An Appeasement of Biblical Proportions
An editorial by Jonathan Feldstein
I’m in the middle of a two-plus week trip to several states, meeting with leaders of many different ministries, and feeling the love and support from Christian Zionists of all backgrounds. It’s heartwarming, inspiring, and a blessing. And especially meaningful now.
On a recent call home, my youngest son asked where I was. When I told him I was in Washington, DC, he asked if I could see the White House from my hotel. I told him I couldn’t, but wondered why he asked. Usually he expresses interest in my travels by what basketball teams are in the cities I am visiting. Being born in Jerusalem (which the White House says is not part of Israel), I wondered why he even cared as he’s never really learned US history or anything about its beautiful democracy.
The next morning, I woke up and felt as if the White House had punched me and all of Israel in the gut. I felt sick, literally. Though I had been praying for a good deal that would actually stop the Iranians in their tracks from attaining a nuclear weapon, I’d have been much happier with the US taking the lead in making no deal than the deal we got. I saw President Obama and Secretary Kerry not only backtracking from the minimal goals that they had set to achieve a “good deal,” but pretending that they had done so, whitewashing the deal as an historic achievement. In fact, it’s an historic appeasement.
It’s not only an historic appeasement in the mold of Chamberlin’s “peace in our time” which sold out the Jews of Europe to Hitler’s anti-Semitic war machine, but an appeasement of biblical proportion. The question is what will the consequence be, and how you can make it an Esther and not a Hitler.
I had a sick feeling that this must have been how Esther, Mordecai, and the Jews of Persia felt centuries ago. After praying and fasting, Esther appealed to the king “For my people and I have been sold to be annihilated, killed and destroyed.” The difference then is that we were betrayed by a Persian villain but the king undid his decree and saved the day, and our people. Today, we’ve been sold out by the “king.” It is a day of mourning in a season that’s not been good to our people, marked by anniversaries of the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, our Expulsion from Spain, Hitler’s Final Solution, etc. And now the Iran Appeasement.
My depression is mitigated by the fact that I was just among thousands of Christians at the CUFI Summit whose love for Israel and the Jewish people is a stark contrast to that displayed by the White House, just blocks from the Summit itself. I am comforted by a friend who said that prophetically Israel is destined to fight Iran, but he’s read the Book and Iran doesn’t win.
But I am still depressed because we are in for some tough times ahead. It’s a time that we all should pray and fast, but we need to take action as well, calling upon Congress and all world leaders to stop this deal, reinstitute sanctions and bring Iran to its knees.
Some have compared this deal to the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union. That’s a faulty comparison on so many levels, but one of the most vivid is that at least part of the change in Soviet behavior was because of the US’ steadfast upholding trade sanctions that were tied to human rights. The Iranians not only are not being held accountable to their human rights at home, but also not held accountable for being the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, financing a global jihad.
In fact, by agreeing to free up hundreds of billions in revenue that will pour into Iran, the US and world powers become passive funders of the terrorism and murder that will follow.
I am depressed because the US government abandoned Pastor Saeed Abedini who sits in an Iranian prison because he’s advocated for his Christian faith. Other Americans remain in Iranian jails too. Their return home has never been more distant. Even Jimmy Carter tried to free US hostages in Iran. The Obama administration has abandoned them.
While knee-jerk liberals who would support the Obama administration if it said the world were flat have lined up to support the deal and the deal maker, there’s one unique indication that this deal is a bad deal that cannot be underscored enough. In Israel, the Obama-Kerry led P5+1 capitulation to Iran has done something rarely done in our often divisive little country, its created unity from the left and the right against the deal, not just as bad for Israel but for the Middle East, the US, and the world.
Netanyahu has become the punching bag and lightning rod for uniquely personal criticism from Obama and Kerry and other Administration officials by standing up for a position that is right and represents all of Israel. But also uniquely, while Netanyahu takes the public heat, there is equal criticism of the deal from some of our Arab neighbors such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab states. Of course the Arab leaders cannot and will not stand up and say they agree with Netanyahu and Israel, but it’s a poorly kept secret that they do.
I haven’t heard any comments from leaders of the Palestinian Authority, but they also can ride the wave of Netanyahu’s position with relief, because if we get nuked and Iran is able to do in ten minutes what Hitler did in ten years, millions of Palestinian Arabs would die too. I doubt any letters will be sent to Netanyahu thanking him, but once again this demonstrates that the deal is not just a bad deal for Israel but for millions of others.
I feel sold out by the US government. Please join me in contacting your congressional leaders asking them not to support this deal. Call all their offices, in your district and state, and in Washington. Email them. Send letters that state simply, “Please vote against the Iran deal.” Ultimately they care about you, their constituent, and the votes they need to keep their job. But they should also care about whether they want to stand up against this historic appeasement and be on the right side of history, or complicit in a deal with devastating and deadly consequences.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and salvation will come to the Jews from another source, and you and the house of your father will be lost. And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this position.”
I’m praying that this salvation does come from Congress, through you and others, and that as my son grows up, he’ll know, be grateful for, and proud of the fact that you and our Congressional leaders stood up for good in the face of evil, and that regardless of what basketball team plays in any city I may travel to, he knows we are part of a bigger winning team.
Reprinted with permission of the author. Jonathan Feldstein was born and educated in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. Throughout his life and career, he has been blessed by the calling to fellowship with Christian supporters of Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He writes a regular column for Charisma magazine’s Standing With Israel. You can contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.