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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘deal’

Netanyahu to Putin: Israel Will Keep Golan “With or Without Deal”

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a face to face meeting in Moscow on Thursday that Israel would not relinquish the Golan Heights. The meeting marked 25 years of Israeli-Russian relations.

“Israel has clear red lines for self-defense,” Netanyahu told Putin according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office. “We act to the best of our ability to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” he said.

Russian troops and airpower are fighting alongside the Syrian army, Iranian forces, and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah against a host of rebel militias in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Netanyahu recently acknowledged that Israel conducts military airstrikes in Syria as well.

“I came here with one central goal: to strengthen the security coordination between us in order to prevent accidents, misunderstandings, and unnecessary conflict,” Netanyahu told Putin.

“As for the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu continued, “we will not return to the days when they fired on our communities and children from the heights of the Golan. Therefore, with or without a deal, the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

The firm declaration comes amid reports that some in the international community intend to demand that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights as part of a peace deal in the Syrian civil war. Israel captured the northern territory from Syria in the 1967 war and formally annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognized by the international community.

To counter such an initiative, Netanyahu held a rare cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights on Sunday, vowing never to withdraw from the territory. Following the unusual public display, US State Department Spokesman John Kirby announced that “those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations.”

Netanyahu and Putin also reached an agreement about pensions paid by Russia to citizens that have emigrated to Israel—a deal Netanyahu described as “a nice Passover present.”

After Putin offered a blessing for the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins on Friday night, Netanyahu replied that “during the holiday, the people of Israel will sit at the Seder table, including over a million Russian-speaking Israelis, who form the living bond between our peoples.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

A New Coalition To Deal With The Get Problem

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Over the past two years it has been my privilege to be involved with an organization called Tahel, the Crisis Center for Religious Women and Children. Based in Israel and headed by Debbie Gross, it serves Orthodox abused women and children. I presented lectures at both the 2014 and 2015 organizational conferences in Jerusalem.

During my first trip, a thought came to my mind after meeting attorneys from around the world who deal with one of the most troubling problems when it comes to divorce in the Orthodox community – the difficulties many women have in obtaining a Get.

My idea was to form an organization of attorneys that would essentially be a forum for the discussion, and eventually the implementation, of ideas that have worked in various venues that have substantial Orthodox communities. The organization would encourage collaboration between attorneys, dayanim, and lay leaders.

Based on my experience as an attorney who regularly practices in the Supreme Court and batei din, I knew the need existed for such an organization. My semicha from Rav Pam, zt”l, enabled me to understand and work through the halachic issues involved.

At Tahel’s December 2015 conference at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem, I introduced the organization I founded – the Yashar Coalition – to a wide array of mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, rabbanim, and, of course, attorneys.

The principles of the Yashar Coalition are: (1) no representation of clients who will not give a Get at the conclusion of the matter; (2) facilitation of a prenuptial agreement accepted by a wider spectrum of the Orthodox community; (3) discussions of ideas and legislation that have worked in various communities in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as creative measures that have been adopted by batei din throughout the world.

The Yashar Coalition is actively working on the draft of a prenuptial agreement with the goal, as mentioned in the organization’s founding principles cited above, of obtaining wider acceptance of prenuptials from community rabbis and rosh yeshivas both within and outside the United States.

Additionally, we have been meeting with local public officials regarding possible passage of new legislation to assist in this regard. Details will be forthcoming.

On the one hand, we will never have the police powers the state of Israel has in the area of religious divorce. On the other hand, we can attempt to introduce legislation, drafted with separation of church and state in mind, that can assist those who have been unable to obtain a Get.

The attorneys of the Yashar Coalition come from South Africa, Australia, England, Canada, Israel, and the U.S. We will be holding a symposium in New York on May 23. To register, go to registration @yashar coalition.org.

Readers interested in becoming involved with the Yashar Coalition can e-mail Yasharcoaltion@gmail.com or call my office at (212) 321-7092.

Martin E. Friedlander

Will Israel be ‘Trumped’ by the US Presidential Elections?

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

There is a great deal at stake for Americans voting in this year’s U.S. presidential elections — but at least as much is riding on the results for the State of Israel.

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been one of the few candidates in the race to insist he would maintain neutrality when dealing with Israel and the Palestinian Authority from the White House.

Israeli Jews surveyed so far have nevertheless expressed more faith in his ability to deal fairly with Israel than any of the other candidates.

This may be due to Trump’s blunt, “in your face” style – the very characteristic that so alienates some of his American audiences – but which is similar to a large percentage of Israelis in the Jewish State.

It is far easier to deal with a person who is “up front” about their intentions, one might say, than a smiling politician who hides the weapon. Moreover, Trump pulls no punches about dealing with tough situations in a like manner – a necessary Middle Eastern attitude.

But probably the biggest factor in his popularity has to do with his willingness to simply say he will be neutral in dealing with both sides.

