By Tony Perkins
“America and Israel share a common destiny.” And it is that destiny that drove Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the lectern of a joint session of Congress in what history may describe as one of the most important speeches of a generation. It took a foreign leader, standing in the halls of American power, to remind us who we are and where our nation’s roots reside: in the biblical faith of his ancient land.
From his first mention of Esther to the closing message from Moses, our Judeo-Christian heritage was more prominent today than it has been in the last six years. “Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther,” the Prime Minister said. “We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.” While the President tries to erase our identity as a Christian nation, the Jewish people look to their rich history as a source of meaning and guidance. Israel was under attack then, as it is now.
Under this administration, the two nations have a common enemy but not a mutual solution. In the face of the greatest nuclear threat in the Middle East, this President chooses to trust Iran — instead of challenge it. On the eve of a deal that would lift sanctions on Hassan Rouhani’s country, Netanyahu came to the United States — not for political purposes, but survival purposes.
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While Iran and ISIS “compete for the crown of radical Islam,” the worst thing the West could do is leave Iran’s vast nuclear program intact. After freezing more than $7 billion of Iran’s assets, the U.N. Security Council (with President Obama’s support) has offered to lift those restrictions in exchange for Rouhani’s word that the country would cut back on its nuclear program.
Two years ago, the world found out how misguided its trust in Iran was. “We were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation! “Rouhani’s government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.” As Netanyahu warned, it is a risky deal in which Iran has much to gain — and the international community everything to lose.
“At a time when many hope Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the community of nations… In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone. So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy. The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember — I’ll say it one more time — the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons.”
I had the honor of sitting in the congressional chamber as the Prime Minister spoke about the risks to all of mankind under a nuclear-armed Iran. “Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? …Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?” While 50 members of the President’s party sat out the speech, the Prime Minister called America to sit out something far more important: a deal of international appeasement.
“Standing up to Iran isn’t easy,” he said soberly. “Standing up to dark murderous regimes never is.” Unfortunately for America, our President is more comfortable ignoring evil than confronting it. “Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand,” the Prime Minister vowed. We pray, along with millions of Christians and Jews around the world, that America will stand with them.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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