Tag Archive for: Israel

Tel Aviv on the Seine Flushes Out the Slithery Creatures — Part 2

Ah ha ha, I’m chortling. Or maybe it’s better to imagine airy bell-like laughter, something silky and lacy. Ah ha ha, I’m laughing. The Big Bad Wolf said I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll… give an interview to a journalist. That was Gaza Beach today, a silly little flop. More journalists than BDSniks in their green Boycott Israel t-shirts. More riot policemen than petulant self-satisfied protestors in keffieh. The caliphators were not out in force.

Journalists cooling their heels at Gaza Beach.

But let’s begin at the beginning. Shortly before noon a parade of police cars passed by, sirens singing. That always electrifies the atmosphere. The cars took up positions around the Hôtel de Ville [city hall]. Dozens of CRS [riot police] were already in place, manning their stations. A long line of people waited patiently on the high road to go through the checkpoint and down the ramp to Tel Aviv on the Seine. Silent hecklers waited off to the side, making a fashion statement with their keffiehs and Gaza Beach Soccer t-shirts as if their presence were the eloquent expression of “international opinion.” Euro-Palestine in person [http://www.europalestine.com/] had informed loyal followers that permission to demonstrate had been granted on the grounds that they not try to mingle with the Tel Aviv beachgoers. So of course that’s why a dozen of them had to stand there like “do me something.”

A generous supply of press badges were waiting on a table. We signed up, got our badges, and took the fast track through baggage control. Then a short stretch under the bridge, with dozens of CRS lined up in the shadows next to the WCs, and here we are at the much maligned Tel Aviv on the Seine. We walk a bit further and come to the patch of sandy beach. Israeli music rings out, people are dancing, hips are gyrating, hands are clapping, the crowd is already dense. TV trucks look down from the bridge, cameramen are all over the place, microphones with logos are looking for something to record. One food truck (more about that later), an ice cream stand, and that’s it. A pittance.

Dancing at Tel Aviv on the Seine.

As if the whole thing had been nothing more than a stupid conversation! I may get more information in the coming days: was this the original plan, or was it scaled down in the face of fierce opposition (see Part 1)? Wasn’t there something about beach games and what not? I can’t even remember the details of what I’d read yesterday. Perhaps further on? We walked through a sort of covered passage. I spotted a keffieh-umbrella, some Palestinian flags. “I thought they weren’t supposed to mingle?” In fact, we were on Gaza Beach! Without warning. No signs to indicate we were entering the territory occupied by the “Palestinian” contingent. A handful of activists were activating. Stringing up their huge banner. Always that same self-satisfied look. Journalists standing around waiting for something to happen. We got into a conversation with a Mediterranean looking young woman brandishing a Radio France Internationale mike. Remarked that we had entered the sector by mistake. There was no checkpoint but now we discover we can’t go back to Tel Aviv, we have to go up the stairs to the upper quai, make a long detour, and pass through the checkpoint again. “You know why? It’s because there’s no fear of an incursion from the Tel Aviv side. But the same is not true of this side.” The fresh young raven-haired RFI journalist does not agree. “There’s just as much chance of an attack from that side as this side,” she says with a certainty that can only come from repeating what you are told and never thinking for yourself.

Gaza Beach right next to Tel Aviv.

The police can’t play around with that kind of nonsense. They protect from clear and present dangers. The bridge and the high road overlooking Gaza beach are open to the public. Bridges and the high road above the Zionist side were blocked… taking no chances on a wannabe Al Aqsa from which rocks might be cast down upon the festive crowd.

The weather has changed. After days and weeks of glorious sunshine that made Paris blossom like a woman in love, the sky was heavy today with thick white clouds. All the magic of Paris Plages had disappeared. I couldn’t believe I had found it so charming. Nothing but a dreary road along the river, with a few tables and chairs squeezed against damp dark stone walls. And that sort-of-a- beach where young and not so young were dancing and putting some heart into it.

The food truck? The one and only food truck where the hungry lined up forever? What was the connection between Tel Aviv and the three young women with ashram accessories running “Epices & love” [peace  & love, y’get it?]. The vegan craze? We sit on a narrow wooden bench chomping on a tasteless wrap filled with tasteless vegetables, that and nothing more. D. tells me what he saw in a kindergarten when he went into Gaza at the end of the ’67 war: nothing on the walls but big drawings of the different ways of killing Jews.

When we left the Seine at about 3 PM there was still a long line of people waiting to cross the checkpoint into Tel Aviv beach. E. and I decided to walk down toward Châtelet and check out Gaza on the Seine. As before, we had to cross to the far side of the street as we passed the Zionist stretch where the music was still going strong. Finally we could cross over and look straight down at the handful of BDSsers clustered around a haranguer telling them when the pharmacist offers a generic drug be sure to say no to TEVA. Hip hip hurrah, they holler, we don’t want TEVA. Then, if I’m not mistaken, it’s the leader of Euro-Palestine CAPJPO herself, Olivia Zemour who takes the mike. We voted for this Socialist mayor, she says, and now look what she’s done. She honors the apartheid State of Israel that massacres the people of Gaza! These politicians, after they get into office, they do whatever they please. Right or Left, it’s the same.

Did you hear that, monsieur Left? You curry their vote, bend over backward and worse, authorize their protests, twist the news to suit their views, and just when you think everybody is happy, you forget one day to absolutely totally and completely vilify Israel, and you’ve lost their vote.

Ah, but it doesn’t matter says O. Zemour, because our movement is constantly gaining ground [as testified by the half a dozen people drinking in her words] and Israel is more and more isolated… To listen to her, you’d think it was half way wiped off the map already.

A different kind of poster on the Tel Aviv side.

I walked down rue des Rosiers to get a breath of fresh air after all that pathetic spectacle. We don’t need the city hall to give us a stingy smidgeon of Tel Aviv. This is the real thing. People lined up at the falafel joints for some real food! Sweet wholesome perfume of fresh baked cakes and bread. An extra contingent of soldiers and police… in case, I suppose, an overflow from Gaza Beach might come storming in. But it wasn’t that crowd today. The caliphators are on vacation in their homelands, or weren’t mobilized for this event.

Prime time news on i24 this evening: French people on the real beach in the real Tel Aviv danced in front of the French embassy to show their solidarity with us over here. The rain started falling on Paris Plages at about 6 PM but nothing like the huge thunderstorm with hail and lightening that had been forecast. Another non sequitur.

It was all rather pitiful. The Mayor and her assistant holding out against vicious pressure while giving into it at the same time. The festive event falling short of reasonable expectations. Riot police, the gendarmerie, undercover agents, and domestic intelligence mobilized for a handful of agitators with big banners. Not enough troublemakers to spoil the party, not enough party to lift the spirits. No falafel, no sunshine.

And yet this whole affair was like a stumbling block that tripped up the long standing notion of the acceptable Israeli who has traded the blue & white Magen David flag for the universal rainbow of LGBT, decries the democratically elected government, detests the religious, the “colonists,” and the army, pleads guilty when accused, cries “peace” when pinched, and parties until dawn.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of  Checkpoint at the entrance to Tel Aviv sur Seine.

Israel Approves Leviathan Off Shore Gas Deal

Reuters reported that Israel has reached a deal to develop the important Leviathan offshore gas field after difficult negotiations with development partners, Houston-based Noble Energy, Inc.and Israeli Partenr, Delek Group:

Aug 13 Israel’s government said on Thursday it reached a deal that will pave the way for the development of Leviathan and two other offshore natural gas wells.

“The outline will bring Israel hundreds of billions of shekels in the coming years,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a news conference, saying he will present the agreement to the cabinet on Sunday for a vote.

The controversial deal initially revealed in June will allow Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group to keep ownership of the largest offshore field, Leviathan. They are required to sell off other assets, including stakes in another large deposit called Tamar.

Critics say the agreement still leaves Noble and Delek with too much power since they would control most of Israel’s gas reserves.

Netanyahu, who has struggled to muster enough support for an agreement, earlier this week won crucial backing from the central bank.

What a difference a day makes. Noble Energy had threatened to walk after the narishkeit of Dr. Gilo and his Socialist minions reneged on a compromise deal last December. Now, as we have written, Israel and trilateral alliance of Cyprus and Greece can develop a major source of energy in their respective Exclusive Economic Zones in the Eastern Mediterranean and Levant Basins. good to see the spikes in trading for both Houston-based Noble Energy in early trading on the NYSE and Delek Group on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchanges.

Sometimes, as the expression goes, Ha Shem works in mysterious, yet positive ways. Kudos to patient Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Energy Minister Steinitz and Bank of Israel Governor, Dr. Karnit Flug.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Killing Babies – Betraying Israel – God Bless America?

Josh, in Israel, emailed me. He said they are “living under the specter of the Iran deal and see where this is all heading.” They are extremely concerned. Josh said,“For starters what even gave him the right to lead such “negotiations” on behalf of the world? Who anointed him king, anyway?” Josh concluded, Either Obama’s deal is insane or deliberate.” 

Well Josh, the U.S. mainstream media has for all intents and purposes made Obama king. Concerned Americans say we are starting to resemble a banana republic (with a dishonest government ignoring laws). The MSM aggressively promotes whatever Obama wants the public to know and blocks was he does not.

For example: Everyone knows about the shooting of Cecil the lion. Due to a MSM insidious blackout of the story, 70% of Americans do not know about the real-life horror movie happening behind the walls of Planned Parenthood. The vile butchers at PP are illegally black marketing baby body parts (mostly black). A cause for PP staff to high-five and celebrate is when they score an intact dead baby because the profit is higher

Think about that folks. The MSM has made sure the masses know nothing about Obama and Democrats supporting and covering up the PP illegal baby body parts chop shop scandal. And yet, everyone knows about the death of a lion.

The MSM also makes sure (King) Obama can lie with impunity. In my youth, I naively thought public officials cannot lie because we have video. If Obama lies to America and the MSM refuses to call him on it, does it make a sound?

