I am generally an admirer of Rabbi Boteach, and respect his opinions. However, I was disappointed to read his October 4 op ed, “President Obama’s astonishing overtures to a terror state.”
I understand that Iran is a threat to Israel and to the United States, and the rhetoric coming from that country gives little assurance of peaceful intent.
President Obama has proven that he is a friend of Israel and that he will not shrink from making difficult choices when it comes to selective use of our armed forces. It is insulting to the president and to the overwhelming percentage of American Jews who voted for him to accuse Obama of being blind, gullible, or in some manner “soft” on Iran.
Rabbi Boteach calls Iran a “terror state,” and he is correct. If press reports are to be believed, Iran is also a troublemaker in the region. The sanctions Obama has put in place have hurt Iran and probably convinced it that the United States is serious about its need to curtail the weapons program. Most reasonable people would agree that it is the sanctions that have brought the Iranian leaders to contemplate changes in their policies.
Talking to friends is easy. Talking to enemies takes courage. Bombing is also easy, but its unintended consequences could prove very dangerous to the Jewish state.
I have every reason to believe that Obama is no pushover and will maintain sanctions until Iran, by deeds and not words, shows that, for whatever reasons, it will respect international norms and treaties. Let’s give time-limited negotiations a chance.