Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who has been one of the
more skeptical Democrats on the agreement, said that Obama appeared
ready to ignore Congress, even if lawmakers vote to kill the deal and
then marshal the two-thirds majorities to override a White House veto.
“The main meat of what he said is, ‘If Congress overrides my veto,
you do not get a U.S. foreign policy that reflects that vote. What you
get is you pass this law and I, as president, will do everything
possible to go in the other direction,’” Sherman told reporters off the
House floor after the meeting.
“He’s with the deal — he’s not with Congress,” Sherman added. “At
least to the fullest extent allowed by law, and possibly beyond what’s
allowed by law.”
Sherman suggested that Obama could refuse to enforce the law and
could actively seek to undermine congressional action in other
countries, if Capitol Hill insists on stymieing the plan.
He always wanted to be a dictator. What could go wrong?
For those who have been hiding in a cave all day, thus far unidentified assailants burned down a home in the Arab village of Duma next to Nablus (Shchem) during the night. A baby died and his parents and brother were injured. I am going to post the reactions I posted on Twitter this morning, and then an update.
Hamas said Friday that every Israeli is now a legitimate target
following the deadly terror attack in the village of Duma in which a
Palestinian toddler was killed, Israel Radio reported. In an official
message to the public, Hamas also called for a "day of rage" to protest
the deadly terror attack and "in order to protect al-Aksa mosque."
Israeli and Palestinian security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank were placed on high alert following the attack.
As noted above, the difference between Israel and the 'Palestinians' is that the condemnation of this attack is across the board. Of course, it could still turn out that the attack was not carried out by Jews. But it should be condemned in any case.
There have been terror incidents in Judea and Samaria all afternoon, culminating in an Israeli driver coming under fire - and responding - near Kochav HaShachar, which is just a few minutes from the Hizme crossing (the crossing between Jerusalem and Samaria).
A suspected Palestinian terrorist carried out a drive-by shooting attack
on an Israeli vehicle on Friday in the Binyamin region of the West Bank
near Kochav Hashahar. The Israeli driver in the vehicle told the army
he fired back at the gunman. There were no injuries in the incident. The
army found three bullet holes in the Israeli vehicle that came under
A couple of hours later, Palestinian rioters clashed with
IDF soldiers in Hebron. The incident occurred near the al-Rasoul Mosque,
when Palestinians on a march hurled rocks and burning tires at
security forces in the area.
Soldiers responded with riot
dispersal means, and fired Roger low intensity rounds at the legs of a
suspect, an army spokeswoman said. He sustained a light injury, the
There's enough terrorism in this country without vigilantism. Whoever murdered that child should be sent to jail for a long, long time.
French National Security official: 'Congressional 'no' vote might be helpful'
A French national security official has contradicted the Obama-Kerry line that rejection of the Iranian nuclear sellout would bring about an apocalypse. Josh Rogin reports that the official, Jacques Audibert, says that a Congressional 'no' vote might be helpful.
The French official, Jacques Audibert, is now the senior diplomatic
adviser to President Francois Hollande. Before that, as the director
general for political affairs in the Foreign Ministry from 2009 to 2014,
he led the French diplomatic team in the discussions with Iran and the
P5+1 group. Earlier this month, he met with Democrat Loretta Sanchez and
Republican Mike Turner, both top members of the House Armed Services
Committee, to discuss the Iran deal. The U.S. ambassador to France, Jane
Hartley, was also in the room.
According to both lawmakers,
Audibert expressed support for the deal overall, but also directly
disputed Kerry’s claim that a Congressional rejection of the Iran deal
would result in the worst of all worlds, the collapse of sanctions and
Iran racing to the bomb without restrictions.
“He basically said,
if Congress votes this down, there will be some saber-rattling and some
chaos for a year or two, but in the end nothing will change and Iran
will come back to the table to negotiate again that would be to our
advantage,” Sanchez told me in an interview. “He thought if the Congress
voted it down, that we could get a better deal.”
Audibert is also not anxious to see US sanctions on Iran lifted.
Audibert disagrees with that analysis, too, according to the two
lawmakers. He told them that if U.S. sanctions were kept in place, it
would effectively prevent the West from doing extensive business in
Iran. “I asked him specifically what the Europeans would do, and his
comment was that the way the U.S. sanctions are set in, he didn’t see an
entity or a country going against them, that the risk was too high,”
And Audibert has some objections to the deal.
