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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘United States’

IRAN: US Won’t Inspect Military Sites

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

A senior Iranian military official said that Iran’s military sites will not be open for inspection in any nuclear deal, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

Iranian officials have already announced “clearly and explicitly” their opposition to the inspection of the country’s military and defense facilities, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Friday.

Jazayeri added, “The American side’s insistence on attending Iran’s military centers can be evaluated with regard to the repressed and unattainable wishes of the White House officials,” according to The Iran Project. Jazayeri also said that US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter didn’t know what he was talking about:

“Such remarks either show the low understanding of the speaker or stem from the overwhelming bias of the American negotiating side.”

Back in November 2013, Jazayeri said that the US would not attack Iran, and Iran would continue to develop its nuclear capabilities. He was right.

Someone’s confused about what was agreed on in Lausanne. It’s just not clear who that is.

Suicide Shooting and Suspicious Package Lock Down Capitol in Washington

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Police have closed the Capitol and the immediate area Saturday afternoon after one man shot himself dead and left a suspicious package outside the building.

Visitors and workers were not allowed to enter or leave the Capitol, but Congress was on spring break.

Capitol police are investigating the package, apparently a suitcase belonging to the man who shot himself, but officials ruled out terror as a motive.

Police are searching for the man’s car.

It’s Official: Justice Brandeis Wants his Name Back

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Of all the absurd positions Brandeis University has taken over the years, the latest really may be the final straw.

Last year Brandeis suffered widespread disgrace for revoking an offer to grant an honorary degree to a Muslim-born advocate for women and children’s rights who had been subjected to female genital mutilation and threatened with murder by Islamic fundamentalists for being “anti-Islam.” This year, Brandeis selected as its commencement speaker a former U.S. State Department careerist who thinks the state of Palestine exists and that “Palestine” “granted” to Israel land that “Palestine” had been “assigned” in 1947.

That former administration official, Thomas Pickering, wrote a public letter last year encouraging the U.S. administration to stop kowtowing to Israel — and we all know how eager the Obama administration has been to take orders from Jerusalem.

Pickering has the reputation of being extremely anti-Israel even amongst his peers – and for the State Department, that’s quite an achievement. If Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the ardent Zionist and advocate for the disenfranchised (for him the concepts were naturally compatible) for whom Brandeis University was named, could see what his namesake university was doing, he would demand his name be removed.

REVOCATION OF HONORARY DEGREE TO HIRSI ALI

It was just a year ago that Brandeis University withdrew an offer to award an honorary degree Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a world-class humanitarian, because some dimwitted students, aided and abetted by professors with ossified mindsets, insisted the woman was “Islamophobic.” Hirsi Ali, knows from firsthand experience more about Islam than all the mewling students and professors put together.

The suffix “phobic” means an irrational fear of something. Hirsi Ali’s distaste for Islam is as based in reality as it can get.

Dial forward to this spring, when Brandeis commencement and its speakers is once again a topic.

So what does Brandeis University do? Pick a noncontroversial speaker who is deserving of an honorary degree for being a decent human being, perhaps someone with some connection to the university itself? Nah.

BRANDEIS CHOOSES ANTI-ISRAEL ADVOCATE AS COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Instead, Brandeis University announced that its commencement speaker for 2015 is former Ambassador and under secretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering, someone who fervently believes Israel is inappropriately coddled by the Obama administration and that the Jewish state has stolen land from the mythical land of Palestine, despite the “Palestinians” having graciously conceded a huge chunk of the land “assigned” to the “Palestinians in 1947.”

That’s right, Israel is coddled by the Obama/Kerry approach to the Middle East conflict, according to Pickering. And the “Palestinians” are the magnanimous yet oppressed party on the losing end of the stick with Israel. This view is out of touch with Zionists – whom Brandeis the justice, if not the university, would have hoped a school bearing his name would graduate.

We know Pickering’s positions and ahistorical understandings because, almost exactly a year ago, Pickering and a few of his like-minded public pals signed a letter published as an op-ed calling on this U.S. administration to stop allowing Israel to walk all over it.

