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Peter Berkowitz, writing at Real Clear Politics, notes that the disagreement among some in the Israeli defense and political spheres about the relative merits of the nuclear deal with Iran are, upon further inspection, not exactly brimming with disagreement. Across the spectrum in Israel, there is near uniformity that the Jewish state cannot live with a nuclear Iran and that some sort of action will be necessary. The only disagreement is about when to pull the trigger:
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Despite the divergence of their initial assessments of the deal from that of Netanyahu, Yadlin and Ben-Israel agree with the prime minister that Israel cannot live with a nuclear Iran. Both pillars of Israel’s national security establishment have publicly stated that if the choice comes down to bombing Iran or allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapon, then despite the big risks and potentially high costs, Israel should take military action.
Friday, December 13th, 2013 at 8:51 AM | Stand For Israel
What was the point of sanctioning Iran over its nuclear program? Did Congress want to push Iran to negotiate, or to give up its illicit drive toward nuclear weapons? As Jonathan Tobin writes in Commentary magazine, it’s obvious that Secretary of State John Kerry thinks diplomacy was the goal all along, while Congress believed it was trying achieve victory:
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The disconnect between the secretary and his congressional critics is clear. Kerry thinks the only point of sanctions was to create room for diplomacy, not to put Tehran’s feet to the fire. As a number of committee members noted, they did not pass sanctions merely for the sake of negotiating but to pressure Iran to give up their nuclear ambition.
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 8:33 AM | Stand For Israel
As we reported in this morning’s SFI Daily Dispatch, polls that previously indicated support for the Iran nuclear deal have swung in the other direction. Jennifer Rubin, writing for The Washington Post, looks at the polls and comes to the conclusion that the American people are smart enough not to be played for fools:
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The American people remember the hostage crisis and understand all too well that Iran is out to eradicate Israel. They may be “war weary,” but they are not suckers.
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 at 8:21 AM | Stand For Israel
That sound you hear is the Ayatollah laughing. Loudly.
In one of the most thick-headed New York Times editorials we’ve ever read, a guy who teaches at St. Andrews (known more for being Prince William’s alma mater or for golf than boneheaded foreign policy suggestions) wrote this:
America must now begin to think about a gradual realignment of its Middle East policy, one that aims to reintegrate Iran into the international fold and, over time, transform an enemy into an ally.
Seriously. So we need to start thinking about realigning ourselves away from our sister democracy, Israel, and toward another country in the region that every other country dislikes, that is ruled by America-hating, hard-line theocrats, and that is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world?
Mr. Patrikarakos, the author, is good enough to make passing reference to Iran’s hostility to basic human rights and its sponsorship of international terror. He also points out that Iran and Israel were allies before the 1979 Islamic revolution. Several other things have happened since 1979, such as the personal computer and the Red Sox winning a few World Series.
But then Mr. Patrikarakos throws in this reason for a thaw in relations between the two countries:
And though Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas, its army has never taken part in the many Arab wars against Israel.
Iranian soldiers have never attacked Israel while wearing Iranian uniforms. But Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps soldiers have fought alongside Hezbollah forces against Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon, and virtually all of the funding and weaponry used by Hamas is supplied by Iran. In today’s SFI Daily Dispatch, we reported that Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon accused Iran of using its embassies around the world as bases for terrorism. Iran, for its part, regularly calls on Israel to “disappear.” They get away with that kind of rhetoric by remaining vague as to the method of Israel’s disappearance. But their audiences in Farsi – and any Westerner unwilling to self-delude…Read More » Comments (17) »
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 8:36 AM | Stand For Israel
Have U.S. policymakers given any serious thought to what Iran will look like in 20 years? 50 years? Michael Rubin, writing at Commentary, says that the future of Iranian demography and the military and political requirements it suggests indicate a failure on the part of Western leaders to think strategically about the growing problem of Iran:
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American policymakers notoriously focus on short-term issues. Within the State Department, Pentagon, and even the Central Intelligence Agency, the majority of staff are focused on the next week’s events and petty bureaucratic tasks rather than long-term strategy. Hence, in 2009, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to support the Iranian people rising up against Khamenei’s repression, because they feared that to do so would make less likely a response to the letter Obama had penned to the supreme leader. (In a subsequent November 3, 2009 speech, Khamenei mocked Obama’s letters.)
Monday, December 9th, 2013 at 8:34 AM | Stand For Israel
Israeli politician, physician, and retired IDF general Ephraim Sneh writes in The Christian Science Monitor about the nuclear agreement with Iran and the harmful implications it will have on the Israel-Palestinian peace process:
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Without the Geneva deal in place, the U.S. administration might have been able to give the Israelis and Palestinians a bridging offer in early 2014. But now that this deal is signed, the U.S. may not have the moral authority to exert pressure on any Israeli government regarding an agreement with Palestinians.
Friday, December 6th, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Stand For Israel
Former Israeli Foreign Ministry official and Hebrew University professor Shlomo Avineri writes that the recent agreement on Iran’s nuclear program must be seen in the context of an American presence on the international stage that appears to be in a self-imposed retreat and suffering from strategic myopia and a resurgent Russia:
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So, while the interim agreement may not be a replay of the Munich Agreement in 1938, as many critics contend, it may have set the stage for an even more combustible future. U.S. President Barack Obama may not be in office when the fire ignites, but if things do go terribly wrong, he may be remembered as another statesman who, like Neville Chamberlain, was blind to the consequences of his peaceful intentions.
Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Stand For Israel
For our money, this article from Israel Hayom by Dan Margalit doesn’t just describe President Obama – the leaders of virtually all Western countries have decided that a nuclear Iran is preferable to a potentially long and costly fight with Iran. Margalit’s point, however, is that everyone now knows that Iran will become a nuclear power:
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The more facts that come to light from the negotiations in Geneva, the more the agreement appears to resemble Swiss cheese. There are many holes in the agreement as well as some serious vagueness. Barack Obama and John Kerry are not persuading the average American that this was any kind of achievement. They simply assume that most of the American public are willing to have their leaders deceive them.
Monday, December 2nd, 2013 at 9:03 AM | Stand For Israel
Robert Satloff, Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, writes that the ultimate result of the Iranian nuclear deal is that Iran got what it wanted – a continuing nuclear program and the beginning of curtailed sanctions – and the U.S. continues to see its power on the international stage shrink:
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Taking the long view, therefore, the final deal contains a potentially huge payoff for Iran. Kicking the problem down the road — usually phrased more diplomatically as “stretching Iran’s potential breakout time” — is a key element of the Obama administration’s approach. And from two other overlooked lines in the Geneva deal, there is a real possibility that the two sides won’t reach agreement on the actual terms of that final deal until after the midterms in November 2014.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 8:38 AM | Stand For Israel
After the United States and its coalition of world powers reached a deal with Iran over that nation’s nuclear program, there are many questions left unanswered and many future implications to be considered. JTA has posted this helpful primer that helps explain the Iran deal and what it means to Israel and the rest of the world:
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What does the deal include and what do its provisions mean? With the help of experts, JTA answers some questions about the agreement and what lies ahead.
Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 12:52 PM | Stand For Israel