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May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

PI-INOs (Pro-Israel In Name Only) Continue to Give Cover to Obama

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama held two meetings with American Jews last week. They were the best of meetings, they were the worst of meetings. In reverse order.

The worst part of the worst meeting – from the perspective of Americans who care about regional stability in the Middle East and the continued existence of the Jewish State – was an offer made by J Street-esque Jews who promised to “do the leg work” for Obama if he decides to remove the “veto protection of Israel” at the United Nations, as reported in the Algemeiner.

At the first meeting, the Jewish organization heads represented the concerns of pro-Israel Americans regarding this administration’s recent actions, particularly regarding steps to allow Iran to come out from under the yoke of international sanctions regarding its nuclear program.

Participants in this meeting included representatives from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the World Jewish Congress, The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, AIPAC, B’nai Brith, the ADL, the Jewish Federations, representatives of the three major streams of Judaism, and partisan and leftist groups such as the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Israel Policy Forum, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, J Street and the National Council of Jewish Women, according to the JTA.

At the second meeting, the one with those who claim to be pro-Israel when it suits them, but who are first, last and always pro-Democratic party policies (we’ll call them PI-INOs: Pro-Israel In Name Only), encouraged Obama in his belief that he “is a member of the tribe” because they, like he, understand his far-leftist orientation to be really a form of Social Justice Judaism.

Those present at this meeting included major Jewish Democratic party donors and fundraisers, including ones associated with AIPAC and J Street. They included the Israeli-American Haim Saban, who is believed to be, unlike others present, at least somewhat critical of Obama’s Middle East policies.

But a theme, originally laid out in a lengthy, glowing New York Times magazine about J Street when it was first launched, was played out again at this second meeting. This theme is, at least for those most closely associated with J Street, they serve as Obama’s “blocking back” for American Jews, presenting his adverse position on matters typically of great concern to American Jews, softening up the crowd, and taking the initial body slams.

Obama was encouraged, according to sources present at the meeting who shared what transpired with the Algemeiner, to “take steps against Israel and remain steadfast in his approach to Iran negotiations.” A “J Streeter” went so far as to have “pushed Obama to remove the veto protection of Israel at the UN in the event that a Security Council resolution called for the creation of a Palestinian State.”

This “J Streeter” reportedly said “if you decide to go against Israel at the UN, ‘let us know first, and we’ll do the legwork for you in the community.” The conversation described at least that participant as actively pushing the president to work against Israel’s concerns on the world stage.

Another participant at this second meeting reportedly encouraged Obama to continue with his negotiations with Iran and remain firm against Congress’s efforts to intervene.

The president later changed course on the Congressional initiative known as the Corker bill, fueling speculation that it actually ended up being a net positive for the administration’s efforts. There are conflicting views that the administration caved because it recognized a tidal wave was going to wash over them anyway, but careful analysts such as former U.S. Naval intelligence officer J.E. Dyer suggest that is too optimistic a view.

Obama Gift List to Former Enemies Continues: Cuba Plucked from Terrorism Sponsor List

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

So, let’s see. He “reset” with Russia’s Putin – ask the Crimeans what they think of that move -, he sent loving happy new years notes to Iran, and that produced a warm and loving feelings towards America. He drop-kicked Egypt’s Mubarak from the buddy league but snuggled up with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi. That did not do much for Morsi, and he spit in the eye of Israel’s Netanyahu whom everyone agrees actually benefitted from Obama’s animosity.

So to whom is U.S. President Barack Obama now handing out party favors? Why, it’s none other than Raul Castro, el jefe of Cuba.

That’s right. The happy dictator to our immediate south either was granted this gift or was simply rewarded, unbidden, with the imminent delisting of Cuba from the U.S.’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

First, the punishments which will be lifted if Cuba is removed from the terrorism list include: a ban on arms-related exports and sales; 30-day Congressional notifications for exports of goods or services deemed “dual use,” meaning they could have peaceful uses but they also could have be used to support terrorism; and prohibitions on economic assistance.

Unless Congress acts to prohibit the delisting, 45 days after the President issues the report making that recommendation, Cuba goes off the list.

How did this happen?

We learn from a press release issued by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday, April 13, that Obama directed the State Department to launch a review and then provide him with a report to determine whether Cuba should continue to be designated as an official terrorism sponsor this past December. The president did that as a “critical component of establishing a new direction for U.S.-Cuba relations.”

Well, perhaps not surprisingly, the State Department recommended “based on the facts and the statutory standard” that Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism be rescinded.

To be sure, it might have been possible for the State Department to determine Cuba was ineligible for removal from the designated list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

Why, according to the State Department’s statement, if Cuba had “provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six months,” or if it had refused to provide “assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future,” those naughty boys would remain on the terrorism list. But the answers to the questions being asked were such that the president was able to give one of his new best friends, Raul Castro, the good news.

