I stood at this podium to ask you to stand with Israel during war.
Tonight, I ask you to stand with Israel to prevent war.
That’s right, to prevent war.
Because the deal that is being finalized with Iran in Vienna will not lead to more calm. It will lead to more terrorism.
That deal will not block Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb. It will pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal.
That deal will not stop nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. It will spur nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
That deal will not bring peace closer. It will bring war closer – making conventional war more likely today and the horrors of nuclear terrorism more likely tomorrow.
Though Iran has made its intentions perfectly clear, few people have been paying attention.
Last year, when Iran’s charming foreign minister Zarif laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mugniyah, the terrorist mastermind who killed more Americans than any terrorist besides Osama Bin Laden, few people paid attention.
A few months ago, when Iran’s navy blew up a mock American aircraft carrier, few people paid attention.
On Friday, when President Rouhani went to a rally in which American and Israeli flags were burned, few people paid attention.
And on Saturday, when the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, said that Iran plans to continue its struggle against an “arrogant” America, few people paid attention.
Many people have eyes that do not see and ears that do not listen.
The truth is they do not see and listen because they do not want to see and listen.
In the name of peace, and with the best of intentions, they are determined to avoid confrontation at all cost.
We have seen this happen before.
Let us hope that future historians will not once again have to ask themselves why so many were so blind to what was so clear in hindsight.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
So many red lines have already been crossed.
The promise of anytime, anywhere inspections looks more like sometime, somewhere inspections that will enable Iran to continue the cat and mouse game that it has played with IAEA inspectors for years.
The promise of phased sanctions relief looks more like a one-time jackpot for the Ayatollah regime.
In a few months, this deal would give Iran 150 billion dollars.
Iran has a 300 to 400 billion dollar economy. A 150 billion dollar infusion of cash into Iran’s coffers is like 8 trillion dollars flowing into the US treasury.
But don’t worry. We’ve been promised that this money will go to fund Iran’s domestic needs.
Yeah, right. I’m sure the Ayatollahs will soon announce a GI bill for returning members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The truth is that billions of dollars will be used to replenish the Iranian regime’s ATMs in the region.
Those ATMs are the Ayatollah Terror Machines – the Shiite militia in Iraq, Assad’s regime in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and the many other Iranian’s terror proxies throughout the region.
Billions of dollars will also go to strengthen Iran’s vast global terror network that is used to perpetrate terror attacks on five continents and 30 countries – from Buenos Aires to Burgas to Bangkok.
Watching the breathtaking collapse of the positions of the P5+1, it is hard to believe that two years ago we were promised that the sanctions regime would only be dismantled if and when Iran’s illicit nuclear program was dismantled.
Instead, this deal dismantles the sanctions regime in exchange for partial and temporary constraints on Iran’s nuclear program.
Partial, because Iran will be allowed to continue R&D on advanced centrifuges and will continue to develop ICBMs, whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear payloads.
I’ve got a newsflash for you. Israel is on the same continent as Iran. So those intercontinental ballistic missiles are not for us. They’re for you.
The constraints on Iran’s nuclear program are only temporary because the most important ones will be removed in a decade.
And those constraints will be removed whether or not Iran changes its behavior.
In ten years, Iran could be even more aggressive, an even greater sponsor of terror, an even greater threat to Israel and America, and the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program would still be removed.
Think about that. In a decade, Iran could remain the world’s preeminent terror-sponsoring regime and have a completely legal, industrial scale uranium enrichment program that is capable of producing many nuclear bombs.
In 13 or 14 years, Iran’s breakout time would be “almost down to zero”
Those are not my words. Those are the words of President Obama. And that candid statement is all you need to know about why this deal is so bad.
But it gets worse.
Because Sunni Arab states in our region know that this deal ultimately paves Shia Iran’s path to the bomb, those states will rush to get nuclear weapons of their own.
So a good faith effort to stop one very dangerous regime from getting nuclear weapons could result in many regimes having nuclear weapons in the most dangerous region on earth.
If you think hooded-men running around the Middle East wielding knives and Kalashnikovs is bad, wait till they get their hands on nuclear weapons.
I know people are focused on the dangers of ISIS. And they should be.
But Iran’s regime is a thousand times more dangerous than ISIS.
Not because Iran is more fanatic than ISIS, but because Iran has more centrifuges than ISIS because Iran has more enriched uranium than ISIS.
