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Why is Wasserman Schultz, Obama’s surrogate, holding out on Iran deal?

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Last night I was gobsmacked watching Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is chair of the Democratic National Committee, say on Hardball that she doesn’t know if she is going to support President Obama on the Iran deal. (The neocon Daily Caller nailed it– “waffling”).

“Let me ask you about the deal. You in it or out of the deal now — the nuclear deal? Where are you on that?” [Chris] Matthews asked.

“I’m taking my time to really know that deal well,” Wasserman Schultz said. “I’m going to go home and talk to my constituents.”

Let’s look at Wasserman Schultz’s constituencies. She’s chair of the party– well, Democrats are for the deal by 75-17. Wasserman Schultz’s district is surely behind the deal overwhelmingly; it;’s 49 percent Hispanic and black; it voted for Obama by 62-38 percent in the last election, when Florida went for Obama by just one point.

And Wasserman Schultz is a ready and willing and able proxy for the president; according to the Almanac of American Politics, she was a campaign workhorse for Obama in the last election, doing 885 events in 31 states (and you think pols have it easy).

Yes Wasserman Schultz has a lot of Jews in her district. But as I and the liberal Zionists keep writing, American Jews are for the deal overwhelmingly, 60-40 or more.

So why is Wasserman Schultz holding out?

The answer is in a word, the Israel lobby. The Jewish community is actually deeply divided over this issue, and the Jews who care the most are actively against the deal because they are closely attuned to Israeli interests. These pro-Israel Jews are feverishly well-organized and they tend to be older and richer than the overall numbers of Jews who are for the deal (and have never been to Israel).

Those engaged Jews are the leaders of the Jewish Federations that have opposed the deal in Miami, Houston, LA and Boston, and of the leading Israel lobby group, AIPAC, which is spending as much as $40 million in national ad buys against the deal.

When the LA Federation came out against the deal, it did so by citing its deference to Israeli interests. Richard Sandler, chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, said:

“Since there was almost unanimity in Israel from the opposition and coalition government, we did not look at this as just a political issue…We looked at this as an existential issue, and as a community organization we had a responsibility to take a position on this one.”

That’s what the Israel lobby does; it sees what Israel wants and takes action accordingly. It is highly organized, and it commands a lot of money. Chris Matthews keeps saying that the Jewish community is diverse on these issues, but the lobby isn’t diverse. Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban are in different political parties, but they are two of the largest givers in our election campaigns, and Republican Adelson wants to nuke Iran and Democrat Saban wants to bomb the living daylights out of it.

As chair of the Democratic Party, Wasserman Schultz is a monster fundraiser, and has to raise a lot of money from folks like Saban. She doesn’t want to alienate them by supporting the deal.

And though J Street, the liberal Zionist group that supports the deal, is beginning to cut into that conservative older rich Jewish bloc that cares about Israel, it’s struggling. As Gabriel Erbs, a J Street board member, reports:

I’ve had 2 staffers now tell me their reps are feeling pressure from right-wing anti-deal $ and lobbyists.

Erbs is surely talking about “right wing” forces inside the Democratic Party: the Israel-right-or-wrong lobby, which transcends party.

A smart friend explains Wasserman Schultz’s calculus:

Anti-deal Jews are MUCH TOUGHER, and will be inclined to vote on the issue. For example, Dov Hikind got arrested protesting the deal at Chuck Schumer’s office, and she may not want that pain. Her seat is safe, but she’s not BELOVED. She’s also not Dianne Feinstein – who detests Netanyahu and has her own money and stature to the flip the bird and speak her mind

The same with liberal Democrat Jerry Nadler. Obama spent 20 minutes one-on-one to lobby him. Last year Nadler won with 78 percent of the vote– and he’s waffling. He doesn’t want rightwing Jews demonstrating outside his office.

And Jeffrey Goldberg, who cares deeply about maintaining an American audience, but takes almost all his positions based on what’s good for Israel, is also waffling. He keeps arguing that killing the deal won’t lead to war.

