When you were younger, did your mother ever tell you to "kill them with kindness?" In a world where most people don't go very far out of their way to help one another, being a friendly and welcoming person can truly go a long way. Today, an estimated three million refugees have fled Syria, escaping what is shaping up to be one of the bloodiest civil wars in modern history. The sheer volume of these helpless people is half the battle in dealing with them.
America is a nation founded by immigrants. Before the United States even became an independent country, Europeans fleeing religious persecution came to the American colonies. Later on, people began coming from all over the world in search of a newer, safer and more prosperous life. This is the story of many Syrians. In a nation torn apart by war, these people are fleeing to the west in search of a better life.
This isn't the first time that this type of event has occurred. It was just over seventy years ago that Europe went through what was undoubtably one of the darkest times in its history. The Jews who were lucky enough not to be part of the six million killed in the Holocaust fled to America, England and other Allied powers. Wherever there is conflict, there are innocents whom are either caught in the crossfire or are themselves targeted. That's the unfortunate reality of war.
So in theory, there shouldn't even be a discussion as to whether or not we should accept Syrian refugees, right? Wouldn't rejecting them be contrary to our democratic values? If the story about the refugees ended here, yes, it would be. But the case against bringing Syrian refugees into the United States is far more complex than just some xenophobia and racial discrimination towards Muslims. There are some very serious concerns that cannot be overlooked with accepting Syrian refugees, perhaps the greatest of which is the grave national security danger that some of them might pose.
The threat posed by a trojan horse-style infiltration by ISIS fighters disguised as refugees isn't some right-wing conspiracy theory. Multiple domestic and foreign intelligence services have already warned that ISIS has and is currently attempting to sneak in fighters disguised as refugees to carry out attacks inside of the United States. Some Syrian refugees who've already been granted asylum in America have since been arrested on terror-related charges.
In an attempt to address this legitimate concern, President Obama has made it abundantly clear on multiple occasions that Syrian refugees coming into the United States are going to be processed through an unprecedentedly thorough vetting process to ensure that no ISIS fighters are able to hide amongst them. In theory, this would work. In reality, however, Syria isn't a technologically advanced country with a state-of-the-art computerized database of its citizens like the United States, Israel, or the UK. It's simply not possible to vet them for the very simple reason that there's very little information available about them that we can screen. As a matter of fact, the FBI has already warned the Obama administration that there's simply no way they can effectively vet these refugees. The FBI can question them all they want, but the harsh reality is that we have absolutely no idea who these people are.
So on one hand, we have the President promising that refugees will be thoroughly vetted to eliminate the risk of terrorists slipping into the country, but on the other hand, the very agency that was placed in charge of carrying out the vetting process is claiming that it is impossible. Either the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are collaborating and trying to mislead Americans, or President Obama is outright lying to us.
Here's some food for thought: Where the hell are all of the oil-rich gulf Arab Nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia in this mess; shouldn't they be the first to stand up for and help their Arab brethren in their darkest hours.
It's genuinely heartbreaking to hear some of the stories told by these refugees. Their situation is a tragedy that nobody could ever possibly imagine having to be in themselves, and one that no human being should ever have to suffer through. But there's two sides to every coin. France learned this the hard way just a few months ago when it was discovered that one of the Paris attackers snuck in as a Syrian refugee. Sure, you could argue that our screening system for refugees is going to be much more stringent than that of France. But as Murphy's Law states, "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Should we trade the safety and security of our nation for the sake of being a bit more humanitarian
Imagine if someone handed you a bowl of M&Ms and told you that a couple of the M&Ms might be poisonous and would kill you if you ate them. Would you still eat from that bowl? Of course you wouldn't! We need to think long and hard about this decision. Yes, the humanitarian and morally correct thing to do would be to accept these refugees. But is it worth the inevitable jeopardy that our national security would be placed in? I for one don't believe it is.
It was two weeks ago that President Barack Obama took to the floor in front of the United States Congress to deliver his eighth, and thankfully last, State of the Union address to the nation. If there's one thing about Obama that hasn't changed, it's his arrogant and conveniently selective memory. While he touted the freeing of four American hostages in Iran as a result of our diplomatic progress with them, and a gradual shift towards moderation in the Iranian regime, he somehow forgot to mention that we traded them for seven Iranians convicted of criminal acts on U.S soil. He also forgot to mention that two Americans still sit in Iranian prisons. It should also be pointed out that prisoner swaps aren't even mentioned in the Iran deal. John Kerry, the very man who helped create this miserable excuse of a deal, admitted last week that a considerable sum of the money Iran is receiving as sanctions relief will be used to accelerate Iran's destabilizing actions in the region and fund terrorist organizations. Does the Obama administration not consider these facts important, or did they not know about them? Or do they simply not care about them? I'm sure so many other Americans share these questions with me and I wish I could say with certainty that President Obama actually cares what we have to think, but judging by his past history of shooting down reporters who question his Iran deal, I wouldn't expect any answers from him anytime in the foreseeable future.
