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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Rumor Mill Turns Pollard into a Bargaining Chip

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The media’s favorite “anonymous but official” sources are spreading the word that the Obama administration may be willing to release Jonathan Pollard if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu frees a few hundred terrorists, possibly including those with Israeli citizenship.

It is far from a done deal, but where there is smoke, there is fire, the same smoke that was blowing last week when the same story made the rounds, as reported here.

This time it is more serious because  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry must come up with the goods this week in order to keep his peace talks fantasy from disappearing into thin air.

President Barack Obama has consistently said that Pollard committed a “serious crime” and will not be pardoned, but it is no secret that one of his positions often take a back seat to one of his dearest principles, which is to control other leaders, especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli officials confirmed that the Obama administration has been willing to discuss the subject of freeing Pollard but added they have little hope that anything will come out of it. The officials certainly do not want to create great expectations, but they also may be telling the truth.

If the deal goes through, Pollard might even be freed in time for Passover, and the pundits already are playing up the concept of the release symbolizing the holiday celebrating the Jews freedom from slavery in Egypt. The comparison is strictly abstract, but it brings out all the emotions that Obama can use to play on the heartstrings of Israelis as well as many American Jews.

There is much more support in Israel for freeing Pollard than there is in the United States, where American patriots consider Pollard a spy, although he was not convicted for spying.

However, many former and current American officials have admitted that Pollard underwent an unfair trial and was unfairly punished. He was handed down a life sentence for passing on to Israel, an ally, classified information. The offense usually is punished with 2-4 years in jail.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who is travelling with  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said Monday, “Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage and is serving his sentence. I do not have any update for you on his status.”

Besides getting her facts wrong – Pollard was not convicted of espionage – she simply spews out whatever Kerry wants her to say, so her statement can be ignored.

If Kerry succeeds in forging an agreement between Netanyahu and Abbas to continue talks, at the price of Israel’s freeing hundreds of terrorists  in return for Pollard, a dual America-Israeli citizen, Pollard would feel like a prisoner of confused emotions as much he is a physical prisoner while in jail

He has dismissed previous attempts to win his release in exchange for Israel’s freeing terrorists, stating he would prefer to stay in jail than knowing he weakened Israel’s security and contributed to the spilling  of more blood. More than 120 Israelis have been murdered by terrorists who have been freed, many of them having signed a pledge never to return to terror.

Kerry Back in Town to Force Release of Terrorists

Monday, March 31st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pushed the emergency ejection button on his Paris talks with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov over the crisis in Ukraine and flew into Israel to try and force a last-minute agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the release of more Arab terrorists.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has stated no more concessions will be taken unless it is “clear” what Israel will receive in return, but it is anyone’s guess what Israel could gain except for Brownie points in the White House and another dinner with Kerry, for what it’s worth.

And motorists are being smacked with the occasional closing of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 pm. Israeli time and during Tuesday morning’s rush hour, 8-10 a.m., so Kerry can have all the of the road it himself.

The Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Quds quoted Kerry as saying he told PA officials he will free the terrorists with his own hands if he has to.

Most Israelis, from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to even the dovish media with the exception of Haaretz, would not mind if Kerry would take a walk, a very long walk and even better off a short pier.

The Palestinian Authority also is not so thrilled with him. Its officials have created a cold air mass before his arrival, saying that they really are not interested in extending the talks that Kerry initiated last July, but that can be discounted as playing hard to get.

Kerry will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu Monday evening and then travel to Ramallah for a discussion with Mahmoud Abbas.

“Secretary Kerry decided it would be productive to return to the region,” State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Translation: Kerry is roaring into town with ammunition on both shoulders and will tell both sides that they will bear the wrath of Obama himself if they don’t agree to help the president make a fool out of himself.

No one really knows who is on first anymore. Kerry and his media groupies have created the fiction that Israel agreed last July to free several Arab terrorists who are card-carrying Israeli citizens.

Netanyahu was quoted this past December 31 saying he never agreed to free them as part of the fourth and final batch of terrorists, but the truth really doesn’t matter anymore. Freeing them has been accepted as a fact by Kerry, the Palestinian Authority, and the media, so the truth really does not matter anymore.

