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Geneva: The Abandonment of the Jews: Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25, 2013 — With the stroke of a pen in Geneva, the world has entered an alarming new phase, one in which the United States has turned its back on its allies and embraced a long-standing foe.
Iran Looks Beyond the Nuclear Talks: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs, Nov. 26, 2013— The West must ensure that by the end of the negotiating process, Iran will not have a breakout capacity toward a nuclear bomb, and the countries subject to the threat emanating from Iran must goad the West in this direction if it shows hesitation.
How U.S. Policy is Betraying Not Only Israel, But Also Sunni Arabs: Barry Rubin, The Rubin Report, Nov. 26, 2013 — In 1948, there were hopes that the Arab-Israeli conflict would be resolved in the long-run.
Worse Than Munich: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 25, 2013 — To adapt Churchill : Never in the field of global diplomacy has so much been given away by so many for so little.
Alliance With U.S. Is Here To Stay: Moshe Arens, Ha’aretz, Nov. 26, 2013
The Goal of Obama’s Foreign Policy: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25, 2013
The Iran Nuclear Deal: Full Text: CNN, Nov. 24, 2013
The Geneva Accord: A Tale of Two Clashing Perspectives: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Nov. 24, 2013
How the European Media View the Iran Nuclear Deal: Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2013
On Iran: Imagine Romney in the White House: Oded Eran & Yoel Guzansky, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25, 2013
With the stroke of a pen in Geneva, the world has entered an alarming new phase, one in which the United States has turned its back on its allies and embraced a long-standing foe. Indeed, rather than ratcheting up the pressure on Iran, Washington has instead turned up the heat on Israel, forcing the Jewish state into a corner, and a dangerous one at that. Make no mistake. The agreement signed over the weekend between Iran and the West constitutes a surrender of historic proportions, one that rewards the misbehavior of the ayatollahs while punishing Israel’s steadfast reliability.
If international diplomacy had its own Richter scale to measure the magnitude of strategic earthquakes, Geneva 2013 would earn a place of pride alongside Munich 1938. Consider the following: Since July 31, 2006, the United Nations Security Council has adopted no less than six resolutions requiring the Iranians to “suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development.” Nearly all these resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which means they are legally binding on Iran and all UN member states. Nonetheless, Tehran has merrily continued to violate its international obligations, enriching uranium to its heart’s content as it has advanced towards its goal of building a nuclear weapon.
Enter Barack Obama and John Kerry, who agreed at Geneva to soften economic sanctions against Iran while allowing their nuclear scientists to continue to enrich uranium up to a level of five percent, even though such activity has been repeatedly prohibited. In other words, the mullahs have now received an imprimatur from Washington to continue violating the UN Security Council resolutions which the US itself had supported. This, by definition, is an act of retreat in the face of Iranian obstinacy and disobedience, a move that sends a perilous message of weakness precisely at a time when determination is warranted. In effect, the Iranians are being told that if you violate and obfuscate long enough, eventually the West will fold. If that isn’t appeasement, then what is? Moreover, the Geneva accord does not require Iran to dismantle even a single centrifuge, leaving in place its future capacity to surge forward towards the nuclear finish line at a time of its choosing.
Yet one thing that Geneva most certainly did accomplish is that it tightened the screws on Israel, making it significantly more difficult for Jerusalem to take unilateral military action in the coming months against Iranian nuclear installations. With much of the world pinning its hopes on the flawed agreement with Iran, an Israeli resort to military force at this time would elicit more than just the usual howls of protest from the international community. The Geneva accord appears designed to pen in Israel more than it does Iran, an attempt to handcuff the Jewish state for the next six months by vastly raising the diplomatic and political costs of military action. And so, just as he has done with various other crises that have arisen on his watch, Obama is once again kicking the can down the road, pushing off the need to make hard decisions on Iran for a few months in the hopes that something, anything, will enable him to avoid the moment of truth.
BUT IN doing so, Obama is imperiling Israel and its future by signaling to Iran that he is willing to live with a situation in which they are on the brink of the nuclear threshold. For a president who famously told the Atlantic magazine in March 2012 that “We’ve got Israel’s back,” Obama sure has a curious way of showing it, by putting the squeeze on the Jewish state. Everyone who supports Israel, Jew or Christian alike, should be alarmed by this turn of events. The United States has recklessly rolled the dice with the fate of its closest ally in the Middle East, inexplicably placing its faith in a rogue regime, one that has repeatedly vowed to finish what Hitler began.
