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Israel’s real fear about the Iran deal: It puts pressure on the occupation

Middle East

For years we have been warned that Iranian nukes would be a threat to Israel’s very existence. But now that there’s a deal on the nukes, the mask has slipped a little. The problem isn’t really Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The real problem is that Iran is challenging Israel in the region.

Netanyahu gave a statement yesterday where he said what Israel really wants is regime change, because of Iran’s “aggressive behavior.”

The leading international powers have bet our collective future on a deal with the foremost sponsor of international terrorism….

Amazingly, this bad deal does not require Iran to cease its aggressive behavior in any way.

“Aggressive behavior” doesn’t mean a threat to Israel’s very existence. It’s the fact that Iran opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestine and has proxies that create enormous resistance, some of it violent, to that military occupation. Netanyahu focused in his speech on Hezbollah.

Netanyahu doesn’t have all that much to worry about, though. Israel’s allies in the United States seem to understand that the Iran deal is inevitable, and they’re working now to try to limit the damage to Israel’s regional power.

In fact, President Obama is selling the deal by saying it is only about Iran’s nukes. Speaking to Tom Friedman of the New York Times, Obama pointed out that Netanyahu once claimed to care about nukes:

“We are not measuring this deal by whether it is changing the regime inside of Iran,” said the president. “We’re not measuring this deal by whether we are solving every problem that can be traced back to Iran, whether we are eliminating all their nefarious activities around the globe. We are measuring this deal — and that was the original premise of this conversation, including by Prime Minister Netanyahu — Iran could not get a nuclear weapon. That was always the discussion.”

Iran is still evil in our eyes, Obama assured Friedman. But trying to change the Iranian regime is like Ronald Reagan trying to change the Soviet regime:

“[W]here I completely admire [Reagan] was his recognition that if you were able to verify an agreement that [was negotiated] with the evil empire that was hellbent on our destruction and was a far greater existential threat to us than Iran will ever be,” then it would be worth doing.

Obama is signalling to Senate Democrats like Chuck Schumer that he will continue to support the rightwing Israel lobby agenda: No pressure on the occupation. This means that when the French resolution comes up in the U.N. to create a Palestinian state this fall, Obama will come out against it, as part of his political bargaining to get support for the Iran deal.

Hillary Clinton is sending the same signal. Her support for the Iran deal is only to the extent that it is focused on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s backing of Israel’s enemies remains her main concern — the fight against “Iran’s other bad actions” must continue, she says. Daily Beast: 

“I think this is an important step that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear programs,” she concluded, “and it will enable us to turn our attention, as it must, to doing what we can with other partners in the region and beyond to try to prevent and contain Iran’s other bad actions.”

Clinton has already indicated to her rich friends in the lobby that she is going to oppose any effort to condemn Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

That is one of the big payoffs of the Iran deal for those of us in the growing movement for justice in Israel/Palestine. It will remove a huge distraction that Israel has used for years to justify the occupation: the “existential threat” of Iran. Now more and more people will be able to look at the real problem, the fact that half the people Israel rules over have second class citizenship or no rights at all, because they’re not Jewish, and this situation has become a giant grievance across the Arab and Muslim world. That is something Americans need to talk about. The Iran deal makes that conversation more likely.

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James North and Philip Weiss
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99 Responses

  1. hophmi
    hophmi
    July 15, 2015, 1:46 pm

    This bears out exactly what I said on another thread. Most people here don’t care about Iran’s antisemitism, its support of terrorism and the killing of Jews abroad. They like this deal because Iran opposes Israel. You’re really the flipside of extreme critics of the deal like Netanyahu, who opposes the deal because he fears Iran will threaten Israel, even though the deal addresses only Iran’s nuclear program. You love the deal not because it does anything about Iran’s nuclear program, but because it emboldens an enemy of Israel (and of the United States).

    That’s why you quote Iranian state media here, downplay obvious expressions of Iranian antisemitism and its opposition, not just to occupation, but to Israel’s existence altogether, and generally evince little care for the lives of the Jews that Iran threatens, let alone the lives of human rights activists inside Iran that the regime threatens. You’ve mortgaged your morality to a group of religious fanatics. You could, of course, issue criticism of the regime, and affirm that you don’t support its arming of terrorist organizations, its killing of Jews abroad, its killing of others abroad, its killing of gays and human rights activists internally, but you don’t. And that’s a moral disaster for you.

    • Donald
      Donald
      July 15, 2015, 2:50 pm

      Many people, including Iranians or so I gather, are hopeful that this deal will weaken the power of the theocrats by allowing more people in Iran to prosper. The right-wingers in Iran thrive off having enemies, just as Netanyahu does. I welcome this agreement if it means they can no longer make excuses for their own repressive actions based on Western sanctions and hostility. I also welcome the end of the cruel sanctions, which you left off your list of things which hurt Iranians .

      But yes, Iran has a bad human rights record. This agreement may be a step towards bringing a better life for its people.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      July 15, 2015, 3:01 pm

      @hophmi

      You could, of course, issue criticism of the regime, and affirm that you don’t support its arming of the terrorist settlers, its killing of foreign citizens and scientists abroad, its killing of others abroad, its killing of human rights activists internally, it’s slaughter of defenseless Palestinians including women, children and babies, it’s internal racist apartheid, segregation, it’s violations of international law, it’s violations of international humanitarian law, it’s ongoing theft of land and property of others, it’s continuous calls for war to be waged against it’s neighbours and it’s refusal to accept peace, it’s undeclared nuclear arsenal, it’s testing of new weapons systems on an unarmed civilian populace. but you don’t.

      And that’s a total moral disaster for you.

      The Iranian regime may or may not be what you claim but Israel is viewing it from the bottom of the gutter.

      • Amar
        Amar
        July 15, 2015, 5:25 pm

        Well Said!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 16, 2015, 6:36 pm

        Ah, Hophmi, this is indeed progress! You’ve dropped the charge of “etc” against Iran. You are, as I thought, unable to substantiate your charge Iran doing “etc.”
        Good thing, too, The thought of a bunch of Iranians going around “etc”ing all over the place made me nervous.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 17, 2015, 6:00 am

        Dropping the charge doesn’t mean they are not guilty of etc. Those guys have got beards and funny headgear, so they must be guilty of something.

    • annie
      annie
      July 15, 2015, 3:29 pm

      hops, your first paragraph just reads like a hasbrats wet dream. let’s start at the beginning:

      1. Most people here don’t care about Iran’s antisemitism

      this is an historic deal — a story of possible reprochment after decades. so, to quote myself quoting someone else http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/misrepresents-synagogue-changed#comment-781065

      A black administrator at Ocean Hill-Brownsville was more blunt: “We have more things to be concerned about than making anti-Semitism a priority.”

      iow, i’d have to agree with you here, most people are not going to focused on what you call “iran’s antisemitism”. in fact it seems rather off topic considering what’s being covered in the deal.

