Why I’m a One-Issue Voter

The rabbi who gave the benediction at the DNC asks, Which candidate will prevent nuclear terror?

  • Share
  • Read Later
XINHUA / LANDOV

Demonstrators hold up a Quran during a protest outside the Swiss embassy in Tehran, capital of Iran, on Sept. 13, 2012.

I have never voted in a Presidential election on one issue alone, but I will this year.

We all know there are crucial economic and social issues. If you are out of a job, what could be more pressing? There are foreign policy challenges with Russia, China, North Korea and the Middle East. I do not mean to minimize the urgency of these issues. But this year, for me, they must all take a back seat.

Although I recently delivered the benediction at the Democratic National Convention, I considered the act religious, not political — a blessing, not an endorsement. My decision this year will be simple: I will vote for whichever candidate seems likelier to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

(MORE: Red Lines, Deadlines and End Games: Netanyahu Turns Up Iran Heat on Obama)

There are two words that symbolize the terror of the twentieth century: Auschwitz and Hiroshima. An Iranian bomb threatens to combine them both. It portends the destruction of an entire nation and an entire people in a moment. However hard it may be to imagine such wholesale slaughter, if history has taught us nothing else, it has taught that today’s delusions of madmen can become tomorrow’s reality.

The problem is not one person. True, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad describes Israel as an “insult to humanity” and “a cancerous tumor,” and calls for its “disappearance.” But it is equally true that in May, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, Major-General Seyed Hassan Firouzabadi, said: “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause [and] that is the full annihilation of Israel.” And in June, Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told a United Nations-sponsored anti-drug conference that the Jews were responsible for the spread of illegal drugs around the world, that the Zionists control the international drug trade, and that they had ordered doctors to kill black babies.

(MORE: A Blueprint for Preventing Nuclear Terrorism)

Experts from Israel’s former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan and others point to a genuine concern that Iran would bomb Israel. So those like The New York Times‘ Bill Keller who declare that Iran would not use the bomb are foisting their own humanitarian criteria on people who do not share them. The reasoning seems to be: “Since for me it is unthinkable, it must be impossible.” But we have learned to our cost in the twentieth century, when it comes to atrocity, the unthinkable is indeed possible. “Containing” a nuclear Iran is the opposite of real politik; it is fantasy politik.

After all, even if we stipulate for a moment that Iran would not bomb Israel, the problem is hardly solved. Would they give nuclear weapons to proxies in Hezbollah? Of course not, right? Who would trust Hezbollah with a nuclear weapon? But we have seen in Pakistan that a single brilliant, unscrupulous man can change the nuclear balance. And even if the regime were itself restrained, and exercised an improbable degree of discipline, what would its nervous neighbors do? Saudi Arabia is not likely to stand idly by while its neighbor attains instant hegemony. They know with whom they are dealing, even if we sometimes forget: After all, the long, savage Iran–Iraq war was fought largely by children given a “token” to ensure their entrance to heaven should they be martyred. That is not a mentality designed to encourage confidence in international restraint and wisdom.

(MORE: How Barack Put Bibi in the Corner)

This week was Rosh Hashana, the day in the Jewish tradition that the world was created. Another sacred scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, went through the mind of Robert Oppenheimer as he saw the first atom bomb explode near Los Alamos: “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

With the exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humanity has managed to restrain itself from deploying this most awful of weapons, the one that can indeed destroy worlds. We stand before an iron law of history: you cannot unmake what has been made. Once Iran has a nuclear bomb, the world will never look the same. Not only Israelis, but the West will never sleep easily in its bed. Stopping Iran will not feed your family, get you a job or open a factory. It will not elevate the level of public discourse or bring manufacturing back from China. It will merely ensure that the free world, beginning with Israel but not ending there, will not live under the shadow of annihilation. To our presidential candidates: show me you have a way to do that, and you’ve got my vote.

MORE: Iran: One Nation, Under Sanctions

60 comments
issuevoter
issuevoter

I'm working on a nonpartisan social enterprise that will help voters stay informed & let elected officials know their constituents viewson bills. (Sign up for the launch & share: http://launch.issuevoter.com/) There is a trend towards voters voting by issue(s) rather than party or other factors. Please contact me if you want to learn more, or know someone interested in getting involved. Thanks, I appreciate it! http://facebook.com/issuevoter 

ilanadiamant
ilanadiamant

you're forgetting that Meir Dagan also advised against bombing Iran. And you're ignoring the fact that even if the US/Israel ruin Iran's nuclear capacity, that would be only temporary, it does NOT ensure that Iran will not redevelop its capability in the future, and will be more of a danger then after it has been attacked.

