web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Notwithstanding Bibi’s Pleas, Top Dems Signal Openness To Iran’s New President

WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been telling his American friends that the purported moderation of Iran’s new president is a ploy aimed at relieving international pressure and buying the Islamic Republic more time to cross the nuclear threshold.

But in ways both subtle and direct, some of those friends – among them some of Israel’s closest allies in Washington – are saying that maybe Hassan Rouhani is worth hearing out.

That was the message delivered this week by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, while leading a tour of Israel for 36 fellow House Democrats.

“We have a new [Iranian] president,” Hoyer told JTA from Israel, where the stalwart supporter of the Jewish state was on his 13th tour as a congressman. “It makes sense for the [Obama] administration to test the sincerity, willingness and ability of the new president to accomplish the objective of assuring the West and Israel and the UN what the Iranians are not doing, and will reverse what they already have done, toward a nuclear capability.”

The divergence represents a rare public gap on a crucial security issue between pro-Israel lawmakers and Netanyahu, who in a succession of meetings this month with congressional delegations to Israel has lobbied hard to persuade American leaders to ignore Rouhani’s overtures.

“I know that some place their hopes on Iran’s new president,” Netanyahu told a delegation on Wednesday led by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). “He knows how to exploit this, and yesterday he called for more talks.

“Of course he wants more talks. He wants to talk and talk and talk. And while everybody is busy talking to him, he’ll be busy enriching uranium. The centrifuges will keep on spinning.”

In his first news conference as president, Rouhani said Iran wants to improve its relations with the United States and intimated he was prepared to increase transparency of his country’s nuclear program, which he insists is peaceful but which Western intelligence agencies believe is aimed at producing weapons.

Iran “will defend its people’s rights and at the same time will remove the concerns of the other party,” Rouhani said. “If we feel that the Americans are truly serious about resolving problems, Iran is serious in its will to resolve problems and dismiss worries.”

Netanyahu dismisses such talk as a sham, but the Democratic leadership in the House doesn’t appear to agree.

An official in the office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the minority leader, said her thinking on Iran was consistent with Hoyer’s, pointing to a floor speech July 31 when she joined the overwhelming majority of the House in voting to stiffen sanctions against Iran.

Though she backed new sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Pelosi also welcomed Rouhani’s openness to talks aimed at ending the nuclear standoff.

“Let’s do it diplomatically. Let’s do it with economic sanctions. Let’s do it by encouraging dialogue, engagement and the rest,” she said. “But let’s do that engagement from strength.”

Like Pelosi, Hoyer backs both increased economic pressure and an openness to talks – a position he said is not inconsistent with Netanyahu’s tough line. Nor is a letter signed by 131 House members urging President Obama to test Rouhani’s offer, Hoyer said.
“The letter and the actions of the House of Representatives are consistent with what the prime minister has said,” said Hoyer, who did not sign the letter. “Words are cheap, talk is cheap and let’s see what the walk is.”

For Netanyahu and some in the pro-Israel community like Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the clock has run out on that approach.

“If this were three years ago, I would have said we have a couple of months to lose…” said Engel, the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Now, while Iran is playing out the clock spinning centrifuges, pretending Rouhani is a moderate and stepping back, thinking we might be pleasantly surprised – we would not be pleasantly surprised. We would be three months closer to Iran having a nuclear weapon.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in his July 31 floor speech backing the intensified sanctions also suggested there was no point in waiting out Rouhani.

“America’s policies must be based on facts and not some hope about a new government in Iran that will somehow change the nature of the clerical regime in Tehran,” he said. “We must respond to Iran’s policies and behavior, not to its rhetoric.”

Nevertheless, the letter urging Obama to test Rouhani – spearheaded by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) – appears to have had an impact. Its signatories include 18 Republicans, most of them from the party’s mainstream. Dent is on three subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee. Also included were pro-Israel stalwarts Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

The following week, J Street and Americans for Peace Now urged senators to join a similar letter to Obama initiated by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The letter has yet to be sent – a sign that Feinstein may be having a hard time finding signatories.
A separate and tougher letter to Obama backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and initiated by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, garnered 76 signers. The Menendez letter, sent Aug. 2, emphasized intensified sanctions and urged that Iran be threatened with military engagement.

