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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘deal’

Report: President Trump to Expose ‘Indefensible’ Iran Deal Documents

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Future senior Trump administration officials are discussing which unseen documents about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal they will make public after the inauguration, The Daily Beast reported Monday. The report cites chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, possibly President Trump’s pick for secretary of state, who said, “My guess is that they will be very forthcoming. […] They’ll be more than desirous in ensuring that’s the case.”

The report also cites Congressman Peter Roskam (R-Il), who said, “The American people know the Iran deal is bad. I can tell you it’s even worse than most people think. The Obama Administration has long known its position is indefensible, so they’ve chosen to hide unclassified documents from the public.”

In March 2015, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) sent a letter, signed by 46 out of 53 Republicans in the Senate then, to Iran’s leaders, stating that any deal between Obama and the Iranian leadership would amount to only an “executive agreement” that could be undone by Congress or a future president. “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,” Cotton warned.

In November 2016, Cotton told Bloomberg, “In January, a President Trump and a Republican Congress will begin a new policy of resolve toward Iran’s ayatollahs.” Of course, by now the US has eliminated the sanctions against Iran, paid the Islamic Republic in cash to settle claims regarding an arms sale to the Shah, and unfroze billions in Iranian bank holdings. As Bloomberg put it, “at this point, a clear statement from the US that it was abandoning the nuclear agreement would only affect Iran’s obligations, such as international monitoring of its nuclear program and temporary limits on its centrifuge production and stockpile of nuclear fuel.”

In July 2016 the Obama Administration, following a law mandating a congressional review of the nuclear deal, used a clever trick in order to conceal unclassified documents by submitting them together with a single classified item – making the publicizing of any of this information illegal. Republican staffers are itching to make these unclassified documents public as soon as there’s a new sheriff in town.

According to The Daily Beast, one such document, “Elements of Iran’s R&D Plan,” is based on the “safeguards confidential plan [between] Iran and the IAEA,” describing how Iran’s research and development on its nuclear program, including on its centrifuges, could progress over time, despite the deal.

According to multiple US media reports, the documents the Trump team are weighing for publication come in three groups. The first group includes 17 unclassified annexes, appendices, and related agreements handed to Congress in July 2015 under the the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, a.k.a. Corker-Cardin. These feature letters from Kerry assuring US business institutionsthey could trade and deal with Iran, which may indicate the deal was never sustainable but for those US urgings; and information regarding the precise restrictions on Iran’s centrifuge development, which Iran has reportedly violated several times.

The second group includes documents describing the transfer of $1.7 billion cash to Iran, the release of 21 Iranian operatives, the Iranians’ leveraging of American hostages, and the lifting of international sanctions stemming from Iran’s ballistic missile development, which were described in August by the Wall Street Journal. The State Department denied much of the above, warning that revealing the identity of banks involved in the cash transfer would hinder future deals.

The third group are documents from the Joint Commission overseeing the implementation of the deal, which secretly permit Iran to violate its terms. The very existence of these exemptions proves the deal – from its inception – depended on the US turning a blind eye on its violations.

David Israel

Emerging Amona Deal: Compensation for Arab Claimants, Regulations Act Preserved, Evacuation On

Monday, December 5th, 2016

A deal has been struck between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Nftali Bennett regarding the proposed Arrangements Act on Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, Walla reported Monday morning. The bill will be submitted for a preliminary vote by the Knesset plenum without a retroactive application to include Amona, a community in Samaria slated for demolition by the Supreme Court come December 25. In return for this concession on the part of the settlements movement, the government will defend the new law once it is approved in a third plenum vote, even if AG Avichai Mandelblit persists in his refusal to do it.

That part, about government insisting on defending a law against an appeal at the Supreme Court even when the AG (whose function also include being government’s legal counsel), is considered almost revolutionary by rightwing politicians, who view the AG and the individual legal counsels appointed to every government ministry as tyrannical extensions of the largely leftwing judicial civil service.

Last week, Mandelblit approved a short-term solution – moving the Amona residents to nearby vacant land which can be declared as belonging to absentee landlords and therefore may be appropriated by the state. The new deal requires finding proper relocation for all of the 42 families of Amona. To do that, the government intends to petition the Supreme Court once more for a postponement of the evictions, this time for 30 days – after the court has already denied its appeal for a 7-month postponement.

