An attempt is made to share the truth regarding issues concerning Israel and her right to exist as a Jewish nation. This blog has expanded to present information about radical Islam and its potential impact upon Israel and the West. Yes, I do mix in a bit of opinion from time to time.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Experts: WH rejecting compromise on Senate concerns over Iran
Experts: WH rejecting compromise on Senate concerns over Iran
Israeli economic delegation to attend UAE energy forum amid deepening Israeli-Arab economic and military ties
E.U. criticism of Israel draws renewed scrutiny amid back-and-forth over settlements
New House legislation would tie Palestinian aid to ending anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement
The White House yesterday released parts of
the text detailing how the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) between the
global P5+1 powers and Iran is to be implemented, after lawmakers and
analysts spent the better part of a week expressing disbelief that the
critical document would be withheld from public scrutiny and evaluation.
Members of Congress were provided with the full nine-page text and a
shorter summary was released publicly.
At least one senior Senate
staffer expressed skepticism that the White House's disclosures would remove worries, driven in no small part by boasts from top Iranian officials, that details of the agreement favorable to the Islamic republic were being withheld. The Los Angeles Times,
which quoted the staffer, noted that related doubts are driving a
legislative battle over a Senate bill that would lock in future
sanctions on Iran should comprehensive negotiations over Tehran's
nuclear program fail. The White House has bitterly fought the
legislation, first by asserting that it would drain bilateral good will
necessary for negotiations - a suggestion that has grown increasingly tenuous in
light of Iranian behavior - and more recently by criticizing specific
conditions that the legislation would set on any comprehensive deal.
Among those are the requirement that Iran dismantle its "illicit nuclear
infrastructure." Administration supporters have tried to characterize
the condition as an unrealistic demand for a full halt on enrichment, a
reading rejected by the bill's writers, who point out that use of
"illicit" is precisely designed to provide wiggle room on the issue.
The Times quoted David Albright, the head of the U.S.-based
Institute for Science and International Security, emphasizing that
"there's no language that says a centrifuge is prohibited or allowed"
precisely because senators sought to craft language "in a bipartisan
way." Albright also assessed, per the Times, that 'the Senate
and White House could still negotiate a final version of the bill that
would allay the administration’s concerns' but that 'the White House
seems uninterested' in striking a bargain.
Reuters reported yesterday that
Israeli Energy Minister Silvan Shalom will attend the Jan. 20-22 World
Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, the latest in what is becoming a steady stream of evidence signaling warming ties between Jerusalem and traditional U.S. allies in the Arab world.
The visit will mark the first official Israeli delegation since 2010 to
the United Arab Emirates, a Gulf country whose leaders have become increasingly vocal in
calling attention to Iranian territorial claims throughout the Gulf.
The news comes alongside analysis published today by Washington
Institute fellow Ehud Yaari describing how shared
risks from Hamas and Sinai jihadists have created an environment in
which the "level of coordination and exchange of information [between
Israel and Egypt] is at an all-time high, and top commanders from both
countries are now in almost daily communication." Deepening cooperation
between Israel and Arab countries has been taken as
part and parcel of a broader dynamic that has seen the solidification
of three regional Middle East blocs. Alongside a camp made up of Israel
and the U.S.'s Arab allies, there has been an increasingly explicit emphasis on
a transnational "resistance" bloc anchored by Iran, while a third camp
of relatively extreme Sunni entities - Turkey, Qatar, the Muslim
Brotherhood, various jihadist groups - has mostly opposed but
opportunistically cooperated with the other two blocs. Analysts are
divided over how the U.S. can navigate the emerging geopolitical
reality. Repeated gambles on using Turkey to mediate U.S. interests in
the regional have floundered, and Washington has at times seemed to proactively distance itself from security cooperation with its Arab allies. Recent weeks have seen growing criticism that the result is a de facto U.S. alignment with Iranian interests and moves.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman yesterday summoned ambassadors from European powers to rebuke them for what he described as "one-sided" policies against the Jewish state, potentially renewing long-simmering controversies over the E.U.'s efforts to balance even-handed diplomacy in the Middle East with what even European leaders acknowledge is a diplomatic double-standard applied to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the evaluation in
a talk with journalists, blasting in particular European Union silence
regarding Palestinian incitement. The moves came a day after Israeli
ambassadors in several European countries were summoned to receive
lectures on Israeli construction beyond the Jewish state's 1949
armistice lines. European leaders insist that the vociferous criticism
they often aim at Israel is grounded in concerns over Israeli settlement
policies, an explanation that observers - including a group of European
and global leaders drawn from political, military, intellectual, and
activist circles - have evaluated as a pretext for "discriminatory polic[ies] directed exclusively against Israel." Analysts have in particular pointed to fairly explicit contradictions in the E.U.'s stances toward Israeli universities vs. Northern Cypriot universities and, more recently, to the difficulty that the E.U. faces in explaining away a recent Western Sahara fishing rights deal involving Morocco.
New House legislation proposed by the
chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee would make $400 million
in annual U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) contingent upon
the President certifying that the PA among other things "no longer
engages in a pattern of incitement against the United States or Israel."
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced the legislation - which comes amid
concentrated efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry to secure a
U.S.-backed Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement - and in a statement declared
that, as part of those peace efforts, Congress will "make it clear to
the Palestinian Authority that continuing anti-Israel incitement to
violence through PA-controlled media outlets must cease." U.S. and
Israeli diplomats have become increasingly emphatic in criticizing
Palestinian leaders for engaging in anti-Israel and anti-Jewish
incitement, and a spike in recent violence has been linked in part to speeches honoring terrorists and exhortations toward violence. This week an official PA television program broadcast a song calling on viewers to "pull the trigger" to "redeem Jerusalem." Also in recent days, PA President Mahmoud Abbas was filmed sitting and applauding as
Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud Al-Habbash called on Palestinians to
engage in a "jihad in Jerusalem." Abbas himself had only days ago given a fiery speech rejecting
Israel's legitimacy as the nation-state of the Jewish people and
holding out the promise of Palestinian refugees and their descendants
flooding across Israel's borders.