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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Obama answers Netanyahu

Dry Bones' Yaakov Kirschen overheard President Obama's answer to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Heh (Hat Tip: Lance K).

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What Netanyahu said that was new

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress revealed two significant gaps in the U.S. and Israeli approaches to the Middle East, according to Dr. Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Let's go to the videotape.

Why do I trust Israeli intelligence a lot more than American intelligence on Iran? Maybe this has something to do with it.

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Khameni has cancer, in critical condition

Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni reportedly has cancer and has less than two years to live. He is reported to be in critical condition (which makes you wonder whether two years is a stretch).
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is rumored to have been hospitalized in critical condition according to Arabic media reports, just days after a report by Le Figaro stated that doctors had given Khamenei only two years to live.

The report can not be immediately verified but Le Figaro, citing Western intelligence officials, reported Wednesday that the 76-year-old leader, is suffering from stage four prostate cancer which has spread to other parts of his body.
The 75-year-old cleric, who has ruled since the death in 1989 of the Islamic republic's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini underwent prostate surgery in September which official Iranian news said had been successful.
Khamenei's powers include direct control of the regime's media apparatus -- through state television and radio -- and thus he would have personally taken the decision to publicize his surgery.

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In case you didn't notice, it's not just about Israel

Israel is not the only US ally that is concerned about developments in the negotiations over Iran's nuclear capability. In case you hadn't noticed, the Gulf States are not exactly jumping for joy either (Hat Tip: Eli Tabori).
The Israeli prime minister’s public confrontation with President Barack Obama over the U.S. administration’s pursuit of a nuclear bargain with Iran may have drawn all the spotlight this week. But America’s other key allies across the Middle East—such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates—are just as distraught, even if they lack the kind of lobbying platform that Benjamin Netanyahu was offered in Congress.
“A lot of the Gulf countries feel they are being thrown under the bus,” said Mishaal al-Gergawi, managing director of the Delma Institute in Abu Dhabi and a prominent Emirati political commentator. “The Gulf thought it was in a monogamous relationship with the West, and now it realizes it’s being cheated on because the U.S. was in an open relationship with it.”
Trying to assuage such concerns, Secretary of State John Kerry flew Wednesday to Saudi Arabia. There, he is slated to discuss with King Salman and foreign ministers of other Gulf nations their worries that the nuclear deal may enable Iran to dominate the region. 
Even before the revolution, Iran tried to dominate the Gulf, laying claim to Shiite-majority Bahrain and seizing disputed islands claimed by the U.A.E.
Taking advantage of the Obama administration’s attempt to pivot away from the region, Tehran in recent years asserted its influence in Baghdad and solidified its control in Damascus and Beirut. Last month, pro-Iranian Houthi Shiite militias seized power in Yemen’s capital San’a and ousted that country’s U.S.-backed president.
The Sunni Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia that are engaged in proxy conflicts with Tehran in Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Lebanon view this confrontation as an existential zero-sum game—and interpret any American opening to Iran, and any relaxation of the economic sanctions that have hobbled Iran’s ability to project power, as succor to the enemy.
“Some of these countries are more worried about the consequences of the deal, about how it will change the balance of power in the region, rather than the actual contents of the deal,” explained Ali Vaez, Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group think tank. These fears are overblown, he said: “The reality is that the U.S. may have a tactical overlap in its interests in the region with Iran, but strategically it sees the region in a very different way.”
That may be true, but this tactical overlap has already created strategic consequences in the crucial battlefields of Syria and Iraq, cementing Iran’s sway in both nations.
 Read the whole thing. Will the Gulf States decide that 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'?

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Bomb Iran: The Musical

Should we or should we not bomb the nuclear infrastructure of a country who has the desire for world domination, a genocidal hatred of Jews and aspirations to bring “Death to America?”

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Breitbart).


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Who'd a thunk it? Dennis Ross backs Netanyahu

Dennis Ross, who was President Obama's representative to the Iran negotiations early in his term, has come out backing Prime Minister Netanyahu, urging President Obama not to ignore the Prime Minister's concerns.
While the Obama administration is unlikely to accept his argument that it should simply negotiate better and harder, it should not dismiss the concerns Netanyahu raises about the emerging deal. Indeed, the administration's argument that there is no better alternative than the deal it is negotiating begs the question of whether the prospective agreement is acceptable.
And, here, the administration needs to explain why the deal it is trying to conclude actually will prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons for the lifetime of the agreement and afterwards. It needs to explain why the combination of the number and quality of centrifuges, their output, and the ship-out from Iran of enriched uranium will, in fact, ensure that the break-out time for the Iranians will not be less than one year. Either this combination adds up or it does not, but there should be an explicit answer to Netanyahu's charge that Iran will be able to break out much more quickly.
Similarly, there should be an answer on how the verification regime is going to work to ensure that we can detect, even in a larger nuclear program, any Iranian violation of the agreement. The issue of verification is critical not just because Iran's past clandestine nuclear efforts prove it cannot be trusted, but also because the administration has made a one-year break-out time the key measure of success of the agreement. But we can be certain that Iran will be one year away from being able to produce a bomb's supply of weapons-grade uranium only if we can detect what they are doing when they do it.
Obviously, detection is only part of the equation. We cannot wait to determine what we will do about violations when they happen. Iran must know in advance what the consequences are for violations, particularly if we want to deter them in the first place. This clearly goes to the heart of Netanyahu's concerns: If he had high confidence that we would impose harsh consequences in response to Iranian violations, including the use of force if we caught Iran dashing toward a weapon, he would be less fearful of the agreement he believes is going to emerge.
But he does not see that, and he fears that, as with past arms control agreements, we will seek to discuss violations and not respond to them until it is too late. The administration should address this fear and prove it means what it says by spelling out different categories of violations and the consequences for each — and then seek congressional authorization to empower this president and his successors to act on these consequences.
If applied also to Iranian moves toward a nuclear weapon after the expiration of the deal, the administration would truly be answering the most significant of the concerns that Netanyahu raised.

