love of israel

samedi 28 février 2015

USA: des sénateurs exigent l'examen de tout accord avec l'Iran par le Congrès

Des sénateurs américains ont soumis vendredi soir un projet de loi exigeant un examen du Congrès pour tout accord avec l'Iran sur son programme nucléaire, rapporte samedi plusieurs médias outre-atlantiques.
La "loi sur l'examen de l'accord sur le nucléaire iranien" obligerait le président Barack Obama à soumettre au Congrès le texte d’un accord avec l’Iran dans les cinq jours précédant sa signature.
Le projet de loi interdirait également à Obama de suspendre ou de renoncer à des sanctions sur l'Iran décidées par le Congrès, pendant 60 jours après leur adoption.
"Il est important que nous préservions l'intégrité des sanctions du Congrès", a déclaré le républicain Bob Corker, qui dirige la commission des affaires étrangères du Sénat avec le démocrate Bob Menendez, les deux étant à l'origine du projet de loi.
Le projet de loi crée un "processus d'examen responsable qui offrira au Congrès la possibilité d'approuver ou de désapprouver l'accord avant que l'administration n'ait la possibilité tenter d'abolir ces sanctions", a déclaré Corker.
La commission des relations extérieures a adopté un nouveau train de sanctions contre l'Iran ce mois-ci. Mais les législateurs ont laissé un délai aux pourparlers que le groupe des 5+1 mène avec Téhéran, avant de soumettre le projet de loi au Sénat.
La date du vote en commission du projet de loi présenté vendredi n'a pas encore été communiquée.
Les négociations sur un accord visant à freiner le programme nucléaire de l'Iran ont considérablement progressé ces derniers mois, mais des points restent encore à discuter, et aucun accord ne devrait être signé la semaine prochaine, a déclaré vendredi un responsable américain.

"Un moment historique"

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Le bureau du Premier ministre israélien a diffusé vendredi soir un clip mettant en scène Benyamin Netanyahou rédigeant le discours qu'il doit prononcer sur le programme nucléaire iranien la semaine prochaine devant le Congrès américain à Washington. La vidéo, où l'on voit Netanyahou écrire son texte avec un stylo bleu épais, a été diffusée sur la chaîne israélienne Arutz 2.
Le Premier ministre israélien avait rappelé plus tôt dans la journée qu'il venait à Washington avec la volonté de convaincre les élus américains d'empêcher un accord sur le nucléaire iranien, actuellement négocié entre Téhéran et le groupe des 5+1, et qui constituerait, selon lui, une menace existentielle potentiel pour Israël.
"Je vais aux États-Unis pour tenter d'arrêter l'accord qui se négocie actuellement, et qui est un danger pour l'Etat d'Israël", a déclaré Netanyahou sur les ondes de Kol Barama, une station de radio ultra-orthodoxe.
Le ministre israélien de la Défense Moshe Ya'alon a déclaré sur Arutz 2 que l'accord était "mauvais", et qu'il existait un "abîme" entre le gouvernement israélien et l'administration Obama sur la question de l'Iran.
"C'est un moment historique. Netanyahou est obligé d'obtenir le soutien du Congrès. L'Histoire jugera bien mal les dirigeants israéliens, s'ils ne font rien pour défendre leur pays", a-t-il ajouté.
Le discours que Netanyahou doit prononcer devant le Congrès le 3 mars a provoqué la colère de l'administration Obama et de certains législateurs américains, qui ont condamné l'invitation des républicains lancée au Premier ministre israélien.
De nombreux responsables estiment qu'elle constitue une enfreinte au protocole diplomatique, et qu'elle est une tentative de Netanyahou de faire capoter les négociations sur le nucléaire iranien, dont la réussite constitute un des objectifs de la politique étrangère du président américain Barack Obama.

L'AIPAC dément être opposé au discours de Netanyahou

AFP"
Le lobby pro-israélien AIPAC (Comité américain pour les Affaires publiques israéliennes) a démenti les allégations selon lesquelles il serait opposé au discours de Netanyahou au Congrès, et qu'il aurait exhorté le dirigeant israélien à revenir sur sa décision. "Toute affirmation indiquant que l'AIPAC est opposé au discours du Premier ministre est catégoriquement fausse", a déclaré le porte-parole de l'AIPAC Marshall Wittmann au site Times of Israel.
"L’AIPAC a fait savoir, dès l'annonce du discours, qu'il se réjouissait d'une telle initiative, et qu'il estimait qu'il s'agissait là d'une allocution importante", a-t-il ajouté.
Ces derniers jours, plusieurs médias avaient publiés des rapports indiquant que le lobby pro-israélien était opposé au discours de Netanyahou.
Selon Wittmann, "l'AIPAC a encouragé de nombreux membres du Congrès d'assister au discours du chef d'Etat hébreu au Congrès."
L'AIPAC a également appelé ses membres à contacter leurs représentants afin de relayer le message selon lequel, il était important d'être présent au fameux discours, après qu'un certain nombre de représentants démocrates ont annoncé un possible boycott de l'allocution de Netanyahou.

Susan Rice Forbids Israel from Criticizing Kerry

Who the hell does National Security Advisor Susan Rice think she is? Does she believe in freedom of speech? How else to explain her disdainful tweet: “Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable.” Unacceptable? Is it only Israel that has no right to criticize him? Has Rice forgotten that Israel, like the United States, is a democracy that enshrines the freedom of speech?
There has been a penchant of late by those in the Obama Administration to treat Israel like an errant schoolboy. When Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, according to media reports, that John Kerry is “obsessive and messianic,” State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said that Ya’alon’s remarks, if accurate, are “offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the U.S. is doing to support Israel’s security needs.”
Aha. So, it would follow that any country that the US is similarly doing a great deal for would come under similar condemnation by the State department were they to criticize American leaders.
Let’s see. I would assume that most of us would agree that the United States, in seeing its brave soldiers die to stop the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, not to mention spending a trillion-odd dollars in the war there, has done a great deal more for Afghanistan than Israel. Yet, here is President Hamid Karzai’s official pronouncement about the United States, just this past January 17:
“As a result of bombardment by American forces last night … in Siahgird district of Parwan province, one woman and seven children were martyred and one civilian injured. The Afghan government has been asking for a complete end to operations in Afghan villages for years, but American forces acting against all mutual agreements … have once again bombarded a residential area and killed civilians.”
This follows a pattern of Karzai of attacking American troops—who have saved his country from Taliban Neanderthals—as killers, rapists, marauders, etc. Just two days ago this wretched ingrate actually had the temerity to say that in the 12 years NATO troops have been in Afghanistan his country has gone backward. Yet, I have searched in vein on Susan Rice’s Twitter feed for a condemnation of Karzai for his absolutely disgusting remarks about our heroes in uniform.
Less so have I found a State Department spokesman condemning the Afghan president as having no right to falsely accuse American troops.
No, it seems that Israel alone is prevented from offering a dissenting opinion from the United States.
But there is another reason Susan Rice deserves special opprobrium from her condemnation of Israel, and that is the unique insensitivity she is famous for when it comes to genocide.
Susan Rice was part of Bill Clinton’s National Security Team that in 1994 took no action whatsoever during the Rwanda genocide, leaving more than 800,000 men, women, and children to be hacked to death by machete in the fastest genocide ever recorded.
Not content to insist on American non-involvement, the Clinton administration went a step further by obstructing the efforts of other nations to stop the slaughter. On April 21, 1994, the Canadian UN commandeer in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire, declared that he required only 5000 troops to bring the genocide to a rapid halt. In addition, a single bombing run against the RTLM Hutu Power radio transmitting antenna would have made it impossible for the Hutus to coordinate their genocide.
But on the very same day, as Phillip Gourevitch explains in his definitive account of the Rwandan genocide, We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We will Be Killed With Our Families, the Security Council, with the Clinton Administration’s blessing, ordered the UN force under Dallaire reduced by ninety percent to a skeleton staff of 270 troops who would powerlessly witness the slaughter to come. This, in turn, was influenced by Presidential Decision Directive 25, which “amounted to a checklist of reasons to avoid American involvement in UN peacekeeping missions,” even though Dallaire did not seek American troops and the mission was not peacekeeping but genocide prevention. Indeed, Madeleine Albright, then the American Ambassador to the UN, opposed leaving even this tiny UN force. She also pressured other countries “to duck, as the death toll leapt from thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands … the absolute low point in her career as a stateswoman.”
In a 2001 article published in The Atlantic, Samantha Power, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning A Problem from Hell and arguably the world’s foremost voice against genocide and who is now Rice’s successor as America’s Ambassador to the UN, referred to Rice and her colleagues in the Clinton Administration as Bystanders to Genocide. She quotes Rice in her 2002 book as saying, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November congressional election?” That Rice would have brought up the midterm elections as a more important consideration than stopping the fastest slaughter of human life in all history – 330 dying every hour – is one of the saddest pronouncements ever to be uttered by American public official.
But she did not stop there.
Rice then joined Madeline Albright, Anthony Lake, and Warren Christopher as part of a coordinated effort not only to impede UN action to stop the Rwanda genocide, but to minimize public opposition to American inaction by removing words like “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” from government communications on the subject.
In the end, eight African nations, fed up with American inaction, agreed to send in an intervention force to stop the slaughter provided that the U.S. would lend them fifty armored personal carriers. The Clinton Administration decided it would lease rather than lend the armor for a price of $15 million. The carriers sat on a runway in Germany while the UN pleaded for a $5 million reduction as the genocidal inferno raged. The story only gets worse from there, with the Clinton State Department refusing to label the Rwanda horrors a genocide because of the 1948 Genocide Convention that would have obligated the United States to intervene, an effort that Susan Rice participated in.
It was painful enough to watch Kofi Anan elevated to Secretary General even though as head of UN peace-keeping forces worldwide he sent two now infamous cables to Dallaire forbidding him from any efforts to stop the genocide (the cables are on display in the Kigali Genocide Memorial).
It’s nearly as painful watching Rice lecture the Jewish state, which lost one third of its entire people in a genocide of four short years, lecture the Jews about how unacceptable it is for them to criticize those who claim to know how to protect them better than they know themselves.

