Read More About:

Share This Post

Following is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the 5th Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism, this evening (Tuesday, 12 May 2015).

Click here for a YouTube link.

“Thank you. I’ve been called many things, but never ‘Your Honor’. That’s a good honor.

Well, I’m very pleased to welcome you all to Jerusalem. There are senior government ministers here from Germany, from Romania, from Bulgaria, from Canada.

Our own Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett,

The Mayor of Paris,

The UN Coordinator for the Peace Process,

Religious leaders from across the face, many from the Muslim community. I had an excellent discussion just now with the Imam of Paris.

There are ambassadors here and distinguished guests from so many walks of life, from so many lands, including great actors.

So I’m delighted to see all of you here, even though the subject of our deliberations is not a source of delight.

Seventy years ago, with the end of World War II and the revelation of the horrors of the Holocaust, some believed that humanity would discard one of history’s oldest hatreds – anti-Semitism.

And it’s true that in the years immediately following World War II, blatant expressions of hatred for the Jews appeared to take a respite, at least in the liberal West.

Yet today there is no doubt that we are living in an age of resurgent anti-Semitism.

Jews everywhere are once again being slandered and vilified.

This is taking place in the intolerant parts of the Middle East but it’s also taking place in what otherwise would be expected to be the tolerant parts of the West.

It’s taking place in Beirut, in Damascus, in Tehran. But it’s also taking place, violently so, in Toulouse, in Paris, in Brussels. Because along with vilification come the inevitable violent attacks.

And Jews are now being targeted for being Jews.

Now, Jews have the right to live freely and safely wherever they choose.

And governments everywhere are responsible for guaranteeing this right.

And I want to take this opportunity to praise all the governments that have been witnessing this resurgent anti-Semitism, their commitment to protect the rights of the Jews, the rights of individuals, the rights of their citizens. Their representatives are here, and I praise you for it.

But Jews also have the right to join us here in Israel, and if they make that choice, we will welcome them with open arms.

Now, contemporary anti-Semitism doesn’t just slander, vilify and target the Jewish people. It first and foremost today targets the Jewish state. That’s the nexus, that’s the core, that’s the focus of anti-Semitism.

I want to give you an example of this from today, this morning. I went down to Ben-Gurion airport to welcome home the IDF’s humanitarian mission to Nepal.

The UN filed a report. Actually, this is a good UN report about Israel. It said that of all the countries in the world, and Israel is one of the smallest countries in the world, Israel fielded the second largest rescue and relief team in Nepal. Of all the nations in the earth.

Our people did a magnificent job. They saved lives. They took people out of the rubble. They treated 1,600 wounded people and sick people. They delivered life, several births.

Yet yesterday state television in both Iran and Venezuela accused our humanitarian team of trafficking in babies.

Now, did any of you see an Iranian rescue team in Nepal?

This is the quintessential example of the Big Lie technique.

The aggressor accuses his victim.

And this big lie of anti-Semitism is propagated most enthusiastically by those who trample on the human rights of their own people.

Iran will speak of human rights? I don’t want to talk about Venezuela. I’ll leave that to you. I’m the Foreign Minister, for God’s sake.

They lecture us on human rights, on the rule of law, on safeguarding human decency? They string people in cranes, innocent people in cranes in the squares of Tehran and Iran’s other cities. They send their goons to Lebanon, to Syria, to Yemen, slaughtering people by the thousands. They slaughter Muslims, they target Muslims who do not share their violent creed.

Today, a lot of the extreme anti-Semitism that we see today is coming from old quarters, intolerant quarters, xenophobic ones in parts of Europe, in a peculiar marriage with the militants who seek to overtake the world of Islam, and they have integrated the most extreme anti-Semitism into this murderous theology.

I want to give you an example. First, recognize that their first and greatest number of victims are their fellow Muslims. But they also target us, and I give you the Hamas Charter.

It repeats the ancient libels against the Jews. It openly calls for the murder of Jews wherever they are and for the destruction of their state.

And the same can be said of Hezbollah and for the common patron of both Hezbollah and Hamas, which is of course Iran.

And of course they have competition. The militant Shi’ites have competition from the militant Sunnis of al-Qaida, of ISIS and al-Nusra who echo their murderous creed not only about Israel. You’ve seen the horrors they commit on their fellow slims.

Today’s anti-Semitism, as I said, is not limited to the various sects of militant Islam, nor is it limited just to the xenophobic elements on the fringes of European society. Because today it often wears the mask of so-called progressive thinking in the West.

Some of those who consider themselves champions of tolerance are remarkably intolerant when it comes to Jews and the Jewish state.

The classic anti-Semite portrayed the Jews as the embodiment of all evil in the world.

Modern anti-Semites portray the Jewish state as the embodiment of all evil in the world.

When Hamas and Hezbollah rocketed our cities, thousands and thousands and thousands of rockets, fired directly at our cities – that’s a war crime, hiding behind their civilians – that’s a second war crime – when they committed these dual war crimes, tens of thousands demonstrated on the streets of European capitals, not against Hamas, not against Hezbollah, but against Israel.

Now, thousands are being killed in the brutal conflict in Yemen.

You see any demonstrations in London or Paris?

A quarter of a million people have been savagely butchered in Syria.

You hear any word of academic boycotts on the Assad regime?

And in Iran now under the Rouhani government, executions have gone up, innocent people are taken to death.

You hear any UN resolutions condemning these violations of basic human rights?

And the answer regrettably is no. The demonstrations, the boycotts, the resolutions are all reserved for the Middle East’s one true democracy, in fact it’s the most beleaguered democracy on earth – Israel.

This is a travesty.

You can try to explain it away in many ways and it’s true that the internet has a multiplier effect, but you can have a multiplier effect on many, many lies, on many slanders, and yet this has a global multiplying effect, and there is something fundamentally wrong that this slander is reserved for the one country in the region where the death penalty is not even used against the most gruesome terrorist murderers, the one country that holds human rights sacrosanct, where equality is protected under the law – for women, for Christians, for minorities, for all.

You can ask yourself how is that possible, how could it be that the Jewish state is treated like that. There’s got to be fire if there’s smoke.

How do think the Jews were treated for generations? The things that peoples said about the Jews for generations were believed across so many lands. They believed that we poisoned the wells, that we drank the blood of Christian children, that we were spreading disease deliberately. By the way, these are all repeated as we speak.

You see, how could it be that they believed it? But they did. Not only did they believe it, you say, well, that’s because of ignorance. Yeah, that’s true. Except that some of the most educated people in history believed it – Voltaire, Dostoyevsky, and the list is a lot longer, by the way.

So education and knowledge may be a partial protector against this slander, but there’s something deeper here because these are such patent falsehoods. It is the willingness to submit to slander, the willingness to believe this. This is what creates the ground, and it starts not from the bottom. It starts with the elites. And that’s where it has to be challenged.

And today the treatment of Israel is no different from the treatment of our forbearers. The Jewish state is being treated among the nations the way the Jewish people were treated for generations.

And we’re not perfect, by the way. We have a lot of things that we can improve.

We have a very boisterous and robust democracy. You should come to the Knesset. I invite all of you. What fun. But it is. It’s alive. It’s free. Everything is debated, everything is open, and there is a system of justice, a system of laws and true tolerance. With all the imperfections of any society, we’ve built here a tremendous society. Beleaguered? Yes, but with great success.

And our best allies actually these days are some of our Arab neighbors because they know we face a common threat.

So we see this country. How can it be that this country is slandered like no other country? Well, probably because old habits die hard.

But the sad truth is that some of them don’t die. The sad truth is that no rational examination can justify the obsession with the Jewish state, and this obsession with the Jewish state and the Jewish people has a name.

It’s called anti-Semitism.

I know you understand all this.

I know that the people in this room have learned the painful lessons of 70 years ago.

I appreciate your commitment to fighting anti-Semitism because the battle starts from the top. Anti-Semitism, contrary to what people think, does not just bubble up from below. It percolates also from the top. And that’s why it’s so important that there are leaders here, across lands, across faiths, across professions, from the public and the private domain, who are gearing up to fight this old obsession.

You have learned from history, but regrettably, many around the world have yet to do so.

I want to assure you that we have.

We are no longer a stateless people searching for a safe haven.

We are no longer a powerless people begging others to protect us.

Today we have an independent and sovereign state.

Today we can protect ourselves and defend our freedoms, our lives.

What has changed in the history of the world for the Jewish people is not the hatred of the Jews, but with the founding of the Jewish state, the rediscovery by the Jews of the capacity to defend ourselves against slander and against attack.

Today we can speak up against our vilification – as I am doing right now and as you have been doing, and I know you will continue to do.

Because there is a simple fact – a lie that is left unchallenged and endlessly repeated assumes the cachet of self-evident truth.

Our biggest job – our biggest job – is to go and light a candle of truth.

When I came to the United Nations many years ago to serve as Israel’s ambassador, I met a famous Jewish religious leader, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and he said to me: You know, you’ll be going into a house where many, many lies will be leveled at Israel and at our people, and he said, ‘Remember that in the darkest halls, if you light one candle, then people will see the light of truth for a very long distance. They’ll see it from afar, and your job’, he said to me, ‘is to light a candle of truth in a dark hall.’ Well, I’ll tell you, we need a lot of candles, a lot of lighters of candles, and that’s how I see you.