Yo Morgan, I need you and that Black dude (Jack Black) to sell my nuke deal to my peeps. Whenever Obama wants to scam blacks his language becomes more urban. Black actor Morgan Freeman and other Hollywood liberals produced a video, “#Iran Deal is Awesome!” – to sell Obama’s nightmarish deal. The lie-filled video is an outrageous insult to Americans’ intelligence. 

Clearly, Obama knows the MSM will help sell his lies. The Iran ego-driven irresponsible nuke deal is Obama urinating on America and Israel’s head while his minions tell us his golden nectar is divine rain that will ultimately produce beautiful flowers of peace. Frustratingly, black race loyalists, white guilt ridden Obama sycophants and Leftists will sigh and say, “Isn’t he wonderful?”

My announcer will tell you how Obama’s deal screws everyone.

Thanks Lloyd, and hereeee’s what Iran gets – over one hundred billion dollars to further its role as the world’s greatest exporters of terrorism. That’s right folks. The U.S. will be funding terrorism against itself.

The guy Obama made the deal with, Ayatollah Khamenei, along with Iranian hardliners chant, “Death to America!” Ayatollah Khamenei’s new book, “Palestine” instructs how to outsmart the U.S. and destroy Israel. Obama says chill-out, Khamenei does not mean it

Obama says inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities to insure they are not making a bomb. Not true. The deal says inspectors must give Iran 24 days notice – which Iran can stretch even longer. Do I really need to elaborate on the absurdity of this Obama concession?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Obama’s nuke deal will spark a middle east nuclear arms race. Well duh! If the neighborhood bully gets a gun, doesn’t self-preservation dictate that neighbors rush to acquire guns to defend themselves from the bully? Is Obama that stupid or is he, as Josh suggested, “deliberately” endangering Israel?

But wait folks, there’s more. Everyone on the planet knows Iran will break the deal and immediately pursue a nuclear bomb. In 2013, Obama backed Israel’s right to use force to stop them. Unbelievably, Obama’s Iran nuke deal requires the U.S. to defend Iran against Israel. Can you imagine the U.S. actually fighting our ally to protect terrorism? How satanic is that?

Regarding Israel (Genesis 12:3): “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.” – God

And now, back to you, Lloyd!

To my fellow black Christians who are going along with Obama’s evil deal, you should be ashamed of yourselves; choosing skin-color loyalty over God’s chosen people.

The Bible says, “Before I formed thee in thy mother’s womb, I knew thee…” To provide intact dead babies for its clients, PP abortion doctors deliver the entire baby except for the head (partial birth abortion). Then, the doctor inserts scissors into the base of the baby’s skull and forces the scissors up into its brain to kill the baby. Whether you are a Bible believer or not, your gut tells you this is evil. This fall, congress will vote whether or not to continue giving PP billions of taxpayer dollars in support of this evil.

In less the 50 days, congress will vote thumps up or down on Obama’s insane Iran nuke deal. Thumps up equals officially turning our backs on our ally, Israel.

Brother and sister Americans, if congress fails us on either of these two crucial issues, how can we expect God to bless America?

Iran: We Defied UN Travel Ban, sent Quds Force Commander to Moscow

Qassem's Reach for quds Force NY Post(1)We posted yesterday on Fox News reporting the visit of Iran’s Special Forces Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani to Moscow in defiance of UN travel bans to visit Russian President Putin.  We also noted that he also visited with senior Defense Ministry officials. FoxNews today cited an Iranian news agency confirmation of  Gen Soleimani’s visit in defiance of UN travel bans,  the new Fox report  also confirmed  that he visited with Russian Defense Minister, Gen. Sergei Shogui regarding delivery of the advanced S300/S400 air defense system, Iran confirms trip by Quds Force Commander to Moscow to discuss arms shipments”:

Iranian officials confirmed Friday that General Qassem Soleimani, the heavily sanctioned Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander, traveled to Russia last month and was conducting weapons deals, including discussion of the S-300 missile system, according to Reuters.

[…]

According to two separate Western intelligence sources, Soleimani arrived in Moscow on Iran Air flight 5130 from Tehran on July 24, ten days after the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers was announced that included a provision to lift the arms embargo on Iran.

Three days later, Secretary of State John Kerry testified about the Iran nuclear deal before the Senate Armed Services Committee, assuring Congress pressure would remain on Iran’s shadowy general.

“Under the United States’ initiative, Qassem Soleimani will never be relieved of any sanctions,” Kerry told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In Moscow, Soleimani met with President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s defense minister.

In June, Russia announced it would send S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran by next year according to officials.

Watch this latest Fox News report on Quds Force General Soleimani:

In January 2015 we noted in an NER/Iconoclast post the visit of Russian Defense Minister Shogui to Tehran to meet Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Dehghan to sign a mutual defense treaty and the delivery of the updated S300 system objected to by the US and Israel in 2010 and subsequently banned under UN Security Resolution 1929 on conventional arms and ballistic missile technology.  Gen. Shogui is an intimate member of President Putin’s inner circle and some observers indicate could be a possible successor.  TAAS reported the US studying the announced Russian –Iranian military agreement, but specifically objecting to possible shipment of the S-300/400 air defense system. Russia might finally ship Iran the advanced S-300 air defense system that both the US and Israeli successfully lobbied former Russian President Medvedev in 2010 to cancel.  Immediate payment by Iran of $800 million for the S-300 system may have cemented the deal.

Administration scrambles to explain Iran’s sanctions violation.

Fox News noted the comments of Administration officials about this breach of UN sanctions:

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said Friday the U.S. is very concerned about the development.

“Qassem Soleimani is subject to a UN travel ban and this travel ban requires all states to prohibit Qassem Soleimani from traveling to their nation and the only exception to that is if the Iran sanctions committee grants an exemption,” she said at UN headquarters in New York.

The White House did not specifically blame the Russians for hosting the Iranian general.

“I can’t confirm these specific reports but it is an indication of our ongoing concerns with Iran and their behavior,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday at the daily press briefing.

Reactions from former House Republican Intelligence Committee and Presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX):

Mike Rogers, former chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, weighed in late Friday afternoon.

“We should not underestimate what this means to our national security,” he said. “A leading general in Iran just told the world that the United States of America is irrelevant and Russia welcomed him with open arms. Not only do Russia and Iran not fear us, they do not respect us. And that is dangerous.”

Soleimani’s Moscow visit elicited a reference during the Republican debate Thursday night.

“He’s directly responsible for the murder of over 500 American servicemen in Iraq and part of this Iranian deal was lifting international sanctions on Gen. S – the day Gen. S flew back from Moscow to Iran was the day we believe Russia used cyber warfare against the joint chiefs,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

While the Administration and media tries to portray this latest episode as evidence of hard liners in Iran trying to upend the JCPOA, we are not buying any of these explanations.  It illustrates how incompetent the Administration has been in conducting its diplomatic initiatives with two geo-political autocrats, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and Russia’s President Putin.  The import of the Russian commitment to deliver the S300 air defense system is not lost on Israeli PM Netanyahu and Sunni US allies in the Middle East as it calls into question the credibility of any conventional military option for dealing with Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  This episode should be another clear  demonstration  to wavering Democrat  US Senators and Representatives that Iran will cheat on its agreements under the JCPOA to further its ambitions become a nuclear threshold and state supporter of  global terrorism.  The Iran nuclear pact announced in Vienna on July 14th was virtually shredded ten days later on July 24th with Gen. Soleimani’s arrival in Moscow. His visit to finalize arrangements for Russian weapons deliveries was in defiance of not only his travel bans but also UNSC Resolution 1929 banning purchase of conventional weapons and missile technology five years ahead of its sunset under the Iran nuclear pact.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Analysis of President Obama’s Partisan American University Speech

Yesterday, President Obama used the venue of American University’s new Center of International Service in our nation’s capital to present a 55 minute partisan speech directed at wavering Democrat Senators and Representatives in Congress. He suggested that the nuclear pact with Iran was better than the alternative, war. He chose the campus located in northwest Washington, because it was there on June 10, 1963, that President Kennedy gave a Commencement address announcing an important Cold War initiative; a joint effort with Chairman Khrushchev of the Soviet Union and Britain’s Harold Macmillan seeking a comprehensive nuclear weapons test ban treaty and unilaterally ending atmospheric testing.

This was the first substantive developments among these antagonists following the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world teetered on the brink of a possible nuclear exchange. In his speech, Kennedy asked the graduates to re-examine their attitudes towards peace, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War, famously remarking, “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity.” Kennedy unlike Obama gave a masterful and succinct presentation in less than 27 minutes to get his points across. Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu took 24 minutes to outline his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, inclusive of his response to questions from  a large U.S. and Canadian audience via webcast.

Watch President Kennedy’s 1963 American University Commencement address:

The Wall Street Journal noted the hortatory and accusatory rhetoric of the President Obama’s remarks:

Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option: another war in the Middle East.  So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war.

Following the President’s speech, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, Bob Corker (R-TN) told reporters:

 The president is trying to turn this into a partisan issue, but there is bipartisan concern.

He went out of his way lambasting the opposing Republican majorities in Congress as the party of war mongers. He tied them to the legacy of the Bush II Wars in Iraq suggesting the outcome was the morphing of Al Qaeda in Iraq into the Islamic State or ISIL. He said the cost was thousands killed, tens of thousands injured at a price of a trillion dollars. To divided American Jews, he told them that he had improved the Jewish nation’s Qualitative Military Edge with commitment of billions in conventional military aid. He implied that support would enable Israel to overcome the Islamic Regime’s existential threats of “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to Jews,” notwithstanding Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s holocaust denial and Antisemitism. Obama criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear program. He suggested that Netanyahu’s alternative of simply “squeezing” Iran’s theocratic leadership was not a better solution, and might lead to war. Netanyahu argues that the current Iran nuclear deal actually provides multiple pathways for Iran to achieve nuclear breakout leading to possible war.

