An Israeli satirist in the 1960's and 70's, one of Ephraim Kishon's best pieces was an essay that start off as a historical retelling of the events leading to the infamous Munich agreement in which Britain and France, desperate to prevent a major European war with the Nazis, y"sh, agreed to split the northeastern half of Czechoslovakia, the Sudetenland, and give it to Germany. Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, returned home in triumph waving the agreement above his head and announced that he had arranged "peace in our time!" Winston Churchill, the dour old codger that he was, replied "You could have chosen war over disgrace. You chose disgrace and soon you shall have war." And everyone told him to shut up and stop war mongering.
Peace in our time lasted about a year.
Now while it is easy to criticize the British and French for their absolute stupidity in negotiating with Adolph Hitler, y"sh, we have to remember the historical context of the agreement. World War I, the Great War as it was still called, had ended only twenty years earlier after devastating large parts of French and slaughtering millions of soldiers and civilians. Not lost on many people was the absolute uselessness of the war. It started because a Serbian shot an Austro-Hungarian prince. It ended with society-shattering effects and caused the rise of the Soviet Union. Europeans, with the exception of the Germans, were still war weary. If cutting Czechoslovakia in half meant avoiding a war they were all far it and Chamberlain said as much in the lead up to the agreement.
But back to Kishon. In his piece he starts off by telling the story of how negotiations began and proceeded but as it goes on he slowly starts changing the names of the politicians involved. British and French politicians become American and UN ones from the early 1970's. The German names turn into Arabic ones. Naturally the Czech names become Israeli. By the end it's a story about the Western powers along with Russia discussing the dismemberment of Israel with the Arab League while the Israelis sit in the hall, uninvited to the negotiations that will determine their fate.
The deal signed between the major nuclear powers and Iran has all the hallmarks of being a repeat of the Munich agreement. Naive leaders from Western democracies sit across the table from ruthless terrorist thugs. The Western leaders make it very clear that they either will do anything to get a deal (America, Britian and France) or have no interest in making the terrorist thugs accountable for any deal that gets signs (Russia, China). The terrorist thugs (Iran) who are in a bit of a predicament due to international sanctions and the low price of oil quickly realize that despite their overwhelming advantage, their opponents are playing to lose. They drag out negotiations, all while continuing research towards weaponized nuclear technology, continue to openly vilify the Western leaders who can't seem to fawn over them enough and then sign a deal which is possibly worse for the West than Munich was.
What's truly pathetic is watching the President of the United States now stumping for that deal and growing ever more frustrated as people refuse to see it as the greatest deal of the century. First we are given the false dichotomy - it was this or war. Well no it wasn't. It was this or continuing crippling sanctions and an end to negotiating for the enemy against your own country. It's not surprising that Obama doesn't mention this option as he has worked for years against levelling sanctions against Iran.
When someone brings up North Korea breaking a remarkably similar agreement only a few years ago they get yelled at. When someone brings up the American political prisoners in Iran and how this deal ignores them, they get yelled at. When someone brings up Israel's fears of a nuclear Iran they get told that Israel is the actual aggressor in this situation. Yes, the world is that bizarre.
For Israel this deal, and the eagerness of the nuclear powers to drop sanctions, invest in Iran and suck up to its leaders is bewildering. Agreement or not, it is generally known that Iran subsidizes proxy armies like Hezbollah in multiple countries throughout the Middle East. It's generally known that Iran is also a major sponsor of worldwide terrorism and is keen on building up its military capability despite having no current aggressive enemies (other than Israel, of course). Why is this all being ignored? Why are terrorist thugs who have an established track record of lying being taken seriously when it comes to their signatures on this wretched document?
I hope and pray that we have not witnessed this century's Munich agreement but when all its supporters can say is "Well it's better than no deal" or angrily attack detractors it's hard not to think so.
What can we as Jews do? We must remember our Father in Heaven who didn't bring us back to our Land and help us re-establish its sovereignty just to have a bunch of Persian nutjobs wipe it out. We must pray and learn in the hope that our merit will protect us and give our defenders the strength to preserve Jewish life and society. We must not take this silently but must plead with Heaven for mercy. Perhaps we will be heard.