Pro-Israel News

Date:
Thursday, March 12, 2015
 
MARCH 11, 2015 4:24 PM| By Chris Coffey| The Algemeiner|
 
The US Senate received over 57,000
emails in 24 hours from people
demanding congressional review of
any nuclear deal with Iran,
according to a statement from
Christians United for Israel (CUFI)
on Wednesday.
 
CUFI organized the grass roots
email campaign in an effort to raise
awareness about the lack of
congressional involvement in the
current negotiations with the
Islamic Republic of Iran.
“Every major arms control
agreement in recent history has
been submitted to Congress for
approval. A deal with Iran should
be no different,” said CUFI executive director David Brog.
 
The CUFI email campaign specifically voiced support for the Iran Nuclear Agreement
Review Act of 2015 (S.615). This legislation, among other things, directs President
Obama to promptly transmit the details of any Iranian nuclear deal to Congress. It
further directs the Secretary of State to assess the feasibility of verifying Iran’s
compliance with any such deal. The bill also limits the President’s ability to lift
sanctions againstIran.
 
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act was sponsored by Senator Bob Corker (R­TN). A number of potential
2016 presidential candidates have joined Corker as co­sponsors, including Senator Lindsay Graham (R­SC),
Senator Rand Paul (R­KY), and Senator Marco Rubio (R­FL).
 
CUFI says that it has 2 million members, and is the largest pro­Israel organization in the United States
Date:
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
ByDouglas J. Feith

 

‘Extraordinarily reasonable,” President Obama called it in an interview aired on Sunday, referring to the multiparty deal being negotiated on Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. When the talks began, Mr. Obama said it was “unacceptable” for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Now it isn’t clear whether that is actually his view.

On Capitol Hill, distrust of the president is intense, fueled by resentment that he doesn’t intend to submit the nuclear deal for congressional approval. Forty-seven Republican senators on Monday sent a letter to Tehran explaining that a future U.S. president or Congress could easily revoke an agreement not validated by this Congress. Mr. Obama responded testily, accusing the signers of making “common cause with the hard-liners in Iran.”

Under the pending deal, Iran can maintain large nuclear facilities and continue enriching uranium. Mr. Obama says this is fine because Iran would have to allow inspections of specified nuclear sites. In response, also on TV Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I do not trust inspections with totalitarian regimes. What I’m suggesting is that you contract Iran’s nuclear program, so there’s less to inspect.”

The key, in Mr. Netanyahu’s view, is to pressure Iran to dismantle major facilities. That way, if Tehran eventually decides to abandon the deal, the regime would have to work much more than a year to produce a nuclear weapon. In addition, Mr. Netanyahu says, sanctions should remain in place until Iran stops threatening its neighbors and supporting terrorism. Mr. Obama says such demands are unrealistic. They would kill the talks, he asserts, and leave only a military option.

But at the heart of the Obama-Netanyahu dispute—and of the president’s clash with Congress—is not diplomacy versus war. It’s the difference between cooperative diplomacy and coercive diplomacy.

By taking a cooperative approach, Mr. Obama insists, the U.S. and others can persuade Iran’s ruling ayatollahs to play by rules that all parties voluntarily accept. In contrast, the coercive option, which Mr. Netanyahu favors, assumes that Iran will remain hostile, dishonest and dangerous. The coercive approach sees Iran’s nuclear program as a symptom of the hostility between Iran and the West, but not as the source of the hostility. Coercion means America and its friends would use trade and financial restrictions, diplomatic isolation and other methods (short of military strikes) to pressure a resistant Iran into changing its behavior.

When Mr. Obama says the Israeli leader has offered “no viable alternative” to the deal being negotiated, he is denying that a coercive option exists. But Mr. Netanyahu’s point is that we can have one if we try. U.S. officials would need to exert leadership by highlighting Iranian threats, prescribing ways to limit them and soliciting other countries’ support.

There are two major problems with Mr. Obama’s cooperative approach. The first is the nature of Iran’s regime. The second is the history of attempts to constrain bad actors through cooperative approaches such as arms control and peace accords.

The Iranian regime is theocratic and revolutionary. It came to power in 1979 on a wave of extremist religious ideology and remains committed to exporting its revolution. Its leaders despise liberalism and democracy. They particularly hate Western respect for the rights of women and homosexuals. The regime remains in power through torture and murder of its domestic critics. It makes frequent use of public executions—the numbers have increased lately even though President Hasan Rouhani is commonly called a reformer.

Abroad, the Iranian regime acts as a rogue. Its agents and terrorist proxies have committed bombings and other murders in countries including France, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq. A U.S. court convicted Iranian agents of plotting in 2011 to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. by bombing a Washington, D.C., restaurant. Iranian officials foment hatred of the U.S. and Israel and call for the annihilation of both.

Iranian leaders have a long record of shameless dishonesty. Their aid to the tyrannical Assad regime has been massive since the Syrian civil war began, but they routinely deny it. And they make a practice of lying to United Nations weapons inspectors. Commenting on how the inspectors have repeatedly been surprised by what Iran hides, Olli Heinonen, former deputy director-general of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, told this newspaper in 2013, “If there is no undeclared installation today . . . it will be the first time in 20 years that Iran doesn’t have one.”

 

Iran is a bad actor, and history teaches that constraining bad actors through arms control and peace accords is a losing bet. The arms-control approach is to invite bad actors to sign legal agreements. This produces signing ceremonies, where political leaders can act as if there’s nobody here but us peaceable, law-abiding global citizens. The deal makers get to celebrate their accords at least until the bad actors inevitably violate them.

Nazi Germany violated the Versailles Treaty. The Soviet Union violated the Biological Weapons Convention, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, various nuclear-arms treaties and other international agreements. The Palestine Liberation Organization violated the Oslo Accords. North Korea violated the Agreed Framework.

Patterns emerge from this history. When leaders of democratic countries extract promises of good behavior from bad-actor regimes, those democratic leaders reap political rewards. They are hailed as peacemakers. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was cheered when he returned from Munich in 1938 with “peace in our time.” These leaders have a stake in their deals looking good. When those deals are violated, the “peacemakers” often challenge the evidence. If the evidence is clear, they dismiss the violations as unimportant. When the importance is undeniable, they argue that there aren’t any good options for confronting the violators.

In the end, the bad actors often pay little or nothing for their transgressions. And even if the costs are substantial, they are bearable. Just ask Russia’s Vladimir Putin , or Syria’s Bashar Assad or North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

The Obama administration has wedded itself to a cooperative policy toward Iran. The White House rejects the coercive approach as not viable. But if Iran violates its deal with us, won’t our response have to be coercive? President Obama insists that his policy is the only realistic one. In doing so, he is showing either that he is naïve and uninformed about the relevant history or that he no longer considers an Iranian nuclear weapon “unacceptable.”

Date:
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
PM implies that increased support for Israeli position on Tehran’s
nuclear program stems from Congress speech
 
BY AVI LEWIS March 10, 2015, 3:09 pm| The Times of Israel|
 
Following his speech before Congress, officials in the United States and across the world
have become more receptive to Israel’s fears over Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons
program, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.
Talking to a cadre of top IDF officers in the West Bank, the prime minister reiterated his belief that
an impending deal between Iran and major world powers, in its reported form, would enable
Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons.
“One week after my address to Congress I get the impression that there are more and more
voices, especially in the US, but also in other places, that support Israel’s position,” Netanyahu
said.
 
Some media commenters perceived that statement as a reference to a group of 47 Republican
senators, including Senate leaders and several potential 2016 presidential candidates, who wrote
an open letter to Iran’s leader, warning any deal with US President Barack Obama might not be
honored in future.
“The agreement being formulated between the major powers and Iran gives a clear path to Iran to
achieve a nuclear bomb,” Netanyahu said, adding that “a better agreement must be sought.”
Iran and the six­nation group — the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — hope to
reach a rough deal on the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program by March 31 and a final
agreement by June 30.
 
Netanyahu said that he hoped that “more realistic” views would be aired vis­a­vis Iran and that
Israel would continue monitoring negotiations closely.
Obama said Sunday that the US would “walk away” from a bad Iran deal, amid a nadir in ties
between the two leaders over conflicting views on how to tackle the nuclear program and
Netanyahu’s controversial Congress speech.
 
 
Obama said that any agreement must allow Western powers to verify that Tehran isn’t going to
obtain an atomic weapon, and must ensure that even if Iran “cheated,” the US and others would
have “enough time to take action.”
 
Date:
Monday, March 9, 2015

ByCBS NEWS |CBS NEWS |March 8, 2015, 6:14 PM 

 

(CBS News) -- Below is a transcript from the March 8, 2015 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rep. Trey Gowdy, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Tim Scott, Benjamin Crump, April Ryan, Gerald Seib, Ruth Marcus and Margaret Brennan.

BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: I'm Bob Schieffer.

And today on FACE THE NATION: President Obama tells our Bill Plante Iran must make more concession on inspections if it wants a nuclear deal.

We will get the reaction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. We will hear from Mitch McConnell in his first Sunday interview since taking over as Senate majority leader, plus Congressman Trey Gowdy, who is tracking down those Hillary Clinton e-mails, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, and Selma 50 years after historic Bloody Sunday march, because this is FACE THE NATION.

Good morning.

In his interview with senior white correspondent Bill Plante yesterday in Selma, the president talked about how difficult it is going to be to get a nuclear deal with Iran, and in his clearest language yet said flatly that unless Iran agrees to more stringent inspections, he will walk away from the deal. Here is the key part of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is enormous suspicion between the Iranian regime and the world, not just the United States.

The Iranians have negotiated seriously because we were able to bring them to the table through some of the toughest sanctions that have been ever put in place. We have made progress in narrowing the gaps, but those gaps still exist. And I would say that over the next month or so, we're going to be able to determine whether or not their system is able to accept what would be an extraordinarily reasonable deal, if in fact, as they say, they are only interested in peaceful nuclear programs.

And if we have unprecedented transparency in that system, if we are able to verify that in fact they are not developing weapon systems, then there's deal to be had. But that's going to require them to accept the kind of verification and constraints on their program that, so far at least, they have not been willing to say yes to.

BILL PLANTE, CBS NEWS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The activity of the secretary of state and his counterparts suggests a lot of people, particularly I guess the Israelis, that a deal is imminent.

OBAMA: I think it is fair to say that there is an urgency because we now have been negotiating for well over a year.

And the good news is, is that during this period Iran has abided by the terms of the agreement, we know what is happening on the ground in Iraq. They have not advanced their nuclear program. We have been able to roll back their 20 percent highly enriched uranium during this period of time. It's given us unprecedented access into what they are doing. So we're not losing anything through these talks.

PLANTE: And you have said that if there is no deal, you're willing to walk away. That's it.

OBAMA: Absolutely. If there's no deal, then we walk away.

If we cannot verify that they are not going to obtain a nuclear weapon, that there's a breakout period, so that even if they cheated we would be able to have enough time to take action, if we don't have that kind of deal, then we're not going to take it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHIEFFER: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is back in Israel after his unprecedented speech to the joint session of Congress. He joins us now from Jerusalem.

Prime Minister, thank you for being here.

The president told Bill Plante he will walk away from any deal if it does not include more stringent inspections than the Iranians have already agreed to. Is that good enough?

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Well, I respect President Obama. I expressed appreciation in my speech in Congress, as I do now, for the many things that he's done for Israel.

We share the same goal of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but we disagree on how to do it. I do not trust inspections with totalitarian regimes. It didn't work with North Korea. They violated it and played a good game of hide-and-cheat.

It didn't work with Iran. They cheated and bamboozled inspectors. They -- under the nose of inspectors, they built two underground bunkers that they didn't know about, the inspectors didn't know about, and we, the intelligence agencies of the U.S., Israel, Britain, didn't know about for years.

So, I would be a lot more circumspect. In fact, what I'm suggesting is that you contract Iran's nuclear programs, so there's less to inspect.

SCHIEFFER: Well, do you trust the president to make the right decision on this?

NETANYAHU: I think this is not an issue, a personal issue. It's not one of trust.

It's matter of survival, really, the deepest security issues for the state of Israel, I think for the security of the Middle East, for the security of the world, and also for United States. We can have obviously differing perspectives.

But I chose to bring out what I thought would be a better deal. I think the current proposal, as I understand it, enables Iran to have a vast nuclear infrastructure, which means a very short breakout time to the bomb. And, secondly, it lifts the restrictions after a decade. It just lifts all the restrictions on Iran.

And it could have an arsenal of many, many nuclear bombs. Plus, they're continuing to -- developing the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver that arsenal any place on earth, including the United States of America. I think there's a better deal.

The better deal is to increase the breakout time, to limit Iran's infrastructure, and, secondly, to condition the lifting, link the lifting of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in the future to a change in Iran's behavior, to have it stopped instigating aggression against its neighbors, worldwide terrorism that it's doing, and to have them stop threatening the annihilation of Israel.

I think that is a better deal.

SCHIEFFER: Let me read you a tweet that the White House called -- sent out last week calling attention to an article by Fareed Zakaria on why he said your predictions have been wrong for 25 years. Were you offended by that?

NETANYAHU: Well, the reason I have been warning for 25 years is because Iran has been trying to get to the bomb. And if we hadn't acted, I and President Obama and Congress and others, if we hadn't acted in these intervening years, Iran would have had the nuclear weapon a long time ago.

And if we don't, if we let our guard down, if we had let our guard down, then Iran would have had the weapon. If we let our guard down now, it will have the weapon. And as far as tweets, I would -- if I had to choose, I would retweet something that relates to Iran. And that is the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini's recent tweet in which he cites nine ways and reasons that Israel should be destroyed.

That gives you much better perspective on this regime. And even in these times of sometimes heated disagreement, I think it's useful to remember who your ally is and who your enemy is.

SCHIEFFER: A Saudi newspaper, "Al-Hayat," reported that the United States plans to offer some Arab states a so-called nuclear umbrella as protection against Iran.

Any reaction to that? And can you tell us, do you have information that that is even accurate?

NETANYAHU: I don't know, but if it's true, it raises two troubling questions.

The first is, it means that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Otherwise, why offer presumably Gulf states, why offer them protection, nuclear protection? And the second is, if it's true, it signals a shift in U.S. policy from preventing a nuclear Iran to containing one. And that is not good.

SCHIEFFER: If there is a deal, do you believe that Iran's ties to terrorism need to be dealt with in the agreement? NETANYAHU: I think what you have to make sure is that the restrictions on Iran are not lifted, do not expire before Iran stops its worldwide campaign of terrorism, which has included, by the way, many attacking America and its allies around the world.

I think that is important. If the P5-plus-one, if the world powers don't want to condition ending terrorism before the deal is signed, they should certainly condition it before the deal expires, before the restrictions on Iran is lifted.

And, again, I think that you should demand from Iran clearly, before you lift restrictions on its nuclear program, that they stop terrorism, that they stop the aggression against the many countries in the Middle East that they're gobbling up now, and equally that they stop threatening to annihilate my country, the one and only Jewish state of Israel.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Prime Minister, you knew it was going to be controversial when you decided to come to the United States and make the speech to the joint session. Do you feel that it was successful?

NETANYAHU: Well, look, I knew it would be difficult.

I certainly didn't have any attempt of having a partisan position. And I certainly didn't mean any disrespect to the president or anyone else. But I came because, as prime minister of Israel, I felt an obligation to speak before Congress, that may have an important role in this deal, before the deal is signed to alert them to what I think are enormous dangers to Israel, the region and to the world with the impending deal.

SCHIEFFER: You said in the past that Iran must have zero capability to enrich uranium. You did not mention that in your speech. Is that still your position?

NETANYAHU: That would have been our preference from the beginning. It always is our preference.

But I said, at the very least, you have to make sure that they don't have the capability to break out to a bomb within a year or less, which is the current proposal, because, in a year, anything could happen. You could have international crises that could get away with it.

So, I said that the kind of agreement that I was talking about, that is increase the breakout time, limit their facilities, and not lift the restrictions on their nuclear program, is something that would be much better deal, something that Israel and many of our Arab neighbors could live with, literally live with.

SCHIEFFER: And that is, that basically represents a change in what you said before; am I not right in saying that?

NETANYAHU: It's not our preference.

But it's our hope that this would be the minimal positions that -- adopted by the world powers. That is not that Iran would have a breakout capability of no more than one year, but a breakout capability that would require at least several years, which was what we had understood to be starting positions of those negotiations in the first place.

SCHIEFFER: Prime Minister, thank you so much for taking time to join us this morning.

NETANYAHU: Thank you, Bob. Appreciate it. Thank you.

(For continued transcript refer to: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/face-the-nation-transcripts-march-8-2015-net...)

Date:
Friday, March 6, 2015

Netanyahu, other political leaders vow tough response to terrorism after Palestinian car attacker injures 5 in Jerusalem

BY ITAMAR SHARON March 6, 2015, 2:46 pm | The Times of Israel | 

 

P ublic Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Friday that Jerusalem was a prime target for terrorists and warned that the next attack “cannot be prevented.”

At a security briefing following Friday’s car­ramming attack in the capital which wounded four border policewomen and a civilian, Aharonovitch said:

“We do everything we can for Jerusalem, but I’m sorry to say the city is marked for terror attacks. We need to be alert and intelligencegathering agencies

need to do everything to thwart those attacks, but the next attack cannot be prevented.” Israeli politicians were quick to condemn the attack and promised

a tough response to terrorism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the work of security forces who shot and incapacitated the terrorist, and sent well­wishes to the victims. “We are resolved to continue and fight terrorism and to use all means necessary for this purpose,” he said in a statement. Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid said in a statement that “terrorists who enter the state of Israel should know that they have signed their own death warrant…they won’t get out of it in one piece.

 

” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman cited one of his major campaign promises by stating that “only when terrorists know that any attack means a death sentence,

will it be possible to significantly decrease the number of attacks.” Likud Knesset Member Miri Regev accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of

“incitement to murder” and claimed that anyone viewing the Palestinian leader as a partner for peace was living in a fantasy. Yachad party leader Eli Yishai, the former head of Shas, said Israel must revoke the citizenship of anyone who carries out attacks. “There is no difference between a car attack, rock­throwing or Molotov cocktails. They are all intended to murder Jews,” he said. Following the attack, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that

security in the capital would be heightened but that Purim events would go forward as planned. “We will not allow terrorism to disrupt our daily lives and we will continue to fight it without compromise,” he stated. Barkat also praised the response of security forces at the scene, “who brought the incident to a swift end and prevented further harm.” Meanwhile, the terrorist group Hamas praised the attack which it said in a statement was a “heroic action” and

“a natural response to Israeli crimes.” Five people were injured in the attack near a Jerusalem light rail station in the north of the city. Four of the wounded were young border policewomen, in their twenties, and the seventh was a civilian bicycle rider in his fifties. The Palestinian attacker, Mohammad Salima, 21, from east Jerusalem’s Ras al­Amud, was in a private vehicle when he hit the five as they stood on a sidewalk.

 

According to initial reports, he then emerged from the vehicle with a butcher’s knife and attempted to stab passersby, but was swiftly shot and incapacitated by a Border Policeman and a light rail security guard at the scene. The five victims suffered light­to­moderate injuries. Salima was seriously injured. “The swift and determined response stopped the attack as it was beginning and prevented more innocents from being injured,”

said Moshe Edri, a regional police commander. Friday’s attack mirrored a spate of similar assaults on Israelis involving cars late last year, in the same part of Jerusalem.

Friday’s attack raised tensions in Jerusalem during the Purim holiday, and came a day after the Palestinian leadership said it would end security cooperation with the Jewish state in the West Bank. Officials say it is difficult to prevent such attacks, which appear to be carried out by “lone wolf” assailants who are not thought to be dispatched by a terrorist organization. 

Date:
Thursday, March 5, 2015

 

By ARIEL COHEN \03/04/2015 14:34| The Jerusalem Post| 

 

"This is the hour that America has heard the truth. we must respond with meaningful legislation to guarantee liberty for both Israel and America," Pastor John Hagee says.

 

Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest Christian pro-Israel group in the United States, backed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat on Tuesday, also calling for a united religious front against extremism.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is confirming something that we in CUFI have long believed. The fact is that we are all in this together.  Radical Islam -- both in its Shiite and Sunni forms -- targets America and Israel, Christians and Jews," Christians United for Israel Executive Director David Brog told The Jerusalem Post. “This is not a Jewish problem that the rest of the world can afford to ignore. Israel is not the cause of this evil. Quite to the contrary, Israel is our first line of defense against this evil."

In his speech on Tuesday, Netanyahu brought up the threat to Christians in the Middle East twice, specifically calling out persecution at the hands of the Iranian government and the threat global terrorism poses to Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.

"In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone," Netanyahu said. 

Christians United for Israel’s Executive Director David Brog told the Post that CUFI believes the best option moving forward would be for “radical Islam controls as little territory and as few weapons as possible.” He went on to explain  this means the United States the United States needs to help to defeat ISIS on the battlefield and ensure that Iran is not further enabled by the premature easing of sanctions. 

“An emboldened Iran safe under its own nuclear umbrella would be a disaster for America, Israel and our Arab allies, as well as for the region's Jews, Christians and other religious minorities,” Brog said. “ No one would be safe.  No one should operate under the naive illusion that Iran is someone else's problem.”

Founder of Christians United for Israel, Pastor John Hagee, echoed Netanyahu's sentiments regarding the Iranian deal after the conclusion of the speech, stating that "This is the hour that America has heard the truth, and now we must respond with meaningful legislation to guarantee liberty for both Israel and America."

"Today America and the world had the opportunity to experience a Churchill moment with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel,” Hagee said.  “In the dark days of World War II, when Hitler and the Nazis were destroying Europe, Winston Churchill addressed the British making this statement 'You ask what is our aim. I can answer in one word: It is victory... for without victory, there is no survival.'"

A month prior to Netanyahu’s speech CUFI sent an action alert to it’s over 2 million members asking them to email their elected representatives about attending Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. Thousands responded to the call to action.

“I never make up my mind on an important issue without first listening to a variety of views,” said Pastor John Hagee said at the time. “I expect the same from my elected officials. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a very important voice on the issue of Iran.  Attending his speech is not a partisan statement. It’s a basic requirement of their job.”

Date:
Thursday, March 5, 2015

 

By ARIEL COHEN \03/04/2015 14:34| The Jerusalem Post| 

 

"This is the hour that America has heard the truth. we must respond with meaningful legislation to guarantee liberty for both Israel and America," Pastor John Hagee says.

 

Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest Christian pro-Israel group in the United States, backed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat on Tuesday, also calling for a united religious front against extremism.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is confirming something that we in CUFI have long believed. The fact is that we are all in this together.  Radical Islam -- both in its Shiite and Sunni forms -- targets America and Israel, Christians and Jews," Christians United for Israel Executive Director David Brog told The Jerusalem Post. “This is not a Jewish problem that the rest of the world can afford to ignore. Israel is not the cause of this evil. Quite to the contrary, Israel is our first line of defense against this evil."

In his speech on Tuesday, Netanyahu brought up the threat to Christians in the Middle East twice, specifically calling out persecution at the hands of the Iranian government and the threat global terrorism poses to Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.

"In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone," Netanyahu said. 

Christians United for Israel’s Executive Director David Brog told the Post that CUFI believes the best option moving forward would be for “radical Islam controls as little territory and as few weapons as possible.” He went on to explain  this means the United States the United States needs to help to defeat ISIS on the battlefield and ensure that Iran is not further enabled by the premature easing of sanctions. 

“An emboldened Iran safe under its own nuclear umbrella would be a disaster for America, Israel and our Arab allies, as well as for the region's Jews, Christians and other religious minorities,” Brog said. “ No one would be safe.  No one should operate under the naive illusion that Iran is someone else's problem.”

Founder of Christians United for Israel, Pastor John Hagee, echoed Netanyahu's sentiments regarding the Iranian deal after the conclusion of the speech, stating that "This is the hour that America has heard the truth, and now we must respond with meaningful legislation to guarantee liberty for both Israel and America."

"Today America and the world had the opportunity to experience a Churchill moment with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel,” Hagee said.  “In the dark days of World War II, when Hitler and the Nazis were destroying Europe, Winston Churchill addressed the British making this statement 'You ask what is our aim. I can answer in one word: It is victory... for without victory, there is no survival.'"

A month prior to Netanyahu’s speech CUFI sent an action alert to it’s over 2 million members asking them to email their elected representatives about attending Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. Thousands responded to the call to action.

“I never make up my mind on an important issue without first listening to a variety of views,” said Pastor John Hagee said at the time. “I expect the same from my elected officials. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a very important voice on the issue of Iran.  Attending his speech is not a partisan statement. It’s a basic requirement of their job.”

Date:
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

BY RAPHAEL AHREN March 4, 2015, 12:11 pm| The Times of Israel| 
 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that he offered a “practical alternative” to the prospective nuclear agreement between six world powers and Iran, rebutting criticism from the White House that his speech in Congress did not offer any new practical policy proposals on how to thwart Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

He also said that his controversial address helped US lawmakers from both sides of the aisle better understand why the agreement currently under discussion is deeply flawed.

“The response I received from both Democrats and Republicans was very supportive,” Netanyahu said upon landing at Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport after a three-day trip to Washington. “I got the impression that they better understand that the current proposal would lead to a bad deal and that the alternative is a better deal.”

Netanyahu said he presented “a practical alternative” to the deal six world powers under American leadership  — the so-called P5+1 — are currently discussing with the Islamic Republic by imposing tougher restrictions on its nuclear program. He said he called for the extension “by years” of Iran’s breakout time, or the time it would need to amass enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb to several years, in case Iran were to violate the agreement.

“I also called on the P5+1 to insist on a deal that would link the lifting of those restrictions to Iran’s ceasing its sponsorship of terrorism around the world, its aggression against its neighbors and its calls for Israel’s destruction,” he said.

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama said Netanyahu’s speech had offered “nothing new” and suggested no viable alternatives to the plan were discussed.

“We don’t yet have a deal. But if we are successful, this will be the best deal possible with Iran to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon,” Obama told reporters after having read a transcript of Netanyahu’s speech. “On the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region, the prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives.”

During his speech Tuesday, Netanyahu called on the P5+1 to drop the current deal and strive to attain a better one by increasing pressure on Iran. He denied the often-made claim that a breakdown of the current negotiations would make a diplomatic solution of the nuclear standoff impossible.

“Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true,” he said. “The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal: a better deal that doesn’t leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short breakout time; a better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in place until Iran’s aggression ends; a better deal that won’t give Iran an easy path to the bomb; a better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally.”

Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back “well-beyond the current proposal” by maintaining pressure on Iran, Netanyahu said, describing Tehran as a “very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.”

 

Date:
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
 

 

By MICHAEL WILNER \03/03/2015 16:34| The Jerusalem Post| 

60 Democratic members of Congress are skipping the joint meeting, but that does not mean those who are attending are doing so enthusiastically

 

WASHINGTON -- Unintentionally so or politically motivated, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters Congress on Tuesday set to deliver the address of his career.

In the shadow of Winston Churchill— in his mind, anyway— Netanyahu will deliver his third speech to a joint meeting, which will also be his third speech focused on Iran.

March 17, Israel's national elections, may play a role in the prime minister's positioning in Washington. But nearly two decades of concern over Iran and its nuclear ambitions brings Netanyahu to this moment, where he addresses the American people over a threat he believes demands a public debate before diplomats reach a political framework agreement on the program, possibly by the end of March.

He will be careful not to detail classified US intelligence in the speech. But towing the line, he will lay out new information before Congress in order to drive home the nature of the threat he perceives. 

Speaking with The Jerusalem Post on Monday, one senior Obama administration official said that US President Barack Obama has no plans to respond directly to Netanyahu's speech.

The official said the focus, instead, is on reaching a detail-oriented, technical solution to the nuclear issue. The administration has laid out concrete proposals to Tehran, the official asserted, speaking with a sense of umbrage at Netanyahu's decision to criticize the effort without putting forth what the White House considers to be viable counterproposals.

Nor will the president watch Netanyahu. Instead, he will be in the White House Situation Room on a conference call with the leaders of Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the European Union - all parties to the negotiations currently under way in Geneva, where they have already presented Iran with a proposal.

60 Democratic members of Congress are skipping the joint meeting, but that does not mean those who are attending are doing so enthusiastically. Watch carefully for moments when Democratic leadership sits, stands and applauds— a key barometer of any joint gathering.

The proposal on the table would restrict Iran's program strictly for at least ten years, preventing them from coming within one year of obtaining the materials necessary for a nuclear weapon. Key to the deal, officials say, is an intrusive inspections and verification system. Over time, sanctions on Iran would be lifted.

Netanyahu is expected to outline aspects of the Geneva proposal that he considers unacceptable to Israel— the wisdom of a sunset clause on a deal, which would ease restrictions on Iran after a finite period; the likelihood of Iranian compliance throughout its duration; and the world's Plan B should Iran kick out inspectors, only a year away from a nuclear bomb.

The speech itself may not change the course of the negotiations. But Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) and several other colleagues seek legislation that would require congressional approval of enforcement of any future deal.

Support for such a bill may rest on the outcome of this speech. Without lobbying for specific legislation against the president, expect Netanyahu to allude to the role of Congress as a co-equal branch of government with a key role on Iran policy. 

Netanyahu may go as far as to say that, given the unique threat Iran poses to the Jewish people, Israel finds itself cornered but unbound by a future nuclear pact. When he refers to Israel's experience acting alone in its defense, he is suggesting a willingness to sabotage a deal with unilateral Israeli military force.

Whether such a strike is still within Israel's capabilities is questionable. But Netanyahu's fear of an emboldened Iran is so grave— and his trust in Obama so lacking— he may find himself entertaining the extreme. More than any other moment, this inflection point reflects his fears and his vision of what Zionist leadership requires.

Date:
Monday, March 2, 2015


At AIPAC conference, prime minister thanks president for his support, says despite disagreements ahead of Congress speech, Israel-US relations have not faltered

 
BY ADIV STERMANMARISSA NEWMAN AND REBECCA SHIMONI STOIL March 2, 2015, 6:03 pm | The Times of Isreal

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress is not intended to disrespect President Barack Obama or his administration, but to warn the world of the threat posed by Iran’s apparent pursuit of nuclear weapons, the Israeli leader told a pro-Israel audience in Washington on Monday, a day before the controversial address.

 

Speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, DC, Netanyahu described tensions between the US and Israel over Iran as a disagreement within a family.

He stressed that the alliance between Israel and the US was “stronger than ever,” and added that he expected the alliance to become “even stronger in the coming years.”

“Disagreements in the family are uncomfortable. But we must always remember that we are family. Our alliance is sound, our friendship is strong,” he said. “The values that unite us are much stronger than issues that divide us.”

Netanyahu is scheduled to address the US Congress on the Iranian threat Tuesday, in a move White House officials had described as damaging to bilateral ties.

The prime minister defended the appearance as necessary to thwart Iran, which he described as heading toward the bomb.

“We are no longer silent. Today we have a voice. And tomorrow, I plan to use that voice,” Netanyahu said to a supportive crowd. “I plan to speak about an Iranian regime that’s developing the capacity to make nuclear weapons, lots of them.”

The US-Israel relationship will “weather” the current disagreement “because we share the same dream,” he said.

Netanyahu also rebuffed claims that his speech had turned Israel into a divisive issue, saying that support for the Jewish state must remain bipartisan.

“The last thing I would want is that Israel would become a partisan issue,” he said firmly.

He added said he “deeply appreciates” the US for its support, and that he did not ever mean to disrespect Obama or his office, as he had “great respect for both.”

Netanyahu also backed up his embattled ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, who worked with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) to schedule the Congressional address.

Netanyahu described Dermer, who has reportedly been isolated from routine contact with the Obama administration, as “a man who knows how to take the heat.”

Employing a crude graphic showing attacks around the world, the prime minister accused Iran of exporting terror.

“This is what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons,” he said. “Imagine what would happen if it had nuclear weapons.”

 

The Israeli leader explained that he had “a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them.” For 2,000 years, Netanyahu said, Jews have been defenseless. “Well, no more!” he declared.

“Those days are over,” he added. “Today in the sovereign state of Israel, we defend ourselves.” In so doing, Israel allies itself with the US “to defend our common civilization against common threats,” Netanyahu said.

Iran, the prime minister said, “is threatening to destroy Israel, is devouring country after country in the Middle East… and is developing, as we speak,” the capability to build nuclear weapons.

The disagreements among the US and Israel over the Iranian nuclear issue were “only natural,” because there are differences between the two countries, Netanyahu continued.

The Israeli leader said that in the nine years he served as prime minister, not one day has passed in which he had not thought about Israel’s survival.

 

Despite occasional disagreements, the friendship between America and Israel grew stronger and stronger, decade after decade,” Netanyahu said.

Earlier Monday, a senior official traveling with Netanyahu said the Israeli leader was set to reveal details from an emerging nuclear deal to “uninformed” US lawmakers during his controversial speech to Congress on Tuesday.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told reporters covering the prime minister’s trip that Israel knows more about the agreement with Iran than many members of Congress.

“We know many details from the agreement being put together, details that we feel members of Congress are unaware of,” the official said, according to the Haaretz daily. “According to the information we have, the deal currently taking shape will leave Iran with the capability to build a nuclear weapon, if [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei makes a decision to do so.”

The official said Netanyahu would reveal some details of the agreement during his speech before both houses of Congress on Tuesday, according to the Ynet news site.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara Netanyahu, at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, as they depart for the United States on March 1, 2015, ahead of his speech at the US Congress. (Photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO)

“We are not here to offend President Obama whom we respect very much,” said a Netanyahu adviser, who was not authorized to be identified. “The prime minister is here to warn, in front of any stage possible, the dangers” of the deal that may be taking shape.

A report late last month that the US was pursuing a deal with Iran that would freeze the ability to produce a nuclear weapons for 10 years before allowing it to ramp up enrichment activities was quickly denied by the White House and State Department.

However, Israeli officials, including Netanyahu, have said the deal being put together is a bad one that will be dangerous for Israel and the Western world.

The invitation to speak to Congress extended by House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, and Netanyahu’s acceptance have caused an uproar that has exposed tensions between Israel and the US, its most important ally.

By consenting to speak, Netanyahu angered the White House, which was not consulted in advance, and Democrats, who were forced to choose between showing support for Israel and backing the president.

“I will do everything in my ability to secure our future,” Netanyahu said before flying to Washington. He described himself as “an emissary” of the Jewish people.

Boehner said Iran’s nuclear ambitions were a threat well beyond the region.

“We’re not going to resolve this issue by sticking our heads in the sand,” Boehner told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

He said Netanyahu “can talk about this threat, I believe, better than anyone. And the United States Congress wants to hear from him, and so do the American people.”

 

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