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Kerry reassures Israel as Congress grumbles about a deal


From the State Department, Kerry’s arrival in Geneva after leaving Israel, where Prime Minister Netanyahu was incensed by reports of a deal with Iran.

Good afternoon, everybody. It’s great to be here. The P51 is doing some very important work right now, and I’m delighted to be here at the invitation of Cathy Ashton to try to work with our colleagues to see if we can narrow some differences. I want to emphasize there are still some very important issues on the table that are unresolved. It is important for those to be properly, thoroughly addressed.

I want to emphasize there is not an agreement at this point in time, but the P51 is working hard, and I look forward to the meetings that I’ll be having very shortly with Lady Cathy Ashton and with my fellow ministers in the P5, and then also I will be meeting with Minister Zarif. We hope to try to narrow those differences, but I don’t think anybody should mistake that there are some important gaps that have to be closed.

So thank you very much. Appreciate it. Thank you.

The Washington Post reports the Congress is already balking:

“While I support the president’s efforts to engage with Iran, I am deeply troubled by reports that such an agreement may not require Tehran to halt its enrichment efforts,” said Engel, a strong congressional backer of Israel. “If Iran intends to show good faith during these talks, it must at a minimum abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for a halt to enrichment.”

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.), announced a hearing on the proposed deal next week.

“Instead of toughening sanctions to get meaningful and lasting concessions, the Obama administration looks to be settling for interim and reversible steps,” Royce warned.

The Post says that Kerry sought to “reassure” Netanyahu. Reassure is the word that Dennis Ross also used on NPR last night.

The tense meeting Friday morning between Kerry and Netanyahu was a last-minute effort to reassure the Israeli leader before Kerry flew to Switzerland. But the Israeli leader left little doubt that the fate of the Palestinian talks is linked to the outcome of negotiations with Iran.

NPR interviews Dennis Ross:

I think the key here is going to be reassure the Israelis that if there is this first deal, A, it is not changing our focus on what needs to happen to the Iranian nuclear program, which is it has to be rolled back and it has to be rolled back in a significant way so Iran doesn’t retain a breakout capability, number one.

And number two, I think the big fear that exists here in Israel, based on people I’ve been talking to, is a genuine concern that somehow even this limited relief will send a signal to others in the world that it’s back to business as usual, the Iranians, and the economic structure pressure will really be relaxed far more than we intend.

Notice that Ross says “here in Israel,” but Melissa Block in introducing him did not say where Ross was. Ross is on the board of the Jewish People Planning Institute, a pro-Israel organization. Maybe that’s why he was in Israel? Notice that the Washington Post identifies Eliot Engel as being strongly pro-Israel. Shouldn’t NPR identify Ross that way?

Now here is the Emergency Committee for Israel echoing Netanyahu, and putting the pressure on Congress to block a deal. Statement by Bill Kristol and a few others.

This looks to be a very bad deal. The Iranian regime would obtain major sanctions relief in exchange for token and superficial concessions that neither freeze nor set back its nuclear weapons program. …

We oppose such a deal, which would make war and nuclear proliferation in the Middle East more likely and would undermine U.S. security by making the world a more dangerous place. Friends and enemies alike would now be convinced that the administration’s past guarantees were empty promises, its past red lines written in disappearing ink. If the administration announces such a deal, Congress should take all appropriate measures to oppose it and ratchet up sanctions. And Congress should also make it clear that the United States will stand with our ally, Israel, if she judges it necessary to act to prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Notice that in the Times, Congress has become a signifier for the Israel lobby (notes Bill McGowan):

But Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said an interim agreement would go over badly with the allies and in Congress.

“Even if we get this de minimis interim deal from Iran, we could be in serious trouble,” he said. “The Israelis and Saudis are already freaking out about the dangers of any interim deal. This would demonstrate to them and Congress that the Obama administration has entered the Persian nuclear bazaar and gotten totally outnegotiated.”

A little orientalism there, huh.

Note that J Street is aligning itself firmly with the Obama administration and efforts to make a deal in Iran. As the Forward reported, the lobby is splitting over this question. J Street wants to stop renewed sanctions efforts in the Senate. Here’s an action memo from staffer Dylan Williams, albeit in the context of Iran allegedly seeking a nuclear weapon:

we welcome reports of recent days’ progress in Geneva toward an agreement with Iran to begin freezing and rolling back its program. … reports that some in the Senate are considering moving a new round of sanctions legislation seem ill-timed and unhelpful.
Tell Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin that you support diplomacy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and urge the Senate to take a time-out from moving ahead with new sanctions.
Just last week, the White House asked groups that have been promoting sanctions on Iran to hold off on promoting another round. The goal of sanctions has always been to bring Iran to the table, and ultimately to achieve a diplomatic agreement that ensures it does not develop a nuclear weapon.
With that goal now in sight, it seems some are having a tough time taking yes for an answer.
Even though 62% of American Jews support the way President Obama is handling Iran’s nuclear program, some Jewish communal organizations have rejected his appeal to let the negotiations continue, and are pushing full steam ahead for new and harsher penalties against Iran.
We’re not about to let that happen. There will be plenty of time to impose further sanctions should it again be necessary.
Tell Sens. Mikulski and Cardin that now’s not the time for a new round of sanctions. Let’s give diplomacy time.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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89 Responses

  1. Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 9:35 am

    Kerry is so impressive. To think he could have been Pres in 20o4. Although he did vote for the 2002 Iraq war resolution as Clinton and Biden did.