Audibert also wasn’t happy with some of the terms of the deal itself,
according to Sanchez and Turner. He said he though it should have been
negotiated to last forever, not start to expire in as few as 10 years.
He also said he didn’t understand why Iran needed more than 5,000
centrifuges for a peaceful nuclear program. He also expressed concerns
about the robustness of the inspections and verification regime under
the deal, according to the lawmakers.
Kerry was asked about Audibert in a classified House briefing with more than 300 members on July 22. He apparently didn't have any answers.
US President Hussein Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry are finally listening to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Prime Minister Netanyahu told Israeli Army Radio on Tuesday that there is no reason for Kerry to come to Israel now, and so Kerry will skip Israel on a trip to the region this coming week that is meant to reassure skeptical allies about the Iran nuclear sellout.
Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the nuclear accord, said that the Iran
deal “has nothing to do with us, and has no influence” on Israeli
policy, before adding, “We’re not at the table, we are one of the
courses on the menu itself.”
Netanyahu was on an official
visit to Cyprus on Tuesday, where he spoke about the international
terrorist network supplied by Iran and its proxy Hezbollah. Netanyahu
said that the sophisticated network “covers over 30 countries on five
continents, including just about every country in Europe.”
In defending his alleged snub to the Jewish state, Kerry said, “I
think I’ve had more meetings with an Israeli prime minister and more
visits than any secretary of state in history. And I consider Bibi a
friend, and we talk still and we disagree on this, obviously, and I’ve
told him my feelings.”
I can't wait until Netanyahu's book comes out to hear what 'Bibi' thinks of their 'friendship.'
Ash Carter was in Israel hoping to begin a dialogue on how the U.S.
and Israel can mitigate risks of the international accord intended to
limit Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and to lift many economic
sanctions. But Carter didn’t even get to begin that beginning. Netanyahu
is said to have insisted on talking only about how the Israeli
government would work against the deal while Congress is reviewing the
accord for 60 days, a period mandated by recent legislation.
Israeli official familiar with the conversations told us this week that
Israel is for now trying to thwart the deal. But that could change on
Day 61, the official said.
Carter confirmed on Wednesday that in
the meeting, Netanyahu "was very clear as he has been publicly in his
opposition to the deal." And a U.S. defense official told us that in the
meeting, Netanyahu didn’t explicitly rebuke the defense secretary. In
fact, at other meetings in the trip, Carter discussed expanded security
cooperation with Israel, and the official said Carter left optimistic
despite tension on Iran.
"The decision makers in Israel believe we don't start the dialogue
now because it will be used to make it seem like we acquiesce on the
deal,” said Michael Herzog, a former senior Israeli defense official and
the brother of the leader of Israel's Labor Party. All of Israel’s
major political parties have come out against the deal.
Israeli campaign for now is focused on Democrats in Congress. Israel's
ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, has had dozens of meetings with
lawmakers, urging them to vote against the deal after the review period
ends in September, according to Senate and House lawmakers and staff
While Dermer and allies like AIPAC
are working Capitol Hill, Netanyahu will have lots of opportunities to
make his case directly to lawmakers as well. Dozens of U.S. lawmakers
will travel to Israel during the August recess. House Minority Whip
Steny Hoyer, a key and as yet uncommitted vote on the Iran deal, will
lead a group of freshman Democratic members of Congress to Israel next
Meanwhile, as soon as the vote in Congress is over, the Obama administration is likely to allow a resolution that will be aimed at mandating 'Palestinian statehood' to pass the United Nations Security Council, and Obama may give us bunker busters, which he will of course prevent us from ever using.
That’s the implication of a little-noticed YouTube video on which he
was last month captured talking with a delegation of Orthodox Jews in
The video has been given little coverage, even as Schumer emerges as a
pivotal figure in the debate in the Senate. The meeting was with a
delegation of one of the most distinguished Jewish groups, the Orthodox
Union. It was apparently filmed on a cellphone by a member of the
audience and was uploaded onto YouTube in June.