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Netanyahu's red line

Heh (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).

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Report: 'Post-partisan' Obama makes Dermer price of detente

There may be nothing in the US-Israel relationship that has gotten Barack Hussein Obama more upset than Prime Minister Netanyahu's appointment of Ron Dermer as Ambassador to the United States. Dermer, an American immigrant, is the scion of a Republican family from Florida. Obama doesn't like Republicans. Now, Haaretz's Barak Ravid is reporting that Dermer's replacement is to the price of 'mending' Prime Minister Netanyahu's ties with Washington.
Senior administration officials said the White House is not planning any retaliation against Netanyahu, nor is it considering ways to punish him if he wins the election. Nevertheless, the wounds caused by the premier’s address to Congress are far from being healed, and Netanyahu will have to make great efforts to restore good relations with the Obama administration.
“We are not the ones who created this crisis,” said a senior administration official. “President Obama has another two years in office and we wish to go back to a reality where you can work together despite the differences. The prime minister of Israel is the one who needs to find a way to fix this.” 
Although White House officials don’t say so explicitly, they seem to imply that one way to repair the relations between Netanyahu and Obama would be to replace Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer. The latter is seen as an instigator who concocted Netanyahu’s Congress speech behind Obama’s back with John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives.
In his speech to AIPAC, Netanyahu praised Dermer for standing firm and taking the heat in Washington. If Netanyahu wins the election and continues to back Dermer, the ambassador will find himself isolated in the American capital. As long as Obama is in the White House, nobody in the administration will work with him. 
Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer, who is close to the Obama administration, wrote in an article on Politico Magazine on Tuesday that “Dermer’s ability to function as the Israeli ambassador is now severely weakened, perhaps even fatally so.”
In acting more as Netanyahu’s personal envoy than Israel’s ambassador, Dermer “has lost touch with a large segment of Americans – including a majority of the Jewish community that votes for the Democrats. Ambassadors are an expendable lot – I know from experience – and Dermer has now outlived his usefulness as Israel’s envoy to the United States,” Kurtzer wrote.
 Petty. Vindictive. Describes Obama and his crew perfectly.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

As electioneering, it was a failure?

So much for the Prime Minister's expected bounce in the polls as a result of his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday: Channel 2 is reporting that it was 'modest' at best.

Israeli Channel 2 news said Netanyahu’s Likud party had increased its likely support by one seat in the parliament. On rival Channel 10, Likud had gained two seats to tie its main challenger.
In answer to Channel 2’s question, “Did the speech strengthen or weaken support for Netanyahu?” 44 percent of the respondents said it strengthened support, 43 percent said it had no influence, and 12 percent said it weakened support for the premier.
Israeli political analysts had predicted that Netanyahu and Likud would probably see at least a small bump in support after he warned U.S. lawmakers to reject President Obama’s draft deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
It is too soon to know whether any electoral boost that Netanyahu gains from the speech will be sustained.
The real scrum of the election has just begun.
Likudniks are hoping the boss’s address to Congress will pull them ahead of their main challenger, Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and his running mate, former justice minister and peace negotiator Tzipi Livni, who are running under the banner of the Zionist Union.
Herzog and the Zionist Union plan to hammer away on the theme that Netanyahu’s address to Congress may do nothing to change the Iran nuclear deal but has spoiled relations with Washington.
Israeli newspapers and TV were filled Wednesday with images of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi looking vexed during Netanyahu’s address. “I was near tears throughout the prime minister's speech — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States,” Pelosi said afterward.
 You don't think the newspapers and TV are pulling for Herzog, do you?

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The New York Times gives Iran equal time

A frelichen (happy) Purim to all of you - here in Jerusalem the holiday does not start until tomorrow night.

Imagine, if you would, that on December 26 or 27, 1941, the New York Times had given equal time to Adolph Hitler to respond to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's speech before the a joint session of the United States Congress. What do you think would have happened?

Would Hitler have explained how Germany needed lebensraum because its then-current size was insufficient for its growing population?

Would he have explained how the 'real issue' was the Jewish 'leeches' who were sucking Germany's resources dry?

Would he have justified that month's Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as a 'necessary response' to American 'aggression'?

We'll never know, because in those days the Times had not yet heard the words 'politically correct.' But today is different, and the Times has - incredibly - given op-ed space to Iran's ambassador to the United Nations to respond to Prime Minister Netanyahu. No, this is not a Purim joke.
Despite extensive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, no evidence has ever been presented to contradict the clear commitment by Iran’s leaders that they would under no circumstances engage in manufacturing, stockpiling and using nuclear weapons. In 2013, for example, only Japan, which has many more nuclear facilities than Iran, was subject to greater agency scrutiny.
As one side of the talks that continue in Geneva, Iran can also bear testimony to the campaign of misinformation by Mr. Netanyahu to mislead the global public about the details of those nuclear negotiations. When the parties were finalizing the interim agreement in 2013, Mr. Netanyahu claimed that it would involve Iran’s receiving $50 billion in sanctions relief; the actual amount was about $7 billion. And as for his prediction that Iran would never abide by the terms of the accord, Iran has dutifully stood by every commitment — as the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported.
Stood by every commitment? Really?
In our view, Mr. Netanyahu has consistently used these false alarms and outlandish claims both to serve his domestic political maneuvering and to create a smoke screen that relegates the Palestinian question to the margins. We have noted how his rhetoric has intensified in proportion to the international pressure on Israel to stop the settlement activity and end the occupation of the Palestinian territory.
Oh, of course. And Britain was using its cries of alarm over Nazi Germany in 1941 to cover 'mass Jewish immigration' to Palestine under its auspices.