You see, in the eyes of Pickering and his well-known Israel-despising co-signers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Siegman, Lee Hamilton, Frank Carlucci and Carla Hills, this administration should man up and stop allowing the world to think it shares Israel’s views about its security needs and its history. Also, time to jettison those annoying facts that support reality.

UNABASHED ZIONISM OF JUSTICE BRANDEIS

But first, you need to know what kind of Zionist Louis Brandeis was. While a secular Jew, Brandeis became an ardent and unabashed Zionist. Not only was he an early president of the Zionist Organization of America, but he believed in territorial control by the Jews of all the land promised for a Jewish State by Lord Balfour in 1917.

Louis Brandeis was a firm believer in helping to arm the Jews who were attempting to create a Jewish state. He insisted that the contours of the Jewish state had to extend to the north, to the “Litani watersheds” which is in the south of what is now Lebanon, and to the east, to the “plain of Jaulan Hauran,” which is now in northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria.

It is in the context of Justice Brandeis’s approach to Zionism that the letter written by Pickering and his fellow anti-Israel pen pals must be understood.

PICKERING PENS SHOCKINGLY ANTI-ISRAEL OP-ED

What follows are some of the more surprising snippets of that letter:

“The United States has allowed the impression that it supports a version of Israel’s security that entails Israeli control of all of Palestine’s [sic] borders and part of its territory.”

“Israel’s confiscation of what international law has clearly established as others’ territory,” Israel’s “illegal land grabs only add to the Palestinian and the larger Arab sense of injustice that Israel’s half-century-long occupation has already generated,” “No Palestinian leader could or would ever agree to a peace accord that entails turning over the Jordan Valley to Israeli control,” “these Israeli demands can hardly justify the permanent subjugation and disenfranchisement of a people  to which Israel refuses to grant citizenship in the Jewish state.”

The Israelis “do not have the right to demand that Palestinians abandon their own national narrative, and the United States should not be party to such a demand.”

The hate-filled five also mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that Israel was prepared to make “painful compromises” in his May 2011 speech to a joint session of Congress. According to The Five, every one of the painful compromises – “regarding territory, borders, security, resources, refugees or the location of the Palestinian state’s capital” are ones required of the Palestinian Arabs and “do not reflect any Israeli compromises.”

“Although Palestinians have conceded fully half of the territory assigned to them in the U.N.’s Partition Plan of 1947″ ignoring at least two monumental facts: one, there were no Arabs claiming to be “Palestinians” in 1947, so there was no assignment of land to “Palestinians,” but instead to undifferentiated Arabs in the region, and two, the Arabs to whom the land was assigned refused that assignment and instead chose to go to war rather than have any Jewish state at all in the region.

What are they talking about? There was no concessions by the Arabs, “Palestinians” or otherwise.  Instead, there was a humiliating defeat of the five Arab nations which attacked the tiny ragtag Jewish army and lost.

Pickering and his four pals, after ignoring history, reality, international law and facts, then cheered on what they consider to be the righteous Palestinian Arabs who “are not demanding a single square foot of Israeli territory beyond the June 6, 1967, line.”

So clueless about history are the Pickering plus four, that they again raise the “assigned” territory, attacking Netanyahu for daring to “establish equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian demands,” and insisting that Israel gets still more of the “78 percent of Palestine it already possesses.” Pickering and his pals call this “politically and morally unacceptable,” and demand that the United States “not be party to such efforts.”

BRANDEIS GRINDS IN

When asked why Brandeis chose to honor Pickering, a known anti-Israel public official, a member of the Brandeis Communications team came back – after requesting two extensions – with a woefully shallow response.

Bill Schaller, Brandeis’s “executive director of integrative media,” emailed back that Pickering has had a “long and diverse career, which has often included staunch advocacy for Israel.”

The one example of “staunch” Israeli advocacy Brandeis offered was Pickering’s “efforts to repeal the UN resolution regarding Zionism.”

That resolution, equating Zionism with racism, was passed in 1975 and was finally repealed in 1991.  So even by the University’s lights, Pickering’s last Zionist stand was 24 years ago. And while Pickering may have played a positive role in helping to revoke that heinous United Nations resolution – most people recall New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton as central players – his actions regarding the Jewish State within living memory are alarmingly hostile.

