Trending Topics:

Day before deadline, Iran negotiations coming ‘down to the wire’ and Netanyahu still hopes to play spoiler

on 46 Comments

With one day left before the deadline for an agreement on the contours of an Iranian nuclear deal, negotiations look set to go “down to the wire”, in the White House’s phrase – or possibly past it. Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi reported no progress on Monday, according to journalists on Twitter, and spoke of a resolution having to wait for Tuesday or Wednesday. Persistent points of disagreement remain – including on the timeframe of technical restrictions and the schedule for lifting sanctions – in addition to a new one: on Sunday, news broke that Iran has balked at shipping its existing stores of enriched uranium abroad. From The New York Times:

For months, Iran tentatively agreed that it would send a large portion of its stockpile of uranium to Russia, where it would not be accessible for use in any future weapons program. But on Sunday Iran’s deputy foreign minister made a surprise comment to Iranian reporters, ruling out an agreement that involved giving up a stockpile that Iran has spent year and billions of dollars to amass.

“The export of stocks of enriched uranium is not in our program, and we do not intend sending them abroad,” the official, Abbas Araqchi, told the Iranian media, according to Agence France-Presse. “There is no question of sending the stocks abroad.”

It’s not clear how much of a hurdle this presents. U.S. officials now say the Iranians never agreed to parting with the uranium, and that the fuel, even if it stays in-country, can be diluted and inspected, keeping it below military grade. But the retention of the country’s uranium stockpile would certainly be presented by critics of a deal as yet another untenable concession by feckless Western negotiators.

The most prominent such critic is staying on the offensive. “The emerging agreement in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price to pay for aggression – on the contrary, Iran gets a prize for its aggression,” Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Monday. “Moderate, responsible countries in the region, primarily Israel but other countries as well, will be the first to be harmed by this agreement.” Netanyahu expressed incredulity that progress toward a deal should continue in the face of Iranian belligerence in Yemen: “But we [in Israel] are not closing our eyes, and we will continue to act against any threat.”

One observer unimpressed with Netanyahu’s histrionics is Ha’aretz military correspondent Amos Harel, who writes that the Israeli prime minister’s boorishness has marginalized his country on this critical issue:

Israel’s role in the drama is limited to expressions of skepticism and reprimands from the sidelines. With his loud bickering with the Obama administration, culminating in his speech to Congress earlier this month, Netanyahu has inadvertently positioned himself as someone the Americans won’t take seriously.

Now Netanyahu has only two cards left to play – public warnings of destruction arising from an agreement, and indirect political pressure through congressional Republicans. Practically speaking, senior Israeli officials half admit that under the circumstances that have emerged, they would oppose any pending deal with Iran, regardless of its details.

Although Harel believes “Israel is right to be concerned about the looming agreement” – a natural position for a defense reporter, since Israel’s nuclear arsenal is its military trump card with respect to Iran – he is cynical about the “horror stories” coming out of Jerusalem: “Experience shows that often, ministers’ pronouncements do not fully coincide with the positions of the relevant professionals.”

Harel doesn’t elaborate, but this sounds a lot like an allusion to the split between the intelligence establishment and Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon on Yassir Arafat’s culpability for terrorism and capacity to make peace. The arguments of aggressively anti-Palestinian officers, including then-chief of staff and current Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, carried the day back then, with devastating consequences (a dynamic that has since been repeated between Israel’s political leadership and Mahmoud Abbas). Ya’alon assesses the Iranians in the same rigid, dyspeptic way he talks about the indigenous threat: at a cabinet meeting on Sunday he explained that “one does not have to be an intelligence agency member to know that Iran is lying without blinking, that today it is the biggest danger to the stability of the Middle East and the entire world”; to journalist Patrick Tyler he once recalled that in order to divine the Palestinians’ hostile intentions “I didn’t have to use my sophisticated intelligence sources. I just had to listen to Arafat, to his rhetoric. I had to look at the Palestinian textbooks, which I did, or to walk into the Palestinian classes, which I also did. I went to Nablus and Ramallah, and I was shocked.” The self-sufficiency of Ya’alon’s judgments may have something to do with the conflicting content of professional intelligence analysis.