J Street is optimistic:

Jewish lawmakers now officially supporting the #IranDeal: Dianne Feinstein, Bernie Sanders, Sander Levin, Jan Schakowsky and John Yarmuth

And by the way, the great thing about the Iran deal going through over the opposition of AIPAC and the feverish Jewish community is that it is going to lead to open and vocal opposition to the lobby inside the Establishment. People are gonna speak up. Last night in his conference call Obama called out the lobbyists spending millions to kill the deal, just like they pushed the Iraq war. So ten years after I read Walt and Mearsheimer’s paper on the lobby in the LRB and declared, “It’s high noon for the Israel lobby,” it is now 10: 30 am. High noon is just around the corner.



Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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52 Responses

  1. Krauss on July 31, 2015, 12:48 pm

    Great, sweeping, overview of the situation.

    Just looking at the Atlantic article made me feel the same way as when I see articles or events with a bunch of Zionist Jews debating the merits of the 2SS – but no non/anti-Zionists allowed and certainly no Palestinians.

    Atlantic should have invited Iranians and others with a direct stake in this. But here, too, on Middle Eastern issues, there is a silent agreement that only Jewish voices count(or at the very least count a lot more).

    It’s not just the political process, the same pattern of racism is in the media too.
    It’s actually insane that we allow people who are rich and are calling for the total bombardment of a foreign nation with no reprisals or social punishment whatsoever.

    A Palestinian could use the same logic and call for the total bombardment of Israel, too, so long as it is confined to military installations. That would never get published, and even if it did, he or she would be hounded out of MSM.

    But it’s cool for Podhoretz to do just this in the WSJ and for Saban to be calling for the mass bombing of a foreign nation, which would inevitably mean a lot of civilian casualties, and still get embraced by progressive elites, whether at Brookings or at Clinton’s fundraiser.

    This whole issue has exposed a lot of latent racism in the U.S. discourse, whose voices counts, and whose don’t.

  2. annie on July 31, 2015, 1:02 pm

    it’s later than 10:30 am phil. more like 11:20.

    come to think of it, their ‘high noon’ may have already come and gone. they are on the wane already.

  3. Kay24 on July 31, 2015, 1:13 pm

    Wasserman-Schultz, like other pro Israeli supporters in Congress are torn between showing undying love for Israel, and unquestionable loyalty to their President and country.

    It is a no brainer really, but they keep making the wrong decision always.

    • JWalters on July 31, 2015, 8:30 pm

      Undying love for fat checks from a few pathological people.

    • Lillian Rosengarten on August 1, 2015, 10:45 am

      Just disgraceful! Lobbyists and their dirty money has corrupted our political system. I can not listen to a word that comes out of her mouth.

      • just on August 1, 2015, 10:55 am

        She angers me so much that I can barely look at her face, much less listen to her voice!

        (When I get emails from her, they go into the trash immediately~ not even a glance at the contents! For many sentient human beings, President Obama made a very poor choice for chair of the DNC)

  4. ivri on July 31, 2015, 4:00 pm

    Is it possible that this Iran deal will turn out to be a much bigger thing than anticipated? It now involves all the political power centers in the US in a completely equivocal way – it isn`t any more possible to blame the opposition to it on the Republicans or chase the “money-trail” (Sheldon being the common and favorite target here).
    And it`s not only the US here but also other countries are involved, are part of the deal, so it`s a global affair.
    And Obama himself is in its last effective presidency year – the election season is already beginning – and that`s no doubt a factor too.
    And then you have the wrath of Saudis – still a key US ally in the Mid-East.
    And of course you have the complicating Syria war and Turkey now part of a US plan there.
    You start to add up all that and can wonder – just whereto and how far can this saga go? It does not seem now that it will resemble the piece-of-cake Cuba move (of which this one is a replicate).
    In particular, Netanyahu, who looked like the sore looser here, may actually be up to a much bigger thing than previously estimated.

    • annie on July 31, 2015, 6:04 pm

      in your friggin dreams. it’s dead, face it. 40mil in advertising can’t turn this thing around.

      • Kay24 on July 31, 2015, 6:40 pm

        It seems the zionists have a bad record of throwing their (or is it ours?) money down the sink hole. Heh.

      • ivri on August 1, 2015, 6:04 am

        I don`t know, something is brewing here. It appears that this “Iran agreement” is really just the beginning of a process rather than a new definitive turn in it, with all kinds of meaningful developments waiting down the road. It could be a trigger for things that are bigger than what meets the eyes now.

