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Bibi, Israel Lobby Give Obama Congressional Ally Semi-Public Flogging for Opposing Iran Sanctions Bill

Economist iran cartoon

Obama chained and Rouhani restrained from policy of nuclear detente

While it’s still too early to tell, the prospects in Congress for a new set of draconian anti-Iran sanctions seem to be flagging.  The legislation has gone from a virtual sure thing to a question mark ,with former allies like Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin withdrawing their support.  But what’s interesting is that it has established yet another arena for Bibi Netanyahu to attempt to sabotage the foreign policy of the Obama administration.  Of course, this is happening in the Kerry talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, which hit some major roadblocks as the U.S. exerts pressure on Israel to give up territorial claims to the Jordan Valley.

Just yesterday, Bibi told the schussing leaders caucusing in the wintry Swiss Alps town of Davos that Israel couldn’t possibly give up this land because it was prime winter skiing–er, actually because it was integral to some sort of odd conception of Israeli strategic defense (though virtually a who’s who of Israeli security and intelligence chiefs have sniggered at the credibility of this claim).  The actual money quote was: “I will not uproot a single Israeli” from the Jordan Valley.

Israel has dug its heels in on this issue just as it did years ago about the settlement freeze proposal.  It knows if it can frustrate U.S. resolve on one seemingly peripheral issue, it can destroy the entire agenda for the peace talks.

But the sabotage of the Iran nuclear talks by Netanyahu and the Israel lobby has lasted longer and come closer to achieving its aim of destroying the talks, than other Israeli efforts in other arenas.  The wacked-out notion advanced by sanctions proponents in Congress and among the pro-war hawks is that such threats have worked so well before, that more sanctions will produce even better results, making Iran even more pliant to western will.  This notion is beholden to the strange idea that Iran only understands the language of threat and force; and that it can only be brought to heel by punishment (like a stubborn donkey in the bazaar).

Of course, the very philosophy of diplomacy is precisely the opposite: that nations have common interests and the goal of negotiations is to find out what they are and arrive at common ground or consensus.  The Geneva talks succeeded in drawing up a 6-month agreement calling for suspension of parts of Iran’s uranium enrichment program in return for easing sanctions.   Negotiations worked.  Just when something seems to be working, Mephistopheles arrives snickering: that worked so well, let’s try more of the same.

The lobby has gone into overdrive to summon its legislative allies in Congress.  It has found obedience among likely parties like Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez (not to mention a newly elected water-carrier, Corey Booker).  But some unlikely individuals are proving a harder sell.  The Lobby is having a tough time with Rep. Deborah Wassserman-Schultz.  She is the current chair of the Democratic National Committee and a devout supporter of the president.  The Forward notes that Aipac has taken the highly unusual step not of taking Wasserman-Schultz to the woodshed, but of a semi-public flogging.

In a particularly ham-handed bit of mafiosi-style enforcement, it appears that Aipac or someone close to it leaked a story to the neocon pro-Israel Washington Free Beacon saying the Representative was playing a key role in torpedoing sanctions.  That then allowed Aipac to issue a letter to its citizen lobbyists and supporters deriding Wasserman-Schultz’s alleged “betrayal.” The letter reads in part:

“The article included below about Debbie Wasserman Schultz blocking bipartisan Iran sanctions came out yesterday and, simply put, we need to know if the story is true,” the letter states, according to a copy obtained by the Free Beacon.

“So, we are asking you, our leaders in the pro-Israel community, to reach out to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office and respectfully ask the congresswoman if the Free Beacon article is true,” AIPAC writes. “If the article is not true, then please ask if the congresswoman will issue a statement supporting the Cantor-Hoyer [Iran sanctions] Resolution.”

As Foreign Policy notes, given her position as a Obama legislative ally who must ultimately (if quietly) oppose sanctions, and her Florida constituency consisting of elderly Jewish pro-Israel voters,  she’s in a deep quandary.  The Lobby strategists believe if they can break her, then other Democrats “sitting on the fence” will break away from the administration position.  That in turn would start a stampede of support for new sanctions to which the president would simply have to accede.  This would likely be followed by denunciations from Iran and a possible pull-out from the nuclear talks.  All of which would sit very well with Netanyahu, who has lobbied for war against Iran going back at least to 2010, if not earlier.

