By DAN MARGALIT, ISRAEL HAYOM—
A colleague who specializes in modern history remarked to me on Sunday that the deal signed with Iran is not comparable to the disgrace signed in Munich in 1938. In this historian’s eyes, the appropriate comparison is the West’s silence in the face of Hitler’s invasion of the Rhineland in 1936. Back then, the enlightened world could have stopped the Nazi regime and perhaps even toppled it, but the Obamas and the Kerrys of the 1930s wanted, above all, calm and quiet, which of course clouded their vision.
What followed was predictable, and in November 1937, Hitler gathered his senior officers and told them of his plans to start a war that would expand the borders of the Third Reich. “Now, I am at the ideal age,” he told his awe-struck generals, and eventually, he realized his ambitions and inflicted a horrible disaster upon humanity.
These two events are the historical parallel to what happened in Geneva on Sunday.
This claim begs analysis. It’s true that expert researchers like Dr. Emily Landau from the Institute for National Security Studies say the deal is not as terrible as Israeli leaders are making it out to be. What is it then? In the allotted six months of the agreement, the Iranians will do everything in their power to sabotage it; they are not satisfied with the $7 billion released to them from frozen accounts in Western banks in return for slowing down their nuclear project.
It is completely clear that there will not be any progress toward a permanent deal which is designed to completely dismantle Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb.
Theoretically, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry say, if there is no progress then we can roll up the rug and reinstate crushing economic sanctions. But this is only theoretical.
In the next six months, big Western businesses will pounce on the Persian market, signing trade contracts; stocking up on supplies and equipment will kick into high gear so that if the West decides to return to past economic sanctions, these business deals will already be underway and it will be impossible to prevent their completion. Any economist who is familiar with the struggling Western economies knows that the cartels and tycoons will not let their governments renew sanctions on Iran.
If there is no revolution in Western leadership, and if politicians can’t see the horizon past their own terms in office, the ayatollahs will build a nuclear bomb. There are several signs pointing toward this outcome: The Iranians are determined, persistent and cunning, and they will not give up their strategic goal: establishing a Persian empire in the Middle East.
The American government is weaker than the enlightened, democratic world wishes to believe. Israel failed to meet the Americans halfway in negotiations with the Palestinians, and did nothing to ease American or European anxiety on the peace process; Israel’s poker chips, which once allowed it to threaten credible military action, have visibly scattered across the table with statements from former Mossad director Meir Dagan, former Shin Bet security agency director Yuval Diskin, former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and even President Shimon Peres, with his objection to the government’s policies.
Alas, despair is poor counsel. We must fight the Iranian nuclear project with the tools that remain in Israel’s hands.