Child-Killer Samir Kuntar 'Killed in Syria Airstrike'
Reports are coming out that Israel targeted and killed the notorious child murderer Samir Kuntar today (Wednesday).JPost Editorial: Pollard and Iran
According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Israel Air Force struck a vehicle carrying five fighters loyal to dictator Bashar al-Assad. Three of the passengers were from the Syrian People's Committees, while Kuntar and the fifth person belonged to Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
Kuntar was born in Lebanon to a Druze family. In 1978 he and three other terrorists from the now-defunct Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) snuck into Israel by boat and attempted to kidnap the Haran family from their home in Nahariya. The wife managed to hide in a crawlspace with the two-year-old daughter, but the husband and four-year-old were taken.
Kuntar and his associates took their hostages to the nearby beach, where Israeli soldiers and police officers encountered them. According to the official account, Kuntar shot the father in the back, then beat the daughter to death.
Former US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross admitted in his 2004 book, The Missing Peace, that he advised then-president Bill Clinton against releasing Pollard in the framework of the 1998 Wye Accords negotiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term (this despite Ross’s belief Pollard’s life sentence was disproportionate and that he deserved to go free unconditionally).Jonathan Pollard on forthcoming release: 'I'm looking forward to being reunited with my wife'
Ross argued that Pollard was simply far too valuable as a bargaining chip vis-à-vis Israel to be released cheaply. Ross thus furnished us with the definitive explanation for Pollard’s inexcusably drawn-out agony.
Pollard has long suspected as much and had urged that he not be used as a “sweetener” to persuade Israel to agree to dangerous unilateral concessions. Despite his prolonged plight, Pollard has repeatedly pleaded not to be traded in return for the release of Arab murderers and terrorists, whose crimes bear no relation to his case and are morally incomparable to it.
The very thought that Pollard would now be exploited to “sweeten” both Israeli opinion and that of American Jews on the Iran issue is morally repugnant in the extreme.
It is instructive to recall that Pollard’s sin was passing information to a friendly country on such matters as Iraqi and Syrian WMDs, Soviet arms shipments to Damascus and Libyan air defenses. Indeed, this was largely data withheld by the Pentagon in violation of the 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Israel.
The departure from all punitive precedents in Pollard’s case smells foul. Iran’s nukes constitute an existential danger to the Jewish state. Hence, it is unthinkable that anyone should consider Pollard’s release as rendering the Iran deal more palatable to Israelis.
This is an insult to our intelligence that condescendingly belittles the gravity of our predicament.
Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will be released from prison after serving 30 years of a life sentence on November 20, the US Parole Commission announced Tuesday.
The Parole Commission relayed the decision to Pollard's lawyers, Elliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was also told and broke the news on Twitter.
"I am looking forward to being reunited with my beloved wife Esther," Pollard said through his attorneys. "I would like to thank the many thousands of well-wishers in the United States, in Israel, and throughout the world, who provided grass roots support by attending rallies, sending letters, making phone calls to elected officials, and saying prayers for my welfare. I am deeply appreciative of every gesture, large or small."
Pollard's lawyers said that they are grateful and delighted that their client will be released soon. "The decision to grant parole was made unanimously by the three members of the Parole Commission, who make their decisions independently of any other US government agency. The decision is not connected to recent developments in the Middle East."
Phyllis Chesler: Overjoyed and Angry at Jonathan Pollard's Coming Release
And so, at long last, after thirty years, seven of which he spent in solitary confinement—the most barbaric of punishments—Jonathan Pollard will be pardoned and may live to breathe the air of freedom.US won’t let Pollard move to Israel for five years, official says
I am overjoyed, apprehensive, enormously sad, relieved, and angry.
Pollard’s cell door will not swing open until November and, unless President Obama decrees otherwise, he may not be allowed to make aliyah to Israel for five years, lest he be given a hero’s (or a martyr’s) welcome.
Although I did not become an activist on his behalf, Pollard’s fate has haunted me for more than twenty years. Though he had teams of dedicated but incompetent lawyers, and dedicated and highly competent lawyers, and the support of compassionate rabbis, Pollard’s cause did not become fashionable for a very long time.
Pollard was the poster child for the dual loyalty accusation that has haunted Jews who simply want to fit in, to lead safe and prosperous lives in America.