In a post speech dialogue with Washington pundits, the President deepened his partisan criticism of Republican opponents to the Iran nuclear deal. Gerald Seib, who writes a dailyCapitol Column for The Wall Street Journal reported the President saying:

There is a particular mindset that was on display in the run-up to the Iraq war that continues to this day. Some of the folks that were involved in that decision either don’t remember what they said or are entirely unapologetic about the results. This mindset views the Middle East as a place where force and intimidation will deliver on the security interests that we have, and that it is not possible for us to at least test the possibility of diplomacy. Those views are prominent now in the Republican Party.

Both Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) found that criticism “galling,” as Mr. Obama “presided over the collapse of our hard-won gains in Iraq.”

Watch  the Washington Post video of President Obama’s 2015 American University speech:

While Obama’s speech was being delivered at American University there was a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) focused on sanctions relief under the terms of the Iran nuclear deal. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman appeared saying “that I didn’t see the final documents. I saw the provisional documents, as did my experts.” Thus, suggesting that the IAEA side deals were not going to unearth prior military developments at Parchin and other known locations.

An appearance by Director General of the UN IAEA, Ukiya Amano in a separate Capitol Hill briefing Wednesday lent the distinct impression that the UN nuclear watchdog agency was not going to disclose the so-called side agreements with Iran, nor would it have the suggested “robust” verification regime that the President has touted. That gave rise to skepticism by Senate opponents, that no base line would be established for prior military developments at Parchin, an alleged center for nuclear warhead development. The Wall Street Journal reported Mr. Amano saying that IAEA inspectors had been denied access to key scientists and military officials for interviews.   Following his closed door briefing to a bi-partisan group of Senators, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Corker commented, “I would say most members left with greater concerns about the inspection regime than we came in with.”  Senator John Barroso (R-WY) concluded, “My impression listening to him was the promises the President made were not verifiable.” Democrat supporters of the Iran deal like Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) followed the White House line that “it didn’t matter as we already knew what Iran had developed.”

At yesterday’s Senate Banking, Housing and Community Affairs  hearing, a panel of experts spoke about the lifting of sanctions and if there was a better deal. The panel included former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes, Juan C.  Zarate, Mark Dubowitz executive director of the Washington, DC based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and former State Department official Nicholas Burns of Harvard’s Kennedy School. Dubowitz in his testimony suggested that the deal should be amended, eliminating the sunset provisions and the so-called snap back sanctions. As precedent for possible amendment of the JCPOA, he noted more than “250 bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements and treaties from the Cold War Era.”

Watch this C-span video excerpt of FDD’s Dubowitz’s testimony:

Last night, the PBS News Hour host Gwen Ifill had a segment with Burns and Ray Takeyh a former Obama adviser on Iran during his first term now a Senior Fellow with the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), Is Obama’s Iran deal rhetoric working?  Burns, who is an adviser to Secretary Kerry, said:

I think, as Americans, we ought to have the self-confidence to try diplomacy first, rather than war. I will say this, Gwen, in answer to your specific question. I think the President ought to have a big tent policy here. To say that if the deal is turned down, if Congress defeats the President and overrides his veto in December, then that leads to war, I think, is a little stark.

Takeyh commented:

Jack Kennedy’s speech was lofty, idealistic. I think, if I quote it right, he said we shouldn’t wave the finger of accusation or issue indictments.

I think the President was unyielding. He was passionate, but his tone was at times truculent. And he didn’t make a successful pitch to his critics. This is a technologically flawed agreement, and the President should have attempted to broaden the parameters of the conversation about this agreement. I think, in that sense, the president missed his mark, and I think it was unwise.

Takeyh, who is also an adviser to FFD’s Iran Project, buttressed Dubowitz’s Senate testimony saying:

The history of arms controls suggest, when there’s Congressional objections, as was the case in SALT-I and SALT-II, and the President mentioned those, there is an attempt to go back and renegotiate aspects of this. And I think that’s what the President should have done when he met the criticism, as opposed to just dismiss it.

There are aspects of this agreement that are very problematic, such as the sunset clause, where, after essentially 10 years, Iran gets to embark on an industrial-sized nuclear program. And when you have an industrial-sized nuclear program, there is no inspection modality that can detect a sneak-out to a weapon option.

The President essentially, even now, after the rejection of the deal, should there be one, has a chance to go back, renegotiate some aspect of the deal, and therefore strengthen it. And as he strengthens that deal, I think he can broaden the bipartisan support for it.

I would be very concerned if I was a supporter of this deal that this deal is based on such a narrow margin of public support on the Hill. I think the longevity of this deal is seriously questioned by its absence of bipartisan support.

When questioned by Burns about reopening negotiations, Takeyh drew attention to other issues in the Iran nuclear pact that could be rectified through amendment:

I think it will be very difficult, but not impossible, because some of these provisions are so glaringly flawed that I think other countries would welcome negotiations.

I mentioned the sunset clause. Iran’s development of IR-8 centrifuges, which essentially produce uranium 17 times faster, and that gives Iran enrichment capacity that is quite substantial — the verification on this deal is extraordinarily imperfect.

The president keeps talking about that this is the most intrusive verification system, and the only other verification system that was more intrusive resulted from the Iraq War and the armistice. That’s just not true.

South Africa, under Nelson Mandela, agreed to anytime/anywhere inspection, which, in practice, you had access to military facilities within one day. So we can go back and renegotiate four, five, six aspects of this agreement. The history of arms controls is replete with such exercises.

And I think if you do that, this agreement would be strengthened. It will be based on a bipartisan anchor; it would ensure its longevity.  It would ensure that proliferation cascade in the Middle East will not take place, and it will ensure that Iran will not sneak out to a bomb.

Watch the PBS News Hour segment with Burns and Takeyh:

Takeyh’s colleague and long term President of the CFR, Dr. Richard N. Haass in testimony on August 4th before the Senate Armed Services Committee suggested:

That any vote by Congress to approve the pact should be linked to legislation or a White House statement that makes clear what the United States would do if there were Iranian non-compliance, what would be intolerable in the way of Iran’s long-term nuclear growth, and what the US was prepared to do to counter Iranian threats to US interests and friends in the region.

With each Senate and House Hearing on the Iran nuclear pact, more is revealed about why this is a bad deal. However, as witnessed by the Congressional testimony of experts like Dubowitz of the FDD, Takeyh and Haass of the CFR, it appears that Obama and Kerry didn’t follow the experience garnered from Cold War era arms control negotiations. Congress should be the veritable “bad cop” to fend off and reign in the concession demands of the Islamic regime’s negotiators in Lausanne and Vienna. We understand that several Republican Senators and House Members are drafting resolutions for rejection of the Iran nuclear pact. Perhaps they might include recommendations for amendment of the JCPOA endeavoring to make it a better deal. However, the President has chosen a partisan path that does not welcome bi-partisan deliberation. Perhaps the option is for the resolutions to reject the pact and schedule a vote as a treaty, assuming the President may have the votes to override a veto. As we have discussed there is also possible litigation that might achieve the same end.

It is going to be a long hot summer recess for Members of Congress in their states and districts holding town hall hearings to gauge the pulse of constituents on the President’s nuclear deal with Iran.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Israel in the Eye of the Storm By Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson, Resident Associate Fellow at the Centre for the New Middle East, writing in The Journal for International Security Affairs, outlines the key geopolitical challenges facing Israel.

In a region convulsed by the turmoil of civil wars, revolutions, and insurgencies, Israel stands out as an island of relative stability, one that has successfully weathered the multiple storms of the Islamist winter that abruptly followed the so-called “Arab Spring.” Yet in the summer of 2014, the calm in Israel was shattered by rockets, terrorists emerging from tunnels, and amphibious attacks along the country’s shoreline. The abrupt intrusion of terrorism back into Israeli domestic life—with all of the country’s major cities within reach of missiles fired by the Hamas terrorist group—was reminiscent of the second intifada, when suicide bombers from Hamas and other extremist factions entered Israel’s busy city centers and transformed them into war zones, paralyzing daily life.

During the height of the summer 2014 Gaza War, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented that Israel could not afford to give up control of the West Bank and risk the creation of “another 20 Gazas” there.(1) That remark resonated particularly strongly with many Israelis, not least because it came just months after a failed American-led effort to push for a peace agreement with the Palestinians—one that would have obliged Israel pull out of the vast majority of the West Bank. And whereas Netanyahu’s statement about the potential horrors of Palestinian terrorism appears to have been received approvingly by many in Israel, Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace-making efforts enjoyed far less popularity. Indeed, many sections of Israeli society came to resent the Obama administration’s focus on promoting a peace agreement, as did some in Israel’s political establishment.

That they did speaks volumes about just how much Washington’s diplomats, like their counterparts in Europe, have fundamentally failed to appreciate the changes that have taken place in Israel’s calculus of risk over the preceding decade. Furthermore, they have failed to view Israel’s predicament in its full regional context.

Rather, ever since Barack Obama took office, his administration has pressed unrelentingly for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians. It has done so, moreover, as if the parties in question were still operating in the relative stability of the Middle East of the 1990s. Thus, Kerry’s approach is reminiscent of the Clinton administration’s hammering out of the Oslo Accords with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and its subsequent full-court press for a final agreement at Camp David between Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. But while it is true that the current Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is a somewhat more preferable negotiating partner to Arafat, the similarities end there; the political landscape for a peace agreement today is more inhospitable than ever before.

This is so for two reasons. The first relates to the changing regional circumstances now confronting Israel. The second is tied to the fundamental transformation that has taken place in Palestinian society and politics.

