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October 13, 2015 / 30 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

‘US and Iranian Cartoon Doves’ Shown Defecating on Bibi by Swiss Amb to Iran

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Guilio Haas is the Swiss Ambassador to Iran.

Switzerland has been in a great hurry to get the other nations of the world to join it in treating Iran as if it is an upstanding member of the world community. The Swiss began lifting sanctions on Iran earlier this month.

In accordance with this position, Ambassador Haas revealed Switzerland’s true progressive nature at a meeting attended by hundreds of Swiss and Iranian businesspeople at a Zurich hotel on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Haas was encouraging the businesspeople to invest in Iran, referring to the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism as a “pole of stability in the Middle East,” and that in his two years in Iran, while he has seen gray-haired men in turbans, “there aren’t a lot of them” and that Western perceptions of Iran as a belligerent nation was about to change as soon as sanctions are lifted. This is what the World Tribune reported about the event.

What the World Tribune did not report was that as part of his effort to encourage the businesspeople to invest in Iran, the Swiss Ambassador projected a cartoon on a huge screen. The cartoon was titled “Iran: now or never.”

That cartoon showed two doves defecating on the head of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the chest of one of the doves defecating on Netanyahu is an American flag and on the other the Iranian flag.

Read those two sentences again.

So, you may ask, if the World Tribune article did not mention the cartoon, maybe it is not true?

A reasonable thought, but dashed by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs acknowledgement of the incident.

Reuters reported that the FDFA said the “questionable cartoon” was used, BY THE AMBASSADOR OF SWITZERLAND HIMSELF, without its knowledge and “regrets the use of the cartoon and considers it tasteless.”

“Questionable”? As in some might find it acceptable? “Tasteless”? As in simply in poor taste, but the meaning behind it is acceptable?

According to the Reuters report, the cartoon was intended to portray Israel as the sole holdout against the Nuclear Iran Deal, and the doves, Iran and the U.S. are the lovers of peace.

The FDFA said that “Ambassador Haas did not intend to insult anybody with the cartoon,” Reuters reported. “If that is the case,’ – meaning, if there is someone out there who could possibly be insulted by this – “however, he regrets it and seeks the pardon of everyone who could have felt insulted.”

The businessmen present were not all persuaded by Haas’s blinding diplomacy. Some grumbled that the “level of corruption” IN IRAN was still “unbelievable.” Imagine that.

UPDATE: According to the website of the Swiss Embassy in Iran, Switzerland represents the U.S. in Iran because the U.S. does not currently, officially, have diplomatic relations with Iran. As Ambassador Haas explains in his welcome message:

In the absence of diplomatic or consular relations of the United States of America with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as the Protecting Power of the USA in Iran since 21 May 1980. The Swiss Embassy’s Foreign Interests Section provides consular services to U.S. citizens living in or travelling to Iran.

Think anyone at the White House or State Dept. press briefings will ask the spokespeople about this?

Sen. Cotton to Visit Israel for More Ammunition against Iran Deal

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Sen. Tom Cotton, one of the loudest voices against the nuclear deal with Iran, will arrive in Israel on Sunday for a week-long visit that can be assumed is aimed at arming him with more ammunition to try to shoot down the nuclear Iran agreement in the Senate.

The Israel government announced:

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) will be visiting Israel from Sunday, August 30, to Saturday, September 5, 2015.  During his trip to Israel, the Senator will be updated on strategic and diplomatic issues, as well as other major developments in the region.

Senator Cotton, in office as of January 2015, serves on the Armed Services, Intelligence, and Banking committees.

Updating him on “strategic and diplomatic issues” just before Congress returns from a summer recess with the Iran deal the number one item on the agenda means that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will send Sen. Cotton back with a suitcase full of arguments to try to win a veto-proof majority against the deal when it comes for a vote.

Sen. Cotton was behind the controversial letter that he and several senators sent to Iran to “inform” it that a nuclear deal would not be binding on the next president.

