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As the deadline for an agreement between the United States and other world powers on Iran’s nuclear program was extended, we’ve been keeping an eye on global reactions to the situation – American, Israeli, and otherwise. The Times of Israel’s David Horovitz reports that 69% of Americans oppose a deal that would allow Iran – which they consider the greatest threat to the U.S. – to obtain nuclear capabilities:
More than two-thirds of Americans oppose a deal with Iran that would allow it to maintain nuclear weapons capabilities, according to a new survey by American political strategist Frank Luntz. Americans are also overwhelmingly mistrustful of Iran, and consider it to be the country that poses the greatest threat to the United States …
… an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the Iranians are stalling rather than negotiating in good faith, and that the regime in Tehran cannot be relied upon to honor any accord it may reach.
More broadly, Americans overwhelmingly feel the world to be less safe today than 10 years ago, and believe America is weaker today than it was 10 years ago …
The survey also showed 62% of Americans consider that Iran is an enemy of the US, while 37% consider it neutral, and 1% consider it an ally. It found that 73% of Americans consider that Iran is an enemy of Israel, while 25% consider it neutral, and 1% consider it an ally.
A staggering 81% of respondents do not believe the current government in Iran can be trusted to keep agreements, compared to 5% who think it can be trusted. And an even more overwhelming 85% do not believe the Iranians’ assertions that their nuclear program is peaceful, as compared to 8% who do.
“When it comes to Iran, the Israeli prime minister is closer to the American people than the US president,” Luntz said of the findings. This was a reference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for any deal with Iran to provide for the dismantling of Iran’s entire nuclear…Read More » Comments (2) »
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 at 8:36 AM | Stand For Israel
In yesterday’s Daily Dispatch, we noted that the deadline for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was extended until July, with meetings expected to resume next month. Writing at Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum says that while world powers declare that we are closer to world safety, Iran is openly stating that it is closer to something much different and more sinister:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
”Today we are closer to a deal that will make our partners like Israel and the Gulf states safer,” he said. “We now see a path for solving issues that until now were intractable.”
Responding to this turn of events at a forum in Tehran on the same day, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari expressed satisfaction.
”The Americans have very clearly surrendered to Iran’s might,” he said. “[Which] is obvious in their behavior in the region and in the negotiations.”
He then pointed to the fact that Iran is arming Hezbollah and Hamas with heavy weaponry for the purpose of defeating Israel and attaining a “final victory” over the West.
Jafari was referring to hundreds of Fateh missiles — with 160- to 220-mile ranges and the ability to carry 1,100-pound warheads — whose transfer was announced over the weekend by Revolutionary Guard Aerospace Force Brig. Gen. Seyed Majid Moussavi.
”Our strategic guiding principle is … to allow the resistance groups to deal with the bloodthirsty Zionist regime,” Moussavi told Iran’s Fars news agency.
This is in keeping with the nine-point plan for Israel’s destruction tweeted earlier this month by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It also jibes with Khamenei’s anti-Israel and anti-American speeches surrounding the celebration of the Nov. 4, 1979, takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Islamic revolutionaries who had ousted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and ushered…Read More » Comments (5) »
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 8:30 AM | Stand For Israel
News from Washington, D.C., this morning is that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is resigning his position under pressure. The Times of Israel reports sources have said the resignation is due to Hagel’s handling of the fight with the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria:
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is to resign under pressure on Monday, The New York Times reported.
Senior administration officials who spoke with The New York Times said the decision to replace Hagel stems from the belief that he lacks the necessary skills to manage the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.“The next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” an official told The New York Times.
Hagel, a former Republican senator, has served as Pentagon chief since early 2013. Obama is expected to announce the resignation Monday …
Before he assumed office in the Pentagon, Hagel was known as a critic of Israel and of American policy toward the Jewish state. He criticized the Bush administration in 2002 for refusing to meet with late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and rebuked Israel for not engaging in negotiations with an Arafat-led Palestinian Authority.
“Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace,” he wrote in the Washington Post at the time. “This does not mean giving up or limiting its right to self-defense against terrorism. But Palestinian reformers cannot promote a democratic agenda for change while both the Israeli military occupation and settlement activity continue.”
During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hagel broke party ranks by calling for an immediate unilateral ceasefire by both Israel and Hezbollah.
“The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now,” the then-senator from Nebraska said. “President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop.”
Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, was also an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s foreign policy vis-à-vis Iraq, and rebuked his party’s approval…Read More » Comments (1) »
Monday, November 24th, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Stand For Israel
Three of the victims of yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem held American citizenship. Now, The Times of Israel reports, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem warned other Americans to be safe and to make themselves “hard targets”:
The United States Consulate in Jerusalem said in a security message to Americans in Israel that the deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday demonstrated “low-level coordination.”
