Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s decision to rescind an invitation to Iran to participate in the Montreux conference on the civil war in Syria has brought to the fore the problems inherent in the Obama approach toward Iran.
The disinvitation came at the insistence of the U.S., which, we are told, wanted explicit guarantees that Iran would agree to go along with the ouster of its ally, President Assad, which Iran refused to do. Such a scenario, of course, portrays a resolute, no-nonsense administration. More likely, however, the turn of events puts the spotlight on a president running scared in his outreach to Iran.
President Obama is in a battle with Congress over Iran sanctions. A growing number of senators – now a majority – want to enact a new round of sanctions to be triggered if and when it is determined that Iran is not negotiating in good faith over reducing its nuclear production. President Obama insists that any such legislation passed by Congress, regardless of its effective date, would result in Iran’s walking away from the talks, thus thwarting his ongoing outreach efforts.
Key to the legislation – both for the president and Iran – is the question of who decides when a lack of good faith has occurred – the president or Congress? Central to the president’s argument that he should be in charge is that he is not soft on Iran. But the invitation imbroglio demonstrates how the president is losing that battle of perception.
On January 5 it was reported that Secretary of State Kerry had said, “Could [Iran] contribute from the sidelines? Are there ways for them, conceivably to weigh in?…. It may be that there are ways that could happen. But that has to be determined by the [UN] secretary-general. It has to be determined by Iranian intentions themselves. We are happy to have Iran be helpful.”
So this past Sunday Ban Kai moon announced he had invited Iran to the Syria conference. The U.S. promptly objected. Under the terms of the talks, hammered out more than a year ago, the mission was to establish “by mutual consent” a transition from the rule of Bashar al Assad, and the U.S. said Iran had not publicly agreed to abide by the rules. However, Mr. Ban made the invitation to Iran based on what he said were private assurances that Iran would “welcome” these goals and had pledged to play “a positive and constructive role,” which seems entirely consistent with Mr. Kerry’s statement of January 5.
In addition, a spokesman for the secretary-general said that “We have been in close contact with the Russian and American delegations today, and over the weeks and days before [the invitation]” and that the invitation to Iran was “not hasty.” He added, “Certainly I know this could not have been a surprise to U.S. authorities. They were fully aware of the timing of the announcement.”
Despite the efforts to portray a strong and resolute Obama administration, this latest episode of ineptitude only deepens the concern many have about an apparently clueless White House. In particular, evidence is mounting by the day that the Iranians are eating the president’s lunch.
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Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.
The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.
Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.
Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.
Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”
Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?
Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.
The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.
Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!
Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.
A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.
Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent
Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.
While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.
That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.
Given the vitality of Hamas, Israel can hardly rely on the commitments, even if sincere, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas for its security.
Is the president oblivious to polls saddling him with some of the lowest presidential popularity rankings in recent history?
There is not even a hint of recognition that Hamas deliberately fires rockets at civilian targets in Israel while storing arms and rocket launchers among its own civilians in Gaza.
No one with any sanity would dream of rationalizing or justifying the depredations perpetrated on the Arab world by ISIS.
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