Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."

Editorial of The New York Sun | September 22, 2008
What a magnificent statement Governor Palin has issued in response to President Ahmadinejad\'s expected appearance Tuesday at the United Nations. Her prepared remarks appear on our front page today. What a disgrace that the political constellation couldn\'t figure out a way for her to express her sentiments and those of Senator McCain before the thousands of demonstrators who will gather to protest the Iranian\'s threats against Jewry, America, and the Free World.

At first Senator Clinton was scheduled to appear at the rally. But when Mrs. Palin was put on the schedule, she backed out. When the organizers contacted Senator Biden\'s staff, they were told he had a prior commitment. The Obama campaign offered up Rep. Robert Wexler, who has been trying to palm off on Florida voters the idea that Mrs. Palin is an avatar of Patrick Buchanan, even though she supported Steve Forbes in the GOP primaries for 2000.

Mrs. Palin, in her speech, makes it plain that for all her alleged naivete in foreign affairs, she fully comprehends the danger Iran\'s president poses to the rest of us, particularly, but not exclusively, to Israel. "Senator McCain has made a solemn commitment that I strongly endorse: Never again will we risk another Holocaust," her speech says. "And this is not a wish, a request, or a plea to Israel\'s enemies. This is a promise that the United States and Israel will honor, against any enemy who cares to test us."
The urgency is underscored by a report last week from the International Atomic Energy Agency that concluded Iran\'s regime has blocked the efforts of the world to learn the full history of Iran\'s nuclear program. It is now nearly five years that international diplomacy, meetings, strongly worded demarches, and inspections have been used to try to stop Iran\'s nuclear program. Yet we are in a worse place than we were in 2002, when the world first learned of enrichment activities in Natanz.

Sadly the sense of urgency in Mrs. Palin\'s speech is missing from other quarters. A panel last week at George Washington University featured five former state secretaries. All agreed that the next president must start talking to Iran without preconditions. As Warren Christopher, secretary between 1993 and 1997, said: "Frankly the military options here are very poor. We don\'t want to go down that route."

[COMMENTS BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON:  Each of the 5 former Secretaries of State:  Henry Kissinger, Warren Christopher,  Madelyn Albright, James Baker III and Colin Powell were shown to be anti-Israel in their mind-set, planning and programs during their various tenures.  Their interests were primarily the oil and not the survival of Israel.]The secretaries nodded sagely. Secretary Powell expressed regret that private American talks with Iran abruptly ended in 2003. Secretary Albright said we do better when we reach out, instead of isolate, our adversaries. Secretary Kissinger was only slightly more hard-headed, saying we needed a new approach to dealing with the world\'s leading sponsor of terrorism. What will Mr. Ahmadinejad make of it while supping with the Quaker lobby at the Iftar dinner scheduled in Mr. Ahmadinejad\'s honor Thursday at the Hyatt Hotel on 42nd Street?

President Bush himself sent the third ranking American diplomat, William Burns, to Geneva this summer to deliver the latest offer to get the Iranians to stop their nuclear enrichment. Shortly after the Swiss parley, the French daily Le Monde got hold of the minutes of the meeting and quoted Mr. Burns explaining that all the tensions between American and Iran amounted to a big misunderstanding.

Before sending Mr. Burns to meet with Iran\'s nuclear negotiators, Mr. Bush has pursued talks in Baghdad to press the Iranians to end their support for Shiite death squads. Ambassador Khalizad has held numerous back channel talks with Iranian diplomats. Messages have been delivered to the mullahs by American allies, from the Kurdish Iraqi leadership and other foreign governments. Secretary Rice has offered to meet Iran\'s leaders any time and any place if they end their uranium enrichment.

These offers of dialogue have been met with emboldened behavior from the mullahs. Whether it\'s Iran\'s continued support for the Hezbollah coup in Lebanon, the rapid expansion of the centrifuge facilities, or the Tehran conferences on Holocaust denial, the message from the Islamic Republic is that the leadership is in no mood for talking. Nonetheless it seems that some will always seek dialogue with this regime.
This is the context in which to view Governor Palin\'s remarks. It turns out that the governor of our biggest state is no novice. She displays the kind of shrewdness necessary for affairs of state in this dangerous era. She offered no cheap talk of any kind. She did not offer to stand down militarily. She stated in respect of Mr. Ahmadinejad simply: "Our task is to focus the world on what can be done to stop him." And her promise in respect of an attack on the Jews. "Never again."
Palin on Ahmadinejad: \'He Must Be Stopped\'
By SARAH PALIN | September 22, 2008
Governor Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, was scheduled to speak today at a rally in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza to protest the appearance here of President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Her appearance was canceled by rally organizers who sought a nonpolitical event. Following are the remarks Mrs. Palin would have given:
                                                                        SARAH PALIN:
I am honored to be with you and with leaders from across this great country — leaders from different faiths and political parties united in a single voice of outrage.
Tomorrow, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will come to New York — to the heart of what he calls the Great Satan — and speak freely in this, a country whose demise he has called for.
Ahmadinejad may choose his words carefully, but underneath all of the rhetoric is an agenda that threatens all who seek a safer and freer world. We gather here today to highlight the Iranian dictator\'s intentions and to call for action to thwart him.