Rusty Kuntz
Rusty Kuntz

Some people are truely full of it. So it is okay for Isreal to have a bomb and for the United States to have many bombs for "protection" and it is not okay for Iran to have a bomb. Just the mere fact that we are able to tell countries what they can and cannot have is the reason for Wars in the first place. After World War two, Western countries felt bad and responsible to what happen to the jews, so they created Isreal, or recreated I should say. That would be like Europeans countries given the entire south-west region back to Mexico because, lets face it, that who it historical belong to, would Americans be upset if Europeans even dare to take away our land and give it back to it's "rightful" owner; and people wonder why Iran, and other Muslim nations are still bitter. Lets not make this a conversation about Morality please, and to say the Iran is the "smart" enough to have a bomb is insulting that that country, for one country to tell another what they can and can't have is also insulting. This is a conversation about power, and bullying, and I am all for national protection, but lets keep, the conversation there! There are no saints in a nuclear war.

LarryShort
LarryShort

@Rusty Kuntz - Just to be clear, are you saying that any country that wants a nuclear weapon should be allowed to have one? (Even if they've threatened to use them unilaterally?) How about states? Cities? Country clubs?

Or, perhaps you're saying that because the U.S. has developed (and used) nuclear weapons, we have no right to stop others from doing so?

I'm just trying to fathom your point.

Sam Ebel
Sam Ebel

Rabbi,

Yishar Cochacha.

Gemar Chatima Tova.

Jill Louis
Jill Louis

Canada

Goose Men's Duvetica Yellow Jackets

Canada

Goose Women's Duvetica Down Jacket Pansy

Canada

Goose Women's Duvetica Down Jacket Dark Red

Canada

Goose Women's Fashion Duvetica Jacket Red

Canada

Goose Women's Duvetica Hooded Down White Vests

Canada

Goose Women's Duvetica Rose Hooded White Zipper Vests

 

Jill Louis
Jill Louis

 

Cheap

Adidas Climacool Fresh Ride 8.21

Cheap

Adidas Climacool Oscillation

Cheap

Adidas ClimaCool Ride 8.21

Cheap

Adidas ClimaCool Ride Shoes

Cheap

Adidas ClimaCool Seduction

Cheap

Adidas Daroga Two 11 CC Shoes

ecleggett
ecleggett

Action speaks louder than words. Iran funds terrorism, but Iran has also not invaded a country in over a century. Many are concerned that Iran's goal is to destroy Israel. Rightfully so. Iran's leaders have been talking dirty. But when it comes to Nuclear Power we can talk dirtier for there are quite a few nuclear warheads pointed in their direction at this very moment. The second Iran shot a missle at Israel is the second they will have decided to cease living as a nation. Nazi Germany was able to truly terrorize because there was little resistance to the beginning invasions of Europe. Iran isn't invading anyone, they know they sit surrounded by the US forces, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc. Iran is surrounded by Nuclear Warheads. We have Iran contained more than North Korea  which is a non Muslim country that has a history of violent, unpredictable actions. Haven't heard of any invasion plans for over there.

travelmaven
travelmaven

Rabbi Wolpe's comments are brilliant. There can only be one issue this November. We must protect Israel and her citizens, and in doing so...we will help protect ourselves. The govenment as it stands now is not doing that. President Obama has sent a very clear message to B. Netanyahu. And lines have been drawn in the sand. The question is: With regard to Israel, and helping to ward off her radical Muslim neighbors..."Are you with us, or against us?"

John Cross
John Cross

The author is correct that the Iranian question is an important one. His premise, however, is wrong. The crucial question is not whether one candidate is opposed to a nuclear Iran (they both are), nor even if they have a "plan".  As Colin Powell used to say “no battle plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy.”  The question is competence. Which of the two candidates is more likely to prevent this outcome?

So far Romney has managed to alienate almost all of our allies in Europe and the Middle East. He has directly insulted the Palestinians twice, and the entire Islamic world once (that we know of--wait for the next video!!!) By attacking our embassy staff in the middle of an attack in order to defend a smutty hate video, he turned a few protests into an international incident and showed his complete inability to act diplomatically and with presidential decorum on the international scene. Already he is a laughing stock. 