    • seafoid on November 9, 2013, 9:38 am

      If relations with Iran thaw it will be because the capitalists who run the US want it, not because of Kerry. Maybe he’s better than the rest but he doesn’t call the shots. Neither does his boss.

      • Ellen on November 9, 2013, 12:12 pm

        The long term economic potential of normalized relations with Iran are tremendous. Israel is an economic drain on the US economy. This is recognized all around. If Israeli leadership were smart, they get off the fear and war gig and onto the train of progress. Israel is still positioned for it.

        The Ziobots keep reminding us what a booming economy Israel has, that it is high tech paradise; that all good inventions come from Israel. So why does the country need billions and billions from the US?

        The occupation, the wall and endless and worthless support the US sends to Israel will wind down over the next decade. This is what is freaking the likes of Netanyahu out. They do not know how to function in a normal world.

      • seafoid on November 9, 2013, 12:18 pm

        The occupation and IDF indoctrination that go with it are a tremendous waste of jewish human capital.

      • Erasmus on November 10, 2013, 7:55 am

        Re Ellen : The long term economic potential of normalized relations with Iran are tremendous. Israel is an economic drain on the US economy.….

        FULLY agreed.
        And that is also the reason why Israel (NTY) is dead against anything that would normalize international relations with Iran. For principal reasons – the nuclear issue is in this respect only pretext and a side-issue.

        For: when the sanctions will begone and the vexing nuclear issue will be satisfactorily off the table and “normality” will take root – what will be then?

        Then Iran with its 60-70 million population will naturally develop and regain into the position that matches its importance. Israel will be dwarfed and loose its regional and importance.
        Peace and fully developing international trade relations with Iran are what Israel must consider a threat to its international standing. Even for the USA and the economic interests of their big companies Iran has to offer MUCH MORE than the Jewish Colony.

      • EUR1069 on November 10, 2013, 9:42 am

        Ellen, couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks.

      • bilal a on November 10, 2013, 9:46 am

        For most economies, Wars and Defense spending are a massive drain, but if your high tech industry / defense industry is subsidized from abroad, and more importantly, a supplier of another large nation’s intell and defense spending needs, then all the benefits acrue domestically or to partners in the foreign host, while the costs accrue only to the foreign nation’s current and forward tax debt payers.

        Ideology, Religion, Feigned threats are then not explanatory of the peace process endless quagmire, rather the real conflict is between the foreign tax providers and the foreign and domestic partnership that receives the massive transfer payments.

        Israeli military intelligence unit drives country’s hi-tech boom
        Unit 8200, Israel’s ‘GCHQ’, has spawned more technology millionaires than many business schools [paid for by US taxpayers ]

      • Ellen on November 10, 2013, 11:11 am

        It is already happening.

        While politicians posture and Israel rants on about threats (when the real threat is that their plans to break up the ME into dysfunctional little statelets will not happen under normalized relations with Iran .) Israel needs a new long term business plan, and the fear industry is not it.

        In Geneva this past week,Oil company executives did, along with other major American business leaders, attend a luncheon with Iran’s foreign minister.

    • Justpassingby on November 9, 2013, 10:33 am

      Kathleen you know better than to support this warmonger.

      • Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 11:25 am

        I get it. But did work for his campaign in 2004 (hundreds of hours what choice did we have) and he is saying things I have never heard a Secretary of State say before. Well Baker played a bit of hardball with Israel. Kerry “If we don’t end the presence of Israeli soldiers perpetually within the West Bank, then there will be an increasing feeling that if we cannot get peace with a leadership that is committed to non-violence, you may wind up with leadership that is committed to violence,” Kerry said in a joint Israeli-Palestinian television interview.

        Kerry, in his unusually sharp comments, suggested that unless Israel makes a more concerted effort toward peace, Middle East tensions will intensify. “If we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel [and an] increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel,” he said, according to the Times of Israel account.

        Answering a question from an Israeli journalist, Kerry acknowledged Israelis may have been troubled by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s release of Palestinian prisoners as a way of building trust in peace talks, according to a Washington Post account of the interview.

        “I have no illusions,” Kerry said, adding, “The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a third Intifada?” “

      • LeaNder on November 9, 2013, 12:45 pm

        But did work for his campaign in 2004

        Be so kind and don’t remind me of Kerry’s election strategy. That was a real alp. Ultimately served them the swift boat and the flip flopping on a plate.

    • American on November 9, 2013, 11:09 am

      Well thank gawd Kerry didn’t get elected!
      I voted for Kerry and Lieberman—–having at that time no idea that Lieberman was a I -First Zio.
      I shudder to think of the damage a Zio like Lieberman would do as VP of the US.

      • Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 11:53 am

        Kerry had Edwards as his running mate. Edwards a smart man subject to following the whims of his other head. Pathetic.

