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The lobby grants Obama a grace period on Iran


italy4_432_1Four U.S. Jewish organizations are said to be giving the Obama administration a 60-day interval to get Iran to comply with western demands before the four groups turn the screws on Congress to tighten sanctions against Iran.

Is that really how things work in Washington?

The US media has been silent on this question even as the Israeli press reports the meaning of a meeting that took place at the White House behind closed doors last Tuesday with those Jewish groups.

As we reported, Obama met with what the JTA called a “small coterie” of Jewish leaders at the White House amid “signals that the Obama and Netanyahu governments are parting ways on Iran strategy.” Heaven forbid. That can’t happen! But the signals included a speech the night before by Secretary of State John Kerry (shown above with Netanyahu in Italy Oct. 23) decrying “fear tactics,” intended to undermine the talks with Iran.

The four US Jewish groups at the White House were all rightwing and were dubbed the “quartet” by Haaretz, which reported that they gave the administration a “limited ‘grace period’” after an “understanding was reached” with the president and top staff of the National Security Council. The understanding? We won’t ask for more sanctions yet if you assure us that you won’t weaken sanctions against Iran during the next high-level P5+1 meetings to convene in Geneva, beginning next week.

The understanding was reached during a sometimes tense meeting at the White House this week between a group of senior Administration officials led by National Security Adviser Susan Rice and executives and leaders from an ad hoc “quartet” of influential Jewish organizations: AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, The Anti-Defamation League and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.

Though they refrained from describing it as “a deal” or a quid pro quo, sources familiar with the meeting said they had agreed to a limited “grace period” only after hearing assurances from the Administration that it had no intention of easing sanctions or of releasing Iranian funds that have been “frozen” in banks around the world.

Following this news, Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that Congress should not pass new tighter sanctions against Iran and give the Obama administration time (60 days, we’re guessing) to “test” the chances for a nuclear agreement with Iran.

Al-Monitor’s Barbara Slavin put Sen. Levin’s accommodation in the context of the top-level White House meeting:

Following fairly upbeat meetings in Geneva last month, the Obama administration has been lobbying hard for a pause in new legislative action…

The administration has also spent considerable time briefing Israel about the talks and this week reportedly convinced four major US Jewish organizations to agree to a 60-day moratorium on pressuring Congress to vote on new sanctions.

Per Google news, The Washington Post and New York Times have not covered the White House meeting. (And here are searches for Abe Foxman and Malcolm Hoenlein that turn up nothing lately).

Meanwhile, in Israel, the Jerusalem Post has sought to debunk the Haaretz report: “Jewish organizations deny 60-day delay on Iran sanctions push.”

“No one has given any commitment to make some public moratorium,” said sources with an organization represented at the meeting, “categorically denying” that any such commitment was given.

“I can tell you, within AJC, no decision has been made to revisit support for the Senate measure,” David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday. “There’s no process in place to reconsider our decision.”

Marsha Cohen at Lobelog has also followed the “Gang of Four”‘s demands and the varying reports:

Chemi Shalev of Haaretz initially reported early Friday morning that the pro-Israel Gang of Four had agreed to tone down their demand that new Iran sanctions be enacted immediately, without waiting to see whether the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 will reveal any signs of progress….

By Friday afternoon, however, Shalev had found an anonymous source affiliated with an organization represented at the meeting who categorically denies that any commitment was given for any such moratorium… [A]ccording to Shalev, “Sources in the Jewish establishment emphasized that they did not make any commitment to refrain from supporting new sanctions in their private dealings with the U.S. lawmakers.”

In the new framing, the leaders of the four Jewish organizations have merely allowed for a “time out”, and have “agreed to accede to the Administration’s request and to refrain from campaigning on behalf of stronger sanctions at this time.” According to Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (yes he was there, even though he lashed out at Kerry):

 “That means that we are not lobbying for additional sanctions and we are not lobbying for less sanctions,” Foxman told Haaretz as well as other U.S. media outlets.

