Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Follow the Money: The Dirty Trail that Led to October 7th (Judean Rose)

Disclaimer: the views expressed here are solely those of the author, weekly Judean Rose columnist Varda Meyers Epstein.

How much money has the United States given to Iran over the years, either as outright gifts, or through the lifting of sanctions and unfreezing Iranian assets and revenues? The exact amount may be impossible to determine, but the thawing of $6b in Iranian revenues a month before the Hamas atrocities in Israel, obligates us to look closer and ask hard questions. How much money are we talking about? Was the latest thaw a greenlight to Iran to do as it wished with Israel? Which presidents gave money to Iran and why did so many Jewish Americans vote for them?

A recent Newsweek “fact check” article attempts to pin down the exact amount of money that flowed to Iran from the Obama administration. The article is slanted, focused on the irrelevant fact that at least much of the money was not a gift because it already belonged to Iran, and stressing that conditions had been placed on how the money could be spent (emphasis added):

As tensions simmer, conservative commentators shared claims that President Barack Obama's administration had given $150 billion to Iran, effectively, they argued, funding Hamas.

A post on X by Jack Posobiec, posted on October 16, 2023, referenced a Charlie Kirk tweet from September 11, 2015, which stated "Iran funds Hamas. Hamas kills Americans and Jews. Now we give Iran $150 billion. Where do you think that money will go? #IranDeal"

Posobiec wrote "Charlie warned us and now people are mad at him."

Kirk, founder of conservative student group Turning Point USA, was likely referring to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which granted Iran access to frozen assets.

This was not funding given to Iran. The amount quoted refers to foreign assets that belonged to Iran and were frozen by sanctions imposed to impede its nuclear program. The JCPOA was also an international agreement between Iran and a number of major world powers, including the U.S.

Despite the facts of this "fact-checking" article, there’s always a workaround. Two things can be true at one and the same time. Perhaps the thawed Iranian foreign assets could not be used to fund terror, but there was zero reason to imagine that a similar amount of money could not be drawn from elsewhere, for example from schools, hospitals, and government subsidies for healthcare to fund the Iranian terror machine. Then all Iran has to do is use its unfrozen assets to make up the difference, and voilà—no thawed assets were used to fund Iranian terror!

The Iranian windfall may not have paid for nuclear weapons production or to sponsor its proxy Hamas, but it might as well have done so, because here is another fact: Money can always be shifted around to balance a budget and make things work. That’s because money is fungible:

Back in 2015, Charlie Kirk, as cited by Newsweek, said the United States, under President Obama, gave Iran $150b. How did Kirk arrive at this figure? Does he have some kind of inside track? Nope. Kirk was only repeating the words from the man himself, Barack Obama:

How much these assets were worth has not been released, but $150 billion is the highest estimate provided by U.S. officials. The figure was mentioned in passing by Obama in an interview with The Atlantic in 2015, when questioned where the money could end up.

"The question is, if Iran has $150 billion parked outside the country, does the IRGC automatically get $150 billion?" Obama said.

Was the $150b referenced by Obama meant as an exaggerated hypothetical? It seems unlikely. If this astronomical sum had been far off the mark of the thawed Iranian foreign assets, surely the former president would have added context. He might have said, for example, “Not that the Iranian revenues we freed came to anything near that amount.”

Newsweek goes on to offer the reader other estimates for the Obama-thawed Iranian funds beginning with the far lower figures cited by a corrupt Iranian bank official:

In 2015, the former governor of Iran's central bank, Valiollah Seif, said in a state television address that the value of the frozen assets had been exaggerated.

Seif was sentenced in 2021 to 10 years in prison on corruption charges, reported Reuters.

The former official said that there were $29 billion of unlockable assets: $23 billion in foreign exchange that belonged to the bank and $6 billion of the Tehran government's money, The Times of Israel and Arabic news channel Al Arabiya reported in July 2015. The $29 billion Seif quoted was also reported by The New York Times.

Further figures are cited from a variety of sources to suggest that we are, indeed, speaking of much lower sums, which anyway, cannot be accessed by Iran, and certainly not for the purpose of funding terror:

Voice of America reported in January 2016, after the deal was signed, quotes from Seif saying Iran had gained access to $32 billion in assets.