Harel also reports that Netanyahu “contributed a new slogan” during his fulminations at Sunday’s cabinet meeting: “After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is carrying out a pincer movement from the south to take over and occupy the entire Middle East. The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity and it must be stopped.” It sounds like a page out of David Frum’s rhetorical playbook, recalling the fateful phrase that ended U.S.-Iranian cooperation in Afghanistan and set the stage for confrontation in Iraq and beyond, according to Dexter Filkins’ New Yorker profile of Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani:

In January, 2002, [Ryan] Crocker, who was by then the deputy chief of the American embassy in Kabul, was awakened one night by aides, why told him that President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address, had named Iran as part of an “Axis of Evil.” Like many senior diplomats, Crocker was caught off guard. He saw the [Iranian] negotiator the next day at the U.N. compound in Kabul, and he was furious. “You completely damaged me,” Crocker recalled him saying. “Suleimani is in a tearing rage. He feels compromised.” The negotiator told Crocker that, at great political risk, Suleimani had been contemplating a complete reëvaluation of the United States, saying, “Maybe it’s time to rethink our relationship with the Americans.” The Axis of Evil speech brought the meetings to an end. Reformers inside the government, who had advocated a rapprochement with the United States, were put on the defensive. Recalling that time, Crocker shook his head. “We were just that close,” he said. “One word in one speech changed history.”

Thirteen years later, the U.S. and Iran are back on the verge of rapprochement, with Netanyahu obviously hoping to play a similar spoiler role. But this time there are powerful economic interests at work: the Europeans, who have long wanted to reintegrate Iran into the international system, are running out of patience with lost revenues. “Trade between Europe and Iran has plunged to about $9 billion from almost $32 billion in 2005 when sanctions began to be tightened,” according to Bloomberg. “[T]he disparity between U.S. and European economic engagement with Iran adds an incentive to reach an agreement and avoid a potential trans-Atlantic rift over expanded penalties.” So money may talk louder than either Israel’s leaders or Congressional Republicans.

On a delegation of six GOP senators to Israel and Jordan, Mitch McConnell stood beside Netanyahu in a gesture of solidarity against the White House. The Israeli government released a video in which the Senate Majority Leader outlined the U.S. hardliners’ recourse:

“The option if there is an agreement, is a bill that we intend to vote on that enjoys bipartisan support to require that agreement to come to Congress for approval. If there’s no deal then the view of this group, similar to your own, is that ratcheting up sanctions might be the best direction.”

“I want to assure all Israeli’s that the U.S.-Israel relationship is still — no matter what’s been said in recent weeks — in very very strong shape, on a bipartisan basis in the U.S. Congress.”

Netanyahu added that Harry Reid told him much the same thing when they spoke over the weekend, following the Senate Democratic leader’s retirement announcement.

Eamon Murphy

Eamon Murphy is a journalist in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @epmurph.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

46 Responses

  1. pabelmont on March 30, 2015, 2:10 pm

    Money may talk in politics? What a surprise! The surprise is that it is European money “talking back” to USA-Israel-Republicans — or, to put it differently, talking back to USA’s oligarchy, the suppliers of money (and exercisers of most power) in American politics.

    Israel wants USA to fight a war for Israel, Israel’s benefit but America’s cost. Nothing new there (Iraq). What’s new is that some important part of the USA’s ruling class (am I really tired of “oligarchy”?) wants to avoid another and bigger war. So if we are to avoid war, we must deal with Iran and, as matters proceed, it seems that those terms will be Iran’s and Europe’s, not Israel’s or our Republican’s. (Anyone old enough to remember Republicans as those who avoided foreign wars (1941)?

    • Atlantaiconoclast on March 30, 2015, 11:52 pm

      Don’t forget Ron Paul. America had a chance, and chose to throw scorn on a wise man of peace. His son has sold out. I wish more progressives had given Dr. Paul consideration.

    • ziusudra on March 31, 2015, 5:00 am

      BB declared on Monday:
      Moderate, responsible Countries in the region, primarily Israel will be
      the first harmed by this agreement. So speaked King BB.

      Anything anyone could add to this, would be redundant & superfluous.

  2. amigo on March 30, 2015, 2:10 pm

    It seems to me that nothing short of “Wiping Iran of the map” would suit Nietanyahu and for someone else to do it for him. Israel wants to hold on to it,s hegemony in the ME so it can continue attacking at will any Arab country it decides is against it,s policies in Palestine and the ME in general.

