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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

‘Peace for Our Time’ – Iran Nuclear Deal Announced on ‘Black Tuesday’

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Iran and the P5+1 powers announced a final agreement shortly after noon (Israeli time) on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. It will take a year to understand if the deal actually stops helps Iran get its hands on a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned yesterday that Israel’s failure to prevent a “bad deal” does not change its determination to use whatever means necessary to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

French Foreign minister Laurent Fabius said the nuclear deal will sufficient for “at least for the period of the first 10 years.”

Congress has 60 days to review the bill, but it will not be able to torpedo it unless there is a wholesale rebellion of Democrats that would prevent a presidential veto of non-approval by legislators.

Rouhani has provided plenty of ammunition for opponents to the deal, having said that Iran still will consider the United States an enemy country.

Black Monday: Iran and P5+1 to Sign Deal

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

It’s all over except for the shouting and the crying, according to an Associated Press report that a deal with Iran has been completed and will be signed on Monday.

However, a senior State Dept. official maintained that “major issues remain to be resolved in these talks.”

AP’s Matt Lee, a veteran and highly reliable journalist, reported Sunday:

Negotiators at the Iran nuclear talks are expected to reach a provisional agreement Sunday on a historic deal that would curb the country’s atomic program in return for sanctions relief, diplomats told The Associated Press.

The two diplomats cautioned that final details of the pact were still being worked out Sunday afternoon and a formal agreement still awaits a review from the capitals of the seven nations at the talks. They said plans now are for the deal to be announced on Monday.

The regime’s PRESS TV headlined, “Iranian MPs hail nuclear negotiators’ resistance against US’ excessive demands.”

The legislators issued a statement that included a rejection of “any inspection of the Iranian military sites, interviews with Iranian scientists and imposing restrictions on the country’s nuclear research and development.”

The key issue of inspections will be examined with a microscope, especially by Congress, which will have 60 days to review a final agreement.

A deal will be bitter if not deadly pill for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to swallow, and Israel can be expected to hound Congressmen to try to torpedo it, which will not be simple.

President Barack Obama undoubtedly will dismiss as rhetoric for local consumption the belligerent sneers from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the United States is “the absolute embodiment of arrogance” and an enemy of Iran.

Politico reported last week it is “very unlikely” that Congress can kill the deal unless there is a full-scale rebellion by Democrats. Americans, already gearing up for next year’s Congressional and presidential elections, view the ISIS , the economy and immigration policies as more serious issues than a nuclear-armed Iran, which President Obama will claim won’t happen under the agreement.

Congress would have to come up with a solid majority, perhaps even a veto-proof two-thirds majority, in order to nullify the agreement. Ironically, it is the Arab countries that might be able to twist Congressmen’s arms against the deal.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told Politico:

If the Arabs come out and say this is a bad deal, if AIPAC says this is a bad deal, if public opinion says we don’t trust this deal, then our Democratic colleagues will hopefully come forward to say, ‘We can do better.’

Obama Officials Tout J Street Polls for Jewish Support on Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

The Obama administration is leaning on Jewish leftists to pressure Jewish Congressmen to support an Iran deal by touting a J Street poll claiming that nearly two-thirds of American Jews support an agreement.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Matt Nosanchuk, the White House’s liaison to the Jewish community, advised dozens of “progressive” groups Monday to use the poll to convinced Jews in Congress to back a deal.

Nosanchuk reportedly talked with more than 100 Jewish officials in a meeting organized by the Ploughshares Fund, which the Beacon wrote “has spent millions of dollars to slant Iran-related coverage and protect the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts.”

The report comes two days after TheJewishPress.com wrote here that a recent meeting between senior White House officials and the anti-IDF Breaking the Silence group furthers President Barack Obama’s attempt to make the Jewish left, led by J Street, appear to represent the mainstream American Jewish community.

The J Street website last year ran a headline in capital letters, “Tell your senators: Don’t undermine Iran negotiations with new sanctions.”

It followed with the results of its own poll and an incredulous claim that implies that J Street speaks for most American Jews and that anyone who thinks differently is “underling” President Obama. The website wrote:

While 62% of American Jews support the way President Obama is handling Iran’s nuclear program, organizations that claim to represent the American Jewish community are undermining his approach by pushing for new and harsher penalties against Iran.

TELL YOUR SENATORS:

Though some American Jewish organizations are pushing new sanctions that will undoubtedly undermine negotiations, the vast majority of the American Jewish community supports President Obama’s diplomatic approach to Iran’s nuclear program.

That was last November, when a final agreement was to be reached by November 30.

Last month, J Street published another poll:

American Jews express strong support for a final agreement with Iran that increases inspections in exchange for economic sanctions relief. Fifty-nine percent say they would support such a deal, compared to 53 percent of American adults in an April CNN poll that asked the same question….

‘When it comes to the best way to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, these results make clear that American Jews overwhelmingly support the president’s diplomatic efforts,’ said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. ‘The numbers just go to show—once again— that pundits and presumed communal representatives are flat-out wrong in assuming American Jews are hawkish on Iran or US policy in the Middle East in general.’

