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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Ted Deutch’

Another Congressional Democrat Will Vote No on the Iran Deal

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

It took awhile, but California Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA-30) officially announced that he intends to vote against the Iranian nuclear deal the U.S. negotiated with its P5+1 partners and the Islamic Republic of Iran. And the announcement was not only firm, but biting.

Sherman issued a negative review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action last week, calling it “the good, the bad and the ugly,” but it wasn’t until Friday, Aug. 7 that the San Fernando Valley Democrat clarified that he intended to vote against the deal.

The California Congressman explained that he has been focused on preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons for the past 19 years.

This agreement, Sherman said,

contains the good and the bad in the first year, and gets ugly in the years thereafter. The Good: Iran gives up 97% of its stockpile of enriched uranium and decommissions 2/3 of its existing centrifuges.  The Bad: Iran gets access to at least $56 billion of its own currently-frozen funds, and free access to the international oil markets.  The Ugly: In 15 years or less, Iran is permitted to have an unlimited quantity of centrifuges of unlimited quality, as well as heavy water reactors and reprocessing facilities.

And then Sherman took a step beyond the point most members of Congress have been willing to go. He wants it to be clear that “future Presidents and Congresses are not bound by this Agreement – not legally, not morally, not diplomatically.”

The Congressman went on to explain that according to “international Law and the U.S. Constitution, the Agreement is a mere ‘executive political agreement’ and is not binding on America, Europe or Iran.

However, if the Agreement is not only signed by the President but also by Congress, it may appear binding. Appearances matter. In future years, many would argue as long as Iran appears to be complying with the Agreement, America cannot insist on modifications or extensions of nuclear restrictions. A strong Congressional vote against the Agreement is the best way to make it clear that the Agreement is not binding on Congress, the American people or future administrations.

Sherman made three additional points in his statement. First, he said that the President and the negotiating team made incredible efforts to prevent Iran from moving forward in its nuclear program, and he thanked the President for being so focused on such an important issue.

In his second additional point, Sherman listed off the various specific problems with the deal such as the flaccid inspections regimen and the infusion of billions of dollars from sanctions relief, some significant amount of which it is likely to use to siphon to its terror proxies in the region and around the world.

The third point packed quite a punch.

President Obama has been harshly criticized for dog whistling about critics of the JCPOA, using code language to suggest that the Jews supported the Iraq war, and they are the same people who are opposing the Iran deal. Well guess who else supported the Iraq war?

As Sherman said: “The President reminds us that many prominent critics of the Agreement supported the invasion of Iraq. It should be noted that many supporters of the Agreement also supported the invasion of Iraq, including: Vice President Biden, Secretary Kerry and Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.”

Bam!

The nineteen year House Democrat sits on the important House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.

Sherman joins the following eight (so far) other Democratic members of Congress who have committed to voting against the JCPOA: Cong. Meng (D-NY), Cong. Vargas (D-CA), Cong. Price (D-NY), Cong. Sires (D-NY), Cong. Lowey (D-NY), Cong. Deutch (D-FL), Cong. Israel (D-NY) and Cong. Engel (D-NY).

Nearing Double Digits in the Democrat Defection from Bad Iran Deal

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Yesterday’s count had four Congressional Democrats coming out against the Iran Nuclear Deal.

But since yesterday, that number has nearly doubled. And, amazingly, the latest three are all Jewish members of Congress. That’s a surprise because in their effort to appear impartial, many Jews in public office bend over backwards to avoid the appearance that they are voting a particular way because they are Jewish, regardless of their actual assessment of the matter. Few if any other minority group members act this way.

So who are these Congress members?

Both Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) and Steve Israel (D-NY-03) represent New York congressional districts. Lowey’s district is just north of New York City, including parts of the Hudson Valley, and Westchester and Rockland counties. Cong. Israel represents northeastern Queens into the beginning of Long Island.

Ted Deutch (D-FL-21) represents a southern east coast section of Florida that includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Deutch is a senior member of the  all-important House Foreign Affairs Committee, which deals with economic sanctions and diplomacy. He is also the Ranking Democrat on that Committee’s Middle East and North Africa’s subcommittee.

In announcing that he opposes the Iran deal, Deutch ticked off the list of reasons for his decisions. They included Iran’s role as the central supporter of terrorist groups and the nearly universal agreement that Iran will seek to cheat on the deal “in any way it can.”

The Florida three-term congressman is appalled that the deal “makes it nearly impossible to reinstate sanctions” commensurate with those currently in place.

While Deutch says the deal may temporarily slow down Iran’s march towards nuclear weapons capability, the giveaways included in the deal “speeds up the enrichment of the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian terror proxies that endanger security and stability in the Middle East.”