Because nowhere is this calumny that is leveled against our people more systematically propagated than in Iran.

The ayatollah regime is conducting as we speak a competition. The competition is an international competition. It parallels our conference, except it’s the very reverse. It’s a competition of Holocaust deniers from around the globe, who can better deny the Holocaust. And while they are denying the Holocaust, they’re planning another genocide against our people.

They openly threaten to annihilate the State of Israel.

Just a few weeks ago, a few days before the Lausanne agreement was signed, an Iranian general said, “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.” Openly.

And of course they seek to build nuclear weapons to implement this mad design.

And I have to tell you honestly that the Lausanne framework won’t stop them.

Israel wants to see a peaceful solution, a better deal that will actually block Iran’s path to the bomb.

But I want to be absolutely clear.

The Jewish state will defend itself by itself against any threat.

That’s what we’ve learned from history.

That’s what the Jewish state is all about.

But we’ve also learned something else.

I don’t know if we’ll be able to eradicate the scourge of anti-Semitism. I know we have to fight it. We have learned that if you don’t fight it, if unstopped, these fires of anti-Semitism eventually spread and they consume everyone. That is I think the central lesson of the 20th century, in many ways the central lesson of modern times.

So for the sake of decency, for the sake of our common humanity, for the sake of our common future, we must all continue to stand up and fight anti-Semitism.

The Jewish people and decent people everywhere will salute you for doing just that.

Thank you, thank you for coming to Jerusalem, thank you.” ________________________________________

IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

Subscribe: (see right hand column)
Twitter: @israelcomment



Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

Two of my favorite panel programs are:

1. The Fox News Special Report Panel hosted by Bret Baier who serves as FOX News Channel’s chief political anchor (weeknights 6-7PM/ET). It is far and  away the top-rated cable news program in its time slot and consistently one of the top four shows in cable news. The show is based in Washington, DC and frequently features as guest panelists:  Chas. Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, AB Stoddard and George Will.

2. The Wall Street Journal editorial board that represents the newspaper and its editorial page publicly. Every Saturday at 11:00 PM EST, three editorial page writers and host Paul Gigot, editor of the Editorial Page, appear on Fox News Channel’s Journal Editorial Report to discuss current issues with a variety of guests. Bret Stephens, Daniel Henninger, Kimberly Strassel and Jason Riley are the board members who appear most frequently. Toward the end of each show each panel member on Fox is asked his Winner and Loser in the news that week.

At the Wall Street Editorial Board discussion the panelists are asked the same thing only they call them Hits and Misses.

All of the above just charged me to pick my very own hit and miss or winner and loser from the current week’s news items.

My winner without any equivocation is Marine Le Pen, the rapidly ascending French political leader and daughter of arch anti-Semite and irrational, obnoxious, Nazi-like nationalist, Jean-Marie Le Pen. What was her hit or winner?

She told her very own Daddy, in no uncertain terms, to take a hike!

The details of this magnificent gesture were in the Wall Street Journal of May 5, 2015

By Noemie Bisserbe

PARIS—The National Front suspended Jean-Marie Le Pen, the man who put the far-right party on France’s political map, as a member and left open the door to possible expulsion after he repeated comments belittling the Holocaust.

The move Monday deepens the elderly firebrand’s rift with a new generation of National Front members led by his daughter, Marine Le Pen.

She has become one of the country’s most prominent politicians in large part by blaming its economic woes on mainstream parties and the European Union.

On Monday, Ms. Le Pen convened a special committee of party officials to consider disciplinary action against her 86-year-old father after he gave interviews to French media expounding on his positions on the Holocaust and the Nazi occupation of France.

The committee stopped short of immediately ejecting Mr. Le Pen—a step some of Ms. Le Pen’s allies were seeking. Instead, his future membership will be decided at the National Front’s next general assembly, which is expected within three months, a party spokesman said.

Asked on Monday whether he would consider retiring from politics, Mr. Le Pen responded: “You’d have to kill me.”

Ms. Le Pen has long been trying to steer National Front away from the extreme rhetoric her father deployed to fuel the movement’s rise in earlier decades.

Her strategy has helped the party attract new supporters across France—chalking up a string of victories in local elections and positioning Ms. Le Pen as a presidential contender in 2017.

But it has also made it harder for her to avoid publicly clashing with her father, who retains a loyal following among National Front hard-liners.

Last month, Mr. Le Pen repeated comments he made more than 25 years ago, describing Nazi gas chambers as a “detail” of World War II history.

Mr. Le Pen then told far-right publication Rivarol that he never regarded Marshal Philippe Pétain—a French military leader who was convicted of treason after he collaborated with the Germans in occupied France—as a traitor.

The comments left Ms. Le Pen in a political bind as key lieutenants began to demand his dismissal. National Front’s vice president Florian Philippot said the remarks showed Mr. Le Pen’s break with party ranks was “definitive.”

On Sunday, Ms. Le Pen delivered her strongest rebuke of her father yet, accusing him on French television of trying to harm her directly.

“His recent actions are unacceptable. I perceive them as a malicious act against the National Front and me,” Ms. Le Pen said. “I feel like he just can’t bear the fact that the National Front continues to exist without him at its helm.”



Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Rubio has a shrewd poison pill for the Iran deal

By Eli Lake

Chicago Tribune

April 30, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida and aspirant for his party’s presidential nomination, has a very poisonous pill he is seeking to add to Iran legislation this week before the Senate.

No, it’s not his much discussed amendment saying Congress would not lift its sanctions on Iran unless Iran recognized Israel. Rather Rubio just wants the Iran deal to conform to the president’s own description of a nuclear framework agreement. As Rubio said Wednesday, “It requires this final deal be the deal the president says it is.”

On the surface, this seems like small ball. On April 2, the White House released a fact sheet that spelled out Iran’s obligations to modify some of its nuclear facilities and limit its enrichment. The fact sheet said sanctions would be phased out over time as Iran complied with the terms of the framework.

Rubio’s amendment simply quotes that fact sheet verbatim and says the president may not waive or lift any Congressional sanctions until he certifies Iran has met the White House conditions.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand why that would be controversial,” Rubio said Wednesday. “Yet somehow, I was told this would box the White House in.”

But Rubio knows very well why the amendment is controversial. Almost immediately after the White House announced the terms of what it thought was a framework agreement, the Iranians balked. The foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted that the White House fact sheet was spin. The head of Iran’s revolutionary guard corps said international inspectors would never gain access to military sites. And Iran’s supreme leader says all sanctions must be lifted up front when Iran signs an agreement.

In the face of Iran’s new red lines, Obama wobbled. On April 17, Obama said he was instructing his negotiators to “find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable.”

In the Senate it’s not clear whether Rubio will get a vote on his fact-sheet amendment. On Wednesday Rubio said leaders of his party promised that he would be able to get a fair hearing for his amendments during the floor debate, but that this week he said he was being told there may not be enough time to vote on all the amendments Republicans have offered.

So far, Democrats and a few Republicans have voted down two amendments to the Iran bill. An amendment to treat an Iran deal as a treaty, and thus require an affirmative two-thirds majority to approve it in the Senate, was voted down Tuesday 57 to 39. Another amendment that would require Obama to certify Iran was not supporting acts of terrorism against Americans as a condition for lifting Congressional sanctions was voted down 54 to 45 on Wednesday.

Among the Republicans voting with Democrats on the amendments are Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and co-author of the legislation; Arizona Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee; and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, an Iran hawk who has hinted he will be running for president.

But Rubio’s fact-sheet amendment is different. It doesn’t challenge the presidential authority to sign an executive agreement. Republicans supported that power when their party controlled the White House. Rubio’s fact-sheet amendment is also germane to the Iran legislation before the Senate. An argument used against other amendments–like Rubio’s one on recognizing Israel–is that it asks Iran to meet conditions not related to the nuclear negotiations.

Rubio’s fact sheet amendment only asks Democrats to vote on whether a final Iran deal should meet the conditions as described by the leader of their own party. If Democrats vote that it should, then Obama may be forced to issue a veto over his own fact sheet as he seeks to make a final agreement more palatable to Iran. If the Democrats vote that it shouldn’t, then they will appear to be conceding the White House either misled the public or bungled the negotiations earlier this month.

An irony here is that Rubio himself has said that the deal outlined in the White House fact sheet was too weak. But bad policy in this case makes for very good politics.

Eli Lake is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about politics and foreign affairs.

II  But today,  US Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Giving Congress Oversight of Iran Deal

MAY 7, 2015

Author: avatar

The United States Senate rejected a bid to consider the Iran nuclear deal as an international treaty. – The U.S. Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which would give Congress a 30-day period to review a final nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, in a 98-1 vote.

The only senator to vote against the bill was U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who objected on the grounds that the legislation does not require a final nuclear agreement to be submitted as a treaty requiring Senate approval. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer was absent for the vote.

Subscribe: (see right hand column)


Twitter: @israelcomment




Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

(In this era of progressing socially acceptable moral depravity, perhaps it is a good time, to address this topic? It is likely no coincidence that it is presented in the weeks prior to Yom Kippur when the observant Jew stands before his God and begs to be included in the coming year’s roster and he must answer to his sins in the year that just passed.)