Then U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress in July 2015 that Iran gained access to $56 billion via the agreement, a fact check by PolitiFact in 2018 noted.

In an August 2015 written testimony, Adam J. Szubin, then-acting Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said that while estimates suggested the Central Bank of Iran had foreign exchange assets between $100 billion to $125 billion, the usable "liquid assets" after sanctions were lifted would be around $50 billion.

Newsweek wraps things up by telling us unequivocally that the U.S. did not give Iran $150b in 2015, and anyway, the not-a-gift was at no cost to the American people:


The U.S. did not "give" $150 billion to Iran in 2015. In 2015, as part of an international deal with Iran called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran agreed to cut back on nuclear enrichment programs in exchange for the unfreezing of its own assets.

The U.S. taxpayer paid nothing toward this, as might be implied by the post, and the value of the assets was said by some, including the U.S. Treasury, to be less than $150 billion.

Even should we stipulate that the non-gift to Iran was far less than $150b, Newsweek leaves out a most salient, and quite relevant fact. In addition to thawing Iranian revenues, Obama gave Iran $1.8 billion in cash, from The Hill, back in 2020:

Iran is indeed a dangerous terrorist state that not only has a powerful standing army, air force, navy and advanced weapons systems — including ballistic missiles and a growing space program — but also controls multiple proxy terrorist organizations responsible for killing and injuring hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

Included on that list of victims are thousands of American military personnel and contractors.

These were facts that former President Obama knew when he deliberately chose a policy of appeasement and cash payoffs instead of strength and accountability as the way to deal with Iran.

President Trump spelled this out in no uncertain terms on Wednesday when he addressed the nation while seeking to dial down the imminent threat Iran may pose to our nation, the Middle East and the world.

Said the president in part, “Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013 and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. … Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.”

As we have seen and heard, some — especially Democrats, their allies in the media and Obama supporters — chose to challenge or quibble with Trump’s statement. That said, [author Douglas Mackinnon] spoke with a former senior intelligence official who said that much of the $1.8 billion cash payoff from the Obama administration was used explicitly to fund terrorism as an additional “screw you” from the leaders of Iran — including Soleimani —  to the United States. The rest of the money, [Mackinnon’s] source believes, ended up in the bank accounts of corrupt Iranian leaders and terrorists.

This money was not not-a-gift Iranian monies thawed, but an actual gift, or rather, according to Mackinnon, a payoff Obama thought he could hide from the public (emphasis added):

The cash payment authorized by Obama is one of the most disgraceful and shameful “negotiations” in the history of our nation. It was a payment the Obama White House first denied, then ignored and then grudgingly acknowledged.

We paid in cash, but not U.S. currency. Wary of using U.S. bills for a variety of reasons involving concealment, the Obama White House had the money converted to untraceable Euros, Swiss francs, and other foreign currencies. More troubling than those initial denials and deceptions was the fact that $400 million of that all-cash payment was used to pay a ransom to the government of Iran for the release of four American prisoners, in violation of standing U.S. policy.

In a pathetic attempt to hide behind semantics, the Obama administration finally did acknowledge that $400 million was delayed as “leverage” until the Americans were allowed to leave Iran.

While the Obama White House hid from the true definition of the word “leverage,” Iran’s state-run media was more than happy to brag that Iran had just forced the United States to pay a ransom.

Thawing Iranian revenues is one thing, even to the tune of $150b, but from where, you might reasonably ask, did Obama get $1.8b in cash? Was this gift on the taxpayer’s dime? Mackinnon gives us the skinny:

What many Americans don’t realize is that the Obama White House took the ransom money from something called the “Judgment Fund,” which is administered by the Treasury. That little-known account is entirely paid for by American taxpayers and was set up in such a way that Obama could bypass congressional approval to pay the cash to Iran.

Those who continually praise and defend Obama often describe him as “brilliant.” There is no doubt the former president is an intelligent person, certainly bright enough to realize — and admit, at least to himself — that the cash he turned over to the murderous regime leading Iran to ruin was not used for altruistic purposes.

Any honest assessment would conclude that at least part of that secretive, massive payment was used to finance terrorist attacks against Americans, our allies and innocent civilians . . .

 . . . For that reason, Obama should apologize for the thousands wounded and killed in terrorist attacks since Iran took possession of that tainted cash. That is his debt to pay.

