Iran dismissed on Tuesday Israeli President Shimon Peres’ offer to fly over and meet meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, RT reported.
An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Marzieh Afkham, said the offer amounted to a desperate attempt on the part of Israel to alleviate its global isolation, after the nuclear deal that was reached in Geneva last month.
President Shimon Peres on Sunday told CNN’s Richard Quest he would have no problem meeting with Rouhani. “Why not?” he asked, adding that Israel and Iran are not enemies.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Congress on Tuesday that new sanctions against Iran would be “gratuitous” and could harm any agreement with Iran as well as relations with world powers in the P5+1 group.
Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs Committee before leaving for another trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority and then to the Far East, Kerry was not able to promise Congressmen that a final agreement with Iran would prohibit it form enriching uranium,
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif warned earlier this week that if Congress legislates new sanctions the it would render null and void the recent interim deal with the P5+1, made up of permanent U.N. Security Council members United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany.
Kerry argued that the lifting of some sanctions is only a drop in the bucket compared to sanctions that remain, but California Republican Rep. Ed Royce said, “We have bargained away our fundamental position.”
There never will be a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority unless it is willing to accept that Israel is a Jewish state, and there cannot be a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear threat without the threat of a military option, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Saban conference Sunday.
Addressing the Saban Center for Middle East Policy less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama tried to assure Israel it should trust the “peace process,” the Prime Minister tried to throw the reason for a lack of an agreement on peace with the Palestinian Authority on the shoulders of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
He pointed out that that the Arab world rejected the existence of Israel as recommended by the British Peel Commission in 1937 and in the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947.
The core of the conflict has never been the borders and settlements, Netanyahu said in a video address. He explained that the problem is the “persistent refusals to accept Israel as a Jewish state. Six prime ministers…have been ready for compromise, but it was never enough because all of the Israeli proposals, the concessions, were based on the premise that the conflict would be over and there would be no further Palestinian claims on the State of Israel… The Palestinians were unwilling.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu the past year has shifted gears. He knows there is no sense in talking about “issues,” because no matter what Israel says or offers, it faces a broadside opposition by the United Nations, the United States and foreign media, all of which are stuck in the mindset of the Arab world that all of its demands must be met, period, with nothing in return.
He has focused on the failure of the Palestinian Authority, and the Arab world, to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a condition that even the anti-Israel crowd will have a difficult time in rejecting and which the Palestinian Authority cannot accept if its leaders want to stay alive.
“So the question is not why Israel does not compromise, but [is] why do the Palestinians consistently refuse to accept” Israel as a Jewish state,” Prime Minister Netanyahu declared.
He also deflated the PA cry for sympathy with its Big Lie that it has been around for centuries. “We have been around for nearly 4,000 years,” Netanyahu said. The Palestinian have to come to grips with the fact there will always be a Jewish state next to their own. “He then added another requirement – security. No one has revealed exactly what security suggestions U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and retired General John Allen proposed to Netanyahu also week, but the Prime Minister made it clear that all security arraignments must be “based on Israel’s own forces,” Netanyahu asserted. “There is no substitute for that.”
So Abbas can put that in his pipe and smoke it until time runs out on Kerry’s clock because he has made it clear – and there is no backtracking – that no Israeli soldier will set foot on a future Palestinian Authority state.
So Abbas can put that in his pipe and smoke it until time runs out on Kerry’s clock because he has made it clear – and there is no backtracking – that no Israeli soldier will set foot on a future Palestinian Authority state.
Netanyahu also hammered one point over and over concerning the Iranian nuclear threat, after the usual fawning over Israel’ great admiration, respect and love for the United States, meaning President Obama.
“We share” President Obama’s desire for a diplomatic solution, he stated, but he emphasized that “it must be coupled with sanctions and a military threat to succeed.” For good measure, Netanyahu then repeated, “A military option is necessary for a diplomatic solution.”
Netanyahu countered several American claims, particularly those of The New York Times and some Obama administration officials, that Israel is exaggerating the threat of Iran.
“Regimes with unlimited appetites act out their mad ideologies,” Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Saban Forum. “The Jewish people take seriously those who speak of our annihilation.
The Prime Minister also threw another monkey into Obama’s wrenching deal with Iran. He said no deal with Iran should be concluded without a declared change in what he called its “genocidal policy.”
Noting that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani last month called Israel “a rabid dog,” the Prime Minister stated that Rouhani regime “is committed to our annihilation, and I believe that there must be an uncompromising demand at the Geneva talks, for a change in Iran’s policy.