Many American Jews thought that he “deserved what he got,” since his actions had, they believed, endangered them. Pollard was the poster child for the dual loyalty accusation that has haunted Jews who simply want to fit in, to lead safe and prosperous lives in America.
Many American non-Jews in the State Department and the CIA hanged Pollard for the considerable crimes of others. In fact, Pollard was the “fall guy” for a real Master Spy, none other than Aldrich Ames. According to former White House correspondent, Leo Rennert:
Despite being a highly-regarded figure in Israel, which has lobbied for his release for decades, Pollard will have to remain in the US for five years, a White House official said.Movie Based on Pollard Case to be Produced by Jackal Group
“The president has no intention of altering the terms of Mr. Pollard’s parole,” said Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council.
The White House said Pollard had committed “very serious crimes” and would serve his sentence under the law.
His lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, have asked US President Barack Obama to intervene and allow Pollard to leave the country and relocate to Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“We respectfully urge the president to exercise his clemency power in this manner,” the lawyers said.
His lawyers said they have secured housing and a job for Pollard in the New York area. Parolees are required for five years after their release to get government permission for foreign travel.
Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group is developing a feature film based on the case of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, Deadline Hollywood reported.What Information Collected by Israeli Intelligence Reveals About the Iran Talks
The announcement came following the news that Pollard, who was sentenced to life in prison for passing top-secret information to the Israelis, will be paroled in November.
The film will be based on Martin Blank’s play “The Law Of Return,” about Pollard’s work for the US Navy, and the process of his becoming a spy. Blank will write the script, Berman and SVP Film Development’s Rory Koslow are producing for Jackal Group.
Martin Blank is the author of 10 plays.”The Law of Return” was produced at Center Stage Theater, Jerusalem, and the Maryland Ensemble Theatre.
In February 2014, the first crumbling of this commitment was evident, when the head of the U.S. delegation to the talks with Iran, Wendy Sherman, told Israeli officials that while the United States would like Iran to stop enriching uranium altogether, this was “not a realistic” expectation. Iranian foreign ministry officials, during meetings the Tehran following the JPOA, reckoned that from the moment the principle of an Iranian right to enrich uranium was established, it would serve as the basis for the final agreement. And indeed, the final agreement, signed earlier this month, confirmed that assessment.Netanyahu said to bitterly attack Kerry for placing Israel ‘on the menu’ of Iran deal
The sources who granted me access to the information collected by Israel about the Iran talks stressed that it was not obtained through espionage against the United States. It comes, they said, through Israeli spying on Iran, or routine contacts between Israeli officials and representatives of the P5+1 in the talks. The sources showed me only what they wanted me to see, and in these cases there’s always a danger of fraud and fabrication. This said, these sources have proved reliable in the past, and based on my experience with this type of material it appears to be quite credible. No less important, what emerges from the classified material obtained by Israel in the course of the negotiations is largely corroborated by details that have become public since.
In early 2013, the material indicates, Israel learned from its intelligence sources in Iran that the United States held a secret dialogue with senior Iranian representatives in Muscat, Oman. Only toward the end of these talks, in which the Americans persuaded Iran to enter into diplomatic negotiations regarding its nuclear program, did Israel receive an official report about them from the U.S. government. Shortly afterward, the CIA and NSA drastically curtailed its cooperation with Israel on operations aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear project, operations that had racked up significant successes over the past decade.
On Nov. 8, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw him off at Ben Gurion Airport and told him that Israel had received intelligence that indicated the United States was ready to sign “a very bad deal” and that the West’s representatives were gradually retreating from the same lines in the sand that they had drawn themselves.
Perusal of the material Netanyahu was basing himself on, and more that has come in since that angry exchange on the tarmac, makes two conclusions fairly clear: The Western delegates gave up on almost every one of the critical issues they had themselves resolved not to give in on, and also that they had distinctly promised Israel they would not do so.
Commenting on Kerry’s decision not to visit Israel during a trip to the Middle East next week, in which the secretary will discuss the Iran deal with Egyptian and Gulf leaders, Netanyahu was quoted as saying, “He really has no reason to come here.”Iran’s Rhetoric and Arafat’s ‘Jihad’ Speech
The Iran deal, which Netanyahu has bitterly criticized, “has nothing to do with us, and has no influence on us,” the prime minister went on bitterly, according to the radio report.