        Have we ever seen a campaign where your military service was turned around into a negative.

      • LeaNder on November 9, 2013, 1:05 pm

        Well thinks like that happen, if you try to appear even more hawkish than your competitor while having an absolutely contradictory personal history. Can’t you see? The larger narratives should somewhat fit.. Personally, if I remember correctly, I found Howard Dean the most interesting of all. Did he loose the primaries since he did not bow to the artificially produced war hunger of Americans? I haven’t seen much of him.

      • American on November 9, 2013, 1:46 pm

        Opps, sorry I was thinking of Gore for some reason—my brain still in vacation mode I guess.

      • seafoid on November 9, 2013, 3:55 pm

        Rove played a blinder and the Dems had no answer.
        But would it have made much difference? The economy would have crashed anyway, I think.

      • HarryLaw on November 9, 2013, 4:35 pm

        Kathleen @ “Have we ever seen a campaign where your military service was turned around into a negative.” Worse than that Rep Joe Walsh blasts double amputee’s military service”

      • bilal a on November 10, 2013, 9:51 am

        Both boats had been on yet another mission ferrying Green Berets, US Navy SEALs and Nung assassins to a village. Once again they had mistakenly targeted a friendly village, where they opened fire on South Vietnamese troops who were interrogating a group of women and children lined up against a wall.

        When the Green Berets and SEALs opened fire, the South Vietnamese soldiers jumped the wall and at least ten of the women and children were killed. Meanwhile, against orders, Kerry had again left his boat and attached himself to the Nung and was, by his own words, “shooting and blowing things up”. One of the Nung threw a grenade into a hut that turned out to be filled with sacks of rice. Kerry got grains of rice and some bits of metal debris embedded in his ass, the most severe wounds he sustained in Vietnam.


      • RoHa on November 9, 2013, 8:49 pm

        “Well thank gawd Kerry didn’t get elected!”

        Shouldn’t that be “Thank Diebold”?

  2. Ira Glunts on November 9, 2013, 9:46 am

    The nuclear talks with Iran seem in some difficulty. The French foreign minister is balking citing Israeli security concerns and he says there will be no deal, according to the Jerusalem Post.

    Ha’aretz says French are leading a drive for the P5 + 1 to take a harder line.

    • Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 10:20 am

      Sure as hell wish the P51 would start “leading a drive” towards pushing Israel into signing the NPT. Playing by the same rules that they demand their neighbors play by. Height of hypocrisy somehow gets under people’s skin after awhile

      This picture of Kerry says it all. Some of the strongest words I have ever heard coming out of a Secretary of State towards Israel

    • Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 10:23 am

      Interesting that it looks like the French are bringing things to a halt they are the ones who sold Israel their nuclear capability way back when.

      so how do we contact the French Foreign Minister? He might get a kick out of being contacted by folks who are not representing Israel

      • Walid on November 9, 2013, 11:37 am

        “so how do we contact the French Foreign Minister?”

        Kathleen, don’t waste your time, Laurent Fabius is running interference for Israel. As you noted, he’s the one that dampened the optism that prevailed Friday night. It seems that Iran had accepted to stop enriching at 20% and to not operate its plutonium plant at Arak nor to operate its super centrifuges that can enrich 5 times faster than the basic ones they have for the next 6 months. In exchange for these, the US is willing to relax some of the sanctions but this was not good enough for Israel. This is when Fabius stepped-in and threw Israel’s monkey wrench at everyone’s optism.

      • Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 11:47 am

        I totally disagree with you Walid. I don’t disagree with you much. I believe you contact, politely harass call them out let them know that there are mililons of people including millions of Americans who support negotiations with Iran based on facts not unsubstantiated claims by the Israel lobby and Israel. I believe these powers that be need to hear from us. And I totally understand that he is running “interference for Israel” Shine the light on him even more by contacting him and letting him know the peasants out here notice these things. Not that he cares but a matter of principle and you just never know who and how you may affect the powers that be. You just never know. So better to try than to not try.

      • Walid on November 9, 2013, 12:24 pm

        “You just never know. So better to try than to not try.”

        You’re right, Kathleen, but I think the Zionist lobby in France is second in strength only to the American one and Fabius, a former Prime Minister with Jewish roots, has been serving France for over 30 years and he has to keep the French electorate as well as the French Jewish lobby happy with him, not the American one. Only pressure from the French would influence him.

      • Shingo on November 9, 2013, 3:48 pm

        It seems that Iran had accepted to stop enriching at 20% and to not operate its plutonium plant at Arak nor to operate its super centrifuges that can enrich 5 times faster than the basic ones they have for the next 6 months.

        Walid, it’s not a plutonium plant. It’s a heavy water reactor that runs on unenriched uranium. As with all reactors, plutonium is a by product that has to then be extracted. This can only be done if the fuel is taken out early (to stop the Pu239 decaying to Pu240) and then extracted.

        This reactor will actually be even more benign than the one in Tehran.

        The claim that there is a plutonium plant or plutonium reactor is BS spread by Bibbi and his cohorts.

      • Walid on November 9, 2013, 11:47 pm

        “Walid, it’s not a plutonium plant.”

