Steve Kramer
Steve Kramer

Stop Accommodating the Totalitarians

I believe that Western governments’ strategy of restraint and “fairness” when dealing with Iran, Russia, Iran, etc. are like taking a knife to a gun fight. That strategy doesn’t work with non-democratic countries, which are not concerned with the welfare of their citizens. For them, it’s all about the mission of the ruling class. Iran, Russia, China, North Korea – none of them respect restraint or fairness. That type of soft policy only engenders a loss of respect for those countries that espouse it.

Israel’s modus operandi, which includes remarkable restraint, gains it little approbation from other countries. Instead, the general impression is that Israel is wrong and the aggressor, no matter what the facts are. The IDF’s recent retaliation in May against Hamas in Gaza, which began when Israel was bombarded by rockets and missiles aimed at Israeli civilians, was typically and quickly turned from justified defense into disproportionate war crimes.

The fact is that the number of casualties in Gaza was incredibly low, considering the huge number of rockets and missiles, about 4,000, that were fired indiscriminately into Israel. The arguable attitude is that since Israeli casualties were few and Palestinian Arab ones were far greater, Israel must be the guilty aggressor while the Arabs are the victims. But because the terrorists place their materiel and fighters inside civilian neighborhoods, mosques, hospitals, and public buildings, intentionally putting civilians in harm’s way, some casualties are inevitable. Therefore, Arab deaths result from the aggressors (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) hiding behind and among civilians, not to mention the many casualties caused by their own errant rockets.

For people who look objectively at those facts, it’s obvious that the terrorists have found what seems to be a foolproof way to aggress against Israel and then claim to be victims. This is the template for Hamas since Israel evacuated every Israeli, soldiers and civilians, from Gaza in 2005.

Let’s review other pertinent negotiations. Iran has been stringing along the West for many decades. Regarding the nuclear weapons agreement, the JCPOA, the Iranians have negotiated in bad faith from the very beginning. This is the behavior that any ordinary person would expect from a country that has broken every agreement it ever signed and lied blatantly about its past acts and nuclear ambitions. Yet, Western negotiators (excluding during the Trump presidency), led by the Americans, continue to beg the Iranians to return to the JCPOA, which was so flawed an agreement that Congress would never have approved it, which it must do for all treaties. 

The JCPOA was simply an agreement between the signatories, not even based on an Obama Executive Order. The signatories to the agreement, excluding the far less gullible Russians, willingly overlooked Iran’s history and rationalized that it would abide by the agreement – which in any case assured it of nuclear capability within 15 years. (

It doesn’t take an expert to recognize that Iran is advancing towards a bomb while the feckless Westerners try to placate them. “‘You wanted to make our hands empty during the talks [April, 2021] but our hands are full,’ [then-Iranian President] Rouhani said. He was referring to ongoing talks in Vienna that are aimed at finding a way for the United States to re-enter Tehran’s nuclear agreement and have Iran comply again with its limits. The accord prevented [partially] Iran from having enough of a uranium stockpile to be able to pursue a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Rouhani added:  ‘60% enrichment is an answer to your evilness. … We cut off both of your hands, one with IR-6 centrifuges and another one with 60% [enrichment].’” 


The negotiators jaw-jaw while the Iranians enrich to near break-out levels. Why don’t rational governmental and military leaders know what most of us simple people see plainly? Iran, like always, steadfastly pursues its goal of being the Middle East hegemon.

With “Palestine,” the Palestinian Authority run by the PLO, no evidence of compromise is seen. Yet, when Prime Minister Bennett meets President Biden on August 26, the president will surely strongly “request” that Israel make this conciliatory move and that confidence raising one, including a halt to building in our homeland. This is supposed to result in a peace agreement. 

The Western concept is that if the Israelis give enough land to the Palestinian Arabs, then everything will be swell and peace will result. Realistically, since the goal of the PLO (according to them) is to throw the Jews into the sea and turn Israel into Palestine, it’s worse than futile for Israel to make gestures which damage Israel. On the other hand, the Abraham Accords are a much more constructive way to view an eventual arrangement between the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis, as the more progressive Arab countries ally with Israel. 

Simple truths must be adhered to and not debated or ignored, i.e. the PLO is a terrorist organization, Iran never keeps an agreement, etc. Behind all the diplomats’ blathering remains the truth: some people and states are malevolent and others are inclined towards peace, truth, and justice. Intelligent people can and must determine who is who and act accordingly. If the West cannot take a more hard-nosed look at the goals of its adversaries, there’s no possibility that the US will remain the world’s preeminent superpower. 

A world where a totalitarian-governed country like China calls the shots will not resemble the current American-led world. “If China were to replace the United States in the role of global leader, then its internal reality would shape the outside world, just like that of Britain did and that of America still does. And right now, the internal reality in question is not pretty at all. In fact, China is in the process of transfer from the relatively mild authoritarianism (well, “mild” in comparison to Mao’s time) it has had since Deng Xiaoping [leader of China after the Cultural Revolution] to a new model that comes disturbingly close to the very definition of totalitarianism.” The diplomats negotiating with the totalitarian countries must wise up! (

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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