Hudlin Entertainment Forum

Politics => Vox Populi => Topic started by: Reginald Hudlin on February 26, 2015, 07:40:17 am

Title: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 26, 2015, 07:40:17 am
Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
02/26/15 09:13 AM—UPDATED 02/26/15 09:37 AM

By Steve Benen
Secretary of State John Kerry testified on Capitol Hill yesterday, and going into the hearing, it was widely expected that he’d tout the importance of international nuclear talks with Iran. He did exactly that, though he also went a little further in challenging a critic of those talks.
Secretary of State John Kerry reminded Americans on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who is expected to denounce a potential nuclear deal with Iran during an address to Congress next week, also visited Washington in late 2002 to lobby for the invasion of Iraq.
 
Apparently referring to testimony on the Middle East that Mr. Netanyahu delivered to Congress on Sept. 12, 2002, when he was a private citizen, Mr. Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “The prime minister, as you will recall, was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush, and we all know what happened with that decision.”
In 2002, Netanyahu assured lawmakers that invading Iraq was a great idea. “If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region,” he said at the time.
 
We now know, of course, that Netanyahu’s guarantee was spectacularly wrong, which matters insofar as credibility still counts – the same Israeli leader is now telling lawmakers an international agreement with Iran would be a disaster for the United States and its allies. Kerry’s point wasn’t subtle: those who were this wrong before probably shouldn’t be trusted to be right now.
 
There’s something almost refreshing about this. Note, there’s nothing personal or even electoral about the administration’s message – Kerry didn’t offer some prolonged complaint about Netanyahu and the Israeli elections, or the unprecedented nature of the prime minister’s partnership with congressional Republicans.
 
It’s far more straightforward. Netanyahu has positioned himself as a participant in a policy debate and, at the same time, he’s claiming great credibility on the subject matter. The White House is responding in kind, treating Netanyahu as a policy rival.
 
What’s wrong with this? Actually, nothing.
 
We’re accustomed to foreign heads of state, at least publicly, approaching these kinds of disagreements with great care and delicacy, but the Israeli leader has forgone the usual route and is engaging in a fight as if he were just another political pugilist.
 
Netanyahu effectively told Obama and his team, “I’m going to try to derail American foreign policy,” to which administration officials have replied, “And we’re going to try to stop you.”
 
In yesterday’s case, that meant doing a little research and presenting lawmakers with a reminder about Netanyahu’s track record.
 
Kerry’s comments came soon after Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) announced he will not attend the Israeli prime minister’s speech next week, calling the event “highly inappropriate.” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who is Jewish and represents a district with a large Jewish population, also said yesterday she’ll skip the joint-session address, criticizing “the ham-handed politics” surrounding the Netanyahu/Republican partnership.
 
Barring an unexpected change, the Israeli leader will be on the House floor for his speech on Tuesday, March 3. As of yesterday, 25 House Democrats and four members of the Senate Democratic caucus have said they will not be there.
 
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on February 26, 2015, 03:07:03 pm
Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
02/26/15 09:13 AM—UPDATED 02/26/15 09:37 AM

By Steve Benen
 
Barring an unexpected change, the Israeli leader will be on the House floor for his speech on Tuesday, March 3. As of yesterday, 25 House Democrats and four members of the Senate Democratic caucus have said they will not be there.





If I were a Democratic member of Congress, I wouldn't be there either.  Hell... if I were a whiney,  wimpy racist republican conservative member of Congress, I wouldn't show up.

Who the hell wants to be the traitor that sits with the House Speaker who thinks his authority is above both the President and the Vice president of the United States by fraudulently jumping the Line of Succession by inviting an [uninvited] world leader to speak in Congress (or the House) without consulting the President, thereby officially undermining his[President Barack Obama] authority.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on February 26, 2015, 11:14:04 pm
Bibi: Why I'm Speaking to Congress
By: Benjamin Netanyahu
2/18/15

Excerpted from the Israeli prime minister’s remarks Monday in Jerusalem to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Why am I going to Washington? Because, as prime minister of Israel, it’s my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel.

The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to build its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.

A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims.

Now mind you, I’m not opposed to any deal with Iran. I’m opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal.

I’m certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary: No country has a greater stake in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel.

But the current proposal won’t solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And so it’s very important that I speak about this in Washington.

Why am I going to Congress? Because Israel has been offered the chance to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime — the very pressure that brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place, and because Congress may well have a say on any final deal.

I think the real question is: How could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel’s survival?

How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24. That date drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case — before it’s too late.

Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after it’s signed? It’s more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while they’re still ongoing.

The whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. We were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldn’t even speak on our own behalf. Well, now we can and we do.

The answer to all three questions is the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal on the table right now.

I don’t see this in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all supporters of Israel of every political stripe.

The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, that’s not a partisan issue either.

The pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with weapons of mass destruction.

Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison.

Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now — that’s what Iran is doing, it’s conducting a rampage through the region — when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril.

Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing — and Iran is plunging forward. It already controls four capitals.

It’s trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles — Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and now it’s trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan.

With nuclear weapons, such a regime would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I don’t know. No one knows.

But I do know this — it’s my sacred duty as prime minister of Israel to make Israel’s case. On March 3, I’ll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress.

And I’ll make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on February 27, 2015, 03:34:44 am
Didn't read a single word from that 'wall of text'.

I stand with President Obama before I acknowledge what someone from somewhere else, who has overstepped their boundary to get re-elected has to say.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 27, 2015, 05:57:41 am
Bibi: Why I'm Speaking to Congress
By: Benjamin Netanyahu
2/18/15

Excerpted from the Israeli prime minister’s remarks Monday in Jerusalem to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Why am I going to Washington? Because, as prime minister of Israel, it’s my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel.

The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to build its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.

A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims.

Now mind you, I’m not opposed to any deal with Iran. I’m opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal.

I’m certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary: No country has a greater stake in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel.

But the current proposal won’t solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And so it’s very important that I speak about this in Washington.

Why am I going to Congress? Because Israel has been offered the chance to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime — the very pressure that brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place, and because Congress may well have a say on any final deal.

I think the real question is: How could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel’s survival?

How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24. That date drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case — before it’s too late.

Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after it’s signed? It’s more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while they’re still ongoing.

The whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. We were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldn’t even speak on our own behalf. Well, now we can and we do.

The answer to all three questions is the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal on the table right now.

I don’t see this in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all supporters of Israel of every political stripe.

The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, that’s not a partisan issue either.

The pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with weapons of mass destruction.

Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison.

Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now — that’s what Iran is doing, it’s conducting a rampage through the region — when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril.

Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing — and Iran is plunging forward. It already controls four capitals.

It’s trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles — Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and now it’s trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan.

With nuclear weapons, such a regime would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I don’t know. No one knows.

But I do know this — it’s my sacred duty as prime minister of Israel to make Israel’s case. On March 3, I’ll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress.

And I’ll make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.
So even though it's clear he's insulting the president and has no chance of getting bipartisan support, he's moving ahead anyway.  What strategic purpose is this?  To look tough to the voters at home?  Let's not pretend this is about policy anymore.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on February 27, 2015, 06:58:14 am
So even though it's clear he's insulting the president and has no chance of getting bipartisan support, he's moving ahead anyway.  What strategic purpose is this?  To look tough to the voters at home?  Let's not pretend this is about policy anymore.




Thank you, sir. (http://www.rubicondev.com/forum/images/smilies/41.gif)(http://www.rubicondev.com/forum/images/smilies/41.gif)(http://www.rubicondev.com/forum/images/smilies/41.gif)


Futhermore, netanyahu is bullying his way with this move anyway... at what cost?
At the stability of our own military?  ???
The Chain of Command (similar to the Line of Succession) was a code that was established by Congress with the approval of the President long before boenhner's mother had that 'glow in her eye'.  (http://www.rubicondev.com/forum/images/smilies/5.gif)
Every day, displinary customs are conducted by all branches of our military; almost all violations of those sessions are centered around Chain of Command. Hell, ANY organization recognizes Chain of Command or Line of Succession, from organized crime groups like mafia to perceived terrorists groups.

If this man walks into Congress and those cameras record this violation, republican members of Congress are a sending the message to all branches of our military that any subordinate service member can jump the chain of command in the same manner that boehner has done to the president of the United States and when misconduct happens in such a organization, frequently, then there's anarchy.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on February 27, 2015, 07:01:29 am
Bibi: Why I'm Speaking to Congress
By: Benjamin Netanyahu
2/18/15

Excerpted from the Israeli prime minister’s remarks Monday in Jerusalem to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Why am I going to Washington? Because, as prime minister of Israel, it’s my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel.

The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to build its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.

A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims.

Now mind you, I’m not opposed to any deal with Iran. I’m opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal.

I’m certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary: No country has a greater stake in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel.

But the current proposal won’t solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And so it’s very important that I speak about this in Washington.

Why am I going to Congress? Because Israel has been offered the chance to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime — the very pressure that brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place, and because Congress may well have a say on any final deal.

I think the real question is: How could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel’s survival?

How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24. That date drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case — before it’s too late.

Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after it’s signed? It’s more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while they’re still ongoing.

The whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. We were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldn’t even speak on our own behalf. Well, now we can and we do.

The answer to all three questions is the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal on the table right now.

I don’t see this in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all supporters of Israel of every political stripe.

The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, that’s not a partisan issue either.

The pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with weapons of mass destruction.

Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison.

Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now — that’s what Iran is doing, it’s conducting a rampage through the region — when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril.

Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing — and Iran is plunging forward. It already controls four capitals.

It’s trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles — Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and now it’s trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan.

With nuclear weapons, such a regime would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I don’t know. No one knows.

But I do know this — it’s my sacred duty as prime minister of Israel to make Israel’s case. On March 3, I’ll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress.

And I’ll make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.
So even though it's clear he's insulting the president and has no chance of getting bipartisan support, he's moving ahead anyway.  What strategic purpose is this?  To look tough to the voters at home?  Let's not pretend this is about policy anymore.
President Obama wants to distract people from the substance. Because he is fully aware what he is doing with Iran. That is why this entire matter is being spun to disparage Netanyahu and Israel.

Netanyahu waited until the White House was informed of the invitation, and he heard no objection, before accepting the Congressional invitation. 

The real issue is IRAN. And its NUKES. That is what needs to be focused on.  Not stupid political egos.  THE REAL ISSUES AT STAKE ARE FAR TOO IMPORTANT HERE.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on February 27, 2015, 07:42:21 am
President Obama wants to distract people from the substance. Because he is fully aware what he is doing with Iran. That is why this entire matter is being spun to disparage Netanyahu and Israel.

Netanyahu waited until the White House was informed of the invitation, and he heard no objection, before accepting the Congressional invitation. 

The real issue is IRAN. And its NUKES. That is what needs to be focused on.  Not stupid political egos.  THE REAL ISSUES AT STAKE ARE FAR TOO IMPORTANT HERE.

This doesn't seem like a correct assessment to me. There is certainly disagreement on policy toward Iran. It's a disagreement about approach; I'm pretty sure no one supports Iran having nukes. I expect that the administration is fully aware of what it's doing and that it believes it's doing the right thing.

Are you saying that you are shocked that there are politics going on around policy? Of course both sides are trying to position themselves as best they can to advocate for their policy approach. I thought that was the thrust of the article.

Netanyahu has not been able to persuade the Obama administration at the state level and is in fact interacting in US domestic politics at the invitation of House Speaker Boehner. I don't blame him actually; he was invited. I don't think it's likely to work out well for him in terms of his policy aims. It might work out for him in terms of Israeli domestic politics, i.e. his re-election bid.

All in all, it seems like politics as usual to me. He and and the Republican party (and obviously you too, Michael) disagree with the administration on policy towards Iran. Reasonable people can differ as there is no clear right and wrong here. It does seem unreasonable to expect the administration not to conduct and defend its policies. 

So I'm not sure of what specifically you are accusing the President. Surely you don't think his administration is not trying to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? Even if you disagree with the manner they are going about it.

While the administration may be trying to neutralize Netanyahu in this matter, why do you claim they are "disparaging Netanyahu and Israel"? Seriously, I don't see it, especially the Israel part.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 01, 2015, 11:02:17 pm
Curtis, I agree with your evaluation of Netanyahu's actions.

From what I understand, the "deal" the President wishes to strike with Iran will put the Islamic Republic on the threshold of developing nuclear weapons and will not inhibit its ability to develop long-range missiles.

As to the President's attitude: I believe that the real threat posed by Iran, or by the Muslim Brotherhood, are not near the top of the President's radar. Indeed, he has acted like a cheerleader for the Muslim Brotherhood during the so-called Arab Spring, and thereafter, while treating those opposed more harshly.  Which is why there is now a real risk that Egypt, after overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood, will move to the Russian sphere of influence.

Would President Obama "prefer" that Iran not get nukes? I suppose so. But preferences, and degrees of magnitude of opposition (with resulting policy options you are seriously willing to consider), makes all the difference in the world.  My sense is that he believes that we can live in a world peacefully with a nuclear-armed Iran, if necessary.  And if the choice is military intervention today, or ... living with a nuclear-armed Iran tomorrow, our current president will always choose the latter.

I believe that President Obama is a Man of the Left, as is John Kerry, and accordingly, throughout much of their political lives, both have viewed U.S. Imperialism and European Colonialism as gravest of evils. After eight years of the Obama Administration, the ability of the United States to engage in "acts of imperialism" will have been substantially reduced.  A victory for the "good guys" ... from the viewpoint of a leftist. Similarly, judging by the behavior of Mr. Kerry during the "Gaza War" this summer, on behalf of the Administration, I have no doubt that the Administration's sympathies for Israel are weak at the very best, but that for political reasons the most the Administration can do is disparage the Israeli "government" while professing continued commitment to the State of Israel. The polls of self-described "Progressives" is consistent with this backing away from Israel (again, at best).

Finally, I believe the last thing President Obama wants is full and open debate of his Iranian policies.  In their specifics. The last thing he wants is for the American People to hear what Netanyahu has to say.  That is why this has turned into an egoistic political sideshow, to distract Americans from the real issues.  I've heard (though I've not verified) that the President has scheduled a speech for the same time.  If true, that shows the lengths he is willing to go to try to block Netanyahu's message.  (If not true, and he's not scheduled a conflicting speech, then ... obviously this specific point is moot; though the general observation is not).

My perception is reinforced by Reg's comment that this is not about the real issues, when of course it is, and Battle's demand that in servitude to the President we should not even read a presentation of the real issues.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 01, 2015, 11:25:38 pm
If Netanyahu is trying to get Americans to focus on "the issues" he has utterly failed.  This has become another in a long line of litmus tests about how people feel about the president.  If you support him, you find this insulting, which includes big supporters of Israel.  If you don't like him, it's a stick it to the man moment.  The conversation never rises about that level. 
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 02, 2015, 06:41:47 am
If Netanyahu is trying to get Americans to focus on "the issues" he has utterly failed.  This has become another in a long line of litmus tests about how people feel about the president.  If you support him, you find this insulting, which includes big supporters of Israel.  If you don't like him, it's a stick it to the man moment.  The conversation never rises about that level.

If the President and his supporters have their way, you will be right.  And the result will be an Islamic Republic of Iran that can break out as a nuclear power anytime it wants, with ample centrifuges and clandestine facilities, and with the delivery of those payloads facilitated by well-developed long-range missiles  And also by terrorist allies. The world will forever be changed.  Congratulations.

Armageddon, here we come.

Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 02, 2015, 08:32:42 am
Curtis, I agree with your evaluation of Netanyahu's actions.

From what I understand, the "deal" the President wishes to strike with Iran will put the Islamic Republic on the threshold of developing nuclear weapons and will not inhibit its ability to develop long-range missiles.

As to the President's attitude: I believe that the real threat posed by Iran, or by the Muslim Brotherhood, are not near the top of the President's radar. Indeed, he has acted like a cheerleader for the Muslim Brotherhood during the so-called Arab Spring, and thereafter, while treating those opposed more harshly.  Which is why there is now a real risk that Egypt, after overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood, will move to the Russian sphere of influence.

Would President Obama "prefer" that Iran not get nukes? I suppose so. But preferences, and degrees of magnitude of opposition (with resulting policy options you are seriously willing to consider), makes all the difference in the world.  My sense is that he believes that we can live in a world peacefully with a nuclear-armed Iran, if necessary.  And if the choice is military intervention today, or ... living with a nuclear-armed Iran tomorrow, our current president will always choose the latter.

I believe that President Obama is a Man of the Left, as is John Kerry, and accordingly, throughout much of their political lives, both have viewed U.S. Imperialism and European Colonialism as gravest of evils. After eight years of the Obama Administration, the ability of the United States to engage in "acts of imperialism" will have been substantially reduced.  A victory for the "good guys" ... from the viewpoint of a leftist. Similarly, judging by the behavior of Mr. Kerry during the "Gaza War" this summer, on behalf of the Administration, I have no doubt that the Administration's sympathies for Israel are weak at the very best, but that for political reasons the most the Administration can do is disparage the Israeli "government" while professing continued commitment to the State of Israel. The polls of self-described "Progressives" is consistent with this backing away from Israel (again, at best).

