Echoing Netanyahu, Ted Cruz slams Kerry and calls on Iran to recognize Israel as ‘Jewish state’

Israel/PalestineMiddle EastUS Politics

Update: Senator Ted Cruz is parroting Netanyahu, and saying Iran must recognize Israel as a Jewish state:

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) expressed grave concerns today regarding reports that Secretary of State John Kerry may strike a deal to lift economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for an agreement for that country to temporarily halt its uranium enrichment program.

“If the reports are correct, this is a terrible deal, and it is dangerous for America. …

We should have insisted on good-faith measures before meeting with the Iranians directly, such as the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini and the acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu has taken the extraordinary step of condemning what is happening in Geneva as a ‘very, very bad deal.’ President Obama should not abandon our friend and ally Israel, and he should not cut a deal that endangers the national security of the United States.”

Original post:

Is this the end of the special relationship? Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu before flying off to Geneva today, and Netanyahu pressured him not to cut any deal with Iran in several public statements.

Netanyahu also released two angry videos to the press about an anticipated deal with Iran. The latest is above, released just before his meeting Kerry.

“I understand the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva — as well they should because they got everything and paid nothing, everything they wanted. They wanted relief of sanctions after years of grueling sanction regime, they got that. They paid nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability. So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal. This is a very bad deal and Israel utterly rejects it. And what I’m saying is shared by many many in the region whether or not they express that publicly. Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and defend the security of its people.”

Netanyahu also released this video:

I’m absolutely stunned. I think it’s such a monumental mistake… This is the deal of the century for Iran because Iran is essentially given, and… the air begins to be taken out of the pressure cooker that took years to build in the sanctions regime… Iran would be giving up at best a few days of enrichment time… That’s a big mistake… It is a historic mistake. It is a grievous historic error. The sanctions regime is gone, and Iran gave nothing.

Netanyahu was also obstinate re negotiations with the Palestinians. He said that the Palestinians “refuse to budge” on Israeli security needs (the Jordan valley presumably) and “no amount of pressure” will make him compromise.

BBC reports on the Iranian deal in the making.

US, UK, French and German foreign ministers are making unscheduled trips to Geneva to join talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 delegates.

Details have not been released but Iran is expected to halt some enrichment activity for limited sanctions relief.

CBS News

“This is not the great big omnibus deal that would lift all sanctions on Iran,” explained [CBS correspondent Elizabeth] Palmer. “This is a first step,” she said, and the purpose would be to build trust so that the negotiations on that much broader deal can begin. “The goal is to reach the starting line, if you like, of that next chapter.”

While the world awaits confirmation of what concessions the West and the Iranians are actually prepared to make, Netanyahu was categorical in defining the emerging agreement as a victory for Tehran.

It’s unclear whether Congress could scuttle the deal with a new round of sanctions. Congressional hawks released statements yesterday slamming the deal. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the deal “would be a significant error in judgment that very likely could have the opposite intended outcome…There can be no concessions whatsoever – no easing of sanctions, no deals – until Iran takes the first verifiable and concrete steps to dismantle its nuclear program.”

The Obama administration has the power to take unilateral steps to ease the crippling sanctions regime, as National Journal‘s Sara Sorcher details here. Meanwhile, the Senate Banking Committee is reportedly holding off on advancing new sanctions legislation until the conclusion of the Geneva talks.

At Haaretz, Chemi Shalev says the deal may portend the end of the special relationship, with a “fierce diplomatic storm” between the countries.

The American Jewish community itself would also face a potentially divisive and acrimonious internal debate. American Jews are likely to be split almost evenly between those who will want to “give peace a chance” and others who will cite Netanyahu’s “Iranian deal of the century” description. Most of the American Jewish establishment is likely to line up behind Netanyahu, but most Democratic-voting American Jews may prefer to back the Administration’s diplomatic efforts.

Already this week there’s been a split in the lobby: AIPAC and the AJC opposed any effort to lift sanctions, while J Street and the ADL supported the administration’s efforts.

No statement yet from the State Department on the Kerry briefing with Netanyahu. Kerry in Jerusalem yesterday hinted at what’s coming:

And it seems to me that we have an obligation to the world before you use military force you need to exhaust every possibility of diplomacy. That is an obligation. I have fought in a war. I know what happens when you go to war. War is the failure of diplomacy, and we need to try to do everything we can to exhaust diplomacy. The President has taken no option off the table. We are prepared to do what is necessary. Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Meantime, the New York Times reports that Kerry is growing impatient with Israeli intransigence.

At times this week, Mr. Kerry has appeared frustrated with the Israelis. On Wednesday, he appealed to the Israeli authorities to keep a lid on new settlement construction during the negotiations.

In his interview with Israeli and Palestinian journalists, Mr. Kerry used unusually pointed language in prodding the Israelis. “The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” he said. “I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?”

PS. Kerry was interviewed by Maher Shalabi of Palestinian broadcasting corporation, and decried the settlement construction even as the US is doing nothing about it– and also said that a one-state solution is impossible. Shalabi indicated rising Palestinian support for such an outcome.

We do not think you should be doing settlements. We, the United States, say the same thing. We do not believe the settlements are legitimate. We think they’re illegitimate. And we believe that the entire peace process would, in fact, be easier if these settlements were not taking place. Now, that’s our position. That is also the position – but we knew that there was not going to be a freeze. We didn’t negotiate a freeze. So there’s a difference here between knowing something may happen and objecting to it. The Palestinians profoundly object to it. The international community objects to it. The United States policy has always been that the settlements are illegitimate, and we believe this process would be much easier if we didn’t have the tension that is created by settlements.
Let me ask you something: How – if you say you’re working for peace and you want peace and a Palestine that is a whole Palestinian that belongs to the people who live there, how can you say we’re planning to build in the place that will eventually be Palestine? So it sends a message that somehow perhaps you’re not really serious. Now, we understand the pressures that exist, and we understand that within the government there are people who have a different view. So until you arrive at a peace agreement, that issue will not be settled. If you arrive at a peace agreement, everybody will understand where Israel is and everybody will understand where Palestine is.

MR. SHALABI: Mr. Secretary, the message that the Palestinians receiving from building settlement, that the two-state solution question – it’s a big question mark on two-state solution. Do you think that – and also, I have statistics that even raising number Palestinian start to say two-state solution is not (inaudible) anymore and they will go for a one-state solution.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, there is no one-state solution. There’s no such thing as a one-state solution. You cannot have peace on any one side with the concept of a one-state solution. It just won’t happen. You can’t subsume other people into one state against their will. And it simply is not a reality. And anybody who’s talking about it doesn’t know really what – it’s just not possible. So you’ll have a perpetual state of conflict if somebody tries to achieve that.


130 Responses

  1. amigo
    November 8, 2013, 9:20 am

    I watched the the various leaders arriving at the Hotel in Geneva.Aston was chatting with the Iranian FM and the atmosphere seemed upbeat.

    I bet the Zionist leaders are pulling their hair out watching years of propaganda and threats and war mongering go down the tubes.

    Eat your heart out Niet an yahu.

    The worlds attention will be right back on Palestine in spite of your futile efforts to divert attention.

    • Ira Glunts
      November 8, 2013, 2:37 pm

      Hold the fort mi amigo.

      Kerry just indicated there are some important issues yet to be resolved. He stated that there is no deal yet. Other officials at the talks are saying things that indicate that there may be problems in getting an agreement. An Iranian official said, “we are at a sensitive stage.”