Earlier this month, he told Israeli reporters that the Obama administration has not made it clear to Iran that it could use force to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. He then said that the U.S. Armed Forces could bomb Iran’s nuclear program “back to zero.”

Sen. Corker stated:

You can destroy facilities. I don’t think any military expert in the United States or elsewhere would say the U.S. military is not capable to setting Iran’s nuclear facilities back to day zero,

Can we eliminate it forever? No, because any advanced industrialized country can develop nuclear weapons in four to seven years, from zero. But we can set them back to day zero.

That is music to the ears of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the timing of next week’s visit is not coincidental.

The Prime Minister and President Barack Obama are desperately campaigning against and for the deal, respectively.

Media continue to report more evidence that the deal is full of holes and that Iran already is has taken moves to get around it, such as the report Thursday that it has built an addition to its Parchin nuclear facility.

However, party loyalty usually is paramount to intellectual honesty. New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer came out against the deal and promptly faced a campaign prevent him from becoming the next party leader in the Senate to succeed retiring Sen. Harry Reid, who backs the deal.

Even Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker admits that Obama will win. He told The Tennessean:

Understand that at this moment it looks very unlikely that we’ll have a veto-proof majority to disapprove, but I know we’re going to have a bipartisan majority that will disapprove.

The Hill reported that President Obama lacks only five out of 15 undecided Democratic senators to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

One-Third of Americans in Israel Live in Judea and Samaria

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Approximately 60,000 Americans, one-third of those who have moved to Israel, live in Judea and Samaria, according to a new book whose conclusions were reported by Haaretz.

The Americans also comprise approximately 15% of all Judea and Samaria Jews, otherwise known as “settlers” by most of the world and “illegitimate” and “illegal” by President Barack Obama.

The conclusions of the book, “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967″ by Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, are not surprising to anyone living in Israel but may come as a bit of a shock to the foreign policy “experts” at the U.S. State Dept.

They also might surprise some “expert” media stars, such as Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, who once wrote that settlers are Israel’s answer to Hezbollah.

As late as last December, in a rant during the Israel election campaign. Friedman wrote:

The Israel right….is dominated by West Bank settlers and scary religious-nationalist zealots.

Hirschhorn, in her book to be published later this year, wrote:

“Something like 10 percent of American settlers in the occupied territories hold PhDs; they’re upwardly mobile, they’re traditional but not necessarily Orthodox in their religious practice, and most importantly, they were politically active in the leftist socialist movements in the United States in the 1960s and 70s and voted for the Democratic Party prior to their immigration to Israel.

So much for the “Wild West zealots” in the West Bank.

Much to the surprise of Friedman and the State Dept., Hirschhorn also wrote:

They’re not only compelled by some biblical imperative to live in the Holy Land of Israel and hasten the coming of the messiah, but also deeply inspired by an American vision of pioneering and building new suburbanized utopian communities in the occupied territories. They draw on their American background and mobilize the language they were comfortable with, discourses about human rights and civil liberties that justify the kind of work that they’re doing.

Yes, Americans in Judea and Samaria – or the occupied territories, the West Bank, or over the Green Line – are inspired by the Bible, and, no, they are not wild-eyed cowboys waiting around every bend to kill Arabs.

Her study does not cover the other 85 percent of Israeli settlers, most of whom live in Judea and Samaria for the simple reason that housing is cheaper than in most other areas and that “settlements” have clean air and are a great place to raise a family.

And some Americans, like myself, also live in the West Bank for practical reasons. When we left a kibbutz 26 years ago with three toddlers, our community in the Southern Hebron Hills was the only place close to a hospital where my wife, a nurse, did not have to work every other Shabbat.

Cheap housing is less available today in Gush Etzion, where Americans compromise a huge proportion of the population and where housing prices have soared. It used to be said that Efrat is not totally American, but on one Shabbat, it was all-American because the Israeli family went away for Shabbat.

