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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

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.

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.

Treasury Official Explains How US Will Stop Iranian Terror Financing

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The U.S. says it will continue targeting Iranian support for terror even with the nuclear deal that is set to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

U.S. Treasury acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes Adam Szubin testified Wednesday before a Senate Banking Committee on the matter along with Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of state for public affairs.

Szubin said it will take at least six to nine months for Iran to fulfill the necessary conditions for initial sanctions relief to begin. “It will take until at least 2022 — even with sanctions relief — for Iran to get back to where it would have been absent our sanctions,” he claimed. “Iran has foregone approximately $160 billion in oil revenue alone since 2012, after our sanctions reduced Iran’s oil exports by 60 percent. This money is lost and cannot be recovered,” Szubin said in written testimony.

In addition, if Iran is found to be violating any of its commitments under the deal, U.S. sanctions could be reimposed “in a matter of days,” he maintained.

“When the JCPOA goes into effect, there will be no immediate relief from UN, EU, or U.S. sanctions. There is no ‘signing bonus.’ Only if Iran fulfills the necessary nuclear conditions—which will roll back its nuclear program and extend its breakout time five-fold to at least one year—will the United States lift sanctions. We expect that to take at least six to nine months. Until Iran completes those steps, we are simply extending the limited relief that has been in place for the last year and a half under the Joint Plan of Action. There will not be a cent of new sanctions relief.

“Upon “Implementation Day,” when phased relief would begin, the United States will lift nuclear- related secondary sanctions targeting third-country parties conducting business with Iran, including in the oil, banking, and shipping sectors. These measures were imposed in response to the security threat from Iran’s nuclear program; accordingly, they will be suspended in exchange for verifiable actions to alleviate that threat.

“As we phase in nuclear-related sanctions relief, we will maintain and enforce significant sanctions that fall outside the scope of this deal, including our primary U.S. trade embargo. Our embargo will continue to prohibit U.S. persons from investing in Iran, importing or exporting to Iran most goods and services, or otherwise dealing with most Iranian persons and companies.

“Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York, hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks. Nor will Iran be able to import controlled U.S.-origin technology or goods, from anywhere in the world. In short, Iran will continue to be denied access to the world’s principal financial and commercial market. The JCPOA provides for only minor exceptions to this broad prohibition.”

“As we address the most acute threat posed by Iran, its nuclear program, we will be aggressively countering the array of Iran’s other malign activities,” Szubin went on.

“The JCPOA in no way limits our ability to do so, and we have made our posture clear to both Iran and to our partners. This means that the United States will maintain and continue to vigorously enforce our powerful sanctions targeting Iran’s backing for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.

“In the last two months alone, for example, we designated 11 Hezbollah military officials and affiliated companies and businessmen. We will also continue our campaign against Hezbollah’s sponsors in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force; Iran’s support to the Houthis in Yemen; its backing of Assad’s regime in Syria; and its domestic human rights abuses. We will also maintain the U.S. sanctions against Iran’s missile program and the IRGC writ large.

Royce Submits Congressional Bill to ‘Disapprove’ IranDeal

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (CA) has submitted a bill to disapprove the nuclear deal between the U.S., world powers and Iran.

Congress has until September 17 to approve or disapprove of the agreement that was signed on July 14 under the Iran Nuclear Review Act signed in May by President Barack Obama.

The announcement means the Republican-led Congress will make an effort to pass the resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 64, rather than a resolution of non-binding approval.

A resolution of disapproval would prohibit the White House from lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran, probably killing the deal entirely. If the resolution passes, Obama may be expected to veto it.

Royce wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that it was “imperative” for lawmakers to see the so-called “side deals” being negotiated between the Islamic Republic and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency while the agreement is being debated in Congress.

“While this may not be typical IAEA practice, there is nothing typical about the Iranian threat or this nuclear agreement,” he wrote. “Reviewing these side agreements is critical to Congress understanding whether Iran intends to pass that test… It is clear to me that this issue deserves more scrutiny by the Committee. Indeed, all Members of Congress should have access to the separate arrangements negotiated between Iran and the IAEA,” he continued.

“The ‘separate arrangement’ agreed to between the IAEA and Iran regarding inspection of the facilities at Parchin will almost certainly be regarded by Tehran as a precedent for IAEA access to future suspicious sites in Iran.

“I have little doubt that ‘side deals’ of today will become central to the agreement’s verification provisions tomorrow.

“These ‘separate arrangements’ have the potential to seriously weaken our ability to verify the agreement as a whole.”

The White House called the ‘arrangements’ between the IAEA and states standard and confidential. However, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano is slated to present a closed-door briefing to members of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday (Aug. 5.)

Longtime former IAEA deputy director Dr. Olli Heinonen, who headed the agency’s arms inspections , currently of Harvard’s Belfer Center, expressed his opposition to the nuclear agreement Tuesday in a news briefing at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

US Promises to Protect Israel if Iran Attacks

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

An Obama administration official told Israeli diplomatic journalists Monday that the United States will protect Israel if Iran attacks it.

