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‘Alternative is military action,’ White House says of Iran, under pressure from AIPAC and ADL

Israel/Palestine
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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hold a meeting with Combatant Commanders and Military Leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Nov. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hold a meeting with Combatant Commanders and Military Leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Nov. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As John Kerry goes to Capitol Hill to beg Congress not to impose further sanctions on Iran, here’s a wrapup of responses to the breakdown in the Geneva talks.

The Israel lobby is split. Dovish Israel supporters like Tom Friedman, Americans for Peace Now, and J Street are backing the Obama administration, with J Street warning, “organizations that claim to represent the American Jewish community are undermining [Obama’s] approach.”

But the hardline Israel lobby is flexing its muscle. The ADL has issued a shockingly harsh statement that seems to brag about its dual loyalty, saying that Abe Foxman  has given “a series of media interviews in Israel,” criticizing the Obama administration– 2 weeks after Obama had him into the White House and Foxman agreed with the White House line. And in the same statement, Foxman blasts Secretary of State John Kerry’s “moral preaching to the Israelis on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.” Has Foxman gone too far?

Obama press secretary Jay Carney says the alternative to a deal with Iran is “military action.” Makes your hair stand on end. From yesterday’s briefing:

the best way to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon is to achieve an agreement through diplomacy — an agreement that’s verifiable, that’s transparent, and that requires Iran to take concrete steps.

The alternative is military action.  The President has never taken any option off the table, and he does not now and will not.  But it is his responsibility as President to pursue a diplomatic opening, to see if it is possible to resolve this issue peacefully.

NJ Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat, has been the main water-carrier for Netanyahu, calling for tougher sanctions on Iran, and defying a Democratic White House.

Trita Parsi, on behalf of the National Iranian American Council, sent out this email today describing the “ominous influence” of AIPAC:

Netanyahu and groups like AIPAC know they can set the U.S. back down the path to war by killing the talks with more sanctions.

NIAC is working to stop them from sabotaging the last best chance at peace.

But we need your help to counter their ominous influence.

Parsi at CNN says that Netanyahu played French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to get details of the deal and then nutmeg John Kerry:

much to the dismay of the other diplomats involved, Fabius broke protocol and announced both details of the talks and the failure to reach a deal before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had a chance to address the media. Fabius, echoing the objections of hard-line Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, argued that Iran would get too much in the proposed deal. But in reality Iran was only offered modest sanctions relief in return for some significant suspension of aspects of its nuclear program.

Writes a friend in response:

It looks as if the French neoconservatives (Levy, Kouchner, Fabius, Sarkozy–and evidently Hollande continuous with the others) have picked up where the Americans left off. Remember from Mearsheimer-Walt: the Israelis in 2002 wanted an attack on Iran; didn’t see the point of Iraq but were willing to humor their American friends (and do their crisis-mongering bit on the news shows) for the sake of the attack on Iran which they were promised would follow. They’ve never really stopped.

Tom Friedman in the Times has the temerity to say that US interests and Israeli interests are different re Iran. Though he describes the lobby as being a lobby of Israel and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States:

But there is something else that goes without saying, but still needs to be said loudly: We, America, are not just hired lawyers negotiating a deal for Israel and the Sunni Gulf Arabs, which they alone get the final say on. We, America, have our own interests in not only seeing Iran’s nuclear weapons capability curtailed, but in ending the 34-year-old Iran-U.S. cold war, which has harmed our interests and those of our Israeli and Arab friends.

Hence, we must not be reluctant about articulating and asserting our interests in the face of Israeli and Arab efforts to block a deal that we think would be good for us and them. America’s interests today lie in an airtight interim nuclear deal with Iran that also opens the way for addressing a whole set of other issues between Washington and Tehran…

The lobby is splitting on this. The liberal Zionist organization J Street is supporting Obama on the deal and citing American Jewish polling by two-to-one in support of talks.

Tell Your Senators: Don’t Undermine Iran Negotiations With New Sanctions

While 62% of American Jews support the way President Obama is handling Iran’s nuclear program, organizations that claim to represent the American Jewish community are undermining his approach by pushing for new and harsher penalties against Iran.