mercredi 25 février 2015

Dissident group alleges new secret nuke site in Iran

An Iranian dissident group accused Tehran on Tuesday of hiding a secret nuclear facility even as U.S. negotiators signaled they're ready to make a concession to reach a deal with Iran on its disputed nuclear program.
In Washington, the National Council of Resistance of Iran showed satellite imagery and photographs of what it said was a secret facility buried several stories under a military base on the outskirts of Tehran. The facility, protected by vault-like doors and anti-radiation shielding, is used for research and development, and advanced machinery produces enriched uranium, said the group's spokesman, Alireza Jafarzadeh.
The secrecy of the program and its underground location are signs that its purpose is "for a nuclear weapons project," said the NCRI's U.S. representative, Soona Samsami.
She called on the United States to demand that Iran provide the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency immediate access to the site.
"If the USA is serious about preventing the Iranian regime from getting nuclear weapons, it must make continuing talks dependent on letting the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to immediately visit this site," Samsami said.
The NCRI's allegations could not be confirmed, and U.S. officials did not respond to requests for comment. The United States and other Western nations have cited evidence that Iran has harbored a secret weapons program, but Iran denies it.
The new allegations come a day after U.S. negotiators meeting with their Iranian counterparts in Geneva said they had discussed a major U.S. concession: allowing Iran to begin increasing nuclear fuel production after 10 years if Iran sticks to agreed-upon limits during that time period.

The United States had indicated that Iran should be barred from increasing nuclear fuel production for 15 years or more. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. goal is to limit production for a "two-digit" number of years.
Iran has insisted that any steps it takes must be matched by significant and rapid relief from stringent economic sanctions imposed by the West.
The U.S. goal is a deal that prevents Iran from producing enough nuclear fuel to make a bomb for at least a year. The reasoning: Give the United States time to catch Iran cheating and do something about it.
Hossein Mousavian, a former spokesman for Iran's negotiating team, told USA TODAY the United States will have to accept compromise if it wants a deal.
"They can't say Iran should do all the major steps in the first six months, and they will only lift substantial sanctions after 15 years. It's not going to happen," Mousavian said. "Iran is willing to implement all its commitments in the shortest period of time and is suspicious of pushing the comprehensive package for a decade or more."
Iran considers the NCRI a terrorist organization. Clare Lopez, a former CIA analyst at the Center for Security Policy, a Washington think-tank, said the group has a solid track record for revealing secret Iranian nuclear facilities. It first revealed nuclear facilities at Natanz and under a mountain in Fordo and a suspected site at Parchin that has since been razed.
The new revelation "means (the Iranians) are negotiating in bad faith," Lopez said.
David Albright, a nuclear weapons expert and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, urged caution about the group's claims. "They tend to be good at identifying sites, but usually, they misinterpret their purpose," he said.

US national security advisor Rice says Netanyahu address 'destructive'

Susan Rice, US President Barack Obama's national security advisor, said on Tuesday night that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's acceptance of an invitation to address Congress next month is "destructive of the fabric of the relationship" between Israel and the United States.

"We've been fortunate that politics have not been injected into that relationship," Rice said to American journalist Charlie Rose.

But "what has happened over the last several weeks, by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the Speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu on two weeks in advance of his election, is that on both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship."

Those decisions from both men were "not only unfortunate," Rice continued, but "destructive."

"It's always been bipartisan," she said. "We need to keep it that way. We want it that way. I think Israel wants it that way. The American people want it that way. And when it becomes injected or infused with politics, that's a problem."

Netanyahu accepted the invitation in late January, originally scheduling him to speak in mid-February. He requested the speech be delayed until March 3, when he will already be in Washington for the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Both of his speeches, to AIPAC and to Congress, are expected to focus on a pending international deal on Iran's nuclear program, which he vehemently disapproves of. In a letter to Senate Democrats on Wednesday, Netanyahu said he planned to "voice Israel's grave concerns about a potential nuclear agreement with Iran that could threaten the survival of my country."

Negotiators from Iran, the US, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany seek to clinch a political framework agreement on the nuclear issue by the end of March.

As first reported in The Jerusalem Post in November, US officials are suggesting a deal with a sunset clause in roughly ten years, during which Iran would gradually be granted the rights and privileges of fellow signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

All five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Arab powers and Israel believe Iran has been in violation of its international obligations under the NPT, growing its nuclear program in size and scope while experimenting with weaponization techniques.

"They're not going to be able to convince anybody on day one that they have stopped enrichment," Rice said to Rose, speaking of a possible deal.

"They're going to have to prove over time through their actions which will be validated that they are, in fact, upholding their commitments. So this will be a phased process any way you slice it."

dimanche 22 février 2015

Turkish tanks roll into Syria to evacuate memorial, soldiers


Turkey said its troops had taken control of another area in Syria where the flag had been raised and the remains would be moved. AA photo.
Turkey said its troops had taken control of another area in Syria where the flag had been raised and the remains would be moved. AA photo.
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey launched a military operation across the border in Syria late Saturday to remove a historic monument and the soldiers guarding it, local media reports said.


Dozens of tanks and armored vehicles crossed the border late Saturday to remove the memorial to Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, to prevent it from being captured and used by militants of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised address.


 “Without engaging in any clashes, Turkish troops left Syria early Feb. 22, after detonating the symbolic building to prevent ISIL militants use it as a base,” the Hurriyet daily reported.


Davutoglu later said that a soldier was killed in an accident in the early hours of the operation, which involved the military and intelligence service.


The site of the memorial in northern Syria is considered Turkish territory, according to a 1921 treaty, and was guarded by 40 Turkish soldiers.


Davutoglu said in a series of Tweets that the remains had been “temporarily” brought to Turkey, but would be returned to the Ashma region in Syria, where Turkish forces had already raised their flag.


 "I want to stress that a nation can build a future only by laying a claim on its past," Davutoglu said.


The Turkish incursion is likely to plunge the tense relations between Ankara and Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria even lower. Turkey has insisted that the president must go. There was no immediate reaction from Syria to the Turkish operation.


Hurriyet said the operation was launched in response to reports that ISIS had besieged the tomb, and fears it could be taken over and used as a base by the militants.


The Suleyman Shah tomb was designated Turkish territory under a 1921 treaty with France, the colonial power in Syria at the time. Ankara has regarded the area as sovereign territory, and had warned several times it was ready to defend it if necessary.


Suleyman Shah was a 12th century military leader and grandfather of Osman the First, who founded the Ottoman Empire in the 13th century.