Jerome S. Kaufman

LAWS OF FORBIDDEN RELATIONS From the Hebrew Bible (The Five Books of Moses)

Book Three – Vayikra (Leviticus), Parshas Acharei, 18:1

“Do not follow the practices of the land of Egypt where you lived. And do not follow the practices of the land of Cana’an, where I am bringing you (for these two nations are the most depraved of all). Do not (even) follow their customs.”

“You should fulfill My rational laws, and guard My supra-rational commands and (always) their (wisdom, and not secular wisdom).

I am God, your God.

“You should guard My commands and My rational laws which a man should do, and you will live by them (in the next world for) I am God (who is faithful to pay reward).”

“No man (or woman) may come near to any of his (or her) close relatives, to uncover their nakedness (and co-habit with them). I am God (who is faithful to pay reward).”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of your fathers wife or the nakedness of your mother ( if she is not your father’s wife. Since she is your mother, you must not uncover her nakedness.”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife (even after death, since) it is your father’s (wife’s) nakedness.”

“You must not uncover your sister’s nakedness, (whether) she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, (and regardless of whether) she is born to a woman who may remain in the home or (if she is) born to a woman who must be expelled.”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of the daughter of your son or daughter (who was born from a forbidden relationship), for they are (like) your own nakedness.”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s (Jewish) wife’s daughter, born to your father (because) she is your sister.” “You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister (because she is the close relative of your father.”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, because she is the close relative of your mother.”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, (namely) you must not come near his wife, (because) she is your aunt.”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife so must not uncover her nakedness.”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife (for she) is your brother’s nakedness.”

“You must not uncover the nakedness of a woman (to whom you are married) and her daughter.”

“You must not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter (in marriage) to uncover her nakedness. It is the advice (of the evil inclination since) they are close relatives.”

“You must not take a woman (in marriage) in addition to her sister, to make them rivals by uncovering one’s nakedness in addition to the other’s. (Even if you divorce one sister, you not marry the other one) in her lifetime.”

“You must not come near a woman during the ritual impurity of her menstruation, to uncover her nakedness.”

“You must not lie carnally with your fellowman’s wife, to make yourself impure with her.”

“You must not give any of your offspring (to pagan priests) to pass through between two bonfires, in worship of the pagan deity) Molech. You must not profane the Name of your God. I am God.”

“You must not lie down with a man, as one lies with a woman. This is an abomination”

“You must not cohabit with any animal, to become impure from it. A woman must not stand in front of an animal to cohabit with it. This is depravity.”

“You must not defile yourselves by any of these things, for the nations whom I am sending away from you have defiled themselves with all these things. The land became defiled. I remembered its sin (bringing punishment) upon it, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.”

“But you will observe My supra-rational commands and My rational commands, and you will not do any of these abominations — neither the native, nor the convert who lives among you.”

“The people of the land who preceeded you, did all of these abominations and the land became defiled. Let the land not vomit you out for having defiled it, as it vomited out the nation that preceded you. “

“For if anyone commits any of these abominations, (both) the people (the man and the woman who committed (the act) will be cut off from the midst of their people.”

“(The courts should) enforce My restrictions, not to commit any of the abominable practices that were done before you, and you will not become defiled by them.”

“(If you keep My laws then) I am God your God.”

Subscribe: (see right hand column


Twitter: @israelcomment



Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post


Wall Street Journal

April 24, 2015

I’m always chasing rainbows, watching clouds drifting by / My schemes are just like all my dreams, ending in the sky. The vaudeville song by Harry Carroll and Joseph McCarthy, popularized by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, is all too appropriate to this moment, as we consider the implications of a nuclear Iran and the prospect of mushroom clouds over the Middle East.

President Obama has been chasing a rainbow in his negotiations with Iran. He has forsaken decades of pledges to the civilized world from presidents of both parties. He has misled the American people in repeatedly affirming that the U.S. would never allow revolutionary Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, which would guarantee a new arms race. In fact, one has already started. Credible reports suggest Pakistan is ready to ship an atomic package to Saudi Arabia, the Sunni nation that stands opposed to Shiite Iran’s subversion throughout the region.

How far Mr. Obama is prepared to chase the negotiation dream is illustrated by the recent candor of his energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who has been party to the negotiations. In 2013 the president answered questions about Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons with these words: “Our assessment continues to be a year or more away, and in fact, actually our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.”

Yet on Monday Mr. Moniz told reporters at Bloomberg a different story: “They are right now spinning. I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000,” he said. “It’s very little time to go forward. That’s two to three months.” How long has the administration held this view? “Oh, quite some time,” Mr. Moniz replied. The Bloomberg report suggests “several years.”

This stunningly casual remark was based on information apparently declassified on April 1. What is Mr. Obama up to? Why was he reassuring in 2013 when he knew it was misleading? Is the declassification intended to create a false sense of urgency?

Compare where we are today with the conditions Mr. Obama laid down two years ago. Referring to Iran’s smiling new president, Hasan Rouhani, Mr. Obama said: “If in fact he is able to present a credible plan that says Iran is pursuing peaceful nuclear energy but we’re not pursuing nuclear weapons, and we are willing to be part of an internationally verified structure so that all other countries in the world know they are not pursuing nuclear weapons, then, in fact, they can improve relations, improve their economy. And we should test that.”

Sure—let’s test it:

Enrichment: Before the talks began, the Obama administration and U.N. Security Council insisted that Iran stop all uranium enrichment. So did the 2013 framework agreement. Now the deal enshrines Iran’s right to enrich.

Stockpile: In February, Iran had 10,000 kilograms of enriched uranium, which the deal says will be reduced to 300 kilograms. The remainder is to be exported to Russia and returned to Iran as fuel rods for use in a power plant. But Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, told state media at the end of March that “there is no question of sending the stocks abroad.”

Centrifuges: Iran has about 19,000 centrifuges, and the U.S. initially called for cutting that to between 500 and 1,500. The agreement now allows 6,104. Not only that, Iran’s foreign minister has said that advanced IR-8 centrifuges, which enrich uranium 20 times faster than the current IR-1 models, will be put into operation as soon as the nuclear deal takes effect—contrary to what the U.S. has asserted.

• Infrastructure: The closure of nuclear sites at Fordow, Natanz and Arak has been an American goal for a decade. Under the deal, the 40-megawatt heavy-water nuclear plant at Arak, which produces plutonium, will remain, albeit with reduced plutonium production. The deal allows the Fordow facility, which is buried in a mountain fortress designed to withstand aerial attack, to be converted into a “peaceful research” center. Iran will be allowed to keep 1,000 centrifuges there. Natanz will remain open as well.

• Missiles: Iran stonewalled on concerns about the military dimensions of its nuclear program. U.S. negotiators dropped demands that Tehran restrict development of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could be used to deliver warheads.

• Duration: Initially the U.S. wanted the deal to last 20 years. Now the key terms sunset in 10 to 15 years. Rather than enabling American disengagement from the Middle East, the framework is likely to necessitate deepening involvement under complex new terms, as former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz wrote in this newspaper earlier this month.

• Enforcement: President Obama promises: “If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it.” This is incredibly unrealistic. Over the past year alone, Iran has violated its international agreements at least three times. In November the International Atomic Energy Agency caught Iran operating a new advanced IR-5 centrifuge. Disagreement about inspections under the deal persists. Secretary Moniz has said that inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency must be allowed access to any place at any time. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his military say no way.

• Sanctions: The deal gives Iran exactly what it wanted: permanent relief from economic sanctions in exchange for temporary restraints. Mr. Obama talks about being able to “snap back” sanctions. But consider the attitudes of two of the big players in the six-power talks. China’s press refers to “peaceful” Iran as if it were Switzerland. Russia says the deal has freed it to sell S-300 air-defense missiles to Tehran. Assuming that the West discovers a nuclear violation, it will be nearly impossible to reimpose today’s sanctions.

• Good behavior: Meanwhile, Ayatollah Khamenei continues to denounce the U.S. as the Great Satan, making clear that Iran doesn’t expect to normalize relations. His speeches indicate that Iran still sees itself in a holy war with the West.

So here we are at the end of the rainbow, seemingly willing to concede nuclear capacity to Iran, a country we consider a principal threat. No wonder Saudi Arabia and Egypt are insisting on developing equivalent nuclear capabilities. America’s traditional allies have concluded that the U.S. has traded temporary cooperation from Iran for acquiescence to its ultimate hegemony.

The sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table took years to put in place. They have impaired Iran’s ability to conduct trade in the global market. The banking freeze in particular has had a crippling effect, since international businesses will not risk being blacklisted by the U.S. and European Union to make a few dollars in Iran. Many of those who have studied the problem believe that if the sanctions were to remain, they would squeeze Tehran and force greater concessions.

President Obama seems to be willfully ignoring Iran’s belligerent behavior and its growing influence over Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Yemen’s capital, San’a. Free of sanctions, Iran may become even more assertive.

There are no rainbows ahead, only menacing clouds.

Mr. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report.

Subscribe: (see right hand column)


Twitter: @israelcomment



Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel has been operating on emergency standing since receiving the first reports of the earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday, 25 April 2015, providing assistance to Israelis, Nepalese and others.

The Director General has been conducting situation assessments several times a day with Ministry staff and other officials with the goal of providing an immediate and appropriate response to the situation. The Ministry’s Emergency and Crisis Management Center is working with an increased staff around the clock.