In 2021, CNN reduced the amount of the Obama cash gift to Iran from $1.8b to “about $1.7b”. We also learn that in 2021, there was a $7b thaw in the works, suspiciously close to the $6b that President Biden unfroze in September:

Then-President Barack Obama faced steep opposition from Republicans when it was revealed that his administration had transferred about $1.7 billion to Iran in early 2016 . . .

 . . . Pro-Iranian media reported last weekend that the US had agreed to unfreeze $7 billion in Iranian funds and arrange a prisoner swap as part of the negotiations, but the State Department rejected the prisoner swap reports as false and a senior official told reporters on Thursday that those responsible for the leak were guilty of “unspeakable cruelty.” The department did not weigh in on the reports that the US would unfreeze funds, but a source briefed on the talks said the $7 billion figure was incorrect.

The White House is at the same time facing pressure to tread cautiously from Israel, which sent a delegation to Washington last week to discuss, among other things, the ongoing Iran deal talks. In a brief meeting with Biden last week, Israeli top intelligence official Yossi Cohen reiterated what Israel has been saying publicly, said one person familiar with the meeting: namely, that it believes Iran cannot be trusted and that the US should not return to the nuclear deal.

Biden reiterated his commitment to the US-Israel relationship, the person said, and reassured Cohen that the US views a return to the deal only as a jumping-off point for further discussions about lengthening and strengthening its terms, to ultimately include limits on other areas of Iran’s malign behavior in the region.

Going back to the issue of irrelevant facts and the echo chamber, the Newsweek article cited earlier managed to side-step the issue of Obama’s $1.8b cash payments to Iran. It did so by pushing a flurry of irrelevant facts on the reader: that the 2015 money was not a gift; that it was nowhere near $150b, and the money was not used to directly fund terror. A US News article piles on further irrelevant facts to obscure the truth, this time regarding the recent $6b in Iranian revenues thawed by Biden one month before the October 7 Hamas terror attack.

We are told that no one serious believes the $6b was used for the attack on Israel (so what—money is fungible); the attack was long in the planning (so what—they planned it a long time ago but needed the money to make it happen); and there is “no evidence” that Iran funded the attack because Iran denies responsibility (as if Iran were a trustworthy source to be believed in regard to whether or not it funded Hamas):

No serious observer believes the money ordered released by the administration – accumulated oil revenue withheld from Tehran under a Trump administration financial restriction – was used for that purpose. Iran is known to play a major role in funding, supporting and training the militant group and has for decades, but U.S. officials have said early intelligence does not indicate Iran helped Hamas plan, train or otherwise carry out the assault and added that it appeared to have taken some senior Iranian leaders by surprise. While a Hamas spokesman told the BBC that Iran did assist in the attack, officials in Tehran have denied responsibility while praising the outcome. So any direct link remains tenuous.

With regard to the money, planning of the sophisticated operation appears to have been underway for far longer than the funds were available to Iran, for one thing. For another, Treasury Department controls mandate that the funds cannot be drawn down by Iran for anything other than humanitarian needs provided by third-party vendors. But mostly – as the administration’s one-note response emphasizes at every turn – the most obvious indication it wasn’t used for the attack was because Iran hasn’t yet touched the money after it was sent from South Korea to a bank in Qatar.

“None of the funds that have gone to Qatar have actually been spent or accessed in any way,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Thursday, speaking from Tel Aviv, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of a multi-country diplomatic deployment across the Middle East.

Instead of focusing on the $1.8b cash payment (or $1.7b as CNN would have it), Mark Langfan, in 2020, did the math for us on the $150b figure cited by Obama in the Atlantic interview. At the same time, Langfan appears to place the onus for this dirty “deal” on then Vice President Biden (emphasis added):

Despite the fact that VP Biden knew that the Defense Department had already conclusively found by July 9, 2015 that Iran had directly murdered a minimum 500 US soldiers with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in Iraq over the past seven years, a mere five days later, on July 14, 2015, VP Biden cheerled the Iran Nuclear deal that handed Iran $150 Billion dollars.

Do the math. That means that in 2015, VP Biden paid Iran $300 million for each US soldier Iran murdered.