Have we moved from 1939 to 1941? Are we now seeing what the Times would have looked like had it been sufficiently politically correct back then? Who will protest?

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Barack's got some 'splainin' to do

In the aftermath of Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress, Jonathan Tobin argues that President Hussein Obama has some explaining to do.
Thus, by the time the address was over, the issue was no longer whether he should have given the speech. Though the White House is doggedly trying to portray the speech as partisan, it was not. Now it is the substance of Netanyahu’s concerns about Iran’s behavior and the failure of the Western powers to negotiate a deal that would stop Iran from getting a weapon that is the subject of discussion. Which is to say that after winning news cycles at Netanyahu’s expense throughout February, the White House has set itself up to have to explain years of concessions to a dangerous regime with almost nothing to show for it in terms of making the world any safer.
At the core of the disagreement between Netanyahu and Obama on Iran is the president’s faith that Iran can or will change. Even Obama apologists no longer regard the notion that Hassan Rouhani’s election as president signaled a move toward moderation as a serious argument. Though the administration has been careful not to defend Iran’s past and present behavior, by eloquently laying out the Islamist regime’s record of terrorism and aggression, it put the onus on the president to explain why he thinks that over the course of the next decade, Iran is going to, “get right with the world,” as he has said.
Equally important, the speech forces the president to defend the substance of the deal he is desperately trying to entice the Iranians to sign. Netanyahu reminded the world what has happened since Obama’s pledge during his 2012 foreign-policy debate with Mitt Romney that any deal with Iran would force it to give up its nuclear program. Since then, the administration has not only recognized Iran’s right to enrich uranium but also agreed to let them keep several thousand centrifuges and the rest of their nuclear infrastructure.
As Netanyahu pointed out, even if they abide by the terms of the deal—something about which reasonable people are doubtful given their past record of cheating and unwillingness to open their country to United Nations inspectors—the ten-year sunset clause Obama mentioned in interviews yesterday gives the regime the ability to eventually build a nuclear weapon. Rather than stopping Iran from getting a bomb, the path that Obama has travelled ensures they will eventually get one even if the accord works. The president not only guarantees that Iran will become a threshold nuclear power but, as Netanyahu rightly argued, sets in motion a series of events that will create a new nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Did Netanyahu offer an alterative to the president’s policy? The answer is yes. The administration is right when they say Netanyahu offered nothing new, but that was the point. After belatedly adopting sanctions, the administration quickly gave up on them just at the moment in 2013 when they were starting to bite. By toughening sanctions, as the Kirk-Menendez bill currently before Congress would do, and increasing the political and economic pressure on the regime, the U.S. has a chance to reverse Obama’s concessions and bring Iran to its knees. The West must insist that Iran change its behavior before sanctions are lifted, rather than afterward. Instead of Obama and Kerry’s zeal for a deal encouraging the Iranians to make no concessions, Netanyahu was correct to remind Congress that Tehran needs a deal more than the U.S. Indeed, Netanyahu not only offered an alternative; he put forward the only one that has a chance of stopping Iran from getting a weapon without using force.
Read the whole thing.

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NY Times slams Netanyahu as 'unconvincing'

As expected, the New York Times editorial slammed Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday. In fact, the only question is whether the editorial was written before or after Netanyahu spoke.
Mr. Netanyahu has two main objections. One is that an agreement would not force Iran to dismantle its nuclear facilities and would leave it with the ability to enrich uranium and, in time, to produce enough nuclear fuel for a bomb. Two, that a deal to severely restrict Iran’s ability to produce nuclear fuel for a decade or more is not long enough. He also dismisses the potential effectiveness of international inspections to deter Iran from cheating.
While an agreement would not abolish the nuclear program, which Iran says it needs for power generation and medical purposes, neither would walking away. Even repeated bombing of Iran’s nuclear plants would not eliminate its capability because Iran and its scientists have acquired the nuclear know-how over the past six decades to rebuild the program in a couple of years.
The one approach that might constrain Iran is tough negotiations, which the United States and its partners Britain, France, China, Germany and Russia have rightly committed to. If an agreement comes together, it would establish verifiable limits on the nuclear program that do not now exist and ensure that Iran could not quickly produce enough weapons-usable material for a bomb. The major benefit for Iran is that it would gradually be freed of many of the onerous international sanctions that have helped cripple its economy.
While no Iranian facilities are expected to be dismantled, critical installations are expected to be reconfigured so they are less of a threat and the centrifuge machines used to enrich uranium would be reduced. Iran would be barred from enriching uranium above 5 percent, the level needed for power generation and medical uses but not sufficient for producing weapons-grade nuclear fuel. Absent a negotiated agreement, Iran will continue with its program without constraints.
These negotiations are anything but tough. Iran has conceded virtually nothing. No plants are to be reconfigured in any meaningful way (unless the Times knows something that Congress doesn't - wouldn't be the first time), and Iran will be left with thousands of centrifuges and the ability to fire up the nuclear machine anytime it wants to. Moreover, the agreement depends on 'inspections,' and we've all seen where that leads. And it does nothing to stop Iran from developing ballistic missiles, or for that matter a plutonium bomb.