The outcome of the talks set to resume in Geneva on November 20 is far from certain, but new sanctions will definitively bring the process to a halt.

Hawkish organizations working to undermine a nuclear agreement are making their voices heard. Let’s make sure that the voice of the pro-diplomacy majority rings louder. Tell your Senators that now is not the time for new sanctions.

Now here’s that shocking statement from the ADL, in full. Note Foxman’s rationalization of turning against the Obama administration– because he’s now “reviewed some of the points of the tentative agreement.” Note his maundering — “Both the U.S. and Israel need each other at this pivotal moment, but do not seem to trust each other.” And his slam of John Kerry because Kerry dared to criticize the settlements:

New York, NY, November 11, 2013 … In a series of media interviews in Israel, Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), on Monday criticized the Obama Administration’s approach to the Iranian nuclear talks taking place in Geneva and called for the imposition of additional sanctions against Iran.

Referring to the October 29 meeting with Jewish leaders at the White House, Mr. Foxman said after that meeting he gave the administration “the benefit of the doubt” and agreed to refrain for a short period of time from urging the Senate to impose additional Iran sanctions as the U.S. and other nations pursued diplomatic efforts with Iran.

Now, having reviewed some of the points of the tentative agreement to be acted upon November 20 in Geneva, Mr. Foxman said he believes that, “We no longer have the luxury or the option to refrain from enacting additional sanctions against Iran.”

Mr. Foxman, who spent the last week traveling in Israel and holding a series of briefings with high-level Israeli leaders as part of an ADL leadership delegation, issued the following statement from Jerusalem:

After the White House meeting on October 29, I was among the few Jewish leaders to give the Obama Administration the benefit of the doubt in pursuing the diplomatic route and agreed to refrain from urging the Senate to impose additional sanctions for a short period of time to enable the U.S. to pursue diplomacy.  I wanted to give the Obama Administration a chance to demonstrate that they could make real progress on this issue.  But rather than leading Iran to make serious concessions, the Islamic Republic has used the perception of its willingness to negotiate with the U.S. and other nations in order to hold on to its right to enrich uranium while getting relief from some sanctions.

I was deeply troubled by several of the points in the tentative agreement which were reported in the past few days and may be acted upon in the next round of meetings scheduled for November 20 in Geneva. I am now convinced that this agreement will not only prematurely roll back the sanctions regime, but that it would legitimize Iran as a threshold nuclear state. I believe we no longer have the luxury or the option to refrain from enacting additional sanctions against Iran. The time has come for Congress, especially the Senate, not only to reconfirm and strengthen the existing sanctions, but also to begin to impose additional sanctions against Iran. Crippling sanctions have worked in the past and they have the greatest chance to succeed in getting Iran to agree to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Both the U.S. and Israel need each other at this pivotal moment, but do not seem to trust each other. The U.S. government’s leaking of information about Israel’s defensive military actions in the area, including actions in Syria and Sudan – not to mention Secretary of State John Kerry’s moral preaching to the Israelis on the Israeli-Palestinian issue – were counterproductive. Clearly, both countries share the same goals: regional stability, preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and making progress with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.  But the strategy to get there is different. At times this creates tension between the two states when the strategy is emphasized over the goals.

Update: Peace Now’s Lara Friedman is also urging Americans to support the Obama administration in its negotiations:

Pursuing additional sanctions today sends a message that Congress doesn’t want a negotiated solution to Iran’s nuclear program. Indeed, legislating new sanctions will be understood by many, in Iran and the international community, as a declaration that Congress actively wants to scuttle the ongoing diplomatic effort. Such an approach will also bolster arguments that congressional sanctions and saber-rattling have been driven all along, not by the goal of changing Iran’s policy vis-à-vis its nuclear program, but rather by the goal of changing the Iranian regime.

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About Philip Weiss

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38 Responses

  1. bilal a
    bilal a
    November 13, 2013, 1:19 pm

    what is remarkable is the trans-national reach of the israeli-saudi alliance in ts attempt to suppress Iranian energy production and exports for BP Aramco.Pat Buchanan hints of a treason ‘cabal’ and warns of domestic world gentile blowback:

    If the Netanyahu cabal succeeds in sabotaging U.S. negotiations with Iran, it is hard to see how we avoid another war that could set the Persian Gulf region ablaze and sink the global economy.