The new deal reportedly also includes a legal solution for the residents of the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in Gush Etzion as well as nine homes in Ofra, next door to Amona, which the Supreme Court has also slated for demolition and eviction. The state will be obligated to assign them substitute lands and homes.

Some in the settlement enterprise have suggested that moving the Amona residents to newly obtained state land is still an improvement over the idea of removing them from the area altogether, because the Mountain will not be deserted of Jews, with Ofra and Amona II maintaining their Jewish presence there.

Should the new bill be submitted this week, possibly even on Monday, without the retroactive application to Amona, the Habayit Hayehudi politicians will be expected to prevent clashes between the residents and security forces.

JNi.Media

US Approves Sale of Elbit Helmets to Qatar in Overall $21.1 Billion Deal

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Elbit Systems of America, Fort Worth, TX is among the companies mentioned in an arms sale notification issued by the US Department of Defense which includes the sale of 72 F-15QA Aircraft to Qatar. Elbit share in the giant deal is the sale of 160 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS).

The Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) is a product of RCEVS, a joint venture between Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins.

The JHMCS provides the pilot with “first look, first shoot” high off-boresight weapons engagement capabilities. The system, also available in a night configuration, enables the pilot to accurately cue onboard weapons and sensors against enemy aircraft and ground targets without the need to aggressively turn the aircraft or place the target in the Head-Up Display (HUD) for designation.

Elbit’s own specs of the F-35 Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), supplied by RCEVS ‒ a joint venture between Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins ‒ says it provides “critical flight information to the pilot throughout the entire mission.”

“In addition to standard HMD capabilities, such as the extreme off-axis targeting and cueing offered on the legacy JHMCS and the DASH systems, this system fully utilizes the advanced avionics architecture of the F-35. The F-35 HMD delivers video imagery in day or night conditions, combined with precision symbology, to give the pilot unprecedented situational awareness and tactical capability,” an Elbit press release describes the product.

The most exciting feature of the Elbit F-35 HMD is that “by virtue of its precise head- tracking capability and low-latency graphics processing, also provides the pilot with a virtual Head-Up Display (HUD). As a result, the F-35 is the first tactical fighter jet in 50 years to fly without a HUD.”

JNi.Media

Minority Leader Schumer Not Ready to Kill Iran Deal, Despite 2015 Nay Vote

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

The new Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told Politico on Friday that he is not ready to commit to working with Trump and the Republican majority to ditch President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran — which Schumer opposed back in the summer of 2015.

“I’m willing to try. I think the jury’s still out, and I’m willing to wait another year or two,” Schumer said.

In that context, Schumer was vague guidance on when or how often he and fellow Democrats plan to use the Senate’s super majority rules to deny Republicans the votes on their upcoming legislation.

“There’s a lot of troubling things coming down the pike,” Schumer said, revealing for now that the Democrats are prepared to block a repeal of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare.

As to his most famous constituent, President Elect Donald Trump, who over the years had given him $9,000 in political donations, Schumer told politico, “He was not my friend. We never went golfing together, even had a meal together. He’s called me, we’ve had civil conversations a couple of times.”

Trump, for his part, said MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in January: “Hey look, I think I’ll be able to get along well with Chuck Schumer. I was always very good with Schumer. I was close to Schumer in many ways.”

Not very memorable ones apparently. There’s a limit to how much one should expect from a politician in return for 9 grand…

David Israel

Trump Once Again Promising to Deal Peace for Israel

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

President Elect Donald J. Trump, possibly the most unpredictable man in American political history, has reiterated his promise to employ his “Art of the Deal” in achieving lasting peace between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal Friday, in which he also said he would leave in place parts of Obamacare, and said he got a “beautiful” letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his victory,  Trump repeated his promise “to help craft a resolution” for the Israel-Palestine situation, which he called “the war that never ends.”

Back in March 2016, candidate Trump told the NY Times regarding the 2-state solution, “I would love to see if a deal could be made. If a deal could be made. Now, I’m not sure it can be made, there’s such unbelievable hatred, there’s such, it’s ingrained, it’s in the blood, the hatred and the distrust, and the horror. But I would love to see if a real deal could be made. Not a deal that you know, lasts for three months, and then everybody starts shooting again. And a big part of that deal, you know, has to be to end terror, we have to end terror.”

