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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

In State of the Union, Obama Pledges Veto of New Sanctions Legislation

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

President Obama in his State of the Union speech pledged to veto any new Iran sanctions.

“Let me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it,” he said Tuesday night. “For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed.”

The Senate is considering new sanctions, backed by leading pro-Israel groups.

“With our allies and partners, we’re engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Obama said, drawing some of the louder applause of the evening.

In a statement after Obama’s speech, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), called on the Senate to pass a sanctions bill introduced by him and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and currently backed by 59 senators.

“The American people — Democrats and Republicans alike — overwhelmingly want Iran held accountable during any negotiations,” he said.

In his State of the Union, Obama also nodded to efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, and pledged support for Israel’s security in the process.

He pointedly referred to Israel’s status as a Jewish state, a recognition Israel wants from the Palestinians as part of a peace deal.

“American diplomacy is supporting Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in difficult but necessary talks to end the conflict there; to achieve dignity and an independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the State of Israel — a Jewish state that knows America will always be at their side,” he said.

More broadly, Obama said, as he launched his final three years in office, that he wanted to wean America from a “permanent war footing” and reduce the U.S. troop presence abroad.

“We must fight the battles that need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer from us,” he said. “Large-scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extremism.”

Peres Demand for ‘Jewish State’ Recognition an Obstacle to Peace

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

President Shimon Peres has told diplomatic officials that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a “Jewish State” is “unnecessary” and is an obstacle to a peace pact, the Yisrael HaYom newspaper reported Wednesday.

The “Jewish state” issue has been one of Netanyahu’s’ favorite ploys to make PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas look stupid. The more Netanya raises the issue, the more Abbas gets his back up, while at the same time insisting that no Jews will be allowed to live in a Palestinian country.

That puts even J Street in a tough position.

But Peres, like Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, don’t understand the Big Picture that Netanyahu sees, a picture of diplomatic chess to put the opposition in a defenseless corner.

Instead, they make out the matter of recognition of a “Jewish State” to be a useless principle.

Not surprisingly, relations between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres are not the best, but then again, that parallels Netanyahu’s relations with another president, Barack Obama. His statements have leaned towards Netanyahu’s demand and away from Peres and Lapid’s efforts to finds a way to let Abbas off the hook.

United Nations Disinvites Iran from Syria Peace Talks

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The United Nations has bowed to pressure from  the United States and Saudi Arabia and has rescinded its unexpected invitation to Iran to attend  the Geneva II  conference for peace in Syria Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon reconsidered the invitation after Iran stated refused to back up a previous promise that it would publicly support the creation of a transitional government for Syria.

“Iran, despite assurances made to the secretary-general, has made a disappointing statement,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said earlier in the day before the decision to rescind.

“The Islamic Republic doesn’t consider the Geneva II conference legitimate if it hinges on accepting the terms of Geneva I,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign-policy adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “We don’t accept Geneva I under any circumstances.”

The sudden changes in preparations for the conference could scuttle the lakes, which are given zero chance of succeeding anyway.

Iran now has made it is clear how much it can be trusted, but that does not mean that President Barack Obama and other members of the P5+1 will understand that Tiran will not live up to its commitments under the agreement for supervising its nuclear development.

Obama Reaffirms Commitment to Israel in Sharon Message

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to Israel’s security in his condolence message on the death of Ariel Sharon.

“On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel,” Obama said Saturday morning, within hours of the announcement of the death of Sharon at 85.

“We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples,” the statement said. “We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country.”

Sharon left office in 2006 after a stroke, months after he orchestrated Israel’s forced deportation of its citizens from the Gaza Strip, a policy that led Netanyahu to leave the government at the time.

Former US Envoy Favors ‘Trading Pollard for PA State’

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering has stated that Jonathan Pollard is a “traitor” but should be released from prison if it would convince Israel to agree to sign an agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

It is incomprehensible that a patriotic American like Pickering can state that a man, an alleged traitor to the United States and who should remain in jail for life, can be freed for the sake of a diplomatic plum for President Barack Obama.

Pollard is far from a traitor by any definition and never was convicted of spying. Calling him a traitor is plain libel. He was caught handing over classified information for Israel, an offense that never has been punished for more than four years in jail until the Pollard trial, such as it was.

Pollard himself has argued against being used as barter for Israel’s freeing Palestinian Authority murderers, which Israel has done time and time again anyway while  Pollard remains in jail.

Pickering is not the only former U.S. ambassador to Israel who says Pollard should be released. Samuel W. Lewis, who was the envoy from 1977 to 1985, also has come out for his being released, but Lewis rejected the linkage with the so-called peace process. “He betrayed us, and I am glad he sat in prison, but 28 years is time enough,” he said.

Pickering stated, “I think that achieving an Israeli-Palestinian framework agreement is far more important than the continuation of Pollard’s incarceration.”

