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An e-newsletter delivering updates and analysis on current issues about Israel and the Middle East conflict

October 8, 2013

Israel Is Playing the Bad Cop to Iran, But Will President Obama Play Cop At All?

Dear Friend of FLAME:

Mainstream media and the Obama administration are twisting themselves in knots trying to make Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani seem like a moderate.

Last week CNN even mistranslated Rouhani as saying he condemned the Holocaust---a real scoop if it were true, since the Iranians have been saying for decades that the Holocaust is over-exaggerated. But alas, numerous other translators, including that of the Iranian government, deny Rouhani said anything other than that Jews were "some of the people," among many others, killed by Hitler.

The President, of course, tried to shake Rouhani's hand in New York, but Rouhani refused that "opportunity." Then Mr. Obama managed to get Rouhani on the phone for 15 minutes.  That was billed as a diplomatic breakthrough, as though we were now on the road to Iran abandoning its nuclear weapons ambitions. All this smacks of frightening naiveté on the part of the administration.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu got it right in his address to the United Nations General Assembly. Bibi reminded the world that the Iranians are verified liars and likely lying now about not wanting nuclear arms.  Taking a much tougher stand than Obama, Netanyahu demanded that no concessions be made to Iran until it first complies with all International Atomic Energy Agency and UN resolutions. Or course Iran's hidden nuclear processing sites and continued uranium enrichment defy all these demands.

It's one thing for Mr. Netanyahu to play bad cop, even as we wonder not whether President Obama is willing play good cop, but even whether he's willing to serve on the same police force.  If both the US and Israel are truly seeking the same goal---complete shutdown of Iran's nuclear weapons development---both countries' diplomatic strategies must include a serious threat of military action.  Serious means indicating clearly that either a) the US is ready to attack Iran if necessary, and/or b) it will support Israel if the Jewish state attacks.

This week's FLAME Hotline article serves to remind us of the wages of appeasement in the case of Iran and warn us not to allow our government to pursue this dangerous strategy. Author Michael Curtis, emeritus professor of history at Rutgers University, makes the point starkly---which we citizens must in turn make to our representatives, including the President: Allowing Iran to acquire any nuclear weapons capability is a red line we must not allow to be crossed.

Please review this short piece and pass it along to your friends, colleagues and fellow congregants.  Help us spread the word about the deadly threat Iran poses and the need for the US to stiffen its backbone in preventing this terrorist state to go nuclear.

Thanks for your support of FLAME and of Israel!

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
Vice President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)


For years we at FLAME having been telling the true story about Iran's headlong pursuit of nuclear weapons and the threat that poses to the US, Israel and the world at large. That's why FLAME published its hasbarah message---"Iran and Nuclear Weapons: What does the world, what does Israel have to fear?"---in media reaching 10 million readers. I hope you'll review this powerful position paper and print and hand it out to friends and colleagues or publish it in your congregation or pro-Zionist newsletter. If you agree that FLAME's bold brand of public relations on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support our publication of such outspoken messages. Please consider giving donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.

No Appeasement of Iran

By Michael Curtis, American Thinker, October, 3, 2013

The democratic countries of the world today may be heading towards a possible recurrence of a policy of appeasement, concessions made to an enemy or potential enemy in order to avoid a conflict or a resort to hostilities. The image of the supine pessimistic British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain needs to be remembered. It was he who submitted to and acquiesced in a policy that turned out to be disastrous, bringing war not peace.

The historic date was September 29, 1938 in Munich when Chamberlain accepted Adolf Hitler's demand that Nazi Germany would occupy the Sudetenland, part of the independent state of Czechoslovakia. The insatiable Hitler followed this in March 1939 by taking over all of the country, which then ceased to exist. The British appeasement policy may have been popular in Britain and France, countries whose populations were not eager to go to war, but the end result was war in increasingly unfavorable circumstances and with greater casualties. Appeasement had made the world less safe.

Post-revisionist writers have suggested that a justification for Chamberlain's capitulation towards the Nazis between 1937 and 1939 was that he, a sincere if misguided individual, had no alternative. Today, a similar argument for non-action is being made regarding the attitude of Western countries, including the United States, towards the menace of Iran. It takes the form not so much of lack of alternative, but on the need for extended negotiations with a regime unwilling to fulfill its international obligations. The international community as a whole is refusing to acknowledge and meet the threat of a radical Islamic state, Iran.

Since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979, the Iranian leaders have made no secret of their attitude to the State of Israel. Before then, relations, during the Pahlavi dynasty between Israel and Iran had been cordial, even close at times. Iran had been the second Muslim country, after Turkey, to recognize Israel as a sovereign state, and had supplied Israel with oil and entered into a number of joint projects. For its part, Israel viewed Iran as a friendly Muslim non-Arab power.

When Ayatollah Khomeini took power in February 1979 he cut off all official relations with Israel which he called an enemy of Islam and a little Satan, a friend of the Great Satan, the United States. The present supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has restated this opinion with even stronger language. He sees Israel as a cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world. He believes that the "fake Zionist regime will disappear from the landscape of geography."

Once again Israel is the political canary of the world, warning of the danger to other countries. It is aware of the reluctance of many countries to accept the realities of Iranian behavior, and rather prefer to accept the "pledge" of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that Iran would never build nuclear weapons and his statement that its nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes. Everybody has recognized that Rouhani has presented the Iranian case in a more agreeable fashion than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose diatribes against Israel and his assurance that the Holocaust never happened suggested a problem of mental stability.

Nevertheless, Rouhani's softer tone and conciliatory words do not disguise the reality that Iran is on the path to and may soon be in possession of nuclear weapons that might eliminate the "tumor" of Israel. He stated to the UN General Assembly that Iran was ready to enter without delay into talks about its nuclear program. Desirable though peaceful resolution of issues and diplomatic negotiations are to defuse or solve a political crisis, they need to be put in the present existing context. The real decision-makers in Iran are the supreme leader, the ayatollah, and the Guardian Council. In fact, they chose Rouhani to run for the position of president, largely because they needed a conciliatory individual to help reduce or remove the economic sanctions on Iran that are hurting the country by reducing oil revenues, by increasing inflation, and increasing unemployment.

It is clear that Iran will continue to control its nuclear program unless it is prevented by Western actions. At the moment this means maintaining the sanctions against it. The crucial question remains as to whether the United States and/or Israel will use military force to prevent the production of a nuclear bomb. Iran, like others in the international community, are conscious of President Obama's irresolution in acting on his self-declared red line in the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and his reluctance to use military force by accepting the diplomatic formula proposed by Russia.

Yet, the president ought now to be conscious of the danger of the policy of Iran. It has already shown its manipulation of Shiite minorities in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Yemen to foment trouble and to try to destabilize the Gulf States. Iran is competing with Saudi Arabia, not only as part of the rivalry in the Islamic world between itself as Shiite leader and Saudi Arabia as Sunni leader, but also for control of the Strait of Hormuz, which accounts for export of about 20% of all oil traded worldwide. It has provided support and weapons to the Assad regime in Syria, and to Hamas in Gaza and Hizb'allah in Lebanon, and is the prominent Muslim power in the Middle East.

At a moment when the Arab states have been weakened as a result of the turmoil after the "Arab spring," when Egypt is incapable of action, when Turkey has become more insular, the international community must be prepared to take action and prevent the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran capable of committing a new genocide.


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