When these negotiations were ramped up, Obama himself promised that he would not conclude a bad deal because a bad deal was worse than no deal. Obama has obviously changed his tune, and as usual, the Times is just singing along. In the meantime, all Netanyahu can do is to object as much as possible, without using any facts that the administration has not already disclosed to the Times.

What could go wrong?

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Must see: Exclusive video of Pelosi reaction to Netanyahu speech

Make sure to click the link.

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White House hides behind anonymous tweets read on CNN

Stay classy. 

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Al-Arabiya editor endorses Netanyahu

In a piece published before Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress, al-Arabiya editor Faisal Abbas argued that President Obama should listen to Netanyahu on Iran.
Abbas, it should be clear, is no fan of Netanyahu, beginning his column by saying that “It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says. However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.”
Abbas noted that the Iranian threat is perhaps the “only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis.”
His main theme, one that Netanyahu would also concentrate on in his address, was that Iran is a major sponsor of global terror and cause of instability in the Middle East.
The Israeli PM managed to hit the nail right on the head when he said that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and that “terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling in the vacuum” during a recent ceremony held in Tel Aviv to thank outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz for his role during “challenging” times.
In just a few words, Mr. Netanyahu managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other U.S. allies in the region.
What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayottallah Ali Khamenei.
Read it all

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Twittersphere chews up and spits out former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod

Here are two of the pathetic tweets put out by former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod during Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress.
Really? Then why isn't he in Israel campaigning like his rival, Buzi Herzog? Pretty silly way to campaign, isn't it? Oh... wait... didn't Obama campaign by traveling around the world to adoring crowds? No legislatures of course....
Actually, Netanyahu proposed seeking a good deal instead of throwing in the towel and accepting a bad one. Of course, that might take beyond Obama's term to negotiate. Is that what you're afraid of Mr. Axelrod?
Yes, it is. How else should we view a country developing nuclear weapons for religious purposes that promises regularly to wipe us off the map.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Pouty Pelosi says she was 'almost in tears,' Obama says no alternatives

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement claiming to have been 'almost in tears' during Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress, while President Hussein Obama, who supposedly believes that no deal is better than a bad deal, claims there is no choice but to sign a bad deal. First Pelosi.
“The unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel are rooted in our shared values, our common ideals and mutual interests.  Ours is a deep and abiding friendship that will always reach beyond party. Americans stand shoulder to shoulder with the Israeli people.  The state of Israel stands as the greatest political achievement of the 20th century, and the United States will always have an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.
“That is why, as one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.
“Today, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated something we all agree upon: a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable to both our countries.  We have all said that a bad deal is worse than no deal, and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons is the bedrock of our foreign policy and national security.  As President Obama has said consistently, all options are on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.”
They are? Apparently she forgot to check that with President Reefer.
President Barack Obama says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) didn't offer any "viable alternatives" to the nuclear negotiations with Iran during his speech to Congress.
Obama says he read a transcript of Netanyahu's speech Tuesday. He says "there was nothing new" in the speech.
Obama says Netanyahu made almost the same speech when he warned against the interim deal reached with Iran. Obama says that deal has resulted in a freeze and rolling back of Iran's nuclear program.
Obama says Netanyahu's alternative to the talks amounts to no deal at all. He says that would lead Iran to redouble efforts to build a nuclear bomb.
In his speech, Netanyahu said the deal would all but guarantee that Iran gets nuclear weapons.
'Nothing new' other than the interruptions to applaud. 'All options are on the table' but 'no deal at all' isn't an option? Were these two clowns listening? Pathetic.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks to Congress

For those of you who, like me, missed the live broadcast of Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to Congress, there's a full transcript here. Here are some highlights.
Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.

In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.


The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember -- I'll say it one more time -- the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can't let that happen.


But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them. 

Let me explain why. While the final deal has not yet been signed, certain elements of any potential deal are now a matter of public record. You don't need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this. You can Google it. 
Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.

The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short break-out time to the bomb. Break-out time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

According to the deal, 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.

Because 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 if -- if Iran's work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that break-out time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.

True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran's nuclear program and Iran's adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors. But here's the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don't stop them.

Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn't stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.

Now, we're warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs.

Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors. It's done that on at least three separate occasions -- 2005, 2006, 2010. Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras. 
Now, I know this is not gonna come a shock -- as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them. 

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught -- caught twice, not once, twice -- operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn't even know existed. 

Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don't know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, "If there's no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn't have one." Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that's why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.

But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade. 
Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it's the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It's a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran's nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could product many, many nuclear bombs. 

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. 

My long-time friend, John Kerry, Secretary of State, confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity when the deal expires. 

Now I want you to think about that. The foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy. 

And by the way, if Iran's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table. Well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the earth, including to every part of the United States. 
So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. 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.

So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?

Well, I disagree. I don't believe that Iran's radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite -- would only wet Iran's appetite for more.

Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it's under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?

Why should Iran's radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world's: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?

This is a question that everyone asks in our region. Israel's neighbors -- Iran's neighbors know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it's been given a clear path to the bomb.
And many of these neighbors say they'll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own. So this deal won't change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse. A deal that's supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.