    One wonders if Netanyahu and his amen corner in Congress have considered the backlash worldwide should they succeed in scuttling Geneva and putting this nation on the fast track to another Mideast war Israel and Saudi may want but America does not.
    http://buchanan.org/blog/deal-iran-war-iran-5991

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      November 13, 2013, 3:11 pm

      He never used the word “gentile.” He meant worldwide blowback, period.

    • Chu
      Chu
      November 14, 2013, 10:20 am

      Buchanan has a good understanding of the global chess game. One would hope that Congress will be able to see the forest for the trees in the near future. We can’t be at war indefinitely. The American public strongly opposed Syrian intervention, while saying no thanks to the Clean Break strategy of Israel.
      After reading this article, you wonder if we would be better off dealing with Iran as the new partner, and leaving the port of Israel and Saudi Arabia for good.

  2. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    November 13, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Michael Cohen has a great piece just up on the Guardian:
    http://www.guardian.com/comment-is-free/2013/nov/13/us-israel-relationship-strained-iran-nuclear-talks
    About the new “Frenemies”
    Just one line sings out loud:
    “This week there was a genuine sunburst separating the two nations.”

  3. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    November 13, 2013, 1:20 pm

    Following the comments between Hostage and Shingo in the other threads has been interesting, what the various legal opinions of others amount to regarding the NPT are not of much consequence because the only opinion which matters is that of the US, and here is why.. Sherman claims that “It has always been the U.S. position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all [and] doesn’t speak to enrichment, period.” at the moment Iran cannot enrich uranium because of UNSC Resolution 1696, because it is the US position that Iran cannot enrich at all, then the UNSC will never be lifted since the US have veto power. Agreement is only possible if the US changes it’s policy on this crucial point.

    • HarryLaw
      HarryLaw
      November 13, 2013, 4:06 pm

      Obama has said that Iran has the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy, notice he does not say they have the right to enrich, and since the bottom line for the Iranians is they must have this right, it is hard to see how any agreement can be found, one has to give way on this important principle. Military action engulfing the whole region putting Israel at real risk and crashing the world economy is something Obama will not risk, in my opinion, at the end of the day he will let Iran enrich.

  4. seafoid
    seafoid
    November 13, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Vietnam 3.0

  5. Krauss
    Krauss
    November 13, 2013, 1:55 pm

    I’ve always said:

    The greatest failure of the left on cultural/identity issues is the failure to weed out ethnic non-white(non-Gentile/Christian) nationalists who only use liberalism as a shield for their own malevolent and often violently racist instincts.

    Abe Foxman is in many ways a precursor to this phenomenom. He uses liberal language, but deep down he always comes down on the side of Apartheid and the settlers. He doesn’t even want them to be criticized! He’s liberal on issues as long as the oppressors are not Jews, and that’s not liberalism. He chooses liberalism because as a minority, it benefits him. But when his group is in the majority, he turns into an outraged defender of Apartheid.

    And he’s not alone on this hypocrisy, but the left has generally failed to be tough on these racists internally and the results are open for all to see.

    And it’s also one of the reasons ‘PEP’ exists.

    • American
      American
      November 14, 2013, 1:48 pm

      Krauss says:
      November 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      I’ve always said:

      The greatest failure of the left on cultural/identity issues is the failure to weed out ethnic non-white(non-Gentile/Christian) nationalists who only use liberalism as a shield for their own malevolent and often violently racist instincts.>>>>

      I dont think I’d put it that way exactly……I dont see our Asian immigrants or Hispanic immigrants, even though Hispanics arent really considered an ethnic, as pursuing violent racist instincts or other agendas in the US. I see the Asians as pursuing educational and economic improvment more than anything else. Same for Hispanics except for a small segment of the illegal community who make demands as if they are citizens ‘already, not people who have yet to attain citizenship so that they are entitled to legitimately make those demands.

