Obama's Legacy and Tisha B'Av

We often say that the Jewish life cycle revolves around the Jewish calendar, its holy days and the foods we eat accordingly. There is even a a Jewish motto about it: "They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat!" But let us remember that on the Jewish calendar, outside of the biblically ordained Levitical feasts (Leviticus 23), there are several other dates marking some critical events in our history. One such date is Tisha B'Av or the ninth of the month of Av. This annual fast (lasting 25 hours in Jewish tradition) commemorates several tragedies that occurred in Jewish history. It is believed that on the ninth of Av:

• The 12 spies returned
• The First Temple was destroyed
• The Second Temple was destroyed
• The 135 CE Bar Kochba revolt was put to an end by the Romans
• The first Crusade started
• Jews were expelled from England in 1290
• Germany entered World War One
• "The final Solution to the Jewish Question" was officially put in motion in 1941
• Large scale deportation of Jews to Auschwitz and Treblinka started in 1942

Needless to say that this is a very somber date for Jewish people worldwide. This is a time when the Book of Lamentations is read in synagogues. Jewish people fast, do not bathe and do not have marital relations on this day.

This year, the ninth of Av falls on July 25 and I cannot help but think about the way that it might be remembered and added to the long list of catastrophes for the Jewish people.
We are in the midst of a global crisis with the Islamic Republic of Iran which is on the threshold of acquiring its own nuclear arsenal. The same Iran has recently and repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel and the United States.

Since 2008, President Obama's foreign policy has been less than spectacular. Like every previous president since 1948 and to no avail, he tried to make a positive contribution to the Middle East peace process. But it is clear that Mr. Obama has an obsession with Iran, and like the National Review aptly said it: "The Obama administration values a future relationship with Iran more than it values the historic relationship it has with Israel." President Obama's obsession with Iran might only be surpassed by his obsession for his own "messianic legacy"." In any case, both are tightly linked and they unfortunately are at the expense of Israel.

During Thursday Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, we heard Secretary of State John Kerry try to defend the current Iran nuclear agreement with the 5+1 super powers. Frankly, it is starting to feel more and more like another check will soon be added to the ominous list of Tisha B'Av tragedies. Especially in light of Mr. Kerry's answer when asked by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) about US loyalty in the eventuality of a unilateral Israeli strike to sabotage Iranian facilities. First, there was a foggy answer from Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz. Mr. Rubio reiterated his question to which he got a firm "No" from Mr. Moniz, stating that the US was not under any obligation to protect Iran. Immediately following, Mr Kerry chimed in and tried to sound as if the current administration was Israel's friend and that all would be good. He never gave a firm yes or no, but finished by saying: " ...I don't see any way possible that we would be in conflict with Israel with respect to what we might want to do there. I think we might have to wait until we get to that point."

The problem with that statement from Mr. Kerry is that it can be interpreted several different ways depending on what the audience wants to hear. When I hear the phrase with respect to what we might want to do there, I am left wondering if "what they might want to do" is bomb Iran in accord with Israel or help Iran to defend itself from an Israeli attack (cyber or military). Pick one, they both work! There is some wording on page 142 of the document drafted for the deal stipulating that the 5+1 would help Iran defend themselves against sabotage once the deal is approved. This would make me think that the US would lean towards helping Iran, and frankly, this wouldn't surprise me under the current administration.

Then there is the statement he closed with: "I think we might have to wait until we get to that point." which is even more frightening. If we truly have to wait for the eleventh hour when Israeli planes are in Iranian airspace or even later if possible, it is akin to asking people to wait until Hiroshima was detonated before deciding if it was the best option.

Israel, the United States and the rest of the free world cannot afford to wait and see because the more time we give the Islamic Republic of Iran to acquire the bomb the less time we will have to successfully respond. In other words if we wait much longer there might not be much left to see.

I continue to keep my trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His unconditional love for Israel. But I must remain pragmatic in understanding that the highest human casualties in the history of mankind are yet to come.

Obama's legacy sure looks like it includes America's divorce from Israel. It sure feels like Tisha B'Av again but hang in there because Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner!

Pushing Israel Under the Bus Won't be Easy!

After years of sanctions and failed attempts at curbing Iran's appetite for a  nuclear weapon, we now have a deal. What a relief to know that Iran will soon be added to the list of international powers, seeking to "better the world and promote peace."