Israel reportedly has offered to free more than the last group of 26 terrorists, which is not likely to happen unless he card-carrying Israelis will remain in jail. The Palestinian Authority supposedly has demanded that Israel free several hundred terrorists, and all of this, of course, for the grand prize of a few more months of charades masked as negotiations” over when to end the follies.

Kerry said Monday afternoon, “I think it’d be inappropriate to get into any kind of judgments about what may or may not occur or happen because it’s really a question between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and what Prime Minister Netanyahu is prepared to do. So he has – he is working diligently, I know. I just literally talked to him 15 minutes ago. And he’s working at it.”

Kerry and Netanyahu spoke Sunday night and again Monday morning, and they obviously were not just chewing the fat.

Not by coincidence, Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog is meeting in Amman Monday with Jordanian King Abdullah, the first official Israeli visit since Israeli soldiers killed a Jordanian judge at the Allenby Bridge crossing when he allegedly attacked a soldier and tried to grab his weapon.

Kerry is banking on the usual gambit of threatening Abba and Netanyahu that whoever says “no” will be blamed for the collapse of his stage show. At some point, and that point is not far down the road and may already have been reached, the Palestinian Authority will say, “Blame us all you want. We have the United Nations in our pockets.”

Netanyahu so far has been too chicken to be blamed because the only thing he has in his picket is the Book of Psalms, but he hasn’t used it very much.

European Double-Talk on the Funding of PA Terrorism

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Over at the ParliamentToday.com update service (“operated by Parliamentary News Services, Press Gallery, House of Commons”) they posted the following exchange today to their subscribers, one of whom (H/T Michael H.) kindly forwarded it along to us.

E-001778/2014 | Monday, 3 March 2014 Question for written answer to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative) Rule 117: Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR) VP/HR — Salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons

It is a well-known fact that the Palestinian Authority proudly owns up to illegally spending over 6% of its budget — donated by, among others, the EU, where funding terrorism is against the law — on salaries for terrorists in Israeli prisons and pensions for the families of suicide bombers. The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister, Issa Qarake, has admitted on television that the salaries are directly proportional to the terrorists’ sentences and the number of Jews they have killed. 1. What information can the EEAS provide concerning this case? 2. What is the Commission’s strategy to stop EU funds being used to pay salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons? As the last known case of paying money for killing Jews was in Nazi Germany, will the EU High Representative condemn this practice?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

The EU is aware that the Palestinian Authority has a system of allowances in place for Palestinian prisoners, their families and ex-detainees. This scheme is not and has never been financed by the EU. All the funds the EU allocates to the Palestinian Authority for salaries, pensions and social allocations, are subject to rigorous ex ante and ex post verification procedures, notably including a specific check against a recognised data base of individuals listed as having a connection with terrorism of any sort. Any name which is signalled by the check is automatically deleted from the list of beneficiaries. The Commission would also refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-14320/2013

Anyone who has reviewed the tragic history of EC double-talk around the subject of money – generously but ignorantly provided by unwitting European taxpayers via their representatives in Brussels – handed over to the Palestinian Arabs, knows that it is rich in language like what’s on display here. Don’t blame us; we didn’t do anything wrong; we have rigorous ex ante and ex post verification procedures, and so on.

This sand-in-your-eyes resort to self-parodying language is calculated to do precisely what it achieves: to conceal far more than it reveals.

Some might be interested to know that we wrote about this phenomenon in the Wall Street Journal Europe as far back as September 2003: see “Blood, Money and Education“. The issue was by no means new or unknown even then.

In fact, from personal knowledge, there has been an inside understanding among the civil servants of the EC and their political masters [9-Sep-13: Snouts and troughs"] since at least 2003 to do whatever it takes to hide the truly hideous things that everyone knows are done with those European funds that go to Ramallah.

