Rep. Deutch: Don’t Make Defense of Israel a Partisan Issue

— by Max Samis

In today’s Sun-Sentinel, Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) wrote an op-ed discussing the importance of keeping support for Israel a bipartisan issue. Deutch wrote about President Barack Obama’s steadfast support of the Jewish state, and implored Republicans to stop trying to turn the Iranian threat of nuclear weapons into a wedge issue for the upcoming election.

Extracts after the jump.
Deutch wrote:

For over six decades, the United States has made clear that Israel will never face these dangers alone. This commitment has been upheld by U.S. presidents of both political parties who understand the unique threats facing Israel every day. The existential threat facing Israel from Iran today is profoundly serious, yet recently, Republican presidential candidates have attempted to exploit the Iranian threat for political gain, launching unfounded partisan attacks on President Obama’s record….

While most of the Jewish community has always put partisanship aside when it comes to protecting Israel from existential threats, the president’s opponents have repeatedly made clear that their quest to defeat him in November overrides every other priority, including upholding a bipartisan consensus on Israel’s security. The existential threats facing Israel are far too serious to fall victim to partisan warfare. President Obama’s forceful efforts to tighten the squeeze on the Iranian regime are working.

The Ayatollahs currently face a crumbling economy, an international blacklist, a restive population and, if they continue their weapons program, the hammer of U.S. military might. Support for Israel has always been, and must continue to be, above partisan politics as usual, especially when Israel’s future is at stake.

Deutch also defended the sanctions imposed on the Iranian regime by Obama, stressing that they are having the desired effect. Deutch wrote:

President Obama has confronted Iran with, as he explained to AIPAC, ‘all elements of American power: political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.’

The president’s strategic efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program have resulted in the most powerful international coalition that Iran’s mullahs have ever faced. The Obama administration has sought out the toughest sanctions ever on companies that support Iran’s illicit weapons program. Iran’s economy has been devastated by the sanctions imposed by the United States, Europe, and even Russia and China. The world is uniting with America in offering Iran one choice: abandon its quest for nuclear weapons and thrive; or continue that quest and be crushed.

In addition, Deutch reiterated that Obama has placed all options on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran. He wrote:

Understanding how a nuclear-armed Iran would threaten the security of both Israel and America, President Obama rejects the folly of containment and appeasement. ‘Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,’ he proclaimed in his visit to the AIPAC Policy Conference. ‘And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary.’

No nation will benefit more than Israel if measures short of war end the Iranian nuclear weapons program. But if other steps fail, Iran knows that it will face the powerful U.S. military. As President Obama has said, ‘When it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say.’

President Obama also defended Israel’s ability to ‘defend itself by itself against any threat.’ To that end, military and intelligence cooperation between America and Israel has reached unprecedented levels. And as the threats to Israel in the region increase, so, too has the Obama administration’s level of security funding for the sole democracy in the Middle East.

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