Arlene from Israel

I’ve long known that Daniel Greenfield – who formerly posted as “Sultan Knish” – is an incisive, politically-incorrect, “tell-it-as-it-is” writer.  In his latest piece – “Time to Call Obama and Kerry What They Are: Traitors” – he does not disappoint.

Credit: FrontPage Magazine

Greenfield is not one to dance around reality, excusing Obama as someone who just doesn’t get it, or who is too idealistic, or…  He presents facts straight on, and draws his conclusions (emphasis added):

“The last time a feeble leader of a fading nation came bearing ‘Peace in our time,’ a pugnacious controversial right-winger retorted, ‘You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.’ That right-winger went on to lead the United Kingdom against Hitler.

“The latest worthless agreement with a murderous dictatorship is being brandished by John Kerry, a man who instinctively seeks out dishonor the way a pig roots for truffles…

“John Kerry betrayed his uniform and his nation so many times that it became his career. He illegally met with the representatives of the North Vietnamese enemy in Paris and then next year headed to Washington, D.C. where he blasted the American soldiers being murdered by his new friends as rapists and murderers ‘reminiscent of Genghis Khan’…

“Kerry revolted even liberals with his gushing over Syria’s Assad. Now he’s playing the useful idiot for Assad’s bosses in Tehran.

“For almost fifty years, John Kerry has been selling out American interests to the enemy. Iran is his biggest success. The dirty Iran nuke deal is the culmination of his life’s many treasons.

It turns America from an opponent of Iran’s expansionism, terrorism and nuclear weapons program into a key supporter. The international coalition built to stop Iran’s nukes will instead protect its program.

And none of this would have happened without Obama.


“Obama began his rise by pandering to radical leftists on removing Saddam. He urged them to take on Egypt instead, and that’s what he did once in office, orchestrating the takeover of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and across the region. The Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, but Obama had preserved the Iranian regime when it was faced with the Green Revolution. Now Iran is his last best Islamist hope for stopping America in the Middle East.

“Obama and Kerry had both voted against designating Iran’s IRGC terrorist ringleaders who were organizing the murder of American soldiers as a terrorist organization while in the Senate…

Throughout the [negotiating] process they chanted, ‘No deal is better than a bad deal.’ But their deal isn’t just bad. It’s treason.

Obama isn’t Chamberlain. He doesn’t mean well. Kerry isn’t making honest mistakes. They negotiated ineptly with Iran because they are throwing the game. They meant for America to lose all along.

“When Obama negotiates with Republicans, he extracts maximum concessions for the barest minimum. Kerry did the same thing with Israel during the failed attempt at restarting peace negotiations with the PLO. That’s how they treat those they consider their enemies. This is how they treat their friends.

A bad deal wasn’t just better than no deal, it was better than a good deal.

Obama did not go into this to stop Iran from going nuclear. He did it to turn Iran into the axis of the Middle East.

Obama made this deal to cripple American power in the Middle East.

“Iran get[s] to keep its nuclear facilities, its reactors, including the hidden underground fortified Fordow facility which Obama had repeatedly stated was, ‘inconsistent with a peaceful program.’

“The deal gives Iran a ‘peaceful’ nuclear program with an equally peaceful ballistic missile program. It puts into place a complicated inspection regime that can be blocked by Iran and its backers. It turns Iran into the new North Korea and the new Saddam Hussein, lavishing money on it while running future administrations through a cat and mouse game of proving violations by the terrorist regime.

“And Obama made sure the Iran deal was written to make the proof as hard to obtain as possible.

“That hasn’t stopped Obama from lying and claiming that ‘Inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities.’ Meanwhile France’s Foreign Minister, somewhat more accurately put it, ‘The IAEA will be able to gain access to Iran’s military sites, if necessary, under certain conditions’…


“One of the first items on Iran’s shopping list will be Russia’s S300 missile system to keep Israel or a future American administration from taking out Iran’s nuclear program. But Iran is also pursuing ICBMs that can strike at Europe and America. Obama’s decision to phase out the ballistic missile sanctions on Iran will make it easier for Iran to build weapons that can destroy major American cities.