In all those years during which torrents of European funding, amounting to billions of Euros, were channeled, first, to the blood-drenched Arafat regime, and then to the corrupt and insider-controlled regime of Mahmoud Abbas, those oh-so-careful Eureaucrats managed to avoid carrying out even one financial audit, until the one published this past December [full text here]. All of this while the the EU “provides 20% of the direct financial support for the PA“, making it “the biggest multilateral donor to the Occupied Palestinian Territories”.

And what did that audit find?

• EU aid to the Palestinian Authority worth billions of euros needs an “overhaul” and major changes in some areas, the bloc’s Court of Auditors said… If the circumstances are difficult, there are still “a number of aspects of the current approach in need of an overhaul,” said Hans Gustaf Wessberg, who wrote the report for the court. “There is a need for major revisions such as encouraging the PA to undertake more reforms” [EUbusiness, December 12, 2013]

• “The EU should stop paying the salaries of thousands of Palestinian civil servants in the Gaza Strip who are not going to work… They called for a major review, saying money spent on civil servants there should go to the West Bank instead.”BBC, December 11, 2013

• “It is difficult to ensure that EU money is not misused or does not become a drip-feed, it said… The PA is not undertaking all the reforms that the EU would like. At every turn there are political causes and factors. The audit is therefore a political minefield.” [European Voice, December 12, 2013] (It’s worth noting that a Times of London journalist who saw the pre-publication version of the audit report in October 2014 wrote an article then that went further, summing up what the pre-publication version of the report he saw was going to say: “Billions of euros in European aid to the Palestinians may have been misspent, squandered or lost to corruption, according to a damning report by the European Court of Auditors...” Our sense is that the report went through a sanitization process after his article appeared and before the public saw it.)

The Pollard-Shalit Hostage Negotiations

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Terrorists who murdered a friend of mine are supposedly on the list of terrorists to be released in this upcoming round of prisoner releases – all for the “privilege” of seating down with the PA chief terrorist for talks. That makes this particular terrorist release a bit more personal for me than some of the other releases.

The talk today in Israel is about the proposal that Kerry and Obama purportedly made to Abbas and Netanyahu.

Netanyahu will free these terrorists, Abbas will continue to sit and talk to Netanyahu until the end of the year or so, and Obama will, in exchange, free Jonathan Pollard.

A lot of thoughts went through my head when I heard this.

The first was the Wye Agreement, when Clinton promised Netanyahu that he would free Pollard, and then reneged on that. So I hope that if Netanyahu agrees, he learned his lesson, and will demand Pollard be released first.

But I also thought about Pollard being freed, with the disgusting price being demanded in return.

And that brought me to thinking about Gilad Shalit and Hamas.

Gilad Shalit was being held hostage by Hamas in order to obtain the release of terrorists, and now the message from the White House is that Pollard is being held hostage by Obama in order to obtain the release of terrorists.

The comparison is obvious, and here in Israel, where we’ve had a lot of unfortunate experience in this area – it’s what most of us are thinking.

I’m not going to discuss the morality of trading terrorists for hostages, but it is an incredibly difficult decision.

But I would ask Netanyahu to add one more condition to this hostage negotiation.

We don’t want these terrorists anywhere near us. Not in Israel, not in the PA.

We’ll take Pollard, in exchange for releasing the terrorists, so Abbas will pretend to talk to us some more. But we don’t want those terrorists anywhere near us.

Netanyahu should say our condition is as follows, the plane that is bringing Jonathan Pollard home to Israel, should, on its way back to America, be transporting all those released terrorists to their new homes – in America.

That’s a fair trade.

A ‘Peace Process’ That’s Past its Shelf Life

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

It’s time to just say it. The obsession of Barack Obama and John Kerry with forcing along a discredited and unproductive “peace process” involving the Palestinian Arabs and Israel is weird – even creepy.

Notice I didn’t say “peace process between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel.” There’s nothing “between” about it. At this point, the Obama-Kerry show seems to involve the Palestinian Arabs and Israel only tangentially. All the action is in Washington, D.C., and it’s all one-sided.

When we left our drama last week, Mahmoud Abbas had just delivered “three ‘no’s’” to the White House on this freighted topic: no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; no relinquishment of a so-called “right of return”; and no commitment to honoring a pact with Israel as an “end of conflict” between the two.