      2. its support of terrorism

      well, they are fighting isis. so that’s a plus. i’m not sure many americans are that in tune w/this alleged “terrrorism” other than having our press repeat the war mongers all the time.

      3. and the killing of Jews abroad

      what killing of jews abroad? you mean like israel killing iranian scientists? i guess i am not that familiar with iran killing jews abroad. and if i’m not i can’t imagine many people are.

      4. They like this deal because Iran opposes Israel.

      there’s actually a lot of meat surrounding this deal. a lot that could be good for the US and iran. plus, the probability america would eventually be isolated by pressuring for the continuation of sanctions as the world would not agree. so rather than being the global bully for israel’s benefit, this is a good deal for america. i really doubt most people who like this deal, including people here, their #1 reason is not “because Iran opposes Israel”. that’s just ad hominem hasbara, demonizing your opponent and makes you sound like a poor whining loser.

      5. You’re really the flipside of extreme critics of the deal like Netanyahu

      yawn

      6. who opposes the deal because he fears Iran will threaten Israel

      you should try to keep up w/the experts. this has to do with regional power. even AIE said iran using a nuke is not their primary worry, it’s them not using it. israel wants to be the regional boss and this weakens their power. even netanyahu knows this.

      7. You love the deal not because it does anything about Iran’s nuclear program, but because it emboldens an enemy of Israel

      see 4. this is just a repeat in more colorful language.

      8. (and of the United States).

      you think we like the deal because it emboldens an enemy of the united states. ok, you’re calling us all traitors. could you sink any lower hops? you’re really digressing.

      go take a nap. is this all you got? your second paragraph is just a repeat of the first. just sappy accusatory ad homimens.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        July 15, 2015, 3:35 pm

        “most people are not going to focused on what you call “iran’s antisemitism”. in fact it seems rather off topic considering what’s being covered in the deal.”

        Surely you know by now, Annie, that ”antisemitism” is NEVER off topic for Hophmi!

      • Penfold
        Penfold
        July 15, 2015, 3:44 pm

        I am somewhat amused that a person who’s allegiance is to a country other than his own could call anyone a traitor.

        On the bright side the benefits of this deal are already beginning to show:

        http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/07/benjamin-netanyahu-iran-nuclear-deal-inspection-clauses.html

        Hopefully this is a promise he will carry through on, but I suspect he will content himself by teaching those Iranians a lesson and building some more settlements.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 15, 2015, 4:05 pm

        “We have more things to be concerned about than making anti-Semitism a priority”

        OK. I mean, I guess this is what people said about the Munich Agreement too, but fair enough.

        “well, they are fighting isis.”

        And arming Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad.

        “what killing of jews abroad?”

        Bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Argentina. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMIA_bombing

        “there’s actually a lot of meat surrounding this deal. a lot that could be good for the US and iran. ”

        It could be. It might not be. But what’s Mondoweiss’s interest in it? Mondoweiss is interested in it because Iran is an enemy of Israel. Has Mondoweiss offered an in-depth analysis of why it’s good for the United States?

        “you should try to keep up w/the experts”

        Arms control experts like it. Security experts don’t like it. Which ones should I keep up with?

        “you think we like the deal because it emboldens an enemy of the united states. ok, you’re calling us all traitors. ”

        Not at all. You tend to like things that cut against American power and you certain can’t argue that you don’t like things that cut against Israeli power. I’ve been called a traitor many times here for supporting a strong US-Israel relationship. I’m not aware of your calling anyone out on it. So save it.

        Notice I haven’t given my own view on the agreement. You think you know what it is, I’m sure. I’m more interested in why Mondoweiss is so in favor of it. Here, it appears to support the deal because it “puts pressure on Israel’s occupation.”

      • annie
        annie
        July 15, 2015, 5:21 pm

        I guess this is what people said about the Munich Agreement too, but fair enough.

        fair, like why not throw in a little nazi comparison to spice up the comments. iow it’s fairplay to compare the current zionist regime to hitler’s germany. sure hops, if you want to go there.

        “well, they are fighting isis.”

        And arming Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad.

        and we arm the nazis in israel.

        you let me know what fairplay is and i’ll play along. not a problem. just kidding!

      • annie
        annie
        July 15, 2015, 5:34 pm

        Bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Argentina. link to en.wikipedia.org
        hops, aside from this:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMIA_bombing

        Argentina had been targeted by Iran after Buenos Aires’ decision to suspend a nuclear technology transfer contract to Tehran.[10] This has been disputed because the contract was never terminated, and Iran and Argentina were negotiating on restoration of full cooperation on all agreements from early 1992 until 1994, when the bombing occurred.[11]

        can you explain to me why this should be considered a ‘big deal’ to americans 20 years down the road when israel slaughtered over 20 times this many civilians last summer? i’m not quite grasping why who killed these particular 85 deaths are relevant today in light of all the grass mowing that’s gone on since then.

        can you point to any other examples of alleged iranian ‘killing of jews abroad’ other than this?

        also, just out of curiosity does anyone know who had an interest in terminating the contract between Iran and Argentina? because i’m no expert but it seems as tho that party (if there was one) might have interest in blowing up the AMIA. somebody’s probably already thought of that so please excuse me if that’s a no brainer.

      • July 15, 2015, 4:34 pm

        Still trying to blame the killing of Jews in Argentina that took place over 20 years ago on Iran hophmi? That is such an absurd assertion that even the most hard core Zionist flacks are backing away from that one.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 15, 2015, 4:36 pm

        Giles- au contraire. after the murder of the prosecutor in argentina, no one’s backing down. tehran did it.

      • annie
        annie
        July 15, 2015, 5:11 pm

        oh pllllease yonah.

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 15, 2015, 4:49 pm

        The death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman in Argentina is indeed suspicious, but the guilty parties are probably not the ones you suppose. Guest Column–Washington Works To Overthrow Argentine Government:

        The Guardian published an article on January 27, 2015, which reported that Alberto Nisman’s death «follows a protracted struggle» between the Argentinean government and Argentina’s key «intelligence agency that has come to light after the suspicious death of Nisman, which the president blames on rogue spies who are trying to undermine her.» [8] Some key points to be noted from the report include the following:

        –Government officials have pointed the finger of blame at spies whom they say were working with Nisman and feeding him wiretap information.

        –Chief among them is Antonio Stiuso, who until last month was the general director of operations and eavesdropped on the president’s political opponents. He was fired when Fernández discovered he was working with Nisman to build a case against her. He is believed to be in the US.