        Thanks for correcting and explaining, Shingo.

      • Shingo on November 10, 2013, 12:11 am

        No problem Walid.

        I suspect that the whole plutonium angle is a parallel strategy to keep up the hysteria given that the new heavy water reactor will run on unenriched uranium, thereby eliminating Iran’s need to enrich to 20%. Bibbi won’t be able to point to the centrifuges anymore, so he’s going to make up new allegations that Iran is reprocessing the spent fuel to extract plutonium.

  3. FreddyV on November 9, 2013, 10:06 am

    I think the reason everyone is so keen for a thaw with Iran is that they have a lot of oil still in the ground because of the sanctions and because they’ve become highly self sufficient, even building their own 747 parts to get around the lack of supply from Boeing. In short, if they become completely self sufficient, sanctions will be irrelevant, so its better to befriend and incorporate them now.

    As Rouhani is holding the proverbial olive branch, no one loses too much face.

    As far as the nuclear thing goes, they’re second leader in the field of medical isotopes and probably have very good reason to desire higher enrichment. Canada is the world’s main suppliers, but are having problems. Germany are looking to fill the void by building a plant in Belgium, but Iran is there, ready and willing to do business. It all seems to be about good old supply and demand which seems to be more important than Israel in this instance.

    • ritzl on November 9, 2013, 2:46 pm

      If the world of medical isotope suppliers is that small and constrained, I wonder if Israel doesn’t see a huge opportunity there and want in on it (20% enrichment), without competition. They’re positioned for it, but might not be quite there yet.

      I hope Israel never gets into a position to exploit that opportunity due to their use of everything as leverage to enable them to do whatever they want.

  4. Krauss on November 9, 2013, 10:25 am

    This article from the NYT is as good as it gets when it comes to passive-agressive contempt for Netanyahu from the NYT:

    A bit dazzling coming from the staunch liberal Zionist paper. Netanyahu is outright described as unwilling to compromise on the Palestinian issue.
    Rudoren is dismissing him as an empty suit. Even the title is mocking(“all he can do is fume”). Angry letter from Foxman coming up?

    • amigo on November 9, 2013, 11:06 am

      Krauss Good article coming from NYT. Did you note the ziohypocrisy on negotiating tactics.

      “Efraim Halevy, a former head of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, agreed that “the endgame” was what mattered, but noted that “the more you enter stages, the less you can be certain that you will get what you need in the end.” NYT

      Halevy should point that out to the zios who insist that Palestinians be allowed to negotiate stages of stages of stages.

    • David Nelson on November 9, 2013, 1:22 pm

      From the Times article:

      ““There is a fundamental difference of understanding between this Israeli government and this U.S. administration, and it’s reflecting in the reality that’s emerging on a variety of tracks,” said Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. “This Israeli government, even though it won’t say so openly, regards this administration as bungling across the Middle East.””

      This is some pretty tortured phrasing by Mr. Spyer. He should say it like it is, that there is a fundamental difference in understanding between Israel the Nation, and America the Nation, to say nothing about the governments. The American Nation, domestically, is on a trajectory to realize more, not less, of our liberal ideals. Can this be said of Israel the Nation? Ethnic cleansing and tiered citizenship are not liberal ideals. It wasn’t until America the Nation gave up our own domestic ethnic cleansing and our own slaves and second class citizens that we could begin to reverse our own downward spiral to disenlightenment. How many decades before enough momentum can be created in Israeli society to bring them out of the spiral of their own racist dogma? How long before Americans drop this dead weight? Israel is nothing like America.

    • RoHa on November 9, 2013, 8:47 pm

      The NYT is just a bunch of anti-Semites.

      • piotr on November 10, 2013, 7:13 am

        Indeed, NYT is a flagship of liberal Zionists, and at long last differences between liberal Zionists and the radical Zionists who run Israel and dominate formal hierarchies in the Lobby seem to have more consequences than nuances in rhetoric.

        Sanctions on Iran are a very good deal for oil producers but conversely, not so much for oil consumers. Just American oil consumers loose on the order of 50 billions per year. Oil exports are reduced by the cumulative effect of sanctions and chaos in Syria (0.5 mbd, millions of barrels per day), chaos in Libya (1.5 mbd?) and sanctions on Iran (1.5 mbd?), and in the absence of productive talks, there is also “war premium”, because an attack on Iran can prompt it to close the Strait of Hormuz.

        All info from Bussiness/Energy sections of NYT. These sections very often offer quite different perspective from the main section. You want to fine tune propaganda on general topic, but capitalists also want actual information on their topics.

        I perceive a certain backlash against policies enacted to satisfy conservative and Zionist shibboleths. Obamacare “war” (recall the shutdown) has quite a bit higher monetary stakes than ME conflict (depends how you count, however), both have high the impact to distribute money and change the attitudes of top business lobbying groups.

  5. HarryLaw on November 9, 2013, 10:26 am

    These hardliners are rejecting a deal before the deal is concluded, which tells you all you need to know about their rejection of any deal, since negotiators seem to be going from Israel to Geneva then from Geneva to Israel I think they should cut out the middle man and let Netanyahu conduct the negotiations on behalf of the International community.