      • annie on August 1, 2015, 11:17 am

        yep, it’s called rapprochement.

      • ivri on August 1, 2015, 1:16 pm

        Or, also: Awakening; Meeting the devils in the details; Facing realities;….

      • annie on August 1, 2015, 1:53 pm

        specifically what devils in the details might you be referring? access to the complete text of the deal is available at the link:

        blockquote please.

      • Mooser on August 1, 2015, 1:18 pm

        “I don`t know, something is brewing here…./…a trigger for things that are bigger than what meets the eyebrows now.”

        “Eenie-beenie, jellie-beanie, the spirits are about to speak!”
        “Are they friendly spirits?”
        “Friendly? Just listen…”

      • ivri on August 1, 2015, 3:49 pm

        Well, if history is a guide they must be friendly… I can remember so many ominous threats in Israel`s past that somehow didn`t come into being.
        And in this case – the Iranians have made too many enemies in the region with their ambitions and are embroiled in too many complicated arenas (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and of course with the Small Satan itself); They are also not too much trusted by the signatories to the deal, which still needs to be ratified – so it appears that a lot can still go wrong. There could also be new dramatic developments in the general fluid situation in the tremendously volatile Mid-East.
        Anyway that`s what the spirits were whispering to me…

      • annie on August 1, 2015, 4:11 pm

        There could also be new dramatic developments in the general fluid situation in the tremendously volatile Mid-East.

        do you think people who do not want this deal might make efforts to ensure new dramatic developments occur? some assassinations or false flags perhaps? now it does get interesting. wonder if those same “spirits” are whispering in the minds of other people, whose 40 mil might not make the difference they’d like it to.

      • Mooser on August 2, 2015, 12:41 pm

        “Well, if history is a guide they must be friendly… I can remember so many ominous threats in Israel`s past that somehow didn`t come into being.”

        Ah, suddenly history doesn’t go back to 1938 any more, nor include 2000 years of antisemitism, not does it include the Holocaust. Nope, just a lot of help from friendly spirits.

        Well, I will never let anybody tell me that we haven’t gotten completely over the Holocaust. Heck, we’re forgetting it. No PTSD for us!

    • JWalters on July 31, 2015, 8:37 pm

      Normally I’d pass on this, but the first paragraph is simply SO stupid. Such a pathetic attempt to sweep reality under the rug. Who is this intended to fool? Only a person desperately searching for a dark fog could accept this.

      • Mooser on August 3, 2015, 11:20 am

        ” Only a person desperately searching for a dark fog could accept this.”

        Oh, you know old “Irvi”. He’s always looking for night and fog.

  5. just on July 31, 2015, 4:01 pm

    iirc, Debbie Wasserman Schultz initially said she would boycott Netanyahu’s last speech, then she went anyway.

    Poor Lil’ Debbie is ‘conflicted’.

  6. just on July 31, 2015, 4:52 pm

    “The looming August battle for the Iran nuclear deal

    Struggle to save Vienna agreement from a congressional mauling pits the Obama administration against the Republicans, the Israeli government and a billionaire

    On Monday, almost every freshman member of the US Congress will jet off on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel for a week of briefings and lobbying intended to ensure they vote against the Iran nuclear deal agreed on 14 July.

    The junket is an annual affair organised by Aipac, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, and very few freshman turn it down. More than sixty out of a total of 70 are expected to go this year, flying business class and staying at five star hotels. Aipac’s aim is that at least 80% of any Congress has been on one of its trips to Israel at least once. It is an unparalleled example, among the world’s democracies, of one country’s influence on the political system of another. Aipac did not respond to a request for comment.

    In the past, the Aipac excursion has served as a primer on the Israeli-Palestinian situation as viewed through the lens of the Israeli government of the day. But in recent years, the itinerary and briefings have focused on Iran, doubtless all the more so this August, as a battle rages over the future of the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is called. Congress has until late September to vote on it. The Republican majority in both houses will reject it, but the question is: will it be able to peel off enough Democrats to override a presidential veto. …

    … Aipac expects to spend some $40m on an ad campaign in about 40 states, focusing on vulnerable Democrats, turning up the pressure on them in their home states over the summer recess. Its liberal, pro-deal counterpart, J Street, can only hope to spend up to $5m.