        –In her televised address – which she made in a wheelchair after a recent accident – Fernández also criticized Diego Lagomarsino, who was charged on Monday with illegally lending a firearm to Nisman. [9]

        What the above points allude to is that Argentine internal security and intelligence operatives have been working to topple their own government. Additionally, Antonio Stiuso and Nisman were secretly working on establishing a case to remove Kirchner from power.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        July 15, 2015, 4:57 pm

        Apart from the fact that the forensics dont’ add up – see the work of Gareth Porter on this – at the time of the bombings, Iran was actively seeking out better relations with Argentina. So the idea that Iran was behind the bombings is highly unlikely, though I suspect that as the hissy fits over the nuclear deal reach boiling point, we’re going to hear this old tale rehashed with mind-numbing regularity.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        July 15, 2015, 5:04 pm

        “Security experts don’t like it.”

        What is a ‘security expert’ and how does one become one? You’ve already admitted that ‘arms control experts’ are happy with the deal, so what do these ‘security experts’ know that the former don’t?

        From what I can see, the ONLY people opposing this deal are shills for Israel and/or its new buddies, the polygamous sheikhs of the Gulf.

        “Notice I haven’t given my own view on the agreement. You think you know what it is, I’m sure. ”

        OH come now, hops, don’t be coy!

        “I’m more interested in why Mondoweiss is so in favor of it.”

        Pretty much EVERYONE, other than fans of some of the shittiest regimes on earth, is in favour of this deal. It’s that rarity in world affairs – a win-win, achieved without a single shot being fired. I understand that the very concept is baffling for an apologist for an intrinsically violent regime for whom negotiation is a sign of weakness before one’s racial inferiors. But there you have it.

      • July 15, 2015, 5:28 pm

        Yonah.

        Hell, even the Sixty Minutes report on this a few months ago showed that accusation to be absurd and lack any evidence.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 15, 2015, 7:52 pm

        “And arming Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad.”

        Hezbollah and Assad are fighting against ISIS.
        The US is arming the “moderate” enemies of Assad.
        These “moderate” enemies make common cause with ISIS.
        The US is fighting against ISIS.
        The US supports Israel.
        Israel is acting against Assad and in support of ISIS.
        Hamas opposes Israel.
        ISIS opposes Hamas.

        So is arming Hezbollah,Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad a good thing or a bad thing?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 15, 2015, 7:54 pm

        Giles, Yonah and hophmi don’t need any evidence beyond the scary beards to know that the Iranians are guilty of etc.

        Very guilty indeed.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 16, 2015, 1:30 pm

        “and we arm the nazis in israel.”

        Actually, I didn’t make any Nazi comparison. You did. Munich isn’t just about the Nazis. It’s about what happens when people negotiate from a position of weakness. But congrats on finding a way, once again, to offensive compare Nazis and their victims.

        Here’s another attack in Argentina that has been linked to Iran. I know it’s really, really difficult for you to accept that Iran does indeed fund international terrorism (even though President Obama and most people living in the real world accept it). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_attack_on_Israeli_embassy_in_Buenos_Aires

      • annie
        annie
        July 16, 2015, 1:53 pm

        I know it’s really, really difficult for you to accept that Israel does indeed fund international terrorism. see how easy that was?

        “has been linked to iran”. this means nothing. netanyahu has linked the BDS movement to 9/11! ‘has been linked’ is hasbara for ‘we can connect iran to anything.

        Actually, I didn’t make any Nazi comparison…Munich isn’t just about the Nazis.

        it’s very much about Nazis (Hitler specifically), don’t try cherry picking out of a slice of the pie and act like you didn’t cut the pie. i’m just giving you a taste of your own medicine. congrats on finding a way, once again, to use jewish victimhood to bash iran and guilt trip every entity involved in this deal.

        #FAIL. you wanna go there? don’t shift the responsibility here.

      • eljay
        eljay
        July 16, 2015, 2:20 pm

        || hophmi: … Munich isn’t just about the Nazis. It’s about what happens when people negotiate from a position of weakness. … ||

        And don’t the Palestinians, in their position of weakness, know it!

        || I know it’s really, really difficult for you to accept that Iran does indeed fund international terrorism … ||

        So what you’re saying is that Israel and Iran are birds of a feather…except for the fact that Iran doesn’t have nukes. And isn’t occupying and colonizing territory outside of its borders.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        July 16, 2015, 3:51 pm

        “Here’s another attack in Argentina that has been linked to Iran. ”

        As Annie said ‘has been linked’ means sweet FA. There are many people with a very strong incentive to ‘link’ Iran with every lost puppy dog or stolen telephone anywhere in the world, but unless you can come up with hard evidence (linking to Wiki doesn’t count) the ‘link’ means very little.

        “But congrats on finding a way, once again, to offensive compare Nazis and their victims. ”

        A nation state cannot be a ‘victim’. Especially given that Israel didn’t exist at the time of the Nazis. Hardly anyone alive in Israel today was a victim of the Nazis. You’ll find far more victims of the Nazis in Poland or Russia than you will in Israel. This grasping at perpetual vicarious victimhood is utterly pathetic.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 17, 2015, 11:12 am

        ” know it’s really, really difficult for you to accept that Israel does indeed fund international terrorism. see how easy that was?”

        No, I don’t. It’s untrue. The Israelis are the victims of terrorism. You legitimize the killing of civilians when you adopt the talking points of terrorist organizations as you do here.

        “i’m just giving you a taste of your own medicine. ”

        No, Annie, you’re not. You’re being obtuse.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 21, 2015, 1:27 pm

        “In other words, you do not have an explanation. You do not know of any chain of reasoning. You simply repeat without thought.”

        No, RoHa, I’ve just been at this long enough to know that when people want to debate whether the Holocaust happened, it’s not worth dignifying them, because usually, their reasons have nothing to do with logic or rationality, but with hate. In the United States, Holocaust denial is the province of neo-Nazis; it’s their thing.

        I’ve also followed your commentary long enough to know that you’re the kind of person who looks at the history of Jewish persecution in Europe and says that Jews must have done something to deserve it, which I find abhorrent.

        Unfortunately, these guys seem to pop up in pro-Palestinian circles. I remember years ago when Robert Fisk spoke at the Ethical Culture Society in New York, a collection of these lowlifes showed up, including the guy who edits the Reporters Notebook website, an old website dedicated to Holocaust denial, and another one who describes himself as a diplomatic historian. They spent the night whispering to one another about the “J’s.” I sat right next to them at the lecture and listened to all of this.

        There are plenty of sites on the web that engage in Holocaust denial, and just about every one of them also engages in anti-Jewish hatred and ties the Holocaust denial to their anti-Jewish hatred. Sometimes they pop up here (Rense was linked last week AGAIN).

        You’re free to use Google if you’re not well-informed about the matter.