It was 29 years ago, in 1984, that historian David S. Wyman published a seminal volume, The Abandonment of the Jews, on America’s failure to stop the Nazi slaughter of European Jewry. Marshaling painstaking evidence, Wyman conclusively demonstrated that America and its leadership could have saved millions of Jews. In the preface to his book, Wyman concluded with a simple yet chilling question, “Would the reaction be different today?” Sadly, the agreement forged with Iran in Geneva gives us a glimpse of what the answer might be.
Lt. Col (ret.) Michael Segall
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Nov. 26, 2013
The West must ensure that by the end of the negotiating process, Iran will not have a breakout capacity toward a nuclear bomb, and the countries subject to the threat emanating from Iran must goad the West in this direction if it shows hesitation. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claims that the West is only using the nuclear issue as a pretext to harm and weaken Iran, just as it always has since the outbreak of the revolution. Khamenei underlines the decline in American power and influence (even among its friends) and the economic problems afflicting it, contrasting this with Iran’s rising power compared to the past. Even though he does not oppose the negotiations, he warns: “Do not trust the enemy who smiles at you.” Khamenei’s statements convey that Iran does not really need the negotiations. Iran does not come to the nuclear negotiations out of weakness, but, indeed, from a position of strength, and rather than having anything to lose from the talks, it only stands to gain from them, as it did in the interim agreement. Iran’s considerations in coming to the negotiating table are its assessment of America’s declining regional and international status and its own expanding reach. Iran is preparing for two main scenarios. One is ongoing negotiations, with Iran prepared for certain concessions that, in its view, will not derail it from the fast track to the bomb through clandestine channels, while entailing the removal of some of the sanctions and gradual erosion of the sanctions regime in general. In the second scenario, Iran remains firm in the face of the sanctions, upgrades its regional status, and progresses toward the bomb while taking a risk (which it does not see as great) of an attack on its nuclear facilities.
Since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office, efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue have gained momentum, with the announcement on November 24, 2013, of an interim agreement between the P5+1 and Iran. It appears that the international community, and particularly the United States, is seeking to put the nuclear negotiations with Iran on a course that will eventually dispel the tense relations that have prevailed since Iran’s Islamic Revolution. It seems that the United States just waited for Ahmadinejad – who constitutes the true blunt face of the Islamic regime and who didn’t play by the diplomatic rules – to leave office in order to bring the nuclear dossier to a forced closure. To cut a deal with Ahmadinejad was too embarrassing for the U.S. administration. President Rouhani and Foreign Minister’s Zarif’s social network diplomacy and charm offensive, combined with certain backchannels (Oman, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, The Asia Society), probably made the process much easier and smoother for the U.S.
The interim agreement leaves Iran with sufficient wherewithal to produce military nuclear capabilities – both with regard to uranium enrichment (using advanced IR-M2 centrifuges) and through the plutonium channel – should it decide at some point to break out as a result of a crisis in the negotiations on a permanent agreement, violation of the agreement, continued clandestine development of a bomb, or what Iran would perceive as a change in the Middle Eastern geostrategic landscape, which is indeed changing rapidly. Thus, the West must ensure that by the end of the negotiating process in six months, which is still fraught with obstacles and potential Iranian stalling, Iran will not have any breakout capacity toward a nuclear bomb, and the countries subject to the threat emanating from Iran must goad the West in this direction if it shows hesitation. In addition, Iran must meet the strict conditions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) within the framework of the Additional Protocol (an issue that is under heated domestic debate in the Majlis). This would allow enhanced supervision of Iran’s nuclear program and, particularly, of what is still its clandestine components. Only this can ensure that Iran will not keep enriching uranium and developing the military component of its nuclear program in concealed sites, thereby progressing toward the bomb at the same time that it takes part in negotiations. That, after all, is what Iran did in the wake of the 2003 agreements, which were negotiated by none other than Rouhani.
Concurrently, the West must “maintain” the sanctions effectively. Iran has already shown, in the initial stages of the negotiations, that it seeks to transfer the sanctions from the P5+1 framework to the UN Security Council and thereby essentially get them canceled by international decree; this is part of its effort to gradually vitiate the sanctions. The West must also sustain the credible military threat that already proved itself in the past, including when Rouhani was head of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team in 2003. At that stage the U.S. military threat led Iran to temporarily suspend its enrichment program out of fear that, in the wake of America’s invasion of Iraq, it would be the next target.