Not only that but, even among American Jews and  Israelies, Romney's too-obvious attempts to brown-nose his way into the favor of PM Netanyahu are not being seen as dignified for an American President. 

In the last 3 years Obama has handled Middle Eastern affairs in such a way that the US and Israel have almost become an afterthought. Throughout the uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and even Syria, anti-US and even anti-Israeli feelings have been muted. In fact, they are simply not present. Instead of standing blindly behind dictators, which some of Romney's advisers have suggested he would do, Obama has shown that he will support democratic aspirations. As a result, none of the uprisings have been about the US or Israel, and past dictators like Qaddafi who made Israel-bashing the cornerstone of their legitimacy, have been wiped off the face of the earth.

In their place are, in many cases, democracies that are admittedly decidedly Islamic. However at the same time they appear to be dedicated to institutional stability and solving their own internal problems through hard work rather than rabble-raising. Morsi's Government in Egypt, for example, has so far continued to respect the treaty with Israel at least as much as Mubarak did, and it has followed through with crackdowns on Islamic terrorists. 

In terms of Iran, during Obama's Presidency the alienation between Iran and the Arab world has become almost complete. Note that during the recent summit in Tehran, Egypt's Morsi deliberately snubbed his host on the question of Syria. We are at the point where Iran is so effectively isolated that they literally have no allies to call on. 

By standing up and insulting Islam, Romney is doing the exact opposite of what is in the best interest of Israel. By refocusing Middle East issues in terms of religion, in part to appeal erroneously to American Jews and more realistically to American Evangelicals, he risks re-uniting the Islamic world against Israel. And he is doing this just to get elected? What will he do when he actually becomes the President? 

Rabbi Wolpe should consider carefully the danger of a electing a man who appeals to the worst of human nature in order to win the Presidency: fear and divisiveness. These are the tactics of rabble-rousers and radicals. Is Romney a radical? I don't think so, because he is very bad at it. But he tries to be, and that is dangerous enough. 

Any military leader knows that plans are good to have until the battle begins. Then you need a level head, you need flexibility, and you need leadership. People concerned about Israel, and not hoping for Armageddon, should consider not how vociferous a candidate is about Iran, and certainly not how specific they are in their plans, but the character of the man behind the claims. 

Romney has simply not shown that he has the character to be a world leader. Obama clearly has. 

Michael Di Fatta
Michael Di Fatta

absurd from start to finish!

Romney's character as you say is beyond reproach. The man is a good honest man compared to a man that is stripping away our freedoms right before our eyes and never could explain the only deal he ever did in his life with convicted Resko.

 

When our prez was eating dog and on his numerous drug binges (per his own book), Romney was out building a life and successful business.

 Romney spoke the truth about Palestinians who are used like pawns and unlike our prez who claims a video trailer (that nobody has even seen) sparked all of this killing and rioting even when his own spokesperson finally had to admit the truth which obama still won't admit...that the attack was planned..hence the date it occurred on...that's what you support a liar who says one thing and does another.

Says religious freedoms are a priority of his while he is being sued by religious agencies, one of the largest religious lawsuits in our history.

A prez who says he thinks from dawn to dusk about how to create more jobs, but has only created more food stamp and disability claims then job claims month after month.

Who complains about lobbying and swore he'd not participate but of course does.

Who complains about all the money on wallstreet while he is the largest benefactor?

Etc….lie after lie that you don't hold him accountable.

plus he is so smart it took him three months to figure out why he couldn't close Gitmo and I could go on and on about all the broken promises.

He has no leadership skills, but then again you elected an agitator, not a leader.

The most divisive prez in my life time etc etc etc.

You all vote for people who lie, cheat and/or steal and then wonder why the country is all messed up!

Michael Di Fatta
Michael Di Fatta

Excuse me Rabbi, but the tyranny and oppression pushed by the liberals in this country and around the world have caused far more death and suffering then two bombs. Where is your outrage or even acknowledgement of that?

 

We have historical proof that personal responsibility and teaching people to fish is the more prosperous and more freedom securing method, yet where are the Jews on this matter?

 

They vote for dependency, tyranny and oppression!