      • Keith
        Keith
        July 21, 2015, 5:49 pm

        HOPHMI- “…Holocaust denial is the province of neo-Nazis….”

        Well, I suppose that may depend upon what, exactly, constitutes Holocaust denial. Some include in the definition of “Holocaust denial” what is referred to as the trivialization of the Holocaust, which may include such things as comparing the killing of the six million with the death of perhaps 60 million non-Jews during World War II. This is considered to be trivializing. Or to the death of about 6 million Black Africans in the East Congo attributed to the Paul Kegame regime in furtherance of Western corporate objectives. Kegame, in fact, a Zionist favorite erroneously credited with saving lives in Rwanda. Since the 6 million Blacks did not constitute a genocide, comparing totals could be construed as a form of Holocaust denial and prosecuted in those countries where such laws exist. Or the comparison of the Holocaust with any other historical case of mass murder. Interestingly, if one considers all incidents of mass murder to be a “holocaust,” then the ranters and ravers about Holocaust denial would be the biggest deniers of historical holocausts. It should be noted that Norman Finkelstein is frequently falsely and maliciously labelled a “Holocaust denier,” because of his book “The Holocaust Industry,” in which he documents the exploitation of the Holocaust by Zionists for political and economic advantage.

        One of the more curious aspects of this notion of Holocaust denial is that among the general population, the extent of knowledge about the World War II Holocaust and the number 6 million is probably one of the best known historical events. I would wager that if one were to survey US high school seniors in regards to World War II deaths, many more would be aware of the 6 million Jews than the 20 plus million Soviets. Use of the term “Holocaust denial,” like eternal and irrational anti-Semitism, is primarily an unjustifiable act of intimidation by a powerful group against those who get in their way. Now be honest, Hophmi, do you really think Norman Finkelstein is a Holocaust denier?

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 21, 2015, 11:07 pm

        It’s probably a good idea to have a reasonable definition. The definition that some here try to shove down our throats, is that any criticizm of dogma, is denial. There is a youtube of Norman quoting his Mother. Paraphrasing: With so many holocaust survivors…who died?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 22, 2015, 12:59 am

        Good! You do have a chain of reasoning. A genuine inductive argument.

        1. All the Holocaust deniers I know are anti-Semites.
        2. Therefore it is reasonable to believe that other Holocaust deniers will be anti-Semites.

        The force of this argument is vitiated by the fact that in the hophmiverse almost everyone (and certainly anyone who is in any way critical of Jews or Israel) is an anti-Semite, and so it is almost impossible for a Holocaust denier to avoid being an anti-Semite, but it is an argument nonetheless.

        Of course, it does not establish a logical connection between Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, and that is what I was asking for, but I am grateful for receiving a coherent answer.

    • Kris
      Kris
      July 15, 2015, 3:33 pm

      Hophmi, people’s BEHAVIOR influences the way others feel about them. Just saying.

    • Dutch
      Dutch
      July 15, 2015, 5:10 pm

      @ Hophmi on antisemitism

      Over the last six months I visited Iran several times. Among other things, I spent time with its Jewish inhabitants, and visited their shrines (e.g. Daniel, Esther). Being a Jew myself I talked at great length about their life in Iran, and their wish not to move to Israel.

      You write about Iranian antisemitism. You must know things that I don’t, things I missed, misinterpreted or was falsely informed about by my fellow-Jews.

      As I am preparing for my next trip, please explain me, Master, where have I gone wrong? How come I missed this obvious antisemitism?

      • MRW
        MRW
        July 15, 2015, 5:15 pm

        ✔✔✔

      • catalan
        catalan
        July 15, 2015, 5:20 pm

        “As I am preparing for my next trip, please explain me, Master, where have I gone wrong? – ” Dutch
        Here is a rule of thumb – if the country you visit deems Facebook a security threat, you might want to listen to what its citizens say about their lives with a grain of salt. Any country.
        Another thing – watch for unwarranted enthusiasm about the political system. Thus, I doubt that Parisians or Berliners would lavish tons of praise about their country or government…
        As the adage goes, if it is too good to be true…

      • John O
        John O
        July 15, 2015, 6:56 pm

        @catalan

        I lived in Spain towards the end of the Franco regime. Spoke openly with my Spanish friends about the evil of Fascism, the benefits of democracy, the role of trade unions. Got kicked on the shins a couple of times when I said things in places where the walls had ears. But, basically, from my own experience I have no reason to doubt what Dutch says.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        July 15, 2015, 7:19 pm

        Yeah catalan. Like the guy Israel just imprisoned for 17 months for a Facebook post?

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/sentences-palestinian-facebook

        In order for you guys to stage your ever-so-tired, “the distnction is SO obvious even YOU should be able to grasp it…” act, the distinction actually has to be, you know, obvious.

      • just
        just
        July 15, 2015, 7:39 pm

        +1, ritzl!

      • just
        just
        July 15, 2015, 7:44 pm

        What a great comment and share, Dutch! Thank you.

        (I’m looking forward to hophmi’s answer)

      • catalan
        catalan
        July 15, 2015, 8:31 pm

        “Yeah catalan. Like the guy Israel just imprisoned for 17 months for a Facebook post? – ” ritzl
        We are discussing how wonderful Iran is and how we should be best friends with them. I am noticing their prohibition of Facebook and Twitter, gentle penal code, public executions, and other wonderful features worthy of emulating. You bring up Israel, Saudi, China, etc. Why all the whataboutery; the deflection; the insecurity?
        Be best friends with them and while at it, Google videos of their public hangings, there is one where a guy is fighting with the executioners, a bunch of kids are watching. Humane, liberal progressive stuff.

      • annie
        annie
        July 15, 2015, 11:14 pm

        Here is a rule of thumb – if the country you visit deems Facebook a security threat, you might want to listen to what its citizens say about their lives with a grain of salt. Any country.

        catalan, have you read The IDF is monitoring what Israeli citizens say on Facebook:
        http://972mag.com/the-idf-is-monitoring-what-israeli-citizens-say-on-facebook/108904/

        and then they arrest them..palestinians mostly tho. trigger words, protest, al quds etc.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        July 16, 2015, 12:45 am

        @catalan

        “We are discussing how wonderful Iran is and how we should be best friends with them. I am noticing their prohibition of Facebook and Twitter, gentle penal code, public executions, and other wonderful features worthy of emulating. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/israels-pressure-occupation#comment-149917

        For once I tend to agree with you. Iran is not a country worth emulating. All countries have flaws but I’m glad many countries don’t emulate Iran.

