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March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Argentine President Indicted for Cover-Up for Iran in Bombing

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

The Argentine prosecutor has formally indicted President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, her foreign minister and other official for allegedly trying to remove Iranian officials from Interpol lists of suspects of the 1994 bombing that killed 85 people at the Jewish AMIA center in Buenos Aires.

Kirchner has denounced the accusation as a “vulgar lie” and an attempt at a Judicial coup.”

Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, a legislator and other officials allegedly acted on behalf of Iran in return for benefits in trade with Tehran.

Kirchner also is suspected by many of involvement in last month’s murder of Alberto Nisman, the Jewish prosecutor in the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association community center bombing case. He was killed hours before he was to submit to the legislature his findings that implicated Iran in the murders.

She has said Nisman was murdered in an attempt to blacken the image of her government, already in trouble because of an economic crisis gripping the country.

Nisman has been replaced by a team of prosecutors, and if they “just happen” to decide that Iran was not involved, then the indictment against Kirchner will be worth nothing.

A massive protest rally against the government is planned for Wednesday, and supporters of Kirchner, such as Chief of Staff Anibal Fernanderz, charged that drug traffickers and anti-Semites are  organizing the demonstration to hide their own supposed attempts to obstruct the investigation into the Buenos Aires bombing.

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said, “The Argentine people should know that we’re talking about a vulgar lie, of an enormous media operation, of a strategy of political destabilization and the biggest judicial coup d’etat in the history of Argentina to cover up for the real perpetrators of the crime.”

 

 

Israelis Fed Up with Obama

Friday, February 13th, 2015

A poll published on Friday shows that nearly two-thirds of Israelis think that the Obama administration is interfering in the elections, and more than half of the respondents back Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s planned visit to Congress.

President Barack Obama already has stated he will not meet with Netanyahu two weeks before the elections, but many Democrats in Congress have thrown salt on the wounds of American-Israeli relations by stating they will boycott the Prime Minister’s speech.

The survey, carried out by the Hebrew-language Maariv weekend newspaper and The Jerusalem Post, stated that 62 percent of Israelis think Washington is putting its two cents into the election campaign, while 31 percent disagreed and 8 percent expressed no opinion.

Support for Netanyahu was a bit less, with 56 percent backing his acceptance of an invitation from Republic House Speaker John Boehner to speak to Congress, where he received an enthusiastic ovation in 2011 when he spoke to a joint session of Congress.

Almost lost in the controversy over the Prime Minister’s planned speech is its content – Iran, which may be the real reason President Obama and many Democrats are so angry at the Prime Minister.

Netanyahu has constantly warned that Iran is stalling for time and not negotiating. He has explained over and over that Iran wants to gets its hands on a nuclear weapon, hell or high water, and that the Obama administration is far too dovish.

Netanyahu’s speech in Congress comes until three weeks before a deadline for Washington and Tehran to agree on the basis to conclude negotiations on Iran’s nuclear development.

Pervious polls have shown that most Israelis think Netanyahu is exploiting the planned speech to help voters in Israel focus on the Iranian nuclear threat and vote for him, an assumption that is a certain bet given that nothing happens in Israel without political intentions.

That does not contradict the real concern of the Iranian threat and that the Obama administration will not stop it.

The United Nations 10 years ago passed resolutions for its nuclear inspectors to inspect Iran’s program, and the United States spearheaded Western sanctions on Iran to convince it to cooperate. Nothing has worked.

Iran has whittled down the will of the Obama administration and Western powers to the point that the deal being put together simply would delay Iran’s nuclear capability and not eliminate it. The deal also is based on Iran’s allowing United Nations inspectors to enter all of its nuclear facilities, even though it has built underground operations while it was supposed to be cooperating with nuclear inspectors.

That is why Netanyahu is willing to risk worsening relations with the Obama administration and speak out against the expected deal, regardless of polls and boycotts of his speech by Democrat Congressmen,.

Given Iran’s consistent refusal to play ball by mutually agreed rules, Netanyahu’s visit will be unnecessary if Tehran balks and refuses the “P5+1″ offer. It is generous but not enough for Iran. It would allow Iran to keep a large part of its nuclear  infrastructure but supposedly block Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu is not taking any chances.

Below is the video clip of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in 2011, when he received 29 standing ovations.

Elie Wiesel to Attend Netanyahu’s Speech in Congress

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Elie Wiesel will attend Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress next month, activist Rabbi Shmuley Boteach announced Thursday.

He also said he is buying advertising space in The New York Times and The Washington Post to promote Wiesel’s decision, with the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner stating:

I plead with you to put aside the politics that have obscured the critical decisions to be made. Surely it is within your power to find a solution that will permit Israel’s Prime Minister to deliver his urgent message. Will you join me in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America?

Wiesel’s support for the Prime Minister’s controversial visit may slow down, if not reverse, the rush of many Congressmen to boycott the speech because it will be delivered two weeks before elections in Israel.

The speech also comes three weeks before President Barack Obama and Iran may agree on terms for a deal on containing Tehran’s nuclear development. Prime Minister Netanyahu will focus on the Iranian nuclear threat in his speech, emphasizing that Iran is stalling for time and not conducting honest negotiations.