It is both ironic and frightening to witness the caving in of America and other world powers, days after Iranians marched the streets shouting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel." Iran's al-Qud's day last week was once again the proof that we are dealing with a fierce enemy of democracy and progress. So, since all actions have consequences, we should lift all sanctions on Iran and pour up to $200 billion into their economy, right?

Could the US have at least demanded that incarcerated Pastor Saeed (along with three other Americans) be freed as part of the deal? Considering that President Obama said that "securing his freedom was a top priority", you would hope so. What an opportunity we have missed.

President Obama spoke from the White House delivering a clear and believable message–if only to himself, which seems to be what really matters. He said:" A comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon. This deals demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change, change that makes our country and the world safer and more secure... Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region." Wow!

Much of the world is scratching its head and asking the question "Why?" when in reality we are way passed the "why" on this matter. We are now into the "Now What?" We can continue to ponder whether President Obama acted out of ignorance, arrogance or even defiance. Unfortunately, identifying the motives this late in the game might be fruitful if you are writing a history book but will be pointless in the midst of what we should consider a global existential crisis. It goes along the lines of trying to determine if President Obama is a closet Muslim or not. It no longer matters since he has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is at the very least a sympathizer if not an open supporter of some of the worst terrorist organizations on the planet, now including Iran.

It could be easily argued that the Iran deal is akin to pushing Israel under the bus, but we must not forget that on the road to Islamic hegemony, America is next to be trampled down. If indeed this Iran deal is approved by Congress, it will not stop the clock on Iranian nukes but reset the timer on a shorter unchallenged run.

Incidentally, Congress is now faced with one of the most important decision in the history of our nation. Not so amazingly anymore but defiantly, our president has already threatened to use his veto if Congress gets in the way of this "historic" deal. Everything ends-up being historic at some point. The falling of the Berlin Wall was historic, and so were the rise of Hitler and his abuse of power. If Congress really wants to make history in a positive way, they will not let our current president intimidate them and they will get the two-thirds bi-partisan majority to stop the treaty from going into action.

In the meantime and once again, Israel finds itself in a very precarious situation. Prime Minister Netanyahu was of course quick to respond and laid out the facts that represent a real danger for Israel AND the world. In agreement with him, I see several great concerns ahead:

• A bold regime of Islamic thugs has just be made bolder by a lame, ex-leader of the free world.

• Iran's economic sanctions will be lifted, allowing the country to become a desirable prospect in the business world. In other words, a lot of people are about to make a lot of money in this deal, starting with Iran. So, really, what's the loss of a few lives in the grand scale of the global market? (This is sick but true in many cases.)

• Billions are going to be released back into the Iranian coffers as a sign of good will and to help them rebuild their future; a future including an Islamic Caliphate with no Israel and no America. Not only that, but even if a small fraction of those funds are funneled to finance Hamas, Hizbollah and other terrorist organizations, it will increase the already existing danger to a whole new level. Hamas and Hizbollah will greatly benefit from Iranian funds...and we should get excited about this deal because...?

• Iran's would have ten years before they can resume all nuclear operations. What is it exactly that they promised to stop doing under this deal? NOTHING. And if they promised or agreed to anything, we know that they cannot be trusted under their current regime.

• Israel will be forced to defend itself meaning that if they are alone in going after Iran's nuclear facilities, they will go alone. But what the rest of the world needs to understand is that once Israel makes a preemptive move, Iran's response will be global and not local to the region. It could turn out that Israel will lead a coalition of various countries in a campaign to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities. America will certainly not lead, at least not under this administration.

• Israel and many Arab countries are extremely concerned about the outcome of this deal. Like Netanyahu mentioned in an interview (2:30):" it doesn't happen very often in history but when Arabs and Israelis agree, it is worth paying attention."

It is possible that several countries are interested in stopping Iran's nuclear proliferation, but they have so much at stake that they will not make a move. Israel has become the "older brother" in the region, and when the world gets bullied, the older brother comes to the rescue. It certainly looks like the United States and other powers that agreed to the Iran deal are trying to push Israel under the bus. But Israel is determined to survive and as time might soon tell, this is to the world's benefit.

For the time being, it is indeed a win/win situation, but only for Iran. President Obama self-centered obsession for a legacy has reached a new high. If the deal goes unchallenged, it will become a legacy of huge negative proportions. That is of course if we are here long enough to write the history books retelling the events.