This deal won't be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox. 

If anyone thinks -- if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we'll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've come here today to tell you we don't have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don't have to gamble with our future and with our children's future.

We can insist that restrictions on Iran's nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.

Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second...


Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.


And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.


Thank you.

If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.


If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted. If Iran doesn't change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.


If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.

My friends, what about the argument that there's no alternative to this deal, that Iran's nuclear know-how cannot be erased, that its nuclear program is so advanced that the best we can do is delay the inevitable, which is essentially what the proposed deal seeks to do?

Well, nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn't get you very much. A racecar driver without a car can't drive. A pilot without a plan can't fly. Without thousands of centrifuges, tons of enriched uranium or heavy water facilities, Iran can't make nuclear weapons.


Iran's nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.
Yes, there was lots and lots of applause. Read the whole thing

I think he did pretty well. He didn't give away any secrets because he didn't need to. He was even conciliatory to Obama. But he made the argument that this is a bad deal and that it's possible to get a better deal.

Of course, it may not be possible to get a better deal during Obama's term in office. It might take longer. You don't think that's what's motivating Obama and Kerry and Co. do you?

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Iran and Hezbullah seeking war with Israel?


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Video: John Bolton on Netanyahu addressing Congress

Here's former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton discussing Prime Minister Netanyahu's upcoming address to a joint session of Congress.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Leader of the free world to address Congress today

When Prime Minister Netanyahu strides to the lectern in about five hours time, he will be doing so as the leader of the free world, argues Quin Hillyer at the National Review (Hat Tips: Memeorandum and Pete F).
The leader of the free world will be addressing Congress on Tuesday. The American president is doing everything possible to undermine him. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a nation surrounded by enemies, a nation so small that it narrows at one point to just 9.3 miles.
Yet, in a world where the Oval Office is manned by someone openly apologetic for most American exercises of power; and where Western Europe’s economy is enervated, its people largely faithless, and its leadership feckless; and where Freedom House has found “an overall drop in [global] freedom for the ninth consecutive year,” the safeguarding of our civilization might rely more on leaders who possess uncommon moral courage than on those who possess the most nukes or biggest armies.
Right now, nobody on the world stage speaks for civilization the way Netanyahu does. While Barack Obama babbles about the supposedly “legitimate grievances” of those who turn to jihad, Netanyahu talks like this (from his speech to the United Nations on September 27, 2012):

As Barack Obama complains (with scant grasp of the historical context) about how Christians were such gosh-darn meanies a thousand years ago in the Crusades, Netanyahu protects the ability of Muslims today to have free access to the Old City of Jerusalem, even as Jews and Christians are prohibited from visiting the Temple Mount. At the beginning of his first term, in his first trip overseas as president, Obama delivered a speech to Turkey’s parliament, under the thumb of the repressive Tayyip Erdogan. “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history,” he confessed, sounding like America’s therapist-in-chief. “Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.”
Netanyahu, in contrast, in a 2011 Meet the Press interview, offered unabashed words of praise for the United States: “Israel is the one country in which everyone is pro-American, opposition and coalition alike. And I represent the entire people of Israel who say, ‘Thank you, America.’ And we’re friends of America, and we’re the only reliable allies of America in the Middle East.” (Netanyahu was accurate in his description of how much Israelis appreciate Americans, as I saw last summer during a visit to the country.)
In thanking America, Netanyahu was not posturing for political advantage. Netanyahu — who spent far more of his formative years on the American mainland than Obama did, and who took enemy fire at the age when Obama was openly pushing Marxist theory, and who learned and practiced free enterprise at the same age when Obama was practicing and teaching Alinskyism — has spoken eloquently for decades in praise of the Western heritage of freedom and human rights. He also speaks and acts, quite obviously, to preserve security — for Israel, of course, but more broadly for the civilized world. On Tuesday, as he has done for more than 30 years, Netanyahu will talk about the threat to humanity posed by Iran.
It’s mind-boggling to imagine that any national leader in the free world would fail to understand the danger. The ayatollahs have never backed down from their stated aim of destroying Christendom. They have never wavered from their depiction of the United States as the “Great Satan.” Just last week, Iran bragged about its recent test-firing of “new strategic weapons” that it says will “play a key role” in any future battle against the “Great Satan U.S.”
Read the whole thing.

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Democrats boycott Cruz, Wiesel panel

Rabbi Shmuely Boteach held a panel in a Senate office building on Monday, which featured Ted Cruz and Elie Wiesel. The panel addressed Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and was intended to be bipartisan. Unfortunately, the Democrat who was supposed to be on the panel didn't show up.
The Cruz-Wiesel event was intended as a bipartisan dialogue. But Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., pulled out after the host, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, ran a full-page ad in The New York Times accusing White House national security adviser Susan Rice of turning a blind eye to genocide.
The ad featured a photo of Rice looking away from a stack of human skulls. Sherman called it vulgar, and Boteach opened the event by apologizing, insisting his disagreements with Rice are strictly over policy.
Because after all, what's more important: Stopping an Iranian nuclear weapon or defending what's left of Susan Rice's honor?

