Tomorrow night we celebrate the holiday of Purim. It’s underlying message is that there will always be people who want to harm Jews for being Jews. We don’t need the reminder these days, what with Iran, ISIS, European Antisemitism, and Hamas. Spending the early part of this week in DC at the policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, I cannot escape the uneasy feeling that all of this Iran controversy seems familiar. Could it be that we are in 1938 and allowing ourselves to be lulled into the cliche, “Peace in our time”?
Putting aside the political movements on either side of the aisle, it seems the essential issue is this: Iran needs pressure to stop its creation of a nuclear bomb. The current program does not seem up to the task. If a deal is reached with the White House, I hope that the U.S. Congress will be given an opportunity to consider the deal. Even the National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, admitted that a bad deal is worse than no deal.
Up until now, Iran has responded to only one inducement to curtail its nuclear achievement efforts: tough sanctions. There is no reason to believe that anything has changed. The sanctions relief offered to Iran not only allows them to continue to move toward their nuclear ambitions. The almost 5 billion dollars they save with the relief could be used for terrorism.
As Senator Mark Kirk told us, Iran can become South Africa, a country that poses no nuclear threat, due to its working with the international community in a spirit of complete transparency.
Or, Iran can become the next North Korea.
As you know, Senator Kirk has been through a lot these last couple of years. He calls himself the “king of second chances”. With this is mind he challenged us to make sure that we don’t allow the world to miss this second chance (the first being 1938) to do everything we can to protect the Jewish people from horrific destruction.
Then, as if he were looking directly at me, he said, Who knows? Maybe you were put on this earth for this very reason, to stop a second Holocaust before it is too late.
With that I though of how luck my mom was to escape Hitler and how fortunate I am to enjoy life and the beloved State of Israel. So I will most definitely take it upon myself to make sure America does all it can to protect Israel and the world from a nuclear Iran.
I hope you will join me.
Rabbi Edwin Goldberg