NSC chief Susan Rice trashes Israel's PM....
Last week Susan Rice bluntly assailed Binyamin Netanyahu's planned address to Congress, to be given today, telling PBS's Charlie Rose that calling it “injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate [but] destructive of the fabric of the relationship." Meanwhile, Hillary, ISO a united Democratic voter base in 2016, stays strategically silent.
At AIPAC yesterday, Netanyahu succinctly summed up the basis for differing US & Israeli perspectives: "America worries about its security; Israel worries about its survival." Here is his AIPAC speech full text.
Susan Rice got standing AIPAC ovations yesterday afternoon--for citing hardline policies on enrichment and sanctions that she then rejected on behalf of Team Obama, rejections largely met with silence from the audience. She told AIPAC attendees that their demand that Iran not be allowed to enrich uranium was "neither realistic or achievable." She added: “We cannot let a totally unachievable ideal stand in the way of a good deal.”
Then Rice went into memory Fantasyland, declaring: “Even our closest international partners in the P5+1 do not support denying Iran the ability ever to pursue peaceful nuclear energy.” In doing so she conflated Iran's unquestioned right under the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to pursue peaceable uses of nuclear energy, with a right to enrich uranium that the administration apparently intends to give Iran. The latter is a "right" found nowhere in the NPT, and if placed into a formal agreement would irremediably undermine the NPT's regulatory regime. Nations with peaceful programs merely need obtain enriched uranium from suppliers; thus Iran has gotten enriched uranium from Russia for its Bushehr reactor.
Denying Iran any right to enrich uranium is one of the core demands President Obama had promised before negotiating that he would extract as a commitment from Iran.
A ringing response on Iran comes from columnist Caroline Glick, who impales Team Obama for its relentless indifference to the Iranian threat to Israel. She explains why Bibi, after six years of enduring Obama's myriad slights against Israel, has finally decided to make their animosity open:
As he has made clear in daily statements, Netanyahu is convinced that we have reached a juncture in our relations with the Obama administration where accommodation is no longer possible.
Obama’s one policy that Netanyahu has never acquiesced to either publicly or privately is his policy of accommodating Iran.
Since Obama’s earliest days in office, Netanyahu has warned openly and behind closed doors that Obama’s plan to forge a nuclear deal with Iran is dangerous. And as the years have passed, and the lengths Obama is willing to go to appease Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been left their marks on the region, Netanyahu’s warnings have grown stronger and more urgent.
CG notes Iran's existential threat to Israel:
But now we are seeing that far from being an opportunist, Netanyahu is a leader of historical dimensions. For the past two years, in the interest of reaching a deal, Obama has enabled Iran to take over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. For the first time since 1974, due to Obama’s policies, the Golan Heights is an active front in the war against Israel, with Iranian military personnel commanding Syrian and Hezbollah forces along the border.
Iran’s single-minded dedication to its goal of becoming a regional hegemon and its commitment to its ultimate goal of destroying the US is being enabled by Obama’s policies of accommodation. An Iran in possession of a nuclear arsenal is an Iran that can not only destroy Israel with just one or two warheads. It can make it impossible for Israel to respond to conventional aggression carried out by terrorist forces and others operating under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.
Whereas Israel can survive Obama on the Palestinian front by stalling, waiting him out and placating him where possible, and can even survive his support for Hamas by making common cause with the Egyptian military and the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the damage Obama’s intended deal with Iran will cause Israel will be irreversible. The moment that Obama grants Iran a path to a nuclear arsenal – and the terms of the agreement that Obama has offered Iran grant Iran an unimpeded path to nuclear power – a future US administration will be hard-pressed to put the genie back in the bottle.
CG notes that Netanyahu feels he has no choice to to bring his diplomatic dispute with Obama out into the open.
It should be noted that on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace panelist Jane Harman, a pro-Israel Democrat, argued that Bibi should indeed speak, but only after Israel's mid-March elections. This, she said, would avoid the political taint of his speaking during Israel's campaign.
Harman's view falls short for three reasons: (1) Bibi might lose the election; (2) Bibi is by far the most persuasive Israeli speaker alive, the only one who might move the needle on what Congress might do as to the Iran negotiations; (3) the administration is perfectly capable of signing a deal before a later Bibi speech date--even if in order to do so it makes yet more unwise concessions. In the event, the White House has no standing whatsoever to protest the timing of Bibi's speech, as the WH is actively intervening in Israel's election in an effort to get Israel voters to dump Bibi.
Also on FNS, panelist Charles Lane, a moderate centrist & sympathetic to Israel, noted that the White House was given a heads-up on Bibi's invitation to speak--contrary to its public stance--but was notified only one hour before the announcement. What CL missed, however, is that one hour is 60 minutes more notice than Bibi was given on May 19, 2011, when the WH floated its "1967 borders" proposal, which effectively jettisoned America's position, based upon the 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242. The Jewish Virtual Library notes that under UNSC 242 Israel was expressly NOT required to return all territories captured during the 1967 Six-Day War.
As explained in the JVL link:
The resolution does not make Israeli withdrawal a prerequisite for Arab action. Moreover, it does not specify how much territory Israel is required to give up. The Security Council did not say Israel must withdraw from "all the" territories occupied after the Six-Day war. This was quite deliberate. The Soviet delegate wanted the inclusion of those words and said that their exclusion meant "that part of these territories can remain in Israeli hands." The Arab states pushed for the word "all" to be included, but this was rejected. They nevertheless asserted that they would read the resolution as if it included the word "all." The British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon, declared after the vote: "It is only the resolution that will bind us, and we regard its wording as clear."
This literal interpretation was repeatedly declared to be the correct one by those involved in drafting the resolution. On October 29, 1969, for example, the British Foreign Secretary told the House of Commons the withdrawal envisaged by the resolution would not be from "all the territories." When asked to explain the British position later, Lord Caradon said: "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial."
Similarly, Amb. Goldberg explained: "The notable omissions-which were not accidental-in regard to withdrawal are the words 'the' or 'all' and 'the June 5, 1967 lines'....the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal."
Israel has already returned 91 percent of lands seized in 1967. Worse, in the September 1993 Oslo Accords Article I of the Declaration of Principles, the PLO--predecessor to today's Palestine Authority--accepted UNSC Res. 242 and UNSC Res. 338 (the latter passed during the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, calling for implementation of 242) as the basis for a peace settlement.
WSJ pundit Bret Stephens sees the Democrats on trial, re possibly abandoning Israel, rather than Israel on trial. Among the outright betrayals of our closest Mideast ally he cites is this gem:
In June 2010 the administration pushed, and the U.N. Security Council adopted, Resolution 1929, which “demands” that “Iran halt all enrichment activities.” But now the administration will endorse Iran’s “right” to an industrial-scale enrichment capability—a right, incidentally, that the administration denies to South Korea.
Read the full article for his catalog of Obama betrayals of Israel.
Quin Hilyer aptly terms Bibi the leader of the Free World, not Obama. QH notes that Bibi spent more of his formative years here than did Obama, took enemy fire at an age when Barry was imbibing Marxist agitprop & that as president Obama is "[conducting] a diplomatic and political assault against Netanyahu of a ferocity rarely seen in the annals of American foreign policy."
Bottom Line. Israel's PM must clearly separate himself from Obama's Iran position, while bonding anew with friends in Congress and with the American people. He has the knowledge, eloquence and policy case on the merits to do it. Which is precisely why Team Obama tried so hard to demonize and hence discredit him. At this they have failed.
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