George Babbitt
George Babbitt

Why is this author voting in an American election, when his only concerns are centered on a foreign country? Why doesn't this author move to Israel if he is so concerned with it's welfare, and leave American sovereignty intact?

simantob
simantob

Why be concerned about Israel? because what happens to what the Iranians call the Little Satan (Israel) will inevitably happen to what they call the Great Satan (the US).  You want to wait and have them explode a nuke on Israel before acting?  By then we may face a nuke exploding in the US.  We thought we could hide behind the oceans when WWII erupted in Eurpe and Asia because, well, Hitler was only killing Jews and the Japanese were only killing the Chinese.  Pearl Harbor taught us otherwise.

George Babbitt
George Babbitt

Whatever, the Japanese couldn't even manage a round two, as they could barely manage Pearl Harbor. Hitler would have found a friend in the U.S. populace, with all the pro-German sentiment in the U.S. at the time, and if he had not attacked the U.S.S.R. The Iranians, through their proxies, can manage to lob a few rockets in the general direction of Israel on occasion. They are fully capable of starting a full out war, but they don't want that. They just want the Jews to go home, and to stop destabilizing the Middle East with their obsolete ways. The Great Satan moniker given to the U.S. probably has a lot to do with the parental nature of the relationship between the U.S. and the Little Satan, Israel.

YSol
YSol

This talk is insane and will lead only to a world conflagration. Iran is going to have nuclear capability. That is a fact and it cannot be stopped. Iran's bluster and threats are just that and to see these insane comments from the mullahs as actual foreign policy that will be acted on is without foundation.  An American/Israel attack on Iran may set their programme back a few yrs but will not prevent its coming to fruition.  The only nation in history that actually used the bomb, 2x, was not some dictatorship, it was the US.

YSol
YSol

Rabbi Wolpe's remarks do not convince. Israel is not on the thresehold of another Holocaust.  Bill Keller's analysis was more correct.  Rabbi Wolpe does not mention that Israel has nuclear weapons and would use them if attacked or even threatened.  Iran knows that as well. What does Rabbi Wolpe think Iran would do if Israel strikes it?  What would be the result? Would it not be the opening of a world conflagration that would have tremendous consequences for Israel, the region and the US?  Iran is going to acquire nuclear capability. That is the fact. To be on guard that "never again" is not just empty sloganeering is one thing, to think that Israel stands on the precipice of another Holocaust is groundless paranoia.

orlandojon
orlandojon

well he doesn't say it but if he's voting for the candidate that will prevent Iran from having a nuke...that would take a vote for Romney

Fabio Juliano
Fabio Juliano

Rabbi Wolpe is right to be concerned about this issue. When it comes to the presidential election, however, the choice is between Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Obama will do nothing to prevent Iran from getting the bomb because of his chronic Islamophilia. As for Romney, he may not sympathize with Iran, but I highly doubt he would be willing to put his presidency in jeopardy for the sake of an endangered ally. He gives the distinct impression of caring about no one except those who are in every way his own.

If Israel wants to save itself, the country's leadership must accept the necessity of acting alone and doing it soon.

Scotty_A
Scotty_A

Obama is the better choice.Iran will realize that he does not seek to escalate the conflict.

m_a_c_11
m_a_c_11

Its sad to see the "us versus them" attitude that comes down to "we are better than you, and somehow you are lower so I have greater rights but you do not". The writer delivers this message so clearly and puts Israel in the top. Before every attack in history, the aggressor somehow wanted to denigrate the opponent, to sub-humanize it, just to appease the moral of the bystander.

This tactics is used by both Iranians and Israeli sides, but its sad to see this tactics used in Time magazine. 

zionadvocate
zionadvocate

Obama seems to have made his position clear. He believes he can negotiate Iran out of nuclear weapons and by not pushing too hard and being bellicose he has a better chance.  Unfortunately history proves him wrong.

While I understand the position some take that they do not want to fight for Israel, be assured Israel does not anyone to fight for them either, in-fact it is Government policy.  Israeli public, nor leadership,  does not want to strike Iran. The goal is to convince them that the cost of their nuclear program will be unbearable.

To that effect Netanyahu believes that the best way to deal with Iran is by making it very clear that the west will stop them period. All of the techniques including a big stick and undivided resolve has worked in the past and are more likely to work in the future.

Israel has a much smaller window of opportunity than America. When time runs out for conventional weapons Israel will then have to use their nuclear capability. Only America has the ability to take out the Iranian program after the "zone of immunity" has been crossed.