He also promised that the United States will not sell the F-35 advanced warplane to any other Middle East country besides Israel.

The briefing served the Obama administration’s current priority to make sure that Congress does not reject the nuclear deal with Iran by a veto-proof majority. President Barack Obama has no chance of winning majority support in the Senate, and Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam declared on Monday that a majority of House members have pledged to back a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal

In the briefing with Israeli journalists, a defense official said that the government’s commitment to Israel’s security is “something US defense officials live on a daily basis.”

He also asserted that Iran’s continued declaration to annihilate Israel “doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sign a deal that decreases the likelihood they will be a nuclear state.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has argued that ObamaDeal actually paves the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. If that is the case, the Obama administration in effect is creating an existential threat to Israel and then proposing a solution that makes Israel dependent on Washington.

Similarly, the promise not to sell F-35 warplanes to other countries n the region, most notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have expressed interest in buying the plane, eventually could be used as a tool to force concession from Israel. For example, President Barack Obama, or his successor, could warn Israel that if does not surrender to the Palestinian Authority, Washington will sell the F-35 to Egypt.

 

Khamenei Tells the World How to Destroy Israel

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

The difference between Hitler and Khamenei is 80 years.

The Ayatollah of Iran has published a 416-page book entitled “Palestine” and whose book cover features the world “Palestine” on a map of the country he wishes used to be Israel.

Nothing is coincidental in the Iranian regime. The publication of the new book, bound to a best-seller in Iran, is part of a propaganda campaign to brainwash Iranians into thinking that the agreement with the P5+1 powers does not have anything to do with the regime’s ultimate dream of wiping out Israel.

Khamenei explains that is absolutely logical that Israel should not exist for three major reasons:

Israel is an ally of the “Great Satan” known as the United States of America;

Israel is a “hostile infidel” because it supposedly has waged war against Muslims’ and

Israel “occupies” Islam’s third holiest city, Jerusalem.

The New York Post reported that the back cover of the book credits Khamenei as “the flag bearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”

Israel is not the only country that should be erased, according to the book, which repeats the radical Islamic vision of a Caliphate Empire on all Muslim lands.

That means India also must be wiped off the map. Parts of Russia must be under Muslim rule. Several European countries should not exist as such, and China can kiss good-bye to nearly one-third of its land mass. Ditto for parts of the Philippines and Thailand.

Khamenei’s strategy for taking over Israel and all of the other “Muslim” counties is to create conditions that will convince everyone to leave for a abate life elsewhere.

That means Congress can relax and give its stamp of approval to ObamaDeal because Khamenei does not need a nuclear weapon to wipe out Israel.

Just lift sanctions and give him tens of billions of dollars to fund Hezbollah and Hamas, and perhaps the Boycott Movement.

The strategy actually is a statement of current events. The United Nations, and especially the European Union and the Obama administration, invent every opportunity to condemn Israel for promoting the presence of Jews in a Palestinian Authority country whose principle of “no-Jews allowed” violates the charter of the United Nations.

According to the New York Post’s report and translation from the Farsi-language book, Khamenei wrote:

We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006 and in the 22-day war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip.

And once Iran has a nuclear weapon, if not next year then in 10 or 15 years, any Israeli pre-emptive action could be met by a nuclear attack. One way or the other, Khamenei wants the means to destroy Israel and much of the rest of the world.

His book once again exposes that Iran is no less a threat to Europe than to Israel, but Europe is so overrun by Muslims that its leaders don’t have the strength to see the future.

Instead, they focus on Israel, promoting the “two-state” solution while Khamenei writes in his book that there must be a “one-state solution of a single state of a Muslim Palestine.

Like Iran, it would allow Jews to remain, without a right to vote and only if they prove they have “genuine roots.” that means the a large majority of the Israelis, like myself, would have to get on the next plane and “go back” to the United States, Europe, Morocco, Yemen and the former Soviet bloc, among dozens of other countries.

Former Democratic NY Congressman Ackerman Opposes ObamaDeal

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Former liberal Democratic New York Congressman Gar Ackerman has come out four-square against the nuclear deal with Iran,

Ackerman, who was New York City’s 7th District Congressman for 30 years until 2013 and is 72 years old, has joined the advisory board of Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran.

He stated Friday:

While I have long argued for negotiations between the U.S. and Iran as a means to stop their nuclear program, the agreement that emerged from these talks simply does not do the job.

Stakes are too high to allow for so many loopholes. To make a deal with an enemy who then vows to kill you later, means you left something out of the deal.

Although no longer in Congress, his voice is significant because he was a strong backer of President Barack Obama’s policies.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-democratic-ny-congressman-ackerman-opposes-obamadeal/2015/08/02/

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