      However I do put a lot of the blame on the liberals for fostering the attitude among some ethnics, minorities, etc that are entitled to have everything they want just as they want it or else. This has gone beyond guarding religious, ethnic,minority rights and opportunities —–it’s become political pandering to niches. But it’s become standard politics for both parties really.

  6. chet
    chet
    November 13, 2013, 1:58 pm

    If the odious AIPAC forces demand that Congress impose further sanctions, consider it a done deal.

    The donkey will be serviced as usual.

  7. Ellen
    Ellen
    November 13, 2013, 2:01 pm

    Zvi Bar’el of Haaratez has a smart column today on this:

    First we’ll take Washington
    Netanyahu’s ranting is making Israel irrelevant, an insufferable nuisance, and it is causing a fissure in relations with its greatest friend….

    And without these sanctions, it is doubtful Iran would have changed its strategy and turned to the option of quick, flexible negotiations, a resumption of contact with the United States and a push for a quick resolution of the issue

    But Netanyahu’s success blinded him, and now he believes he can set the terms of an agreement with Iran, challenge American policy and walk away from the process if his instructions are not carried out….

    One can understand his arguments, but as long as he threatens that Israel will act on its own against Iran and that “Israel is not bound by any agreement reached with Iran,” what does he care what agreement is stitched together between Tehran and the major powers? After all, from the beginning he didn’t believe in diplomatic moves vis-à-vis the Iranians. All of a sudden, Washington has betrayed Netanyahu and betrayal of him means betrayal of Israel, world Jewry and the memory of the Holocaust.

    Undoubtedly the time has come to occupy Washington. It is the genuine enemy that is leading the world to the precipice and threatening Israel’s existence. Therefore, we stand ready to commit suicide in battle against the United States as long as we emerge as having been right. We’ll agree to a compromise only if we retain the right to veto the agreements made in the negotiations with Iran. So you see, countries, too, can suffer from a Napoleon complex.

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.557706

    There will always be the Abe Foxman’s and AIPACers of the world. Our system allows this.

    But those in Government who work against the interests of their own county and take money from them, heeding the calls of foreign leaders such as Netanyahu who has only disdain for the US, should be called out as the treasonous bags of filth they are.

    • American
      American
      November 13, 2013, 4:08 pm

      “”Undoubtedly the time has come to occupy Washington. It is the genuine enemy that is leading the world to the precipice and threatening Israel’s existence. Therefore, we stand ready to commit suicide in battle against the United States as long as we emerge as having been right. “”

      Oh if only they would!…please, please, please do it boys.
      Another vision.
      Netanyahu on CNN,NBC, etc. –Israeli flag behind him–in the background IDF or AIPAC goons dressed up in the military Betar uniforms they use to march around in NY in the 40’s. To the left and right of him tables with the heads of the World Jewish Congress—the ZOA–AIPAC—the Jewish Mayors—etc.etc..
      He begins his address with the announcement that …….”Attention citizens of the US. The World Wide Nation of Jews which I as President of Israel represent has decided that America is to commence at once to attack Iran, to spare no effort or blood or treasure to prevent Iran from gaining power in the ME—(except he’ll probably say from holocausting the Jews)—and destroying the world. As you know if Israel ceases to exist America and you Americans will cease to exist. As God’s chosen it falls to us to command you to do your duty. We are also having congress levy emergency taxes on citizens to fund extra protection for Israel during the time you are engaging in this war. You will also curtail your consumption of fuel to ensure that enough surplus supply is available to ship to Israel on demand . All US domestic social services will be halted until the war’s end and the monies transfered to a compensation fund for Israelis in the event any are harmed during your war effort. Additionally all US reservist and all wounded vets not totally disabled will report for re enlistment for this war immediately. As other sacrifices from you are needed they will be announced. That is all, good night and good luck.”
      LOL…that is exactly what he would like to be able to say.

  8. Les
    Les
    November 13, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Keep in mind that AIPAC’s 60 day deadline to close a deal with Iran, means that Obama’s march to war orders will soon be here. Note that the Israel lobby has the power to get a US war started.