The Ministry efforts are directed at providing assistance simultaneously to Israelis, Nepalese and others who were caught up in the disaster:

Israelis: The Ministry, via the embassy in Kathmandu, is aiding Israelis in the stricken area and is in touch with the families of Israeli travelers who have not yet established contact. The Ministry is helping to organize emergency  Nepalese humanitarian aid, flights to bring rescue and medical teams to the area, and the establishment of a field hospital.

The Israeli embassy in Kathmandu opened its gates to Israelis seeking shelter. Since Saturday, more than 150 Israelis have been staying in the embassy grounds. The embassy is attempting to locate, rescue and aid other Israelis currently in Nepal. It is not known of any Israelis among the injured (aside from a few with very minor injuries). The first Israeli rescue plane, from the Home Front Command, landed in Kathmandu on Sunday (26 April) and brought back to Israel the first group of Israelis, including newborn babies.

A Magen David Adom plane landed in Nepal, also on Sunday, and delivered a delegation of doctors and paramedics who settled in at the Chabad House. The plane returned to Israel with another group of Israelis.

Two El Al planes – one cargo and one passenger – will depart in the course of the day (Monday, 27 April) for Nepal. These planes will carry a team from the Israeli Ministry of Health and a large delegation of Home Front Command staff – more than two hundred doctors, sanitation engineers, machinery technicians and others – as well as medical equipment (portable monitor, oxygen tanks, medical ventilators, medicines, X-ray machines, resuscitation kit) and engineering equipment. After unloading their cargo, the planes will return to Israel carrying more Israeli travelers.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expending great effort to hire helicopters in order to rescue those trapped in the area.

The Israel Embassy in Delhi is providing considerable support to the aid and rescue efforts. Staff members from the Ministry in Jerusalem as well as from nearby missions were sent to reinforce the forces in the field – among them the Deputy DG for Asia and the Pacific, the regional administrative officer for Asia, the New Delhi consul, a security officer, two representatives from the Spokesperson’s Bureau and a communications specialist.

The Division for Asia and the Pacific is in contact with more than 500 Nepalese residing in Israel and is responding to their requests.

This morning (27 April) a meeting, chaired by the MFA Deputy Director General who heads Israel’s National Agency for International Cooperation (MASHAV) was held to discuss the second stage of Israeli aid to Nepal, which will focus on long-term assistance.

II  Israel’s Phenomenal Relief Effort… And The World’s Reaction?
Monday, April 27, 2015

Israel reacted to the devastating earthquake in Nepal as it usually does when natural disaster strikes – by sending a relief team par excellence to the disaster site. The current team includes an IDF field hospital and approximately 250 rescue and medical staff.

The field hospital includes operating rooms, X-ray equipment and pediatric care to provide emergency medical services to the wounded. Additional members of the relief team are tasked with conducting search-and-rescue missions in collapsed buildings.

This relief effort is just another confirmation of Israel as a “Light Unto the Nations.”

However, the world media, including major press in the U.S., are reacting as they usually do – by ignoring and not reporting on the Israeli effort. And predictably, the usual anti-Israel bigots and racists have come out of the woodwork to react in their typical fashion – by inverting the truth and proclaiming that Israel’s actions are a ruse – a smokescreen and deflection from the horrors of “The Occupation.”

III CNN Reports:Table: Israel sent largest team to Nepal

Israel 260
UK 68
China 62
US 54
South Korea 40
Taiwan 20
Italy 15
France 11
Switzerland 6

Subscribe: (see right hand column)


Twitter: @israelcomment



Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

I  Israel Alone  By Bret Stephens  II Now what?  By Jerome S. Kaufman


By Bret Stephens

Wall Street Journal

April 22, 2015

They (The Israelis) don’t know how to square Barack Obama’s promises with his policies. They fail to grasp how a president who pledged to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons is pushing an accord with Tehran that guarantees their proliferation. They are astonished by the nonchalance with which the administration acquiesces in Iran’s regional power plays, or in al Qaeda’s gains in Yemen, or in the Assad regime’s continued use of chemical weapons, or in the battlefield successes of ISIS, or in Russia’s decision to sell advanced missiles to Tehran. They wonder why the president has so much solicitude for Ali Khamenei’s political needs, and so little for Benjamin Netanyahu’s.

In a word, the Israelis haven’t yet figured out that what America is isn’t what America was. They need to start thinking about what comes next.

The most tempting approach is to wait Mr. Obama out and hope for better days with his successor. Israel and the U.S. have gone through bad patches before—under Ford in the 1970s, Reagan in the early ’80s, Bush in the early ’90s, Clinton in the late ’90s. The partnership always survived the officeholders.

So why should it be different this time? Seventy percent of Americans see Israel in a favorable light, according to a February Gallup poll. The presidential candidates from both parties all profess unswerving friendship with the Jewish state, and the Republican candidates actually believe it. Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is broadly unpopular and likely to become more so as the fiascoes continue to roll in.

Yet it’s different this time. For two reasons, mainly.

First, the administration’s Mideast abdications are creating a set of irreversible realities for which there are no ready U.S. answers. Maybe there were things an American president could have done to help rescue Libya in 2011, Syria in 2013, and Yemen last year. That was before it was too late. But what exactly can any president do about the chaos unfolding now?

Shakespeare wrote that there was a tide in the affairs of men “which taken at the flood, leads men on to fortune.” Barack Obama always missed the flood. (on purpose)

Now the president is marching us past the point of no return on a nuclear Iran and thence a nuclear Middle East. When that happens, how many Americans will be eager to have their president intervene in somebody else’s nuclear duel? Americans may love Israel, but partly that’s because not a single U.S. soldier has ever died fighting on its behalf.

In other words, Mr. Obama is bequeathing not just a more dangerous Middle East but also one the next president will want to touch only with a barge pole. That leaves Israel alone to deal as best as it can with a broadening array of threats: thousands more missiles for Hezbollah, paid for by sanctions relief for Tehran; ISIS on the Golan Heights; an Iran safe, thanks to Russian missiles, from any conceivable Israeli strike.

The second reason follows from the first. Previous quarrels between Washington and Jerusalem were mainly about differing Mideast perceptions. Now the main issue is how the U.S. perceives itself.

Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, every U.S. president took the view that strength abroad and strength at home were mutually reinforcing; that global security made us more prosperous, and that prosperity made us more secure.

Then along came Mr. Obama with his mantra of “nation building at home” and his notion that an activist foreign policy is a threat to the social democracy he seeks to build. Under his administration, domestic and foreign policy have been treated as a zero-sum game: If you want more of the former, do less of the latter. The result is a world of disorder, and an Israel that, for the first time in its history, must seek its security with an America that, say what it will, has nobody’s back but its own.

How does it do this? By recalling what it was able to do for the first 19 years of its existence, another period when the U.S. was an ambivalent and often suspicious friend and Israel was more upstart state than start-up nation.

That was an Israel that was prepared to take strategic gambles because it knew it couldn’t afford to wait on events. It did not consider “international legitimacy” to be a prerequisite for action because it also knew how little such legitimacy was worth. It understood the value of territory and terrain, not least because it had so little of it. It built its deterrent power by constantly taking the military initiative, not constructing defensive wonder-weapons such as Iron Dome. It didn’t mind acting as a foreign policy freelancer, and sometimes even a rogue, as circumstances demanded. “Plucky little Israel” earned the world’s respect and didn’t care, much less beg, for its moral approval.

Perhaps the next American president will rescue Israel from having to learn again what it once knew. Israelis would be wise not to count on it.

Bret Stephens, Deputy editor, editorial page, The Wall Street Journal.

II  Now what? By Jerome S. Kaufman

(Once again Bret Stephens puts his finger right on the main problem.  Thanks to my most unfavorite previous Israeli General, Ehud Barack, Israel has gotten side tracked inventing and making the “defensive wonder-weapons” Stephens mentions. By coincidence, The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) recently put out an excellent detailed booklet, Israel’s Air and Missile Defense During the  2014 Gaza War. It describes the great success of Israel’s nine Iron Dome batteries and the Patriot air defense system.  The claim is the Iron Dome System knocked down 9 of 10 rockets aimed at their defended areas. NOT ENOUGH. Surely we all know the huge amount of damage just one rocket could cause,  especially if it were nuclear.  

There is no question a sophisticated, best possible, defensive system is required. But, somehow the whole defensive project reminds me of the hapless Jew in his cellar in Poland and Russia hiding from the Cossack whose only goal was to steal his meager possessions, kill him and rape his women and children.

Why should the Jew, finally with the great military power it has developed, now take a defensive position and allow its enemies to dictate the rules of engagement?  Has the Israeli administration and the IDF really forgotten the age-old concept that a good offense beats a good defense every time. How could they forget that basic idea when the nation’s very existence is at stake? Why don’t they take a lesson, the holier than though US and its allies, exemplified versus Nazi Germany and Japan in WWII?

Was the term, “Excessive Response” ever mentioned or even invented? Of course not. It was only invented now that the Jews have the upper hand and the superior military power. How about wiping out your enemy so that he no longer has any capability or will to launch rockets or anything else against your civilian population — just like the US and Britain did in WW II?  They  carpet-bombed entire cities into dust and ultimately beyond dust as the Americans demonstrated with their actions vs. the Japanese at Nagasaki and Hiroshima?  I never heard the phrase “Excessive Force” used even once at that time or any time since.