    • seafoid on November 9, 2013, 10:36 am

      The bots need to study some recent history on the subject of intransigence and see how successful it has been as a strategy.

      The Unionists in Northen Ireland lost control of their statelet. Scottish trade unionists said goodbye to shipbuilding employment. The GOP have to swallow Obamacare.

    • Ellen on November 9, 2013, 12:36 pm

      Did you note Kerry’s dig to Netanyahu “A deal has not yet been made.”

      Some say Israel is taking the strategy to create diversions and confusion during the process before there is anything to jammer about. This way it makes it harder to come to ANY deal at all. The US Congress is doing Israel’s bidding by getting into the act.

      Some lawmakers raised the possibility that Congress could slap even harsher sanctions on Iran during the next phase of the talks. Administration officials fear that could drive Iran from the table and end any chance of a peaceful resolution.,0,5286312.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fnationworld%2Fworld+%28L.A.+Times+-+World+News%29#axzz2kAeTZV00

      It is the usual cast of clowns headed by Eric Cantor. Interestingly, not yet a peep out of McCain or Graham. Maybe they are still waiting for their talking points from Israel.

      • Rusty Pipes on November 9, 2013, 1:48 pm

        As long as lawmakers are just making loud statements to please their donors, fine. If they start introducing harsher sanctions on Iran and sabotage the Administration’s negotiations, I don’t care how much money they raise from donors, the “mere” constituents should make them suffer at the polls (even better, support a primary challenge to some of the Democrats).

      • Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 2:09 pm

        Yep Ellen I think they will push these new sanctions asap.

  6. Justpassingby on November 9, 2013, 10:34 am

    Whats wrong with the west?! End relations with Israel and make peace!

  7. Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 10:35 am

    Does anyone think the Senate Banking Committee will bring up new sanctions against Iran next week? I thought Kerry had requested them to slow that track down?

  8. Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 10:40 am
  9. amigo on November 9, 2013, 10:52 am

    “If Iran intends to show good faith during these talks, it must at a minimum abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for a halt to enrichment.”engel

    It does not get much more “Chuztpahish” than an Israel apologist ranting on about abiding by UNSCR,S.

  10. amigo on November 9, 2013, 11:28 am

    “If we have peace with the Palestinians, the centrifuges will not stop spinning in Iran, the turmoil will not stop in Syria, the instability in North Africa will not cease, the attacks on the West will not cease,” he added.”Netanyahu to fabious.

    Presenting the all or nothing negotiating position of the zios.

    Hell, I am happy if they end up with nothing.

  11. just on November 9, 2013, 11:38 am

    “I think the big fear that exists here in Israel, based on people I’ve been talking to, is a genuine concern that somehow even this limited relief will send a signal to others in the world that it’s back to business as usual, the Iranians, and the economic structure pressure will really be relaxed far more than we intend”

    To Dennis Ross: You’re no peacemaker @ all. You’re a sibilant rabble-rouser and warmonger. Get gone.

    All that you care about is your Zionist buddies’ survival and continued disregard of international law.

    Go away, worm.

    • Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 11:49 am

      He will not be going away and NPR and other so called “liberal” media outlets keep people who have been doing Israel’s bidding for decades in business. When is the last time you heard NPR interview the Leverett’s or Juan Cole about Iran?

      • Rusty Pipes on November 9, 2013, 1:55 pm

        The interview with Ross was entirely prefaced with “ambassador” and “former ambassador.” Only in closing did they mention that he is currently serving with WINEP.

    • seafoid on November 9, 2013, 11:57 am

      Punishing middle class Iranians so Israelis can continue to steal Palestinian land. Who appointed the Israelis brahmins of the region?

      • Walid on November 9, 2013, 12:29 pm

        “Who appointed the Israelis brahmins of the region?”

        You’re being too modest, seafoid, it’s brahmins of the whole universe; God appointed them, they’re the Chosen, you know.

      • seafoid on November 9, 2013, 2:02 pm

        God has a weird sense of humour.

      • Kathleen on November 10, 2013, 9:18 am

        What an ethnocentric and racist belief to place upon yourselves. All of that is choice.

      • seafoid on November 10, 2013, 5:14 pm


        I think that theory about the region being hit by a century long drought that resulted in the collapse of the local empires leaving the Jews to start their own statelet all those years BC could have legs. It would explain so much about the notion of chosenness. Which is such a load for Jews at this stage.

  12. Erasmus on November 9, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Netanyahoo = the self-appointed Spokesperson for the International Community

    Quote: ….“So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal. This is a very bad deal and Israel utterly rejects it.”….

    One may wonder whether Netanyahoo realizes that HE has self-catapulted HIS Israel out of this international community that he dares to speak on behalf – long ago, more and more, day by day.

    Does Netanyahoo and for that matter the Israeli electorate realize that their Government gambles away any rest-sympathies which even well intending Israel friends (if any left) still could possibly muster????

  13. MHughes976 on November 9, 2013, 12:53 pm

    For what it’s worth, the BBC updated its report from Geneva 5 minutes ago, (around 5:45 UK time) keeping the headline that ‘Hague urges seizing the moment’ and saying that the Iran negotiator is less confident of a deal than he was two days ago but still affirms that a deal is coming. Fabius is regarded in this report as the naysayer.

