Menu JTA Search

Lautenberg: Israel must make its own decisions on Iran

During a visit to Israel, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) tells the Jerusalem Post that Israel should make its own decisions about how to combat Iran’s nuclear program:

While bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities should be regarded by Israel as a "last resort" to halt the threats to wipe out the Jewish state, and would endanger the free world, US President Barack Obama "can never dictate to Israel to follow a path that would lead to harming itself," Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Interviewed during a short visit, Lautenberg — a consistent backer of Israel who is also a Democratic Party supporter of Obama – said, "Israel didn’t ask us permission to drop bombs twice on Syrian nuclear facilities. I didn’t hear America scolding Israel for what it did then. Hypothetically, if Israel were able to get rid of Iran’s nuclear bomb-making capability, I’m sure that America would not send Israel a chastising e-mail message. We have to give Israel the courtesy of [allowing it to] make its own decisions."

He added that if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad failed in his bid for reelection on June 12, "we’ll celebrate – unless there is someone worse in his place… Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities would be a desperate act for Israel. I’m certainly not promoting it. But all free countries are endangered. The battle has to be fought together. Obama is a leader, and he will do what is necessary."

Lautenberg also rejected the "linkage" of Iran to the Israeli-Palestinian issue:

"I agree that each is a major problem deserving of attention, but one is not dependent on the other," he said.
 

NEXT STORY