Israel does not want to use nuclear or American forces to do the job. Prior to this point Israel can fire a shot across the bow to show they mean business but Iran has already declared that they are willing to take the casualties in order to destroy Israel.

America has made it's share of intelligence mistakes and Obama has shown weakness to the point that many of our allies don't trust us and adversaries don't fear us. Just look around the world. The Mideast is burning, the Russians threw out USAID today and have been pushing their weight around. China is acting belligerent toward Japan.  Venezuela is building missile batteries pointed at the US.  Iran is exerting presure on Iraq and is preparing for us to leave Afganistan. Syria and Lebanon are under Iran's military thumb, or at least militarily supported.

Israeli's have a very low approval of Obama because they know that his timidity and poor treatment of Israel is costing dearly. Israel is preparing for war. Gas masks have been distributed, bomb shelters are being prepared. The military is on high alert and intensive training. The Palestinians will be collateral damage but frankly do not have a high value in the Arab world and Iranians are not even Arabs .

Rabbi Wolpe,  I too am a one issue voter. I see the same things you do and agree with everything you have said. I am very clear of Obama's position. He does not care about Israel's military limitations. He has time to talk and if that fails use military force. He does not want to listen to Bibi. He knows what Bibi will say and has rejected it.

If Israel trusts Obama and waits and something goes wrong than Israel will have to choose between suicide and a nuclear preemptive strike. This will be a disaster for the world, especially us Jews. The whole world will blame the Jews.

Putting Netanyahu in this impossible position and not even have the courtesy to let Bibi come to him to beg for a change of strategy is enough for me to make my decision.

Romney has not made clear what he will do. He has made clear his more realistic view of the mentality of the adversary. I believe he can't be worse than our current President, General Dempsey, Secretary Panetta or Secretary Clinton in the attitude toward Israel.

Israel is pleading with the the world to prevent another genocide. Israel has made the decision that a nuclear Iran is suicide and Jewish law is clear about that.  Bibi knows Iran will be stopped, he is only deciding on when. His patience with Obama is running out.

Obama has said he will not allow Iran to get the bomb but is not showing his hand to his ally Israel.  Israel is not bluffing. Is Iran? Is Obama? Why is Obama not on the same team as Israel and forcing Israel to play their trump card?

Obama is playing a game with Israel that is existential to Israel, the Jews and possibly the world. The Iranians invented chess, they are pretty good at it. I say it's time to stop playing this game.

Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israeli military intelligence has a commentary in the Washington Post. It's a month old and still no change. http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Please make your choice for President carefully and please let us know what you decide.

@zionadvocate

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

Obama has said he will not allow Iran to get the bomb but is not showing his hand to his ally Israel.

Israel's military leaders have said that the cooperation between Israel's military and the U.S. military has never been closer. It is only Bibi Netanyahu who is yelling that the sky is falling, probably to bolster his political position in Israel and to help Republican politics in America.

zionadvocate
zionadvocate

 Unfortunately Obama's behavior is dangerous if your goal is to avoid war. By not showing his hand he is forcing Israels hand. While some military to military activity is closer, much of what you are hearing is local politics. If Netanyahu says something the opposition says the opposite.

The Israeli population is with Netanyahu by a wide margin. He is by far not the only one speaking out, just the one you hear through the left wing press. Note that in Israel the way to political positions is through military or intelligence services. This is what rivals due.

The current military leadership as well as lot's of high ranking officials are with Netanyahu. Check the link at the bottom of my original post.

Both he and Ehud Barak have denied the claim that this is about American politics. I assure you this is not a game for Israel. All of the countries around them are falling apart and Israel is on high alert. Preparations for war are underway with extensive military exercises and the population preparing bunkers, food storage and heavy prayer. Gas masks have been distributed and evacuation drills being preformed.

Please try to put yourself in their position and consider how you would feel.

Of course there is opposition and disagreements. The joke goes if there are 2 Jews in a room there are 3 opinions. That sounds about right to me.

No one want's to jump the gun or alienate America. Everybody just has different lines. Netanyahu is in a unique position. He has the hardest decision in the country to make. All I am trying to convey is that Obama makes that decision murkier in some ways and places doubt in the mind of Israeli's. Does he really has Israels back or is just leading from behind?  Gen. Demsey made it sound as if they do not have Israel's back.

