Friday, April 3, 2015

The Iran Deal

As we gather at our Seders tonight, the Iran framework undoubtedly will come up. My recommendation is not to avoid the topic, but to use this time to listen to what respected, independent analysts are saying on all sides of this vexing topic. I personally take very seriously the words of former Hoffman lecturers (here at TBE) Dennis Ross, Jeffrey Goldberg and David Horowitz. Between them, you'll see a view that encompasses the widest possible spectrum.
Once we've begun to understand the issues, we need to consider three things:
1) that this is a work in progress - the final deal has yet to be shaped. Several concerns need to be addressed and some key aspects clarified. We all can play a role in that process.
2) we cannot roll back the clock, no matter what our feelings are about the current state of the negotiations. We can only move forward from where we are now.
3) The decisions ahead are fateful, but analogies to past events are misleading and unhelpful. What we are seeing here is utterly unique. This is not Munich 1938, nor is it Beirut 1982. In one case an ultimate enemy was appeased and the result was the Holocaust. In the other case, the application of brute force with the intent of creating regime change backfired disastrously. Let's stay away from such comparisons. We can learn some lessons from history as long as our perspective is unclouded by simplistic analogies. So no one in this story is Pharaoh, no one is Moses and, sorry Rabbi Riskin, no one is Haman either.
These are sobering times. We need to pray at our Seders that our elected officials have the wisdom to make the right choices, not distracted by emotion, political expedience or blind loyalty, focusing on nothing other than the facts themselves.

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