May 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

One Toxic Vote Puts Booker’s Jewish Support At Risk

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has unwaveringly shown his support for the Jewish community (S.Res.299), recognizing its strong ties to Israel since he came into office in 2014, supporting Israel’s right to defend itself (S.Res.498), recognition of the Holocaust (S. Res.548 and S.Res. 35:A), the fight against anti-Semitism (S.Res.87), and for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (S.615).

Looking at this record, one might applaud his commitment and understanding of a large faction of his constituency. On the other hand, looking at that same record, six of these votes were passed by unanimous consent. No one who wanted to win their seat again would voice a vote against them. The seventh has not been up for a vote as yet. There was little, if anything, at stake.

Not so with the vote to take place on September 17, the date all Congress must decide about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. While Jews in the United States, Israel and around the world realize that this vote can and will, in large and small ways, affect their futures and the futures of their children, it can also affect the political prospects of both its supporters and detractors and their abilities to understand the information they’ve been given to study.

As some have said, it may not mean war now, but with the United States and the other P5+1 countries placing their futures, their economies and their cherished freedoms on the veracity of liars, it could most definitely mean war for future generations to come.

One must ask: When support engenders no risk, is it truly support? When friendship does not bring with it the safety in the knowledge that vigorous debate does not shake the foundations of that union, can it withstand the strains of horrific hindsight?

What is U.S. Senator Cory Booker willing to risk for those he professes to count as friends?

Looking at his statement in support of the JCPOA, Booker is assuming what many of his colleagues do not, that the U.S. friendships with China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany would not survive. He has said, “Accepting this deal and moving forward with vigilance and continued commitment to keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is preferable to a world in which a debilitated sanctions regime and fractured community of nations allows Iran to acquire many of the benefits of this deal without accepting its meaningful constraints.”

Aside from repeating the script—and after reading dozens of these statements, it’s clear that he is reading a script of what other senators and representatives have said about their study of Iran and the plan—he acknowledges one point that they all acknowledge but some seem to have forgotten. He said he’s studied “its [Iran’s] decades-long efforts to illicitly obtain a nuclear weapon and the evil nature and horrific extent of its support and sponsorship of terrorism, its destabilizing involvement in ongoing regional conflicts, and its destructive hatred and determination to destroy the United States and our ally Israel.”

Senator Booker stated, “We began negotiations with Iran at a time when our sanctions regime was having its most significant impact on the Iranians. We were gaining maximum leverage on Iran through coordinated economic sanctions with our international partners. We joined with our partner nations at the outset of negotiations with the stated intention of preventing Iran from having the capability to get a nuclear weapon.

“Unfortunately, it’s clear we didn’t achieve that objective and have only delayed—not blocked—Iran’s potential nuclear breakout.” In other words, we failed and we are to accept failure. Huh? What country is this?

In Booker’s next statement he seals the fate of the United States and Israel. “But, with the JCPOA, we have now passed a point of no return that we should have never reached, leaving our nation to choose between two imperfect, dangerous and uncertain options. Left with these two choices, I nonetheless believe it is better to support a deeply flawed deal, for the alternative is worse. Thus, I will vote in support of the deal.”

A more effective piece of Iranian propaganda could not have been written by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself. He’s not even dealing from a position of power, but of power he is only perceived to have, and Booker has shown that he is buying into that perception.

“This deal will remove 98 percent of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile,” but it will leave them with the ability to replace that in 10 to 15 years, and the Iranians are nothing if not patient.

“Some of the most intrusive monitoring, including of its uranium mines and mills and centrifuge production facilities, will last well beyond that period.” Except that the Iranians will be doing some of the most sensitive and weapons-related monitoring, and by special agreement handing its results over to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), an agency whose budget has been steadily cut as its responsibilities have increased by 12 percent in the past five years. According to fellow U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, “[T]he agreement [between the UN and Iran] diverges from normal inspection procedures between the IAEA and a member country by essentially ceding the agency’s investigative authority to Iran. It allows Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment [at Parchin] in the search for evidence for activities that it has consistently denied—trying to develop nuclear weapons…”

Booker goes on, “Further, this deal will maintain unified international pressure on Iran to comply with the terms of the deal or face the re-imposition of sanctions—which can be triggered unilaterally by the United States—or coordinated military action by the United States, Israel and other allies.”

Booker, in this statement, indicates that the United States can snap back sanctions at a moment’s notice when it has been made clear that this would not be possible. Also, he is indicating that the P5+1 countries would all agree to join the United States militarily when he has already said that the diplomatic ties would be broken if we were to go back to the table.

Further, in a letter to the United Nations, Iran has stated that if any sanctions were reinstated, Iran would consider the agreement null and void.

Booker is correct in his next statement. “But this deal has clear flaws and substantial risks even beyond the obvious and disturbing short duration of its term. With this deal, we are legitimizing a vast and expanding nuclear program in Iran. We are, in effect, rewarding years of their deception, deceit and wanton disregard for international law by allowing them to potentially have a domestic nuclear enrichment program at levels beyond what is necessary for a peaceful civil nuclear program.

