1 June 2015

Obama’s nuke deal will leave Iran funding even more terror

May 28, 2015

President Barack Obama listens during a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington.Photo: Getty Images

Rockets hit southern Israel on Tuesday, reportedly shot by Iran’s closest Gaza proxy.

And while no major escalation immediately followed, it was a fiery reminder that President Obama’s repeated assurances that Iran would use sanctions relief for economic advancement and not terrorism are suspect at best.

Israeli and Palestinian officials say that Palestinian Islamic Jihad members likely tried to one-up their superiors by shooting a midrange Grad rocket at Israel, even though that weapon was reserved for a future all-out war.

Concerned that war would start before its fighters are ready, Gaza’s ruling group, Hamas, quickly sent messages through third parties: This wasn’t us. Just some punks who know not what they’re doing.

Israeli leaders said that responsibility lies with Hamas, and Israel Defense Forces jets hit four targets in the strip Wednesday night. But press analysts say the IDF is likely to hold its fire for now.

Nevertheless, Gaza is Gaza.

Everyone from Arab states to European bankers and the guerrilla street artist Banksy promised emotional support and huge funds to rebuild Gaza after last year’s war. Then Hamas and the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah started fighting over those funds and, pffft, Gaza reconstruction died off.

Once foreign do-gooders realized their cash was lost in an endless bureaucratic shuffle and used for war preparations, most reconstruction funds stopped flowing in.

And as the bleeding hearts withdraw, who’s left? Iran.

The PIJ is Tehran’s closest proxy in the strip, but the mullahs also lavish funds on Hamas and other players, sending rockets, rocket parts, know-how and cash to improve Gaza’s war capabilities.

Meanwhile, on another Israeli border, Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, is learning from Hamas as well. The group’s nearly 100,000 rockets are increasingly stashed in civilians’ homes, ensuring innocent casualties will star in the coverage of the next war.

Attack tunnels, the size of small towns, are frantically dug near Lebanon’s border with Israel. (All under the watchful eye of a UN force meant to stop the next war.)

As Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, the military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, bragged recently, “Iran, with the help of Hezbollah and its friends, is capable of destroying Tel Aviv and Haifa.”

Meanwhile, President Obama is on a charm offensive meant to convince America’s Israeli supporters of the merits of his coveted nuclear deal with Iran.

Last week Obama maintained a long-held US policy, shielding Israel’s nuclear program from international scrutiny.

Then, wearing a yarmulke in a DC synagogue and granting an extensive interview to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, he pontificated that Israelis can become better Jews and better at Tikun Olam (“repairing the world,” a Jewish concept loved by American progressives) than their leaders want them to be.

Most importantly, Obama hints at a promise to modernize Israel’s arsenal, supplying the IDF with new arms only America can make.

All of that because, for Obama, the Iran nuke deal, due to conclude June 30, trumps all national-security issues.

Yet the promised deal’s other problems aside (and they are numerous), its requirement that we overlook the misdeeds of Iran and its proxies in the region has already wreaked havoc on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen.

But wait. Maybe the Islamic Republic’s expansionist goals disappear once hands are shaken in Vienna or Geneva.

Perhaps the Ayatollah’s vows to “cure” the “cancer” that is Israel will stop, too.

Obama believes so. As he told Goldberg, “The fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations.”

He argues that the nuke deal, bearing the promise of economic opening to the West, will cure the mullahs of their genocidal plans.

That’s a bet no Israeli leader, right or left, can comfortably make.

Because yes, this week’s shots from Gaza may well have been isolated strikes. But sooner or later, one of those one-offs will explode in a hugely destructive Iran-backed war.

Seeing Iran as a potential US ally, rather than a top source of Mideast unrest, will guarantee Israelis continue to fear one-off sirens, even as those who profess to have their best interest at heart woo them with siren songs.

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