Schumer was aware of that possibility, because he started out by saying he’d “wanted to talk a lot of tachlis about Iran” — meaning, roughly, get down to business. But, he said, “I’m not going to do this because you’re recording it.”
Then he proceeded to talk tachlis anyhow, characterizing the question
as “which is better — no agreement or an agreement that is not close to
the ideal.” It would, though, be inaccurate to suggest that Schumer
simply endorsed what the administration is doing.
Schumer was nuanced and thoughtful. He gets that an Iranian bomb
would be an existential threat to Israel. But he mocked those who
advocate a military strike against Iran’s bomb-making facilities,
calling it “the next-worst solution.”
Then, toward the end of his remarks, he asked that the door be closed.
“This is the tachlis part,” the senator said. He spoke of how the
failure to reach an agreement would leave sanctions in place but only if
everyone else stays in. “It so bothers me to have the Jewish fate in
European hands,” Schumer said.
“We’ve been through this before, we Jewish people,” Schumer said. He
then spoke of what a difficult decision he was facing. Noting that he’d
been an elected official for 41 years, he said he would not let
political pressure interfere.
Yet maybe Schumer will remember Mordechai’s injunction to Esther: “If
you remain silent at this time, relief and rescue will arise for the
Jews from elsewhere, and you and your father’s household will perish.”
Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey: 'We told him, he ignored us'
A couple of stunning admissions on the Iranian nuclear sellout in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday from Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Obama’s claim that Congress must either back his deal
with Iran or plan for war does not square with the advice he has
received from his top general, Senate lawmakers learned on Wednesday.
Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
never presented Obama with such a binary choice. “At no time did that
come up in our conversation nor did I make that comment,” Dempsey told
Senator Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) during a Senate hearing on the Iran deal.
“I can tell you that we have a range of options and I always present
Dempsey also acknowledged that he advised the president not to
agree to the lifting of sanctions pertaining to Iran’s ballistic missile
program and other arms. “Yes, and I used the phrase ‘as long as
possible’ and then that was the point at which the negotiation continued
— but yes, that was my military advice,” he told Senator Kelly Ayotte
(R., N.H.). In the event the new deal goes into effect, the arms
embargoes will expire over the next several years.
Citing chapter and verse of the deal, Ayotte pointed out that the “plain
language” of the bargain requires the United States “to help strengthen
Iran’s ability to protect against sabotage of its nuclear program” —
even to the point of warning Iran if Israel tries to launch cyberattacks
against the program.
Dempsey seemed caught off guard when asked about that provision. “I
hadn’t thought about that, senator, and I would like to have the
opportunity to do so,” he told Ayotte.
That exchange came shortly after Dempsey and other administration
officials acknowledged a concern that Iran could launch cyberattacks
against the United States and even the International Atomic Energy
Agency, which is tasked with key oversight of the Islamic Republic’s
nuclear program under terms of the deal.
In an effort to defend Prime Minister Netanyahu from charges of destroying the US-Israel alliance due to his 'prickly' relationship with President Obama, Jonathan Tobin almost turns relations between the US and Israel and the moderate Arab states, on the one hand, and the US and Iran, on the other hand, into a zero sum game.
But the U.S.-Israel crackup isn’t a tabloid romance gone sour. The differences between the two countries are rooted in the administration’s reckless pursuit of an entente with Iran at the cost of its friendships with both Israel and moderate Arab states. That pursuit began in Obama’s first months in office, and nothing Netanyahu could have done or said would have deterred the president from this course of action. His success was achieved by a series of American concessions on key nuclear issues and not by pique about Israel’s stands on the peace process with the Palestinians or perceived rudeness on the part of Netanyahu.
Despite the attempt to portray Netanyahu’s interventions in the debate about Iran as a partisan move or an insult to Obama, keeping silent would not have advanced Israel’s interests or made more U.S. surrenders to Iran less likely. At this point, Israel has no choice but to remind U.S. lawmakers of the terrible blow to American credibility and regional stability from the Iran deal. It is the White House that has turned the Iranian nuclear threat — which was once the subject of a bipartisan consensus — into a choice between loyalty to the Democratic Party and its leader and friendship for Israel.