“In other words, there needs to be not just a change in the capability of Iran to arm itself, but also a change in its policy of genocide.
Perhaps the most telling remarks by Prime Minister Netanyahu were his six closing words:
“Thank you all – and good luck.”
It had a slight intonation, of “good luck because you are going to need all you can get and that won’t be enough.”
President Obama sharply criticized as not viable a number of Israeli government postures on talks with Iran, but reasserted the military option should those talks fail.
In a wide-ranging talk with Haim Saban, the entertainment mogul who funds the annual Saban Forum in Washington, Obama took aim at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that increased pressure during the interim talks would extract greater concessions from Iran, and anticipated a final deal that would grant Iran some uranium enrichment capabilities.
Alluding to the view of Netanyahu and a number of lawmakers in Congress, Obama said, “what this comes up down to is the perception that if we kept churning up the pressure, new sanctions, more sanctions, more military threats etc, that eventually Iran would cave.”
Instead, Obama said, that would likely drive away allies who have helped keep up the pressure on Iran through U.S.-led sanctions.
Obama outlined U.S. red lines in a final agreement, including the dismantling of the plutonium reactor at Arak and the underground nuclear reactor at Fordow, as well as advanced centrifuges.
However, he made clear an enrichment program would remain in place that would ensure that “as a practical matter, they don’t have a breakout capacity.”
That, Obama acknowledged, contradicted Netanyahu’s objective that “we can’t accept any enrichment on Iranian soil, full stop.”
Israel’s government believes that Iran has been allowed to advance its nuclear capability to the point where even a modest enrichment capability positions it dangerously close to weapons breakout capacity.
Demanding no enrichment, Obama said, was unrealistic, likening it to his believing Congress would pass every one of his legislative initiatives.
The Iranians needed to come to a deal that would afford them some “dignity,” he said, and alluded to broad popular support for some enrichment capacity.
Obama said that he did not trust Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s newly elected president, but noted that he was elected on a platform of reaching out to the West.
Again alluding to a Netanyahu claim, he said that those who say Rouhani is not different from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadeinjad, a Holocaust denier and anti-Israel maximalist, “understate the shift in politics” in Iran.
Obama twice said that he would reassert the military option should talks fail with Iran.
“I’ve made clear I can avail myself of including a military option, is one we can consider and prepare for,” he said.
He emphatically rejected hard lines in dealing with other countries. “Wherever we see the impulses of a people to move away from conflict and violence and toward a diplomatic resolution of conflict we should be ready to engage them,” he said. “We have to not constantly assume that it’s not possible for Iran like any country to change over time.”
Obama said he had a good, open relationship with Netanyahu. “There are occasionally significant tactical differences, but there is a constancy in trying to reach the same goal,” he said of the relationship.
Addressing renewed Israeli-Palestinian talk,s Obama said mediation is currently focused on addressing Israeli security needs, and appeared to back away from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s insistence that the sides achieve a final status agreement next year.
An agreement, he said, need not address “every detail” but is one that “gets us to a moment that gets us to move forward than move backward.”
For days the mainstream media has been filled with headlines condemning Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his intransigence in thwarting U.S. efforts towards a Middle East peace accord and for trying to torpedo the West’s appeasement deal with Iran.
You could wall paper an entire house with the articles criticizing Netanyahu for “damaging the relationship” with the U.S. Why, even former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert joined the croaking chorus with this gem: “We’ve [Israel] declared war on the U.S. government. You can’t deny this.”
But on Thursday, Dec. 5, it was the Palestinian Arabs who slammed the door in U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s face.
The Palestinian Authority rejected Kerry’s ideas for security arrangements under a possible future peace accord with Israel, a PA official said, according to Reuters.
“The Palestinian side rejected them because they would only lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation,” according to the official, who refused to allow his name to be used.
Those security arrangements were the ace in the hole the U.S. was counting on to lure the Israelis into accepting a peace plan.
General John Allen, the U.S. envoy to the peace process, discussed with Netanyahu the issue of possible security arrangements to assuage Israel’s fears for any final status agreement that would leave the Jewish state vulnerable.
Of primary concern is the ability of Israel to maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley and to have some control over airspace that could leave Israel vulnerable. A video of an American air security expert addressing the need for Israel to maintain such airspace control is at the end of this article.
The time may come when the United States and other countries will realize that any arrangement which provides adequate security to Israel will be rejected by the negotiators representing the Palestinian Arab leadership.