It is astounding that a distinguished 40-year veteran of the Foreign Service could even suggest that a country, in this case Israel, would give up its sense of security and gamble on its future in order to win the release of Pollard.

But if we understand that Pickering, by default of  having been an employee of the State Dept., has the same clone mentality of everyone else in Foggy Bottom, it all makes sense.

Who else but a State Dept. veteran would say, as Pickering did in a speech in 2010 to the Florida Atlantic University, “Peace can be made between Syria and Israel”?

Actually three was one non-State Dept. man who said that. Meet John Kerry, who as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in his pre-State Dept. days commuted to Damascus, chummed with Syrian President Bassar al-Assad and knew he was on the way to a peace agreement.

Well, you can’t win them all. But Kerry can’t win anything.

Kerry undoubtedly would suggest to  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Pollard be freed if he were to think that the Prime Minister would make “painful concessions.”

Pollard has suffered for too many years in prison, but no one can imagine the suffering he would go through if President Obama were to free him in return for Israel’s surrendering the Jordan Valley, surrendering Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem or even only over the Old City, expelling tens of thousands of Jews and accepting another armed Arab country as a neighbor.

Such a scenario  is unlikely not because Kerry is not capable of offering Pollard for a Piece of Peace paper – Kerry is capable of selling his grandmother for that – but because it won’t happen.

It is so immoral that it cannot comprehended by anyone except a State Dept. veteran like Pickering.

Texas Congressman Says Obama Must Apologize to Israel on Iran

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

President Barack Obama should apologize to Israel for putting “Israel in a position of having to defend both of us” from Iran, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News.

Israel strongly opposed the Obama administration’s recent relaxation of sanctions against Tehran, which continues to develop its nuclear program without international supervision.

Gohmert said the United States should send Israel the new F-35 steal fighter jets as soon as possible and “give them our best bunker-busters because I think Bibi [Benjamin] Netanyahu has the will and the credibility to be a threat.”

“If the United States were a credible threat to attack Iran, we would not have to attack them. But Iran knows we’re not a credible threat to attack them,” said Gohmert. “If Ronald Reagan were president, Iran would’ve stopped a long time ago. Just like Iran released our prisoners the day he took office, they knew Carter was not a credible threat but they knew Reagan was. They know Obama is not a credible threat.”

 

Family of Kidnapped Warren Weinstein Calls for Proof He Is Alive

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

The family of captive U.S. government contractor Warren Weinstein called for ”date-specific confirmation” that he is still alive.

In a statement released Thursday, the Weinstein family said a video distributed last week by al-Qaida in Pakistan does not prove that Weinstein is alive because there is no indication of when it was made.

Weinstein, 72, who has been held in Pakistan by al-Qaida for more than two years, in the video calls on President Obama to release al-Qaida terrorists in exchange for his release.

The video message featuring Weinstein, a former Peace Corps and USAID official, was sent to journalists and news services in Pakistan along with a link to a photo of a handwritten note. The testimonial letter is dated Oct. 3, 2013; it is not known when the video was filmed.

Weinstein, of Rockville, Md., was kidnapped in August 2011 outside Pakistan while he was working for J.E. Austin Associates, a private company that advises Pakistani businesses.

The United States has said it will not negotiate with al-Qaida, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

“Warren Weinstein is a scholar and a humanitarian who has spent his entire career working to improve the lives of men, women and children around the world,” his family said in the statement. “Prior to his abduction, he spent seven years in Pakistan working to improve local communities through projects related to dairy production, farming and health care. To be captured and held against his will after a life spent helping others, especially in the sunset of his proud career, is unacceptable. We urge the global community to help us bring him home.”

The family praised U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) for his efforts on behalf of Weinstein.

“We must be relentless in our efforts to bring him home and we must maintain a sense of outrage and determination,” Delaney said in a statement issued Thursday.

Senators Introduce Sanctions Bill to Break Iran Deal

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties introduced a bill on Thursday that would toughen sanctions on Iran and effectively squash the interim deal between the major Western powers and Iran. The deal has been ridiculed by many as appeasement in return for a nuclear bomb.

Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois said the bill’s proposals for a worldwide boycott on Iranian oil exports and blacklisting the country’s mining industries are “an insurance policy to defend against Iranian deception.”

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey said, “Current sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and a credible threat of future sanctions will require Iran to cooperate and act in good faith at the negotiating table.”

In the unlikely event that the Senate defies President Barack Obama and passes the bill, and the House of Representatives goes along for the ride, it would render the deal null and void because of the negotiators’ promise that no new sanctions would be introduced before the end of talks for a final deal in six months.

The bill also states, “If the government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States government should stand with Israel” with diplomatic, military and economic support.”

The 26 senators who introduced the deal basically made a stand against President Obama, and when the time comes that it is clear that the President and the leaders of the major powers were duped, the bill’s sponsors can say, “We told you so.”

But that won’t be of much help to Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/senators-introduce-sanctions-bill-that-would-break-the-deal/2013/12/19/

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