Tuesday, July 28, 2015

From Ian:

Overwhelming Israeli Opposition Strongest Sign Iran Deal Is A Bad One
No country has more to lose from a military confrontation with Iran than Israel — and no country has more to gain than Israel from a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.
And yet, an overwhelming majority in the Jewish State views the Iran deal as a catastrophic mistake, one that potentially threatens the country’s very existence. This reality alone should make you think twice about the Obama administration’s claim that it negotiated a strong deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Critics of Israel’s position on the Iran deal are often quick to paint Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a warmonger. But why would Netanyahu be anxious for a military confrontation? Israel would likely be the main target of any Iranian response to a strike on its nuclear program, even if the attack was conducted by the United States. With Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah armed with an estimated 100,000 rockets in southern Lebanon, the consequences of an Iranian retaliation could be very grave for the Jewish State.
Conversely, Israel would benefit most from a deal with Iran that actually prevented the Islamic Republic from being able to obtain nuclear weapons capability. A good deal would eliminate the threat of an apocalyptically anti-Semitic regime being able to gain the means to make its genocidal dreams a reality. At the same time, a good deal would remove the need for a possible military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities that could precipitate a bloody confrontation between Israel and Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah.
 Jennifer Rubin: Blaming failure of a rotten deal on Israel?!
Kerry does not “fear” Israel would be blamed; he is threatening to blame Israel if U.S. lawmakers decide that the deal is not in the interests of the United States. Not only is he inciting anti-Israel fervor, but he also is repeating another canard, namely that Israel controls Congress. In doing all this, the administration echoes ancient tropes against the Jews and not-so-ancient ones against an Israeli government that won’t meekly assent to its death.
The administration sounds more unhinged with each passing day, no doubt because it is not convincing Democrats to stand with the White House in defense of a rotten deal. In particular, many lawmakers who insisted on disclosure of the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program are learning it won’t be in the dealIn other words, the administration caved on PMDs and the deal would go into effect without ever forcing Iran to disclose information necessary to conduct adequate inspections. (“Outside nuclear experts said understanding Iran’s past nuclear work was critical to verifying the new agreement because it establishes a baseline for what Tehran has done in the past.”) Democrats who insisted on a credible inspection process and know that it depends on our understanding of Iran’s past nuclear weapons program have a choice: Cave (as the president did, thereby sacrificing their own credibility) or insist the president go back (with additional leverage in the form of new sanctions) to obtain what Kerry once promised he would get.
No wonder the administration is throwing a fit, louder and more overtly anti-Israel with each passing day. The president and his advisers desperately want to divert attention from their own grossly defective deal — and blame Israel if it fails. Nothing could be more revealing of the deal’s weakness and the Obama administration’s hostility to Israel than the manner in which it is defending the deal.
Can @TheTimes cite examples of Bibi saying he ‘opposed’ Iran negotiations? #IranDeal
In a July 28th article (Huckabee likens Iran deal to Holocaust), Times of London Middle East reporter Hugh Tomlinson claimed that Israel’s prime minister not only opposes the current Iran nuclear deal, but actually has opposed negotiations with Iran altogether.
Here’s the relevant passage, in the penultimate paragraph of the article.
Congress has two months in which to review the Vienna accord before voting to accept or reject it. Israel, which bitterly opposed negotiations with Iran from the outset, has been lobbying Congress for months in an attempt to block the deal.
Given that serious negotiations with Iran date back to 2009, Tomlinson is in effect saying that Binyamin Netanyahu has “bitterly opposed negotiations with Iran from the outset”. Indeed, Tomlinson has made this same claim on at least one other occasion.
However, as CAMERA has demonstrated, despite some media claims echoing Tomlinson’s take on Netanyahu’s position, the fact is that the prime minister has consistently supported negotiations with Iran, albeit one which achieved ‘a better deal’ than the one the six world powers have been prepared to accept.
A Washington Official, and the Washington Post, Fabricate Israeli Praise for the Iran Deal
The Post's headline promises a discussion of Israelis who feel the deal is "good" for their country. And the article goes on to name four prominent Israeli security experts. The message for readers, then, is that even if Israel's government and the largest opposition party are united against the deal — an inconvenient reality for the deal's advocates in the American government and the media, who normally can find allies among Israeli politicians who are so often at each other's throats — at least those in the know understand how truly good the agreement is.
Except it isn't true. Let's look at the security experts named in the piece:
Tharoor first mentions Ami Ayalon, a former head of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, and links to a Daily Beast piece entitled "Ex-Intel Chief: Iran Deal Good for Israel."
Unfortunately for Tharoor (and for Daily Beast commentator Jonathan Alter), Ayalon, who begrudgingly supports the deal because it is "the best plan currently on the table" and because he believes there are no available alternatives, nonetheless has said in no uncertain terms, "I think the deal is bad. It's not good."
