Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A 'Dangerous Time' For Israel

This first article set the stage for today's news:

Today the government of Benjamin Netanyahu faces a similar dilemma, though not on the same perilous time frame of mere hours and minutes. But if the time pressures are not as critical as they were on the morning of October 6, 1973, the stakes are just as high. A nuclear-armed Iran is probably more dangerous to Israel than were the massed Syrian and Egyptian armies on that long-ago October day, and the calculations that the Israeli government must make are similar. What will be Netanyahu's solution?

In calculating whether to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran, the Netanyahu government has to size up President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, in the same way the Meir government did Nixon and Kissinger. When it does, it is likely to come to different conclusions.

Obama has long opposed an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran. Israel has deferred to Obama's preference in the hope that international sanctions might eventually force Iran to abandon its nuclear program. Those hopes now appear to have been dashed, with the Obama administration's weak, even delusionalleadership of negotiations in Geneva. Indeed, were it not for surprising French toughness, it is likely that Iran would have already been freed from serious sanctions, without any meaningful curtailment of its nuclear program. And in the end, it appears likely that French resistance or no, Obama and his other P5+1 partners (Russia, China, Great Britain, and Germany) are determined to let the Iranians off the hook.

In the current situation, Israel can no longer be sure that the Obama administration would have its back even if it declined to strike. Nothing in the administration's current actions, statements, or past history suggest that this is the case. Obama dislikes Netanyahu. Obama's best friend in the region is the vociferously anti-Israel prime minister of Turkey Recep Erdogan. He is anatural ally of the Palestinians, and at gut level, sympathetic to the Arab and Iranian points of view. Obama subordinates have repeatedly and recklesslyleaked word of Israeli strikes on Syria, the only consequence of which has been to weaken Israeli deterrence and provoke conflict with Syria and by extension Iran. The administration's Chamberlain-like cave on Iranian sanctions, taken in concert with Secretary of State Kerry's pointless and self-aggrandizing "peace effort" with the Palestinians, will erode Israeli confidence of American support even in the event they show restraint.

Finally, there is the simple question of competence. Nixon and Kissinger might have been unsympathetic toward Israel, but they were effective and competent stewards of American defense and foreign policy. Obama and Kerry are entirely the opposite, and the Israelis surely know it. Ironically, as with so much else in President Obama's feckless and careless stewardship of state, his weakness and duplicity make an Israeli strike on Iran more, not less likely. If his waffling on Syria justifiably pushed Israel in the direction of pre-emption, American actions in Geneva may well be the final straw. Viewed from a more Machiavellian perspective, perhaps this is just what Obama wants, as an excuse to break America's tight relationship with Israel. October 1973 was a perilous time for Israel. Forty years on, in November 2013, it still is.

The West should push for a “better” deal with Iran before agreeing to any eased sanctions, as Tehran’s financial woes will push it to make greater concessions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday as Iran and world powers prepared for the next round of talks in Geneva on November 20.

His comments represented the latest round in a very public row between the prime minister and US Secretary of State John Kerry over the terms of the deal Kerry and the other P5+1 powers offered to Iran in Geneva over the weekend.

“We will continue to speak out” against the deal that is taking shape, Netanyahu said, stressing that “this process has a goal… to prevent Iran attaining a nuclear weapons capability.”

Those who hoped that Obama's Middle East policies wouldn't get any worse have awakened to a nasty surprise: the Obama administration is actively making it harder for Israel to neutralize Iran's nukes, and more likely that Iran will develop a nuclear arsenal.

About a year ago, the New York Times reported that "intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials [dating] almost to the beginning of President Obama's term" resulted in an agreement to conduct one-on-one negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. In those secret talks, did Obama long ago concede to Iran a nuclear capability? If so, then the current Geneva negotiations merely provide the international imprimatur for what Iran and the US have already privately agreed. That might explain why France (of all countries) had to reject a Geneva deal that would have left Iran with a nuclear breakout capability. 

An investigation by the Daily Beast also reveals that the "Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran's new president last June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva..." The report notes that Treasury Department notices show "that the U.S. government has all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June."
Obama's desperately eager posture towards the smiling Mullahs has doomed any negotiation to failure by signaling that the U.S. fears confrontation more than anything else. Obama's pathetic approach to the world's most pressing national security threat also makes U.S. military action virtually impossible from a public relations and diplomatic standpoint because it promotes the naive idea that more diplomacy will resolve what a decade of talking hasn't. And as long as the Iranians are "talking," world opinion will also oppose an Israelimilitary strike, so naturally Iran will find ways to keep talking until it's too late for Israel to act.

Despite his repeated reassurances, Obama rejected Israel's estimates for how much more time Iran needs to develop its nuclear capability, and accepted overly optimistic timetables that assumed at least a year for more talking. Soon afterwards, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) confirmed Israel's estimates that Iran could be just weeks away from the critical nuclear threshold. Ignoring these critical facts, Obama has given diplomatic cover to Iran's nuclear program by seizing on the cosmetic changes presented by the Iranian regime's Ahmadinejad-to-Rouhani facelift.

That this makeover is just a ruse becomes obvious from this video, in which Rouhani boasts about masterfully manipulating diplomacy to achieve Iran's nuclear objectives. So Obama must have known all along that "talks" are a fool's errand that allow him to "fall back to" what has been his position all along: containment.

And despite repeated assurances from Secretary of State John Kerry that "no deal is better than a bad deal," the current Geneva talks appear headed towards precisely that: a bad deal that leaves Iran with the very nuclear breakout capability that a diplomatic "solution" was supposed to prevent.