Israel asks UN to condemn Iran Holocaust cartoon contest

Israel called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and on UN member countries to condemn an international cartoon contest on Holocaust denial hosted by Iran which is set to take place in two months.
“The contest legitimizes Holocaust denial and encourages those who deny the Shoah to continue with their incitement,” Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, wrote in a letter released Saturday.
The competition is organized by Iranian organizations that have said it comes in response to the controversial depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last month.
Iran’s House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex are organizing The Second International Holocaust Cartoons Contest, Masud Shojaei-Tabatabaii, the contest’s secretary, announced in a press conference earlier this month, according to the Tehran Times.
Shojaei-Tabatabaii, who is also the director of Iran’s House of Cartoon, added that contestants will be asked to submit their drawings before April 1.
The winner will receive a cash prize of $12,000, with those in second and third place taking home $8,000 and $5,000, respectively.
The announcement marks the second time such a contest is being held.
After the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Postens caused controversy throughout the Muslim world in 2005 by publishing cartoons depicting the Prophet, the two organizers held a competition calling for contestants to draw cartoons denying the Holocaust or comparing it to the plight of the Palestinians.
According to the organizers, the contest was meant to challenge perceived Western double standards on free speech.
“Why is it acceptable in Western countries to draw any caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, yet as soon as there are any questions or doubts raised about the Holocaust, fines and jail sentences are handed down?” Shojaei-Tabatabaii said to the Observer in 2006.
The winner of the previous contest, Abdellah Derkaoui of Morocco, drew an Israeli crane erecting a wall around the Dome of the Rock. The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp is featured on the wall.
Top works from the upcoming competition will be displayed at the Palestine Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran and several other locations throughout the Iranian capital.

jeudi 19 février 2015

Obama administration: Israel must quit distorting details of Iran talks

Israel is distorting the U.S. negotiating position in nuclear talks with Iran and must stop, Obama administration officials said.
“The United States is mindful of the need to not negotiate in public and to ensure that information that is discussed at the negotiating table is not taken out of context and publicized in a way that does not distort the negotiating position of the United States and our allies,” Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said Wednesday when asked to comment on reports that the Obama administration was withholding details of the talks from Israel.
“There’s no question that some of the things the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate, there’s no question about that.”
Neither Earnest, who was addressing the daily media briefing, nor Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, would give details of which details they think the Israelis are distorting. But a New York Times report on Wednesday said U.S. officials are angered that the Israelis seem to be leaking the number of centrifuges that the Iranians would be permitted to operate under an agreement while omitting details of other means of keeping at a minimum Iran’s uranium enrichment.
“Its safe to say that not everything you’re hearing from the Israeli government is an accurate reflection of the details of the talks,” Psaki said at her own daily briefing. “There’s a selective sharing of information.”
Psaki and Earnest each emphasized that U.S. negotiators continue to brief their Israeli counterparts.
“There is no country that is not participating in the negotiations that has greater insight into what’s going on at that negotiating table,” Earnest said.
Netanyahu, meeting Wednesday in Jerusalem with Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), said he was aware of the details of the proposal.
“The Iranians of course know the details of that proposal and Israel does too,” the Times of Israel quoted him as saying. “So when we say that the current proposal would lead to a bad deal, a dangerous deal, we know what we’re talking about, senator.”

l’Italie cède au terrorisme palestinien

En pleine vague d’attentats islamistes en Europe, l’Italie s’apprête jeudi à reconnaître l’entité terroriste « Autorité palestinienne », à la suite d’une proposition parlementaire déposée par la gauche italienne et soutenue par le parti démocrate du Premier ministre Matteo Renzi.
Mi-décembre, le Parlement européen a adopté, à une écrasante majorité, un «soutien de principe» à la « Palestine », sans appeler ses États membres à reconnaître un État palestinien.
En 2014, les parlements irlandais, français, espagnol et britannique ont reconnu l’entité terroriste « Autorité palestinienne ». Seule la Suède a reconnu de facto le présumé « État palestinien ».
L’Allemagne et les Pays-Bas ont refusé de suivre leurs homologues européens, préférant appeler Israéliens et Palestiniens à reprendre les négociations.
Selon un décompte de l’Autorité palestinienne, 134 pays à travers le monde ont reconnu l’Etat Palestinien. En grande partie des pays musulmans et ou régimes totalitaires.

Iranian American Council Slams Netanyahu Speech


The National Iranian American Council took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times slamming the planned speech to Congress by Israel's prime minister.

"Will Congress side with our president or a foreign leader?" reads the ad in Thursday's edition. "President Obama is on the verge of a diplomatic victory that will prevent war and prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. But Congressional hawks are bringing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Capitol Hill to push for new sanctions that could kill the talks and start a war."

In the ad, a figure identified as House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner fills out a mock multiple-choice quiz, choosing Benjamin Netanyahu over Obama on the question "Who is our Commander in Chief?"

The ad's publication comes amid reports that the White House has been keeping Jerusalem in the dark about certain details of U.S.-Iranian negotiations in order to avoid giving the Israelis fodder with which to inveigh against a potential nuclear deal.

"There's no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday. "We see that there is a continued practice of cherry-picking specific pieces of information and using them out of context to distort the negotiating position of the United States."

Netanyahu has warned against the perils of dealmaking with Iran and plans to visit Washington to make his argument in a speech to Congress on March 3, two weeks before Israeli elections. The speech has been the subject of much controversy. It was planned by Netanyahu administration officials and Boehner without the White House's knowledge, and Obama was informed about it only hours before it was publicly announced.

Several prominent Democrats have announced that they will not attend the speech, Obama has said he will not meet with Netanyahu during his visit because of the proximity to Israeli elections, and some prominent American Jews and Jewish groups have urged the prime minister to cancel. In Israel, Netanyahu has come under fire for what critics say is his antagonizing of the U.S. administration.

mercredi 18 février 2015

Black Members of Congress Will Skip Netanyahu’s Speech

A number of Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members will not be in attendance when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the House and Senate.
They plan to boycott the March 3 speech because they believe Netanyahu’s appearance is disrespectful to President Obama, Politico reported.
House Speaker John Boehner did not consult the White House or congressional Democrats before inviting the prime minister to come to Capitol Hill. Netenyahu will tell lawmakers about the threat Iran’s nuclear weapons program poses to the United States and Israel.
One of the leaders of the CBC, Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, was the first caucus member to tell reporters he will skip the speech. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and others quickly made similar announcements.
“To me, it is somewhat of an insult to the president of the United States,” said Rep. Greg Meeks, D-N.Y. “I’m not going to be there, as a result of that, not as a result of the good people of Israel.”
Obama and Biden also have said they will not be in the audience for Netanyahu’s speech.
Israeli officials who plan to travel to Washington, D.C., with Netanyahu want to meet with the CBC, according to Politico.

Israelis must protest Iran deal outside US Embassy

Israelis should take to the streets and protest in front of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv against the emerging Iranian nuclear deal, former Strategic Affairs Ministry director-general Yossi Kuperwasser said Tuesday.

Kuperwasser, who before the ministry job he left at the end of 2014 was a senior officer in Military Intelligence, attributed a great deal of importance to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress.

He told the annual Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv that “everyone will be listening, and he will present the case of why this is dangerous, and why we should prevent an extremely radical regime like Iran from having the potential to have nuclear weapons.”

However, Kuperwasser said, the battle should not be waged by Netanyahu alone.

“It is not like fighting the Philistines in the Bible, and sending David to present our case,” he said. “The people of Israel should speak up. We should go to the American Embassy here and protest against this dangerous move.

“This is our fate, our fate. Why should we leave it only to the prime minister,” Kuperwasser said to applause. “We should have all the experts sitting here write a paper to the president [US President Barack Obama] saying this is not about politics, it is about our fate. Stop it.”

According to Kuperwasser, the Obama administration is moving toward an “extremely dangerous” deal. Basing himself on reports that the US has agreed to allow the Iranians more than 6,000 centrifuges, he said the problem is not only that figure, “which is unbelievable,” and which “nobody raised a year ago.”

It is also about what will happen to the other 14,000 centrifuges the Iranians now have available, he said. “If not totally dismantled, then within weeks they can reinstall them. What will happen with that?” Kuperwasser also asked about “what will happen” to the Iranian ballistic missiles or the enriched uranium Tehran has stockpiled, or its nuclear research and developments.