Finally, I believe the last thing President Obama wants is full and open debate of his Iranian policies.  In their specifics. The last thing he wants is for the American People to hear what Netanyahu has to say.  That is why this has turned into an egoistic political sideshow, to distract Americans from the real issues.  I've heard (though I've not verified) that the President has scheduled a speech for the same time.  If true, that shows the lengths he is will to go to try to block Netanyahu's message.  (If not true, and he's not scheduled a conflicting speech, then ... obviously this specific point is moot; though the general observation is not).

My perception is reinforced by Reg's comment that this is not about the real issues, when of course it is, and Battle's demand that in servitude to the President we should not even read a presentation of the real issues.


Emphasis mine above. I think this is an honest post from you. How your perceive the situation is determined by your beliefs about President Obama and his administration.

None of us have any insider information about the President's intent or the details of the current negotiations with Iran. Or the expertise to fully comprehend the details around nuclear capability.

I believe in the President's intent and integrity to represent the interests of the US and the world in this matter and you do not. I am willing to allow the administration to conduct foreign policy and evaluate the results instead of disparaging them and him in advance. You're in good company; I believe your position is similar to that of the Republican party. (Unless some of them are simply engaged in cynical partisan politics.)

If you believe that the administration is ok with a nuclear Iran,  there's nothing to discuss here. We'll just have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 02, 2015, 08:35:01 am
If Netanyahu is trying to get Americans to focus on "the issues" he has utterly failed.  This has become another in a long line of litmus tests about how people feel about the president.  If you support him, you find this insulting, which includes big supporters of Israel.  If you don't like him, it's a stick it to the man moment.  The conversation never rises about that level.

Sadly, I have to agree with this assessment. I see no substantive discussion of "the issues" taking place in public. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place but there certainly doesn't seem to be widespread meaningful discussion.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 02, 2015, 11:52:58 am
Thanks for your comments, Curtis. Yeh, weve gotta agree to disagree.

As to not hearing substantive discussions, the easiest way to get an introduction will be to listen to what Netanyahu has to say in his speech before Congress. I'm sure he will get into some specifics. I'm sure his hope is that some Representatives and Senators, as well as members of the American Public, will listen to the substance.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on March 02, 2015, 02:10:29 pm
The last time someone (conservative republicans ) made a case claiming that a Muslim country was preparing to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction and that the U.S. should be involved, well...

We all know that turned out.  :(

So now, the republicans are attempting to have someone from somewhere else do their 'dirty work'...
--- again!
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 02, 2015, 03:38:13 pm
Netanyahu’s Visit Bringing Uninvited Problems for Jewish Democrats
By JONATHAN WEISMANMARCH 1, 2015

WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner’s unilateral invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to address Congress on Tuesday has turned a foreign policy issue that has had near unanimous support in both parties — Israel — into a bruising political showdown.

And nowhere has that transformation been more wrenching than among Jewish members of Congress — all but one of them Democratic — who seem to reflect the dismay of the nation’s larger Jewish community over the House speaker’s action.

“I went out to play golf — I never play golf — with three of my Jewish buddies,” recalled Representative Alan Lowenthal, a Jewish Democrat from Southern California who only this weekend decided he will attend Mr. Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress. “One said, ‘You must go,’ one said, ‘You definitely should not go,’ and one said, ‘I’m in the middle.’ That literally reflects the American Jewish community.”

Through foreign policy trials as difficult as the wars in Gaza and Lebanon, Israeli settlement policies, Arab terrorism, and the repeated failures of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Jews in Congress — and to a large extent, Jews in the United States — have spoken in a near-monolithic voice, always in support of the government of Israel.

But the Boehner-Netanyahu alliance has done something that larger foreign policy crises have not: It has led to the open distinction between support for the State of Israel and allegiance to politicians who lead it.

“It’s a tipping-point moment,” said Rabbi John Rosove, an outspoken liberal and head of Temple Israel of Hollywood. “It’s no longer the Israeli government, right or wrong. The highest form of patriotism and loyalty is to criticize from a place of love.”

Representative John Yarmuth, a Jewish Democrat from Kentucky, foresees the prime minister castigating the foreign policy of President Obama, playing to a raucous, supportive audience that he will not be part of.

Representative Brad Sherman, a Jewish Democrat from California, anticipates the same divisive scene, but he, like most congressional Democrats, will attend.

Mr. Lowenthal warned Sunday that if Mr. Netanyahu “crosses the line” and criticizes the president directly, he will not hesitate to speak out after the speech.

So far, 30 Democrats — four senators and 26 representatives — have said they will not attend the speech. Nearly half are African-Americans, who say they feel deeply that Mr. Netanyahu is disrespecting the president by challenging his foreign policy. But a half-dozen of those Democrats planning to stay away are Jewish, and represent 21 percent of Congress’s Jewish members.

“I stand with Israel, always have stood with Israel, and always will, but this speech is not about Israel,” said Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who accused the prime minister of politicking in Congress with an eye on Israel’s March 17 election. “Netanyahu is not Israel just like George W. Bush wasn’t America.”

Mr. Boehner — seemingly ready to try to separate Jewish voters from the Democratic Party they have long favored — remains resolute about his decision. He is also open about his hope that Mr. Netanyahu’s address will undermine the Obama administration’s efforts to negotiate an accord with Iran that halts that nation’s nuclear program.

“What I do wonder is why the White House feels threatened because the Congress wants to support Israel and wants to hear what a trusted ally has to say,” Mr. Boehner said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And it’s been frankly remarkable to me the extent to which, over the last five or six weeks, the White House has attacked the prime minister.”

Congress’s lone Jewish Republican, freshman Representative Lee Zeldin of New York, sounded what was once a bipartisan sentiment.

“Regardless of whether you are Jewish or not Jewish, Republican or Democrat, if you greatly value having the strongest relationship possible with Israel, welcoming the Israeli prime minister to America with open arms should be something members fully embrace,” he said. “It is an opportunity to let not just the Israeli prime minister know, but the Israeli people know, that America is united in strengthening our relationship with Israel.”

To some Jews in Congress, the rupture has been a long time coming. Mr. Netanyahu’s leaning toward Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election signaled his willingness to align his conservative Likud Party with the Republican Party, yet his government’s support in Congress remained overwhelming and bipartisan.

But to many Democrats, this time Mr. Netanyahu appears to have gone out of his way to alienate them. On Feb. 13, Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, spoke with the Israeli leader, suggesting that he drop his public speech and instead meet in a closed session with both parties to discuss his misgivings about the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program. He told her that he would consider it.

“I haven’t heard from him since,” she said.

Last week, two Senate Democrats, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Dianne Feinstein of California, suggested another private meeting. Again, Mr. Netanyahu declined.

“Israel is our ally. We support the State of Israel, but these kinds of actions, coming here to speak against the president?” said Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, who will not attend Tuesday’s speech. “There are members who feel they have to choose between John Boehner and Bibi Netanyahu on one hand and President Barack Obama. That is an unfair place to be put in.”

Ms. Feinstein, who is Jewish and one of her party’s leading voices on national security, said Sunday: “There’s a lot of broken crockery. Now the question is how much broken crockery. The country relationship is sure to stand. The people relationship, that’s a different story.”

Still, most Jewish Democrats are quicker to blame the Republican speaker for the controversy than the conservative prime minister.

“Call me naïve, but I think Netanyahu was railroaded here,” Representative Steve Israel, Democrat of New York, said.

Beyond Capitol Hill, the larger Jewish community is equally vexed. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, the pro-Israel lobby that opened its annual policy conference here on Sunday, has pressed Democrats — especially Jewish Democrats — hard to attend, openly worried about the partisanship entering American-Israeli relations.

“As I’m sure everyone knows, the invitation for this speech has been surrounded in controversy which has taken a partisan tone,” an Aipac official wrote in an email urging members to pressure Democrats to attend. “With the hyped news headlines, many of our friends on the Democratic side of the aisle are under significant pressure not to attend the speech from groups who are primarily partisan in nature and see the invitation as an offense to President Obama.”

J Street, which bills itself as the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby, has taken out full-page newspaper advertisements demanding that the speech be postponed.

The Orthodox Union, an umbrella organization for Orthodox Jewry, released a statement urging “all members of Congress and Americans who care deeply about American and global security to respectfully and carefully listen to the unique perspective of the elected leader of our key ally — Israel.”

Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the speech should be canceled.

“For some time, there has been a greater diversity of viewpoints on Israel issues within Israel than within the American Jewish community,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, a Jewish Democrat from California who will attend. “You’re now starting to see more diversity of opinion in the pro-Israel community here.”

To Mr. Israel, the New York Democrat, that is not a positive development. Jewish philanthropic organizations can channel donations from American Jews to nongovernmental organizations in Israel, but United States aid will always be predominantly government to government. Mr. Israel said the last thing Israel — or the Democratic Party — needed was political tension over American aid to Israel.

“When you separate Israel from the policies of its government, it complicates the matter for Congress,” Mr. Israel said.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 02, 2015, 03:43:33 pm
An Israeli Insult

Benjamin Netanyahu is risking U.S.-Israeli relations on partisan politics. It’s revolting and dangerous.

By William Saletan


Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is coming to the United States. On Tuesday, he’ll address a joint session of Congress. Netanyahu wants to rally Americans against President Obama’s plan for a nuclear agreement with Iran. He’s coming here at the unilateral invitation of congressional Republicans, in defiance of warnings from the White House.

Nothing like this has ever happened before. The opposition party is convening a special session of Congress so that a foreign leader, on the floor of our national legislature, can rebuke the foreign policy of our president.

The breach is bad enough. But the story of how it happened, and the hostility and disrespect behind it, are worse. Israel negotiated the speaking engagement with aides to House Speaker John Boehner for at least 13 days without telling the White House. Not until the morning of Jan. 21—a day after the plan was sealed, and two hours before it was announced publicly—did Boehner inform the administration.

Boehner made clear that the invitation’s purpose was to counter Obama’s message and challenge his policies. He cited the president’s State of the Union address, delivered the previous evening. “I did not consult with the White House. The Congress can make this decision on its own,” the speaker declared. “There’s a serious threat that exists in the world. And the president last night kind of papered over it.”

The White House, blindsided, expressed its dismay. “The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he’s traveling there,” said Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest. “So this particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol.”

Netanyahu was undeterred. On Jan. 22, he announced that he was accepting the invitation. He claimed it had been extended “on behalf of the bipartisan leadership” in Congress.

Republicans are convening a special session of Congress so that a foreign leader can rebuke the foreign policy of our president.
Democrats corrected him. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said they hadn’t been consulted. “It’s out of the ordinary that the speaker would decide that he would be inviting people to a joint session without any bipartisan consultation,” said Pelosi. She added: “I don’t think that’s appropriate, for any country, that the head of state would come here within two weeks of his own election.”

The White House announced that if Netanyahu came, Obama wouldn’t meet with him. “The President will not be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu because of the proximity to the Israeli election, which is just two weeks after his planned address to the U.S. Congress,” said a statement from the National Security Council. The State Department added that Secretary of State John Kerry wouldn’t meet with Netanyahu either. The White House noted that Obama opposed legislation—which Boehner and Netanyahu supported—to impose further sanctions on Iran. The statement explained: “The President has been clear about his opposition to Congress passing new legislation on Iran that could undermine our negotiations and divide the international community.”

Netanyahu pushed right back. On Jan. 25, Israel’s Army Radio disclosed new talking points issued by Netanyahu’s party, Likud. The talking points instructed party members to emphasize that Congress could override Obama’s veto of a sanctions bill. This was the prime minister’s objective: to marshal Congress against the president.

Boehner called Netanyahu the perfect man for the job. In interviews with CBS News on Jan. 25 and Fox News on Jan. 28, Boehner said he had invited Netanyahu to highlight threats Obama was ignoring. The speaker was asked whether the Obama administration felt “antipathy” toward Netanyahu. “Of course there is,” he replied. “They don’t even try to hide it.”
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 02, 2015, 06:40:39 pm
OK ... so let me get this straight. The Prime Minister of an ally of the United States, Israel, gets information leading him to believe that a very bad "deal" is about to be struck with the fanatic ideologically-driven Mullahs of Iran (who have sworn to wipe the Prime Minister's country off the map). His people could face complete extermination (every man, woman and child) if the "deal" is as bad as he fears and Iran acquires nuclear weapons.  His government has no sympathetic ears in the most senior levels of the State Department.  His government's contingency plans to militarily strike the Iranian nuclear facilities are openly sabotaged by the American Administration. He is invited by Congress to express his concerns to Congress and the American People and, after the President is informed and does not initially object, accepts the invitation.

Oh ... the shame of it.  :P

If only these partisan tools could bring themselves to look at the substance of what is at stake ... not only for Israel, but for the United States as well.  Because we are literally dealing with life and death on a massive scale.  Not only in the Middle East, but potentially worldwide. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons and long-range missiles or terrorist means of delivery.

That is the real shame.

In case the authors of the above artices are unaware, a lot of the people of Israel are worried sick. For very good reason.

Given what is at stake, the partisan political blathering in the articles above seems, to me, to be inane beyond belief.  To the point that it makes me feel ill.

The only thing I can suggest here is for anyone with half an open mind to listen to what the Prime Minister has to say.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 02, 2015, 09:39:38 pm
Ironically, Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech is on March 3rd.  The evening of March 3rd this year is the 13th of Adar.  The day when the Fast of Esther commences.  This fast day commemorates the fast of the Jewish People in Ancient Persia, 2500 years ago, to avert the king's decree that every Jewish man, woman and child be exterminated.  Ancient Persia is, of course, modern Iran.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 03, 2015, 05:40:48 am
If only these partisan tools could bring themselves to look at the substance of what is at stake ... not only for Israel, but for the United States as well.  Because we are literally dealing with life and death on a massive scale.  Not only in the Middle East, but potentially worldwide. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons and long-range missiles or terrorist means of delivery.

That is the real shame.

In case the authors of the above artices are unaware, a lot of the people of Israel are worried sick. For very good reason.

Given what is at stake, the partisan political blathering in the articles above seems, to me, to be inane beyond belief.  To the point that it makes me feel ill.

The only thing I can suggest here is for anyone with half an open mind to listen to what the Prime Minister has to say.

You left out the Republican congressional leadership who created this situation for partisan reasons. I don't actually blame Netanyahu for accepting the invitation but make no mistake, he is being drawn into US domestic politics.

Today is the day. We'll hear what he has to say.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 03, 2015, 07:46:47 am
A song of ascents by David. Were it not for the Lord who was with us - let Israel declare - were it not for the Lord who was with us when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive in their burning rage against us.  Then the waters would have inundated us, the torrent would have swept over our soul; then the raging waters would have surged over our soul. Blessed is the Lord who did not permit us to be prey to their teeth. Our soul is like a bird which has escaped from the fowler's snare; the snare broke and we escaped. Our help is in the Name of the Lord, the Maker of the heaven and the earth.

Psalm 124

May it be His Will.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 03, 2015, 09:29:40 pm
Americans Rally Around The President As Obama Approval Jumps 5 Points Thanks To Netanyahu

By: Jason Easleymore from Jason Easley
Tuesday, March, 3rd, 2015, 8:00 pm

Since Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu arrived in the U.S., President Obama’s approval rating has increased by 5 points in the Gallup poll.

From February 26-28, President Obama’s approval rating was 44% in the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll. The president’s disapproval rating was 51%. Once Netanyahu’s arrived in the United States, President Obama’s approval rating jumped to 49%, and his disapproval rating fell to 47%.

There were signs that the Republican handling of the Netanyahu invitation was not playing well with many Americans. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released yesterday found that by a margin of 48%-30%, registered voters said that John Boehner should have talked to President Obama before inviting Netanyahu.
 
A February 17, CNN poll found overwhelming opposition to the way that Speaker Boehner handled the invitation. Sixty-three percent of respondents felt that it was a bad move for Boehner to invite Netanyahu without giving Obama a head’s up, and only 52% of Republicans supported Boehner not notifying Obama first before inviting Netanyahu.

The Netanyahu speech has not worked out the way that Republicans had hoped it would. Speaker Boehner invited Netanyahu as a power play that was designed to get congressional Republicans back on track after a disastrous first few months in the majority. It appears that the speech has done the exact opposite.

Instead of making Obama look weak, the Republican behavior has helped to solidify some support behind the president. Bringing in the leader of a foreign country, even one with such broad support as Israel, to attack the President Of The United States doesn’t appear to sit well with many Americans.

The intensity of the Republican dislike of this president will always hold down his poll numbers, but the last thing that Republicans expected when they invited Netanyahu to speak is that his presence in the U.S. would boost the president’s popularity.

The Netanyahu speech is quickly becoming another Republican attempt to humiliate this president that is blowing up in their faces.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 03, 2015, 09:56:31 pm
More idiotic politics.

"Blowing up in their faces" is an apt metaphor, but not for the reason the myopic author thinks.

As the old saying goes: "Man plans, and God laughs."

I can only hope that there is a Greater Purpose to what is inevitably going to happen.