Here's a fact: Thanks to President Obama, Iran will now be able to use their new-found wealth by making its military immensely more powerful and will, in essence, eliminate the technological edge held by Israel which has kept it safe for so many years. Iran has openly admitted to funding Hezbollah, a dangerous terrorist group who has both American and Israeli blood on its hands. Now that Iran is going to have almost instantaneous access to over a hundred and fifty billion extra dollars, I can only imagine where a sizable chunk of that money is going to.
But let's not get bogged down in pessimism. Maybe President Obama is right about this. Perhaps this deal of his is going to work in terms of pushing off a nuclear Iran. It'd be great if we could finally put the danger of the imperialistic and dishonest Iranian regime acquiring the worlds' most dangerous weapons behind us. But at what cost does this sense of security come? Is the inevitable uptick in terrorism from Iranian money and lives that will be lost because of it really worth the gamble? In the best case scenario, all that this deal has done is trade one danger for another. President Obama had a choice to make. He could've cranked up sanctions to such a level that it would bring Iran to its knees. Instead he chose to quit while he was ahead.
In 1938, former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler. In return for Hitlers' promise not to take any aggressive actions in Europe, the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia would be handed over to him. He pursued a policy of appeasing Hitler hoping that as Hitler was kept happy, another war in Europe could be prevented. He realized soon enough just how wrong he actually was.
Many people have chosen to compare President Obamas' deal with Iran to the agreement with Nazi Germany. I'd beg to disagree with this comparison though. Adolf Hitler pretended to be interested in peace and fooled us into believing that he didn't want to take over Europe. Iran on the other hand makes absolutely no attempt whatsoever to hide their imperialistic desires nor do they make any effort to present themselves as interested in peace. Think of any Middle Eastern conflict today and you can bet your bottom dollar that Iran is in one way or another involved. Whether it be arming and supporting rebels to overthrow the Yemenite government or sending high tech missiles to Hamas and Hezbollah, the tentacles of the Iranian regime are reaching out farther and farther. This Iran deal only makes it easier for them.
Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said that "appeasement is like feeding a crocodile, hoping it will eat you last." We need to stop pretending like Iran is a country with legitimate interests in peace and is ready to enter the world stage. Our leaders need to pull their heads out of the sand and come to the realization that they can push this snowball as far down the mountain as they want but the longer they push it, the bigger it gets. We can only hope that they come to that realization before it's too late.
I have to admit that Donald Trump sure knows how to get a crowd fired up. He says what people want to hear, and his soaring poll numbers as a candidate clearly prove that. I used to support Trump. I believe that America needs someone who isn't afraid to stand up to the political correctness nonsense that has taken our country hostage and can restore the global influence that America once had. As any educated voter should do before they choose a candidate to support, I decided to take the time to contemplate the controversial comments Trump has said and research the policies he plans to implement as President. It didn't take long for me to come to the realization that a President Trump would not only be counterproductive to the U.S-Israel relationship but also undermining to many of the democratic values which the United States stands for. He's nothing short of toxic to the Pro-Israel community, the Republican Party, and the United States as a whole.
When Donald Trump proclaimed on December seventh that not only Syrian refugees, but ALL Muslims should be barred from entering the United States, I couldn't have been more ashamed of myself for formerly being a Trump supporter. Not only are blatantly discriminatory policies like this not what I as a Republican stand for, but as an avid supporter of Israel, a nation where people of all faiths are given equal rights, but his policies and comments are downright repulsive to me. The first Americans were largely European Christians escaping religious persecution back at home. What happened to the principle of America being a safe-haven for those seeking freedom to practice their religion? Does freedom of religion only matter if we're talking about Christians or Jews?
News flash people! Most muslims AREN'T hateful and violent individuals who want to see our way of life destroyed. Every day hundreds of millions of Muslims, whether it be in America, Israel, or Europe, go to work and productively contribute to society. However, thanks to the mainstream media's demonization of religion in general, many people now subscribe to the notion that being a Muslim automatically means that person believes in replacing America with an Islamic caliphate. Trump is taking advantage of the mainstream media and is actively manipulating Americans who believe that notion into supporting him.