And Iran’s new cash will empower it to fund terrorism in Israel, America and around the world.

“Obama claims to ‘have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons’ by allowing Iran to keep enhancing its nuclear program and rewarding it with ballistic missiles for its ‘peaceful’ intentions. He claims to have negotiated ‘from a position of strength and principle’ when in fact he surrendered to the Iranians on position after position. Tehran negotiated from strength and principle. Obama sold out America

“Obama and Kerry have not made this deal as representatives of the United States, but as representatives of a toxic ideology that views America as the cause of all that is wrong in the world. This is not an agreement that strengthens us and keeps us safe, but an agreement that weakens us and endangers us negotiated by men who believe that a strong Iran is better than a strong America

“Their ideology is not America. It is not American. It is the same poisonous left-wing hatred which led Kerry to the Viet Cong, to the Sandinistas and to Assad. It is the same resentment of America that Obama carried to Cairo, Havana and Tehran. We have met the enemy and he is in the White House.”



I’m not going to pursue a great deal of analysis now on how the Israeli government will make the case against this deal, or how Congress is likely to vote.  It’s too soon for that.  But this must be shared, immediately:

“Aside from removing UN conventional arms embargo on Iran after five years, the nuclear deal signed Tuesday by the P5+1 powers and Iran grants several other questionable concessions to the leading state sponsor of terror, unrelated to its controversial nuclear program.

“The most glaring of these concessions is seen by some as the inclusion of the name Qassem Soleimani on a list of companies and individuals who will have sanctions against them removed as expressly detailed in the deal, reports Yedioth Aharonoth.

Someimani is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander who leads the elite Qods Force, which conducts foreign operations outside of Iran’s borders and directs the Islamic regime’s terrorist activities throughout the world.

“While no clear reason was given as to why Soleimani – who is on the official American terrorist list, and whose Qods Forces have murdered American soldiers in Iraq – had individual sanctions against him removed, the move apparently comes due to the shared fight against Islamic State (ISIS) that Soleimani has been leading in Iraq in parallel to American efforts.

“Indicating the willingness to bend on principles in order to secure an Iranian alliance against [ISIS], US President Barack Obama was revealed to have sent secret letters last October to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenmei asking for cooperation against ISIS, in addition to asking for help in sealing the nuclear deal.

Thanks to the removal of sanctions, the arch-terrorist Soleimani will now be able to travel freely throughout the world, advancing Iran’s terror interests.”


IRGC Quds force head Qassem Soleimani
Credit: Reuters


If there is a glimmer of positive news here, it is that Prime Minister Netanyahu and head of the opposition Yitzhak Herzog have agreed that on the Iran issue it is important to show a united front:

Herzog and Netanyahu (archive)
Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90



Here we have incisive cartoon commentary from Ya’akov Kirschen, creator of Dry Bones:

 Dry Bones cartoon, Kirschen, Iran, agreement,Nukes,America,


I want to remind my readers in America how much depends on you.  You must stand up and be counted in the course of the next 60 days, with regard to your opposition to the Iran deal.  The situation is deadly serious and passivity is not an acceptable option.

For those in the NY area:

Watch for rallies in other parts of the country, as well.


EMET – The Endowment for Middle East Truth – which does lobbying in Congress, is urging contacts with Senators and Congresspersons.  You are being asked by EMET to fill out a form that will allow them to arrange crucial meetings in the Capitol.



Obama Joins Grant As “Unconditional Surrender” President

By: Col. Tom Snodgrass (Ret.)
Right Side News

Grant Demanded “Unconditional Surrender” Of The Enemy, While Obama Capitulated In An “Unconditional Surrender” To The Enemy

Obama’s Red Lines

Over a period of three years the Obama regime drew a series of bright “red lines” that it pretentiously and periodically announced to the U.S. public to reassure the American people that Obama was firmly committed to preventing the Iranian Shia Mullocracy from acquiring nuclear weapons that would vault their Twelver jihadist mission into the forefront of world threats to civilization. The red lines that Obama assured Americans would prevent the Iranian Islamic theocracy included