“There is a long list of issues of which we hear nothing,” he said. “And we want to know that at the end of the day the [nuclear] threshold will be extremely wide.”

It is a mistake to personalize the matter and set it up as a disagreement between Netanyahu and Obama, Kuperwasser said. It is much deeper than that, he asserted, and represents a fundamental difference between how the “Israeli establishment and the American establishment” view the issues.

While Washington obviously does not want Iran to get nuclear arms, Kuperwasser said the US “looks at it in a different way.”

The US can “afford” to live with a situation where there is a period where it will take Iran a year to produce a nuclear weapon, he said.

“They believe this is a threshold that can be sustained, because in their view Iran is not that terrible,” he said. “It is terrible, but not that terrible.”

According to Kuperwasser, Washington makes a distinction between the “ultra radicals, and the ultra, ultra radicals.

They want to focus on the ultra, ultra radical [Islamic State], and the ultra radicals can be helpful in fighting them.” Because of that, he asserted, a one-year nuclear threshold for the US is “not the end of the world.”

mardi 17 février 2015

Ex-Obama aide says US should pass law mandating military action if Iran violates nuclear deal

Congressional legislation mandating US military action against Iran in case it breaches commitments under the accord being negotiated may be one way of bridging gaps between the US and Israel over the Iranian nuclear issue, Dennis Ross said on Tuesday.

Former Middle East envoy Ross, who from 2009-2011 was a key White House official dealing with Iran, told the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv that the US must be clear in any agreement what the consequences would be for Iranian violations.

“You cannot wait until you face the violations, and decide what it [the consequences], will be,” he said. “You actually should work that out now.”

Ross said this is one area where the administration could work together with Congress, which “has made clear it wants to put its imprint” on a possible agreement, and agree in advance what the price of violations will be.

For example, he said, if despite an agreement the Iranians were found to be engaged in a “dash” to nuclear breakout, the consequence should be the use of American military force.

“There should be legislation, worked out with the Hill in advance, which says if we catch them with the following kinds of violations, then the implication is that we are going to take out those facilities.” he said.

Ross said this is something that would deter the Iranians, and go a long way toward addressing one of Israel’s main concerns.

Ross also said that a new set of protocols will also be necessary to ensure that there is a transparent regime that allows supervisory access at anytime and at any place inside Iran, and that these new protocols have to take into account tens of thousands of centrifuges, not just one or two thousand.

If the Iranians know they can be detected trying to dash to a nuclear device, and if they also know that this would automatically trigger the American use of force, “it is likely to deter them in the first place, and goes a long way toward addressing the core of Israel’s concerns,” he said.

Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the director-general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, was not convinced.

He said this would not assuage Jerusalem’s concerns, because Israel does not trust the Iranians. The Iranians would not take seriously an American threat to use force, he added, since what would have driven such legislation in the first place is the “fear of having to do anything.”

Former Mideast envoy and envoy to Israel Martin Indyk also expressed skepticism at the idea, which he nevertheless called “creative,” saying that both the White House and Congress would be hesitant to forge an agreement that would essentially “put Iran’s finger on the American trigger. Not that the US would not be willing to use force, but to have it done automatically is something I suspect both the president and Congress would have a problem with.”

Indyk suggested that one way the gap could be bridged between America’s being able to tolerate Iran as a “near threshold” nuclear power, while Israel cannot, is for the US to enter immediately into discussions with Jerusalem “about a nuclear guarantee for Israel.”

He said these discussions were already held at Camp David in 2000 during negotiations between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat, and Barak asked – in the context of an agreement with the Palestinians – for an American nuclear defense guarantee.

“It was approved then, and the US president [Bill Clinton] said if there is a deal, we’ll do this,” Indyk said.

It would now be a different kind of deal, but Indyk said such a pact “may go a considerable distance toward calming Israel’s concerns about the Iranians reneging on commitments it makes in this deal.”

Indyk suggested that this would be not just a presidential guarantee, but a “treaty arrangement that would require legislation, and I’m sure it would pass pretty much unanimously.”

Khamenei: 'American Sniper' encourages harassment of Muslims

Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has become the latest person to criticize US film American Sniper for its allegedly anti-Muslim message.

The Iraq war bipopic directed by Clint Eastwood tells the real-life story of late US Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle, whose 160 kills in Iraq is considered the highest count ever in US military history. The film has been nominated for six Oscars including best picture and grossed over $300 million at the US box office.

It has become a flashpoint in US public debate with some liberals and conservatives sparring over its portrayal of war, soldiers, and Eastwood's interpretation of the history leading up to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has said that its members have been targets of "violent threats" caused by the film's language directed at Muslims.

Khamenei attacked the film on his Twitter feed Monday, relaying via the social media network his quotes from a meeting with religious minorities in Iran.

dimanche 15 février 2015

Israel approves $46 million plan to abosrb Jewish immigration

The cabinet approved a special NIS 180 million ($46 million) budget on Sunday to finance the costs of absorbing thousands of new immigrants expected to arrive in Israel this year from Ukraine, France and Belgium.
“We are telling our Jewish brothers and sisters that Israel is your home,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the cabinet meeting. “We are bracing ourselves and calling for a mass immigration from Europe.”
Under the Law of Return, all Jewish immigrants to Israel are entitled to a package of financial benefits. The government expects the sharp upward trend evident in immigration from Ukraine, France and Belgium last year to strengthen even further in the coming year. In Ukraine, this increase has been attributed to the political turmoil in the country, while in France and Belgium, it has been associated with a combination of rising anti-Semitism and a weak economy.
The supplemental budget approved today is earmarked for information fairs, subsidized Hebrew lessons, extra office staff, and beefed up social and employment services.
According to figures published by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, a record number of 6,658 Jews immigrated to Israel from France last year – more than double the previous year’s number. Last month alone, the ministry reported that 1,835 new files were opened for candidates for immigration from France. The Jewish Agency expects 15,000 French Jews to immigrate to Israel this year.
Last year, 5,921 Jews immigrated to Israel from Ukraine – more than triple the previous year’s number. Last month alone, the ministry reported, 1,300 new files were opened for candidates for immigration from Ukraine.
Although immigration from Belgium has been on a much smaller scale in absolute terms, the percentage increase has been dramatic, ever since the terror attack last spring outside the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said in response to the cabinet decision that allocated extra funding this year to immigration absorption was not sufficient, and that it was incumbent on the government to come up with a long-term plan that addresses the housing and employment needs of new arrivals to the country. “Without long-term solutions to these issues, Israel will have a hard time attracting immigrants seeking a new future,” he said. 

