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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’

‘US and Iranian Cartoon Doves’ Shown Defecating on Bibi by Swiss Amb to Iran

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Guilio Haas is the Swiss Ambassador to Iran.

Switzerland has been in a great hurry to get the other nations of the world to join it in treating Iran as if it is an upstanding member of the world community. The Swiss began lifting sanctions on Iran earlier this month.

In accordance with this position, Ambassador Haas revealed Switzerland’s true progressive nature at a meeting attended by hundreds of Swiss and Iranian businesspeople at a Zurich hotel on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Haas was encouraging the businesspeople to invest in Iran, referring to the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism as a “pole of stability in the Middle East,” and that in his two years in Iran, while he has seen gray-haired men in turbans, “there aren’t a lot of them” and that Western perceptions of Iran as a belligerent nation was about to change as soon as sanctions are lifted. This is what the World Tribune reported about the event.

What the World Tribune did not report was that as part of his effort to encourage the businesspeople to invest in Iran, the Swiss Ambassador projected a cartoon on a huge screen. The cartoon was titled “Iran: now or never.”

That cartoon showed two doves defecating on the head of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the chest of one of the doves defecating on Netanyahu is an American flag and on the other the Iranian flag.

Read those two sentences again.

So, you may ask, if the World Tribune article did not mention the cartoon, maybe it is not true?

A reasonable thought, but dashed by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs acknowledgement of the incident.

Reuters reported that the FDFA said the “questionable cartoon” was used, BY THE AMBASSADOR OF SWITZERLAND HIMSELF, without its knowledge and “regrets the use of the cartoon and considers it tasteless.”

“Questionable”? As in some might find it acceptable? “Tasteless”? As in simply in poor taste, but the meaning behind it is acceptable?

According to the Reuters report, the cartoon was intended to portray Israel as the sole holdout against the Nuclear Iran Deal, and the doves, Iran and the U.S. are the lovers of peace.

The FDFA said that “Ambassador Haas did not intend to insult anybody with the cartoon,” Reuters reported. “If that is the case,’ – meaning, if there is someone out there who could possibly be insulted by this – “however, he regrets it and seeks the pardon of everyone who could have felt insulted.”

The businessmen present were not all persuaded by Haas’s blinding diplomacy. Some grumbled that the “level of corruption” IN IRAN was still “unbelievable.” Imagine that.

UPDATE: According to the website of the Swiss Embassy in Iran, Switzerland represents the U.S. in Iran because the U.S. does not currently, officially, have diplomatic relations with Iran. As Ambassador Haas explains in his welcome message:

In the absence of diplomatic or consular relations of the United States of America with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as the Protecting Power of the USA in Iran since 21 May 1980. The Swiss Embassy’s Foreign Interests Section provides consular services to U.S. citizens living in or travelling to Iran.

Think anyone at the White House or State Dept. press briefings will ask the spokespeople about this?

Sen. Cotton to Visit Israel for More Ammunition against Iran Deal

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Sen. Tom Cotton, one of the loudest voices against the nuclear deal with Iran, will arrive in Israel on Sunday for a week-long visit that can be assumed is aimed at arming him with more ammunition to try to shoot down the nuclear Iran agreement in the Senate.

The Israel government announced:

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) will be visiting Israel from Sunday, August 30, to Saturday, September 5, 2015.  During his trip to Israel, the Senator will be updated on strategic and diplomatic issues, as well as other major developments in the region.

Senator Cotton, in office as of January 2015, serves on the Armed Services, Intelligence, and Banking committees.

Updating him on “strategic and diplomatic issues” just before Congress returns from a summer recess with the Iran deal the number one item on the agenda means that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will send Sen. Cotton back with a suitcase full of arguments to try to win a veto-proof majority against the deal when it comes for a vote.

Sen. Cotton was behind the controversial letter that he and several senators sent to Iran to “inform” it that a nuclear deal would not be binding on the next president.

Earlier this month, he told Israeli reporters that the Obama administration has not made it clear to Iran that it could use force to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. He then said that the U.S. Armed Forces could bomb Iran’s nuclear program “back to zero.”