    The imbalance becomes even more skewed once Sheldon Adelson, a multibillionaire casino tycoon, major Republican donor and hardliner on all matters Israeli, pours his considerable funds into the fight. According to some unconfirmed accounts he is ready to spend over $100m on the campaign, about as much as he spent unsuccessfully trying to get a Republican elected president in 2012. He has split with Aipac and now channels his money through the even harder-line Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

    “The battle over the Iran deal is increasingly becoming one pitting the public against billionaire donors. One side has the masses, the other the money,” said Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council.” …”

    • amigo on August 1, 2015, 1:51 pm

      “On Monday, almost every freshman member of the US Congress will jet off on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel for a week of briefings and lobbying intended to ensure they vote against the Iran nuclear deal agreed on 14 July. – See more at:” Just

      Indeed and maybe a few “Private” photo shoots that might turn up as an embarrassment for the “Celebs”. Every one of their “needs ” will be seen to.Hell, they may even get to meet the Prince and the Dersh in an intimate setting.

    • Doubtom on August 2, 2015, 12:23 pm

      No the battle over the Iran deal is one between the American people and the Jewish backers of Israel, which includes but is not limited to Billionaires, Jewish lobbies, Jewish members of Congress who are always conflicted when it comes to the support Israel or the United States. Most of our Congress (of whores) are deathly afraid of the Jewish power in this country, which has worked itself into positions of power, like Schumer in the Senate and Wassermann in the House, and will not oppose anything favoring Israel. Add to this mix, the many other members of both Houses who are Jewish first and American when it suits their purpose.
      And through all of this, we have AIPAC continuing to insist that it doesn’t exert undue influence on our politics or foreign policy. It’s way past time to purge our government of these dual allegiance clowns, before they manage to embroil us into yet another war for the benefit of Israel. The number of Jews in positions of power in our government is staggering when you consider that they barely make up 2% of the population. How many more Pollards are there that we don’t know about? Why is Adelson’s allegiance first to Israel instead of to his native country?
      It’s possible that this is the basis for the strange proliferation of what Israel refers to as “antisemitism”, since they seem to put allegiance to their tribe before allegiance to the country in which they happen to reside.

      • Citizen on August 2, 2015, 5:57 pm

        “No the battle over the Iran deal is one between the American people and the Jewish backers of Israel, which includes but is not limited to Billionaires”
        Problem is that the average American has no clue this is so due to AIPACked Congress & Zionist controlled US main media.

    • piotr on August 2, 2015, 6:50 pm

      There are other songs about conflicted feelings. In this song the lyrical narrator describes how she shares love and interests with “zhulik” (I guess that means minor gangster) but also spends time with “fraier” who attends to her needs (especially when “zhulik” is incarcerated).

      Debbie has to delay declaring her intentions as much as possible, to avoid premature alienation of potential donors to DNCC.

      • just on August 2, 2015, 7:08 pm

        How FUN! Sometimes, one doesn’t need to speak a language…

        Thanks, piotr. I think you’re right, and I have a feeling she’s going to vote all in with Israel if there’s enough votes to spare.


    • traintosiberia on August 3, 2015, 8:45 am

      More than 10,000 phone calls have flooded his office line the past two weeks, organized by a group looking to kill the deal. Another group has dropped seven figures on TV in New York City to pressure Schumer and other lawmakers to vote against the plan. The powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee has put its muscle behind an effort to lobby the New Yorker against it.
      Story Continued Below

      Read more:
      Schumer is undecided . He may vote against. Will he travel to Israel?
      Why does AIPAC need an Israeli venue? It could take them to Bunny Ranch in Las Vegas ,make them meet Adelshon,get something more than money .

  7. just on August 1, 2015, 1:14 pm

    O Canada.

    “Canada Sanctions Iran, Chooses Principle Over Profit At least one Western country is standing by Israel in its time of dire need

    By Bradley Martin | 08/01/15 9:15am

    … Canada’s sanctions against Iran cannot be separated from a strong pro-Israel policy. A mere eight days after the nuclear deal was announced, PM Harper concluded negotiations on July 22 for an expanded and modernized free-trade agreement between Canada and Israel. Noting the importance of economic considerations, calling Israel a “priority market,” Harper stated that this was not the only reason he wanted the agreement.