  14. ToivoS on November 9, 2013, 1:13 pm

    we are now seeing the predictable reaction from Congress and Israel should the negotiations begin to bear fruit. Of course, Obama and Kerry must have known such would happen and hopefully had prepared a response. The surprise to me is France’s reaction. I know their auto industry is unhappy with the sanctions. Maybe the French are just posturing for something else. It is difficult to imagine that they would let their support for Israel undermine their own national interests. Wasn’t it a French diplomat that described Israel as that ‘sh*** little country”.

    Ah the suspense. I remain optimistic though. Obama has been working for this goal for at least 18 months now so I can’t see them letting this opportunity be lost.

    • Walid on November 9, 2013, 1:47 pm

      “The surprise to me is France’s reaction. I know their auto industry is unhappy with the sanctions. ”

      Theres a massive ongoing Zio-campaign and court case in NYC against Nissan for the billion dollar new taxicabs contract that Bloomberg approved, especially that it’s also the parent company of Renault that’s selling 100,000 cars in Iran annually. de Blasio wants Nissan and Renault to stop doing business in Iran. The 500,000 Jews of France have a powderful lobby and it may have had something to do with France’s blockage on behalf of Israel today.

    • American on November 10, 2013, 10:06 am

      “”Wasn’t it a French diplomat that described Israel as that ‘sh*** little country”.

      I think that was Nixon in a converation with James Baker. What Prezs and politicians say in private about Isr is quite different from what they say in public to please their Zio money providers.
      Go thru the Presidential dairies and papers at the various Presidential libraries—-it’s very revealing.

  15. Ellen on November 9, 2013, 1:33 pm

    Maybe the French are just posturing for something else…

    At the risk of sounding unfair to the French, here goes: Yes, the French have a tendency to posture and assert themselves even if it destroys the process. It is a way of asserting power, French power, even if it is not in their interests. Maybe a cultural thing.

    • Walid on November 9, 2013, 1:54 pm

      “Maybe a cultural thing”

      Not as much as a colonial thing. France was one of the old masters, but in this instance, it’s doing it as a favour to Israel. The foul odors out of Libya, Syria and Mali from France’s new colonial involvement are still lingering.

    • Taxi on November 9, 2013, 1:59 pm

      The French establishment is a horrid little egoist – always looking for ‘relevance’ on the world stage in its post-empire days.

      But all that kicking and screaming (and fuming) is no more than another zio freakshow – and a deal will be done despite it. Israel and France and our congress are outnumbered now on Iran.

      Crazy how some people have to be dragged by horse and rope to the peace table.

  16. David Doppler on November 9, 2013, 4:19 pm

    True to form, Netanyahu is overplaying his hand. Publicly castigating the P5+1. Repeatedly. Purporting to want a “good deal,” with more sanctions, when it is obvious he wants to bomb them pre-emptively – as Sheldon Adelson so bluntly declared – and has been crying the Iranian sky is falling for over 20 years, i.e., there’s no credibility left there. Kerry is putting his all on the line, first with his long references to would-be peace-maker Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated following incitement by Netanyahu then in opposition, then with lecturing Israel about its intransigence in the Palestinian peace talks, but he’s got the spineless Obama behind him, instinctively sensing he must call Netanyahu to “reassure” him, thus trying to placate the bully. Obama should instead be contacting Netanyahu’s rivals about how to throw him from office.

    What he does know how to do sometimes is be a Judo Master, letting his opponents’ own aggressive charging about throw themselves for a fall. As Netanyahu and his Neocon allies here continue to overplay their hands, let’s hope their minions in Congress learn they will pay a price for following the irrational, irresponsible war-mongering of a fully-discredited right-wing Israeli aggressor state.

    I agree with Kathleen. Now is the time to contact our (and France’s, if you’ve got the connections) elected leaders and representatives and urge support for the Iranian peace-negotiations, and for Congress to support he President in the process. Let them all sense that there will be consequences for enabling Netanyahu’s (read Adelson’s) irrationality.

  17. traintosiberia on November 9, 2013, 5:26 pm

    The other 3 characters here rush to the theater hall and starts shouting Fire Fire when Israel starts doing that in the middle of the play every time it.s script is not acted on

  18. MHughes976 on November 9, 2013, 5:35 pm

    BBC report at 18:45 GMT is that the negotiations ‘may need another round’. Fabius’ tactics seem to have worked in the short term.

  19. doug on November 9, 2013, 7:31 pm

    Done. No agreement. Talks sched. for 11/20.

    Fabius is getting the “credit” for no deal.

    Firsters will be painting Obama as an appeaser willing to give everything away and was saved by the – French! Oy Vey.

    • Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 9:35 pm

      And in between now and Nov 20th you can bet your -ss that the Senate Banking Committee will put up some new more aggressive sanctions against Iran for a vote. Netanyahu, Kristol, Dennis Ross will be going full steam the next 11 days. Contact your Reps, the Senate Banking Committee..we want negotiations not more sanctions!

