|On March 2, at the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference held in Washington DC, the Friends of Israel Initiative (FOII) Chairman José María Aznar spoke alongside former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird about Israel and Middle-East issues. They expressed their concerns in particular about the possible deal with Iran on its nuclear program.|
Before speaking about the deal with Tehran, Mr. Aznar was asked about Israel's standing today in Europe and elsewhere. The FOII chairman was unequivocal on the current hypocrisy regarding Israel, pointing out how a double standard is applied when judging the Jewish State's decisions and actions: "One thing is to disagree with some concrete policies of governments over a specific period of time, and a different thing is to undermine the legitimacy of Israel by continuous criticism of its policies." Mr. Aznar highlighted that, "Israel has its virtues and defects as any other democracy in the world and it must be treated as such. This is a message we cannot stop repeating if we want to preserve Israel's freedom of decision and action. By doing so, we strengthen ourselves, America, Europe and the Western World."
Regarding the possible deal with Iran, Baird and Aznar were conclusive. They showed their fear of letting Iran to be a nuclear-threshold state, with capabilities to gradually increase its nuclear activities during the final years of the agreement. Mr. Aznar stated in this sense that, "For me, if so, it is a bad deal. It is a deal that only certifies Iran as a nuclear-threshold power, able to speed up its military program on very short notice, months not years, when Teheran decides to do so."
The FOII chairman was also interviewed about the recent spate of terror attacks in Europe and what this says about Europe's future security. Mr. Aznar pointed out the difference that jihadi terrorism constitutes for everyone, since it aims to eliminate our system of life in order to impose its own system, based on the radical Salafist interpretation of the Koran. Mr. Aznar also reminded us how worrisome the current wave of anti-Semitism in Europe actually is; "This is a very explosive cocktail that we need to confront head to head if we want to preserve our democratic system, and that includes the safety of our Jewish citizens."
Mr. Aznar ended his participation reminding how pernicious it would be to isolate Israel from the Western world; "At first it would be bad for Israel, but in the long run, it would also be bad for ourselves."