on entend des échos

Maintenant, il devrait être évident pour toutes les parties concernées que les États-Unis, dirigés par Barack Obama, n’auront pas recours à l’option militaire pour contrecarrer les ambitions nucléaires de l’Iran, ni qu’ils auront recours à des sanctions économiques. En traitant de la République islamique, il y a essentiellement trois options et Obama en a écarté deux d’entre elles.
La première option privilégie une approche trilatérale impliquant la diplomatie couplée à de paralysantes sanctions et la menace crédible du recours à la force si des sanctions ne devaient pas parvenir à convaincre les mollahs à changer de cap. Cette option bénéficie d’un soutien bipartisan au Congrès et est favorisée par de nombreux analystes politiques notables.
La deuxième option consiste à une action militaire immédiate pour détruire le vaste programme nucléaire de l’Iran. Nul doute que les États-Unis agissant seul, ou en coordination avec Israël, pourrait accomplir cette tâche. Néanmoins, quelques-uns parmi les plus bellicistes des faucons considèrent cette option comme responsable de la politique étrangère.
À l’opposé du spectre il y a l’option trois qui implique un apaisement classique dans l’esprit de Neville Chamberlain et c’est cette approche qui est favorisée par l’administration Obama. Jusqu’ici, le tortueux « P5 + 1 » des négociations avec l’Iran a sans cesse traîné en longueur, avec au moins deux prolongations injustifiées alors que les Iraniens poursuivent fébrilement leurs ambitions néfastes.
Deux violations iraniennes notables et inacceptables au cours de la période intérimaire ont prêté foi à l’idée que les iraniens sont malhonnêtes.
La première concerne la facilité de production de plutonium et d’eau lourde à Arak par l’Iran, où les Iraniens ont été pris à acheter des matériaux pour l’usine de fabrication de bombes, une violation flagrante des restrictions imposées par les Nations Unies sur cette activité.
Dans le second cas, les mollahs ont été pris alimentant en gaz UF6 les centrifugeuses IR-5 plus avancées, un acte manifestement interdit en vertu de l’accord du Plan d’Action conjoint de novembre dernier.
Dans les deux cas, les transgressions ont été aplanies et les Iraniens ont eu une simple tape sur la main.
L’absence de toute réaction américaine significative à ces violations graves montre avec une plus grande clarté que l’administration ne cherche plus à empêcher l’Iran de devenir une puissance au seuil du nucléaire.
L’accord qui semble se dégager est celui qui permet à l’Iran de conserver ses centrifugeuses et autres infrastructures essentielles, nécessaires à la production et à la livraison d’armes de destruction massive.
Les Iraniens ont brillamment agi avec « l’impartialité » de l’administration Obama, quelque chose que l’ancien Secrétaire d’État George P. Schultz avait averti qu’elle se produirait si l’administration Obama adopte une démarche débonnaire aux négociations.
Dans une interview à la BBC, Schultz a correctement noté que « l’Iran d’aujourd’hui est le premier état sponsor du terrorisme mondial et que les mollahs, « tout en souriant, vous endorment et puis vous coupent la gorge. » Malheureusement, Obama a omis de tenir compte des conseils du Secrétaire et le monde est devenu un endroit beaucoup plus dangereux à cause de cela.
Pour Israël, un pays habitué à des menaces d’anéantissement iraniennes systématiques, la perspective d’armes nucléaires ou d’infrastructures capables de développer de telles armes entre les mains des mollahs apocalyptiques est un non-sens. En outre, un tel scénario déclencherait instantanément une course aux armements nucléaires au Moyen-Orient et transformerait cette région déjà instable en un baril de poudre. L’Egypte et l’Arabie saoudite naturellement se sentiraient obligés de se munir d’armes similaires comme une couverture contre un Iran toujours plus impérialiste et agressif, désireux d’étendre son hégémonie et de fomenter des troubles bien au-delà de ses frontières.
L’Europe ne serait pas épargnée non plus. L’Iran a développé fébrilement et a testé une nouvelle génération de plus en plus sophistiquée de missiles balistiques. En effet, un satellite commercial israélien « B Eros » a récemment découvert des preuves convaincantes d’une nouvelle génération iranienne de missiles balistiques intercontinentaux (ICBM) capables d’atteindre l’Europe et au-delà.
L’Imagerie satellite affiche un missile d’environ 27 mètres de long sur une rampe de lancement. Le missile, qui n’avait jamais été vu auparavant dans l’Ouest, est censé être capable de transporter des charges conventionnelles et non conventionnelles.
Mis à part les États-Unis, la nation la plus capable de porter un coup décisif au programme nucléaire iranien est Israël. Avec sa formidable force aérienne, considérée comme la meilleure pour ses capacités de ravitaillement aérien au monde, les puissantes plates-formes basées en mer de missiles sol-sol, Israël est dans une position unique pour lancer une attaque réussie et dévastatrice sur les infrastructures nucléaires de l’Iran.
Mis à part Israël, aucune autre nation dans le monde n’a réalisé avec succès une frappe sur une installation ennemie de fabrication de bombes nucléaires.
Ironiquement, l’Iran a tenté de le faire pendant la guerre Iran-Irak et a lamentablement échoué.
Israël a déjà réalisé avec succès deux de ces opérations. En 1981, ses chasseurs F-16 ont détruits le réacteur nucléaire français conçu pour l’Irak connu sous le nom Osirak situé près de Bagdad. Israël a été largement condamné pour ses actions à l’époque, mais au fil des ans, beaucoup, y compris ceux qui initialement ont critiqué l’opération israélienne, sont venus à apprécier la nature prémonitoire des actions d’Israël.
Et en 2007, dans une action baptisée « Opération Orchard », des F-15 israéliens ont attaqué et détruit en Syrie un complexe nucléaire Al Kibar, réduisant l’installation en déchets radioactifs.
Si Obama conclut un accord avec la République islamique, ce qui laisserait l’infrastructure nucléaire de l’Iran intacte, Israël n’aura pas d’autre choix que de lancer une opération militaire comme il l’a fait en 1981 et 2007. Dans le passé, l’administration a perfidement fait de son mieux pour contrecarrer les initiatives militaires israéliennes visant à préserver la stabilité régionale. En 2012, l’administration Obama, inexplicablement, a cherché à saboter une alliance stratégique naissante entre Israël et l’Azerbaïdjan et en 2013, les responsables de l’administration, furieux par les tensions régionales, ont fait fuir des informations reliant Israël à une série de frappes contre la Syrie visant à prévenir l’afflux d’armes au Hezbollah.
Malgré les efforts d’apaisement d’Obama, un accord avec la République islamique n’est pas une fatalité. Le président doit encore surmonter de fortes objections bipartites du Congrès, une perspective qui semble peu probable étant donné les fortes vues des membres de rang au sein de son propre parti démocratique.
Cependant, comme nous l’avons vu d’innombrables fois, la libération non autorisée d’agents d’Al-Qaida à Guantanamo à sa politique d’immigration et de santé irresponsables, Obama a développé un penchant à mentir à l’opinion publique américaine, affichant une désinvolture pour la Constitution et une tendance à contourner le Congrès.
Tout accord qui tenterait de contourner le Congrès et permettrait aux mollahs de conserver leurs « jouets » déclencherait presque à coup sûr une crise constitutionnelle.
Il mettrait également en mouvement une conflagration inévitable que rendra le monde beaucoup moins sûr.

samedi 14 février 2015

secret letter

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from US President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing an Iranian diplomat, the paper said the Iranian cleric had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October.

Khamenei's letter was "respectful," it quoted the diplomat as saying.

The White House declined to comment on the president's "private correspondence" when reports surfaced last year of his penning letters to the Iranian leader, and consistently, they declined to comment on this latest report.

But asked whether negotiations between the US administration and Iran were focused exclusively on Iran's nuclear program, or otherwise included discussion of other regional matters, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the focus remained.

"I can confirm that the nuclear negotiations are still focused on the nuclear issue only," Meehan told The Jerusalem Post. "There has been no change to that policy."

According to last years reports, Obama's secret letter to  Khamenei stressed the two countries' shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, and said cooperation between the US and Iran on combating the militant group was tied to a deal being reached between Iran and other nations on its nuclear program.

horrible point


Obama’s submission to Iran is worse than we imagined. It means war. A war of unimaginable proportions. This deal is not a gamechanger, it’s a worldchanger.
It is no wonder that Obama is hellbent on stopping Prime Minister Netanyahu from speaking to the Congress next month. He will reason with them. The truth will expose Obama’s perfidy.
This isn’t politics or partisan gamesmanship. This is life and death, my friends.
Should Obama steamroll over Congress and ram this death deal through, the free world has only one hope – -in the country she has done more to undermine than any other on earth, Israel.
My good friend Paul Schnee has this to say about Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran: “Seldom in American history has the United States and her allies been in such lethal danger as they are in now. President Obama’s agreement with Iran, if concluded, will leave the Iranian mullahs with most of their centrifuges spinning away with the ability to become a nuclear power within a matter of months.
The terms of the agreement are so bad that they are forcing Democrats to choose between safeguarding America’s vital security interests or remaining loyal to a president whose ardent and determined pursuit of his anti-West ideology has placed the country he is supposed to be leading upon a trap-door which could be sprung by Iran almost at any moment.
For her very survival this will leave Israel with little choice but to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to secure not only her own safety but also, ironically enough, the safety of America and the West.
At that point Israel will face ferocious attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah and perhaps from the Palestinian Authority’s militia. Israel will suffer a tremendous loss of life. Iran may then unleash its terrorist cells already operating within the United States murdering many of our citizens and the cry you will hear from Iran will be, “Look what the Jews made us do!!” However, it will be Obama’s suicidal policies which precipitated this disaster placing us teetering on the brink of World War III.
You will notice from the article below that the analytical powers of Henry Kissinger at 91 years of age exceed that of every member of the White House’s national security apparatus combined.
Please contact all of your senators and congressmen and demand that Obama’s deal, which puts us all in mortal peril, be pole-axed and that any future agreement MUST be approved by the Congress of the United States where we, THE PEOPLE, govern.”

vendredi 13 février 2015

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel lends support to Netanyahu's Congress speech

