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April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Obama Administration, VP Joe Biden Escalates Spat Over Senate Letter to Iran

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The Obama administration is escalating its fiery spat over an open letter sent by a group of senators to Iran: this time Vice President Joe Biden, who spent 30 years as a leading senator in the Congress, hit back hard in response.

“The letter sent on March 9th by 47 Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting president in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere,” Biden said in a statement late Monday.

The letter warned that any deal signed by the president can be nullified during the next administration. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” the senators pointed out.

“This letter, in the guise of a Constitutional lesson, ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to undermine the ability of any future American president, whether Democrat or Republican, to negotiate with other nations on behalf of the United States,” Biden contended.

“Honorable people can disagree over policy. But this is no way to make America safe or stronger,” he said.

“In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which Senators wrote directly to advise another country-much less a longtime foreign adversary – that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them,” Biden wrote.

“This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments – a message that is as false as it is dangerous.”

“The decision to undercut our president and circumvent our constitutional system offends me as a matter of principle. As a matter of policy, the letter and its authors have also offered no viable alternative to the diplomatic resolution with Iran that their letter seeks to undermine.”

47 GOP Senators Send Open Letter to Iran

Monday, March 9th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama may sign a 10-year deal with Iran this month, but if the Congress has its way, that agreement won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, once Obama is out of office.

All 47 Republican senators banded together to send an open letter about the deal to Iran this week. The letter warned that nation’s leadership that any nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration without Congressional support would be a “mere executive agreement.”

As such, the letter went on, “the next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded that the “letter is a continuation of a partisan strategy” and said the lawmakers were “interfering in a delicate moment” in the talks, which are due to resume on March 15. The deadline for an agreement is March 31.

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) spoke with CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer on Monday and explained that the letter to Iran simply meant, “If this is a bad deal, it will be revisited. We are going to represent the views of the American people.

“Iran has said it does not understand our governmental system. This is a civics lesson for Iran, and I think that’s perfectly appropriate… This just says that the deal better represent U.S. interests as well as Iran interests… If it’s a bad deal, then there will be repercussions.”

The move was organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton, but signed by the Senate’s entire Republican party leadership, as well as three presidential candidates, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

Because the Congress has been blocked from having any role to play in the negotiating process, lawmakers are very frustrated. As long as the agreement does not have to be ratified by Congress, the Secretary of State or the president can sign the document at the executive branch level, leaving the legislative branch with no role.

The Story Behind Marble Moses in Netanyahu’s Speech

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referenced several cultural, political, and historical figures throughout his highly-anticipated speech to Congress on Tuesday March 3 – including Harry S. Truman, Queen Esther, Robert Frost, and Elie Wiesel – he concluded his historical address with the biblical figure of the prophet Moses.

The Israeli prime minister did not just mention Moses in passing, he also pointed to the image of Moses in the form of white Vermont marble relief, hanging over the gallery doors overlooking the lawmakers in the House of Representatives Chamber. Netanyahu spoke of the biblical leader, saying “Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land. And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years.”

It was probably the first time that the marble relief portrait of Moses hanging in the House Chamber ever received such public acknowledgement.

The portrait, designed by artist Jean de Marco, is one 23 marble reliefs that depict historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principals that underlie American law, according to the Architect of the Capitol, a U.S. government website. The site is devoted to providing historic and current information about the function and architecture of the U.S. Capitol Building where Netanyahu gave his speech before a joint-session of Congress.

On either side of the portrait of Moses, there are 11 profiles in the eastern half of the chamber that face left and eleven in the western half, which face right, so that all look toward the full-face relief of Moses in the center. He is described on the site as a Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, who transformed a wandering people into a nation and received the Ten Commandments.

The other profiles include writer of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the U.S., Thomas Jefferson; King of Babylonia, Hammurabi; Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman; Athenian statesman, Solon; Napoleon I, and Maimonides, among other significant leaders from different periods of history.

The image of Moses and other leaders of civilizations and societies have been hanging in the chamber for 65 years. Scholars from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia Historical Society of Washington D.C. chose the subjects with the help of authoritative members of the Library of Congress over six decades ago. A special committee of five Members of the House of Representatives and the Architect of the Capitol approved the selection, and the reliefs were installed when the House Chamber was remodeled from 1949-1950.

Prime Minister Netanyahu at the end of his speech quoted Moses from the Book of Deuteronomy, stating in Hebrew, “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them,” which were the leader’s parting words to the Israelites before they entered the land of Israel. For Netanyahu, they were words that highlighted the strength of friendship shared by the United States and Israel, two countries with a deep respect for the timeless road of history and the challenges along the way.

Tea Party Radio Host Says Democrats Who Boycotted Bibi Should Be Hanged

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Popular Tea Party radio host Andres Shea King went on a rant against Democrats who boycotted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech, declaring that “these guys could pay with their lives, hanging from a noose in front of the U.S. Capitol building.”

If King had been an Israeli broadcasting in Israel, she would have been in police custody by now for incitement.

King said those who boycotted the speech “are putting their own interests above that of America. and to me, that is criminal. Criminal.”

