Who ran from Iran?

The cartoon in today’s Haaretz made me smile:

The Hebrew says “Who is the commander?”


It didn’t take much to work out that Iranian activity in the Straits of Hormuz would be directed towards British interests. It’s unclear if the Royal Navy has the capacity to protect all such interest, but my guess is that it’s not possible. Smaller, faster attack boats and helicopters can run rings round frigates and the like. So, Britain is stuck. Banning its own ships won’t go down well. (Though insurers may effectively bring about that result.) A military response is unlikely. Either Britain caves – a diplomatic disaster – or it weighs in with its own sanctions and gets ready for the long haul.

Or a war breaks out between Iran and the US. And maybe with the Europeans. I hope not.

On a related point, I do remember Obama or Kerry hectoring Israel about what would happen if Iran broke its pledges under the nuclear deal. Why, the sanctions would snap back. Israel had nothing to worry about.

Well, Iran broke its pledges and the sanctions by the Europeans are unsnapped. So, if Israel were relying on the Europeans to keep them safe, they would be wasting their time. In this regard, Bibi is right.

These people are absolutely nuts

From the Times of Israel:

In honor of Iranian mother’s day, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to Twitter Sunday to vent his spleen share his views on gender issues, asserting that the West considers women to be “goods and means of pleasure” and that this is the product of the “Zionists’ plot.”

You choose: he’s insane, or he’s off his medication, or he is so blighted by hatred that everything he doesn’t like is the fault of the Zionists.

Could it be all three?

Is it any wonder Bibi doesn’t trust Obama?

From the Times of Israel:

“A senior official in the Obama administration acknowledged that the background to nuclear talks with Iran was misrepresented in order to sell the impression of a more moderate Iranian regime and thus gain greater American public support for an agreement.”

Obama’s ‘misrepresentation’ went further than that.

It appears that the administration were concerned Israel might launch a military attack. So, Israel was told that the US would take such action rather than have Iran acquire nuclear weapons. With that assurance, Israel filed its attack plans. And now? There is no way the US will take military action against Iran, unless the Ayatollahs are stupid or reckless enough to attack the US directly.

It appears that Obama’s world view remains childishly optimistic, naive, and is infused with a hippy like belief that war is to be avoided at all costs. Israel has extensive experience that proves sometimes there is no option but to fight. And Obama’s weakness in the face of the Iranian regime may well bear poison fruit for years to come.

Is it any wonder Bibi doesn’t trust Obama? Maybe Obama’s dislike of Bibi is because the Israeli leader won’t keep quiet about the US leader’s ‘misrepresentations.’

Read the whole piece, here.

The Europeans have a lot to learn from Iran

According to this Times of Israel report:

European Commission announced Tuesday that it has approved a new assistance package for the Palestinian Authority worth $274.1 million.

In a press release, the Commission said the aid was the first part of a 2016 package, $184 million of which is set to be funneled directly to the PA, with a focus on education and health services, support for hospitals in East Jerusalem, and assistance to poor families.

The remaining $89 million will go to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Near East (UNRWA).

So, the Europeans have decided they want to support the Palestinians, and are going to do so by giving the PA a ton of money.

Compare and contrast with the Iranian approach, as reported on by the Elder of Ziyon:

Last week, Iran promised to pay $7000 cash to families of every terrorist killed by Israel and $30,000 more if Israel demolishes their homes, effectively creating a life insurance policy for terrorists. (After all, Iran has lots of discretionary funds lately.)

The PLO is outraged!

They don’t have a problem with the morality of paying to support terror, though. They are upset because Iran refuses to send them the money to distribute, and instead wants to pay the terror families directly.

Put to one side the rationale behind the donation of the money. Both the Europeans and Iran want to help the Palestinian people. The Europeans will pay the money to the Palestinian Authority. The Iranians won’t.

The Palestinian Authority criticized Iran on Saturday for comments made by its parliament international advisor, who said Iran would send funds to Palestinians families through its own channels rather than through the PA.

Earlier on Saturday, Hussein Sheikh al-Islam was quoted by website al-Resalah as saying that “experience has proven that the [Palestinian] Authority is not reliable, so Tehran will send the money in its own way.”

Unfortunately, donations that were sent to the Authority did not reach the right people,” al-Islam said.