But the president is not without ammunition to fight this battle.  He made known in the Israeli media through an anonymous source (likely Ambassador Dan Shapiro) that Kerry and Obama are none too happy with these shenanigans.  Kol Yisrael reported (my translation of the transcript):

A source close to Pres. Obama and Secretary of State Kerry says there is a “discomfort” within the circle of the president and secretary regarding Jewish “activism” in Congress which is viewed as being aided and abetted by the Israeli government…The source conveyed to official Israeli figures that those surrounding the president and secretary are “disappointed” by “repeated attacks against the administration by Jewish forces in the U.S.”  Israeli diplomats warned against this tendency [to attack the administration’s policy on the Jordan Valley and Iran talks] of which the source spoke.  They added that Israel is perceived as encouraging political tendencies which represent the interest solely of the Israeli government without permitting other positions to be heard.

This is exceedingly polite rhetoric, I might add, when a sledgehammer would’ve done a better job.  Bibi and the Lobby certainly don’t understand such niceties and it’s doubtful it will cause them to back off.  But at least Obama has laid down the gauntlet in Bibi’s backyard, that is, Israel, with this statement.

Finally, the Economist published a piquant cartoon highlighting the fact that negotiators for both Iran and the U.S. have balls and chains tied around their ankles in these talks.  Obama is chained to the Lobby and Israel, which desperately seeks to overthrow a negotiated resolution; while Rouhani is restrained by the hardliners and IRG hawks who reject compromise with the west.

As I’ve written here, it’s patently false, as Mark Landler has written once again in the NY Times to single out Iran as the nation which is the weakest link in the talks.  Congress’ fulminations about new sanctions are no different from the harshest denunciation of compromise coming from the ranks of the Iranian fundamentalists.

Returning to the cartoon: there is absolutely nothing anti-Semitic about this cartoon.  In fact, the leadership of the American Jewish community, that is the Israel Lobby, has placed every roadblock possible in the president’s path.  In this,  Iranian hardliners are their allies.  Jews may wince at the Star of David (the symbol of the State of Israel) in the President’s seal, but even Bibi Netanyahu boasts that Israel speaks on behalf of world Jewry in opposing Iran.  If hardcore Zionists want to speak for the world’s Jews (a privilege I deny them) then they can’t squawk when a perceptive cartoonist takes them at their word.  To do otherwise, as those shreying about anti-Semitism are doing, reeks of rank hypocrisy.

On a related tangent, Reuters shows us that it too has reporters covering Iran who have a not so hidden anti-Rouhani agenda.  That is on view in this preposterous bit of propaganda given the inapt title, Insight.  It claims that Rouhani’s focus on the nuclear talks will prevent him from instituting social reforms.  In fact, most Iran analysts have written precisely the opposite.  It’s one thing to be a contrarian as Parisa Hafezi is in this article.  But it’s quite another to make up your argument out of whole cloth.

Not a single one of the “sources” Hafezi quotes says anything constructive or positive about Rouhani’s efforts.  All the domestic Iranian sources she quotes are anonymous.  Further, she quotes a Israeli good ‘friend’ of this blog, Meir Javedanfar, as calling Rouhani’s efforts “adventurism,” which Ayatollah Khameini will not long support.  As usual, Javedanfar ignores the hard evidence that Khameini strongly supports Rouhani’s policy.  In fact, the Ayatollah told the IRG and radical mullahs not to meddle in politics and instead allow the talks to take their course.  There is absolutely no evidence of any sort to support Javedanfar.  But that doesn’t stop him.  And the Reuters reporter does him the favor of quoting his nonsense.

This sort of Iran media coverage gives journalism on this subject a bad name.  I found Hafezi’s Twitter feed and tweeted questions and criticism to her which she ignored.  Further, access to her account is protected.  Can you imagine a journalist, supposedly committed to transparency and reporting the news openly and accessibly, who refuses to allow her reading public access to her Twitter feed?  What is she afraid of?  Criticism?  Debate?  God forbid.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Peter Belmont January 25, 2014, 4:48 AM

    RS: “[H]er Florida constituency consisting of elderly Jewish pro-Israel voters.”

