Who Is Barry Werner and Dealing with Iran
Background/Who I am
I was born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn, NY and attended an Orthodox yeshiva, but I am a secular Jew today and still have a high regard for Judaism. I enjoy learning about Judaism, Jewish history and history in general.
In yeshiva I learned what it is like to be religious and how to be religious without being a fanatic. I recognize the power and importance of religion in people’s lives and the need to restrain religious fanaticism.
I was born in 1944, when the Nazi Holocaust was in full operation. I grew up when the world was just beginning to comprehend what had happened. When I read about the willing participants to the Holocaust from other European countries, I realized that the Holocaust was not an aberration restricted to Germans, but it represents the depravity that humanity in general is capable of.
I wanted to understand the world as science understands it (which is a rather religious thing to do) so I earned a PhD in Physics at Brandeis University. My PhD thesis was in Astrophysics and my professional career was in Medical Physics. For many years I did research in the fundamentals of Medical Physics and taught Medical Physics in universities.
I made aliyah in 2009.
I am very interested in the Arab/Israeli conflict and especially in the phenomenon of anti-Zionism. I enjoy discussing Israel with left-wingers, right-wingers, Arabs, Europeans, and anyone who is interested in the Arab/Israeli conflict.
My Political Views
I consider myself a centrist because I believe there is still hope that reason can prevail in the Mid-East someday even though the situation is highly precarious today. I believe we should try to make alliances with all the Arabs who want peace.
Is peace possible? I think peace is possible for several reasons. The most immediate reason is that given the looming possible disintegration of the northern tier of Arab states, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and now Yemen in the south, it is in the interests of the rest of the world, especially the Arab states of Persian Gulf, to stop the contagion of dissolution and help insure the stability of Israel and Jordan. Another, more long term reason is that the Arab countries surrounding Israel are facing increasing difficulty in feeding their populations and Israel can help its neighbors invigorate their economies.
I believe peace will only come if the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), the rich and fanatically religious Arab states of Persian Gulf, give up their ideological crusade to take back Palestine, stop funding the jihadists there, and apply pressure on the PA to make peace with Israel. That’s a lot to ask for but there actually are glimmers of hope.
I believe a two-state solution is in everybody’s best interests because it is best to physically separate the Jewish and Palestinian Arab communities. I don’t want millions of angry, radicalized, disloyal and rebellious Palestinian Arabs as citizens of my country. However, a peace treaty will not be possible until the Arabs are willing to concede the security arrangements Israel needs to be safe, and access to holy places.
The root of the conflict is mainly ideological on the part of the Arabs, namely their refusal to accept a Jewish state in Palestine, and only secondarily about land. There is no way to appease the ideological claims of the Arab/Moslem world just by making more concessions on land. Land claims issues are negotiable. Concession of land by Israel to the Arabs must be met with a concomitant clear revocation of ideological claims by the Arabs and combined with firm security measures. If there is only concession of land on the part of Israel, it will set Israel up to be at a disadvantage in the war that would inevitably follow from Israel allowing itself to be weakened.
But Israel is stuck. Given our violent relations with the Arab world over the past 100 years, and the great influence Arab rejectionists have with the Palestinians today Israel needs major concessions from a future Palestinian Arab state that would ensure Israel’s security for a reasonable number of years into the future. However, the present Palestinian leadership rejects any resolution that would significantly limit their sovereignty (read: ability to make war on Israel in the future) and they refuse to recognize the religious/historical right of Jews to have the State of Israel. Instead, the supposedly moderate present Palestinian leadership actually continues to inflame the situation. Yet the international community pressures Israel to take risks and make concessions that the Palestinians would accept.
As I see it we could have peace if there would be significant world pressure on the Arabs to (1) drastically reduce the power of the rejectionists such as Hamas, (2) recognize and agree to the reasonable security concerns of Israel, and (3) recognize the Jewish rights to access, and protection of Jewish historically and religiously significant sites in a future Palestinian state. Presently the international community gives the Arabs reason to hope that they can win their victory without making those concessions.
There is good reason to be concerned about a Palestinian state. Although the Palestinian Arabs would actually be materially much better off as loyal citizens of a unified and prosperous Israel than of an impoverished, land-locked, tiny judenfrei mini-state with no natural resources, run by a notoriously corrupt Fatah or, to add insult to injury, by the equally corrupt Hamas which would also impose Sharia law, they violently reject that option out of honor, rage and ideological passion instead of good sense. Citizens of the proposed Palestinian state would become economically dependent on their more prosperous neighbor, Israel, yet as non-citizens of Israel, they would not have access to the generous social services and other benefits that Israel provides its citizens. Given that the Palestinian “narrative” teaches the Arabs that the Jews stole their land and that they used to be prosperous in that land, it is not hard to imagine that a Palestinian state would not be a good neighbor to Israel. Is Pakistan a good neighbor to India? Are the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis better off now than they would have been if their communities remained in India as loyal citizens? An even worse scenario can be imagined. Would a Palestinian state allow an influx of jihadists from around the Moslem world to help them destroy Israel?
What I want to do
Over the years of living in the US and visiting Israel, I have come to believe that the Western media often portrays the events in the Middle East in an unfair and distorted way against Israel because they see events through the lens of their own historical experiences and geopolitical interests. I want to have the opportunity to counter those distortions by explaining how I understand what’s going on here.
I believe if the outside world really wants peace with the Arab/Moslem world, they should support the true Arab/Moslem moderates and strongly criticize the Arab/Moslem radicals with the severity they have been using almost exclusively to criticize Israel. The support that many in the outside world give to Hamas and Hezbollah has strengthened the radicals at the expense of the moderates. This is a serious mistake with disastrous consequences.
As many supporters of Israel have said repeatedly, Israel is a real country capable of making mistakes like any other country. My intention is to defend Israel against unfair criticism.
Dealing with Iran:
Iran is an enemy and should be treated as such. It makes no sense to lift the economic sanctions against Iran as long as it remains an enemy.
You should not deal with Iran the rule breaker by making an agreement with them that they are sure to break. The only ones who will be bound up by the agreement that is presently being negotiated in Switzerland is the rest of the world. Iran is sure to “break out” and go nuclear when it sees fit to do so, especially after it acquires more cash.
US President Barack Obama is trying to irretrievably dismantle the sanctions regime against Iran and thereby destroy the NPT (nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty), a major worldwide treaty that protects the world from nuclear proliferation, in order to be able to take an executive action that the US Congress does not get to approve, and therefore does not have the force of a treaty. Since when is the president the unrestrained monarch of the US, and of the rest of the world as well?
We are not going to stop Iran’s malicious ambitions in the world by reducing our power over it. The negotiations are analogous to making a similar deal with Nazi Germany just before World War II.
Who Is Barry Werner and Dealing with Iran
Who Is Barry Werner and Dealing with Iran