In my last blog, I detailed my inner conflict between being both a rainbow-flag-waving liberal and a supporter of Israel in regards to the Iran deal. Despite this being a “done deal,” discussion about the Iran deal has not slowed down. In my opinion, the political maneuvering surrounding this attempt at diplomacy got so confusing that the entire debate became exhausting and, quite frankly, insufferable. Most times I couldn’t make it through an entire article because the only thought on my mind after an obligatory eye roll was, “Enough already!”
It’s no secret that young people have, to put it bluntly, lives. Usually when I go home on a Friday afternoon, I take a nap instead of reading about (depressing) relations halfway across the world. And in case you can’t tell from my tone by now, I’m tired of talking, writing and reading about this Iran deal. “Sorry not sorry,” as my generation likes to say.
Despite my cynicism, I do think the media needs to ask the younger cohort what we think. As usual, the news is dominated by aging senators and political commentators on CNN, MSNBC and…wait for it…Fox News. Not that I watch Fox News. But seriously, we have opinions!
So I decided to post a status on Facebook (so 2015!) asking my friends’ opinions on the Iran deal. You never know what you’re going to get with such statuses, so as a precaution I set an age limit: 20-35ish. That way no older people trying to “do the Internet” would write me a novel about Bibi, tell me what they ate for dinner or ask, “Lauren, are you dating a nice Jewish boy yet?”
Just as I suspected, my friends actually have a lot to say besides, “We miss Jon Stewart!” (But we do.)
“Is the deal perfect? No, obviously not. I don’t think you’re ever going to end up with a perfect deal with Iran’s government. But Israel offers no viable alternative. Does it put Israel at risk? Sure, but what would you like to do? I think any deal that is supposed to be peaceful can’t strong arm the other side. There needs to be some trust even if you’re dealing with crazy people like Iran. Also, I don’t think my liberalism and my pro-Israel stance conflict on this, because Israel is in a position where if they feel they are threatened to a point where they have to act, they will. In fact, from a Zionist standpoint, this deal is almost a godsend. If it does fail, and Iran goes back on their word, we can all be like, ‘SEE, LOOK, WE’VE BEEN SAYING THIS FOR YEARS!’”
“I think it is a good plan. I think opening up relations with Iran is really helpful with international relations for the United States. I like the opening of diplomatic relations because, considering the turmoil of the region, Iran is quite stable in comparison. I think it was Jon Stewart who pointed out that with the deal, Iran is actually much farther from gaining a nuclear weapon compared with all of the previous projections from the U.S. and Israel.”
“I am conflicted about how I feel about the deal. On the one hand, it will be good for Iran to have sanctions reduced because it doesn’t seem fair for regular Iranians to suffer for something in which they have no part. Likewise, nuclear power as an alternative energy source would absolutely be a good idea. The safeguards in place (i.e. unrestricted inspections and snapback sanctions) are good to have, but I don’t know how strong they will be in reality. Now, on the other hand, if everyone really is worried/threatened by a nuclear Iran, then the deal seems shortsighted. Ten to 15 years is such a small timeframe on the global timeline. Mostly there’s so much distrust and antagonism and tension that adding nuclear weapons to escalate the situation in the Middle East would be scary. I have the feeling that it’s a tinderbox. The ‘Middle-Eastern Tinderbox.’ I also don’t think Iran would be stupid enough to use a nuclear weapon because they would get blown off the face of the earth.”
“Honestly, I know next to nothing about Iran or any of this. What I know I learned from TheSkimm, so I’ll go with whatever they say.”
I think these opinions summarize what a lot of young people are thinking about the Iran deal. Of course, keep in mind that I’m mostly Facebook friends with left-leaning individuals who support the current administration, so this leaves out certain opinions. Overall, I think we’re all fairly conflicted—are you sensing a theme?—but keeping our fingers crossed that this deal will have some benefits. Due to the recent move to end debate in Congress, we don’t seem to have much of a choice anyway.
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