Tharoor then cites former intelligence chief Efraim Halevy, but strangely links to an Op-Ed Halevy wrote after a framework agreement was finalized in Lausanne last April but before the details of this final deal were agreed upon in Vienna this month. In a more recent (and thus relevant) Op-Ed, Halevy described what he sees as several strong points in the agreement and concludes that it is "important to hold a profound debate in Israel on whether no agreement is preferable to an agreement which includes components that are crucial for Israel's security."
He didn't explicitly state which side of the debate he favors, although there is a sense that leans toward the idea that Israel must get behind the deal. But like Ayalon, his tepid defense of the deal, if it is even that, seems to hinge on the idea that this agreement makes the emergence of any other, better deals unrealistic. "There will be no other agreement and no other negotiations," Halevy says in his recent Op-Ed.

The Iran Deal and the Rut of History
This accord will strengthen a contemptible regime. And so I propose—futilely, I know—that now, in the aftermath of the accord, America proceed to weaken it. The conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action should be accompanied by a resumption of our hostility to the Iranian regime and its various forces. Diplomats like to say that you talk with your enemies. They are right. And we have talked with them. But they are still our enemies. This is the hour not for a fresh start but for a renovation of principle. We need to restore democratization to its pride of place among the priorities of our foreign policy and oppress the theocrats in Tehran everywhere with expressions, in word and in deed, of our implacable hostility to their war on their own people. We need to support the dissidents in any way we can, not least so that they do not feel abandoned and alone, and tiresomely demand the release of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi from the house arrest in which they have been sealed since the crackdown in 2009. (And how in good conscience could we have proceeded with the negotiations while the American journalist Jason Rezaian was a captive in an Iranian jail? Many years ago, when I studied the Dreyfus affair, I learned that there are times when an injustice to only one man deserves to bring things to a halt.) We need to despise the regime loudly and regularly, and damage its international position as fiercely and imaginatively as we can, for its desire to exterminate Israel. We need to arm the enemies of Iran in Syria and Iraq, and for many reasons. (In Syria, we have so far prepared 60 fighters: America is back!) We need to explore, with diplomatic daring, an American-sponsored alliance between Israel and the Sunni states, which are now experiencing an unprecedented convergence of interests.
But we will do none of this. We will instead persist in letting the fire spread and letting time tell, which we call realism. Wanting not to fight wars, we refuse to join struggles. Sometimes, I guess, history really is a rut.
 Obama's Gamble with Iran's Theocratic Regime
Obama's Iran deal is a direct manifestation of the President's fundamentally misguided worldview, one that wishes away danger and then believes in the wishes.
Even more concerning is that the Iran deal may directly conflict with U.S. obligations as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Iran deal may be unconstitutional, violate international law and feature commitments that President Obama could not otherwise lawfully make. By seeking approval of the deal under the UN Security Council, Obama has bound the U.S. under international law without Senate consent.
The gravest consequence of Obama's Iran deal is that the world bestowed ideological legitimacy on the Islamic Republic's radical theocracy, and in so doing has consigned the people of Iran to near permanent rule under the iron fist of Shi'a Islamism.
A total reversal of the Iranian regime's behavior should have been, and still can be, a precondition for the removal of any sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program. An end to Iran's financial and materiel support for terrorist forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas must be demanded, along with the return of the four American hostages Iran is holding.
There is still time for a better deal that can be had.
Iran Deal: $150 Billion to Fund Obama's War
The Iran deal does not prevent a nuclear Iran. At best, it only delays it a few years.
Under the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, $150 billion would go to a single regime that has been a state sponsor of terrorism for the entire 36 years of its existence.
The Iran deal, in five years, will actually lift a ban on sending Iran conventional weapons, including (in eight years) intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States. But Iran is already wasting no time buying weapons and producing weapons on its own.
When Obama leaves office, he may think that any catastrophe the Iran deal causes will not "technically" be his, but the next president's. But it is his. It's as if someone is lighting a long fuse and will then say he was not near the dynamite when it went off. Any explosions that result from this huge military and financial payday to Iran will, and should, be known as "Obama's war."
Obama Knows Iran will Use its Nukes on Israel
At first, Obama said we couldn’t talk about his Iranian Nuke Deal unless it was finalized. Then, Obama said we couldn’t talk about his Iranian Nuke Deal unless we read it all - and simply didn’t disclose all of his side-deals. Now, he says Mike Huckabee’s comparison of shipping the Jews of Israel to the new ovens of the Iranian Auschwitz-Nuke is “ridiculous.”
Perhaps Obama wants to wait until Iran nukes Israel for it to be politically correct to call Iran’s wiping Israel off the map a “Holocaust.” But, make no mistake, Obama knows full well that Iran intends to wipe Israel off the map with its Obama-blessed Nukes.
Come on, does anyone (except the American left-wing cool-aid drinking Jews) really believe that Iran will abide by their “voluntary” protocols under the Vienna announcement? Of course not! Are Obama or any of the European Union leaders so rank stupid and naïve that they think Iran won’t build a bomb just like North Korea? Does anyone not know that one of Iran’s first targets will be to annihilate Israel?