  1. Dismantling of Iran’s Nuclear Program
  2. Denying Iran’s “right” to Enrich Uranium
  3. Closing the underground, fortified Fordow Enrichment Facility
  4. Closing the Arak Heavy Water Reactor
  5. Reveal past work on the “Possible Military Dimensions” of Iran’s Nuclear Program
  6. Completely preclude Iran’s Breakout Capacity
  7. Give Sanctions Relief under the deal only after Iran’s Nuclear Program has been dismantled
  8. Sanctions Enforcement will be re-imposed if violations are detected
  9. Iran’s Breakout Time will be reduced to zero
  10. Containment vs. Prevention: Obama completely ruled out Containment, stating that only Prevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons was the acceptable outcome
  11. The Risk of Regional Proliferation will be drastically reduced
  12. Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program will be curtailed by a subsequent comprehensive agreement
  13. The Nature of the Iranian Regime would change to be a very successful regional power that would also be abiding by international norms and international rules
Iran nuclear program
Click on Interactive Map provided by the Institute for Science and International Security

Obama’s Unconditional Surrender To Iran

Not one of the 1-12 red lines survived the the negotiations to go into force under the deal that Obama ultimately approved.


Obviously red line #13 will never come to fruition as long as the Iranian Shia Mullocracy remains in power. Aside from the fact that #13 was totally unrealistic, the nature of the Iranian Islamic theocracy exists exclusively to implement the Shia Twelver jihadist mission, which involves dominating the world, not cooperating with it.

Obama’s unconditional surrender has considerably enabled the Iranian Shia Mullocracy to begin constructing their nuclear jihad tools unhampered by those it intends to dominate.


The Horrific Made Real

Arlene from Israel

Until the end there was doubt that this would actually happen. But it happened.  Heaven help us now.  The fools who were negotiating in Vienna have reached an agreement.  And look how happy they appear, after the crushing damage they have fomented. (Of course Zarif of Iran, who is laughing the hardest, would be ecstatically happy.)

Iran nuclear deal
Credit: Reuters


I share here some basics of the agreement, as described by Omri Ceren of The Israel Project (with my bolded emphasis added):

(1) The Iranian nuclear program will be placed under international sponsorship for R&D – A few weeks ago the AP leaked parts of an annex confirming that a major power would be working with the Iranians to develop next-generation centrifuge technology at the Fordow underground military enrichment bunker. Technically the work won’t be on nuclear material, but the AP noted that “isotope production uses the same technology as enrichment and can be quickly re-engineered to enriching uranium.” The administration had once promised Congress that Iran would be forced to dismantle its centrifuge program. The Iranians refused, so the administration conceded that the Iranians would be allowed to keep their existing centrifuges. Now the international community will be actively sponsoring the development of Iranian nuclear technology. And since the work will be overseen by a great power, it will be off-limits to the kind of sabotage that has kept the Iranian nuclear program in check until now.

(2) The sanctions regime will be shredded – the AP revealed at the beginning of June that the vast majority of the domestic U.S. sanctions regime will be dismantled. The Lausanne factsheet – which played a key role in dampening Congressional criticism to American concessions – had explicitly stated “U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.” That turns out to have been false. Instead the administration will redefine non-nuclear sanctions as nuclear, so that it can lift them

(3) The U.S. collapsed on the arms embargoJust a week ago Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking.” Now multiple outlets have confirmed that the embargo on conventional weapons will be lifted no later than 5 years from now, and that the embargo on ballistic missiles will expire in 8 years. No one in the region is going to wait for those embargoes to expire: they’ll rush to build up their stockpiles in anticipation of the sunset.

(4) The U.S. collapsed on anytime-anywhere inspectionsThe IAEA will get to request access to sensitive sites, the Iranians will get to say no, and then there will be an arbitration board that includes Iran as a member. This concession is particularly damaging politically and substantively because the administration long ago went all-in on verification. The original goal of the talks was to make the Iranians take physical actions that would prevent them from going nuclear if they wanted to: dismantling centrifuges, shuttering facilities, etc. The Iranians said no to those demands, and the Americans backed off. The fallback position relied 100% on verification: yes the Iranians would be physically able to cheat, the argument went, but the cheating would be detected because of an anytime-anywhere inspection regime. That is not what the Americans are bringing home.