      The last meeting Kerry had before traveling to Geneva was with Netanyahu. Is it possible that the Israeli told Kerry something which influenced how Kerry is relating to the Iranian proposal? It previously seemed like a done deal.

      • Shingo
        November 8, 2013, 3:40 pm

        Is it possible that the Israeli told Kerry something which influenced how Kerry is relating to the Iranian proposal?

        Are the negotiations being run by Kerry or by Obama?

        Of course, it’s hard to know what is true and what is for public consumption. Remember how Obama went back to “all options are on the table” after the phone call to Rouhani, to placate Netenyahu?

      • Ira Glunts
        November 8, 2013, 4:23 pm

        I am sure Kerry is in communication with Obama so even if Obama makes all the important decisions, it would not preclude Netanyahu’s influence on what Kerry said.

        Of course, the question is pure speculation on my part, but the Americans have been spending a lot of time and energy talking with the Israeli PM of late. Netanyahu also has powerful allies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE backing him up in regard to Iran.

        There have been numerous reports (all unsourced) in the US and Israeli press that the US offered to play ball with Israel in regard to Iran if Israel would be more flexible with the Palestinian negotiations. If that rumor is true, apparentlyIsrael nixed it. Still, it makes you wonder just how committed the US is to the present temporary agreement on the table.

        I just think it may be a bit too early to discount the Israeli influence on the Iran negotiations.

      • Shingo
        November 8, 2013, 5:15 pm

        I do share much of your cynicism Ira,

        I’m just curious as to how much of a loose canon Kerry is and like you, I am curious as to how much of these theatrics are about providing Bibbi a soft landing while they ignore his demands.

      • EUR1069
        November 8, 2013, 5:16 pm

        “Netanyahu also has powerful allies in Saudi Arabia”

        Then how about asking the KSA to recognize Israel as a Jewish state first? That would be a good start. We’ll see how THAT works out. Geneva is about the Iranian nuclear energy, not about Israel.

      • Kathleen
        November 8, 2013, 7:22 pm

        “more flexible” what could that mean? That they will cut back a few thousand illegal houses in the illegal settlements?

      • Ira Glunts
        November 8, 2013, 7:54 pm

        @ Kathleen That is the 64K question. What does the Obama administration consider a fair and reasonable settlement? See my question to ToivoS below.

        My guess is if the US does put its position on the table (rumors are Kerry will present something in January) that it will be somewhere between the Clinton parameters and what Israel is demanding now. This will not lead to an agreement.

        I do not think these talks will go the full nine months. I think they will collapse shortly after Kerry presents the US draft proposals if they make it that far. I worry that even before the Kerry draft, there is going to be a disastrous confrontation between Muslim and Jewish worshippers on the al Aqsa plaza.

        Organized groups of Jewish worshippers are going there to pray in contradiction to the rules of the place. A Knesset committee was trying to pass legislation to allow Jewish prayer in the plaza last week which lead to an amazing rancorous confrontation between Palestinian and Jewish legislators. There was a video on the Net but I don’t have it.

        As MP Ahmed Tibi said, the second intifada started at al Aqsa and so will the third (if Jews continue to try to pray there). I hope he is wrong.

      • thankgodimatheist
        November 9, 2013, 2:32 am

        How about Israel recognize the Palestinians right to a state first, Zionist?

      • Dutch
        November 8, 2013, 4:00 pm

        @ Ira
        European News programs report that a deal is in sight. Kerry’s interest is to create silence on the Iran-front to force Israel to take the talks with the Palestinians serious.

        It’s interesting to see Netanyahu interfering in US politics openly. Here comes a great chance to show the American public the mechanics. I guess that’s where our energy should go.

      • Ira Glunts
        November 8, 2013, 4:42 pm

        @ Dutch The deal may be in sight, but so was the promised land to Moses.

        Seriously, I just thought the latest from Kerry was worrisome. I sure hope that the deal is signed tomorrow and Netantyahu continues to protest. I agree with you that it makes him look bad to the US public.

        However, even if a temporary deal is concluded, the most important negotiations are yet to come and I do not think we have heard the end of Bibi.

        As far as the Palestinian negotiations, I think it is noteworthy that Kerry did not commit to putting forth a US draft proposal when he was specifically asked about it the other day. It is pretty clear that these talks are not going anywhere, so why delay if you are serious about getting a resolution.

      • Dutch
        November 8, 2013, 6:41 pm

        @ Ira

        Nothing wrong with being sceptical – we’ve seen stranger things. But let’s celebrate the fact that even the slightest friction in Israels extreme agenda exposes Netanyahu as the warmaker he is, and creatse a chance to get the U.S. public informed.

        Apart from that, I believe we have seen strong signals that the White House is totally fed up with Israel’s stubborn non-compliance, and is explaining the Israeli public that it’s time to give in for the sake of their own security or face a third intifadah. I think that’s the right argument at the right time coming from the right man. I hoped for it, but didn’t expect it to happen.

      • Ira Glunts
        November 8, 2013, 7:18 pm

        @ Dutch I happily join with you in celebrating the fact that Netanyahu is forced to look like the intransigent warmonger that he is.

        I just read that Obama telephoned Netanyahu after the PM’s outburst and they had quite a long conversation. Neither the details nor the tone of that talk were released. Wouldn’t it be great if someone hacked their talk and sent it to us? I worry that this extreme solicitousness is a bad sign.

        link to

        As to the Palestinian issue, I remain very skeptical. See my response to ToivoS below. I just do not see a resolution in the near future. The lobby is too strong and there is almost no political will in Israel to withdraw from any land.

      • Kathleen
        November 8, 2013, 8:26 pm

        “fed up with Israel’s stubborn non-compliance” like kicking both Obama and Biden in the balls when they arrived in Israel and Bibi and team announce the expansion of illegal settlements.

      • amigo
        November 8, 2013, 4:37 pm

        “Hold the fort mi amigo.

        Kerry just indicated there are some important issues yet to be resolved. He stated that there is no deal yet. ”

        Yes I know Ira.I was referring to how cordial the interactions were between the participants on their way in and how galling that would be for niet an yahu and co.

      • Ira Glunts
        November 8, 2013, 4:50 pm

        @ amigo Anything that galls Netanyahu makes me happy. He did not look so good in the top video and that was before the cordial interactions. I hope all is still this cordial tomorrow. And through the signing of a permanent treaty.

      • ToivoS
        November 8, 2013, 5:10 pm

        Ira you are being to pessimistic. Obama has been moving in this direction for 18 months. It is a delicate political game being played here. All of those meetings between Obama/Kerry and Netanyahu have been efforts to placate the Israelis and their American supporters.

        Netanyahu is beginning to realize that he can’t run US policy, that the US does have independent interests in the ME and his absurd outburst is nice demonstration that reality might be intruding into his egomaniacal brain.

      • Ira Glunts
        November 8, 2013, 6:49 pm

        @ ToivoS — I just wonder how big these gaps are between Iran and the P5 + 1 + 1 other (Israel.)

        As far as the Palestine issue goes I am a pessimist. The sides are much further apart than they were 13 years ago. And the US will continue to refuse to exert the necessary pressure on Israel to be “reasonable” to even get to a point where the PA might even consider signing on.