Region on fire

Half-a-decade into the “Arab Spring,” Israel faces numerous Islamist militant groups on its borders, from Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria to Hamas in Gaza and al-Qaeda and Islamic State-aligned factions in the Sinai. The emergence of each of these groups has transformed Israel’s security outlook and diminished hopes for securing a durable peace. Rather than an environment ripe for a modus vivendiwith essentially pragmatic neighboring states, Israel now faces jihadist non-state actors, most of which are locked in power struggles with other militants as well as with the nation-states whose territory they now operate from.

The spread of this regional turmoil has had a mixed impact on the Israeli-Palestinian situation. To some extent, the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen have made the mostly-cold confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians appear far less pressing and far less relevant. Whereas once the words “Middle East conflict” were shorthand for referring to the dispute between Israel and its Arab neighbours, now this expression is more likely to refer to the struggle between Sunni and Shi’a extremists, backed by the Gulf States and Iran, respectively.

It is particularly significant that many of these militant groups are now operating from territories that Israeli security forces have previously withdrawn from (the Sinai, Southern Lebanon, and Gaza) or are directly adjacent to strategically important territories that Israel has previously considered giving up (e.g., the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley). This naturally has had a considerable impact on Israel’s current willingness to make territorial concessions in return for peace agreements or international good will. From a strategic point of view, such moves have ultimately amounted to creating power vacuums that have eventually been filled by militants, so effectively moving a range of security threats ever closer to Israel’s civilian population centers and core national infrastructure.

Take Hezbollah, Iran’s most significant terrorist proxy. The Shi’ite militia represents one of the most formidable fighting forces in the Middle East, and is one of the greatest security challenges facing the Jewish state. Hezbollah and the Israeli military engaged in a deadly clash in 2006, one in which Israel’s military failed to strike a truly decisive blow against the Shi’a militants. Since then, Hezbollah is understood to have dramatically increased its military capabilities, and even with Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling air defense systems operational, it is likely that Hezbollah could still inflict considerable damage in the event of a future conflict, since most of Israel’s territory is now well within Hezbollah’s reach.

The other major threat to Israel’s north has been the unfolding crisis in Syria. Stray projectiles from the fighting have impacted the Israeli-controlled parts of the Golan on numerous occasions, but it is the advance of Islamist groups close to the Syrian border that has caused the most alarm in Israel. For the moment, militants have been too absorbed with the fighting in Syria to direct their attention toward Israel. Nevertheless, the threat from chemical weapons and other capabilities falling into the hands of such groups must be taken seriously. Given that less than a decade ago, the Israeli government had contemplated a withdrawal from the Golan Heights—a territory that borders the Galilee, one of Israel’s most vital fresh water sources—these developments have done nothing to win public support for the notion of making further territorial concessions for peace. To the contrary, they have demonstrated that while Israel might hand territory into the possession of one regime, there is no guarantee that that territory will remain secure, or that the regime in question will survive long after the signing of any such peace treaty.

That, in part, has been the Israeli experience in the Sinai as well. True, Egypt’s short-lived Muslim Brotherhood government never officially revoked the peace treaty between the two countries, as many feared would happen after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Yet in Egypt—as in Lebanon and Syria—the threat to Israel has not come from the state itself, but rather from the weakness of those states and the prevalence of terrorist non-state actors moving into the resulting ungoverned and under-governed territory. Today, groups loyal to both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State continue to operate in the Sinai Peninsula. And while Israel has now constructed a security barrier along its Egyptian border, and jihadists there are currently occupied with battling Egypt’s military, the lawless nature of the peninsula represents a major security concern, among other things because of the way in which the Sinai has served as the primary channel through which weapons and weapons-related matériel have reached the Gaza Strip.

The one border from which Israel currently faces the least significant threat is the Jordanian one. Like other monarchies in the region, the Hashemite Kingdom has so far survived the ripple effects of the “Arab Spring” uprisings—but this may not remain the case indefinitely. The growing popularity of Salafism in Jordan(2) may well come to undermine stability in Jordan, creating a scenario that would almost certainly jeopardize Israel’s security. Although it has been the case that some Jordanian Salafists have been drawn away from that country to join the fighting in Syria, it is also true that Jordan’s proximity to both Iraq and Syria places it in a particularly fragile situation. Furthermore, the significant influx of refugees into Jordan from those conflicts may well have brought other extremists into the country. The resulting concerns about Jordan’s long-term future have contributed to Israel’s insistence that the Jordan Valley must remain its most eastern border, or at the very least that the Israeli military must be allowed to maintain a presence there.

The Islamization of Palestinian politics

Ever since the establishment of Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement) in 1987 at the outset of the first intifada, Islamist jihadist groups have played an increasingly prominent part in Palestinian political life in general, and in particular as part of the Palestinian clash with Israel. Hamas had, of course, grown out of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was operating in the area even during the days of the British Mandate in Palestine.(3) The group’s founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, had led the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza since 1968, but Islamists had always played a minor role in Palestinian terrorist activities compared to the secular and Marxist guerrilla groups as represented by the PLO.

The past two decades, however, have seen a veritable explosion of Islamist politics in the Palestinian Territories. Drawing from the lessons of Hamas, Palestinian militants began to adopt the tactic of suicide bombing as a preferred method of attack. As they did, other Islamist groups (such as the smaller Palestinian Islamic Jihad) became increasingly prominent across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And, beginning in the mid-2000s, Salafist- and al-Qaeda-aligned groups began to proliferate in Gaza. Among them were small groups, such as Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), Jaish al-Umma (Army of the Nation), and Fatah al-Islam (Islamic Conquest), all of whom began to make their presence felt in the Gaza Strip. (4)

The Islamist politics of the Gaza Strip have been far from harmonious. These factions were always fiercely critical of Hamas’s failure to fully implement Islamic law, in particular following the group’s takeover of the Strip in 2007, and have opposed the temporary cease-fires Hamas has agreed to with Israel from time to time. But while these groups certainly attracted some disaffected Hamas operatives,(5) they did not appear to represent an immediate challenge to Hamas rule—at least for a time. More recently, however, some of these factions have sworn loyalty to the Islamic State, and clashes have broken out between them and Hamas, which has found itself in the position of needing to eliminate more extreme Islamist elements to maintain its hold on power. At the same time, Fatah has been locked in a long-running struggle to prevent a takeover by Hamas Islamists in the West Bank, where it holds sway.

The heavy involvement of Islamists in the terror attacks of the second intifada was certainly an indication that radical Islam was playing an increasingly decisive role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nevertheless, few at that time predicted that Hamas would win a decisive victory when elections were held for the Palestinian national assembly in 2006. The group’s subsequent seizure of power in Gaza by force in 2007, and the ousting of Fatah there, further cemented the process of radicalization sweeping Palestinian society.

Indications of what was happening should already have been apparent from the results of two surveys conducted in the mid-2000s. A 2004 survey by the Jordanian Center for Strategic Studies found support for al-Qaeda to be noticeably higher among Palestinians than in neighboring Arab countries, with 70 percent describing al-Qaeda as a resistance movement as opposed to a terrorist organization.(6) Similarly, a 2005 survey by the Norwegian group Fafo found 65 percent of Palestinians questioned supported al-Qaeda attacks against the West, and in Gaza that figure rose to 79 percent.(7) European observers living in Palestinian society at the time noted this trend of popular extremism, with one European diplomat stating that Palestinian society was undergoing “an accelerated process of broad Islamization and radicalization.”(8)

While the Palestinian Authority had itself noted the presence of Salafist evangelist preachers operating in the West Bank,(9) Palestinian sympathies for violent extremism had still tended to be expressed as support for nationalistic Islamist groups such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Indeed, by many estimations Hamas would have a strong chance of winning West Bank elections were they to be held again today. Although certain West Bank cities such as Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho have remained quite firmly under the control of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, there are other localities where Fatah has been severely weakened.

Abbas’s approval rating had clearly plummeted by the time of the summer 2014 war in Gaza. An indication of where the sympathies of West Bank Palestinians lay came shortly before major hostilities erupted. At the time, Israel’s security forces had undertaken a military operation to rescue three Israeli teenagers kidnapped by a Hamas cell based in Hebron in the southern West Bank. During that eleven-day operation, Israeli forces arrested some 350 militants, including almost all of Hamas’s leadership in the West Bank. But while this operation received the backing of the Palestinian Authority and the cooperation of its security forces, widespread anger erupted into several nights of anti-Fatah rioting in Ramallah.

The Gaza conflict in the summer of 2014 appeared to give Hamas a significant boost with the Palestinian public, with many believing that the organization was doing far more than Fatah to lead “resistance” against Israel. Polling shortly after the war revealed that support for Hamas had doubled among West Bank Palestinians, rising from 23 percent in March to 46 percent in September.(10) There are other indications to suggest that the pro-Hamas feelings that arose during last summer’s war have not dissipated. Student elections across West Bank universities in the spring of 2015 witnessed a surge of support for Hamas and the Islamist bloc, with the two being tied at the Palestinian Polytechnic University in Hebron, while the Islamic bloc won outright at Birzeit University.(11)

What Israel is now watching for are signs of whether or not sympathies for the Islamic State and its ideology are increasing among Palestinians. Unlike in Gaza, the security presence of the Israeli military throughout the West Bank will go some way to ensuring that IS militants are unable to establish fully operational cells in the West Bank. Nevertheless, there have been early indications of pockets of support for IS among West Bank Palestinians. Israel’s intelligence services have already warned of a process of militants defecting from existing terror groups, primarily Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and swearing allegiance to IS.

This process may have been underway for some time now. At the time of Hamas’ kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in June 2014, a previously unknown group claiming to be aligned with IS attempted to take responsibility for that action. And during the Gaza war that followed, the Islamic State’s media wing, al-Battar, released a series of images depicting the Dome of the Rock and threatening Israel’s Jews that the Islamic State was coming for them, and in August images appeared online showing an individual displaying the group’s flag on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

In Gaza, the process of extremists shifting their allegiances to the Islamic State is far more advanced than in the West Bank. This is partly because in recent years violent Salafist groups have already been able to establish a foothold in Gaza, with some groups such as Suyuf al-Haq (Swords of Righteousness) launching IS-styled attacks against institutions and individuals accused of spreading Western influence. It had also become increasingly apparent that the military wing of The Popular Resistance Committees (Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades), the third-largest military group in Gaza, was displaying signs of radicalization, placing it further to the extreme than either Hamas or Islamic Jihad. It is out of this milieu that support for the Islamic State appears to have arisen.

