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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Hillary Clinton Leases Brooklyn Heights Office for Campaign HQ

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The Democratic campaign machine is starting to crank itself up at last, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to join the race for the White House.

Clinton has just signed a lease in downtown Brooklyn to open a campaign headquarters at 1 Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn Heights.

It’s a fancy location but not too fancy; hip but not snobby and also very accessible, located near 12 subway lines and as many bus lines.

A central spot,reachable by the 90 different ethnic groups that comprise the borough, New York City’s largest.

The campaign leased two floors of the building, which is located across the street from the offices of the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of NY, Politico reported this weekend.

The move also signifies that the Democratic contender for the presidential race is ready to announce: the Federal Election Commission allows 15 days between the start of a candidate’s official campaign activities and filing of paperwork for the 2016 run.

Iran and P5+1 Agree to ‘Key Parameters’ with Unknown Clauses [video]

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Iran and the P5+1 powers announced Thursday afternoon they have reached an understanding of “key parameters” for a final agreement that will remove sanctions on Iran and would require it to allow verified inspections of its nuclear program.

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that “many technical details” must be ironed out.

President Barack Obama called it a “good deal” that will keep Iran from getting its hands on weapons grade plutonium and would require enriched uranium to be shipped out of Iran.

He said the arrangement is better than “bombing Iran and starting a new war in the Middle East” and would only set back Iran’s nuclear program for a few years. Kerry said that the nuclear facility at Natanz is the only plant that will continue to operate and where the uranium is low grade.

No other enrichment material will remain, and the Fordo nuclear plant will be converted to a “research and development “center.

Kerry also said that the heavy water reactor will be converted so that it cannot be used for the development of a nuclear weapon.

Iran is required to ship all enrich uranium out of the country, and it is committed not to build any more heavy water reactors for at least 15 years.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced, “Our decision today will be the base for the start of drafting the Joint the Plan of Action (the final deal) which should end by the July 1 deadline.”

He said all sanctions will be lifted, but Kerry stated that this will happen in stages until a final agreement is made by midnight June 30.

One of the most interesting parts of the “key parameters” is that  some clauses may not be made public except to governments and Congress.

The key elements are inspections and access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, to which Kerry said Iran has agreed.

President Obama said in his remarks after the announcement of “key parameters” that he is maintained to the security of Israel and that he will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Iran will reduce the number of its centrifuges to around 6.000, including 5,000 at Natanz for industrial-scale enrichment and 1,000 at Fordo, but not for enrichment.

The kicker is Zarif’s statement that not everyone will understand the “key parameters” the same way. Fars News Agency reported::

He [Zarif] cautioned that the seven nation’s party to the nuclear talks might present today’s agreement in different ways as they see fit.

The same Foreign Minister Zarif said earlier today that “no agreement will be announced today,” a sure sign that something would indeed be announced, even it is called “key parameters.”

But Obama reassured the American people that although the emerging deal will not remove distrust between Iran and the United States, Iran is committed to using its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

How does he know?

Because the Islamic Republic has supposedly issued a religious fatwa forbidding nuclear weapons.

The Washington Post reported a year and a half ago on whether the there is such fatwa or it is simply a statement:

Even if one believes the fatwa exists — and will not later be reversed — it clearly appears to have evolved over time. U.S. officials should be careful about saying the fatwa prohibits the development of nuclear weapons, as that is not especially clear anymore.

President Obama covered all the bases in his remarks at the White House,. He said he has spoken with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia and is looking forward to a lively debate” with Congress.

‘Reassessment’ of the US-Israel Relationship; and Rocker David Draiman Takes on Comedian Trevor

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

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Yoram Ettinger, the former minister at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and expert on Middeast politics and US-Israel relations, joins Yishai in-studio to share parallels between the Obama and Ford administrations, in terms of White House pressure on Israel. Ettinger thinks that it is through resistance of such pressure that the US comes to respect Israel as a true ally.

Then, VOI political correspondent Raoul Wootliff provides sounds from the “freshman class” of the 20th Knesset.

Finally, David Draiman — the lead singer of the heavy metal band Disturbed — talks to Yishai about his passion for Israel. He also takes on comedian Trevor Noah, the replacement for John Stuart as the host of “The Daily Show,” who has posted anti-Semitic comments on Twitter.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

The ‘Most Illegitimate’ Regime; the Jihadist Middle East; and Remembering Yehuda Avner

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

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The P5 +1 are convinced that Iran is a legitimate negotiating partner. But Dan Diker, host of VOI’s National Security, has the opposite idea. Dan joins Yishai in-studio to discuss the folly of the nuclear talks. He also raises historical precedents for US-Israel tensions, such as the diplomatic assault launched on the Jewish state by the administration of President Gerald Ford. He then draws parallels between the holidays of Purim and Passover, using them as parables for today’s times.

Then, Ali Jabber is a pseudonym for an Arab who sees Israel as the harbinger of peace, democracy and human rights. He joins Yishai to discuss why so many other Arabs are still mired in the jihadist mindset.