        Now if only Israel could reduce the level of it’s state criminality, it’s barbarity and human rights violations to that level the middle east would be a kinder, gentler place. But that’s not going to happen is it. The racist majority in Israel is enjoying running amok and wreaking havoc on those they consider to be lesser beings.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        July 16, 2015, 4:41 pm

        Dutch: Your trouble is that you don’t listen to enough Zionist propaganda. Write out a hundred times: “The Iranian regime persecutes Jews.”

        Seriously, there is a religious community that really is persecuted in Iran — the Bahais. Unlike Judaism and Christianity, which are officially recognized religions with representatives in the parliament, Bahai is anathematized despite its origin as a sect within Islam.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 16, 2015, 5:28 pm

        20,000 Jews in Iran. Israel offers 5 figures to anyone who leaves and goes to Israel. Few takers.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 17, 2015, 5:40 am

        “Bahai is anathematized despite its origin as a sect within Islam. ”

        Not quite a sect. Baha’i is anathematized because it claims to supersede Islam. A fundamental claim of Islam is that it is the final revelation, and Muhammad is the final law-giving prophet. Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism are held to be distorted interpretations of the messages of earlier prophets. (Other regions were either even more distorted or just mistakes.)

        But Baha’i says that Muhammad was the last of the first series of prophets, and that, even though the Qur’an has not been corrupted, the spirit of the message has been lost. It puts Islam in the same category as the previous, outmoded, religions. This gets up the noses of the orthodox no end.

        Many orthodox even deny that Ahmadiyyahs (whether Qaidani or Lahori) are Muslims, on the grounds that Ghulam Mirza Ahmed claimed to be a minor, non-law-giving, prophet.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 17, 2015, 11:20 am

        “As I am preparing for my next trip, please explain me, Master, where have I gone wrong? How come I missed this obvious antisemitism?”

        Sure. Next time, instead of asking people who live in an antisemitic dictatorial police state what they think of it, ask some of the people who have left, and are no longer under that constraint. There are plenty of them in the United States. Maybe you can travel back in 1939 and ask German Jews in Berlin what they think of the Nazi regime. Or maybe ask the North Koreans what they think of Kim Jong Il. I bet they love him.

        Meanwhile here’s an op-ed from someone who speaks Farsi and understands what Iranian leaders actually tell their people. http://www.jewishjournal.com/iranianamericanjews/item/transformation_of_anti-semitism_in_iran_beyond_todays_headlines

        Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held an entire conference dedicated to Holocaust denial. The regime hasn’t disavowed those views; they’ve affirmed them. So I think I’m on solid ground here when I say that the regime is antisemitic.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 17, 2015, 11:50 am

        Look at this…someone new is inhabiting Hophi’s body, too.
        New guy…did he quit, get fired or is he just on vacation?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 18, 2015, 1:23 am

        “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held an entire conference dedicated to Holocaust denial. The regime hasn’t disavowed those views; they’ve affirmed them. So I think I’m on solid ground here when I say that the regime is antisemitic.”

        Can someone please explain to me why Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic? I simply do not understand why denying that a group were slaughtered or otherwise persecuted implies hatred of that group. What is the chain of reasoning?

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 18, 2015, 9:35 am

        It isn’t. There is no missing link.
        It is simply a hysterical reaction (but calculated by some) by those who don’t want a full forensic examination…of every detail…including every person. If we don’t get a full understanding, we don’t get closure…and so the monster never dies. Manipulators of civilizations like that.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 20, 2015, 12:39 pm

        “Can someone please explain to me why Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic?”

        Honestly, Roha, if you need an explanation, then you’ve got much bigger problems.

      • annie
        annie
        July 20, 2015, 1:32 pm

        why not just answer clearly.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 20, 2015, 12:53 pm

        “20,000 Jews in Iran. Israel offers 5 figures to anyone who leaves and goes to Israel. Few takers.”

        Before the Revolution, the population was over 100,000. So I don’t think that Jews generally find Iran a great place for them. Israel has, by far, the largest population of Persian Jews in the world.

        The 20,000 figure may not be accurate either. According to 2012 census, there are around 8700 Jews left in Iran.

        It may well be that Iranian Jews feel insulted by financial incentives to leave, but they may also reject them out of fear. In 1998, Jewish businessman Ruhollah Kadkhodah-Zadeh was hanged in prison without a public charge or legal proceeding, apparently for assisting Jews to emigrate. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jul/12/israel.iran

        One of the first things that the Ayatollahs did after the Revolution was execute the leader of the Jewish community, Haji Habib Elghanian, after a sham trial.

        It is beyond dispute that Jews in Iran are at best second-class citizens, though they fare much better than the Ba’hai, who are not recognized as a minority faith.

        Jews in Iran are subject to sharia law, and unable to hold senior leadership positions.

        http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/wake_up_america_learn_from_the_iranian_jewish_tragedy_in_iran

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 21, 2015, 12:04 am

        Shah is deposed and most of the Jews flee the country. Most of the non-Jewish supporters of the Shah, flee, too.
        Why do you think that is?

      • catalan
        catalan
        July 20, 2015, 1:52 pm

        “Can someone please explain to me why Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic? – ” RoHa
        Actually, it is not. I am very open to the idea that the European Jews were not killed off. The question is – where did they go? For instance, in Thesaloniki now, there are less than one thousand Jews. What happened to the hundred thousand Greek Jews who lived there in 1942? In Skopie, there were 12 thousand – now almost none. Where are the descendants of these people? Or, is someone aware of a secret community of 300 thousand Hungarian Jews?
        Nothing would make me happier than finding out that the Jews of Hungary arrived somewhere else than the camps and had many kids and grandkids.
        I have perused all the Holocaust denial sites, and that is the one question that they just don’t answer – where are these people?
        But I agree, there is nothing inherently antisemitic denying the Holocaust. It’s also not anti-Russian to deny that many Russians died in WW2. The American victims in WW2 may also be fake for all we know. Perhaps no Americans died in the war. Perhaps the white Austrialans didn’t kill and torture the aborigines either. There was perhaps no famine and Bengal and it is not anti Indian to suggest that Indians fabricated the stories.
        All of history may be one big fabrication – it has all been love and kindness.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 20, 2015, 7:20 pm

        “Honestly, Roha, if you need an explanation, then you’ve got much bigger problems. ”

        In other words, you do not have an explanation. You do not know of any chain of reasoning. You simply repeat without thought.

      • Keith
        Keith
        July 20, 2015, 9:50 pm

        HOPHMI- “Before the Revolution, the population was over 100,000. So I don’t think that Jews generally find Iran a great place for them.”

        Had it much better under the Shah, did they? Makes sense, what with Israel’s support for the Shah and his secret police the SAVAK, which Israel helped train. Always nice to be associated with a wonderful guy like the Shah! Perhaps they were overcome with depression when their patron was overthrown?