    This rogue criminal entity needs to be held to account once and for all time .It should be told the only way to for Iran to allow inspections of it,s nuclear programs is for Israel to open up it,s illegal nuclear facilities and give up it,s 100 plus Nukes .

    The international MSM should mention Israel,s nuclear arsenal every time reference is made to Iran,s alleged Nuclear weapons program.It,s all about putting things in perspective.

    • truth2power on March 31, 2015, 3:43 am

      Yes, Amigo! This is one of the most sickening aspects of the international ‘outrage’ over Iran’s nuclear enterprise. Back whenever israel was given the nuclear bomb, did no one consider the consequences for all the other countries nearby? Is this not also probably why Israel mistreats the Palestinians? It has impunity because it has the bomb! For the past 68 years Israel has been given special treatment by the West and we see the results daily. If there is to be no nuclear for Iran, there must be no nuclear for Israel. This could and should change the dynamic of israel’s behaviour for the improvement of all, not least itself.

  3. just on March 30, 2015, 2:50 pm

    We can do away with lots of previously held beliefs. They are now debunked.

    1) Israel is an ally.

    2) Politics stop at the water’s edge.

    3) Israel is a democracy.

    4) Israel is committed to peace with the Palestinians.

    5) Most of those elected to Congress might well be lying when they take the oath of office and say the pledge of allegiance. Funny, that. Same goes for candidates currently running for President.

    Kaput. There are undoubtedly many more, but you get my drift…

    Thanks, Eamon.

    • ziusudra on March 31, 2015, 4:22 am

      Greetings just,
      Have i not told you often enough not to state the truth, for sooth?
      You shoud be lashed for such concise insight.
      PS If you happen to be Jewish, you are to suffer even more, Kudos.

  4. HarryLaw on March 30, 2015, 3:34 pm

    I would like to know how the US could ratchet up sanctions. Are there any US companies still doing business with Iran? What I think McConnell means, is threatening other counties not to trade with Iran. That will be a tall order, Russia, China and the other BRICS, with Europe waiting in the wings, will not tolerate US intransigence, and are eager to open up the lucrative trade with Iran. Of course, no deal, would mean that only the military option would be left. With that scenario, enter stage left the US electorate, who would rise up in far greater numbers than they did when bombing Syria was proposed by the usual suspects.

    • jsinton on March 30, 2015, 4:52 pm

      In addition, Obama will veto any sanctions, and it’s highly questionable that the Neocons will muster the votes to override a veto. Then of course it’s the UN, and not the US, that will eliminate the present sanctions, so new US sanctions will be pretty impotent if they could pass.

    • ritzl on March 30, 2015, 7:13 pm

      Great comment, HarryLaw.

      And domestically, I think the GOP base disproportionately does the fighting and dying to “support” their leaders madness. In my military town people are above their eyeballs in duty and sadness. They’re exhausted.

      • Atlantaiconoclast on March 30, 2015, 11:54 pm

        but most of them still have no idea what neoconservatism is and how it has damaged our nation

      • Mooser on March 31, 2015, 5:41 pm

        “And domestically, I think the GOP base disproportionately does the fighting and dying to “support” their leaders madness”

        Gosh, if only there was somebody else they could vote for!

    • Pixel on March 30, 2015, 7:20 pm


      U.S. Knesset

      • chet on March 30, 2015, 9:29 pm


  5. just on March 30, 2015, 5:00 pm

    Simon Tisdall:

    “At last a nuclear deal with Iran is in sight. The chance must not be spurned

    All sides have strategic, security and moral reasons to bring Iran in from the cold.

    ……….All that said, bringing Iran in from the cold is a moral imperative too. The US-led ostracism of this proud, talented and historically pro-western nation has lasted far too long. It has been immensely damaging for Iranians, Europeans and the region. It has encouraged political and religious hardliners on all sides, at a time when productive, moderating, cooperative relationships with Muslim countries are badly needed.

    A deal could be done this week. It certainly should be.”

    I agree, totally. (probably not a surprise, either ;-)

  6. Citizen on March 30, 2015, 6:38 pm

    US electorate would not look fondly on a war with Iran after the costly, long fraud war on Iraq & Afghanistan, especially the former. Troops on the ground would be more important than when Bush Jr’s neocons attacked Iraq, and the notion of reinstitution of the military draft is a dog that won’t run, anywhere, anytime. Imagine if females were to be conscripted! LOL

  7. on March 30, 2015, 7:17 pm

    My naive comment is the following. Why should a huge country like Iran not have nuclear bombs when Israel has hundreds of such bombs. Israel is a very small country full of crazy irrational right-wing racist Zionists supported by small numbers of crazy irrational Zionists here in the USA and seemingly in other countries too.

