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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Schumer’

US Senators: ‘EU Plans to Label Israeli Products Mere Figleaf for Boycott’

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Sometime in the near future the EU is expected to publish guidelines on consumer labeling of all Israeli products produced over the so-called “Green Line,” the armistice line created when the war against the nascent Jewish State ended.

The EU considers all Jewish cities and towns over the pre-1967 lines to be illegal. As such, anything produced, grown or packaged in either eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria or the Golan Heights will be labeled so that consumers can more easily boycott those products.

The guidelines will be published by the office of Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief. No vote is required for this measure to be taken.

There is pushback to that labeling plan coming not only from Israel, but also from many members of the U.S. Senate.

Three dozen U.S. Senators sent a letter to Mogherini, decrying the decision of the European Union to place labels on all those products imported into the EU which are produced beyond the “Green Line.”

The bipartisan letter, co-sponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), calls on the EU to refrain from this labeling effort which, they explained, is a mere cover for boycotting Israeli products.

“As allies, elected representatives of the American people, and strong supporters of Israel, we urge you not to implement this labeling policy, which appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de-facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East,” the letter states.

“We believe strongly that these efforts are unwarranted, dangerous, and damaging to the prospects of a negotiated solution to [the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict.”

The full text of the letter and all the names of the 36 signers follows:

November 9, 2015

Ms. Federica Mogherini High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the European Commission (HRVP) Delegation of the European Union to the United States Suite 800 2175 K Street NW Washington, DC 20037

Dear High Representative Mogherini,

We write to express our concern over reports that the European Union (EU) intends to move forward with new guidelines to label certain products made by Israeli companies imported into the EU. In April, more than half of the foreign ministers of EU member states sent a letter encouraging you to proceed with this policy, and members of the EU Parliament subsequently voted to endorse this initiative in September. As allies, elected representatives of the American people, and strong supporters of Israel, we urge you not to implement this labeling policy, which appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de-facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East. We believe strongly that these efforts are unwarranted, dangerous, and damaging to the prospects of a negotiated solution to this conflict.

We are also deeply concerned that enacting this policy would lead to the broader boycott of Israel. For decades, it has been the policy of the United States to oppose economic boycotts by other countries against Israel. In the 1970s, the United States Congress enacted legislation making it illegal for a U.S. company to comply with the Arab League boycott of Israel. This year, Congress has passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation requiring the United States to discourage Europe from enacting any politically motivated policies that would boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel when negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Differentiating between products made by Israeli companies creates a troubling precedent that could eventually lead to the type of activities that the TPA provisions aim to address.

Now More than a Dozen Democratic Reps Against Nuclear Iran Deal

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) became the 13th Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives to announce that she will vote against the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiated by the U.S. and its P5+1 partners.

First elected to Congress in 1993, Maloney represents most of Manhattan’s East Side, as well as Queens and Brooklyn. Her district includes the United Nations and the Empire State Building.

Last night Congresswoman Maloney issued a statement opposing the JCPOA.

Maloney said she gave the agreement, “which is one of the most important issues to come before the U.S. Congress in decades,” thoughtful and detailed study, examining the issues, reviewing classified materials, speaking with administration officials, consulting with experts on both sides and listening to community leaders and constituents on both sides.

After tipping her hat to the President and Secretary of State for their diplomatic efforts, she said she had to oppose the agreement “as a matter of conscience.”

Maloney said, as have virtually everyone of the elected officials who have come out in opposition to the deal, that its fatal flaw is that “the deal does not block Iran from eventually acquiring nuclear weapons.”

She pointed out that even given the restraints imposed by the deal, and as the President himself has acknowledged, the breakout time for Iran to become a nuclear threshold state at the end of the deal will have shrunk down to almost zero.

The absence of  so-called ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections and the lifting of embargoes on conventional weapons and on intercontinental ballistic missiles – for which there is no peaceful use – are all gravely troubling, as is Iran’s continued bankrolling of terrorist regimes throughout the Middle East, which will only be made easier by the infusion of billions of dollars as the result of lifting sanctions.

Maloney ended her statement with a poignant comment:

What we wanted out of this agreement was peace. But before the ink was dry, the Mullahs were declaring, “Death to America.” Some believe that if we can just delay Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, a more moderate regime in a country with a young population will assume power and abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We can hope for the best, but we need an agreement that assumes the worst.

Maloney had been the object of intense pressure by both sides of the Nuclear Iran Deal. On Wednesday, Aug. 26, a delegation from MoveOn.org gathered in front of her office, calling on her to vote in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A grass roots coalition of opponents of the JCPOA also gathered, asking that she oppose the deal. Hours later Maloney issued her statement opposing the deal.

One American who feels strongly about the deal and shared his views with his congregation is Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, of Congregation Kehilath Jeshuran on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Rabbi Lookstein told the JewishPress.com that he discussed the Iran deal with his congregation and urged them to call their elected representative – Maloney – and tell her their own views of the deal.

For his part, Lookstein said he feels very strongly that the deal is a bad one. He said “it gives Iran a path to nuclear weapons, it provides a tremendous infusion of money which will be used to foment terror in the Middle East, and it gives Iran an opportunity to continue to build its weapons.”