There’s nothing for Israel in this deal, in other words. Abbas won’t sign up to anything that would make Israeli commitments or concessions worthwhile. He’s very explicit about that. His ruling cabal in the West Bank in fact organized rent-a-crowds for a show of public support for his position, in advance of his visit to Washington – and was primed to run a victory lap celebrating his intransigence immediately afterward. Abbas couldn’t be more categorical about his refusal to engage with John Kerry’s negotiating framework; not if he spelled it out in six-foot neon letters.

As Jonathan Tobin points out, however, Israel has agreed to Kerry’s proposed framework for talks going forward, although with reservations. It’s Abbas who won’t come to the table. He won’t agree to even talk about finding common ground.

Seems like we’ve been here before, of course. But there are reasons for the current impasse, beyond the Palestinian Arabs’ longstanding pattern of refusals. The Quartet-brokered, Oslo-based peace process is a dead letter, and I think everyone outside Washington and Brussels can sense that. Oslo was born out of a moment that has passed: a moment of unchallenged American supremacy and the illusion of unforced global stasis. That moment is gone. The rise of a more territorial, geographically oriented Islamism, coupled with the Arab Spring, and now Putin’s invasion of Crimea, have demonstrated that too much of our current reality has changed.

It would be foolish of Abbas to make commitments at this point; foolish of Arabs throughout the region, and Islamists of all stripes. Too many opportunities are now possible. The last thing anyone wants to do is make commitments that will leave him out of position to profit from the coming instability.

Multinational observers or peacekeeping forces may be highly exploitable, as they have been in southern Lebanon, but their utility depends on an excruciatingly slow, indirect approach to undermining Israel. They could be a serious inconvenience for a quicker-acting approach, if such multinational forces took up a position – through some agreement along the lines of the Kerry proposal – in the Jordan Valley.

Abbas has excellent strategic reasons to reject the idea of a U.S.-brokered multinational force in the Jordan Valley. So do his various patrons. Now isn’t the time to commit to deals. Not with the status quo about to bust wide open.

The Obama administration hasn’t realized it’s 2014, largely because its members haven’t even realized it’s no longer 1968. That’s another story, but it’s central to the failing dynamic of the Middle East peace process. The context in which the Oslo framework was the best or only option is simply gone.

Under these emerging conditions, Israel’s continued cooperation has a twofold purpose, I believe: first, to show good faith in general – a willingness to negotiate to settle the Palestinian problem – and second, to maintain her good relations with the United States.

Abbas and Kerry in Cahoots to Throw the Peace Talks Bomb at Israel

Monday, March 24th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Mahmoud Abbas Monday, just by coincidence when the Palestinian Authority chairman was sitting down for a chat with U.S. Middle East Peace Envoy Martin Indyk in Amman.

The PA’s official WAFA news agency reported that Abbas’ negotiator Saeb Erekat and his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh also were at the meeting.

The same day, an official of the Palestinian Authority who spoke on the basis of anonymity, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency that Abbas will extend the talks if Israel simply will make a couple of peace-loving gestures. All Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has to do is see his government collapse by prohibiting Jews from building in Judea and Samaria and freeing Arab terrorists, including those with Israeli citizenship.

The conditions were widely expected but the timing of the statement with Kerry’s phone call is impeccable.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been playing along with this diplomatic farce with both hands tied behind his back and his ankles chained to the diplomatic time bomb that will explode in Israel’s face  – not because the talks will fail but because they started in the first place.

The script was written with the recent visits of Netanyahu and Abbas at the White House, where President Obama welcomed them into his Machiavellian den.

Before Netanyahu’s plane touched down, Obama already was on the attack, using as his mouthpiece Jeffrey Goldberg, a journalist he can count on to toe the party line.

If Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach,” the president said. “It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible….

“Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?”

We’ll leave it to the reader to figure out President Obama’s understanding of “Israel’s traditions.” Maybe he has a secret Zionist past when he went to school in Indonesia.

Other comments from the U.S. president who has an “unbreakable” bond with Israel,” included, “We have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time.” True. All it takes is a building freeze to fix that problem.”