Last night, Ceren, who was in Vienna, was interviewed on Voice of Israel.  He referred to the deal as a “staggering, staggering failure of US diplomacy, and a staggering failure of US leadership.”


You can see more on the deal as a Western catastrophe in the op-ed by Times of Israel editor David Horovitz:



President Obama’s speech today, celebrating the end of the deal, is so filled with lies and misrepresentations it is difficult to know where to begin:

“…the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change, change that makes our country and the world safer and more secure…

“Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region. Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.

“This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework this spring. Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off…”


If you have been tracking the breathtaking concessions made by the US, either via my posts or elsewhere, you can identify the whoppers for yourself.  But let me take one very obvious example here:  He says, “we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region [the Middle East]. Quite the contrary is the case.

As the Jewish Policy Center explains:

“We have not. Far from providing for better arms control, the deal will encourage Sunni powers in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to reconsider their own nuclear programs, shredding the international non-proliferation protocol. The region will become increasingly unstable.”



Prime Minister Netanyahu calls the deal a “stunning historical mistake.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the press following the nuclear deal with Iran, at the PM's Office in Jerusalem, on July 14, 2015. (Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90

In his statement today, he said (emphasis added):

The world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday.

The leading international powers have bet our collective future on a deal with the foremost sponsor of international terrorism. They’ve gambled that in ten years’ time, Iran’s terrorist regime will change while removing any incentive for it to do so. In fact, the deal gives Iran every incentive not to change.

In the coming decade, the deal will reward Iran, the terrorist regime in Tehran, with hundreds of billions of dollars. This cash bonanza will fuel Iran’s terrorism worldwide, its aggression in the region and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing.

Amazingly, this bad deal does not require Iran to cease its aggressive behavior in any way

“In addition to filling Iran’s terror war chest, this deal repeats the mistakes made with North Korea.

“There too we were assured that inspections and verifications would prevent a rogue regime from developing nuclear weapons.

“And we all know how that ended.

“The bottom line of this very bad deal is exactly what Iran’s President Rouhani said today: ‘The international community is removing the sanctions and Iran is keeping its nuclear program.’

“By not dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, in a decade this deal will give an unreformed, unrepentant and far richer terrorist regime the capacity to produce many nuclear bombs, in fact an entire nuclear arsenal with the means to deliver it.”


Netanyahu added:

Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran and Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction.

We will always defend ourselves.”


The Security Cabinet has met and unanimously voted to reject the terms of the agreement, and stands by Israel’s right to defend herself.


And here we come to one essential aspect of what will now follow.  There is a great deal of discussion regarding whether Israel can hit Iran, and whether Israel will opt to do so.

There are those who say declarations by Israel’s leaders are just bluff.  I’m not sure that is true (see below), but those who call these words “bluff” are missing a very essential point: If Iran knows Israel is watching, and Iran is not sure if Israel is bluffing, the situation has a certain inhibiting effect on Iran’s behavior.  This has already been demonstrated.

But in any event, as I said, we do not know that Israel is bluffing.

Military analyst Yaakov Lappin says that Israel will continue to develop means for attacking Iran, as long as Iran remains a threat: the military option is not off the table.  However, it is only an attempt by Iran to break through to nuclear capability that would trigger an attack.



An attempt by Iran to break through remains a possibility because, historically, Iran cheats, and now the monitoring is sorely insufficient.

See this video of an interview of Naftali Bennett by BBC.  He makes the point exceedingly well of how insufficient monitoring will be under the agreement:



A statement by MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Likud), Chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, reinforces the view presented by Lappin: Israel’s ability to attack is independent, he says.  [I.e., no one controls us.]  We won’t attack if they don’t cheat. “And we know that this entire program is based on fraud and deceit that the world is now accepting.”



Netanyahu has been saying that he never promised he could stop this agreement, as the Western leaders were determined to go forward with it.