In addition, the JCPOA “will once again provide them with access to intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose sole purpose is to attack the United States,” according to Lookstein.

He said, the deal “is very bad for the U.S. and a terrible one for Israel. The entire political spectrum in Israel stands united against the deal.”

NYers Fighting Nuclear Iran Deal Gather on Sept. 1

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The grass roots organizations which brought you the thousands-strong Stop Iran Now! rally in Times Square in July is calling on New York area residents to join them for a slightly different kind of event against the Nuclear Iran Deal.

“The first time we came out in huge numbers that electrified people across the country. That rally was for those who wanted to understand the Agreement, who needed to learn more about the deal itself,” Jeff Wiesenfeld, the master of ceremonies and one of the founding members of the Jewish Rapid Response Coalition told the JewishPress.com.

“The Sept. 1 event is to energize people and get them to inform their elected representatives that they oppose the Agreement and will remember in November how their representatives voted in September,” Wiesenfeld explained.

This event is taking place in front of the New York City offices of the two U.S. Senators who represent New York, Senator Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, beginning at 5:30 p.m., in front of 780 Third Avenue, at the corner of 49th Street.

Earlier today it was announced that the Sept. 1 rally will be a bipartisan one. Addressing those gathered will be former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a current candidate for president. The two will deliver a major foreign policy address, one that emphasizes the bipartisan responsibility to protect the United States and our allies from the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, and that the current deal will not prevent that danger.

“The organizers of the initial rally always planned on having a follow-up rally in order to maintain the momentum of the critical message that this catastrophic deal cannot stand,” emphasized Lauri Regan, the New York chair of EMET, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank which deals with the Middle East, and a central organizer of the two events.

“Once Senator Gillibrand came out in favor of what she ironically labelled ‘the imperfect deal,’ it became clear that our focus would turn from asking Senator Schumer to do the right thing to thanking him and telling Gillibrand that New Yorkers will not stand while she surrenders American national security to a mullahcracy with a foreign policy based on ‘Death to America.’

Another one of the organizers, Rabbi Elchanon Poupko, told the JewishPress.com that “Shortly after the [July] rally Chuck Schumer came out opposing the deal.”

Poupko described the thousands of people who came to that first event, and that it sent shock waves throughout the world. “It was reported from Asia to South America!” Poupko and his colleagues hope to send the strongest possible message to Washington to ‘Stop Iran Now!’ As the vote on the deal is approaching, “We hope many more will join us in making that call.”

The July 22 event focused heavily on Schumer who was in a difficult position politically – so many of his constituents and long-time supporters were urging him to vote his conscience and oppose the deal. The administration was pressuring all Democrats in Congress, but especially someone so visible and senior as Schumer, to be a team player and throw his weight behind the Agreement.

The junior Senator from New York, Gillibrand, has since come out in support of the deal, and she will be the heavy focus of attention on Sept. 1.

“As a Senator of New York which suffered the greatest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Ms. Gillibrand must oppose this deal,” said Hillary Barr, the founder of Mothers Against Terrorism and a core organizer of the two NYC Anti-Nuclear Iran Deal events this summer.

“This Iran deal puts the U.S. and its armed forces in grave danger,” Barr said.

Key Democratic Senators Cardin and Mikulski Still on the Fence on Iran

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Two Democratic U.S. senators from Maryland – Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski – remain undecided about the agreement. Cardin is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Congress is in the midst of a 60-day period to review the Obama administration-brokered Iran nuclear deal.

While it is expected that virtually all 54 Republicans in the Senate will vote against the Iran deal, 67 anti-deal votes are needed to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a possible Congressional rejection of the pact. The only two Senate Democrats who have publicly come out against the agreement so far are Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (N.J.).

Asked where Cardin stands on the nuclear deal, and whether or not his decision will be affected by the recent report that the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog made a side agreement with Iran that allows the Islamic Republic to carry out its own inspections at the Parchin nuclear site, Cardin spokesperson Sue Walitsky said the senator told JNS:

[He] continues to review all aspects of the agreement to determine what decision he’ll make.

He continues to study the details of this deal, reach out to experts for answers to his many questions, and engage Marylanders to get their thoughts.

There is great intensity on all sides of this issue, but the feedback has been decidedly mixed. He believes that each senator and member of Congress has to make his or her own decision based on what is right for our country—not party, not president, but the national security of the United States of America.

He does not plan to rush his decision based on what others may decide.

When contacted by JNS.org, Mikulski’s office said the senator is currently traveling and unable to return a request for comment.

Rep Nadler Getting Pushback by 2 Jewish Pols over Iran Deal

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) On Friday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued a statement saying he would vote in favor of President Obama’s proposed Iran deal.

“I bring to my analysis [of the agreement] the full weight of my responsibilities as a member of Congress, and my perspective as an American Jew who is both a Democrat and a strong supporter of Israel,” Nadler stated, noting: “I have sought to ignore the political pressures, as well as the demagoguery and hateful rhetoric on both sides that I think has been harmful to the overall political discourse.”

In a less analytical but much more colorful fashion, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-NY) told the Observer he had rented a double decker tour bus, covered it with images of the Ayatollah Ali Khameini, and left it for a few hours outside Nadler’s lower Manhattan office. Hikind told the Observer that next he is taking the bus on visits to other pro-Iran deal representatives.

Councilman David Greenfield criticized Nadler on Facebook. “I join my fellow Brooklynites in outrage that Congressman Jerry Nadler has announced his support of the Iran deal against the overwhelming wishes of his Jewish constituency… We are furious that our community does not have a voice in Congress and can not forgive him.”

Nadler offered an analysis of the Iran deal that’s easily as exhaustive as the one offered by Senator Chuck Schumer in early August. Despite the fact that he reached the opposite conclusion, Nadler is respectful of the opponents of the deal, suggesting “the only decision that matters at this moment is whether to support or reject the agreement that is on the table now, not whether we could or should have gotten a better deal.”

Nadler also deals realistically with the consequences of an override of the anticipated presidential veto of what is certain to be a rejection of the deal by both Republican-controlled houses. He writes:

“Iran might accept the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) without U.S. participation. In that case, the other countries might go along. In 6–9 months, all the non-U.S. sanctions would be lifted. Iran would resume doing business with most other countries, and would get its $56 billion, some of which would be used to sponsor terrorism and other illicit activities.”

Frustrating as such an outcome is to pro-Israel American Jews, Nadler is not wrong in his assessment. And while the White House may be to blame for this outcome, it does not change the finality of these consequences. Nadler also argues that, should the president be forced by Congress to drop the Iran agreement, “there would be less diligent oversight, less fear of punitive action against violations, and Iran would enjoy full legitimacy and inclusion from the international community. Meanwhile, the United States — Israel’s closest ally and the only partner on the Security Council or in the P5+1 whose interests are as closely aligned in terms of preventing Iran from becoming an existential threat — would sit on the sidelines, separated from the JCPOA.”

US Senator Chuck Schumer: American Sanctions Can Stand Alone

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come back swinging after liberal groups egged on by the White House have attacked his integrity and financial base in an effort to discredit his decision to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.

The MoveOn.org advocacy organization has mobilized its thousands of members to withdraw financial support for Schumer, who is positioned to become to leading Democrat in the next Senate.

That move came immediately following Schumer’s announcement that he would vote against IranDeal, after days of reviewing the data and maintaining silence on the matter.

Finally, when the senator made his decision, he pointed out there were other ways to deal with Iran.

“Let’s not forget, those secondary sanctions are very powerful,” Schumer told a news conference in New York during his announcement last week. “We have that powerful tool and if used, I think that’s a better, better chance in a very difficult world than an agreement that is so totally flawed.”

Sanctions aimed at international firms who do business with Iran can force European allies and trade partners back to the negotiating table, says Schumer. And such sanctions will hurt Iran.

Sanctions aimed at corporations such as the French oil firm Total, for instance, would send the message that if it chooses to deal with Iran, it will not be able to do business with the United States, he said.

Asked if he would try to convinced his fellow senators to vote with him against the deal, Schumer said yes, but added that “anyone who thinks you can force somebody to vote with you in the Senate doesn’t understand the Senate.” He added bluntly, “This is a vote of conscience.”

MoveOn Members Yank Support From Schumer Over IranDeal

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

The U.S. debate over IranDeal is beginning to get dirty.

Less than 24 hours after Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York announced he would oppose IranDeal, the MoveOn advocacy organization released a statement saying it would withhold major campaign support from the senior senator.

MoveOn communications director, Nick Berning was quoted by The Huffington Post as saying, “We want to demonstrate to those who haven’t made their decision yet that there will be substantial political consequences for those who want to take us to war.”

Schumer announced last Thursday night he will oppose President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran over its nuclear development activities.

“After deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote ‘yes’ on a motion of disapproval,” Schumer said. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade [other colleagues] that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion,” he added.

The bottom line, he said, was this: “Are we better off with the agreement or without it?”

The answer, he said, was that after 10 years, “If Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.”

The senator, considered the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, explained that he was concerned that after ten years, Iran will still be free to build a nuclear weapon.

Schumer drew instant praise from Agudath Israel of America for his action, however. “Senator Schumer has spoken out consistently and forcefully over the past several years about the grave threat a nuclear empowered Iran would pose to America and its allies, especially Israel,” the group said in a statement issued Friday morning.

The senator was also “courageous.” in stepping out on a limb to make his decision, Agudath Israel noted. “He is the first and thus far the only Senator of his political party to publicly announce that he will be voting against the position of the Administration.

“His high rank among his Democratic Senate colleagues surely created an incentive for him not to buck the leadership of his party. Fortunately, however, as he said in the statement he issued in announcing his intention to vote to disapprove the JCPOA, Senator Schumer made his decision “solely based on the merits … without regard to pressure, politics or party.” For this he deserves our sincere admiration and deep appreciation.”

Obama needs 34 votes in the Senate in order to sustain a veto he has vowed to advance to override the legislation if the motion of disapproval is passed.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/moveon-withholds-8-3m-from-sen-chuck-schumer-over-irandeal/2015/08/09/

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