Sen. Corker stated:

You can destroy facilities. I don’t think any military expert in the United States or elsewhere would say the U.S. military is not capable to setting Iran’s nuclear facilities back to day zero,

Can we eliminate it forever? No, because any advanced industrialized country can develop nuclear weapons in four to seven years, from zero. But we can set them back to day zero.

That is music to the ears of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the timing of next week’s visit is not coincidental.

The Prime Minister and President Barack Obama are desperately campaigning against and for the deal, respectively.

Media continue to report more evidence that the deal is full of holes and that Iran already is has taken moves to get around it, such as the report Thursday that it has built an addition to its Parchin nuclear facility.

However, party loyalty usually is paramount to intellectual honesty. New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer came out against the deal and promptly faced a campaign prevent him from becoming the next party leader in the Senate to succeed retiring Sen. Harry Reid, who backs the deal.

Even Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker admits that Obama will win. He told The Tennessean:

Understand that at this moment it looks very unlikely that we’ll have a veto-proof majority to disapprove, but I know we’re going to have a bipartisan majority that will disapprove.

The Hill reported that President Obama lacks only five out of 15 undecided Democratic senators to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

Obama and Biden Running after the Jews to Back ‘ObamaDeal’

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

President Barack Obama is beginning to sweat over diminishing Jewish support for the deal with Iran, especially among Congressmen.

He and Vice-president Joe Biden are shifting into high gear to convince Jews to persuade their Representatives and Senators to vote for “ObamaDeal.”

Several Jewish senators already are in the “no” camp and key Jewish Sen. Ben Cardin on the fence, and a continuing drop of support for the deal in the polls is turning the Jews into the best friends Obama ever had.

Biden is scheduled to meet with American Jewish leaders in Florida next week in an event whose organizers include Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who heads the Democratic National Committee. She has not yet announced whether she will vote for or against the deal.

President Obama is scheduled to connect with Jews with a webcast Friday. Although it is long-shot that the Senate or the House of Representatives can come up with a veto-proof majority against the deal, the  president is not taking any chances.

The webcast will be viewed through the site of the Jewish Federations of North America..More than a dozen local Federations have come out against the agreement with Iran, and approximately 100 or more have been non-committal.

The webcast is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. tomorrow, and pre-registration is available here.

The organization, in a carefully worded and neutral statement, wrote on its website:

We are hopeful that diplomatic efforts will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and we appreciate the hard work President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and Under Secretary of State Sherman have put into crafting this agreement.

At the same time, we are concerned. Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries—including Israel—make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.

President Barack Obama and his administration have repeatedly said that any deal with Iran must shut down Iran’s uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon, cut off all four of Iran’s potential pathways to a bomb, and track Iran’s nuclear activities with unprecedented transparency and robust inspections throughout its nuclear supply chain. We agree.

We urge Congress to give this accord its utmost scrutiny.

The Federations earlier this month provided Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a platform to speak out against the deal.

The  Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which is a co-sponsor of Friday’s webcast, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have announced their opposition to ObamaDeal.

J Street supports it.

Israel Calls British Petition to Arrest Netanyahu a ‘Publicity Stunt’

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has labeled a new petition in Britain to arrest Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as “a public relations stunt that has no practical significance.”

The online petition on the Parliament’s official website has gathered approximately 80,000 signatures, according to the London Telegraph, only 20,000 short of the number needed for it to be considered as a possible topic for debate in the Parliament.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said in a statement that “the bilateral relations between Britain and Israel are closer than ever.” He noted that trade between Britain and Israel has doubled over the past several years and that academic and cultural cooperation continues, despite attempts by BDS to curtail it.

The petition states:

Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September. Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K. for the massacre of over 2000 civilians in 2014.

The British Foreign Office also dismissed the petition as a “PR exercise, and Conservative MP Sir Eric Prickles said it was “completely absurd” and added:

The petition will have no impact upon the UK-Israel relationship which is stronger than ever and prime minister Netanyahu’s forthcoming visit will enhance it further.