It is almost a given that the next president — no matter who he or she might turn out to be — will be friendlier to Israel than Obama. But the president’s legacy may not only be the strengthening of a terror state in Tehran. It has also chipped away at the U.S.-Israel alliance in a way that will make it that much harder to maintain the across-the-board pro-Israel consensus in Congress in the coming years. Given the growing dangers that the deal poses to Israel this is something that should have both Republicans and Democrats deeply worried.
Coming into office, Obama had two independent foreign policy goals in the Middle East: To weaken or destroy the United States' relations with what he sees as 'neo-colonialist' Israel, and to bring Iran back into the fold of nations. Each goal has been pursued independently. The goal of weakening the alliance with Israel has been pursued through the Obama administration changing the terms of the 'peace process' as much as it has been played by making Iran a strong enough power to check Israel. The goal of bringing Iran back into the fold of nations has been pursued through the nuclear sellout. There is nothing Netanyahu or any other Israeli leader could have done to stop Obama on either front.
The moderate Arab states are collateral damage. For different reasons than Israel, they oppose a nuclear Iran and they oppose (although they cannot say so), the creation of a 'Palestinian' terror state in the Middle East. The fact that the two goals coincide on many levels doesn't mean that an alliance with Israel was traded for one with Iran. Each goal was pursued separately.
And none of this has anything to do with Obama's personal relationship with Netanyahu. Shimon Peres could have been Prime Minister and Moshe Dayan could have been Foreign or Defense Minister and they still would have clashed with Obama. Like the 'Palestinians,' Obama sees all of Israel as 'occupied,' and not just the territories liberated in 1967.
What matters is substance, and on the substance, Huckabee is
exactly right in his assessment of Iranian motives and Israel’s
How many times do Iranian officials and Iranian allies have to express
genocidal intentions before we believe them? While there’s long been
argument as to whether former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
actually said Israel “must be wiped off the map,” there is an enormous
amount of evidence that this sentiment has been repeated (even stated in
English) and amplified by Iranian officials and allies on multiple
occasions. For example, the inscription below (on a missile, no less)
has been translated as saying “Israel must be uprooted and wiped off
[the pages of] history.”
And in the banner below, the Iranians helpfully provided their own translation:
Perhaps Obama wants to wait until Iran nukes Israel for it to be
politically correct to call Iran’s wiping Israel off the map a
“Holocaust.” But, make no mistake, Obama knows full well that Iran
intends to wipe Israel off the map with its Obama-blessed Nukes.
on, does anyone (except the American left-wing cool-aid drinking Jews)
really believe that Iran will abide by their “voluntary” protocols under
the Vienna announcement? Of course not! Are Obama or any of the
European Union leaders so rank stupid and naïve that they think Iran
won’t build a bomb just like North Korea? Does anyone not know that one
of Iran’s first targets will be to annihilate Israel?
Of course Obama knows Iran will seek to annihilate Israel, so that must be what Obama wants.
Obviously, Obama doesn’t care if he enables the murder of another 6
million Jews through a Palestinian State’s chemical Sarin-tipped
Katyusha rockets, or an Iranian Nuke. It’s simple: Obama wants Israel
and its Jews offed. What is so difficult to understand about that?
Every move Obama has made from the very first moment of his presidency
has been to irreparably harm Israel and Saudi Arabia, and irrevocably
empower Iran. It doesn’t matter what Obama’s specific motivation is.
Obama may believe in Farrakhan’s and Rev. Wright’s virulent Chicago
anti-Semitism; Obama may be merely steeped in anti-British
anti-Colonialism; or both. All that matters is Obama is acting in ways
that will allow others to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
Obama walks like a Jew-hater, arms Iran like a Jew-hater, and creates a
PA "West Bank" State like a Jew-hater, he’s a Jew-hater.
now here come the American Leftist Jewish “Holocaust” speech-police like
Debbie Wasserman-Schulz who say one isn’t allowed to invoke the
“Holocaust” or “Auschwitz” into a political debate when it is Iran’s
highest leaders who have repeatedly, openly, and notoriously injected
into the political debate that they intend to wipe Israel off the map.