        I think that the question for the optimists is: What will be the nature of the proposal that Obama/Kerry will offer as a compromise for the sides to use in the negotiations? That is if they actually do make such a proposal as Clinton did. Remember that the audience for the proposal is not only the Israelis and the Palestinians, but also the lobby.

        Kerry in Geneva to push nuclear talks with Iran, says ‘important gaps’ remain
        Washington Post – ‎43 minutes ago‎

        GENEVA —Secretary of State John F. Kerry lowered expectations here Friday that a deal over Iran’s disputed nuclear program was imminent, as foreign ministers gathered to try to narrow differences over a proposal to ease some economic sanctions in …

      • Kathleen
        November 8, 2013, 8:27 pm

        Totally with you.

      • mondonut
        November 8, 2013, 9:09 pm

        @ Ira Glunts

        The US will continue to refuse to exert the necessary pressure on Israel the Palestinians to be “reasonable” to even get to a point where the PA Israelis might even consider signing on.

      • Ira Glunts
        November 8, 2013, 10:02 pm

        @ Mondonut I ask you the same question I asked others. See above reply to ToivoS. What would be in your mind a fair and just proposal for Kerry to put forward in the negotiations?

        What would Netanyahu consider reasonable behavior on the part of the Palestinians? Is what Netanyahu demands from the Palestinians reasonable?

      • mondonut
        November 9, 2013, 2:28 pm

        Ira Glunts says:What would be in your mind a fair and just proposal for Kerry to put forward in the negotiations?
        What does that have to do with your assertion that the US is obliged to pressure the Israelis to compromise to Palestinian demands? Why do you not see the the Palestinians as equally intransigent?

      • Shingo
        November 9, 2013, 5:29 pm

        Why do you not see the the Palestinians as equally intransigent?

        Because it’s only Israel that is occupying Palestinian land, stealing it and building illegal settlements, not the other way around.

      • mijj
        November 9, 2013, 8:56 pm

        (‘scuse me for butting in, but ..)

        > “Why do you not see the the Palestinians as equally intransigent?”

        we often see this weird argument where some people exclaim that both the criminal and victim are equally at fault.

        I guess: Israelis are at fault for theft and aggression against Palestinians … and Palestinians are at fault for having something Israel wants, and being the cause of Israeli aggression by not allowing Israelis to take what they want.

        It’s like seeing someone being mugged or raped and saying the victim is equally responsible.

      • Djinn
        November 9, 2013, 11:38 pm

        How many Israelis are in Palestinian prisons?
        How many Israeli children are arrested and held by Palestinian forces?
        How many Palestinian only settlements are there within Israel’s borders?
        How many Palestinian forces are stationed in Israeli towns?
        How many Palestinian checkpoints and road blocks are there in Israel?
        How many Israeli people live under siege due to Palestinian blockades?
        How many Israelis have had WP used against them?
        How many Israelis have had their homes demolished?
        What are the casualties on both sides?

        You honestly think anyone believes the two are in any way equal?

  2. Bumblebye
    November 8, 2013, 9:23 am

    link to

    “Congress, which gave the right-wing Netanyahu almost 30 standing ovations when he addressed it in 2011, has already threatened to pursue tough new sanctions against Iran, despite the on-going talks in Geneva — music to Israel’s ears.

    Asked whether Israel would now use its leverage in Congress, the senior Israeli official said: “That could well be.” He added: “It would be an exaggeration to call this a major crisis. There’s a disagreement here. It’s a crisis that we’ll find a way through.””

    (the senior official had declined to be named)
    So these furriners will meddle in the US political process any way they can. Over to AIPAC and poxy Foxy! Carry that (stolen, Palestinian) water for israel, boyos!

    • braciole
      November 8, 2013, 12:42 pm

      Most of the effective sanctions against Iran are ones that the United States has imposed unilaterally and which the USG has stiff-armed its poodles into supporting. I imagine that the message has been delivered by the EU and BRIC that if the US obstructs this attempt at a settlement, the US can wave all those sanctions goodbye. Since the sanctions are also impacting the EU and BRIC economies, it is their business

      Will the US congress throw its rattle from the pram?

      • seafoid
        November 8, 2013, 3:21 pm

        And Ted Cruz gives Iran an ultimatum- recognize Israel as a Jewish State – WTF? Does Iran also have to recognize Miley Cyrus as a diva?

      • braciole
        November 8, 2013, 9:38 pm

        Ted Cruz is a racist. So, why does anyone pay him any attention?

      • Shingo
        November 8, 2013, 3:43 pm

        Most of the effective sanctions against Iran are ones that the United States has imposed unilaterally and which the USG has stiff-armed its poodles into supporting.

        Unfortunately, the US has some big sticks to carry. SWIFT, which is the only international system of money transfer and exchange, and the threat of refusing banking transactions fo those state’s institution to take place in the US.

        The upside is that this is driving the non aligned movement to come up with alternatives.

      • Koshiro
        November 8, 2013, 5:05 pm

        You do realize that SWIFT is a European organization, that its chairman is Dutch and that its HQ is located in Brussels? The US can snoop on, and to an extent control SWIFT transactions thanks solely to a treaty the EU countries (foolishly) signed, but which can be abrogated – something that in light of the recent NSA scandals a growing number of EU politicians has been in favor of anyway. Thanks to geographical reasons alone, if push comes to shove, the US has no means of exercising control over SWIFT without a military invasion of Belgium.

      • Ellen
        November 9, 2013, 12:21 pm

        SWIFT is not the only system to make international transfers. It is a banking cooperative.

        Funds can enter the US banking system with a simple wire into the US fed routing system. Within Europe there is also the IBAN system.

        The SWIFT cooperative is in Europe.

  3. amigo
    November 8, 2013, 9:29 am

    I wonder if the zionist entity will accuse those in Geneva of Anti Semitism for not inviting niet an yahu to the meeting.

  4. EUR1069
    November 8, 2013, 9:31 am

    Bibi is clearly panicking – as he well understands that if Geneva produces an agreement with Iran the next topic in the nukes department will be the Israeli arsenal, front & center. It’s coming…

    • Susie Kneedler
      November 8, 2013, 10:27 am

      An hour ago, on the BBC World Service “Newshour,” Owen Bennett Jones asked Israel’s Mark Regev about Israel’s nuclear bomb. Regev first replied [approx], “I will not confirm what you allege,” then, to Bennett Jones’s repeated questions, intoned twice: “Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East.”

      • marc b.
        November 8, 2013, 10:35 am

        the ‘not introduce nuclear weapons to the ME’ language is supposedly the non-denial/denial agreed upon by the Israelis and the Nixon administration, ‘introduction’ in this context meaning public acknowledgement of the Israeli nuclear arsenal, not the actual production of those weapons. it’s lawyer speak and every politician and diplomat knows what it really means, they just won’t tell the public. another case where ‘secrecy’ entails the withholding of information from the public at large, not a state’s supposed enemies.

      • Susie Kneedler
        November 8, 2013, 10:48 am

        Exactly: thanks, marc b. And, yet, such implied “denial” deceives.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 8, 2013, 12:26 pm

        In interpreting the formula we have to bear in mind that the Israelis do not think of themselves as living in the Middle East. They think Israel is in Europe.

      • seafoid
        November 8, 2013, 10:53 am

        Regev is such a turd.
        Israel has nukes. Everyone knows it.
        They have nukes because of the weakness of their claim to all of Palestine.
        Sure, God gave it to them. But he has a habit of getting really MAD and smiting them when they stray off the path of righteousness.
        And they are driving at speed towards the cliff of righteousness these days.