    “Canada and Israel share a special friendship that is based on liberty, justice, democracy, and the rule of law,” said Harper.

    It is clear that Harper’s foreign policy is not based solely on economic considerations. Otherwise, he would go along with the international consensus, open up another free trade agreement with Iran and reap the added economic benefits from such a deal. Harper’s sanctions are part of a larger message, where his strong support of Israel’s security is maintained above any possible economic benefits. Iran is well aware of this policy, which is why the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a warning that Harper’s Conservative government was leading to “self-imposed isolation.”

    While this nuclear deal with Iran is a cause for distress among many Israelis and increasingly isolates Israel from the geopolitical reality, it is uplifting to remember that Canada under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s governance can be counted on as at least one Western country that stands unconditionally with Israel. Whether other Western countries plan to follow suit and take the moral high ground on this issue that Canada currently occupies remains to be seen.

    Bradley Martin is a contributor to the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought.”

    aye yi yi !

    (anyone see Walid lately? seafoid?)

    • amigo on August 1, 2015, 1:46 pm

      (anyone see Walid lately? seafoid?) Just.

      Or Pabelmont ?.

      • just on August 1, 2015, 1:54 pm

        Him, too!

        I sure hope that they are well and enjoying themselves wherever they are.

      • bintbiba on August 3, 2015, 9:13 am

        I looked in on P A Belmont’s blog …last blog was in June 2015…
        He wrote a poem recalling a poem by Mahmoud Darwish… Jan. 15.

        With pabelmont’s permission , I hope ( excerpt from his blog)

        Here is a fragment of Darwish’s poem, in English translation:

        “Dig up your dead
        Take their bones with you and leave our land
        Live where you wish but do not live among us
        It is time for you to get out and die where you wish but do not die among us.

        Get out of our land our continent, our sea our wheat, our salt, our sore our everything, and get out of the memory of memories.”

        ‘Because of the fuss in Israel (and the USA), and out of my feelings about the Israel/Palestine conflict, I wrote the following poem (slightly edited here). It happens to suggest, falsely, of course, that Darwish was plagiarizing Israelis. In a way, it suggests, perhaps, that I was plagiarizing Darwish, although my intent was merely to blast Zionist blindness.

        If you read it, I imagine you will get the idea.

        By the way, so far as I know, the Zionists of 1947-48 used no trucks when they expelled 85% of the Arab inhabitants of what then became Israel, the same being 50% of the Palestinian Arab population as a whole. The Palestinian exiles had to walk or die. The trucks arose in my poetic fantasy.
        A Confession of Plagiarism

        Israelis, O Israelis! How fearful my poem makes you.
        Why does this cry from the heart so grip your souls?
        This is no treaty, no negotiation.
        No policy is this, no proposal, not even so much as a dream.
        This, my poem, is no more than a cry from the heart.
        Israelis, O Israelis.

        Israelis, O Israelis, do not be confused. My poem is just
        A cry from the heart. No great thing.
        But, and this I must confess:
        My poem reeks of plagiarism.

        ”Live where you wish, but do not live among us,” I wrote.
        This was plagiarism.
        In 1948, you put Palestinians on trucks,
        Israelis, O Israelis, and took us across your borders, saying,
        ”Live where you wish, but do not live among us.”
        I have plagiarized the message of your trucks.

        ”Die where you wish, but do not die among us,” I wrote.
        But this too was plagiarism.
        For 40 years you have closed your borders to us,
        Israelis, O Israelis, saying
        ”Die where you wish, but do not die among us.”
        Israelis, O Israelis, I have plagiarized the message of your laws, your borders, your guns.

        ”Get out of the memory of memories,” I wrote.
        But this, too, was plagiarism.
        I echoed that first, great, Zionist poem,
        ”A land without a people for a people without a land.”
        I echoed Golda’s magnificent sonnet,
        ”The Palestinians? There are no Palestinians!”
        I echoed your resplendent covenant,
        Stately and majestic
        And all in blank verse writ:
        ”There is no-one on the other side with whom to negotiate.”
        ”Get out of the memory of memories,” I wrote,
        But I have merely plagiarized the message of your wilful blindness.
        We Palestinians left the memory of your memories
        Before you ever met us,
        Before you forgot us,
        Before you will ever admit that we exist.