…Although the Haaretz report alluded only to a temporary “cease fire” in public campaigning and only in connection to additional sanctions, some officials were concerned that the publication might be misinterpreted in Congress as a signal that Jewish groups did not support stronger sanctions, or worse, that they would not oppose an easing of the sanctions already in place.

The Haaretz revelation … which were meant to be kept secret, sparked a flurry of denials from outside groups that had been kept out of the White House meeting – but also from others who were well aware of its outcome but were nonetheless miffed or embarrassed by its exposure.

That “hiatus is only tactical in nature.” Foxman goes on the explain they’ve got this covered: they’ll be having another meeting at the White House scheduled for next month.

How often does the head of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee get to visit Obama? And just who is deciding foreign policy here?

Lessening sanctions is the Iranians’ chief demand for the talks, notably the restrictions on banking. As the Iranian journalist Kourosh Ziabari wrote at our site:

According to the proposal, Iran would remove the concerns of the P5+1 group of world countries through confidence-building measures and increased transparency in its nuclear activities, and in return, the Western powers will offer incentives to Iran by lifting the unilateral and multilateral sanctions on a step-by-step basis.

Israel and its American friends want guarantees the sanctions will not be lessened before going into the next round of talks. So– what’s the point of the talks? The talks are a non-starter if easing the sanctions are not on the table.

And Hassan Rouhani seems to see the writing on the wall, retweeting this from the country’s supreme leader:

As you read this, remember that John Kerry had the temerity to suggest that Israelis were trying to manipulate American policy. Last Monday night he said:

Some have suggested that somehow there’s something wrong with even putting… to the test [whether or not Iran really desires to pursue only a peaceful program]. I suggest that the idea that the United States of America as a responsible nation to all of humankind would not explore that possibility would be the height of irresponsibility and dangerous in itself, and we will not succumb to those fear tactics and forces that suggest otherwise.

Forceful, huh? And the next day the gang of four is in the White House, evidently forcing the president’s hand.

P.S. Haaretz said that the meeting at the White House with the Jewish leaders was coordinated with speeches to the ADL by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and UN Ambassador Samantha Power.

In the meantime, senior Administration officials sought to reassure the Jewish community about the Administration’s resolve to prevent a nuclear Iran at the ADL’s Centennial Conference in New York on Thursday.

In his speech, Chuck Hagel spoke of preventing Iran from going nuclear in the context of the Holocaust. Ambassador Power said:

let me be absolutely clear: President Obama is determined to ensure that the Islamic Republic does not acquire a nuclear weapon. Let me repeat: the United States cannot and will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

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47 Responses

  1. just
    November 3, 2013, 2:16 pm

    Thanks Annie. I feel the bile rising again. I so very much want that AIPAC be called what it is — a subverter of American foreign policy & our Constitution, and one that puts our national security in grave danger.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday tried to reassure America’s Arab friends that the United States will not allow them to be attacked “from outside,” in an apparent warning to Iran.

    He specifically mentioned Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt as nations, alongside unspecified “others,” that the U.S. will defend. Those others likely would include Israel, the strongest U.S. ally in the region.

    “The United States will be there for the defense of our friends and our allies,” Kerry told reporters in Cairo. “We will not allow those countries to be attacked from outside. We will stand with them.”

    Kerry spoke during the first stop on his trip to the Middle East, Europe and North Africa.

    After Egypt, he headed later Sunday to Saudi Arabia, where the biggest rifts with the Obama administration have emerged.

    Saudi officials have complained that the United States did not follow through on its threat to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad with military strikes for his government’s use of chemical weapons. The Saudis also have watched warily as President Barack Obama has opened a tentative rapprochement with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s archrival.

    • annie
      November 3, 2013, 2:48 pm

      i find it revolting just. the fact these guys show up at the white house and offer the president a “grace period”! how much more blatant can you get. and here’s another blurb that didn’t make it into the article (maybe i should add it). this is from the new and improved version/framing, because we don’t want anyone thinking these guys are …..

