Friday, July 3, 2015

Michael Oren quotes Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who is? And if not now, when?”


Michael Oren: This is not a time when Israel’s survival is at stake to think how many people love me.

1:36:58 into the video

We have not come back from 2000 years of exile to forge this state in the most inhospitable area of the world in order to forfeit our right to defend ourselves.

David Suissa: If you were now President of the United States and you were in charge of the negotiations what would you do?

Michael Oren: I keep going back to 2009, the year of creation. When I say that the window for diplomacy will not remain indefinitely open, I got to stick by that. I got to close the window. He made a statement yesterday. He said he may walk away from this deal, it’s not a good deal. Did the Iranians believe him? Do they have empirical basis for believing him because this has been said again and again, and they always come back.  I had to deal with it. One of the challenges in the book was that I come across rather prescient than clairvoyant. I do not think it is rocket science. I have been saying for the last couple of months, if not longer, that the Iranians wouldn’t sign on June 30. Even though I thought the book should come out now, because who knows, they could. Why? Because they have internalized that the longer they negotiate the more concessions they get, whereas it should be just the opposite. The longer they dither the fewer centrifuges they should get. It is just the opposite.

David Suissa:  How do you answer Michael, let’s say you do walk away now. Can’t they just walk over the finish line and complete the bomb?

Michael Oren:  You have to have a credible military threat. What is the problem with the credible military threat? The credible military threat is a paradox. The more credible it is the lesser the chances you’ll have to use it. The more Iranians believe it. By the way, if you have to use the earlier you use it – it is less dangerous than later you have to use it. Once the Iranian program goes underground you got a problem, you have to carpet bomb all of Iran. Right now they are very exposed in the enrichment part.

But the Iranian leadership, they know they are playing a very high price for their nuclear program. Tens  if not hundreds of billions of dollars. They believe that at the end of the day they are going to have the thing. They have not realized, because there is no credible military threat, that at the end of the day they are NOT going to get the bomb, and that they are paying all this money for naught.  Because if they think they are going to get the bomb, they are not, they are going to get bombed.

 Note:  Oren quoted Hillel in Hebrew and only partially. The actual quote is "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  If I am only for myself, what am I? And, if not now, when?"