Now would be a good time to remind President Obama and the other nations involved that when you throw Israel under the bus, you throw the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well. This doesn't end well for Israel's enemies as Zechariah reminds us:

And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem
(Zechariah 12:9)

Bibi is Facing the Toughest Two Years of his Entire Political Career!

In the midst of a global crisis involving Iran's race for nuclear power, Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected for another two-year term. The landslide victory showed us that Israel isn't so fed-up with Bibi's policies. It actually proved that Israelis are very concerned about the Iranian threat and feel that Bibi is the best man to handle the crisis.

The Lausanne "Agreement"–if we can call it that–has left much to be desired. It transforms the West from an inspector into a powerless spectator. Iran's carefully crafted nuclear "smoke and mirror" show is supposed to appease the international community, so we hear from the media and President Obama.

In a recent interview for NPR, Mr. Obama delivered a 22 minutes promotional piece on the exciting deal that is being made with Iran. I would say that it was more propaganda than promotion. While he seems to denounce anti-Semitism, Mr. Obama doesn't see the need for Iran to recognize the existence of Israel as part of a viable deal as he said: "So there's still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran, and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime. But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won't sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment."

Mr. Obama's dismissal of Israel's safety goes along with the recent disclosure of a Department of Defense top-secret document exposing Israel's nuclear information. There were several other countries' sensitive nuclear information on that 360-pages document. Somehow, they were all redacted out of the document before its release, to leave only Israel's information readable. To be sure, Israel's nuclear capability is no news to the world, but this was the first official announcement about it by a foreign state. How could Mr. Obama possibly say that his administration has done more for Israel than any other previous president? Unless of course he means that he has done more than any other president to put Israel in arms way...Don't get me started on that one!

Yet Mr. Obama clearly wants us to believe that he is helping Israel when he says: "And as I've indicated before, if you look at my track record since I've been in office, we have had as much or greater military cooperation and intelligence cooperation with Israel than any previous administration. We have been steadfast in the defense of Israel when it comes to them defending themselves, even when there have been periods of great international controversy."

It looks to me as if Israel is left with the decision to strike Iran if they feel that the threat is getting to close for comfort. Frankly, this is a decision that is currently better left on Netanyahu's shoulders than any other Israeli prime minister. Additionally, I fear that the decision to strike Iran is no longer a matter of if but simply when! Iran knows how to play the clock. Deal or no deal, they continue to see the time span as a great opportunity to continue with their nuclear program with very little outside control. This will allow Iran to acquire the capability to build a bomb a lot sooner. For all we really know, Iran might be a lot closer than we think to become a nuclear lethal force.

The real danger that isn't discussed much is the fact that we are now in a stage of what has been called "Apocalyptic Islamism". There is very little if anything that the West can do to stop the raging hatred and determination of the mullahs in bringing in the "Twelfth Imam". Both ISIS and Iran–while not necessarily working hand in hand–have a common goal of Islamic global hegemony painted on a backdrop of End-Times with the blood of the “infidels”. Of course, Iran also helps fulfilling Hezbollah's agenda by proxy.

This really leaves only one option, and that is the physical destruction of Iranian nuclear facilities–a feat that only Israel seems to be willing to undertake. Of course, once the big boy on the Middle East playground has pushed the bully over, the rest of the cowards will magically appear on the scene. Then we might see an overnight alliance of powers who up to then didn't have the chutzpah to go after the Khameini regime. Even Mr. Obama might join the ranks of those who oppose Iran at that time.

It appears to be "damned if you do and damned if you don't" for Netanyahu, but since Israel's survival is a non-negotiable, It might just be a matter of time before Bibi makes a move. He certainly is facing some of the toughest decisions of his entire political career and could certainly use the prayer of those who love Israel.

Preventing Iran from going nuclear ISN'T ONLY A MIIDLE EAST PROBLEM, it is a global one. Ignoring a problem never made it go away, but we are being told than Iran is on the road to full compliance. Is it on that very road that they also shout "Death to America" and "Death to Israel". Global leadership isn't necessarily measured in GNP or a country's worth anymore. It might be measured more by the ability, willingness and determination to avoid a nuclear cataclysm at any cost. In the case of Iran, I think that only Israel has got it and only Bibi can lead them into making such a decision. I still pray for all of it to be averted because any loss of life is a tragedy. Jews and Muslims alike need to be touched by God and meet their Messiah and redeemer (Isaiah 52:13-53-12). The Bible does shed some light on all of this.