Wiesel carries a big stick in American public opinion, and President Obama is known to have warm regard for him.

Syria and Hezbollah Launch Attack on Rebels at Israel’s Golan Border

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Israel’s former northern Golan Heights neighbor Bashar al-Assad is fighting with Hezbollah against rebels, supported by Al Qaeda, to regain the territory on the Syrian side of the strategic Golan.

Tanks and artillery are in action within five miles of the Israeli border, where the Israel Air Force last month bombed Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders planning launch an attack on the Israeli Golan.

Israel enjoyed a certain sense of security from Assad before the civil war erupted four years ago because for all his hatred of Israel, attacks on the Golan were not high on his agenda. Both sides enjoyed mutual hatred and a cold peace while the United States, particularly the Obama administration, enjoyed making believe that Assad was the key to peace between Israel and the Arab world.

The civil war exploded that illusion, and once Hezbollah joined up with Assad, the terrorist army’s threat from Lebanon extended eastward to the Golan.

Al Qaeda-backed rebels have taken over most of the territory near the Golan border, and Israeli residents have suffered dozens of rocket attacks, some of them accidental and some intentional.

Iran is believed to behind the new offensive against the rebels, and Hezbollah can be assumed to be taking advantage of Assad’s weakened position to exact the price of victory over the rebels by setting up new bases to attack Israel.

Israeli would not be able to retaliate on Hezbollah in Lebanon if it attacks the Golan from Syria, which no longer can be considered a country where one regime is in charge.

Israel has built some links with the rebels and the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and has treated more than 1,000 Syrians, some of them in Israeli hospitals and some in field hospitals on the Israeli side of the Golan.

Heavy fighting this week has put Hezbollah in control of several villages that Assad had lost to the rebels. If Assad and Hezbollah can regain the area between the Golan and Damascus, it will have eliminated the major stronghold of the non-jihadist opposition. The Islamic State (ISIS) controls a major part of Syria north of Damascus.

Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said, “The operations are being led by Hezbollah’s special forces. Their aim appears to be to eventually reach areas bordering the occupied Golan and set up a border zone under Hezbollah’s control.”

His description of the Golan as “occupied” underscores the fact that no matter who is in charge in Syria, he won’t be a friend of Israel.

 

 

 

The Importance Of Netanyahu’s Speech To Congress

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

We hope Prime Minister Netanyahu will weather the full court press orchestrated by the White House and deliver his scheduled talk to Congress next month. The reported elements of the emerging deal in the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program would, if true, constitute a major threat to Israel and a significant challenge to world order. Mr. Netanyahu feels it’s vital to present his country’s concerns to American lawmakers while there still might be time to avert a dangerously bad deal with the Iranians.

There is a lot more in play here than petty party politics or mere ego, as the White House would have us believe. But the administration has deftly repackaged House Speaker Boehner’s invitation to Mr. Netanyahu, and the prime minister’s acceptance of it, as a personal affront to President Obama and a partisan gesture that risks weakening the longstanding bipartisan support in Washington for Israel.

Indeed, some Jewish organizational types (most prominently the ADL’s Abe Foxman and the Reform movement’s Rabbi Rick Jacobs) have gone public with requests that Mr. Netanyahu cancel his speech for just those reasons.

But the executive and the legislative are co-equal branches of government, each with constitutionally prescribed roles in the conduct of American foreign policy. Ironically, liberals historically have been the most vocal critics of foreign policy by presidential diktat, and yet in this instance the president and his party seem intent on relegating Congress to a less than auxiliary role.

The answer to why Mr. Obama is so touchy about the Netanyahu speech might be found in the recent but little noted congressional testimony given by former secretary of state Henry Kissinger on the Iran negotiations:

Nuclear talks with Iran began as an international effort, buttressed by six UN resolutions, to deny Iran the capability to develop a military nuclear option. They are now an essentially bilateral negotiation over the scope of that capability through an agreement that sets a hypothetical limit of one year on an assumed breakout. The impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it.

But I would also emphasize the issue of proliferation….[T]he question then is what do the other countries in the region do? And if the other countries in the region conclude that America has approved the development of an enrichment capability within one year of a nuclear weapon, and if they insist on building the same capability, we will live in a proliferated world in which everybody – even if that agreement is maintained – will be very close to the trigger point.

So the task facing the world community, should President Obama’s plan to allow the Iranians some weapons-production capability, is to maximize the time it would take for Iran to produce nuclear weapons. This is a breathtaking change from the original goal of the negotiations and the reason why Mr. Netanyahu is so concerned: any regulatory regime, after all, is only as good as its inspectors and ultimately would be dependent on the level of cooperation extended by the Iranians.

As Mr. Obama apparently sees it, however, it would provide a convenient mechanism to permit the Iranians to make a deal that would burnish his image as the president who brought Iran back into the world community while removing a substantial threat to world peace.

The way we see it, the significance of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress looms very large, as does the ability and willingness of Congress to check the power of the president.