“We’re not at the table” where it was negotiated, Netanyahu reportedly concluded. “We’re one of the courses on the menu itself.”
Netanyahu was speaking in what the radio report called “private conversations” a day after Kerry announced a trip to the Mideast and Asia.
Arafat was visiting South Africa, and delivered a speech at the Mayfair Mosque in Johannesburg on May 11. It was probably a routine stump speech. But in those days, the internet was new, and monitoring groups like Palestinian Media Watch didn’t yet exist, so very little information about Arafat’s Arabic language speeches ever reached the American public.David Horovitz op-ed read aloud at House hearing on Iran
But word of this speech leaked out. Israeli media reported that Arafat had assured his Muslim listeners that the Oslo Accords are “the first step and not more than that,” and he vowed, “The Jihad will continue!” He urged his audience, “You have to come , and to fight, and to start the Jihad to liberate Jerusalem!”
The Clinton Administration did its best to play down the news. Secretary of State Warren Christopher grudgingly said he would seek a “clarification” from Arafat. U.S. officials couldn’t find the translation. Some of them told reporters that “jihad” did not always mean violence. Before long, it was out of the news.
It would take eight years for the world to wake up. In 2002, Israel intercepted the Karine A, a Palestinian Authority ship with several tons of weapons for Arafat’s “jihad.” But think how many lives would have been saved – how many terrorist attacks between 1994 and 2002 would have been preempted – if Washington had taken Arafat’s 1994 speech seriously.
Recognizing the enemy’s true character – whether it’s the Palestinian Authority or Iran – may not serve some political agendas in the short run, but it will save a lot of lives in the long run.
Addressing US Secretaries John Kerry, Ernest Moniz and Jacob Lew, Wilson urged them to address the questions raised in “16 reasons nuke deal is an Iranian victory and a Western catastrophe,” an op-ed published by Horovitz two weeks ago.The Iran Deal is Not Verifiable Now or Later
The op-ed argued that the US-backed nuclear deal with Iran “legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program, allows it to retain core nuclear facilities, permits it to continue research in areas that will dramatically speed its breakout to the bomb should it choose to flout the deal, but also enables it to wait out those restrictions and proceed to become a nuclear threshold state with full international legitimacy.”
Horovitz concluded the piece by saying, “No wonder Iran and its allies are celebrating. Nobody else should be.”
Wilson said he was reading the questions into the record so that Kerry could provide answers over the coming weeks, as Congress reviews the deal.
With 51 days left in the period for Congressional consideration of the Iran deal, the respected Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) has released a report on “Verification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” which concludes there are weaknesses that “must be remediated or compensated for if the agreement is to be verifiable,” and that “without stringent long-term limits on Iran’s sensitive nuclear programs … these verification conditions … are unlikely to be sufficient.” ISIS concludes that – if the remediation or compensation occurs – the verification provisions will likely be adequate during the first 10-15 years of the agreement, “but will be inadequate afterwards if Iran implements its plan to expand its centrifuge program and possibly start a reprocessing program.” In other words, the agreement as it stands is unverifiable without additional steps; and after it sunsets, the verification provisions will be inadequate.INSS: The Nuclear Agreement with Iran: Reflections and Forecasts
Here is what the ISIS reports concludes regarding the 24-day period for inspection of suspicious Iranian sites:
What could Iran potentially hide or disguise in a 24-day time period? At ISIS, over the years, we have conducted several assessments on countries such as Iran, North Korea, and Iraq which have all cheated on their safeguards obligations. We have assessed the types and quantities of uranium releases from gas centrifuge plants as part of official safeguards studies and evaluated many cases where environmental sampling was used to uncover undeclared activities or failed to do so. Based on this work, we assess that Iran could likely move and disguise many small scale nuclear and nuclear-weapon-related activities.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement signed in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany) on July 14, 2015 has been heralded as an historic event by both its advocates and detractors. This collection brings together thoughts from the researchers at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) on different aspects of the agreement and its strategic consequences for Israel, regional security in the Middle East, and global order. Here, researchers give focused answers to specific questions, providing an initial but also broad and multidimensional analysis of the nuclear agreement. This compilation is meant to serve as a foundation for a serious and comprehensive discussion of the implications of the Vienna agreement, toward a formulation of an Israeli strategy that aims to improve the strategic reality by responding to the threats and taking advantage of the opportunities embodied in the agreement.Ret. Admiral Stavridis: ‘You Can Drive a Truck Through’ Holes in Iran Deal
Stavridis expressed concern over Iran’s side deal about inspections with the IAEA, which may allow Iran to take its own environmental samples from suspicious sites.
