On his Wednesday night Tonight Show program, host Jimmy Fallon took some
time to poke fun at Democrats who boycotted the Netanyahu speech and
then afterwards conducted a press conference to throw their temper
tantrum about it. Fallon showed various "flustered" congressmen tripping
over their words.
Let's go to the videotape.
Shabbat Shalom everyone. I am traveling right after the Sabbath tomorrow night. You won't believe where. If there's WiFi on the plane, or I have time to hit the business lounge, I will try to post tomorrow night. If not... I will surface somewhere on Sunday.
Five people were injured Friday morning in a car-ramming terror attack
near a Jerusalem Light Rail station in the north of the city. Four of
the wounded were young border policewomen, in their twenties, and the
seventh was a civilian bicycle rider in his fifties.
A Palestinian man in a private vehicle hit the
five as they stood on a sidewalk. According to initial reports, the man
then emerged from the vehicle with a butcher’s knife and attempted to
stab passersby, but was swiftly shot and incapacitated by a Border
Policeman and a Light Rail security guard at the scene.
The five victims suffered light-to-moderate
injuries. They were treated at the scene by paramedics before being
evacuated to the hospital. Two more border policewomen were treated at
the scene for shock.
The attacker was seriously injured. He, too,
was taken to the hospital. Police identified him as a Palestinian man in
his twenties from East Jerusalem.
The terrorist was from Ras al-Amud. Also known as the Mount of Olives. This place.
The attack took place near a Border Police base on Shimon Hatzadik Street, on the line separating West and East Jerusalem.
“A young man rammed his car (into
pedestrians), and then got out and tried to stab people” before being
shot and wounded, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.
We used to live right there - in a complex of apartments that is full of Anglos to this day.
Kerry: 'Demanding Iran's capitulation is no way to secure a nuclear deal'
And you thought diplomacy was just war by another means....
Simply demanding Iran's capitulation is no way to get a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday as he wrapped up three days of talks with a veiled dig at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“No one has presented a more viable, lasting
alternative for how you actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear
weapon. So folks, simply demanding that Iran capitulate is not a plan.
And nor would any of our P5+1 partners support us in that position.”
Netanyahu has called for the powers to insist
Iran dismantle its nuclear infrastructure and change what he described
as its "aggressive" regional posture -- an idea swiftly rejected by the
Obama administration as equivalent to seeking "regime change" in
Tehran. Israel and Iran have been arch-enemies since 1979.
President Hassan Rouhani, elected in 2013 on a platform of easing
Iran's isolation abroad through diplomacy and a removal of sanctions
imposed on it, said Tehran was prepared to accept greater nuclear
scrutiny as part of a deal.
basis of these negotiations is for increased transparency, we will
accept greater transparency," he said in a statement. "But if the
negotiations are trying to prevent the people of Iran from (enjoying)
their inalienable right, in other words advancement in science and
technology, it is very natural that Iran will not accept such an
understanding or agreement."
Judicial Watch also announced late
Wednesday that it has filed a new FOIA suit seeking "any and all
communications – including emails – from then-Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton and her chief of staff Huma Abedin with Nagla Mahmoud, wife of
ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, from January 21, 2009 to
January 31, 2013."
Mahmoud was reported by an Egyptian media outlet to have
threatened"to expose the special relationship between her husband and
Hillary Clinton, after the latter attacked the ousted [president],
calling him a simpleton who was unfit for the presidency. Sources close
to Nagla confirmed that she has threatened to publish the letters
exchanged between Morsi and Hillary."
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.
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
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.
The Israeli prime minister’s public confrontation with President
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
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
“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.
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.
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
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
You don't think the newspapers and TV are pulling for Herzog, do you?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Iran is a grave issue. But make no mistake: Bibi's speech is more about an "existential threat" to his own electoral prospects in 2 weeks.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) March 3, 2015
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....
Speech broke no new ground nor offered realistic path short of war. But apocalyptic language & GOP cheerleading tailor-made for his base.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) March 3, 2015
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
long-time friend, John Kerry, Secretary of State, confirmed last week
that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity
when the deal expires.
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
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.
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?
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.
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?
should Iran's radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy
the best of both world's: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three
things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle
Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.
And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.
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.
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. (APPLAUSE)
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?
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.
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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.”
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
Because after all, what's more important: Stopping an Iranian nuclear weapon or defending what's left of Susan Rice's honor?
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.
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
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.
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
"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?"
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-three years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 10 to 31 years and seven grandchildren. Our eldest daughter and eldest son are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com