Donald Trump is the last person on the face of the earth Israel needs support from. If anything the pro-Israel community and Israel itself should be doing everything possible to distance itself from Trump. A president as xenophobic and islamophobic as Trump would only further isolate Israel in the global community. Think about it: what would it look like if the President of Israels' closest ally just so happened to be a condescending bigot? Israel gets enough bad press as it is and if there's one thing that Israel doesn't need: it's to be associated in any conceivable way with someone as controversial and xenophobic as Donald Trump.
I have full faith that if Trump had called for a halt to Jewish immigration to the United States, it would've been met with a much more negative response from the Pro-Israel community. It's genuinely disturbing how many of us claim to believe in democracy and laud Israel for accepting people of all faiths and the following day adamantly advocate for Donald Trumps' plan to bring religious discrimination into the United States government. For the past three thousand years, every country that the Jews have lived in has at some point persecuted them. We should never be fooled into thinking that couldn't happen in the United States. The moment we allow the democratic values that our nation holds so dearly to be impeded upon, we open up a whole can of worms. Sure, he claims that this ban is only temporary, but German Jews in the 1930s also believed that the Nazi Party's discrimination against them was temporary. Unfortunately, they were wrong.
Whether he knows it or not, Donald Trump is giving Islamic terrorists exactly what they want. They want Americans to be afraid to the point that they start discriminating against peaceful Muslims. It's a powerful recruitment tool to them. If peaceful Muslims begin seeing themselves becoming alienated from western society, Radical Islamist groups will be all too willing to swoop down and take advantage of that. Extremists capitalize on that outcast feeling, giving the alienated a feeling of belonging and purpose that they lack.
Yes, there is unfortunately no shortage of Muslims who preach hatred and support violence against western society. There is also an overwhelming abundance of hate-filled Christians and Jews out there who get far less heat than they deserve for their intolerant beliefs. Vitriolic hatred of a faith group because certain members of that faith happen to be terrorists gets us nowhere. It only makes it easier for radical Muslims to encourage moderates to support their cause.
As a Republican who believes in America being a nation where people from all faiths can live their lives free from discrimination, I say with pride that Donald Trump doesn't represent me. Trump isn't the strong, unifying leader America needs during these turbulent times. He is the divisive, condescending bigot that America DOESN'T need.
So here I am, writing this blog while simultaneously staring at the television above my desk. Flipping back and forth between CNN, Fox News, you name it. Not of course that I'm expecting to see anything particularly unique since all the headlines seem to say something along the lines of "TERROR STRIKES HOME!" It's scary to think about it: how these people lived among us for years and lived their lives as seemingly normal Americans. Somewhere along that timeline, they became radicalized, and all of a sudden, their house became a rather abnormal mix of children's toys and pipe bombs. There could be hundreds of these people living among us and we wouldn't even have the slightest clue who they are. You can be very easily tempted into a knee-jerk reaction of paranoia. Suspect everyone, trust no one. You start to suspect that anyone with tan skin or a hijab could be a terrorist. Let's set aside this political correctness nonsense for a moment. Honestly, who could blame you for becoming paranoid. The way the media blows up these attacks for weeks, sometimes months on end is almost as traumatizing and fear inducing as the attack itself.
After the Paris terror attacks, I too began to get drawn into this cycle of fear. But the recent shooting attack at San Bernardino made me realize something. I'm giving these people what they want by becoming afraid. While the prime goal of these terrorists is to wage jihad and kill as many of us as possible, a second objective of them is the adverse psychological effect that these attacks have on us. They want us to be afraid to wander outside, to gather in large crowds, to enjoy the very liberties and freedoms that make America what it is.
Here's what you shouldn't do; giving into your fears and being paranoid and constantly asking yourself, "Am I next?" Being afraid to walk outside because of the remote chance you might become a victim is absurd. Did you know that on average, you'll experience some sort of a vehicular collision every eighteen years? If you're a new driver at seventeen years old, chances are you'll have some sort of a collision by the time you're thirty-four. Over a hundred people die every day in car accidents, but I'm willing to bet you don't start your car and merge into traffic every day repeating in your mind, "Will I be killed in an accident today?" So if you're immeasurably more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident, there's no reason you should fear that ever so remote possibility that you just might be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We need to show these terrorists that they can knock down our buildings and break our bones, but they'll never break our spirit and desire to live freely.
Still believe it's rational to be afraid? Let's take a look at Israel, where terrorism is unfortunately a much more dangerous threat and are surrounded on all sides by Islamist groups who would love nothing more than to slaughter every last Jew living in Israel. Israelis are fully aware of these dangers but you don't see them living in continuous fear and contemplating over whether it's safe to take a bus or walk on the streets of the Old City. If Israelis reacted to every terrorist attack with trembling fear and paranoia, than they'd be giving the terrorists exactly what they want. They want us to be afraid to live free, so why should we voluntarily give them what they want?