Israel, it is time. As Bret Stephens  suggests, enough of the “defensive wonder-weapons such as Iron Dome.” How about using instead “a good offense beats a good defense every time.” Once and for as long as possible,  annihilate your enemy’s offensive power, destroy his desire for combat  and truly protect your civilian population and incidentally,  your own nation’s existence?  

World opinion? Maybe you  remember the direction and dedication of  that “world opinion”  complicit in the horror of the WW II Holocaust? It was so dedicated  6 million Jews were systematically slaughtered only because they were Jews?

So much for “world opinion” and the usual consistently hypocritical world morality.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Subscribe:  (see right hand column)

Twitter: @israelcomment








Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Redacted from an in-depth position paper by Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaacov Amidror

April 20, 2015

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 296

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Only a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the Iranian regime could lead anyone to believe that the proposed P5+1 deal will end or satisfy Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The U.S. is capable of bringing Iran’s nuclear program to a halt. Unfortunately, the U.S. has simply chosen not to do so. Israel will now have to decide whether to acquiesce in Iran’s nuclear drive or prepare to confront it.

The nuclear framework agreement signed between Iran and world powers, namely the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, on April 2, was defined by U.S. President Barack Obama as an “historic understanding,” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defined the deal as “bad.”

Both leaders are right: The deal has radically changed Iran’s position in the global theater in exchange for Iran temporarily slowing down its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and in this respect it is indeed “historic.” However, the agreement affords Iran the status of a regional power and legitimizes it as a nuclear threshold state. It is now up to Iran to decide when to cross this threshold, and in this respect it is a “bad” deal.

The framework deal clearly indicates that the U.S. has come to accept that Iran will one day possess military nuclear capabilities, and that at the end of the supervision period there would be nothing stopping the Islamic Republic from realizing this potential.

The U.S., for its part, has pledged to put in place rigorous inspection practices, which would guarantee the West at least a year to detect any violation of the agreement. Would such an agreement guarantee, to any extent, a change in Iran’s nuclear aspirations? It seems the opposite is true. In the near future, the agreement will only fuel Iran’s desire to realize the potential outlined and legitimized by the deal. The hope that the agreement will somehow breed a positive process in Iran has no hold in reality.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appears eager for his country to obtain nuclear weapons. In fact, there is no debate within the Iranian leadership on whether or not such capabilities are necessary, only about the best way to go about achieving them. Only a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the Iranian regime could lead anyone to believe that this or any deal will somehow satisfy the ayatollahs’ nuclear ambitions, to the point of becoming a game changer.

Is there really no military alternative that could result in a longer setback to Tehran’s nuclear program, one that could outweigh the delay outlined in the current deal?  The argument that any military strike would result in only a short-term setback in Iran’s nuclear endeavors is wrong, because the seemingly professional American calculation on the matter is purely technical.

I believe that Iran, subject to crippling sanctions, would not rush to resuscitate its nuclear program in the event it was destroyed by the U.S. It also stands to reason that Iran’s actual ability to retaliate over such a strike, other than by putting Hezbollah in play, would be limited.

An American strike could buy the West more than just a few years, but its reluctance to assume the risks involved in a military operation is understandable. Regardless, the reality is clear: The U.S. can forcibly bring the Iranian nuclear program to a halt; it simply chooses not to do so.

Furthermore, the agreement stands to have serious geopolitical repercussions. The deal with Iran is likely to lead to a nuclear arms race in the Sunni Middle East, as well as to increased belligerency from Iran and its allies, such as Hezbollah, the Houthis, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hamas.

In the long run, the deal could potentially compromise what little stability is left in the region, which in turn would lend the Shiite-Sunni struggle new and terrifying dimensions, making an already violent theater even more volatile.

Iran will try to capitalize on the regional superiority the U.S. has afforded it the first chance it gets, knowing American statements suggesting all options are on the table are nothing but hollow rhetoric.

The concept of time is a fundamental bone of contention between the U.S. and Israel and other countries in the region. A decade may seem like a long time for leaders who are elected for a limited period of time, but for leaders with historical perspectives of national security, 10 years is no time at all.

The most viable alternative should have been to continue imposing and aggravating the sanctions, while making it clear to Iran that any nuclear endeavor on its part would be limited by clear, bold, red lines, and if any of them are ever crossed, the U.S. will react forcefully.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaacov Amidror is the Greg and Anne Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and former national security advisor to the Prime Minister.

 Subscribe:  (see right hand column)

Facebook: https://www.

Twitter: @israelcomment






Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Israel Joins New Asia Bank — Opposed by US

by Dr. Alon Levkowitz

April 16, 2015

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 295

(Jerome S. Kaufman aside:)

(BESA Center is a brilliant Israeli Think Tank and comes out with some great academic papers.  But, I don’t much care for their name “Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.” 

Anwar Sadat was a clever western educated Egyptian statesman. With the help of Israel’s usual self-defeating demeanor, inexperience and naïveté, Sadat snatched total victory from the Israelis, reversing the  Egypt defeat in the 1973 war despite their surprise attack and initial gains.    

Israel, in a supreme gesture of stupidity following intimidation by Jimmy Carter, returned the captured Sinai, all its oil wealth, its thriving community, great strategic depth, ideal airspace, a perfect area  for continued Israel growth, and matchless  military superiority for the vague promise of “peace”. Unfortunately, Sadat’s own gesture toward peace of any kind with the Israelis, cost him his life through his assassination by the Muslim Brotherhood or aligned elements.

The vaunted “peace” has  continued only because of Israel’s overwhelming superior military and cultural society.  At this much later date Egyptian leader, General al-Sisi and his military fully understand the importance of Israel to Egypt’s very existence. Unfortunately his gestures of mutual accommodation puts his own life very much at risk.

The Sadat name therefore continues to remind me of a very bad deal.  Jews seem to be far more comfortable  mourning the days when they were slaves in Egypt or slaughtered peasants in Mother Russia and Poland than to maintain positions of genuine, timeless strength. Hopefully, Netanyahu, as a result of his Obama tutorial, will turn this around. But, don’t hold your breath.)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of article below:

The Israeli government’s decision to apply to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), despite Washington’s displeasure, is an expression of Israel’s strong interest in increasing its economic engagement in Asia.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his capacity as minister of finance, signed a letter of application to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on March 31, despite Washington’s displeasure. Fully aware of Washington’s failed attempt to convince its allies not to join the AIIB, the decision to apply demonstrates Israel’s understanding of the rising importance of Asia, especially China, to Israel’s economy.

The new bank is viewed by many as an important indicator of the changing economic and global balance of power, appearing as a threat to the World Bank. The decision to join the AIIB is another phase in Israel’s policy to improve relations with Asia. Additional moves include negotiating free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea.

Does the AIIB symbolize a global financial shift towards China? Is it yet another indication of the gradual decline of the United States in Asia and the global arena?

During the 1990s, there were a few failed initiatives to establish new regional economic and political organizations in Asia mainly as a result of Washington’s objections. Malaysia’s prime minister at the time, Dr. Mahathir Muhammad, called for the establishment of a regional organization that would include all Asian nations and exclude the United States. This attempt was blocked by Washington and Tokyo.

After the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Japan initiated another attempt for Asian nations to establish an Asian Monetary Fund (AMF), which would attend to Asian needs in contrast to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), increasingly criticized for its lack of sensitivity to their needs during the 1997-1998 economic crisis.

The AMF initiative was thwarted by Washington because of concern that it might lead to the decline of US power through the IMF and in Asia as well. In the end, Beijing also seemed to back Washington’s opposition based on the worry of the rise of Japanese power in the region.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the plans for the AIIB in a speech to the Indonesian parliament in 2013. The bank looks to invest about $100 billion in infrastructure projects in Asia in contrast to the World Bank, which has a global, not regional focus. Another difference between the two banks is the amount that they would invest in Asia.  While the WB total work program funding for 2015 in Asia is $172 million, the AIIB intends to invest more than $800 million in Asia in 2015.

The AIIB will boost China’s role in the global economy beyond what is currently reflected in the voting mechanisms of the IMF and World Bank. It will also allow China to enhance its soft power in Asia. The AIIB might, as suggested by Washington, have transparency and technical problems, but the fundamental issue for the Americans is that it challenges its global hegemonic position.

Washington’s allies, mainly in Asia, were faced with a dilemma: to join or follow Washington’s recommendation not to. While the United States is undoubtedly an important ally for many countries, China’s importance as a major trading partner and ally also carries substantial weight.

For example, South Korea found itself in a dilemma, stuck between Washington’s request to abstain from joining the AIIB and to deploy the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system. On the other hand, Beijing asked Seoul to join the AIIB and abstain from deploying THAAD. In the end, Seoul decided to join the AIIB and delay its decision on deploying the sophisticated anti-missile system. One possible reason why Seoul decided to join the Chinese led bank could have been to assist infrastructure projects in North Korea which would decrease Pyongyang’s incentive to initiate military provocations.

Besides South Korea, many other US allies decided to join the AIIB in spite of Washington’s objections. These include Britain, France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. Tokyo and Washington are the two main economic powers that have so far decided not to join the new bank. However, based on Washington’s past record of opposing Asian regional initiatives at the beginning, only to later reverse its decision, it is likely that Washington and even Tokyo will also join in the long run.

The AIIB is another indication of China’s growing economic growth and willingness to challenge American power on the world stage.  And although Washington and Beijing do not see eye to eye on political, security, and economic issues, both states are economically interdependent, which could serve to constrain their rivalry over the balance of power in Asia.