Early indications of the growing support for IS in Gaza began to emerge in the fall of 2014. At that time, a group calling itself “ISIS-Gaza Province” began to establish an online presence, with a video appearing on YouTube showing a group of armed militants claiming to be the Islamic State in Gaza, complete with IS flag. Indeed, by late 2014 ISIS flags had become an increasingly common sight in Gaza, with eyewitnesses reporting their appearance everywhere from football stadiums to car windshields to wedding invitations. On November 3rd, the Shura council of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Sinai, as well as the group’s leader, Abu Khattab, formally pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. This was a telling indication that not only individuals but also entire Salafist factions are defecting to IS—a trend that Israel will need to grapple with in the not-so-distant future.

Mind the gap

As the surrounding Middle East increasingly descends into turmoil, Israel for the most part has managed to maintain relative calm and stability over the territory under its control. This stability is not a naturally occurring state of affairs, but rather the result of the extensive efforts of Israel’s security forces to keep a multitude of surrounding threats at bay. Almost all of these threats stem in one way or another from violent Islamism, which refuses to be appeased by any number of Israeli concessions.

International policymakers, however, do not appear to have adjusted to this new reality. The failing has been particularly noticeable in the policies of the Obama administration, whose representatives still seem to regard the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as one of the most pressing and problematic concerns in the region. In the early 2000s, at the height of the second intifada and prior to the second Gulf War, this may indeed have been true. Today, it is not. Yet American and European leaders continue to push for drastic changes in the current status quo, even at a time when much of the rest of the region is already in a state of extreme and unpredictable flux.

They are bound to be disappointed. Israel will naturally be reluctant to make any significant concessions while the surrounding region remains so unpredictable. It knows that the security and stability it enjoys has been hard fought and remains fragile. Under the present circumstances, a dramatic change in the existing status quo could begin a chain of events that would plunge Israel into one of the deepest security crises of its history, making it once again one of the region’s major flashpoints.

It is a reality that Israeli policymakers—and the Israeli public at large—understand well, even if officials in the West do not.

Tom Wilson is a Middle East analyst and a Resident Associate Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society in London.


1.   “Netanyahu: Gaza Conflict Proves Israel Can’t Relinquish Control of West Bank,” Times of Israel, July 11, 2014, http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-gaza-conflict-proves-israel-cant-….

2.   See, for example, David Schenker, “Salafi Jihadists on the Rise in Jordan,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, PolicyWatch no. 2248, May 5, 2014, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/salafi-jihadists….

3.   Jonathan Schanzer, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 24.

4.   Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz, Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn from Palestinian Social Media (Washington, DC: Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 2010), http://www.defenddemocracy.org/content/uploads/documents/Palestinian_Pul….

5.   Yoram Cohen and Matthew Levitt, with Becca Wasser, “Deterred but Determined: Salafi-Jihadi Groups in the Palestinian Arena,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Policy Focus no. 99, January 2010, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/pubs/PolicyFocus%20….

6.   “Revisiting the Arab Street: Research from Within,” Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan, February 2005, http://www.mafhoum.com/press7/revisit-exec.pdf.

7.   Gro Hasselknippe, “Palestinian Opinions on Peace and Conflict, Internal Affairs and Parliament Elections 2006,” Fafo Paper 2006:09, 2006, http://almashriq.hiof.no/general/300/320/327/fafo/reports/797.pdf

8.   As cited in Cohen and Levitt, “Deterred but Determined.”

9.   Ibid.

10.   “We’re Back; Hamas in the West Bank,” The Economist, September 3, 2014, http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2014/09/hamas-west-bank.

11.   Adnan Abu Amer, “Hamas Sweeps Student Council Elections in the West Bank,” Al-
Monitor
, April 28, 2015, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/04/hamas-victory-student-….

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Journal for International Security Affairs.

What are the Nominees saying about Iran, Islamic Radicalism and the Threat

We’ve scoured the speeches, interviews and statements of all 22 Democratic and Republican nominees and now bring them to you in one single, easy-to-navigate resource.

We will continue updating the information throughout the campaign so you will have all the facts at your fingertips to ask the right questions as election day approaches.

To what extent do candidates care about terror on American soil? What role should America play in the battle against the Islamic State? What about Iran – its nuclear program, terror and rampant human-rights abuses?

We’d love to hear your feedback too. And, if you’d like to help us in this important work, we’d appreciate your clicking on this link.

Learn more at ClarionProject.org.

Here is where the nominees stand on Iran, Islamic radicalism and the threats to the United States:


Jeb Bush

Former governor of Florida
Son of former president George H.W. Bush

“[Islam has] been hijacked by people who have an ideology that wants to destroy Western civilization, and they’re barbarians.”

View the Bush Platform


Ben Carson

Political activist and neurosurgeon
Famous for criticizing President Obama’s healthcare plan

Sees the war with Islamic extremism as ideological in nature.

View the Carson Platform


Chris Christie

Governor of New Jersey

As governor of New Jersey, Christie has had warm relationships with known Islamists, including an imam with ties to Hamas.

View the Christie Platform


Ted Cruz

Senator from Texas

A nuclear-armed Iran is “the single greatest National security threat” today.

View the Cruz Platform


Carly Fiorina

Former CEO of Hewlett Packard

“I believe that terrorists who kill in the name of Islam are subverting that religion.”

View the Fiorina Platform


Jim Gilmore

Former governor of Virginia. U.S. Army intelligence officer; served a three-year tour in West Germany as a counterintelligence agent

Gilmore endorsed an award given to Jamal Barzinji, an Islamist radical investigated for links to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad

View the Gilmore Platform


Lindsey Graham

Senator from South Carolina
Former Congressman from South Carolina

“You’ll never have peace with radical Islam … They want a master religion for the world like the Nazis wanted a master race.”

View the Graham Platform


Mike Huckabee

Former governor of Arkansas

“The Bush administration has never adequately explained the theology and ideology behind Islamic terrorism or convinced us of its ruthless fanaticism. The first rule of war is ‘know your enemy,’ and most Americans do not know theirs.”

View the Huckabee Platform


Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor
Former Louisiana Congressman

Views the conflict as ideological and defines the enemy as ‘all forms of radical Islam’ and sharia law

View the Jindal Platform


John Kasich

Two-term Governor of Ohio Former Ohio Congressman

“U.S. should send ground forces to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group with an international coalition.”

View the Kasich Platform


George Pataki

Former governor of New York

“We must understand that a hatred of our values exists, and acknowledge that interventions in foreign countries may well exacerbate this hatred.”

View the Pataki Platform


Rand Paul

Senator from Kentucky

“We must understand that a hatred of our values exists, and acknowledge that interventions in foreign countries may well exacerbate this hatred.”

View the Paul Platform


Rick Perry

Former governor of Texas

“To every extremist, it has to be made clear: we will not allow you to exploit our tolerance, so that you can import your intolerance.”

View the Perry Platform


Marco Rubio

Senator from Florida

“There is no greater risk to this country than the risk posed by radical Islamic terrorists … We need to make it unmistakably clear that we will take whatever it takes for however long it takes to defeat radical Islamic terrorism.”

View the Rubio Platform


Sanders_Bernie_Portrait

Bernie Sanders

Senator from Vermont

”The war with the Islamic State is “a battle for the soul of Islam.”

View the Sanders Platform


Rick Santorum

Former Senator from Pennsylvania

“Terrorism is a tactic that is not an ideology. [You have to] identify the ideology … and realize that’s their motivation.”

View the Santorum Platform


Donald Trump

Billionaire real estate mogul and president of the Trump Organization

“I say that you can defeat ISIS by taking their wealth. Take back the oil. Once you go over and take back that oil, they have nothing. ”

View the Trump Platform


Scott Walker

Governor of Wisconsin

“U.S. strategy against Islamism must target the radical Islamic ideology and not just the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda terrorist groups ”

View the Walker Platform

Peace Processing Iran

The principle is similar: faced with an enemy that repeatedly declares its genocidal hatred, acts on it wherever possible, constantly strives to improve its ways and means, you peace process. Why was it successful with Iran and not with the “Palestinians”? Perhaps because the comical P5 + 1 applied the pressure to itself in the case of Iran, leaving no one to resist. The same pressure applied to Israel since 1993 has failed to produce total surrender. Drastic concessions were proposed but the enemy insisted on the right of return of “refugees” down to the third, fourth, and forever generations that would spell the elimination of the Jewish state. There were no significant limits to the concessions made by the P5+1 and no expectation that the deal will yield anything other than itself. The deal is that there’s a deal.

The devil is not in the details it is in the evil, the collusion with evil. Antisemitism in its modern form of antizionism is the ultimate perversion: choosing death over life, it reverses good and evil. The perverse subject embraces evil while proclaiming his goodness. The Iran “deal” is not the result of American government naiveté, faulty negotiating skills, or realpolitik. It has nothing to do with slowing Iran’s nuclear arms development. It is an international seal of approval for Iran’s genocidal project. A wink of complicity.