      • Citizen on November 10, 2013, 7:19 am

        @ Kathleen
        And you can sign this petition letter to Obama against war with Iran:

        It only needs a few more signatures.

      • amigo on November 10, 2013, 8:44 am

        “And you can sign this petition letter to Obama against war with Iran: link to” citizen


      • Kathleen on November 10, 2013, 9:27 am

        Thanks Citizen. But folks should directly communicate with the White House and their own Reps about this critical issue. No new sanctions. Great to sign petitions but as far as effect direct meetings of course with your Rep or their people, then phone calls, emails etc, then petitions have the most weight on the scale.

  20. Inanna on November 9, 2013, 9:41 pm

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say I still think that the US will push for a deal. The problem that Obama has is the risk that Iran sanctions are unravelling. The US already monumentally screwed up its policy in Syria and had to be saved by the Russians with the chemical weapons deal. It doesn’t want to lose more face on the Iran sanctions regime, which many countries are getting impatient with. I think that this is all the kabuki before a deal is done. The US wants to move onto ‘fixing’ things in Pakistan and Afghanistan and pivot to Asia and meddle more in Africa. It doesn’t hurt that so many leaders dislike Netanyahu & would love to see him get his compeuppance. It doesn’t hurt that there is money to be made in Iran. It also does not hurt that Americans don’t want another war and the zionists are overplaying their hand.

    • ToivoS on November 9, 2013, 10:18 pm

      I agree implicitly. If the sanctions unravel without some kind of agreement the US will yet again look the fool.

      The US has been moving towards this deal for the last 18 months. It remains puzzling that we let France throw in a monkey wrench at the last minute when all of the pieces seemed to be in place. Perhaps the French became miffed that their support was assumed and not properly courted. Imagine the insult they must feel that Netanyahu is given hundreds of hours of face time with Obama, Kerry, Hillary and so on and the French PM and FM are essentially taken for granted.

      It is really crazy. Obama has spent more time with Netanyahu over the last 5 years than he has with the leaders of China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Germany and Brazil combined that represent well over half of the world’s population and economies.

      Poor France, nobody gives them the respect they think they so much deserve. In any case, they can’t sabotage these negotiations but they have shown they can disrupt the momentum. That will play into Israel’s and its US lobby’s hands but it shouldn’t kill the process. (Unless Obama acts the hapless fool and lets them).

  21. Kathleen on November 9, 2013, 11:09 pm

    Are folks aware of this?

    Israel’s Nuclear Ambiguity Prodded
    by Pierre Klochendler, November 09, 2013
    Print This | Share This

    OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM , Nov. 7 2013 (IPS) – As Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and nuclear talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear program continue, a unique international conference, “A Middle East without Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)”, was held in Jerusalem.

    The topic is taboo because Israel maintains a veil of “studied ambiguity” on its alleged nuclear arsenal.

    At the Notre Dame hotel in Jerusalem, the singular get-together took place: Ziad Abu Zayyad, former head of the Palestinian delegation to the Arms Control and Regional Security (ACRS) multilateral talks; Dan Kurtzer, former peace mediator and former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Egypt; and young and veteran activists against the proliferation of WMDs.

    • NickJOCW on November 10, 2013, 6:00 am

      This has been mooted for some years. It is the preferred position of all populations in the region bar Israel and represents the single issue on which the entire region bar Israel could agree, particularly after Fukushima which surely shows how dangerous the whole nuclear business is even when you are not belligerent and irrational .

  22. Taxi on November 10, 2013, 12:11 am

    Israel’s pissed cuz it’s next for international nuclear inspections – which would pour cement over its ‘grand mideast plan’: dissolving the Egyptian and Syrian armies (like they did with Iraq’s army), break up the above countries into three sections each (based on sectarian lines), and assert its utter military hegemony, for decades to come, by using 2-3 small nukes on Iran. All with the help of the Jordanian army/territory, and Saudi petro muscle.

    • HarryLaw on November 10, 2013, 6:44 am

      Taxi @ “grand mideast plan” similar to the “Oded Yinon plan” here

      • Taxi on November 10, 2013, 7:55 am

        Yeah, Harry, I last talked about it here, citing same link as you too:

        This very topic should be discussed more often, after all, it’s the planned mechanism that the zios want to employ to maintain the longevity and security of Greater israel.

      • American on November 10, 2013, 12:03 pm

        A refresher…….text of Clean Break plan

        If you go back and read this you can see that Israel has followed their Clean Break plan exactly.
        BUT…..the wars and chaos have not resulted in the ‘final outcome’ of US-Isr installed rulers and governments they wanted.

        Got total opposite result in Iraq government.
        Look right now like going to be opposite result in Syria.
        If Iran agreement comes about that will be total fail also.

        Their join venture with Saudi in Egypt–if thats what it was—seems the only accomplishment–and who knows how long that will last.

        Be interesting to see what they try next if they are stopped at Iran.