    I have read that her constituency INCLUDES such people but is dominated by Hispanics. In any case, in American politics, it is almost NEVER a question of voters, and almost ALWAYS a question of money, which can come from outside the district (read: AIPAC). See next.

    RS: “[T]he leadership of the American Jewish community, that is the Israel Lobby, has placed every roadblock possible in the president’s path.”

    Well, AIPAC et al. like to CLAIM that they are the leaders of the American Jewish community, but they are merely big-money guys who self-perpetuate. The so-called community is not democratic (as to policy or anything else), so these “leaders” are not elected but appointed. Big money supports synagogues, big-money supports the big charities, big-money makes the so-called Jewish community go around.

    But you corrected that notion, adding as a qualifier: “that is the Israel Lobby”. That is closer to the truth. However, again, The Lobby is not even equivalent to the big-money Jews who make up such an important part of it, because The Lobby doubtless includes non-Jewish Evangelicals and, more important, includes the CEOs of components of the Military-Industrial-Complex which make money selling arms to all sides to keeping the pot boiling in the Middle East.

    In short, Debbie W-S is being pushed around by The Lobby — the supporters of right-wing militant imperialist Israel. And she is, so far, resisting, showing either [1] that there are other big-money oligarchs out there who desire peace with Iran and oppose AIPAC on that or [2] that the calls of morality and peace are sometimes stronger than the heretofore triumphant AIPAC foreign-policy capture of America. I imagine that it is [1], cynic that I am.

    • brenda January 25, 2014, 7:34 PM

      [1] ..there are other big-money oligarchs out there who desire peace with Iran and oppose AIPAC on that

      there is the guy who wrote this piece for Ha’aretz, he qualifies

      “Kerry can survive failure, but can Israel?”

      “A long-time donor to the Democratic Party, Abraham gave $1.5 million to the party and ranked as the number one contributor of soft money to the national parties in 2000.”

      “Abraham is the founder of the Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C. He is a close friend of many top leaders in the United States, Israel, and throughout the Middle East, and through those personal channels has worked tirelessly over the past two decades to help bring an end to the Arab/Israeli conflict.[4] He is a major sponsor of the Washington-based United States Institute of Peace.”

      • Richard Silverstein January 26, 2014, 3:06 AM

        @ brenda: Abraham is the guy who gave tons of Slimfast boxes filled with cash to Morris Taslansky & Ehud Olmert!! His claim to fame! But he’s a liberal Zionist and not atrocious when it comes to some of these issues.

        • brenda January 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

          I’m crushed, Richard, truly. Just when I think I’ve found one of the heroic ones. Oh well…

          • Richard Silverstein January 26, 2014, 2:38 PM

            I wouldn’t say he’s as bad as Aipac & the Lobby. But he’s certainly one of the Jewish 1% & as pro-Israel as they come. He’s just a tad more sophisticated than Foxman & his ilk.

  • Oui January 25, 2014, 7:16 AM

    McCain’s Outright Lies Blaming Terror on Iran

    Semantics, distortions and outright lies by politicians and journalists … Iran’s message at Davos has eerie echo.

    A kinda ridiculous article about Rouhani in Davos, NYT reporter ought to stick to fiction/novels.

    “And in an interview with Fareed Zakaria of CNN, he insisted that Iran would not agree to dismantle a single centrifuge – a position that, if nonnegotiable, would be a deal breaker.”

    I watched and listened to short trailers of interview and above presentation is an outright misrepresentation of what was said. It sells newspapers and increases viewer potential, but the right-wing media and politici will run with the headlines. The interview will be broadcast on Sunday.

    Fareed Zakaria in CNN interview with Iranian president Rouhani in Davos

    (CNN) – Iranian FM Javad Zarif in report by CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto:

    In addition, the deal mandated that Iran halt all enrichment above 5% and “dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%,” according to a White House fact sheet issued in November after the initial agreement was reached.