Only epic ineptitude or anti-Israel hostility no longer checked by reelection considerations can explain Obama's moves on Iran. And the stakes couldn't be higher for the rest of the world. After all, if Iran is the world's biggest state sponsor of terrorism without nuclear weapons, what will terrorism look like once Iran goes nuclear? And there are already hints of the nuclear proliferation nightmare that will follow Iran's nuclearization: Saudi Arabia has Pakistani nukes already lined up for purchase. Remarkably, Obama has known this since 2009 and apparently doesn't care about that consequence any more than he does about Israel's security. How else to explain his acceptance of the dreadful Geneva proposal granting Iran a nuclear weapons capability?

Exacerbating an existential threat against Israel is bad enough, but Obama has been an abysmal ally in other respects. Despite being history's most aggressive president to punish leakers (except when they make him look good), Obama's administration has repeatedly leaked sensitive Israeli information that could have easily provoked a Syrian-Israeli war.

As if Israel didn't face enough threats and challenges, it must now survive the Obama nightmare until he's out of office in 38 months. Isolated like never before thanks to Obama, the stark choices facing Israel's leadership are unimaginably difficult. With roughly 75 times more territory, 10 times as many people, and two times as big an economy, Iran is a Goliath compared to Israel, and has repeatedly threatened to destroy it. So what does David (Israel) do now that Obama's perfidy has been exposed? If the neighborhood bully is bigger than you, has threatened you, and is reaching for a bat, do you preemptively attack him before he gets the bat and becomes even more dangerous?

It may astound many that American taxpayers are deploying their precious dollars in Israel not just to pay for peace but to fund terrorism. Each year, American aid and financial programs tangibly fund terrorist salaries paid by the Palestinian Authority. This astonishing financial dynamic is known to most Israeli leaders and Western journalists in Israel. It has been written about at least twice in The Times of Israel. But it is still a shock to most in Congress, who are unaware that US money going to the Palestinian Authority is regularly diverted to a program that systematically rewards terrorists with generous salaries. These transactions blatantly violate American laws that prohibit any US funding from benefiting terrorists. More than that, they grandly incentivize murder and terror.

Here’s how the system works. When a Palestinian is convicted of an act of terror against the Israeli government or innocent civilians, such as a bombing or a murder, that convicted terrorist automatically receives a generous salary from the Palestinian Authority. The salary is specified by the Palestinian Law of the Prisoner and administered by the PA’s Ministry of Prisoner Affairs. A Palestinian watchdog group, the Prisoners Club, ensures the PA’s compliance with the law and pushes for payments as a prioritized expenditure. This means that even during frequent budget shortfalls and financial crisis, the PA pays the terrorists’ salaries first and foremost — before other fiscal obligations.

The Law of the Prisoner narrowly delineates just who is entitled to receive an official salary. In a recent interview, Ministry of Prisoners spokesman Amr Nasser read aloud that definition: “A detainee is each and every person who is in an Occupation prison based on his or her participation in the resistance to Occupation.” This means crimes against Israel or Israelis.

About 6 percent of the Palestinian budget is diverted to terrorist salaries. All this money comes from so-called “donor countries” such as the United States, Great Britain, Norway, and Denmark. Palestinian officials have reacted with defiance to any foreign governmental effort to end the salaries. “Deputy Minister of Prisoners Affairs Ziyad Abu Ein declared to the satellite TV network Hona Al-Quds: ‘If the financial assistance and support to the PA are stopped, the [payment of] salaries (rawatib) and allowances (mukhassasat) to Palestinian prisoners will not be stopped, whatever the cost may be. The prisoners are our joy. We will sacrifice everything for them and continue to provide for their families.”

Two Baptist chaplains said they were forced out of a Veterans Affairs chaplain training program after they refused orders to stop quoting the Bible and to stop praying in the name of Jesus.
When the men objected to those demands, they were subjected to ridicule and harassment that led to one of the chaplains leaving the program and the other being ejected, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday.
The Conservative Baptist Association of America is suing Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki; the group’s suit alleges two of its chaplains were openly ridiculed by the leader of the San Diego-based VA-DOD Clinical Pastoral Education Center program.
“Not only was the treatment these men received inappropriate, it was also a violation of federal law and the religious freedom guarantees of the First Amendment,” said John Wells, an attorney representing the Colorado-based denomination.
“No American choosing to serve in the armed forces should be openly ridiculed for his Christian faith,” he said, calling it one of the most blatant cases of religious discrimination he has ever seen.

Also see:


harnessandleash said...

For anyone interested-- the link below is tape of Amir Tsarfati-- born & raised in Jerusalem, became a born again Christian while a teenager after watching the Jesus film, a Captain in the Israeli Army Reserve, Vice Governor of Jericho, a part of the negotiating team with the Palestinians, and an Israel tour guide. He also speaks 4 languages fluently, and is an international speaker on terrorism. This is an excellent overview of Israel's past, present, and future presented from an Israeli viewpoint & puts into perspective many of the headlines Scott is posting for us. This is well worth the time it takes to view, Amir concludes with a message of Hope, not fear.


Psalm 122:6
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."


Dutch Treat said...

I was a little amused by the headline: Can Israel survive the US Administration. According to God's word, Israel will be around well after Obama is ancient history.

Stephen said...

NOT MUCH to talk about. Stocks simply REFUSE to come down.

down 32 points on the dow ??

that is a joke.

stocks may very well be headed to
RECORDS yet again.

is the USA immune from judgement ??


bulls will not be ready.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Scott said...

AMEN Dutch - good point!