It's a no brainer that of course you should always be aware of your surroundings. Whether it be merging into traffic on a busy highway or keeping an eye out for a backpack in Times Square that definitely doesn't belong there. Vigilance is important, it's the first line of defense in stopping an imminent attack in a society that keeps it's eyes and ears open for something that doesn't fit the norm. However we cannot let the fear caused by these terrorists to rob us of our sanity and freedom we take for granted as Americans. In his 1932 inaugural address, Franklin D. Roosevelt said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." It'd be a true shame if we capitulated to the psychological trauma caused by these attacks and constantly live our lives in fear of when and where the next attack will be. A vigilant society is a safe society, but a frightened society is a surrendered nation. I, for one, will continue to live my life and enjoy the God-given rights I have in this wonderful country as I've done so in perfect safety for the past eighteen years of my life.
Before you read the rest of this, close you eyes and imagine the following, seriously! You're at a Pitbull concert- the crowd is cheering, the music is blasting, you're having the time of your life- then all of a sudden "BOOM BOOM BOOM!" It's like firecrackers, loud and coming from all directions. "This can't possibly be real; maybe it's part of the show," you tell yourself. But about five seconds later you get a splatter of blood from a bullet slicing through the person in front of you. It's at that moment you realize this is no performance; this is real. What was meant to be a fun night out has just turned into a nightmare. Four men armed with Kalashnikov rifles made it into the concert and are mowing down everyone in sight. Somehow you manage to survive this horrible attack. You're in shock. You cannot believe what you just witnessed. You ask yourself, "How could someone do something so sinister as opening fire at a concert?" What in the world could possibly drive someone to do such a horrific thing? Surely this is the work of a few deranged individuals. What you just went through were no psychopaths having a freak moment, however. This was a premeditated, thoroughly planned, and well thought out operation. But these individuals are really nothing more than a few pawns in a global campaign against the West. Still: WHY did they open fire? At first thought, that might seem like quite a complicated question. While the answer is surprisingly simple, it's the lack of complexity to their ideology that makes these people so dangerous.
The people who carry out attacks like these don't do so on behalf of a government or a person. They do so in the name of the religion of Islam. There is no political motive for these disgusting acts of terror. To them, Islam is life. It controls how they eat, sleep, speak, and act. They believe that Islam should be the law of the land, and they're willing to kill anyone who gets in their way. According to the Quran, it's the religious duty of those able to fight to kill the unbelievers. They believe that waging a "jihad" or holy war against the West is an obligation they must perform in name of their god, Allah. To them, nothing short of a complete obliteration of western society and its replacement with a global caliphate, or state governed by Islamic law, is acceptable. In the mind of a jihadist, there is no middle ground. It's either they win or they die fighting.
It's easy to assume that all of these wars and attacks are separate and unrelated. But to the Islamists, there's no difference between Al Qaeda waging jihad in Afghanistan or Hamas waging jihad against Israel. They view all of these fights and attacks as one massive front in a global war against us. They don't discriminate between adults and children, Jews or Christians, black, white, asian: it doesn't matter. Osama Bin Laden didn't spend much time when planning the 9/11 attacks wondering whether it's better to kill blacks or whites. To them, we are ALL the enemy; we are ALL roadblocks on their highway to global islamization.
Despite it appearing that the Quran encourages violence, it'd be a terrible mistake to label all Muslims as hateful and violent. Of course they aren't! A vast majority of them are peaceful and have no beef with the west. So what pushes these radicals over the cliff into the pit of hatred and violence? Surely, poverty or a lack of a good education has something to do with it. As a matter of fact, it doesn't. The infamous Jihadi John from London held a perfectly decent job and was well educated in British schools yet he quickly turned into the face of ISIS far and wide. What happened here?
While I most certainly can't speak for every single Islamist, The biggest factor that pushes people like Jihadi John over the edge is a search for meaning in life. Islamist leaders specifically target younger people with unstable backgrounds who don't have meaning in life. It's the same reason people join gangs in Chicago or New York. Islamists give these individuals a sense of belonging and meaning in life. When these are things that they've lacked everywhere else, it becomes hard to say no to them. Think about it; say you grew up without a father and your mother was never really there for you. You were educated and always had food but your life simply had no meaning. Then someone contacts you online and tells you that you can be a key component in a global cause if you subscribe to their ideology. Saying no is easier said than done.
