Three megadonors (who just happen to love Israel) are pushing Trump against Iran deal

US Politics
on 34 Comments

You’d think that in Year 15 of the Iraq debacle, neoconservative would be a dirty word in America; but neoconservatives are having a field day! Phil Giraldi’s article blaming American Jews for stoking the “war engine,” followed by Valerie Plame’s retweet of the article, has given neocons (adherents of a hawkish ideology that came out of the Jewish community) an opportunity to grandstand about the supposed anti-semitism of the antiwar community.

Bret Stephens in the New York Times and Jamie Kirchick are using the occasion to paint all critics of the Israel lobby as anti-Semites. So is Israel lobbyist Omri Ceren. 

The righteous outbursts could not be coming at a worse time. Donald Trump seems to be leaning toward decertifying the Iran deal, and the Israel lobby is hard at work to make that happen. Trump is “clearly listening to the hawks on Iran, not the realists,” says Scott McConnell, in the National Interest, and he sees a financial angle in the policy-making. The president

“is I think somewhat more dependent than anyone anticipated on neoconservative donors, because of his and administration’s looming legal bills. In that sense, the liberal push to prosecute Trump for ‘Russia’ might have some very illiberal consequences.”

Eli Clifton at Lobelog backs that suspicion up with reporting on three Jewish Israel-loving megadonors. The piece is titled, “Are Billionaire Donors Driving Trump’s Iran Policy?” and it’s a measure of the Plame effect that Clifton says nothing about Israel or Jewish till way down in the article.

[A] review of the statements and activities of some of Trump’s key donors also helps explain why he is considering reneging on the agreement. A small number of his biggest campaign and legal defense donors have made extreme comments about Iran and, in at least one case, advocated for the use of a nuclear weapon against the Islamic Republic.

The three are Bernard Marcus, Paul Singer, and Sheldon Adelson (whose call for nuking Iran is a story we broke). Marcus, co -founder of Home Depot, is

one of a handful of wealthy donors paying for legal costs incurred by Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s attorneys as part of the probe into Russian election interference, via a Republican Party account. Marcus contributed $101,700, an amount matched by five other big donors.

Marcus is all about Israel. In fact, his largesse is one reason that neoconservatives have never been swept out of Washington. Clifton reports:

In 2015, his foundation contributed $1 million to the American Israel Education Foundation (AIPAC’s 501c3 wing), $3.5 million to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), $75,000 to Israel Emergency Alliance, $250,0000 to The Israel Project, $350,000 to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and $250,000 to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), all groups which actively opposed the JCPOA. [Iran deal]

The American Israel Education Foundation, or AIEF, is the AIPAC offspring that funds congress’s trip to Israel. Below you can see a bunch of Democratic lawmakers who met with Netanyahu last month, half the delegation of 53 Congresspeople who went to Israel on vacation, many on AIEF’s dime.

Netanyahu meets Democratic legislators from the U.S. in August 2017.

Then there’s Paul Singer, a neoconservative donor who also gives to the AIEF:

In 2015, Singer’s foundation made a number of contributions to groups opposed to the Iran deal, including, $2 million to the American Israel Education Foundation, $150,000 to the Israel Emergency Alliance, and $118,982 to JINSA. Singer, according to The Atlantic, was the primary donor to the Foreign Policy Initiative, a small neoconservative think tank with a hawkish foreign policy agenda, before withdrawing his funding last summer.

2011 donor roll from the FDD showed that Singer had contributed at least $3.6 million to the group.

As for Adelson, he said he wished he’d served in the Israeli army not the American one, and he has poured money into the Republican Party to insure that Jerusalem is never divided.

Clifton’s report ought to be on the front page of the New York Times. It shows that however many American Jews oppose these Middle East wars & occupations — and most of us do– a powerful segment of the Jewish establishment is hawkish. That neoconservative culture extends to America’s leading newspaper. The Times hired Bret Stephens last April (joining a stable of writers who get “gooey-eyed” about Israel and whose children serve in the Israeli army and whatnot); and Stephens’s is the second column the paper has run in recent days attacking Valerie Plame and Phil Giraldi. The previous one was from Dennis Ross, who says that American Jews must not advocate for Palestinians, “we need to be advocates for Israel.”