Trump then said, “Basically I support a two-state solution on Israel,” with the proviso that “the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Have to do that. And they have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred, you know?”

The Trump/Pence campaign website has since then removed all references to the 2-state solution from its “Foreign Policy and Defeating ISIS” positions page. But now, in his WSJ interview, the President Elect confessed to his desire for incorporating what he termed “the ultimate deal,” noting that “as a deal maker, I’d like to do… the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”

Walid Phares, a Trump top foreign policy adviser, told BBC Radio on Thursday that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is a Trump top agenda item. “He is ready and he will immediately move to try and solve the problem between Palestinian and Israelis,” Phares said. “He told me personally that, as the author of ‘The Art of the Deal,’ it’s not going to be impossible for him to broker a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. At least he’s going to go in that direction and not waste eight years — four years for now — not doing something for the Palestinians and Israelis.”

Somebody should tell Ivanka Trump and Jason Greenblatt as soon as Shabbat is out. Greenblatt on Thursday told Israel’s Army Radio that “Trump thinks Israel is in a difficult situation and must defend herself. Peace must arrive through a bilateral initiative and he has no plan to get involved in it.”

But that was Thursday.

JNi.Media

In VP Debate Pence Fails to Score Resounding Blow on Iran Deal

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

In Tuesday night’s debate between Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), most of the pundits early on scored a slight win for Trump’s VP, mostly because he was much more restrained than Trump had been in his bout with Hillary Clinton a week earlier, and did not let Kaine go under his skin. One pundit even joked how presidential this guy Pence is, I wonder who’s going to be his VP pick. But while Pence held his own for 90 minutes, although he left all of his opponent’s challenges on Trump’s scandals and questionable statements unanswered, he let Kaine get away with at least one terrible lie: that the nuclear deal carved in part by Clinton as the former Secretary of State removed the Iranian nuclear threat.

This point should probably be scored as a win for the Democrat, because it’s one issue about which the consensus is wide and clear among many Democrats, as well as the bulk of the media: the much celebrated deal was forced on Congress by massive political trickery and outright lies, led to the release of an estimated $150 billion to the world’s largest perpetrator of terrorism, and freed Iran to start working on its nuclear weapon in as little as five years.

Overall, the debate veered to the Iran deal four times, and Gov. Pence was not able to turn any of them into a decisive knockout, or even a win on points.

When Sen. Kaine asked, “Do you know that Iran was racing toward a nuclear weapon and Russia was expanding its stockpile? … [Sec. Clinton] worked a tough negotiation with nations around the world to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot.

Pence responded, astonished, “Eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program?”

Kaine came back, “Absolutely, without firing a shot.”

Pence let that statement stand and was dragged instead into a debate over who was responsible for the US withdrawal from Iraq. Advantage Kaine on the Iran deal.

Later on, the moderator, Elaine Quijano (CBS), asked Kiane, “Has the terrorist threat increased or decreased?” To which he responded, among other things, “The terrorist threat has decreased in some ways because an Iranian nuclear weapons program has been stopped.”

Kaine continued with an avalanche of points about why Clinton was a better leader to deal with terrorism, repeating ad nauseam that Donald Trump is an admirer of Vladimir Putin and other world tyrants.

When his turn came to respond, Pence first waded through a sluggish attack on Clinton’s responsibility for ISIS, which is not easy to prove, and only towards the end he reached what should have been his money shot, saying, “And a reference to the Iranian deal, the Iranian deal that Hillary Clinton initiated, $150 billion to the radical mullahs in Iran.”

Kaine said, “Stopping a nuclear weapons program without firing a shot?”

Pence then retorted, “You didn’t stop the nuclear weapons program.”

Kaine said, “Yes, we did.”

Pence was then cut off after blurting, “You essentially…” by Kaine, who actually said, “Even the Israeli military says it stopped.”

Pence, instead of pausing to challenge that misleading half-truth, made a weak statement lacking in specificity, that the deal “guaranteed that Iran will someday become a nuclear power, because there’s no limitations once the period of time of the treaty comes off.”

A little later on, Kaine said, again essentially unchallenged, “Hillary Clinton is the secretary of state who knows how to build alliances. She built the sanctions regime around the world that stopped the Iranian nuclear weapons program. And that’s what an intelligence surge means. Better skill and capacity, but also better alliances.”

