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July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Netanyahu Wishes Abbas ‘Happy Eid al-Fitr’

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to wish him “Happy Eid a-Ftir, which marks the end of Ramadan.

Israeli media tried to make the most out of the phone call, looking for all kinds of signs that Netanyahu and Abbes secretly have been speaking with each other towards another attempt to allow the United States to believe they are interested in the “peace process.”

Considering the Palestinian Authority’s insistence on trying to bring Israel before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, there really is not much to talk about, except to say “hi” on a holiday.

The office of the Prime Minister reported:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today ([Friday] spoke with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and wished him a happy Eid al-Fitr.

The Prime Minister told the PA Chairman that the citizens of Israel want peace and added that Israel would continue to act toward regional stability.

The Ma’an News Agency, based in Bethlehem and considered close to Abbas, noted that the last time Netanyahu spoke with Abbas was in June 2104, after Hamas terrorists in the Hebron area kidnapped three yeshiva youth, who nearly three weeks later were found murdered.

The Prime Minister had asked Abbes for help in finding the teenagers and the terrorists.

Since then, Palestinian Authority terrorism has sharply escalated.

Last week, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said it had arrested terrorists who killed a 70-year-old Israeli farmer. One of them was a member of the Palestinian Authority Force 17.

Next year at the end of Ramadan, if Netanyahu and Abbas remain in their current positions. maybe they will talk to each other.

And maybe not.

Meet the 16 Democratic Senators Who Can Scuttle ObamaDeal

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Opponents to the agreement with Iran are lacking approximately nine Democratic senators to override a Presidential veto of its rejection, but the truth that is an opposition victory might have limited meaning.

Congress cannot strike down the agreement, which was made along with five other Western powers. All it can do is block President Obama’s agreement to lift U.S. sanctions.

Doing so would be very significant, both politically for President Obama and the Democratic party as well as for American’s relations with the other P5+1 countries and Iran.

There are seven undecided Democratic senators, according to a tally by the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips.

If all of them turn against President Obama, it will be easier to convince a couple of others whose positions are not yet known.

The seven undecided Democrats, acceding to Phillips, are:

Michael Bennet of Colorado;

Ben Cardin of Maryland;

Bob Casey of Pennsylvania;

Joe Donnelly of Indiana;

Tim Kaine of Virginia;

Bill Nelson of Pennsylvania;

and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Cardin is one of the most important of the undecided. He attends Baltimore’s largest and wealthiest modern Orthodox Beth Tfiloh Congregation, which is highly pro-Israel.

He told NPR this week:

Israel’s security issues are of major concern. We don’t want to see an arms race in the Middle East, so it is a factor. And it’s a factor that I’m sure we will carefully consider.

Earlier in the week, Cardin told Bloomberg:

There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.

The nine Democratic Senators whose positions are not known are:

Cory Booker of New Jersey;

Maria Cantwell of Washington;

Claire McCaskill of Missouri;

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota;

Barbara Mikulski of Maryland;

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington;

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

One of the most pivotal of the “unknowns” is McCaskill. She stated this week:

Preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon is paramount to our national security, and if this agreement accomplishes that goal, it will make the world a safer place for America and our allies. I plan to spend the coming weeks taking a hard look at the agreement’s details to ensure that it will result in a verifiable way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Phillip’s tally shows 43 senators “leaning” to vote against ObamaDeal, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and only 26 are in favor or are leaning in favor.

Analysis: Obama Defends Iran, Jabbing at Israel and Sunni States at Press Conference

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

(JNi.media) “My hope is that building on this deal, we could continue to have conversations with Iran that incentivize them to behave differently in the region,” Obama said Wednesday at a White House press conference.

In fact, listening to the president’s message, one could conclude that the source of the problem has been not the Islamic Republic, but the Jewish State and the Saudi Kingdom.

“Israel has legitimate concerns about its security regarding Iran,” Obama said, but he added Prime Minister Netanyahu has yet to present a better option.

“Without a deal,” Obama argued, “there would be no limits to Iran’s nuclear program and Iran could move close to a nuclear bomb. Without a deal, we risk even more war in the Middle East.”

Except that Netanyahu did offer an idea for a better deal — walk away from this one, don’t make more concessions, trust the fact that the Iranians need the sanctions lifted badly enough to agree to more useful terms.

Back in March, speaking only a 10-minutes walk away from where President Obama had his press conference Wednesday, Netanyahu said “Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.”

Netanyahu spoke mostly about strategy, not content, when he said, “Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.”

“And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran,” Netanyahu said to Obama, albeit indirectly—you have the power to make them need it even more.”

“My friends,” he said, “for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”

The deal is a “historic chance to pursue a safer and more secure world,” Obama said at his news conference. “It represents an opportunity that may not come again in our lifetime.”

That’s not so much reality as salesmanship — the one-time chance sales pitch. But what was the upside of taking seriously Iran’s threat to walk away from the table unless… — when it was clear Iran was the side that’s aching for economic relief?

In addition to attacking Israel and its prime minister, Obama on Wednesday also attacked America’s friends and allies of many decades in the region, who are easily as terrified as the Israelis are of the possibility of a nuclear Iran.

A point to consider: since the 1950s, Israel has had enough nuclear weapons to eliminate every living thing between Afghanistan and Morocco, and yet no Arab country was feeling the urge to enter a nuclear arms race because they feared an imminent attack from the direction of Tel Aviv. But as soon as the Mullahs in Tehran began to arm themselves, everyone in the region starts preparing for a nuclear confrontation?