“Further, there is great uncertainty in the future. While several key forms of monitoring will continue in perpetuity, Iran’s opportunity for a nuclear breakout can conceivably become shorter than it is now and much harder to detect, given the potential future size and breadth of their program. In essence, we run the risk that, after 15 years, we crowd out the opportunity for diplomacy or effective re-imposition of sanctions. If Iran’s breakout period becomes so short that the transition to a bomb is a step that would take a matter of weeks or days, we may be left with a binary choice between accepting Iran as a nuclear state or taking military action.”

No opponent of the deal could have expressed this better.

Booker also reminds us, that “With sanctions lifted, Iran will gain access to tens of billions of dollars and the means with which to greatly improve their economy through trade in the world community.”

However, as Booker states, that is not what Iran will be doing with this returned wealth. “Iran had the means with which to fund and arm its destabilizing proxies in the region, support terrorism against Israel, and fund the murderous regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Now, with the deal, the Iranian economy stands to grow five percent annually, creating a potentially more reliable and steady pipeline of funding and resources for destabilizing activities and terrorism. Easing sanctions will further put our allies at risk and demand a far greater level of engagement and investment in the security of the region, particularly our critical ally Israel.”

In other words, the United States and its allies will be funding their own destruction by having to hand out money to both sides of the conflict.

“Finally,” Booker says, “this deal includes the termination of the United Nations embargo on Iran’s conventional arms and ballistic missile technology after five and eight years, respectively. Even with increased vigilance by the United States and our allies, this will bolster Iran’s conventional weapons threats in the region.” They will have the capability of striking at any target in the Mid-East and deeply into Europe.

Booker states that “Our partners in the P5+1 believe we have accomplished that end (the goals) and will not consent to maintaining the sanctions regime this deal modifies. They will also likely quickly increase already strong pressure to lift the arms and ballistic missile embargoes that are scheduled under the deal to lapse in five and eight years, respectively, as they were put in place in cooperation with our partner nations to force Iran into nuclear compliance.”

The question must be asked, how does arming a country that wants to destroy Western civilization aid Western civilization?

This is the script we have repeatedly heard; however, a deep dive into the foreign press shows a very different story. Economically, yes, Germany is looking for a golden sunrise of renewed foreign investments, and well they might as they’ve been the bank for all the other EU countries that have been failing to pay back their debts, such as Greece and Italy.

Yet, Russia has mixed emotions as the deal with Iran can throw its economy into further chaos; however, Putin does not want to give an advantage to China which is in favor of the deal as a way to get a step up from both the U.S. and Russia.

A compilation of UK media reveals a different picture. “The historic nuclear deal between the West and Iran got a mixed reception from Britain’s national press. Some newspapers hailed it as a triumph (Guardian, Daily Mirror). Some thought it unacceptable (Times, Sun). Several were wary (Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent).”

According to the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council, “French diplomats worry that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, every other local Middle East power will want them. Among their worst nightmares is a situation in which Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia join the Dr. Strangelove club.”

With this mixed bag of motives, yes, the alliance could be seen as weakening, but it might also have been open to further negotiations, not the utter defeatist attitude Booker has demonstrated and certainly not what he has claimed: “Pushing back from the table at this point and making a run at unilateral sanctions will lead us to economic conflict with other nations, resulting in pressure placed on the United States as pressure is reduced on Iran. It would force us to make a difficult choice: either we sanction our closest partners—risking damage to our own economy and jeopardizing collaboration with other nations on a host of vital issues—or we don’t and the sanctions regime crumbles.”

In another part of Booker’s seesaw reasoning he states, “Regardless of our path forward, we are faced with an Iran on the verge of breakout to a nuclear bomb at some point in the next 15 years. If we proceed with the deal, that point likely occurs about 15 years from now, albeit with the added serious concern that the international community has legitimized a significant portion of the path Iran would take to a nuclear weapon.

If we don’t proceed with the deal, we could see Iran immediately ramping up their nuclear program with diminished sanctions and a less-united world in the wake of global condemnation of the United States for our disruption of a widely-agreed upon peaceful path forward, supported by more than a hundred nations.”

Considering that Khameni has been leading chants of death to America and Israel, and vows that the nuclear deal won’t change Iran’s “policy against the ‘arrogant American government,’ then to deal or not to deal leaves one clear choice: don’t play this game.

Senator Booker called an emergency summit on Tuesday, inviting a select group of Jewish leaders where Treasury Undersecretary Adam Szubin explained how, “After weeks, weeks of study and consultation, Senator Booker made the decision he feels is in the best interest of the United States and our allies.”

For someone who has professed to be a friend of the Jewish people, some of his now former supporters have indicated that when the chips are down, “With friends like this, who needs Iran?”

By Anne Phyllis Pinzow

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