Hope ... and pray.

Tomorrow is a fast day. 
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 04, 2015, 05:22:17 am
GUARDIAN:

Israeli papers react to Netanyahu speech with shrugs and cynicism
Warning to US Congress is more about his re-election than about arms control, say some commentators

Israeli opposition figures and columnists reacted to Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress with a combination of shrugs and cynicism. Some suggested it had more served his desire for re-election than for stopping Iran’s nuclear programme.

In his fiery speech on Tuesday, Netanyahu urged Congress to resist an emerging deal to contain Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons. “The foremost sponsor of international terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons – and this with full international legitimacy,” he said. “That’s why this deal is so bad: it doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”


Iran nuclear deal 'will be a farewell to arms control', Netanyahu tells Congress
 Read more
Responding to suggestions by Barack Obama that the deal may initially only be in place for the next 10 years, Netanyahu said: “A decade may seem a long time in political world but it’s a blink of an eye in the life of a nation.”

As Netanyahu flew home from Washington, the opposition leader Isaac Herzog derided the Israeli prime minister’s claim to know what was going on in the US-led nuclear negotiations with Iran, accusing him of estranging the world powers involved in the talks and making an Iranian bomb more likely.

“The issue of the Iranian nuclear programme is complicated,” said Herzog. “I also do not have any idea what is going on there, but the prime minister’s policy is driving them to a bomb.

“Over the past two years, all the speeches notwithstanding, Iran has succeeded in becoming a country on the brink of nuclear capabilities. Because, those very leaders of the world powers are no longer listening to the position that he represents and this speech has only exacerbated the estrangement.”

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A number of Israeli columnists in the Hebrew media asked what – despite the standing ovations in Congress and flights of rhetoric – Netanyahu had achieved, with some suggesting that the PM had done serious damage to US-Israeli relations.

Among them was Shlomo Shamir, in the daily tabloid Maariv, who wrote: “Not only will his speech in Congress not slow down or delay the negotiations between the US and Iran, it will accelerate them.

“His performance was also not exactly in keeping with his declaration two days ago, to wit, that he had great respect for the president and the office of the presidency. To heap praise on Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador in Washington, in front of the thousands of listeners, is not exactly an act of respect and admiration towards the White House. Dermer is the figure most despised by the upper-echelon White House staff.”

In an editorial on the speech, the leftwing Haaretz accused Netanyahu of ignoring the greatest threat to Israeli democracy: the continued occupation of Palestinian land.

Even in the rightwing Jerusalem Post, the response was to wonder about the fuss, with the political analyst Herb Keinon opining: “Netanyahu’s speech came and went. The negotiations with Iran will continue. The US-Israel relationship will remain strong. The sun will come up tomorrow.

“The true questions and tests will arise when and if an Israeli prime minister ever finds his back to the wall and feels compelled to do more against Iran’s nuclear programme than ‘just’ address the US Congress.”

Others wondered what the impact of the speech would be on Israel’s elections in two weeks’ time, with some suggesting that it might be short-lived. Perhaps most damning was the assessment of Nahum Barnea, in Yedioth Ahronoth – a mass-circulation daily regarded as largely hostile to Netanyahu – which said he had alienated the very Democrats that Israel would need if it wanted tougher sanctions on Iran.

“Netanyahu’s speech yesterday did not enlist the Democrats, rather it pushed them away: for example, take the reaction of [Democratic House minority leader, Nancy] Pelosi, a prominent supporter of Israel. The conclusion: it was not the Iranian centrifuges that Netanyahu had in mind yesterday, but rather the polling stations in Israel.”

Predicting that the speech would be a flash in the pan, Barnea concluded: “Snow still covers the edges of the sidewalks in Washington. Winter refuses to end. The impression of the speech, it seems, will melt much faster than the snow.”

On Wednesday the US and Iranian foreign ministers began a third day of talks over Iran’s nuclear programme. John Kerry, the US secretary of state, and Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif resumed their discussions in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux, hoping to work out a framework deal by late March.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 04, 2015, 06:11:18 am
Shocking that a newspaper like the Guardian, historically anti-Israel, would cherry pick quotes from Netanyahu's political opponents and opposition newspapers, and even cherry-pick quotes out of context from other newspapers.  With a focus on politics.

Politics, not substance.

The truly interesting point is that the Guardian article does not substantively challenge anything that Prime Minister Netanyahu said before Congress.

The substance of what is happening and what will happen - is a reason to mourn and this day of fasting and repentence.

Here are two articles that address the substance:

Netanyahu’s speech
Opinion
By JPOST EDITORIAL \
03/03/2015 22:07

Saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the US Congress was well-received would be an understatement. Netanyahu was interrupted dozens of times with applause, many of them standing ovations. The several dozen Democratic lawmakers who decided not to attend were hardly missed. US Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, who has not been well, made a special effort to attend.

Congress’s ecstatic reception of the speech was not just a function of Netanyahu’s virtuoso orating – though it was undoubtedly a contributing factor. There is also a deep recognition in Congress that the US and Israel share core values and aspirations and that the two countries stand for the same basic ideals.

A large part of Netanyahu’s speech was a reprise of what have become well-worn criticisms of the nuclear deal with Iran, whose essential contents have become known due to leaks by sources close to the Obama administration and by representatives of the P5+1 countries (the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany). As Netanyahu pointed out, apparently in response to warnings by US President Barack Obama, nothing he was stating was based on classified intelligence information shared in confidence by the US with Israel, but was readily available on Google.

Netanyahu reminded US lawmakers – who belong to what Netanyahu referred to as the world’s most important legislature – why the deal believed being offered to the Islamic Republic is bad.

First and foremost was the sunset clause, which essentially legitimates Iran’s nuclear weapons program within 10 years, with perhaps a five-year phase-out period tacked on. This, rightly noted Netanyahu, might seem like a long time in politics but is the blink of an eye in the lives of nations or for our children.

He also criticized the seeming willingness on the part of P5+1 nations to allow the Iranians to maintain a substantial uranium and plutonium enrichment infrastructure of thousands of centrifuges.

He pointed out that it was wrong not to include in the deal with Iran a ban on the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose only purpose is to deliver a payload of nuclear warheads – and do so as far away as America.

But more than voicing criticism of a bad nuclear deal with Iran, which would inevitably lead to nuclear proliferation in the region and most likely war, Netanyahu also provided a vision for moving forward. He did not simply trash the deal and leave no room for negotiations. He held onto the ideal of a peaceful resolution of the conflict via a negotiated deal with Iran.

No country more than Israel has a stake in seeing a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Iran, because Israel would suffer if the situation deteriorates into a military conflagration.

Since sanctions were what brought the Iranians to the bargaining table in the first place, Netanyahu proposed not lifting sanctions until the Iranians stop their aggression.

Indeed, premature lifting of sanctions would actually encourage Iranian aggression. And sanctions can be particularly effective now, as oil prices have fallen to their lowest level in decades.

Only once the Iranians have stopped supporting terrorism around the world from Buenos Aires and Burgas to Baghdad and Beirut; only once they stop threatening the annihilation of Israel; only once they stop demonstrations of aggression against the US like last week’s staged attack on a replica US aircraft carrier can the P5+1 be expected to reduce sanctions.

“If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country,” intoned Netanyahu, “it should begin acting like a normal country,” adding that the alternative to a bad deal with Iran does not have to be war, it can be an even better deal.

Still, while Netanyahu made it clear that Israelis overwhelmingly prefer a negotiated deal through diplomacy and still hold out hope for a peaceful solution, the renewal of Jewish sovereignty after nearly two millennia of longing means that Israel no longer has to rely on others to defend it.

Pointing to Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Eli Wiesel, who was sitting next to Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister noted that the man’s life and work gave new meaning to the words “never again.”

“And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned.... But I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.”

Bibi to Congress: Don’t be suckers
by David Suissa
3/3/2015

As I watched from the press gallery in Congress on Tuesday morning as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu let loose with a cry of the heart, one thought kept popping up: If Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is watching this, he must be very, very happy that he’s not negotiating with this former Israeli commando.

In all the talk we’ve been hearing about “unachievable ideals” and “we don’t want another war” and “diplomacy is the best solution” and so on, we’ve lost sight of the most important and obvious thing: When you’re buying a rug in a Persian bazaar, the more eager you look, the more the price goes up.

And if there’s one thing President Barack Obama has shown from the very beginning, it is his eagerness to make a deal. While Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have played eager beavers, the wily mullahs just kept raising the price.

As a result, we’re left today with a deal Bibi and many others believe is way too expensive and that Yossi Klein Halevi told me “brings us to the edge of the abyss.” In his speech, Bibi didn’t speculate on a hypothetical deal — he quoted what is already in the public record and what Obama essentially confirmed in an interview with Reuters on Monday.

For example, he quoted this concession: “Not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.”

This means, Bibi said, that “Iran’s nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran’s break-out time would be very short — about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.” And, as far as depending on United Nations inspectors to monitor compliance, Bibi gave some pretty dramatic examples of how Iran “not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.”

But as dangerous and risky as that first concession is, Bibi then took on the mother of all concessions: “Virtually all the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.”

At the end of that decade, he said, Iran “would be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could produce many, many nuclear bombs.”

Who did he quote to back this up? Khamenei himself: “Iran’s Supreme Leader says that openly. He says Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount — 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.”

When your civilization goes back 5,000 years, what’s another measly 10 years?

I think you get my drift. Beyond all the fancy analyses of strategy, geopolitics and security doctrines, this is really about brass knuckles. It’s about doing whatever it takes to get the best possible deal.

It’s about looking your enemy in the eye and making him understand that you’re on to him. It’s about making it clear to that enemy that you don’t want a deal more than he does. And it’s about making your enemy believe, truly believe, that you’re not bluffing when you say that “all options are on the table.”

Seriously, is there anybody who believes that the wily mullahs are shaking in their boots when they see John Kerry? When they see President Obama threaten to veto any legislation that might give him more leverage, what are the mullahs hearing? “Please don’t walk away, because I really want this deal”?

Bibi’s speech was important not because he brought new facts to the table but because he brought timeless wisdom.

Yes, he talked about how Jews are an ancient people, and he gave me the chills when he reminded the world that the 6 million Jews living in Israel today are not the helpless 6 million Jews who were murdered in Europe seven decades ago.

His speech had all those emotional appeals that stirred my soul, but it had more than that. It had simple, timeless wisdom.

It had the wisdom that says if your enemy thinks you’re bluffing, you’ll never get a good deal, and that the alternative to a bad deal is to drive a harder bargain.

It had the wisdom expressed in this simple and powerful line: “If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.”

And, above all, it had the timeless wisdom that says when you’re negotiating with a murderous enemy who’s a cheater, never act like a sucker.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 04, 2015, 08:27:09 am
I can think of four basic groups of people (which can be overlapping) who have reason to feel good at the present time with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue:

1. Friends of the Iranian Regime.
2. Enemies of the United States.
3. Enemies of Israel.
4. Jew-haters.

If you have any unreserved positive feelings regarding what is transpiring in connection with the Iranian nuclear issue, you need to do some heavy-duty soul searching.

Today is an appropriate day.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 04, 2015, 11:46:34 am
Here's a couple of lighter takes on the speech, etc:
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/13ry42/bibi-s-big-adventure (http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/13ry42/bibi-s-big-adventure)

http://www.cc.com/full-episodes/iq08zi/the-nightly-show-march-3--2015---guns-on-campus-season-1-ep-01021 (http://www.cc.com/full-episodes/iq08zi/the-nightly-show-march-3--2015---guns-on-campus-season-1-ep-01021)
(first 4 minutes or so)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 04, 2015, 12:15:46 pm
Here's a couple of lighter takes on the speech, etc:
[url]http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/13ry42/bibi-s-big-adventure[/url] ([url]http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/13ry42/bibi-s-big-adventure[/url])

[url]http://www.cc.com/full-episodes/iq08zi/the-nightly-show-march-3--2015---guns-on-campus-season-1-ep-01021[/url] ([url]http://www.cc.com/full-episodes/iq08zi/the-nightly-show-march-3--2015---guns-on-campus-season-1-ep-01021[/url])
(first 4 minutes or so)
Both pretty awesome.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 04, 2015, 05:56:13 pm
Would have been funnier it they had mixed it up with a few Holocaust jokes.  :P

(Comedy Central - Political Propaganda at its "Funniest" - Not Lying, Just Joking).
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 04, 2015, 06:32:42 pm
WEDNESDAY, MAR 4, 2015 10:56 AM PST
Netanyahu blew it: How he misunderstood Congress & inadvertently ruined his own goals
Before Netanyahu's speech was announced, Congress was willing to thwart Obama's plans. Afterwards? Not so much
JIM NEWELL
 Share  367   159     142 
SALON:

Netanyahu blew it: How he misunderstood Congress & inadvertently ruined his own goals

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had two goals for his address to Congress. The first was to boost his chances for reelection in a couple of weeks by showing off his sway abroad. I am not enough of an expert in Israeli politics to know if this will work on net, but the controversy that it sparked might cut against whatever gains it made. The second goal, however, was to lobby Congress to use its power to sabotage a nuclear deal with Iran. On this count, he’s failed, because he critically misunderstands how American politics works.

If Netanyahu hadn’t thrown himself into the situation — perhaps that was impossible for him, given his ego — he might have gotten his desired results out of Congress. Had Netanyahu not gone so out of his way to attack the Obama administration, Congress may not have reverted to the partisan posture on two Iran-related bills that had looked like they had a decent chance of making their way into law.

Israel has a lot of friends in Congress. Have you heard? There are many, many Democrats willing to do exactly what Israel wants at any time. Perhaps the only way that Israel can screw this up is to launch a direct, overt assault on the head of the Democratic party. Israel’s hold on Congress is not so strong that Democratic members will choose Israel over their own president.

And that’s what Netanyahu has made them do: rush to the defense of President Obama, even if they had been willing to diverge from his foreign policy approach.

This first came up shortly after the speech was announced, when the Senate was on the cusp of pushing through a new round of sanctions against Iran. Despite President Obama sharp warnings that this would derail negotiations with Iran at a critical juncture, about a dozen Democratic senators, led by Sen. Bob Menendez, were moving ahead anyway.

But as soon as Netanyahu accepted Boehner’s invitation to speak, acknowledging quite openly his goal to persuade a veto-proof majority of lawmakers to vote in favor of the sanctions bill and thereby disrupt negotiations, he thwarted his own objective. Democrats who had been sitting on the fence opted to give the administration more time before bringing up the bill. They signed a a joint letter to the White House promising not to vote for a sanctions bill before March 24, the deadline for P5+1 negotiators to reach a preliminary framework on a deal with the Iranian foreign minister.

Then there’s the other bill, authored by Republican Sen. Bob Corker. This would allow Congress to approve or disapprove on any deal struck with Iran, i.e. it would let Congress kill a deal with Iran for political sport. President Obama issued a veto threat on it but, as with the sanctions bill, this one potentially had a veto-proof majority.

Now, thanks to Netanyahu and Mitch McConnell, it might not even have the support of its Democratic co-sponsors.

McConnell has announced that he’ll bypass committee and bring the Corker bill straight to full chamber for a vote. The idea is to ride whatever wave Netanyahu brought to Congress. Or, as Politico puts it, “McConnell and Senate Republicans want to show Benjamin Netanyahu that their support of his big speech to Congress wasn’t just talk.”

This decision infuriated the Democrats who had previously supported or even helped author the bill. Menendez is now saying that he’s prepared to vote against the bill if it’s brought up without first going through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (where he happens to be ranking member). Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine argues that “the effort by the Republican leadership to force the bill to the floor prior to full committee consideration is contrary to the important interests at stake.” He added that the move “disrespects the ongoing work to build a broad coalition of colleagues in support of this bill.”

And that’s the key thing here: after Netanyahu’s egregious affront to the president, Democrats who were inclined to jump on these measures are now looking for excuses to bail — at least until negotiations have played out — and McConnell just handed them a great one. Mitch McConnell is a smart guy, so he must have known that this would be the reaction. He wants to either jam Democrats into supporting the bill anyway, or at least score a few points by showing them to be “hypocrites” for turning tail.

All Congress ever needs is a light breeze for a once-bipartisan issue to descend into typical partisan gamesmanship and gridlock, and Netanyahu swooped in with a great big shove. Those who hope that negotiations can play out and a deal can be struck should thank Netanyahu for his clumsy understanding of Congress.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 05, 2015, 12:27:04 pm
All these political posts reinforce the view that things are destined to go from bad to worse.  Despite the efforts of some good people to prevent it.

Why?

The War of Gog & Magog.

Unlike many Christians and Muslims (at least as I understand those two faiths), Jews do not believe that "Armageddon" is inevitable to bring the Messiah. The War of Gog & Magog is not a prerequisite to the Messianic Era.  While that Final Battle was foretold by the Jewish Prophets, it was a negative painful prophecy. And does represent one way the Moshiach will come, with much trial, tribulation and death. However, pursuant to Jewish Tradition, God only keeps His promises for the good, but out of mercy will refrain from "bad" promises if the people show sufficient teshuvah (repentance).  We know this from the story of Jonah, where God sent the Prophet Jonah to tell the people of Nineveh the prophecy that Nineveh would be destroyed because of their evil ways.  Yet, when the people of Nineveh donned sackcloth and ashes, and repented, God spared them.  The negative prophecy went unfulfilled.

