Ten years ago, there was hope in Israel that through dialogue and negotiation, it might be possible to reach some sort of agreement with Arab leaders. Under the regime of George Bush, Iran’s two major enemies, Taliban ruled Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, were wiped out which strengthened the power of Iran in the region. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the people of her nation that “we live in a neighborhood in which sometimes dialogue–in a situation where you have brought sanctions and you then shift to dialogue–is liable to be interpreted as weakness.” When asked if she would support Obama’s idea of discussions with Iran without preconditions, her response was, “the answer is no.”
Israel and Bush have taken the stance that any discussions with Iran is a sign of weakness. Ironically, during the 1970s, her party and leaders engaged in dialogue with Egypt which eventually ended Israel’s conflict with that nation. The current Israel refusal to discuss issues leads no place other than continued hostility and conflict. Barack Obama will undertake to assist Israel despite its own failed policies of silence. The world must engage in discussions with Iran– without preconditions. Silence only means death and destruction.