(Netanya, Israel) — Greetings from Israel. I’m here doing media interviews for The Auschwitz Escape, having various meetings, and trying to get a better sense of how Israeli citizens and leaders are viewing the crisis in Ukraine and the rising Iranian nuclear threat.
Rumors are swirling in the media here about a possible Israeli preemptive strike on Iran this year. Israeli officials at the highest level — including the Defense Minister — are reportedly coming to the reluctant belief that they cannot count on President Obama to take decisive action to neutralize the Iranian threat before it is too late.
Here are several recent headlines worth noting:
- Netanyahu orders IDF to prepare for possible strike on Iran during 2014 (Haaretz)
- Israel said to be budgeting billions for Iran strike – Military chiefs reportedly say they were given top-level orders to keep prepared for action despite nuclear talks (Times of Israel)
- Israel gears up for possible unilateral strike on Iran (Xinhua Chinese news agency)
- Defense minister leans toward Israeli operation in Iran, as Obama portrays ‘weakness’ — Moshe Ya’alon says U.S. is acting feebly – from China through the Mideast to Ukraine. ‘I hope the U.S. comes to its senses.’ (Haaretz)
In this context, CNN.com has just published an op-ed that former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and I have written. It examines parallels he and I find sobering between the history of Adolf Hitler and the current regime in Tehran. In the column, we also cite the exclusive new poll showing 80% of Americans fear a “Second Holocaust” if Iran is allowed to build nuclear warheads.
I hope you’ll take a moment to read the full column. Then please post your comments on the “Epicenter Team” page on Facebook, and share this column with friends and get their reaction, as well.
By Rick Santorum and Joel C. Rosenberg
(CNN) — Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows this month when she compared Vladimir Putin’s tactics in Ukraine to those of the Nazis.
She was right, but there is an even more ominous similarity between the actions of Iran and those of pre-war Germany.
On May 21, 1935, Adolf Hitler delivered his infamous “peace” speech. In his masterful history of Nazi Germany, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” William L. Shirer quotes the Fuhrer’s remarks at length:
“Germany needs peace and desires peace.”
“Germany has solemnly recognized and guaranteed France her frontiers.”
“Germany has concluded a non-aggression pact with Poland.”
Shirer, a CBS Radio correspondent, called the address “one of the cleverest and most misleading of his Reichstag orations this writer, who sat through most of them, ever heard him make.” He observed the West seemed beguiled by the speech, noting the Times of London welcomed Hitler’s words “with almost hysterical joy.”
“The speech turns out to be reasonable, straightforward, and comprehensive,” stated the Times editorial. “No one who reads it with an impartial mind can doubt that the points of policy laid down by Herr Hitler may fairly constitute the basis of a complete settlement with Germany.”
Yet Hitler was lying to buy time. He would not bring peace, but a horrific war, annexing Austria, invading France and Poland, and ordering the extermination of six million Jews.
Indeed, Hitler’s lies were apparent less than a year after the speech. On March 7, 1936, the Nazis marched into the Rhineland, the demilitarized zone between Germany and France, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
If the West had confronted Hitler then, it could have forced him out of the Rhineland with a limited application of military force.
Such history is worth noting in today’s showdown with Iran. Many in the West seem beguiled by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. But are they….
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