Thus, there are two ways the Moshiach can come: (1) before his appointed time, as a result of our good deeds and teshuvah, without pain and suffering, or (2) at his appointed time (the final deadline) with all the horrors foretold.

Thus, Jews do not long to precipitate the War of Gog & Magog to initiate the Final Redemption.  On the contrary. Religious Jews hope and pray that by their devotion and acts of loving kindness, Moshiach will come before his appointed time, without global suffering, in peace and joy.

In contrast, as I understand it, the militant ruling Shi'ite Mullahs of Iran believe that such a Final War will take place, and is necessary to take place, to bring the Final Redemption.  At the time of that Ultimate Conflict, the Jews will appoint a false Messiah, the Dajjal (literally or figuratively).  Jesus will return and battle the Dajjal.  The Jews will be exterminated.  Even the last ones hiding behind trees and rocks.  The Hidden Imam, the final Imam, the Mahdi, will reveal himself in the course of these events. A Glorious Kingdom will be ushered in, with all Mankind serving Allah as devout Muslims.  I don't wish to place my trust in such men.  It is far more likely that they plan on doing exactly what the Supreme Ayatollah says they will do. Develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. To precipitate the Final Battle that, they believe, will usher in a Glorious Kingdom on Earth. (Militant Sunni Muslims hold similar beliefs, though they differ with the Shi'ites over the identity of the Mahdi).

Reg, I read the articles you keep posting. My fear is that these "politics" (and similar inane factors, petty egoism, blind partisanship, and the like) discussed in the articles, are indeed pushing the world to the dreadful End Days scenario ... with all the horror, pain, and suffering foretold by the Prophets.  I pray this isn't so.  But ... the more you post, the more I believe it to be so.  Because ... it is so irrational, yet we appear to be running headlong toward the abyss  ... despite its irrationality. Like lemmings.

It is almost as if God is "hardening the hearts" of world leaders, and their followers, allowing them to pursue this irrational destructive path. Much as He did with Pharaoh in connection with the Exodus, the first "redemption," so very long ago.

May God have mercy on us.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 06, 2015, 03:30:34 am
What Was Missing From Coverage of Netanyahu's Speech
byJim Naureckas


The New York Times' caption quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "This regime will always be an enemy of America.” That regime got 36 words of rebuttal in the nearly 1,500-word article.
Reading the lead stories on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress about Iran in five prominent US papers–the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today (all 3/3/15)–what was most striking was what was left out of these articles.

None of them mentioned, for example, that Israel possesses nuclear weapons. Surely this is relevant when a foreign leader says that it needs the United States' help to stop a rival state from obtaining nuclear weapons: The omission of the obvious phrase "of its own" changes the story entirely.

Another thing largely left out of the story is the fact that Iran has consistently maintained that it has no interest in building a nuclear weapon. There was one direct statement of this in the five stories–the New York Times' reference to "Iran's nuclear program, which [Iranian] officials have insisted is only for civilian uses." The Washington Post alluded to the fact that Iran denies that it has a nuclear weapons program, referring to "a program the West has long suspected is aimed at building weapons," Iran's "stated nuclear energy goals" and "the suspect Iranian program." Elsewhere the military nature of Iran's nuclear research was taken for granted, as when the LA Times said that the issue under discussion was "how to deal with the threat of Iran's nuclear program."

Entirely absent from these articles was the fact that not only does Iran deny wanting to make a nuclear bomb, the intelligence agencies of the United States (New York Times, 2/24/12) and Israel (Guardian, 2/23/15) also doubt that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program. Surely this is relevant to a report on the Israeli prime minister engaging in a public debate with the US president on how best to stop this quite possibly nonexistent program.

Instead, these articles generally seemed content to cover the subject as a debate between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama, perhaps with some congressmembers thrown in–as if these were the "both sides" that needed to be covered in order to give a complete picture of the controversy. When Iranian officials were quoted for a few lines in these pieces–which some neglected to do altogether–it seemed an afterthought, despite the fact that Netanyahu's speech was mainly a long litany of allegations and threats against their country.

(Though I'm confining my analysis to what seemed to be the most prominent and comprehensive article on the speech on each paper's website, it's worth mentioning that the New York Times' website featured a piece by Iran's ambassador to the UN, Gholamali Khoshroo, rebutting Netanyahu's speech. Reading it one is struck by how different the news pieces would read if Iran's perspective on Iran's nuclear program were given equal weight with Israel's and the US's views.)

None of these news articles mentioned the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, signed by both the United States and Iran but not by Israel, which guarantees "the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."

One article–the New York Times'–had a reference to Netanyahu's decades-long record of making false nuclear predictions about Israel's enemies. And even that was framed in partisan terms: Netanyahu "did not succeed in mollifying all Democrats, who recalled a history of what they deemed doomsday messages by him." A reporter, of course, could look up Netayahu's previous projections to see if they came true or not–as Murtaza Hussain of the Intercept (3/2/15) did–but holding officials accountable for what they have said in the past is not something an "objective" journalist is likely to do.

Another striking omission from these articles, about a speech in which Netanyahu talked about Iran's "aggression in the region and in the world," were words like "Palestine," "Palestinian," "occupation" or "Gaza"; none of these  came up in any of the five articles. USA Today headlined its piece "Netanyahu: Stop Iran's 'March of Conquest'"–as though it were Iran, not Israel, that has conquered, occupied and in some cases annexed its neighbors' territory.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 06, 2015, 08:49:53 am
The very last paragraph of the above article is one long lie, as anyone with knowlege (or who cares to have knowledge) of the 1967 Six-Day War and 1973 Yom-Kippur War knows. This reveals where the author's head is at.   The author's presentation reveals that he is likely making a broader reference and embraces the chant, "From the [Jordon] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, Palestine shall be free!" That is to say, the annialation of Israel.  Of course Israel, given the history of agression against it, and threats of annialation, from its inception to the present, is entitled to maintain and must maintain the strongest deterrent possible.

Anyone who might be interested would have no problem finding through a simple Google search statements made by Iranian leaders and government institutions regarding the utter destruction of Israel and dehumanization of Jews.  I was going to share some articles but ... I've done so in the past and they obviously fall on deaf ears. So to hell with it. 

As to Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions, as if Iran trying to hide nuclear facilities from the IAEA is not enough, the International Atomic Energy Agency warned in a May 2011 report of Iranian efforts “involving the removal of the conventional high explosive payload from the warhead of the Shahab-3 missile and replacing it with a spherical nuclear payload.”  Duh.

This article is an example of the accuracy of my characterization of those persons who have any unbridled positive feelings about the Iranian nuclear situation. See my post above on this thread.

Reg, do you agree with this article you posted?  Or are you just trying to get a reaction from me to "stir up the pot" ...?
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on March 06, 2015, 09:35:46 am
(http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w184/Battle-D/HEFmuslim_01_zpsnswfp2cl.jpg)

"As-Salaam-Alaikum"


Haven't read a single word of what michaelintp posted in this thread nor did I watch or heard any news in the last 2 days. 
What I did view this morning is MSNBC's News Nation hosted by Tamron Hall report that New York Mayor Bill De Blasio revealed that New York Public Schools will, for the first time in America,  begin observing 2 Muslim holidays:  Eid Al-Ftr and Eid Al-Adha. "...which will be observed September 24th this year, commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God (Eid Al-Adha). Eid Al-Ftr, which will occur July 2016, marks the holy month of fasting known as Ramadan.", notes Mr. De Blasio.
Linda Sasour, Director of the Arab American Association of New York,  seemed very pleased as a guest regarding this news on Ms. Hall's show.

Would You Like To Know More?
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/03/04/new_york_city_public_schools_will_close_for_muslim_holidays.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/03/04/new_york_city_public_schools_will_close_for_muslim_holidays.html)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 06, 2015, 09:45:35 am
Haven't read a single word of what michaelintp posted in this thread nor did I watch or heard any news in the last 2 days. 
What I did view this morning is MSNBC's News Nation hosted by Tamron Hall report that New York Mayor Bill De Blasio revealed that New York Public Schools will, for the first time in America,  begin observing 2 Muslim holidays:  Eid Al-Ftr and Eid Al-Adha. "...which will be observed September 24th this year, commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God (Eid Al-Adha). Eid Al-Ftr, which will occur July 2016, marks the holy month of fasting known as Ramadan.", notes Mr. De Blasio.


That's nice.

If major Christian and Jewish Holidays are recognized, Muslim ones should be as well.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 06, 2015, 11:02:54 am
Here's what I think:  when people say there will be peace once all those people over there are all dead, that's not an effective solution.  There used to be wars between England and France and Germany over stuff they thought was important, and now it's not.  They learned to live together.  That's what has to happen in the Middle East.  It sounds simplistic, but between the civil wars and the sectarian wars and wars between nations in that region, no one is winning and humanity isn't advancing. 
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 06, 2015, 04:58:30 pm
Here's what I think:  when people say there will be peace once all those people over there are all dead, that's not an effective solution.  There used to be wars between England and France and Germany over stuff they thought was important, and now it's not.  They learned to live together.  That's what has to happen in the Middle East.  It sounds simplistic, but between the civil wars and the sectarian wars and wars between nations in that region, no one is winning and humanity isn't advancing.

I agree with you as to how the world should be. Unfortunately it isn't.  Your sentiments are similar to sentiments likely expressed in the past, that provided small solice to the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, the Jews in Nazi Europe, the Tutsis in Rwanda, and so many others.

Particularly in the Middle East. the world is not as you wish it was. Israel is surrounded by ISIS, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood (stopped in Egypt but still active) and HAMAS. All theologically fanatic and dedicated to wiping Israel off the map. Every Jewish man, woman, and child. The problem is that pursuant to militant Islamic theology, once a geographic area becomes part of dar al-Islam (the House of Islam), it forever remains, requiring the militants to purge any non-Muslim state located on that territory that forever belongs to the Muslim Ummah (the Islamic Community).  Add to this that militant Muslims have a special antipathy toward Jews, a group that expressly rejected Muhammad as a prophet during the dawning days of Islam in Arabia, and you can understand why Israel is referred to as a "stain" that must be removed (and so on) by these religious fanatics.

So yes, I wish the world were as you describe, but sadly it is not. 

I really wish you understood this, instead of passing along articles that play into those haters' hands.  I know, given your view of how the world should be, and who you are, that you don't share their hate.  Unfortunately, you may be unwittingly promoting it by largely posting articles regarding Israel (when you do) written by those allied with them or sympathetic with them. Such as the article above, that is flawed on so many levels.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 06, 2015, 06:27:53 pm
I don't see the world in binary terms.  In other words, Disagreeing with the current leader of Israel doesn't mean a person is anti Israel or anti-Semitic.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 07, 2015, 08:01:04 pm
I don't see the world in binary terms.  In other words, Disagreeing with the current leader of Israel doesn't mean a person is anti Israel or anti-Semitic.

I agree with the second sentence of your statement.  Some persons have expressed views disagreeing with Netanyahu because they differ with him regarding the best course of action in this terrible situation where we seem to have terrible choices. Unfortunately, the perspective of Jim Naureckas, the author of the article you posted, was way beyond disagreeing with the current Prime Minister of Israel. His article was an apologia and whitewashing on behalf of the openly genocidal current leaders of Iran and a dishonest slandering of Israel (not just its current leader).

When it comes to fanatics who openly advocate genocide and are seeking the means to accomplish it, on the one hand, and their intended victims, on the other, there is absolutely nothing wrong with "binary" thinking. Morality demands it.  Can you imagine someone saying about the Ottoman Turks and the Armenians, or the Nazis and the European Jews, or the Rwandan Hutus and Tutsis or the Cambodian Khmer Rouge and their victims, "I don't see the world in binary terms."  While I know some people did talk that way, before and even during the genocides, I would never want to be one of them. 

Reg, of course everyone on the forum, and even more so you, is entitled to post whatever articles they wish. That is one thing I love about the HEF.  But ... we've all got to think about the fact that when one posts an article without comment, the normal implication is that one more-or-less agrees with the article. That might not always be the case, but usually if one disagrees, one says so by expressing some criticism of it along with the post.  So ... you can understand why I asked.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 07, 2015, 09:00:14 pm
Massive anti-Netanyahu rally draws over 50,000 in Israel as elections loom
byDavid Harris Gershon
Originally published in Tikkun Daily

Days after Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, claimed to be speaking for "the entire Jewish people" in his speech before Congress, tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets, rejecting such a ridiculous notion by calling for his ouster.

The explicitly anti-Netanyahu rally, which organizers say drew 80,000 people, comes just 10 days before Israel's elections, with most polls showing Netanyahu's Likud vulnerable to being defeated by a center-left coalition.

At the rally, former Mossad Chief, Meir Dagan, blasted Netanyahu as more dangerous than any perceived enemy and the greatest obstacle to peace:

“Israel is a country surrounded by enemies, but the enemies are not scaring us. I am afraid of our leadership."
[...]

“Benjamin Netanyahu has served as prime minister for six years straight, six years in which he has not led a single genuine process of change to the face of the region or the creation of a better future. On his watch, Israel conducted the longest [military] campaign since the War of Independence.” a

Dagan's voice is representative of those in Israel's security establishment who both rejected Netanyahu's speech before Congress and his attempts to derail President Obama's Iran diplomacy. Indeed, Netanyahu organized the speech behind the back of his own National Security Advisor, knowing it would be rejected as dangerous and damaging to U.S.-Israel relations.
This week, Netanyahu defended himself from attacks on the right by claiming to be the greatest supporter of Israel's settlement enterprise in Israel's history, the only claim he's made recently which rings true. In response to this and Israel's continued occupation, multiple speakers at the Tel Aviv rally charged Netanyahu with pushing Israel toward full apartheid, including Dagan.

It remains difficult to determine whether Netanyahu's foreign policy push and speech before Congress, one of the most elaborate election stunts in recent history, will end up helping or hurting his election chances.

However, one thing remains clear: not only does Netanyahu not represent "the entire Jewish people," he doesn't represent the majority of Israeli Jews, thousands of whom made that clear on the streets of Tel Aviv. 
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on March 08, 2015, 03:16:54 am
From the article:

Massive anti-Netanyahu rally draws over 50,000 in Israel as elections loom
byDavid Harris Gershon
Originally published in Tikkun Daily

Days after Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, claimed to be speaking for "the entire Jewish people" in his speech before Congress, tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets, rejecting such a ridiculous notion by calling for his ouster.

The explicitly anti-Netanyahu rally, which organizers say drew 80,000 people, comes just 10 days before Israel's elections, with most polls showing Netanyahu's Likud vulnerable to being defeated by a center-left coalition.



I'll be wearing this virtual button on my virtual shirt for the next 10 days!  ;D

(http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w184/Battle-D/HEFnelson_01_zpsez7hhman.jpg)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 10, 2015, 07:55:54 am
Reg, of course everyone on the forum, and even more so you, is entitled to post whatever articles they wish. That is one thing I love about the HEF.  But ... we've all got to think about the fact that when one posts an article without comment, the normal implication is that one more-or-less agrees with the article. That might not always be the case, but usually if one disagrees, one says so by expressing some criticism of it along with the post.  So ... you can understand why I asked.

Hmm. I do not assume that the poster agrees with articles by others that they post but rather that it is being offered for our consideration. Members can and do make commentary when they want to. I think it's best to ask if you want to know.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 10, 2015, 09:14:47 am
Massive anti-Netanyahu rally draws over 50,000 in Israel as elections loom
by David Harris Gershon
Originally published in Tikkun Daily

Yes, Israel is a vibrant democracy.  Political rhetoric is frequently strong. Pre-election hyperbole rivals or exceeds what we see in the United States.

Can you imagine what would happen, what has happened, in Iran to people who criticize the Supreme Ayatollah and the theocratic Iranian regime?  Who hold rallies?  We've seen what happens.

This contrast between democraric Israel and autocratic Iran again demonstrates the threat posed by the fanatic Iranian regime.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 10, 2015, 11:14:18 am
Reg, of course everyone on the forum, and even more so you, is entitled to post whatever articles they wish. That is one thing I love about the HEF.  But ... we've all got to think about the fact that when one posts an article without comment, the normal implication is that one more-or-less agrees with the article. That might not always be the case, but usually if one disagrees, one says so by expressing some criticism of it along with the post.  So ... you can understand why I asked.

Hmm. I do not assume that the poster agrees with articles by others that they post but rather that it is being offered for our consideration. Members can and do make commentary when they want to. I think it's best to ask if you want to know.

I disagree with you with regard to the normal assumption. In the vast majority of cases people post articles without comment that they (largely) agree with. Why? Because people usually are not interested in promoting points of view they disagree with. Unless the purpose is to expressly criticize or mock the article. In that case, there is almost always some comment.