As the Elder puts it:

As Iran started setting up a mechanism to have families apply for funding via a website, more Fatah officials are expressing their anger at not getting a cut.

It suggests, to put it mildly, that the Europeans couldn’t care less where the money goes. Accountability? Transparency? We know that does not exist in the PA. So, the Europeans shut their eyes and pretend everything is fine. It isn’t of course, and this money will – in the main – encourage the continued corrupt practices of a hateful, bigoted, poisonous regime. In this respect, sad to say, the Europeans have a lot to learn from Iran.

So, about this Iran deal…

The arguments about this deal have in many cases ignored the content of the deal, and targeted instead the people for or against. Thank goodness for some good old fashioned common sense from Jonathan Greenblatt (national director of the Anti-Defamation League):

Congress and the American people are focused on what everyone agrees is a historic, serious and consequential foreign policy decision — the fate of the nuclear deal with Iran.

While we all hope for a debate based on substance and conducted with civility, the truth is that political debates today are often characterized more by slogans and fearmongering than by evidence-based deliberations. Some of the rhetoric around the debate over the Iran deal has been far from edifying and downright worrying.

He then mentions some of the offenders on both sides, like Mike Huckabee’s over the top comment about Obama leading Israel “to the door of the ovens.”

He also notes:

A number of liberal advocacy groups have impugned the reputation of Sen. Charles Schumer, who is Jewish, describing the New York Democrat as a warmonger, a puppet of the Israeli prime minister and a traitor. Such accusations are baseless and unhelpful.

You may take it that “unhelpful” is an understatement.

In passing, while he affirms the underlying support of Obama for Israel, he does criticize that establishment for being involved in:

“characterizations that in the eyes of many members of the Jewish community recall malicious accusations about Jews.”

In short, he’s saying that – perhaps unwittingly – they have made common cause with anti-semites. It would be good if the White House paid attention.

Meantime, Greenblatt’s closing comments are to be applauded:

Our message to both sides is clear: Debate this policy on the facts, without engaging in personal attacks on the intent or character of our leaders. Stick to your arguments and lobby hard. Express concerns without demonizing your opponents. Realize that accusations may linger long into the future. Let all of us, liberal or conservative, hawk or dove, commit to reject personal attacks and to avoid innuendo and stereotypes, whether intentional or not.

But will the applause be matched by the involved parties following the good words with good actions?

You can read the whole thing, here.

A different type of FFS

Earlier this week I posted about the new album from FFS. This post is about a different FFS. It’s the FFS I found myself saying on reading this at the Times of Israel:

A former intelligence chief for the Obama administration on Wednesday tore apart an emerging nuclear deal with Iran, describing it as a “placeholder” suffering from “severe deficiencies” based on “wishful thinking” and warning that Iranian leaders would never give up their nuclear ambitions.

Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn systematically criticized three key elements of a deal aimed at curbing the weapons aspects of Iran’s nuclear program: inspections of sites, the removal of sanctions, and how long the agreement would delay an eventual Iranian bomb.

Only one man’s opinion, but a rather well informed and knowledgeable one.

The article includes this quote from Flynn:

“We, the United States of America, must comprehend that evil doesn’t recognize diplomacy and nations such as Iran will still maintain the intent of achieving nuclear weapon status.”

My reaction is that it is not the USA that needs to comprehend this; it’s Obama. The buck stops with him.

Oh, FFS!

Read it all, here.

Bibi is right, Obama is flat out wrong

I have only looked at some of the detail of the so-called agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. I am not an expert. There may be things I have missed. But, so far, I have not seen a single item that undermines Bibi’s contention that this deal is a bad deal. That’s the starting point.

The situation becomes somewhat bizarre, now. Obama does an interview admitting that in 12-13 years Iran will have a breakout time (time to generate a nuclear weapon) of zero. But then the White House tries to ‘walk that back’ and pretend that is not the way it is.

However, David Horovitz‘s latest Times of Israel piece on the matter is the definitive last nail in the coffin for Obama’s deal.

Mr H is no lover of Bibi. Mr H is honest, diligent, and a wonderful writer. I may not always agree with him, but I sense the man is one of principle. So, when he absolutely rips the deal apart, it’s over.