So the New York Times is now part of a mainstream chorus that pooh-poohs the power of the Israel lobby. Omni Ceren:

In 2015 it became mainstream to sell Iran deal by Jew-baiting. Cycles of attacks ran with 1-2 punch from Obama admin then echo chamber

And this:

1st Obama & Kerry said “lobbies” & “donors” pushed ppl to choose Israel over US 2nd Echo chamber players like Plame turned it up to 11

This is pure propaganda. Lobbies and donors WERE and ARE the reason that the Iran deal is threatened from inside the Washington establishment. Obama spoke of the Israel interest baldly in his August 5, 2015, speech, nailing the deal in Congress, when he said that “every nation in the world” has supported the deal, “with the exception of the Israeli government.” And he’d be abrogating his constitutional duty if he listened to Israel.

I recognize that Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees — disagrees strongly.  I do not doubt his sincerity.  But I believe he is wrong.  I believe the facts support this deal.  I believe they are in America’s interest and Israel’s interest.  And as President of the United States, it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.

Obama was fighting forces in his own party too. Leading east coast senators opposed him, including now-minority leader Chuck Schumer. That’s the reason neoconservatism is still around, because it also has adherents in the Democratic Party. Maybe they call themselves liberal interventionists, but it comes down to the same thing in the end.

When I watch the Vietnam documentary on PBS, it pains me that the first of many donors the filmmakers thank are Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine. The Lavines support many respectable liberal causes and surely lament the folly of the Vietnam war. But Jonathan Lavine (of Bain Capital) joined the board of the Democratic Party thinktank, the Center for American Progress, in the wake of the Iran deal because the Center’s president, Neera Tanden, hosted Benjamin Netanyahu there to trash the Iran deal.

Tanden’s fawning reception for the rightwing leader alienated much of the thinktank’s staff but as she boasted to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta,

 

Jonathan Lavine… Is joining the board. So Netanyahu was worth it :)…

And:

We will never be called anti-Semitic again.

Both Tanden’s statements came out in the wikileaks email dump from the Clinton campaign, not that many journalists have reported them.  Whatever its provenance, that dump documented the influence of big Israel-loving donors on the leadership of the Democratic Party. But saying as much in mainstream circles is saying the emperor has no clothes.

Tanden concern about anti-semitism arose from the fact that good journalists at her thinktank, including Eli Clifton, had directly taken on the Israel lobby back in 2012, attracting harsh criticism from the lobby. Soon Clifton and company were gone; and Tanden determined to undo that legacy of integrity.

Which just shows why neoconservatives have so much traction in Washington. Purging neocons would mean purging everyone else who was wrong about Iraq and Palestine, and there are just too many of those folks with good jobs for that to happen anytime soon.

The mainstream media have ignored this pattern. But you can’t take on an adversary without identifying it precisely. And meantime, the Iran deal is at risk.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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34 Responses

  1. Paranam Kid
    September 29, 2017, 9:43 am

    ….many American Jews oppose these Middle East wars & occupations — and most of us do …
    If “most of us do”, why are “most of us” not able to make ourselves be heard AND have an influence on the government? Or are “most of us” not prepared to their money where their mouth is?

    • Annie Robbins
      September 29, 2017, 6:10 pm

      most of us throwing money at this situation is futile. why compete financially with billionaires when we can vote corrupt politicians out of office. throwing money at it is playing their game, whereas we need whole new rules, or a whole new game.

      • Citizen
        September 30, 2017, 8:48 am

        I see no evidence the US campaign finance system will be fundamentally changed. SCOTUS essentially ruled money is protected political speech and the real source of congress folks’ ambitious power is the lobby industry, aka “special interests.”

      • Paranam Kid
        October 1, 2017, 6:55 am

        That is where you make a mistake. The Israel Lobby, in the widest sense of the word, has been so successful in setting US policy in the Middle East because of the huge amounts of money spent. So, if “most of us” are not prepared to spend money big time, how do you see “most of us” having any influence on US ME policy so that the Palestinians’ lot will start to improve? In any case, 70 years of protests, softly-softly approaches have NOT had any effect.