However, in this case I did ask Reg if he agreed with the flawed Naureckas article ... and he didn't really directly answer the question with regard to the article.

Curtis, why are you bringing up this article matter?  When I did ask Reg if he agreed with it?  I chose not to push for a direct response to the question, and instead made a general observation that I believe is true.  If you doubt the truth of the observation, just look at the polital/ideological slant of the vast majority of artices posted and the political/ideological views of the person posting the article. In the overwhelming number of cases you will see a "remarkable" correlation.

Of course there may be an exception from time to time. Which was why I asked. 
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 10, 2015, 12:24:51 pm
Reg, of course everyone on the forum, and even more so you, is entitled to post whatever articles they wish. That is one thing I love about the HEF.  But ... we've all got to think about the fact that when one posts an article without comment, the normal implication is that one more-or-less agrees with the article. That might not always be the case, but usually if one disagrees, one says so by expressing some criticism of it along with the post.  So ... you can understand why I asked.

Hmm. I do not assume that the poster agrees with articles by others that they post but rather that it is being offered for our consideration. Members can and do make commentary when they want to. I think it's best to ask if you want to know.

I disagree with you with regard to the normal assumption. In the vast majority of cases people post articles without comment that they (largely) agree with. Why? Because people usually are not interested in promoting points of view they disagree with. Unless the purpose is to expressly criticize or mock the article. In that case, there is almost always some comment.

However, in this case I did ask Reg if he agreed with the flawed Naureckas article ... and he didn't really directly answer the question with regard to the article.

Curtis, why are you bringing up this article matter?  When I did ask Reg if he agreed with it?  I chose not to push for a direct response to the question, and instead made a general observation that I believe is true.  If you doubt the truth of the observation, just look at the polital/ideological slant of the vast majority of artices posted and the political/ideological views of the person posting the article. In the overwhelming number of cases you will see a "remarkable" correlation.

Of course there may be an exception from time to time. Which was why I asked.
First of all, there is nothing for you to disagree with. I simply stated what I assume about members' reasons for posting, namely, as little as possible.

Secondly, I know you asked Reggie about that article. I think that's a good idea which is what I said.

Lastly, the reason I mentioned it is that I noticed a difference between your assumptions and mine. (I don't pretend to know what's "normal" there.) I do think you sometimes leap to conclusions that turn out to be mistaken. As do we all on occasion.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 10, 2015, 02:35:59 pm
Reg, of course everyone on the forum, and even more so you, is entitled to post whatever articles they wish. That is one thing I love about the HEF.  But ... we've all got to think about the fact that when one posts an article without comment, the normal implication is that one more-or-less agrees with the article. That might not always be the case, but usually if one disagrees, one says so by expressing some criticism of it along with the post.  So ... you can understand why I asked.

Hmm. I do not assume that the poster agrees with articles by others that they post but rather that it is being offered for our consideration. Members can and do make commentary when they want to. I think it's best to ask if you want to know.

I disagree with you with regard to the normal assumption. In the vast majority of cases people post articles without comment that they (largely) agree with. Why? Because people usually are not interested in promoting points of view they disagree with. Unless the purpose is to expressly criticize or mock the article. In that case, there is almost always some comment.

However, in this case I did ask Reg if he agreed with the flawed Naureckas article ... and he didn't really directly answer the question with regard to the article.

Curtis, why are you bringing up this article matter?  When I did ask Reg if he agreed with it?  I chose not to push for a direct response to the question, and instead made a general observation that I believe is true.  If you doubt the truth of the observation, just look at the polital/ideological slant of the vast majority of artices posted and the political/ideological views of the person posting the article. In the overwhelming number of cases you will see a "remarkable" correlation.

Of course there may be an exception from time to time. Which was why I asked.
First of all, there is nothing for you to disagree with. I simply stated what I assume about members' reasons for posting, namely, as little as possible.

Secondly, I know you asked Reggie about that article. I think that's a good idea which is what I said.

Lastly, the reason I mentioned it is that I noticed a difference between your assumptions and mine. (I don't pretend to know what's "normal" there.) I do think you sometimes leap to conclusions that turn out to be mistaken. As do we all on occasion.

Yes, I didn't leap to any conclusion.  As you say, I asked the question.

The rest of what I've written above is, I believe, a statement of the obvious, supported by logic and the evidence of years of political/ideological article posts and the consistency of the perspectives expressed in those articles by the persons doing the posting and with the viewpoints of the persons doing the posting, across the board, year after year. 

Put another way, what I am suggesting is that your "assumption" that there is no nexus between the views expressed in articles and the views of the person posting the articles is flawed. 
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 10, 2015, 03:30:50 pm
The rest of what I've written above is, I believe, a statement of the obvious, supported by logic and the evidence of years of political/ideological article posts and the consistency of the perspectives expressed in those articles by the persons doing the posting and with the viewpoints of the persons doing the posting, across the board, year after year. 

Put another way, what I am suggesting is that your "assumption" that there is no nexus between the views expressed in articles and the views of the person posting the articles is flawed.

Except I made no such "assumption". Perhaps due to my training as an engineer, I find value in exercising discipline in distinguishing between that which is factual and that which is hypothesis. In other words, that a thing may be so or is even likely so is different from it is so. Fewer mistakes that way.

In this case, it seems to me that posters may or may not agree with articles they post. Or they may partially support some of it. As Reggie said, it's not a binary world. Or at least it's not for me.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 10, 2015, 04:33:42 pm
The rest of what I've written above is, I believe, a statement of the obvious, supported by logic and the evidence of years of political/ideological article posts and the consistency of the perspectives expressed in those articles by the persons doing the posting and with the viewpoints of the persons doing the posting, across the board, year after year. 

Put another way, what I am suggesting is that your "assumption" that there is no nexus between the views expressed in articles and the views of the person posting the articles is flawed.

Except I made no such "assumption". Perhaps due to my training as an engineer, I find value in exercising discipline in distinguishing between that which is factual and that which is hypothesis. In other words, that a thing may be so or is even likely so is different from it is so. Fewer mistakes that way.

In this case, it seems to me that posters may or may not agree with articles they post. Or they may partially support some of it. As Reggie said, it's not a binary world. Or at least it's not for me.

... and I, in contrast, believe that people should be viewed as responsible for what they disseminate, whether it be their own words or the words of others that they uncritically spread.  Because, as can be shown through years of posts, in the vast majority of cases people post political/ideological articles they generally sympathize with or to bolster a position they support (unless there is reason to believe the contrary in a specific instance). 



Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 10, 2015, 08:17:01 pm
TUESDAY, MAR 10, 2015 11:20 AM PDT
Bibi in big trouble: New poll shows Israeli PM in danger of losing bid for fourth term
Center-left Zionist Union alliance pulls ahead of Netanyahu's Likud
LUKE BRINKER 
 


Bibi in big trouble: New poll shows Israeli PM in danger of losing bid for fourth term

Corroborating other surveys showing that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to score a big polling bounce following his controversial March 3 congressional address on Iran, a new poll released Tuesday finds the prime minister in grave danger of losing his bid for a fourth term ahead of national elections in one week.

The poll, from the Knesset Channel, puts the center-left Zionist Union ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud party, with the Zionist Union on track to win 24 seats in the 120-seat parliament to Likud’s 21. The centrist Yesh Atid party is projected to win 14 seats.

Haaretz notes that if the Zionist Union joins forces with Yesh Atid and smaller left-leaning and Arab parties, it could form a government with 56 seats. Combining with smaller right-rightist and ultra-Orthodox parties, Netanyahu is on track to assemble 55 seats at most.

The Zionist Union is a coalition of Isaac Herzog’s Labor and Tzipi Livini’s Hatnuah parties. If the coalition manages to form a government, the two plan to rotate the prime ministership, with Herzog serving as premier for the first two years of the government’s term and Livni serving for the latter half. Both Herzog and Livni harshly criticized Netanyahu’s congressional address denouncing a potential Iranian nuclear deal, arguing that the speech further isolated Israel on the international stage.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 10, 2015, 10:18:17 pm
Interesting article regarding Israeli politics.  Democracy in action.

One should note that none of Netanyahu's major political opponents is proclaiming that Iran's leaders never have desired and never will desire to develop nuclear weapons, to empower Iran and destroy Israel, but that the Iranian leaders only desire to produce peaceful nuclear energy.  ::) 

Iran's genocidal actions would not necessarily be through direct nuclear strikes (though they could). Could be through proxies armed by an untouchable nuclear Iran.

Opponents of Netanyahu may oppose him on other grounds, but they don't make the absurd claims of the anti-Israel pro-Iranian apologist Naureckas who lauded the peaceful intentions of Iran in the article you posted above.

Heads up:  When you hear such crap, you're listening to an antisemite (or a fool).
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: APEXABYSS on March 10, 2015, 10:24:00 pm
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Yes, I agree with his stance but not his approach. I’m not the only one! This is a global issue & not an Obama administration issue. We know the U.S. is in (diplomatic) talks with Iran on the appropriate & responsible use of nuclear technology. But Israel needs to campaign the U.N.. Netanyahu’s actions does seem to undermine the POTUS & Israel’s closest allies. Key word- plural= allies.

I don’t support & have great concern about Muslim nations with access to create/produce W.M.D. or bio-toxic hazardous material.

Remember, Islam was the first to enslave African people... hundreds of years before Europeans (& the French, Germans, Spain, Portuguese, Dutch, Italians, Belgians... damn! Basically everybody. How do think we lost? Africa literally had  the world against them!) From a historical perspective, Muslim countries have yet to show mutual humanity & balanced civility toward any culture of people out-side of Islam. At least Netanyahu is the first to “G-check” Iran. Well, he tried to coerce Obama to do it with him. 

Murdered cartoonists? Terrorist attacks in France over satire?  Really? C’mon, Muslims (extremists)! Snap-out-of-it!
Haartz is one of the biggest publications in Israel-BTW. They did a report on discounting the “pass-over” tradition, because there is little to no evidence of the Hebrew's exodus from Egypt. There was no uproar from fellow Jews & no one associated with the article was killed. 

Remember, Muhammad Ali? No, not our great legendary boxer/activist. The Turkish leader! He destroyed ancient Egyptian monuments to build Turkish mosques. Really? No regard. Remember how Iran treated the “First Lady”? They edited her attire to support a misogynistic standard of modesty.

Again, I spent most of my youth as a practicing Muslim. My young-one even went to Claira Muhammad (an all Muslim elementary school). As a former student of Islam, I’ve witnessed the acceptance of violence thru “martyrism” & oppressive “Sharia-Laws”. Point is- I support Israel but not Zionism. I support Muslim countries but not Islamic imperialism. No nuclear program, please! Pretty, please!

Assalamu Alaikum  (peace be upon you)

Shalom         
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 10, 2015, 10:32:59 pm
Always a fresh perspective, Apexabyss.  Even when I don't agree with everything you say, I enjoy hearing what you have to say.    ;)
Thought-provoking.
I mean, for a moment, you even "elevated" the Hudlin 100!   
... in more ways than one.   8)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 11, 2015, 10:17:26 am
... and I, in contrast, believe that people should be viewed as responsible for what they disseminate, whether it be their own words or the words of others that they uncritically spread. 
Sure, in the same manner that one can contrast apples and oranges. I believe it is possible to note a trend without imputing a rule or duty. Again, I'm just explaining how I think about it and why.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 11, 2015, 01:50:58 pm
Opponents of Netanyahu may oppose him on other grounds, but they don't make the absurd claims of the anti-Israel pro-Iranian apologist Naureckas who lauded the peaceful intentions of Iran in the article you posted above.

Heads up:  When you hear such crap, you're listening to an antisemite (or a fool).

Interesting. I didn't read Naureckas' article the same way. Although you might be right about the where the author's sympathy generally lies, his article is about the coverage of Netanyahu's speech. He notes some facts that he claims are not generally included in the coverage. It is true that including or not including those items frames the coverage differently. It is certainly the case that there can be widely different views on the significance of these items.

However, is it wrong to even consider these items in assessing the overall situation? I understand you object to what you perceive as the writer's support for Iran and/or anti-Isreal stance, but do you also take issue with what he claims are facts? Specifically:
Although I was aware of 1 & 2, I wasn't fully cognizant of 3 & 4 if both claims are true.

So are these claims factual or not:
I'm not sure what all this means regarding the negotiations in progress, but I believe it's generally better to know than not to know.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 11, 2015, 10:10:19 pm
Yes I believe Israel has nuclear weapons. Given the hostile region in which it exists, and its history of being attacked (and nearly destroyed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War), it needs the maximum deterrent. Because its existential survival is at stake.  I discussed this in my original post reacting to the Naureckas article.  But it has not used them and has never sworn to purge its neighboring nations from the region (in contrast to Iran's statements regarding purging Israel).  Nor has Israel threatened to destroy the United States. The Iranian leaders have - to destroy first the "Little Satan" (Israel) and then the "Great Satan" (the United States).  Look at my prior posts on this thread regarding their motivations.

Israel is not bound by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Iran acts as though it were not bound even though Iran is a signatory (which should give you a sense of how Iran intends not to be constrained by the agreements it signs).

Curtis, with your engineering background, I think you'll find these citations really interesting, regarding Iran's nuclear program:

The New York Times
What Iran Won’t Say About the Bomb
By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER
MARCH 7, 2015

OVER the course of a dozen years, ever since atomic sleuths from the United Nations began scrutinizing Iran’s nuclear program, hundreds of inspections have uncovered a hidden world of labs and sprawling factories, some ringed by barbed wire and antiaircraft guns, others camouflaged or buried deep underground. Yet despite that progress, Iran has so far managed to evade a central question — whether it knows how to build an atom bomb.

With negotiators from six world powers facing a deadline later this month to cut a basic agreement with Iran on the fate of its nuclear program, much of the public discussion has focused on curtailing Iran’s uranium plants and plutonium complex, its pathways to atomic fuel. In short, the buzz centers on brawn, not brains. But quietly, the United States and its allies are also discussing whether a final deal should compel Tehran to reveal the depth of its atomic knowledge.

That inner debate, as one European official in the midst of the negotiations put it, turns on “whether to force Iran to explain its past” — especially before 2003, when American intelligence officials believe Iran operated a full-scale equivalent of the Manhattan Project — “or whether to focus on the future.”

American officials are vague when pressed on how fully Iran will have to answer questions it has avoided for years from United Nations inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency, based in Vienna. To date, Iran has dodged all but one of the agency’s dozen sharp questions on bomb design.

“Iran’s most serious verification shortcoming,” Olli Heinonen, the former chief inspector, now at Harvard, said recently, “remains its unwillingness to address concerns about the past and possibly ongoing military dimensions of its nuclear program.”

Investigators at the I.A.E.A., drawing on intelligence from member states as well as their own investigations, have assembled a secret trove of reports, correspondence, viewgraphs, videos and blueprints that purport to show Iran’s skill in warhead design

Iran ridicules the material as fake, maintaining that the trove is full of forged documents created by the Central Intelligence Agency or Israel’s Mossad. (The atomic agency’s chief, Yukiya Amano, dismissed that allegation in an interview last summer, saying the inspectors had confirmed the documents by consulting other sources.)

The problem is that the documents, if real, would undercut Iran’s argument that its nuclear ambitions are entirely peaceful, centering on the production of radioisotopes for medicine and electrical power for economic growth.

Expertise in warhead design, as opposed to atomic fuel production, is far more ephemeral and hard to track. It can also be less ambiguous. Some nuclear parts have application only to making weapons, such as neutron spark plugs at the core of some atom bombs. In contrast, uranium can fuel both nuclear arms and reactors that make electricity — it can light cities or annihilate them.

In early 2003, when the inspectors began their investigation, the focus was mainly on whether Iran was building factories that could make fuel for nuclear arms. That agenda made sense because acquiring fuel is the hardest part of the bomb equation. It’s the chokepoint. Moreover, it was relatively easy for the inspectors to monitor the giant factories that Iran was building, such as the plutonium reactor at Arak and the uranium plant at Natanz, its halls roughly half the size of the Pentagon.
Today, the six powers negotiating with Iran — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — still focus overwhelmingly on fuel production. They want Tehran to downsize or disconnect the centrifuges that spin at supersonic speeds to purify uranium. They want the reactor at Arak, still under construction, reconfigured to produce less plutonium, the other bomb fuel. The negotiators want the cutbacks to be large enough and long enough in duration — a decade or more — to ensure that Iran for the near future cannot mount a headlong rush for a bomb, known in the field as breakout.

Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, in his dramatic speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, elevated brawn over brains, saying “nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn’t get you very much.” He added, “A pilot without a plane can’t fly.”

True enough. But there are other ways to get fuel, including buying it from the likes of North Korea or on the black market. So the design riddle still lurks in the background, both for breakout and what experts call sneak out.

Iran already knows how to make a rudimentary bomb. So do terrorists and college students. The real question is whether Iran can miniaturize a weapon to fit atop a missile, can make bombs more destructive than the one that turned Hiroshima into a radioactive cinder, and can use precious fuel sparingly enough to build a nuclear arsenal.