The echo chamber is slimy. It tells us about thawed Iranian revenues, but it doesn’t tell us about the large cash gift or that the American taxpayer paid ransom to Iran. Instead, the echo chamber peppers us with irrelevant facts, smug in the belief that wool can be pulled over the eyes of the American public. The tactic has demonstrated its efficacy over the years, with Americans amplifying whatever irrelevant talking points they are supplied. Is it a case of intellectual laziness or are they simply too trusting?

Richard Goldberg, senior advisor to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), and Rep. Darrell Issa, instead of irrelevancies, offer us a shocking piece of information. The recent $6b not-a-gift to Iran was only the tip of the iceberg and it’s far worse than Obama with his sneaky $1.8b cash payment. As it turns out, Biden enriched Iran by more than $50b and he did it via backchannels to avoid public scrutiny:

In May, White House Middle East Coordinator Brett McGurk secretly traveled to Oman to pass a message along to Iran: America will pay the Ayatollah’s price to keep Tehran from producing weapons-grade uranium. Later that month, the Sultan of Oman traveled to Iran to broker the deal while the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) — an institution subject to U.S. sanctions for its role in terror financing — unexpectedly departed for Washington.

In June, leaks to Israeli media revealed the extraordinary concessions Biden made to the Ayatollah: Iran would “stop the process of enriching uranium to high levels” in exchange for sanctions relief.

The Biden administration then issued a sanctions waiver to provide Iran with at least $10 billion frozen in Iraq – and allow the money to be deposited in Iranian bank accounts in Oman.

Unnamed officials would soon admit the U.S. had already stopped enforcing oil sanctions on Iran – tacitly approving a million barrel per day increase in exports from Iran to China and generating tens of billions in annualized revenue. By the time the administration authorized the much-discussed $6 billion from South Korea, a full-blown appeasement and enrichment effort towards Iran had been underway for months.

In effect, explain the authors, the $6b in thawed Iranian revenues was a smokescreen for a far greater cash infusion from yet another dirty president (emphasis added):

[Fixating] only on the $6 billion obscures how Biden has financed Iran’s nuclear protection racket, emboldened its murderous regime, and enabled the mullahs to focus their resources on destroying Israel, the one country conducting operations to stop Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.

The Biden message sent to the ayatollah is that the U.S. fears escalation and will pay any price to avoid a direct confrontation. That was a green light for Iran to activate its terror subsidiaries and commence the kind of barbaric slaughter we witnessed [on October 7th].

To add insult to injury, Biden is even now strengthening the Iranian terror machine:

While Biden’s words condemn Hamas’ heinous crimes against humanity, he continues to enrich Hamas’ parent company, Iran. And while Biden is correctly giving Israel the time, space, and resources it needs to prepare for Hamas’ destruction, he’s simultaneously giving Iran the time, space, and resources it needs to rebuild that which Israel destroys.

Having discussed the thawed, not-a-gift Iranian revenues, it makes sense to then explore how the re-imposition of sanctions by President Trump in 2018, drastically drained Iran of resources to fund its terror activities. In 2020, Lindsay Graham and Morgan Ortagus outlined Iran’s dire economic situation, and described how the lifting of sanctions by President Biden would represent a $90b bailout to Iran (emphasis added):

The JCPOA infused Iran with cash. Right before the United States reimposed sanctions in 2018, Iran’s central bank controlled more than $120 billion in foreign exchange reserves. U.S. sanctions locked tens of those billions away in escrow accounts, and financial pressure forced Iran to draw down the accounts that remained open. After only two years of the maximum pressure campaign, Iran was down to a meager $4 billion in reserves. Meanwhile, U.S. energy sanctions cut Iran’s oil exports by more than 2 million barrels per day, depriving the regime of $70 billion that typically funds its budget.

The massive reversal of fortunes left Iran with barely any economic options, and the regime was forced to cut payments to its regional terror proxies. While Iran fended off collapse, much of the rest of the Middle East breathed a sigh of relief. Several countries in the region made historic peace with one another. Progress made by the Abraham Accords—which were struck in August 2020 by Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States—were contagious.

Alliances with Iran threaten to undo much of the progress made.