    • festus
      October 2, 2017, 10:38 am

      “Jew baiting”. “Jew hatred”. What’s going on here? Do the Zionists feel calling someone an anti-Semite is losing its sting and they need to get more visceral?

  2. Kay24
    September 29, 2017, 12:15 pm

    It seems the old guy ( who looks like he is drinking prune juice), is consistently showing love for Israel, and yearning to be there….why doesn’t he move to the land of illegal settlements, and stop interfering in American matters? They are buying the US for Israel, and perhaps should use the money they throw around here to corrupt the congress, and get pro Israeli votes, to help their mother ship, and give the US tax payers a break from sending those billions of dollars.

    They would love to bomb, wage wars, kill millions, and use American blood, and resources, to fight those who stand up to them, but cannot take it when the other side uses the same rhetoric. Then the outrage is quite loud in the US, in fact deafening.

    • JeffB
      September 29, 2017, 2:43 pm

      @Kay24

      A couple comments. He does spend a lot of time in Israel. Adelson also spends a lot of time on China and plays pretty hard in Chinese politics.

      Moreover, he is far more active in Israeli politics than in USA politics. Same size fish, much smaller pond. For example the leading newspaper in Israel (Israel Hayom) is the leading newspaper because its free. Its free because Sheldon Adelson doesn’t care if the newspaper loses money. The editorial page is pro-Netanyahu helping him against internal Likud rivals, 3rd party competitors and ideological competitors like in the ZU. Israelis call it “Bibiton” (Bibi = Netanyahu, ton = daily). Miriam Adelson (wife) is active on a regular basis. Needless to say with Adelson’s indirect financing (Israel has much stricter laws about direct financing than the USA) Likud wins elections, Likud controls coalitions and Adelson controls Likud and Netanyahu. He’s Bibi’s billionaire.

      FWIW though that may change. Adelson like many American Jews is furious about the Kotel decision.

      I also don’t think you can blame Adelson for USA military aide deal. For example there is a big set aside in the understandings for purchases from Lockheed Martin. That’s not an Adelson interest.

      • irmep
        September 30, 2017, 9:38 am

        As a percentage of Lockheed Martin’s, or the rest of the top military contractor, revenue, Israel aid is an accounting-error level concern.

        https://irmep.org/5reasons.asp

        AIPAC founder Isaiah Kenen considered “making Aliyah” to Israel, but was told by his Israeli partners he was much too valuable just where he was.

        Same goes for NUMEC founder Zalman Shapiro.

        Neither would have been as useful to Israel, living in Israel.

      • JeffB
        September 30, 2017, 11:09 am

        @irmep

        As a percentage of Lockheed Martin’s, or the rest of the top military contractor, revenue, Israel aid is an accounting-error level concern.

        Let me first off start by saying this is a somewhat different topic. Kay’s claim was the aide reflected Adelson’s priorities. My point about Lockheed Martin is that this deal doesn’t exclusively reflect Adelson there are broader forces at play.

        In terms of your comment, I think you are exaggerating but mostly I we agree. For Lockheed this deal probably comes in around 2-3% of revenue and 3-5% of profits. We could get into more detail (a little more detail, defense accounting is incredibly complex and petty quickly we get beyond what I can knowledgeably discuss). There is a tendency on Mondoweiss to treat this aide which is under 1% of Israel’s GDP, and around .02% of USA GDP as if it were some huge figure that’s breaking the bank. For the USA it’s an accounting error, for Lockheed and Israel it is helpful but not by any means vital.

        Czechoslovakia’s aide to Israel was vital. France’s was extremely helpful. The USA was also helpful in the 60s and early 70s. At this point I’d like to have a more honest discussion about the aide package and what we are getting. But the debate unfortunately here is not starting from the fact that it doesn’t cost much and it doesn’t do much. The aide that really bothers me is the base in South Korea that along with the support base Okinawa is still incredibly expensive.

        AIPAC founder Isaiah Kenen considered “making Aliyah” to Israel, but was told by his Israeli partners he was much too valuable just where he was. Same goes for NUMEC founder Zalman Shapiro. Neither would have been as useful to Israel, living in Israel.

        No idea how you would know this. But anyway there is a similar jewish joke from the 1940s about a similar situation regarding Jews in Rhodesia. Not much to say on whether this happened or not.