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Report: Obama has cut intelligence cooperation with Israel on Iran

A report from Israel Television's Channel 10 indicates that Barack Hussein Obama has cut intelligence cooperation with Israel on Iran's nuclear program out of fear that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will use what he knows through that intelligence cooperation to keep Obama from endangering Israel (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
A report on Monday night by the Hebrew-language Channel 10, notes that the cooperation between Israeli and American intelligence agencies until now has aided the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in formulating reports on Iran's nuclear program, reports that advanced the sanctions against the Islamic regime.
At the moment, while Israel is cooperating with various countries in terms of intelligence on Iran's nuclear program, the cooperation with the United States has stopped according to the report.
In closed conversations senior sources in the White House have expressed concerns that Netanyahu will reveal details Obama has kept secret from the nuclear deal being sealed with Iran, according to the news channel.
While US Secretary of State John Kerry has claimed Israel isn't familiar with the details of the plan, that claim was undermined when Kerry on Monday asked Netanyahu not to reveal certain details in his Congress speech Tuesday.
According to senior Israeli sources cited in the report, Obama has not only made clear he will not meet with Netanyahu, but is even refusing to talk with the Israeli prime minister on the telephone during his visit.
It is fair to point out that there have been other reports that cooperation had been stopped over the past week that have been denied. Still, it's 12 hours since this report was issued and I have not heard of a denial.  We will know more after Netanyahu speaks to Congress on Tuesday. But this much can be said for sure. Netanyahu is not a fool and he would not flush Israel's relations with the United States down the drain unless he felt there is no choice. Netanyahu has been holding fire through six years of abuse by Obama. If he's firing now, there has to be a reason.

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Saudi columnist: 'I'm glad Netanyahu decided to speak to Congress against the nuclear agreement despite Obama's anger and fury'

It's come to this: A Saudi columnist has written that he is glad that Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to speak out against President Hussein Obama's Iran agreement. From MEMRI:
In a March 2, 2015 article in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj supported Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to speak at the U.S. Congress against the upcoming deal with Iran. Al-Faraj said that Obama, "one of the worst American presidents," is working to sign a deal with Iran at the expense of America's longtime allies in the Gulf, and therefore Netanyahu's campaign against the deal is justified and serves the interests of the Gulf states.
"This unprecedented tension between the Obama administration and Netanyahu is another in a long series of tense and unfriendly episodes between Obama and Netanyahu. But the tension has never before reached this level, as reflected in statements by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who said that Netanyahu's conduct was unacceptable and even destructive...
"The Obama administration does not suffice with condemning Netanyahu's visit. Obama has announced that he will not meet with Netanyahu on the grounds that he does not meet with state leaders a short while before elections take place in their countries, [though] elections in Israel will take place weeks after the visit!! Likewise, American Vice President Joseph Biden, whose presence at Netanyahu's speech in Congress is expected by virtue of his constitutional role as Senate president, announced that he would be on a trip abroad [on the day of] Netanyahu's speech!! U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also said he would be in Switzerland meeting with the Iranians on the nuclear dossier and therefore would not be able to attend Netanyahu's speech!! What angers the Obama administration even more is that Netanyahu refused an official request by several Democratic Congressmen to meet with him during [his] visit!!…
"I will conclude by saying the following: Since Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and since he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and since he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the U.S.'s longtime allies in the Gulf, I am very glad of Netanyahu's firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration's anger and fury. I believe that Netanyahu's conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents. Do you agree with me?"

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Monday, March 02, 2015

We are all Netanyahu

Today and tomorrow, we are all Netanyahu (although I'm pretty sure Netanyahu would never publicly make the statement in the image).

This administration has gone too far.

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Another bipartisan tradition bites the dust: AIPAC breaks with Obama on Iran

AIPAC has broken a longstanding tradition of bipartisanship by breaking with the Obama administration's handling of Iran's drive for nuclear weapons.
The leadership of the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. publicly broke Sunday from the White House over the issue of Iran policy during the first of a three-day policy conference in Washington attended by 16,000 of its members.
Leaders of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, outlined a strategy moving forward of working through Congress to disrupt any nuclear agreement with Tehran that is deemed too weak in denying the country a nuclear weapons capability.
This would be achieved, they said, both by seeking to impose new sanctions on Iran and to block the White House’s ability to lift standing U.S. sanctions, which would be required as part of any comprehensive agreement.
“Congress has a critical role” in determining this deal, Howard Kohr, Aipac’s executive director, said in opening remarks aimed at rallying the group’s membership. “Congress’s role doesn’t end when there is a deal. Congress must review this deal.”
Mr. Kohr and other Aipac leaders believe any final agreement with Iran must involve the complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, something Obama administration officials have said is no longer on the negotiating table.
Aipac also is seeking to impose new sanctions on Iran if there is no agreement by a late March deadline and to legislate an up-or-down vote in Congress. The White House is opposing both legislative actions.
AIPAC's position sounds a lot like Netanyahu's position. Waiting to hear whether Herzog and Livni disagree. 

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This is rich: Boehner to give Netanyahu bust of Churchill

House Speaker John Boehner plans to present Prime Minister Netanyahu with a gift when Netanyahu speaks to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. The gift is a bust of a politician whom Netanyahu greatly admires: Winston Churchill.
House Speaker John Boehner plans to give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a bust of Winston Churchill when he speaks to a joint meeting of Congress about the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.
The gift was chosen because Netanyahu and the former prime minister of Britain are the only foreign leaders who have addressed Congress three separate times.
Boehner also has invited former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. 
But that's also a thumb in the eye of Barack Hussein Obama, who clearly does not admire Churchill:
President Obama has described himself as a 'citizen of the world.' In doing so, he is characterizing himself as what we would call a multi-culturalist. But he's not just someone who is tolerant of other cultures - he's a dogmatic multi-culturalist and his 'tolerance' extends to different forms of government. In Obama's world, all forms of government and all governments are equal. None is any better than the others.