The West must also draw the lessons from its own behavior and from the agreements it reached with Iran ten years ago. Today, Iran has all the components for assembling a bomb should it choose to do so. In a meeting with students on November 3, 2013, on the eve of the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, observed: “Today Iran’s situation is different from when it agreed to suspend uranium enrichment [in 2003]. Back then we had begun to spin one or two centrifuges; today thousands of them are in use.” Iran has indeed been hit hard by Western sanctions, particularly those affecting its oil sector, and is losing about $5 billion per month. Yet, in contrast to other countries in the region, Iran is stable and had a quiet election campaign earlier this year. Rouhani, who emerged as the victor, has again joined the nuclear battle. This time he hopes to “rescue” Iran’s economy and return it to the family of nations, as well as complete the nuclear cycle and accomplish the mission of creating the first Shi’a nuclear bomb…
[To Read The Full Article Follow This Link – ed.]
The Rubin Report, Nov. 26, 2013
In 1948, there were hopes that the Arab-Israeli conflict would be resolved in the long-run. But it wasn’t. In 1967, there was hope that the magnitude of Israeli victory meant that the Arabs would eventually come to terms (Egypt and Jordan did in a way, although the final word has not been written). In 1982, people believed that the conflict could still be solved, but it wasn’t. And finally, during the negotiations from 1993-2000, there were renewed hopes that the conflict would be resolved. It wasn’t. Today, the conflict is even further from being resolved, especially with the entry of Iran, Islamism, and the radical government in Turkey. Maybe it is time to conclude the Arab-Israeli conflict will never be resolved.
There have since been at least three more examples following the same pattern. The first is obviously Iran, its nuclear intentions, its trickery, and its desire to dominate the region. But that's not all; consider what the U.S. has done to Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. It is probable that Iran is going to give Syria a victory in the civil war. The fact is that Iran, Hizballah, and the Syrian government are on one side, and Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have been on the other side. But now, in essence, the U.S. has objectively sided with Iran, and that is one of the reasons that the Saudis are angry. Here is what the Saudi ambassador to England, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, said: "Appeasement hasn't worked in the past, and I don't think it will work in the 21st century," he was quoted as saying. "That is why the frustration really is toward the main players within the United Nations Security Council, that's their responsibility. And they will share also the blame, whatever deal comes out, they are responsible for it."
The statement from the Saudi ambassador to London also expressed in his Times of London interview an unusually abrasive criticism of the West for what he said was a too-soft approach toward Iran, calling Washington's "rush" to engage with Tehran "incomprehensible." A senior Saudi diplomat issued a rare direct threat to Iran, warning that "all options are available" should the international community fail to rein in Iran's alleged drive to acquire nuclear weapons.This statement could easily come out of the mouth of an Israeli politician. It is amusing that with this parallelism to Israel's viewpoint, the senior diplomat had to deny that he saw something in common with Israel. In other words, Saudi Arabia feels that it has been betrayed by the United States, and will respond to that betrayal.
Then there is Egypt. Let's review American behavior. Two years ago, the United States basically helped and celebrated a Muslim Brotherhood electoral victory. Every anti-Islamist knows this. When the Egyptian military coup happened a year later, the U.S. opposed it. In other words, if the Muslim Brotherhood had won and crushed freedom by staying in office, it would be have been backed by the United States, but since there was a coup, the election was stolen. Doesn't everyone in Egypt know that if the coup had not taken place, the U.S. would have the supported the Muslim Brotherhood government? Don't the Egyptians know that the United States would be willing to sell Egypt into Islamic fundamentalist slavery? Would anyone believe the United States would protect any of its other allies?
But suddenly, the U.S. turned around and Kerry actually said that the Muslim Brotherhood had "stolen" the revolution. And that is why the Egyptians are turning toward Russia today and do not trust the U.S. Frankly you would think that the Obama administration wants to sabotage U.S. Middle-East policy. By the way, the Egyptians were so angered by their perception of Turkey cuddling up to Iran and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, that they threw out the Turkish ambassador.
Wall Street Journal, Nov. 25, 2013
To adapt Churchill : Never in the field of global diplomacy has so much been given away by so many for so little. Britain and France's capitulation to Nazi Germany at Munich has long been a byword for ignominy, moral and diplomatic. Yet neither Neville Chamberlain nor Édouard Daladier had the public support or military wherewithal to stand up to Hitler in September 1938. Britain had just 384,000 men in its regular army; the first Spitfire aircraft only entered RAF service that summer. "Peace for our time" it was not, but at least appeasement bought the West a year to rearm. The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973 was a betrayal of an embattled U.S. ally and the abandonment of an effort for which 58,000 American troops gave their lives. Yet it did end America's participation in a peripheral war, which neither Congress nor the public could indefinitely support. "Peace with honor" it was not, as the victims of Cambodia's Killing Fields or Vietnam's re-education camps can attest. But, for American purposes at least, it was peace.
