Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
Soon after taking office in 2009, President Obama spoke of reining in the U.S. role around the world and of making a concerted outreach to non-Western countries, particularly the Arab states and Iran, which he said had been unfairly dealt with in the past by the U.S.
Some of us feared the close relationship between Israel and the U.S. would suffer. When Mr. Obama promptly went public with attacks on Israel’s settlement policy, those fears were realized. However, the president made a full about-face when confronted by a solid wall of congressional pushback. There followed several years of truly remarkable enhancements of U.S. military assistance to Israel as well as political support internationally, especially at the United Nations.
Unfortunately, it seems the president may be reverting to his original vision of a new relationship with the Arabs and Iran.
We were thunderstruck when Secretary of State John Kerry reacted to the now stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks with some thinly veiled anti-Israel broadsides. In an interview on Palestine TV, Kerry said:
The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos…. Does Israel want a third intifada?… I believe that if we do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis, if we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel, there will be an increasing campaign of the delegitimization of Israel that has been taking place on an international basis…. If we do not resolve the question of settlements, and who lives where and what rights they have; if we don’t end the presence of Israeli soldiers perpetually in the West Bank, then there will be an increasing feeling that if you cannot get peace with a [Palestinian] leadership that is committed to non-violence, we may wind up with a [Palestinian] leadership that is committed to violence.
In another interview, Kerry said that “as long as the aspirations of people are held down one way or another…[the] possibilities of violence” increase.
Further, as was widely reported, the much heralded foreign minister-level negotiations between Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., over restraining Iran’s nuclear program, fell apart last weekend as Iran insisted on recognition of its “right” to enrich uranium. But the fundamental problem is that what was meant to be an all-or-nothing process of telling Iran what it had to do with its nuclear program in order for sanctions to be lifted instead became more of a two-sided give and take between two equal sides.
All this over the vociferous opposition of Israel, which cited its core security needs and the necessity of Iran being made to abandon its nuclear program now, with no chance for subterfuge and concealment.
The draft deal with Iran, which was championed by the U.S. and spearheaded by Secretary Kerry, called for Iran to temporarily freeze significant parts of its nuclear program – but not all nuclear enrichment – as an interim step while negotiations continued to reach a comprehensive agreement. In return, Iran would have gotten a measure of relief from the economic sanctions regime. The Washington Post reported that the most outspoken critic of the plan was the French foreign minister, who cautioned the other Western officials that they should avoid falling for a “fool’s game” that was advantageous to Iran and which created great risks for Israeli security.
Significantly, in tandem with the talks, Secretary Kerry repeatedly asked Congressional leaders not to increase the sanctions against Iran while negotiations continued. But Congress doesn’t seem to be in charitable mood.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez said this past Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the U.S. should move forward on Iranian sanctions.
“I think,” he said, “that the possibility of moving ahead with new sanctions, including wording it in such a way that if there is a deal that is acceptable that those sanctions could cease upon such a deal, is possible.”
According to Sen. Menendez, increasing sanctions would provide
an insurance for the United States to make sure that Iran actually complies with an agreement that we would want to see…. At the same time it’s also an incentive to the Iranians to know what’s coming if you don’t strike a deal…. So I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to move forward on a package that ultimately would send a very clear message where we intend to be if the Iranians don’t strike a deal and stop their nuclear weapons program.
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The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.
The answer is an emphatic no.
Don’t Israelis and Arab Palestinians deserve more than this? Is it not time to stop the insanity?
At age 104, my mother was still concerned about her relationship with Hashem.
Obama’s incompetence, the way his naive worldview and credulity have made a fool of him, are equally frightening
“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”
You’ve discovered our little secret!
Klein’s challenger has demonstrated a propensity to unleash poisonous vitriol, even to other Zionists
President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.
Welcome the book of Leviticus!
If the nationalist Knesset members don’t provide the answer, the Arab MKs will do so in their place.
International Agunah Day falls annually on Ta’anis Esther, this year on March 13.
Yeshiva University Museum recently hosted an exhibit titled “Threshold to the Sacred.”
One can almost imagine a shocked Mr. Kerry thinking to himself, “How could he?” Yet not only did Mr. Putin do what he did, China, one of the three major international players along with the U.S. and Russia, agreed with him, not with Mr. Kerry.
We are not unmindful that generally appropriate governmental initiatives may have some inappropriate aspects in execution.
Al Qaeda, despite President Obama’s claims to the contrary, is newly resurgent and no doubt salivating at the prospect of a severely diminished U.S. military capacity.
Last month, after the Israeli government published plans for new construction, the State Department promptly repeated its longstanding refrain that the settlements were “illegitimate” and that “It is never helpful to have steps taken that are not conducive to our efforts to move forward on peace.”
While the thrust of the proposed law is easily understandable, there is a problem as well. The current draft requires claimants to prove malicious intent on the part of the present holder of the property, which some legal authorities say would be extremely difficult.
Recent stories in the Israeli media, citing “unnamed sources,” indicate that Mr. Kerry failed to get backing from President Obama to confront Israel over its rejection of his peace proposals
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/wither-u-s-mideast-policy/2013/11/13/
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