This is a meaningful week for so many of us. As millions of Christians and Jews celebrate this Holy Week, it’s appropriate to reflect on developments in the Holy Land. Israel faces a nuclear threat from Iran that grows every day. Today we learned that the CIA has concluded that Iran already has the capability and the know-how to build nuclear weapons. While President Obama once said a nuclear-armed Iran would be “unacceptable,” after more than a year in office it’s sobering to have to acknowledge that his administration has made no progress in implementing “crippling” sanctions on Iran, let alone halting Iran’s nuclear program. Even the rhetoric moved in the wrong direction – recently the administration downgraded their call for “crippling” sanctions to sanctions that “bite.” Shockingly, as we learned last week, these “biting” sanctions will no longer include actions that could actually change Iran’s behavior, including limiting Iran’s access to international capital markets and banking services or closing air space and waters to Iran’s national air and shipping lines. So the issue is not when the so-called sanctions will come (President Obama promised them in “weeks” today) but whether they will even “nibble.” And while the Obama administration was more than willing to use every parliamentary trick in the book to ram its government health care takeover through Congress, conversely, it has worked hard to stall bipartisan efforts to pass the Iran Sanctions Act.
Many, many Americans and our allies know that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, the consequences will be catastrophic for our interests in the Middle East, and we want our government to do everything in its power to prevent Iran from acquiring nukes. We foresee a regional nuclear arms race beginning as other countries seek their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves from Iran. Nuclear non-proliferation efforts would be over. The U.S. and our allies in the international community would be shown to be impotent – after long claiming that Iranian nuclear weapons could not and would not be tolerated. And Israel would face the gravest threat since its creation. Iran’s leaders have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and with nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, the mullahs would be in a position to launch a Second Holocaust.
Iran continues to develop long range missiles. Its missiles can reach Israel and Europe right now and in time they will be able to reach US territory.
This issue is the most serious security challenge facing the U.S. in the region. Yet just as the Obama administration inexplicably gives up on imposing crippling sanctions on Iran, it’s taken an uncompromising hard line against one country in the Middle East: Israel. On his recent visit to Washington, the Israeli Prime Minister was treated like an unwelcome guest, as shown by White House actions such as refusing to be photographed with Israel’s Prime Minister.
Public demands for concessions have been made of the Israelis while the Palestinians add ever more conditions to their participation in peace talks, and those in the administration that dare to argue for looking at these policies through the lens of Israel’s security needs are subject to slanderous attacks from “senior administration officials.” The Obama administration has their priorities exactly backwards; we should be working with our friend and democratic ally to stop Iran’s nuclear program, not throwing in the towel on sanctions while treating Israel like an enemy.
In a week when events in the Holy Land thousands of years ago are on the minds of millions, we would all do well to include Israel’s security in our prayers as we encourage our government to do all it can to ensure there is never a nuclear Iran able to threaten our interests or our allies.
- Sarah Palin