What better proof than the hasty visit of German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel accompanied by a regiment of businessmen? Germany of all nations, still heavy with the weight of the Shoah, had to demonstrate immediately that the deal is a practical matter of trade and polite relations. But the truth bled through the window dressing and, as befits perversion, was expressed in an outright lie: Gabriel reminded his Iranian counterparts that they must not question Israel’s right to exist. “That is unacceptable,” he declared, accepting it as if it were a second helping of ham hocks. Italy’s molto simpatico PM Matteo Renzi reassured his amico grandissimo that his country would always be there to defend Israel. With what? French MFA Laurent Fabius who distinguished himself during negotiations by taking a strong position—before caving in to pressure—waited an extra week for his sober visit, sans traveling salesmen but bearing a missive from President Hollande inviting President Rohani to visit him in November. What could be more grotesque, more obscene than these frantic gestures laced with hollow excuses?

Obama&Kerry are trying to force, cajole, intimidate, manipulate Congress and public opinion to approve the phony agreement that will, they claim, slow down Iran’s nuclear arms project while giving the Islamic Republic (they don’t pronounce its real name for good reasons) time to become the friendly partner they deserve. All the concrete evidence proves the contrary. So what have they really accomplished?

While talking up the deal domestically, with special emphasis on Jewish organizations, they sent Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to dangle yummy defensive military goodies in front of the Israeli government as a consolation prize. What have they wrought? Kerry, grilled by the Senate Foreign Relations committee, is scolded for being duped. If his only fault was a failure to get better terms from those crafty Persians, then the honor of America’s chief negotiator and aspiring Tour de France cyclist would be intact. Now, fearing the slick sale pitches will not do the trick, the Secretary of State has moved on to sinister threats. Invited by the Council for Foreign Relations to defend the deal, he warned that if Congress should vote against it, “Israel will be more isolated and more blamed [sic].”

So that’s the win-win? If the agreement is approved, Israel will be in greater danger, if it is rejected, Israel will be blamed. In fact, it doesn’t matter. The collusion agreement with Iran has nothing to do with foreign policy or non-proliferation of nuclear arms. It is a call to ratify the genocidal equation: Iran is deserving of trust, Israel can be thrown to the dogs. Good and evil are reversed. The damage is already done.

While Europeans were creeping to Iran like worker ants, each with a few crumbs to sell, the EU parliament was mulling over a measure that would stigmatize products from the Israeli “colonies.” Grotesque perversion. Iran, by virtue of the deal, instantly becomes a suitable trading partner while Israel, an apartheid state guilty of Occupation, is unfit for human consumption. Gays swinging from the hangman’s rope, political prisoners tortured to death, arms and treasure flowing to jihad forces that wreak havoc throughout the Middle East and sow subversion in the rest of the world… all disappear with the lethal narrative fed to global media by the wire services. After months of negotiation…a historic agreement…Iran forgoes nuclear arms development in exchange for removal of sanctions and the dawn of normal relations with the well-behaved world. Unprecedented inspections regime. Money-back guarantee. Snap-back sanctions. Diplomacy trumps war.

Death to America, Death to Israel. Our plan to erase Israel from the face of the earth is not negotiable. We will never abandon our right to develop nuclear arms and advanced delivery systems, we will arm our allies, no American will be included in the inspection teams, our military sites are forever off limits, allahu akhbar, flag burnings and raucous bloodthirsty cries… Secretary of State Kerry proves he’s a good sport by briefly admitting that if Death to Israel Death to America were actually a statement of policy, it would be worrisome. But it’s just rhetoric.

The once-free world, draped in virtue to exclude Israel from the concert of nations, mired in perversity to welcome Iran with open arms, dives into the abyss. And a significant percentage of American Jews, apparently, buy into this perversion. Out of the goodness of their hearts they become deaf, dumb, and blind to Iran’s words and deeds, and reserve their severity for an Israel they could accommodate if it would stop throwing monkey wrenches into the global jamboree.

Vainglorious President Barack Hussein Obama, displaying his major diplomatic exploit—bouncing up and down the stairs of Air Force One—makes his victory lap in Kenya, where he lectures the locals on, of all things, clean government, democracy, and homosexual rights. Tell it to yer mulla’, brotha’!

Though the personal responsibility of Obama, Kerry, Mogherini, and other grinning negotiators is enormous, it won’t help to blame them because they are upheld by populations that are themselves captive. People who sincerely believe in their own decency and wish to do no harm recoil at the very sound of the name “Israel.” Americans, who win all the polls for loving Israel, dumbly follow their twice-elected president though he made his intentions clear from the first step of the primaries. How many American Zionists repeat the absurd fairy tale about how Iran will be contained, mollified, and magically turned over to the freedom-loving youth they see on BBC news? British Prime Minister David Cameron interjects “Islam is a religion of peace” into a forceful defense of the nation against Islamist ideology. France, still reeling from the latest beheading/impalement incident sails into a new plot to behead a naval officer. The denial machine tries to photoshop the Chattanooga jihad attack against a military base. The body count in Syria rises inexorably, Bashir al Assad thanks Iran and Hezbollah for their invaluable support, the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, is being ethnically cleansed of Christians, and the good news is that Iran signed something? With disappearing ink.

“It starts with the Jews but it doesn’t end with the Jews.” This isn’t an incidental geopolitical fatality. It starts with the Jews because it is the triumph of evil and death over goodness and life. Judaism is the source of the ethics on which our civilization is founded. Antizionism, the contemporary variety of antisemitism, is a lethal perversion. When the genocidal hatred of the Islamic Republic is validated by an international agreement piloted by the United States of America, when every single concrete detail is clearly available for public information, when every public statement by governments that defend the deal is patently false, when the “alternative to war” is a virtual onslaught against Israel’s existence, when the immoral United Nations is invested with powers stolen from democratically elected governments, we have reached the catastrophic level of perversion.

Rational arguments will be useless unless this perversion is understood, exposed, and confronted.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Nidra Poller’s book Karimi Hotel is now available in English and Al Dura: long range ballistic myth is available in paperback and on Kindle.

What Israeli Intelligence Knew About Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Dr. Ronen Bergman is the Intelligence affairs columnist for Israeli daily Yediot Ahronoth. He’s the author of The Secret War with Iran: The 30-Year Clandestine Struggle Against the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist Power, 2007In February 2012, we published an interview with him on a possible Israel attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, “Is the Clock Ticking on a Nuclear Iran?” At the time, some Israeli action appeared imminent, which did not materialize that year, perhaps because of the intervening U.S. secret discussions with Iran.

Bergman, published a dossier in The Tablet, July 29th, obtained from Israeli intelligence on Iran and from Western intelligence sources on U.S. capitulation on concessions repeatedly over the past several years, “What Information Collected by Israeli Intelligence Reveals About the Iran Talks.”

There was also evidence that the U.S. was not immediately forthcoming with ally Israel as to the timing, scope and content of these secret discussions with Iran.  This is reflected in the run up to the climactic JCPOA announced on July 14th and endorsed by the UN Security Council on July 22nd. The JCPOA is presently undergoing review by  both U.S. Senate and House Committees under The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA) with a votes by both the Senate and House targeted by mid-September.  Recent Congressional revelations about secret side deals between the UN nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and last minute lifting of conventional arms and ballistic missile technology have raised questions about the circumstances behind U.S. and world powers capitulations to demands of Iranian negotiators. This has given rise to both Congressional and public skepticism. Public  opinion polls suggest that a majority of Americans want  Congress to reject the Iran nuclear pact.

The following are excerpts from Dr. Bergman’s Tablet article:

bergman

Dr. Ronen Bergman. Source Dror Malka.

What Information Collected by Israeli Intelligence Reveals About the Iran Talks

By Ronen Bergman

The West’s recognition of Iran’s right to perform the full nuclear fuel cycle—or enrichment of uranium—was a complete about-face from America’s declared position prior to and during the talks. Senior U.S. and European officials who visited Israel immediately after the negotiations with Iran began in mid 2013 declared, according to the protocols of these meetings, that because of Iran’s repeated violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, “Our aim is that in the final agreement [with Iran] there will be no enrichment at all” on Iranian territory. Later on, in a speech at the Saban Forum in December 2013, President Barack Obama reiterated that in view of Iran’s behavior, the United States did not acknowledge that Iran had any right to enrich fissile material on its soil.

In February 2014, the first crumbling of this commitment was evident, when the head of the U.S. delegation to the talks with Iran, Wendy Sherman, told Israeli officials that while the United States would like Iran to stop enriching uranium altogether, this was “not a realistic” expectation. Iranian foreign ministry officials, during meetings the Tehran following the JPOA, reckoned that from the moment the principle of an Iranian right to enrich uranium was established, it would serve as the basis for the final agreement. And indeed, the final agreement, signed earlier this month, confirmed that assessment.

The sources who granted me access to the information collected by Israel about the Iran talks stressed that it was not obtained through espionage against the United States. It comes, they said, through Israeli spying on Iran, or routine contacts between Israeli officials and representatives of the P5+1 in the talks. The sources showed me only what they wanted me to see, and in these cases there’s always a danger of fraud and fabrication. This said, these sources have proved reliable in the past, and based on my experience with this type of material it appears to be quite credible. No less important, what emerges from the classified material obtained by Israel in the course of the negotiations is largely corroborated by details that have become public since.

In early 2013, the material indicates, Israel learned from its intelligence sources in Iran that the United States held a secret dialogue with senior Iranian representatives in Muscat, Oman. Only toward the end of these talks, in which the Americans persuaded Iran to enter into diplomatic negotiations regarding its nuclear program, did Israel receive an official report about them from the U.S. government. Shortly afterward, the CIA and NSA drastically curtailed its cooperation with Israel on operations aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear project, operations that had racked up significant successes over the past decade.

On Nov. 8, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw him off at Ben Gurion Airport and told him that Israel had received intelligence that indicated the United States was ready to sign “a very bad deal” and that the West’s representatives were gradually retreating from the same lines in the sand that they had drawn themselves.