    “The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again,” he said, urging Sciutto to read the actual text of the agreement. “If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment.”

    McCain in debate with Russia’s Pushkov blames Saudi bombing and USS Cole attack on Iranians

    On BBC World Debate there is only a trailer available with the one-sided view of McCain. Typical. This weekend the broadcast can still be viewed. The perpetrators of the attack on the USS Cole were Al Qaeda militia from Yemen. McCain also used the Qatar propaganda of “11,000 detainees tortured and murdered by the Assad regime.” See article in CS Monitor by Dan Murphy – Syria ‘smoking gun’ report warrants a careful read. In the discussion, McCain used the words: “We were winning when Iran send in 5,000 Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guards to turn the tide.” So the Syrian clash is the US and FSA proxy against the evil empire of Assad, Putin and the ayatollahs. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

  • TMC January 25, 2014, 10:02 AM

    The entire private commercial media has a Federal court sanctified carte blanche to lie as much as they want, even if it’s an international war crime to fraudulently induce war. Thus, when the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, Newsweek, Time, NY Post, Dallas Tribune, etc. all colluded and overtly choreograph lied, often concealed in reckless (not negligent) failures to check simple facts, and in hindsight were definitely stoking a war they knew to be hyped and misdirected after the War on Terror started, everyone turned a blind eye — even people who continue to read those obviously manipulated and controlled venues of disinformation. Case in point, the same media that is “not controlled’ (who cares by who – let’s leave that for another discussion), tends to censor all anti-Israeli viewpoints, with pundits and journalists showing an overt bias for Israeli lobby policy points. The prime example of this is that you will never see Richard Silverstein on any of the outlets mentioned above — if rarely — and often, they’ll just steal his scoops if anything seems useful to them and spit out Richard on the other side sans mention. The politicians do their parts as well. Sorry to speak on your behalf, Richard, but it’s the truth — ain’t it? In an unfettered world, Richard would be a highly regarded journalist for his watchdog qualities over police state concerns, etc. He would be given resources and access. In a world dominated by whatever it is that aligns with Israel’s interests overtly and unequivocally, Richard is relatively unknown. He’s a hero, nevertheless, but more people know who Wolf Blitzer is (he was and is directly connected to AIPAC), and that’s a joke.

    As for your article, Richard, it’s true. AIPAC has gone rabid in trying to detonate nukes under these peace talks. Guess what? The deal has been designed so that whoever tries to sabotage the enterprise will not only be caught red-handed, but will provide better support for the deal to go through. This is a deal between 7 world powers, not just the United States and Iran. Despite what you have read in various outlets, Richard, the hardliners in Iran are precautious, but they are not holding back Rouhani from making the deal. In fact, Rouhani has the backing of Iranians across the spectrum while Congress is betraying both the American interest, the President, and 6 other nations: England, Russia, France, China, and Germany. In reality, the Likud infiltration of America is betraying us all.

    Iran’s program is really simple. Iran signed the controlling international law regarding the development, production or research of nuclear weapons, the NPT. The NPT has three pillars: (1) having the powers that already have nukes remove them (anti-proliferation); (2) guaranteeing an INALIENABLE right to signatories to have a civilian nuclear program in all capacities WITHOUT DISCRIMATION (definitely read Article IV, Section 1 of the NPT — it’s in plain English and enunciates how Iran’s right is guaranteed as a co-signatory; and, (3) guaranteeing that nuclear nations ASSIST non-nuclear nation signatories to develop their civilian programs. Pillars 2 and 3 are being steadfastly violated by any nation that signed into being sanctions. Further, under the NPT, Iran is actually guaranteed the inalienable right (and the right to support from other nations) to build its civilian program in all capacities without discrimination.

    Any other discussions, any other interpretations, any other supplementary points, etc. are all non-sense and irrelevant. 189 nations recognize the three pillars above. Check the results of the last NPT Review Conference. 189 Nations (including the US!) voted that Israel had to sign the NPT and come clean about its nukes. Not a single nation even made a statement about Iran (Israel was absent — non-signatories aren’t invited).

