I have been hesitant to write about the Iran deal for a while now, for a few reasons. One is that this blog is about my life as an olah, and I wasn’t sure a political opinion piece had its place here. The other was that I have so much to say on the subject, and I haven’t been able to adequately gather all my disparate thoughts into one cohesive post. The third reason is that, generally, I want this blog to be light and silly. All these fears have been put to bed. First, this deal affects every one of us in Israel and the US, most especially those of us who moved here to Israel from elsewhere and plan to stay. That makes it truly a vital part of my experience as an olah. Second, I’ve decided that this probably won’t be the only post I write about this deal, so I may as well start somewhere. The third is that while light and fluffy may be my mood most of the time, serious times call for serious words. The world we live in is not always going to be funny cab drivers and Hebrew gaffes. Sometimes it’s going to be crazy mullahs and their nuclear ambitions.
Today I was corresponding with one of my former Birthright participants about the Iran deal. This was interesting for a few reasons. One, this was not a participant I often chat with, about geopolitical issues or otherwise. Second, this was not someone I knew to be overly concerned with Israel specifically. Like many of my former Birthright friends, they are peripherally aware of what’s happening here, generally positively inclined toward Israel and overall not too involved with Israeli politics. This time, though, I think even non-involved Jewish Americans are taking note of how bad this deal is for Israel as a country in general, and me in Israel on a personal level.
If this were two years ago and I was sitting in NYC, following the intricacies of this deal, I have no doubt I’d be equally furious. I’d be calling my senators and attending rallies. I’d be posting on Facebook and engaging in constant debates with friends and coworkers. It would be a huge issue for me, just like it is now. But there would be a difference. I would be worried– on behalf of my Israeli friends. I would be concerned– for my family in Israel. I would be anxious– for the foreign country I held so dear. All that is completely different from my current emotional state. I feel a numbing fear for the future of my friends, family and myself here in the Jewish state.
I am a realist to the end. Not a pessimist, not an optimist, just a realist. When a country bent on the destruction of Israel screams from the rafters “Death to Israel! Death to America!” I believe them. When the Iranian negotiators celebrate the amazing deal they made with the world powers, giving them the money, time and ingredients to realize all their nuclear ambitions, I take notice. The deal completely baffles me. From my understanding (and exhaustive research) I have concluded that: The Iranians now have tons of money and freedom to develop “nuclear capability”, no oversight from the USA (as we are not an ally nation and therefore do not have the right of oversight), sanctions lifted and the stamp of approval from world powers to let a totalitarian Islamist regime join the community of democratic nations. Am I missing anything? Probably, but let’s see what we in the free world get in return! Oversight of nuclear facilities (although not by the USA, and not for about a month from our request, and not for several years from now), and the assurance of a murderous regime that they will try not to destroy the world when they have the chance. Sounds like a bargain to me!