Of course Obama knows Iran will seek to annihilate Israel, so that must be what Obama wants.
Grassroots Activism May Very Well Kill the Iran Deal
The rally organizers are assisting with grassroots protests across the country. Protests have been held in Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, and San Diego. And since the success of the Times Square rally, we have heard from people in cities and towns across the country. We are here to help anyone interested in launching a grassroots rally in their hometown. Let us all share these great patriots’ optimism and encourage our fellow Americans to fight for our children and grandchildren.
Jewish sage and scholar, Hillel the Elder, stated millennia ago, “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" Americans have less than 60 days to make their voices heard and to do their part to save the world from a nuclear Iran. Now is the time to stop Obama and the mullahs from leading us to the point of no return.
The Cynical Pollard Release Leak
The past few weeks have confirmed something that was always true about the way the Obama administration wages political battles. There is no stunt too cheap or statement so cynical that the White House won’t employ in order to advance its agenda. That’s the only way to interpret the bizarre Friday afternoon leak to the Wall Street Journal in which ”administration officials” said convicted spy Jonathan Pollard would be released later this year in order to help smooth relations between the U.S. and Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal. Other officials, including the Attorney General, speaking on the record rather than off it, quickly denied the plan. There is a scheduled parole hearing for Pollard in November. Yet there is no assurance that the spy, who will have served 30 years in prison by then, will be released. But either way, the attempt to inject this emotion issue into the already inflamed debate about Iran was a deeply cynical ploy that was clearly aimed at defusing anger about the administration’s efforts to defend a nuclear agreement by isolating Israel and its defenders. Whatever one may think of the merits of the case for clemency for Pollard — and at this point it is a strong one — this issue has no place in the discussion about Iran and should be dismissed out of hand by those seeking to push back against the administration’s efforts to silence its critics.
The Pollard affair has been an irritant in U.S.-Israel relations since his arrest in 1985. As I explained in detail in my March 2011 COMMENTARY article on the issue when Pollard had already been in jail for 25 years, this is a tragic story in which the misconduct of the oath-breaking former U.S. Navy analyst and his Israeli handlers has done great damage both the alliance and to the position of the many loyal American Jews working in the defense establishment that have since then labored under false charges of dual loyalty.
Pollard’s crime was serious, but it is also unprecedented in that no other spy for a friendly country has ever received a punishment anything like the life sentence he received. Those who foolishly labor him a hero have hurt his cause as well as that of Israel since such talk continues to inflame the U.S. intelligence establishment to oppose his release. Indeed, Pollard might well have been released long ago had he and those close to him ever learned to stop trying to defend his indefensible conduct and stuck to the entirely reasonable case to be made about his sentence being unreasonably harsh. But even if we are hearing less about him being a martyr these days, it is far from unlikely that U.S. intelligence will again intervene in the parole process as they have before. But like those of Pollard’s supporters who make improbable claims about the nature of the information he gave illegally transferred to Israel, so, too, do his opponents continue to exaggerate the impact of his spying. What he did was bad enough but there is no reason to believe that his efforts had much impact on the disasters befalling U.S. intelligence at the time. Had it been known at the time of his sentencing that the real source of the problem was a pair of Russian spies (Aldrich Ames at the CIA and the FBI’s Robert Hanssen) it would have been far more difficult for the government or the judge in the case (who threw out a plea bargain to which Pollard had agreed in order to spare the government the problem of a trial) to justify such a draconian sentence.
But regardless of the rights and wrongs of this 30-year ordeal, involving Pollard in the question of the Iran deal would be wrong from the point of view of both U.S. and Israeli security.
Obama eyes next diplomatic steps with Iran
Even as he defends his nuclear deal with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry is speaking more bullishly about partnering with Tehran on a range of crises in the Middle East — at the same time as another top Obama national security official offers a cautionary note about Iran’s future behavior.
“I know that a Middle East that is on fire is going to be more manageable with this [nuclear] deal, and opens more potential for us to be able to try to deal with those fires,” including Syria, Yemen and Iraq, Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations on Friday.
During the nuclear talks, Kerry said, he “tried very hard” to raise other regional issues with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, but the Iranian lacked authority to discuss them. Yet since the deal was struck, Zarif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “have made it clear that, with the agreement, they are prepared to discuss the regional issues,” Kerry added.
Kerry’s comments hint at new strategic planning within the administration about leveraging a changed relationship with Tehran to help stabilize the Middle East. Sources said Kerry also harbors a desire to jump-start the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process, though on that score he may differ with President Barack Obama.
Any optimism is tempered by the sheer complexity of the problems, however — not to mention deep-seated skepticism about Iran’s willingness to moderate its foreign policy.
Close Reading of Nuclear Deal Suggests Iran Has Not Agreed to “Snap-Back” Sanctions at All
The relevant clauses appear twice: Once in section 26, at the very end of the discussion of the US commitment to refrain from re-imposing lifted sanctions or introducing new ones, and then again in section 37, at the very end of the discussion of how Iranian violations will be addressed by the UN. In section 26 it appears as follows:
Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions specified in Annex II, or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.