Lowey, who has been representing New Yorkers in Congress since 1989, serves on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

As with all the other members of Congress who have thus far publicly stated their opposition to the JCPOA, Lowey believes there are not sufficient safeguards to counter the grave risks it embraces.

In her statement of opposition to the deal, Lowey mentions the sanctions relief as well as relaxing of bans on conventional arms and ballistic missiles, and the release of billions of dollars to a terrorist and terrorism-supporting regime. Like her colleagues, Lowey is also wary of the lack of full disclosure of previous military work which may have included nuclear activity, and a less than robust inspections regimen.

The”agreement will leave the international community with limited options in 15 years to prevent nuclear breakout in Iran, which will be an internationally-recognized nuclear threshold state, capable of producing highly enriched uranium,” Lowey wrote.

“I am greatly concerned that the agreement lacks a crystal clear statement that the international community reserves the right to take all military, economic, and diplomatic measures necessary during the course of the deal and beyond to deter Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon.”

Rep. Israel disclosed to Newsday that he would not support the deal. Calling the Iran deal “one of the most important foreign policy and national security issues” the Congress is going to vote on, Israel said he was not satisfied with the safeguards in the deal.

The New York Congressman’s concerns were primarily the likelihood that Iran will cheat – he called that a high likelihood that Iran would “exploit ambiguities in the deal”; the lifting of the arms embargo; and the ability of Iran to so quickly attain nuclear capabilities at the termination of the deal.

Romney and Lieberman to Headline Israeli-American DC Event

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Today, Nov. 4, is election day, and later this week a highly politically-charged pair is appearing in Washington, D.C. at an event for Israeli Americans.

Former presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney and former vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Lieberman will headline the first annual Israeli American Council (IAC) National Conference at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Sound like a dream ticket? Certainly a better one for Israel than the current team in the White House.

This first national gathering of Israeli-Americans is intended to solidify the community’s voice and “explore how to strengthen the American-Jewish community, the next generation and the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States.”

Dan Senor, author of “Start-up Nation,” will interview Gov. Romney on Friday evening. The main topic of discussion is expected to be this week’s mid-term election results and the current U.S.-Israel relationship.

This will be the first time Romney will be formally addressing the Jewish and Israeli-American community since the 2012 presidential elections. Hint, hint?

Other heavy hitters at the IAC conference, which will take place between Nov. 7 – 9, include Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, who will appear on a panel together on Sunday morning.

Other prominent Americans, Israelis and Israeli Americans attending the conference include Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fl-21); Israeli’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer; Israel’s Representative to the UN, Ron Prosor; Israeli National Security Council member and terrorism expert Dr. Anat Berko; Israel’s former U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman; Israel’s Leader of the Opposition MK Buji Herzog; Israel’s brand new Minister of the Interior Gilad Erdan, and many others.

The IAC “seeks to build an engaged and united Israeli-American community that strengthens our next generations, the American Jewish community, and the State of Israel.”

“As Americans and Israelis, we see it as our duty and obligation to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the United States,” said IAC National Chairman Shawn Evenhaim.

“This conference marks the first time that leaders and professionals from the Israeli-American and Jewish communities from across the country are coming together to explore how to build a united and engaged community.”

House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Enhancing Israel Security Cooperation

Friday, March 7th, 2014

The House of Representatives almost unanimously approved a bill that would enhance U.S. security cooperation with Israel.

The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, introduced last year by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), enhances cooperation in the energy and cybersecurity areas, among others; transfers excess U.S. armaments to Israel for stockpiling and possible use; and pushes closer cooperation in missile development and trade.

It also encourages fast-tracking Israel into the Visa Waiver Program, which would allow Israelis to enter the United States without prearranged visas once Israel meets the program’s requirements.

“Even as this bill advances the security of Israel, it ultimately serves as a reminder to the world of the depth of the United States-Israel relationship,” Deutch said Wednesday in a floor speech before the 401-1 vote, with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) the dissenter.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which made lobbying for the bill’s passage a centerpiece of its annual conference this week, praised its passage.

A similar bill is under consideration in the Senate.

“AIPAC urges the Senate to act on this critical legislation,” the lobby said in a statement.

Jewish, Hispanic Troops to Receive Belated Medal of Honor

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to 24 American troops, most of whom had been overlooked because of anti-Jewish or anti-Hispanic prejudice.

The White House said in a statement issued on Friday that the medals to be awarded March 18 are the result of a review mandated by a law passed in 2002 by Congress based on reports that some troops had been denied the nation’s highest military honor because of prejudice.

In the course of the review, the statement said, it was found that several soldiers not of Jewish or Hispanic descent also had been denied the medal, and that they too would be honored.