      The Haaretz revelation of the understandings reached among representatives of the Conference of Presidents, the American Jewish Committee, AIPAC and Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League, which were meant to be kept secret, sparked a flurry of denials from outside groups that had been kept out of the White House meeting – but also from others who were well aware of its outcome but were nonetheless miffed or embarrassed by its exposure.

      what’s to be embarrassed about guys? don’t want the cat out of the bag you’re making demands on US diplomacy on behalf of a foreign nation?????

      • just
        November 3, 2013, 3:05 pm

        I think it’s definitely worth including.

        The word chutzpah doesn’t even come close to describing the motivations and actions of these foul people who deign to grant OUR President a”grace period”. If there was ever a time for our Administration to tell them where to put their collective whinging, it is NOW. I cannot demand face time from my President or SOS or Congresspeople, nor can most American citizens.

        It’s unjust, unconscionable, and completely un- American. Normalization of relations with Iran is in our best interests.


        Our cozy relationship with outlaw Israel is a source of many, many of our problems. They, as they exist today, are no friend to America. Just what do they actually do for us except create more strife and animosity???

        Some “ally”.

      • MRW
        November 3, 2013, 4:32 pm

        Expose them.

      • Bumblebye
        November 3, 2013, 6:15 pm

        If (as we know) this is all in the cause of Israel, then every demand, every sanction placed on Iran should be countered with equal demands that Israel comes clean and joins the NPT or sanctions of the same severity should be applied.

      • justicewillprevail
        November 4, 2013, 5:10 am

        It’s the Mob in action. Yeah sure, we give you 60 days, to enforce our impossible demands, then you do it our way. Having bought Congress, it will be time to call in the favours, or else. Having bankrupted the US on a trillion dollar debacle in Iraq, now they want the same in Iran, without getting their hands dirty, or their benefits touched.
        I think the American public could handle a president who told them where to go. Time to force them into the light, out of the shadows where they like to work.

    • November 3, 2013, 5:43 pm

      This statement has anti Semitic flavor according to this definition of Antisemitism

      Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

      • philweiss
        November 4, 2013, 9:21 am

        Fnlevit, The difficulty here is that an Israeli poll specifically asked American Jews recently to which country they would feel more allegiance in a crisis. The poll was trashed, but it raised the question, from inside the Zionist discourse, as a legitimate issue. Aren’t non-zionists and anti-Zionists allowed to raise the same question, and problematize the issue? Phil

      • eljay
        November 4, 2013, 10:11 am

        >> This statement has anti Semitic flavor according to this definition of Antisemitism
        >> Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

        Is it more or less anti-Semitic than accusing Israeli and non-Israeli Jews who fail to sufficiently worship and support the supremacist “Jewish State” of being not real Jews, self-loathing Jews and/or traitors?

      • Bumblebye
        November 4, 2013, 10:48 am

        Turns out that European so called “working definition of anti-semitism” was never more that a draft paper for discussion and has since been discarded. The bbc had apparently been using it, but has now dropped it too, per this from EI:

        It is thoroughly discredited – but hasbara trolls like the perfesser still lurve it!

      • Kathleen
        November 4, 2013, 11:41 am

        The facts are the facts. Most of these groups and individuals are more loyal to Israel than to the U.S. That old “anti-semitic” claim is just total diversionary bullshit.

  2. seafoid
    November 3, 2013, 2:45 pm

    Inflation in iran is at 40%. Gdp is down 6%. The rial is at 50% of the value it had 2 years ago. All for 5.5m bots.
    Karma is really going to hurt when it comes around.

    • Krauss
      November 3, 2013, 4:14 pm

      GDP per capita has not budget a lot, and the IMF projects that it will remain stable, flattish really, for the next few years.