Later, in section 37, after describing how the UN could reimpose sanctions in the event of Iranian non-compliance, we discover the following:
Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.
The appearance of these clauses in the text raises the following question: If one side states that if the other exercises a described redress in the event of noncompliance, they will see that as “grounds for” pulling out of the deal entirely, isn’t that tantamount to saying they view the reimposition of sanctions as a material breach—and that, in other words, they do not accept, in principle, any reimposition of sanctions under any circumstances?
The suspicion that this is the case, and that the U.S. may even have willingly conceded this point, grows further with a careful reading of the sentences in section 26 that lead up to the clause quoted above.
Why War Isn’t Inevitable If Congress Rejects the Iran Nuclear Deal
Last week Secretary of State John Kerry said bluntly about the Iran deal: “This is a choice between a diplomatic solution and war.” But is that really the case?
Much of the Obama administration’s efforts to sell this accord have involved shackling the public and congressional debate with this binary choice and the horrific consequences should Congress reject the accord and overturn a presidential veto.
The administration’s logic goes something like this: Congress takes the hit for sinking the accord; Iran reaps a huge propaganda victory and divides the world powers with which it has been negotiating for months (the “P5 +1,” or the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany); the sanctions regime collapses; Iran then accelerates its nuclear program; Israel threatens war and attacks if Iran achieves “break out” or nuclear weapon threshold. By this thinking, the U.S. is invariably drawn into war because Iran gets close to a weapon or because we have to support Israel. And if Iran goes to produce an actual weapon, the U.S. could strike Iran directly.
A congressional override of the president’s veto would make it impossible for the president to waive critical oil and banking sanctions against Iran. But would the July 14 deal then be scuttled, with our allies jumping ship on sanctions and Iran then breaking out? War isn’t necessarily what follows from all this. Yes, the odds of resuming negotiations to get a better deal seem unlikely. But so does the prospect of inexorable confrontation.
Half of Americans want Congress to reject Iran deal — poll
A little over half of Americans want Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. Fifty-two percent of respondents said that Congress should reject the agreement, while 44% said Congress should approve it.
The poll showed President Barack Obama’s approval ratings remained more or less constant at 49%, down just 1% from June, while the deal was described by some as his greatest achievement.
The July poll found that the public was split along party lines, with 66% of Republicans saying Congress should reject the deal, and 61% of Democrats saying Congress should approve the deal.
The deal was more favored by younger and college-educated respondents than by older and less educated respondents.
Those for and against the agreement are engaged in a verbal battle to lobby lawmakers.
Understanding the poll of US Jews on the Iran deal
Do you support or oppose this agreement, or don’t know enough to say?” The timing of the poll may raise questions. The interviewing of the 501 respondents began on Thursday, July 16 – barely 24 hours after most people were reading about the Iran deal for the first time. That may not have been sufficient time for the respondents to have familiarized themselves with the details of the agreement. At that early point, many people may have heard President Barack Obama’s remarks when he announced the agreement, but it’s much less likely that they had yet heard any substantive critiques of the deal.
Moreover, a well-known problem in public opinion polling is that some people are embarrassed to admit that they don’t know enough about the subject.
Instead of honestly saying that they don’t know enough to answer, they choose either “support” or “oppose.” If the president of the United States supports it, and they have not yet read enough to know who opposes it or why, they probably would be more inclined to say they support it.
One of the interesting additional findings of the Jewish Journal poll was a sharp split between those American Jews who have visited Israel and those who have not. Those who have visited Israel favor the deal by just 48% to 44% – which is a statistical tie, since it is within the poll’s 6% margin of error.
By contrast, those Jews who have never visited Israel support the agreement by a margin of 58% to 30%.
Kerry announces Mideast trip, skipping Israel
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday announced a trip to the Mideast next week and then Asia, including a stop in Vietnam. Kerry, however, will not visit Israel.
The top US diplomat starts off in Cairo, for the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue on Sunday.
He then goes to Doha, Qatar, to meet with foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
Kerry will also travel to the Southeast Asian city state of Singapore, where he will deliver a speech on US trade and investment.
Iranian Envoy: Tehran Ready to Share Nuclear Knowledge With Neighbors
Alireza Enayati, Iran’s Ambassador to Kuwait, voiced Iran’s readiness to share its nuclear knowledge with neighboring countries, including Kuwait, Fars News reported on Monday.
Enayati made his comments during an interview with Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.
The interviewer asked Enayati, “Are you [Iran] ready to share your nuclear expertise with your neighbors?”
Enayati responded, “Of course, we are ready to do so,” adding that, “this is precisely what the chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi announced.”
Former Revolutionary Guard head: Deal violates Iran's red lines
According to the deal, Iran agreed to massively reduce its ability to enrich uranium. It also made many compromises on arms embargoes and ballistic missile technology transfer. These violate Iran's red lines set by its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on peaceful use and development of nuclear energy and technology and developing conventional weapons.