The Israeli government’s decision to apply to the AIIB, despite Washington’s reticence, shows that it understands that it cannot afford to be left out of Asia’s economic rise. Once its application is approved, Israel will be able to initiate projects in Asia through the AIIB and assist Israeli companies in the process, thus increasing its relations in Asia.


Dr. Alon Levkowitz, a research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is an expert on East Asian security, the Korean Peninsula, and Asian international organizations.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family. ________________________________________

IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

Subscribe:  (see right hand column)

Facebook: https://www.
Twitter: @israelcomment





Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Editor/Publisher Israel Commentary 

Monday, April 13, 2015

I had the great privilege of watching Senator Rubio declare himself a candidate for the awesome responsibility of President of United States of America and I loved every minute of it.

He is a great speaker –  bright, clean-cut, handsome, a beautiful wife and family and he did remind me of our last member of the Court of King Arthur  —  John F. Kennedy!  

He began by saying, “I have come here to make an announcement as to how I can best serve you.”  What a novel idea in the present political climate. I thought it was all about serving the politician and his Party. 

His speech was clear, precise, factual, direct, no fumbling around.  No tele-prompters or excessive use of notes. He did not read his speech. It came from the heart. Most important I did not see the awful narcissistic mannerisms of the present office holder.

But, what did he say?

1. He is the proud son of immigrants. He is thus a first generation American and from those have come some of our most dedicated, productive and successful political servants. His dad was a bar tender, his mom was a domestic servant. How basic can you get?  

He grew up the son of refugees who I am sure kissed the ground of this country the moment they arrived for having the good fortune to finally arrive in this wonderful land. The Jews called it, the Goldina Medina, the Golden Land of Freedom and Opportunity. I am sure the waves of Cubans, Irish, Italians, Poles, Russians, Slavs,  and so many others dreamed of it in the same way. 

2. He said that unfortunately, the American dream has gone awry over the last 6 plus years. Too many Americans are now beginning to doubt whether that dream is still possible to achieve in the Goldina Medina.  Hard working families are now living paycheck to paycheck. Young Americans are not able to start a career or family because they owe thousands of dollars in student loans or have useless degrees that do not lead to jobs.  Small business owners and the middle class are made to struggle under onerous taxes, more government regulation and hostile interference. 

We have been steered off the course where prosperity is dependent upon our ability to compete on the world stage.  Modern jobs require special skills and far different education than those of the past.  Our educational system is frozen in old formats that are no longer pertinent. They are ineffective, expensive and inaccessible to those that need it most. 

On the world scene our current President likes to lead from behind. How that is supposed to work is beyond explanation. The President never seems to have understood that when America ceases to lead, worldwide chaos is the result. 

We are years past any form of isolationism or disregard of the rest of the world. The world has shrunk. Even worse, for another inexplicable reason,  the present administration has chosen to favor out enemies and betray our staunch allies. He has deliberately weakened our military, diluted our patriotism and destroyed our ability to contain and defeat our enemies wherever and whenever necessary.

Major changes are essential to our very existence. We must reform our tax costs, reduce the myriad numbers of mindless regulations. We must control spending and modernize our immigration laws, and repeal and replace the bankruptcy upon us because of an overly ambitious and poorly devised Obamacare. Nancy Pelosi’s recommendation for Congress to sign the law before they read it and figure it out later was the lousiest piece of advice of the century.

If we can correct all these things and modernize our educational system the American work force will find millions of higher paying jobs. It should also be our goal to return to the times when a high school graduate actually came out knowing something and had the necessary skills to go right to work and make some badly needed money.

And let us remember that the family, not the government, is the most important institution in this country and all human life deserves the protection of our laws.  And, parents, not outsiders with their own agendas, must be allowed to determine the education most appropriate for their children. 

Worldwide, America must once more accept the mantle of global leadership. We must abandon this nation’s dangerous concessions to Iran and Obama’s mindless  hostility to Israel.  We must no longer remain passive in the face of Chinese and Russian aggression. We must reverse the hollowing out of our military and give our men and women in the military the resources, the care and the gratitude they deserve.

Furthermore we cannot ignore the human rights violations and disregard of democracy in Cuba and so many other countries round the world. Our enemies are testing us in all of the above  and we are flunking their tests badly.

We must correct all these problems to make our own nation safer and our people more prosperous. There is now a generational choice as to what kind of country we will now be.  We no longer can afford the leaders from yesterday taking us back to the solutions of yesterday. Yesterday is over.  If we fail our children, they will be the first generation to inherit a country worse off than the one that was given to their parents!

We must change the decisions we are now making by changing the people who are making them. I find comfort in the ancient biblical command:

Be  strong and courageous. Do not tremble or be dismayed for G-d is with you wherever you go.

 Senator Marco Rubio Presidential Announcement Full Speech (C-SPAN)

Subscribe:  (see right hand column)


Twitter: @israelcomment




Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

B. Saudis side with Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu! Now that’s a first!

The Saudi Military Intervention in Yemen

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah

Jerusalem Issue Briefs Vol. 15, No. 10 March 31, 2015
Institute for Contemporary Affairs

-The Saudis did not conduct detailed, top-level discussions with the Obama Administration on U.S. support for the operation until a few days before the beginning of the air strikes.

-It appears that the Saudis have little trust in the U.S. administration and suspected that the Obama administration’s Iranian agenda would lead it to stop the Saudi coalition acting against the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.

-Moderate Arab countries have come to the conclusion that they must fight for the survival of their regimes and that terrorism identified with the Sunni jihadists is the main factor for instability. Their scorched earth practices offer fertile ground for the incursion of “heretical” Shiite forces from Iran.

It is hard to believe that the Saudi military intervention in Yemen came as a surprise to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Such a critical act, code-named “Operation Storm of Resolve”  involved coordination with nine other Arab partners, contacts with Pakistan, and the deployment of Arab air power in Saudi Arabia. It could not have gone unnoticed even by the most negligent officer in the U.S. intelligence agencies whose vigilance of the area is one of their top priorities. Moreover, a week or so before the first Saudi wave of attack, the U.S. Administration chose not only to evacuate its diplomats from Aden but also to withdraw a small contingent of Special Forces deployed in the Al-Anad airbase in the vicinity of Aden.

From different accounts relating to the decision-making process that led to the military intervention, it is known that traditional U.S. allies (such as Turkey and Egypt) began to discuss the military coalition at the beginning of March, following the visit to Saudi Arabia by Turkish President Erdogan who expressed his support for the operation. It was no surprise to hear afterwards that Turkey provided logistical support, verbally attacked Iran and called on Iran and the militant groups to withdraw from Yemen.

On March 4, Saudi King Salman pressed Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “boost the number of troops in the kingdom,” the Financial Times1 reported.

The coalition was ultimately created on the weekend preceding the Saudi attack at a meeting held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Incredibly, General Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the U.S. learned the Saudis were going to attack Yemen only one hour before the operation was launched. In other words: the U.S. was taken by surprise and the Saudis had succeeded in their deception plan.2

The Saudis are exasperated by the Obama Administration’s courtship of Iran — the same Iran that supports their enemies in Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Iraq, and claims control of four Arab capitals (Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sana’a). Saudi Arabia decided it was time to draw the line between the main two camps fighting over hegemony in the Middle East (the Iran-led axis versus the moderate-Arab camp led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia) and demanded that the U.S. choose sides in the war.

This may explain why the Saudis discussed with the U.S. different options in Yemen but never went into details about their military intentions. It is evident that the Saudis perceived that the U.S. did not approve of such a move after the Americans expressed reservations about such intervention.

This could explain the low-profile U.S. “logistic and intelligence support” given to the operation. As in the “lead-from-behind” 2011 Libyan war strategy, the U.S. chose to stay “under the radar” to avoid openly associating with the operation it had to accept after the fact as a reality. The U.S. administration, taken by surprise, did not react immediately. Only two days later Obama called the Saudi king to express half-hearted U.S. support.

The Saudi coalition also has another dimension: For the first time since 1948 the Arabs have succeeded in creating a military coalition aimed at an Arab state and not linked to the Arab-Israeli conflict. While Arab armies joined the military coalition in the first Gulf War, the coalition was led by the United States and was built around the American and international forces that took part in the campaign against Saddam Hussein. The Arab forces served more as a fig leaf.

Today, moderate Arab countries have come to the conclusion that they must fight for the survival of their regimes and that terrorism identified with Sunni jihadists and the extremist ideology of Salafi Islam is the main factor for instability. Their scorched earth practices offer fertile ground for the incursion of “heretical” Shiite forces from Iran.

Islamic organizations classified by the different regimes as terrorist groups have become the main target of the moderate regimes. This is the concept at the core of the pan-Arab force to be created as an intervention force to back Arab regimes under attack.

Egyptians have pointed to Libya as being the next target for an Arab military intervention, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for Arab military intervention in Gaza (meaning against the Hamas).

B. Saudis side with Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu!  Now that’s a first!

Excerpted from Haaretz, Israeli Newspaper

Sunday, April 12, 2015 Nisan 23, 5775

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on Tuesday drew cackles from the usual news sites, he garnered support from an unexpected place: Saudi Arabia.

A day after the prime minister declared that the “enemy of my enemy is my enemy,” Faisal J. Abbas of Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned news channel, penned an opinion piece Wednesday calling on U.S. President Obama to listen to Netanyahu on Iran.