What he has promised, he says, and that promise stands, is not to let Iran go nuclear.  Lappin’s analysis gives teeth to this commitment. The capability of hitting Iran’s nuclear facilities is one Israel has no intention of forfeiting, Lappin says.


What I find more than a bit astounding is that in spite of widespread understanding in many quarters that the Iranian deal is badly flawed and dangerous, in all the world, Prime Minister Netanyahu is the only head of state who is speaking out forcefully.

In this, I believe he merits our whole-hearted support.

There are others, such as heads of the Sunni Arab states, who are truly horrified.  But they are opting for a deafening silence.


The next focus of attention is Washington DC and Congress – which has 60 days now to review the deal.  The president has already said he will veto a negative vote. We knew this going in.

Israel has plans to speak with Congressional leaders and to bring the case for rejection of the deal to the American people.  The hope is that the deal can be stopped.

According to some sources, Obama, for his part, now plans a charm offensive: he will invite Netanyahu to the White House, offer arms, etc., in an attempt to sway Netanyahu to accept the deal without campaigning against.  Make it worth Israel’s while, that is.

I do not expect this will work.

I’ve even read commentary that suggests that Netanyahu might secure guarantees from the US that if Iran attacked Israel, the U.S. would provide defense. Trust the U.S. to defend us?  Get real.

I will return to this diplomatic situation, as it plays out, several times over, I am certain.


Bone Weary

Arlene from Israel

Anyone who is tracking the news these days, and genuinely cares for the security of Israel and the future of the US – not to mention Europe and the Mideast – has got to have an extremely heavy heart.  We are facing some very dark times.

With regard to Israel, serious thinkers are pondering the best way to survive the 22 months until Obama is out of office.  But the problem is actually a great deal bigger than the issue of how Obama is behaving towards Israel – as much as this remains huge for us here.


Obama.  In addition to his irrational and venomous attacks on Israel, there is his courting of Iran.  One is the flip side of the other: Alienate Israel, buddy up to Iran.

We are now a mere two days away from the presumed deadline on a signed framework deal between Iran and P5 + 1.  (In reality this is a negotiation between Iran and the US, as the other negotiating partners, with the exception of France, have largely pulled back.)  How likely it is that a deal really will take place depends on whom you ask.  What is clear is that Obama – and Kerry, operating in his stead – are doing all they can to achieve this “diplomatic success.”

Because of Obama’s eagerness, what we are seeing is the stuff of nightmares.  Definitely nightmares, as it’s hard to believe this could be happening in the light of day.  The Iranians – recognizing very well with whom they are dealing – have consistently stonewalled on US demands.  Last Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal broke with a story on yet another US pullback, each in turn design to conciliate the Iranians (emphasis added):

Talks over Iran’s nuclear program have hit a stumbling block a week before a key deadline because Tehran has failed to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past, say people close to the negotiations.

“In response, these people say, the U.S. and its diplomatic partners are revising their demands on Iran to address these concerns before they agree to finalize a nuclear deal, which would repeal U.N. sanctions against the country.”


The issue is “possible military dimensions” (PMD).  As Omri Ceren of The Israel Project has explained (emphasis added):

“PMD disclosure is about base-lining all of Iran’s nuclear activities – not just its known civilian parts – as a prerequisite for verifying that those activities have been halted under a nuclear deal. Iran has uranium mines; some are civilian and some are military. It has centrifuges; some are operated by civilians and some by IRGC personnel. It has uranium stockpiles; some are maintained by civilians and some by the military. There’s no way for future inspectors to verify that Iran has shuttered its mines, stopped its centrifuges, and shipped off its stockpile – for instance – unless the IAEA knows where all the mines and stockpiles are.

“No PMDs mean no verification.”


And there’s more.  On Thursday, AP reported (emphasis added):

The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites…”


As Ceri explains here (emphasis added):

“Allowing the Iranians to enrich at Fordow means they could kick out inspectors at any time and have a fully-functioning enrichment facility hardened against military intervention. Since sanctions will be unraveled by design at the beginning of a deal, that means the West would have literally zero options to stop a breakout…

“The White House started out promising that Fordow would be shuttered, then that it would be converted into an R&D plant where no enrichment would take place, and now they’ve collapsed.”