Even the United Nations at one time was not anti-Israel. But that world body is currently considered anti-Israel because of its recent history. Pickering should be judged similarly.

In its statement, Brandeis officials explained that it “engage[es] an outside firm to vet the candidates,” in addition to involving Board members and faculty.

Perhaps the university should consider engaging an outside firm to educate its board members and faculty on the namesake of their university.

The author of this article graduated from Brandeis University in 1980. To honor Justice Brandeis, she has torn up her diploma.

Obama: ‘Deal Ensures Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapons, Will Keep Israel Safe’

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Leopards do not change their spots and Iran’s radical Islamist government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism either. U.S. President Barack Obama apparently does, in fact, know that — he just doesn’t think it’s important enough to stop the U.S. from closing a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Why? Because he says he believes it’s the best way to keep everyone, including Israel, safe.

Actually, Obama believes the world powers led by the United States should close that deal precisely because the Iranian government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism. At least, that is the way Obama explained his reasoning in an interview Monday with NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. In the exclusive interview, he also said Israelis are right not to trust Iran, but that they can always trust America to be there to help protect them.

The interview was focused in its entirety on the issue of the nuclear deal worked out between U.S.-led world powers and Iran last week, and how it affects the rest of the world, particularly Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been especially critical of what he has called, from the start, a ‘bad deal” repeatedly urging the “P5+1” world powers to reconsider, and reformat the agreement into a “different, better deal.”

Netanyahu this week expressed his deep concern over the enhanced ability of Iran to promote its terror agenda with newly-increased funds earned when international sanctions are dropped as a result of the agreement.

But Obama told NPR he believes it is more important to keep the focus on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon – via the current agreement – than dealing with anything else Tehran is doing.

“I’ve been very forceful in saying that our differences with Iran don’t change if we make sure that they don’t have a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.

“They’re still going to be financing Hezbollah, they’re still supporting Assad dropping barrel bombs on children, they are still sending arms to the Houthis in Yemen that have helped destabilize the country.

“There are obvious differences in how we are approaching fighting ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq, despite the fact that there’s a common enemy there.

“So there’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran — and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime.

“But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment,” he said.

“The — I want to return to this point. We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That’s exactly why we don’t want [Iran] to have nuclear weapons. If suddenly Iran transformed itself into Germany or Sweden or France, there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.

“So, you know, the key here is not to somehow expect that Iran changes — although it is something that may end up being an important byproduct of this deal — but rather it is to make sure that we have a verifiable deal that takes off the table what would be a game-changer for them if in fact they possess nuclear weapons.

NPR: The demand that’s being made there, of course, underlies a broader concern that Israelis have. You’re suggesting implying through this nuclear that Israel must live another 10 or 15 years and longer with a country that is fundamentally opposed to the existence of Israel. How should Israelis think about Iran in the years to come?

Obama Espouses his Iran Strategy: If, If, If and Blind Hope

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Unofficial presidential spokesman and New York Time columnist Thomas Friedman interviewed President Barack Obama Saturday and unwittingly revealed a presidential strategy towards Iran that is based on plain hope and lots of conditional “ifs.”

In the interview under the title “The Obama Doctrine and Iran”, President Obama elevated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the clear leader in the campaign to bury the emerging deal that is supposed to make sure Iran cannot get its hands on a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Netanyahu already has led off a media blitz with interviews on several American television networks on Friday, a strong follow-up to his candid speech to a joint session of Congress last year in which he warned of a bad deal.

President Obama’s defense of last week’s temporary framework for a final agreement with Iran in June expressed his optimism and hope but did little to convince anyone who is undecided whether the emerging deal is worthwhile.

His assumption – giving it the old college try for diplomacy is better than trying force that cannot force Iran into submission – is the underlying difference in views between Israel and the president.

Obama assumes nothing can stop from getting a nuclear bomb if it wants it, and therefore it is best to try to engage it, change its personality, culture and character and maybe, just maybe, it will become a new creature.

Netanyahu and Israel, with more experience than the entire world when it comes to negotiating with the Muslim world, know that force, whether economic or military, is the only language it understands and that there is such a thing as Iran or an Arab country surrendering, even if they call it a cease-fire in order to uphold their honor.