    I fear that if any US press person said this he/she would be destroyed immediately by the Jewish controlled US media. Am I imagining this ? Can anyone tell me that I am deluded ?

    • truth2power on March 31, 2015, 2:52 pm

      No, you are not deluded! You seem to have a better grasp of reality than most who claim to be representatives of electorates – and I’m not just talking about the US or Israel! Thank you for telling the truth.

  8. just on March 30, 2015, 7:22 pm

    I think that Netanyahu is a trendsetter with his purple rinse!

    In the pic, McConnell has a slightly purplish hue to his hair, or could it be a reflection from Netanyahu’s burning gaze, his ever- blue tie, his highly tinted hair, and the remnants of nuclear material and white phosphorus on his hands?

    (apologies to 2 of my former teachers who did rinse their hair to a charming purple. They also had a gaze that could burn the fright into some of the wee hooligans!)

    • RoHa on March 31, 2015, 3:07 am

      As is only right and proper. The ideal teacher was my Ms Hardman. She was seven feet tall, three feet broad, and had steel teeth. She ate broken glass and children. When she looked at you over her glasses, she could read your grubby little schoolboy mind, and she could detect a misused comma by clairvoyance.

      Various people have told me that she existed in a number of countries simultaneously, since she also taught them.

      • Mooser on March 31, 2015, 5:51 pm

        “and she could detect a misused comma by clairvoyance.”

        I remember her. We all though she was so literary and modern, the way she ran her names together and didn’t use capitals.

      • RoHa on April 1, 2015, 3:57 am

        My reporters have placed her in Australia, Britain, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and Japan. Always with the same scary mien, the same insistence on linguistic perfection. An ambiguously written character, an omitted hard sign, a faulty punctuation mark, and she would pounce.

        Hardly had my pen completed the error, than the skies would darken and thunder would rumble. She would cross the room in swift, terrifying, strides, and, without looking down, drop her finger unerringly upon the offending comma.

        “What”, she would demand of the universe in general, “is this?” The universe being too cowed to answer, it would fall to me to stammer “It’s a comma, Miss.”

        She would then explain, very clearly, and in tones that could have chiseled themselves into granite, exactly why a comma in that position was a breach of the Principles of Clear Communication, an offence against everything that was Good, Beautiful, and True, and a threat to the Natural Order of Being.

        I would mumble propitiatory formulae and cross out the atrocity, while she turned her attention to the other side of the classroom, where she had intuited an “i” wrongly placed after an “e”.

        There was no ambiguity about Ms Hardman. You always knew where you stood. Quaking in your shoes, usually.

      • HarryLaw on April 1, 2015, 4:18 am

        Dear Mr RoHa. Please do not refer to your ex School teacher as 7 feet tall and 3 feet broad. To do so could be an offence in the European Community [EC]. It should be she was 2.1336 metres tall and .91 metres broad. Since I suspect you live outside the EC, I will not report you, this once.
        “Queen obeys Europe and adopts metric rule” (The Daily Telegraph, 20 August 2001, page 5)
        The Queen has been told that the Sandringham Estate must stop selling wood in imperial measures within two weeks or trading standards officers will prosecute. The Sandringham sawmill, on the Queen’s Norfolk estate, has been selling oak and teak timber in feet and inches rather than metres, which is a criminal offence under EC metrication laws.
        Metrication in the UK is not the result of British membership of the EU. In 1965, …

      • RoHa on April 1, 2015, 7:51 pm

        I’m in Australia, so :-P thrrrrrrrrrrrp to Euro law.

  9. just on March 30, 2015, 7:56 pm

    Interesting piece by Rogel Alpher:

    “If only Obama would really get mad

    It is our moral duty and civil right to encourage the president to act against Israel’s racist and anti-democratic regime.

    I wish Barack Obama would get really upset with Benjamin Netanyahu. That’s my hope. For six years the American president has disappointed opponents of Israeli apartheid and occupation, and proponents of the two-state solution on the Palestinian side. For six years he’s basically supported the suicidal, self-destructive behavior of most Jews in Israel, led by Netanyahu.