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is lending his support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3 speech to Congress on the dangers of Iran's nuclear program - an address that has antagonized the White House and divided American Jews.
An outspoken New Jersey Orthodox rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, said on Thursday he is placing full-page advertisements in two of the leading U.S. newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, featuring Wiesel's endorsement of Netanyahu's speech.
Blindsided by the invitation that Republicans in Congress extended to Netanyahu, President Barack Obama has declined to meet the Israeli leader, citing what he has said is U.S. protocol not to meet world leaders before national elections, due to take place in Israel on March 17.
The advertisement quotes Wiesel as saying he plans to attend Netanyahu's address "on the catastrophic danger of a nuclear Iran." Awarded the Nobel in 1986, Wiesel asks Obama and others in the ad: "Will you join me in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America?"
Speaking to Reuters by phone, Boteach said: "There's no personality more respected in the global Jewish community and few in the wider world than Elie Wiesel. He is a living prince of the Jewish people."
"He is the face of the murdered 6 million (Jews killed in the Holocaust). So I think that his view on the prime minister's speech sounding the alarm as to the Iranian nuclear program carries a unique authority that transcends some of the political circus that has affected the speech," Boteach said.
Boteach, the author of books including "Kosher Sex," was the Republican nominee in 2012 for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives but lost to Democratic incumbent Bill Pascrell.
Deep divisions
Wiesel, 86, who has written extensively of his imprisonment in Nazi camps, is the latest to join a fray that has exposed deep divisions among American Jews over the policy and propriety behind a speech in which Netanyahu is expected to criticize Obama's effort to forge an international nuclear deal with Iran.
The United States boasts the largest Jewish population outside Israel. American Jews, who make up roughly 2 percent of the U.S. population, historically have been a strong pro-Israel force in American politics.
John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, invited Netanyahu. Detractors say Netanyahu, who has long warned the West of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, is working with Republicans to thumb their noses at Obama, a Democrat. Neither Boehner nor Netanyahu consulted the U.S. president.
This week J Street, a Democratic-leaning pro-Israel group, started a petition drive opposed to Netanyahu's speech. Prominent Jewish leader Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League denounced that effort as "inflammatory and repugnant."
The Republican Jewish Coalition lobbying group launched a petition countering J Street's campaign, titled "Stand with Bibi," and has promised to publicize which U.S. lawmakers boycott the speech. 
'Bibi doesn't speak for me'
J Street said it had gathered more than 20,000 signatures for a petition asking Jews to say "Bibi does NOT speak for me," using Netanyahu's nickname, in response to Netanyahu calling himself not just Israel's prime minister but also "a representative of the entire Jewish people."
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, said American Jews had long been divided, with Republican Jews backing Netanyahu's right-wing government and liberal Jews more in line with the Israeli opposition.
"Perhaps the biggest mistake the prime minister has made is allowing his speech to be the wedge that has driven that argument more public," Ben-Ami said.
He said about 70 percent of Jewish Americans vote Democratic and roughly a quarter identifies as Republican.
"But today, with a really divided society on both sides of the ocean, both there and here, it isn't possible any longer for there to be a single voice representing the views of all Jewish Americans," Ben-Ami said.
Some of Netanyahu's critics accuse him of placing ties to Republicans above Israel's relations with the United States, its most important ally. U.S.-born Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to Washington, is a former Republican political operative.
Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and the most senior U.S. senator, said this week he would not attend Netanyahu's speech and accused Republicans of orchestrating what he called "a tawdry and high-handed stunt that has embarrassed not only Israel but the Congress itself."
Matt Brooks, the Republican Jewish Coalition's executive director, countered: "It's important for the Jewish community to know that members of Congress have a choice ... whether they're going to stand with the prime minister of Israel and the Jewish community in opposition to a nuclear Iran, or whether they're going to put partisan politics ahead of that and stand with President Obama." 

The Zionist Union is the poor man’s Likud

The election campaign waged by the Zionist Union belies the declarations of its leaders, Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, who state their wish to replace the current government. The slogan “It’s us or him” was recently changed to “Only a sucker would vote for Netanyahu,” but the essential message remains unchanged: the problem with the Likud government lies in Benjamin Netanyahu’s personality, not in his destructive policies.
Livni and Herzog are marketing themselves as people who will do a better job than Netanyahu in carrying out the foreign and defense policies of the Likud, covered in a patina of empty promises such as “we’ll return money to the public” or “free land for an apartment of your own.”
This week, Herzog and Livni joined right-wing parties in supporting the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) from running for the Knesset, thus also aligning themselves with the Likud on issues of democracy, respect for minorities and the guaranteeing of freedom of expression. One could argue that this is only a tactic for luring Likud voters who are disenchanted with Netanyahu, but it increasingly seems that the Zionist Union’s tactics are also its strategy.
The main objective of the right-wing government, led by Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman, is the annexation of the West Bank and the consolidation of an apartheid regime in which millions of Palestinians devoid of civil rights live alongside increasing numbers of settlers who conduct themselves as lords of the land.
A secondary objective is the suppression of the political and communal aspirations of Israel’s Arab citizens. Anyone wishing to replace this government must first of all take a strong stand against the transformation of Israel into an apartheid state, while striving to incorporate its Arab citizens into an egalitarian state. These are the fateful issues facing Israel, not the cost of apartments or pre-school child care.
On the Zionist Union’s website, the section dealing with ‘political horizons’ promises to “mobilize the world’s support in our combat against terror and our neighbors” — in other words, to manage the conflict with the Arab world better than Netanyahu. Herzog and Livni have even given up on claiming to strive for peace with the Palestinians, implicitly agreeing with Netanyahu and Bennett that there is no partner and that we need to live with (in Bennett’s words) “shrapnel in our backside.” If these are their positions, it’s no wonder that Netanyahu is beating them in opinion polls. People who support Likud policies prefer the original to the poor imitation offered by Herzog and Livni.

Analysis: Hezbollah fighters, Iranian operatives flowing into southern Syria

Just a few weeks after an air strike killed 12 Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operatives in southern Syria, recent days’ headlines are again reporting the presence of Iranian-backed Shi’ite forces in the area.

According to international media reports, Israel carried out the January 18 air strike, with Western intelligence sources later saying that the targets were setting up a significant Iranian-Hezbollah terrorist base designed to target Israel.

The Syrian civil war has allowed Hezbollah to extend its reach from its home base in southern Lebanon, into southern Syria.

Today, the same forces appear to be back in the area, but there are two fundamental differences.

Unlike last month, the Shi’ite military forces are currently fully engaged with fighting Sunni rebel organizations, and reclaiming lost territory on behalf of the embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Unlike last month, the Iranian- backed forces have not approached the border with Israel, despite their relative proximity to it.

Yet these conditions may prove to be temporary. Hezbollah and Iran remain committed to setting up a base in southern Syria, with the dual goal of beating back the Syrian rebels and expanding the Iranian front of jihad against Israel, from Lebanon to Syria.

The fact that these forces are waging battle against the rebels today does not rule out the possibility of them turning their guns, missiles and highly trained terrorist squads south, toward Israel tomorrow.

Israel has, according to foreign reports, already demonstrated its willingness to use deadly and accurate firepower to prevent the formation of a new Iranian-backed terrorist base. Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that if intelligence data points to a renewed attempt to set up such a base, Israel will strike.

Awareness of that may deter Iran and Hezbollah from trying again anytime soon. But their mere presence so close to the Golan Heights means the situation is tense, and that the stakes are high.

mercredi 11 février 2015

Most Jews in Congress to attend Netanyahu speech

More than half of the Democratic Jewish members of US Congress say they will attend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on March 3, while many of the black members of Congress say they will stay away, according to reports in Washington, where the story continues to attract widespread media attention.

According to a Tuesday story on The Hill website headlined “Netanyahu speech has Jewish Democrats lining up,” 14 of the 27 Jewish senators and congressmen said they would attend the speech to a joint session of Congress.

Two senators – independent Bernie Sanders from Vermont and Democrat Brian Schatz of Hawaii – said they would not attend. Six were undecided, and five did not respond to a survey on the matter.

There is only one Republican Jewish congressman, Lee Zeldin from New York.

Among those Jewish Democrats who said they will attend is California Senator Barbara Boxer.

“I’m deeply troubled that politics has been injected into this enduring relationship that has always been above politics, but I plan to go,” she told The Hill.