      • Hostage
        November 8, 2013, 3:35 pm

        And they are driving at speed towards the cliff of righteousness these days.

        Correction: Righteousness disappeared from the rear view mirror a long time ago.

      • Ecru
        November 9, 2013, 4:39 am

        Righteousness disappeared from the rear view mirror a long time ago.

        Maybe they’re hoping the Universe is indeed spherical and that by continuing to drive at ever increasing velocities away from righteousness they’ll somehow end up driving towards it? I’d certainly say they’re loopy enough to think that.

      • bintbiba
        November 9, 2013, 7:32 am

        touche’ !!

    • sandhillexit
      November 9, 2013, 2:28 pm

      Yep. It’s interesting that whatever process of verification/oversight is designed for Iran will of necessity be applied to Israel and its secret engineering projects too. How heavy-handed do they want it to be? Or can N just not imagine that any rules applied to Iran could ever be applied to Israel? He seems to thing rules are for everyone else. The U.S. has the luxury of pretending that rules are for everyone else, but small states, like Denmark, Thailand and others have made international rules their friends. Israel wants to play the international game “as if” it’s the United States.

  5. John Douglas
    November 8, 2013, 9:36 am

    This is a very hopeful development. I did not see in the video the same confident man who managed 29 standing ovations from what is supposed to be my Congress. And I’ll be very happy if Kerry refutes my longstanding judgment that he is an empty suit.

  6. talknic
    November 8, 2013, 9:42 am

    Netanyahu was also obstinate re negotiations with the Palestinians. He said that the Palestinians “refuse to budge” on Israeli security needs

    Under the UN Charter Israel has no legal right to more secure borders than its neighbours. (Especially if it’s achieved by Israel taking neighbours territories)

  7. seafoid
    November 8, 2013, 9:43 am

    Israel can F@@@ off. Intransigence is not getting the GOP anywhere and people are sick of the bots using the same strategy.

    Capitalism rules and Iran has loads of growth potential.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 8, 2013, 9:58 am


      Take away the lobby and all the glossy PR about ‘ hi tech start ups’, and it becomes clear that Israel really has very little to offer the US, or anyone else for that matter. It’s simply a minor desert nation despised by just about everyone for thousands of kilometres around. Iran, by contrast is a strategically vital nation of 70 million people, with a very well educated population and a history stretching back thousands of years. In a sane world, if any country was asked to choose between Iran and Israel, there would be no competition.

      Deep down, ”Bibi” knows this. He knows that Israel is teetering on the brink of irrelevance. And he can’t stand it.

      • seafoid
        November 8, 2013, 10:12 am

        It has trade links with Iraq, the gulf , India.

        Israel has very low growth ahead.

      • American
        November 8, 2013, 11:15 am

        Maximus Decimus Meridius says:

        November 8, 2013 at 9:58 am


        Take away the lobby and all the glossy PR about ‘ hi tech start ups’, and it becomes clear that Israel really has very little to offer the US, or anyone else for that matter.”>>>>>>>

        You’re right.
        None of the ‘lesser’ nations, which includes Israel are indispensable.
        They are all ‘providers’ to the major consumer markets, they are not major consumer markets and it is the “consumer markets” that rule global commerce not the providers.
        Israel especially is not a major market for anyone because it’s population is so small.
        Lessers with large populations on the other hand like India and others that are up and coming and gaining skilled and educated workers have gained some heft now and can say to companies and countries—‘if you want access to our 70 million consumer market you have to give us something like a nice new Intel, MS or Ford plant to employ our people so they can buy your products’. Israel has no such card to play, they have had to rely on ‘favors’ for the Jewish holocaust state and US and Jewish diaspora influence/efforts to build up Israel economically.
        Any of the lessers could disappear and the slack would taken up by another lesser who can provide the same product or service. Lose Israel and India or a dozen similar lesser and ‘start ups’ just get nice increases in their sales and exports and juicy US off shoring plants.

      • Abierno
        November 8, 2013, 1:00 pm

        The larger issue – which is never alluded to in mainstream press is Iran’s relations with China. Iran is now China’s biggest oil supplier importing 475,521 barrels of crude per day and 40000 million tons of LPG. China is
        boosting Iranian development (much in the oil fields) with 20 billion dollars
        of money not transferred because of sanctions. Oil pipelines through Afganistan and Pakistan will carry crude and LPG to China. Obviously,
        this has the potential to obviate existing sanctions, but more important
        Iran offers the opportunity for critical trade relationships this country,
        impoverished as it is can scarcely afford to pass this up for faux nuclear
        recriminations from a nation to which we seem highly pressured by lobbyist
        forces to support with billions of dollars, weapons as well as engage in in rogue military adventures in other sovreign countries – e.g. Iraq, Libya,
        Syria – with consistently disastrous financial and foreign policy results.
        Congress needs to think outside of teh AIPAC box in which they are
        currently penned.

      • Frankie P
        November 8, 2013, 6:30 pm


        I’m wondering if you are aware of IMF forecasts that say that India, which you call a “lesser”, will have the largest population of middle class consumers in the world by the year 2030. If you believe that consumer markets rule global commerce, you must also believe that the world in 20 years time will be a very different one from the one we live in today. For in 20 years time, Indonesia will have more middle class consumers than the US. That’s not saying that the number of US middle class consumers will decrease; indeed, it will be the increase in Indonesian middle class consumers that will be responsible. Additionally, the Indonesian middle class consumers will be at the bottom of the range what is considered by the IMF as “middle class”, disposable income of approximately US$10 – 100 per day, while the US will still be in the higher ranges. That said, imagine the implications of the global shift in power from Europe and the US to Asia. Mind boggling.

      • seafoid
        November 9, 2013, 1:07 am

        Sanctions kept Iran’s oil in the ground and paradoxically make it more attractive as a business partner now . Israel thinks it’s a special friend of the US but the system is all about getting oil to Asia. Ain’t got nothing to do with Jesus Christ or the second coming or Jerusalem.

      • American
        November 9, 2013, 10:37 am

        @ Frankie

        I put India in the lesser in the context of ‘present day” rankings and in the context of ’emerging’ not established fully mature markets. It is not intended as a slur—it’s a measurement.

        And yes, I am fully aware that world commerce will look very different in 20 years—-I’ve been on this since the GATT hearings in 1966 –which I attended in Geneva as a college student—I am of the same opinion now as I was then–and my predictions, as a lot of other US industry predictions back then, have proven correct.
        But it might look very different then even what you imagine in 20 years.
        Global commerce competition is going to be the next Cold War.

    • Ecru
      November 9, 2013, 4:42 am

      @ seafoid

      Intransigence is not getting the GOP anywhere…

      Intransigence might not be getting the GOP anywhere but it looks like they’re hoping rampant gerrymandering and voter suppression might do the trick.

      • seafoid
        November 9, 2013, 12:00 pm

        They missed the latino and gay marriage boats. I don’t think their current strategy is going anywhere.

      • just
        November 9, 2013, 12:12 pm

        They also missed in VA, thank goodness.

        The Cuch was kicked to the curb (narrowly).

        He tried to kick all of humanity to the curb, and lost.