Winston Churchill (Obama's anti-hero in more ways than one) is known to have quipped that liberal democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. Obama disagrees with that statement. He would argue that democracy is a form of government that is no better nor worse than the others. Once one accepts that statement, there is no advantage to be gained by promoting democracy. Each form of government is to be treated as equally meitorious and is to be dealt with on its own terms.
Maybe this has something to do with Obama's disdain for Churchill.


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Must see video: Judge Jeanine rips Obama some new body parts over his treatment of Netanyahu

Judge Jeanine Pirro rips President Hussein Obama some new body parts over his handling of Iran, Islamic State, and of course, Binyamin Netanyahu.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Varda N).

If only Obama was listening.

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History repeats itself

Is history repeating itself? Let's have a look (Hat Tip: The Beguiling Avigayil) (Daughter #1 Child #1).
Once there was a King in Shushan, the most powerful ruler in the world, who had a strong disdain, dislike or perhaps even hatred of Jews. Today there is a President in Washington, the most powerful ruler in the world, who may not always be a friend of the Jews.
Once there was a Persian who wanted to kill all the Jews, but needed the King's authorization to proceed with his plan. Today there are Persians who want to kill all the Jews, but needs the President's authorization to proceed with their plan.
The King didn't really care, as long as there was something in it for him - lots of money. The President doesn't really care, as long as there is something in it for him - a deal with the Persians (Iran).
The Jewish Queen wanted to tell the King what was really happening, but going in to talk to the King was dangerous. The Jewish Prime Minister wants to tell the President and his Congress what is really happening, but going to talk to them is dangerous.
Some people thought she shouldn't go, it would just anger the King and make things worse. Some people think he shouldn't go, it will just anger the President and make things worse.
She asked the Jews to fast and pray for the success of her mission. They did so, the King accepted her words and the plot to destroy them was thwarted. Will we fast and pray for the success of his mission? Will the President and Congress accept his words? Will the plot to destroy us be thwarted?
We commemorate the fasting prior to the Queen's plea to the King on The fast of Esther. The Prime Minister of Israel has been invited to address the United States Congress on March 3rd. This year The fast of Esther begins on March 3rd.

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IAEA: Iran may be developing nuclear weapons

As President Hussein Obama prepares to appease Iran, Yukia Amano, the chairman of the body that will be asked to monitor any agreement with the mullahcracy, says that his agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is unable to verify whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons due to Iran's refusal to cooperate.

The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said on Monday Iran had still not handed over key information to his staff, and his body's investigation into Tehran's atomic program could not continue indefinitely.
"Iran has yet to provide explanations that enable the agency to clarify two outstanding practical measures," chief Yukiya Amano told the body's Board of Governors in Vienna, echoing a report seen by Reuters last month.

The two measures relating to alleged explosives tests and other measures that might have been used for bomb research should have been addressed by Iran by last August.

"The Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," Amano said. 


The Agency remains ready to accelerate the resolution of all outstanding issues, he added, but "this process cannot continue indefinitely".
What could go wrong?

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Kerry warns Netanyahu against revealing details of Iran nuke deal

A day before Prime Minister Netanyahu's address, US Secretary of State John FN Kerry has warned the Prime Minister not to disclose details of the P 5+1 agreement with Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning that public discussion of select details of the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran will make it more difficult to reach a deal that prevents the country from developing atomic weapons.
In comments to reporters in Geneva on Monday, Kerry said he was concerned by reports that details of the talks would be revealed in coming days. He did not elaborate, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak in opposition to a potential Iran deal in an address to Congress on Tuesday.

Netanyahu arrived on Sunday night in Washington D.C. Speaking to reporters during an in-flight briefing, a senior official in the prime minister's entourage said Israel holds a significant amount of trustworthy information regarding the deal taking shape with Iran that points at concessions agreed to by the world powers, which run counter to Israel's interests.

The senior official travelling on the prime minister's plane noted that Netanyahu had received the impression that members of Congress are not fully aware of the details of the deal being worked out. Netanyahu, the official said, is interested in using his speech to inform members of Congress of the information Israel holds in regards the deal, and seeks to help lawmakers there stop it from going ahead.
It is long past time for a little bit of sunshine to bring the 'most open administration evah' out into the open. Here's hoping that Netanyahu has the junk to do it. 

The hell you'll turn us into Czechoslovakia.

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Former IDF chief of staff: There never was an order to strike Iran - the IDF nixed it

In an interview to be aired tonight by Israel's Channel 2, former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz tells Ilana Dayan that - contrary to what was reported on Sunday - there never was an order to strike Iran because the IDF refused to go along.

The Times of Israel previewed the Ilana Dayan interview with Lt. Gen.(ret.) Benny Gantz who was Israeli Chief of Staff until February 16th of this year. Gantz said there was never an authorization for an Israeli attack on Iran:
“It never reached, ‘OK, take off and fly,'” said Gantz in the interview, which is set to air Monday night in Israel. But he added: “I want the to believe they listened and took into consideration what I have to say.”
Gantz, who retired in February after 38 years of service, also revealed a dispute between the political leadership, which was moving toward a military strike, and the IDF, opposed to such a move.
Despite the disagreement, the army would implement such a strike if ordered to do so by the political leadership, Gantz affirmed.
Gantz’s period as chief of staff was a tumultuous one, as he found himself shepherding the IDF through the instabilities caused by the Arab uprisings, the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the cyclonic civil war in Syria, and the ever deteriorating security situation along Israel’s northern and southern borders.
But his legacy may be shaped by inaction against Iran’s nuclear program. The decision to strike was not his to make, but his opposition to a strike during this period, together with the reported opposition of several other security chiefs in recent years, may have helped prevent the political decision to carry it out.
Last year Gantz said that a resolution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program was “preferable without force, but if there’s no choice then it can [be done] with force.”
He said that Israel “unequivocally” had the capacity to strike Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, and that “we’ll know how to act when needed.”
If one believes General Gantz over an anonymous source in Kuwait, then there was never an Israeli attack planned for President Obama to threaten. 
And of course, you all remember why Gantz was appointed Chief of Staff instead of Yoav Galant, right? I guess he did his job....

