Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
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.
A move away from this position, the senator said, signals that “we seem to want the deal almost more than the Iranians. And you can’t want the deal more than the Iranians, especially when the Iranians are on the rope.”
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, a senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, charged that the Obama administration was “dealing away our leverage.”
So it looks again like once again it will have to be Congress to the rescue.
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Charges from the court of world public opinion and their refutations.
It is up to our government to ensure that their sacrifices were not made for short-term gains.
Supporting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has become dangerous in Malmo.
Regional pro-US Arab countries rely on Israel as a deterrence to rogue Islamic regimes.
He has always supported the underdog, once even quite literally, legislating a law that prohibits the abandonment of pets.
Temech is about providing a community – a place where religious women can learn, collaborate and refresh themselves with like-minded people.
Netanyahu has decided that the lives of Israeli are more important than looking good for Obama, U.N. and the NY Times.
Many Jews join the Israel-haters with their progressive ideology and politically correct obsessions.
“The will to triumph is a prerequisite for victory.” Abba Kovner
How can you run away from Israel and all the things that have shaped your life?
“Am HaNetzach Eino Mefached Mi Derech Aruka” (An eternal people doesn’t fear the long journey).
Isn’t it comforting to know that our God loves life, grants life, and promises eternal life?
So Hamas needed a way to end the blockade and secure the release of its prisoners.
In fact, the two suspects were arrested by Israeli authorities – not, as the Times tried artfully to suggest, by Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
Unfortunately, we must deal with some of the practical lessons of this tragedy. The murders did not happen in a vacuum.
It is no secret the president is furious with Republicans in Congress for blocking his efforts to change immigration laws.
The Rebbe was an acknowledged Torah scholar, seminal Torah personality, and one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century.
Does anyone think the president has a formula to deal with Russian and Chinese land grabs?
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/wither-u-s-mideast-policy/2013/11/13/
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