These people don't hate us because we have military bases in Turkey or merely because over a million people in our country waste their lives watching the Kardashians (although I honestly couldn't blame them for hating us for that). They don't terrorize us because we oppress them. They hate us because here young girls can get an education, because here women can drive, because here we accept homosexuals in society, because here we believe in freedom of speech and tolerance for minorities. They hate us because we don't share their chauvinistic and theocratic ideology. We don't accept their way of life, not that we should of course.
Ronald Reagan once put so elegantly, "You and I have the courage to say to our enemies that there is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance." "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
War is hell; it should never be something lightly considered. However, there are times in history where there are no other options but to stand your ground. This is one of those times. No longer can we afford to keep our heads stuck in a cloud of ignorance. The threat is real and every single one of us is a target. We cannot negotiate with terrorists who don't fear death. The entire world needs to come to their senses and realize that this danger is not going to simply fade into the background. We mustn't lose our resolve. It's time we stand united in opposing this force and defeat them once and for all.
Since the probability of the Israelis and Palestinians being able to peacefully coexist in one state is about as likely as Kim Kardashian deciding to settle on a life of privacy, it's pretty obvious that an alternative solution has to be formulated. The easiest and most efficient solution would be for the Palestinians' Arab friends to take them in and grant them citizenship rights. Especially since it can be said without much doubt that Saudi Arabia won't be running out of oil money anytime soon, they could theoretically afford to provide every single Palestinian refugee with a free house and a Mercedes to go with it. But rather than pressuring the Palestinians' oil-rich friends to do what they should've done fifty years ago, the United States and many European powers are instead pressuring Israel to negotiate new borders for a future Palestinian state. In theory, this COULD work. When you have two children on the playground who get into a fight, what do you do? Well, if you're smart, you separate them. Why not try this with the Israelis and Palestinians? Since they can't get along together, just separate them. Unfortunately, accomplishing this is far more complicated than separating two kids in a playground.
Assume for a moment that there's actually some minuscule possibility that the Israelis and Palestinians reach a point of mutual agreement on the borders of a future Palestinian state. What's the problem now? Here's the harsh reality: the Palestinians desire for a state of their own is dwarfed by their ultimate goal of eliminating Israel from existence and liberating what they claim are the "historic borders of Palestine." They make no effort to hide this either. In fact a recent poll showed that sixty-five percent of Palestinians said they supported an intifada, or armed resistance, with Israel. Peace cannot be forced upon the Palestinians if they adamantly don't want it. Unless they're willing to abandon their genocidal desires to wipe out Israel, the two state solution, or any agreement for that matter, won't work. "Peace highway" goes two ways and Israel can only go so far on it. The Palestinians must be willing to go the remaining distance.
But what else should we do then? The current situation isn't maintainable and a one state solution is as naive an idea as Kanye West for president. If not a two state solution, what else? Instead of asking "what else?" the question we should REALLY be asking is "why not?" Those might sound like two different ways of posing the same question, but in reality they're totally different. No one with any common sense can possibly oppose a two state solution in its entirety. It's the only way that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians would be possible. The fundamental problem with it is that, from a security standpoint, such a move would be an absolute catastrophe for Israel.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process can be compared to a long-distance highway trip, with the destination being a solution. The final stop isn't far down the road. All that the car needs is to be fueled by a genuine interest on the side of the Palestinians to live alongside Israel in peace. Once that fuel is provided, than this seemingly endless highway of violence can finally come to an end and bring peace to what is undoubtably the most volatile region in the world. If Abbas truly cares about his people and is the dove of peace that the Europeans view him as, than he needs to look inside himself and ask the billion-dollar question: "Is this never-ending cycle of violence really the best path for my people?" If he says no, than this conflict could end tomorrow. How awesome would that be!
Sixty-seven years: that's how long its been since the British Mandate expired and Israel was born in its place. Israel warmly welcomed it but the Arabs living there at the time coldly rejected it and launched a bloody war with Israel. Since then, there's been a near continuous and universal hatred towards Israel and Jews amongst the Palestinians. But why? Since Israel isn't responsible for their hardships and most certainly doesn't oppress them, why would the Palestinians continue to hold such resentment towards the Jewish State? Unfortunately, a religious hatred of Israel is rooted deep into the Palestinian ideology and the flame of hatred has been passed on to the younger generations; the result of this has been seemingly endless conflict.