  8. Elliot
    November 8, 2013, 9:44 am

    Phil, I think your headline and lead miss the point.
    How about: “Defiant Netanyahu slams peace deal with Iran: “we will do everything we need to do to protect Israel”

  9. Philip Weiss
    November 8, 2013, 9:47 am

    Thanks Elliot, I should probably revise

  10. Taxi
    November 8, 2013, 10:09 am

    LOL, in the same breath, Netanyahu accuses the Palestinians of not ‘budging’, then immediately follows with “I will never compromise…” blah blah….


    What I recently called the “undercurrent” of change in the USA-israel relations, is now (and speedily) becoming a wave.

    Diamonds last longer than israel.

  11. Danny_123
    November 8, 2013, 10:10 am

    What Kerry should tell Netanyahu: Go eat some Polonium!

  12. BillM
    November 8, 2013, 10:31 am

    What deal? There isn’t actually a deal yet for Netanyahu to undermine. This is just the standard gamesmanship. The theater is perhaps revealing of both how utterly disinterested Israel actually is in the nuclear issue (their only goal is to increase tension while keeping sanctions as tight as possible), and how openly contemptuous Netanyahu is of the Obama Administration (but that’s been clear for years, and there have been zero consequences).

  13. American
    November 8, 2013, 10:32 am

    Kerry in Israel: Settlement Construction Plans ‘Illegitimate’
    ABC News

    At least this is a step up from the usual ”not helpful” mewing of the State Dept.


  14. justicewillprevail
    November 8, 2013, 10:33 am

    So the regional bully has a meltdown because the rest of the world doesn’t obey his diktat, and has no interest in the endless war that Israel tirelessly promotes. About time. Everyone has had enough of the hysterical propaganda and fear-mongering that is the only tune Israel and its mob-like army of sycophants can sing. Call his bluff and let him have his little tantrum, because the best thing that can result from this is an honest assessment of the emperor and his lack of clothing. Enough of the smokescreen, let some daylight into the pernicious grip that Israel has had on the region, and on US politics, for too long.

  15. Annie Robbins
    November 8, 2013, 10:45 am

    it’s really amusing they’ve released these videos. netanyahu acts like he thinks he’s the president of the world. he’s just the pm of a little backwater racist country.

    • Justpassingby
      November 8, 2013, 11:02 am

      Someone must tell this man to shut up. Maybe through cut american aid?

      • Annie Robbins
        November 8, 2013, 12:51 pm

        speaking of telling him to shut up…the link above, to the nyt link to titled “Kerry Joins European Officials at Iran Nuclear Talks”, while opening w/ information about kerry’s arrival in geneva the entire 2nd half of the article is all israel israel israel. all about net throwing his little hissy fit.

        but what is helpful is co-joining the iran issue and the i/p conflict together in the press. because people need to grasp how much this constant pressure from israel to go after iran is radically linked to the real problem facing israel, the one they refuse to budge on. people need to completely understand israel is ratcheting up the fear against iran to divert attention away from their constant expansion, all they really care about..securing the entire region of palestine as ‘greater israel’.

        i’m so sick of this. anyway, why are americans continually getting their info about iran filtered thru jerusalem? Michael R. Gordon reported from Geneva, and Mark Landler from Tel Aviv. Jodi Rudoren contributed reporting from Jerusalem.


        and if that’s the way it’s going to be they could at least be truthful about it, instead of “Kerry Joins European Officials at Iran Nuclear Talks” it should read Kerry Joins European Officials at Iran Nuclear Talks and Israel throws a fit.

        meanwhile, i’m more interested in what iran thinks, russia thinks, china thinks, the UK thinks, other members of the P5+1? or maybe a quote from obama? but no, our news is all filtered thru tel aviv, netanyahu, and the hardline israeli perspective.


      • American
        November 8, 2013, 9:59 pm

        Most of the world is worn out with what Israel thinks…or wants.
        The more they squawk, whine, threaten and demand, the more weary the world becomes of them.
        I think the diplomat quoted in Haaretz is expressing the general feeling of all the European nations regarding the Jewish State.

        Analysis || On Iran, Israel playing role of ‘party pooper’
        ”Israel must take care not to overdo its criticism, says a European diplomat, because it is liable to be pushed into a corner in which it will no longer be relevant.”

      • seafoid
        November 9, 2013, 1:03 am

        This is high power. Iran is a great capitalist prize. Look at how America got all loved up with the generals in Burma after years of sanctions.

        One of Bourdieu’s observations is that ‘the dominant retain their position by constantly changing their stance’.

        I think this is what the bots are really afraid of deep down. They run a circus and the Yanks are going to stitch them. For capitalism.

    • Qualtrough
      November 8, 2013, 11:06 am

      …with 200+ nukes. Given Israel’s Samson Option I find that far more frightening than the prospect of Iran having a couple.

  16. Ellen
    November 8, 2013, 10:45 am

    “This is a first step,” she said, and the purpose would be to build trust so that the negotiations on that much broader deal can begin. “

    That is exactly the point. Israel does not want a first step to normalization of relations with Iran even taken. There are still hopes of having the US destroy the country.

    That is not going to happen. The US has mishandled relations with Iran for many many decades. It does not serve the US interests (or world interests) to be at war with Iran. The country, is simply too great, too important for the long term interests of Europe and the US.

    Can Israel get over it’s manufactured fears and be friends?

    Netanyahu sounded unhinged.

  17. Justpassingby
    November 8, 2013, 11:01 am

    Israel block peace. Again.

  18. Hostage
    November 8, 2013, 11:06 am

    Well, there is no one-state solution. There’s no such thing as a one-state solution. You cannot have peace on any one side with the concept of a one-state solution. It just won’t happen. You can’t subsume other people into one state against their will. And it simply is not a reality.

    That’s a non-answer. Time and again, the US government has blocked international sanctions against the State of Israel for subsuming other people into one state against their will. Israel has already done that to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians living beyond the UN partition lines and the UN Armistices lines.

    The US still has laws on the books which require Kerry to recognize the existence of the Mandated State of Palestine. His own Department of State still puts it on passports of citizens born there before 1948.

    President Truman refused to employ American troops to implement the General Assembly plan of partition with economic union on both constitutional and UN Charter grounds. There is no right to establish a Jewish or Arab state on territory inhabited by other ethnic groups against their wishes. See Statement by President Truman, March 25, 1948 link to

    The fact that the Jews established a state through secession, illegal population transfers, and military conquest doesn’t mean that Israel has the right to peace and security inside whatever new borders they choose to dictate. The UN refused to recognize similar regimes in South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, once their true nature became apparent. There can’t be any “just settlement” of the Question of Palestine in all of its aspects that codifies or rewards flagrant violations of international laws or serious international crimes.

    • bintbiba
      November 8, 2013, 11:23 am

      Thank you Hostage. So brilliantly put!

    • American
      November 8, 2013, 11:37 am

      ‘There can’t be any “just settlement” of the Question of Palestine in all of its aspects that codifies or rewards flagrant violations of international laws or serious international crimes’

      The way I see it Hostage the US isn’t interested in a ‘just’ settlement, just some kind of half assed settlement that gets I/P off it’s problem list without cutting off all the US Isr-First political donations to the politicians and political parties.
      Our now supremely corrupted gov-system having to choose between ‘just’ and political money?
      So far the money has trumped ‘just’ principles. So far the US has told Justice and International Law to go f’ themselves for Israel.
      I don’t believe the US is going to do anything concrete until something fricking really blows this pretense game up.
      Maybe I will be wrong…..would be delighted to be wrong.