The Har Nof synagogue attack, in which five Israelis were killed by two Palestinian terrorists, “differs from recent attacks, potentially demonstrating low-level coordination to attack a pre-identified soft target as opposed to an opportunistic random act of violence,” the consulate said in the message posted on its website and e-mailed to Americans registered with the consulate or State Department.
“While we cannot predict where and when attacks may take place, we have consistently seen a cycle of violence in East Jerusalem neighborhoods following incidents like the one today,” the consulate said.
The message came less than a day after the attack during morning prayer services. Three of the dead were dual American and Israeli citizens. The FBI reportedly is participating in the investigation of the attack.
The consulate’s message urged Americans in Israel to “make yourself a ‘harder target’ and raise your situational awareness” when visiting “soft targets” such as hotels, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers, identifiable Western businesses, housing compounds, transportation systems, places of worship, schools, or public recreation events, which the message said often have little or no security in place.
Even as we continue to pray for God’s comfort over those who lost loved ones and who were injured in yesterday’s attack – and other attacks in recent weeks – let us to ask for His protection over all who are in the Holy Land.Comments (0) »
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Stand For Israel
Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, discusses today’s terror attack in Jerusalem, expressing gratitude for American condolences and outrage, while condemning the continued Palestinian incitement. Ambassador Dermer provides much insight on the historical and continued provocation of such terrorist activities, and says that the world must take a stand against such violence.Comments (2) »
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 at 3:41 PM | Stand for Israel
With three of the victims of today’s synagogue attack in Jerusalem, more American citizens have been killed by Palestinian terrorists in the past six weeks than by the Islamic State (ISIS) in the past six months. The Jerusalem Post reports on the rising American death toll in Jerusalem:
Comments (2) »
Leaders across the Jewish world in the United States responded forcefully and in unison to the murder and maiming of praying rabbis in Jerusalem on Tuesday, reflecting on the religious nature of the terror attack.
No one superlative was sufficient to describe the horror these groups expressed, as images of bloodied meat cleavers and knives filtered through the internet throughout the morning hours.
Three Israeli-American rabbis were killed in the attack, as well as one Israeli-Briton. Several others were injured. The two perpetrators, identified as Palestinians from east Jerusalem, were also killed.
The number of American casualties in the latest wave of terror attacks throughout the city— which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “concentrated” effort on Tuesday— appears to have swelled anger in the Jewish community here. Of ten Israelis killed in a month so far in terror attacks, half have been identified as American.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 at 1:04 PM | Stand for Israel
Today we celebrate Veterans Day in the United States. We salute all of the brave men and women of who have fought for our freedoms and defended us against our enemies for more than two centuries.
Recently, Rabbi Eckstein wrote about a new documentary – Above and Beyond – that tells the story of volunteer airmen who went to the newly independent Jewish state in 1948 to help fight off the Arab attack that followed Israel’s declaration of independence. These pilots not only turned the tide of the war in Israel’s favor, they laid the groundwork for today’s Israeli Air Force.
Today, we would like to tell you about one of these men, an American veteran of World War II and a Jewish-American who stood for Israel.
Milton Rubenfeld was born in 1919 into a Jewish family in New York. While he attended college and teaching aerobatics, World War II broke out. The United States, however, was not yet involved in the conflict. Eager to fly combat missions, Rubenfeld joined the Royal Air Force and flew with England. Once the U.S. declared war on Germany, he signed on with the U.S. Army Air Force.
After World War II ended, Rubenfeld – a seasoned veteran of combat – was asked by the Haganah (the predecessor to the modern-day IDF) if he would volunteer to fly for the new state of Israel. Rubenfeld agreed.
This was 1948 – when the American and Russian superpowers had already entered the jet age. But the only fighter plane Israel could procure was the Avia S-199. The S-199 was a Czech-built variant of the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Nazi fighter plane flown by the Luftwaffe. Not only was this aircraft a symbol of the enemy that had hoped to wipe the Jewish people from the earth, it was also seriously outdated and notoriously difficult to fly.
Five volunteer pilots – Milton Rubenfeld and four other men who had combat flying experience – and four of these S-199 aircraft were all that made…Read More » Comments (12) »
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 at 8:05 AM | Stand for Israel
Last week’s continuation of terrorist attacks using motor vehicles have been labeled as a “car intifada.” The ever-insightful Khaled Abu Toameh writes that the “car intifada” is a very real thing – one being embraced by many Palestinians – and that those who doubt it need only see how Palestinian leadership is inciting its people:
The “car intifada,” which has claimed the lives of four Israelis, including a three-month-old infant, is being hailed by many Palestinians as a “natural response to Israeli crimes.”