Had Pence been better versed with the history of the Iran deal, he could have done a lot with this generalized statement, including, perhaps, mentioning the fact that by the Obama Administration submitted the nuclear deal for Congressional approval, it had already been implemented by all its “allies,” so that a continued US embargo would not have mattered — Iran’s revolutionary regime had already been legitimized by the world powers.

Pence then missed his last opportunity to score big on the Iran deal, when he opened, “But let me go back to this Iran thing. I mean, he keeps saying that [the deal] Hillary Clinton started [with the Iranians] prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

Kaine quickly interrupted: “That’s what the Israeli [chief] of staff is saying right now.”

Pence said, quite correctly, “Well, that’s not what — that’s not what Israel thinks.”

Kaine announced triumphantly, “Gadi Eizenkot, you can go check it.”

For the record, in January 2016, IDF Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and six world powers was “significantly changing the vector that Iran has been on.” But in that same speech, and in many assessments that followed, Eizenkot and other Israeli generals have been warning against “many dangers as well as opportunities” created by the accord.

And on the day after that much quoted Eizenkot speech, a mini diplomatic crisis erupted when Israel’s Defense Ministry issued a statement comparing President Obama with British Premier Neville Chamberlain, who signed the 1938 Munich agreement with Adolph Hitler, basically abandoning the free democratic state of Czechoslovakia. But Gov. Pence probably did not bone up on that part, as can bee seen from his weak response, “You wouldn’t necessarily know that,” regarding Eizenkot’s supposed blessings for the Iran deal.

Kaine challenged him, saying, “Go to the tape.”

Pence then had enough of his wits about him to recall a talking point, when he said, “I know you boycotted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech when he came before the Congress.”

Kaine did not deny the charge, but said, apologetically, “No, I visited him in his office. I visited him in his office.”

Pence then, finally, pounced on him, saying, “You boycotted the speech.” Except that instead of marshalling the facts to expose the Iran deal for all its dangerous failures, Pence delivered a weak jab: “The point is, what this Iran — so-called Iran deal did was essentially guarantee — I mean, when I was in Congress, I fought hard on a bipartisan basis with Republican and Democrat members to move forward the toughest sanctions, literally, in the history of the United States, against Iran.”

Which Kaine, quick on his feet, responded to, saying, “And then Hillary used them to get a deal.”

Pence would not let his opponent have the last word, though, repeating, “We were bringing them to heel, but the goal was always that we would only lift the sanctions if Iran permanently renounced their nuclear ambitions. […] Elaine, let me finish a sentence. They have not renounced their nuclear ambitions. And when the deal’s period runs out, there’s no limitation on them obtaining weapons. […] And the fact that they got $1.7 billion in a ransom payment… is astonishing to the American people.”

That was the sum total of Gov. Pence’s effort, which could have revived a very sore, anti-Obama sentiment among undecided American voters, especially Jewish voters who at this point are second only to African Americans in their commitment to the Clinton camp. Perhaps Presidential Candidate Trump would be able to articulate a forceful argument in Sunday’s debate. It would require an intimate familiarity with the details of the deal, as well as with the range of violations of a variety of UN resolutions on the part of Iran. Can Donald Trump do it? If he wants to become president, he really should.

JNi.Media

Ground Zero for the Iran Deal: Rosenthal Versus Nadler

Friday, September 16th, 2016

More Jews live in New York’s tenth congressional district than in any other district in the United States. Philip J. Rosenthal – the kind of guy who could easily be a character on television’s The Big Bang Theory – wants its citizens to elect him as their representative.

Jerry Nadler, however, has been representing that area of New York, first in Albany beginning in 1977, and for the past 14 years in Washington, D.C.

So, why not vote for Nadler? Nadler voted for the Iran Deal, that’s why.

And if you don’t recall, the Iran Deal was the one issue behind which nearly all of the organizational Jewish world united against. The Iran Nuclear Deal which many Americans, especially Jews, and most especially Jewish New Yorkers, realized at the time was a deal only for Iran but a disaster for the safety of the United States, Israel and much of the West.