      • Keith
        Keith
        July 20, 2015, 9:57 pm

        CATALAN- “Here is a rule of thumb – if the country you visit deems Facebook a security threat, you might want to listen to what its citizens say about their lives with a grain of salt.”

        Facebook, Twitter and all social media ARE a security threat for Iran which has to defend itself against US inspired and directed color revolutions. The internet and social media have resulted in a quantum leap in imperial soft power. Of course, for an empire Jew propagandist, that is a good thing.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 21, 2015, 3:56 am

        @CigarGod

        And why is there a comma after “Shah”?

      • catalan
        catalan
        July 21, 2015, 11:44 am

        “for an empire Jew propagandist,” Keith
        I like being an empire Jew. It sure beats being a Bulgarian Jew. By the way, my son’s girlfriend is Native American. He is only two and a half, but I have a feeling he will surpass me in that department too. You see Keith, my son is the real empire Jew. I am a peasant, still, from Sofia, the old Serdica, Justinian’s birthplace. Now that was an emperor. Are you a fan of the East Roman Empire? The Persian one? Or you just dislike all empires?

      • Keith
        Keith
        July 21, 2015, 4:06 pm

        CATALAN- “Or you just dislike all empires?”

        All empires, with the current global corporate/financial (American led) empire at the top of the list. Empires and Republics are incompatible.

      • catalan
        catalan
        July 21, 2015, 4:37 pm

        Keith,
        You dislike the current world order. Is there any society, past or present, that embodies your ideals, at least partially?

      • Keith
        Keith
        July 21, 2015, 6:07 pm

        CATALAN- “You dislike the current world order. Is there any society, past or present, that embodies your ideals, at least partially?”

        I don’t find it useful to search in the past for some sort of ideal society. I am aware of how things are now, where we seem to be headed versus where we ought to be headed. We should be moving as rapidly as possible towards maximizing local autonomy and a sustainable society. In stead, we are rapidly locking the entire planet into a global matrix of corporate/financial control which is unsustainable. And a dystopia for the 99% in any event. Giving you the benefit of the doubt that you really care what I think, you can, of course, go to my commenter profile and click the link to my blogspot which contains about 40 mini essays on topics which interest me, only one of which involves the Middle East.

      • catalan
        catalan
        July 21, 2015, 10:39 pm

        “Giving you the benefit of the doubt that you really care what I think, you can, of course, go to my commenter profile. – ” Keith
        I will be happy to do so. Of course I am interested. I do not have the worldview; but I like to gain understanding.

      • MRW
        MRW
        July 25, 2015, 5:08 am

        Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held an entire conference dedicated to Holocaust denial. The regime hasn’t disavowed those views; they’ve affirmed them. So I think I’m on solid ground here when I say that the regime is antisemitic.

        No, you’re not. You’re out to lunch. Ahmadinejad DID NOT have a conference dedicated to Holocaust denial. He had a Holocaust conference, and guess who showed up? Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis from the US, Brooklyn specifically.

        So park it, bub. You think we’re idiots or misinformed. STFU.

      • MRW
        MRW
        July 25, 2015, 2:13 pm

        @hophmi, July 20, 2015, 12:53 pm

        I don’t know what hole you pull things out of, but you need to be corrected for the record.

        Jews in Iran are subject to sharia law, and unable to hold senior leadership positions.

        No. You’re wrong. Iran’s sole Jewish lawmaker heads to UN with president.

        This is just conjecture on your part.

        The 20,000 figure may not be accurate either. According to 2012 census, there are around 8700 Jews left in Iran.

        Wrong again. An estimated 20,000 Jews in Iran. From November, 2014: AP report: Iran’s Jewish population finds new acceptance by officials. “Those taking part in the recent Yazd pilgrimage to the tomb of a famed Jewish scholar, however, praised the Iranian government’s new outreach. “We’ve gathered here to pray and celebrate our Jewishness,” Kohan said. “We are proud that we freely practice our religion.”

        Making this up as you go along, automatic victimhood:

        It is beyond dispute that Jews in Iran are at best second-class citizens, though they fare much better than the Ba’hai, who are not recognized as a minority faith.

        From the same World Jewish Congress article (AP) I just linked to: “We were fearful in the 1980s. We were feeling the pressure. Now, we are not concerned anymore. We feel secure and enjoy freedoms,” said Mahvash Kohan, a female Jewish pilgrim who came to Yazd from Shiraz. “In the past, Israel and others were providing incentives such as housing that lured some Jews. Now, it’s not like that. And Iranian Jews have better living and working conditions in Iran. So, no one is willing to leave now.”

      • MRW
        MRW
        July 25, 2015, 2:29 pm

        I mixed up the last two links in my reply to Hophmi about Iran (some cut-and-paste thing, and because both stories appear to be the same. I dunno’.)

        Here they are, for the record:

        “AP report: Iran’s Jewish population finds new acceptance by officials”
        http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/news/ap-report-iran-s-jewish-population-finds-new-acceptance-by-officials

        “In Iran, Mideast’s largest Jewish population outside Israel finds new acceptance by officials”
        http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/11/26/in-iran-mideast-largest-jewish-population-outside-israel-finds-new-acceptance/

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      July 15, 2015, 11:47 pm

      I do care about antisemitism. I hate it. But I also hate those people who use this card to get away with caarrying out despicable acts against other human being on the ground of religion,DNA,tribal attachments

      The antisemitism card is the flip side of the “holocaust card”
      In 2006 ,Orthodox community in upstae New York compared the investigation of the community leaders to the memory of Holocaust (The alleged crime was money laundering and siphoning off money to Yusheva)

      Donald Neff who wrote on the daily experinces of young Palestine children in Israeli prison was ignored and then criticized by the Jewish establishment in the TIMES as figment or mistake .Why? The answer was “it can’
      t be happening in Israeli prison,for thats what the Nazi did to Jews in Germany during Holocaust”. That was before 1980 .Since then it has got much worst insdie and outside prison.

      Iran has been subjected to extreme sanctions for crimes that are committed on a daily basis by Israel .
      Israel has accused other nations including Iran of harboring antisemitic intent while it itself has engaged in similar behaviors against the Arabs and the Iranians for last 30 yrs .
      Its a bizarro world where word becomes more important and serious than the actual deed that incorporates the very same idea enshrined in the words .

