Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken today told the American Jewish Committee Global Forum that rising anti-Semitism in the world needs to be battled — right after advocating for a nuclear deal with Iran.
Blinken never included the Iranian regime in his mentions of anti-Semitic hotbeds in the world, sticking to Europe instead and avoiding mentions of Islamists.
He told the conference that opponents of President Obama’s plan for a nuclear deal with Tehran “have an obligation to tell the American people exactly what you would do differently, and exactly how you would get it done.”
“We would not agree to a deal unless the IAEA is granted access to whatever Iranian sites are required to verify that Iran’s program is exclusively peaceful — period,” Blinken said. “Fourth, there is simply no better option to prevent Iran from obtaining the material for a nuclear weapon than a comprehensive agreement that meets the parameters that we set and announced in Lausanne.”
“I have to tell you that, unfortunately, it is a fantasy to believe that Iran will simply capitulate to every demand if we ratchet up the pressure even more through sanctions.”
“And to those who would prefer that we simply take military action now against Iran without going the last diplomatic mile, you need to consider that such a response would first destroy the international sanctions coalition, and second, only set Iran’s nuclear program back by a few years at best, at which point Iran likely would bury a new program deep underground and speed toward an actual nuclear weapon,” Blinken continued, adding “it’s the United States, not Iran, that risks being isolated, and the sanctions regime we’ve worked so hard to build will crumble away.”
He acknowledged the administration “commitment to fighting Iran’s efforts to spread instability and support terrorism” as almost an afterthought.
“This will not change — with or without a deal. But Iran with a nuclear weapon — without a nuclear weapon, excuse me — will be far less emboldened to take destabilizing actions in the region.”
Blinken saved “another grave concern” until the end of the speech — “the deeply disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in parts of our world that have already seen how this tragic story ends.”
“In the last few years, as all of you know so well, there have been horrific attacks on Jews from Brussels to Paris, Toulouse to Copenhagen. In some countries, we’re seeing a rise in government officials and media personalities spinning abhorrent, dangerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish individuals, about Israel, about the United States. And in a few places, we see the rise of extreme right-wing parties — from Jobbik in Hungary to Golden Dawn in Greece — openly embracing Nazi-like hatred of Jews. This is happening today — just 70 years after the Holocaust. Just 70 years after we pledged Never Again. While survivors of the Shoah are still with us to bear witness,” he said.
“… In France, Germany, the United Kingdom, leaders have strongly condemned these acts of vile hatred, reinforced security in Jewish communities and around key sites, and expressed their unshakable solidarity with their Jewish citizens. Citizens of many faiths have formed human rings of protection around synagogues in Denmark, in Sweden, in Norway. But more — much more — must be done to make this fight a global priority.”