Does Israel Stand Alone?

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“Because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and nonproliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors who served under Republican and Democratic presidents support it.”

President Barack Obama, August 5, 2015

Let’s for the moment ignore the fact that many other countries, especially those with the most at stake, are in fact privately appalled by the Iran deal. Let’s stipulate that Israel stands publicly alone.

So what? If the United Nations Security Council had existed in October 1938, it would have rushed to support the Munich agreement signed with Germany by the P2+1 of the day, Great Britain and France plus Italy. The majority of arms control and foreign policy experts would have supported it. Former ambassadors who had served under Republican and Democratic presidents would have supported it. In fact, while the United States was not a party to the agreement, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made it publicly known that he had cabled British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, “Good man.”

Little Czechoslovakia—not invited to be a party to the negotiations and of course not a party to the agreement—stood alone. And as Churchill put it the next week: “All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness. She has suffered in every respect by her association with the Western democracies and with the League of Nations.”

Today, according to President Obama, Israel stands alone. She has suffered from the fecklessness of the Western democracies and the hostility of the United Nations. But all is not over. Israel is not broken and has no intention of receding into the darkness. As Benjamin Netanyahu said in his speech to Congress in March: “Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

So it does. Writing in the New York Sun, Seth Lipsky commented: “President Obama may have mocked the Jewish state for being the only country in the world to oppose the pact of appeasement he’s just inked with Iran. All the greater Israel’s glory, we say.”

But the key point, Lipsky notes, is this: In its opposition to the Iran deal, Israel does not stand alone. America stands with Israel—even if the Obama administration does not.

The majority of the U.S. Congress stands against the deal. And so does Army Staff Sergeant (ret.) Robert Bartlett, who was grievously wounded on May 3, 2005, in Baghdad by an improvised explosive device made far more devastating by sophisticated Iranian expertise dedicated to the task of killing and maiming as many American soldiers as possible.

The destruction of Sergeant Bartlett’s Humvee was a feather in the cap of the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qassem Suleimani. A retired American general officer who served in Iraq commented recently that special forces and drone operatives had Suleimani in their sights several times during those years. They were told by their civilian superiors to refrain from killing him. The general deeply regrets that he and his colleagues were constrained by those orders. Now the Iran deal removes international sanctions from Suleimani personally and from his Revolutionary Guard.

In an ad aired by the group Veterans Against the Deal, Sergeant Bartlett has spoken out. You can watch the ad at You might consider asking your senators and representatives to do so as well.

On August 12, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who negotiated the deal with John Kerry, met in Beirut with Hassan Nasrallah, chief of the Iran-funded terror group Hezbollah. Zarif told Nasrallah the deal “created a historic opportunity to .  .  . face threats posed by the Zionist entity.” Hezbollah has killed Israelis and Jews. It has killed Muslims and Christians. It has also killed Americans. The group took gleeful credit for the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, which killed 241 Americans who were in Lebanon to serve as peacekeepers at the request of Arab nations and for that matter the U.N. Security Council.

Members of Congress should be proud to stand against a deal that empowers Iran and Hezbollah, that leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in place and increases the chances of nuclear proliferation, that funds Iranian terror and increases the chances of regional wars. As Sergeant Bartlett said when he first heard about the deal, “I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. The very country that killed so many Americans over in Iraq—I just couldn’t believe it.”

Sergeant Bartlett couldn’t believe it. He’s chosen to fight the deal and try to defeat it. He has the support of the American public. No, Israel does not stand alone.

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