Obama and Netanyahu then held their usual photo-op conversation before their talks and a high-profile conclusion.

But when Abbas visited, there was a short prelude and then, “Lights out. No sound. No action.”

Zilch.

Obama was totally non-committal, with no demands from Abbas, after having previously repeating time after time the lie that Abbas has stopped incitement and is against terror, simply because he says so. His war against terror consists of the IDF arresting and killing terrorists under Ramallah’s nose.

All the president had to say to the press was, “It’s very hard; it’s very challenging. We’re gonna have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we’re able to move it forward.”

Who is “we,” Kemosabe?

We is Israel.

Obama made no comment on Abbas’ recognizing as a Jewish state. He made no comment on Abbas’ silence on dropping the demand to import a few million Arabs into Israel to guarantee the end of a Jewish state of Israel, and Obama did not say they he told Abbas that if a deal is reached, it is final. No ifs, ands or buts. No “it’s a deal if…”

Suicide Bomb ‘Survivor’ Beseeches Obama Not to Release Barghouti

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

The “peace talks” between Israel and the Palestinians are foundering—as usual.  When this last round started, Israel was extorted to release approximately 100 certified Palestinian murderers for the privilege of having the Palestinians meet with Tzipi Livni.  The clock is running out on the talks with nothing concrete—other than John Kerry’s frequent flier miles—to show for it.

In order to continue the “peace process” charade, the Palestinians have again been coaxed to make a ridiculous demand, which has now been thrown at Israel.  The Palestinian Authority wants the release of two major terror leaders:  Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Sadaat.  The request was made directly to President Obama.  As of the time of this writing, we don’t know the President’s views on the subject or whether he has passed along the request to Israel.

Marwan Barghouti was one of the people responsible for the horrific suicide bombing that twelve years ago changed my life, and that of my then seven-year old son, forever. In an effort to ensure that Barghouti remains in jail, I wrote and sent the following letter:

Hon. Barack H. Obama President of the United States of America White House Washington, D.C.

20 March ’14                                               Sent by FAX

Mr. President:

I am writing for your immediate consideration.  It has been reported in the press and confirmed to me by a Knesset member that President Abbas requested your assistance in securing the release of Marwan Barghouti as a condition for continued peace talks with Israel.  I sincerely request that you please not assist in any way in the release of this unrepentant mass-murderer.  Tomorrow will mark 12 years since our oldest son, then seven years old, and I were wounded in a suicide bombing in downtown Jerusalem.  Yehonathon had the head of a screw pass fully through his right brain, while I had two screws pass through my left arm.  The picture below was taken within minutes of the attack:

Alan Joseph Bauer stands over his son Yehonathon, minutes after they were injured in suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem on March 21, 2002.

Alan Joseph Bauer stands over his son Yehonathon, minutes after they were injured in suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem on March 21, 2002.

The role of Marwan Barghouti in this attack was revealed in indictments against the heads of the Fatah terror cell behind the attack.  The dispatcher was an intelligence officer in the Palestinian Authority; he has moved up three ranks during his incarceration in Israeli prison. His indictment reads in part as follows:

17. On 20 March 2002, Nasser Shawish met in Ramallah with the head of the “Tanzim” of Fatah in the region, Marwan Barghouti. Nasser Shawish passed along to Marwan Barghouti that the accused was ready to send a suicide bomber for the purpose of performing a suicide attack inside the State of Israel. Marwan Barghouti asked to know if the accused and Nasser Shawish needed anything for the purpose of carrying out the planned attack. Though he was answered in the negative, Marwan Barghouti gave Shawish the amount of 600 dollars American.

The media have attempted to portray Marwan Barghouti as some kind of Nelson Mandela.  The truth though is quite the opposite.  Barghouti has never renounced violence as a legitimate means for advancing political goals, and he has never shown any remorse for his prolific terror activities that led to a forty-count indictment against him.  Instead, he has encouraged additional “resistance” (i.e., terror) from his jail cell.  Barghouti’s release may convince the Palestinians to sit around the table for an extra couple of months, but it will not bring peace.  Barghouti’s presence outside of jail will be a driver for new Fatah terror activity, as Barghouti’s only card is terror, a point reinforced by confessions of his lieutenants from the Second Intifada.