By contrast, the interim nuclear agreement signed in Geneva on Sunday by Iran and the six big powers has many of the flaws of Munich and Paris. But it has none of their redeeming or exculpating aspects. Consider: Britain and France came to Munich as military weaklings. The U.S. and its allies face Iran from a position of overwhelming strength. Britain and France won time to rearm. The U.S. and its allies have given Iran more time to stockpile uranium and develop its nuclear infrastructure. Britain and France had overwhelming domestic constituencies in favor of any deal that would avoid war. The Obama administration is defying broad bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress for the sake of a deal.
As for the Vietnam parallels, the U.S. showed military resolve in the run-up to the Paris Accords with a massive bombing and mining campaign of the North that demonstrated presidential resolve and forced Hanoi to sign the deal. The administration comes to Geneva fresh from worming its way out of its own threat to use force to punish Syria's Bashar Assad for his use of chemical weapons against his own people.
The Nixon administration also exited Vietnam in the context of a durable opening to Beijing that helped tilt the global balance of power against Moscow. Now the U.S. is attempting a fleeting opening with Tehran at the expense of a durable alliance of values with Israel and interests with Saudi Arabia. "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" is the title of a hilarious memoir by British author Toby Young —but it could equally be the history of Barack Obama's foreign policy.
That's where the differences end between Geneva and the previous accords. What they have in common is that each deal was a betrayal of small countries—Czechoslovakia, South Vietnam, Israel—that had relied on Western security guarantees. Each was a victory for the dictatorships: "No matter the world wants it or not," Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said Sunday, "this path will, God willingly, continue to the peak that has been considered by the martyred nuclear scientists." Each deal increased the contempt of the dictatorships for the democracies: "If ever that silly old man comes interfering here again with his umbrella," Hitler is reported to have said of Chamberlain after Munich, "I'll kick him downstairs and jump on his stomach." And each deal was a prelude to worse. After Munich came the conquest of Czechoslovakia, the Nazi-Soviet pact and World War II. After Paris came the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh and the humiliating exit from the embassy rooftop. After Geneva there will come a new, chaotic Mideast reality in which the United States will lose leverage over enemies and friends alike.
What will that look like? Iran will gradually shake free of sanctions and glide into a zone of nuclear ambiguity that will keep its adversaries guessing until it opts to make its capabilities known. Saudi Arabia will move swiftly to acquire a nuclear deterrent from its clients in Islamabad; Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal made that clear to the Journal last week when he indiscreetly discussed "the arrangement with Pakistan." Egypt is beginning to ponder a nuclear option of its own while drawing closer to a security alliance with Russia. As for Israel, it cannot afford to live in a neighborhood where Iran becomes nuclear, Assad remains in power, and Hezbollah—Israel's most immediate military threat—gains strength, clout and battlefield experience. The chances that Israel will hazard a strike on Iran's nuclear sites greatly increased since Geneva. More so the chances of another war with Hezbollah.
After World War II the U.S. created a global system of security alliances to prevent the kind of foreign policy freelancing that is again becoming rampant in the Middle East. It worked until President Obama decided in his wisdom to throw it away. If you hear echoes of the 1930s in the capitulation at Geneva, it's because the West is being led by the same sort of men, minus the umbrellas.
Alliance With U.S. Is Here To Stay: Moshe Arens, Ha’aretz, Nov. 26, 2013— Since Hassan Rohani became president of Iran in June and began showing a smiling face to the United States, the manner in which the Iranian nuclear project should be handled has been a subject of disagreement between the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel.
The Goal of Obama’s Foreign Policy: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25, 2013 — It isn’t surprising that the US and the other five powers signed a deal with Iran on Saturday.
The Iran Nuclear Deal: Full Text: CNN, Nov. 24, 2013 — The following is the full text of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
The Geneva Accord: A Tale of Two Clashing Perspectives: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Nov. 24, 2013—U.S. and Israeli perspectives on the accord signed in Geneva last night could not be more different.
How the European Media View the Iran Nuclear Deal: Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2013 — Major news organizations in France and Germany largely express approval of their political leaders for the six-month agreement reached in Geneva.
On Iran: Imagine Romney in the White House: Oded Eran & Yoel Guzansky, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25, 2013 — He publicly declared seven years ago that Iran must and can be stopped, that sanctions should be toughened, and that Iran should be isolated.
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