The Palestinian education system is without a doubt the biggest reason for the young generation's hatred of Israel. From the moment they get of age and start grade school, they're taught day in and day out that Israel is a bloodthirsty oppressor that kills their brothers and sisters and uses their blood to make matzot for Pesach. If you think the buck stops there, think again! At home, children watch cartoons which openly encourages them to kill and attack Jews. The number of videos of Palestinian children's cartoons preaching hatred is enough to make you vomit. The indoctrination doesn't take a break during the summer either. It would be quite an understatement to say that the Palestinian version of a summer camp isn't exactly the kind of place you'd want to send your kids for a summer of fun. When the cherubic little children grow up and develop the ability to make their own decisions, the results of years upon years of brainwashing boil to the surface, often resulting in an explosive ending. These children never get the chance to live their childhoods as they're meant to be. It's stolen from them and replaced with a religiously fueled hatred against Israel. It's not just children who're being spoon-fed hatred. It was almost casual for Yasser Arafat to concoct stomach-churning libel and lie about atrocities being committed by the State of Israel. It's almost difficult to blame young Palestinians for their terrorist actions, as they're brainwashed and practically programmed to be hate machines.
Don't be fooled into thinking that the current Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is the moderate, pro-peace dove that he pretends to be either. Calling Abbas a moderate compared to his predecessor Yasser Arafat would be like calling current Syrian president Bashar Al Assad moderate compared to his father, Hafez. Instead of openly calling for the obliteration of Israel and slaughter of the Jews, he merely calls on his people to resist against Israel. Either way, I don't think he'll be worthy of a Nobel Peace prize anytime in the foreseeable future. Let's remember that Abbas's government controls Palestinian media, which means he most certainly will find it difficult to claim ignorance about the ever so wonderful children cartoons. He regularly calls on Palestinians to resist against Israel by "all means necessary," and he has been found many times to have fabricated atrocities to enrage the Palestinian population and riot against Israeli security forces. Nazi Germany's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels realized the power that indoctrination holds, saying, "If you repeat a lie a thousand times, it becomes truth." Given Abbas's long rap sheet of incitement, it seems that he has learned from the best.
It's genuinely hard to utter the words "peace isn't possible." But under these circumstances, it'd be a lie to say otherwise. A one-sided peace is a fake peace. You can't force it on the Palestinians if they don't want it. To this day, the Palestinians refuse to even recognize Israel's right to exist and their maps don't even show Israel. An agreement will be nothing more than a worthless piece of paper if the Palestinian people themselves are unwilling to accept it. Israel has tried again and again to make peace, but it can only do so much. Israel cannot force the Palestinians to put down their weapons and embrace the light of peace. As difficult as it might be to face it, the reality has remained constant. The Palestinians to this day haven't given up the path of terror and violence against Israel. Until the Palestinians begin to teach their children the path of peace and love rather than violence and hatred, a lasting peace in the region will forever be little more than a figment of the imagination. But hey, it never hurts to dream!
We've all heard the arguments against the deal. About how when it goes into effect "this and that" could happen. The agreement that the P5+1 struck with Iran would be laughable if it weren't so miserably inadequate in fulfilling its goal of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. At this point, it's pretty much all said and done. Congress failed to stop it and the president is bound to implement it as soon as he can. What would the world look like when the deal inevitably happens and what would happen say, ten years down the line when the deal expires? The future looks extremely grim, and here's why.
Here's the best case scenario: Let's say that Iran is too stupid to figure out one of the countless ways they could cheat this deal and instead they take the long path of waiting ten years for the deal to expire before going nuclear. During these ten years, Iran's economy will boom from oil sales as the crippling sanctions targeting their oil sales which brought them to the negotiation table to begin with will be lifted. Iran will use this money, plus the one hundred and fifty billion dollars worth of frozen assets that they receive under this deal to substantially bolster their military capabilities. Iran will become a regional superpower that no country unwilling to risk catastrophic damage and casualties would dare attack. Iran will build a military umbrella for itself that will ensure when they do inevitably decide to go nuclear, they can do so without consequence or fear of foreign attack.
As frightening as it sounds, Iran strengthening its military is the smallest of the dangers that the world would face in the days after this agreement. For decades, Iran has been the number one state sponsor of global Islamic terrorism. Wherever there's conflict, you can bet your bottom dollar that Iran's hands are all over it. It actively arms and supports Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. It provides assistance to Islamist rebels in Yemen. Iran was personally responsible for the killing and maiming of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq when it built explosives for AQI to use against American forces. Since the deal does absolutely nothing to curb Iran's support of terrorism, they will have the resources and full legitimacy to do so. No one and no country in the world would be safe from Iranian-sponsored terrorism within a matter of months after this agreement gets signed into law.