        No question if Zalman Shapiro did what the CIA claimed he would have been an incredibly valuable asset. Diverting 93+ kg of highly enriched uranium during a time when USA policy was to try and weaken Israel’s nuclear program would have been important. The reason I disagree with you is I don’t think he did it. I think the FBI/NRC investigation was right and the material ended up in the ducts, in the worker’s clothing, likely in their bodies, in the ground near the plant we know for sure. Cost saving irresponsibility yes, espionage no.

        But if I’m wrong and Shapiro did get say 100kg of weapons grade uranium to Israel in the early-mid 1960s, good for him. He served his people to the best of his ability. Charles de Gaulle, with Kennedy’s help, almost derailed a vital component of Israel’s development into a nuclear state. I think it is a great thing they failed and by the time of the Carter administration Israel was working on an independent nuclear deterrent against the Soviets. I understand why the USA, especially Ford/Carter wouldn’t want that, but Israel’s interests and the USA’s interests aren’t always the same. Israel made tremendous sacrifices to start a nuclear program as early as they did when their economy was as bad as it was. They did it with good reason. I don’t know if I would have made the same call to go for it as early as Ben Gurion did or not, but having made that choice I would want it to be as successful as quickly as possible. Israel is a lot safer today in that it has both strategic and tactical ICBMs.

        As far as Kenen who knows? He was a very talented man. He did a lot for Israel in the USA and Canada. Maybe he could have done a lot for Israel in Israel. But if your theory is true and the Israelis wanted that asset where it was, it makes sense.

      • irmep
        September 30, 2017, 12:48 pm

        “As far as Kenen who knows? He was a very talented man. He did a lot for Israel in the USA and Canada. Maybe he could have done a lot for Israel in Israel. But if your theory is true and the Israelis wanted that asset where it was, it makes sense.”

        Can’t think of anything Isaiah Kenen ever did for the U.S. But staying here for the good of Israel was his “theory” according to his autobiography.

        “When Congress adjourned, I resigned my post with the American Zionist Council and Bebe and I flew to Israel to see how the $65 million was to be spent. But we had another reason. When I became a member of the Israeli U.N. delegation, I agreed to go aliyah (settle in) to Israel after my work at the U.N. had ended. Moreover, I wanted to perfect my Hebrew and to enter an ulpan (school) for that purpose. I was traveling at my own expense and so Bebe and I had to take a modest room at the Moriah Hotel. This was a cooperative run by eight Yugoslavians—five men and three women—who came there in 1948.”

        Kenen, Isaiah L., All My Causes in an 80-Year Life Span, Washington, DC: Near East Research, 1985, p. 54

        “But I was not the only visitor to Israel to find out how Israel intended to use the $65 million. Congressmen, naturally, were interested. On December 6, the Israel Foreign Ministry called to tell me that I must leave the ulpan to meet a delegation consisting of Representatives Fugate and Barrett, members of the House Banking and Finance Committee, who were part of an official sub-committee checking on loans made by the Export Import Bank. …

        That was just the beginning. Many more Congressmen were scheduled to arrive, for there was widespread doubt that Israel could survive. Celler was first and I escorted him around Jerusalem and its historic shrines.

        Javits kept me busy for the next 18 hours. He had another project. His mother, Ida Littman Javits, was born in Safed. I went to Safed to urge the mayor, Rabbi Podhoretz—father of the editor of Commentary[q]—to name a street after her. He demurred because, he explained, there was no budget for street signs. Safed used the alphabet instead of street signs. In Jerusalem, I asked the Israel Foreign Ministry to paint the sign. But it too demurred. There was no money—either for signs or for paint. I promised to pay the bill….

        During ensuing weeks I continued to escort visiting Congressmen: Ribicoff, Fugate, Keating, O’Toole, Barrett and Fein.

        It soon became evident to me that I could be more useful in Washington than in Israel. Moreover, I became aware that youthful diplomats were being trained in Israel for overseas assignments. What would become of me?

        So Bebe and I returned to Washington and I resumed my work on Capitol Hill.”