And, in plain sight, Obama is crowning Iran, the greatest openly
Holocaust-threatening, terror-state in the world, the nuclear
hegemon-state of the Middle East because Iran is “stable.” I guess Obama
forgot he helped quash a popular uprising there as his first foreign
Remember how ticked off the Obama administration was about Israeli 'spying' on the Iran negotiations? Here's why
Remember how horrified the Obama administration was to find out that Israel was spying on the P 5+1 negotiations in Vienna? They had good reason to be upset. Ronen Bergman reports on how the West was totally fleeced by Iran.
In early 2013, the material indicates, Israel learned from its
intelligence sources in Iran that the United States held a secret
dialogue with senior Iranian representatives in Muscat, Oman. Only
toward the end of these talks, in which the Americans persuaded Iran to
enter into diplomatic negotiations regarding its nuclear program, did
Israel receive an official report about them from the U.S. government.
Shortly afterward, the CIA and NSA drastically curtailed its cooperation
with Israel on operations aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear
project, operations that had racked up significant successes over the
On Nov. 8, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw him off at Ben Gurion
Airport and told him that Israel had received intelligence that
indicated the United States was ready to sign “a very bad deal” and that
the West’s representatives were gradually retreating from the same
lines in the sand that they had drawn themselves.
Perusal of the material Netanyahu was basing himself on, and more
that has come in since that angry exchange on the tarmac, makes two
conclusions fairly clear: The Western delegates gave up on almost every
one of the critical issues they had themselves resolved not to give in
on, and also that they had distinctly promised Israel they would not do
One of the promises made to Israel was that Iran would not be
permitted to stockpile uranium. Later it was said that only a small
amount would be left in Iran and that anything in excess of that amount
would be transferred to Russia for processing that would render it
unusable for military purposes. In the final agreement, Iran was
permitted to keep 300kgs of enriched uranium; the conversion process
would take place in an Iranian plant (nicknamed “The Junk Factory” by
Israel intelligence). Iran would also be responsible for processing or
selling the huge amount of enriched uranium that is has stockpiled up
until today, some 8 tons.
The case of the secret enrichment facility at Qom (known in Israel as
the Fordo Facility) is another example of concessions to Iran. The
facility was erected in blatant violation of the Non Proliferation
Treaty, and P5+1 delegates solemnly promised Israel at a series of
meetings in late 2013 that it was to be dismantled and its contents
destroyed. In the final agreement, the Iranians were allowed to leave
1,044 centrifuges in place (there are 3,000 now) and to engage in
research and in enrichment of radioisotopes.
At the main enrichment facility at Natanz (or Kashan, the name used
by the Mossad in its reports) the Iranians are to continue operating
5,060 centrifuges of the 19,000 there at present. Early in the
negotiations, the Western representatives demanded that the remaining
centrifuges be destroyed. Later on they retreated from this demand, and
now the Iranians have had to commit only to mothball them. This way,
they will be able to reinstall them at very short notice.
Israeli intelligence points to two plants in Iran’s military industry
that are currently engaged in the development of two new types of
centrifuge: the Teba and Tesa plants, which are working on the IR6 and
the IR8 respectively. The new centrifuges will allow the Iranians to set
up smaller enrichment facilities that are much more difficult to detect
and that shorten the break-out time to a bomb if and when they decide
to dump the agreement.
The Iranians see continued work on advanced centrifuges as very
important. On the other hand they doubt their ability to do so covertly,
without risking exposure and being accused of breaching the agreement.
Thus, Iran’s delegates were instructed to insist on this point.
President Obama said at the Saban Forum that Iran has no need for
advanced centrifuges and his representatives promised Israel several
times that further R&D on them would not be permitted. In the final
agreement Iran is permitted to continue developing the advanced
centrifuges, albeit with certain restrictions which experts of the
Israeli Atomic Energy Committee believe to have only marginal efficacy.
As for the break-out time for the bomb, at the outset of the
negotiations, the Western delegates decided that it would be “at least a
number of years.” Under the final agreement this has been cut down to
one year according to the Americans, and even less than that according
to Israeli nuclear experts.
After accusing Prime Minister Netanyahu of interfering in US domestic affairs for addressing a joint session of Congress to speak out against the Iranian nuclear sellout back in February (before we knew how bad it really was), President Hussein Obama is calling upon the ambassadors of the United Kingdom, France and Germany to the United States, to lobby Congress to pass the sellout.
