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Obama Wants Filibuster, Not Vote, on Iran Deal

09-05-2015

JERUSALEM, Israel -- President Obama now has the support he needs to uphold a veto of any legislation against the Iranian nuclear deal, but apparently that's not enough for him. He still wants Democrats in both houses to filibuster the vote; that is, to prevent it altogether.

In other words, opposition by a bipartisan majority in Congress, a majority of Americans and, for that matter, Israelis, appears to have little impact on his belief in the deal he helped craft, albeit with the world's largest sponsor of state terrorism.

It seems the president doesn't want Congress to vote on the deal, period.

According to some reports, Obama is working behind the scenes, quietly encouraging a filibuster.

"The White House is not explicitly campaigning for a filibuster, but it is privately understood to badly want one in order to prevent the Republican-controlled Congress from voting down the deal and requiring the president to use his veto," Roll Call reported earlier this week.

President Obama appears to prefer that scenario, perhaps because it's a better fit with the legacy he's hoping to leave. Or at least that's how some see it.

Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continues his anti-American, anti-Israel hate rhetoric unabated, repeatedly telling his followers Islam will ultimately subjugate the "Great Satan" and eliminate the "Little Satan," the U.S. and Israel, respectively.

Since signing the deal in July, Iranian leaders have repeatedly warned that without the immediate and unequivocal lifting of sanctions, the deal's off.

You can hear similar anti-Israel rhetoric from ISIS, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Houthis, Hezbollah, al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram, and yes, Fatah and Hamas. Some of them look like Islamic "extremists" or "militants," some wear traditional Arab garb and others look very much like their Western counterparts.

What seems obvious to those who read the 159-page deal and those following its evolving status, is that in essence, it's a "bad" deal. It's increasingly compared to the 1994 nuclear deal with North Korea.

One asks oneself how anyone could miss the regime's clear intentions. Yet for all that, President Obama is devoted to convincing the public it's a good deal and he really does care about Israel's security.

In Friday's Column One, Israeli journalist and political expert Caroline Glick provided valuable background of what led up to the deal. But even better, she sees Israel's way forward despite the Obama administration's seeming "success." 

"Obama's success will backfire first and foremost because thanks to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's move to spearhead the public debate in the U.S., today two-thirds of Americans oppose the deal," Glick writes.

"Since Iran will waste no time proving just how devastating a mistake Obama and his fellow Democrats have just made, Obama's success makes him far less free to enact further steps against Israel than he was before the deal was concluded. The public no longer will give him the benefit of the doubt," she says.

"Moreover, since the deal is as bad as its opponents say it is, and given that most Americans oppose it, Obama's successor will face no impediments in canceling the deal and adopting a new policy toward Israel and Iran," Glick concludes.

And that's just what Israel need to be: hopeful.

The pervasive feeling among Israelis 67 years after the birth of their modern nation-state is "we're here to stay."

The good news, the very good news, is that Judaism is a Bible-based faith. Despite its stunning diversity, from ultra-Orthodox to ultra-secular, Israelis meld under the covering of a Bible-birthed nation. And despite all the odds, that's a good place to be.

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