"That is actually one of the red lines that Iranian are talking about. So, defense issues, conventional weapons, including missile systems are not negotiable from the Iranian point," said Hassan Hani, a professor at Imam Sadiq University.
Hani said these two issues are the most important red lines for Iran, and they can be seen as challenges for the implementation of that agreement.
Saudi Arabia Blasts Iran's 'Aggressive Statements'
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, on Monday denounced what he called "aggressive statements" by Iran, intensifying the verbal sparring between the regional rivals after a global deal on Tehran's nuclear program, AFP reported.
On Sunday, Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Saudi ally Bahrain of making "unfounded allegations" to foment "tension in the region", after the interior ministry in Manama said it had detained two men accused of trying to smuggle weapons from Iran.
"This does not represent the intentions of a country seeking good relations," al-Jubeir said of the Iranian comments.
"These statements are escalating and they are many," he charged, according to AFP.
Bahrain Breaks Up Iran-Backed Terror Plot, Recalls Ambassador From Tehran
In this weekend’s incident, Bahraini authorities arrested two suspected smugglers, at least one of whom received training from Iranian forces. Last month, the authorities foiled another terror operation plotted by members of the Iran-backed Saraya al-Ashtar. They also intercepted explosives on their way for use against nearby Saudi Arabia in an incident that, according to Bahraini police chief Major-General Tariq al-Hasan, demonstrated “clear similarities” to other attacks perpetrated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The IRGC is an Iranian military organization that helps the Supreme Leader maintain his power at home and advance his imperial goals abroad. It supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Hezbollah terror organization in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and some of the most radically sectarian Shiite militias in Iraq. The IRGC and the Iranian regime stand to gain a tremendous financial boost from the deal recently signed between Iran and world powers.
This weekend’s arrests occurred at the same time that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif kicked off a tour to three Arab states – Kuwait, Qatar, and Iraq – in an effort to deepen ties and sell the nuclear deal. Zarif dismissed Bahrain’s charges as “unfounded allegations” that served to “create a climate of tension in the region.”
Bahrain has accused Iran of interfering in its internal affairs after Tehran criticized the arrest of a Bahraini opposition leader. Iran has previously called Bahrain its “14th province” and Ali Khamenei has called Bahrain “part and parcel” of Iran.
 Nasrallah to Arab states: Don’t cozy up to ‘cancerous’ Israel
The head of the Hezbollah terror group, Hassan Nasrallah has called on the Arab world to resist normalizing ties with Israel, warning that that the “cancerous” Jewish state is milking the benefits of regional unrest by using the turmoil to improve its relations with moderate Arab states.
Nasrallah, who makes few public appearances, made the statements during a speech broadcast Tuesday at an international conference in Beirut.
“The Zionist entity is taking advantage of the events taking place in our region in a bid to normalize ties with several Arab states,” Hassan Nasrallah said according a report from Hezbollah mouthpiece Al-Manar.
“Right now, there are some Arab countries that have taken Israel out of the circle of threats,” he said, according to the Iranian Press TV. “This is something very dangerous.”
Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Backs Breitbart: States Can Stop Iran Deal
On July 22, Breitbart News was the first to point out that the states have the power to block significant portions of the Iran deal, whether or not it passes Congress. That is because most states have enacted legislation divesting from Iran, and some, like New York, have even harsher legislation that prevents the state from doing business with the regime or with companies that do so.
In an op-ed in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, constitutional lawyers David B. Rivkin and Lee A. Casey agree: the states are “free to impose their own Iran-related sanctions.”
As Rivkin and Casey note in “The Lawless Underpinnings of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” the reason states have the power to stop the deal and to apply their existing sanctions, or even add new ones, is that President Barack Obama made an “end-run” around Congress by deciding not to submit the agreement as a treaty. Thanks to Sen. Ted Cruz’s litigation in Medellín v. Texas (2008), we know that international treaties–and, by implication, executive agreements–have no power over state law unless enabled by separate federal legislation, which does not yet exist.
New York, California Will Keep Iran Sanctions: Legislators
The States of New York and California have no intention of complying with the Iran deal’s requirement that state and local governments lift their own sanctions against the Iranian regime.
As Breitbart News first reported last week, and the Wall Street Journal confirmed Monday, states have the constitutional authority to retain their existing sanctions against Iran, or even to apply new ones, because President Barack Obama decided to impose the Iran deal as an executive agreement without any federal enabling legislation that would override state laws.
“We will do everything in the world not to support the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism,” said Democrat Dov Hikind, a New York State Assemblyman, speaking to Breitbart News on Monday.
Hikind said that while he was “cautiously optimistic” that Congress would have the votes to override President Obama’s expected veto and reject the Iran deal, he was also confident that New York would keep tough sanctions in place against Iran. New York, like 29 other states, has passed divestment laws that prevent the state from investing public funds in Iran.
Europe to drop sanctions on Iranian terrorists and entities
Along with the Iran nuclear agreement, the European Union has agreed to remove sanctions on Iranian entities and individuals deeply involved in terrorism.
