Snap Fact #134
President Obama Stands Firmly With Israel Against a Nuclear Iran!
The question, when it comes to President Obama and Israel, is whether he is the most pro-Israel president in history or just one of the very most?
Why? Because he has delivered for Israel in word and deed since coming to office. What better proof that he is 100% in Israel's corner than the unequivocal pronouncements by Israel's top leaders (including Netanyahu, Barak, and Peres) that Presiden Obama is a "good man, a good president, and a good friend of Israel". America under Obama's leadership has delivered more economically, defensively, and militarily than was even requested. (See other related SNAP-CAPS in this series.)
At this moment the question of whether Israel has the need and the right to per-emptively attack Iran, as it seemingly develops a nuclear potential, is one of the most hotly contested issues on the world stage today. It is also an issue fraught with danger for Israel and American Jews, neither of whom want to be accused of dragging America into a war, especially one that could weaken an already frail world economy.
President Obama, in his recent address to AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, offered the greatest support for Israel that any president could at this time: He redefined the Iran issue. He said — rightly — that it was not simply about Israel’s security, but about U.S. national security and global security. He indicated that diplomacy was showing signs of working and that whatever happens we "have Israels back". The President not only spoke firmly at the AIPAC meeting, he was equally as clear and forceful when he spoke before the United Nations General Assembly, a clearly more hostile audience.
The President has made it abundantly clear that allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons and then “containing” that country was not a viable option, because if Iran acquires a nuclear bomb, all the states around it would seek to acquire one as well. This would not only lead to a nuclear Middle East, but it would likely prompt other countries to hedge their commitments to the global Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The global nuclear black market would then come alive and we would see the specter of an even more dangerous world.
“Preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapons isn’t just in the interest of Israel, it is profoundly in the security interests of the United States,” the president told The Atlantic. “If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, this would run completely contrary to my policies of nonproliferation. The risks of an Iranian nuclear weapon falling into the hands of terrorist organizations are profound. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, there are probably four or five countries in the Middle East who would start a program, and at that point, the prospect for miscalculation in a region that has that many tensions and fissures is profound. You essentially then duplicate the challenges of India and Pakistan fivefold or tenfold.” In summary, the president added, “The dangers of an Iran getting nuclear weapons that then leads to a free-for-all in the Middle East is something that I think would be very dangerous for the world.”
Every Israeli and friend of Israel should be thankful to the president for framing the Iran issue this way. It is important strategically for Israel, because it makes clear that dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat was not Israel’s problem alone. As such, no one should want domestic electoral politics mixed up with the Iran decision, which is why it was so important that the president redefined the Iran problem as a global proliferation threat and grounded his decision-making in American realism, not politics.
But this decision, about whether to attack Iran, is coinciding with U.S. election politics. The last thing Israel or American friends of Israel — Jewish and Christian — want is to give their enemies a chance to claim that Israel is using its political clout to embroil America in a war, or even to make a pre-emptive military strike on our own, that is not in our own interest.