    • Kathleen on November 10, 2013, 10:36 am

      It certainly does appear that the Feith, Cambone, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld’s, Wurmsers ultimate plan is to create chaos in the region. Oil, Israel

  23. NickJOCW on November 10, 2013, 4:29 am

    This morning it appears that France has held up initial agreement, but one might take that with a pinch bearing in mind France’s initial support for direct military intervention Syria. What their ‘intransigence’ has done is keep any agreement off the table for a few further weeks while preserving an image of US objectivity. Hollande was quite possibly just be doing what Obama asked. He may end up with egg on his face but he should be getting used to that.

    There are other pressures on this situation which have not been mentioned.

    Sanctions have negative effects outside Iran, particularly in parts of Europe where restrictions on Iranian imports are perceived to reduce fuel sourcing flexibility and to be unhelpful in the worsening economic gloom. There are already ‘exceptions’ granted numerous countries, most of which are US face savers since if they were not granted the sanctions would be ignored. Pressure for such exceptions could well increase in the light of Obama’s openness to a deal and Rouhani’s conciliatory approach.

    Another concern is that Iran is selling gas, oil and other products, not in quantities to compensate for the restrictions but selling nonetheless and, more importantly, not for US dollars. Since the US dollar is under increasing scrutiny such activity is a bit of a beacon for those picking over ways to bypass the dollar in some at least of their transactions.

    • Citizen on November 10, 2013, 8:00 am

      @ NickJOCW
      I’m amazed the Iranian regime has not collapsed from inside yet from the total impact of the US-led sanctions, which appears to have cut Iranian GDP by a quarter:

      Also, unemployment is running at 30%, and Iran’s running around buying gold to shore up its currency. Clearly, India and China only reluctantly join in the sanctions, and try to circumvent them continually.

      • Justpassingby on November 10, 2013, 8:46 am

        Probably because the impact arent as big as your Pro israel source want you to think.

      • NickJOCW on November 10, 2013, 3:55 pm

        @Citizen Not only has it not collapsed from within, but it is arguable that, as the Austrian Deputy Foreign is supposed to have said in an interview with the Austrian journal Der Standard, Iran is the most stable nation in the region. That may say more about the instability of the rest of the region but considering what law abiding middle class life must be like in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria etc. it bears some consideration. Could there be an upside to being ostracised by the US?

    • Kathleen on November 10, 2013, 10:34 am

      thanks Nick

  24. piotr on November 10, 2013, 7:41 am

    I hope that the situation is as NickOCW described. If it is France alone, Hollande can get a phrase in the interim agreement with his personal authorship to prove that the glory of France is not completely gone.

    There are some weird connections. French Rothschilds used to be among principal sponsors of the Zionist project, but they are kind of invisible in recent years, instead you can find google hits for “rothschild saudi boyfriend”. So there may also be a Saudi influence here. If course, Saudis may have many channels of influence, but currently the combo “radical Zionists and radical Sunnis” is not exactly a winning combination, even if still powerful.

  25. Kathleen on November 10, 2013, 10:24 am
    Hollande to ‘probably’ address Israeli parliament

    French president initially intended to speak at a university, but the decision sparked a diplomatic firestorm

    French President François Hollande would “probably” address the Knesset during his visit to the country later in the month, according the France’s foreign minister.

    The statement by Laurent Fabius was intended to quell a diplomatic firestorm, after the speaker of the Israeli parliament issued a furious statement saying the Knesset will boycott Hollande’s visit if he intends to snub it in the course of his three day tour of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

    Yuli Edelstein’s bitter rebuke to the French head of state came after Hollande’s American counterpart Barack Obama had too opted to forgo delivering his address to the Israeli nation from the Knesset podium, choosing instead to speak in front of an audience consisting largely of university students at Jerusalem’s International Congress Center.

    Edelstein went on to say the French ambassador and other French officials visiting Israel will not be invited to formal gatherings at the Knesset “until further notice,” due to “an offence to the Israeli parliament.”

    Early reports suggested Hollande’s preferred avenue is a university, either in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. However the plan is now undergoing a review in order to avoid causing consternation in the relations between the two nations.

    France was reportedly the European power whose stance in the negotiations ongoing in Geneva regarding Iran’s unsanctioned uranium development program was the closest to Israel’s uncompromising view of Tehran’s nuclear aspirations.

  26. American on November 10, 2013, 8:05 pm

    From…..MJ Rosenberg

    Israel Lobby Tell US To F–k Itself : It is Chutzpah for US To Pursue Iran Deal Without Netanyahu’s Authorization
    10 Nov
    “When there is a crisis the American Jewish community comes together,” Foxman told Army Radio, in answer to a question put to him – to what degree is the Jewish community affected by fluctuation in Israeli-U.S. relations.

    “I think Kerry’s outrageous behavior will unite the American Jewish community,” Foxman said. “It is chutzpah to lecture Israel about the risks of peace and war.”

    In other words, “Shut your goddam mouth America and keep sending the money.”

    10 Nov
    Netanyahu and his lobby continue their effort to undermine the status of Jewish Americans. Malevolent bastard.

    Netayahu to Lobby: I Am Your Leader, Not Obama. You Must Follow Me

    I am envisioning Foxman and Netanyahu astride a tank with a megaphone rolling down streets in US cities calling out to the Jews to rise up against the US government and Obama.
    They really are in full desperation mode now.

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