      • Hostage
        November 8, 2013, 2:29 pm

        So far the money has trumped ‘just’ principles.

        No if that had actually happened, the Question of Palestine would have quietly dropped off the agenda decades ago and the US would NOT find itself isolated and using that veto to defend illegal settlements.

        But the international community still rubs our Ambassador’s nose “in it” every year with resolutions reaffirming the permanent sovereignty and inalienable rights of the inhabitants of the occupied Arab territories, including East Jerusalem – and their right to compensation and self-determination. I agree that the US and Israel wish that it would play-out another way, more to their liking.

  19. Sumud
    November 8, 2013, 11:08 am

    Can someone please show that man how to tie a tie.

    On another equally trivial note, watching Netanyahu I can’t help but think of the wicked witch and her ‘beautiful wickedness’:

    link to

    It’s all going wrong isn’t it Bibi?

  20. amigo
    November 8, 2013, 11:11 am

    “U.S., Israel lose UNESCO voting right in dispute over Palestinians
    Loss follows U.S., Israeli failure to pay dues in protest over world governments’ decision to make Palestine a UNESCO member in 2011.”Haaretz

    The USA takes another blow for Israel.

    link to

    • Hostage
      November 8, 2013, 3:07 pm

      “U.S., Israel lose UNESCO voting right in dispute over Palestinians”

      I believe the US has withheld funding on so many Palestine/PLO issues for so many years that it already should have lost its right to vote in the General Assembly. That was certainly the case according to a Congressional Research Service report back in 2003. See U.N. System Funding: Congressional Issues link to

      The way the statute works is: dues or assessments get withheld from any agency or organ that grants Palestine or the PLO rights normally reserved for a state. The UN Treaty Organization and the Secretary General (acting as its depositary) could end up defunding the general assessment that supports fundamental operations of the UN organization simply by allowing Palestine to file accessions for multilateral treaties in accordance with the terms of the Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties, Diplomatic Relations, and Consular Relations that the United States has has accepted and even ratified.

      • Sumud
        November 8, 2013, 6:09 pm

        Is there any mechanism in place that would ever see the US lose it’s voting rights on the SC?

      • Hostage
        November 9, 2013, 12:03 am

        No, the P5 vote and veto on non-procedural matters is black letter law under the Charter, which can only be amended with unanimous consent.

  21. mijj
    November 8, 2013, 11:16 am

    i hear Netanyahu is planning to punish Obama and Kerry by refusing to accept any more aid from the US,

  22. DICKERSON3870
    November 8, 2013, 12:10 pm

    RE: “So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal.” ~ Netanyahu

    MY COMMENT: No matter how good of an agreement the U.S. negotiates, Likudnik Israel will ALWAYS feel like it is being “suckered” by Iran. It is virtually impossible for Likudnik Israel to see anything as a “win-win”.

    SEE: “It’s a Sin to Be a Sucker in Israel, by Marjorie Miller”, L.A. Times, 7/25/1997

    [EXCERPT] JERUSALEM — Why does an Israeli driver speed up when another car signals its intent to enter his traffic lane? Because he doesn’t want to be a freier–a sucker. . .
    . . . So does the fear of being a sucker bear upon peace negotiations?

    Israel’s bottom line in a peace accord with the Palestinians will be determined by “the sense that they are making decisions governing the existence of the Jewish state and future of the Jewish people,” said a U.S. diplomat in Israel. Not by the fear of being a sucker.
    And yet, peace negotiations are affected by the fact that neither Israelis nor Palestinians want to risk being a sucker by making concessions before the other side does.
    In negotiations, an American generally will put his cards on the table, expect the other side to do the same and assume that a happy compromise lives somewhere in the middle. But Israelis and Palestinians do not bargain in this way.
    “Both sides believe anything offered up first will be pocketed by the other side,” said the diplomat, who asked not to be identified.
    “Whenever things break down, this is usually the problem. They will hold out carrots but do not want to give one up until they are sure the other side will give.”
    Lucy Shahar, co-author of the book “Border Crossings: American Interactions With Israelis,” explained that, in the case of Israelis, this is because they do not share the American belief in win-win negotiations. “In his heart of hearts, an Israeli believes that is impossible,” Shahar said. “In the Middle East, usually someone loses badly. Nothing in the Israeli experience suggests that everyone wins here or in the diaspora.” . . .


    P.S. FROM [frayer]:

    [EXCERPTS] There is one correct definition of the term frayer. It means “sucker” or “mark,” in the sense that somebody is a sucker if he goes along with the rules when nobody else is following them, or a mark if he’s a naive target for thieves. . .
    . . . In Israeli life and society, the worst thing anybody can ever be is a frayer, and most people will do anything and everything they can at all times to avoid being a frayer. The only way to be certain at any given moment that you are not a frayer is to make somebody else a frayer.

    SOURCE – link to

  23. sandhillexit
    November 8, 2013, 12:24 pm

    If you read Filkins, Iran made a strategic deal with the U.S. and stuck to it – namely they allowed the U.S. to exit Iraq without a “helicopters on the roof of the Saigon embassy, people hanging off the runners” scene. The relatively quiet U.S. military exit from Iraq was part of a deal, and importantly for Iran/U.S. detente, Iran showed they are a nation that gives its word, keeps its word. Possibly because of a risk/reward calculus, but that’s ok. Shows they are rational, self-interested, competent. This is the most important story not told in recent years. But I think Americans sense that Panneta and Petraeus managed something quietly and well. They cut our losses and left. With Iran’s help. Balance of power is the U.S. best bet in the region. That said, the guy who was democratically elected in 1953 would probably look pretty good about now.

  24. Taxi
    November 8, 2013, 12:29 pm

    If there is such a thing as ‘peace mud’, then it’s been well rubbed on the warmongering face of Netanyahu.

  25. Elliot
    November 8, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Did Kerry just go through the soap opera of pleading Israel to temporarily slow down West Bank settlement construction so that the U.S. can later say it wasn’t capable of stopping Israel from attacking Iran?

  26. RudyM
    November 8, 2013, 12:58 pm

    If Israel decides to attack Iran, I hope it gets what’s coming to it and the problem will be decisively solved.

  27. Ludwig
    November 8, 2013, 1:09 pm

    Kerry has no right to threaten Palestinian violence if they walk away from the table. Build baby build! We won’t stop! Watch and weep.

    • Justpassingby
      November 8, 2013, 3:31 pm

      Speaking on crying, is this you Ludwig?

      link to

    • justicewillprevail
      November 8, 2013, 5:03 pm

      That is probably the most demented and dishonest comment so far. Well done for illustrating the zionist point of view so eloquently.

    • libra
      November 8, 2013, 5:12 pm

      Luddy Baby, the hapless Kerry spent more time trying to save you from a single-state. Not that it matters, no man on earth can save you from that. Nemesis always follows hubris. Watch and weep indeed.

    • just
      November 8, 2013, 5:12 pm

      Ludwig, your comments are ugly. The Palestinians have wept enough, and it’s your pm and your kind that have “walked away” every single time.

      You never wanted “peace”.

    • EUR1069
      November 8, 2013, 5:22 pm

      Yeah, “build, baby, build!”

      Good thing is that in two generations Palestinians will live in those nifty settlements, like it or not. The steam is clearly out of this one, man. The clock is ticking.