The West’s recognition of Iran’s right to perform the full nuclear fuel cycle—or enrichment of uranium—was a complete about-face from America’s declared position prior to and during the talks. Senior U.S. and European officials who visited Israel immediately after the negotiations with Iran began in mid 2013 declared, according to the protocols of these meetings, that because of Iran’s repeated violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, “Our aim is that in the final agreement [with Iran] there will be no enrichment at all” on Iranian territory. Later on, in a speech at the Saban Forum in December 2013, President Barack Obama reiterated that in view of Iran’s behavior, the United States did not acknowledge that Iran had any right to enrich fissile material on its soil.

In February 2014, the first crumbling of this commitment was evident, when the head of the U.S. delegation to the talks with Iran, Wendy Sherman, told Israeli officials that while the United States would like Iran to stop enriching uranium altogether, this was “not a realistic” expectation. Iranian foreign ministry officials, during meetings the Tehran following the JPOA, reckoned that from the moment the principle of an Iranian right to enrich uranium was established, it would serve as the basis for the final agreement. And indeed, the final agreement, signed earlier this month, confirmed that assessment.

One of the promises made to Israel was that Iran would not be permitted to stockpile uranium. Later it was said that only a small amount would be left in Iran and that anything in excess of that amount would be transferred to Russia for processing that would render it unusable for military purposes. In the final agreement, Iran was permitted to keep 300kgs of enriched uranium; the conversion process would take place in an Iranian plant (nicknamed “The Junk Factory” by Israel intelligence). Iran would also be responsible for processing or selling the huge amount of enriched uranium that is has stockpiled up until today, some 8 tons.

The case of the secret enrichment facility at Qom (known in Israel as the Fordo Facility) is another example of concessions to Iran. The facility was erected in blatant violation of the Non Proliferation Treaty, and P5+1 delegates solemnly promised Israel at a series of meetings in late 2013 that it was to be dismantled and its contents destroyed. In the final agreement, the Iranians were allowed to leave 1,044 centrifuges in place (there are 3,000 now) and to engage in research and in enrichment of radioisotopes.

At the main enrichment facility at Natanz (or Kashan, the name used by the Mossad in its reports) the Iranians are to continue operating 5,060 centrifuges of the 19,000 there at present. Early in the negotiations, the Western representatives demanded that the remaining centrifuges be destroyed. Later on they retreated from this demand, and now the Iranians have had to commit only to mothball them. This way, they will be able to reinstall them at very short notice.

Israeli intelligence points to two plants in Iran’s military industry that are currently engaged in the development of two new types of centrifuge: the Teba and Tesa plants, which are working on the IR6 and the IR8 respectively. The new centrifuges will allow the Iranians to set up smaller enrichment facilities that are much more difficult to detect and that shorten the break-out time to a bomb if and when they decide to dump the agreement.

The Iranians see continued work on advanced centrifuges as very important. On the other hand they doubt their ability to do so covertly, without risking exposure and being accused of breaching the agreement. Thus, Iran’s delegates were instructed to insist on this point. President Obama said at the Saban Forum that Iran has no need for advanced centrifuges and his representatives promised Israel several times that further R&D on them would not be permitted. In the final agreement Iran is permitted to continue developing the advanced centrifuges, albeit with certain restrictions which experts of the Israeli Atomic Energy Committee believe to have only marginal efficacy.

As for the break-out time for the bomb, at the outset of the negotiations, the Western delegates decided that it would be “at least a number of years.” Under the final agreement this has been cut down to one year according to the Americans, and even less than that according to Israeli nuclear experts.

Over the past 15 years, a great deal of material has been amassed by the International Atomic Energy Agency—some filed by its own inspectors and some submitted by intelligence agencies—about Iran’s secret effort to develop the military aspects of its nuclear program (which the Iranians call by the codenames PHRC, AMAD, and SPND). The IAEA divides this activity into 12 different areas (metallurgy, timers, fuses, neutron source, hydrodynamic testing, and warhead adaptation for the Shihab 3 missile, high explosives, and others) all of which deal with the R&D work that must be done in order to be able to convert enriched material into an actual atom bomb.

The IAEA demanded concrete answers to a number of questions regarding Iran’s activities in these spheres. The agency also asked Iran to allow it to interview 15 Iranian scientists, a list headed by Prof. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, whom Mossad nicknamed “The Brain” behind the military nuclear program. This list has become shorter because six of the 15 have died as a result of assassinations that the Iranians attribute to Israel, but access to the other nine has not been given. Neither have the IAEA’s inspectors been allowed to visit the facilities where the suspected activities take place. The West originally insisted on these points, only to retreat and leave them unsolved in the agreement.

In mid-2015 a new idea was brought up in one of the discussions in Tehran: Iran would agree not to import missiles as long as its own development and production is not limited. This idea is reflected in the final agreement as well, in which Iran is allowed to develop and produce missiles, the means of delivery for nuclear weapons. The longer the negotiations went on, the longer the list of concession made by the United States to Iran kept growing, including the right to leave the heavy water reactor and the heavy water plant at Arak in place and accepting Iran’s refusal of access to the suspect site.

The intelligence material that ‘[Prime Minister Netanyahu] was relying on gives rise to fairly unambiguous conclusions: that the Western delegates crossed all of the red lines that they drew themselves and conceded most of what was termed critical at the outset; and that the Iranians have achieved almost all of their goals.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of U.S. and Iranian Negotiators, Vienna, June 2015. Source: Reuters.

30 SECONDS: Huckabee — The Holocaust — The Iran Deal

Join us on 30 SECONDS. In this episide of 30 SECONDS I provide an interesting insight into former Governor Mike Huckabee’s “ovens” controversy.

Kerry: Israel and American Jews to Blame if Congress Rejects Iran Nuke Deal

Secretary of State Kerry speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan on Friday, July 24th, ‘blamed Israel” and by inference “American Jews” if Congress rejects the Iran nuclear pact. He said:

So, folks, I got to tell you, if this continues, what I’m witnessing, where there’s this fear that is governing the—and emotion that is governing people’s thinking about this program, I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed.

Watch Kerry’s presentation on the Iran nuclear pact at the CFR on this YouTube video:

His remarks indicated  that he didn’t read the L.A. Jewish Journal Survey on the Iran nuclear pact issued on July 23rd, a day prior to his CFR presentation. In our Iconoclast post this past weekend about the Journal survey suggesting that half of American Jews polled 49% approved the Iran nuclear deal versus less than 28% of all Americans. If you add in his performance Thursday at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warning Israel not to sabotage Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program under the JCPOA then he has some reality problems. Kerry appears to have supped from the poisoned chalice of the Internationalist Jewish conspiracy the notorious Anti-Semitic Czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of ZionWe hope that is not the case.

Rafael Medoff posted a response on The Weekly Standard blog yesterday, “Kerry Warns: Jews Will Be Blamed If Congress Sinks Iran Deal.”

Secretary Kerry made his remark in an address to the Council of Foreign Relations on July 24. He appeared to be not merely predicting that Israel might be blamed, but hinting that the Obama administration itself might do the blaming. And since the administration has repeatedly claimed that rejection of the agreement will lead to war with Iran, the implication of Kerry’s statement seems to be that Israel, the Jewish state, would be to blame for such a war. The possibility that the blame would be extended to Israel’s supporters in the United States has already been raised by President Obama himself, in his warning that unnamed “lobbyists” and “money” were trying to block the Iran deal.

The possibility that the blame would be extended to Israel’s supporters in the United States has already been raised by President Obama himself, in his warning that unnamed “lobbyists” and “money” were trying to block the Iran deal.

One unfortunate comparison brought to mind by this kind of talk is an episode involving the pundit and unsuccessful presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. In the months preceding the first Persian Gulf war, Buchanan charged that “there are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East—the Israeli defense ministry and its ‘amen corner’ in the United States.”

In another broadside, Buchanan named four prominent supporters of war with Jewish-sounding names as being part of “the Israeli Defense Ministry’s amen corner in the United States.” He accused them of planning to send “kids with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales and Leroy Brown” to the Persian Gulf to do the fighting.

New York Times columnist A.M. Rosenthal described that remark as a “blood libel,” and Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman called Buchanan’s statements “an appeal to anti-Semitic bigotry.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Sharansky Calls on U.S. Jews to Stand Up to White House Over Iran Nuclear Deal

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Secretary of State John Kerry speaking on the Iran nuclear deal at the Council on Foreign Relations on July 24, 2015. Photo by AP.

VIDEO: Israel’s Right to Exist

Dr. Ron Wexler gives an eye opening lecture on Israel’s biblical and modern day claims to the land of Israel.

If you know history you will know the future. Dr. Wexler brings these words to life as he paints a picture of Israel’s roots and why President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal is so dangerous for Israel and the West.

It is a rare event when all these elements happening in the Middle East are brought together in an easy to understand timeline giving you a glimpse into the future of our world.

We encourage you to sign up for the March 2016 Israel National Security Tour led by Dr. Wexler and me : Heritage Study Program: http://ft.heritagestudyprograms.com/. We will see you on the March 2016 Israel National Security Tour http://ft.heritagestudyprograms.com/

Kerry: U.S. Obligated to Prevent Israeli Sabotage of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Armin Rosen in a Business Insider article wrote about Florida’s US Senator Marco Rubio’s provocative question that generated a troubling response from Secretary Kerry at yesterday’s testy Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program. It had to do with the dilemma facing the Administration about a commitment by the world powers to defend the Iranian nuclear program against attack.

Rubio raised the hypothetical of what would be the U.S. obligation under a provision found in an Annex III to the agreement, if Israel might undertake a possible cyber attack.  An attack akin to the malworm, Stuxnet that disabled Iran’s enrichment centrifuges temporarily setting back their nuclear program.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) questions U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (not pictured) before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington July 23, 2015.   REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) at Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing July 23, 2015. Source:  Reuters-Gary Cameron.

The Business Insider article laid out the quandary:

Republican presidential candidate and US Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) asked about a provision of the agreement that seems to obligate the US and its negotiating partners to help protect Iranian nuclear sites against potential outside attack.