        Hear Israelis, O Israelis, the Palestinian people are One!
        We exist! Hear us, see us, feel us, taste us.
        Remove us from the oblivion to which you have consigned us.
        Remove yourselves from the obliviousness
        Into which you have been content to settle.
        Answer our call.

        Israelis, O Israelis, you have read my poem
        And too casually assumed,
        Too easily considered,
        Too naturally supposed,
        That the cry you heard was Palestinian.

        But tell me, Israelis, O Israelis,
        How can you tell
        That this was not an Israeli cry,
        My poem a translation from the Hebrew?

        I have re-read my poem, Israelis, O ever-fearful Israelis,
        And I will tell you.
        In all honesty,
        Even I,
        I myself,
        Cannot tell.”

      • just on August 3, 2015, 10:10 am

        Many thanks for bringing that here, bintbiba.

        That is an entirely amazing piece from pabelmont.

    • piotr on August 2, 2015, 6:23 pm

      Actually, there are some instant economic effects of the deal. A Chinese car factory in Iran will be closing down due to low quality and thus inability to compete with companies from West Europe that are about to enter the market. The national car company is also in danger.

      Longer term effects seem all benign. Opinion polls in Iran predicted that moderates will gain popularity. The efforts to combat ISIL in Iraq seem to be picking up and forces trained by USA and by Iran cooperate better. One can hope that Gulf countries will modify the most obnoxious policies, and perhaps Israel too. Placing Saudis and Israel in the position of automatic “moral high ground” is simply a moral hazard, and that results in humanitarian catastrophes and waves of refugees that reach Europe (and to some extend, Canada and USA).

      • bintbiba on August 3, 2015, 9:32 am

        Apologies for not getting all quotation marks correctly positioned on Pabelmont’s piece , ‘purloined’ from his blog …
        edit button disappeared before I could fix.!!!

  8. hophmi on August 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    So – yes or no, please – you believe that the President’s reference to billionaire donors is a reference to rich Jews?

    • straightline on August 2, 2015, 6:42 pm

      You mean the President of the National Iranian American Council, Trita Parsi? The real question is “Do you, hophmi, believe that his reference to billionaire donors is a reference to rich Jews?”

  9. just on August 1, 2015, 4:33 pm

    “REUTERS – Vice President Joe Biden, inspired in part by his late son, has been holding meetings at his Washington home to discuss challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

    Biden has said publicly he would make a decision at the end of the summer but the Times said the vice president and his associates were actively exploring getting in the race. 

    The Times, citing several people who have spoken with him and his advisers, said the Biden camp was contacting Democratic leaders and donors who have not firmly committed to Clinton, the clear leader among the five Democrats who have entered the race, or might be concerned about her prospects. …”
    read more:

  10. just on August 2, 2015, 9:17 pm

    Wow, talk about a ‘bombshell’, at least for me!

    “After Iran Deal: Israel Trying to Thwart Move to Monitor Its Nuclear Program

    Non-binding resolution could cause Israel great diplomatic damage, focus international attention on Israel’s nuclear program and prompt further IAEA action.

    Over the past two weeks, Israel has begun a diplomatic campaign to thwart a resolution to subject its nuclear facilities to international supervision. The resolution, which is being pushed by Egypt and other Arab and Muslim states, will come up for a vote at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference in mid-September.

    A senior Foreign Ministry official said he feared the recent nuclear deal between Iran and the six powers will make it hard for Israel to defeat the resolution.

    The resolution, titled “Israeli nuclear capabilities,” has been repeatedly proposed by Egypt in recent years. It condemns Israel, demands that it open its reported nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection, and calls for an international conference on making the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free zone.

    Unlike Security Council resolutions, this one wouldn’t be binding. But it could still cause Israel great diplomatic damage, focus international attention on Israel’s nuclear program and prompt
    further IAEA action.

    A few months ago, Egypt and Iran proposed a similar resolution at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, but the United States, Britain and Canada blocked it after Egypt refused to soften the language.

    Though Egypt is the IAEA resolution’s chief sponsor, Iran seems likely to join the move. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif indicated as much by publishing an article in The Guardian titled, “Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal – now it’s Israel’s turn.”