Making matters significantly worse from the Israeli and European Jewish perspective is Europe’s decision to allow the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as it usually called in the West, broad latitude to operate within the EU starting in 2023.
“The EU delisting of IRGC military organizations and personnel is tantamount to a green light for Iran-sponsored terrorism. Likewise, the EU delisting of IRGC financial, engineering, construction, energy and transport sector entities amounts to European approval of the IRGC’s dominance in Iran’s economy, which equates to the continued repression of the Iranian people by a regime that just cashed in on temporarily deferring aspects of its nuclear program,” Ali Alfoneh, an expert on the Revolutionary Guard, and a fellow a the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote.
Europe’s media are not paying attention to some of the fine print in the nuclear agreement that largely affects their citizen’s security as well as that of Israel institutions across the continent.
Iran Set to Receive Massive Relief From SWIFT Sanctions
Iranian media outlets have been reporting that Iran is set to receive massive relief from the world’s biggest interbank transfer network, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) sanctions.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi said on Monday that hundreds of Iranian individuals and bodies, including banks and financial institutions, would be delisted from the SWIFT sanctions immediately upon the Iranian nuclear deal coming into effect, according to Iranian Fars News Agency.
“In the initial step, 800 Iranian institutions, organizations and individuals will be taken off the list on the day the agreement is put into practice,” he said.
SWIFT is the system through which financial institutions move money electronically. Every major global financial institution uses SWIFT. In 2012, the United States successfully pushed for a number of Iranian banks to be barred from using SWIFT.
Whose Iran Rhetoric is Worse? Huckabee’s or Obama’s?
Mike Huckabee probably thought he hit the jackpot today when President Obama responded directly to the former Arkansas governor’s characterization of the Iran nuclear deal as something that would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” When you are running for the Republican presidential nomination and struggling to get some attention in the midst of the obsessive coverage of Donald Trump, anything, even a quote that is branded on Morning Joe as the most outrageous comment yet made on the 2016 campaign trail is a positive of a sort. Yet Huckabee shouldn’t be crowing. As Joe Scarborough pointed out, raising the specter of the Holocaust in that manner actually does the administration a favor since it allows the president to dismiss his critics as hysterics and to pose as the adult in the room. Nevertheless, liberals shouldn’t be allowed to get away with denouncing the irresponsible hyperbole of Iran deal critics in this manner. As much as Huckabee’s statement was inappropriate, it is hard to argue that it is much worse than the president’s characterization of all of those opposing his policy as warmongers or Secretary of State John Kerry’s repeated efforts to intimidate both Israelis and American Jews into silence on the issue by claiming that speaking up will “isolate” them or cause the world to blame Jews for the potential defeat of a terrible agreement. Is Huckabee’s Iran deal rhetoric said really any worse?
Faced with criticism Huckabee did not back down. Instead, he defended his remarks as being entirely appropriate because of the potentially disastrous impact of the administration’s diplomacy on Western and Israeli security. The candidate is right to call out the president for failing to draw the correct conclusions from Iran’s refusal to back down on its support for terror and dedication to Israel’s destruction, even in exchange for a deal that makes them a threshold nuclear power and rewards the regime with over $100 billion. But his comment violated a standard rule of political discourse in which the person who invokes a Holocaust analogy first always loses.
US Zionist group backs Huckabee on Holocaust-Iran deal analogy
The Zionist Organization of America stood by Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who said President Barack Obama will march Israelis “to the door of the oven” as part of the Iran nuclear deal.
“The ZOA agrees with Governor Huckabee that this Iran deal could lead to a Holocaust-like massacre of the Jews,” the ZOA said in a statement. “In such circumstances, when the Jewish state is threatened with nuclear annihilation, a Holocaust analogy such as Governor Huckabee used is acceptable and not out of place.”
The former Arkansas governor has come under fire for the analogy, made in an interview this weekend with Breitbart News.
Attacking Clinton on Iran deal, Huckabee says ‘mushroom cloud over Israel’ unacceptable
Huckabee defended his remark, accusing Obama of ignoring threats from Tehran.
“What’s ‘ridiculous and sad’ is that President Obama does not take Iran’s repeated threats seriously. For decades, Iranian leaders have pledged to ‘destroy,’ ‘annihilate,’ and ‘wipe Israel off the map’ with a ‘big Holocaust,'” he said in a statement.
“‘Never again’ will be the policy of my administration and I will stand with our ally Israel to prevent the terrorists in Tehran from achieving their own stated goal of another Holocaust,” he added.
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” Huckabee said in an interview with Breitbart News broadcast on Sirius/XM radio Saturday. “He’s so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.”
Huckabee said that “this Iran deal should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans.
Iran Deal Fails 4 of Schumer's 5 Demands
New York Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the third-highest ranking member of the Senate Democratic caucus, is emerging as the key figure in the congressional battle over the Iran deal.