Obama administration officials flooding Congress to sell the pact are
now working in tandem with ambassadors from the three European nations —
Great Britain, France and Germany — that also signed off on the July 14
The diplomatic trio, whose countries are known
together as the “E3,” echo administration talking points and parries
specific concerns from skeptical members of Congress. They also push a
signature message: that the Iran deal is an international agreement, not
just the handiwork of a Democratic president scorned by the GOP.
think it’s important that people who will vote on the bill understand
that it’s not just about this administration and the Iranian government.
The other governments who are part of the deal, what we call the P5+1,
also have views on it and also think it’s the right way to go,” British
Ambassador Peter Westmacott told POLITICO just after meeting with
senators on Tuesday.
Of course. And that would explain why the US has no role to play in the inspection regime. Because in the new age of no superpowers, we let Russia and China run the world and farm enforcement out to the Euroweenies. You know, the people who ran away from Gaza in 2007.
European officials hope that by reminding members of Congress about
support for the deal from British Prime Minister David Cameron, German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, they
can defuse any partisan impulse to oppose President Barack Obama’s
signature foreign policy achievement.
“Especially when it comes
to addressing Republican members of Congress, it is good to add in the
E3 perspective because it might not be regarded as biased, or as much
like a partisan issue,” said Markus Knauf, a spokesman for the German
Embassy in Washington.
Let them focus on the Republicans. It's a waste of time. Other than the Pauls, I doubt there's a single Republican in Congress who would even consider voting with the administration on this. The real battle is over the Democrats.
Can someone please explain to me why the Europeans lobbying Congress is okay but Netanyahu lobbying Congress wasn't?
Tharoor first mentions Ami Ayalon, a former head of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, and links to a Daily Beast piece entitled "Ex-Intel Chief: Iran Deal Good for Israel."
Unfortunately for Tharoor (and
for Daily Beast commentator Jonathan Alter), Ayalon, who begrudgingly
supports the deal because it is "the best plan currently on the table"
and because he believes there are no available alternatives, nonetheless
has said in no uncertain terms, "I think the deal is bad. It's not good."
Tharoor then cites former intelligence chief Efraim Halevy, but strangely links to an Op-Ed Halevy wrote after a framework agreement was finalized in Lausanne last April but before the details of this final deal were agreed upon in Vienna this month. In a more recent (and thus relevant) Op-Ed,
Halevy described what he sees as several strong points in the agreement
and concludes that it is "important to hold a profound debate in Israel
on whether no agreement is preferable to an agreement which includes
components that are crucial for Israel's security."
He didn't explicitly state which side of the debate he favors,
although there is a sense that leans toward the idea that Israel must
get behind the deal. But like Ayalon, his tepid defense of the deal, if
it is even that, seems to hinge on the idea that this agreement makes
the emergence of any other, better deals unrealistic. "There will be no
other agreement and no other negotiations," Halevy says in his recent
What he does not say is that the deal signed in Vienna is, as a whole, "good." In an interview with Israel's Channel 2, he repeats his call for national debate, and paints a much more equivocal picture: "This is not an agreement that is entirely bad,"
Halevy said. "There are positive elements in it." Later, he added
that "this agreement has a number of very good elements for Israel, and
there are elements that are not as good." That quote, with its shades of
gray, might not make for as dramatic a headline as the one chosen by
the Washington Post.
But if equivocation is what the newspaper
has to work with, then equivocation is what it should be capturing in
its headlines—even if that means the piece can't be used by State
Next, Tharoor mentions Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israel's
Military Intelligence branch. It is not clear why: Yadlin, who has
cautioned against panic and excesses on the part of Israel's government,
nonetheless believes, as explained in an interview with Israel's Ynet, "This is not a good deal. This a problematic deal. You also could call it a bad deal."
Tharoor's article intially gave no hint of Yadlin's criticism of the
deal, but sometime later the author snuck in a throw-away
statement noting that Yadlin is "not a fan of the deal." (The stealth
correction appears to violate the newspaper's correction policy.)
Finally, the Washington Post blogger mentions Meir Dagan, another former Mossad chief. It appears, though, that Dagan has not gone on record
one way or another about the nuclear deal finalized in Vienna. (We
looked for any recent statements by him in Hebrew or English, and came
up with nothing. We will of course add an update if we find any relevant
commentary by Dagan from before Tharoor wrote his article.)