  2. Blownaway
    Blownaway
    July 15, 2015, 1:58 pm

    Blackmail and payoff
    U.S. President Barack Obama has offered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediate talks to upgrade the Israel Defense Forces’ offensive and defensive capabilities in the wake of the deal on Iran’s nuclear program, a senior U.S. official told Haaretz

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      July 15, 2015, 11:54 pm

      DEnnis Ross is advising Charile Rose how Obama can address Israeli concerns and mollify various Israeli firster blocks within US. His suggestion is that Obama should team up with Israel to monitor Iran and team up to draw contingency plans in case Iran violates the agrremnets . Like a lost psychopath with malevolent intention against humankind , he is suggesting that this agrement might need another look to prevent Iran from “cheating on the margin” with “snapback”provision

  3. Donald
    Donald
    July 15, 2015, 2:05 pm

    Fred Kaplan makes a point which isn’t quite the same, but it’s related. Basically, Israel and Saudi Arabia want Iran isolated forever. And more than that–he says they wanted us to fight their wars for them.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2015/07/the_real_reason_israel_saudi_arabia_and_neocons_hate_the_iran_deal_they.html

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 16, 2015, 3:11 am

      @ Donald
      Kaplan hit BINGO

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      July 16, 2015, 10:50 am

      If I were one of those democracy promoting neocon , I would wear that hat at this time ,divert the discussion,and point to few developments
      -1 Iraninan citizen are hundred percent with their leaders . Its a good sign for democracy . US should focus on this aspect and encourage more involvement between political system and citizen within Iran
      – Americans overwhelmingly support something that Iranians support . This should open more people to people contact and establish dialogue between American and Iranian
      – Another point would be the secret anger of the Royals and the frustration of the Sheikhs in Arab . This shows their fear . They can’t articulate the fear . The reason they can’t articulate their concerns is the fact that no citizen ,no Arabs share their concerns . Democracy and moderates both have failed in Saudi Arab and Gulf . People in gulf welcome this ,they welcome Iran for all it potential – seeding democracy,fighting terror fighting IS and Israeli hegemony and above all Iran isn’t going to fritter away the money like Saudi or Royals do.

      But being a neocon is a disadvantage when the peace nd reconciliation break out among rivals . Neocon thrive like Israel does in an atmosphere of hate,war,terror mongering and corruption.

  4. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    July 15, 2015, 3:59 pm

    “The Iran deal makes that conversation more likely.”

    Israeli Ambassador Dermer was on Joe Scarborough this morning saying that the deal “paved the way to an atomic bomb.” What about the possibility of “paving the way” to a nuclear weapons free zone?

    Know that is a dream…but why not dream?

    Phil will you be putting a group together during the August recess to meet with Senator Schumer about the deal? He is clearly a lynch pin vote.

    Thought there was talk that the U.S. might abstain in a UN vote about Palestinian statehood?

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      July 15, 2015, 8:33 pm

      Dermer and Scarborough’s fake hysteria is most reasonably explained by their being flacks for the well-known “handful of super-wealthy individuals” who want more war.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/public-supports-groups/

      Good idea on Schumer.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        July 16, 2015, 10:28 am

        Senator Schumer has stated that he will be going through the pages of the Iran deal with a “fine tooth comb.” The very serious problem is that that “fine tooth comb” belongs to BB.

        Here is to Phil and his New York friends meeting and talking with Schumer in mass.

  5. lysias
    lysias
    July 15, 2015, 4:06 pm

    Speaking of putting pressure on people, I suspect this story was leaked from the NSA to Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept as a way of warning the Israelis how much more the U.S. could leak if they felt provoked: ISRAELI SPECIAL FORCES ASSASSINATED SENIOR SYRIAN OFFICIAL.

  6. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    July 15, 2015, 4:10 pm

    Iran has been Netanyahu’s rhetorical focus for a while and now it will not be. (“now” means after he puts up a battle for the US congress. it is not in his personality to not go all out in condemning iran and the deal in the next 60 days, if only out of momentum.) he has practically staked his career on it. i don’t know the source of the weakness of the other leaders of the likud, but i would think that those (gideon saar) who seek to replace him are thinking “this is the end of bibi”.

    i agree that obama is not going to back the french resolution. there may not even be a french resolution. the palestine issue is not destined to be part of obama’s legacy. (i don’t think.)

    the two photos of him and joe biden: obamacare and the announcement of this pact are the two significant accomplishments of his presidency. in a way obama’s negotiating posture was weakened by his lame duck status. he wanted a deal on his watch and his watch is coming to an end.

    the american people voted for obama for two reasons: the symbolism of a black man in the white house and his opposition to the war in iraq. this pact is a direct linear consequence of his opposition to the war in iraq, his dovishness.

    the consequences of the nuclear aspect of this pact will probably not be apparent for another decade or so. the turmoil of ISIS, the turmoil in Syria which is independent of ISIS and tension vis a vis Israel versus Hezbollah are “events” that will come before any nuclear tensions.

    • Walker
      Walker
      July 15, 2015, 8:04 pm

      yonah, having been against the Iraq invasion doesn’t make one a “dove”. It makes one sane.

      Don’t you agree, or do you think that act of aggression was a good idea?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 16, 2015, 3:10 am

      Obama said today he will not solve ISIS or Syria during his term. He didn’t say anything about the I-P conflict. It’s obvious Israel doesn’t want Iran competition for US interest. Netanyahu said the thing he fears most is that Iran will honor the Iran Deal. I say that’s because Iran actually has a lot more to offer all the player countries than Israel. Saudi Arabia, of course has oil. On that matter alone, Iran is #4 in oil resources.

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia
        July 16, 2015, 10:39 am

        This is exactly what Pletka of AEI told to the AEI audience . Same was reiterated by M. Kroenig of an University in Marlyland , DC area – Iran’s possession of nukes will hurt ,hamper,and contain Israeli hegemony and freehand relating to its Arab neighbors . Pletka was afraid” Its the rational behavior ‘ and not abusing the nuclear material ,that what disturbing her peace .

        A few Israeli analysts have said same . At one time Livni accused Netanhyo of hyping the nuclear threat and another minister told that nuclear possession was no threat to Israel.

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 16, 2015, 12:32 pm

        Saudi Arabia may have oil, but there could be a revolution there at any time. By opening up to Iran, America has an alternative source of oil. And a revolutionary government in Saudi Arabia (or whatever a Saudi Arabia without the Saud dynasty is called) may well be friendly to Iran. And, if Saudi Arabia splits up, the oil is in the Shiah Gulf parts.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      July 16, 2015, 4:12 am

      There is a third reason why Obama won. Those running from the other party were seen as lunatic…and big supporters of Tea Party/Zionist Israel.

  7. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    July 15, 2015, 5:22 pm

    Obama and many other leaders may have decided that Iran, ‘the devil we know’, is the only force capable of containing the barely-known and very frightening devil called Islamic State. Public opinion will be very much influenced by the prospect of increased Iranian oil exports and so of lower prices. It is perhaps not a very creditable feature of us in the West that there are few things we would not do to keep oil flowing and to keep it cheap.
    Israel is not going to be nuked by Iran in any circumstances we can even dimly foresee by the light of reason. However, if Iran becomes respectable, an ally against IS, then Iran’s proclaimed concerns about Palestine (even if there is a distinct element of cynicism, as well as an element of truth, about these proclamations) will gain respectability too and that will change the rhetorical balance in the West, maybe quite significantly.