Even the organizer of the petition, Damiam Moran, said he does not expect Netanyahu to be arrested. He told Al Jazeera:

[The government] will just say ‘blah blah blah, universal jurisdiction, good luck’

The British government responded to the petition in abatement:

We were all deeply saddened by the violence. However the Prime Minister [of Britain] was clear on the UK’s recognition of Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself, within the boundaries of international humanitarian law.

Israel Aborted Military Strike on Iran in 2012 Because of U.S. Ties

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

A special news report by Israel’s Channel 2 on Friday night revealed that Israel was ready to strike at Iran’s nuclear development facilities as far back as January 2012.

The operation was aborted because coincided with Austere Challenge 12, the largest-ever joint Israeli-U.S. joint military drill to be carried out between the two nations, according to the report.

The U.S. was clearly opposed to the strike, and Israel was clearly going ahead with it. But the timing wasn’t right.

Details of the plans came to light when Israeli military censors allowed Channel 2 to broacast sections from the tapes of conversations with former defense and prime minister Ehud Barak, recorded for a new biography by Danny Dor and Ilan Kfir. Barak, outraged, tried to block the broadcast but failed when censors allowed the station to go ahead with the report.

“We intended to carry it out, so I went to [then-U.S. Defense Secretary Leon] Panetta and asked him if we could change the date of the exercise,” Barak said in part of the recording. “So they delayed it as much as they could… to a few days before the [U.S.] election [that November]…

“Things did not work out in the first part in 2012 and it was pushed back toward the end (of the year)…

“You demand that America respect your sovereignty and decide you want to do it (strike Iran), even if America is opposed and it is contrary to their interests… You can’t find yourself then going back on that by trying to force America to be party to (the strike) just as it comes here for a pre-planned drill. That’s how it ran into difficulties in 2012.”

On Saturday, Likud MK Yoav Kish questioned Barak’s motivation for making tapes in which he detailed unsuccessful attempts by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to win approval for the strike.

According to a report in the Hebrew-language Ma’ariv newspaper, Kish – a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee – pointed out the issue of Iran is still a matter of top security for Israel.

“I do not know what political gain Ehud Barak sought to achieve with these reports, but we would do well to cease the online chatter,” he said.

In general, Israeli leaders were reported on Sunday to be furious with the former defense minister for his lack of discretion with national security matters. Channel 2 reported on Saturday that numerous senior political and security officials also noted that Barak’s version of events was not entirely accurate.

There has been no official response by the Prime Minister’s Office to the broadcast.

In Defense of Ambassador Danny Danon

Monday, August 17th, 2015

The left are frothing at the mouth at the appointment of Minister Danny Danon as Israel’s Ambassador to the UN. Primarily, because he’s a rightwing ideologue, and will unapologetically represent the views of the majority of Israel’s citizens and of the current government of Israel.

The left not only hates those views, they simply can’t understand how any positions other than capitulation can be defensible to the world.

Some on the right are complaining too, considering Danon to be a thorn in Netanyahu’s side, and this is Netanyahu’s way of getting rid of his political problem, at the expense of making a nondiplomatic appointment to an critical position.

But they’re both wrong.

The Left, brought us the Oslo disaster and its subsequent terror attacks, the recent Lebanon wars, the Disengagement and the Gaza wars. There’s no need to rebut their worldview. They’ve done it for themselves.

And besides, they froth at the mouth at every rightwing appointment.

For the Right, they need to consider something important. Only two people have truly and successfully challenged Prime Minister Netanyahu over the years for leadership of the Likud, Moshe Feiglin and Danny Danon.

While Feiglin successfully challenged Netanyahu by bringing his followers into the Likud from the outside, Danon managed to work inside the existing institutions, convincing Netanyahu’s own Likud people to join his team instead.

Repeatedly Netanyahu found Danon ruling the very same internal Likud institutions where Netanyahu should have been the unchallenged leader.

