Obama Defends the Iran Nuclear Deal, Anguishes about Israel

(Atlantic) Jeffrey Goldberg - President Obama said in an interview on Tuesday: "[The Iranians] may make irrational decisions with respect to discrimination, with respect to trying to use anti-Semitic rhetoric as an organizing tool. At the margins, where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest. But the costs here are not low, and what we've been very clear [about] to the Iranian regime over the past six years is that we will continue to ratchet up the costs, not simply for their anti-Semitism, but also for whatever expansionist ambitions they may have. That's what the sanctions represent. That's what the military option I've made clear I preserve represents." "There is no doubt that the environment worldwide is scary for a lot of Jewish families....You have a Middle East that is turbulent and chaotic, and where extremists seem to be full of enthusiasm and momentum. You have Europe, where...there is an emergence of a more overt and dangerous anti-Semitism. And so part of the concern in the Jewish community is that, only a generation removed from the Holocaust, it seems that anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Israeli rhetoric is on the rise." "It would be a moral failing for me as president of the United States, and a moral failing for America, and a moral failing for the world, if we did not protect Israel and stand up for its right to exist, because that would negate not just the history of the 20th century, it would negate the history of the past millennium." "There's a direct line between supporting the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland and to feel safe and free of discrimination and persecution, and the right of African Americans to vote and have equal protection under the law." "If...you acknowledge the justness of the Jewish homeland, you acknowledge the active presence of anti-Semitism - that it's not just something in the past, but it is current - if you acknowledge that there are people and nations that, if convenient, would do the Jewish people harm because of a warped ideology. If you acknowledge those things, then you should be able to align yourself with Israel where its security is at stake, you should be able to align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not held to a double standard in international fora, you should align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not isolated."

2015-05-22 00:00:00

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