One of President Obama’s weakest arguments in his interview with Friedman was that the policy of “engagement” has succeeded. After pointing out that Cuba does not threaten the United States but Iran does, he nevertheless compared them.

Obama said:

You take a country like Cuba. For us to test the possibility that engagement leads to a better outcome for the Cuban people, there aren’t that many risks for us. It’s a tiny little country. It’s not one that threatens our core security interests, and so [there’s no reason not] to test the proposition. And if it turns out that it doesn’t lead to better outcomes, we can adjust our policies.

The same is true with respect to Iran, a larger country, a dangerous country, one that has engaged in activities that resulted in the death of U.S. citizens, but the truth of the matter is: Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us. … You asked about an Obama doctrine. The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.

His entire defense of engagement with Iran is based on the defense budget. It is not clear why he even mentioned Cuba since he admitted there is no comparing the tiny country with Iran.

Friedman, Obama’s favorite interviewer, did not bother the president with nuisance questions, such as what followed the Obama administration’s engagement with Syria, for starters.

US President Barack Obama’s Belated Video Passover Greetings

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Official video Passover greetings from U.S. President Barack Obama to Jews around the world were posted to the Internet Saturday night – 24 hours after the start of the holiday and too late for American Orthodox Jews to have heard his message, since the holiday lasts 48 hours outside the Land of Israel.

The video greeting also came a day after Israeli Jews had already celebrated their own Passover seders as well.

An official press statement from the president on Passover was issued by the White House on April 3, however, in time for the first night of Passover.

Obama explained Saturday night in his video message that he and his family had held a Passover seder at the White House in solidarity with Jewish families celebrating the holiday.

“This weekend is a special weekend,” he said. “It’s a chance to spend time with family … and celebrate miracles in days gone by,” he said, “and to reflect on the blessings God has granted us in our lives.”

“On Friday night, I hosted a Passover seder at the White House. Michelle and I joined Jewish families in America, Israel and around the world as we retold the story of an awesome God who liberated the nation with a mighty Hand and an outstretched arm., and set them on their journey towards the Promised Land.

“The tale that has been passed down from generation to generation and it’s given strength and courage to countless men and women over the years – to Jews facing anti-Semitism, and to the brave young civil rights leaders who led our own country’s march towards justice and equality,” he said, managing to tuck the issue of America’s race relations even into a simple Passover greeting.

He then turned to the upcoming Christian observance of Easter, noting that on Sunday, Christians around the world would be celebrating the holiday.

“Easter is a day of hope, in a season of hope,” he said. It’s a reaffirmation of our belief, not just as Christians, but as Americans, that better days are always ahead of us…

“We believe that with common effort, and shared sacrifice, a brighter future is just around the bend. And we embrace our obligation to do something meaningful; something lasting with the precious time we’ve been allotted on this earth.

“So, to my Jewish friends, Happy Passover. To all Christians celebrating tomorrow, Happy Easter. And to every American, have a wonderful weekend.”

Iran Deal – First Thoughts

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Well, there’s no deal, but there is a framework. And what are those secret clauses anyway?

If Iran cheats, the world will know it. And then what?

Personally, I’m wondering how exactly sanctions are going to “snap back” when it’s discovered that Iran is cheating, and US companies are heavily invested in Iran. Just not happening.

Also, quite scary to officially learn that Iran is only 2 to 3 months away from a bomb – I think that’s even less time than Netanyahu thought. Who knows, maybe they have one already, and just have to assemble it.

So the bottom line is, Iran gets to keep their nuke program at a lower setting, and modernize parts of it into modern research facilities with world approval.

They get a massive investment of dollars over the coming years as sanctions get dropped to never be restored again, no matter what Iran violates.

And Iran gets to continue to aggressively take over the Middle East, but this time with more money.

While President Obama is sure we can trust Iran because of some imaginary, non-existent Iranian fatwa against nuclear weapons (a fatwa that allowed the Iranians to get within 2-3 months of having nuclear breakout capability).

Can anyone say “bad deal”?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/iran-deal-first-thoughts/2015/04/02/

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