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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 decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.
Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof
What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.
Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.
The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.
Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US
No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?
For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.
Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation
Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.
Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers
It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”
Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.
If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.
Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.
There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/wither-u-s-mideast-policy/2013/11/13/
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