In issuing its statement recommending the removal of Cuba from the state terrorism listing, the State Department carefully pointed out that the narrow requirements it focused on constitute the qualifications set by Congress for what countries can be removed from the terrorism sponsors list. That statement also pointed out that the criterion for review was a narrow and Congressionally-determined one.

The basis for removal from the list does not mean that American authorities have determined Cuba, a Communist nation with one political party, is no longer engaged in repression or human trafficking or any other significant departures from modern democratic societies, but those issues are not part of the calculation for terrorism sponsoring de-listing.

“While the United States has had, and continues to have, significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these concerns and disagreements fall outside of the criteria for designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” is how the State Department couched it.

“Circumstances have changed since 1982, when Cuba was originally designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism because of its efforts to promote armed revolution by forces in Latin America. Our Hemisphere, and the world, look very different today than they did 33 years ago. Our determination, pursuant to the facts, including corroborative assurances received from the Government of Cuba and the statutory standard, is that the time has come to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” the statement continued.

Corker-Menendez Bill So Bipartisan that Even Obama No Longer Objects

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

In what looks like a complete reversal, the proposed legislation intended to impose tough Congressional oversight of the Iranian nuclear deal has been the subject of so much compromise that rather than simply gaining enough Democrats to override President Barack Obama’s threatened veto, it has gained the support of the President himself.

The President said that so long as the legislation passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, April 13, is not the subject of further amendments, the President will not veto the bill but instead will sign it.

The vote in the Committee in favor of the bill was 19-0. The zero may represent the teeth remaining in the legislation, or it may simply mirror the rounded mouths of the president’s advisers who told him Congress would not dare insert themselves into his foreign policy prerogatives.

At this point some of the details of the compromise legislation have been revealed: the original Corker-Menendez Congressional review period was 60 days after the negotiators concluded their deal, the amended bill which was approved Tuesday afternoon provides for 52 days of Congressional review.

The way it works, according to Omri Ceren of The Israel Project, is this: once the President’s team of negotiators (and their counterparts from the other P5+1 countries) arrive at a deal, Congress then has 30 days to review the details. “If Congress acts to block the deal,” it is expected that the President will veto the blocking legislation, and then Congress will have the additional 22 days to assemble a large enough group of lawmakers to override the veto. They will need 67 senators to join on to a veto override.

A change the White House wanted which was removed from the proposed legislation was requiring the President to certify that Iran was not supporting or itself engaging in terrorism against Americans or the United States.

Two things that Israel supporters wanted that they did not get was, first, language in the bill that would require the Islamic Republic of Iran to recognize Israel as a fellow nation, and two, have the deal between the U.S. and Iran be treated as if it were a treaty rather than an executive agreement. Had that been the case, it would have had to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

The next stage is for the House of Representatives to consider the Corker-Menendez bill.

Putin Lifts Ban on Selling Iran S-300 Missiles in Return for Oil

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday lifted the ban for delivering to Iran S-300 anti-missile systems in return for oil in a move that is going to send Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu through the roof.

Putin’s daring move to pocket billions from the emerging deal on Iran’s nuclear program, in which Russia has a huge investment, paves the way to allow Iran to defend itself better against American, Israeli or Saudi missiles.

The S-300 systems would make it more difficult for a retaliatory attack on Iran in the event that Tehran is caught reneging on a deal and caught in the last stages of developing a nuclear weapon.

Russia suspended deliveries of the systems after pressure from the United States, encouraged by Israel, and from other Western countries five years ago.

The missiles-for-oil deal could be worth up to $20 billion.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters that the deal does not violate current sanctions.

“In exchange for Iranian crude oil supplies, we are delivering certain products,” he stated.

Israel has not yet commented on Putin’s lifting the ban on the deliveries of the missile systems but definitely will make it clear to the U.S. Congress that it makes President Barack Obama’s agreement for a temporary framework deal even more problematic.

The deal does not stop Iran from continuing to develop inter-continental ballistic missiles that could easily reach Israel.

Put together ICBM missiles, S-300 anti-missile systems and a “bad deal” and you come up with a nuclear weapon aimed at Israel.

Putin’s announcement Monday is great timing for Republican senators.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will formally draft legislation tomorrow that would prevent President Barack Obama from lifting sanctions against Iran for 60 days while Congress reviews the final deal and possibly vote to keep sanctions in place.

 

 

Echoing Netanyahu, Livni and Herzog Criticize Major Holes in Obama Deal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Even Israel’s Left are unsatisfied with US President Obama’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

While US President Obama ignores Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s very specific criticisms and recommended amendments of major faults in the P5+1 nuclear deal, which the Prime Minister has dubbed a “bad deal”, the Zionist Union party, led by Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni added their voices to the criticism, presenting their own alternative plan of action for Israel and the P5+1.

The two Leftwing leaders said the current deal was “problematic” and potentially dangerous over the long term, echoing the Prime Minister of Israel.

They said these problems must be fixed before a June 30th signing.

Among the changes they demanded in their alternate plan of actions, quite similar to some of Netanyahu’s demands, are eliminating Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile, forbidding Iran from using both new or old centrifuges, allowing intrusive inspections, and only a gradual lifting of sanctions.