    • Talkback
      November 9, 2013, 3:39 am

      Ludwig says: “Kerry has no right to threaten Palestinian violence if they walk away from the table. Build baby build! We won’t stop! Watch and weep.”

      Since when are you supporting the war crime of illegal settling in occupied territories, Ludwig? Since the Occupation of “Judea and Samaria” Or since the occupation of “Bohemia and Moravia”?

    • talknic
      November 9, 2013, 12:42 pm

      @ Ludwig “Kerry has no right to threaten Palestinian violence if they walk away from the table”

      Uh? Kerry didn’t “threaten” Palestinian violence if they walk away from the table.

      ” Build baby build! We won’t stop! Watch and weep”

      You advocate criminal behaviour and gloat about it. How clever of you to show readers just how f&*ked up Israel’s apologists can be. BRAVO!! Keep up the good work.

    • quercus
      November 9, 2013, 12:46 pm

      @ Ludwig. Kerry is threatening nothing, just prognostication, I suppose. Here is the thing, Ludwig, I don’t want one penny, not a micron of American taxpayer money going to the State of Israel (nor to Egypt for that matter). World War II is long over, I was born long after it ended, I owe nothing to Israel or to anyone who is Jewish. Nothing. Nor does anyone else.

  28. Edward Q
    November 8, 2013, 1:22 pm

    Netanyahu needs to break out that picture of a bomb he brought to the UN.

    • seafoid
      November 8, 2013, 4:28 pm

      I think that Netanyahu may have paranoid schizophrenia

      link to

      “Examples of the most common paranoid symptoms are:
      •delusions of persecution, reference, exalted birth, special mission, bodily change, or jealousy”

      • EUR1069
        November 8, 2013, 8:13 pm

        The whole Zionist mindset is marked by paranoid schizophrenia. Bibi is just the public face of it – a mascot if you will.

  29. Kathleen
    November 8, 2013, 1:37 pm

    What I put up on my fb page yesterday

    US Congress will not wait to push ahead with sanctions on Iran
    link to
    US Senate Panel Will Move Ahead on New Iran Sanctions
    link to

    link to

  30. seafoid
    November 8, 2013, 1:44 pm

    Netanyahu throws his toys out of the pram and AP is now reporting that he refuses to take off his diaper.

    • Justpassingby
      November 8, 2013, 3:28 pm

      That diaper seems to be quite big, will he demand Kerry change the diaper for him?

  31. seafoid
    November 8, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Netanyahu told BBC Persian “Iran’s nukes will spell slavery for Iranian people”
    link to

    He can’t back down without looking like a tosspot
    But he really does look like one, especially with the combover.
    I wonder does he go all existential in his domestic life. Benji jnr doesn’t do his homework. Papa says the Jewish future is in peril and the homework issue may trigger a Holocaust.

  32. Hostage
    November 8, 2013, 3:27 pm

    We should have insisted on good-faith measures before meeting with the Iranians directly, such as the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini and the acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

    The Congress has already adopted similar laws that require any Palestinian government that includes Hamas to recognize the right of the Jewish State of Israel to exist in order to qualify for US funding or aid. There is no corresponding obligation for Israel to recognize the right of Palestine to exists as any kind of state. See U.S. Code Title 22, Chapter 32, Subchapter III, Part I, § 2378b “Limitation on assistance to the Palestinian authority”

    The Palestine Papers highlighted the fact that demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is considered a form of incitement prohibited under the terms of the Quartet Road Map:

    …Then Obama brought up incitement. . . .We should prepare for them a file on who is actually inciting. The demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is incitement. [To the NSU] Look very carefully at incitement. Bring as much evidence as possible on Israeli incitement against us, including legislation, speeches, books …

    See “Meeting Minutes: Saeb Erekat with (PLO) Negotiations Support Unit on US Meetings” link to June 2, 2009

    The adoption of laws respecting the establishment or maintenance of Jewish States is supposed to be outside the scope of the limited powers of our Congress in the first place.

  33. Philip Munger
    November 8, 2013, 3:39 pm


    We should have insisted on good-faith measures before meeting with the Iranians directly, such as the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini and the acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

    I googled “list of countries that acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state.” All I got is a list of countries that recognize the State of Israel. The wikipedia article on recognition of Israel lists none as acknowledging Israel “as a Jewish state.” Iran, in Wikipedia’s recognition of Israel article, states:

    Voted against UN Partition Plan, recognised Israel, but voted against admission of Israel to membership of UN. Relations severed in late 1979. Does not accept Israeli passports[90] and the holders of Iranian passports are “not entitled to travel to the occupied Palestine”[91]

    Does the United States government recognize Israel “as a Jewish state”? Is there a list of countries that so acknowledge Israel’s status?

    So, Cruz hopes to rake in a couple hundred G’s in campaign cash for this declaration?

  34. ToivoS
    November 8, 2013, 4:28 pm

    This is very good news. An agreement is being reached. There have been signs that things have been moving in this direction for over 18 months. What I found interesting is that there seem to be hints in this story that if the US failed to agree now, that Europe might have pulled back on sanctions. Should that have happen the entire sanctions enterprise against Iran would have collapsed on its own.

    I notice that the senate is now moving to pass more sanctions legislation. That should be expected. However, if the the other P5+1 countries drop sanctions that legislation will be irrelevant. Kerry must have agreed with the Europeans in advance that this is how it will be played. Since the Obama admin is charged with enforcing sanctions, not Congress, all he has to do is quietly signal to the Europeans to that they can go ahead on their own. This has certainly already been worked out in advance. I suspect that Iran realizes that is how it will have to play out.

    This might work out to everyones benefit. Iran wins. Kerry and Obama will have a diplomatic victory to be proud of. Congress can tell AIPAC that they did their part and are still deserving of the big contributions. The Israel lobby can tell Israel that they did their part and got Congress to act. The only loser in this is Netanyahu but what else is new.

  35. just
    November 8, 2013, 4:51 pm

    The only 2 mistakes that I see here is our stupid and cruel punishment of Iran and her people… and our eternal enabling of the Zionist and Apartheid state of Israel.

    Netanyahu is really “just the pm of a little backwater racist country”, as Annie wrote.

    And Cruz is an idiot.

  36. DICKERSON3870
    November 8, 2013, 7:35 pm

    THE SON: “Echoing Netanyahu, Ted Cruz slams Kerry and calls on Iran to recognize Israel as ‘Jewish state’”

    THE FATHER: “Rafael Cruz: LGBT rights and evolution are communist brainwashing lies to kill God”, By David Edwards,, 11/04/13
    LINK – link to

  37. Kathleen
    November 8, 2013, 8:33 pm

    Remember when Dr. Zbig said

    link to
    Zbigniew Brzezinski, who enthusiastically campaigned for U.S. President Barack Obama, has called on the president to shoot down Israeli planes if they attack Iran. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” said the former national security advisor to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in an interview with the Daily Beast. Brzezinski, who served in the Carter administration from 1977 to 1981, is currently a professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Maryland.

    “We have to be serious about denying them that right,” he said. “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a ‘Liberty’ in reverse.’” Israel mistakenly attacked the American Liberty ship during the Six-Day War in 1967.

  38. traintosiberia
    November 8, 2013, 9:11 pm

    How will Israel be helped in its fight against Iran by being recognized as a Jewish State? Will the Iranian nukes fly back from the undefined Israeli border to the city of Qom after being shown the Old Testament ‘s deed on the land from Yahewah ?