Schumer, who has maintained a tight silence since the nuclear deal was announced two weeks ago, was the most frequent target of last week’s rally against the deal in Times Square. Activists say a “no” vote from Schumer will not be enough; they want him to rally others to override President Barack Obama’s anticipated veto. Supporters of the deal are also lobbying him, hard.
Yet the deal, by Schumer’s own standards, is a failure. In May, at a dinner for Agudath Israel, an Orthodox Jewish group that lobbies for religious concerns, Schumer laid out “five things we have to be very, very careful about” in the emerging deal. The Iran deal fails four of five.
Schumer's Broken Promise Confirms Tom Cotton Was Right (Part 2)
Last week, the so-called fact-checking website PolitiFact website gave Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) a “false” rating for claiming that President Barack Obama had promised to “dismantle Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for dismantling the sanctions.” An analysis of Obama’s own statements, and the timeline of negotiations, proves that Cotton was telling the truth, and PolitiFact, through sloppy research, was not.
There is also ample evidence that leading Democrats were promising to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program, long after negotiations had started. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the third-highest ranking member of the Senate Democratic caucus, made an explicit promise to that effect at a gala dinner for a Jewish charity in December 2013–after an interim deal was agreed: “And I want to assure you that together, Democrats and Republicans are gonna work to see that we don’t let up on these sanctions, as this agreement did, until Iran gives up not only all nuclear weapons, but all nuclear weapon capability, all enriched uranium, all the centrifuges, and all the heavy water reactors at Arak.”
Members of Congress, as well as members of the public, could be forgiven for believing what Schumer was promising–that the White House would hold out for dismantling Iran’s entire, illegal nuclear program. Only the Arak plant is to be replaced. All other promises were broken.
Democratic Congressman Goes on Record Opposing Iran Nuke Deal
Calling the recently announced Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 powers “historic … for all the wrong reasons,” Rep. Juan Vargas (D – Calif.), who until this year served on the House Foreign Affairs Commitee, wrote that he will vote against the nuclear agreement in an op-ed published Saturday in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Vargas argued that instead of providing limited sanctions relief and cutting Iran’s “path to a nuclear bomb,” the deal gives Tehran a “rapid payday” of up to $150 billion and “[legitimizes] its path to nuclear-threshold status.” The congressman noted that Iran never explained its past nuclear work to international inspectors and continues defying demands to do so.
Vargas further pointed out that the JCPOA threatens to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East by allowing Iran to become a nuclear-threshold state. In addition to failing to stem Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Vargas criticized the deal for failing “to halt Iran’s aggressive imperialism in the Middle East.” He also observed that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah, praised the deal because it “will also reinforce the position of [Iran’s] allies.”
PreOccupied Territory: Iran Insists Inspectors Get No Access To Ayatollah’s Porn Collection (satire)
Officials in Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sought to quell reports today that international inspectors would be able to see some of the country’s sensitive material under the recent agreement, and asserted unequivocally that access to the Supreme Leader’s pornography collection was not part of the deal.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif called reports that international auditors would be able to access Ayatollah Khamenei’s extensive porn collection “baseless,” that Iran would never have agreed to such terms, and that such a provision crosses all red lines. He told reporters that the subject had not even been mooted at the Vienna talks, and only mentioned in passing in a preliminary stage of the earlier negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, never to be discussed again, and that bringing it back up was a cynical attempt to make it look as if Iran had made concessions.
“The Supreme Leader’s galleries of exquisite erotic photography and portraiture; his vast libraries of breathtaking video collection, including premium access to major online streaming sites; and the specially commissioned works and live performances of classic orgy scenes – all these and more must and will remain the exclusive province of Ayatollah Khamenei and the select few with whom, in his divine wisdom, he has deigned to share,” continued Zarif. “The notion that we would compromise on such a point of sensitivity, pride, and sanctity is worse than untrue – it is offensive, and could only be the work of the Satanic Zionist regime that controls the international media.”
Other government officials echoed Zarif. “Some reports included mention of access to the leader’s comprehensive libraries of certain porn stars’ body of work, so to speak,” said Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Hossein Dehghan. “Nothing could be farther from the truth. We would never consider tolerating, let alone offering, compromise on this point. The Jenna Jameson, Sylvia Saint, Priya Rai, Sasha Grey, Sunny Leone, Asia Carrera, Tera Patrick, Stoya, and Jayden Jaymes video collections, especially, will never be made available to outside eyes.”
“Not even mine,” added Minister Dehghan under his breath, with a look of dejected longing.
JPost Editorial: Lessons from Gaza
Ten years after Israel evacuated the Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and parts of northern Samaria, very few – whether on the Right or on the Left or in the Center – are willing to stand wholeheartedly behind what is referred to as “the disengagement.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog recently referred to the pullout as a “mistake,” as did Shimon Peres some time ago.
And although Benjamin Netanyahu voted in favor of the disengagement plan on October 26, 2004, he resigned in protest on August 8, 2005, shortly before it was implemented, and has been a leading critic ever since.
Public opinion has shifted significantly over the past decade. If in the months leading up to the pullout polls consistently showed a strong majority in favor, at least one recent survey shows that the situation has changed.