The I.A.E.A. inspectors saw hope of getting answers in mid-2007 when they agreed on a “work plan” with Iran meant to shed light on what happened inside the secretive laboratories run by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, said to be Iran’s atomic mastermind. More than two years later, in late 2009, the plan lay in ruins. Mohamed ElBaradei, then the agency’s director general, said [b}the inquiry had “effectively reached a dead end” because of Iran’s intransigence.

In November 2011, the inspectors stepped up the pressure by publishing a detailed listing of a dozen major fields critical for warhead building, saying their cache indicated that Iran had deeply researched the topics. Iran repeated its disavowal. In August 2013, as tensions mounted, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, elected on a platform of getting international sanctions lifted, agreed to open negotiations about the overall fate of Iran’s atomic program.

While those talks have dragged on for 18 months, Iran has let inspectors deep inside its production facilities and observed every commitment on cutting back its production of nuclear fuel. But it has continued to stiff-arm the inspectors on the question of suspected “military dimensions,” despite agreeing to another work plan. The Obama administration has said little about that silence.

Last month, the inspectors reported that “Iran has not provided any explanations” for two of the three design questions now on the table. The other nine remain in limbo.

So will Iran have to come clean before the economic sanctions are lifted? American officials won’t say. “It’s the most sensitive topic for the Iranians,” said one former American negotiator. “Is it worth blowing up a potential agreement in the name of forcing a confession?”

One solution, analysts suggest, would be the gradual lifting of sanctions in step with the investigators certifying that Tehran was finally answering their longstanding queries. That is under discussion. But it remains unclear whether the atomic riddle will be resolved. If past is prologue, the West might once again find itself stonewalled.

William J. Broad is a science reporter and David E. Sanger is a national security correspondent for The New York Times.


The following website is informative:
http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/iran/ (http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/iran/)   

It has subsections for nuclear, missile, biological, etc.

Under the “missile” subsection, the following quote from Ayatollah Khamenei’s 2010 speech to Iran’s Air Force Staff is revealing:

"This country with its great capabilities in missile technology, biology, nuclear and laser technology - which you have heard about - and various other areas is the same country that had to import the most basic weapons at the beginning of the Revolution. Our country had to borrow from different countries. We had to buy the most basic things from abroad, and they refused to sell them to us. We had to pay several times more than the real price, and we had nothing of our own. The same Army, the same Armed Forces, and the same Air Force have now made these achievements. And the same academic, scientific, and technological units have now achieved this position."

The “missile” section goes into great detail regarding Iran’s missile program including Iran’s ballistic missile program. It is frightening.

In the “nuclear" section, the following is a description of Iran’s nuclear weapons programs:

On 8 November 2011, the IAEA released a highly anticipated safeguards report on Iran.  In an annex to the report, the Agency presented a lengthy, detailed account of "possible military dimensions" to Iran's nuclear program. Most of the information in the annex had been known previously, but the November 2011 report was the first time that the IAEA assembled available evidence into one overview document. According to the report, Iran has engaged in a range of activities "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device." These included efforts to "procure nuclear related and dual-use equipment and materials by military-related individuals and entities;" to develop "undeclared pathways for the production of nuclear material;" to acquire "nuclear weapons development information and documentation," presumably from the A.Q. Khan network; and to "work on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components." The report further stated that prior to the end of 2003 those activities took place under a "structured program," and that there are indications that "some activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device continued after 2003, and that some may still be ongoing."

Also telling is Iran’s cover-up of its activities.  For example:

In late January 2012, an IAEA team headed by the Deputy Director General for Safeguards Herman Nackaerts visited Iran to discuss ways to resolve outstanding issues. A follow-on visit took place in late February 2012, but the two sides were unable to agree on a plan, and the IAEA expressed its disappointment in the meeting due to Iran's refusal to grant access to the Parchin military complex―a site where Iran has allegedly conducted high explosive and hydrodynamic experiments relevant to the development of nuclear weapons. On 6 March 2012, Iran announced that it would allow IAEA inspectors to visit Parchin, but several rounds of subsequent IAEA-Iran talks throughout 2012 did not produce an agreement on a "structured approach" that would include a visit to the site.  Furthermore, at a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in September 2012, the U.S. envoy accused Iran of "systematically demolishing" the very facility IAEA inspectors wanted to visit.  The Institute for Science and International Security has published satellite images of the site that show items that "could be associated with the removal of equipment or with cleansing it."  A May 2013 report by the IAEA Director General noted that Iran has "[spread, leveled and compacted] material over most of the site, a significant portion of which it has also asphalted."
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 11, 2015, 11:22:03 pm
The bottom line is that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to know what the Iranian regime is up to.

Which is why, among other reasons, the whitewashing Naureckas article sickens me.  From the entire tenor of his piece, I know what he is about. 

My hope is that the time and effort I went to to pull this information together for you was productive. Curtis, Reggie, Apexabyss, anyone else, I hope you find it useful.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 12, 2015, 07:44:34 am
Thanks, Michael. That is useful information. I think it helps with understanding the context around the negotiations. I believe that all the parties negotiating with Iran are aware of all of that and more. I don't think anybody trusts the Iranian government.

I don't share your characterization of the Naureckas article. That seems as much a critique of the media coverage as support for Iran to me. There are many perspectives even within Iran; not all of them fit into a good vs. evil binary narrative in my view.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 12, 2015, 07:44:47 pm
I'm glad the info is helpful.  :)

I believe that once one understands the strategy and goals of the Iranian leadership (and similar-minded fanatics), and honestly acknowledges them, it becomes clear that attempts to delegitimize the very existence of the state of Israel are nothing more than pretty-packaged support for genocide (in some cases express, in other cases tacit).  It is part of the vilification of the victim. With the reaction being, were Israel eradicated, "Too bad ... so sad. They deserved it."  Naureckas among them.  I know the rhetoric. The same rhetoric that recently produced the open antisemitism at the UCLA student government meeting. See the separate thread on that topic.

Curtis, I absolutely agree with your positive characterization of large numbers of Iranians. Who are oppressed by the fanatic autocratic theocratic regime. I hope you don't seriously think I believe otherwise (with all this "binary" business).  We saw what happened to those good Iranian people after the disputed reelection of Ahmadinejad in 2009 and during the "Arab Spring."  Beaten and machine gunned. They do not run the Iranian government, the Revolutionary Guard, the military or the police in Iran. Those who disagree with the Iranian government's geopolitical strategy have no influence. And there is no reason to believe they will.  Iran, with all major political candidates vetted and approved by the Supreme Ayatollah and 12-man Guardian Council, is not a democracy.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on March 18, 2015, 04:32:03 pm
(http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w184/Battle-D/HEFnightmare_01_zpsslismfxf.jpg)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 23, 2015, 09:17:55 pm
James Baker blasts Benjamin Netanyahu
“His actions have not matched his rhetoric,” says the former secretary of state.
By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE 3/23/15 9:16 PM EDT Updated 3/23/15 11:34 PM EDT

It’s not just Democrats and White House officials who’ve got problems with Benjamin Netanyahu.

Blasting “diplomatic missteps and political gamesmanship,” former Secretary of State James Baker laid in hard to the Israeli prime minister on Monday evening, criticizing him for an insufficient commitment to peace and an absolutist opposition to the Iran nuclear talks.


Baker told the gala dinner for the left-leaning Israeli advocacy group J Street that he supported efforts to get a deal with Tehran — but he called for President Barack Obama to bring any agreement before Congress, even though he may not legally be required to do so.

Baker, who was the chief diplomat for President George H.W. Bush and is now advising Jeb Bush on his presidential campaign, cited mounting frustrations with Netanyahu over the past six years — but particularly with comments he made in the closing days of last week’s election disavowing his support for a two-state solution and support for settlements strategically placed to attempt to change the borders between Israel and the West Bank.

“Frankly, I have been disappointed with the lack of progress regarding a lasting peace — and I have been for some time,” Baker said. And “in the aftermath of Netanyahu’s recent election victory, the chance of a two-state solution seems even slimmer, given his reversal on the issue.”

Baker said while Netanyahu has said he’s for peace, “his actions have not matched his rhetoric.”

Some Republicans in Congress have claimed Obama has eroded American support of Israel.
That’s wrong, too, Baker said.

“No one around the entire world should ever doubt America’s commitment to Israel, Not now, or at any point in the future,” he said.

Earlier in the day at the conference, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough reiterated Obama’s frustration with Netanyahu, saying that the administration is holding the prime minister to his comments ruling out a two-state solution — even though Netanyahu immediately began to walk those comments back the day after his Likud Party won a resounding number of seats in the Israeli Knesset.

Baker said he’s also holding to Netanyahu’s pre-election comments — and pointed out how out of sync he believes the Israeli leader is with his own country, and with Washington.

“Although Netanyahu and his right-and-center coalition may oppose a two-state solution, a land-for-peace approach has long been supported by a substantial portion of the Israeli body politic, by every American [administration] since 1967 — Republican and Democratic alike — and a vast majority of nations around the world,” Baker said.
As to Netanyahu’s opposition on Iran, Baker warned against seeking only a perfect deal.

“If the only agreement is one in which there is no enrichment, then there will be no agreement,” Baker said.

After all, Baker said, no military solution could work in his assessment: an American strike would only generate more support among Iranians for the fundamentalist government, and an Israeli strike would neither be as effective nor carry American support.

This isn’t the only tough moment in U.S.-Israeli relations, Baker said, recounting some of his own head-butting in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In those days, the administration was dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, a hard-liner who referred to Netanyahu as “too soft,” according to Baker.

The danger now, Baker said, is the personalization and politicization of the disputes between the governments in Washington and Jerusalem.

“This is of course a delicate moment in the Middle East, and will require clear thinking from leaders,” Baker said. “That clear thinking should not be muddled by partisan politics.”


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/james-baker-blasts-benjamin-netanyahu-116338.html#ixzz3VH0WQYD9 (http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/james-baker-blasts-benjamin-netanyahu-116338.html#ixzz3VH0WQYD9)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 23, 2015, 09:50:42 pm
Oh Reggie, you mean the same man who as Secretary of State proclaimed:

'F*ck the Jews, they don't vote for us.'

While James Baker may have passed some individuals' litmus test with this statement, he certainly did not pass mine.

What does quoting Mr. Baker really establish?  You figure it out.  While you're at it, feel free to add to your collection by quoting Pat Buchanan.  :P

Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 23, 2015, 09:58:00 pm
Oh Reggie, you mean the same man who as Secretary of State proclaimed:

'F*ck the Jews, they don't vote for us.'

While James Baker may have passed some individuals' litmus test with this statement, he certainly did not pass mine.

What does quoting Mr. Baker really establish?  You figure it out.  While you're at it, feel free to add to your collection by quoting Pat Buchanan.  :P
Wow, he said that?  Damn!  I just thought he was an old school conservative.  Well, I guess that attitude is part and parcel of that. 
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: michaelintp on March 23, 2015, 10:10:29 pm
Well, no one group has a monopoly on "that sort of thing."  Don't wanna even get into that discussion. Lets just leave it that James Baker is a piece of sh*t.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on February 14, 2018, 06:19:25 am
why am I not surprised? ;D



Israeli Police Push For Prime Minister Netanyahu's Indictment On Corruption Charges

February 13, 2018

by Vanessa Romo and Daniel Estrin

(https://i.imgur.com/N0QkRi6.jpg)


According to NPR, Isreali police are urging the attorney general to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two corruption cases involving bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

The recommendation is the result of more than a year of investigations into allegations that Netanyahu improperly accepted expensive gifts including pink champagne and cigars from Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer in exchange for favors.

Officials also said they have gathered enough evidence to conclude Netanyahu tried to help an Israeli newspaper publisher with his business in exchange for positive press coverage. And, as NPR's Daniel Estrin reported in August, authorities made a pact with Netanyahu's former chief of staff, who has agreed to become a witness for the state.





Would You like To Know More?
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/13/585428954/israeli-police-push-for-prime-minister-netanyahus-indictment-on-corruption-charg (https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/13/585428954/israeli-police-push-for-prime-minister-netanyahus-indictment-on-corruption-charg)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 22, 2018, 10:54:30 am
Natalie Portman rejects Israel honour
by Associated Press

Saturday April 21, 2018

(https://i.imgur.com/rWS0nbC.jpg)


According to Gulf News, Actress Natalie Portman’s decision to snub a June ceremony in Israel where she was to have received a prize dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” triggered an angry backlash Friday from some Israeli politicians, including the culture minister.

The Genesis Prize Foundation said it had been informed by Portman’s representative that “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing” to the Occupied Jerusalem-born Oscar winner and that she would “not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel.”

The foundation did not refer to specific events.

Israel has faced international criticism over its response to recent mass marches on the Gaza border, in which 37 Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire, most of them protesters. Hundreds more Palestinians were wounded by Israeli troops since the weekly protests began March 30

Israel says it is defending its border and accuses Gaza’s rulers, the Islamist militant Hamas group, of trying to carry out attacks under the guise of protests. Rights groups have branded open-fire rules as unlawful, saying they effectively permit soldiers to use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters.

In comments reported by Israeli media, Culture Minister Miri Regev said Friday that she was sorry Portman had “fallen like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters,” a reference to a Palestinian-led campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

“Natalie, a Jewish actress who was born in Israel, joins those who relate to the story of the success and the wondrous rebirth of Israel as a story of darkness,” Regev was quoted as saying.

Oren Hazan, a legislator in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, called on the government to revoke Portman’s Israeli citizenship.

The Genesis foundation said it was “very saddened” by Portman’s decision and would cancel the prize ceremony, which had been set for June 28.

“We fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid,” it said.

The prize was launched in 2013 to recognize Jewish achievement and contributions to humanity. Previous recipients include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor Michael Douglas, violinist Itzhak Perlman and sculptor Anish Kapoor.

When Portman was announced late last year as the 2018 recipient, she said in a statement released by organiszers at the time that she was “proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage.”
In Thursday’s statement, the Genesis foundation quoted a representative for Portman as saying that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”








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https://gulfnews.com/life-style/celebrity/hollywood/natalie-portman-rejects-israel-honour-1.2209012
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: APEXABYSS on April 22, 2018, 11:57:41 am
^^I support Judaism (distant support) but it is difficult to back the state of Israel. The f!@#$%in’ capital is called “the city of peace”-  Jeru- salem! I don’t see peace! That’s a problem, right? Something has to change with jews & muslims in the region. Netanyahu corruption? Damn!  I’m proud of my Hebrew heritage too, but not...   Good for her!
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on May 06, 2018, 08:00:15 am
(https://i.imgur.com/aHAj0Qk.png)

The Instigator of War
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on May 16, 2018, 01:27:41 am
(https://i.imgur.com/sFHl3Rb.jpg)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on October 27, 2018, 02:45:08 pm
Saturday, 27th October 2018
11 killed, several wounded, in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

by Deanna Paul, Avi Selk, Amy Wang, Mark Berman


(https://i.imgur.com/ORWxqC8.jpg)

A gunman killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue during Saturday-morning services in what the Anti-Defamation League called "likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.”

Law enforcement officials said Robert Bowers — a 46-year-old man with a history of making anti-Semitic statements online — surrendered to police after a gun battle and is expected to face hate crime charges.

The 11 people killed were all adults, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said at a news briefing.

“It’s a very horrific crime scene," Hissrich told reporters earlier in the day. “One of the worst that I’ve seen. And I’ve been on some plane crashes.”

The suspect interrupted a baby-naming service at about 10 a.m, Pennsylvania’s attorney general told the Associated Press.

Witnesses told police he burst in shouting anti-Semitic slurs and began firing.

Stephen Weiss recalled hearing gunshots and fleeing the building through the sanctuary.
 
“We had services going on in the chapel when we heard a loud noise in the lobby area," he told the Tribune-Review.

KDKA reported that police confronted the suspect near the synagogue entrance.

Witnesses said one officer was wounded in an initial firefight, and two more were shot when they tried to corner the gunman upstairs.

Gab, a social media platform that has attracted many far-right users, released a statement on Saturday, saying the company had suspended an account that “matched the name of the alleged shooter’s name" and turned the messages over to the FBI.

An unverified image of the deleted account shows a stream of anti-Semitic messages leading up to the shooting.

“emperor puppetine is a globalist, not a nationalist,” the user “Robert Bowers” posted after a rally this week in which puppetine invoked both terms to declare himself a nationalist.

emperor puppetine has repeatedly slammed “globalists” in his public rhetoric, despite warnings that the term is understood to mean Jews in anti-Semitic circles.

That’s evidently what it means to the Gab user “Robert Bowers,” whose messages suggest disillusionment with the president.

“There is no #MAGA as long as there is a k--- infestation,” the user wrote, using a slur for Jews.

For weeks, “Robert Bowers" was enraged by the national Jewish group HIAS’s efforts to hold Shabbat services for refugees, according to the archives messages.

“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people," the user wrote hours before the shooting.

 “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

“It looks definitely like it’s an anti Semitic crime," emperor puppetine told reporters Saturday afternoon.

"That is something you wouldn’t believe could still be going on.”

The Tree of Life synagogue is located in a leafy residential enclave near Carnegie Mellon University — one of the larger predominantly Jewish neighborhoods in the United States.

