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March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Kerry to Talk with Iran at Same Time Netanyahu to Warn Congress

Friday, February 27th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be talking with Iran on a deal over its nuclear program at the same time Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be warning Congress of the dangers of negotiating with the Islamic Republic.

Kerry will conveniently fly out of the United States hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrives late Sunday night, two days before he will deliver his controversial speech to a joint session f Congress, minus Obama administration officials and many Democrats.

If their schedules allow it, they might be able to wave to each other at the airport. Netanyahu arrives in New York late Sunday night, and Kerry takes off in the morning for a U.N. Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Monday, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday.

“While in Geneva, the Secretary will also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to discuss Ukraine and regional issues of common interest…. Then he will travel to Montreux, so he’ll be there Monday evening. Tuesday/ Wednesday he’ll travel to Saudi Arabia. He’ll be there Thursday, and then London Friday,” she said.

And here is what Kerry is up on Tuesday, when Netanyahu speaks to Congress:

The Secretary will then travel to…. Montreux, Switzerland, to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif as part of the ongoing EU-coordinated P5+1 nuclear negotiations.

Don’t be surprised if Kerry does not try to grab some headlines about his talks with Zarif just as Netanyahu speaks about the danger of dealing with the devil.

Obama also is making sure Vice President Joe Biden will be out of town so he will have a handy excuse not to carry out the custom of a vice president attending a joint sessions, especially when a foreign leader is speaking. Biden’s aides still don’t know what to do with the man next Tuesday, or they aren’t saying yet.

Now, what would happen if another snowstorm plows into Washington and New York hours after Netanyahu arrives, grounding Kerry and Biden?

House Speaker Boehner Says Netanyahu Speech Won’t Harm US-Israel Relations

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Speaker of the House John Boehner hit back on Thursday at U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who characterized next week’s address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as “destructive.”

Boehner challenged her remarks, saying that in fact, the situation was quite the opposite.

“The president’s national security adviser says it’s destructive for the prime minister of Israel to address the United States Congress,” Boehner told reporters on Thursday.

“I couldn’t disagree more. The American people and both parties in Congress have always stood with Israel and nothing, and no one, could get in the way,” Boehner said.

The invitation by the Speaker came directly, without a first pass by the White House or the State Department, which presidential staff members have censured as a breach of protocol.

The prime minister maintains that Iran’s skyrocketing nuclear development and the pending agreement being arranged by the United States and world leaders with Tehran presents Israel with a clear existential threat. As such, Netanyahu said he cannot afford to pass up an opportunity to directly discuss the danger to Israel with America’s lawmakers.

Rice said Tuesday the prime minister’s acceptance of the Speaker’s invitation to address the joint session of Congress on March 3 is “destructive of the fabric of the relationship” between Israel and the United States.

“What has happened over the last several weeks, by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the Speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu on two weeks in advance of his election, is that on both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship,” Rice said.

Boehner disagreed, saying, “What is destructive in my view is making a bad deal that paves the way for a nuclear Iran. That’s destructive.”

The Speaker insisted that it is important for the American people to hear what Israel’s prime minister has to say about the grave threats Israel faces.

“I’m glad that most of my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, will be there” to hear it, Boehner said.

Both Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samatha Power, are expected to address the AIPAC annual convention which begins on Sunday, and where Netanyahu is also scheduled to appear.

’5 Shades of Israel’ Debate the Issues for Anglo Votes in Jerusalem

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The top five political parties in Israel vied for the English-speaking vote in Jerusalem on Wednesday in a far more polite debate held at Cinema City in Jerusalem than is usually seen in Hebrew-speaking forums, in keeping with the cultural tenor of the audience.

JewishPress.com editor-in-chief Stephen Leavitt noted at the start of the event that Israel is home to nearly half a million “native English speakers” who have immigrated from countries as diverse at Australia, South Africa, the UK, Canada, the U.S. and other areas where the English language is spoken.

Representatives of the Likud, Yesh Atid, Bayit Yehudi, Yisrael Beytenu and Labor-Tnua merger parties addressed the anglo voters on a set of five core issues. Among those that has been raising blood pressure in Israel and abroad is the Iranian nuclear threat and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s planned trip next week to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C.

Yisrael Beytenu representative Ashley Perry led off the responses by asking, “How can we take on Iran if we cannot successfully take on Hamas and Hezbollah? We can achieve a draw at best,” he said, pointing to the results of the recent operations carried out against terror groups in Gaza and Lebanon.

