Thursday, February 26, 2015

Prepare to Listen to P.M. Netanyahu Speech before the U.S. Congress

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 is the date scheduled for the American people and others around the world to hear more from the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. His views and hopes regarding Iran and Israel have a wide audience as Iran claims to negotiate with the U. S. on its preparations for the development of a nuclear weapons program. 

The context of current U.S. negotiations with Iran
The context of U.S. negotiations includes Iran’s never-retracted label for the U.S. as “the Great Satan” and its ally, Israel, as “Little Satan.”  Iran long-ago chanted against the U. S. and Israel: Death to America! Death to Israel! 
U.S. history with Iran since its 1979 revolution should inform American thoughts. In these days, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tries to negotiate successfully with Iran on its nuclear weapons development, with disappointing results thus far.

Soon after the Iranian revolution, 1979, American citizens were taken hostage and were not released until early 1981. I was in Washington, DC, when the yellow ribbons of welcome clung to trees and rooftops, especially around the White House and Farragut Square. The American spirit of strength, hope, and resilience seemed to fill the streets.  

Two years later, 1983, Iran branded its imprint on our history again, in a bombing attack on the U. S. Embassy in Ain el-Mreisseh, Lebanon, killing 52 people. The explosion reached the ambassador's desk, according to reports. 

As noted decades later by U. S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly on the 30th anniversary of the attack: The bombing of Embassy Beirut in 1983 opened a new chapter (emphasis added) in America’s history in the Middle East.  The first of what would be three attacks on Americans, and Lebanese colleagues in Beirut in 17 months, it was a bloody rite of passage. (April 13, 2013) 

America remains in that chapter of history with Iran. The American people are at risk, and this fact goes against how we wish to think. Our politicians and officials will make existentially wrong decisions if they ignore who and what Iranian leadership is. The religious-political government has never taken back its vows against the United States of America.  At this moment, it prepares the capability to wreak unthinkable destruction. Its inflexibility in “diplomacy” reinforces this view.

If Diplomacy, Negotiate from Strength
Originally, I expected the Secretary of State to negotiate firmly against Iran’s nuclear weapons development, allowing only for domestic use of nuclear power.   

I now think that his meetings with Iranian officials, if they continue, can at best only delay an inevitably bad outcome. Stopping an Iranian nuclear weapons program appears to be a lost or, worse, discarded goal.

However, there may be some in congress who could convince others to take second look at diplomatic circles and speak up more for the U.S. to do whatever it takes, short of war, to halt Iran’s preparations in that area.

Netanyahu's Role from a Jewish Historical View
Preparing to listeni to P.M. Netanyahu’s speech before the U.S. congress, I returned to the biblical book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was, in his day, Jerusalem's hope for leadership. His strategy, in rebuilding the war-torn walls of Jerusalem, employed wisdom against those who declared themselves his enemies.

Nehemiah's prime enemy was named Sanballat, and at first, regarding Nehemiah, he “was angry and greatly enraged, and he mocked the Jews.” (Neh. 1:1) (See Iran's record, above.)

Later, as Nehemiah's work progressed, Sanballat and company threatened the Jews. (See Iran's record.)

Unsucessful with that, they plotted and prepared to make war on the Jews.
(Consider Iran's avowed plans.)

Still unsuccessful, Sanballat and company resorted to negotiation efforts (see above, Iran and U.S.): 
“Let’s meet in one of the villages, at Ono.”
("Let's meet in Geneva" equivalent today.)

Nehemiah's enemies sought meetings five times, and five times Nehemiah refused. 
(Not in the record above, because Nehemiah believed the enemy's mocking and threatening words.)

The enemy prepared to fight. (See Iran's record, above.)

Then was when one of Nehemiah friends proposed safety behind closed doors of the house of God. 
Nehemiah refused his friend, too.

Nehemiah continued to work, true to his mission to rebuild the walls, doing it with intense loyalty
to God and his people.
When the Nehemiah 's people completed the work, the surrounding nations feared. 
(Then, their eyes were opened.)

Is it too late? 
Is it too late for the U.S. to make clear once and for all that meetings with Iran must return to the original starting point--no  nuclear weapons development for Iran. 

Iran’s mocking and threats usually, if not always, join the U.S. with Israel. The U. S. is strong and Israel’s situation amidst Arab enemies is tenuous. Israel is the prime enemy; therefore, weaken Israel by discouraging and removing U.S. as Israel’s ally. (Sanballat and company all over again.)

Unlike a great leader, the U. S. appears to court a better relationship with Iran in spite of “Death to America!” threats. Ignore the mocking, the threats, the preparations for attack…agree to meet more and more. Every delay is a move against the U.S. mission and goals, not against Iran’s. 

It's puzzling why any Secretary of State would not believe Iran’s threats and publicly admit them.

Face the Unimaginable
I am convinced that to think that Iran's goal of nuclear weapons is impossible to reach or can be weakened by delay is a false assumption. 

I think we have solid reasons, based on decades of publicly available reports, to believe that many Iranian people want peace and change, that they hope and pray that the U.S. will not play dangerous, yielding diplomatic games with Iran. Many hope that the U.S. will show clear resolve, even if an agreement cannot be reached and sanctions on Iran continue, with continued inspection efforts. 

I want to hear Prime Minister Netanyahu's perspectives about these serious matters on Tuesday.

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