The problem with the poll is that the respondents assume that a deal will deliver the goods.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll covered that point with the significant notation “that a plurality of Americans – 46 percent – say they don’t know enough to have an opinion.”

If the J Street poll had asked, “Do you know enough about the pending deal to express an opinion,” the results undoubtedly would be close to the NBC/Journal poll.

The “Jewish support” claimed by the J Street poll is, in the Beacon’s words, for “a hypothetical deal that does not actually exist.”

President Obama’s love for J Street serves both him and the left-wing organization. J Street, like The New York Times, acts as a puppet for the President who in return makes it feel important by supplying the string.

J Street acts as if it is the spokesman for the entire Jewish community and effectively leaves the predominantly conservative Orthodox camp out of the playing field, much to President Obama’s joy.

His strategy is to show Congress that if the Jews back a deal with Iran, obviously it must be good for Israel because they know better than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu what is best for the Jewish state.

Iran Deal to Miss Fifth Deadline

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The fifth deadline for a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program is about to pass without ceremony Tuesday night.

The European Union apparently is so flustered that it put George Orwell to shame with what must be the record for the most ridiculous DoubleThink sentence every uttered.

E.U. foreign policy and chief Federica Mogherini told reporters in Vienna:

We are continuing to negotiate for the next couple of days. This does not mean we are extending our deadline.

If the language of a final agreement parallels her statement, and if a final deal is as meaningless as the deadlines, we are in big, big trouble.

“The entire agreement right now is at the mercy of a miscalculation on either side,” International Crisis Group analyst Ali Vaez told Bloomberg News. “There won’t be a deal until the last minute, while each side waits for the other to blink first.”

Previous deadlines were November 2013, July 2104, March 2015 and June 30.

Deadlines have become meaningless. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a briefing, We are not observing artificial deadlines.”

Thursday July 9 is the sixth deadline. That is the date Congress imposed for a 30-day review of an agreement, if one is reached. If negotiating continues beyond that date, Congress then will have 60 days for a review, and each day will make it more difficult for President Barack Obama to fight off arguments against a “bad deal.”

Iran sounds like the Palestinian Authority, which balked every time it had a chance to achieve just about everything it wanted in the form of concessions from Israel.

Perhaps the next deadline will be January 20, 2017, when President Barack Obama leaves office.

 

 

Western Officials Promoting ‘Breakthrough’ in Talks with Iran

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Western diplomats Saturday “leaked” to media that a “breakthrough” has taken place in talks with Iran over a deal to supervise and limit its nuclear program, but an agreement clearly is not in hand.

Iran denied that a partial agreement had been reached.

The presumed progress centered on future sanctions, but there were no indications that negotiators had hurdled the issues of development of advanced centrifuges and of lifting United Nations sanctions.

There also is no agreement on a mechanism or re-imposing sanctions if Iran does not live up to its end of the deal. The issue of having to renew sanctions could be one of the most controversial when Congress reviews a deal, if one is concluded.  The temporary agreement reached earlier this year would make renewal of sanctions a long and drawn-out process  that would take so long that it Iran might be able to produce a numeral weapon in the meantime.

Iran’s government-controlled Fars News Agency reported Saturday:

A source close to the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six world powers underway in Vienna, Austria, rejected reports about partial agreement between Iran and the sextet, stressing that any final agreement with the world powers should include detailed solutions and mechanisms for resolving all issues.

Given the principle that ‘nothing will be agreed upon as long as there is agreement on everything’, the questions asking if there has been a specific agreement on a certain topic is basically wrong,’ the source who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the talks told FNA on Saturday.

The new deadline for concluding a deal is July 7, three days away, which means that nothing conclusive and reliable can be believed until a few hours before the deadline, if it not extended again.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry celebrated  the Fourth of July Saturday, as the Jewish Press.com reported here might happen, by meeting twice with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday.

Kerry Might Celebrate 4th of July by Talking with Iran on Deal

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

A senior U.S. official said Sunday it is prepared to extend talks with Iran beyond the June 30 deadline, which is a surprise to no one.

This is why The JewishPress.com has been laying low on the negotiations between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic.
It was clear as the nose on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s face that “deadline” in the Persian language means “maybe tomorrow.”

Talks have been going on for three years, and the “final” deadline of last November has been extended, as was every other deadline before and after.

President Barack Obama knows that Iran is playing games. Iran knows that Obama knows, and Obama knows that Iran knows… and so on and so forth.

The problem is that the game is over a nuclear weapon, which under Iran’s definition of peaceful purposes would be used as a threat to annihilate Israel and rid the world of Zionism, which is responsible for horrors such as the mobile phone, instant messaging, WAZE, drugs against Muscular Sclerosis, USB, Rummikub, the model for desalination, solar energy, drones, computer chips, breast tumor imaging and Natalie Portman.