Add to the above the fact that the US is ignoring the violent hegemonic encroachment of Iranian proxies across various areas of the Middle East – as if it were only the issue of nuclear capacity that must be dealt with.

There are, of course, Syrian president Assad, and Iranian proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon (and Syria).  But most recently what we’ve seen is the takeover of Yemen by the Shiite Houthis, also supported by Iran.  Houthi control of Yemen has enormous importance because of its strategic location, adjacent to Saudi Arabia.  From the Yemenite port city of Aden, the straits of Bab el-Mandeb, which are only about 20 miles wide, can be controlled.  The straits constitute a major chokepoint – so the party that controls the area has the capacity to block marine traffic from the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.8 million barrels of oil and refined petroleum products pass through the straits daily on their way to destinations in Asia, Europe and the US.

This is before we mention that increased Iranian backed presence in the Middle East is worrisome to Israel.

But the US is not paying a whole lot of attention. US special forces fled Yemen a while ago, and US negotiators are not raising this issue.  There are commentators who believe that the US should have walked out on negotiations until Iran withdrew support for the Houthis.  But that might have jeopardized the deal, which has first priority for Obama – the rest of the world be damned.


You want to know how crazy it is?  While Obama is promoting diplomatic ties with Iran and “reaching out” to the Iranians, we can see in a MEMRI video that Iranian leader Khamenei cries “Death to America.”



Amir Hossein Motaghi is an Iranian journalist who was supposed to be covering the negotiations, but has defected because he could not longer tolerate Iranian demands that he write his reports according to their specifications.

In a TV interview, he has now said:

The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”


If this does not blow your mind, you are not getting it.


What I really cannot grasp – even beyond the question of how a man such as Obama secured two terms in the White House – is why the other negotiating nations are being so passive, when Iran is a threat to them, or why the American people are not truly up in arms (meant figuratively here).


There are just a small number of possible recourses with regard to this situation:

The first is the US Congress, many of whose members – Republicans, but a handful of Democrats as well – indeed are grievously distressed by what is going on.  What is required is a sufficient number of votes in the Senate to over-ride a veto by Obama, so that sanctions to weaken Iran can be put in place appropriately. We are seeing signs that this may be possible.

“The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Thursday for a non-binding amendment to a budget bill intended to make it easier to re-impose sanctions if Iran violates a nuclear deal.

“The vote was 100-0 for the amendment, sponsored by Republican Senator Mark Kirk, which would establish a fund to cover the cost of imposing sanctions if Tehran violated terms of an interim nuclear agreement now in effect, or the final agreement negotiators hope to reach before July.”



And then there is Israel.

According to Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) there is time between the signing of a framework agreement now and the final agreement in June – at which point details would be factored in – when diplomatic maneuvering can still be done.  This would involve, it seems to me, key communication with France first – as France has the greatest unease about what is taking place.

Beyond this, there is the military option, with the moment of truth advancing rapidly.  We are now probably past the 11th hour, perhaps at about 15 minutes to midnight.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, again and again, that he will never permit Iran to become a nuclear power. He has also made it clear that Israel is not bound by the terms of a very bad P5 + 1 deal with Iran.

Just today, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a close Netanyahu associate, declared on public radio that Israel “will not be bound by an accord concluded by others and will know how to defend itself.” (Emphasis added)


What our government will do in the end, and what our military is capable of doing, remains to be seen.  Israel cannot take out Iran’s capacity for nuclear development entirely – but can, as I understand it, do considerable damage.

The scuttlebutt is that Netanyahu wants to attack, although I know people who are convinced he never will. (Please, do not write to share opinions on this.)  Some months ago, information was revealed indicating that at one point Defense Minister Ya’alon was opposed to an attack but has now changed his mind.

A key factor here is the readiness of Saudi Arabia, which is absolutely enraged with Obama’s inaction on Iran, to lend passive assistance, at a minimum, should Israel decide to attack. The Saudis would be delighted – make no mistake about this.  This assistance might make a difference in the end.  Because the other piece of the story is that Obama is trying his best to track Israeli intentions and to block us.