    • EUR1069
      EUR1069
      November 13, 2013, 5:07 pm

      Speaking of deadlines I’m afraid that KSA & Israel will use the one-week window between now & the 20th to stage a provocation with unforeseeable consequences.

      http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/11/13/334544/global-nuclear-war-likely-if-iran-talks-fail/

      Speaking of Foxman: I thought that the job of that piece of s**t is to detect antisemitism, not to dictate US foreign policy decisions. Isn’t the time ripe for a major Joseph N. Welch moment for someone in our corrupt administration to rise & say: – “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

  9. annie
    annie
    November 13, 2013, 2:35 pm

    it sounds like a showdown’s comin’ up! it’s so exciting and i’d be completely rubbing my hands together if it weren’t for the possibility we might lose and end up with a world war.

    really don’t want that.

  10. annie
    annie
    November 13, 2013, 2:54 pm

    Foxman:

    not to mention Secretary of State John Kerry’s moral preaching to the Israelis on the Israeli-Palestinian issue – were counterproductive.

    i knew it. when i wrote the linkage article http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/netanyahus-greatest-linkage.html

    all those quotes from foxman, Abe Foxman said Kerry’s criticism was outrageous; “It is chutzpah to lecture Israel about the risks of peace and war.” , nothing in the original explicitly said it was about the settlements http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.557235

    i mean obviously it was, obviously. but it was as if they could not spell it out. the cryptic “lecture Israel about the risks of peace and war”. and lots of it got swept up in all the talk about iran it was never spelled out exactly what he was talking about. so i’m glad it’s completely clear now, what foxman’s ‘chutzpah’ comment referenced. ” moral preaching to the Israelis on the Israeli-Palestinian issue”….shut up about the settlements!

  11. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 13, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Great that Friedmann has changed his deadly song and dance in the run up to the invasion of Iraq to diplomacy with Iran. Healthy shift. He was completely complicit in building support for the horrific invasion of Iraq.

    Foxman has spent his life undermining U.S. National security by supporting Israel no matter what they do. ADL and Foxman should be required to sign up under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    Important post up at Going to Tehran about Iran’s legal right to enrich as signatories to the NPT and how Israel and the I lobby are completely undermining the negotiations. http://goingtotehran.com/
    Article IV(1) of the NPT states that “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.” In my view, the recognition by over 190 states parties to the NPT that all states have such an inalienable right, which I interpret to include all elements of the full nuclear fuel cycle including uranium enrichment, strongly suggests that the right to peaceful nuclear energy research, production and use is one of the fundamental rights of states in international law. In my view, both fundamental and acquired rights of states should be understood to create in third parties, both states and international organizations, a legal obligation to respect those rights.

    This means that other states and international organizations are under an international legal obligation not to act in serious prejudice of states’ rights. In the case of fundamental rights, this reciprocal obligation is of a jus cogens order, meaning that all states and international organizations are under a jus cogens order legal obligation not to act to seriously prejudice the fundamental rights of other states. When states or international organization do act in serious prejudice of a state’s fundamental rights, that action is an internationally wrongful act, and implicates the international responsibility of the acting state or international organization.

    According to this analysis, UN Security Council Resolution 1696, which commands Iran to cease uranium enrichment, constitutes a violation of international law, at least as to this particular command, and is void of legal effect (See Article 25 of the UN Charter). “

    • EUR1069
      EUR1069
      November 15, 2013, 9:29 am

      “ADL and Foxman should be required to sign up under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”

      JFK tried to force the Lobby to do just that & was hellbent on shutting down the Israeli nuclear weapons program in his second term. The 50th anniversary of his assassination is coming up on the 22nd. RIP.

      Food for thought: http://www.voltairenet.org/article178401.html

  12. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    November 13, 2013, 4:37 pm

    RE: “NJ Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat, has been the main water-carrier for Netanyahu, calling for tougher sanctions on Iran, and defying a Democratic White House.” ~ Weiss

    TAKE ACTION! TAKE ACTION! TAKE ACTION!

    Tell Your Senators: No More Sanctions

    When Iran got down to the real business of talking with the US and other countries on October 15, it was clear that they were interested in more than a ‘charm offensive.’ US diplomats optimistically noted that the tone and substance of talks had changed. There’s promise for a negotiated deal, but that good news could turn bad if the Senate isn’t careful.