The website said that Israel had been courting Jewish Democrats in an effort to defuse tension over the matter, with six leading members of Congress meeting last week with Ambassador Ron Dermer.

Schatz said in a statement to The Hill that the invitation by Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner was apparently aimed at “undermining President [Barack] Obama’s foreign policy prerogatives.” He said he would not attend because “it does more harm than good to the bipartisan US-Israel alliance.”

In addition to Boxer, the other two Jewish senators who said they would attend were Maryland’s Ben Cardin and New York’s Charles Schumer.

Senators Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut and Dianne Feinstein from California said they had not yet decided, and Al Franken from Minnesota and Ron Wyden of Oregon did not respond to The Hill’s queries.

While the majority of Jewish lawmakers said they would attend, Politico reported that many members of the Congressional Black Caucus said they were planning to skip the speech, viewing it as a slight to Obama.

“To me, it is somewhat of an insult to the president of the United States,” Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY) told Politico.

“Barack Obama is my president. He’s the nation’s president, and it is clear, therefore, that I’m not going to be there, as a result of that, not as a result of the good people of Israel.”

According to Politico, the negative reaction to the speech by the Congressional Black Caucus “has been particularly potent, striking at the political alliance between Jews and African-Americans that dates to the Civil Rights movement but has grown more fraught over the years.”

It quoted Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) as saying: “It’s not just about disrespect for the president, it’s disrespect for the American people and our system of government for a foreign leader to insert himself into an issue that our policymakers are grappling with. It’s not simply about President Obama being a black man disrespected by a foreign leader. It’s deeper than that.”

The chairman of the caucus, Rep.

G.K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina), said he did not hold Netanyahu responsible.

“I hold Speaker Boehner responsible, but I would hope that Mr.

Netanyahu would not want to get involved,” Butterfield said. “I personally think it is disrespectful.”

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, the only Afro-American senator and a strong Israel supporter, did not comment on whether he would attend.

Netanyahu again addressed the swirling controversy around the speech during a Wednesday visit to Eli, saying he was not going to the US to confront Obama but “to speak out for Israel and not just for Israel, but for the many others here in the Middle East and in the US who understand that [the Iranian regime] presents a great danger to them as well.”

According to Netanyahu, “Iran continues to forge ahead through the rubble of the new Middle East; it has already taken over four capitals, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and now Sana’a. Now it wants to open a third front from the Golan Heights.”

Netanyahu said that if that was the way Iran acted without nuclear arms, “imagine what it will do when it has nuclear weapons.”

In a related development, Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein on Wednesday endorsed the legality of Israeli television stations broadcasting Netanyahu’s congressional speech.

Weinstein said that even if there was a political dimension to the speech, as long as the dominant purpose was to advance Israeli interests, broadcasting could not be blocked. He added that broadcasting it would constitute valid news reporting and that the prime minister was invited by Congress.

Critics had objected to the broadcast, calling the speech political grandstanding since it will fall only two weeks before the March 17 election.

A petition to block the speech was filed by Meretz party leader Zahava Gal-On. Gal-On said she was not surprised that Weinstein rejected her stance because he was “dragging his legs when it comes to investigations of the Netanyahu family.”

Hezbollah, Syrian forces and Iranian officers approach Israeli border in fight against rebels


Hezbollah, Syrian army forces and Iranian officers have drawn close to the border with Israel in the Golan Heights in their fight against Syrian rebels, AFP reported on Wednesday, citing state media reports and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Regime troops and their Hezbollah-led allies are advancing in the area linking Daraa, Quneitra and Damascus provinces," the Observatory stated.

"The operation launched by the Syrian army is being fought in cooperation with... Hezbollah and Iran," a Syrian army officer told state television, in what AFP reported was the first time that Syrian television had acknowledged such cooperation.

The Syrian forces were attempting to gain control of the area from rebels such as the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, who have made advances in southern Syrian in recent months.

Six Hezbollah operatives and six Iranians, including a general were killed last month in an air strike in the Golan Heights in Syria that was widely attributed to Israel.

Hezbollah has accused Israel of forming ties with rebels in the border region, citing Israeli hospitals treating wounded Syrian rebels as proof.

In the aftermath of the alleged Israeli airstrike on the Hezbollah convoy in January, a Lebanese MP said that the group, along with the Iran and Syria were "working on establishing a resistant society in the Golan Heights."

According to Lebanon's Daily Star, the MP Walid Sukkarieh went on to say that Israel has been trying to establish strategic links with rebel factions fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, specifying in a separate newspaper interview that the Nusra Front is a major beneficiary of these efforts.

Throughout the war, which has raged for nearly four years, Israel has often treated Syrian civilians injured in the fighting. Israel's Health Ministry claims that around 1,000 Syrians - exclusively civilians - have been admitted into nearby hospitals, but other actors such as the UN have reported evidence of Israeli figures meeting with figures east of the Syrian-Israeli border who appeared to be combatants.

Control of the territory near the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights has frequently changed hands during the Syrian civil war.

Stray shells from the fighting between Assad's forces and the rebels have occasionally fallen in Israeli territory during the fighting. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has vowed that Israel will respond to any cross-border shelling, whether it be intentional or not.

mardi 10 février 2015

« L’islam n’a jamais eu pour but de coexister pacifiquement avec les autres religions »

Guillaume Bernard est maître de conférences HDR à l’Institut catholique d’études supérieures. Pour lui, « l’ensemble de la classe politique fait preuve d’un sidérant aveuglement en refusant de saisir le caractère impérialiste de l’islam (isme) ».
Pourquoi la quasi-totalité de la classe politique s’entête-t-elle à proclamer évidente l’hétérogénéité de l’islam et de l’islamisme ainsi que la compatibilité du premier avec la République (et non, d’ailleurs, avec la culture française), quiconque émettant un doute étant instantanément mis au ban de la catégorie des êtres pensants ? Il est devenu difficile de discuter des ambitions politiques de l’islam sans être instantanément dénoncé, dans un réflexe pavlovien, comme islamophobe.
Plusieurs raisons sont identifiables. Sans doute, certains hommes politiques entendent-ils sincèrement éviter la stigmatisation des musulmans, qui restent a priori pacifiques. D’autres, plus cyniques, cherchent certainement à protéger des intérêts électoraux et à conserver (mais pour combien de temps ? ) la paix sociale en abdiquant la culture autochtone et la puissance publique en certains lieux abandonnés à des organisations soit criminelles, soit d’embrigadement religieux. Plus stratèges, certains font preuve de davantage de prudence : sachant qu’il existe des territoires en quasi-sécession, il faudrait éviter, avant que des mesures fermes ne puissent être prises, la conscientisation et la coagulation de la masse musulmane encore divisée en plusieurs sensibilités.
Cependant, c’est avant tout l’orgueil qui conduit l’essentiel des élus à une stupéfiante cécité mentale se manifestant par le refus obstiné de voir le caractère impérialiste de l’islam(isme). C’est le syndrome Roubachof, du nom du héros du Zéro et l’Infini : ils ne peuvent changer de politique d’immigration, reconnaître que les sociétés multiculturelles sont hyperconflictuelles et que l’assimilation des immigrés (leur conversion à la culture française) n’a pas été poursuivie, sans implicitement avouer que, depuis des décennies, ils se sont trompés et-ou ont menti aux Français. Les voici conduits à faire de la surenchère. Ayant une foi aveugle dans le creuset républicain, ils sont prêts à tenter de dissimuler encore, après des naturalisations massives, le remplacement démographique en le disséminant sur l’ensemble du territoire, la mixité culturelle devenant la norme partout. Et honte aux récalcitrants : ce ne seraient que des racistes.
Analysant l’islam à l’aune de leurs critères et non des siens, plaquant sur l’objet étudié des principes qui lui sont exogènes, les hommes politiques se condamnent à ne pas comprendre son ontologie. C’est ainsi qu’ils réduisent l’islam à une foi individuelle, évacuant sa nature politico-juridique; ils en concluent que, circonscrit à la sphère privée, il est soluble dans n’importe quelle société. À cela s’ajoute une convergence intellectuelle formelle. Islamistes et “républicains” ne s’accordent pas a priori sur les dispositions de la loi. Mais ils partagent la même conception quant à sa force déontique : il faut lui obéir non parce qu’elle permet de réaliser le bien mais parce qu’elle est l’expression de la volonté supposée de la puissance supérieure. Dans ce schéma, fort éloigné de la tradition classique occidentale, la soumission à la loi est bonne par principe. Il est donc techniquement possible de collaborer comme l’anticipe Houellebecq dans Soumission.
S’autorassurant, les politiques en viennent à compter sur l’islam modéré pour vaincre sa version radicale. Ils refusent de voir que cette distinction n’est recevable qu’en termes de moyens et non de fin.
Car toutes les formes de l’islam ont un même objectif : la conquête !
L’hostilité de l’islam envers l’Occident n’est pas le résultat de l’actuel matérialisme de ce dernier. Son expansion militaire a commencé dès sa naissance, au VIIe siècle, à une époque où la civilisation chrétienne du pourtour méditerranéen ne pratiquait pas le culte de l’argent. L’animosité des islamistes ne vise pas uniquement, parce qu’elle les briderait, la laïcité. Les chrétiens d’Orient et d’Afrique convertis de force, réduits en esclavage ou massacrés, n’en sont pas les thuriféraires.
Qu’il soit hard (guerre militaire) ou soft (guerre culturelle), le djihad vise le règne, à terme, de la charia. L’islam n’a jamais eu pour but de coexister pacifiquement avec les autres religions mais de s’y substituer.