For those who don't recognize the picture, it's Iranian Neda Agha Soltan shortly after being shot by Iranian thugs in the streets of Tehran in June 2009. The suppression of the Iranian revolution in 2009 (the two opposition candidates remain under house arrest six years later) is one reason why Leon Wieseltier is critical of President Hussein Obama's insistence on forgetting history (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
This is nothing other than the mentality of disruption applied to
foreign policy. In the realm of technology, innovation justifies itself;
but in the realm of diplomacy and security, innovation must be
justified, and it cannot be justified merely by an appetite for change.
Tedium does not count against a principled alliance or a grand strategy.
Indeed, a continuity of policy may in some cases—the Korean peninsula,
for example: a rut if ever there was one—represent a significant
achievement. But for the president, it appears, the tradition of all the
dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.
Certainly it did in the case of Cuba, where the feeling that it was time
to move on (that great euphemism for American impatience and
inconstancy) eclipsed any scruple about political liberty as a condition
for movement; and it did with Iran, where, as Rhodes admits, the
president was tired of things staying the same, and was enduring history
as a rut. And in the 21st century, when all human affairs are to begin
Obama’s restlessness about American policy toward Iran was apparent
long before the question of Iran’s nuclear capability focused the mind
of the world. In his first inaugural address,
he famously offered an extended hand in exchange for an unclenched
fist. Obama seems to believe that the United States owes Iran some sort
of expiation. As he explained
to Thomas Friedman the day after the nuclear agreement was reached, “we
had some involvement with overthrowing a democratically elected regime
in Iran” in 1953. Six years ago, when the streets of Iran exploded in a
democratic rebellion and the White House stood by as it was put down by
the government with savage force against ordinary citizens, memories of
Mohammad Mosaddegh were in the air around the administration, as if to
explain that the United States was morally disqualified by a prior sin
of intervention from intervening in any way in support of the
dissidents. The guilt of 1953 trumped the duty of 2009. The Iranian
fist, in the event, stayed clenched. Or to put it in Rhodes-spin, our
Iran policy remained in a rut.
But it is important to recognize that
the rut—or the persistence of the adversarial relationship between Iran
and the United States—was not a blind fate, or an accident of
historical inertia, or a failure of diplomatic imagination. It was a
choice. On the Iranian side, the choice was based upon a worldview that
was founded in large measure on a fiery, theological anti-Americanism,
an officially sanctioned and officially disseminated view of Americanism
as satanism. On the American side, the choice was based upon an
opposition to the tyranny and the terror that the Islamic Republic
represented and proliferated. It is true that in the years prior to the
Khomeini revolution the United States tolerated vicious abuses of human
rights in Iran; but then our enmity toward the ayatollahs’ autocracy may
be regarded as a moral correction. (A correction is an admirable kind
of hypocrisy.) The adversarial relationship between America and the
regime in Tehran has been based on the fact that we are proper
adversaries. We should be adversaries. What democrat, what pluralist, what liberal, what conservative, what believer, what non-believer, would want this Iran for a friend?
When one speaks about an unfree country, one may refer either to its
people or to its regime. One cannot refer at once to both, because they
are not on the same side. Obama likes to think, when he speaks of Iran,
that he speaks of its people, but in practice he has extended his hand
to its regime. With his talk about reintegrating Iran into the
international community, about the Islamic Republic becoming
“a very successful regional power” and so on, he has legitimated a
regime that was more and more lacking in legitimacy. (There was
something grotesque about the chumminess, the jolly camaraderie, of the
American negotiators and the Iranian negotiators. Why is Mohammad Javad
Zarif laughing?) The text of the agreement states
that the signatories will submit a resolution to the UN Security
Council “expressing its desire to build a new relationship with Iran.”
Not a relationship with a new Iran, but a new relationship with this
Iran, as it is presently—that is to say, theocratically, oppressively,
xenophobically, aggressively, anti-Semitically, misogynistically,
homophobically—constituted. When the president speaks about the people
of Iran, he reveals a bizarre refusal to recognize the character of life
in a dictatorship. In his recent Nowruz message,
for example, he exhorted the “people of Iran … to speak up for the
future [they] seek.” To speak up! Does he think Iran is Iowa? The last
time the people of Iran spoke up to their government, they left their
blood on the streets. “Whether the Iranian people have sufficient
influence to shift how their leaders think about these issues,” Obama
told Friedman, “time will tell.” There he is again, the most powerful
man in the world, backing off and bearing witness.