“We need to have access to it and understand it,” Stavridis said about the side deal. “Reportedly, it puts Iran in the position of actually procuring samples as opposed to having them taken by the IAEA.”
Stavridis said his biggest concern with the deal is its gift of hundreds of billions in economic activity and previously frozen assets to Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.
“The biggest problem here is the airdrop of $100 to $150 billion into their economy, which is only $350 billion to begin with,” Stavridis said. “That’s like the U.S. getting a $4 trillion insertion of capital. That’s the teeth of the alligator you just heard about.”
Under the nuclear deal, Iran would gain access to foreign businesses and key financial networks, which will generate the steady revenue necessary to revitalize Iran’s military and allies.
Obama administration officials have said that the deal’s concessions to Iran are tolerable because the only alternative is a ground war.
Stavridis dismissed this rhetoric as a false choice.
“I think the U.S. still can drive some degree of sanctions” without a deal, Stavridis said. “There are cyber options to pursue. There are clandestine options to pursue. There are Special Forces options to pursue. I reject a notion that the choice is simply between this deal and going to war.”
John Kerry Struggles to Explain How Iran Nuclear Deal Benefits U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry struggled on Tuesday to explain how a recently inked nuclear accord with Iran will benefit the United States during a testy exchange with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.Terrorism Task Force Chair: Iran Nuke Deal Increases Hezbollah Threat to US
When questioned about Iran’s continued commitment to killing Americans and Israelis, Kerry was unable to explain how the nuclear accord would moderate the regime’s behavior.
“You must understand Americans see Iran as a crocodile or shark that does what it does,” Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.) said to Kerry during a hearing about the deal. “We’re saying, we’re going to give the crocodile or the shark a few more teeth and let’s see if it does something different.”
When pressed to explain how the deal could moderate, rather than empower Iran’s extremist behavior, Kerry responded, “I don’t want a speech-off.”
The deal could have been strengthened if Congress was given a say in the negotiations, Perry maintained, pointing to instances in which Congress had approved tough international treaties.
Lifting economic sanctions on Iran will allow it to funnel more money to Hezbollah in Latin America, increasing the threat the terrorist group poses to the United States, Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) told Breitbart News.John Bolton: The Disastrous Consequences of the Iran Nuclear Deal
Under an agreement reached between Iran and U.S.-led world powers, Iran will have all economic sanctions lifted in exchange for its commitment to nuclear restrictions and inspections. The deal will give the Shiite powerhouse almost immediate access to more than $100 billion in frozen assets abroad.
Rep. Pittenger is the chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and the vice chairman of the Bipartisan Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing.
Last week, Rep. Pittenger participated in a classified briefing on the Iran deal with Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
After the briefing, the Congressman told Breitbart News that the participants recognized that Iran would not change its ways.
If Israel strikes, there will be no general Middle East war, despite fears to the contrary. We know this because no general war broke out when Israel attacked Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in 1981, or when it attacked the North Korean-built Syrian reactor in 2007. Neither Saudi Arabia nor other oil-producing monarchies wanted those regimes to have nuclear weapons, and they certainly do not want Iran to have them today.Iran to build 4 reactors within a decade, nuclear chief says
However, Iran may well retaliate. At that point, Washington must be ready to immediately resupply Israel for losses incurred by its armed forces in the initial attack, so that Israel will still be able to effectively counter Tehran’s proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, which will be its vehicles for retaliation. The United States must also provide muscular political support, explaining that Israel legitimately exercised its inherent right of self-defense. Whatever Obama’s view, public and congressional support for Israel will be overwhelming.
American weakness has brought us to this difficult moment. While we obsessed about its economic discomfort, Iran wore its duress with pride. It was never an even match. We now have to rely on a tiny ally to do the job for us. But unless we are ready to accept a nuclear Iran (and, in relatively short order, several other nuclear Middle Eastern states), get ready. The easy ways out disappeared long ago.