    • lysias
      lysias
      July 16, 2015, 12:33 pm

      Just have to look at the pro-Soviet propaganda that was produced in this country while we were allied with Stalin against Hitler.

  8. lysias
    lysias
    July 15, 2015, 5:28 pm

    I just heard on the radio a report that AIPAC has come out against the agreement with Iran, and is urging Congress to vote against it.

    • July 15, 2015, 5:29 pm

      Good.

      Let them show their a$$.

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 16, 2015, 12:34 pm

        I think the reason for the day’s delay was that some in AIPAC were reluctant to join a losing side and thus expose their diminished power.

  9. Les
    Les
    July 15, 2015, 7:29 pm

    Ending the sanctions will mean that we Americans will again be able to eat Iranian pistachios as Israelis always have been able to.

  10. JWalters
    JWalters
    July 15, 2015, 8:45 pm

    “The Iran deal makes that conversation more likely.”

    Completely agree. And it will make the Likud / Zionist coverups, lies, and Alice in Wonderland absurdities more glaring. This unraveling is what Netanyahu and the big money men behind him probably fear most. The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty has now fully leaked into the internet library. As the full story emerges, might Americans eventually conclude that justice in the Middle East would be served by drone strikes on Israel’s illegal, occupying military outposts (aka “settlements”)?

  11. Kay24
    Kay24
    July 16, 2015, 1:01 am

    Unable to contain itself anymore, seems AIPAC is showing it’s ugly colors, the shades of zionism.
    They don’t give a damn about the US.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/15/aipac-reject-iran-deal_n_7804820.html

  12. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    July 16, 2015, 2:10 am

    @kay24

    That they ever cared would require a lot of facts not in evidence.

    The problem is how do you classify such a group?

    Pro-israeli?

    Hatdly. They have never shown a modicum of concern for oppressed israeli minorities.

    I am open to valid arguments but from my perspective they are just another bunch of vile racists. As if aryan nations somehow became acceptable.

  13. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    July 16, 2015, 2:33 am

    While I tend to agree with your headline, I don’t see that you make the case for it in the article. It’s an important case to be made, but I don’t see the signaling you see. Please help interpret this, because the words you write and quote don’t seem to add up to a signal, or not in any language I’m fluent with.

  14. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    July 16, 2015, 3:51 pm

    Thanks for that link, Pixel, a wonderful tool for communicating with our Conessional representatives in Tel Aviv and Greater Jerusalem.

    Sarcasm aside, a loud drumbeat from angry constituents is an approach that will turn the tide. We saw that last year when the drumbeats for war with Syria were quickly quashed by the immediate public outcry that had not been voiced by our elected representatives who were meekly accepting the need for bombing Syria. In the final analysis, they know what side their bread is buttered on. Lobby dollars and pressure only go so far. Once the American voter begins voicing disdain for Israel and its immoral policies, our representatives will quickly change their tune.

    Thanks for the link which is now bookmarked.

  15. just
    just
    July 16, 2015, 4:24 pm

    “ICC panel orders prosecutor to reconsider probe of Israel over Gaza flotilla raid

    A special panel of the International Criminal Court in The Hague ordered the court’s prosecutor on Thursday to reconsider her decision not to launch a criminal probe into Israel’s interception of a Turkish-sponsored flotilla to Gaza in May 2010.

    Ten passengers, eight of them Turkish nationals, were killed in a clash with Israeli soldiers who boarded the flotilla’s lead ship, the Mavi Marmara.

    The original complaint was submitted to the court in May 2013 by the Comoros Islands, as the Mavi Marmara was sailing under its flag. In November 2014, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda decided to close her preliminary investigation into the incident, saying there were no grounds for a full-fledged criminal probe.

    But on January 29, Comoros appealed this decision to a special pre-trial panel of the court. Its appeal was joined by families of the Turks who were killed in the raid.

    On Thursday, following a few months of deliberations, the judges ruled that Bensouda should reconsider her decision, saying it suffered from “material errors.” In particular, they said, Bensouda erred in concluding that it would be hard to indict the parties who probably bore most responsibility for any crimes committed during the raid. They said she also erred in concluding that the scale, severity and impact of the alleged crimes did not suffice to justify an ICC investigation.

    A statement released by the ICC said the panel asked Bensouda to reconsider her decision “as soon as possible” and inform the panel, the Comoros Islands and the families of her new decision.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the ICC, calling it hypocritical. “Israel Defense Forces soldiers acted in self defense when they stopped an attempt to break the naval blockade, which was implemented in keeping with international law as determined by a committee appointed by the UN Secretary General, a committee headed by a Supreme Court justice and international observers,” he said.

    “At a time when in Syria Assad is butchering multitudes of his people, and in Iran hundreds are being executed, and in Gaza Hamas uses children as human shields, the court chooses to occupy itself with Israel out of cynical, political considerations. In the face of this hypocrisy, our soldiers will continue to safeguard us and we will protect them in the international arena.

    Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a furious condemnation of the court’s decision.

    “This is an incident in which Israel acted in self-defense and in accordance with international law,” it said in a statement. “The incident was investigated by a commission headed by an Israeli Supreme Court justice that included the participation of international observers, and also by a commission set up by the UN secretary-general, both of which confirmed this.

    “It’s not clear why the court insists on devoting its resources to dealing excessively with complaints that stem from cynical political motives instead of dealing with what it was established for – the investigation of mass atrocities,” the statement continued. “Israel expects the prosecutor’s decision to remain as it is.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.666477?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Join the court, or take your lumps. All they EVER do is condemn/punish everybody but themselves. They inspire zero confidence or trust.

    • lysias
      lysias
      July 16, 2015, 4:30 pm

      “It’s not clear why the court insists on devoting its resources to dealing excessively with complaints that stem from cynical political motives instead of dealing with what it was established for – the investigation of mass atrocities,” the statement continued. “Israel expects the prosecutor’s decision to remain as it is.””

      So Israel admits the investigation of mass atrocities is thoroughly appropriate for the ICC. Like Protective Edge, or for that matter the whole years-long blockade of Gaza, something the flotilla was intended to alleviate. Maybe the ICC should take up the case, and expand it.

  16. July 16, 2015, 6:27 pm

    The only plausible objections that the Israelis could have about the Iran deal, is to question how we can punish Iran suitably for violating the terms. But Israel have consistently violated the terms of the agreement that gave them their State. They have illegally occupied the West bank, stolen the Golan Heights and cruelly blockaded Gaza with intolerable destruction and slaughter. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. Netanyahu has no credibility.

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