        Kenen, Isaiah L., All My Causes in an 80-Year Life Span, Washington, DC: Near East Research, 1985, pp. 54-55

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2017, 12:53 pm

        “Jeff b”, the overwhelming authority with which you type on any subject would only be validated further if you linked us to your curriculum vitae, or bio from your university appointment, or food services permit.
        How about it? We are certainly entitled to share your confidence in yourself.

      • JeffB
        September 30, 2017, 2:18 pm

        @irmep

        Interesting story about Kenen. Sounds to me from that quote though that Kenen decided himself to stay on in the USA, “It soon became evident to me that I could be more useful in Washington than in Israel”.

        I had a good laugh from that story about Safed and the street signs. That city was Jewish for centuries, the return far predates Zionism. It still today is a very spiritual city and not terribly well managed.

        Also, are you Grant Smith?

      • Mooser
        October 2, 2017, 12:03 pm

        “Also, are you Grant Smith?”

        Answer, please “irmep”! “Jeff b” wants to know. We all know who he is, of course.

    • Mooser
      September 29, 2017, 6:08 pm

      .“why doesn’t he move to the land of illegal settlements, and stop interfering in American matters?”

      I don’t think they have legalized gambling and well, other stuff, in Israel. The man has to make a living.

      Of course, Adelson could always open a casino in a settlement, and say Israeli law doesn’t apply.

      • JeffB
        September 29, 2017, 9:27 pm

        You were kidding but that did happen. In Jericho there was a casino . Arafat and people close to him licensed it and took payments. It was only open to Israelis and tourists they didn’t want Palestinians corrupted from gambling but they wanted the revenue. It was set a few hundred meters from the border between Area-C. It did about 2800 visitors / $1m in profits daily. Remember this is 20 years ago, israeli economy was much smaller, plus inflation… would likely be more like $5m / day today. Owning company is Casinos Austria International which depending on who you ask either was or was not tied to X-Stasi. During the 2nd intifada it was closed. It hasn’t been able to reopen because of Hamas objections to gambling though I can’t understand why they care what Jews and Christian tourists do.

        Photos on trip advisor looks a luxury Jerico hotel, something they could use: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g297750-d308910-Reviews-Oasis_Hotel_Jericho-Jericho_West_Bank.html

        As far as I can tell from the politics, people in Jericho mostly want full Israeli governance back. They had the casino, the hotel, a success horse race track and breeding business, farming… all of which got destroyed in the 2nd intifada. But of course the people doing interviews in western media are the people most likely to consider money more important than national ambition.

      • Talkback
        September 30, 2017, 2:30 pm

        JeffB: “As far as I can tell from the politics, people in Jericho mostly want full Israeli governance back. ”

        And as far I can tell from the history of your comments, you have nothing to back up your wet dreams.

        Are you one of the 95% Israeli gamblers who went there, because building casinos is illegal in Israel? That’s the reason why Martin Schlomo Mordechai Joschua Schlaff build it after all. And Israel hit it with a rocket.

      • JeffB
        October 1, 2017, 10:58 am

        @Talkback

        Are you one of the 95% Israeli gamblers who went there, because building casinos is illegal in Israel?

        Nope though I might have vacationed there for a day or two if it were still open. I have access to far better casinos here in the USA. It being a good idea and me personally being a customer aren’t related concepts. Israel’s illegal gambling industry is estimated at $3.8b a year. Converting that to something more socially useful makes a lot of sense. And certainly Jericho could use the work and the spending.

        Which is where you and I differ. I’d like to see the Palestinians in the West Bank benefit from the much larger Israeli economy. I think Israel could do amazing things to raise living standards and help the Palestinian West Bank develop economically. You simply want to destroy. Palestinians nationalism and anti-colonialism get in the way of Palestinians having a better life.

        That’s the reason why Martin Schlomo Mordechai Joschua Schlaff build it after all. And Israel hit it with a rocket.

        Israel hit it with a rocket because the Palestinians were firing on Israelis from there. The first two weeks of the 2nd intifada were decisive. This was the most important economic project in Palestine. Arafat could have made it an intifada free zone as the casino operators demand (they even disarmed their own staff). He didn’t. He consider nationalism more important than economics, and ended up with neither. It is still mostly intact. It could open in 9 days if the Palestinians would go back to economic cooperation.

