NUKE IRAN: 'It's the only thing they understand,' Adelson says
Israel advocate Sheldon Adelson recommends atomic diplomacy at panel
Businessman and owner of the newspaper Israel Hayom, Sheldon Adelson has a simple solution to the dangers posed by Iran's nuclear enrichment program; nuke them first. This startling bit of atomic diplomacy was offered up by Adelson at a panel discussion at Yeshiva University last week.
Businessman and owner of the newspaper Israel Hayom, Sheldon Adelson has a simple solution to the dangers posed by Iran's nuclear enrichment program; nuke them first.
When Adelson was asked by moderator Rabbi Shmuley Boteach whether the U.S. should negotiate with Iran if it were to cease its uranium enrichment program, Adelson replied, "What are we going to negotiate about?"
Adelson then offered this helpful scenario to illustrate his point. An American official calls up an Iranian official, and says "watch this!" A nuclear bomb would then be detonated in the middle of the Iranian desert.
"Then you say, 'See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes'," Adelson said.
"So a tremendous demonstration of American strength?" Boteach queried. "So that they would get the message?"
"It's the only thing they understand," Adelson said.
"And do you see the current negotiations as a sign of weakness?" Boteach asked.
"Absolutely," Adelson said.
Adelson donated millions of dollars to defeated Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the last presidential campaign.
Adelson harshly criticized the Obama administration's willingness to engage the Iranians diplomatically. "[It's] the worst negotiating tactic I could ever imagine, my entire life," he said.
"Because you can't get anything. He's not saying to them, Roll back your entire program and show that you're willing to be peaceful. So, roll it all back . and we'll roll back the sanctions . What is that, a game of chicken, who's going to blink first?"
Boteach was quick to qualify the rather extreme comments. He pointed out that the international community often employs double standards on Israeli issues.
"When I heard Sheldon make his remark, my initial thought was that his purpose was to goad his more liberal critics into attacking the policy so that their double standards on nuclear threats against Israel could be exposed," said Rabbi Boteach in a statement.
"I would hope that those who seem alarmed by Sheldon's overstatement on the extent to which the United States should go to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon will at least protest that much more loudly against its actual development," he added.
For many, the comment recalled the heady days of Senator Barry Goldwater. Running against Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964 as a Republican nominee for the presidency, Goldwater famously declared "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." Liberal Republicans thought Goldwater's demand for rollback and defeat of the Soviet Union, would foment a nuclear war. Johnson would win against Goldwater by a landslide. He would later die in 1998, at the age of 89 at his long-time home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, from complications of a massive stroke.
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