The so-called “Middle East peace talks” was one of two issues Kerry is expected to discuss with the leaders of the Israeli and the Palestinian Arab people. The other issue is the recent agreement which the U.S., along with its P5+1 partners, allegedly reached with the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
That agreement has been widely criticized as a huge boon for Iran and a destabilizing force in the Middle East by most Israeli security experts as well as even some of President Obama’s most stalwart defenders, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took out his diplomatic mask Thursday when he told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Thursday, “I can’t emphasize enough that Israel’s security in this negotiation is at the top of our agenda.”
He then brought out his record player so the Prime Minister could hear again what American officials have said several thousand times – “Israel has the right to defend himself.”
If that is reassurance, Israel is in big trouble because every time the United States, or the United Nations, grants Israel the unique right to defend itself, that means that Israel must exalt in pride for the recognition and shut up and let others decide what is best for the country.
Kerry is fooling himself, President Obama and media monkeys by thinking that Netanyahu believes him when he says, “Israel’s security…, is at the top of our agenda.”
It was at the top of its agenda in 2006 when Israel had to agree to the Second Lebanese War ceasefire resolution that “guaranteed” Israel’s security by forbidding foreign armies, like Hezbollah, to keep weapons.
Tzipi Livni, who then was foreign minister, signed the agreement with a straight face. Don’t forget, the same Tzipi Livni is Israel’s chief negotiator today with the Palestinian Authority.
The American concern for Israel’s security last month meant signing with Iran an agreement that gives it want it wants – less sanctions – without getting anything in return except words, more or less what Israel gets from Kerry and Obama when it gives up its tactical strength to keep the Palestinian Authority from picking then country to pieces, peace by peace.
Kerry’s concern for Israel’s security meant squeezing Netanyahu in July to agree to free 104 Arab murderers in return for resuming talks with the same Palestinian Authority that exalts terror.
Kerry’s soft sell to Netanyahu Thursday was a classic, a continuation of his style of patting Israel on the shoulder while shoving the knife in the back.
Of course, the bond between the US and Israel is “unbreakable,” and so what if there are a few minor differences between friends? After all, the only thing that really counts is that both the United States and Israel want peace on a piece of paper.
Kerry reassured Netanyahu that he has nothing to worry about and that the United States “will do everything in our power to make certain that Iran’s nuclear program, [and] weaponization possibilities are terminated.”
Given the history of the Obama administration, Israel can be reassured that the United States will not deliver on whatever it promises Israel because the White House assumes that the Netanyahu government is forever masochistic if not suicidal.
Kerry offered a gentle reminder why Washington is so sure that Netanyahu will sit every time an Obama official says, “Nice doggie.”
He referred to the Arrow ballistic missile interceptor at the Palmachim base near Tel Aviv when he said, “I want to see first-hand the remarkable ballistic missile defense technologies in place that our nation has spent over 20 years building with our friends here in Israel.”
If it was not clear that America expects Israel to follow marching orders in return for aid for defense systems, Kerry immediately followed with, “The advancement of these programs in recent years, I think, is a reflection of President Obama’s and his administration’s strong commitment, unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.”
Israel has been in constant war with Arabs even before the re-establishment of the modern state in 1948. It has survived countless double-crosses, agreements and terrorist attacks from all sides.
Therefore, according to American logic, the United States knows how Israel should defend itself.
Why did no one think of this before? Finally, someone has done something pragmatic and positive about the Israeli-Palestinian standoff, and just written up a proposal for the Israelis to chew on already. The Obama administration has at last gotten things off top dead center with Iran, and it’s time to tackle those other intractable Middle East Security Problems, while the momentum is still red-hot.
The New York Times has done yeoman work in recent years pitching verbatim the information themes of the Obama administration, but interestingly, it comes off as a tad perfunctory in the story about the West Bank security proposal. The tale seems to lack a little of that believer’s heart to it. You might almost get the sense that there’s some editorial skepticism about the wisdom of this fresh Brainstorming for Peace initiative.
Almost. Letting the Obama administration off the hook, as usual, for vagueness and strange diplomatic fire, NYT notes the following:
General Allen’s presentation appears to signify a more active American role, in which the United States is doing more than coaxing the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate and is presenting its own ideas.
What are the ideas about, exactly? The NYT authors again:
Officials involved in the negotiations said security had been the prime focus lately, with most of the discussion revolving around the Jordan Valley. Israel has insisted that its own military continue to patrol there, rather than rely on an international force similar to those responsible for its tense borders with Lebanon and Syria. The Palestinians have said they cannot abide the presence of any Israeli soldiers in their future state.
