23 thoughts on “Israel Lobbies Senators to Oppose U.S. Policy on Iran – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. As I understand the underlying new proposals, US Congress wants to get rid of the President’s waiver on Iran sanctions in the national security interest of the UNITED STATES. The legislatures want to transgress on the executive’s prerogative on foreign policy. Some to AIPAC linked representatives may prefer a clause “with approval of the PM of Israel.”

    Amendment to the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations

    Pursuant to section 1245(d)(5) of the NDAA, the President may waive the imposition of sanctions in section 1245(d)(1) for a period of not more than 120 days, and may renew that waiver for additional periods of not more than 120 days, provided the President determines that such a waiver is in the national security interest of the United States and submits a report to Congress providing justification for the waiver and that includes any concrete cooperation that the President has received or expects to receive as a result of the waiver.

  2. France, Iran and Decades of Nuclear Entanglement

    Linked from your tweet, an excellent analysis!

    France, Iran and the Lubricated Geneva Talks by Ali Reza Eshraghi

    A look back at France’s history vis-à-vis the nuclear issue reminds us of its Prometheus-like role in the region. In the late 1950s, it was France that helped Israel go nuclear. Two decades later, the French sold nuclear reactors to Iraq. During the term of the former French President, France signed a deal to build a nuclear reactor for the UAE, and the French have also offered Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco civil nuclear cooperation agreements. And this October, while referring to the “huge program the Saudi government wants to implement in the nuclear field”, the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia said, “France has a lot to bring.”

    In 2009, France insisted on being part of the “Fuel Swap” agreement that Saeed Jalili, the top Iranian negotiator at the time, was about to close. But Iran did not want France to be the provider of fuel rods for the Tehran Research Reactor. Iran’s excuse was that France cannot be trusted since it has refused to grant Iran rights to the Eurodif enrichment facility in which Iran is a shareholder. [See George Besse’s murder – Oui]

    The current state of the Middle East, in the words of Hamlet, is “out of joint.” The power balance in the region has been upset after the US attack on Iraq and the subsequent Arab Spring. The Middle East has become embroiled in an unknown process of reconfiguring alliances. This condition is also strangely reminiscent of a post-modern situation: alliances have become unstable and floating. Turkey, for example, informs Iran about an Israeli spying ring while competing alongside Israel with Iran over Syria as well as its fighting against Saudi Arabia over influence in Egypt.

    That is not all. The pseudo-hegemony that the US had in the Persian Gulf throughout the 1990s and early 2000s has faded.

  3. I expected this bare knuckle fight, it was coming …
    Settlement building has once again destroyed the talks for a Palestinian state. From a few days ago I fear the worst!

    Iranian FM Javid Zarif Accuses Secretary Kerry and FM Fabius

    “I have grave concern, the sabotage of the nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 by France will have closed the small window of opportunity. The confidence build-up by President Rouhani has evaporated and accusations of who is to blame is doing the ultimate damage. Months of negotiations led to no deal when France FM Fabius flew into Geneva with orders from Hollande. With the threat of a French veto at the United Nations, all Kerry could do was to bow out and tell the lie of a united Western front to safe face. The Iranians are furous and Russian FM Lavrov tries to stay calm, hoping for another chance on November 20. IMO, no deal will be reached and the right-wingers will succeed to apply more sanctions on Iran.”

  4. I will get to Israel and Iran.

    Money may not be the root of all evil, but BIG-MONEY (at least when spent as what I call “political action”) is the mechanism by which “popular democracy” is replaced (in the USA and many other places) by “oligarchic democracy”. For those who don’t suspect it, “oligarchic democracy” is the system whereby the policies of a government are determined (in proper democratic fashion, of course) by conversations (“votes”) among the oligarchs, alone, with “the people” left to twiddle their thumbs.

    Who can suppose that the F/P of the USA would be so Israel-centric as it is in a situation in which no entity could “take political action” (or pay to have it taken) other than citizens, and in which the citizens were limited in the cumulative amount they could spend (for the taking of political action) annually — say $5000 per person per calendar year for ALL political action. No more Koch brothers (whose Tea Party machinations and anti-science deviltry I despise)! No more wealthy candidates electing themselves. No more Bloomberg (even though I approve of his anti-gun political actions).

    And no more Israel lobby! (Or not so much of one). No more Israel trying to push the USA into yet another bankrupting war (bankrupting the USA, not the Lobby, and not Israel, of course.)

    And the possibility of direct and sustained action to reverse global warming — later as the effort, by this time, would have become (and already would be, today).

  5. what you write here: “Guy Bechor, another far-right
    columnist from Yediot has penned a new article in which he calls
    Kerry, “persona non grata” as far as Israel (or the particular
    ideological slice he represents) is concerned.” I do not know who
    translate it to you, or you just do not understand hebrew but this
    is not what Dr. Bechor wrote. He wrote that Keri has practically
    become personal-non-grata in many states in the region. He did not
    say he was such in Israel.

    1. Not to stray too far off topic but in your opinion (or others on this site), what is the best online source for Hebrew to English translations? Google translate is obviously the most popular but it leaves much to be desired. Thank you in advance.

        1. @Richard Silverstein

          I use Safari or Chrome depending on where I am. I’ll check out both recommendations mentioned above, however, and thank you again for the suggestions.