    Zarif wrote that Israel must be pressured to join the NPT and advance an international conference on a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East. Israel, he wrote, has “an undeclared nuclear arsenal and a declared disdain towards non-proliferation, notwithstanding its absurd and alarmist campaign against the Iranian nuclear deal.”

    For the last three years, Israel has succeeding in mustering a majority against Egypt’s IAEA resolution, thanks partly to proposals for a direct regional security dialogue with Arab states under UN auspices. Egypt and various other countries rejected these proposals, but they earned Israel considerable international credit.
    The campaign to thwart the latest resolution began two weeks ago, when the Foreign Ministry sent a cable to all Israeli embassies and consulates instructing them to urge their host governments to oppose it.

    “The resolution is fundamentally biased and mistaken, aimed at diverting global attention from the real dangers of nuclear proliferation in this region,” the cable’s talking points said. …

    Israel has also sent personal envoys to several countries it considers key to winning the vote. For instance, former Foreign Ministry director general Nissim Ben Shitrit went to Argentina about 10 days ago, on the assumption that if Argentina doesn’t back the Arab proposal, other Latin American countries would likely follow suit.

    Senior Israeli officials are divided over how the Iranian deal will impact the IAEA debate. Some argue that following the Iran agreement, America and other leading countries won’t want to raise the pressure on Israel even further. But others fear that with the Iran deal done, the international focus will shift to Israel’s nuclear program. They also fear Israel will enjoy less American support than in the past, due to the severe tensions with Washington over the Iran deal.”

    read more:

    • annie on August 2, 2015, 9:36 pm

      just, check this out:

      WASHINGTON, June 8, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is being released by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy:

      Nearly 65 percent of Americans believe Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program should be officially acknowledged. Almost 55 percent believe the program should be subject to international inspections.

      The IRmep poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percent, was fielded June 4-6 by Google Consumer Surveys and received 1,518 responses. The poll may be viewed online at:

      much more at the link including:

      Taxpayers funding more foreign aid to Israel (PDF) than any other country are among the biggest losers. At the National Press Club on April 10 IRmep estimated $234 billion in US aid has been unlawfully delivered to Israel since 1976. The Symington and Glenn Amendments to the Foreign Aid Act of 1961 prohibit US aid to countries with clandestine nuclear weapons facilities. That aid, if properly disgorged, would average $1,909.54 per US taxpayer.

      • just on August 2, 2015, 9:50 pm

        holy moly~ thanks for the info and the links, Annie.

        I’m almost reluctant to admit that I am both speechless and agape with hope. Could this be a/the breakthrough?

    • RoHa on August 3, 2015, 4:37 am

      “Nissim Ben Shitrit”

      [Juvenile snigger ]

  11. Kay24 on August 2, 2015, 10:19 pm

    It seems the Dems might support Obama’s Iran deal:

    “WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – U.S. backers of the Iran nuclear deal are increasingly confident of enough Democratic support to ensure it survives review by Congress, despite fierce opposition by majority Republicans and a massive lobbying drive.

    By the time the House of Representatives recessed for the summer last week, no senior Democrat in the chamber had come out formally against the agreement and several central figures, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, were strongly in favor.

    Pelosi said she was confident that if, as expected, Republicans pass a “resolution of disapproval” to try to sink the deal, a promised veto of that measure by President Barack Obama would be sustained.”

    Time Wasserman Schultz behaved like a true American.

    • annie on August 2, 2015, 10:35 pm

      kay, as phil reported on thursday Pelosi says Iran deal has the votes:

      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is “confident” that the House would be able to uphold the president’s veto of a potential Republican-backed bill to kill the deal.

      “More and more of them have confirmed to me that they will be there to sustain the veto,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference, referring to members of the Democratic caucus. “They’ve done this not blindly but thoroughly,” as they examined the agreement over recent weeks.

      – See more at:

      • Kay24 on August 3, 2015, 6:33 am

        Netanyahu’s minions have poured in millions in ads and Haaretz says Bibi will be addressing American Jews regarding the Iran deal….it would be a huge defeat if Obama is able to get the Dems to support this. I still cannot understand the reluctance by some.