According to Annex III, the agreement’s section on “civil nuclear cooperation,” the signatories commit to “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.

This provision of the deal doesn’t mention any countries by name. But Rubio wondered if this was included in the deal because of Iranian concerns related to a specific US ally.

“If Israel decides it doesn’t like this deal and it wants to sabotage an Iranian nuke program or facility, does this deal that we have just signed obligate us to help Iran defend itself against Israeli sabotage or for that matter the sabotage of any other country in the world?” Rubio asked.

[Secretary of Energy] Moniz replied that “all of our options and those of our allies and friends would remain in place” after the deal goes into effect.

Kerry then jumped in to explain the provision’s specific purpose: “To be able to have longer-term guarantees as we enter a world in which cyberwarfare is increasingly a concern for everybody that if you are going to have a nuclear capacity, you clearly want to be able to make sure that those are adequately protected.”

Rubio posed the key question to Kerry:

If Israel conducts a cyber attack against the Iranian nuclear program are we obligated to help them defend themselves against an Israel cyber attack?

Kerry responded:

I don’t see any way possible that we would be in conflict with Israel with respect to what we might want to do there and we just have to wait until we get until that point,” Kerry said, cryptically — “that point” referring to a future time at which Israel believes it’s necessary to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. It seems that at that juncture, the US would have to determine whose side to take.

The background of this troubling JCPOA provision was explored in our July 14, 2015 1330 amWEBY interview with Omri Ceren of The Israel Project and Shoshana Bryen of The Jewish Policy Center to be published as an article in the August edition of the New English Review.

Note this exchange between Mike Bates of WEBY and Bryen:

sbryen-804443500

Shoshana Bryen of The Jewish Policy Center.

Bates:  Shoshana.  Because with a deal in place, Iran will be free to covertly develop nuclear weapons without consequence.  …However, if the day comes when Israel has valid reasons to believe that a nuclear weapon is in the hands of the Iranians, or is imminently so, Israel is going to have no choice but to act unilaterally.  When they do, they will be excoriated and vilified.  … I think this makes it more dangerous, because the military option, as I see it, Shoshana, is off the table.

 Bryen:  I’m not sure it wasn’t always off the table.  Starting in the Bush Administration,the United States and Israel had a divergence of opinion about how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. The Bush administration was in favor of sanctions and believed in squeezing them to death.  They were not in favor of military activity.   The Israelis always had believed that military action was best done in conjunction with the United States. Once they began to understand that there was no way, that even their good friend George W. Bush was not going to help them do this.   The military option became less viable.  You have to think about it from the point of view of a small country, Israel, and a large country, Iran, which has air defenses. Iran will now have better air defenses, because the Russians have sold them better air defenses.  The Iranians had more time to bury and harden their facilities.  They’ve had more time to dig them under populated places.  If you have to drop a bomb on something, the collateral damage there will be very heavy. I’m not sure that there was a great military option, to begin with.  However, you are right to the extent that if there was a facility you felt was absolutely crucial, I believe Israel could destroy it.

Omri Ceren

Omri Ceren, The Israel Project.

Note the following exchange between Bates and Ceren:

Bates:   I’m more concerned about the 8 million people living in Israel; the 300 millionpeople in the United States.  I’m concerned that Iran has been given a pathway to a bomb that is unobstructed.  This takes the military option off the table.  Even if Israel believes their existential threat is imminent, they can hardly attack militarily to stop it.  …I think the concessions are so much bigger than that.  Am I wrong, Omri?

Ceren:  Let me say that Shoshana’s answer was very compelling…Which is the military option was never Israel’s main option.  Sabotage and subterfuge were Israel’s real options, which is why it is so concerning that this deal puts the Iranian nuclear program under international sponsorship.There is an annex to the deal that says the EU-3 and their partners will teach them how to harden their nuclear assets against sabotage.  Specifically, against nuclear sabotage. In effect we’re protecting them,as they build up their program.  Forget protecting them in the last five minutes from Israeli action.  Thisdeal protects them from Israeli action throughout the entire lifetime of the deal

These exchanges between Senator Rubio and Secretary Kerry at yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Hearing and the excerpted WEBY interview exchanges with both Bryen and Ceren in the forthcoming New English Review article demonstrate how the JCPOA constrains both the US and Israel’s options to deal with the Iran nuclear threat. All due to the concessions made by Kerry and the negotiating team at both Lausanne and in Vienna. It explains why the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress and even some minority Democrats oppose the nuclear pact with Iran. Further, why Israel PM Netanyahu called the Nuclear pact with Iran a very bad deal in his speech on March 3,2015 before a Joint Meeting of Congress. We commend Republican Senator Rubio for asking the tough question that forced Secretary Kerry’s verification of how bad this deal is.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Secretary of State Kerry with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Moniz, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, July 23, 2015. Source: AP/Andrew Harnik.

American Jewish friends: Are we talking about you or someone you know?

Netanyahu obama israel

Bibi tête-à-tête Obama.

We were prompted to post an earlier version of this on my Facebook page in response to a Jewish Press op-ed by Varda Meyers Epstein, “How Could we Have Known: Jews who voted for Obama.” A native of Pittsburgh who made aliyah to Israel; she ably cataloged a number of warning signals about President Obama who has proven to be a cunning transformationalist.  Here are Ms. Epstein’s opening and closing tropes.

Beginning in 2007, those of us who saw the writing on the wall began campaigning against Obama. We knew he was bad for Israel from the things he said in interviews and from the people he hung out with, past and present. We posted articles that slammed him on social media and we lost friends for our insistent and incessant need to make our case: the one that would save Israel and Israeli Jews.

[…]

You want to tell me you really didn’t know about Obama’s hatred for the Jews and for Israel? Sorry, but I’m having trouble buying that story. But at the very least, you need to come out from under that rock and get a little, um, daylight. You’ve been looking a little pale since Tuesday.

We added to Ms. Epstein’s dossier with those of our own  thereby expanding on her theme.  After posting it on my Facebook page we received a welter of  “likes” and positive comments  from Australia, Canada, Israel and the U.S.  My chaver, ZoA stalwart in Philadelphia, Steve Feldman, who runs the Israel Activism Facebook page, thought it was “stupendous”.  A bit of hyperbole that, but thanks for the compliment, Steve.  However, I was brought up short by another chaver in Calgary, Bill Narvey, who, while he agreed with what I said, could we please “paragraph “it.  So here is a suitable presentation for Narvey and others.  The title for this piece was borrowed from a headline on Feldman’s Facebook post of what we originally wrote:

[H]ow could normally sensible Jewish Democrats have believed all that hokum about “Hope and Change” back in 2007 from an untried US Senator from Illinois who never completed a full term in office after leveraging a speech at the 2004 Democratic convention and two ghost written New York Times biographies allegedly by Bill Ayres . Who as a State Senator from Chicago voted present 100 times in the Illinois state legislature?

Or allied himself to the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian crowd at annual dinners of the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee with Michelle and him seated at a table back in 1998 with one of his alleged mentors, the late Columbia Professor Edward Said.  Or when he told his Chicago Pal Ali Abunimah of The Electronic Intifada blog, during his run for US Senate backed by the gullible Chicago Jewish billionaires from the Pritzker and Crown Families of the Standard Club, that he wouldn’t forget both Abunimah and the Palestinian cause when he got to Washington.

Tell them how Obama lied about he had Israel’s back or that there was no diplomatic daylight between the US under his helm with Israel the only democratic ally in the Middle East. Tell them how he undertook secret negotiations with Iran back in the fall of his 2012 re-election using his Chicago mentor Valarie Jarrett to discuss a possible Iran nuke deal with Ali Akbar Salehi in Dubai, her childhood friend from living in Iran with her Chicago doctor father and mother after her birth in Shiraz.

Or ask them to explain how the July 14th announcement of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to cut off Iran from a bomb was followed by a UN Security Council unanimous endorsement a week later. That was less than a day after the Iran nuke pact was submitted to Congress for a review and vote by Rosh Ha Shanah in 2015.

Ask them why Iran’s nuclear infrastructure remains in place and the EU-3 will commit to hardening it preventing Israel from sabotaging it. Ask them if they ever thought a sitting President would use his executive powers to transform this country into just another member of the multilateral Euro-trash socialist club. Ask them why he cozyied up to the Muslim Brotherhood both in the Middle East and here in the US, only to dump them for apocalyptic End times Shiite Iran giving them a free pass to arm Hamas and Hezbollah and boost the Islamic State ranging on Israel’s borders.

Yes, tell your talented chaverim v mispochim who funded and voted for Obama, not once, but twice, that he is laughing at them behind their backs now that he honored his commitment to his Chicago radical and Palestinian fellow travelers. Tell them to watch out for the Palestinian State UN Resolution that may be introduced for a vote soon now that his Iran nuke pact legacy has been endorsed by the Security Council even before the General Assembly UN meetings in September in Manhattan. Tell them to watch him manipulate gullible Jewish Democratic Members of Congress securing a yes vote for the Iran nuke deal enabling him to veto any negative majority GOP and minority Democrat vote by Rosh Ha Shanah.

Tell them all that and ask them finally, why they voted for this destroyer of their children and grand children’s futures here in America and in Israel. Go ahead, ask them that.

Then tell them to watch this NER You Tube video interview with contributing NER editor, Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein in June 2010.  Tell them to note his prescient bottom line assessment of Obama, as “the the most radical President, ever:”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

President Obama’s Three “I” Failures: Israel, Iran, Islamic State

Today’s show illustrates how President Obama’s three “I” failures have dramatically compromised the national security of every American in just 6 short years that he has been in office.

Obama and his Administration have been abject failures with these three “I’s,” Israel, Iran, Islamic State.

Combined, these failures of policy, negotiation and war-fighting have so compromised the stature of the United States globally, that our enemies no longer fear us and our friends no longer trust us.

Tune in as this is my first day back from a special assignment and we find out what I has been up to!