Keep in mind, if George W. Bush’s officials were being so elliptical about a U.S.-drafted West Bank security proposal, NYT would be right in there concluding indignantly that American troops were about to be drop-kicked into the Jordan Valley to embroil a duped and overextended United States in Another Vietnam Quagmire (Marine Barracks Beirut Variety). It would be barely possible to figure out what the Bush administration had actually said, so thick would be the underbrush of quotes from policy “critics” through which the reader would have to hack.
No such quotes enliven the current NYT piece. The Obama administration gets the benefit of the doubt. Maybe putting U.S. prestige and bona fides on the line with an unsolicited, and apparently very specific, security proposal to an ally isn’t a bad idea. Maybe it’s not undiplomatic and prejudicial to announce it publicly before our briefer has even presented it to Israel’s prime minister. Maybe it’s just, what, enthusiastic. Maybe there’s nothing to be concerned about in the fact that the preemptive announcement is so vague. Hey, we’re just talking – probably – a about U.S. proposal for administering military security in the Jordan Valley. What could go wrong?
NYT lets this priceless, preemptive characterization go without comment:
State Department officials described the security briefing as an “ongoing process” and not a finished product on which the United States was demanding a yes-or-no vote from the Israeli side.
Sure, because announcing it in advance will put no onus on Israel to respond in a yes-or-no-type manner. This formulation is like an addict pleading that he’s not using, he’s just snorting some coke.
A final deal with Iran could include a capacity for uranium enrichment, the White House said.
“Could” is what you say when you used to say “couldn’t” but then the other side insisted they would, and so you add a kind of implied “maybe” to the word by making it “could” instead of, say, “will zealously engage in producing weapons grade plutonium which is what they’d been meaning to do all along while we, here, at the White House were making fun of Netanyahu for being such a panicky sort.”
Here’s what Bernadette Meehan, the National Security Council spokeswoman actually said in a statement Tuesday to JTA, in response to their query based on a story first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
“We are prepared to negotiate a strictly limited enrichment program in the end state, but only because the Iranians have indicated for the first time in a public document that they are prepared to accept rigorous monitoring and limits on level, scope, capacity, and stockpiles.”
This is so like the joke about Churchill who asks a lady if she’d sleep with him for a thousand pounds and she said yes, then he asked what about for five, and she said: Sir, what do you think I am, and he said We already established that, now we’re haggling over the price.
See, once the White House admits they lied all along, the part about monitoring day and night, with extra binoculars, the really good kind – that doesn’t really matter any longer. The fact remains, the president agreed to Iranian enrichment and lied to the Israelis and the Saudis and everybody else who’s shaking in their boots on account of they know the crazy monkeys in Tehran will happily go down in nuclear flames if they knew they were taking everybody else with them.
Saying now that you’ve only agreed to low level, not high level enrichment is exactly like low-balling the questionable lady from the apocryphal Churchill story.
Israel and the Saudis and, really, anyone with a healthy fear of Shiites, oppose any Iranian enrichment capacity, because Iran is led by madmen to whom Mutually Assured Destruction is martyrological panacea, not a threat.
“If we can reach an understanding on all of these strict constraints, then we can have an arrangement that includes a very modest amount of enrichment that is tied to Iran’s actual needs and that eliminates any near-term breakout capability,” Meehan told JTA. “If we can’t, then we’ll be right back to insisting on no enrichment.”
And a hearty good luck to you on that one, hope you’ll visit Yad Vashem II, the Iranian Holocaust Museum. By the time the U.S. gets around to do all that insisting, Iran’s economy will have started to blossom, anywhere from $50 to $300 billion will have been injected into their economy and they could do whatever they feel like, no matter what Obama is insisting on.
Folks, the first thing Obama did when he took office in 2009 was to betray the people who voted for him by compensating the bankers for their losses. He didn’t invest a trillion dollars in Main Street, like so many of us expected he would – he gave it all to his buddies on Wall Street. We didn’t know he had buddies on Wall Street – turns out he did.
This president will betray you just to pass a boring afternoon – of course he’ll betray his Israeli and Saudi allies. He has done it already, in fact. Listen to his spokeswoman, for heaven’s sake:
“Since the P5+1 would have to agree to the contours of a possible enrichment program, it is by definition not a ‘right’,” she said.