For many years, Prime Minister Netanyahu has warned that the greatest danger facing our world is the coupling of militant Islam with nuclear weapons.
This deal could become the marriage certificate for that nightmare – and our children and grandchildren will never forgive us.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let us not repeat the mistake that was made with North Korea 20 years ago.
Back then, all sorts of sincere statements were also made about creating a safer world, about ending the threat of a nuclear-armed rogue state, and about bringing North Korea into the community of nations.
But despite all the promises and all the hopeful rhetoric, North Korea got the bomb.
And in a few years, North Korea may have a hundred nuclear bombs – to use for themselves, to sell to the highest bidder, and to threaten the world.
There are many differences between North Korea and Iran.
Unlike North Korea, Iran operates a global terror network.
Unlike North Korea, Iran is led by religious fanatics driven by apocalyptic fantasies.
Unlike North Korea, Iran vows to overturn the entire international order.
But there is also a profound moral difference between the North Korean deal and this deal being negotiated with Iran.
In the case of North Korea, there were six party talks. But two of those six parties were the South Koreans and the Japanese.
Two of your closest allies in the region – allies who would be the most vulnerable and most endangered by any potential deal – those allies were at the negotiating table with you.
So it is hard to fault the United States and others for doing a deal that their South Korean and Japanese allies strongly supported.
Yet today, the world’s powers are finalizing an agreement that will threaten the survival of Israel and the security of Arab states across the Middle East — and your allies are not there.
Israel is not there. Your Arab allies are not there.
Those who are the most vulnerable, those who would be the most endangered by any deal – we are not at the negotiating table.
And as the old saying goes, if you’re not seated at the table, then you’re probably on the menu.
Israelis across the political spectrum are united in their view that this deal is a disaster. Now for a country where every two Jews have three opinions, that’s saying something.
Your Arab allies also think this is a very bad deal.
And when Israel and the Arab states are on the same page – which happens about once a century – pay attention.
Ask yourself why Israel and its neighbors are so opposed to this deal.
After all, we have the most to gain by peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue.
We have the most to gain by a deal which truly blocks Iran’s path to the bomb.
The reason why we oppose this deal is because it doesn’t resolve anything, Because it doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb.
It makes Iran’s illegal nuclear program legal.
It provides billions in sanctions relief for Iran to fuel the fires of war that it is spreading across the Middle East.
And it rolls out the red carpet for Iran to become a military nuclear power – a power that would threaten Israel with annihilation and threaten the peace and security of the entire world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You are meeting in Washington in the middle of a three-week mourning period for the Jewish people.
This period begins every year on the 17th day of the Jewish month of Tamuz, when the walls of the ancient city of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans.
It ends on the 9th of Av, the most infamous day on the Jewish calendar, when the Babylonians destroyed the first Temple and when the Romans destroyed the Second.
History has not been kind to the Jewish people during these three weeks.
So today, as we look around a dangerous Middle East, as we hear the daily calls of Iran’s rulers to destroy Israel, as we marvel that the leading powers of the world are desperately trying to make a deal with the world’s greatest terrorist regime, it is easy to be disheartened about our future.
In Washington, there is no Ambassador of Bablyon. There is no Ambassador of the Roman Empire. There is no Ambassador of the Third Reich.
But there is an Ambassador of Israel.
And I have the privilege of representing not only the 8 million citizens who live in the 67-year old thriving, democratic state of Israel.
I also have the privilege of representing a nearly 4,000 year old people, who have overcome every evil that history has thrown our way.
So rest assured that the we will survive the storm ahead.
But we will not do it by bowing our heads and shutting our mouths.
We will do it by standing tall and speaking up.
We read in Kohelet, the Book of Ecclesiastes, that to everything there is a season – a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time for war and a time for peace, a time to keep silent and a time to speak up.
This is not a time for silence.
This is a time to speak up.
This is a time to stand up.
And I ask all of you to stand with Israel.
The enemies of civilization think that the winds of destiny are at their backs.
Show them they’re wrong.
Show them that America stands proudly and firmly in their way and by Israel’s side.
Show them that their chants of Death to America will not be met by more concessions at the negotiating table, but by the iron will of a free people in the most powerful nation on earth.
Show them that America and Israel will continue to stand together to defend our common civilization.
God Bless you all.
God Bless Israel.
And God Bless the United States of America.