It’s precisely the fact that Danon managed to be a thorn in Netanyahu’s side, building up a strong coalition of followers, right under Netanyahu’s watchful gaze, indicates Danon’s ability to quietly organize and convince people to follow him.

Our former Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman proved that Right-leaning diplomats, working behind the scenes, confident in our country’s political positions were able to convince other countries to vote and stand with us in the international arena.

Danon sees himself as a contender for the position of Prime Minister. I suspect Netanyahu sees that potential in Danon too. There are many similarities between the two of them.

It’s no coincidence that Danny Danon reminds people of the young Bibi Netanyahu.

The fact that Danon was able to outplay Netanyahu in his own playground, proves Danon has the skills and capabilities that will be useful in the backrooms of the UN, quietly building up coalitions that will support Israel, while forcefully defending Israel at the podium, from a position of strength.

Netanyahu appointing Danon isn’t about getting rid of a thorn, it’s about preparing another qualified candidate. A potential leader who Netanyahu may dislike now because of the challenges he creates, but one who Netanyahu also trusts over the long term because of his unwavering ideology and skills — for the inevitable day when Netanyahu decides to step down.

Obama ‘Doesn’t Oppose Israel’s PM Across the Board’

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama is continuing his campaign to persuade the American people of the merits of the IranDeal signed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Iran and five other world leaders last month in Vienna.

Mic editor-in-chief Jake Horowitz interviewed President Barack Obama in the White House Library about the agreement, which must still be ratified in the Congress.

During the interview the president also took questions from people in Iran, the U.S. and Israel, and responded directly to their comments.

Following is a transcript of the president’s response to a question received from Tel Aviv resident Sam Grossberg, 30:

As an Israeli citizen, it’s very obvious that you oppose our prime minister. You’ve made a lot of promises in regards to our security as a people and as you know Hamas is right now basically at our doorstep. Why should we, as the Israeli people, trust you?

President Barack Obama replied: “Well, as president, I have not only pledged and committed to make sure that America supports Israel’s security. But I’ve also provided more intelligence and military cooperation with Israel than any previous president.

“This administration has done everything that Israel has been looking for with respect to, for example, a program called Iron Dome that has been able to shoot down missiles before they hit Israeli soil and undoubtedly saved Israeli lives.

“I think it’s important for Sam to understand, I don’t oppose the Israeli prime minister across the board.

“We have a strong disagreement about whether or not it makes sense for us to take a deal that cuts off all pathways for Iran getting a nuclear program or whether we should reject a deal, in which case, Iran can break out and start installing advanced centrifuges and potentially pursue a nuclear weapon without us having eyes on what’s going on, on the ground or any significant constraints until it’s too late.

“And that is a substantive disagreement that we have but — on a whole range of issues — particularly with respect to Israel’s security, we’ve been with Israel every step of the way. And even Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government would acknowledge that.”

***

One question Horowitz asked was whether there were any criticisms of the deal that the president thought were legitimate. Here’s Obama’s reply to that question.

POTUS: “Oh, absolu— well, what I have said is that there are concerns that are legitimate. It is absolutely true that Iran has a history of trying to play it close to the line when it comes to its nuclear program. And so we do have to be very vigilant about inspections.

“It’s true that under this agreement in 15 years time, they will be in a position to install more powerful centrifuges that produce uranium and that at that point they could conceivably break out and try to get a nuclear weapon.

“The point there, that I’ve made, that I think is indisputable, and in fact, former Israeli intelligence officers have made the same point, is that we’ll have just as much if not more ability to stop them at that point than they would if they are doing it right now and in the meantime we would have purchased 15 years in which we know exactly what they’re doing and can have a lot more assurance about understanding their program.

“It is true that by definition, under this agreement, Iran’s economy improves because they get sanctions relief. That was the incentive for them to enter into this deal.

“And some of that probably goes to help finance some of the dangerous activities that they are involved with anyway, but in that circumstance, as I’ve said before, we can deal with conventional challenges from Iran. What creates real problems for us is if they get a nuclear weapon, so we have to prioritize.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-doesnt-oppose-israels-pm-across-the-board/2015/08/11/

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