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.
The Obama administration, from Mr. Obama on down, has made every effort to assure that the agenda for the president’s Israel trip and discussions with Prime Minister Netanyahu would center around burnishing the U.S.-Israel relationship and the issues of Iran and Syria.
The question of a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would be discussed generally, we were told, but the president was not coming with specific ideas – just “to listen,” was the way it was put. So we were dismayed to hear what he had to say about Iran in an interview in advance of his departure. His remarks included judgment calls one would have expected to have been reserved for private discussions with the prime minister.
In the interview, with Israel TV’s Channel 2, Mr. Obama said:
Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close…. So when I’m consulting with Bibi as I have over the last several years on this issue, my message to him will be the same as before: If we can resolve it diplomatically that is a more lasting solution. But if not I continue to keep all options on the table….
What I have also said is that there is a window, not an infinite period of time, but a window of time where we can resolve this diplomatically and it is in all of our interests [to do this]….They [Iran] are not yet at the point, I think, where they have made a fundamental decision to get right with the international community…. I do think they are recognizing that there is a severe cost to continue on the path they are on and that there is another door open.
Thus, the president has declared that there is nothing to talk about respecting Iran, despite the differences between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu on key particulars. The president has embraced the notion that Iran is a year away from the U.S. “red line,” which he defines in terms of how long it would take for “Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon.” He further asserts that sanctions are working, so diplomacy until that time is appropriate.
Mr. Netanyahu, however, has long maintained that his “red line” is when Iran reaches the point where it has the capability of building a bomb, since after that it would be hard to detect the actual assembling of one. He also says that sanctions are not working and relying on them just provides more time to Iran to pursue its goal of becoming a nuclear power.
These are significant issues one would have expected close allies to carefully examine in an open-ended discussion. But the president has said he will just repeat what he has said before. This is all the more surprising inasmuch as U.S. and European officials acknowledge the sanctions regime has not yet produced the kind of public unrest that could force Iranian leaders to change their nuclear policies.
Significantly, Marine Gen. James Mattis, head of the U.S. Central Command, recently testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Iranians had accelerated their nuclear program in the past twelve months and are “enriching uranium beyond any plausible peaceful purpose” while seemingly using negotiations to buy more time.
It is a shame that President Obama has, apparently, already made up his mind.
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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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