“It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does,” wrote Abbas. “However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.”


Twitter: @israelcomment




Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Obama toys with cutting Israel adrift in the Security Council.

By UN Ambassador John Bolton

The Weekly Standard

April 6-13, 2015

The administration leaks suggesting that Israel be cut adrift in the Security Council in effect threatened “collective punishment” as a weapon in U.S.-Israel relations. This is especially ironic coming from “progressives” who have repeatedly accused Israel of “collective punishment” by forcefully retaliating against terrorist attacks. But more important, exposing Israel to the tender mercies of its Security Council opponents harms not only Israel’s interests, but America’s in equal measure. Roughly half of Washington’s Security Council vetoes have been cast against draft resolutions contrary to our Middle East interests.

America’s consistent view since Council Resolution 242 concluded the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is that only the parties themselves can structure a lasting peace. Deviating from that formula would be a radical departure by Obama from a bipartisan Middle East policy nearly half a century old.

In fact, Israel’s “1967 borders” are basically only the 1949 cease-fire lines, but its critics shrink from admitting this tedious reality. The indeterminate status of Israel’s borders from its 1948 creation is in fact a powerful argument why only negotiation with relevant Arab parties can ultimately fix the lines with certainty.

That is why Resolution 242’s “land for peace” formula, vague and elastic though it is, was acceptable to everyone in 1967: There were no hard and fast boundaries to fall back on, no longstanding historical precedents. Prior U.N. resolutions from the 1940s, for example, had all been overtaken by events. Only negotiation, if anything, could leave the parties content; externally imposed terms could only sow future conflicts. Hence, Resolution 242 does not call for a return to the prewar boundaries, but instead affirms the right of “every State in the area” to “secure and recognized boundaries.” Ignoring this fundamental reality is fantasy.

So what drives Obama to conjure his Security Council threat? Obviously, deep antipathy for Netanyahu is one reason. Obama didn’t like Netanyahu before Israel’s recent election, and liked him even less after Bibi’s speech to a joint session of Congress. Hoping to motivate lukewarm or indifferent Likud voters to pump up his election-day support, Netanyahu emphasized his opponents’ efforts to turn out anti-Likud Arab voters, and Obama flayed him for it. Obama also opposed Netanyahu’s pre-election criticism of the “two-state solution” and disdained Netanyahu’s efforts to clarify his comments after he won.

So Obama’s list of complaints about Netanyahu is long and getting longer. But if the criticisms were really about Netanyahu’s campaign tactics, threatening to let slip the dogs of political war in the Security Council would hardly be an appropriate response. Obama’s punishment would simply not fit Netanyahu’s crime.

Far more disturbing, Obama’s post-election statements demonstrate something much deeper than just animosity toward Netanyahu. Obama said that “Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state, but it also, I think, starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country.”

With these comments, Obama is criticizing not just Netanyahu, but the very legitimacy of Israel’s democracy, giving an implicit green light to those prepared to act violently against it. Obama’s remarks are substantially more egregious than Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2014 criticism that Israel’s unwillingness to follow the White House lead in the Palestinian negotiations made it understandable if there were another Palestinian intifada or further efforts by the international “boycotts, sanctions, and divestiture” movement against Israel.

Obama is thus going well beyond acting unpresidential or even immature. Whether one takes his or Netanyahu’s side, the administration’s approach is now squarely contrary to America’s larger strategic interests. And the global harm that will be done to common U.S. and Israeli interests through Security Council resolutions if Washington stands aside (or worse, joins in) will extend far beyond the terms of one prime minister and one president.

Consider the inevitable damage merely from the sort of council resolution threatened by Obama’s leakers. Declaring that a Palestinian state exists outside of Israel’s 1967 boundaries would instantly terminate all bilateral Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy on these central issues. What else would there be to talk about? Resolution 242’s basic premise would be upended; rather than enhancing the role of diplomacy between Israel and the relevant Arab parties, a Palestinian statehood resolution would eliminate it.

The reverberations would echo even wider. Already, Obama’s representatives on the U.N. Human Rights Council declined to defend Israel during the HRC’s annual festival of Israel-bashing, another first from our transformative president.

More seriously, Israel’s “occupation” of West Bank lands would immediately render it in violation of the statehood resolution, thus exposing it to international sanctions, including from the Security Council if Obama continued to stand aside. Prosecutions of Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court would instantly have a jurisdictional basis, and those officials would also be exposed to “universal jurisdiction” statutes that have become all the rage with the international left in recent decades. And won’t the White House be surprised when “Palestine” gains admission to the entire U.N. system, triggering a statutorily required cut-off of U.S. contributions to each agency that admits the new state!

No end of mischief will flow from even one undisciplined Security Council resolution, let alone whatever else Obama is prepared to allow. Obama’s criticisms, with the implied charge of racism not far beneath their surface, have once again brought Israel’s very legitimacy into question. We are all too close to resurrecting the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution. Daniel Patrick Moynihan would not recognize Obama as a president from the Democratic party.

Obama needs reminding that petulance is for teenagers, not presidents. U.S. interests extend beyond personalities and temporary frustrations. As in many other policy areas, Obama’s “l’état, c’est moi” approach is laying foundations for enormous problems both today and long after he leaves office. If anyone wants a convincing argument why national security must be at the very center of America’s 2016 presidential contest, Obama has surely supplied it.

John R. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2005-06.

II  Video Senator Lindsay Graham addressing the US Senate, calling our Barack Obama

03.23 Graham Israel Floor Remarks

Subscribe: Facebook: Twitter: @israelcomment



Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Disclaimer: I am the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

My mother was transported to Auschwitz from her home in the Maramures region of northern Romania and my father fled into the Soviet Union from his eastern Polish town.

So, everything that touches on the Holocaust has special meaning for me.

I grew up with the accented English, the vast unknown past, the sense of loss, human, historical, cultural.

I saw the film WOMEN IN GOLD one or two days after its national release

For the first time since the mid ’70s release of STAR WARS or THE GODFATHER, I had to wait on line.

The showing was sold out as was the showing before it.

WOMAN IN GOLD is the story of a relationship between Maria Altmann, descendant of a prestigious Austrian Jewish family, the Bloch-Bauers and Randol Schoenberg, a young lawyer, descendant of an equally prestigious family, the Schoenbergs and their attempt to obtain restitution of a valuable painting of Ms. Altmann’s aunt by Gustav Klimt one of Austria’s most famous artists.

It is also the story of their attempt to obtain justice from the Austrian government and an acknowledgement of its participation in the Nazi theft.

The leads are portrayed by Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. They are magical.

It is a fantastic film. Cinematically. Narratively. Perfect casting.

For reasons unknown, an early viewing at the Berlin Film Festival was subject to a cruel, almost anti-Semitic review by the international VARIETY critic. He seems to be angry that Ms. Altmann and Mr. Schoenberg had the temerity to sue for Ms. Altmann’s property.

My question if I were to confront this critic would be: Are Jews not allowed to own property? He barely reviews the film while using his “review” as a blog of his political thoughts.

One of the things that many people fail to admit is that the Holocaust was not just a genocide, it was a mad grab for Jewish “things”. It was theft, greed, pure and simple. It was pagan covetousness by the Nazis, the natives, and the neighbors. They stole everything — Candlesticks. Earrings. Factories.   

I remember my mother telling me the following:

Her father had a small factory that made earthenware dishes. He employed native girls to paint flowers on the dishes and sold them all over northern Romania. The family lived in a stone house that had been in the family for over one hundred years. They had large fields and grew some of their own food. They had a horse.

When my grandmother was deported to Auschwitz in June, 1944 she had some diamond jewelry. I am not sure if they were rings or earrings.

As they walked to the train depo she threw them in the fields.

She was dead within two days.

(Above written by Elaine Rosenberg Miller)

(In the meantime  many of her tormentors — craven, masochistic, depraved dregs of humanity escaped from imprisonment and death via  ratlines carefully  organized with the  documented collusion of elements of the Vatican, the Catholic Church and US Army Intelligence!

Ratlines were a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in South America, particularly ArgentinaParaguayBrazilUruguayChile, and Bolivia.

Other destinations included the United States, Great Britain, Canada and the Middle East.

So much for the supposed moral superiority of the Western world.)

Jerome S. Kaufman


Twitter: @israelcomment







Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

By Jerome S. Kaufman

A Bret Baier Special Report was shown on Fox TV, April 2, 2015 6:30 PM immediately after Obama’s glib address to the nation featuring an endless parade of questionable facts and groundless conclusions relative to the supposed nuclear arrangement just completed with Iran.

But, No! It is not even an “arrangement” but just the “outline of a  framework.” This, after months of daily genuflecting to Iran. Furthermore,  it is a “framework” obviously written in saw dust with not a bit of concrete in the mix.

I  Prior to the panel discussion and most revealing , Bret Baier showed a video of Barack Obama Dec. 2013, presenting his criteria for an agreement with Iran at that time.

Obama stated that if Iran were really interested in only a nuclear program for peaceful purposes:

  • It had no need for an underground fortified nuclear facilities at Fordo and  Arak in which to conceal its activities.


  • They also had no need for heavy water nuclear reactors. (Heavy water is the key to one type of reactor in which plutonium can be bred from natural uranium. A nation seeking large quantities of heavy water most likely wishes to use the material to moderate a reactor and most likely planning to produce plutonium.)