Congressional Bill Introduced: Europe Must Reject Anti-Israel BDS in Free Trade Deal

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

If Europe wants to enjoy the benefits of what could be the largest free trade deal in history, the leaders of its member nations will have to pay a price: they must agree to reject the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, say two U.S. Representatives – one from each side of the political aisle.

The Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act was formally submitted Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 10) on Capitol Hill under bipartisan sponsorship, which is expected to smooth the way for rapid passage.

But there’s a catch. The legislation will “leverage ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective U.S. trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel, said Representatives Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), who co-sponsored the bill.

Additional co-sponsors are to be recruited to the measure after its introduction to the floor. The two lawmakers said they are optimistic the bill will pass through the House of Representatives.

It’s a great deal. It is estimated the measure could add as much as 0.5 percent to the European Union’s annual economic output. The flip side of it, however, involves how the bill impacts the ongoing free trade negotiations between the U.S. and the EU. Foreign companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges will have to disclose links to BDS activities, and whether they have faced any pressure for avoiding participation in any boycotts.

“The bill … establishes a clear U.S. policy of opposing BDS as detrimental to global trade and regional peace and stability,” the two lawmakers wrote in their introduction to the legislation. They also noted that the measure was created in response to a growing trend among countries “primarily in Europe, to isolate and delegitimize Israel through BDS for political purposes.”

“Today, an alarming number of countries within the European Union and beyond have embraced BDS as a form of economic warfare aimed to cripple Israel’s economy and demonize its very existence. These attacks not only threaten Israel, but commercial relations across the globe,” Roskam told reporters.

“The US-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act will ensure that American free trade partners never engage in this harmful and illegitimate political protest against Israel, while also protecting US companies from foreign lawsuits targeting their associations with Israel.”

Vargas likewise noted, “BDS is a harmful political tactic which seeks to undermine and diminish Israel’s economic strength. We need to reassure our commitment to our ally in the region by clearly defining US policy to oppose this practice and dissuade other nations from adopting BDS policies toward Israel.”

The measure also unequivocally underlines the “strategic importance of trade and commercial relations to the pursuit of sustainable peace and regional stability,” making it clear that boycotts break down the potential for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the lawmakers said.

Perhaps that bit of wisdom should be directed towards the PA headquarters at its capital in Ramallah: Its latest anti-Israel economic boycott has just been launched, punishing local merchants far more than Israeli manufacturers. Worse, the boycott reinforces for Israelis the utter futility of attempting to secure any lasting agreement with anyone who claims to lead the Palestinian Authority.

Arab governments in the Middle East come and go, and so do those who lead the Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The PA commitments in particular – on paper or otherwise – can be likened to a ritual courtesy one carries out in ceremonial garb. They mean everything for the moment, but are instantly put aside when “reality” steps back into the scene. In that moment, all is forgotten and anything goes, as happened with the obligations of the internationally recognized Oslo Accords.

A bill such as the Roskam-Vargas measure is invaluable, coming at a time when a European groundswell of anti-Semitism appears to be growing into a tsunami and the U.S.-Israel relationship appears to be floundering in ways never seen before. The entire Middle East is in disarray, and Israel may be facing an existential threat from Iran as it gallops towards a nuclear military threshold. It is precisely now, as Iran strengthens its terrorist guerrilla proxies to the north and south of Israel’s borders, that the Jewish State most needs the support of its friends in the international community.

How fortunate that the lawmakers in Congress have chosen this moment to reaffirm — and concretely demonstrate — America’s commitment to Israel, and to underscore the strong relationship both nations share.

Bibi Says: ‘I am Going to Speak to Congress About the Bad Offer Made to Iran’

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement confirming his decision to go to Washington, D.C. next month and to speak in the U.S. Congress about the dangers of the offer the U.S. and its partners has made to Iran.

The prime minister addressed the issue which has been dividing the leadership of the U.S. and Israel: the acceptance by Netanyahu of an invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress next month. It is something this U.S. administration strongly opposes.

Netanyahu acknowledged the very close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, one that has remained strong despite many strong disagreements between leaders in the two countries throughout that relationship. Examples of those disagreements included ones between Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and the U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, Levi Eshkol’s decision at the start of the Six Day War, Menachem Begin’s decision to bomb Iraq’s Osirik nuclear reactor, and Prime Minister Sharon’s Operation Defensive Shield.

The Prime Minister turned next to the heart of the current disagreement. It is not over whether Netanyahu should speak before a joint session of Congress, or about how or even when the invitation was extended.

The fundamental disagreement is over the offer Netanyahu said the P5+1, including the U.S., ‘has made‘ to Iran. Note: not may make, not is thinking of making, but has made. According to Netanyahu, the offer has already been extended, and it is an offer, Netanyahu said, that “threatens Israel’s survival.”

Under this deal, Netanyahu stated, Iran will be able “to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs.”

Netanyahu repeated this is not a personal disagreement between himself and President Obama. “I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields,” he said, and he is not going to Washington because he seeks “a confrontation with the President.”

But Netanyahu is going to Washington, he said, “because I must fulfill my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country,” and he will speak to Congress before the March 24th political framework deadline, “because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bibi-says-i-am-going-to-speak-to-congress-about-the-bad-offer-made-to-iran/2015/02/10/

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