    Take action before next week’s talks to help diplomacy win.

    Despite the positive signs coming out of the first round of negotiations, some Senators want to move forward with additional sanctions. The Obama administration has asked Congress to hold off, but there are loud, powerful groups pushing for Congress to play ‘bad cop’ in the game of diplomacy. Sheldon Adelson, a GOP megadonor, went so far as to suggest that the US launch a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran.

    Will Congress stand with President Obama or with extremist hawks?

    The next round of talks is happening at the beginning of November. More punishment from the US before the November talks could empower hardliners in Iran and make it harder for Iran’s president to negotiate. When you undermine diplomatic solutions, you head toward war.

    Tell your Senators not to undermine diplomacy with Iran.

    ● TO SEND AN EMAIL OPPOSING ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS DURING THE NEGOTIATIONS – http://www.winwithoutwar.org/page/speakout/no-more-sanctions

  13. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    November 13, 2013, 11:07 pm

    In deference to the demands of a small fascist country Congress is willing to obstruct Obama’s capacity to make peace with Iran ??? Yet another unnecessary crisis in the making and more proof of our inept, corrupt national leadership.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Obama handles this without the deft intervention of a politician more crafty than himself.

  14. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    November 14, 2013, 2:54 am

    It is quite difficult for an amateur like myself to accurately assess the interim agreement that is being discussed by the powers and Iran. Mondoweiss seems to have no objections to Iran building a bomb. This is an acceptable position, but it is not mine nor the avowed position of the president or the secretary of state. The position of Israel is that the interim agreement under discussion would leave Iran on the nuclear threshold and that this is unacceptable.

    It is clear that the American people are in no mood for a war against Iran and Obama is reflecting the will of the majority of the American people in his attempt to avoid such a war. Whether the United States and the other big powers can get a better agreement than the one on offer last week in Geneva is unclear.

    If someone here at Mondoweiss was firmly opposed to the Iranian building of a bomb, and still favored the interim agreement of last weekend, then we’d at least be on the same page. But the position of Mondoweiss is almost explicitly: Israel has a bomb so why shouldn’t Iran?

    This paragraph of Thomas Friedman’s, before he critiques Israel’s supporters’ position is key here to those of us opposed to an Iranian bomb:

    “It goes without saying that the only near-term deal with Iran worth partially lifting sanctions for would be a deal that freezes all the key components of Iran’s nuclear weapons development program, and the only deal worth lifting all sanctions for is one that verifiably restricts Iran’s ability to breakout and build a nuclear bomb.”

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      November 14, 2013, 8:49 am

      “Mondoweiss seems to have no objections to Iran building a bomb” Show us where anyone at Mondoweiss has said that.

      As a signatory to the NPT Iran has the total right to enrich uranium to 20% for peaceful purposes. Israel and the I lobby demand that they stop enriching all together. Not going to happen.

      Israel needs to sign the NPT and play by the same rules as Iran. People are sick and tired of Israel’s arrogant, deceptive and destructive behavior. Sign the NPT Israel needs to open up to international inspections.

    • eljay
      eljay
      November 14, 2013, 9:17 am

      >> Mondoweiss seems to have no objections to Iran building a bomb.

      I don’t think any country should possess nuclear or chemical weapons. I find interesting, but not surprising, the hypocrisy of Zio-supremacists who:
      – decry the idea of Iran possessing one nuclear weapon even as they defend Israel’s nuclear arsenal; and
      – insist that belligerent and colonialist Israel is entitled to have nuclear weapons for self-defence but deny heavily-sanctioned Iran that same right.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      November 14, 2013, 9:33 am

      the position of Mondoweiss is almost explicitly: Israel has a bomb so why shouldn’t Iran?

      there is no Mondoweiss position on an Iranian bomb. and what does ‘almost explicitly’ even mean? sounds like more fog inducing mumbo jumbo, from one of the masters of fog inducing mumbo jumbo. the general mood of anti-Zionists here can be probably broken into: 1. it is hypocritical of Israel to demand complete transparency of Iran, with repeated calls to halt a non-existent Iranian weapons program, while Israel has nuclear weapons and an active weapons development program, in addition to a civilian nuclear program, none of which is subject to any international oversight; 2. rather than promoting a nuclear-armed Iran, I think most anti-Zionists here would promote disarmament and a nuclear-free ME. (which is all basically what Kathleen just said.)

