Thursday, August 23, 2012 | return to: views, editorial


Give sanctions against Iran more time to work

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The consensus is clear: the Iranian regime must not possess nuclear weapons.

But is a unilateral military strike by Israel the only way to ensure that?

We think not, yet Israel, by many accounts, seems poised to strike soon against Iranian nuclear facilities. Once Israeli bombs fall on Iranian soil, there will be no going back.

We understand the rationale behind Israel’s eagerness to strike. Despite international sanctions, Iran has forged ahead in its quest for nuclear capability. It reportedly has no bomb yet, but could be mere months away from one.

Moreover, most likely no other nation, including the United States, would join any risky military action. Israel would have to go it alone. Having no one else to answer to may only bolster Israel’s determination to strike.

As journalist Jeffrey Goldberg pointed out in the Atlantic Monthly recently, there are good reasons why Israel should resist the temptation to strike.

First, innocent people on both sides will surely die. Also, a strike would galvanize Arab and Muslim opinion, which today is split on Iran, fueling lock-step support for the ayatollahs of Tehran.

Finally, a military strike could fail, or perhaps only delay Iran’s nuclear program rather than destroying it. In that case, Israel would have utterly changed the game, losing much international support and perhaps sparking a war, all for nothing.

As for sanctions, observers offer mixed reviews. Some, including the Obama administration, say sanctions are working. Australia announced severe new trade sanctions this week. Locally, the state legislature this week passed AB 2160, which prohibits California-based insurance companies from investing in companies that do business with Iran.

Countries such as India, China and South Korea continue to import Iranian oil, though at reduced levels, which is further sapping the Iranian economy.

Is this enough to tip the scales, upend Iran’s nuclear schemes and obviate the need for an Israeli strike? We do not know. Nobody knows.

We do know this: A pre-emptive Israeli attack on Iran will change everything, and most likely not for the better.

Proponents of a strike may interpret caution as Chamberlain-like cowardice in the face of evil. But if an Israeli attack ends up stoking Iran’s nuclear fires, we may find ourselves wishing to turn back the clock to the days when caution reigned.

Israel, the United States and other nations should give sanctions more time to work.


Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/24/2012  at  12:02 PM
This Editorial is Not Logical

It emphatically states that “the Iranian regime must not possess nuclear weapons.” And then it goes on to say that despite the international sanctions, Iran continues to go forward to develop just such a weapon.

But then the editorial says that the Israelis should hold off and give sanctions time to work. Since any honest observer has seen how ineffectual sanctions have been and that Iran is increasingly moving its nuclear resources to more and more difficult to reach underground bunkers, just how long should the Israelis sit on their hands? Would J wish for the Israelis to wait until Iran possesses nuclear missiles?

I don’t live in Israel and while I believe it is fine for anyone, Jewish or not, to opine about Israeli policies in general, this is the exception as it is the Israelis whose very lives are on the line.

While I am a critic of Netanyahu, he is the duly elected leader of Israel and in this case, I believe Jews should support whatever his administration decides to do to safeguard the Israeli people…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/24/2012  at  12:04 PM
For Those Who Wrote or Support This Editorial...

consider this report in today’s NY Times:
“International nuclear inspectors will soon report that Iran has installed hundreds of new centrifuges in recent months and may also be speeding up production of nuclear fuel while negotiations with the United States and its allies have ground to a near halt, according to diplomats and experts briefed on the findings.”

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/24/2012  at  02:36 PM
2 Months May be Too Much Time

The author and those who concur with the editorial might also consider the following just reported by the LA Times:

The International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to report next week that Iran has significantly expanded its uranium enrichment capability at its Fordow facility. The move could shorten the time Tehran would need to build a nuclear weapon. The Fordow facility, tucked into the mountains near Qom, was secretly built deep underground to withstand an air attack. Disclosure of increased enrichment capacity at Fordow is likely to heighten concern in Israel, whose leaders have publicly worried that Iran is approaching a “zone of immunity” in which its nuclear program could not be significantly derailed by an Israeli attack.

At its current pace, by next year Iran may be able produce enough fuel for a bomb within two months, said David Albright, who follows Iran’s nuclear program closely for the Institute for Science and International Security. Fairly soon after that, as Iran continues to add to its centrifuge capacity, the time will be reduced to one month.

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Posted by Frank
08/28/2012  at  08:56 AM
Disgusting anti-Israel leftist editorial for a "Jewish" publication

If Israel does not strike before the election, and Obama is re-elected, he will have all the “flexibility” he needs to prevent Israel from then doing so to prevent a second Holocaust.

Obama is the most aggressive anti-Israel president in history, and he has made it clear that he has no intention of militarily preventing Iran from obtaining its nuclear weapons.  His “sanctions” have been a joke - a mere fig-leaf and delaying tactic to lull and bully Israel into inaction.  Obama’s surrogates have repeatedly publicly divulged and “leaked” Israel’s secret activities, options and plans to the Iranians.  They have actively attempted to thwart any attempt by Israel to save itself from the Islamic fascists who have every intention of incinerating Israel - killing the last Jew.

Logic and self-preservation dictate that Israel cannot risk an Obama second term, and Israel must do what it can to at least attempt to save itself and the Jewish people from the loss of millions of lives.

Israel is being forced to act before the election, or risk being prevented by Obama from ever acting.  American Jews should be supporting Israel, supporting the necessary American attack on Iran’s nuclear facility (since only the U.S. can do so decisively and thoroughly, and with a minimum loss of “innocent” lives), and doing all they can to prevent a second Holocaust.  Why would a “Jewish” publication propagandize against a necessary attack?

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/28/2012  at  03:34 PM
More Tea Party Propaganda from Frank

Why would anyone reasonably believe that if Israel takes the offensive, that Obama would not support it?

As Efram Barak, former PM and current Israeli Minister of defense said just a couple of weeks ago, “The Obama Administration has brought to Washington the most Israel-friendly presidency in the history of US-Israeli relations.”

Moreover, Obama has given Israel more financial aid-particularly for weaponry-than Dubya or any previous US administration.

So who are you going to believe,  a Tea Party ideologue or Barak and the financial facts?

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/28/2012  at  03:35 PM
BTW, Frank, What Gives You the Right to Judge...

who are the better Jews and to call into question J’s support for Israel? What unmitigated and obviously unwarranted arrogance…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/28/2012  at  04:09 PM
Understand This About Republicans like Frank...

They don’t give a good g-d damn about women—particularly those who seek birth control, an abortion due to rape or incest, and gay female rights.

They don’t give a fig about climate change and the environment, preferring to give a carte blanche to corporations who contribute to despoiling the environment and global warming.

They wish no regulation whatsoever for the banking and financial industries which got us in these economic doldrums from which we are still suffering.

They don’t care about government support for education, preferring that the US continue to fall behind its economic competitors.

They don’t care about medical care for those who, w/o Obama’s bill and Medicare, couldn’t afford it.

We can go on and on, but clearly, such people are ethically and intellectually bankrupt…

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