Iran intends to construct at least four new nuclear plants in the country within a decade, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Tuesday.Strategy emerges to reimpose US nuclear sanctions on Iran under a different name
Ali Akbar Salehi briefed the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on the details of the nuclear deal reached with the P5+1 on July 14, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
According to committee spokesman Nozar Shafi’i, Salehi said that Iran needed to find new sources of natural uranium and has already surveyed 60 percent of the country to that end, Iran’s Arabic al-Alam news service reported on Wednesday.
Salehi also praised the agreement signed with the superpowers for enabling Iran to develop its “peaceful” technological capabilities in ways that were previously impossible.
“What Iran gained by the negotiations from the technical aspect is much more than what the negotiating team was allowed to show flexibility on,” Salehi was quoted as saying.
US congressional leaders are considering legislation that would renew the Iran Sanctions Act over a year before it is set to expire, as well as new sanctions targeting Iran’s terrorism-related activities that would re-list several entities relieved of sanctions under this month’s nuclear deal.Marty Peretz: The Democratic Party, on the Edge of the Abyss
The intended effect of the new approach to sanctions would be to alleviate fear among lawmakers that the deal, which will lead to tens of billions of dollars in swift sanctions relief, might dramatically increase Iran’s funding of terrorism worldwide – a primary fear regarding Iran becoming a nuclear weapons- threshold state in the first place.
But at a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the strategy may ultimately have the effect of scuttling the agreement.
Tehran, too, stated on Tuesday that reimposing the same sanctions under a different name would force it to “reconsider its commitments” under the nuclear deal.
The approach assumes that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the nuclear agreement that world powers reached with Iran in Vienna on July 14 – will survive a congressional vote on its merits that is scheduled for September.
Two of the most powerful members of the Democratic Party, former and current senators from New York, now hold the fate of the putative deal with Iran in their hands. Because they alone can overturn it, this means that presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer carry a heavy burden that will deeply affect their personal reputations and, most probably, the trustworthiness of the Democrats in foreign policy for at least a generation.Do Democrats Want to Link Their Future to Iran’s Good Behavior?
Their former senatorial colleagues Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Kerry already own their decision, though their logic still remains unclear to both the most diligent and the most casual observer. The president asserts that his piece of paper will prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, presuming both the honesty of a regime that has displayed mendacity and hostility for 35 years as well as the existence of a wide-ranging verification capability that his own agreement has fatally compromised. And then, of course, there is the sunset provision that enables Iran to acquire nuclear weapons anyway. As they congratulate themselves on the hard work that produced this bizarre document—Bloomberg News related that “[a]ll present were in a kind of awe”—have these former Solons stopped to wonder why Iran negotiated in the first place when their leaders still insist on claiming they don’t want nuclear weapons? The entire process is built on lies. If the Iranians didn’t want nukes, then why would they want a time limit?
For some, it is a matter of loyalty to the president. That seems to be a particularly strong emotion among the most left-wing members of Congress as well as for members of the Congressional Black Caucus that were encouraged to think any opposition to the Iran negotiations was an insult to President Obama. But Obama, who reportedly warned freshman members of the House last week that none of them would get a pass for opposing him on this matter believes he still has the clout to enforce his will on all Democrats.DNC Chair Can't Commit to Iran Deal
But this is a moment for Democrats to start thinking long term rather than on the daily battle to win the news cycle for the White House against their despised Republican foes. Backing up the president on this question isn’t just another tactical dustup with the GOP it is a long-term commitment that literally ties their political future to the whims and behavior of a despotic theocratic Islamist regime bent on regional hegemony and the destruction of Israel.
Though President Obama will not be giving his followers a pass on this issue, neither will the American people. If, as is more than likely, the Iranians continue on their current path of pursuing terror and conflict with the West as well as an eventual bomb, this deal will constitute a millstone around the necks of those who let it be put into effect.
Thinking in those terms is difficult for politicians who always live in the moment or the next election cycle. But what must be understood is that their decisions on the Iran deal will be long remembered after other votes they cast are forgotten. That may be okay for hard-core left-wing ideologues in the Democratic caucus. But for much of the rest of the party that looks to mainstream independent voters as well as the pro-Israel community for support that is a sobering thought. Democrats Iran deal votes aren’t so much a matter of partisan loyalty for Obama but linking your future to the ayatollahs. That is something that Democrats should think long and hard about before they acquiesce to pressure from the White House and their party whips.