So that is the best situation that could result from this nuclear deal. If that doesn't sound scary enough to you, here's the worst case scenario: Iran uses the sanctions relief and its frozen assets and simply develops a nuclear weapon in secret. In regard to the current provisions on inspections, their ability to do so couldn't be easier. They not only have the right to turn international inspectors away for three weeks from its non-military facilities, but these inspectors aren't even allowed in any of the facilities in which Iran is suspected of nuclear weapons development. The inspections of these facilities will be carried out by none other than... You guessed it! The Islamic Republic of Iran! Under this satirical inspections policy, Iran can easily cheat the international community and use the sanctions relief to exponentially speed up enrichment and the path to the bomb: a path which has only one radioactive and explosive ending.
Trusting the Iranian Mullahs to honestly uphold an agreement like this is downright naive. These are the same mullahs who give copious amounts to fund and arm a global network of terrorism spanning from Lebanon and Iraq to Argentina and even right at home here in America. They have the blood of thousands of Americans on their hands and work ever so diligently towards their goal of regional domination and destabilization of the West. Contrary to what the airheads at the UNHRC will tell you, Iran is one of the worst violators of human rights in the world. Second only to China in number of executions and continues to brutally oppress political opposition and the free press. Their actions couldn't prove any more conclusive the fact that Iran is a deceitful, dishonest, and imperialistic regime with only one true goal: To destroy Western civilization and dominate wherever and whenever it can.
"But what better alternatives could there possibly be?" you might ask. If we scrap this deal, won't we be left with no choice but to engage Iran through a military confrontation? Despite what the Obama Administration would like you to believe, there's zero legitimacy to the blasphemous claim that the only alternative to this deal is war. It's little more than a way for the left to slander opponents of the deal as hate-filled warmongers. Here's a dose of facts: It was the crippling sanctions that brought Iran to the table to begin with. Iran must be presented with a choice. It can either have a nuclear weapon or it can have a thriving economy. War is a last resort and should never be considered until all other options have failed.
Throughout modern history, boycotts such as the American colonial boycott of British goods to the Montgomery Bus Boycott have been used as a peaceful method of coercing a government or company to capitulate to certain demands. It would seem rather odd that such a movement would exist against Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East. This is especially true when you pit its human and civil rights record against those of its neighbors. BDS supporters will try to fool you into believing that all they're seeking to do is force Israel to negotiate for a two-state solution, The harsh reality, however, is that the BDS movement is little more than a wolf in sheep's clothing. It disguises itself as a movement seeking to promote peace and justice for the Palestinians. It's true aspirations couldn't be more sinister, though, and, just in case the anti-peace statements from the leaders of BDS aren't enough alone to convince you of this, here's a quick overview of the side of the BDS movement that its supporters don't want you to know.
The BDS movement's sole purpose is to demonize Israel and delegitimize its right to exist. They do this by making ludicrous comparisons between Israel and apartheid South Africa. Since minorities in Israel have the same rights as Jews, even blacks who lived under South African apartheid call this claim absurd. Israel's Declaration of Independence explicitly called upon its Arab inhabitants to participate in the development of Israel and "participate in the upbuilding of the State of Israel." It seems they've heeded this advice well, as Arabs are now represented by the third largest party in the Israeli Knesset.
One major farce that the BDS movement fabricates is that Israel is solely responsible for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For BDS, facts seem pointless, as they don't support this baseless accusation. They blatantly create lies to paint Israel as the aggressor and claim that Israel has always rejected peace with the Palestinians. The facts are that peace has been within grasp several times throughout history, but it was the Palestinians who said no. It was Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 who rejected peace proposals that Israel had agreed to. It was then-PLO president Yasser Arafat who neglected his responsibility under the Oslo accords to prevent Palestinian terrorism. To BDS activists, facts are relative; they should only be mentioned if it supports their sinister agenda.
Aside from BDS cherry-picking facts, the movement is saturated with antisemitism. Many of their boycotts and activities have little to do with Israel itself. Just recently, a Jewish reggae singer named Matisyahu was the target of a vicious slander campaign by the BDS movement, who sought to have him disinvited from a Spanish music festival. Matisyahu is not Israeli. The only possible connection he'd have to Israel is that he's Jewish, and Israel is a Jewish state. He was only attacked because he was Jewish. Aside from individual examples of antisemitism, however, the fact that they single out the Jewish state of Israel for its so-called "human rights violations" while glossing over the horrific human rights records of Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Syria only further strengthens their status as being nothing more than a political front for antisemites.