“We have to first deal with the more imminent threat on our borders,” Perry said. “We have to take the gloves off. We need to return deterrence. The next time a single rocket comes over, we need to respond with such impact that … quiet returns for generations.”

Yesh Atid representative and MK Rabbi Dov Lipman commented, “There are times when leaders speak with bravado, but create tremendous damage to Israel along the way… I see it when I travel abroad. There is a way to go about such things.” Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress, Lipman contended, is “doing tremendous damage.” He insisted the Congress could have — and would have — come up with a two-thirds vote to “override” any deal with Iran that President Barack Obama would have brought before the Congress for approval. Now, he said, “Congress cannot do anything about it.”

Hillik Bar, representing the Herzog-Hatnua parties, said he believes in “smart diplomacy” and that in essence, he agreed with Lipman. “But this time I agree with Netanyahu in that we in Israel do not believe the Iranians when they say they are using their nuclear power for peace. We know better.” The difference, Bar said, was that his party differs with Likud on how to differentiate between “those Arabs who want to live with us and those who don’t — those who want to live here INSTEAD of us. With those, we should speak with them in the language of the IDF; on this we agree with Netanyahu,” he said.

Likud representative and former MK, Professor Benny Begin’s oratorial skills prompted even the moderator to lose track of his own timekeeping — for which he later apologized to the audience.

“What a miracle,” he began quietly. “I should remind you that in the last decade and up to about two years ago, everyone agreed that Prime Minister Netanyahu was exaggerating about the Iranian threat in order to keep the debate about “internal” issues. The P5+1 was claiming there was “no weapons program” there in Iran… everyone was insisting that Netanyahu was making it up.

“There was only one person who carried that banner and he carried it high. It speaks about the far-sighted ability of Netanyahu, and his courage to carry it in the face of major opposition from everyone… These guys are a menace not only to Israel but to the whole world.

US Media Asks, ‘Did Israeli PM Deliberately Mislead UN on Iran?’

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Some of America’s broadcast news media headlined with a startling question on Tuesday: “Did Israel’s prime minister deliberately mislead the United Nations about Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon?”

That question and similar leads and headlines on broadcast news networks in the United States are starting to look like an active, open campaign to discredit Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu — and possibly delegitimize the State of Israel — ahead of Netanyahu’s trip to Washington DC next week.

That particular question was asked on CNN in reference to an alleged disagreement between Israel’s international intelligence agency, the Mossad, and the prime minister over the estimated time necessary for Iran to be able to cross the threshold to become an international nuclear power.

It’s an old story that made the news and was put to rest in Israel literally months ago, one that was more a matter of semantics than anything else, as CNN correspondent Nick Robertson in London quickly made clear.

Robertson wisely reported on the truth of the matter, pointing out that the Mossad stated there was “no daylight between the view of Mossad and the prime minister.”

Apparently a briefing sheet distributed to reporters included an unclear point on “item 9” he said, which “someone has chosen to deliberately undermine the prime minister when he goes to the United States next week.” (ed: italics added)

Just a day earlier the same news media outright ignored a major verdict handed down in New York federal district court, ending a 10-year-long lawsuit by 10 families of victims of terror against the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

The court found in favor of the plaintiffs, deciding the PLO and the PA are civilly and financially liable for the injuries and deaths of American citizens in six terror attacks between 2002 and 2004 overseas. Damages in the amount of $655.5 million were awarded to the plaintiffs, to be paid by the PA and PLO.

It was a record-making, landmark decision — and not one television news network covered the story. To its credit, the New York Times headlined the bulletin within seconds after a verdict was reached.

But where were the broadcast news networks with their “Breaking News” bulletins? They were right there when it came to questioning whether Israel’s prime minister “deliberately misled the United Nations on Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon.”

But some of America’s mainstream broadcast news media seem to be “missing in action” when it comes to reporting on what is really happening in the Middle East — at least when it comes to Israel, Iran and the Palestinian Authority.

Let’s hope America’s viewers are more savvy — and demanding — and switch to media where they can find more accurate coverage of events in the Middle East.

US Media Avoids Iran Opposition Group Exposure of Secret Nuclear Program

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

An opposition group in Iran was slated to reveal new information Tuesday morning about the presence of a top secret parallel nuclear program being carried out at a site called Lavizan-3.