Its “traditional, progressive and egalitarian” congregation, formed in 1864, is Pittsburgh’s oldest Jewish congregation.

It’s the “center of Jewish life on Shabbat morning," said Rabbi Aaron Bisno of the Rodef Shalom Congregation, two blocks away.

It is unclear how many were in the synagogue at the time of the shooting.

According to an online calendar, there would have been a Shabbat service scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

The synagogue’s main sanctuary, a cavernous space with soaring stained-glass windows that depict the story of creation, can hold up to 1,250 guests, according to the Tree of Life’s website.

“This is an absolute tragedy,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) wrote on Twitter.

“These senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Americans.”

Police in Washington, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles all said they were increasing patrols at synagogues and other houses of worship following the Pittsburgh attack as precautionary measures.

Speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday, emperor puppetine said the shooting was “far more devastating than anybody originally thought” but did not offer details.

“It’s a terrible, terrible thing, what’s going on with hate in our country, frankly, and all over the world, and something has to be done,” he said.

When asked if he should revisit gun laws, puppetine said:

“This has little to do with it, if you take a look. If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better.”

puppetine has frequently suggested that more armed people could deter mass shootings, making the comment after shooting rampages in Parkland, Fla., and Orlando in recent years.

Armed law enforcement officers were present at both of those mass shootings and others that have still occurred.

It’s unclear whether the synagogue had security measures in place.

In a July blog post for the synagogue titled “We Deserve Better,” Rabbi Jeffrey Myers criticized elected leaders for their lack of action in enacting gun-control legislation in the wake of the Parkland school shooting.

“Unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the mid-term elections, I fear that that the status quo will remain unchanged, and school shootings will resume,” Myers wrote.

“I shouldn’t have to include in my daily morning prayers that God should watch over my wife and daughter, both teachers, and keep them safe. Where are our leaders?”

The shooting comes during an sharp spike in anti-Semitic activities in the U.S., according to an Anti-Defamation League report released earlier this year.

From 2016 to 2017, instances of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assault increased 57 percent, the largest single-year jump since ADL began tracking the data in the 1970s.

“This is close to an all-time high,” Greenblatt told The Post’s Tara Bahrampour then.

"We’re living in a time where extremists feel emboldened and they’re increasingly taking action. They feel empowered; they almost feel like they’ve been mainstreamed.”

Ben Opie, 55, who lives across the street from Tree of Life, said his wife was leaving for a volunteer duty at about 11 a.m. when police shouted at her to get back inside the house.

Officers banged on neighbors’ doors and told them to stay locked inside.

Two hours later, after many of the police vehicles had left the neighborhood, Opie said he’s still shaking.

“It’s just,” Opie said, pausing, his voice trembling. “Sorry, it’s shaking me more than usual."

By Saturday afternoon, members of the synagogue were gathering at a grief center waiting to hear about friends and family members caught in the shooting.

“It’s one of my biggest fears,” said Chuck Diamond, who worked as a rabbi at Tree of Life for seven years.

“When I was leading the congregation, I always had in the back of my mind that something like this will happen. It’s a terrible thing to feel."

Joel Achenbach, Devlin Barrett, Mark Berman, Kristine Phillips, Mike Rosenwald and Katie Zezima contributed to this developing story.
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on October 30, 2018, 07:24:26 am
Tuesday, 30th October 2018
Puppetine To Visit Pittsburgh Despite Objections From Mayor, Jewish Leaders
by Brakkton Booker

(https://i.imgur.com/l4HMcZd.jpg)

puppetine plans to travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon, as the city continues to mourn Saturday's massacre that claimed the lives of 11 worshippers at a synagogue.

When puppetine arrives, he is expected to meet with members of the local Jewish community.

But the visit comes despite the wishes of some political and religious leaders who felt that puppetine should come at a later date — or not at all.

The visit is the same day of the first funerals for those killed at the Tree of Life synagogue.

The city's Democratic mayor, Bill Peduto, urged the president not to come while friends and families were burying their loved ones.

"I do believe that it would be best to put the attention on families this week and if he were to visit, choose a different time to do it," Peduto told CNN.

In an interview that aired on Fox News on Monday, puppetine said he wants to go to Pittsburgh to pay his respects and plans to visit the police officers and injured victims in the hospital.

"I really look forward to going," puppetine said.

"I would have done it even sooner, but I didn't want to disrupt any more than they already had disruption."

The president's skeptics wonder how he can "express his support for the American people and grieve with the Pittsburgh community," as the White House said he intends to do, while continuing to use divisive rhetoric toward those he considers political foes.

At a press briefing Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckleberry Sanders insisted the president only want to unite the country, noting that some of his grandchildren, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner are all Jewish.(https://i.imgur.com/YPWESp7.gif)



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https://www.npr.org/2018/10/30/662017268/trump-to-visit-pittsburgh-but-not-everyone-will-welcome-him (https://www.npr.org/2018/10/30/662017268/trump-to-visit-pittsburgh-but-not-everyone-will-welcome-him)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on October 30, 2018, 02:20:53 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/wRZI9LN.jpg)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on February 28, 2019, 08:25:34 am
Thursday, 28th February 2019
Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel PM faces corruption charges
(https://i.imgur.com/N0QkRi6.jpg)

Avichai Mandelblit said Mr Netanyahu would face charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three cases, pending a final hearing.

The prime minister is alleged to have accepted gifts from wealthy businessmen and dispensed favours to try to get more favourable press coverage.

Mr Netanyahu, who is facing an election in April, has denied any wrongdoing.





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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47399539 (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47399539)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on February 28, 2019, 09:56:19 am
Thursday, 28th February 2019
It's Official: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicted on bribe and fraud charges

by Yuliya Talmazan and Paul Goldman and Associated Press and David K. Li

(https://i.imgur.com/N0QkRi6.jpg)

Israel's attorney general announced Thursday that his office had indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges after a two-year investigation.

The prime minister faces one count of bribery and two counts of fraud and breach of trust.

Police have previously recommended indicting Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three different cases.

The most serious allegations against Netanyahu involve his relationship with Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Israel's telecom giant Bezeq. Police recommended an indictment in the case based on evidence collected that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulatory changes worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Bezeq.

In exchange, they believe Netanyahu used his connections with Elovitch to receive positive press coverage on Bezeq's popular subsidiary news site, Walla.

Police have said their investigation concluded that Netanyahu and Elovitch engaged in a "bribe-based relationship."

Police also recommended charges be brought against Elovitch, members of his family and members of his Bezeq management team.

Police have previously recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases.

One involves accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second revolves around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a major newspaper in return for favorable coverage.

Netanyahu, 69, who is serving his third consecutive term as prime minister and his fourth overall, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and called the various allegations against him a witch hunt aimed at removing him from office.

The attorney general's decision to publish his conclusions 39 days prior to the general election on April 9 is raising questions about what impact it can have on the outcome of the vote.

Israeli media reported Thursday that with just hours to go before Mandelblit's anticipated decision to indict Netanyahu, his Likud Party filed a petition to the Supreme Court to stop the announcement from happening before the election on the grounds that it would unfairly impact on Netanyahu's prospects of re-election.

However, the court's spokesperson confirmed later in the afternoon that the petition was rejected.

The indictment marks the first time in Israeli history that a sitting prime minister has been charged with a crime.

Legal experts in Israel say it could take up to a year for a hearing process into the charges to end and an additional two years for a court case to be heard.

While Israeli prime ministers are not required by law to resign if charged, the prospect of a prime minister standing trial while simultaneously running the country would be unchartered territory.

In response to the indictment, Jerusalem-based Israel Democracy Institute said Netanyahu should consider carefully whether it’s best for him to stay on as prime minister or resign and focus on proving his case in the courts.

“We cannot ignore the serious potential damage to the public's trust in the state’s institutions caused by a situation in which the government is headed by an individual charged with criminal misconduct involving abuse of power,” the organization’s statement said.

The institute says the timing of the announcement doesn’t constitute “an inappropriate influence on the elections” because it was made “within a reasonable amount of time before the elections, taking into account both the public’s right to know and the desire not to intervene in the electoral process.”

Israeli law professor Said Avi Bell said the indictment inserts law enforcement officials into the political arena “in an unprecedented way, and on a very shaky legal foundation.”

President Donald Trump, with whom Netanyahu has forged a close connection, said "[Netanyahu's] done a great job as prime minister" in response to a question in Hanoi, where he was holding a summit with the leader of North Korea.

"He's tough, he's smart, he's strong," Trump said of the Israeli leader, but didn’t comment on the indictment.

Netanyahu rushed back Wednesday from a diplomatic mission to Moscow, and a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, to prepare for his expected rebuttal to the charges on Thursday.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is Netanyahu's former cabinet secretary.

While no stranger to scandal, this was the first time Netanyahu faced the possibility of being formally charged with a crime.

Netanyahu and his family's luxurious lifestyle — often at taxpayers’ expense — has come under scrutiny before.

Nearly six years ago, Netanyahu was criticized for reportedly spending $127,000 in public funds for a special sleeping cabin for a five-and-a-half hour flight to London for Margaret Thatcher's funeral.
 
That came just months after the Netanyahu family's taxpayer-funded food budget included $2,700 for artisanal pistachio and French vanilla ice cream.




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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-indicted-on-bribe-and-fraud-charges/ar-BBUcKOk?ocid=spartanntp (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-indicted-on-bribe-and-fraud-charges/ar-BBUcKOk?ocid=spartanntp)
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Hypestyle on February 28, 2019, 12:13:17 pm
it will certainly be curious to see how this plays out over the coming months/year.  Meanwhile, Ilhan Omar gets super-scolded for.... sigh...  :P
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 05:28:35 pm
Tuesday, 9th April 2019
How Ilhan Omar Is Changing the Conversation About Israel—and Upending the 2020 Campaign
by Jonathan Broder

(https://i.imgur.com/lBWYqNZ.jpg)

In late March, some 18,000 people crowded into a grand ballroom the size of a commercial airline hangar in downtown Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israel lobby in the United States.

Behind the stage were a dozen Jumbotrons, which, in between the speeches, broadcast short propaganda films about daily life in Israel.

In some, Israelis residing close to the Gaza Strip described their experiences of living under Hamas rocket fire.

Others showed Israeli agricultural fields being consumed by huge fires, caused by Hamas-launched kites carrying burning, gasoline-­soaked rags.

Still others showed elaborate Hamas tunnels that ­Israeli security forces had discovered.

Whenever there was downtime, ­Israeli songs blared through the sound system.

The effect was total immersion—sight, sound and speeches—in a pro-Israel experience.

The event is traditionally a rare bipartisan affair, with both ­Republican and Democratic leaders heaping praise on the U.S.-­Israel alliance and each pronouncement of the two countries’ strategic and cultural affinity prompting wild applause.

But this year, when Republicans hit the stage, they dispensed with the usual comity.

Speaker after speaker claimed anti-Semitism had infected the entire Democratic Party—one of the most toxic charges in American politics.

“It’s astonishing to think that the ­party of Harry Truman, which did so much to help create the state of Israel, has been co-opted by people who promote rank anti-­Semitic rhetoric and work to undermine the broad American consensus of support for Israel,” said acting-Vice President Mike Pence.

Later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo charged that some congressional Democrats “think anti-Semitism can actually win them votes,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the audience that hatred of Jews and Israel is “increasingly shaping the left’s agenda.”

With each verbal assault, many in the audience cheered.

1/8
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 05:42:54 pm
For Republican leaders, Exhibit A was a 37-year-old Demo­cratic freshman:

Ilhan Omar, who, in just a few months, has become perhaps the most controversial member of the progressive caucus. One of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, Omar has attacked both harsh Israeli policies toward the Palestinians and AIPAC’s power in Washington, at times, using language easily regarded as anti-Semitic.

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,”

she tweeted six weeks before the conference, breezily referring to $100 bills that AIPAC lobbyists spend to fund pro-Israel lawmakers.

Omar apologized for that remark after a storm of accusations—including from Democratic leaders—that she was employing an old ethnic slur regarding Jews and money.

Only two weeks later, after Omar questioned the fealty that American Jews show to Israel, her critics seized on her suggestion of dual loyalty as yet another anti-Jewish insult.

This time, she refused to apologize.(https://i.imgur.com/NZMS3UL.gif)

“I say raise hell, make people feel uncomfortable,” she told a crowd of American Muslims in the Los Angeles area a few weeks later. She said Israel’s harsh treatment of Palestinians “is violating basic human rights…. We must also hold those we love, those with whom we have shared values, accountable.”

Omar, a Somali war refugee, and her fellow Muslim freshman, Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are speaking out as ­never before against Israel’s 52-year occupation of the West Bank, U.S. financial and political support of the Jewish state, and discrimination against Muslims in the United States.

Their ­remarks have fractured the Democratic Party, with older, mainstream members like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and nearly all the ­party’s Jewish ­lawmakers condemning their remarks.

But prominent progressives, including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, defend them.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian American woman in Congress, has called for a cut-off of U.S. military aid to Israel and a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict—a proposal Israel and its supporters view as spelling the end of the Jewish state.

She also said that she wouldn’t join an annual trip to Israel this summer sponsored by AIPAC’s educational arm, which has become a rite of passage for new members.

Instead, Tlaib said, she would orga­nize her own congressional delegation to the West Bank, where her grandmother still lives in a village outside of Ramallah.

“I know this is something my colleagues don’t usually get to experience, and I think it’s an essential part of taking a fully informed, human-­centered and realistic approach as policymakers,” Tlaib told Vice News.

“I hope it inspires us to choose values rather than sides.”

To be sure, Omar and Tlaib are no friends of Israel.

And while defenders acknowledge they could be more sensitive in their language, they reject the accusation that they’re anti-Semites.

“These two congresswoman are shaking off the old mindset with regard to the Palestine question,” Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim civil liberties organization, tells Newsweek.

“They’re not trying to fit into the historical Washington mindset, which has been unjustly pro-Israel for decades. And they represent a whole new generation of progressive activists nationwide.”

All of a sudden, Israel has become as partisan an issue as immi­gration and health care.

As Republicans demonstrated in their AIPAC speeches, the congresswomen have become useful foils in their campaign for the 2020 elections.

With their push to paint the entire Democratic Party as anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli, ­Republicans hope to siphon enough votes and campaign donations from one of the most loyal Democratic groups to turn toss-up congressional districts and battleground states red.

Such victories, they hope, could help guarantee the re-election of the acting-President, continued Republican control over the Senate or enough gains in the House to reclaim GOP control.

The election outcome could have profound impact on foreign policy.

If the puppet wins, he’s likely to double down on his staunch support for Israel, although one never knows with the puppet.

If a Democrat wins, the influence of progressives like Omar could lead to previously unthinkable changes to the U.S.-Israel relationship amid a post-puppet backlash.

2/8
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 05:48:13 pm
If the conversation about Israel has been, until now, mostly one-sided, few can claim more credit than AIPAC.

Those who have challenged Israeli policies often find themselves on the wrong end of the organization’s formidable political operation.

In perhaps the most storied case, AIPAC activists in 1984 targeted Senator Charles Percy of Illinois, then the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Percy had defied Israel on a handful of issues, most memorably by supporting the U.S. sale of AWACS early-warning aircraft to Saudi Arabia—a weapons sale Israel and AIPAC vehemently opposed but which narrowly cleared the Senate by a two-vote margin, thanks largely to Percy’s influential endorsement as head of the panel that oversees such sales.

In response, AIPAC board member Robert Asher persuaded liberal Democratic congressman Paul Simon to run against Percy, Simon later wrote in his autobiography.

With AIPAC’s encouragement, pro-Israel PACs and wealthy American Jews provided Simon with $3.1 million—fully 40 percent of his war chest.

A single Jewish activist alone financed $1.6 million worth of attack ads against Percy.

Simon received 65 percent of the Jewish vote to Percy’s 35 percent, which proved decisive in Simon’s victory.

“All the Jews in America, from coast to coast, gathered to oust Percy, and the American politicians—those who hold public positions now and those who aspire to—got the message,”

Tom Dine, AIPAC’s executive director at the time, told a closed fundraising dinner in Toronto, according to an investigative piece on AIPAC by CBS’ 60 Minutes.

Dine also said AIPAC’s campaign against Percy “defined Jewish power in America for the rest of this century.”

Percy’s defeat established AIPAC as a powerful political force that lawmakers crossed at their own peril.

Since then, the lobby has helped shape a reliably pro-Israel House and Senate, winning broad bipartisan support every year for foreign aid appropriations, out of which Israel receives more than $3 billion in security assistance annually, making it the largest recipient of U.S. foreign largess.

But in the view of many in Washington, AIPAC’s power also has produced over the years a decidedly unequal view of the Israeli-­Palestinian conflict.

Just a few of the lobby’s successes include winning billions of dollars in additional aid to Israel for missile development and routine passage of resolutions recognizing ­Israel’s “right to defend itself” after military operations against the Palestinians that some criticize as disproportionate.

The lobby has even convinced the Trump administration to adopt Israel’s anodyne terminology for the West Bank, calling the territory “contested” or “Israeli-controlled,” rather than “occupied.”

