We live in interesting times. One day, Secretary of State Kerry tells the American people, that despite the Islamic State and jihadi terror, we are safe and living in “a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally — less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century.” The next day, James Clapper our Director of National Intelligence tells the Senate Armed Services Committee, “roughly half of the world’s currently stable countries are at some risk of instability over the next two years.” He also told the committee, “When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years [since] such data has been compiled.”
I would love to believe Secretary Kerry, but the Christian women and girls who are raped and sold into slavery, the gays who are thrown off of buildings and stoned, the people who are killed because they “insult the prophet” or shop for food before Shabbat keep me from that. My beliefs could come from my overtly rebellious nature, but to be honest it is because what he is saying is a crock.
The Secretary of State, who is not honest with us about the world we live in, expects us to believe an upcoming deal with Iran will protect the U.S. and our ally, Israel. It is that “deal” that Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks to warn us about. This is the third time he has been invited to speak before Congress. The only other Prime Minister to receive three invitations was Winston Churchill. Like Churchill, Netanyahu seeks to warn us of a nation that is hell bent on the destruction of his country and ours. Netanyahu’s message is not a breach of protocol or a campaign tactic. He has more to lose at home than gain here. He is asking us to recognize Iran’s intentions. Hitler used the Munich Accords to buy time and build its military. Iran will use any agreement to do the same.
Last summer, I read Churchill’s book, “While England Slept.” For the better part of a decade Churchill warned us of Germany’s intentions. He told us Germany was violating the terms of every agreement made with England, France and the U.S. In one speech he was ridiculed for telling Parliament that Germany was training thousands of “civilian” pilots (training of military pilots was limited) not needed by Germany and in direct violation of treaty. He warned their skills would be used by the military. Those pilots helped the Luftwaffe achieve stunning victories. He warned us Germany was using loans to build factories that were more modern and better equipped than those in Britain or the U.S. Those factories would manufacture bombs, tanks and planes that would bring Britain to its knees, and cost 100,000 Americans their lives. Churchill warned us, and our failure to heed his warnings caused the greatest calamity the world has ever known.
Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks to do the same. Iran wishes to silence the “little” Satan, and then turn its power against the “big” Satan. Iran is responsible for the death of thousands of American civilians and servicemen. Remember that little attack a few years ago? In 2011 a U.S. district court ruled, “Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks.” Iran is bolstered by its recent success in Yemen. The Iranian press quoted one official saying, “The Yemeni revolution will not be confined to Yemen alone. It will extend, following its success, into Saudi territories. The Yemeni-Saudi vast borders will help accelerate its reach into the depths of Saudi land.” Iran is proud to publicize its intentions.
While the details of the agreement with Iran have not been publicized, but I am sure that in its zeal to bring Iran to the negotiating table, our government is promising to “get tough” with Israel and will demand Israel sacrifice its security for “peace.” Iran will use the agreement to continue to destabilize the region and extend its influence. The senators (including mine) who have chosen to boycott the Prime Minister’s speech may soon regret their decision.
I did not grow up as a Jew. It is a religion and life I grew to love and adopted as an adult. When I was studying, one of my teachers said, “When it comes to Jews, there are no coincidences.” Netanyahu’s visit is not an exception. On Thursday, Jews around the world will celebrate Purim. We read the Book of Esther. It is a story of nice Jewish girl named Esther hides her identity and marries the King of Persia, ruler of the most powerful country in the world. An advisor who hates the Jews receives permission from the king to kill them. Esther lives in a palace and believes the fate of “those Jews” will not affect her.
As the time nears for the destruction of the Jews, Esther’s uncle Mordechai tells her she must reveal herself to the King and plead for her people. She does not want to. Uncle Mordechai is persistent. “If you keep silent at this time, salvation will come to the Jews from somewhere else, and you and your house will be destroyed.” Esther does the right thing and saves, “her house.”
Jewish survival has never been more precarious than now. As anti-Semitism increases in the world, we need “our house.” This week, it is the Prime Minister’s turn to be Esther. At some point in our lives, we are all called upon to be Esther. We know destruction of a people may begin with the Jews, but as our Christian relatives in the Middle East now understand, it does not end there. Iran may start with the destruction of Israel, but only a fool would think it would end with Israel. Let us not be fools.