Israel

Kerry to Congress: Don’t believe those lying Israelis

Featured image John Kerry appeared before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday to argue against further sanctions on Iran. The session was closed, but Republican members weren’t bashful about publicly expressing their dismay over Kerry’s performance. BuzzFeed has the details. Sen. Bob Corker said he was “very disappointed.” Kerry, he said, made “an emotional appeal,” devoid of specificity. Sen. Mark Kirk described Kerry’s pitch as “very unconvincing” and “fairly anti-Israel.” According to Kirk, »

Why did Israel say “Lo”?

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement following his briefing by John Kerry on the then pending deal with Iran this past week was remarkable. Netanyahu was obviously pushing back against the United States for agreeing to a deal that left Iran with imminent breakout nuclear capacity and relaxed sanctions. Netanyahu objected to a sellout that, contrary to previous assurances, jeopardized the security of America’s regional allies if not of the United States »

Why did France say “non”?

Featured image It fell to France to nix the terrible deal that John Kerry worked out with Iran — a deal that would have signaled the demise of sanctions without setting back the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons. But why did France pull the trigger? Upon hearing the news, I said that France’s veto stemmed mainly from “a robust sense of reality [about] the Middle East,” something that the Obama administration doesn’t »

Congress to kick John Kerry around some more

Featured image John Kerry will be back before Congress to try to sell the latest twist in the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. Fresh off of his failure to persuade legislators to authorize military action against Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons, Kerry will now try to persuade them not to pass additional sanctions against Iran in response to its nuclear weapons program. And since Israel retains considerable support »

Middle East “peace” talks: more of a joke than ever

Featured image How will President Obama’s willingness — over the strong objections of Israel — to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for virtually nothing affect his administration’s ability to broker a “peace” agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority? The question should answer itself. Given the disregard for Israel’s interest displayed by Obama and John Kerry last week, Israel clearly cannot trust this administration to make good on the promises that »

Munich then and now

Featured image It appears that President Obama and his Team of Nitwits are about to deliver Iran from the severity of the sanctions regime it is currently under, or to loosen the sanctions further outright rather than indirectly through “secret détente.” Having briefed Prime Minister Netanyahu on the coming deal, Kerry did not stick around in Israel for a joint press conference. Netanyahu denounced the deal by himself without diplomatic nicety in »

Obama didn’t even wait for negotiations to begin caving on Iran sanctions

Featured image Last night, I wrote about the shameful deal President Obama is about to enter into with the Iranian regime. Iran will gain billions in financial relief without doing anything to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. As Elliott Abrams says, not one centrifuge is taken apart; Natanz and other sites remain intact; not one ounce of enriched uranium is shipped overseas. Apparently Iran won’t enrich beyond 3.5 percent under this deal, »

If you like your nuclear weapons program, you can keep your nuclear weapons program

Featured image The Washington Post reports: A deal that would give Iran limited relief from economic sanctions in exchange for a temporary freeze of some of its nuclear activities was near completion late Thursday, and Secretary of State John F. Kerry was preparing to fly to Geneva on Friday morning for a likely announcement. As Jonathan Tobin reminds us, this deal is contrary to what the Obama administration promised when it entered »

A conversation about Israel

Featured image Michael Oren is the brilliant historian and former Israeli Ambassador to the United States; Yossi Klein Halevi is the author, most recently, of Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation and, I take it, Oren’s best friend. In the video below, under the gentle hand of moderator Gary Rosenblatt, Oren and Halevi discuss Halevi’s new book, but the conversation opens up to »

Obama-Kerry produce Arab-Israeli agreement

Featured image President Obama and John Kerry finally have enabled Israel and key Arab states to reach accord. Both sides agree that current U.S. efforts to negotiate a deal with Iran over it nuclear program are dismaying. The Washington Post reports: The Obama administration on Wednesday acknowledged a widening gulf with key Middle Eastern allies over nuclear talks with Iran, as Israeli and Persian Gulf Arab leaders pressed for drastic cuts to »

What Netanyahu said

Featured image I don’t trust and don’t want to rely on news accounts of important speeches such as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s and President Obama’s at the UN last week, or Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s at the UN today. I linked to the full text version of both Rouahani’s and Obama’s speeches last week and took a look at them here (Rouahani) and here (Obama). The Office of the Israeli Prime Minister »

From Tehran with Quds

Featured image You may have missed the news over the weekend that Israeli intelligence authorities apprehended an Iranian spy of Belgian nationality as he was departing the country two weeks ago. Haaretz reports the story here and the Washington Post here. What was he scoping out on behalf of his paymasters in Tehran? He apparently hadn’t received word that it is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius in Tehran: On his »

Is Netanyahu as charming as Rouhani?

Featured image Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is here in the U.S. for a three-day visit. On Monday, he will meet with President Obama. The Jerusalem Post describes the visit as an attempt to offset Iranian Prime Minister Rouhani’s “charm offensive.” Unfortunately, anyone clueless and/or anti-Israel enough to be charmed by Rouhani will be immune to the charm of Netanyahu which, to the extent it can be detected, consists of speaking truth to »

The point of Rouhani

Featured image The point of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency is not to persuade people that Iran can be dissuaded, through the easing or lifting of sanctions, from continuing its quest for nuclear weapons. No one, not even President Obama, seriously believes in that scenario. In my view, the point of Rouhani is to persuade people that Iran is now “normal” enough that we shouldn’t fear it having nukes. It’s not clear that Obama »

Murder of israeli soldiers injects realism into “peace process”

Featured image “Troop deaths put strain on Mideast peace talks.” So states a Washington Post headline (print edition) this morning. The headline refers to the fact that Palestinians killed two Israeli troops this weekend, including an unarmed 20-year old whose dead body was tossed into a well by his murderer. The armed wing of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party has claimed responsibility for both killings. Its actual responsibility, if any, is less significant, »

For Israel, Assad is the worst option

Featured image One of the strongest-sounding arguments against U.S. action that might lead to the overthrow of the Assad regime is the claim that such an overthrow would produce a victory for al Qaeda. I discussed this argument here. Israel has a border with Syria. Iran and al Qaeda are both sworn enemies of Israel. Does Israel want Assad to remain in power? No it does not. Michael Oren, the outgoing Israeli »

Oslo at 20

Featured image In every area of modern life Israel boasts a genius that on a per capita basis must be unrivaled. Yet on the world stage its politicians seem almost bereft. The only statesman equal to the challenges it has faced over the past 20 years, so it seems to me, has been Benjamin Netanyahu, and the crucial chapter of his story is yet to be written. It is a remarkable fact »