      At any event, nuclear proliferation is an issue. Iran is a problem from hell. I don’t believe them when they say that they don’t seek a nuclear weapon. Of course they do, that’s the most rational thing to do and if I were them I would do it too. I don’t think the danger is Iran. The danger is everyone else in the Middle East getting nuclear weapons.

      Israel’s obsession here is the power balance but forget about that. Having half a dozen of states in the Middle East pursuing nuclear weapons is a nightmare from a point of view that views nuclear proliferation as a top threat.

      • just
        November 3, 2013, 4:23 pm

        I don’t agree. I don’t like nuclear proliferation, but the door to the barn has been open for a long time.

        Israel is the nightmare, imho. It is the juggernaut that will launch a race, if there is to be one.

        Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. Israel has nukes, chemical and biological weapons and sits there on their throne dictating to, attacking and oppressing others with OUR help and hubris.

        Why do you say that “Iran is a problem from hell?” They’ve not attacked anyone in forever– unlike Israel and the US.

      • pabelmont
        November 3, 2013, 8:15 pm

        USA has been attacked from outside, fiercely, and should say so. The Fifth Column from Israel is feeling its oats (unwisely, perhaps) and calling the shots.

        It tries calling OUT LOUD. (Do the other fifth columns, BIG-BANKS, BIG-DEFENSE, BIG-PHARMA, BIG-OIL, call the shots so blatantly? I guess they do!)

        When the time period is up, will Obama cave-in, or will the shots have been called in vain?

      • MRW
        November 3, 2013, 4:39 pm

        I don’t believe them when they say that they don’t seek a nuclear weapon. Of course they do, that’s the most rational thing to do and if I were them I would do it too.

        Krauss, you need to understand that AS A RESULT of international agreements years ago, satellites can determine if a country is making nukes. The satellites can see if certain equipment is present to enrich uranium to the 92+% necessary for nuclear weapons. Iran is using gas centrifuges to enrich for power plants. The output is a gas, not a metal; metal is REQUIRED for nuclear weapons. Only certain highly regulated equipment can accomplish that; it has a satellite signature by design and treaty.

        Your belief is immaterial. You keep writing this mistaken idea without investigating the facts of the process, or the capability of the satellites.

        Israel is a criminal org out to destroy the USA at this point.

      • seafoid
        November 3, 2013, 4:56 pm


        It’s really hurting middle class Iranians. GDP is down 5.4% and I don’t believe the population fell by that much in one year.

        “Consumer prices have risen consistently as domestic industry has stagnated, GDP has shrunk by 5.4 per cent over the past year and youth unemployment is officially estimated at 28.30 per cent.”

      • LeaNder
        November 4, 2013, 9:07 am

        Interesting emotional shift: Krauss. the supporter of empire? Not completely surprising. We all probably function on an axis of empathy versus socio/psychopathy, I guess, shifting from case to case. But here we have the absolute classic: our empathy diminishes if the ultimate victim is the however defined “other”. Why should I worry about economic sanctions on another country? Doesn’t harm me, does it? Maybe export a little?

        conformist: carrots and sticks?

        Seemingly Krauss either supports a replay of Iraq – US covert action up to the final chance to seize the day for regime change, or has an enormously bad memory. Or loves the idea of empire regime-changing-countries for the benefit of mankind?

        Of course they do, that’s the most rational thing to do and if I were them I would do it too. I don’t think the danger is Iran. The danger is everyone else in the Middle East getting nuclear weapons.

        Oh, rationally isn’t the issue, it’s ultimately about a partly fictive larger thread emanating from Arab countries all suddenly want to possess an atom bomb? Like the e.g. the Wahabists?

        Persians are only pawns in a larger geopolitical game? In other words they are not really the threat, but due to “our” fears they have to suffer collectively? So all I have to do is put up the pressure, threaten them with a attack for more than a decade and then, when it would be the “most rational thing” after all that they want to defend themselves by all means possible, I start to squeeze the life blood out of their economy with financial warfare?

