Comedy gold: Obama's favorite reporter interviews John Kerrypro-Israel.'
Kerry rejected criticism from Israel, and from many in the American Jewish community, that by publicly warning Israel that it will be further isolated internationally if the deal should be rejected, he has encouraged scapegoating of the Jewish state: “If you’ve ever played golf, you know that you yell ‘fore’ off the tee,” he explained. “You’re not threatening somebody, you’re warning them: ‘Look, don’t get hit by the ball, it’s coming.’”
Kerry believes that a congressional rejection of the deal will lead to war—he explains his theory of his case in detail below—and he finds the “visceral” and “emotional” criticism of the deal in Israel, and among many of Israel’s supporters, flummoxing. “I’ve gone through this backwards and forwards a hundred times and I’m telling you, this deal is as pro-Israel, as pro-Israel’s security, as it gets,” Kerry said. “And I believe that just saying no to this is, in fact, reckless.” When I asked him how he interprets Israeli criticism of the deal, he said there is a “a huge level of fear and mistrust and, frankly, there’s an inherent sense that, given Iran’s gains and avoidance in the past, that somehow they’re going to avoid something again. It’s a visceral feeling, it’s very emotional and visceral and I’m very in tune with that and very sensitive to that.”
Though he says he is in tune with this set of Israeli fears, he does not endorse a view widely shared by Israelis—and by many Americans—that Iran’s leaders, who have often said that they seek the destruction of Israel, mean what they say. “I think they have a fundamental ideological confrontation with Israel at this particular moment. Whether or not that translates into active steps to, quote, ‘Wipe it,’ you know ...” Here I interjected: “Wipe it off the map.”
Kerry continued: “I don’t know the answer to that. I haven’t seen anything that says to me—they’ve got 80,000 rockets in Hezbollah pointed at Israel, and any number of choices could have been made. They didn’t make the bomb when they had enough material for 10 to 12. They’ve signed on to an agreement where they say they’ll never try and make one and we have a mechanism in place where we can prove that. So I don’t want to get locked into that debate. I think it’s a waste of time here.”They didn't make the bomb when they had enough material for 10-12 (which only happened during the Obama administration by the way), because they figured why become a pariah when a little bit of patience will let you do it with the 'international community's approval.
In the meantime, three senior Jewish Democrats - including the highest ranking Jew in the House - have all come out against the deal (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The highest-ranking Jewish Democrat in the House announced his opposition to the nuclear accord with Iran on Tuesday, in a blow to the Obama administration’s lobbying efforts.
"I'm going to vote against the Iran deal," Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) — the former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — told Newsday.
"I tried very hard to get to yes. But at the end of the day, despite some positive elements in the deal, the totality compelled me to oppose it.”
In addition to Rep. Israel, Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) also came out against the deal on Tuesday, saying that the multinational agreement did not include enough safeguards to prevent Iran from cheating on its commitments or limit it from supporting extremist groups such as Hezbollah.
“After a decade in public life working to stop Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons, I cannot support a deal giving Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief — in return for letting it maintain an advanced nuclear program and the infrastructure of a threshold nuclear state,” Deutch wrote in the Broward County Sun Sentinel.So it's not just the Israelis who are opposed.
Kerry's flippant attitude toward this really grates. In a lot of ways, he's even more irritating than Obama.
“The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,” Kerry said. “This”—a congressional rejection—“will be the ultimate screwing.” He went on to argue that “the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.”