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      November 14, 2013, 10:38 am

      Wondering Jew is a hysterical liar and Zionist troll.

      Provide evidence that Mondoweiss supports a hypothetical Iranian nuclear weapons program.

      Oh wait you can’t, because you’re full of ****.

    • talknic
      talknic
      November 14, 2013, 10:50 am

      @ yonah fredman ” Mondoweiss seems to have no objections to Iran building a bomb”

      Quotes please….thx

      ” This is an acceptable position, but it is not mine nor the avowed position of the president or the secretary of state”… … or the Iranians who call for a Nuclear Weapons free M East

      “If someone here at Mondoweiss was firmly opposed to the Iranian building of a bomb, and still favored the interim agreement of last weekend, then we’d at least be on the same page. But the position of Mondoweiss is almost explicitly: Israel has a bomb so why shouldn’t Iran?

      Cute. Fabricate a notion, then repeat the fabrication. Strange that anyone would falsely accuse on behalf of the Jewish state. It’s completely against the basic tenets of Judaism. Just shows how corrupt and immoral people can be.

    • talknic
      talknic
      November 14, 2013, 10:59 am

      @ yonah fredman This paragraph of Thomas Friedman’s, before he critiques Israel’s supporters’ position is key here to those of us opposed to an Iranian bomb:

      “It goes without saying that the only near-term deal with Iran worth partially lifting sanctions for would be a deal that freezes all the key components of Iran’s nuclear weapons development program, and the only deal worth lifting all sanctions for is one that verifiably restricts Iran’s ability to breakout and build a nuclear bomb.”

      Problem. WHAT nuclear weapons development program? Thomas Friedman’s notions are based only on a speculative accusation. Speculations are not evidence of anything.

    • American
      American
      November 14, 2013, 11:55 am

      ”“If someone here at Mondoweiss was firmly opposed to the Iranian building of a bomb, and still favored the interim agreement of last weekend, then we’d at least be on the same page. But the position of Mondoweiss is almost explicitly: Israel has a bomb so why shouldn’t Iran?”

      I dont know what MW’s position is —but mine is if Israel has nukes Iran also has a right to nukes.
      IMO Israel and the zionist are the fanatics most likely to nuke someone or get the ME into a nuke war…..not Iran.

    • annie
      annie
      November 14, 2013, 12:56 pm

      ……the position of Mondoweiss is almost explicitly

      is “almost explicitly” like almost pregnant? is “seems to have” the same as ‘to have’?

      and who is “mondoweiss”? the staff,everyone who posts here (you being one).

      it may interest you (and everyone) to know we don’t hold staff meetings to iron out potential differences in opinions regarding political affiliations or stances on nuclear power, interim agreements or anything like that. i do happen to know that phil and i diverge drastically on some stuff just because we email back and forth a lot. but i have no idea where allison, alex or adam might fall on an iranian nuclear weapons program, other than assuming they are aware one doesn’t exist, according to our (US)own intel.

      and your premise Mondoweiss seems to have no objections to Iran building a bomb assumes ‘mondoweiss’ agrees iran is trying to build a bomb in the first place. what’s next? the presumption that since it seems to you ‘we’ have no objections to iran building a bomb that ‘we’ also have no objections to iran using a bomb to preemptively defend itself?

      these assignments of site opinions are merely rhetorical tools for pt scoring. how bout this:

      Yonah seems to have no objections to Israel having a bomb. This is an acceptable position, but it is not mine nor the avowed position of the president or the secretary of state. (since both are down w/the ME being a nuclear free zone) The position of Iran is that the interim agreement under discussion would leave Israel with a nuclear bomb and that this is unacceptable.