Asked directly by CNN's Wolf Blitzer whether she would vote to support President Obama's Iran deal, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz demurred, saying:7 Jewish lawmakers could tilt the scales on Iran deal
"I am in the middle of really reviewing it and looking at all of the moving parts to the Iran deal. I've had many administration briefings, I've talked to experts on both sides of the deal, and I'm gonna go home and speak to my constituents who have been weighing in, and I'll reach a conclusion on what I'm gonna do with my vote once I really feel like I've been able to thoroughly review the whole deal."
Turn off the ads, turn down the noise and read, listen and consult.Permanent Link to EXCLUSIVE: New Survey of Jewish Americans Shows Opposition to Iran Deal Increases With More Knowledge of Arguments
That’s what five key Jewish lawmakers say they are planning for the five to seven weeks they have to contemplate their vote on the Iran nuclear deal.
There are 28 Jews in Congress, but seven are undecided and in positions of influence as lawmakers consider an agreement that grants Iran sanctions relief in exchange for nuclear restrictions on its nuclear program. Republicans are mostly against the deal, so the focus is on Democrats who would be key to garnering the two-thirds majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate to override President Barack Obama’s promised veto of any resolution of disapproval of a deal.
Democrats traditionally take their cues from members considered closest to a particular issue. In this case, Jewish Democrats, and their leadership on pro-Israel advocacy, make them among the most watched.
In the third segment, a series of arguments against the deal are made resulting in a final aggregate of 58 percent wanting Congress to override the deal and 30 percent seeking its approval.US Jews maintain strong support of Iran deal — J Street poll
Speaking to The Algemeiner about the poll, Omri Ceren, managing director of press and strategy at The Israel Project, said, “The more that Jewish Americans learn about the details of the Iran deal, the more they believe that Congress should reject it.”
According to Ceren, the “poll shows that when you educate Jewish Americans about the downsides of the deal, which ultimately involve funding and arming the Iranian regime, they end up deciding that the costs are not worth the very unlikely benefits.”
In a summary memo on the poll, Nathan Klein, lead pollster for Olive Tree Strategies, concluded that as public discussion about the deal gains pace, opposition to approving it in Congress will grow.
“As the conversation about Congress’ role with regard to the deal continues to take center stage, there is little question that opposition to the agreement will rise,” Klein said. “Any conversation on the issue, even one including the pro-deal aspect of the conversation, drives opposition higher with this community.”
The poll, which was conducted among 1,000 adults who identify as Jewish, found that 60 percent of those questioned said they supported the agreement that aims to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for the lifting of US and international sanctions.Rallies Opposing Iran Deal Sprout Up Across USA
The number closely reflected the results of J Street’s previous poll in June, conducted before the agreement was reached, which found that 59% of American Jewish adults supported the nuclear deal.
The latest results indicate that American Jewish support of the agreement exceeds that of the general US population. According to polls by ABC News and Washington Post days after the agreement was singed on July 14, 56 percent of Americans said they supported the deal.
On Sunday, well over a thousand people gathered outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles to demand that Congress vote “no” on the nuclear deal brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterparts that make up the E3/EU+3. The diverse crowd included members of the local Jewish and Christian communities, as well as a significant presence of Muslims who oppose the regime in Tehran.Iran Deal Protests Cross Southern California
Roz Rothstein, CEO of the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, expressed the goal of the rally: “Tell Congress we need a better deal.”
“The world cannot afford a nuclear Iran,” Ms. Rothstein said. “Iran could be the first global power motivated by a radical religious doctrine, empowered with nuclear weapons. How can anyone think that Iran doesn’t have global aspirations? Iran now has a terrorist presence in 30 countries on five different continents. We are here to educate people well beyond this rally…the more people know about the deal, the less they are in favor of it. It will impact the security of the entire world. Iran is the world sponsor of terrorism. Imagine them with nukes.”
Talk Radio Host Dennis Prager offered a personal and historical perspective to the crowd.
“It is not left right, it’s right wrong. This is embarrassing. It’s one of the rare moments when I’m embarrassed to be American. And I’m a proud American. I have never encountered this sense is American. This is analogous to Munich. Ask Kerry what is the difference between Isis and Iran? First they kill Jews, then they kill you (Americans). They never stop with Jews. If you don’t know that, then you are an idiot. Iran is everyone’s problem. I’m not asking for troops. I’m calling for a war of sanctions.”