Obama: Iran Won’t Pursue Nuclear Weapons Because It’s ‘Contrary to Their Faith



iran obama 3



There he goes again, Imam Obama proselytizing, dissembling and disarming the kuffar in the cause of Islam. In his remarks today on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Obama assigns good faith to the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.
As for Iran’s nuclear fatwa, Unfortunately, no one can find the fatwa. And even if it did exist, it would appear that it is nothing more than a ploy to sow confusion among Iranian adversaries—especially the United States.”

Arms Control and Regional Security for the Middle East explained this:
There are several questions surrounding the ‘fatwa’ itself, its wordings, its binding nature, its date of issuance, in addition to questions arising from giving a key role to a religious edict that could have direct implications on the ongoing international negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
First, the Iranian authorities have never presented the text of this ‘crucial’ document and the term fatwa is in fact only used by other parties (including the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its nuclear negotiators, and U.S. officials) and never by the Ayatollah himself. The Supreme Leader’s website, which is extremely comprehensive and includes the texts of all of his teachings, statements, and speeches, has not uploaded this piece, which is referred by others as the ultimate ruling regarding the nuclear issue by Iranian officials. This decree has been a key legal document supporting Tehran’s claims that its nuclear ambitions, the most important issue in the country’s foreign policy, are merely peaceful. The fact that its exact wordings or date of issuance has not been disclosed can be viewed as peculiar. Publishing the fatwa, as well as accurate translations of it, on the Supreme Leader’s website, providing a link to it on the new nuclear energy website, could help address these issues.
Second, observers note that if such a fatwa exists, its scope has seemed to change overtime. The most relevant statement by the Supreme Leader that could be considered as the fatwa, stipulates:
According to our faith, in addition to nuclear weapons, other kinds of WMD, such as chemical and biological weapons also constitute a serious threat to humanity. The Iranian nation, which is a victim of the use of chemical weapons itself, feels the danger of the production and stockpiling of such weapons and is ready to employ all its means to counter them. We consider the use [کاربرد] of these weapons as haram [prohibited under Islamic law], and the attempt to immunize human kind from this great disaster the responsibility of all.
According to the Iranian 2005 Communication to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the wording of the fatwa was as follows: ‘the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam.’ Yet, in Ayatollah Ali Khamenei message, which was read at the opening of the International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation in 2010, the Supreme Leader’s explicit prohibition has merely encompassed the ‘use’ of these weapons. Recent statements, by the Ayatollah himself, merely highlighting a ban of the use, with philosophical and ethical discussion about the production and stockpiling of these weapons, rather than a concrete prohibition. The possession is not mentioned in his statements, leaving a grey area in what is the key issue in Iran’s nuclear debate. The fact that the only concrete line is drawn for the ‘use’ of these weapons raises a question regarding the stance of the Supreme Leader on nuclear deterrence. Indeed, he has made it clear that he does not believe the ‘possession’ of weapons of mass destruction is in the interest of the country and raises ethical and philosophical issues with these weapons. Yet, he falls short of taking a clear legal position on the production and possession of these weapons, which may hint at his wish to.
This narrowing of the scope of this prohibition was later limited to the ‘use’ of such weapons, creating some confusion in the West, mainly due to inaccurate translations, which did not highlight what seems to be a shift in the leadership’s discourse. Yet, a number of observers have noted the change, which has led many to be skeptical of the fatwa. Tehran could address these concerns by publishing the exact text of the decree and highlighting its scope, by describing whether it covers the production, transfer, stockpiling, possession, threat of use, or use of nuclear weapons.
Third, there are also a number of pending questions regarding the significance of the fatwa itself. Mousavian argues: ‘[t]he validity of the fatwa should not be underestimated. Because of the strong bond between religion and politics in Iran, the supreme leader’s religious fatwas carry both legislative and religious importance.’
Yet, whether or not Khamenei has the authority to even issue such a decree has been debated. Some argue that he is not a marja’ in the traditional sense, but rather a member of the Shiite clergy, who has received much of his authority not from his religious education and status but from his political power. They note that until his presidency in 1981, Khamenei was merely a hojjat al-Islam and has, until now, not received the approval of any major marja’. In fact, the requirement set by the first Constitution of the Islamic Republic, according to which, the supreme leader needed to be a marja’ was removed in the second version of it, as the founder of the regime, Ayatollah Khomeini, knew well that otherwise no one would be able to succeed to him, as among his followers were no prominent religious authorities. For this reason, an institution was established under the Islamic Republic, called shora-ye fatwa or the Fatwa Council is in charge of issuing fatawa. Hence, the Supreme Leader’s fatawa (plural of fatwa) only have a political and ideological weight and nonreligious grounds. To address this issue, Tehran could take a key step. Indeed, while a number of Iranian Shiite clerics have spoken on the matter, supporting the view that nuclear weapons are indeed prohibited by the faith, a number have not expressed their views on the matter. Collecting the views of prominent Shiite maraje’ would help shed light on this issue.
Fourth, a key argument against the fatwa is that it does not constitute an absolute and irreversible rule. Furthermore, the idea of maslahat-e nezam, the rough equivalent of Raison d’Etat in the Islamic Republic’s political ideology (the notion in its modern, abstract form does not exist in the Islamic tradition), enables the supreme leader to overrule any religious rule, including temporary suspension of explicit Qur’anic prescriptions – even in the cases of the foundations of the faith – in order to safeguard the regime, let alone fatawa. Indeed, the supreme leader’s ultimate goal is to preserve the Islamic state and the notion of maslahat-e nezam provides him the tool to do so. It was with this idea in mind that the founder of the regime, Ayatollah Khomeini, had formulated this notion: the preservation, at all costs, of the Islamic state. In other words, critics argue that should Iran be attacked, threatening the Islamic Republic, it could resort to not only producing but also using nuclear weapons. However, it is important to note that the reversal of such a decree would come at a great political cost. Indeed, not only has the decree been issued by the highest political power in the country, it has been relied upon as the key plank of the Iranian nuclear narrative for over a decade.
If a nuclear weapon is needed to advance Islam and destroy the kufar, then it is not haram.
Imam Obama speaketh:
Obama: Iran Won’t Pursue Nuclear Weapons Because It’s ‘Contrary to Their Faith’
“…according to their Supreme Leader, it would be contrary to their faith to obtain a nuclear weapon…” By Bradford Thomas transcript via RCP, February 9, 2015
In a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday, President Obama said he believed a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons was possible because Supreme Leader Khamenei said it would be “contrary to their faith to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
The issues now are sufficiently narrowed and sufficiently clarified where we’re at a point where they need to make a decision. We are presenting to them in a unified fashion, the P5+1 supported by a coalition of countries around the world are presenting to them a deal that allows them to have peaceful nuclear power but gives us the absolute assurance that is verifiable that they are not pursuing a nuclear weapon.
And if in fact what they claim is true, which is they have no aspiration to get a nuclear weapon, that in fact, according to their Supreme Leader, it would be contrary to their faith to obtain a nuclear weapon, if that is true, there should be the possibility of getting a deal. They should be able to get to yes. But we don’t know if that’s going to happen.