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Thursday, April 16, 2015

'One of the tensest meetings I can ever remember'

The legacy of Stephen Wise - who chose his personal relationship with FDR over saving Jews during World War II - must have been on the minds of many of the rabbis who attended a meeting with President Hussein Obama regarding Iran on Monday. Perhaps that's why one rabbi described it to Lee Smith as 'one of the tensest meetings I can ever remember' (Hat Tip: Gershon D).

“It was one of the tensest meetings I can ever remember,” said one participant who has been invited to many White House sit-downs over the years and requested anonymity. “The president spoke for 25 minutes, without notes,” he told me. “It was very impressive. Some people said very nice things, others expressed concerns, and talked about the role of Congress, and he talked about presidential prerogative, and cited other precedents for it. Lots of people challenged him very strongly, like about taking the threats of dictators seriously when Khamenei says death to America, death to Israel, death to the Jews. The president said he knows what the regime is, which is why he is trying to take away their weapons. He didn’t dismiss what the Iranians say, he just didn’t really address it.”
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal center, who also attended the meeting, was willing to speak on the record to Tablet. “Speaking for myself,” said Hier, “I was not satisfied.” Hier declined to describe the president’s comments but told me the point he made in the meeting. “Mr. President,” he said, “in a few weeks, you and others will be going to Germany to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps. What meaning does that have when while negotiating over the nuclear treaty with Iran, none of the six powers said a word when the ayatollah Tweeted about annihilating the state of Israel, or a leading general in the IRGC said this is the regime’s raison d’etre? What meaning does the 70th anniversary have? Hitler said he was going to murder all the Jews in a letter from 1919, and he wound up doing it. If you hear the ayatollah saying that, every world leader should repudiate it immediately.”
What Obama is doing may be even worse than what Roosevelt did 70 years ago.
Roosevelt never lifted a finger to save European Jews, but he did defeat the Nazis. Obama writes letters to the man who threatens to exterminate Jews and promises him peace. American Jewish leaders have plenty to worry about. The cost to American political life of legitimizing exterminationist anti-Semitism may turn out to be one of the worst parts of a bad deal.
Obama isn't even going to fight Iran, and he is attempting to hogtie his successor into abstaining from a fight as well. Read the whole thing

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