I for one would not want to be in Netanyahu's shoes.

zionadvocate
zionadvocate

 The problem is he only whispers. Only Joe Biden believes he has a big stick. If he had a strong policy there would have been no need to call Morsi. 20 countries stormed our embassies because they don't believe we will do anything. The congress is threatening to stop payments to Egypt but have you heard a word from Obama. The fact is Obam's Mid-east policy has encouraged bad behavior.

Your Bin-Laden claim is rediculous and an insult to our intelligence services and military.  Other than Bin-Laden and a bunch of drone attacks what force has Obama used?

John Cross
John Cross

With Obama there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Teddy Roosevelt said "speak softly" but Obama whispers. Did you see how fast Egypt clamped down on the protests in Cairo when Obama said offhand "Egypt is not an ally..."?  At the same time he is not afraid to use force when necessary. Bush was too inept or too afraid to go after Bin Ladin. Not Obama. That is the kind of leadership we need IMHO.

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

I would remind the good rabbi that loyal Americans, those who put the well-being of our nation and its people first, will not vote one-issue with the security of Israel as that one-issue.

simantob
simantob

In the 1930s, Lindbergh and other isolationists also claimed that what the Axis powers intended to do was of no concern to the US and we should not get involved.  So, instead of stopping aggression at a lower cost in the 1930s, we had to wait until December 7, 1941 and then try to stop the Axis at a much greater loss of life.  Iran may now only threaten the Jewish state.  So, we can wait and see what happends to the Jews before we act but remember that the Jews are the canary in the coal mine.  There is a reason why Iran calls Israel the Little Satan but calls the US the Great Satan.  The Iranian Regime's hatred of the US is much greater than its hatred of Israel.  Once Iran gets the bomb, its use wont be limited against Israel.  The next 9/11 will involve an Iranian bomb and not just airplanes.  On the hother hand, Iran is now reasonably weak and can be stopped as Germany could have been in 1933 or 1936. 

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

Are you wanting American troops to invade Iran before we know if they have a bomb? That would be very costly for America. Remember what a mess we created by getting excited about "mushroom clouds" and WMDs that did not exist. We don't need to make THAT mistake again.

NativeNina
NativeNina

I think his point is that its not only the security of Israel that is at risk. If you notice, the radicals never only say Israel, they always add, "and the west." We are the west.

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

A preemptive strike against Iran by Israel will guarantee war. If Israel is pushed hard enough with the counterattacks from Hezbollah and Hamas, and from Egypt and Syria as well as Iran, eventually it's only option for defense will be a nuclear response. Once that happens, the enemies of Israel will not need an Iranian bomb. Pakistan already has the bomb, and, in a wider Israel-Islam war, will use them. The best option is for everyone to continue to talk, looking for a way to avoid a war that can easily escalate. Romney has already ruled out seeking a Palestinian-Israeli peace by talking, which is key to keeping the lid on the whole Middle East situation. I can't vote for that approach. It's way too dangerous. 

Maria E
Maria E

Wake up and watch the Middle east, that's how credible our foreign policy is.  You keep on insisting what Obama said but what he says is not what he does.

dshere
dshere

On what basis are you assuming that seeking a Palestinian-Israeli peace will "keep the lid" on Middle East tensions?  The pursuit of Oslo peace led to much greater violence.  So did Israel's withrawal from southern Lebanon and Gaza, overtures for peace that were applauded by the international community and subsequently used by Palestinians as opportunities to launch rockets into Israel. 

And now Israel is being asked to put its trust in Obama, who fought AGAINST Iran sanctions before Congress unanimously passed them.  Now, of course, Obama claims them as his own. 

And nice job insinuating that Rabbi Wolpe is not a "loyal American" because he places this issue above others.  Are single-issue abortion or union voters not loyal Americans? 

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

And nice job insinuating that Rabbi Wolpe is not a "loyal American" because he places this issue above others. Are single-issue abortion or union voters not loyal Americans?

Yes, if Rabbi Wolpe (or any other person) casts his vote for president of the United States based solely on his desire to safeguard Israel (or any other foreign country), then I would not have confidence in his loyalty to America. Putting it in military combat terms, I would not want to share a foxhole with such a person in combat, I would not feel that I could trust them to have my back.