        Rationally considered, if everyone in the Arab world had atomic weapons it could possibly prevent them from attacking each other. No? How many actually did? Saddam? Who else? To what extend could they use atomic weapons for their “interior threats”? Which could afford such an enterprise? And what exactly would be the benefit for them. I ask as a political nitwit.

  3. just
    November 3, 2013, 3:16 pm

    More junk from our very own Administration:

    “U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who is also chief U.S. negotiator for Iran’s nuclear program, assured Israel that the U.S. has not offered Iran any sanctions relief and that Israeli security is a priority.

    “Israel’s security is bedrock. There is no closer security relationship than what we have with each other.”

    In an interview with Channel 10’s Tamar Ish Shalom Sunday, Sherman said the Obama administration is committed to stopping Iran’s nuclear program from advancing as a first step, “while we negotiate and offer limited, temporary reversible sanctions relief, but keep in place the fundamental architecture of oil and banking sanctions.”

    Sherman stressed that nothing has occurred yet, and that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” She also said that she knows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes, as the U.S. that that best answer is a peacfeul negotiated solution. “Israel knows as well, if not better, than any country, the cost of war, military action.”

    Asked if she trusts Rohani’s intentions, Sherman said “We do not approach this on the basis of trust because we know there’s great deal of mistrust on both sides.”

    The subjects of missing soldier Ron Arad and reports that the U.S. sources leaked the Israeli strike on Syria were both raised in the interview – and on both counts Sherman said she did not know or did not have the answer.

    She also did not confirm or deny on whether the U.S. eavesdropped on Israeli politicians. ”

    • Justpassingby
      November 3, 2013, 4:22 pm

      Sherman..Why is there no Smith?

      • just
        November 3, 2013, 5:18 pm

        Justpassingby– please elucidate. I don’t follow– perhaps too much raking.

    • RoHa
      November 3, 2013, 9:06 pm

      “Israel’s security is bedrock. There is no closer security relationship than what we have with each other.”

      So the NATO and ANZUS relationships are second rate. The US bases in Bahrain and Japan and Australia and the UK and Canada don’t count as much as cherry tomatoes.

      “Israel knows as well, if not better, than any country, the cost of war, military action.”

      Better than Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam and …

      And we, here in Australia, who have had soldiers killed and wounded in those wars as well as in previous wars, do not know the cost?

  4. Justpassingby
    November 3, 2013, 4:20 pm

    Sickening, how can anyone say US and Israel have same goals? There is a mob/lobby/israel dragging the world in to a war..again (Iraq).
    And Israel will whine about antisemitism.

    • Bumblebye
      November 3, 2013, 6:11 pm

      Re your “mob” – has “Murder Inc” morphed into “Israel Inc”?

  5. HarryLaw
    November 3, 2013, 5:34 pm

    The point of departure in these negotiations is that both Kerry and Hagel seem to be suggesting that Iran can have peaceful nuclear energy and by implication can enrich to the minimum required to produce such enriched uranium [3.5%] on Iranian territory, the Iranians have turned their 20% uranium into rods for medical purposes, when this happens they cannot be further enriched, but in any case they have enough of these rods now for their purposes and should not impede negotiations, the Israelis on the other hand insist that Iran cease enrichment completely in line with various chapter 7 UNSC Resolutions, the Iranians view that as a non starter, and the Iranian public would not allow it to happen, so the stage is set for the big showdown, I hope the American public let their Representatives know they do not want World war 3, and in the same numbers [approx 100 to1] against war on Syria.

  6. Oklahoma farmer
    Oklahoma farmer
    November 3, 2013, 5:44 pm

    These are the mewlings of a failing Jewish leadership realizing they’re losing grip on American foreign policy. Foreign policy poorly led by a softly pliable, inadequate President…..Obama.

    Sooner..rather than later, Israel knows, they frightenly know, that finally, an American President will rise to the magnificance of his office calling so eloquently…..Put America First.

    We’ve had enough of weaklings beholden to the God of MONEY FOR REELECTION.