That is no longer true, but Americans still account for approximately 40 percent of the city’s residents.

The image of the American cowboy arises because a large percentage of the minuscule number of crazies who have attacked Arabs in the past are from the United States.

The article in Haaretz on the book did not mention if Hirschhorn’s book also refers to the extremely large number of Americans living in neighborhoods in Jerusalem that the United States government and the United Nations also consider “occupied.”

President Obama does not realize how many “illegitimate” Americans live in Israel.

Ashkenazi Hareidi MK Now Cabinet Minister for First Time in 60 Years

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Hareidi Knesset Member Yaakov Litzman now is a full-fledged Cabinet minister, the first time since the days of the Ben-Gurion government that Ashkenazi rabbinical leaders have approved the position.

Unlike the Shas Hareidi Sephardi party, the Ashkenazi Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism party always has insisted that its Knesset Members not take a full Cabinet post, even if in effect they serve as minister, such as Deputy Health Minister Litzman.

The party did not want its members to carry out the responsibility of a full-fledged Cabinet minister, a post that could place Hareidim in a conflict with issues of Jewish law, such as abortion.

An appeal by an NGO to the High Court that a deputy minister cannot serve as minister without being called as such. The judges ruled in favor of the petitioners, leaving the Torah sages little choice but to allow Litzman to become a Cabinet member, with certain unspecified limits.

Torah sages from several Hareidi sects, including Vishnitz, attended a meeting Thursday morning that the Rebbe of Gur organized to discuss the spread of Shabbat violations in the country.

When the topic of Litzman’s becoming a Cabinet minister came up for discussion, and after a telephone conversation with the Rebbe of Belz, approval was given for Litzman to become a Cabinet minister, and he was blessed to “sanctify G-d’s name.”

Jeb Bush Seeking Jewish Support

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Jeb Bush is preparing to reach out the senior Jewish leaders to endorse him for Republican party’s presidential nominee, the Jewish Insider reported.

The website it obtained an invitation that Bush’s staff sent to Jewish leaders to form a “National Jewish Leadership Team,” with individuals to attend a special briefing with Bush at his campaign headquarters in Miami Sept, 25, two days after Yom Kippur.

With at least 16 other contenders for the nomination, Bush is retrying to get a head start on bundling up Jewish support, some of which already is committed to Mike Huckabee.

The proposed Leadership Team, is scheduled to meet for a dinner at the Miami Beach home of two of is Jewish supporters on the day before, which is one day after the Yom Kippur holiday and fast.

The hosts are Glenda and Ronnie Krongold, who is leader in the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

Originally from West Virginia, he dealt in real estate in Florida and built a real estate company. One his partners in a project was “Jeb Bush and Associates,” according to the RJC website, which also noted that Krongold has been very active in Israeli Bonds.

The website states:

In 1985, at the request of a Jewish activist and publisher Phil Blazer, Ron called upon Jeb to intercede with his father, the Vice President, on behalf of approximately 1,000 Ethiopian Jews who were starving and dying in camps in Ethiopia. Thereafter through the efforts of the Vice President and a group of concerned Jews, the majority of the Ethiopians were rescued and flown to Israel by the United States government.

In 1990 Ron traveled to Russia, before the fall of Communism, along with then CEO of Bonds Meir Rosanne , Michael Siegal (who is now the chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America) and six other Israel Bonds leaders to help with the extraction and settlement of Jews from Russia to Israel.




NYers Fighting Nuclear Iran Deal Gather on Sept. 1

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The grass roots organizations which brought you the thousands-strong Stop Iran Now! rally in Times Square in July is calling on New York area residents to join them for a slightly different kind of event against the Nuclear Iran Deal.

“The first time we came out in huge numbers that electrified people across the country. That rally was for those who wanted to understand the Agreement, who needed to learn more about the deal itself,” Jeff Wiesenfeld, the master of ceremonies and one of the founding members of the Jewish Rapid Response Coalition told the JewishPress.com.