When all is said and done, one feature of Obama’s presidency that will stand out is the sheer number of citizen protests against his policies.Reza from Shahs of Sunset Speaks Out Against Iran Deal
Such protests began in 2009, when regular Americans organized to protest federal fiscal policies, tax increases, and Obamacare. In fact, Professor Jacobson was recently treated to a taste of the zaniness our San Diego Tea Party groups often faced, in the form of progressive demonstrators protesting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) event he was attending.
However, showing that not all Californians are crazy, concerned citizens gathered in Balboa Park this weekend to protest the administration’s latest pet project: the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.
NY Assemblyman After Arrest Calls to Squash Iran Deal
New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) spoke to Arutz Sheva on Tuesday about his arrest last Thursday in front of the office of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which came after Hikind used civil disobedience to press Schumer to block the Iran nuclear deal.Iran president invited to Paris as sides seek to boost ties
In the protest, Hikind and eight other Jewish activists were arrested for sitting down on the sidewalk in front of Schumer's office, in an act he says was meant to make a statement about how important the deal is. Schumer was targeted because he holds a key role in influencing how Congress will vote on the deal, said Hikind.
Hikind said that Schumer has long touted himself as a shomer, or guardian, of the Jewish people, and now is his time to prove it in opposing a deal that is "so dangerous for everyone, but especially for the people of Israel."
No one should feel they have no means to fight the deal according to the assemblyman, who noted that G-d will "do what He has to do, but only if we do everything in our power."
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has been invited to visit Paris in November, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Tehran on Wednesday.Iranians Protest Historic Visit of French FM 'Israeli Spy'
The official invitation came in a letter addressed to Rouhani from French President Francois Hollande which Fabius delivered on his trip to the Iranian capital, two weeks after a nuclear deal was struck between the Islamic republic and world powers.
Fabius arrived in Iran earlier that day and said it was time to kickstart relations between the two countries after the nuclear deal made such a change possible.
“It’s an important trip,” Fabius told reporters at the French embassy in Tehran as he started a short but much-heralded visit following the July 14 accord between Iran and six world powers.
As France’s chief diplomat in those negotiations, Fabius gained a reputation for taking a hawkish public stance on what Iran must do under a nuclear deal.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrived in Tehran on Wednesday in an historic visit, becoming the first French foreign minister to arrive in the Islamic regime in 12 years - but local Iranians were less than happy to see him.Jack Black, Morgan Freeman Tell Congress Not to Sabotage Iran Deal
Dozens of Iranian university students and activists protested Fabius's arrival at Tehran International Airport, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
The protesters bore signs in Farsi and in French, and chanted "Fabius, servant of the US, spy of Israel."
The hostile response despite the nuclear deal brings to mind the comments of Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Commander of Iran's paramilitary Basij Force, who last Tuesday said Iranians will "hate the US 100 times more" due to the deal.
Aside from protesting his perceived firm stance in the Iran nuclear deal, the protesters also opposed a scandal in which blood contaminated with HIV was knowingly imported from France to Iran between 1984 and 1985. Fabius was prime minister at the time, but was acquitted of manslaughter charges in court.
In a new video from Global Zero, the social movement calling for the end of nuclear weapons, Hollywood A-listers Morgan Freeman and Jack Black appear in an effort to urge Congress not to sabotage the Obama administration's Iran deal. The video aims, by giving out a toll-free number, to urge citizens to do the same.
Along with the two mentioned above, there are other celebrities, as well as Queen Noor of Jordan, U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, and former CIA officer Valerie Plame. Together they joke their way through a 3-minute plea to keep the agreement with Iran as-is, "to ensure Iran doesn't build a f*#@ing bomb."
The takeaway? Hollywood logic says it's better to be burned up fast in a quick, hot nuclear blast, than to engage in a long, drawn-out war with Iran; one that, as Freeman said, would be a "another dangerous, drawn-out and expensive conflict in the Middle East with many lives lost."
Continuing with Hollywood logic, because the alternative to this deal is war, Freeman declares, "And sh*t! We've got a deal on the table that keeps us all safe!"
Black's final appeal touched on the fact that American's love their kids, just like the Iranians also love their kids -- at least he thinks. The video ends with Black singing, "And believe me when I say to you, I hope the Iranians love their children, too."
"Call Congress," Freeman adds. "Tell them, 'Support diplomacy.' It's the only sane solution."