At an MSNBC town hall meeting in South Carolina on Feb. 17, Trump described a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as “probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make.” What he did promise was that if he were elected president, he would “give it one hell of a shot.” This was a deal in which he would act as “sort of a neutral guy,” he said. Wisely, when asked whose fault it was that no agreement had been reached so far, he deflected the question – and did not blame either side.

That is the mark of a real negotiator, one who has the seasoned skills of someone who has been at the table for a very long time. It gives the lie to those who claim Trump lacks foreign policy experience; they forget that Trump has been dealing with political leaders around the world for years while cutting deals in nations on different continents for his various business interests.

Israelis have too often heard American politicians claim their undying support of Israel only to throw the Jewish State under the bus as they try to “bring peace” to the Middle East.

However, at a Republican debate held on CNN, Trump did comment at one point: “It doesn’t help if I start saying, ‘I am very pro-Israel, very pro, more than anybody on this stage… With that being said, I am totally pro-Israel.” But he was unwilling to go farther, and made no promises whatsoever. Certainly no promise to ‘bring peace to the Middle East.’

Nearly every single U.S. presidential candidate has vowed to move the American embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem – and not one has done it once taking office.

Every American president swears up and down about the “unbreakable bond” between the two countries – but that didn’t stop President Barack Obama from freezing the supply of basic military equipment and ordnance in the middle of Israel’s defensive counter terrorist war with Hamas in the summer of 2014.

Promises are one thing and action is quite another, and if Israelis have learned anything, it is to know not to depend on fancy promises. So when a guy like Trump says he will be neutral, after flowery vows of endless support – that gets the attention of Israelis who are really sick of making that run for the bomb shelters.

Trump’s style and substance is straightforward, simple and different. He’s making no promises and no pretensions to expertise. He is an executive who says he’ll run the country pretty much the same way – by hiring top experts to do what they do best, in the areas of their specialization.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Claims Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Within Reach’

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Thursday that he believes a nuclear deal with Iran is “within reach.”

Lavrov said he is ready to return to Vienna for more talks together with other negotiators for the delegation of world powers led by the United States.

“We are close to a comprehensive agreement,” Lavrov told reporters on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in the Russian city of Ufa. “It is within reach.”

U.S. President Barack Obama made an effort to lower expectations earlier this week, telling lawmakers at a closed-door meeting Tuesday night that “the chances at this point are below 50-50,” according to CNN.com, quoting Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill), a close Obama ally.

Nevertheless, a report by Iranian Press TV claimed this Friday’s deadline might again be blown for a sixth time, and the talks could be extended till next Monday, July 13. A Western official denied the report when questioned by Reuters, however.

Hana Levi Julian

No Deal with Iran by June 30 Deadline, Europeans Say

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

“It’s not yet in the bag.”

That was the assessment by British Ambassador Peter Westmacott, who told the Atlantic Council think tank at a panel discussion Tuesday in Washington a deal with Iran does not appear likely by the June 30 deadline, according to a report by The Hill.

French Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud agreed. “It’s very likely that we won’t have an agreement before the end of June – or even after June,” Araud said.

“The Iranians for the moment are obviously not negotiating to get an agreement very shortly.”

The main issues blocking the way to an agreement between the U.S.-led world powers and Tehran remain the details of international inspections of Iranian nuclear technology facilities, and the timing of sanctions relief.

Iran will have to limit the pace of its nuclear technology program in exchange for any relaxation of sanctions, and allow inspectors unrestricted, 24/7 access to all nuclear facilities – which it still bluntly refuses to do.

Talks between the “P5+1″ and Iran have dragged on since last summer, with deadlines having been extended from November and then again from April. The next so-called “final” deadline on talks is set for June 30.

Israel has warned repeatedly that Iran cannot be trusted, and that the current deal being negotiated is a “bad deal.”

Hana Levi Julian

AIPAC Opposes Iran Nuclear Agreement Act Amendments

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

In an effort to ensure “bipartisan support” for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is opposing amendments to the bill.

Noah Pollak, executive director for the Emergency Committee for Israel, posted a letter online that was sent to all senators, asking them to oppose proposed changes.

“We know that senators will offer amendments on a wide range of initiatives, many of which AIPAC would ordinarily support,” said the letter.

“However, our paramount consideration during Senate consideration of this bill is to ensure speedy enactment of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act by preserving its broad, bipartisan support – so that Congress assures itself a seat at the table in deliberations on any nuclear agreement with Iran.”

Among the amendments being considered was one by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio that would add a requirement for Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of any nuclear deal.

The two senators added the proposed amendment Thursday as an agreement was being completed on how to deal with some 66 amendments submitted for the bill. The senators are trying to avoid a presidential veto of the measure.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified Noah Pollak as an AIPAC official.

Hana Levi Julian

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.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-administration-vp-joe-biden-escalates-spat-over-senate-letter-to-iran/2015/03/10/

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