There is a promise from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He will not only protect Israel but also destroy her enemies. This eschatological promise is based on God's unconditional and eternal Abrahamic Covenant with Israel and the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3) and it should be an encouragement and a call to prayer for those of us who support Israel.

In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:8-9)

Appeasement is a Weakness Leading to Collaboration!

Western civilization might very well be on a new threshold as world leaders have met in Lausanne, Switzerland regarding Iran's nuclear deal. The deadline arrived and yet, the talks yielded very little. The apparent progress made in the last few days in Europe warranted that the dialogue would continue. One of the big issues that Iran has is with sanctions imposed on them. Their economy has suffered greatly in the last few years, and they demand that sanctions be lifted in a way that would also prevent them from being reinstated automatically. Iran wants to have their diplomatic cake AND eat it too!

Many international voices have been heard on the topic of a nuclear Iran, and few if any are looking forward to that prospect. It is obvious that Iran is politically and ideologically very unstable. That fact was clearly delineated in a speech to Congress on March 3rd when Netanyahu risked his whole career, two weeks prior to the Israeli elections. His plea wasn't for the safety of Israel but for the survival of Western civilization. Against all odds, a predicted Likud loss turned into a miraculous landslide victory. The White House felt that this was the last straw that justified what could one day be remembered as "The Great Diplomatic Divorce" of the 21st Century. Never before had an American president showed so much contempt for Israel and its current Prime minister.

Our President has great hatred for Israel and its leaders while he is working overtime to appease Iran. Both feats validate his destructive ambitions by weakening our best allies in the Middle East and strengthening what the West could rightfully call the Great Satan, also known as the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mr. Obama is obsessed with the idea of striking up a deal with Iran as much as he is obsessed with the demonization of Israel. It would be understandable–albeit doubtful–if Iran would lie to America and the West about their intentions; but they don't even do that! How in the world do you even try to negotiate with a country that openly calls for the death of America?

This is a perfect example of appeasement. Mr. Obama is trying to convince the world that Iran not only can be included to the negotiating table, but that they can also be trusted. The Lausanne Iran Summit didn't yield the results hoped by world leaders. Iran made some promises in regards to slowing down enriching until they come to an agreement. But why would anybody trust Iran's pathological lying? They simply continue to provide lip service to a world that has its head buried so deep in the sand that nothing matters. All seems to indicate that sanctions will be lifted almost unconditionally. Additionally, Mr. Obama threatens to veto any move by the US Congress that would lead to new sanctions against Iran. This is pretty much the bulk of his foreign policy. He has worked very hard at trying to appease and even accommodate Iran's nuclear race. So much so that it could be argued that Mr. Obama is no longer simply appeasing Iran but he is now collaborating with Iran.

It is still a mystery to me why the US Senate was handed a report saying that Hezbollah and Iran are no longer considered part of the terrorist list. Seriously? Political analysts and pundits alike might speculate on Obama's reasons for forcing a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the results is what matters! At this point it has become irrelevant if Mr. Obama wants Iran to arm themselves with nuclear capabilities or if he believes that they [Iran] just want to modernize their country's energy, the results will be the same. If Iran is allowed to continue their nuclear program unbridled as it is, the Middle East will be forced into a frenzied arms race that will tip the global scale forever.

Instead of confronting Iran, Mr. Obama facilitates their agenda. While there are mistakes that world leaders make and even regret as they look back on their political career, ignoring Iran's call to kill Israel and America could help us reach a point of no return. This wouldn't be a mistake but a catastrophe!

All the while, the White House's energy is spent denigrating Benjamin Netanyahu before and during his electoral campaign. Israel's nuclear secrets are being divulged by the current US administration. Do they not understand that they are shooting themselves in the foot by exposing Israel's nuclear intel? His disdain for Netanyahu and Israel coupled with his collaborating with Iran is doubly dangerous and could prove lethal to many.
It is very difficult for me to see Mr. Obama's foreign policy strategy as anything else than a destructive agenda for both the Middle East region and the rest of western civilization. But then again, he claimed he didn't have strategy to fight ISIS, so I might be giving him too much credit regarding his ability to formulate and implement a constructive foreign policy. Mr. Obama follows in the infamous footsteps of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who saw no risk in dealing with Adolf Hitler. History proved him wrong. Let's pray that the current "Appeaser-In-Chief" doesn't turn into a "Collaborator-In-Chief"

Help us protect ourselves from the people who want to kill you!