And yet, thumbing his nose at his constituents, Cong. Jerrold Nadler came out in support of the disastrous Iran Deal. Many folks in his district felt badly betrayed by Nadler. Some saw him as bowing to the wishes of the Democratic administration while ignoring their wishes and their safety. Nadler was the only Jewish member of the New York delegation who came out in favor of the deal.

Into the breach now steps Philip J. Rosenthal, a shiny example of a Bronx boy made and does good.

Rosenthal grew up facing a train yard and across the street from Bronx High School of Science, from which he graduated (“salutatorian, my father would want me to tell you,” he says.) Rosenthal went on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in Physics, “summa cum laude, phi beta kappa,” he says, sheepishly, again hearing his father’s voice echoing in his head).

Where next? The California Institute of Technology, where Rosenthal studied string theory and cosmology, garnering both a master’s degree and a PhD. Ouch.

When queried about whether he actually understood those topics, Rosenthal’s retort is pure Big Bang-ish: “Physics is beautiful, elegant, it’s the essence of everything; it’s politics that’s messy!” But back to that later.

As if Rosenthal’s resume wasn’t already impossibly impressive, after Cal Tech he went to work on a program dealing with Pluto. And this is when he began to realize that the American dream was no longer as assured as it had seemed.

“It used to be that America led the world in everything – today if you want to work in space, you need to hitch a ride with the Russians,” Rosenthal said.

“As a child I was inspired by the American space program, but now the greatest fundamental physics labs, the particle accelerators, they’re in Europe, at CERN labs, on the French/Swiss border.”  Rosenthal explained that is where the best research, the most exciting laboratories in the world are. That’s a huge economic and national security disaster for our country, he says.

Rosenthal wants America to again be the global leader. And the key to economic leadership and national security is for America to be second to none, Rosenthal insists. We need to focus on science, space and technology,” and, he says, we’re not doing that anymore.

Rosenthal’s sites began shifting away from science. In 1996 he graduated from Harvard Law School and went on to the venerable Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling, where he practiced, amongst other things, nuclear law.

Without access to legal research technology, Rosenthal recognized that individuals and even solo and small firm practitioners are unable to compete with the big guys. But legal research software is very expensive.

So Rosenthal, with a friend, created a new kind of legal research software that is far more affordable, faster and easier than the standard software packages. In addition, his company, FastCase, utilizes different kinds of tools which the old guard systems do not.

“There is a great lack of access to legal justice. We founded FastCase in order to democratize the law.” FastCase is being used by nearly a million lawyers today, and the FastCase legal app is both the first of its kind and absolutely free.

So what does Rosenthal want to do in Congress?

Though he’s been many places since his Bronx boyhood, Rosenthal still has the concern for the little guy that has long animated New York politics.  His focus on making the law more accessible to everyone also shows up in his platform — he’s a strong advocate of making sure poor Americans have access to the legal services they need to help them protect their rights, their homes, their jobs and their families.  And he’s strongly committed to helping the homeless in real ways — not just by feeding them today, but also by investing in them and their skills so they can become productive men and women tomorrow.

Last summer, when signing the anti-BDS legislation passed by Congress, President Obama announced that on his watch the U.S. would not be enforcing the provision of the law which prohibits boycotts of Israeli products in the disputed territories.

Rosenthal practically explodes: “Really? The President proudly tells everyone that boycotting certain Jews is acceptable? Where was our representative?” Incensed that Nadler didn’t make a peep about this, Rosenthal goes on to list the other ways in which this administration – without sufficient or any pushback from Nadler and others – has disrespected and mistreated Israel.

And he once again draws the conversation back to the Iran Deal. “This district is literally Ground Zero and our representative supported the Iran Deal? Is no one paying attention?”

Unlike many members of Congress, Phil Rosenthal has actually read every page made public of the Iran Deal. With his science and legal background, Rosenthal is confident we could have done much better, just as he knows America could and should be doing much better in the global economic arena.

“This is a wonderful year to run as an outsider. I haven’t been on Capitol Hill for the past dozen years, but,” he ticks off, “I have a background in physics, in law, I’m an entrepreneur, my dad was in manufacturing. I have experience in the real world.”

Most importantly, Rosenthal says he knows that the people in New York’s tenth congressional district deserve better representation than they have. And, he says, he’s ready to provide that.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ground-zero-for-the-iran-deal-rosenthal-versus-nadler/2016/09/16/

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