  12. just on August 2, 2015, 11:40 pm

    Reza Marashi is the research director of the National Iranian American Council:

    “Israel Must Accept a U.S. Iran Entente in the Middle East or Risk Total Isolation

    The more things change, the more Israeli officials stay the same: As American and Iranian officials work to sell their nuclear deal at home, their Israeli counterparts are laboring to kill it. The Netanyahu government’s upcoming fight in the U.S. Congress reveals an inconvenient truth: Twenty-five years of Israeli policy have failed because Iran’s status as a de facto nuclear state has been recognized by the international community, and U.S.-Iran relations are gradually improving without the approval that Israel thought it had to give. Israel’s failure to block these monumental shifts has altered the regional balance of power vis-à-vis Iran. Unless it follows Washington’s lead and adapts, Israel’s stumble may damage its strategic interests indefinitely.

    Since the early 1990s, Israel’s goal has been to compel the United States to undermine Iran politically, economically and militarily. According this logic, a weakened Iran would be less likely to challenge Israel’s military strategic edge, which is essentially Israeli military hegemony. What Washington viewed as containment of Tehran, Israel viewed as support for its de facto military hegemony. As the United States commenced serious nuclear diplomacy with Iran in 2013, Israel doubled down on its 25-year goal because it perceived Washington and Tehran’s success at the negotiating table coming at its own strategic expense. In reality, by opposing America’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran from the outset, the Netanyahu government is creating a strategic isolation of its own making. …”

    read more:

    • ritzl on August 3, 2015, 1:05 am

      Hi just. Reading all your and Annie’s quotes and links here it sure seems like the Iranian side is the voice of reason, not only on the deal, but generally.

      Compared to the lunatic ravings of Israel and its frenzied legions in the US political system, that sanity poses such a welcome difference that not only does it win the day today, but will have a profound calming and lasting effect on US policy and the region.

      Is a “Persification” of the State Department at hand? Maybe. Even if not that specifically, a return to sanity and rationality in US policymaking is Israel’s worst nightmare. They should be VERY afraid of the change this deal signals, and doubly afraid of the gaping chasm between their constant, contrived, “look at us,” pot-stirring, fear-mongering approach, and what looks like what will be the constructive, synergistic, “better future for all” Iranian approach.

      Shorter version: The Iranian method and influence has legs and prospects.


      PS. Thanks ivri. When you wrote “historical implications” it all kinda clicked into place.

    • ritzl on August 3, 2015, 1:21 am

      I LOVE this line from Reza Marashi’s piece:

      “…U.S.-Iran relations are gradually improving without the approval that Israel thought it had to give.”

      I felt tension physically leave my body for the first time in, well, ever, while reading this stuff.

      A giant-billboard-in-the-sky of things to come!

      • just on August 3, 2015, 7:36 am

        I felt much the same when I read it, ritzl!

        “Compared to the lunatic ravings of Israel and its frenzied legions in the US political system, that sanity poses such a welcome difference that not only does it win the day today, but will have a profound calming and lasting effect on US policy and the region.”

        You bet!

        I don’t know if you read this relevant and referenced sane piece from another thread, but it’s well worth it:

        “Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal – now it’s Israel’s turn

        Javad Zarif

        If the Vienna deal is to mean anything, the whole of the Middle East must rid itself of weapons of mass destruction

        We – Iran and its interlocutors in the group of nations known as the P5+1 – have finally achieved the shared objective of turning the Iranian nuclear programme from an unnecessary crisis into a platform for cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and beyond. The nuclear deal reached in Vienna this month is not a ceiling but a solid foundation on which we must build. The joint comprehensive plan of action, as the accord is officially known, cements Iran’s status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. Now it is high time that we expand that zone to encompass the entire Middle East. …”

        – See more at:


      • ritzl on August 3, 2015, 8:32 am

        I did read it, just. That was what started me thinking along these lines. The differences in reasoning, content, underlying basis, and maybe especially tone when advocating for the same thing, was remarkable.

        Calm-assertive vs. spittle-sprayed rants.

        Thanks for posting it.

      • just on August 3, 2015, 8:52 am

        “Calm-assertive vs. spittle-sprayed rants.”

        Accurately said, ritzl! Such a welcome change.

        Solid facts vs delusional fantasy and outright hypocrisy.

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