    When that man comes, it will be the end of Zionist control of the US.

    It’s coming….it is coming….that time is coming.

    • Ellen
      November 4, 2013, 1:09 pm

      Oklahoma, if you are in Oklahoma you know that many very fundamental Christians (or rather, Radical Christians) believe with all their heart that the fate of the USA and Israel are one.

      They have confused earthly ideas of nation with spiritual religion.

      This started en force when the likes of Pat Robertson and Hagee started getting money and attention from Zionist interests.

      It represents a large voting block and no elected official wants to fight that.

      It’s a tragedy for the US.

  7. radii
    November 3, 2013, 6:03 pm

    the lobby realizes they’re getting nowhere with their current efforts and will now cobble together some other extortion tactic (which also will not work) … win for America and Team Obama – just keep ignoring the zionists histrionics and the lobby can be diminished for good

  8. pabelmont
    November 3, 2013, 8:08 pm

    We dance around the question

    is the Israel lobby a lobby of Jews (a Jewish lobby) (not, of course, THE Jewish lobby) or is it a lobby consisting BOTH of Jews and also of Christians (e.g. of the evangelical persuasion)?

    The four Jewish organizations discussed above seem to believe that they are enough (or they direct enough fire-power or money-power) to DIRECT Congress.

    I’d say they are — themselves, not me! — making the claim to BE (or to direct) the Israel Lobby. If it walks like a duck, etc., and CLAIMS to BE the duck, what shall we say about it?

    Maybe in 60 days we’ll find out if THE LOBBY is, in effect, A JEWISH LOBBY.

    • Ellen
      November 4, 2013, 1:12 pm

      The arms industry lobby is included. But then again that lobby is connected at the hip to Zio interests. JINSA.

  9. Kathleen
    November 3, 2013, 9:23 pm

    Write the WH, write your Reps and ask them why the Israeli lobby is determining our foreign policy towards Iran.

    And demand that these groups be required to sign up under FARA They are not working for the U.S.’s national security they are promoting Israel’s unnecessary push for a military strike on Iran. They want the U.S. to do their dirty work

    Hopefully Colonel Wilkerson publicly adds these groups to his traitor list

  10. Kathleen
    November 3, 2013, 9:34 pm

    Netanyahu “America is easily moved”

  11. ToivoS
    November 3, 2013, 9:37 pm

    I will offer a conjecture. It has been clear for some time that Congress and the lobby have the potential to undermine any peace agreement with Iran by insisting that the sanctions remain in place whatever the Obama admin does in the negotiations. Obama knows this and so do the Iranians. I am guessing that this problem has already been discussed with the Iranians. A solution is possible nevertheless. The 5 + 1 group reaches an agreement with Iran over U enrichment. The group agrees to end sanctions though they all know that the US Congress will object. The Obama admin capitulates but signals to Russia, China and the EU that they should go ahead and end the sanctions at their end. At this point, the only two countries on the planet enforcing sanctions will be the US and Israel in which their effectiveness will collapse. Iranian business will go to the other countries and the US can spend another half century boycotting Iran — the sanctions will be as effective as those against Cuba.

    In any case a peace agreement with Iran will be in effect. Iran gets the high tech and pharmaceutical imports from Germany, France and China while at the same time avoiding the American cultural invasion that always accompanies trade agreements with the US. Somehow I think Iran’s leaders would prefer this outcome. The Israeli lobby will also feel like they have power. It is win win all around. Though I agree with others here that the process of getting there will be humiliating for many Americans and ugly to watch.