Finally, Yishai talks about Israeli diplomat Yehuda Avner, who died recently. Avner worked as an adviser to prime ministers Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and wrote speeches for prime ministers Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol. He also served as ambassador to Australia, Ireland and the UK. Yishai reads passages from Avner’s highly acclaimed book, “The Prime Ministers,” describing Esther Cailingold, a young Jewish female fighter writing her final letter as she took part in a battle of Israel’s War of Independence.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

The Park Hotel Passover Massacre, America’s Mideast Retreat, and Teaching the Nakba Narrative

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

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The Passover massacre was a suicide bombing carried out by a Hamas terrorist at the Park Hotel in Netanya, on March 27, 2002. Thirty civilians, in the midst of a seder, were killed in the attack and 140 others were wounded. David Bedein, director of the Israel Resource News Agency, joins Yishai to reminisce about that awful night; the connected story of the Saudi Peace Initiative; the fraudulent “massacre” in Jenin; the documents that came out of PLO chief Yasser Arafat’s computer; and the link to today’s American empowerment of Iran.

Then, Mati Wagner, Editorial Page Editor of The Jerusalem Post, and Dr. Seth Frandzman, Op-ed Editor of The Jerusalem Post, join Yishai in-studio to talk about the new power vacuum, and anarchy, that is forming in the Middle East due to the retreat of America, and the State Department’s new Persianist spirit which results in the administration’s emboldening of Iran.

Finally, Mati and Seth debate the issue of whether the Arab “nakba” narrative — according to which the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 was a catastrophe — should be taught in Israeli schools.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Iranian Journalist Defects, Says US Team Speaking for Iran

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Amir Hossein Motaghi, an Iranian journalist, defected during the P5+1 nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to a British Telegraph report.

Motaghi said the Iranian reporters at the P5+1 negotiations are primarily there to control the flow of news back to Iran, stating, “My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.”

One of Motaghi’s more disturbing comments was a claim that the US negotiating team was taking a more conciliatory line with Iran than some of the other members of the P5+1 team which is made up of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, plus Germany.

Motaghi said,

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

Amir Hossein Motaghi managed Iranian president’s Hassan Rouhani’s 2013 electoral campaign.

He had heard he was possibly going to be arrested when he returned to Iran.

H/T Omri Ceren

NATO Chief Added to Obama’s ‘Diss List’

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama — America’s Commander-in-Chief — seems to have added the head of the North America Treaty Organization, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, to his “diss list.” No one has any idea why, however.

Stoltenberg, whose office notified the White House staff of the dates well in advance, but his office didn’t even receive the courtesy of a reply from the White House, according to Bloomberg View columnist Josh Rogin.

The NATO chief is in Washington DC for a three day visit that includes attendance at the annual NATO Transformation Seminar. NATO leaders, various experts and top officials from the host company gather to brainstorm on strategies in the sessions, organized by the Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia and the Atlantic Council.

Bernadette Meehan, spokesperson for the National Security Council, could not say why Obama did not respond to Stoltenberg’s request for an informal meeting. At last minute, the NATO leader was able to obtain a meeting with Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

But there’s just no getting around the fact that Obama’s behavior is an outright insult. Where was he and what was so incredibly important that he could not make time for the head of NATO –an alliance in which the U.S. is a pivotal member?

The only event on Obama’s schedule for Wednesday, media moguls said, was a short speech to launch the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday he is also pretty free: he heads to Alabama to deliver a speech. Wow. Stressful…

And Stoltenberg isn’t exactly small potatoes: the NATO chief served two terms as Norway’s prime minister prior to starting in October as head of the largest military alliance in the world.

Moreover, he’s on a pretty tight schedule: on Monday he met in Toronto with Canada’s Stephen Harper, where the two discussed the crisis in Ukraine and the threat of the Daesh terror organization, known also as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Both issues are of equal concern to the United States, so one would think that President Obama might at least be somewhat invested in hosting Stoltenberg at the White House.

Tuesday he was involved in other affairs. Wednesday was the seminar.

But nary a phone call, text or email was made. Not even an acknowledgment of the request for a meeting. Weird, particularly when one considers the fact that America’s membership in NATO is its main treaty obligation.

In particular, the president has ticked off former U.S. permanent representative to NATO Kurt Volker, who actually served under Obama, as well as under Pres. George W. Bush before him.

“It is hard for me to believe that the president of the United States has not found the time to meet with the current secretary general of NATO, given the magnitude of what this implies, and the responsibilities of his office,” Volker told Josh Rogin at Bloomberg.

Perhaps he was not present to cover the day Obama had his first tiff with Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, stalking out of the Oval Office and leaving Israel’s top leader to hang around while the president had dinner in his private quarters with the family.

Or the time he sneaked Netanyahu out through a side door of the White House, and the time he refused to end a meeting with the routine joint news conference to address questions from international media, because he didn’t want Netanyahu to have the benefit of a photo op.

The list is endless, petty and getting stranger by the day.

It is not at all clear what minor infraction the NATO chief has committed against Barack Obama, but clearly it was something he considers to be of magnified importance – important enough to risk offending the chief of the largest allied military force in the world.

I sure hope it’s worth it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nato-chief-added-to-obamas-diss-list/2015/03/26/

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