As for single-issue voters, they skew the democratic process, no matter the issue, and that hurts America. Just look around you.

simantob
simantob

It would have been costly to stop Germany when it first violated the Versailles treaty and remilitarized. So we appeased. It would have been costlier to save czechoslovakia. So we appeased. Same with the anschlus, so we appeased. Then came WWII and we realized that appeasement's true cost was global war by a single absolute leader resulting in over 50 million dead, with 6 million turned into ash and soap. As a Persian, I understand the evil nature of the current regime in Iran and it's desire to eradicate the Jewish state. We may hope they dont mean what they say but we are betting the lives of another 6 million Jews that we are right. What if he means it? After all he calls israel a cancer and how do you eradicate cancer if not by radiation?

Jeffrey Geez Glavick
Jeffrey Geez Glavick

My bet is your not Iranian, just because you say you are , does not mean that you, fess up-Destroy them, God, obliterate them from the face of the earth.”If you said Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, head of Israel’s Shas Party and one of the country’s ultra-Orthodox kingmakers, and further guessed that he was talking about Iran—please take a seat at the head of the class.Dear Rabbi- cast no BS stonesRead more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/09/...

simantob
simantob

Ahhh, you are now an expert in ethnicity based merely on someone's post. The Germans did by measuring skulls so I guess you are more digital. If you want to meet Persians, whether Muslim, jewish, Baha'i, Assyrian, Armenian or other, come to Westwood in los Angeles and meet us. But do not presume that nearly one million exile community in the US or even more in europe support this genocidal theocracy in Iran. As for what one rabbi in israel may now believe after 32 years of the Islamic republics rants shaker jews, the rabbi is not a supreme leader like khamenei nor israel governed by a council of mullahs like Iran. Israel had no beef with Iran and had great relations with Iran until 1979. It is the milahs that started to rant about destroying the jewish state. However, if you are so fond of that regime, I encourage a visit to Iran. The mullahs like Americans and have kept some for 444 days!

simantob
simantob

Hitler didn't attack anyone until 1939 either. He just wrote about how he was going to murder all. Iran hasn't attacked yet. It does talk about wiping out the cancerous Zionist entity.

m_a_c_11
m_a_c_11

You are comparing apples and banana trees Simantob, I see and can guess what the Mulla regime is doing to Irani people, but they are *not* invading other countries (like Hitler) carrying out genocide (like Hitler) infact, Let alone Hitler, the Syrinan leader Bashar al Asad is much more worse than this Irani regime, Bashar the madman is mass-murdering its own people. Is that happening in Iran??

Comparing the Iran regime with Hitler is completely off the reality, Iran Regime have not attacked any country, and apart from their oppressive nature towards their *own* people and some incendiary political remarks (that also Israeli parties use) There is no way to compare it with WWII.

m_a_c_11
m_a_c_11

(misplaced comment, see below)

simantob
simantob

No. However, when Obama refuses to support regime change in Iran, then we face the fact that an evil regime is in complete control of the infrastructure and military of that country. Obama could have intervened during the massive 2009 demonstrations to help Iranians get rid of the Mullahs. He chose not do so, in contrast with his role in Libya or Egypt. So, now we face the question of allowing this regime to hide behind civilians in order to accomplish their stated goal of hastening the coming of the Mahdi or the hidden imam. It is a difficult choice and no one wants to harm civilians but we faced that choice in WWII as well. In order to free the world of the Axis tyranny, we invaded and bombed not just Germany and Japan but other countries that they had occupied. Based on your reasoning, in WWII we would have responded by saying, well Hitler is bad but we don't want to harm innocent Germans in order to get rid of him. Would the world be a better place if we had done that?

m_a_c_11
m_a_c_11

Simantob, I can guess you are very close to the exiled Persian community outside of Iran, and I can at least partially sympathize with you on the autocratic mulla-regime thats in place in Iran now.

But what is baffling and sad is that you are willing to jeopardize the whole population of Iran just to punish the mulla-regime. US went to Iraq with huge flags of democracy and promise to annihilate WMD. instead, it annihilated Iraq itself, along with Saddams regime. Look at Iraq now, you really want that to happen to your country??

Nonaffiliated
Nonaffiliated

In some ways Versailles was the origin of WW II.  Without the harsh penalties imposed there, the Nazi appeal would have been much muted.  Now, our threats against Iran reinforce those who say they need a bomb to defend themselves. 