But suddenly, after first announcing the upcoming news story and the presence of the blockbuster top secret parallel nuclear development program in Iran – the headlines vanished. The briefing by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) simply did not exist.

Instead, reports vanished about the upcoming news of the secret Iranian nuclear development program being carried on right under the very noses of the American and European negotiators while trying to reach a “good faith” agreement with Tehran.

They were replaced with headlines about “leaked cables” that reportedly showed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel’s international Mossad intelligence agency “disagreed” about the extent of the Iranian nuclear threat.

Talk about the proverbial red herring.

To his credit, CNN correspondent Nick Robertson in London debunked that myth, reporting that the Mossad clarified there “is no daylight” between the view of the Mossad and the prime minister. Robertson noted that a briefing sheet distributed to journalists about the issue included one point that seemed a bit vague – “item 9” which, he said, “someone has chosen to deliberately undermine the prime minister when he goes to the United States next week.”

While the top secret parallel nuclear development program is humming away, world powers led by the U.S. are hammering out an agreement to allow Iran to continue openly its clandestine activities, aimed at achieving an atomic weapon of mass destruction.

“The U.S. and Iran are shaping the contours of a deal that would initially freeze Tehran’s nuclear program but would allow it to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms over the last years of the agreement’s duration,” Fox News reported on its website Monday and Tuesday.

The details of the six-power talks with Iran were still not fine-tuned, according to the report, which said restrictions on the uranium enrichment program would be lifted as part of the deal, along with sanctions, as a reward for “good behavior” by Iran.

News about the briefing by the Iranian opposition group, slated to take place at 10 am New York time, was non-existent however — and the original headline vanished as if it did not exist on both CNN and Fox News.

The original announcement remained on Yahoo! News but no follow-up was available, leading to questions of how the story had been squelched.

The nuclear development site itself has been kept completely secret from the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and work there reportedly is continuing during negotiations with the P5+1 world leaders, including the United States.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran has previously provided highly reliable intelligence on Iran’s nuclear sites, however — and the U.S. representative office of the NCRI was slated to hold its news conference to reveal further information on the existence of “an active and secret parallel nuclear program in Iran,” the group said.

In the past, NCRI exposed some of the most significant parts of the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program, including information about the Natanz uranium enrichment and Arak heavy water sites in August 2002; Kalay-e Electric centrifuge assembly and testing facility in February 2003; Lashkar-abad Laser enrichment and Lavizan-Shian site in May 2003; Fordow underground enrichment site in December 2005; and Defensive Innovation and Research Organization SPND in July 2011.

It’s still not clear what happened with the briefing — nor is it clear how or why the U.S. news media suddenly ditched the story.

Netanyahu Says It Is ‘Astonishing’ that West still Talks with Iran

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet Sunday morning, “It is astonishing that even after the recent IAEA report determined that Iran is continuing to hide the military components of its nuclear program, the nuclear talks are with it are proceeding.”

He is trying to keep security at the top of the agenda in the election campaign and briefed ministers on “Iran’s attempt to increase its foothold on Israel’s borders even as it works to arm itself with nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu added, “Iran is trying to also to develop a third front on the Golan Heights via the thousands of Hezbollah fighters who are in southern Syria and over which Iran holds direct command…..

The coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threaten our existence.

“The agreement that is being formulated between Iran and the major powers is dangerous for Israel and therefore I will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world.”

 

Overwhelming Majority of Americans View Fear a Nuclear Iran

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Seventy-seven percent of Americans view the development of nuclear weapons by Iran as a critical threat to the United States, according to a new Gallup poll.

An even larger number, 84 percent, responded that the Islamic State and international terrorism are critical threats.

And what about the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict?

It is down in sixth place, after military power of North Korea and Russia, with 49 percent viewing it a critical threat and 41 percent seeing it is an “important” threat. Next in line are the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the economic power of China.

Gallup concluded:

ISIS and international terrorism loom largest in Americans’ minds as critical threats to U.S. interests. In a winter that has seen acts of unspeakable terrorism, with Obama seeking authorization for military action against the Islamic State, Americans are clearly concerned about Islamic militants and terrorists.

The conflict in Ukraine may not worry Americans as much because they see it as more of a threat to Europe than to the U.S.

And that helps explain why President Barack Obama does not want Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu talking to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat, even if there were not elections in Israel.

He would rather distract Americans and talk about the peace process, but no one really cares.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/overwhelming-majority-of-americans-view-fear-a-nuclear-iran/2015/02/22/

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