No matter how you look at it, the BDS movement really has no legitimacy. Its campaign against Israel for human rights violations is baseless, as Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the human rights and civil liberties for all genders, faiths, and sexual orientations are preserved. Contrary to what they might want you to believe, peace is a two-way street. The Palestinians must be committed to peace as much as the Israelis. An agreement based solely on Israeli concessions isn't peace; it's surrender. If BDS were so concerned about the Palestinians to begin with, they'd realize that many Palestinians themselves don't even support the movement and actively engage in business with Israel. Many companies that BDS targets for boycotts regularly employ Palestinians. Their continuous targeting of individuals just for being Jewish showcases their racist agenda and, just like terrorist organizations such as Hamas, target Israel merely because it's Jewish.
In 1939, then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed what he believed was the deal of the century with Adolf Hitler. "Peace in our time!" Chamberlain proclaimed. At the moment, everything seemed perfect, almost too perfect. The world found out shortly after that it indeed was just "too perfect to be true." Chamberlain's deal with Adolf Hitler was one based off of trust towards Nazi Germany, a regime that had already made clear its intentions to wipe out the "Jewish race" from Europe.
So let's fast forward seventy-six years to Geneva. An agreement meant to end concerns over Iran's disputed nuclear program has finally been reached. Once again, it's an agreement based off of trust. which in theory wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the facts that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a regime that daily calls for the obliteration of America and Israel, is the number one sponsor of global terrorism, and has been a destabilizing force in the region for decades. But besides being based on the nonexistent honesty of Iran, this agreement has other weak spots and will do nothing to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
There's no way to sugar coat it; the inspection policy under this deal is a joke. To start with, Iran gets twenty-four days notice before inspectors come to a nuclear facility, This gives them plenty of time to cover up and remove any evidence that would incriminate them. The only way we could catch them is if the materials stored at the facility were radioactive, as radiation can linger in an area for years. In addition to this, Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammed Zarif declared that no inspectors would be allowed in military sites, where Iran has been widely believed to have carried out illicit nuclear activities in the past. If you think this sounds crazy so far, a recently uncovered side deal between the United States and Iran revealed that Iran will be carrying out its own inspections in certain sites. It's like asking Tom Brady to investigate his own football deflation scandal. This proposed inspections system will leave us blindfolded towards Iran's most suspected nuclear weapons research facilities, and gives Iran over three weeks to clean up illegal nuclear activities at the few facilities we are allowed in. It's based on the idea that Iran will be forthcoming with us and won't engage in illicit activities in its underground military facilities. A policy, which judging by its past nuclear work at these facilities, isn't a particularly wise idea.
Whether you support or oppose this deal, it's hard to argue that it wasn't the crippling sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table. Under these sanctions, Iran's currency lost over four hundred percent of its value, causing massive inflation and had devastating effects on its economy. Under this deal, Iran receives over a hundred billion dollars in frozen assets. Since Iran is the number one state sponsor of global Islamic terrorism and is one of the largest destabilizing forces in the region, it's frightening to even imagine what a large sum of that money will be used for. Since this deal doesn't require Iran to end its support for terrorism, they can continue to fund and carry out their relentless pursuit of terrorism with full legitimacy under this deal.
Supporters of this deal will argue that one of the upsides of this deal is that Iran will be required to destroy a large amount of its enriched uranium. But what they won't tell you is how this matters little since Iran will not be required to dismantle even a single one of its centrifuges that are used for enrichment.Should Iran choose to cheat as they've done in the past, they could quickly replenish their stockpile and since inspectors aren't allowed into their underground nuclear facilities, we have no way of confirming that they're cheating. In addition, Iran is allowed to continue its research on centrifuges, developing more advanced ones and further shortening their nuclear breakout time. When the restrictions on Iranian nuclear enrichment expire in ten years, all restrictions on Iranian enrichment are removed. and Iran can enrich weapons-grade uranium with full legality. Nowhere in the deal is Iran's ballistic missile program mentioned, and under this deal Iran would be allowed to continue researching these missiles, which serve no other purpose than as a carrying system for a nuclear warhead.
No one with a functional brain will tell you that we should abandon the concept of a deal and forget about a peaceful resolution. America, Israel, Europe, and both the right and left sides of the political spectrum are united in their hopes of a peaceful end to hostilities with Iran. A military confrontation is a costly and dangerous decision that should only be a last resort. However, this deal will make a military confrontation inevitable as it does absolutely nothing to stop or even slow Iran's nuclear program. The best course of action to take at this point would be to walk away from this deal and reinstate all of the sanctions we previously had on Iran, which brought them to the negotiating table to begin with. Iran will eventually realize that if they want to have a functioning economy and be part of the civilized world, they will have no choice but to abandon their subversive nuclear activities. At that point, Iran would be more willing to compromise and we would get a deal that would truly prevent Iran from getting the bomb.
My name is Benjamin Jaffe. I was born and raised in South Florida and plan on majoring in political science at Hebrew University in Israel.