He must be stopped.

The world must awake to the threat this man poses to all of us. Ahmadinejad denies that the Holocaust ever took place. He dreams of being an agent in a "Final Solution" — the elimination of the Jewish people. He has called Israel a "stinking corpse" that is "on its way to annihilation." Such talk cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a madman — not when Iran just this summer tested long-range Shahab-3 missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv, not when the Iranian nuclear program is nearing completion, and not when Iran sponsors terrorists that threaten and kill innocent people around the world.

The Iranian government wants nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran is running at least 3,800 centrifuges and that its uranium enrichment capacity is rapidly improving. According to news reports, U.S. intelligence agencies believe the Iranians may have enough nuclear material to produce a bomb within a year.

The world has condemned these activities. The United Nations Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend its illegal nuclear enrichment activities. It has levied three rounds of sanctions. How has Ahmadinejad responded? With the declaration that the "Iranian nation would not retreat one iota" from its nuclear program.

So, what should we do about this growing threat? First, we must succeed in Iraq. If we fail there, it will jeopardize the democracy the Iraqis have worked so hard to build, and empower the extremists in neighboring Iran. Iran has armed and trained terrorists who have killed our soldiers in Iraq, and it is Iran that would benefit from an American defeat in Iraq.

If we retreat without leaving a stable Iraq, Iran\'s nuclear ambitions will be bolstered. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons — they could share them tomorrow with the terrorists they finance, arm, and train today. Iranian nuclear weapons would set off a dangerous regional nuclear arms race that would make all of us less safe.
But Iran is not only a regional threat; it threatens the entire world. It is the no. 1 state sponsor of terrorism. It sponsors the world\'s most vicious terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. Together, Iran and its terrorists are responsible for the deaths of Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s, in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, and in Iraq today. They have murdered Iraqis, Lebanese, Palestinians, and other Muslims who have resisted Iran\'s desire to dominate the region. They have persecuted countless people simply because they are Jewish.
Iran is responsible for attacks not only on Israelis, but on Jews living as far away as Argentina. Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are part of Iran\'s official ideology and murder is part of its official policy. Not even Iranian citizens are safe from their government\'s threat to those who want to live, work, and worship in peace. Politically-motivated abductions, torture, death by stoning, flogging, and amputations are just some of its state-sanctioned punishments.

It is said that the measure of a country is the treatment of its most vulnerable citizens. By that standard, the Iranian government is both oppressive and barbaric. Under Ahmadinejad\'s rule, Iranian women are some of the most vulnerable citizens.

If an Iranian woman shows too much hair in public, she risks being beaten or killed.
If she walks down a public street in clothing that violates the state dress code, she could be arrested.
But in the face of this harsh regime, the Iranian women have shown courage. Despite threats to their lives and their families, Iranian women have sought better treatment through the "One Million Signatures Campaign Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws."

The authorities have reacted with predictable barbarism. Last year, women\'s rights activist Delaram Ali was sentenced to 20 lashes and 10 months in prison for committing the crime of "propaganda against the system." After international protests, the judiciary reduced her sentence to "only" 10 lashes and 36 months in prison and then temporarily suspended her sentence. She still faces the threat of imprisonment.
Earlier this year, Senator Clinton said that "Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is in the forefront of that" effort. Senator Clinton argued that part of our response must include stronger sanctions, including the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. John McCain and I could not agree more.

Senator Clinton understands the nature of this threat and what we must do to confront it. This is an issue that should unite all Americans. Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Period. And in a single voice, we must be loud enough for the whole world to hear: Stop Iran!
Only by working together, across national, religious, and political differences, can we alter this regime\'s dangerous behavior. Iran has many vulnerabilities, including a regime weakened by sanctions and a population eager to embrace opportunities with the West. We must increase economic pressure to change Iran\'s behavior.

Tomorrow, [September 23rd] Ahmadinejad will come to New York. On our soil, he will exercise the right of freedom of speech — a right he denies his own people. He will share his hateful agenda with the world. Our task is to focus the world on what can be done to stop him.

We must rally the world to press for truly tough sanctions at the U.N. or with our allies if Iran\'s allies continue to block action in the U.N. We must start with restrictions on Iran\'s refined petroleum imports.
We must reduce our dependency on foreign oil to weaken Iran\'s economic influence.
We must target the regime\'s assets abroad; bank accounts, investments, and trading partners.
President Ahmadinejad should be held accountable for inciting genocide, a crime under international law.
We must sanction Iran\'s Central Bank and the Revolutionary Guard Corps — which no one should doubt is a terrorist organization. Together, we can stop Iran\'s nuclear program.

Senator McCain has made a solemn commitment that I strongly endorse: Never again will we risk another Holocaust. And this is not a wish, a request, or a plea to Israel\'s enemies. This is a promise that the United States and Israel will honor, against any enemy who cares to test us. It is John McCain\'s promise and it is my promise. Thank you.