Recently, the Saudis have made two very peculiar moves to protect their country from an ISIS invasion and/or Iran. It is interesting to note that we now have an apparently sharia compliant country trying to defend itself from a sharia enforcing state. Is there more than one way to abide by sharia law?

It is also worth noting that the brand of Islam known as Wahhabism or Salafism, that is the driving force behind the Islamic State was born within the borders of Saudi Arabia. Even though it is clear that Saudi Arabia has progressively distanced itself from the extremist brand of Wahhabism adopted by ISIS, the connection cannot be ignored. It would appear as if the pupil has surpassed the master.

First, it was recently officially announced by the Saudis that they had decided to build a 600 mile wall/fence on their northern border with Iraq to protect themselves from a possible ISIS invasion. Seeing how Iraqi forces have poorly responded to ISIS, the Saudis are getting concerned. But this isn't a reaction based on the growing threat from the Islamic State since apparently the idea first came up almost a decade ago.

Then there is the most recent offer they made to Israel in regards to opening their air space for the IDF to use if they choose to strike Iran. Of course it wasn't announced in those words and was only discussed behind closed doors with some European leaders. According to The Wall Street Journal : US and Arab diplomats say that, although Arab nations have avoided matching statements made by Israel, they share many of the same fears regarding a nuclear deal with Iran. While I can appreciate Saudi Arabia's desire to protect their borders, I find both those moves to be quite hypocritical.

The 600 miles wall/fence isn't necessarily a bad idea. I believe that any sovereign state is absolutely entitled to its own safety. This is a sad reflection on the times we live in, when countries have to isolate themselves for their own safety, but like someone once said: "It is what it is!" As Saudi Arabia is building their fence, why isn't there any outrage about their isolationist attitude? Should we accuse them of Islamophobia, or better yet "ISISophobia"? Are they becoming an apartheid state? Of course, you see where I am going with this as nobody is finding the Saudi fence to be out of line, yet the Israeli fence is Islamophobic and driven by colonialism and an apartheid mentality. Give me a break, the Saudi fence AND the Israeli fence have the exact same purpose and that is sovereign protection of their citizens. Why the double standard?

Now let us consider the opening of the airspace over Saudi Arabia for the IDF to fly over he they decide to strike Iran. As the United States continue to flex under the Iranian arrogance, the whole world is wondering how soon Iran will be ready to go nuclear. It certainly appears to be a matter of when and not if. Iran just performed a military exercise days ago and destroyed a life-size replica of a US ship to show the world how capable and certainly willing they are to destroy the West. They now have missiles capable of reaching Europe and the United States. What are we waiting for?

Saudi Arabia doesn't share a border with Iran but finds itself on the other side of the Persian Gulf and definitely vulnerable. They understand that the one country that can and might do something is Israel, so they are willing to open up their air space in case of a strike. They obviously have much to gain with that move. But wait, there is a catch! The Saudis expect Israel to promise progress in the Israeli/Palestinian "Peace talks" if they want air space access. Nothing has been specified regarding what kind of progress, but good will towards reconciliation must be shown.

Excuse me! Saudi Arabia wants Israel to get along with Hamas who pretty much lines up with much of ISIS' ideology and wants nothing but the death of all Jews (first) and the West (next). Last September, at the United Nations, Netanyahu rightfully said: "ISIS and Hamas are branches from the same poisonous tree." Reconciliation requires both sides to be willing to reconcile. One-sided reconciliation is abdication, and in Israel's case, abdication to Hamas would mean instant suicide.

How hypocritical is it from the Saudis to ask Israel to negotiate with some of the same bloody murderers that they [the Saudis] are trying to protect themselves from? How can they keep a straight face and ask Israel to "Help us protect ourselves from the people who want to kill you!"

It might still come to the time when Israel flies over Saudi skies to strike Iran, and it could be a positive move for the whole region. This being said, it is time for the world to recognize that Israel isn't the enemy but the only hope in the Middle East. Deep down, Saudi Arabia probably knows it, otherwise they wouldn't open their air space to them, but they are not willing to make such a statement in the open.

I look at the Saudis and It reminds me of Doc Holliday in the movie Tombstone, when he said:"My hypocrisy only goes so far!"