The “crimes” they are referring to are visits by Jewish groups and individuals to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority [PA], Hamas and Islamic Jihad are using these visits to stir up Palestinians against Israel. The recent terror attacks in Jerusalem are the direct result of this campaign of incitement.
The widow of Ibrahim Akkari, the 48-year-old Palestinian who drove his car into a group of Israelis in Jerusalem on November 5, said that her husband was influenced by TV scenes of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli policemen at the Temple Mount.
The widow, Amira, said that her husband carried out the attack in retaliation against Israeli “assaults” on the Aqsa Mosque. “He was martyred for the sake of the Aqsa Mosque,” she said.
Recent statements by PA President Mahmoud Abbas may also have convinced Akkari to go out and run over Israelis. Two weeks before the attack, Abbas called on Palestinians to “use all means” to protect the Aqsa Mosque.
“It is not enough to say the settlers came (to the Temple Mount), but they must be barred from entering the compound by any means. This is our Aqsa, and they have no right to enter it and desecrate it,” Abbas told Fatah activists during a meeting in his Ramallah office.
As if not enough, Abbas indirectly encouraged Palestinians to resort to violence against Israel by praising the Palestinian who shot and severely wounded activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick in Jerusalem on…Read More » Comments (9) »
Monday, November 10th, 2014 at 8:25 AM | Stand for Israel
While the international media has blasted Israel for Operation Protective Edge, the United States’ highest ranking military officer has spoken out in defense of the Jewish state’s actions during the conflict. Haaretz reports that General Martin Dempsey said Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to protect innocents in Gaza, and that the U.S. is learning from Israel how to limit civilian casualties:
The highest-ranking U.S. military officer said on Thursday that Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to limit civilian casualties in the recent war in Gaza and that the Pentagon had sent a team to see what lessons could be learned from the operation.
Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged recent reports criticizing civilian deaths during the 50-day Gaza war this year but told an audience in New York he thought the Israel Defense Forces “did what they could” to avoid civilian casualties.
Israel was criticized for civilian deaths during the conflict, including by the White House. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, most of them civilians and many of them children, according to UN and Palestinian figures.
A Human Rights Watch report in September accused Israel of committing war crimes by attacking three UN-run schools in the enclave, while Amnesty International said in a report released on Wednesday that Israel showed “callous indifference” to the carnage caused by attacks on civilian targets.
Dempsey was asked about the ethical implications of Israel’s handling of the Gaza war, during an appearance in New York at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
“I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” Dempsey told the group.
“In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he added.
Dempsey said Hamas had turned Gaza into “very nearly a subterranean society” with tunneling throughout the coastal enclave.
“That caused the IDF some significant challenges. But…Read More » Comments (11) »
Friday, November 7th, 2014 at 8:41 AM | Stand For Israel
Several times in the past year, Stand for Israel has featured Chloe Valdary, a rising young voice in the world of pro-Israel advocacy. Now Tablet’s Isabel Fattal provides this great profile of the young Christian woman who’s standing for the Jewish state and the Jewish people:
When I asked the man next to me in a crowd of several hundred pro-Israel demonstrators outside the Time-Warner Center in New York if Chloe Valdary had spoken yet, I was met with immediate enthusiasm at the very mention of her name. “Chloe is amazing … so determined. We need more like her,” the man said. An hour later, Valdary headed to the platform dressed, as any 21-year-old might be, in jeans, gold hoop earrings, and pink-rimmed sunglasses. As soon as Valdary’s name was called, protesters turned to each other and murmured in excitement.
“Judea!” she shouted in greeting. Speaking in a slow, lyrical rhythm, Valdary emitted a type of love letter to the Jewish people. “You are the sons and daughters of former slaves in Egypt, of warrior poets, and kings who slayed giants, and queens filled with courage, and prophets and dreamers,” she proclaimed. “Rise, Zion, rise,” she declared in closing, and the crowd immediately began to chant her name.
While some of the enthusiasm surrounding Valdary’s activism might stem from her large and precocious talent as a public speaker and provocateur, it is often accompanied by a sense of bewilderment as to how an African-American Christian from New Orleans became a self-appointed defender of the Jewish people. Yet her journey is more organic than many realize, she explained to me, when we spent a day together recently in New York. After her father came to the conclusion that the New Testament could not exist without the Old Testament, she told me, her family left their Baptist church and began to incorporate the laws of the Old Testament into their religious outlook, finding fellow believers in this form of Christianity…Read More » Comments (3) »
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 at 11:55 AM | Stand For Israel