The Washington Free Beacon, by way of Harratz, reports that the Obama Administration is in discussions to apply sanctions to Israel regarding ongoing settlement activity. The settlement activity is occurring in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Israel has been in control of that area since the 1967 War when Israel was attacked by Egypt, Syria and Jordan after Israel launched preemptive strikes against a mobilizing Egyptian army; the third Arab war commenced in an attempt to destroy Israel.
The very consideration of sanctions against Israel must be viewed in stark contrast to the administration’s position on Iran where the adminstation resists additional sanctions. The Senate, as do many, fear a weak deal with Iran, done for the sake of the doing, guaranteeing Iran the time and space to reach their goal of nuclear weapons. On November 20th nearly half of the Senate signed a letter to the President to that effect. The Senate wants legislation that restores punitive sanctions in the event an effective deal is not negotiated by the current deadline
The only functioning democracy in the Middle East, the singular American ally in the region, is under consideration for the application of sanctions, but the terror state of Iran enjoys the administration’s protection from additional sanctions. The official line has been that additional sanctions will damage the negotiations when it was sanctions that brought the Iranians to the table; this time. The U.S. is Israel’s largest trading partner meaning simply that the U.S. is in a position to poison Israel’s economy dependent upon the scope of the sanctions.
The saga begins in 2002 when opposition politicians from the M.E.K. reveal the construction of a uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak. In 2003 the first of many negotiations and agreements are struck, Iran is to suspend uranium enrichment; in 2004 they re-commence enrichment activities. In 2006 three U.N. resolutions attempt to bring Iran to heel and the waltz of negotiations is set. Three consistent trends have been in place over the past 14 years: negotiations are ongoing typically commencing when Iran feels a squeeze, they are used to buy time and Iran never actually abides by their agreements. The best evidence of Iranian intentions is the parallel program to enrich plutonium in addition to uranium. Iran has publically announced, in 2010, that they have enriched uranium to 20%, that level of enrichment puts Iran at the red line for weapons grade enrichment. It takes a long time to get to 20% enrichment but the enrichment process accelerates as a geometric progression from that point forward.
Logic fails when considering this administration’s view, a potentially tough policy regarding apartments in Jewish neighborhoods represents good foreign policy but negotiations with Iran over the potential of an existential threat demands weakness and appeasement. On November 24 the Institute for Science and International Security reported on Iranian compliance with the current framework for negotiations. They report the IAEA has confirmed that enrichment continues, but that it may have been a “temporary” violation of the framework agreement, oops! The fact that the “temporary” violation utilized IR-5 centrifuges (Iran’s most sophisticated) is merely coincidence.
To those who have watched the evolution of Iranian negotiations the current delay and extension of negotiation deadlines is exactly what has happened over the entire time frame of negotiation over Iran’s nuclear program. The result of these “negotiations” has been a massive expansion of Iran’s nuclear program over the past 14 years. Additionally, we don’t know what we don’t know, experts are unsure if we have actually identified the entirety of the Iranian program.
But we do have set our sights firmly set on those apartments in East Jerusalem.