      If Yonah was firmly opposed to the Israel having a bomb, and still favored the interim agreement of last weekend, then we’d at least be on the same page. But the position of Yonah is almost explicitly: Israel has a bomb and he has little concern about that, it’s all Iran Iran Iran even tho Iran has not started a war for centuries, unlike Israel.

      so, either you prescribe to the theory that nuclear bombs can be a deterrent and actually prevent death and destruction or you don’t. which is it yonah? just be consistent. instead of hypocritical. because there’s absolutely no evidence Israel is a more responsible power than Iran. none what so ever. so either you support nuclear weapons as a form of deterrent or you don’t. or do you think only israelis have a right to defend themselves?

      and me, i don’t like nuclear bombs, at all. that said, once they are introduced into the region (and whose fault is that) it’s racist and discriminatory deciding one people have a right to protect themselves and the other doesn’t. your selective concern is hypocritical, i hope you see that.

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      November 16, 2013, 12:47 pm

      Israel has a bomb so why shouldn’t Iran?”

      Iran having a bomb will restrict use of the nuclear threat by Israel that it does to attack the neighbors with impunity . It has attacked Syria 4-5 times this year while
      the following Israeli strategy goes unexamined by US ( Mark Kirk, Schumer, Ilena Graham,McCain,Sherman,Rangel,and WaPO,FOX)

      “According to Israel Hayom, senior Israeli officials were quoted as saying that “al-Qaeda control over Syria would be preferable to a victory by Assad over the rebels.”
      http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/06/04/israeli-officials-wed-prefer-al-qaeda-run-syria-to-an-assad-victory/

  15. just
    just
    November 14, 2013, 7:22 am

    Did anyone, anywhere actually impose sanctions on Israel or threaten full out military action on them as they built actual nukes, chem, bio and chemical weapons? Have they every come clean about their arsenals, or deigned to sign the NPT? Do they constantly threaten others as they flagrantly steal land, resources and freedom from the indigenous Palestinians? Are they a force for good in the region? Are they really even our ally? Do they ever even attempt to comply with international law?

    The hypocrisy is staggering.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      November 14, 2013, 8:50 am

      Staggering.

      • amigo
        amigo
        November 14, 2013, 11:26 am

        “The hypocrisy is staggering “Just

        Zionism is staggering under it,s own weight.The collapse is not that far away.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      November 14, 2013, 10:05 am

      they are not an ally. I believe that along with Cuba and Russia, they have the most active intelligence gathering program going on against the US. and, to give them credit, they are one of the masters of the recently coined ‘lawfare’ tactic, one facet of which is its failure and refusal to sign and adopt a variety of international laws, while simultaneously insisting on strict adherence to those same laws by their enemies.

    • Chu
      Chu
      November 14, 2013, 10:40 am

      They are a small state they can play the victim, so the charade of nukes to slips in the gray zone. Do they, don’t they? Of course they have the worse arsenal in the mid-east. But if all you have is superior weapons, all you want to do is use them.

      If they want to survive through the next century, they have a lot of maturing to do. Right now all the lies, the land-grabbing, the ethnocentric racism, U.S backstabbing in public, etc. all equates to a weak state that has no principles or can be considered dignified.What nation state of this globe will want do business with them? That’s besides the desperate Saudi monarchy. It’s like a vicious girlfriend that you have to break it off with at some point, for your own well being. The US is getting the picture, and the Lobby(s) can’t even seem to hide it any longer.

  16. Chu
    Chu
    November 14, 2013, 10:29 am

    Foxman: ‘I was deeply troubled by several of the points in the tentative agreement which were reported in the past few days and may be acted upon in the next round of meetings scheduled for November 20 in Geneva. I am now convinced that this agreement will not only prematurely roll back the sanctions regime, but that it would legitimize Iran as a threshold nuclear state. ‘

    I don’t think he adequately explains himself here. To start at ‘being troubled’ to being ‘convinced’ about such a serious matter deserves a full explanation. Otherwise he sounds like Israel’s stenographer, albeit an older version – the same role Goldberg performs at the Atlantic or Eli Lake at the Daily Beast.

  17. Citizen
    Citizen
    November 14, 2013, 6:37 pm

    Amazing, the chutzpah of the usual US senators being Israel First to the max, the same ones who attacked Hagel’s nomination: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.558126

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