Thursday, April 23, 2015

Arlene Kushner on Israel and Yom Haatzmaut

From Arlene Kushner:
April 23, 2015

See the Miracle!

Credit: Jpupdates
Today is Yom Ha’azma’ut – Israel Independence Day.  It is 67 years since Ben Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel, on the Hebrew date of Iyyar 5, which that first year corresponded to May 14.  (Today is only the 4th of Iyyar – celebrations were moved up to avoid Shabbat desecration).
See here the full reading by David Ben Gurion of the Declaration of Independence:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NGO-Monitor: Statement on Amnesty International-UK's Rejection of a Resolution to Campaign against Antisemitism


Press Release 
April 21, 2015  
Contact: Yakira Heller
NGO Monitor
Statement on Amnesty International-UK's Rejection of a Resolution to Campaign against Antisemitism

Jerusalem - Amnesty International-UK's (AIUK) decision to reject a campaign against antisemitism in the UK highlights the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of what was once a leader in human rights advocacy.

On April 19, AIUK held its 2015 Annual General Meeting, and adopted 16 of 17 motions. The only proposed resolution that was rejected called on AIUK to "Campaign against anti-Semitism in the UK," as well as "Lobby the UK Government to tackle the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain" and "monitor anti-semitism closely." According to the motion, "neither AIUK nor the [Amnesty] International Secretariat have undertaken research or campaigning work specifically on anti-Semitism in the UK."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Arlene Kushner on How Congress Managed To Put Onus For Iran Deal on Critics Instead of on Obama

From Arlene Kushner:
April 19, 2015

The Bottom Line

...on the unanimous vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to advance the bill, sponsored by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), which would give Congress the right to review the deal currently being worked out with Iran.

Yes, as I wrote last week, it is a step in the right direction, as Senators are beginning to insist upon their right to be involved in this critical deal.  But it falls short in a very critical respect.

Jonathan Tobin, editor of Commentary, effectively explains this in “The Reverse Iran Deal Ratification Process” (emphasis added):
“...By treating it as a normal act of legislation, the president will be able to veto the measure. That sets up a veto override effort that will force Iran deal critics to get to 67 votes, a veto-proof majority. If that sounds reasonable to you, remember that in doing so the bill creates what is, in effect, a reverse treaty ratification mechanism. Instead of the president needing a two-thirds majority to enact the most significant foreign treaty the United States has signed in more than a generation, he will need only one-third of the Senate plus one to get his way.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NGO Monitor Statement on BDS Law Decision in the High Court

Press Release
April 16, 2015
Contact: Yakira Heller
NGO Monitor

Jerusalem - The decision of Israel's High Court of Justice (April 15) to uphold the central provisions of the "Anti-Boycott Law" marks an important milestone in the response to political warfare. This complex and carefully reasoned decision highlights and places limitations on activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that pursue boycott campaigns in Europe and America, using false and distorted legal and factual claims. These discriminatory economic attacks are central to the "Durban Strategy" (adopted in the NGO Forum of 2001 UN Durban Conference) of demonizing and isolating Israel through BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), lawfare (legal attacks), and other strategies.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Is Watered Down Corker-Menendez Bill A Concession To Obama Or Victory For Congress? Media Claims Latter

The Israel Project sent out an email today on the messaging battle that is going on between the White House and the Senate over the Obama administration dropping its threat to veto the Corker-Menendez bill, legislation that would boost Congressional oversight over any Iran deal.
Spokesman Josh Earnest made the announcement at yesterday's press briefing, just as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was convening for what would be a 19-0 vote in favor of the bill. The declaration reversed months of explicit administration threats to veto legislation that would give Congress an expanded voice in Iran negotiations.

The White House spin was that Corker-Menendez had been substantively hollowed out by a morning compromise between Sens. Corker and Cardin, so that had become acceptable. The bills' supporters countered that the core oversight requirements remained intact, and that the administration caved because it knew a veto would be overridden. Corker on Twitter: "The simple fact is that the White House dropped its veto threat because they weren’t going to have the votes to sustain a veto" [1].


The subsequent news cycle did not reflect the White House's messaging:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

David Goldman on: Why Don't Americans Trust Republicans on Foreign Policy?

The following by David P. Goldman is reposted here with permission of The Middle East Forum:

Why Don't Americans Trust Republicans on Foreign Policy?

by David P. Goldman
PJ Media
April 11, 2015

Riddle me this, fellow Republicans. An NBC survey April 9 reports that a huge majority (70%) of Americans doubt that Iran will abide by any agreement to limit its nuclear arms–but a majority (54%) still think Obama will do a better job than the Republicans in dealing with Iran!
A majority of Americans – 54 percent – trust Barack Obama to do a better job handling an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, compared to 42 percent who say they trust the Republicans in Congress. But nearly 7 in 10 Americans say that Iran is not likely to abide by the agreement that has been reached.
Fifty-three percent think Iranian nukes are a "major threat," and only 37% think they are a "minor threat." Most Americans, in short, think Iran is a major threat to American security and think that Obama's nuclear deal is a joke–but they still want Obama in charge of the negotiations, not us.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

After Lausanne, Where Does the Agreement/Framework/Understanding With Iran Stand Now?

The New York Times, in reporting an "agreement" implies that whatever is announced will fall short of the original goals going into Lausanne. Instead of having a framework agreement, they'll announce some kind of diplomatic understanding. It will lack the commitments necessary to make it a framework, and the Iranians have refused to allow the parties to call it an agreement.

The Israel Report notes some key things to be on the lookout for as the agreement/framework/understanding is discussed: