The Lawless Underpinnings of the Iran Nuclear Deal: David B. Rivkin Jr. & Lee A. Casey, Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2015 — The Iranian nuclear agreement announced on July 14 is unconstitutional, violates international law and features commitments that President Obama could not lawfully make.
Obama’s Racial Blind Spot: Ruth R. Wisse, Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2015— Barack Obama’s election to the presidency represented to many Americans this country’s final triumph over racism.
How Obama’s Iran Deal is Putting Jews in a Bind: Natan Sharansky, New York Post, July 28, 2015 — These days, like many Israelis and American Jews, I find myself in a precarious and painful situation.
The Ayatollah's Plan for Israel and Palestine: Amir Taheri, Gatestone Institute, July 31, 2015 — "The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem."
The Long List of Arab Attacks Over Shabbat: Jewish Press, Aug. 2, 2015
U.S. Admiral (Ret) James “Ace” Lyons (Video): Live Leak, Feb. 11, 2015
American-Iranian Fairy Tales: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, July 31, 2015
Why the Iran Deal is in Danger: John Podhoretz, New York Post, July 22, 2015
David B. Rivkin Jr. &
Lee A. Casey
Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2015
The Iranian nuclear agreement announced on July 14 is unconstitutional, violates international law and features commitments that President Obama could not lawfully make. However, because of the way the deal was pushed through, the states may be able to derail it by enacting their own Iran sanctions legislation.
President Obama executed the nuclear deal as an executive agreement, not as a treaty. While presidents have used executive agreements to arrange less-important or temporary matters, significant international obligations have always been established through treaties, which require Senate consent by a two-thirds majority.
The Constitution’s division of the treaty-making power between the president and Senate ensured that all major U.S. international undertakings enjoyed broad domestic support. It also enabled the states to make their voices heard through senators when considering treaties—which are constitutionally the “supreme law of the land” and pre-empt state laws.
The Obama administration had help in its end-run around the Constitution. Instead of insisting on compliance with the Senate’s treaty-making prerogatives, Congress enacted the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act of 2015. Known as Corker-Cardin, it surrenders on the constitutional requirement that the president obtain a Senate supermajority to go forward with a major international agreement. Instead, the act effectively requires a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress to block elements of the Iran deal related to U.S. sanctions relief. The act doesn’t require congressional approval for the agreement as a whole.
Last week the U.N. Security Council endorsed the Iran deal. The resolution, adopted under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, legally binds all member states, including the U.S. Given the possibility that Congress could summon a veto-proof majority to block the president’s ability to effect sanctions relief, the administration might be unable to comply with the very international obligations it has created. This is beyond reckless.
On March 11 Secretary of State John Kerry defended the administration’s decision not to take the treaty route with Iran, saying it had “been clear from the beginning we’re not negotiating a legally binding plan.” The Security Council gambit has enabled the administration, without Senate consent, to bind the U.S. under international law.
The U.N. Charter resolution has trapped the U.S. into a position where it can renounce its obligations only at the cost of being branded an international lawbreaker. The president has thus handed the legal high ground to Tehran and made undoing the deal by his successor much more difficult and costly.
Yet the nuclear agreement’s legitimacy in international law is far from clear. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide imposes an affirmative obligation on all convention parties to prevent genocide and threats of genocide. Iran remains publicly committed to Israel’s elimination, an unequivocal threat of genocide in violation of the Convention.
Since nuclear weapons delivered by ballistic missiles are the most likely means by which Iran could implement its genocidal policy, an agreement that calls for lifting the Security Council resolutions banning the sale of ballistic missiles to Iran after eight years—as this nuclear deal does—also seems to contravene the genocide convention.
A further legal complication: Even if Congress doesn’t vote to bar President Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran, the president still wouldn’t be able to deliver fully on the deal’s unprecedented sanctions-lifting commitments. They were promised regardless of any future Iranian aggression in the region, sponsorship of terrorist acts or other misconduct.
Some of the U.S. statutes allow the president to lift certain sanctions on Iran. But many of the most important sanctions—including sanctions against Iran’s central bank—cannot be waived unless the president certifies that Iran has stopped its ballistic-missile program, ceased money-laundering and no longer sponsors international terrorism. He certainly can’t do that now, and nothing in the deal forces Iran to take either step. The Security Council’s blessing of the nuclear agreement has no bearing on these U.S. sanctions.
The administration faces another serious problem because the deal requires the removal of state and local Iran-related sanctions. That would have been all right if Mr. Obama had pursued a treaty with Iran, which would have bound the states, but his executive-agreement approach cannot pre-empt the authority of the states.
That leaves the states free to impose their own Iran-related sanctions, as they have done in the past against South Africa and Burma. The Constitution’s Commerce Clause prevents states from imposing sanctions as broadly as Congress can. Yet states can establish sanctions regimes—like banning state-controlled pension funds from investing in companies doing business with Iran—powerful enough to set off a legal clash over American domestic law and the country’s international obligations. The fallout could prompt the deal to unravel. For now, though, we are left with another reminder from the administration that brought ObamaCare: Constitutional shortcuts almost invariably lead to bad policy outcomes.
Ruth R. Wisse
Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2015
Barack Obama’s election to the presidency represented to many Americans this country’s final triumph over racism. Reversing the record of slavery and institutionalized discrimination, his victory was hailed as a redemptive moment for America and potentially for humankind. How grotesque that the president should now douse that hope by fuelling racism on a global scale.
The Iranian regime is currently the world’s leading exponent of anti-Jewish racism. Comparisons to Nazi Germany are always a last resort, since even with all the evidence before us it is hard to fathom the evil the Nazis perpetrated. Yet Iran’s frank genocidal ambition dwarfs its predecessor’s. Whereas Adolf Hitler and Reinhard Heydrich had to plot the “Final Solution” in secrecy, using euphemisms for their intended annihilation of the Jews of Europe, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweets that Israel “has no cure but to be annihilated.” Iran’s leaders, relishing how small Israel is, call it a “one bomb state,” and until the time arrives to deliver that bomb, they sponsor anti-Israel terrorism through Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militias.
President Obama takes some forms of racism seriously. Without waiting for a judgment to be rendered, he leaped to the defense of my Harvard colleague Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., who in 2009 was involved in a confrontation with Cambridge police investigating a reported break-in at his house. In the disputed shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., in 2012, the president identified with the victim of the alleged racism to the point of saying the 17-year-old “could have been my son.”
Yet when it comes to the world’s most widespread and ideologically driven racism, President Obama seems to have a blind spot, initiating a nuclear deal with the fanatical anti-Jewish regime in Tehran, despite what he calls Iran’s “bad behavior.” The euphemism this time is his, not that of the perpetrators, and it camouflages their intentions even if they won’t.
Perhaps Mr. Obama is oblivious to what the scholar Robert Wistrich (who died in May) called “the longest hatred” because it has been so much a part of his world as he moved through life. Muslim Indonesia, where he lived from age 6 to 10, trails only Pakistan and Iran in its hostility to Jews. An animus against Jews and Israel was a hallmark of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago that Mr. Obama attended for two decades. And before he ran for office, Mr. Obama carried the standard of the international left that invented the stigma of Zionism-as-imperialism. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama felt obliged to repudiate his pastor (who had famously cursed America from the pulpit), and muted his far-left credentials. Mr. Obama was voted into office by an electorate enamored of the idea that he would oppose all forms of racism. He has not met that expectation.
Some Jewish critics of Mr. Obama may be tempted to put his derelictions in a line of neglect by other presidents, but there is a difference. Thus one may argue that President Roosevelt should have bombed the approach routes to Auschwitz or allowed the Jewish-refugee ship St. Louis to dock in the U.S. during World War II, but those were at worst sins of omission. In sharpest contrast, President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran is an act of commission. This is the first time the U.S. will have deliberately entered into a pact with a country committed to annihilating another people—a pact that doesn’t even require formal repudiation of the country’s genocidal aims.
As a Jew I know that the appeal to history is about as effective as the child’s threat of punishment against the bully the child cannot hope to defeat. Nonetheless, Jews do “write” history, thanks to the outsize evils marshaled against them. Because the most repressive and aggressive regimes continue to organize against the Jews, the Jewish people have become the “true north” of toleration and concern for human rights. Those who defend the Jews are necessarily on the side of peace and brotherhood, those who attack them invariably on the side of evil. Depending on the outcome of the Iran deal, this outreach to an anti-Jewish regime may one day rival the blot of slavery on the American record. Israel will strive to protect its citizens, but Mr. Obama has increased the odds against them.
What of American Jews in all this? It is sometimes mistakenly assumed that those who are passionately for Israel are therefore less for America. It is just the opposite: Anti-Jewish aggression is always aimed at the self-accountable way of life that the Jews represent. “Death to the Jews!” is a call to arms against Western liberal democracies; that is why in Iran the cry is often accompanied by “Death to America!” Americans intent on stopping Iran are not against the president but in favor of the hope he once embodied for an end to racism. They hope for respectful treatment of blacks and Jews alike. They believe that America stands for humanity’s better nature.
New York Post, July 28, 2015
These days, like many Israelis and American Jews, I find myself in a precarious and painful situation. Those of us who believe that the nuclear agreement just signed between world powers and Iran is dangerously misguided are now compelled to criticize Israel’s best friend and ally, the government of the United States. In standing up for what we think is right, for both our people and the world, we find ourselves at odds with the power best able to protect us and promote stability. And instead of joining the hopeful chorus of those who believe peace is on the horizon, we must risk giving the impression that we somehow prefer war.
As difficult as this situation is, however, it’s not unprecedented. In the early 1970s, Republican President Richard Nixon inaugurated his policy of detente with the Soviet Union with an extremely ambitious aim: to end the Cold War by normalizing relations between the two superpowers. Among the obstacles Nixon faced was the Soviet Union’s refusal to allow on-site inspections of its weapons facilities. Moscow didn’t want to give up its main advantage, a closed political system that prevented information and people from escaping and prevented prying eyes from looking in.
And so as Nixon moved to grant the Soviet Union most-favored-nation status, and with it the same trade benefits as US allies, Democratic Sen. Henry Jackson of Washington proposed what became a historic amendment, conditioning the removal of sanctions on the Soviet Union’s allowing free emigration for its citizens. By that time, tens of thousands of Soviet Jews had asked permission to leave for Israel. Jackson’s amendment sought not only to help these people but also and more fundamentally to change the character of detente, linking improved economic relations to behavioral change by the USSR. Without the free movement of people, the senator insisted, there should be no free movement of goods.
The Republican administration in the White House objected furiously. This put Jewish activists inside the USSR in a difficult position. We feared opposing our greatest benefactor, yet we wanted freedom for all Soviet Jews, and we believed that would result only from unrelenting pressure to bring down the Iron Curtain. This is why, despite the clear risks and KGB threats, we chose to publicly support the amendment.
American Jewish organizations also faced a difficult choice. They were reluctant to speak out against the US government and appear to put the “narrow” Jewish interest above the cause of peace. Yet they also realized that the freedom of all Soviet Jews was at stake, and they actively supported the policy of linkage. Now all that was needed for the amendment to become law was enough principled congressional Republicans willing to take a stand against their own party in the White House.
It was a Republican senator from New York, Jacob Javits, who, spurred by a sense of responsibility for the Jewish future, helped put together the bipartisan group that ensured passage. The amendment made the principle of linkage the backbone of the free world’s relations with the USSR. The decaying Soviet economy couldn’t support an arms race or maintain tolerable conditions without credit and support from the United States. The United States would not only help free millions of Soviet Jews as well as hundreds of millions of others but also pave the way for the regime’s eventual collapse.
Today, an American president has once again sought to achieve stability by removing sanctions against a brutal dictatorship without demanding that the latter change its behavior. And once again, a group of outspoken Jews — no longer a small group of dissidents in Moscow but leaders of the state of Israel, from the governing coalition and the opposition alike — are sounding an alarm. Of course, we’re reluctant to criticize our ally and to so vigorously oppose an agreement that purports to promote peace.
But we know we’re again at a historic crossroads, and that the United States can either appease a criminal regime — one that supports global terror, relentlessly threatens to eliminate Israel and executes more political prisoners than any other per capita — or stand firm in demanding change in its behavior. A critical question is, who, if anyone, will have the vision and courage to be the next Sens. Jackson and Javits.
Gatestone Institute, July 31, 2015
"The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem." This is how the blurb of "Palestine," a new book, published by Islamic Revolution Editions last week in Tehran, identifies the author. The author is "Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Husseini Khamenei," the "Supreme Guide" of the Islamic Republic in Iran, a man whose fatwa has been recognized by U.S. President Barack Obama as having the force of law.
Edited by Saeed Solh-Mirzai, the 416-page book has received approval from Khamenei's office and is thus the most authoritative document regarding his position on the issue. Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state. He uses three words. One is "nabudi" which means "annihilation". The other is "imha" which means "fading out," and, finally, there is "zaval" meaning "effacement."
Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is based on "well-established Islamic principles", he claims. One such is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is control of a land's government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims. Khomeinists are not alone in this belief. Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world, showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the infidel that must be recovered. These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of the Philippines and Thailand.
However, according to Khamenei, Israel, which he labels as "adou" and "doshman," meaning "enemy" and "foe," is a special case for three reasons. The first is that it is a loyal "ally of the American Great Satan" and a key element in its "evil scheme" to dominate "the heartland of the Ummah." The second reason is that Israel has waged war on Muslims on a number of occasions, thus becoming a "hostile infidel" ("kaffir al-harbi"). Finally, Israel is a special case because it occupies Jerusalem, which Khamenei describes as "Islam's third Holy City." He intimates that one of his "most cherished wishes" is to one day pray in Jerusalem.
Khamenei insist that he is not recommending "classical wars" to wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he want to "massacre the Jews." What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country. His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have dual-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States or Europe to daily threats of death.
Khamenei makes no reference to Iran's nuclear program. But the subtext is that a nuclear-armed Iran would make Israel think twice before trying to counter Khamenei's strategy by taking military action against the Islamic Republic. In Khamenei's analysis, once the cost of staying in Israel has become too high for many Jews, Western powers, notably the U.S., which has supported the Jewish state for decades, might decide that the cost of doing so is higher than possible benefits. Thanks to President Obama, the U.S. has already distanced itself from Israel to a degree unimaginable a decade ago.
Khamenei counts on what he sees as "Israel fatigue." The international community would start looking for what he calls "a practical and logical mechanism" to end the old conflict. Khamenei's "practical and logical mechanism" excludes the two-state formula in any form. "The solution is a one-state formula," he declares. That state, to be called Palestine, would be under Muslim rule but would allow non-Muslims, including some Israeli Jews who could prove "genuine roots" in the region, to stay as "protected minorities."
Under Khamenei's scheme, Israel plus the West Bank and Gaza would revert to the United Nations' mandate for a brief period during which a referendum would be held to create the new state of Palestine.
All Palestinians and their descendants, wherever they are, would be able to vote, while Jews "who have come from other places" would be excluded…
Khamenei boasts about the success of his plans to make life impossible for Israelis through terror attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. His latest scheme is to recruit "fighters" in the West Bank to set-up Hezbollah-style units. "We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006 and in the 22-day war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip," he boasts. Khamenei describes Israel as "a cancerous tumor" whose elimination would mean that "the West's hegemony and threats will be discredited" in the Middle East. In its place, he boasts, "the hegemony of Iran will be promoted."…
Khamenei's book also deals with the Holocaust, which he regards either as "a propaganda ploy" or a disputed claim. "If there was such a thing," he writes, "we don't know why it happened and how." Khamenei has been in contact with professional Holocaust deniers since the 1990s. In 2000, he invited Swiss Holocaust-denier Jürgen Graf to Tehran and received him in private audiences. French Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy, a Stalinist who converted to Islam, was also feted in Tehran as "Europe's' greatest living philosopher." It was with Khamenei's support that former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set up a "Holocaust-research center" led by Muhammad-Ali Ramin, an Iranian functionary with links to German neo-Nazis who also organized annual "End of Israel" seminars…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
The Long List of Arab Attacks Over Shabbat: Jewish Press, Aug. 2, 2015—HaKol Hayehudi has compiled a list of 50 Arab terror attacks and riots over the weekend.
U.S. Admiral (Ret) James “Ace” Lyons (Video): Live Leak, Feb. 11, 2015
American-Iranian Fairy Tales: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, July 31, 2015 —In defense of its concordat with Iran, the Obama administration is peddling a growing list of misrepresentations. Here are four:
Why the Iran Deal is in Danger: John Podhoretz, New York Post, July 22, 2015—The Obama administration has to be worried about the polling data on the Iran deal. It’s not good, not good at all.