Mr. President, we are not the only American citizens to be harmed by the actions of Marwan Barghouti.  His continued incarceration is a small consolation for American terror victims like ourselves.  We cannot re-wind the clock and make the injuries and suffering disappear; the one thing we can do is to pursue justice and to do everything in our power to prevent terrorists from striking again. As such, I ask you Mr. President to please make clear to President Abbas that the US will not support or encourage the release of such a dangerous terrorist as Marwan Barghouti.

Mr. President, as a child growing up just outside of Chicago, I used to watch the CTA trains go into the Linden Street station.  On the side was painted:  The Spirit of Chicago—I Will.  I have worked in vain for the past eight years to convince officials at DoJ and the FBI to prosecute Barghouti and other terrorists who killed and maimed over ten dozen American citizens during the Second Intifada.  Your assistance in keeping Barghouti in jail would be an enormous boost to these efforts on behalf of my family and my fellow American citizens.

With the most sincere of thanks for your time and consideration,

/Alan J. Bauer/

Alan Joseph Bauer, Ph.D.

Alanjoseph.bauer@gmail.com
49 Ussishkin Street, Jerusalem 94542 Israel

CC Heather Cartwright, DoJ
Lisa Skolnick, FBI
Hon. Daniel Shapiro, Ambassador
Hon. Ted Poe, US Congress
Hon. Mark Kirk, US Senate

Obama and Peres Polish Up their Persian for Iran’s New Year

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

President Shimon Peres and President Barack Obama delivered their annual greetings to Iranians celebrating the new Persian year and played up prospects of peace.

Peres showed off his language skills – actually those of his speech writers – by starting with, “Iraniane Gerami, Novruzetan Piruz Bad,” which can be translated as “Iranian citizens, wherever you are, Happy Nowruz.”

Obama began his video greetings with “Dorood,” or “to praise.” It is said by Muslims every time they hear the name of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.”

Presidents love impressing foreign people with greetings such as “Shalom,” which they don’t understand not only mneans “Peace” and “Hello” but also means “goodbye,” but unfortunately without the connotation of “good riddance.”

“The Jewish people and the Persian people, the Iranian people have a very long history and we’re going to have a long future,” said Peres, implying optimism that Iran will not succeed to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

“We are old cultures, we learn history, we make history and we respect history,” he said.” We have a heritage of values; we are not just business peoples but two nations that respect culture, that respect human dignity. We call to live in peace and understanding.”

That is why brining Israeli flags is such a popular sport in Iran.

On the other side of the ocean, President Obama said, “Since taking office, I’ve offered the Iranian government an opportunity –if it meets its international obligations, then there could be a new relationship between our two countries, and Iran could begin to return to its rightful place among the community of nations.”

The odd thing is that that he already has given Iran a spot closer to center stage in the international community although it has not met its “international obligations,” but there is nothing like trust to usher in the new year.

“Last fall, I spoke with President Rouhani,” Obama continued, “It was the first conversation between an American president and an Iranian leader since 1979. I conveyed to President Rouhani my deep respect for the Iranian people, just as he expressed his respect for the American people….

“Since then, we’ve made progress. For years, the international community has had concerns that Iran’s nuclear program could lead to Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, which would be a threat to the region and to the world. Under the initial agreement we reached in November, the Iranian government has agreed to limit key parts of its nuclear program. Along with our international partners, the United States is giving Iran some relief from sanctions.” Iran has “agreed” but has not carried out the agreement, but trust the president, because he said, “As I’ve said before, I’m under no illusions…. If Iran meets its international obligations, we know where the path of dialogue and greater trust and cooperation can lead…

“Real diplomatic progress this year can help open up new possibilities and prosperity for the Iranian people for years to come.

And what happens is Iran does not meet its international obligations? Obama undoubtedly will be back next year with the same speech.

If you want to hear all four minutes and 47 seconds of it, here it is.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/obama-and-peres-polish-up-their-persian-for-irans-new-year/2014/03/20/

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