        If there is ever a coalition that doesn’t include Shas you could have a casino resort town open in Eliat and then it really is mostly over for Jericho as a gaming hub Yet another opportunity for peace missed.

      • Mooser
        October 1, 2017, 2:40 pm

        “Nope though I might have vacationed there for a day or two if it were still open. I have access to far better casinos here in the USA.”

        Thank you “Jeff b”. We were hoping you would detail your credentials.

    • Misterioso
      September 30, 2017, 9:51 am

      @Kay24

      Surely, with all of his $billions, Adelson can afford a decent hair dye job.

  3. Mooser
    September 29, 2017, 12:18 pm

    )” an opportunity to grandstand about the supposed anti-semitism of the antiwar community.”

    Now peace is anti-Semitic?

  4. just
    September 29, 2017, 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the article and analysis, Phil.

    Obama/Kerry did the right thing with Iran. Period. Sanctions should have been imposed on Israel decades ago for a multitude of reasons.

    Wonder if you saw this latest expression of rapture and concern :

    “Jewish Congress Members Rebuke Netanyahu Over Israel’s Treatment of non-Orthodox …

    On the eve of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, a group of 18 Jewish members of U.S. Congress sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing “profound concerns” over Israel’s treatment of Jews from the non-Orthodox denominations. 
    The members of Congress, all of whom belong to the Democratic Party, wrote to Netanyahu that recent decisions by his government “seem to call into question the legitimacy and equal status of non-Orthodox Jews, the vast majority of whom live in the United States.” The 18 members added that their concern is connected to their strong support for Israel over the years.

    The group specifically mentions two recent decisions by the Israeli government – one, to freeze the plan to build an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall, and the second, to promote a bill that would give the ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate oversight over all Jewish conversions in Israel. The members noted that the latter, known as the conversion bill, has been put on hold for the time being, and expressed hope that its suspension would lead to a different kind of resolution, one that “respects and tolerates the totality and diversity of klal Yisrael.” 

    “In addition to our own personal Jewish roots, each of us represents significant Jewish constituencies,” the members note. Among those who signed the letter are some of the most veteran and senior Jewish members of Congress, such as Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey and Jerry Nadler, all three of whom are Democrats from New York; Adam Schiff and Brad Sherman, who are both Democrats from California; Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois; and Sander Levin, a Democrat from Michigan. All of them are considered strong supporters of Israel. 

    Their unusual message to Netanyahu over the High Holidays joins a previous letter sent to the prime minister by a group of seven Jewish senators, who also asked Netanyahu to reconsider his government’s recent decisions in light of their effect on Israel’s relationship with the American Jewish community. ”

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.814971

    • Mooser
      September 29, 2017, 6:05 pm

      If those Reformers want the privileges of the Orthodox, let them become re-frummers.

      The hierarchy of Judaism (Orthodox>Conservative>Reform> secular) is ordained by G-d and is a central tenet of Judaism.

      • Citizen
        September 30, 2017, 9:13 am

        Is that a Jewish version of Maslow’s Triangle? Also, if so, where does Zionism fit in said Triangle?

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2017, 11:30 am

        “Also, if so, where does Zionism fit in said Triangle?”

        Zionism is the fourth leg of the triangle, of course.

    • JeffB
      September 29, 2017, 9:45 pm

      @Just

      I’d say if anything the article is underplaying it. Netanyahu pretty much couldn’t have handled this kotel situation especially with conversion any worse. UTJ put him in a tough bind.

      This isn’t a typical Mondoweiss issue though since it isn’t right vs. left at all. Yisrael Beytenu (Likud for Russian immigrants) and Meretz (non-communist but left of Zionist Union) are the strongest backing American Jews while UTJ (Ashkenazi Hasidic) and Shas (Mizrahi ethnic) are the most hostile. The Jewish Home (Bennett and Shakid) party is taking the moderate centrist position….

  5. Annie Robbins
    September 29, 2017, 6:13 pm

    Trump seems to be leaning toward decertifying the Iran deal,

    i don’t think he’ll do it. but this recertification process every 90 days guarantees this theme will be constant. america won’t “win” a war with iran — too dangerous. and the international community is stacked up against dropping the deal. not going to happen.

