Monday, July 27, 2015

Taking On Obama on Iran

Kerry's "Intense Exchange" with Jewish Leaders
- Geoff Earle and Kevin Fasick
Malcolm Hoenlein

Secretary of State John Kerry had an "intense exchange" when he tried to sell the Iran nuclear deal to 120 skeptical Jewish leaders in New York [with] the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the group's vice chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein [pictured], told the Post. The State Department had requested the meeting.

(New York Post)

Taking the Deal or Opting for War: A False Dichotomy
- Frederick W. Kagan

President Obama has framed the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement as a choice between taking the deal or opting for war. There is historical precedent for thinking about the issue in this way.

The lesson is that walking away from bad deals does not inevitably lead either to war or to the end of negotiations. Opposing the current deal is thus not in any way equivalent to favoring war. Nor is it a refusal to negotiate with Iran. 

Given how bad this deal is, opposing it is the only rational position to take.
The writer, a former professor of military history at West Point, is director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute.
(Washington Post)

Jews Stood Up to U.S. Government Before and Should Do So Again
- Natan Sharansky [pictured]

Like many Israelis and American Jews, I find myself in a precarious and painful situation. Those of us who believe that the nuclear agreement just signed with
Iran is dangerously misguided are now compelled to criticize Israel's best friend and ally, the U.S. government. As difficult as this situation is, however, it is not unprecedented. Jews have been here before, 40 years ago.

In the early 1970s, Republican President Richard Nixon inaugurated his policy of detente with the Soviet Union, aiming to end the Cold War by normalizing relations. As Nixon moved to grant the Soviet Union most-favored-nation trade status, Democratic Sen. Henry Jackson proposed what became a historic amendment, conditioning the removal of sanctions on the Soviet Union's allowing free emigration for its citizens. Jackson's amendment sought to link improved economic relations to behavioral change by the USSR. The U.S. administration objected furiously.

American Jewish organizations were reluctant to speak out against the U.S. government and appear to put the "narrow" Jewish interest above the cause of peace. Yet they realized that the freedom of all Soviet Jews was at stake, and they actively supported the policy of linkage.

It was a Republican senator, Jacob Javits, who, spurred by a sense of responsibility for the Jewish future, helped put together the bipartisan group that ensured passage.

In 1977, I was arrested and accused of high treason, allegedly as a spy for the CIA; in the indictment, Sen. Jackson was listed as my main accomplice. But in the end our cause was victorious and paved the way for the regime's eventual collapse.

Today, an American president has once again sought to achieve stability by removing sanctions against a brutal dictatorship without demanding that the latter change its behavior. And once again, a group of outspoken Jews - leaders of the State of Israel from the governing coalition and the opposition alike - are sounding an alarm. The U.S. can either appease a criminal regime or stand firm in demanding change in its behavior.
The writer, a human rights activist and former political prisoner in the Soviet Union, is chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

(Washington Post)


Jackie Mason: NYC restaurants subject to tougher inspections than Iran

Rabbi Jackie Mason
Legendary Jewish comic Jackie Mason joined the list of critics of the nuclear deal signed between world powers and Iran, jesting that New York restaurants face a harsher inspections regime than Iran's nuclear facilities will under the terms of the agreement.

Mason, an outspoken advocate of Israel, quipped that US Secretary of State John Kerry should pay the American people back for the cost of his airfare to and from the Iran talks.

"This secretary of state, Kerry, negotiated with them for a year-and-a-half and accomplished nothing. He ought to give us back for all the trips he made. He cost us millions of dollars in airplane fares and he came back with nothing except a bad foot."

The 84-year-old Mason was ordained as a rabbi at the age of 25, but resigned three years later to follow his dream to be a stand-up comedian.

"Do you know that in the restaurants of New York, they have an inspection system. You can surprise any restaurant without notice that you can walk in and inspect them… So we are protected in this city from a bad tuna fish.  We’re not protected from a bomb but we’re protected from a bad quality of a tuna fish," Mason joked.
[Jerusalem Post]

Preferring Iran over Israel? Has the World Gone Mad?
- Shlomo Cesana

Opposition Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid leveled harsh criticism at Europe over the weekend, saying that the EU's policy of preferring Iran over Israel was "scandalous." In opinion pieces in Corriere della Sera and Die Welt, Lapid asked, "You rush to sign contracts with the Iranians but you threaten to boycott Israel?"

Lapid called the nuclear agreement "a terrible deal" that "sends the Middle East the message that the West is weak; that everyone who is lying cunningly enough will be rewarded." Rather than demanding that Iran cease sponsoring international terrorism, the European nations lecture Israel about violence and human rights. "Under normal circumstances, countries like Germany and Italy would boycott Iran. Instead, the international community threatens to boycott Israel, while lifting the sanctions imposed on Iran. Has the world gone mad?" 
(Israel Hayom)

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