    2. @ free man: I see. So Israel is not in “the region?” It exists in some other region than the Middle East? You & I both know that Bechor meant to say that Kerry is supposedly persona non grata in both Israel, the Gulf States, and Saudi Arabia, all of which want war with Iran. He did not say, or mean to say he wasn’t persona non grata in Israel.

  6. Fakhravar is not just an anti-Iran guy. He is a charlatan, and a pathetic liar. He was exposed by the people who were in prison at the time he was. He was not a political prisoner in Iran, but presents himself as such. He is a turncoat that will do anything to earn a living. He is despised even by right-wing Iranians in Diaspora.

  7. A comment and a correction regarding the last paragraph, in reference to “Channel 2” poll.

    1. Propagation of shameless lies and preposterous half-truths should be expected from Aipac, Bechor, Yemini and their ilk. It’s the tool of their trade.
    This blog’s credibility, though, requires faithful adherence to available facts.
    You write: “31% of Israelis believe that Israel can trust the U.S. in its negotiations with Iran”, but fail to mention that “55% of those surveyed believe that Israel cannot rely on the US to take care of its security in the nuclear negotiations with Iran” (from the link you provide).

    2. You associate the poll with “Israel’s Channel 2” which normally refers to Israel’s (TV) Channel 2.
    The poll was actually conducted by Israel’s (Radio) Channel B.

    1. I didn’t add the ‘55%’ number because I wanted to focus on the disparity between the media smears against Kerry and the fact that 31% of Israelis support U.S. talks with Iran. The fact that only 55% of Israelis mistrust U.S. motives in these talks is quite miraculous considering the anti-Obama/anti-U.S. drumbeat coming from Bibi & his pals in the media.

      You are correct that I made a mistake about attributing the poll to Israeli TV’s Channel 2 rather than the Radio Channel B.

  8. RE: “The Senate Banking committee is considering some of the harshest sanctions yet against Iran. This legislation is opposed by the Obama administration since it’s on the verge of securing a nuclear agreement with Iran.” ~ R.S.


    Tell Your Senators: No More Sanctions

    When Iran got down to the real business of talking with the US and other countries on October 15, it was clear that they were interested in more than a ‘charm offensive.’ US diplomats optimistically noted that the tone and substance of talks had changed. There’s promise for a negotiated deal, but that good news could turn bad if the Senate isn’t careful.

    Take action before next week’s talks to help diplomacy win.

    Despite the positive signs coming out of the first round of negotiations, some Senators want to move forward with additional sanctions. The Obama administration has asked Congress to hold off, but there are loud, powerful groups pushing for Congress to play ‘bad cop’ in the game of diplomacy. Sheldon Adelson, a GOP megadonor, went so far as to suggest that the US launch a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran.

    Will Congress stand with President Obama or with extremist hawks?

    The next round of talks is happening at the beginning of November. More punishment from the US before the November talks could empower hardliners in Iran and make it harder for Iran’s president to negotiate. When you undermine diplomatic solutions, you head toward war.

    Tell your Senators not to undermine diplomacy with Iran.

    ● TO SEND AN EMAIL OPPOSING ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS DURING THE NEGOTIATIONS – http://www.winwithoutwar.org/page/speakout/no-more-sanctions



      While 62% of American Jews support the way President Obama is handling Iran’s nuclear program, organizations that claim to represent the American Jewish community are undermining his approach by pushing for new and harsher penalties against Iran.
      The outcome of the talks set to resume in Geneva on November 20 is far from certain, but new sanctions will definitively bring the process to a halt.
      Hawkish organizations working to undermine a nuclear agreement are making their voices heard. Let’s make sure that the voice of the pro-diplomacy majority rings louder. Tell your Senators that now is not the time for new sanctions.

      ● TO SIGN THE J STREET PETITION – http://act.jstreet.org/sign/iran_negotiations/

  9. Organizations that purport to represent American Jews do not. We all know this. Yet, they are vital link in the Zionist project. How does this come about? One can suppose asymmetric funding of course, but there is another consideration. A friend recently opined that until Jews were neatly assimilated into American civil society they depended upon institutions of their own making, the Jewish Federations and all the other ones. Just as Israel was emerging so also were Jews becoming more accepted by mainstream civil American life and these organizations became less relevant to the Jewish community. As all organizations seek continuation and power, they attached themselves to the new state with a passion and have been riding that wave ever since. There is an inordinate number (and inter-leaving) of such organizations and virtually all of them are fiercely Zionist. Just a side thought.

  10. Let me get this straight. The Israelis are bad because they try to influence American policy? What about an administration that forces Israel to start “peace” talks with its enemies, and makes Israel release murderers from prison? Does this fall under subversive interference as well? This president and his administration have proved again and again that they are not trustworthy, and will betray our allies (Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, the Czech Republic, Poland, Georgia, and the list goes on and on…) before Secretary Kerry can say “mavi marmara”.

    1. You consider the Palestinian people your enemies? How come? Israel is an occupying power in accordance with International Law, the Palestinians are a neighboring people. Why are you building settlements on their territory and destroying their livelyhood and olive groves.

      It’s about time the global community follow the responsibility as intented by the Security Council of the U.N. President George H. Bush and James Baker III were the most recent administration that tried to be an honest broker in the Middle East. Does Israel expect security in their state combined with never-ending hostility and war? Get real. The Arab states hopefully want a political solution for Jerusalem and the Palestinian territory in a statehood alongside the Jewish nation of Israel. Deal with it and accept the US as an honest broker. Further settlement building is illegal.

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