  • Advanced centrifuges are also not required for a peaceful nuclear program. They are used to produce enriched uranium made suitable for use in a nuclear weapon. In the meantime, Iran insists that its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes.

These original demands by Obama have somehow been bypassed or watered down with the current “Framework.” Equally as dangerous is the not addressing properly the need for  outside periodic, impromptu inspection and surveillance of these facilities.

Panel experts  Charles Krauthammer and  Jonah Goldberg  both felt that the “framework” Obama had agreed to was a disaster for the United States. It in no way hindered Iran’s nuclear program but in fact, as PM Netanyahu warned on many occasions, enhanced it.  

Iran has no intention of abandoning its nuclear weapon development.  Its  only intent with these negotiations is to promise whatever in order to get the economic sanctions, somewhat in place by the US, EU, UN, removed. Krauthammer stated their economy would then boom and they would have virtually limitless funds for nuclear development and equally important, the diffusion of Islamist terrorism throughout the world. And there is no question that Iran is the main force behind the many awful incidents of unrestrained terror occurring all over the world.

Mara Liasson, the third panelist, went off in a different direction basically stating that this supposed agreement was likely a good political move by Obama theoretically giving the Democrats some argument to defend the absolute disaster that has been his foreign policy. Somehow I find this sort of specious reasoning sickening. Never mind what is good for the United States of America. Rather spin the narrative so it is good for the Democratic Party in the next election.

II Iran Accuses U.S. of Lying About New Nuke Agreement

Says White House (Obama) misleading Congress, American people with his fact sheet

Redacted from an article

BY: Adam Kredo

April 2, 2015 5:40 pm

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Just hours after the announcement of what the United States characterized as a historic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, the country’s leading negotiator lashed out at the Obama administration for lying about the details of a tentative framework.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress in a fact sheet it released following the culmination of negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

Zarif bragged in an earlier press conference with reporters that the United States had tentatively agreed to let it continue the enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb, as well as key nuclear research.

Zarif additionally said Iran would have all nuclear-related sanctions lifted once a final deal is signed and that the country would not be forced to shut down any of its currently operating nuclear installations.

Following a subsequent press conference by Secretary of State John Kerry—and release of a administration fact sheet on Iranian concessions—Zarif lashed out on Twitter over what he dubbed lies.

“The solutions are good for all, as they stand,” he tweeted. “There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on.”

Zarif went on to push back against claims by Kerry that the sanctions relief would be implemented in a phased fashion—and only after Iran verifies that it is not conducting any work on the nuclear weapons front.

Zarif, echoing previous comments, said the United States has promised an immediate termination of sanctions.

“Iran/5+1 Statement: ‘US will cease the application of ALL nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions.’ Is this gradual?” he wrote on Twitter.

He then suggested a correction: “Iran/P5+1 Statement: ‘The EU will TERMINATE the implementation of ALL nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions’. How about this?”

The pushback from Iran’s chief diplomat follows a pattern of similar accusations by senior Iranian political figures after the announcement of previous agreements.

On Thursday evening, Zarif told reporters the latest agreement allows Iran to keep operating its nuclear program.

“None of those measures” that will move to scale back Iran’s program “include closing any of our facilities,” Zarif said. “We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development.”

“Our heavy water reactor will be modernized and we will continue the Fordow facility,” Zarif said. “We will have centrifuges installed in Fordow, but not enriching.”

The move to allow Iran to keep centrifuges at Fordow, a controversial onetime military site, has elicited concern that Tehran could ramp up its nuclear work with ease.

Zarif said that once a final agreement is made, “all U.S. nuclear related secondary sanctions will be terminated,” he said. “This, I think, would be a major step forward.”

Zarif also revealed that Iran will be allowed to sell “enriched uranium” in the international market place and will be “hopefully making some money” from it.

Compiled from various sources by Jerome S. Kaufman

Twitter: @israelcomment




Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: , , ,

Share This Post

Revised from an Israel Commentary article of April 2012

April 1, 2015

By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Published in “Israel Hayom” (Most read daily newspaper in Israel)

March 30, 2012

Passover, and especially the legacy of Moses and the Exodus, has been part of the American story since the seventeenth century, inspiring the American pursuit of liberty, justice and morality.

The special role played by Passover – and the Bible – in shaping the American state of mind constitutes the foundation of the unique relations between the American People and the Jewish State. As important as are the current mutual threats and interests between the US and Israel, the bedrock of the unbreakable US-Israel alliance are permanent values, principles and legacies, such as Passover.

In 1620 and 1630, William Bradford and John Winthrop delivered sermons on the “Mayflower” and “Arbella,” referring to the deliverance from “modern day Egypt and Pharaoh,” to “the crossing of the modern day Red Sea” and to New Zion/Canaan as the destination of the Pilgrims on board.

In 1776, Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense (which cemented public support for the revolution), referred to King George as the “hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh.”

Upon declaration of independence, Benjamin Franklin, the most secular Founding Father, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second third American Presidents, proposed a Passover theme for the official US seal: the Pillar of Fire leading Moses and the Israelites through the Red Sea, while Pharaoh’s chariots drown in the Sea.

The inscription on the seal was supposed to be: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God,” framing the rebellion against the British monarchy as principle-driven. The lessons of the Jewish deliverance from Egyptian bondage reverberated thunderously among the Rebels, who considered the thirteen colonies to be “the modern day Twelve Tribes.”

The 19th century Abolitionists, and the Civil Rights movement from the 1940s to the 1970s, were inspired by the ethos of the Exodus and by the Bible’s opposition to slavery.

In the 1830s, the Liberty Bell, an icon of American independence, was adopted by the Abolitionists, due to its Exodus-inspired inscription: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10).

Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), and her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe (“The Little Rabbi”) were scholars of the Bible and the Exodus.

Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery in 1849 and freed Black slaves on the Underground Railroad, earned the name “Moses.” The 1879/80 Black slaves who ran away to Kansas were called “the Exodusters.” The most famous spiritual, “Go Down, Moses” was considered the National Anthem of Black slaves.

In 1865, following the murder of President Lincoln, most eulogies compared him to Moses. Just like Moses, Lincoln liberated slaves, but was stopped short of the Promised Land. France paid tribute to the martyred Lincoln by erecting the Statue of Liberty, featuring rays of sun and a tablet, just like the glaring Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the Two Tablets of the Ten Commandments.

In 1954, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. compared the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate public schools to the parting of the Red Sea. In 1964, upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King proclaimed: “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself. The Bible tells the thrilling story of how Moses stood in Pharaoh’s court centuries ago and cried, ‘Let my people go.’”

President Reagan mentioned (Reagan at Westminster, 2010) Exodus as the first incident in a long line of Western resistance to tyranny: “Since the exodus from Egypt, historians have written of those who sacrificed and struggled for freedom – the stand at Thermopylae, the revolt of Spartacus, the storming of the Bastille, the Warsaw uprising in World War II.”

In July, 2003, President Bush stated, in Senegal, “In America, enslaved Africans learned the story of the exodus from Egypt, and set their own hearts on a promised land of freedom.”

In March, 2007, President Obama said in Selma, Alabama that the civil rights pioneers were the “Moses generation” and he was part of the “Joshua generation” that would “find our way across the river.”

(What Chutzpa! Obama as Joshua! More confirmation of Obama’s classic narcissism and grandiose posturing) jsk

In 2012, the statue of Moses stares at the Speaker of the House, another statue of Moses towers above the seats of the Supreme Court Justices, a Ten Commandment monument sits on the ground of the Texas State Capitol and a similar monument will be shortly erected on the ground of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

In 2012, the leader of the Free World and its sole soul ally in the Mid-East, Israel, are facing the most lethal threat to liberty since 1945 – conventional and non-conventional Islamic terrorism. Adherence to the legacy of Passover, marshaling the conviction-driven leadership of Moses, and demonstrating the Joshua and Caleb courage and defiance of odds, will once again facilitate the victory of liberty over tyranny.

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative”

Addendum Comments:

On Apr 1, 2012, at 12:12 PM, Cody Flecker wrote:

Actually Uriah P Levy was the first Commodore in the US Navy serving in the war of 1812. His nephew was Jefferson Monroe Levy, and it was he who bought the run down home and estate of Thomas Jefferson (Monticello) at an auction. Jefferson Monroe Levy while not a religious Jew was at best an observant Jew. He was one of the founders of the American Jewish Congress, after the pogroms started in Russia in the latter part of the 19th century. The Admiral that you are referring to was Admiral Rickover who was the father of the modern nuclear fleet.

Judah P Benjamin was the highest elected Jew in the Confederacy 100 years before those honors were again bestowed upon a Jew (Henry Kissinger)


Cody Flecker

Thanks and … How about Benjamin Cardoza, Supreme Court Justice (Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (May 24, 1870 – July 9, 1938) was a well-known American lawyer and associate Supreme Court Justice and actually the first Hispanic on the Court well ahead of the present Far Left Justice Sonia Sotomayer that erroneously declared for that honor.

Haym Solomon was the guy that financed George Washington through the American Revolution.

Admiral Hyman Rickover, Father of US Nuclear Navy  developed nuclear powered submarine, died 1986

So, be very proud and have a sweet Passover.  jsk



Twitter: @israelcomment



Powered by Facebook Comments