It appears the next phase in the standoff over Iran’s apocalypse-inducing nuclear weapons program is beginning to come into focus.
In the months ahead, don’t be surprised if the efforts of the Obama administration to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions become predicated on the nuclear disarmament of the Jewish state. Why is this likely? Simple: Such a mandate is the inevitable outgrowth of the foolish yet increasingly pervasive tendency to consider as equals the nuclear ambitions of Israel and Iran.
Iran’s Lecture on Nuclear Proliferation
This false moral equivalence between the nuclear programs of Iran and the Jewish state was on display in New York in May, at the month-long Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (npt). The conference was supposed to focus on revising and updating the npt, of which Israel has never been a signatory. But when the conference opened, it quickly became evident that UN member states had set their sights on what Asia Times described as a “predictable target.”
That would be Israel.
In one of the first addresses of the conference, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa spoke on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, the largest single coalition within the United Nations (118 of the 192 UN countries are members). According to Asia Times, Natalegawa noted specifically that it was Israel’s refusal to sign the npt that had “resulted in the continued exposure of non-nuclear-weapon states of the [Middle East] to nuclear threats by the only country possessing these weapons of mass destruction” (May 5).
Forget Iran’s fearless scramble for nukes—most UN member states apparently believe the greatest nuclear threat in the Middle East comes from Israel’s refusal to sign the npt.
After Natalegawa’s address, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the only head of state who personally attended the conference, took the podium. Following his requisite praises of Allah and ominous invocation for the speedy arrival of the Mahdi, Ahmadinejad waxed eloquent for 35 minutes on how the npt can be improved, and how the United States and the “Zionist regime” are the central cause of nuclear proliferation.
“Regrettably, the government of the United States has not only used nuclear weapons, but also continues to threaten to use such weapons against other countries, including Iran,” Ahmadinejad “righteously” lamented. That’s not all, according to Iran’s president. The “Zionist regime” has “stockpiled hundreds of nuclear warheads,” and with support and sustenance from America, has “waged many wars in the region and continues to threaten the people and nations of the region with terror and invasion.”
Seriously, can you think of the last time Israel engaged in a conflict that was not strictly defensive?
A Nuclear-Free Middle East?
This moral equivalence on display at the UN came amid reports that Egypt too is preparing to step up pressure on Israel regarding its nuclear arsenal.
“Egypt is … declaring that the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East cannot be tied solely to Iran’s nuclear ambitions but must also address the region’s only existing nuclear power: Israel,” the Christian Science Monitor reported (May 4; emphasis mine). Speaking in New York, Egypt’s ambassador to the UN stated, “We refuse the existence of any nuclear weapons in the [Middle East], whether it is in Iran or whether it is in Israel.”
Think on that: These people behave as though there’s no difference between Israel having nukes and Iran having nukes!
Not surprisingly, Egypt’s renewed efforts to focus on Israel’s nuclear weapons caught the attention of the Obama administration. Reports emerged that it has begun negotiating with Egypt over a proposal to make the Middle East—which would have to include Israel—a region free of nuclear weapons. Although it has apparently assured Israel that it’s not about to impose a nuclear-free zone on the Middle East, clearly this White House is prepared to tackle the issue of Israel’s nukes more directly than previous administrations.
“We’ve made a proposal to them [Egypt] that goes beyond what the U.S. has been willing to do before,” a senior administration official told the Wall Street Journal (May 1).
Clearly, this Cairo-Washington collaboration does not bode well for Israel. “As far as Israel is concerned this is very problematic,” stated Dr. Eytan Gilboa, a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. “The fact that the U.S. is pushing this along with Egypt could threaten our vital national security at a time when relations with the U.S. are tense and the threat from Iran is becoming more and more serious every day.”
The notion that Israel’s nuclear weapons destabilize the Middle East is simply absurd. Even more absurd, though, is that such a notion was openly and widely entertained at a UN conference on the npt, which America’s president has said is the “cornerstone of the world’s efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons” (statement, March 5).
As Bret Stephens wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Iran, in connivance with the usual Middle Eastern suspects (and their useful idiots in the West), is trying to use the npt as a cudgel to force Israel to disarm” (May 4).
America and the West are unlikely to begin immediately to explicitly and forcefully demand that Israel sign the npt and start discarding its nuclear weapons. Inevitably, however, this conference and the Washington-Cairo agreement will foster a false moral equivalence between Israel’s nuclear program and Iran’s. The more the nuclear ambitions of Israel and Iran are discussed in the same conversation, the more ingrained and mainstream the moral equivalence will become.
Expect it to become widely accepted that curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions is contingent upon addressing the issue of Israel’s nukes!
A Big, Big Difference
American leaders’ growing failure to discern between the foreign-policy objectives of nations like Israel and Iran is a sign of the moral decay besieging Washington.
It is no secret that Israel developed nuclear weapons during the heat of the Cold War as a defensive measure. Or that Israel has possessed nukes for roughly four decades and has never come close to exploding a single bomb—not even during the heat of its many wars. Or that Israel never officially discusses its nuclear cache and never parades them about.
It is no secret that Israel, for decades, has been a stable and responsible proprietor of nuclear weapons!
Yet to Mr. Obama, there appears to be little distinction between Israel’s nukes and the nuclear aspirations of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—even though Iran exists today as the number-one state sponsor of terrorism—even though Tehran bankrolls the activities of terrorist proxies in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and further afield—even though Iranian mullahs and government leaders alike boast publicly about America’s annihilation and the Jewish state’s demise—and even though Iran’s president prays openly for the return of the Mahdi and is actively working to precipitate the planet-engulfing chaos and violence that he says will precede it.
The same week that Ahmadinejad was swooning before the UN, news broke that on his way to New York he had stopped by Zimbabwe. Apparently a deal had been struck with Robert Mugabe the previous month that will allow Iran to swap oil for uranium. President Obama ignores the fact that Tehran is developing an advanced ballistic missile program and putting satellites into space, all in preparation for the moment—which many believe is now imminent—when it can bolt a nuclear payload to a missile and fire it into Israel, or Europe, or even the United States.
Any serious effort by Washington to deal with Iran’s nuclear program by pressuring Israel to reduce or transform its nuclear equation plays into Tehran’s hand. It gives Tehran more time in its quest for nukes. To whatever degree Washington accepts a moral equivalence between the nuclear programs of Iran and Israel, it legitimizes this ridiculous argument as it is used by Ahmadinejad and Iran’s mullahs. In the hands of the global anti-Israel media, this false moral equivalence would quickly become mainstream.
Such muddled thinking also seriously undermines the crucial U.S.-Israeli relationship. Biblical history testifies to the familial bond between Manasseh (America) and Judah (the Jewish people). (To fully understand this relationship, request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) Bible prophecy says that in the end time this brotherhood would be severed. In Zechariah 11:14, God said He would “break the brotherhood between Judah [modern-day Israel] and Israel,” primarily the United States and Britain. The more the Obama administration treats Iran and Israel as equals, the more it irreparably damages America’s relationship with the Jewish state.
Bible prophecy informs us that Israel—abandoned by America and unwilling to turn to God for help—will run to Assyria (Germany) for assistance. To learn how Germany will respond, and about the future of the Middle East, request our free booklet The King of the South. ▪