Right away, the regime could receive a payday of around $90 billion the moment Biden ends sanctions. After all, U.S. sanctions tied up $40 billion of oil and condensate sales in Asia and the Middle East while another $50 billion in funds remain inaccessible to the regime. Meanwhile, the restoration of the JCPOA would likely reinvigorate Iran’s oil exports, adding nearly $50 billion per year to the regime’s coffers at today’s market rate. Other economic sanctions would be lifted as well, bolstering the regime’s metals and petrochemicals sectors that are crucial to funding the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) foreign adventures. Iran’s economy will start to grow again, and it will not take any time for the suitcases of cash to find their way to Hamas or Hezbollah.

Those billions of dollars would go a long way for the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s entire military budget has been reduced to less than $20 billion a year. But historically, Iran spent more than $16 billion supporting allies in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen since 2012 and sent $700 million a year to Hezbollah.

There’s not much need for speculation regarding what Iran would use its sanctions relief for. Instead, just look to six years ago. Instead of spending funds on cancer research or infrastructure like promised, the regime’s defense budget reached record highs. The IRGC spread mayhem and death across the region, and the same thing could happen again.

Only this time, under the terms of the original JCPOA, nuclear restrictions on Iran are almost up. Within the decade, Iran will have no cap on nuclear enrichment quantity or quality, no cap on the number of centrifuge sophistication, no ban on the import and export of ballistic missiles, and the expiration of more than a dozen other prohibitions.

In 2022, Nikki Haley criticized Biden’s intention to lift the sanctions. But Haley goes further, offering a tie-in between the thawed Iranian money and Biden’s support to the PA and Hamas regimes (emphasis added): 

Haley [criticized] Biden’s recent trip to the Middle East, including Israel, where he announced a $300 million cash infusion to the Palestinian government. The Free Beacon exclusively reported last week that a large portion of this cash is funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, which has a history of inciting violence against Jews.

"The money has no conditions, no strings, nothing. The Palestinians can keep stoking hatred of Israel," Haley said of the renewed funding. "They can keep paying the families of terrorists, which encourages more suicide bombings. Basically, the Palestinians can use America’s money to attack America’s ally. It’s a disgrace."

In examining the events of October 7, it is important here, to consider the role played in the atrocities by Rob Malley, the recently-suspended envoy to Iran who allegedly mishandled classified material (emphasis added):

“Rob Malley deserves extensive scrutiny — yesterday, today and tomorrow,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told [the New York Post] after the Wall Street Journal reported that officers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps planned and signed off on this weekend’s atrocity that killed at least 900.

“These reports could not be more concerning, and they hint at what could be the worst State Department scandal since Alger Hiss,” Issa added.

“Malley and others created an incredibly permissive environment for Hamas, for Iran, to do all these things,” added Gabriel Noronha, a former special adviser on Iran at the State Department.

Noronha, who served under former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said Malley and his negotiating team “purposefully funneled billions of dollars to [Iran] through lack of sanctions enforcement and provision of sanctions relief that has given them somewhere between $50 [billion] and $80 billion over the last two and a half years.”

A senior House Republican aide told The Post that the cash influx followed an even more generous payout of $1.7 billion that the Obama administration made to Iran in 2016, eventually contributing to Saturday’s attack that triggered the Jewish state’s first declaration of war in 50 years.

In 2022, Michael Rubin said that all told, thanks to Malley, the Biden administration planned to give Tehran, in total, twice the amount of Biden’s recent “non-gift” to Iran (emphasis added):

In May 2021, Malley was offering Iran relief equivalent to $7 billion, nearly equal to the budget of Iran’s entire conventional military for 2022. As Iranian negotiators stonewalled — they have not sat down with Malley or his team but instead insist on talking through intermediaries — Malley’s team upped the ante. Today, the Biden administration appears poised to provide Tehran with $12 billion, equivalent to a quarter of Iran’s total budget at the real exchange rate. This does not include, of course, the windfall Tehran seeks to gain from increased oil sales already augmented by lack of sanctions enforcement. This fund does not include off-budget spending, such as the oil revenue directly allocated to the Revolutionary Guards or the additional billions that Iran’s national oil company allocates for national stabilization and development but in actuality flows into Revolutionary Guards’ coffers.

Should Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei accept Malley’s offer, the regime will receive an infusion of over $20 billion over the following year, essentially doubling the Revolutionary Guard’s budget. To put that conservative estimate in perspective, a suicide belt costs just $1,500, and the bombing of the Hebrew University cafeteria that killed five Americans cost only $50,000.