  12. traintosiberia
    November 3, 2013, 10:46 pm

    There was a time when S Arab was threatened with attacks,dismemberment taking over,changes of regime by Schwartz,Perle ,Frum,and a few other ,and was described as Terror Central after 911 .It continued for a while until the emergence of Iran as a threat. Like PA has become a partner in crime to the crimes of Israel to Gaza and West Bank, S Arab has also. It has paid the price for 911 hanging over its head as a sword . That sword will continue to dangle until it is brought down after Iran is obliterated by the same gangs who have retired above mentioned people to get the job done without arousing any suspicion .
    This is an interesting game . Carl Levin has Been demanding investigation on OSP , calling the whole process as illegal maneuver and eventually he ended up calling it ” inappropriate” I think Wexler did same. Those ‘inappropiate ” liars have been shut out off the same process on new target that is Iran .to carry that process ,they need new faces not polluted by what went into Iraq things so that the new liars could not be dismissed off as some bunch of old liars. Americans don’t want to see and hear Wolfowitz, Perle, Murawiec, Liberman , Wurmser , Max Singer, Dore Gold, D . Kagan orFrum again. Levine fits the bill so do Kirk, Hoyer, Menendex, Rubio, Schumer. Jack Lew lindsey Graham Cantor. Across Atlantic we have instead of Brown and Blair new faces on those chairs and instead of Sanger and Judith Miller we have fresh journalists to carry the charge to nex target. Instead of PNAC , we have FDd. The place holders will always be occupied courtesy AIPAC .Attention deficit disordered Americans have a vision with restricted peripheral space and has 1 minutes attention span , are no match for AIPAC.
    JustSaddam could not have avoided the meeting in Baghdad , Iranwont be able to avoid either. Question is how the day after and day next will look like forAmerican interests.

  13. traintosiberia
    November 3, 2013, 10:50 pm

    Haaretz is reporting that Kissinger was bragging that US saved Israel in 1973. It is still doing ,that part not mentioned.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      November 4, 2013, 1:22 pm

      Kissinger should have pressured Israel to get out of the Sinai in 1973. And avoided the very dangerous war with Egypt.

  14. piotr
    November 3, 2013, 11:36 pm

    I found this part of the article of Marsha Cohen interesting (the emphasized phrase, the rest is but a context)

    Although mainstream pro-Israel organizations have always insisted that U.S. support for Israel is bi-partisan and have been very reluctant to turn support for Israel (which includes staunch opposition to any improvement in relations between Israel and Iran) into a “wedge issue,” the neoconservativeWashington Free Beacon turned to its own anonymous sources to accuse the Obama administration of having repeatedly “screwed pro-Israel groups.”

    Who cares about the nukes! The true horror is the prospect of improved relations!

    • Scott
      November 4, 2013, 10:34 am

      Piotr, I read that too but thought that phrase was a typo, that she meant to write improvement between U.S. and Iran.

      • piotr
        November 4, 2013, 2:16 pm

        I understood it that way too, and it is still quite crazy. This is the true cost of “supporting Israel”: picking fights with all they are paranoid about etc.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        November 5, 2013, 4:14 pm

        I read it same way, Scoot.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      November 4, 2013, 1:21 pm

      Yes, what an alarming thought: better relations between Iran and the US. Something Aipac has labored for decades to block. And scr*w the national security interests of the American people.

  15. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    November 4, 2013, 12:45 am

    It seems to me that these right wing Jewish groups are playing with fire and if it is Netanyahu guiding them, he is playing with fire as well. It is not uncommon for negotiations to begin with “good will measures”. It is very uncommon for the Congress to work against the president from the right wing (hawkish versus dovish.) I hope the negotiations with Iran can result in an agreement and that the negotiations are not hampered by Congress.

    • Kathleen
      November 4, 2013, 11:46 am

      Hope is great but if the past is any indicator of the future in the situation with Iran it does not look good. Although Obama talking directly with Rouhani and Kerry talking directly with Iranian officials had to be a kick in Israel’s and the I lobbies cajones. About time

  16. Les
    November 4, 2013, 11:13 am

    60 days is not a grace period but quite the opposite, the date when Israel’s marching orders for Obama go into effect.

  17. James Canning
    James Canning
    November 4, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Surely the meeting at the White House was of very large significance. And reasons for not reporting it are as follows: ____________.

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