    Here’s the other truths: (1) Obama suggested that Bibi first solve his Palestinian issue then try to deal with any Iranian threat. He was insulted heavily for this and attacked; (2) Israel has only one option at this point for longevity outside of employing dirty tactics like trying to start a World War — it faces a demographic expiry that is all but inevitable and needs the two-state solution if it wants to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians, other Arabs, and grab more land. A one state solution would ensure the beginning of the quick end to fanatical Zionism as Israel has come to represent also (they would be branded as terrorists and the international community would intervene); (3) the financial backing of the enterprise is falling apart as all economists know the petrodollar is soon to bust; and, (4) just because justice wasn’t rendered immediately doesn’t mean that it wasn’t that way by design — watch as more troublesome low-hanging poisonous fruit are plucked off the tree for ulterior reasons while the infected roots stay silently observed.

  • Allan January 25, 2014, 12:00 PM

    The seal depicted in Peter Schrank’s cartoon is a play on the Great Seal of the United States, the symbol chosen by Congress in 1782 to represent that body. The cartoonist is not depicting the Seal of the President of the United States.

    • Richard Silverstein January 25, 2014, 6:54 PM

      I thought there was a presidential seal you see at White House press conferences. Perhaps it’s a version of the Great Seal.

      • TMC January 25, 2014, 8:49 PM

        The Great Seal was a design Haym Solomon got to submit after helping to provide emergency finances to Washington’s army to overcome the Bank of England. Supposedly the money came from overseas. Although, all money came from overseas around that time because that was also when the First Bank of the United States existed. The stars on the seal are arranged in the outline of a hexagram above the Eagle’s head. Some claim this means something.

      • Oui January 26, 2014, 10:31 AM

        US Congress does not have a seal, but the House of Representatives, Senate and State Department all use the Great Seal of the United States of America. Thirteen stars are positioned in the shape of the Star of David in recognition of Haym Solomon, as the legend goes. The Seal of the President does not have this hexagon arrangement. In the original design description, the order was : “Thirteen Stars Forming a Constellation.”

        Great Seal’s official design description

        Late on the afternoon of July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams to “to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America.”

        Like other nations, America needed an official symbol of sovereignty to seal and authenticate her international treaties and transactions. The new nation needed a symbolic signature others would recognize and honor. This is what America’s founders had to do back in 1776. Using only a few images and words, they had to illustrate the principles that inspired them to revolutionize their world and create a new nation.

        During the next six years of the Revolution, three different committees submitted ideas for this graphic image of America, but none were acceptable. In June 1782, Congress turned the task over to Charles Thomson who created the final design.

        • TMC January 26, 2014, 11:03 AM

          Just to point out how controversial this issue is, your Charles Thomson is from Wikipedia and cites a singular source and book. Different historians and professionals have had different findings. Although there is sensitivity over the issue, it remains historical fact that there was a Jewish influence in the design on the back.

          In fact, if one takes a one dollar bill and draws on the pyramid behind it an inverse pyramid to form a perfectly symetrical and familiar hexagram, then the corners of the new pyramid drawn plus the corners of the existing pyramid point to the letters M-A-S-O-N. This is just one of the many clues. The signs are all there and very deliberate.

          Do “they” who put that there represent every single Jewish person? No. Does Israel? ;) Like Israel, which is just a diplomatic safe haven for this organized extremist/criminal faction in major part (as it turns out!), the symbols on the back of the dollar bill hardly represent any religion. They represent secret power (conspiracy) and dominion over “others”.

          I think it’s well-established that the hand-sign of the Kohanim priests and other Jewish symbolism were adopted by the Freemasons (the all-seeing eye replaced by the tetragrammaton is a symbol seen in many ancient synogogues especially in the Caspian area). The entire sociopolitical environment of early America was steeped in Freemasonry. Franklin’s original design had a Biblical theme (including Moses). Jefferson rejected it for something more esoteric (despite reports that he was in on that design with Franklin — besides, it goes against everything else we know about Jefferson and his disbelief of religious mysticism).

