The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
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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Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo
Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims
The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR
U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.
We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
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