    So it has always been another bargains chip- create a straw man , a shadow enemy , spend energy and money, use the surrogates and the agents to manufacture fear , then relent and get what you want. That is more land.
    Nethanoo. – your father would have crowned you today as true successor to Jehu.if he were alive.

  39. eljay
    November 8, 2013, 9:12 pm

    >> We should have insisted on good-faith measures … such as … the acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

    Israel has no right to exist as an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”. No one should be expected or required to acknowledge Israel as anything other than an Israeli state within its / Partition borders.

  40. Dutch
    November 8, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Cruz wants Iran ‘to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state’. What on earth does that have to do with the nuclear talks?

  41. piotr
    November 8, 2013, 9:26 pm

    CNBC: Oil prices may be loosing Iranian “risk premium”. “There is a 10-15 dollar risk premium in the price of oil, and it’s been there for quite a while [three years or more] So any progress that they make that strarts to take away some of that concern about Iran helps to lower the price of oil”.

    “Oil bounced off a four month low Friday, but prices could plunge if an agreement is reached on Iran’s nuclear program”.

    “Iranian crude headed to market?”

    With such story lines AIPAC and GOP risk a disaster if they position themselves between the gasoline nozzles and the tanks of the consumers. Sanctions on Iran are a very good deal for Saudis, and not-so-bad for Russia (Russia is loosing markets in Iran and Syria, so sanctions are not such a plus), quite good deal for Texas, but a definite disaster elsewhere. If additionally USA and EU relented on the stupid policy of converting food into fuel, there is a potential for a pair of “anti-shocks”, cheap fuel and food.

    “Israel’s prime minister has dismissed an agreement expected to be made between world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme as a bad deal”. A deal that saves USA about 100 million dollars per day in trade balance, and the consumers about 200 million per day, with the potential of doubling that amount will not sound that bad.

  42. Kathleen
    November 8, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Prof Cole

    Top Reasons Israel’s Likud Really Opposes an Iran Nuclear Deal
    link to
    6. Netanyahu uses the supposed threat of Iran, a poor weak global South country with a military budget somewhere between that of Norway and Singapore, to distract attention from Israeli colonization of Palestinian territory. A Western deal with Iran would throw the spotlight on the Palestinian West Bank, where Netanyahu is engaged in grand larceny on a cosmic scale.

    7. If Iran is widely viewed by the international community to have stepped back from nuclear ambitions, Israel’s own nuclear arsenal will come to the fore as a focus, since it is the only Middle Eastern country with an arsenal of warheads, and that arsenal clearly drives a regional arms race (starting with Iraq in the 1980s).

  43. Kathleen
    November 8, 2013, 9:46 pm

    Israeli leaders have gone from demanding that Palestinians recognize Israel’s “right to exist” to demanding Palestinians state that “Israel is a Jewish State” What will be the next demand? Israel demands that Palestinians say that “illegal settlements are legal”

  44. yonah fredman
    November 8, 2013, 10:14 pm

    I have no idea whether the deal that is currently being negotiated as a short term step regarding Iran’s nuclear program, will in fact be a good deal, as in, whether it will in fact work to limit Iran’s program to a degree that is dependable and verifiable. When one lacks the knowledge of history and diplomatic precedence, let alone the knowledge of Iran’s program and economic needs to remove and keep the sanctions off, it is difficult to know whether in fact this deal is a good deal or not. To some degree I am forced to trust that Obama and Kerry sincerely wish to stop Iran’s nuke program and are negotiating in good faith for the best effort in that direction. I know that the American people are in no mood for foreign adventures and thus are not willing to go to war against Iran and that this puts pressure in the direction of a deal, pressure that might not work in favor of the stated goal. Netanyahu’s rhetoric is embarrassing, because I hope a deal is reached (that enables a further deal) and that these deals work to put a real stop to Iran’s nuke (weapon) program.

    • talknic
      November 9, 2013, 2:36 am

      “I hope a deal is reached (that enables a further deal) and that these deals work to put a real stop to Iran’s nuke (weapon) program”

      What on earth are people talking about? There is no evidence what so ever of there being an Iranian nuclear weapons.

      Speculation and accusations based on speculation are not evidence

  45. eljay
    November 8, 2013, 10:31 pm

    >> To some degree I am forced to trust that Obama and Kerry sincerely wish to stop Iran’s nuke program and are negotiating in good faith for the best effort in that direction.

    If Obama and Kerry are working to stop Iran’s nuclear program – a program it is entitled to pursue – they cannot be negotiating anything “in good faith”.

    >> … I hope … these deals work to put a real stop to Iran’s nuke (weapon) program.

    Iran’s alleged nuke (weapon) program. If there’s a weapons program, it should be stopped. If there isn’t, the U.S. and Israel need to back off.

  46. southernobserver
    November 9, 2013, 12:09 am

    I wonder if we are thinking too small?

    In any international standoff, the right solution is one that gives everybody something and broadly matches a just solution. Stopping enrichment at gun point, which is their right, without recognising that the subtext of rapid transition is wholly reality based is clearly not right.

    The right solution would be 1. _give_ Iran modern ICBMs with sufficient range to reach their middle east rivals in return for transition to a purely civilian plus 2. Israel officially joining relevant treaties.

    This approach would be entirely just and would last.

  47. Talkback
    November 9, 2013, 3:41 am

    Let’s ask from Netanyahu to recognize all other states in the world as nonjewish states first and begin with Germany.

    • Shmuel
      November 9, 2013, 4:18 am

      Let’s ask from Netanyahu to recognize all other states in the world as nonjewish states first and begin with Germany.

      It is one of the basic tenets of Zionism.

      • Talkback
        November 10, 2013, 6:07 am

        Shmuel says: “It is one of the basic tenets of Zionism.”

        I’m sure that it will ask next to be recognized as a “Jewish demoracy”, then as a “Jewish democracy with equal rights”, then as a “Jewish democracy with equal rights respecting international and human rights law” and finally as “light unto the nations with the most moral army in the world”. And if Palestinians don’t agree they obviously seek to destroy Israel.

      • Shmuel
        November 10, 2013, 6:18 am

        “It is one of the basic tenets of Zionism.”

        I meant that the belief that all other states in the world are non-jewish states is a basic tenet of Zionism.

  48. Talkback
    November 9, 2013, 3:42 am

    @Philip. The title of the article is different from the title of the HTML page.

  49. Walid
    November 9, 2013, 4:20 am

    “1. _give_ Iran modern ICBMs with sufficient range to reach their middle east rivals ” (southernobserver)

    Great idea, s-o, but it won’t fly. The US is keen on military balance in the area but to a certain limit. To match its gifts to Israel of a fleet of about 200 F15s, F16s and other hardware, this week it donated to the Lebanese Air Force , free and with no strings attached, a second 10-passenger single engine Cessna 208 Caravan (FedEx has a 100 of those), basic model with no options. That should get the Israeli forces shaking in their boots.

    So it’s highly doubtful the US would be following up on your suggestion to supply Iran with ICBMs.On the other hand, if you go by what Israel has been claiming. Iran already has ICBMs capable of hitting European cities and will soon develop models that could reach the US.

  50. tombishop
    November 9, 2013, 8:05 pm

    Ted Cruz’s father is an End Times Christian Right fundamentalist minister. If you don’t understand that you won’t understand Ted Cruz…and George W. Bush for that matter!

    link to

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