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

Who is betting the lives of another 6 million Jews? President Obama has publicly stated on many occasions that U.S. policy is that it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear bomb. So, it isn't Obama. My biggest fear at this point is that Israel will jump the gun. That will guarantee the deaths of many Israelis and others.

SwordOfDamocles
SwordOfDamocles

@ Dan Bruce  - "…that it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear bomb." The word 'unacceptable' in this context is impotent pol-speak for "we don't like it, but we can't (or won't) do anything about it." 

Do you seriously believe Obama will really do all that is necessary - including using, as a last resort, military force - to prevent Iran from going nuclear? Your blithe assertion that Obama is not betting the lives of 6 million Jews is supported by nothing but supposition…and hope. Such things do not constitute an effective foreign policy vis-à-vis a nuclear Iran.

Maria E
Maria E

You don't take Obama's words, you watch his actions and so far...........

Jeffrey Geez Glavick
Jeffrey Geez Glavick

Rabbi_ Who said this?:Latest Updates

About

Columnists

Content Section

 Dear Rabbi: who said this:

“Destroy them, God, obliterate them from the face of the earth.”If you said Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, head of Israel’s Shas Party and one of the country’s ultra-Orthodox kingmakers, and further guessed that he was talking about Iran—please take a seat at the head of the class.Dear Rabbi- cast no BS stones

Ed Miller
Ed Miller

dodgers4553    "Shias is outweighed by the sensible secular men and women"

If this is so then why is Netanyahu, one of the fundamentalist's most supportive Prime Ministers in Israel's history, still in power?

dodgers4553
dodgers4553

Yes, there is a fundamentalist party in Israeli politics. However, the difference is that Jewish fundamentalism is in NO way as dangerous or threatening as the radical Islamic regimes in power in the Middle East. The Shas does not directly make policy, as you should know, because you are of course an educated observer rather than someone who found a quote on the internet. Shas is outweighed by the sensible secular men and women in the Israeli Parliament, something that the Muslim world sorely lacks.

Jodun
Jodun

I agree that Israel should not "jump the gun", but so far it hasn't even been agreed just what constitutes doing so. The US government has said that it does not want a nuclear-armed Iran, but it has failed to provide a clear limit of how far we are willing to tolerate Iran's ambitions before we decide it is time to take the next step. I hope that whomever wins in November (be it President Obama or Mr. Romney) will finally get around to putting a firm limit on Iran and let them know that if they go past that limit, the US and its allies will act to stop them from going any further.

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

The U.S., in both the Bush and Obama administrations, have said that it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear bomb. That is the "red line" that cannot be crossed and President Obama has been very clear about that.  Having ambitions to have a bomb and  having a bomb are two different things, and Obama has wisely made that distinction. At the same time, pressure is being applied by sanctions, and also by sabotage, no doubt in coordination with Israel, which has been very effective. Obama has not committed us to a "red line" war, and that is in the best interest of both the U.S. and Israel at this time. Even many Israeli generals and security experts agree.

simantob
simantob

For all the talk, Obama has not actually stated what is a red line that Iran cannot go past.  He has only talked about Iran having a nuclear bomb.  But to stop Iran after it gets a nuclear bomb is too late.  Given the current regime and its stated goals, the only option is to stop Iran from getting the capability of having a nuclear bomb OR to change the regime in Iran.  Obama refused to act to help Iranians change their regime in 2009 (he showed no hesitation against our ally Mubarak) so the question remains, is he and are you so sure that you can stop Iran AFTER it gets a nuclear weapon that you are wiling to bet the lives of another 6 million Jews on it?

SwordOfDamocles
SwordOfDamocles

@ azindow - Asserting that those who support doing all that is necessary including using military force to prevent Iran from going nuclear are "calling for war" is nothing but a lazy strawman.  

Nice try.

 

No sane person likes or wants war, but what happens if war becomes the only option that's left?

SamNasri
SamNasri

Josephine explained I didn't know that a stay at home mom able to make $5388 in 4 weeks on the network. did you look this(Click on menu Home)

azindow
azindow

Those calling for war should go for it and stop all the noise! Americans are tired of dying needlessly in these wars. Some folks tend to think once you hold a big hammer every problem to you should be treated as a nail!!

simantob
simantob

Since you have no idea where I live, when I left Iran or why, you just continue to show your ignorance by your posts. Then again may be you prophesized all my info?

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

You could have gone back to Iran and helped in 2009. Did you? Or do you only want red lines that other people have to defend?