Does it say anything about what Arab leaders think about the sanity of the supreme leader and his merry revolutionary guards?

In May, Obama invited America’s Gulf allies to a meeting in Camp David, to calm them down. Evidently, they were hysterical, as they still are. The pro-Saudi London paper Asharq Al Awsat wrote an editorial on Wednesday headlined: “Iran nuclear deal opens the gates of evil in the Middle East.”

“Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states can only welcome the nuclear deal, which in itself is supposed to close the gates of evil that Iran had opened in the region,” the editorial concluded. “However, the real concern is that the deal will open other gates of evil, gates which Iran mastered knocking at for years even while Western sanctions were still in place.”

Bush Labels Obama ‘Desperate'; Trump: Our Country’s Going to Hell

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Donald Trump, who remains at the top of the overstuffed heap of Republican presidential candidates, dumped all over President Barack Obama for the new agreement with Iran and said, “This country’s going to hell.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were not much less harsh, with Bush comparing President Obama with Chamberlain’s appeasement to Hitler, while Rubio said the deal undermines America’s security.

The “ObamaDeal,” just like ObamaCare, is going to get a spanking in Congress but the President is counting on Democratic Senators to prevent a two-thirds veto-proof opposition to ObamaDeal.

Trump said what everyone in the Middle East knows. “The Persians are always great negotiators” and that’s why “they are laughing at us back in Iran,” he told CNN.

He noted that Iran is holding four Americans on charges of espionage and added:

Why couldn’t they make that part of the deal? It would have happened quickly — easily if you had the right messenger. And that should have actually happened earlier. That should have happened at the beginning of the negotiations….

I’ll be honest with you. I want to save the country. Our country’s going to hell. We have a problem. I want to make America great again.

Trump told NBC that President Obama “dealt from desperation,” and remarked, “You know the Iranians are going to cheat. They’re great negotiators and you know they’re going to cheat.

Bush compared President Obama with Chamberlain and said in a prepared statement:

This isn’t diplomacy – it is appeasement. The people of Iran, the region, Israel, America, and the world deserve better than a deal that consolidates the grip on power of the violent revolutionary clerics who rule Tehran with an iron fist.

Sen. Rubio stated, “Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.

He told Fox News:

For him [Obama], this whole deal, you know what it is? It is an exhibit in his presidential library.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton called the ObamaDeal “an important step which puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear programs.” Vermont Sen. and underdog Bernie Sanders was more extreme and congratulated President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for a “victory for diplomacy over saber-rattling [that] could keep the United States from being drawn into another never-ending war in the Middle East.”

Others argue just the opposite, that ObamaDeal makes war inevitable.

Rubio was quoted in The Washington Times as saying:

Look at the press coverage of this issue: Some of it’s been glowing as some sort of historic deal — it’s ridiculous.  A third-rate autocracy has now been given equality with a world power, with the United States of America.

They are now a nuclear threshold country on a deal signed with the United States and other global powers. That’s why they’re cheering in the streets [of] Tehran; that’s why they’re celebrating. You don’t see any celebrations in America. You don’t see any celebrations in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, because they know this is a one-sided deal.

Assad Ecstatic over Nuclear Agreement with Iran

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fell over himself praising the agreement with Iran, which he called a “glorious victory.”

He wrote Iranian President Hassan Rouhani:

I am happy that the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved a great victory by reaching an agreement. In the name of the Syrian people, I congratulate you and the people of Iran on this historic achievement.

The agreement will lift sanctions and pour tens of billions of dollars into the Iranian treasury, which has invested billions in weapons and Hezbollah’s presence in Syria to save Assad’s neck.

Assad added, “We are confident the Islamic Republic will continue to back and with more vigor the just causes of all people,” he said.

Syria opposition leader Ahmed Ramadan told The Wall Street Journal:

Iran’s hands are dripping with the blood of Syrians. It will have to do a lot to wash this away.”

New money for Iran is not going to wash anything away, but it will make Syria, whatever is left of it, even redder

Zarif Says Deal Heralds ‘New Chapter of Hope’ (for what?)[video]

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif said Tuesday, “Today could have been the end of hope but now we are starting a new chapter of hope.”

Zarif said:

I believe this is an historic moment. We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody but is what we could accomplish. Today could have been the end of hope, but now we are starting a new chapter of hope.

The question remains, “hope for what?”

For the hope of Iran to be able to obtain a nuclear weapon and threatened Israel and the entire Middle East?

Netanyahu Urges National Unity against ‘Historic Mistake’

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

The agreement between Iran and the P5+1 power on Tehran’s nuclear programs is “an historic mistake” that will enable hundreds of millions of dollars to flow into Iranian coffers to incite and carry out terror worldwide, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday morning.

He issued a statement at his meeting Tuesday with Netherlands Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.

Prime Minister Netanyahu stated:

When you are willing to make an agreement at any cost, this is the result… This agreement is an historic mistake for the world….

Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe.

One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America.’

He charged that the desire by Western powers to reach an agreement was “stronger than anything” and that while  “we did not commit to preventing an agreement, we did commit to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and this commitment still stands.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called on Israeli leaders “to put petty politics aside and unite” behind the government’s continuing campaign to convince Congress to ditch the agreement.

He made his statement shortly after Tzipi Livni, second fiddle to Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog, blamed Netanyahu for the deal because he fought so hardly against it.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-urges-national-unity-against-historic-mistake/2015/07/14/

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