    For reasons about which there’s no time to think and which have no point (since when has the feeling of discrimination in the periphery deserved to be a reason to justify ruling over another people?) – people are determined to sacrifice Israel in an ongoing religious-nationalist bloodbath, in what is becoming a binational state consisting of a democratic regime for the Jews and a separate regime for Palestinians that denies their civil rights.

    While Obama allows this disaster to happen, a growing number among us have illusions of extending Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, boosting the Jewish fertility rate, bringing all the Jews on Earth here, and priming ourselves for the coming of the Messiah.

    Are Obama’s eyes blinded to the point where he does not see that his unconditional support of Israel is responsible for creating the conditions that allow and even encourage growth of the apartheid and binational state here? Does he not understand that, without the financial, military and diplomatic assistance that he provides Israel, the settlement and occupation enterprise would collapse?

    Does he not get that under his leadership, if he were to publicly harden his heart toward Netanyahu and Israel – Europe would follow his footsteps, and economic sanctions and boycotts would be speedily imposed on Israel, forcing its Jewish citizens to change their diplomatic outlook? Does he not know that if he would just stop providing spare parts for fighter jets, the feverish illusion would dissipate, and sanity would once again prevail among us?…

    … While he resided in Chicago, he was a close friend of Palestinian-American intellectual and historian Rashid Khalidi. He knows exactly what damage is being caused to Palestinians because of American support for Israel…

    …Obama’s motives don’t matter to us, those who refuse to reconcile with Israeli apartheid, to the point of reconsidering our devotion to a country that’s losing its humanity. The main thing is that he take action. And if the trigger should be personal loathing for Netanyahu and the desire to punish him for his lies and intrigues – that is all the better. Revenge is the most power of motives.

    We need not have any ethical objection to taking action against a regime that has lost its moral validity. We refuse to cooperate with the journey of self-destruction, the collective suicide. It is our moral duty and civil right to encourage Obama to act against the racist and anti-democratic Israeli regime. It’s an effective and legal protest.

    If only he would listen to our voice and do something. It’s his last term. He doesn’t need Jewish donors again for an election campaign. American Jews who serve as a lobby for Netanyahu are contemptible colonialists who don’t even pay, like Israeli residents, the colonialist price they are funding. And if because of Obama they won’t support Hillary Clinton’s race for the presidency, we can hope that enough J Street supporters can be found among the American Jewish community.

    Save us, Obama.”

    Hillary ain’t “the one” to save you, Rogel.

    • Atlantaiconoclast on March 31, 2015, 12:03 am

      Obama cares too much about power, and he will need power after he leaves office. He doesn’t want to lose too much power, as Jimmy Carter has.
      So he will never seriously undermine our “special relationship” with Israel.

      I really think Obama has been a cruel hoax. Yes, he knows better, but he just doesn’t care as much about doing the right thing as he does holding onto his power and privilege in the American establishment.

      He also has to deal with political enemies and masses of Americans who loathe him and think he is really a Jewish hating Muslim. They actually have convinced themselves that Obama is somehow anti Israel, despite ever more aid going to Israel, despite the vetoing of any resolution about Israel in the UN, etc. So in a way, I kinda understand his reticence to really crack down on Israel. Still, if Daddy Bush can crack down on Israel, why can’t a “progessive” like Obama?

    • truth2power on March 31, 2015, 11:27 am

      Oh well said, Just – you’ve said all I’d want to say though I think the list of people this message could be addressed to goes beyond Mr Obama, don’t you?

  10. HarryLaw on March 31, 2015, 6:14 am

    John McCain suggests Israel “Go Rogue” Blow up Iran negotiations by starting war. The Logan Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 953 [1948]) is a single federal statute making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization. McCains talk is far worse than the Logan Act sets out. McCain actually wants to start a war. Not only has the ‘Songbird’ got a huge yellow stripe up his back, he is a psychopath. He should be locked up for everybody’s safety.

    • just on March 31, 2015, 8:15 am


      He’s been trying to jam up this President and Sec of State, every step of the way~ all over MENA.

      ‘Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.00.’

  11. Kay24 on March 31, 2015, 6:27 am


    You Know there is NO Hope for this country, when the majority in this country (despite the backstabbing by Boehner and Congress) thinks it is CONGRESS THAT MUST HAVE FINAL AUTHORITY ON IRAN DEAL. Like the media controlled by zionists, are these polling companies also “occupied”, certainly the think tanks in the US are. No change in the adoration factor of Netanyahu. How the standards of Americans have changed. Interfering by foreign leader? Hey that is okay.

  12. Scandipope on March 31, 2015, 6:40 am

    It’s truly interesting times in the Middle East, with Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia buddying up to Israel in an anti-Iranian alliance.

    An Egyptian court finding Hamas to be a terrorist organization has been unprecedented until now.

    Just like a few years ago, nobody would ever have expected Egyptian media and the Egyptian government to blame Hamas for the bloodshed and renewed fighting in Gaza, like they did on occasion last summer.

    A anti-Iranian regional alliance of sorts, whether official or unofficial, is bad news for the Palestinians however, since I t means their issue have been put on the back burner once more.

    And it could be increasingly hard for them to stay neutral, not just against Iran but also in Syria or possibly Lebanon.

    • truth2power on March 31, 2015, 2:39 pm

      I think you confuse Shia and Sunni connections for support of Israel’s politics, Scandipope, though I concede you appear to be hoping Israel might prosper from this. It would be best for there to be no nuclear weapons in the ME region but since Israel already has it, the balance will be better served if it was not the only state in the region in that position … but if Israel INSISTS it must have it, Israel must accept the inevitable consequences and stop protesting that another state might have a nuclear possibility in the future. That thought should have occurred to the ‘powers that be’ many, many years ago, shouldn’t it? They are the authors of this and should address it sensibly – and realistically! Of course there is a fairly simple solution to this conundrum – Israel admits it has had the bomb all along and agrees to give it up. Happy days!!

  13. just on March 31, 2015, 12:35 pm

    Holy smokes!

    “A British parliamentary candidate who urged Israel to kidnap United States President Barack Obama and put him on trial like a Nazi war criminal has resigned, his party said on Tuesday.

    Jeremy Zeid, who was standing for the right-wing UKIP party in the north London constituency of Hendon, said Obama should stand trial in Israel for supposedly allowing the publication of documents about Israel’s nuclear program.

    “Jeremy Zeid resigned as a candidate last week, citing his health,” a party spokesman said, according to a report on the Mirror website. “Ukip accepted his resignation.”

    Zeid, who is Jewish, caused a stir last year by saying: “The almost absence of white faces in [the north-east London suburb of] Ilford is worrying.”

    Regarding Obama, Zeid said that Israel should “do an Eichmann” on the president, referring to the senior Nazi who was kidnapped from Argentina by the Mossad in 1960 and subsequently hanged for his crimes.

    “Once Obama is out of office, the Israelis should move to extradite the bastard or ‘do an Eichmann’ on him, and lock him up for leaking state secrets,” Zeid said.

    “Just kidnap the bugger, like they did to Eichman, who suddenly found that he’d woken up in Israel. The problem is that Israeli jails are far more humane and adherent to human rights than American ones.”….

    …..“[President Obama] wants to do a deal with Iran – which wants to wipe Israel out, to see the Jewish State gone to dust,” Zeid said last week in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle. “Left-wing Jewish people do not want to deal with it.””

      • just on March 31, 2015, 1:17 pm

        Typical, lysias!

        From your link:

        “In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle yesterday Mr Zeid said: “I am done with politics because people focus on the minutia”.

        He stood by his proposal regarding the US president, however, referring to it as a “private opinion”.

        A Ukip spokesperson told The Independent: “Jeremy Zeid resigned as a candidate last week, citing his health. Ukip accepted his resignation.””

        “Minutia[e]”? Really?

        “Private opinion”? Not “protected” from perusal on social networks, and as a candidate.

        “Health” issues? yep.

        Funny thing is that he’ll be welcomed @ Ben Gurion and by many in Israel.

        Props to Purple Rain blog.

    • truth2power on March 31, 2015, 2:25 pm

      There are a lot of rather bonkers people attached to UKIP in the UK! Mr Zeid is just one and would not have been taken seriously though, luckily, he has seen the errors of his ways (without a shove from the electorate) and gone off somewhere to mutter to himself, hopefully quietly!

      • just on March 31, 2015, 2:49 pm

        +1, t2p!

        It’s totally “bonkers” to call for anyone “to do an Eichmann” wrt President of the US.

        I hope this outrage doesn’t end with a mutter, a whimper, or anything less than public ostracism at the very least.

      • Mooser on March 31, 2015, 5:55 pm

        “Citing his health”? You do know what that means, both here and with Prof. Pessin? It means they will apply for disability payments over the incident.

        So this really is a win-win for them. They can say all the bigoted, anti-Palestinian stuff they want, and when the shit hits the fan, say their mind hurts and go out on disability.

  14. just on March 31, 2015, 2:09 pm

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his address at the swearing-in of the new Knesset on Tuesday to blast the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers in Lausanne – only hours before the deadline for achieving an agreement was due to expire.

    “The agreement that is shaping up in Lausanne will pave the way for an Iran with nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “Iran’s breakout time to producing nuclear weapons will not last years, as was said at the start, but will decrease to under a year, if not less.”…

    …Netanyahu said in his speech that he appreciated Israel’s alliance with the United States, but acknowledged that there were differences between the two countries on the subject of Iran. “When it comes to existential danger, Israel must stand up for itself,” he stressed.

    The prime minister maintained that the world powers had capitulated on a series of issues, on which they had taken a far stronger position at the start of the talks.”

  15. truth2power on March 31, 2015, 3:01 pm

    Who has created the existential danger for Israel, Mr Netanyanu? Please adjust your mirror so you get a full-on image of ….. yourself!!

    • just on March 31, 2015, 3:08 pm


      He generally avoids mirrors because some people believe that it reflects the soul.

      Sometimes there is no reflection in the mirror, and you know what that means.

      • truth2power on March 31, 2015, 3:59 pm

        viz. Mr Zeid: What comes to mind is … ‘They’re coming to take me away ha ha” etc. Haven’t seen his outburst reported in the British media anywhere obvious (we tend to be sympathetic and tactfully silent about this sort of thing {mental instability} in the UK) but I’m sorry for the affront to your President! I like the ‘Hammer House of Horrors’ image you have created for Mr N, though!

  16. just on April 1, 2015, 7:07 am

    Barak Ravid:

    “PM @netanyahu will give a statement regarding the Lausanne nuclear talks 12:00 Jerusalem time. @netanyahu will meet @SpeakerBoehner 13:00”

    “Netanyahu had initially intended to issue the statement at the start of his meeting with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and chief rival to President Barack Obama, John Boehener, who is visiting Jerusalem.

    Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu decided in the end to postpone his meeting with Boehner by an hour, from noon until 1 P.M., in order to deliver his statement separately and to avoid creating a misperception of Israeli interference in American politics or in the conflict between Boehner and the White House over the Iranian issue.”

    Every American is hopping mad.

    (April Fool’s!)

    • Kay24 on April 1, 2015, 7:27 am

      Nothing says WAR like a warmonger trying to rally the entire world against a nation that is at least trying to cooperate with the rest of the world. Did someone say “Dimona”?

      Making it extremely hard for everyone, that is Bibi “Bomb ‘Em” Netanyahu:

      “Netanyahu: Now is time for international community to stand ground for better deal with Iran
      Premier’s remarks to press comes shortly after world powers and Iran resume negotiations in Iran; Russia: Statement on formal deal to be delivered by end of day.” Haaretz

  17. just on April 1, 2015, 7:30 am

    From The Guardian’s report on Zeid’s “do an Eichmann”:

    “In comments to the Evening Standard newspaper Zeid defended his comments and said his resignation was not linked to the post.

    “I stood down because I’m fed up with having to fend off accusations. I have to consider my health. That comment I made about Obama, I stick by it 100%,” Zeid told the newspaper.

    Ukip said Zeid had been replaced and a new candidate, dentist Raymond Shamash, would contest the constituency of Hendon in north London.

    A spokesman said that the party had only learned of the Facebook post after Zeid’s resignation. “He was right to resign. We are looking forward, not back,” the Ukip spokesman said.”

    Charming. I think that UKIP and the US Republican Party/Tea Party have much in common. The words of the UKIP spokesman could have been: ‘nothing to see here, move along’.

  18. just on April 1, 2015, 11:03 am

    Wow, what is it with UKIP and US Republikuds (TM Katie Miranda)?

    Purple Rain blog is doing great work!

    “Oxfordshire UKIP Candidate Exposed As Racist Homophobe

    …Alan Harris, yet another racist, homophobic UKIP candidate, finding them is like shooting fish in a barrel.”

    Disgusting screenshots @

Leave a Reply