The Iran agreement and visiting a Nazi death camp

Let me tell you where I was when I learned about the Iran deal: I was leaving Treblinka.

My wife and I have just returned from a journey to Poland for parents of United Synagogue Youth members.

We visited Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz and Lublin — with pilgrimages to the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek and Treblinka.

We visited the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, perhaps the greatest Jewish museum in the world. We witnessed the rebirth of Polish Jewry, which gave me a powerful lesson in the meaning of the Jewish prayer that thanks God for the resurrection of the dead.

What does it mean to hear about the Iran deal on the way out of Treblinka?

In the words of my friend, journalist Yossi Klein Halevi: When someone says they want to destroy you, believe it. Because that is precisely what the leaders of Iran have been saying, all along, about Israel.

Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, has said that “erasing Israel off the map” is “nonnegotiable.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel, stating that the “barbaric” Jewish state “has no cure but to be annihilated.”

One of his officials has said his government has a “godly ordained right” to annihilate Israel.

Iran’s anti-Semitic, anti-Israel obsession is common knowledge. That is why we have every reason to be wary of a deal that allows that regime access to nuclear arms in 15 or 20 years.

The genocidal fantasies of Iran have no expiration date. Their timetable is not our timetable. They are on the apocalyptic clock. They can wait.

Make no mistake: Each Iranian nuclear weapon will be a Treblinka on wings.

But in recent days, the general, non-Jewish press has been silent about this aspect of the Iran issue. As if we would rather not remember.

Some will say this is just Jewish paranoia.

The words of the Iranian leaders are simply hyperbole, intended to arouse the Iranian masses. Continue reading

  • Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is the spiritual leader of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Fla., and the author of numerous books on Jewish spirituality and ethics.
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