We will back with more news around July 2 or maybe the 4th of July, when Iran can force Kerry to celebrate American Independence Day by sweating over a bad deal.

As for now, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif is playing out the script and returning to Tehran tonight. He will back on Monday for the next act.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made one of the most unimportant comments of the year, stating that a final deal can be achieved if both show “strong political will.”

She added, “We stick to the foreseen timetable. If a few days more are needed, we can take them.”

Some say “a few is eight,” and even more. That would push talks dangerously close to mid-July and might muck up President Barack Obama’s rumored invitation to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at that time.

If the invitation is valid, it would set the stage for President Obama to snicker at Prime Minister Netanyahu over a deal that Israel would rather go the way of the Titanic, or brag how he backs Israel so much that he did not agree to a lousy deals that he knows Congress won’t approve.

US Policy: Passports of Americans Born on Israeli Golan Heights List ‘Syria’

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

The U.S. passport of an Americans born on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights must state the birthplace as Syria, according to U.S. State Department. policy.

The JewishPress.com raised several questions with the U.S. Embassy following the recent Supreme Court ruling that ruled against Congress being able to overturn Executive Branch policy concerning the stated birthplace of an American born in Jerusalem.

The policy was and continues to be that the birthplace on the passport is “Jerusalem,” without a country, regardless of whether he was born in “West” Jerusalem or in the rest of the city that was reunited in the war.

But what would happen if there were a hospital on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and an American birth were registered there?

It may not even be a theoretical question in the near future. The NRG website reported last week that Druze in the Israeli side of the Golan Heights want to establish and maintain a hospital to treat their brethren wounded on the Syrian side of the border.

Regardless, this is American policy, updated in 2008 and stated under the bureaucratic section “M 1360 APPENDIX D  BIRTH IN ISRAEL, JERUSALEM, AND ISRAELI-OCCUPIED AREAS

(CT:CON-254)”:

  1. Background. As a result of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Government of Israel currently occupies and administers the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory [bold-face added} and that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.

  1. Birth in the Golan Heights: The birthplace that should appear on passports whose bearers were born in the Golan Heights is SYRIA [capital letters appear in the original text].

Perhaps the State Department is not aware of it, but there are questions whether Syria even exists today. There is a “Syrian government” that controls a shrinking part of the country.

The Islamic State (ISIS) controls a good portion of Syria. Rebels control a healthy (or unhealthy) part. Al Qaeda also has claims.

But for now, Syria is Syria, including the Golan Heights, even if Israel annexed the strategic area 34 years ago, and even if half the population of the Golan Heights is Jewish.

Policy is policy, and if an American wants to test the unreal reality, it is only a matter of time before there really will be a need for a hospital there. By that time, perhaps Syria not longer will exist.  Since Foggy Bottom cannot possibly come up with the conclusion that the Golan Heights is in Israel, it would have to accept facts on the ground across the border. Perhaps an American born will see his passport stating, “Golan Heights, Islamic State.”

Who knows? Anything is possible with the State Department, anything except Jerusalem being recognized as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights being considered part of the Jewish country.

The State Department regulations offer some other fascinating tidbits.

What if you were an American born before 1948, before Israel became an independent country, but in parts of Jerusalem that were only reunited in 1967? For example, let’s say you were an American born in 1947 in the Old City, which at that time was the home of Misgav Ladach Hospital.

Guess what would be written on the passport?

The policy states:

For persons born before May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and later was annexed by the city, enter either PALESTINE or the name of the location (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation.

“Palestine” was what all of the British Mandate was called, but the Palestinian Authority has adopted the name, which is on many of its official documents and which its schools teach means all of the Land of Israel. “All” means “all,” including Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Eilat.

There is a lesson here about the formulation of American policy. Once it is established, it is written in stone, and even a Congressional act cannot change it. This is what was learned from the Supreme Court decision that said that the Congressional Act in 1998 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not mean that the State Department has to agree to it.

The State Department formulated its policy long ago that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria. No negotiations, No compromise. No nothing. It is Syria, period, and if tomorrow it is the Islamic State, we’ll see.

The other side of the policy is that Judea, Gaza, Samaria and “eastern, southern and northern” Jerusalem “are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.”

The folks at the State Department cannot be that stupid to realize that there will be no negotiations. It must know there is no one with whom to negotiate. It must know that in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority, there is nothing to negotiate except what color ink Israel uses to sign over the store, while the Palestinian Authority uses invisible ink.

Now we know why the Obama administration is so stubbornly fixed on the “peace process.’ It knows it has no chance, but policy is policy.

The State Department stated ages ago that the final status of the “territories” will be decided by negotiations, and that’s that. The world may change, but policy is a different story, especially if a change might help Israel.

The State Department decided way back when that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria, and that is why an American born there would have a passport stating “Golan Heights, Syria.”

And what if an American were born in the State Department? Is that part of the United States or is it territory occupied by policy-makers who cannot see past yesterday?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-policy-passport-of-americans-born-on-israeli-golan-heights-is-syria/2015/06/23/

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