But in a sign of how the “test Rouhani” message is gaining traction, the AIPAC-backed letter notes Rouhani’s offer to engage and counsels “a sincere demonstration of openness to negotiations.”

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

9 Responses to “Notwithstanding Bibi’s Pleas, Top Dems Signal Openness To Iran’s New President”

  1. The rift between Iran and Saudi might just have the bonus of shifting attention from Israel, scaring the rest of the West as they focus on each other. I noted a couple of weeks back in an article Algemeiner probably, Saudi has two nuclear powered missiles directed at Iran the other Israel. With these two out of the running the rest will be easy to handle.

  2. Cody Flecker says:

    The Israelis have done everything possible to destroy themselves. Releasing murders simply because President Obama has said so, and now with the Iranian Nuclear Baloney. The fact of the matter is this: Israel needs to "take out" the Nuclear Testing areas and sites before Iran sets into motion the available of an atomic bomb. Waiting for the USA and President Obama to come to your aid is like asking Mr. Hitler to come to your Bar Mitzvah.

  3. Alan Kardon says:

    Let them open up all of their facilities for inspection. They should have nothing to hide. Why should we believe anything they say since the ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel and the United States.

  4. Netanyahu is a showman, bigmouth, with no gonads, he makes what Obama and Kerry says, to confront Iran must be another Israeli leader that have gonads, not listening the US and EU, so is the only way to destroy the Iran's nuclear facilities.

  5. Jaber Goodi says:

    God bless the great Iran

  6. Jaber Goodi says:

    God bless the great Iran

  7. Jaber Goodi says:

    **** pissraHell

  8. Jaber Goodi says:

    **** pissraHell

  9. I believe that in the last days, Iran will have those nuclear warheads ready and will use them on Israel, yet not one will touch her. God's mighty hand of protection will be evident.
    The Lord will get His glory.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest News Stories
ISIS in Quneitra

With new neighbors along our Syrian border, we thought we’d check out what they’re saying and what’s going on…

Jewish Comedienne Joan Rivers gives an impromptu speech on why Hamas should be wiped out.

We wish a speedy recovery to Joan Rivers, the straight-shooting Jewish comedienne whose exact analysis of the war was, “Hamas started it.”

An IDF soldier who was critically injured last week by a rocket that hit Ashdod died from his wounds today. He is Israel’s 71st casualty in the war. Sergeant Natanel Maman, 21, from Gan Yavne, an Ordnance Corps soldier, was critically injured by a rocket that hit Ashdod last Friday. He was promoted posthumously from […]

Imam speaks against ISIS to a  Michigan"crowd" of approximately 50 people.

More than 200,000 Muslims live in Michigan. Fifty of them showed up for a protest against ISIS.

Sofer, who may have died from dehydration after falling in a ravine while hiking, is being buried in Beit Shemesh.

The Boycott Israel movement, so far, is more bark than bite.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

Netanyahu gets support from Congressmen on House Armed Services Committee

Some Chareidi entertainers thrilled the crowd on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street with some Jewish entertainment.    

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has […]

Many of the Syrian soldiers were not armed when ISIS captured and then slaughtered them.

Police are still working to confirm the identity of a body that was found by searchers hunting for missing yeshiva student Aharon Sofer.

Iconic pro-Israel comedian Joan Rivers is in critical condition following a throat procedure.

UN troops fled their posts along the Syrian-Israel border after they decided it was too dangerous for them to do their job.

In the wake of a 12th Israel-Gaza cease-fire, Britain’s Jews and Muslims have issued a joint call for peace.

The investigation shed light on the movements of the drug traffickers operating under Hezbollah’s direction in Lebanon and Israel.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Secretary of State Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/notwithstanding-bibis-pleas-top-dems-signal-openness-to-irans-new-president/2013/08/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: