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Does Schumer have any idea how angry his constituents will be if he torpedoes his president on Iran?

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As you surely have noticed, Senator Chuck Schumer has indicated that he is going to side with Republicans on the Iran deal rather than the Obama administration, because he is a “sincere and committed Israel hawk” (as his former intern Matt Yglesias says). Both the White House and State Department are trying to mollify the powerful senator to keep him from voting against the historic agreement in the end.

Where does this leave the rest of us? I don’t think that Democrats like Schumer have any clue of what is happening inside the Democratic Party base right now. When I mentioned Schumer’s likely apostasy at an art opening in my Hudson River town last night, a painter turned and began spitting fury. “F— him! F— him!” he said.

We are in the middle of a historic shift on Iran policy, aimed at preventing another war in the Middle East, and the leading Democratic senator is siding with the Republicans over the President? This is truly unprecedented, as Paul Pillar said at the Israel lobby conference in Washington yesterday (last speaker).

What the politicians don’t get is how angry even halfway-informed Americans are about these matters. They watched the Netanyahu appearance in Congress last month in disbelief. MJ Rosenberg said yesterday that Jews cringed over the performance. They did so because they know that other Americans were right to be outraged over such a naked demonstration of influence.

Issues of loyalty and the Israel lobby are now floating into our politics. When Rand Paul said, “We have come to take our country back from the special interests that use Washington as their personal piggy bank,” and Chris Matthews said Paul is talking about  “neocons and the piggish money behind them,” both would seem to be upset by the lobby’s intrusion into our foreign policy.

Ed Schultz openly questioned Schumer’s loyalty in an MSNBC segment earlier this week:

Schultz asked [talk show host Joe Madison] if Schumer’s loyalty is with “Benjamin Netanyahu or with the President of the United States…” Madison replied:

“Not only should [Schumer’s loyalty] be to the President of the United States, but it should be to the United States of America. The President is clearly doing what he thinks is in the best interest of this country.”

This wasn’t the first time this week Schultz has made similar comments. On Monday, he said:

“Why didn’t Democrats oppose Reagan’s deal with Gorbachev? Probably because they were for America.”

No doubt dual loyalty can be an anti-semitic charge; but it also can be a legitimate issue. Even the New York Times says that Democratic politicians feel “loyalty to the Jewish state.” Last month the New York Times predicted, accurately, that Democrats

will eventually need to make an awkward, painful choice between the president of their country and their loyalty to the Jewish state.

Schumer has opened the door to the loyalty issue, when he says that his name in Hebrew means guardian; and that he acts as Israel’s guardian. Four years ago he said that God made him a guardian of the Jewish state. He told a Jewish radio host:

[M]y name as you know comes from a Hebrew word. It comes from the word shomer, which mean guardian. My ancestors were guardians of the ghetto wall in Chortkov and I believe Hashem, actually [God], gave me name as one of my roles that is very important in the United States Senate to be a shomer for Israel and I will continue to be that with every bone in my body

Ryan Cooper writes at The Week that if Schumer sandbags Obama on the historic Iran deal, he should not be the minority leader. And Cooper says Schumer’s stance is politically dangerous.

[P]ro-war Democrats have consistently underestimated the long-term political danger behind such casual aggressiveness. Just like Cory Booker, Schumer appears to have forgotten that voting for the Iraq War is the reason Hillary Clinton is not president today.

These are the elements of a groundswell against U.S. support for Israel. Remember that liberal Democrats sympathize with Palestinians over Israel now, by 68 to 60. And my sample is self-selecting, but I hear more and more non-Jews (post-Gaza, post-Netanyahu) saying that they don’t care about being accused of anti-Semitism if they criticize Israel, a fear that kept them quiet for decades. Just three months ago Jim Clancy lost his job at CNN for getting angry about “hasbara” in our discourse. A grotesque event; but Netanyahu’s appearance at the Congress is making Clancy look like a prophet.

The Times has a piece on Schumer that is at least halfway honest about pressure from the lobby:

Mr. Schumer, long personally hawkish on matters related to Israel, is caught between the Jewish voters and donors in his state and beyond who are pressuring him in conflicting directions, factions within his own party in the Senate, and a watchful White House that is seeking to limit the role of Congress in any deal it may make.

It is a struggle that several Senate Democrats with large Jewish constituencies face but who, unlike Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the co-sponsor of the bill pushing for congressional oversight of Iranian sanctions, have been typically strongly supportive of the White House.

Scott McConnell notes that this sort of reporting used to be verboten. 

This detailed reporting [by the New York Times] about Israel-related money in a widely read centrist publication is an important and welcome development: until recently, it was subject hidden in whisper and awkward euphemism, as when two election cycles ago, retired general and possible presidential candidate Wesley Clark referred to “New York money people” pushing for war with Iran. Clark had to be walked through an apology with the assistance of Abe Foxman.

The media are reflecting, at some distance, a real anger among liberal Americans, libertarians, conservatives, anyone who doesn’t want another war in the Middle East. Schumer defies them at his own political peril.

 

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55 Responses

  1. John Douglas
    John Douglas on April 11, 2015, 2:38 pm

    You are right to focus upon Schumer. His is a strong voice and it has not been coy about his support for Israel. If he undermines US policy and gets away with it, other national politicians will feel more comfortable to do so.

    I do not know if Schumer is an Israeli citizen (or any other national politician for that matter), but I believe very strongly that I have a right to know. Dual citizenship means dual loyalty. There is no way to avoid that. As long as the myth held that US and Israeli interests were co-extensive this issue could be avoided. But no longer.

    IS SCHUMER A CITIZEN OF ISRAEL?

  2. Krauss
    Krauss on April 11, 2015, 3:09 pm

    I’m sure I’ll get pushback for saying this but I think Israel’s approach to this is 100% rational.

    Paul Pillar observed, and rightly so, that Israel opposses this deal not because of a fear of a nuke going off, but because it undermines Israel’s line of argument that it is the only real partner for America in the region.

    If the deal goes as planned, Obama would have demonstrated that Israel doesn’t hold any special value to America and it would open a door to a more varied approach for America in the Middle East.
    No longer would all policy in the region go through Jerusalem.
    This would be an unmitigated disaster for Israel.

    Obama has wanted to do this for a long time. Have you already forgotten Obama’s 2009 comments (to Jewish leaders no less!) that it would be in both America’s and Israel’s interest if there was “daylight” between the countries.

    This was 2009 and Obama had the biggest congressional majority in 40 years. He probably thought the Jews would just roll over. It took him 6 years until today and even now it isn’t certain he will succeed but he is well on his way.

    The reality is that it isn’t in Israel’s interest for there to be any daylight at all, and Obama probably understood that then but underestimated how candid he could be by even trying to spin Jewish establishment figures.

    If the deal goes through, Israel would be relegated in the rung. It would still be the preferred country to deal with, but it wouldn’t be able to claim that it is the only country worth dealing with. If America can deal with Israel’s #1 enemy, why would America believe Israel’s hasbara on the Palestinian issue?

    So I don’t blame Bibi for going all-out to destroy the deal. I would do the same in his place. I just don’t think he’ll be successful and the public way he does it will have lasting damage on Israel’s image in the democratic party.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on April 12, 2015, 5:21 am

      Conversely, if one realizes it’s not in USA’s best interest to have no sky between it and Israel, isn’t one bound to act accordingly & bring this to the attention of the US public?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 12, 2015, 5:25 am

      I definitely agree that the Iran deal is very bad for Israel, though not in the way they claim. If there was ever any suggestion that Iran was aiming for a nuclear bomb – and most experts believe they were not – this deal puts paid to that. So, it’s not an Iranian bomb Bibi is scared of, but an Iran which is rehabilitated and integrated into the world economy, but yet is not a US puppet like the Gulf states.

      However, Bibi’s ranting and raving has done so much to identify opposition to the deal with being an Israel firster, and as such he has shot himself in the foot big time. Polls indicate that most Americans support the agreement, and will not be in favour of having it scuppered just to keep Bibi. So the more he keeps throwing those toys from pram, the better! Rant on bibi!

      • Boomer
        Boomer on April 12, 2015, 2:52 pm

        re: “If there was ever any suggestion that Iran was aiming for a nuclear bomb – and most experts believe they were not-”

        I agree that most objective experts believe that Iran has not been actively seeking a bomb for many years, yet I continue to hear many pundits, politicians, reporters and talking heads on the MSM refer to “Iran’s nuclear weapons program” as if it were a fact. I never hear anyone questioning this assertion when they make such statements.

    • John Douglas
      John Douglas on April 12, 2015, 9:39 am

      RE: Kraus. “So I don’t blame Bibi for going all-out to destroy the deal. I would do the same in his place…”

      You would do the same if you were in Netanyahu’s place only if you shared his goal of a ‘greater Israel’ at the expense of the persecution and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and so needed the financial and diplomatic cover that the US provides.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on April 12, 2015, 11:11 am

        It’s been pretty obvious from the beginning that the lack of an Iranian nuclear weapon is Nettenyahoo biggest fear.

    • Boomer
      Boomer on April 12, 2015, 2:39 pm

      Krauss, you are right. I don’t blame Nutanyahoo, I blame the Americans in Congress and the media who enable him and Israel to pursue immoral actions on our dime, actions that are contrary to our own interest.

  3. chet
    chet on April 11, 2015, 3:34 pm

    Schumer is an unabashed Israel-Firster and will shrug off accusations of dual loyalty, failure to support the President of his own political party and risking war instead of an agreement providing the basis for peace in the ME that a substantial majority of Americans desire.

    When the interests of his own country conflict with those of Israel, a war-mongering foreign state, Schumer will always choose the latter.

    However, a positive feature is that the MSM will be compelled to report in detail on the background of this controversy.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on April 12, 2015, 5:32 am

      Somebody needs to send a memo to USA’s tv new channels as they are not giving their audience a clue as to why Schumer and his ilk are controversial; they merely paint us a pic of a personality conflict between Obama & Bibi, and between two main political parties & the only “context” given is their demonization of Iran. The conference two days ago on Israel went all day on the internet, but it didn’t make the mainstream media at all–even CSPAN refused to air it live.

      As an American, I really resent how Americans are kept misinformed and ignorant by our main tv news media especially, and even more especially by CSPAN & Public channels supported by tax payers.

      • Boomer
        Boomer on April 12, 2015, 2:42 pm

        “Somebody needs to send a memo to USA’s tv new channels as they are not giving their audience a clue as to why Schumer and his ilk are controversial; they merely paint us a pic of a personality conflict between Obama & Bibi, and between two main political parties & the only “context” given is their demonization of Iran.”

        True, though it will take more than a memo to change behavior.

    • Mary T
      Mary T on April 12, 2015, 7:03 am

      Is the U.S. “his own country”? If he chooses the interests of Israel over those of the U.S., I would say Israel is his own country.

  4. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover on April 11, 2015, 4:19 pm

    Thanks Senator Schumer for being Shomer Democratic Party as your leadership position requires by standing up to the pro Iran and anti Israel nut jobs standing at the fringes of the Democratic Party.

    • Shingo
      Shingo on April 12, 2015, 5:09 am

      Thank you Steve Grover, for bring an unabashed fanatic and demonstrating to us how desperate and insane you pro Israeli, war addicted, apartheid loving nut but jobs are.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on April 12, 2015, 5:40 pm

        Not for Steve Grover the victim mode! No, with ol’ Grover, it’s Zionist triumphalism all the way! The world will tremble at the size and power of his Zionism! Which he will indecently expose for us. Behold!

      • Keith
        Keith on April 12, 2015, 6:20 pm

        MOOSER- “The world will tremble at the size and power of his Zionism! Which he will indecently expose for us. Behold!

        If Steve Grover isn’t the very personification of “Israel Man” then I don’t know who is!
        http://www.evcomics.com/2008/05/29/israel-man-and-diaspora-boy/

      • hank
        hank on August 7, 2015, 2:26 pm

        I seem to recall from earlier submissions that Steve Grover is in fact an Israeli, which would help account for his views as well as his syntax. Would it be an assault on free speech to invite Israelis (politely) to identify themselves as such?

  5. HPH
    HPH on April 11, 2015, 4:44 pm

    Another great synthesis of opinions out there at various sites. I plan to mention it in a note to our senator, Martin Heinrich. I think he has already decided to align himself with his country and president, but I’ll mention your post anyway.

  6. peterfeld
    peterfeld on April 11, 2015, 4:44 pm

    “Schumer” may come from the Hebrew “shomer.”
    But “shum,” as in “getting Schumed,” in Hebrew means “nothing.”

    #dontschumethepeacedeal

  7. ivri
    ivri on April 11, 2015, 5:25 pm

    Well, if you are true to yourself and to how you interpret your Senator duty you wouldn`t place loyalty to a President from your party over deeper convictions and broader concerns for your country (and a collapse of the world security order is NOT just Israel`s problem even if it is the most threatened). If one cannot face anger from voters when it comes to beliefs than that`s not a virtue (as this article seems to suggest) but a serious flaw

  8. JWalters
    JWalters on April 11, 2015, 5:55 pm

    Here’s Senator Schumer declaring that because the Palestinians “don’t believe in the Jewish state”, and “don’t believe in the Torah, in David” therefore “to strangle them economically … makes sense.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/06/11/schumer-strangle-gaza-economically/

    Very glad to hear Ed Schultz is siding with Obama over Schumer. Ed can be a a bulldog for justice.

    And there may be more complex pressures than religious money.
    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/04/06/the-iran-deals-big-upside/#comment-192893

  9. Boomer
    Boomer on April 11, 2015, 7:07 pm

    He certainly angers me, but I’m not one of his constituents. Why would a politician take such a position, unless (1) he believed it would be popular among his constituents, or (2) he believed he had to do so to keep the money coming and he really wanted the money, or (3) he sincerely believed in what he was doing. Of course, sincerity doesn’t make it right for America. Lots of cult members are sincere: consider Scientology, for example.

    In any event, I don’t understand how Congress can block the deal. Maybe it can block U.S. trade with Iran, but if the other members of the P5 +1 think they have reached a reasonable deal, and if they see the U.S. back away from it due to actions by Congress, won’t the other countries start trading with Iran anyway? If we back away from what the rest of the world believes is a reasonable deal, isn’t it likely that the sanctions will fall apart? Given that, I assume that the complaints from Congress are purely for domestic political consumption.

    • Doubtom
      Doubtom on April 14, 2015, 2:35 am

      First and definitely foremost, he is a United States Senator not an Israeli representative! If he can’t in good conscience support his party, his president or his nation, the proper thing to do is resign, not betray the United States.

  10. on April 11, 2015, 7:16 pm

    I don’t get this accusation of dual loyalty.

    The loyalty of people like Schumer is solely to the subset of Jews who support Israel no matter what.

    Not to the USA. Not to doing the right thing. Not to the people of NY who are not Zionist Jews.

    No dual loyalty; singular loyalty

    • just
      just on April 11, 2015, 7:39 pm

      +1, Giles.

      Some of the powerful use their position and their ‘get out of jail free card’ in ways that need to be exposed.

      They need to explain themselves to the people, but first the people need to know what’s going on in order for them to ask the important and long- overdue questions.

      PEP is not honorable~ at all.

    • Doubtom
      Doubtom on April 14, 2015, 2:37 am

      That is the only right declaration concerning Schumer’s position.

  11. Boomer
    Boomer on April 11, 2015, 7:22 pm

    WaPo has a noteworthy piece up, by Eglash and Booth. It may not be a first for WaPo, when it comes to candor, but I don’t recall seeing something quite so direct there. Worth reading in full, it begins:

    “JERUSALEM — For many American Israelis, binational life is the best of two worlds. They travel with U.S. passports. Live in sunny Israel. Vote in both countries! And they say they can love America and Israel at the same time. But lately, the relationship resides under a new strain.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/for-american-israelis-rift-between-obama-and-netanyahu-is-family-affair/2015/04/10/4743c328-d320-11e4-8b1e-274d670aa9c9_story.html

    PS: Does “American-Israeli” = “Israeli-American”?

    • just
      just on April 11, 2015, 7:53 pm

      Boomer~ thanks for linking that article. It is waaay different from the WaPo’s usual fare, and I’ve been mulling the article since I read it.

      Is it a change @ the Post that’s here to stay? Who knows?

      I just thought of how ‘privileged’ these dual citizens are, when so many want desperately to have a place and a chance in the USA, but have no real opportunity.

      “Dorit Raviv said she had a “real American life growing up in Los Angeles” with a swimming pool and a recreational vehicle. She immigrated to Israel 17 years ago but still hits Costco when she goes back to the States.

      “I have never bought a deodorant in Israel. I have the brand I like from there,” she said.

      Raviv, 39, who works in the education department at the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance museum in Jerusalem, supported Netanyahu’s decision to address a joint meeting of Congress and to oppose the Iran deal. She believes Netanyahu was correct to say the time was not right for negotiations with the Palestinians.

      “I was very upset with the things that Obama said. I don’t think he really understands the real meaning of Israel,” she said. “He does not understand why we can’t have peace here; he can’t see that we are living amongst people who hate us.””

      omg~ that’s gobsmacking!

      Raviv saved the best for last, I guess: ““I am not worried,” Raviv said. “ I guess as an American citizen, I can always go back, or I can stay here and suck it up.””

      • just
        just on April 11, 2015, 8:23 pm

        Costco must be ever so grateful for Raviv’s deodorant preference/ fetish.

        (She could always go to the really dying & dead Dead Sea and pick up a mineral rock to rub in her pits.)

        For more on “The Dead Sea Is Dying”

        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/moment/2013/09/the_dead_sea_is_dying_how_sinkholes_habitat_destruction_and_low_water_levels.html

      • Boomer
        Boomer on April 12, 2015, 9:45 am

        Re: “I am not worried,” Raviv said. “ I guess as an American citizen, I can always go back . . . ”

        I’m confused. Everyone from WaPo reporter Dana Milbank to U.S. VP Joe Biden says that American Jews need to be able to go to Israel in order to be safe, yet these Israeli-Americans (or are they American-Israelis?) need to be able to go to the U.S. for the same reason. I don’t understand how this works. Plus, I suspect that the Palestinians must wonder why these Jews get two countries while they don’t get one. Hardly seems fair. But then, I seem to recall that someone once said, “life isn’t fair.” I guess that’s where the “suck it up” part comes in.

  12. echinococcus
    echinococcus on April 11, 2015, 7:34 pm

    Oh, the “Democratic” constituents are furious, are they?
    Is that why their party only has only been doing all things that infuriate them for the last 30 years?
    What BS. No amount of “Democratic” sheep opposition is likely to have any influence on their leaders, pardon, shepherds.

    • Boomer
      Boomer on April 12, 2015, 2:45 pm

      yeah, I don’t expect Mrs. Clinton to be better on this issue. In her early days as First Lady she expressed some concern about the Palestinians, but that was in another world, long ago and far away.

  13. Mooser
    Mooser on April 11, 2015, 8:02 pm

    “ I guess as an American citizen, I can always go back, or I can stay here and suck it up.”

    There’s a tangential question I’ve never be able to answer. If Zionist Israel gets very bad, who, which cohort, among those considered Israelis (in whatever unequal category they reside) who gets stuck there, with no political ticket (dual citizenship) out?

  14. Bandolero
    Bandolero on April 11, 2015, 8:53 pm

    Meanwhile in Israel:

    Netanyahu told cabinet: Our biggest fear is that Iran will honor nuclear deal

    Netanyahu expressed concern that Iranian compliance with the agreement will lull the world into complacency over the bomb threat, according to officials.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a recent meeting of the inner cabinet that if a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers is indeed signed by the June 30 deadline, the greatest concern is that Tehran will fully implement it without violations, two senior Israeli officials said.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.651350

    • just
      just on April 11, 2015, 9:03 pm

      Heh. This charlatan and liar admits his biggest fear is that Iran is proved trustworthy!

      It’s a rip- off on Danielle Pletka (h/t Annie Robbins)!

      “The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you that Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately…” And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem.”

      http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/israels-true-fear-re-iran-is-balance-of-power

    • Boomer
      Boomer on April 11, 2015, 9:26 pm

      “Netanyahu told cabinet: Our biggest fear is that Iran will honor nuclear deal.”

      Wow. To me, that seems to indicate that Nutanyahoo is duplicitous and/or crazy. But I maybe I just don’t understand. But really, what is Iran supposed to do in the face of that? What is the world to do?

      • just
        just on April 11, 2015, 9:33 pm

        He’s definitely duplicitous~ it’s on the record.

        “what is Iran supposed to do in the face of that?”

        Keep doing what they’re doing.

        “What is the world to do?”

        Call him on it! The US and the EU need to step up NOW. Israel will not/ cannot be trusted to change from within (as Levy has said), it has to come from outside and from those that have enabled this entire fiasco/charade.

  15. MRW
    MRW on April 11, 2015, 10:49 pm

    I’m going to contact my senator on Monday and ask what’s the formal way to object to Schumer becoming minority leader when I am not in Schumer’s district.

  16. just
    just on April 12, 2015, 12:02 am

    Gideon Levy:

    “The beginning of the American Spring

    At a conference Friday about the Israel lobby in Washington, remarks the likes of which are rarely heard in the United States were made.

    …America.

    While all the above-mentioned usual business was taking place, a completely unusual event was taking place at the National Press Club. At a conference on Friday titled “The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the U.S.? Is It Good for Israel?,” cosponsored by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, remarks the likes of which are rarely heard in the United States were made.

    Attendees included members of the U.S. Congress, former diplomats and intelligence officials, Palestinian student leaders, Jewish activists from the left and academics. This was not the Saban Forum, nor the AIPAC Policy Conference: This was the other America. “Welcome to another Israeli-occupied territory: Washington,” someone on the stage half-joked. At a time of a new zenith in Israeli interference in the U.S. capital and a new and inconceivable nadir in American groveling before Israel, the anger, the insistence, the fear and perhaps also the hatred of the few was heard clearly at the conference. If their voice is set to grow, then Israelis should be aware of it.

    The student leaders, who are now on the frontline, spoke of the all-out war to silence them being waged by Jewish organizations on campus. It is presumably the rearguard action of Hillel International and its ilk: The destructiveness of the Zionist propaganda machine here will one day be exposed as a fatal error. It spurs more opposition than support. The ex-politicians also related how difficult it was to voice criticism of Israel. Paul Findley, 93, a Republican U.S. Representative from Illinois (from 1961-1983), mentioned a senior diplomat friend of his who knew it was impossible to criticize Israel to the secretary of state through the usual channels, only in one-on-one conversations.

    There are hundreds of people in the Administration whose salaries are paid by the U.S. taxpayer and who believe their sole mission is to defend Israel, even by destroying freedom of expression, Findley added. His voice shook when he said the conference was a rare opportunity to express such ideas. He spoke of the paralyzing fear of criticizing Israel, lest one be labeled an anti-Semite. It’s not the politicians who run this country; it’s the lobbyists, including the Jewish lobby, Findley said. His remarks were echoed by Nick Rahall, who served as a Democratic U.S. Representative from West Virginia for 38 years and who said American democracy had been hijacked by wealthy businessmen like Sheldon Adelson.

    Paul R. Pillar, formerly a senior member of the U.S. intelligence community, explained in a brilliant lecture the advantages of the nuclear agreement with Iran, and argued that Israel’s opposition to it stemmed from the fear that, in its wake, the occupation would become the main issue.

    Is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship, in which the United States will finally dare to criticize and put pressure on Israel? It’s too soon to tell. In the meantime, the American Spring is making the cherry trees bloom.”

    The beginning of his powerful piece @ http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.651326?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  17. just
    just on April 12, 2015, 7:55 am

    “Kerry discusses Iran nuclear deal with U.S. Jews

    Officials present would not describe the content of the off-the-record meeting, but they said Jewish officials raised concerns about the deal.

    Top Obama administration officials met for two hours with U.S. Jewish community leaders to discuss the emerging Iran nuclear deal.

    Represented at the April 8 meeting were Secretary of State John Kerry and his undersecretary, Wendy Sherman, who is leading the U.S. side in the nuclear talks.

    On the Jewish organizational side, representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Orthodox, Reform and Conservative streams were present.

    “As part of the administration’s regular outreach to various civil society groups in the U.S., the Secretary met with a group of Jewish American leaders Wednesday to discuss the U.S.-Israel relationship and the latest developments in our negotiations with the E.U., P5+1 and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program,” a State Department official told JTA. P5+1 refers to the countries negotiating with Iran, including the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.

    Kerry stayed for an hour in the room in the State Department, which was cleared of leavened goods in honor of Passover week, and Sherman remained for an additional hour.

    Officials present would not describe the content of the off-the-record meeting, but they did say that the Jewish officials raised concerns about the deal.

    “Both the secretary and the undersecretary articulated with depth, rigor and passion the deal and explained it,” one Jewish official said. “There was an opportunity for real engagement. Secretary Kerry was reaching out to those who need more engagement and convincing.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/.premium-1.651406?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Was Schumer there?

    How much more time, energy, and kowtowing does the SoS via the US taxpayer have to expend? Does any other group get so much face time?

  18. MRW
    MRW on April 12, 2015, 10:07 am

    Gareth Porter gives an explosive talk cataloging Israel’s involvement since 2003 in falsifying documents implicating Iran in a nuclear weapon at last Friday’s National Summit at the National Press Club, “The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US? Is It Good for Israel?” He says that El Baradei states it in his memoir, and Porter found a book written in Hebrew that says the Mossad made them and gave them to MEK, who passed them on.

    Starts at 2:38:00 minutes. Don’t miss it.

  19. just
    just on April 12, 2015, 10:58 am

    “WATCH: Obama slams Israel on Iran, ‘Consistency is the hobgoblin of narrow minds’

    During a press conference in Panama, President Obama took aim at Israeli criticism of his deal with Iran over their nuclear program.

    …..The Iranians were saying that’s not true and we were saying this — but once we actually got through negotiations, it actually turned out we had something that was substantial. That was subject to review by everybody involved. That has proven to be highly effective, even by the assessments of critics of the policy like the Israelis. They’ve said, ‘Yeah, this actually has worked. Iran is abiding by the agreement.’ In fact, now, they’re saying why don’t we just stay here, it’s working so well. Despite the fact that they’ve made almost precisely the argument that they’re making now about the final deal. But, you know, consistency is the hobgoblin of narrow minds. ”

    video @ http://www.haaretz.com/video/1.651440?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  20. Mooser
    Mooser on April 12, 2015, 11:22 am

    C’mon, Barack! You should know that it is “a foolish consistency” which is the ghost in the attic of narrow minds.

    Another words, the failure is not a lack of consistency, the “hobgoblin” is in the foolishness of the consistency.

    Gotta watch that stuff, Mr President, or you’ll end up talking about “Ugly Americans”.

  21. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on April 12, 2015, 11:44 am

    The constituency should be again told

    The real reason Israel doesnt want any peaceful resolution of nuclear deal:

     From Haaretz—  

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a recent meeting of the security cabinet that if a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers is indeed signed by the June 30 deadline, the greatest concern is that Tehran will fully implement it without violations, two senior Israeli officials said.

    The meeting of the security cabinet was called on short notice on April 3, a few hours before the Passover seder.

    http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-1.651350#!

    http://www.antiwar.com 04/12/2015

  22. just
    just on April 12, 2015, 12:44 pm

    “Kerry defends Obama on Cuba and Iran: [P]resident acted ‘courageously’

    …Kerry said Obama had acted “courageously” regarding engagement with Raúl Castro and had “spoken very, very powerfully” to defend his policy on Tehran’s nuclear program.

    While much of the US media focused on Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton and her announcement of her candidacy for president in 2016, Kerry spoke on three news shows a day after Obama’s historic meeting with Cuban president Raúl Castro and a week after the conclusion of a framework agreement over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    On Saturday night, in a long press conference in Panama City, where he had met Raúl Castro on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas, Obama was asked about the Iran deal and fierce opposition to it from Republicans in Congress and around the coalescing 2016 presidential race.

    The president said: “I don’t understand why it is that everybody’s working so hard to anticipate failure. My simple point is let’s wait and see what the deal is.”

    Obama also rebuked John McCain, who said this week that Kerry was “delusional” on Iran. Obama said McCain had implied the secretary of state was less trustworthy than Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamanei, on the specifics of the framework nuclear deal, and said the Arizona senator’s comments were “an indication of the degree to which partisanship has crossed all boundaries”.

    “That’s not how we’re supposed to run foreign policy,” Obama said. “That’s a problem. It needs to stop.”

    Asked about McCain’s remarks during his appearance on ABC, Kerry laughed and said: “I think President Obama spoke very, very powerfully to Senator McCain yesterday and I’ll let the president’s words stand.”

    As the Republican-controlled Congress continues to consider ways to reign Obama in over Iran, differences persist between Washington and Tehran over the interpretation of the framework agreement. On Sunday, Kerry said: “I also stand by every fact that I have laid out. It’s an unusual affirmation of our facts, to come from Russia, but Russia has said that what we’ve set up is reliable and accurate, and I will let the final agreement speak for itself.”…

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/12/kerry-defends-obama-cuba-iran-foreign-policy#comment-50334159

    More please! Call the Israel/War- first Repubs and Dems out one by one.

  23. ckg
    ckg on April 12, 2015, 3:17 pm

    Remember that liberal Democrats sympathize with Palestinians over Israel now, by 68 to 60.

    Hopefully the next-time Shumer is up for re-election in New York, liberal Democrats will head to the polling stations in droves. In buses.

    • just
      just on April 12, 2015, 3:27 pm

      lol!

      Seriously, both Reid’s and Schumer’s terms are up in 2016, iirc. Hopefully, Schumer will be toast by then, and the numbers of “liberal Democrats [that] sympathize with Palestinians over Israel” will skyrocket.

  24. michelle
    michelle on April 12, 2015, 3:45 pm

    .
    does Israel need total control of the whole world to “feel safe”
    if so is the world willing to give Israel this control
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  25. just
    just on April 13, 2015, 6:26 am

    “Israeli opposition fleshes out Iran policy, demanding US support for Israeli strike

    Zionist Union says only support by US will ensure Israel’s security, says key to ‘good deal’ with Iran is gradual reduction of sanctions coupled with amendments to current deal.

    Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni laid out their Iranian policy on Sunday and called for a “comprehensive, intimate and in-depth strategic discussion with the US” on nuclear talks between world powers and Iran, saying all issues on the table must be clarified with Washington before a final agreement is signed with Tehran.

    In a position paper released Sunday, the Zionist Union’s leaders demand the United States to “give legitimization ahead of time to any action Israel will need to take to protect its safety”.

    The party, which came in second in Israel’s elections, is expected to head the opposition in the next government. Thus the document, published exclusively by Ynet, can be said to be the first clear articulation of an Israeli alternative to the deal reached with Iran. …

    …The crux of Herzog and Livni’s plan is a call on the American administration to commit in advance to approve an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities if Iran violates the framework agreement signed a week and a half ago by trying to produce nuclear weapons. …”

    Find more of their “demands”, including their chart @ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4646341,00.html

    Amazing chutzpah, eh? They demand pre-approval for war from the US.

    No different than Netanyahu.

  26. just
    just on April 13, 2015, 9:49 am

    Lipsky:

    “Call him Schumer Agonistes. As drama builds over U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed framework for an Iranian appeasement, all eyes are on Charles Schumer. For years New York’s senior senator has sought to position himself as the leading pro-Israel voice in a Democratic Party that grows more conflicted on Israel by the month. The Republicans in the Senate want to defy Obama and enforce tough sanctions on Iran, but Schumer wants to be the next Democratic leader in the upper chamber.

    So will he defy the president and stick with Israel and the Republicans? Or will he put ambition over principle and craft a compromise that lets the president escape legislated sanctions?

    My prediction is that Schumer is going to cave. I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong on this. It would be glorious were he to go to the mat in a struggle with the president over this issue. But more than two decades of watching the Brooklyn Democrat have left me with affection for him personally (it is not reciprocated) but no confidence that he will be there in a fight against his own party leadership, which is, almost by definition, what any Democratic president is. …

    …Will his hunger for the promotion make him swing behind Obama at the 11th hour, much as he crumpled on the Jerusalem embassy? Or will he use the fight to demonstrate his capacity as a leader? Or will he dawdle until fate takes a hand?”

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.651570?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Schumer just needs to go. buh-bye. And Lipsky (NY Sun) should know that when referring to “the president”, it is normal to capitalize the word “President” when referring to a specific President of the US.

  27. SonofDaffyDuck
    SonofDaffyDuck on April 13, 2015, 10:17 am

    ” [M]y name as you know comes from a Hebrew word. It comes from the word shomer, which mean guardian. My ancestors were guardians of the ghetto wall in Chortkov and I believe Hashem, actually [God], gave me name as one of my roles that is very important in the United States Senate to be a shomer for Israel and I will continue to be that with every bone in my body.”
    _____________________________________________________________
    I do not see how he can walk this back; and I get a sinking feeling when I think of him in control of the Dems in the Senate. My fear is that he will defend Israel(not really Israel, but Likud) with every bone in the bodies of our children and last dollar in our treasury.
    Someone would have to explain to me in very clear terms why his appointment does not put AIPAC in charge of Democratic Senate machinery. Just looking at AIPAC headquarters in DC, it would appear that his appointment will considerably shrink the distance to the Capital Building.
    However, on the bright side, such appointment would focus attention on the skewed power structure between the US and the Country his is sworn to defend with every bone in his body and would draw scrutiny to every decision he makes in that context

  28. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on April 13, 2015, 11:00 am

    How can Schumer forget his commitment to AiPAC

    ““Diplomacy has failed,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told AIPAC, “Iran is on the verge of becoming nuclear and we cannot afford that.”

    “We have to contemplate the final option,” said Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., “the use of force to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

    War is a “terrible thing,” said Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., but “sometimes it is better to go to war than to allow the Holocaust to develop a second time.”

    Graham then describes the war we Americans should fight:

    “If military force is ever employed, it should be done in a decisive fashion. The Iran government’s ability to wage conventional war against its neighbors and our troops in the region should not exist. They should not have one plane that can fly or one ship that can float.”

    Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, Neocon Central, writes, “The only questions remaining, one Washington politico tells me, are who starts it, and how it ends.”

    Patrick J. Buchanan at The American Conservative

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/what-war-with-iran-means/

  29. Kathleen
    Kathleen on April 17, 2015, 11:09 am

    I missed this one. Great piece Phil. Schumer needs to be targeted. Ed is speaking out too. Who knows maybe Rachel will grow some integrity.

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