    • just
      September 29, 2017, 6:29 pm

      Agreed, Annie. Then again, Trump is trump. I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed him listen to anyone with smarts. I hope he listens to this gent:

      “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday Iran was complying with the pact curbing its nuclear program and warned that any American decision to walk away from it would make other nations less likely to enter into agreements with the United States. …”

      much more @ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa/top-u-s-general-says-exiting-iran-nuclear-pact-would-make-future-deals-tough-idUSKCN1C12OF

    • Misterioso
      September 30, 2017, 9:43 am

      @Annie

      I agree as well.

      Also:

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/235466

      Israel National News, Sept. 13/17

      Report: [US National Security Adviser], H.R. McMaster says Hezbollah not a terror group

      “August meeting with US officials grew heated when H.R. McMaster rejected Israel’s Hezbollah concerns, denied it was a terror group.”

      EXCERPT:
      “A new bombshell report alleges that a meeting between high-level Israeli officials and their American counterparts last month deteriorated when National Security Adviser H.R McMaster brushed off Israel’s concerns about Hezbollah, at one point backing up an aide who denied that Hezbollah is a terror organization.

      “According to the report on Channel 10 and PJ Media, McMaster yelled at Israeli officials, and denied that the Iran-backed militia is a terrorist group.”

  6. Krendall Mist
    September 29, 2017, 8:09 pm

    “It shows that however many American Jews oppose these Middle East wars & occupations — and most of us do– a powerful segment of the Jewish establishment is hawkish.”

    “Most of you” do no such thing. Surely, “most of you” do not oppose “Israel’s right to exist”? If you don’t, then you support permanent occupation and war.

  7. James Canning
    September 30, 2017, 5:27 pm

    Wrecking the Iranian nuclear deal would be an act of virtual insanity. Why is it no surprise that a number of rich American Jews, fanatically Zionist, are trying to achieve just this?

  8. MalcolmLeftly
    October 2, 2017, 4:13 pm

    I think the Iran deal is safe because it isn’t just US involvement. It also helps that Trump’s advisor J.Kushner doesn’t have the juice he had seven months ago. As long as scheduled tests are passed even Netanyahu complaining to all who will listen… probably won’t work.

  9. just
    October 3, 2017, 4:18 pm

    Check this out:

    “US defense secretary breaks with Trump in backing Iran nuclear deal

    James Mattis said it was in the US national security interest to remain in the agreement during a Senate hearing, making it harder for Trump to withdraw …

    … Mattis was asked at a hearing of the Senate armed services committee whether he believed it was currently in the US national security interest to remain in the agreement.

    After a significant pause, the defense secretary replied: “Yes, senator, I do.”

    At the same hearing, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, General Joseph Dunford agreed that Iran was abiding by the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which he said had delayed Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Last week, Dunford said the US should uphold the agreement, in the absence of a clear Iranian breach, or risk losing credibility when it came to signing future agreements.

    Trump has repeatedly lambasted the JCPOA – one of the most important foreign policy legacies of his predecessor, Barack Obama – most recently at the UN general assembly last month.

    “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States and I don’t think you have heard the last of it, believe me,” he said, raising expectations that he would not endorse the agreeement.

    Mattis is arguably the most powerful member of Trump’s cabinet and the president has been wary of contradicting him in public, something he has clearly no compunction about doing in the case of the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.

    Even if Mattis does not immediately sway Trump’s position on the JCPOA, his opinion is likely to carry weight with senators, who would be called on to decide the fate of the date, if the president did not certify it on 15 October.

    Asked later in the committee hearing to explain his view on the deal, Mattis said. “The point I would make is if we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interests then clearly we should stay with it,” Mattis added. “I believe at this point in time absent indications to the contrary, it is something the president should consider staying with.” ”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/03/us-defense-secretary-breaks-with-trump-in-backing-iran-nuclear-deal

  10. Citizen
    October 6, 2017, 6:00 am

    Anybody here Trump’s most recent comment: “This is the calm before the storm”?

    • Mooser
      October 6, 2017, 1:50 pm

      “Anybody here Trump’s most recent comment: “This is the calm before the storm”?

      Yeah, we’re supposed to be grateful that Gen. Kelly and Tillerson and Gen. Matthis will save us from Trump.

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