Unlike Netanyahu, the two want Israel to officially receive a green light from the US as part of an official understanding, where Israel can strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, with US permission and backing, if Iran violates the agreement and Israel is endangered.

The duo’s last demand is both understandable and problematic, as Israel doesn’t need a green light from anyone to defend itself from an existential threat, though knowing the US isn’t going to obstruct your attack is important.

The two added that Israel and US must hold immediate and deep strategic discussions before the agreement is signed. It appears that currently, at the highest level, those discussions are not happening.

The pair said, the US that needs to make clear to Iran, that US military action is still on the table, if Iran violates the agreement with the P5+1.

Obama’s Jewish Support Sinks to 50 Percent

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Jewish voters’ support for President Barack Obama has sunk from 61 percent in January to only 50 percent in March, according to a new Gallup poll.

The gap between approval of the president by Jews and by the national average has narrowed to only 8 percentage points for the first three months and 4 points for the last month.

The emerging deal with Iran and President Obama’s attacks and affronts to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are the reasons for the drop in support among Jews.

Among Orthodox Jews, defined as those who attend synagogue at least once a week, the approval rating is only 34 percent.  Support among Jews who do not have a college degree was only 39 percent compared with 62 percent among those with a higher education degree.

Jewish women approve of President Obama by 11 percentage points more than men over the past 15 months, while the national average is only 6 percent points between women and men.

The question is whether President Obama’s drooping popularity among Jews will be translated into support for a Republican presidential candidate at the polls.

If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate, Jewish support for her is expected to rise sharply.

Republicans should not jump for joy too soon, author Josh Zeitz told Politico.

“As was the case then, today, most American Jews cast their votes as concerned American liberals and moderates, not as foreign proxies for the Israeli government,” he said.

Zeitz added:

But that doesn’t stop the GOP from hoping.

There’s always a place for tradition. Every year during Passover, Jews open the door in expectation of the Prophet Elijah, who will someday herald the coming of the Messiah. And every four years, the pundits await the great Jewish embrace of the Republican Party.

As it was said then, so it is said now: Next year in New Hampshire.

Obama Spins Tale that Netanyahu Offered no Alternative to Iran Deal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traded shots on the proposed deal with Iran through separate statements that continue what has become a conversation of the deaf.

The Prime Minister two weeks ago stated that a better deal would be one that “would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure [and] link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior.”

He added:

Iran must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that’s the deal that the world powers must insist upon.

President Obama said on Saturday:

The Prime Minister of Israel is deeply opposed to it [the deal]. I think he’s made that very clear. I have repeatedly asked –w hat is the alternative that you present that you think makes it less likely for Iran to get a nuclear weapon? And I have yet to obtain a good answer on that.

The key word is “good” because Obama insists he has come up with a “good deal” that Netanyahu asserts is a “bad deal.”

Obama’s reasoning is that Iran will reject a “better deal,” which would mean “no deal,” exactly what Israel, Republicans, and some Democrats have said is better than a “bad deal.” For Obama, “no deal” is worse than a “bad deal” that he insists is a “good deal.”

It’s enough to drive a card player nuts, and since Iran is dealing most of the cards, it is the only one who knows what joker it has up its sleeve.

An outstanding example of President Obama’s frame of mind  that a deal is an end and not a means is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards commander said that eliminating Israel is “non-negotiable.” The Prime Minister responded that Iran’s recognizing Israel should be “non-negotiable.”

Obama replied that the idea simply is not practical. So forget it.

It also is not practical to make sure that Iran does not have the infrastructure to obtain a nuclear bomb in the future. So forget it.

Netanyahu said Saturday at a tradtional post-Passover Mimouna celebration, “To my regret, all of the things I warned about vis-à-vis the framework agreement that was put together in Lausanne are coming true before our eyes.

“This framework gives the leading terrorist state in the world a certain path to nuclear bombs, which would threaten Israel, the Middle East and the entire world. We see that Iran is being left with significant nuclear capabilities; it is not dismantling them, it is preserving them. We also see that the inspection is not serious. How can such a country be trusted? …

“We see that the sanctions are being lifted, immediately, according to Iran’s demand, and this is without Iran having changed its policy of aggression everywhere, not just against Israel, but in Yemen, the Bab el-Mandeb, the Middle East and through global terrorist networks. The most dangerous terrorist state in the world must not be allowed to have the most dangerous weapons in the world.

President Obama’s turning a deal with Iran into an end and not a means is illustrated in an article on The Hill website Saturday, in which it outlined five keys areas where the United States made concessions to Iran in order to reach a temporary framework agreement:

Banning uranium enrichment: Before talks began, the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called for Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. The framework agreement, though, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium for domestic civilian use…The deal’s critics worry any enrichment could quickly be diverted to military use.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-spins-tale-that-netanyahu-offered-no-alternative-to-iran-deal/2015/04/12/

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