The Obama administration took a far tougher line with Israel, reflecting Democratic disillusionment that had been quietly building for years.

Policy toward Israel became a partisan issue in March 2015, after Obama reached an agreement with Iran that curtailed its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

At the invitation of the Republicans who then ran the House, ­Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a fiery speech ­before a joint meeting of Congress urging lawmakers to oppose the deal.

Dozens of Democrats defiantly boycotted his speech.

Netanyahu has openly aligned himself with the puppet and the ­Republicans.

In turn, the acting-president, defying decades of U.S. policy, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and opened an embassy there last year.

In March, the puppet recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

He also has cut off aid to the Palestinians, closed Palestinian offices in Washington and sided with Israel in its continuing clashes with militants in Gaza.

Omar, Tlaib and their supporters in Congress are now speaking out forcefully against such policies.

Last May, when Israeli troops opened fire and killed scores of Palestinians demonstrating at the Gaza border fence, Ocasio-Cortez, then a candidate challenging Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley, a staunch defender of Israel, wrote a tweet calling it a “massacre.”

“I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such,” she added. “No state or entity is ­absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.”

3/8
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 05:53:54 pm
The diminutive Omar has emerged as the most voluble—and visible—of Israel’s critics. She appears to embrace the role of a political provocateur, particularly when it comes to foreign policy.

Omar articulates a view that is rarely heard from a sitting member of Congress, one that has been forged from her first-hand experiences of war and exile.

Born into a prosperous family in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, she was a child when civil war erupted in the 1980s.

In interviews, she has said her earliest memories recall her fears as she huddled in her room, listening to the muffled thud of mortars firing and the ear-shattering blasts of shells landing nearby.

At age 7, she and her family fled to neighboring Kenya, where they lived in a squalid refugee camp for four years.

“I experienced and witnessed unspeakable suffering from those who, like me, had lost everything because of war,” she recalled in a commentary published last month in The Washington Post.

One of her few fond memories of the camp was the films she watched that showed manicured American towns.

“I dreamed of one day coming to the United States of America—a land that promised peace and opportunity regardless of one’s faith or ethnicity,” she wrote.

Granted asylum as refugees, Omar and her family moved to the United States in 1992.

Arriving in New York, Omar has said she was confused when she saw trash and homeless people in the streets—her first brush with the American underbelly.

The family continued on to Minneapolis, where they settled among the city’s large Somali population.

After 9/11, Omar donned the hijab, not so much out of religious conviction, she has said, as from a determination to show her cultural identity at a time when many Americans viewed Muslims with suspicion.

A mother of three children by the time she was in her 20s, Omar enrolled at North Dakota State University, graduating in 2011.

She then became involved in politics, first volunteering for local and state legislative campaigns, then working as an aide to a Minneapolis city councilman before running for a seat in the Minnesota Legislature herself.

She won that contest in 2016 after campaigning on a progressive platform.

After only a year and a half, she ran in 2018 for the open U.S. congressional seat for Minnesota’s 5th District, which includes Minneapolis and some suburbs.

She won, joining the Democratic freshman class that wrested control of the House from the Republicans.

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, a nationwide organization that promotes the community’s participation in politics, says Omar and Tlaib are emblematic of a new generation of young Arab Americans who don’t carry the immigrant baggage of their parents and grandparents.

On college campuses, in city and state governments, and now in the U.S. Congress, these young Arabs not only assert their ethnic identity; they’re also not afraid to speak out against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and its support of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, or to confront a much wealthier and better organized Jewish community over the issue of Israel.

Moreover, Zogby adds, on these and other issues, Arab American activists have formed coalitions with other groups representing ethnic, racial and religious minorities, such as Black Lives Matter and even some left-wing Jewish groups that oppose the Israeli occupation.

“They have a greater sense of confidence than existed in earlier generations. It’s a much more assertive generation,” Zogby tells Newsweek.

“People thought [the anti-Arab backlash after] 9/11 would quash their identity. In fact, it had the opposite effect:

It sparked defiance. Arab Americans felt, ‘We’re not those guys, and you’re not going to treat us that way.’ It’s a community that has come of age.”

Taking a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Omar quickly established herself as an independent voice on the issue of U.S. foreign policy, approaching it from the view of those who have been victimized by war and U.S. policies abroad.

At a committee hearing in February, she mauled Elliot Abrams, a controversial figure from the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, who later pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, before being pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.

Today, he’s the puppet’s special envoy for Venezuela.

Omar was clearly offended that a convicted liar was once again testifying under oath.

“I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful,” she said. An indignant Abrams tried to respond, but Omar quickly cut him off:

“It wasn’t a question.”

Omar then reminded Abrams he had dismissed as “communist propaganda” the infamous El Mozote massacre, in which U.S.-trained Salvadoran troops killed 800 civilians.

She also reminded Abrams he had boasted U.S. policy in El Salvador had been a “fabulous achievement.”

Omar then asked, “Yes or no: Do you think that massacre was a fabulous achievement?”

4/8
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 05:59:11 pm
“That’s a ridiculous question,” Abrams snorted.

“Yes or no?” Omar persisted.

Just weeks after she was sworn in in January, a tweet surfaced that Omar had posted in 2012 during one of Israel’s retaliatory bombardments of the Gaza Strip.

“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” she wrote.

The reaction was swift and fierce.

Critics called her language anti-Semitic, accusing her of trafficking in the age-old canard of the Jews’ power to inveigle others.

Omar deleted the tweet and apologized, saying she was unaware her reference to hypnosis carried anti-Semitic freight.

A month later, however, she sparked more outrage with the “Benjamins” tweet about the power of Jewish money.

Omar was forced to ­apologize a second time.

But she pointedly refused to back away from her complaint about AIPAC’s financial clout.

AIPAC, in fact, does not endorse or raise money for candidates; its acronym stands for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—not to be confused with a political action committee, or PAC, whose primary fundraising task for candidates would be illegal under AIPAC’s tax-free status.

But according to M.J. Rosenberg, a former AIPAC staffer who has become one of the lobby’s harshest detractors, Omar’s observation about the organization’s influence is right on target.

In an article in The Nation, Rosenberg wrote that he “personally witnessed the whole process of funding and defunding” candidates.

“I sat in AIPAC staff meetings at which the political director discussed whom ‘we’ would be supporting in this campaign and whom ‘we’ were going to ‘destroy’ in that one,” he wrote.

While AIPAC doesn’t directly raise funds for candidates, Rosenberg explained, it researches and collects information on candidates—such as their voting record on Israel-related legislation, relevant speeches, and travel and meetings in the Middle East—and delivers it to pro-Israel activists, essentially guiding their campaign donations toward friendly candidates.

Omar has called on the puppet administration to apply a consistent, principled human rights standard, stressing that if the United States is to have any credibility abroad, the administration must condemn not only the violations of hostile governments such as Iran and Venezuela, but also those committed by allies like Saudi Arabia.

“This vision also applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,”

she wrote in her Post commentary, calling for a two-state solution that “recognizes the shared desire for security and freedom of both peoples.”

But she reserves her strongest sympathies for the underdog Palestinians.

“Without a state, the Palestinian people live in a state of permanent refugeehood and displacement,” she wrote.

“This, too, is a refugee crisis, and they, too, deserve freedom and dignity.”

To the small number of Israel critics in Congress, Omar and her progressive colleagues are a revelation. Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota told Vice News that Israel’s “apartheid-like policies” were antagonizing a growing number of ­Democrats and other Americans.

“What has changed is that there are now members of Congress who are not willing to ignore the Israeli government’s destructive actions because they are afraid of losing an election,” McCollum said.

The Democratic presidential candidates vying for the progressive vote—Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris of California and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts—also have expressed their support for Omar. But Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a more mainstream Democrat with unassailable pro-Israel credentials, has faulted both Omar and her detractors.

“Those with critical views of Israel, such as Congresswoman Omar, should be able to express their views without employing anti-Semitic tropes about money and influence,” Gillibrand said in a statement,

“just as those critical of Omar should not be using Islamophobic language.”

Mainstream supporters of the Jewish state are also unnerved by the shifting landscape.

Worried that the influence of Omar and other progressives will erode support for Israel within the Democratic Party, longtime Democratic pollster Mark Mellman and Ann Lewis, a former Clinton White House communications director, recently formed a new group called Democratic Majority for Israel, describing themselves as “progressive Democrats committed to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.”

In response to McCollum’s “apartheid” remarks, Mellman ­issued a statement, accusing the representative of anti-Semitism.

Such ­reactions have drawn derision from progressives on Twitter.

“You’re not fooling anyone with this farce,” tweeted one respondent.

Meanwhile, Omar seems determined to push the boundaries.


5/8
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 06:02:53 pm
At a town hall meeting that took place in a hip Washington bookstore just two weeks after her “Benjamins” tweet, she provoked yet another round of allegations of anti-Semitism when she said pro-Israel organizations in the United States “push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, a fellow Democrat, demanded Omar apologize for her “vile anti-Semitic slur,” and New York Representative Nita Lowey urged her to meet with members of the Jewish community to learn why they found such accusations of dual loyalty so hurtful.

Responding to Lowey on Twitter, Omar shot back:

“Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”

In a long thread, Omar continued, “I am told every day that I am anti-­American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks.”

Indeed, for weeks now, Republicans have demanded Omar’s ­removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second-highest-ranking House Republican, even expressed concern that Omar’s presence on the panel allowed her to receive classified briefings, suggesting dual loyalty on her part that posed a national security threat.

“Why would you have her on a committee that important, that sensitive?” he told Fox News.

(Omar’s defenders pointed out Scalise’s own checkered past. In 2002, he addressed a white supremacist group called the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, founded by David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He later claimed he was unaware of the affiliation.)

With pressure building, the House Democratic leadership summoned the party caucus in late March to consider a resolution condemning Omar by name for what they regarded as her anti-Semitic remarks. But party progressives pushed back, protesting she was under fire primarily for criticizing Israel.

Moreover, they argued, she had been singled out because she was Muslim and black.

If the House was going to condemn anti-Semitism, it also had to condemn Islamophobia, these lawmakers said, citing a poster at a recent GOP event in the West Virginia Legislature that juxtaposed an image of the burning World Trade Center with an Omar photo.

Both Omar and Tlaib have received death threats, and in February, Christopher Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, was arrested and found to have a large cache of weapons and a roster of Democratic lawmakers he plotted to kill, including Omar and Ocasio-­Cortez.

“No wonder why I am on the ‘Hitlist’ of a domestic terrorist and ‘Assassinate Ilhan Omar’ is written on my local gas stations,” Omar tweeted.

“Look no further, the GOP’s anti-Muslim display likening me to a terrorist rocks in state capitols and no one is condemning them!”

(the puppet called Hasson’s alleged plot “a shame.”)

6/8
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 06:08:47 pm
In the end, the resolution denounced anti-Semitism, as well as bigotry against Muslims and other religious groups, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, immigrants, Pacific Islanders and LGBT people. It passed the House by a vote of 407 to 23, with all Democrats in attendance unanimous in their support.

The resolution, however, has only deepened the partisan ­divide over Israel, and the threats against Omar keep coming.

In April, police arrested another man who called Omar’s office and threatened to “put a bullet in her skull;” he labeled her a “terrorist.”

The next day, the puppet made a sarcastic reference to Omar in a campaign speech to Jewish Republicans in Las Vegas.

With the 2020 ­election cycle now underway, GOP leaders are seizing upon the broader anti-bigotry measure, as well as Omar’s comments, to put in motion their election strategy of tarring all Democrats as both anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic.

Republicans are basing their strategy in part on polls that show far greater sympathy for Israel among Republican voters than Democrats.

A 2018 Pew Research Center poll showed 79 percent of Republicans said they sympathized more with Israel than with Palestinians, compared with just 27 percent of Democrats.

Pew said the partisan divide over the issue was wider than at any time in the past 40 years.

A huge component of Israel’s supporters are evangelical Christians, who make up a third of the Republican base.

But a couple of political realities should give Republicans pause.

American Jews are not single-issue voters and don’t choose their presidents on the basis of their pro-Israel sympathies alone.

And most Jews historically vote Democratic.

In the 2016 presidential election, 68 percent of Jews voted for Hillary Clinton, while only 28 percent chose the puppet, according to a GBA Strategies poll.

A Pew poll showed Obama captured 69 percent of the Jewish vote in 2012 and 74 percent in 2008.

Lastly, despite all of their pandering at the AIPAC conference, the Republicans have a dismal record when it comes to comments that offend Jews.

During his campaign, the puppet perpetuated stereotypes of Jews using money to buy influence, telling Jewish donors,

“You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your politicians—that’s fine.”

At the same event, he drew on another Jewish stereotype, telling the audience,

“I’m a negotiator, like you folks. We are negotiators,” he said.

“Is there anybody who doesn’t negotiate deals in this room?”

The puppet also has depicted Jews as “globalists,” using their power for their own enrichment.

The final television ad of his 2016 campaign showed images of the Hungarian-born financier George Soros; Janet Yellen, then-chairwoman of the Federal Reserve; and Lloyd Blankfein, then-chairman of Goldman Sachs—all Jews—as the puppet warned of the “global special interests.”

Shadowy figures “partner with these people who don’t have your good in mind,” he said.

And after white supremacists chanting “Jews will not replace us” clashed violently with protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, the puppet said there were “very fine people on both sides.”

McCarthy, the House minority leader, also has offended Jews.

Just before the midterm election last ­November, he tweeted, “We cannot allow Soros, [Tom] Steyer, and [Michael] Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA.”

All three are wealthy Jewish donors to Democratic candidates. McCarthy deleted the tweet but strongly denied any anti-Semitic intent.

7/8
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 06:10:53 pm
Omar was wrong to suggest that U.S. support for Israel is only about money, Rosenberg wrote in The Nation article.

There are plenty of other reasons why the United States has allied itself with Israel over the past 70 years, ranging from Cold War strategic considerations to modern-day intelligence sharing against terrorists and Iran.

But a major reason, Rosenberg noted, is the Holocaust, which underscored the need for a safe Jewish state.

Inci­dents such as the white supremacist gunman who attacked the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh during Sabbath services last October, killing 11 worshipers, only reinforce that reason.

But Rosenberg also argued the continuing need for a Jewish safe haven doesn’t mean Israel must maintain its occupation of the West Bank and deny the Palestinians their own state on those lands.

And, he added, it certainly doesn’t mean a U.S. policy of uncon­ditional support for Israel’s right-wing Netanyahu government.

Omar and her progressive supporters represent the first credible challenge to those policies.

Their successful effort to produce a resolution that condemns all forms of bigotry, instead of only Omar and anti-Semitism, was no small accomplishment, given the strength of Israel’s supporters among Democrats.

Future challenges are likely to prove more difficult—and taxing on Democratic unity.

Next up: a looming battle in the House over Boycott, Divest and Sanctions, a pro-Palestinian campaign that calls for Israel’s economic isolation as a way to pressure it to end its occupation of the West Bank.

Israel and its supporters have called BDS anti-Semitic, and AIPAC sponsored a bill that would allow state and municipal governments to punish any company that participates.

The measure, drafted by Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio and West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, has already passed the Senate.

But significantly, nearly half the Democratic caucus voted against it, including all the senators running for the presidency in 2020, with the exception of Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Each of the senators who voted against the measure cited its infringement on the First Amendment right to free speech as the reason for their opposition.

“While I do not support the BDS movement, we must defend every American’s constitutional right to peacefully engage in political activity,” Sanders tweeted.













Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.newsweek.com/ilhan-omar-democrats-israel-trump-1389677 (https://www.newsweek.com/ilhan-omar-democrats-israel-trump-1389677)

8/8
Title: Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
Post by: Battle on June 16, 2019, 09:58:23 am
Sunday, 16th June 2019
Wife of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu pleads guilty to misuse of government funds

by Dom Calicchio

(https://i.imgur.com/4ogmVa2.gif)



The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to a plea deal in connection with allegations that she misused about $100,000 in government money.

Under terms of the agreement, Sara Netanyahu, 60, has been sentenced to pay a fine of roughly $15,000, the Associated Press reported.

A Jerusalem magistrate court accepted the plea agreement Sunday, the report said.

Mrs. Netanyahu, who been married to the prime minister since 1991, had been accused of running up large tabs at luxury restaurants even though the prime minister’s official residence employed a full-time chef.

Her lawyer, Yossi Cohen, claimed in court that the case lacked merit and was brought solely as a political smear directed at her husband, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The State Attorney's office said she will pay additional fines to conclude the case.

Mrs. Netanyahu was indicted on fraud and breach-of-trust charges last year.

Under the plea deal, she admitted guilt on lesser charges.

Meanwhile, the prime minister, 69, still faces an indictment on corruption charges of his own.













Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/wife-of-israeli-pm-benjamin-netanyahu-pleads-guilty-to-misuse-of-government-funds/ar-AACXsRc?ocid=spartanntp (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/wife-of-israeli-pm-benjamin-netanyahu-pleads-guilty-to-misuse-of-government-funds/ar-AACXsRc?ocid=spartanntp)