According to a poll conducted in July for the Begin-Sadat Center of Strategic Studies, 63 percent of respondents claimed they were against the evacuation at the time, while 51% said Israelis should move back to Gaza Strip. Clearly, some respondents lied about their past support for the pullout out of a feeling of regret.
Disengagement protesters reoccupy evacuated West Bank settlement
The IDF warned on Tuesday that it will clear over 200 protesters out of the ruins of the Sa-Nur settlement in the West Bank after they converged on the formerly evacuated site early Tuesday morning.
Protesters took up positions in an abandoned British fort at the site to mark 10 years since the 2005 Gaza disengagement during which Jewish residents were also forcibly evacuated from four settlements in the northern West Bank, including Sa-Nur.
The settlements of Kadim, Ganim, and Homesh were also cleared out at the time, along with the larger Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip.
Among those who took part in the reoccupation of the settlement were families who were evacuated in 2005 as well as rabbis, public figures, and MK Bezalel Smotrich from the nationalist Jewish Home party.
“Ten years after the expulsion the time has come to rectify, and the start of rectification is here in northern Samaria,” Smotrich said. “I think it that today it is clear to every child in Israel that the disengagement was folly and aside from terror and a Hamas state it didn’t achieve anything.”
PM rushes to calm seething coalition after settler evacuation
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to quell a budding coalition crisis Tuesday morning, as members of the pro-settler Jewish Home party threatened to hobble, or even topple, his government over its move to clear out illegally built structures in the West Bank.
“We’re acting to bolster the settlements, and we’re doing so in accordance with the law,” Netanyahu said in a statement hours after hundreds of Israel Police special forces stormed the two buildings in the Dreinoff neighborhood of the settlement of Beit El, north of Jerusalem.
Settler demonstrators had barricaded themselves in an attempt to prevent the implementation of a High Court of Justice decision ordering the demolition of the structures, and some 50 were detained after scuffles with police.
“Our stance regarding the houses in Beit El is clear,” Netanyahu continued. “We are opposed to demolishing them and are pursuing judicial courses to prevent such a step. I will request that the government’s stance, to the effect that the planning process at the site has been concluded and that there is thus no need to demolish the houses, will be brought before the High Court of Justice as well.”
Summer Camp With Guns
Summer camp can mean very different things to different kids.
For Jewish children, summer camp means squirt guns and color wars.
For many Palestinian Arab children, summer camp means training with real guns and preparing for actual war – jihad – against Israel.
The watchdog group “Palestinian Media Watch” recently exposed what has been going on this summer in a camp called “Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Lion Cubs and Flowers of Palestine,” held in the Nablus (Shechem) region.
The camp, it should be noted, is not an independent operation. It is sponsored by the Palestinian Authority’s National Security Forces, together with the “Lion Cubs and Flowers of Palestine,” which is the Fatah youth movement. Fatah, the largest component of the PLO, is headed by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
MEMRI: Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi: Permission Previously Given To Palestinians To Carry Out Suicide Attacks – No Longer Valid; They Now Have Missiles That Can Strike Deep Inside Israel
On July 27, 2015, the office of International Union of Muslim Scholars head Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi posted on his website an announcement clarifying the sheikh's position on suicide attacks, in response to the airing by Egyptian television channels of a 2013 video of statements by him that can be interpreted as a call to carry out suicide attacks in Egypt.
The announcement cited passages from Al-Qaradhawi's 2009 book Fiqh Al-Jihad ("The Laws of Jihad"), in which he ruled that suicide attacks are prohibited by Islamic law, but were permitted at this time in Palestine because of its unique circumstances. However, it stated, now that the Palestinians have missiles capable of striking deep inside Israeli territory, this permission is no longer valid.
This ruling by Al-Qaradhawi banning suicide attacks in Palestine marked a reversal in his position on the matter, as he had previously referred to suicide attacks as "the most sublime jihad." He had also attacked other clerics with different views on the matter, such as Saudi Mufti 'Abd Al-'Aziz bin 'Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh who held that such acts were prohibited since they were suicide, which is banned in Islam.
PMW: 2 virgins or 70? Depends how you’re martyred
This week, Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi who teaches Islam at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, met with children participating in a summer camp at the mosque. He explained the difference in Martyrs’ rewards in Paradise in terms of how many “Dark-Eyed” Virgins the Martyr marries. The number of virgins, he explained to children around the ages of 7-12, depends on the way you die as a Martyr. If one is martyred as a “Ribat fighter” (Murabitun) - a fighter defending Islamic land - one “marries 70 of the Dark-Eyed [Virgins],” whereas a Martyr who doesn’t die fighting, only “gets two”:
“The Prophet talks about the [martyred] Ribat fighter... He marries 70 of the Dark-Eyed (i.e., virgins). The Martyr gets two, while the Ribat fighter gets 70 of the Dark-Eyed. The Ribat fighter gets 35 times more than the Martyr.” [Al-Msjed Al-Aqsa YouTube channel, July 26, 2015]

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