Ted Belman, publisher of Israpundit
Ted Belman, a former Torontonian who made aliyah to Israel, is the publisher of the Jerusalem based blog, Israpundit. Belman sent this commentary on the history of agreements that have been temporized because of appeasement. This could be harbinger of what is likely to occur with the Iranian nuclear agreement endorsed by a vote of the UN Security Council on July 22, 2015 . The Iran nuclear pact is subject toreview and a vote by both Houses of Congress under the provisions of the Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act (INARA) of 2015. That vote could occur by Mid-Seotember, 2015. If Congress votes to disappove the pact, President Obama has threatened to veto it. Whether the Congress has the sufficient votes to override his veto hangs in the balance with a minority of Democrat members of both chambers.
An Agreement is only as strong s the will to enforce it
by Ted Belman
The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles just published an article by Rabbi John Rosove titled Many Israeli Experts Believe the Iran Deal is a Supportable Deal Despite its Flaws. He is self-described as a progressive Reform Zionist and national co-Chair of the Rabbinic Cabinet of J Street. Remember that J Street just announced a multimillion campaign to endorse the Iran Deal. This article is surely part of that campaign.
In reviewing the quotes from these experts which he lists to make his case, it is clear that they appear to be making the assumption that the deal will be honored by Iran. But how can anyone assume that?
Every country passes laws and sets up an entity with the authority and power to enforce them. But that is not enough. There must also be the will to enforce them. In many countries, either due to incompetence, prejudice or corruption, the laws are not always applied equally to all its citizens or applied at all.
Even in the United States, this has increasingly become the case. Pres Obama, notwithstanding that he swore to uphold the constitution and the laws of the land, continually violates the constitution and refuses to uphold some of the laws passed by Congress.
Internationally, the UNSC has been given the authority to pass laws (resolutions) and to enforce them. But here it is more complicated because the UN does not have an entity with the authority and power to enforce the resolutions. It must arrange such an entity each time it wishes to enforce a resolution. Similarly when an agreement between nations is worked out, such as the Iran Deal between the P 5+1 and Iran, there must also be the will to enforce it.
History is replete with similar agreements or resolutions or guarantees that were on paper only and never enforced. Here is a short chronological list.
- The Palestinian Mandate was set up in 1922 granting the Jews the whole of Palestine as their homeland and giving them the right of close settlement. Now the terms of the Mandate are being violated and the Jews are being denied Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as their homeland and being denied the right to settle there.
- The Versailles Treaty, entered into at the end of WWI, prohibited Germany from re-arming itself. In the thirties when Hitler came into power he began rearming Germany and nobody, though they had the authority and the power to do so, had the will to stop him.
- In 1956, Nasser imposed a blockade on the Straits of Tiran preventing international traffic’s access the Israeli port in Eilat. This constituted a causes belli. Israel invaded the Sinai and conquered it. Pres Eisenhower forced Israel to retreat and arranged for the four great powers, US, Britain, France and Russia, to guarantee that the strait would remain open. They also installed a “UN peace keeping force” in the Sinai to maintain the peace. In 1967 Nasser kicked the UN force out and closed the Straits of Tiran again. Israel appealed to the four powers to honor their guarantee and to reinstall the UN force. They did nothing.
- After the ’67 war, the UNSC passed Resolution 242 which permitted Israel to remain in occupation until she had secure and recognized borders. A proper interpretation of this resolution allowed for Israel to retain some of the land. Israel has already vacated about 90% of the land but the international powers are demanding she vacate all of it. Of course “secure and recognized borders” had to be negotiated. Now Pres Obama and the UN want to dictate borders in violation of the law.
- Starting in 1970 with the Rogers Plan, Pres Nixon sided with the Arab countries and demanded 100% withdrawal contrary to Res 242 which the US drafted and voted for three years earlier. Pres Obama is now demanding 100% withdrawal.
- In 1995 Israel and the PLO/PA signed the Oslo Accords under the auspices of Pres Clinton on the White House lawn. The accords were like a constitution for the governance of the territories in question. The PA got full authority for Areas A and B subject only to Israel retaining security control of Area B. Israel retained full control of Area C. All final status issues had to be negotiated and there was no prohibition against Israel building settlements in Area C. Since then the PA has blatantly violated the Accords but no one, including Israel, wanted to abrogate the Accords or force the PA to comply. And now the EU, and to a lesser extend the US are themselves violating the accords by building Arab housing in Area C and by declaring all Jewish settlements as illegal. The Accords also prohibited either the PA or Israel from taking unilateral steps which would change the status of the land. The PA recently made a unilateral step in asking the UN for recognition as a state. Notwithstanding that such a move was in violation of the Accords, the UN is cooperating in this endeavor.
- In 2005 when Israel was executing the Disengagement Plan to leave Gaza, Israel intended to be in charge of the Rafah border crossing into Gaza to stop smuggling. Condi Rice insisted on Israel signing the Rafah Agreement which provided for the EU to man the crossing instead of Israel. This worked to some extent for a couple of years until Hamas took over and kicked them out. So much for the Rafah Agreement.
- In consideration of Israel agreeing to withdraw from Gaza, Pres Bush gave PM Sharon a letter in which the US committed to certain policies, a little favorable to Israel, such as upholding Res 242, not requiring full withdrawal and providing for the return of refugees only to Palestine, when created. Elliot Abrams who helped draft the letter on behalf of the Bush administration said this letter constituted an agreement. Pres Obama lost little time after his inauguration, to declare that the letter was not an agreement and therefore not binding on him.
- At the end of the Lebanon War I in 2004, the UNSC passed Res 1559 demanding disarmament in southern Lebanon. This resolution was ineffectual. So when the Lebanon War II was ending in 2006, the UNSC passed Res 1701 to remedy what was wrong with this resolution. It too called for demilitarization and disarmament. This resolution also proved worthless as the will to enforce it was not there. As a result Hezbollah now has 100,000 rockets ready to rain down on all parts of Israel.
- Pres Obama is trying to force Israel to accept a two state solution based on 100% withdrawal thereby denying Israel her right to retain some of the land and the right to negotiate borders. There is talk at the UN of recognizing Palestine as a state with the ’67 ceasefire lines as her border.
The Wall Street Journal recently published, Mission to Purge Syria of Chemical Weapons Comes Up Short (paywall):
“…. One year after the West celebrated the removal of Syria’s arsenal as a foreign-policy success, U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the regime didn’t give up all of the chemical weapons it was supposed to.”
Are we to expect anything better from Iran? Iran, after all, has a history of cheating on agreements and violating resolutions.
Therefor the opinions of these experts are worthless, relying as they do on Iran complying.
But even if she does comply, you have to be crazy to give her $150 billion to spend on terrorism while they are waiting to get the bomb.
The Munich Agreement signed in 1938, by Germany, Britain, France, and Italy conceded to Germany, in an attempt to appease her, an important part of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain celebrated the agreement as ushering “peace in our time”. This agreement was negotiated at a conference to which Czechoslovakia, the sacrificial lamb, was not invited. And the military alliance Czechoslovakia had with Britain and France was ignored. The agreement was opposed by Winston Churchill who famously said to Chamberlain “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”
The same might be said today of Obama and Kerry. They sacrificed the interests of Israel and the US on the altar of peace and appeasement and will surely get war as a result.