          Haym Solomon provided what was equivalent to $40 BILLION to Washington’s army from financiers in Holland and France. While mostly defenders of Jewish reputation want to disassociate with Charles Thomson to avoid any controversial discussions, the truth is that all of the people offered up instead of Haym Solomon give the standard superficial interpretations that blow apart upon investigation, and also at the same time claim they “don’t know” why the stars are arranged in a Hexagram, and were never asked about the little experiment I outlined above that makes the conclusion as obvious as daylight.

          Again, I’m not drawing conclusions here, I am stating fact and offering possibilities. If you are Jewish and you have never been told of any conspiracy of this nature, then you are my proof that this has nothing to do with Judaism as well. :)

          • TMC January 26, 2014, 11:43 AM

            It has to do with politics ;)

          • Richard Silverstein January 26, 2014, 7:16 PM

            @ TMC:

            Israel, which is just a diplomatic safe haven for this organized extremist/criminal faction in major part (as it turns out!), the symbols on the back of the dollar billhardly represent any religion. They represent secret power (conspiracy) and dominion over “others”.

            I can’t tell you how many times I’ve warned you in your various comment ID iterations to steer clear of the anti-Semitic conspiratorial nonsense. Yet you somehow revert to it every time. You & these ideas are like a bad penny. You both keep coming back. I’m moderating this identity. I’ll ban you if you continue with this crap.

            You give anti-Zionism or whatever it is you claim to represent, a bad name.

  • jg January 25, 2014, 2:35 PM

    Sorry, I can’t read the comments at this time.
    Thank you, Richard, for this very well delivered reporting on Iranian sanctions, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s challenges with AIPAC, etc., the Times reporting, and the Israeli lobby, and the various statements regarding President Rouhani.
    The amount of news coverage is astounding, with so many angles working at all ends, for “special” interests.
    The US must deal with Israeli settlements and human rights abuses, cut aid to Israel, apply sanctions, and not let the pro-Israel lobby dominate American foreign policy and allow it to instruct the U.S. what to do.
    It seems to me, that this is more critical (after 67 years of International Law violations and human rights abuses) than acting as Israeli policy’s puppets.

  • brenda January 25, 2014, 7:53 PM

    Richard, great piece, thank you for the fine reporting. I’m especially grateful for your translation of the Hebrew press item. Even though “exceedingly polite”, it may have carried a bigger punch than the rhetoric alone. Israel Shahak wrote about the Hebrew press being a safe refuge, few outsiders can read it, politicians and generals can let down their guard and brag about their accomplishments. Maybe Obama is more Machiavellian than he appears. I surely hope so because he needs all the help he can get. This is being a great story overall, better than fiction action-adventure.

  • Shoshana January 25, 2014, 10:09 PM

    Without an Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, what’s to prevent terrorists from slipping into the West Bank to set up shop?
    Hello! Syria! ISIS!

    • Richard Silverstein January 26, 2014, 3:03 AM

      @ Shoshana: You’ve forgotten that the PA security forces are trained and armed by the U.S. & have done a good job of preventing terror attacks both within Israel and in the West Bank itself. Jordan’s security services are as good as Israel’s at preventing such things. Not to mention that there will be sophisticated security systems up the yazoo to prevent just such a thing. To make such a claim shows you know nothing about security conditions in the West Bank.

      • Shoshana January 26, 2014, 5:30 AM

        I surrender my pistol and let foreign rent-a-cops protect my home and family. Hmm?

        BTW. The Jordanians and PA security force’s ‘job one’ is to protect their paymasters, the monarchy and Fatah, respectively.
        After that, they protect their citizenry and maybe, just maybe, they might cast a glance at the Jordan Valley. Maybe.

        Richard. The problem with your model, besides being pulled out of a unicorn’s butt, is that it severely underestimates the will of the Jihadists. ISIL stands for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Levant includes Israel/Palestine.

        • DAVEY January 27, 2014, 2:26 AM

          What’s to protect Palestine from the Israel “setting up shop” in the valley and continuing to oppress Palestinians? What? A piece of paper — after ignoring 40 UN resolutions, violating numerous international laws and the Geneva agreements? Who would trust Israel? Israel has security. It has a large army, sophisticated weapons including F-16’s and tanks. Pal have rocks. It is Palestine that has no security at all, not now, not in any future. I think this is obvious. Talk about Israel’s security is almost entirely disingenuous aimed at obstructing the reality that Pals have no security at all. None.

