Opinion Pieces

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Joel Rubin is a National Security and Foreign Policy Strategist. He's a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and frequent commentator in the national media on MSNBC, FOX, CBS, BBC, CGTN and CNN. He has also published well over 100 opinion pieces, blogs for HuffPost, and writes a political column for the Washington Jewish Week.

When President Trump declares this week, as anticipated, that the Iran nuclear deal is not in America’s interest, he’ll actually be saying one thing and doing another. This is because in a quirk, Congressional legislation requires the president to certify the deal but gives the power to terminate it to Congress, as it must then vote on whether to re-impose nuclear sanctions that will kill the deal.

So Congress now gets to deal with the consequences of its own legislation. And President Trump gets to say he didn’t end the deal, even though he’s laying the groundwork for its actual disintegration.

While this may be cute politics, it puts America and our allies in direct harm by providing an excuse for Iran to reconstitute its currently dormant nuclear program.

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We need a political environment where debates are intense but where the love of country and respect for each other is sacrosanct.

The shooting in Alexandria, Va., that nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) could have been a horrifying massacre. That it wasn’t was a miracle, a combination of good fortune and valiant heroism, and frankly, pure luck.

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Passover is a holiday of blood and fire, of sacrifice and Exodus, of when the Jewish people sit around the dining room table to celebrate the violent triumph of our Israelite ancestors over our ancient Egyptian oppressors. Some holidays are raucous, like Purim, and some are somber, like Yom Kippur. But not Passover. This is a holiday of triumph, not forgiveness.

So one must feel, at some level, sorry for President Donald Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer. When Spicer made gaffe after gaffe from the White House podium about the Holocaust — and did it on the second day of Passover — he couldn’t have picked a worse time to upset American Jews.

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Nearly 25 years ago I traveled to Poland to participate in the March of the Living, to “study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate,” as the program’s website explains.

Our group visited Nazi death camps and Jewish ghost towns, seeking to gain a better understanding of the destruction that happened there. In every place we visited, we could feel the presence of lost Jewish life.

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The United States controls the most lethal nuclear arsenal on the planet. We have nearly 7,200 nuclear warheads, and when combined with Russia’s total, our two countries possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons. We could literally destroy the world many times over.

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Presidential elections are about many things, but perhaps most consequentially, they are about America’s role in the world.

So let’s not choose the chaos candidate for president. Instead, let’s choose someone who instinctively knows how to calm the chaos. Rarely do elections create such existential differences among the candidates. This is one of those times.

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It would lead to either an unconstrained Iran that can advance its nuclear program or a trade war that will make maintenance of the sanctions unsustainable.

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WASHINGTON — As we stand on the cusp of an historic diplomatic breakthrough with Iran, some Americans are second-guessing the value of diplomacy as the best way to ensure that Iran does not get the bomb.

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Congratulations, Congress. Your Iran strategy is working. Now what?

The diplomatic thaw between Iran and the West is advancing, and faster than most of us had imagined. This is the result of years of painstaking efforts by the Obama administration and lawmakers to pressure the Islamic Republic into deciding whether it’s in Iran’s interest to pursue diplomacy or to continue suffering under crushing economic sanctions and international isolation.

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