Leon Panetta – former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense under Obama, gave an interview to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC three days ago that merits mention here. Put simply, what he said was that he learned at the CIA and Defense that “The Iranians can’t be trusted.”

This is the bottom line.  Said Panetta (emphasis added):

“…the real test is going to be, and the whole world will be looking at it — the test will be have we truly made sure that Iran can be stopped from developing a nuclear weapon. And to do that in my book demands transparency and it demands accessibility so that we have a firm inspection regime that will guarantee they cannot do this.”


Precisely! And that is never, ever going to happen.


I recently encountered an article that asked, in its lead: Which side is Obama on?  That, my friends, is a rhetorical question.  It is clear that he is on Iran’s side.

That being the case, it is inevitable that the president would come down on Netanyahu in every way possible.  He wants to discredit him, and weaken him, and delegitimize his position, for Netanyahu is the key stumbling block to what he is trying to achieve.  There is no way for Bibi to make it “right” with Obama. It’s not really about the negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs or other related issues.

And facing the truth straight on also helps explain why Obama worked so hard behind the scenes to defeat Netanyahu in the elections, and why he is so frustrated now.


Just a moment here, then, to look at what is happening at home.  I wrote last week about the apparent halting of building scheduled for Har Homa in Jerusalem (and indeed I’ve received no information that it was anything else such as a bureaucratic mix-up).  That did not sit well.  Since I wrote about that, information has surfaced about Israel agreeing to release to the Palestinian Authority tax monies that had been collected – with some held back against money owed to Israel for electricity and other services.  On top of this, there is apparently a deal for Israel to sell gas to Gaza, with Qatar paying the bill.

This did not sound good.  Really not good. Certainly at first blush it looks like a caving to Obama under pressure, because there is so much talk about Israel’s “readiness’ for a “two state” deal.

But that’s at first blush, and I’ve been struggling with this long and hard over the last couple of days. Because there is another way to look at this.  If Netanyahu is making concessions to please Obama it is the height of foolishness, a terrible weakness, as nothing will please Obama where we are concerned.  The only way to respond to him is with strength.  Anything that smacks of weakness will simply invite more pressure.

But suppose Netanyahu is doing this to remove some of the poison spewed by Obama (Netanyahu is a racist, he does not want peace, etc.), in order to deal more placidly with others? Suppose he wants to approach Democrats in Congress conveying the image of someone who is willing to compromise for peace, so that they will hear him on Iran?  Suppose he wants to speak with French leaders – who are eager for “two states” – from a position that will make them more amenable to his message? Or with other European countries?  Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz suggests several nations are uneasy about the deal.

In light of the enormous weight of what our prime minister has to deal with, I prefer to cut him some slack here, for the moment, and see how the situation evolves. Today he told the Cabinet:

“This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that.”



I had hoped to discuss some matters related to the formation of the coalition here, but will table this.  Before closing, I want simply to look at a couple of relative bright spots in an otherwise grim picture.

Saudi Arabia, alarmed by the Houthi take-over in Yemen, and absolutely furious at Obama for opting out of involvement, decided to act, in concert with other Sunni allies.  This was promising, as the Iranian takeover by proxy in Yemen is being pushed back as a result of Saudi airstrikes that are being hailed a success. There is further talk of ground forces in Yemen, although my information is that it will not be necessary, as there are tribal groups in Yemen that are ready to act on the ground against the Houthis.

Even further, the Arab League, at the closure of a meeting in Egypt, has announced in principle the creation of a joint Arab rapid response force. Egypt, which would be a prime mover in the establishment of such a force, declared that it would consist of some 40,000 elite troops, backed by jets, warships and light armor.  What this means is that even though the US has totally abdicated its role of confronting Iranian regional aggression, there are Sunni Arab states presumably ready to step up, lest the feared and detested Iran take over the region.



Then see this report that says Hezbollah – operating at the behest of Iran – has been stopped by paramilitary rebel forces from establishing a major presence on the Golan directly adjacent to the Israeli border.