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Poll: 'Even if Netanyahu has seen his relationship with the White House deteriorate ... no impact on his standing with the American people'

A Gallup poll shows that Prime Minister Netanyahu is viewed favorably by 45% of Americans and unfavorably by 24%. That's a statistical tie with his 1998 favorable rating of 46% (which was around the time that he signed the Wye Agreement), and a significant improvement over his 2012 rating of 35% positive and 23% negative.
While Netanyahu's favorable score has varied slightly over the years, his unfavorable score has been relatively stable, ranging from 20% to 28%. Notably, even while his favorable score increased since 2012, his unfavorable score stayed about the same. Meanwhile, fewer Americans have no opinion of Netanyahu today than did so in 2012, with 31% vs. 41%, respectively, either saying they are unsure or have never heard of him.
[E]ven if Netanyahu has seen his relationship with the White House deteriorate, it appears to have had no impact on his standing with the American people.
Perhaps it should go without saying that Netanyahu does better among Republicans than among Democrats.
Though the American public in general views Netanyahu more favorably than unfavorably, there are sharp party differences in these views. Republicans are much more likely to view Netanyahu positively (60%) than negatively (18%), while Democrats are evenly divided in their views of him: 31% favorable and 31% unfavorable. Independents' favorable ratings of Netanyahu are twice as high as their unfavorable ratings.
And his ratings have improved since 2012 among all parties.
Despite White House and other prominent Democratic officials' criticism of Netanyahu's visit, his favorable rating has improved among all major party groups since 2012. The increase has been slightly higher among independents (+13 points) and Republicans (+10 points) than Democrats (+6 points). Democrats are slightly more likely now to see Netanyahu favorably compared with 2012 -- the well-broadcast break with the Obama administration in recent weeks notwithstanding.
Maybe it pays to pick a fight with Obama.

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Why the Schabas Report will be every bit as biased as the Goldstone Report

Until he was forced out a month ago when it was discovered that he had worked for the PLO, William Schabas headed the United Nations 'human rights council's commission of inquiry into Israel's summer 2014 Operation Protective Edge. The UN has tried arguing that Schabas' resignation means the report won't be biased. That's nonsense. But not for the reason you think. In a lengthy article published by the Tower, Hillel Neuer explains how Richard Goldstone was duped when he headed the Commission of Inquiry into Operation Cast Lead in 2009, and how as much as Schabas was anti-Israel, his presence or absence on the Commission likely made little difference.
There seems no question that Goldstone was duped. He never suspected that OHCHR, the UN agency in charge of providing him with professional staff support, had quietly embedded one of the world’s top anti-Israel lawfare strategists into the team. After all, only four years before, Goldstone had worked on another UN inquiry on the oil-for-food program. In that case, he was supported by a highly professional staff based in New York, with most if not all of them lawyers and experts hired from the outside. Goldstone assumed the Gaza inquiry would be the same.
But it was not the same. The culture of the Geneva-based OHCHR secretariat is known to be far more anti-American, anti-colonial, and anti-Israel than the one in New York. In his naiveté, Goldstone was blind to the prejudice and political agenda of his own bureaucracy. Indeed, there is not the slightest indication that Goldstone had any knowledge of Baars’ extremist activism. But OHCHR knew—and that is why they hired her.
On March 23, what for six months was the Schabas Commission, and now in its final and seventh month has become the McGowan Davis Commission, will present its report to the Human Rights Council. Do we have any reason to expect a fair, objective, and credible report?
Not if we consider the built-in prejudice of the commission’s founding mandate, spelled out in resolution S-21/1 of July 23, 2014, which preemptively declares Israel guilty. It condemns the Jewish state “in the strongest terms,” citing “widespread, systematic, and gross violations of international human rights,” “the targeting of civilians and civilian properties” as a form of “collective punishment contrary to international law,” “disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks,” “grave violations of the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population,” and “military aggressions.” The resolution mentions Israel 18 times. Hamas is not mentioned once.
Not if we consider that Schabas, the activist chairman who says that he “devoted several months of work” to the project, is someone who performed undisclosed paid legal work for the PLO—on the subject of how to prosecute Israelis in international courts—and who famously declared barely three years ago that the leader he most wants to see in the dock at the International Criminal Court is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
And—as the cautionary tale of lawfare general Grietje Baars as the key author of the original Goldstone Report makes clear—not if we consider the outsized role played by OHCHR in compiling the evidence, processing submissions, and picking the people to draft the report’s chapters and conclusions. Everything we now know about how OHCHR engineered the travesty of the original Goldstone Report indicates that Goldstone II will suffer the same politically-motivated fate.
Read the whole thing. The woman whose picture is at the top of this post is Grietje Baars, whose name you probably never heard until today.

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