“The Sept. 1 event is to energize people and get them to inform their elected representatives that they oppose the Agreement and will remember in November how their representatives voted in September,” Wiesenfeld explained.

This event is taking place in front of the New York City offices of the two U.S. Senators who represent New York, Senator Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, beginning at 5:30 p.m., in front of 780 Third Avenue, at the corner of 49th Street.

Earlier today it was announced that the Sept. 1 rally will be a bipartisan one. Addressing those gathered will be former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a current candidate for president. The two will deliver a major foreign policy address, one that emphasizes the bipartisan responsibility to protect the United States and our allies from the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, and that the current deal will not prevent that danger.

“The organizers of the initial rally always planned on having a follow-up rally in order to maintain the momentum of the critical message that this catastrophic deal cannot stand,” emphasized Lauri Regan, the New York chair of EMET, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank which deals with the Middle East, and a central organizer of the two events.

“Once Senator Gillibrand came out in favor of what she ironically labelled ‘the imperfect deal,’ it became clear that our focus would turn from asking Senator Schumer to do the right thing to thanking him and telling Gillibrand that New Yorkers will not stand while she surrenders American national security to a mullahcracy with a foreign policy based on ‘Death to America.’

Another one of the organizers, Rabbi Elchanon Poupko, told the JewishPress.com that “Shortly after the [July] rally Chuck Schumer came out opposing the deal.”

Poupko described the thousands of people who came to that first event, and that it sent shock waves throughout the world. “It was reported from Asia to South America!” Poupko and his colleagues hope to send the strongest possible message to Washington to ‘Stop Iran Now!’ As the vote on the deal is approaching, “We hope many more will join us in making that call.”

The July 22 event focused heavily on Schumer who was in a difficult position politically – so many of his constituents and long-time supporters were urging him to vote his conscience and oppose the deal. The administration was pressuring all Democrats in Congress, but especially someone so visible and senior as Schumer, to be a team player and throw his weight behind the Agreement.

The junior Senator from New York, Gillibrand, has since come out in support of the deal, and she will be the heavy focus of attention on Sept. 1.

“As a Senator of New York which suffered the greatest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Ms. Gillibrand must oppose this deal,” said Hillary Barr, the founder of Mothers Against Terrorism and a core organizer of the two NYC Anti-Nuclear Iran Deal events this summer.

“This Iran deal puts the U.S. and its armed forces in grave danger,” Barr said.

Israel Calls British Petition to Arrest Netanyahu a ‘Publicity Stunt’

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has labeled a new petition in Britain to arrest Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as “a public relations stunt that has no practical significance.”

The online petition on the Parliament’s official website has gathered approximately 80,000 signatures, according to the London Telegraph, only 20,000 short of the number needed for it to be considered as a possible topic for debate in the Parliament.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said in a statement that “the bilateral relations between Britain and Israel are closer than ever.” He noted that trade between Britain and Israel has doubled over the past several years and that academic and cultural cooperation continues, despite attempts by BDS to curtail it.

The petition states:

Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September. Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K. for the massacre of over 2000 civilians in 2014.

The British Foreign Office also dismissed the petition as a “PR exercise, and Conservative MP Sir Eric Prickles said it was “completely absurd” and added:

The petition will have no impact upon the UK-Israel relationship which is stronger than ever and prime minister Netanyahu’s forthcoming visit will enhance it further.

Even the organizer of the petition, Damiam Moran, said he does not expect Netanyahu to be arrested. He told Al Jazeera:

[The government] will just say ‘blah blah blah, universal jurisdiction, good luck’

The British government responded to the petition in abatement:

We were all deeply saddened by the violence. However the Prime Minister [of Britain] was clear on the UK’s recognition of Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself, within the boundaries of international humanitarian law.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-calls-british-petition-to-arrest-netanyahu-a-publicity-stunt/2015/08/25/

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