Nor does the money now offered to Iran account for the billion-dollar ransoms that the Iranians expect for hostage releases. After all, ever since Jimmy Carter’s administration acquiesced to release Iranian funds in exchange for hostages and Ronald Reagan traded arms for hostages, the Iranian regime simply seizes new hostages to use as chits in their negotiations.

Lee Smith, writing for Tablet, describes how Malley brought an Iranian agent into the State Department and the Pentagon, where she served in sensitive positions related to United States defense (emphasis added):

The Biden administration’s now-suspended Iran envoy Robert Malley helped to fund, support, and direct an Iranian intelligence operation designed to influence the United States and allied governments, according to a trove of purloined Iranian government emails.

The emails, which were reported on by veteran Wall Street Journal correspondent Jay Solomon, writing in Semafor, and by Iran International, the London-based émigré opposition outlet which is the most widely read independent news source inside Iran, were published last week after being extensively verified over a period of several months by the two outlets. They showed that Malley had helped to infiltrate an Iranian agent of influence named Ariane Tabatabai into some of the most sensitive positions in the U.S. government—first at the State Department and now the Pentagon, where she has been serving as chief of staff for the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, Christopher Maier. . .

The contents of the emails are damning, showing a group of Iranian American academics being recruited by the Iranian regime, meeting together in foreign countries to receive instructions from top regime officials, and pledging their personal loyalty to the regime. They also show how these operatives used their Iranian heritage and Western academic positions to influence U.S. policy toward Iran, first as outside “experts” and then from high-level U.S. government posts. Both inside and outside of government, the efforts of members of this circle were repeatedly supported and advanced by Malley, who served as the U.S. government’s chief interlocutor with Iran under both the Obama and the Biden administrations. Malley is also the former head of the International Crisis Group (ICG), which directly paid and credentialed several key members of the regime’s influence operation.

What should we make of these efforts by Presidents Obama and Biden to enrich not only Iran, but the PA and Hamas regimes in the wake of the depraved Hamas massacre of October 7? For one thing, it clarifies for us that these men, and the men who work(ed) for them, are dirty almost beyond belief. Also: they really hate Israel.

However inconvenient it is to consider who put these men in office, we must talk about this. While American Jews are a miniscule percentage of the American voting public, a large majority of them voted for Obama and Biden. They put domestic issues like healthcare ahead of Israel. They failed to register the possible impact of the JCPOA on the Jewish people and on the world at large.

The world has undergone a drastic change in the short few weeks since October 7. Pogroms now threaten Jews in Russia and in France. American college campuses have never been more dangerous for Jewish students. We are on the verge of a world war. This state of affairs is due to the machinations of Obama, Biden, and all those who ever worked for them (and voted for them).

There is a lesson to be learned here: you don’t vote for the guy who wants to give money to Iran, echo chamber notwithstanding. It doesn’t matter whose money it is, or how they propose to get it to the mullahs. The stipulations they promise to put on that money also do not matter.

It is evil to make funds available to the evil, period.

On October 21, 2012, just before Obama was reelected, I reviewed Obama’s intentions to plow through with the JCPOA and what this might mean for the world, something perhaps akin to the horrors of the Holocaust, for lack of a better description. I then asked my readers a simple question: “If you could have saved the 6 million by pulling a different lever, would you have done so?”

Eleven years later, my question is no different, even though the alternative candidate is a man reviled by the majority of Jewish American voters. “If you could have saved the Jews who were massacred on October 7th by pulling a different lever, would you have done so?”

Jewish voting patterns. The middle column represents the percent of Jewish votes received by each candidate (screenshot from the Virtual Jewish Library)

This writer is not afraid to stipulate that Trump is an unpresidential ass. I don’t like his crassness and the way he insults his competition. I don’t like the way he speaks about the Jewish people, and I don’t like what he says about my prime minister. In spite of all this, I know that that there’s always a trade-off: Trump would never have given money to Iran, or unfrozen its revenues.

In fact, it was Trump who re-imposed the sanctions on Iran. The Iranian war machine was nearly bankrupt when Biden assumed office. The evidence leads to an obvious conclusion: Had Donald Trump won the election, the events of October 7th would not have occurred.

And I hate like hell that my prediction of a Holocaust came true. 

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