John Kerry is guaranteeing Israel he'll stop Iran from nuking the Jewish state. But you can't gain the trust of another country when you don't have the trust of your own.
It was very big talk coming Sunday from the secretary of state defending the Iranian nuclear deal that so many Israelis are rightly afraid of.
In an interview with Israel's Channel 10, the former Massachusetts senator and un-victorious 2004 Democrat presidential candidate declared:
"I say to every Israeli that today we have the ability to stop them if they decided to move quickly to a bomb, and I absolutely guarantee that in the future we will have the ability to know what they are doing so that we can still stop them if they decided to move to a bomb."
Considering how uncooperative Tehran has been with international weapons inspectors over the years, Kerry's lofty words amount to an invitation to step out onto a ledge with the promise to Israelis that, don't worry, he'll catch them if they fall.
The Israelis, of course, have the most to fear from a nuclear-armed Iran, because of where they live and who they are. Kerry's own countrymen are much farther away, but most aren't accepting his guarantees either.
A new IBD/TIPP Poll surveying 901 adults and completed Sunday found low confidence among Americans in what Kerry and the negotiators of the other major powers are doing in the talks with the Islamist regime in Tehran.
Asked if the pact that Kerry will ultimately come home with "undermines American interests and poses a major threat to American security," 31% agree strongly, with another 19% agreeing somewhat. Those who disagree strongly came to only 17%, while 22% disagreed somewhat. The rest weren't sure.
Interestingly, those who identify themselves as independents are even more skeptical; 34% of them agree strongly that the deal will be a threat to the U.S., with 17% agreeing somewhat. And even a slightly higher percentage of Democrats agree somewhat that it would be a threat — 20% against the 19% of all those polled.
Respondents were also asked if the agreement will end up giving Iran too many concessions and provide the Islamofascist terror state with enough wiggle room to develop an atomic weapon.
Some 51% think it's too lenient, with only 3% believing it's too tough. Those who think the deal is fair amounted to 30%; 14% aren't sure. Again, independents overtook the total in considering the deal too soft, with 53% considering it too lenient, although 6% of independents think it's too tough on Tehran; 28% of independents think the deal is fair and 12% aren't sure.
Finally, the survey asked if the pact would succeed in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Only 24% think the deal will work, while 61% believe it won't. Some 13% aren't sure.
And yet again, independents were more doubtful: only 21% of them think the agreement will succeed, while 64% believe it will fail to stop Iran from becoming nuclear-armed. Unsure independents matched the figure of all those polled at 13%.
Before Kerry starts trying to convince the Israelis, maybe he ought to work on a very skeptical American public.