  • Bob Reynolds January 26, 2014, 2:45 AM

    1. As head of the Democratic National Committee Wasserman would probably have to resign if she refused to support the
    president on a major policy. The attacks on her and the tone of some of the attacks unfortunately raises the
    question of dual loyalties something that those attacking her could come to regret. It invites anti-semitism.
    The all out attack on Obama can have blow back. If Obama were a stronger president and feared even a little by
    Netanyahu none of this would be possible. But Netanyahu like Sharon feels he owns Congress . He also
    shows his contempt for Obama. Wasserman is strong enough to handle this.

    2. The sanctions really are about regime change, destroying the Iranian economy so that “the people will
    rise up and throw those rascals out”. Its how the CIA and our government have gone about things
    in other countries. The immediate goal is destroying the negotiations but the long term goal has always
    been regime change

    3. McCain is just a miserable individual who may not believe in anything. To cite the Cole without ever
    mentioning the USS Liberty and his father’s disgraceful conduct in that attack by Israel and the
    ensuing coverup of the attack speaks volumes. He will claim with or without proof whatever
    advances his cause .

    • Oui January 26, 2014, 9:48 AM

      “But Netanyahu like Sharon feels he owns Congress.”

      Slight observation, he does own Congress as AIPAC has been quite effective. In a subtle way, Obama is taking Natnayahu head-on without showing the complete wreckage of the US-Israel relationship. To illustrate US policy, John McCain has undercut the White House, the President and Secretary Kerry on major issues today on Syria, Iran nuclear talks and the I-P negotiations. Watch today’s BBC World Debate in Davos with Jane Harman, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud, Russia’s Puskhov and Senator McCain. The latter is proponent of America’s exceptionalism [hoon] and friend/close ally of Israel, Saudi Arabia [GCC states], Assad’s opponents and opposed to the rest of the players in the region. Main arguments of his are a pack of lies … see Curveball and today’s Caesar.

      • Davey January 27, 2014, 2:37 AM

        Agreed — and this is more than simply the ugly business of buying influence. It is buying influence at the behest of a foreign country. American Jews (presumably AIPAC) are collaborators. Why don’t Italian-Americans demand $3.1 billion in US taxpayer funds for Italy, a modern country like Israel? Why?

    • brenda January 26, 2014, 9:59 AM

      “The attacks on her and the tone of some of the attacks unfortunately raises the
      question of dual loyalties something that those attacking her could come to regret. It invites anti-semitism.”

      It could invite something more dramatic than that. It could be the road in to correcting the status of AIPAC in this country, to require it to be registered as a foreign lobby, with all the restrictions inherent in that status. No more buying of US Congresspersons and Senators. It should be do-able, if the political will exists, and the president has been sorely challenged lately.

      One thing that is puzzling me more and more is the whole issue of antisemitism in the United States. Why is it given such reverence? There has been and still is all kinds of bigotry in the United States but antisemitism has not been lethal here, not like in Europe. Not like Jim Crow in the past, or anti-gay more recently. Or native American Indian ‘reservations’. Why is bigotry against Jews given moral priority — in America — over other bigotries that have been more important in their effect?

  • Oui January 26, 2014, 3:28 PM

    Some good news, making an impact …
    BDS network infiltrating Holland

    Quite a change after a period with Geert Wilders’ support of Dutch coalition of right-wing Liberals VVD and Christian Democrats with Likud minister Uri Rosenthal on Foreign Affairs.

    • Elisabeth January 28, 2014, 5:23 AM

      Inderdaad goed nieuws! (Overigens, de reacties op site van Ynet zijn zoals gewoonlijk totaal doorgedraaid en mesjogge.)

      • Oui January 28, 2014, 6:05 AM

        Doorgedraaid en mesjogge? Dacht ik eerst ook, nu twijfel ik … misschien toch wel de norm. :-)

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