Three soldiers will receive the award in person; the remainder will be awarded posthumously to men who fought in the Vietnam and Korean wars and in World War II.

The White House did not identify which of the awardees were Jewish or Hispanic or neither.

Two Florida lawmakers, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) noted in separate statements that one of the awardees is Pvt. 1st Class Leonard Kravitz who died fending off Communist forces on March 6 and 7, 1951 near Yangpyong in Korea. He faced an ambush with a machine gun so his fellow troops could evacuate.

Mitchel Libman, a resident of Hollywood Fla., and a childhood friend of Kravitz’s had championed his cause. Kravitz is the namesake of his nephew, the musician Lenny Kravitz.

In-Your-Face-Obama Bill Upgrading Israel Status Above Entire World

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

My favorite Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27), along with Rep Ted Deutch (D-Fla. 21), who are the top two members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East subcommittee, have introduced a bill on Wednesday naming Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, a title enjoyed by no one else on the planet, and encouraging enhanced cooperation on water, energy, homeland security, and missile development.

The bill also waives visa requirements for Israelis who visit the U.S., adding Israel to the list of countries whose citizens can visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, provided they registered electronically before boarding a flight.

Some other provisions: the bill expands authority for forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, providing important military equipment for either to use in a crisis. It also encourages the president to transfer essential military equipment to Israel to meet current and projected strategic threats.

Daisy Cutters, Bunker Busters, come to poppa…

The committee approved it unanimously.

“I’m pleased that this bipartisan bill to strengthen the U.S. bond with Israel passed unanimously today out of the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Congressperson Ileana said in a statement. “During this volatile time across the Middle East, this bill signals that the U.S. Congress continues to support the people of Israel and reaffirms our commitment to seek new paths to improve our bilateral relationship.”

According to an AP story from last year, the administration and some lawmakers are concerned the legislation doesn’t do enough to eliminate Israeli discrimination against Palestinians and Arab-Americans seeking to enter its borders. They also say Israel still fails to meet other legal requirements for the program.

So this has to be an in-your-face to both the White House and the State Dept. In the middle of their arm-twisting campaign to degrade Israeli security, heaping on the threats should Israel decline the offer to capitulate, our sweetheart from the Florida 27th declares:

“This important legislation, with 351 current cosponsors, declares that Israel is a major strategic partner, ensures that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge, and reaffirms our support to enhance Israel’s military systems to that it can defend herself.”

Now it’s up to the leaders of the House to let the measure go for a vote, which should actually happen, what with the 351 sponsors. We’ll see what happens in the Senate afterwards, will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even let the measure that has been pushed by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) last year—The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (S. 462)—come to a full Senate vote.

Currently, the Senate bill has 45 sponsors.

Last May, when Boxer and Blunt proposed the Senate version, the organization U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and other anti-Israel groups were working overtime to block the bill. Their main argument was that Section nine of S.462 would include Israel in the Visa Waiver Program without requiring Israel to extend reciprocal privileges to U.S. citizens.

The bill allows Israel to deny entrance to U.S. citizens for national security reasons.

“Israel has a history of discriminating against Palestinian-, Arab-, and Muslim-Americans travelers and denying them entry,” the CEO complained. Naturally, they would like to see free access for American jihadists into Israel, but it might not happen.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Ca) rejected the anti-Israel allegations: “Israel does not discriminate against Arab-Americans. There has been this effort by anti-Israel extremists to accuse Israel of that. We have a no-fly list, they have a no-enter list, and those associated with Islamic extremism tend to find their name on both.”

Sherman added: “My hope is that in conference this bill will be amended to help Israel achieve full participation in the visa waiver program…When they want to see Mickey Mouse, they should see the real one.”

Yes, that’s what we need, more Israelis in Los Angeles…

Congress Members Blast ASA for Boycott Decision

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

A bipartisan slate of 134 U.S. Congress members wrote a letter to the American Studies Association protesting its decision last month to boycott Israeli universities.

“Academic cooperation can be an important tool to help foster peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but you have chosen the unproductive path of isolation,” said the letter dated Friday, initiated by Reps. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.), the chief deputy whip of the U.S. House of Representatives and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), the senior Democrat on the House Middle East subcommittee. “We hope that the ASA will learn to appreciate the mutually beneficial academic ties between the United States and Israel and work with us to promote peace and academic freedom.”

The ASA, with a membership numbering less than 5,000, was the largest of three academic organizations to recommend boycotts against Israeli institutions last year, a breakthrough in the United States for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.

The move has been repudiated by close to 200 U.S. universities and the larger academic groups, such as the American Association of University Professors, have pushed back such attempts.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/congress-members-blast-asa-for-boycott-decision/2014/01/19/

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