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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Menendez Dismembers Iran Deal, Suggests More Robust Deal

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) doubled down on his position that the Nuclear Iran deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and his American team of negotiators, along with the U.S. partners in the P5+1, is a bad one that should not go into effect.

Menendez did that by holding a highly-publicized address at 1:00 p.m. E.T., on Thursday, Aug. 18, from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations in South Orange, New Jersey.

During this address, Menendez meticulously explained why he will not vote for the Agreement and why he will vote to override the President’s veto.

When he completed his analysis, it was hard to understand how anyone could say the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is something any country except Iran would support.

AN OIL-RICH NATION DOES NOT NEED NUCLEAR ENERGY

The over-arching question, as Menendez put it, is why Iran, which has one of the world’s largest reserves of oil reserves, needs nuclear power for domestic energy. Given this vast reserve, there is no peaceful use of nuclear energy at all, and therefore no legitimate reason for Iran to have any right to enrichment.

Given Iran’s lack of a peaceful need for nuclear energy coupled with that nation’s repeated acts of “deceit, deception and delay” to evade United Nations Security Council Resolutions and thereby approach being a nuclear weapon state, it is indeed hard to make the argument for this Agreement.

Menendez spoke for nearly a full hour. He explained why Iran does not need nuclear energy and he reminded his audience of Iran’s repeated evasions of inspections.

EVERY RED LINE WAS ERASED

The New Jersey Senator also described the many ways in which the JCPOA falls far short of so many absolute red lines and guarantees made by the U.S. administration during the course of the negotiations.

♦  The original goal was to “fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability,” a “roll-back your infrastructure and we’ll roll-back our sanctions.”

Instead, Menendez explained, the JCPOA is the equivalent of “an alarm bell should they decide to violate their commitments, and a system for inspections to verify their compliance.”

♦ When Menendez asked Secretary of State Kerry about dismantling Arak, Iran’s plutonium reactor, Kerry said: “They will either dismantle it or we will destroy it.”

Arak will not be dismantled, merely “redesigned.”

♦ The original position was that Iran’s underground Fordow facility would be closed because a peaceful civilian nuclear program would not need to be underground.

Fordow will not be dismantled, merely “repurposed.”

♦ Iran was supposed to “come absolutely clean about their weaponization activities at Parchin and agree to promise anytime anywhere inspections.”

Iran will not be required to disclose the possible military dimensions of their nuclear program at Parchin.

Menendez said that over the course of the negotiations, the original goal of preventing nuclear proliferation instead become merely one of “managing or containing” nuclear proliferation.

Just as alarming is that during the course of the deal under its current terms, Iran is allowed to continue its research and development. By the end of the term of the Agreement, Iran will be in a better position – meaning further along on its path to nuclear weapons capability – than it was before the deal was adopted.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment,” Menendez explained.

In addition, the terms of the JCPOA ensure that the EU and the U.S. will not reintroduce or reimpose the sanctions lifted under this deal. That’s because, if sanctions are reintroduced or reimposed, that will “relieve Iran from its commitments in part or in whole.” There will be no incentive for any party to this agreement to find any violations, as that would erase any progress that was made.

When the Middle East Creates Strange Bedfellows

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

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Mideast expert Mordechai Kedar joins Yishai to talk about some odd political developments and alliances in the region.

Dr. Kedar, research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and lecturer in the department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, offers his insights about Russia’s talks with Syria, Israel’s and Hezbollah’s shared interest in stopping ISIS and the nuclear deal’s unexpectedly negative ramifications for Iran.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

‘We Are Not a Sick Society’

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

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JPost op-ed editor Seth Frantzman talks to Yishai about Israel’s self-flagellating reaction to recent acts of Jewish violence.

On the heels of acts of terror committed by Jews, the two discuss what the appropriate national response is to the crimes of individuals, and the responsibility of the authorities. Then, they debate the history and legitimacy of administrative detentions in Israel.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

‘Transcend the Narrative’

Monday, August 10th, 2015

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Yehuda Hakohen, leader of the Zionist Freedom Alliance, tells Yishai about being an ‘alternative’ peace activist.

He explains why prioritizing peace is an integral part of the Zionist dream, and discusses his goal to circumvent the rhetoric, bring together the extremes and push a meaningful peace forward — one based on each side having things about which they are unwilling to compromise.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

MoveOn Members Yank Support From Schumer Over IranDeal

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

The U.S. debate over IranDeal is beginning to get dirty.

Less than 24 hours after Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York announced he would oppose IranDeal, the MoveOn advocacy organization released a statement saying it would withhold major campaign support from the senior senator.

MoveOn communications director, Nick Berning was quoted by The Huffington Post as saying, “We want to demonstrate to those who haven’t made their decision yet that there will be substantial political consequences for those who want to take us to war.”

Schumer announced last Thursday night he will oppose President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran over its nuclear development activities.

“After deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote ‘yes’ on a motion of disapproval,” Schumer said. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade [other colleagues] that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion,” he added.

The bottom line, he said, was this: “Are we better off with the agreement or without it?”

The answer, he said, was that after 10 years, “If Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.”

The senator, considered the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, explained that he was concerned that after ten years, Iran will still be free to build a nuclear weapon.

Schumer drew instant praise from Agudath Israel of America for his action, however. “Senator Schumer has spoken out consistently and forcefully over the past several years about the grave threat a nuclear empowered Iran would pose to America and its allies, especially Israel,” the group said in a statement issued Friday morning.

The senator was also “courageous.” in stepping out on a limb to make his decision, Agudath Israel noted. “He is the first and thus far the only Senator of his political party to publicly announce that he will be voting against the position of the Administration.

“His high rank among his Democratic Senate colleagues surely created an incentive for him not to buck the leadership of his party. Fortunately, however, as he said in the statement he issued in announcing his intention to vote to disapprove the JCPOA, Senator Schumer made his decision “solely based on the merits … without regard to pressure, politics or party.” For this he deserves our sincere admiration and deep appreciation.”

Obama needs 34 votes in the Senate in order to sustain a veto he has vowed to advance to override the legislation if the motion of disapproval is passed.

Bearing Witness to Bravery

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

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Yishai plays recordings from the month-and-a-half he and his wife, Malka, spent broadcasting from Gush Katif during the 2005 disengagement.

The Fleishers provided their priceless, on-the-scene perspective of one of the most dramatic moments in Israeli history, as they observed the communities’ valiant refusal to leave their homes — even as their towns were cut off from food and supplies — while being intimidated by the Israeli government.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Shoguns and Shekels

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

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Israeli-Japanese Jew Dr. Kenichi Hartman talks with Yishai about the similarities — and economic ties — between Japan and Israel.

Dr. Hartman, who converted to Judaism at the age of 12, has a doctorate in neuroscience from Harvard and is today a patent agent. He writes about Japan-Israel economic cooperation for the Times of Israel and is a mentor at Samurai House Israel, a Japanese investment fund. He shares the story of his remarkable life, as he crisscrossed continents, got in touch with his Jewish father’s heritage and ultimately ended up in Israel. He offers his unique perspective on the religious, cultural and philosophical similarities between the states of Japan and Israel.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/radio/shoguns-and-shekels/2015/08/05/

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