For example, about the walk back, David Horovitz says:

In an NPR interview gone horribly wrong on Monday, the president did honestly admit a huge, dire, failing of the accord — the fact that, even if Iran keeps to the deal (and what a colossal, improbable “if” that is), it will be able to break out to the bomb in next-to-no-time when key provisions expire after a decade. (The president had gone part-way down the road to that admission in his New York Times interview on Saturday, saying: “I’ve been very clear that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch.” — D.H. emphasis)

But there can be no candid acknowledgement of so momentous a flaw, for that would be to confirm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s endlessly reiterated indictment of the deal as paving Iran’s way to the bomb. And so a State Department spokeswoman was pushed out in front of the cameras on Tuesday to stammer her way through an absurd reinterpretation of Obama’s remarks, an attempt at revisionism that insults our intelligence.

Or this:

It was immediately plain that the US-led negotiators had mislaid their moral compass, and indeed any clear sight of their own self-interest, when they agreed to conduct the negotiations as scheduled even as Iran’s ruthless, arrogant leader Ali Khamenei was intoning his “Death to America” mantra, and one of his military chiefs was declaring that Israel’s destruction is “nonnegotiable.”

What is becoming increasingly plain is the extent to which the Obama team and their colleagues were played for fools by the Iranians in the talks themselves.

It’s like Obama trying to barter in the shouk. He gets shafted.

Read it all, here.

And when you are done, remember this part:

But there can be no candid acknowledgement of so momentous a flaw, for that would be to confirm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s endlessly reiterated indictment of the deal as paving Iran’s way to the bomb.

To put it another way: Bibi is right, and Obama is wrong. Flat. Out. Wrong.

Finally, recall that there has been much opprobrium directed towards Bibi in the USA, much of it Obama inspired. However, honest analysis by independent thinkers like David Horovitz such as this – showing Obama up as having goofed big time – might suggest that the attacks on Bibi were, at least in part, wrong. Certainly, much of it was suspiciously partisan and thoughtless. Could it be that Obama is the politician behaving like the spoiled child, throwing his toys out of the cot? No wonder some people believe Bibi would be a successful candidate for the president of the USA!

Train wreck of a transatlantic journey

David Horovitz at the Times of Israel, about Bibi’s American Adventure:

“Along with the concern and the cynicism, however, there is one other fairly important aspect of the prime minister’s trip to DC that should be borne in mind: The US-led international community has failed Israel, and failed itself, in its handling of Iran’s drive to nuclear weapons. It is on the point of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And Netanyahu has been trying desperately to warn against this misguided course of action.”

I don’t agree with all of Mr H’s fine analysis. For one thing, I strongly suspect that Obama’s allies have been feverishly overstating the damage to Israel-US ties so as to undermine BIbi. Why? Because they fear the man, and they especially fear his message. But, regardless, I only have one more thing to say: read it all.

Stand with Herzog

By way of follow up to this post: And what if Bibi is right?, David Horovitz at the Times of Israel has penned an op-ed entitled:

Now we know who to believe on Iran.

Hint: it’s not Obama.

It starts thus:

“In an op-ed on February 9, I suggested that Israel’s opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, should stand alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before Congress on March 3, to underline “their common conviction that the regime in Tehran cannot be appeased and must be faced down.”

On Monday evening, as details of the looming US-led deal with Iran emerged from Geneva, Israel’s most respected Middle East affairs analyst, Channel 2 commentator Ehud Ya’ari, made precisely the same suggestion. So problematic are the reported terms of the deal, Ya’ari indicated, that Israel’s two leading contenders in the March 17 elections, Netanyahu and Herzog, need to put aside their differences and make plain to US legislators that the need to thwart such an accord crosses party lines in Israel and stands as a consensual imperative.”

Read it all here,

I like the suggestion of cross party solidarity at Congress. That would fix a lot of the noise coming out of the White House (which sounds remarkably childish and petty to me) and silence much of the baying crowd. (OK; maybe that’s a touch optimistic, but it is still worthwhile because it seems like the right thing to do.) It may be too late to stop this awful deal, but it is not too late for Bibi to act like a statesman, recognize the situation, and rise to the occasion.

Come on Bibi; stand with Herzog!