Her radio rant, broadcast before Netanyahu’s’ speech, did not draw the line between blacks and whites. She demonstrated the principle of equality by stating that all of the boycotters should be swinging from a noose, but she then she went after the Black Congressional Caucus and their supporters, saying:

Guess what? Most of those members who are opting out of attending the speech are members of the Congressional Black Caucus…

Their districts are all dumb clucks because dumb clucks wouldn’t be electing these people if they knew better.

How do people like this get elected to represent us in Congress? Because there are stupid people out there in those congressional districts who are so ignorant that it’s dangerous. How do people like this get elected to represent us in Congress?…

Stupid, stupid people.

You know, all of us are going to turn black if we end up in a cage on fire!”

King stepped back from her racial distinction on a follow-up show and erased any differences between white dumb clucks and black dumb clucks, telling her listeners, “I said something in the heat of passion that in retrospect, should have been more tempered. My comments were about those members of Congress who announced they would not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress.”

The audio is in this link.

Netanyahu Says Israel Can Stand Alone – and Pelosi Turns her Back [video]

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Minority Leader in the House, literally turned her back on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday when she stood up with everyone else after he said, “Even If Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

After her demonstrative insult to the Prime Minister if not to Congress, she issued a statement:

As one who values the U.S.- Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.

She did not join approximately 50 Democrats who boycotted the speech. Instead, she sat and made all kinds of gestures to Democratic Minority Whip Steny Hoyer before finally standing up and turning her back.

We don’t know whether she turned her back because she can’t stand the idea that Israel can stand by itself, without her, or because she was disgusted that her colleagues stood for so long and applauded Netanyahu.

Or perhaps she had a pain in her back.

Obama Claims Netanyahu Offered ‘No Viable Alternative’ to Iran Deal

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office surrounded by media, his body tense, prepared to rebut Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the Congress barely two hours after the event.

After a perfunctory acknowledgment of the points which America shares with Israel – the “unbreakable bond” between the two, etc. – Obama went straight to the point.

Netanyahu, he said, had “nothing new” to sell in his points about the Iranian nuclear threat.

“On the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which would make it far more dangerous … the prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives,” Obama told reporters crowded into the Oval Office as he met with newly appointed Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

“We don’t yet have a deal,” he said. “It may be that Iran cannot say ‘yes’ to a good deal. I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal, than a bad deal.

“But if we are successful in negotiating, then in fact this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“Nothing else comes close.”

Really?

Although the president said he “scanned” the transcript of the prime minister’s speech, one has to wonder whether he actually, really read it.  To claim that Netanyahu offered “no viable alternative” to the current agreement being negotiated was painting a swathe with a rather broad brush, to say the least.

Here’s the “viable alternative” that Israel’s prime minister came up with, and brought to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday:

“Nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn’t get you very much. A race car driver without a car can’t drive. A pilot without a plan can’t fly. Without thousands of centrifuges, tons of enriched uranium or heavy water facilities, Iran can’t make nuclear weapons. Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil….

“We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world… Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do. And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.

“My friends, for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it. Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.”

Netanyahu added that the deal currently being negotiated could, in fact, even spark a nuclear arms race “in the most dangerous part of the planet. This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.

“If anyone thinks — if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.”

Some Democrats Aim Venom, Charge Israeli Prime Minister with ‘Fear-Mongering’

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

In a stunning, nearly unbelievable attack by what has been a traditional base of support for the Jewish State, Democrats gathered Tuesday to attack Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu following his speech to Congress.

A cluster of 56 Democrats boycotted the historic address to the legislators and it is unclear how many of those even bothered to watch a broadcast of the speech.

President Barack Obama himself said he personally was involved in a conference call with “European partners” but had scanned a transcript. No one at the White house watched the speech, according to reports.

None of that stopped a group of Democrats from gathering to launch a fierce media attack on the prime minister as soon as the speech was over.

Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday of “fear-mongering” and called Israel’s top leader a “child” in “Disneyland.”

Netanyahu was likened to “Dick Cheney” and told that Democrats “resented him sharing his views” in what they described as a “condescending manner.”

Reaction by Democrats and Republicans that followed in sites online, however, was swift and equally venomous.

“I wish we had such a leader here in America!” wrote one reader on The Gateway Pundit. “America stands with Israel!”

Another observed, “The oh so tolerant Democrats hate any views expressed that are not their own.”

It’s an odd position for Democrats to be in, particularly Jewish lawmakers who are in a double bind, opposing their commander-in-chief or their natural Jewish constituency.

An “unscientific” survey conducted by the American Jewish Congress over the past week determined that 72 percent of self-identified American Jews believe Netanyahu was right to come and speak to the Congress on Tuesday.

So Democratic lawmakers will also have to take that finding into account when they stump for votes in 2016 as well: most of those polled form their natural constituency.

Now the question is, how many Jewish Democrats have been offended by Democratic disrespect to Israel’s prime minister?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/some-democrats-aim-venom-charge-israeli-prime-minister-with-fear-mongering/2015/03/03/

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