I could believe that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action marked the
end of Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon—that it is, in the president’s
unambiguous declaration, “the most definitive path by which Iran will
not get a nuclear weapon” because “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is
cut off”—I would support it. I do not support it because it is none of
those things. It is only a deferral and a delay. Every pathway is not
cut off, not at all. The accord provides for a respite of 15 years, but
15 years is just a young person’s idea of a long time. Time, to borrow
the president’s words, will tell. Even though the text of the agreement
twice states that “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran
ever seek, develop, or acquire any nuclear weapons,” there is no
evidence that the Iranian regime has made a strategic decision to turn
away from the possibility of the militarization of nuclear power. Its
strategic objective has been, rather, to escape the sanctions and their
economic and social severities. In this, it has succeeded. If even a
fraction of the returned revenues are allocated to Iran’s vile
adventures beyond its borders, the United States will have subsidized an
expansion of its own nightmares.
I don't believe that Obama is so stupid as to decide to ignore history entirely. I think he wanted change - a different policy - that aligned the United States with rogue regimes like Iran and Cuba. Those are the people with whom he feels most comfortable. Another reminder.
The National Jewish Democratic Council immediately called on members of the Republican Party to denounce Huckabee’s comments, saying it is “not
only disgustingly offensive to the President and the White House, but
shows utter, callous disregard for the millions of lives lost in the
Shoah and to the pain still felt by their descendants today.”
“It may be the most inexcusable we’ve encountered in recent memory,” the organization added in a statement.
The Anti-Defamation League, a group that fights antisemitism,
said that while they are wary of the deal, Huckabee’s comments are “completely out of line and unacceptable.”
“To hear Mr. Huckabee invoke the Holocaust when
America is Israel’s greatest ally and when Israel is a strong nation
capable of defending itself is disheartening,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, in a statement.
The NJDC is an organization of the Democratic party that has come out in favor of the Iranian nuclear sellout. It exists to promote the Democratic party (and Jewish donations to it) and is definitely not Jewish. The ADL is a group of paranoid liberals that is too busy finding anti-Semitism on every street corner to think about what it means to be Jewish. In fact, I am surprised that they did not accuse Huckabee of being an anti-Semite.
I have never heard of any of the other organizations cited, although I do 'know' one of the people cited from his online persona.
And in true Leftist fashion not a single comment supporting Huckabee has been cited.
"Look, we have a very serious disagreement with the administration on
a very serious issue," Ambassador Ron Dermer told Capital Download.
"But what I don't doubt is the sincerity of the president or his team
when they say they believe this deal not only makes America safe but
makes Israel safe. Where we disagree is the judgment of actually what
this deal is going to do."
On Huckabee's comments, he said: "These are not words that I would use or that I think are appropriate."
It’s not that there’s lots of breaking news in “Ally” that will
startle people. Rather, it makes news on almost every page with its
incredibly detailed account of the root hostility of the Obama
administration toward the Jewish state.
What makes the details especially credible is that Oren is no
flame-breathing Israeli right-winger but very much (and at times
distressingly) an Establishment creature and one, moreover, who makes it
clear he drank the Obama hope-and-change Kool-Aid in 2008. (Indeed, he
now serves in Israel’s Knesset not as a member of Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud
but of the new centrist Kulanu party.)
On major matters, the administration seemed to hold Israel accountable for problems it had nothing to do with.
Example: The Palestinian Authority made moves toward seeking a
declaration of statehood at the United Nations in 2011, which would’ve
triggered a law shutting down their US mission and suspending all aid to
the PA and to UN agencies that recognized Palestine.
In response, Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides called Oren into his
fancy Foggy Bottom office and screamed at him: “You don’t want the
f - - - ing UN to collapse because of your f - - - - ing conflict with
the Palestinians, and you don’t want the f - - - king Palestinian
Authority to fall apart either.”
To which Oren replied that Israel didn’t want the United Nations to
collapse “but there are plenty of Tea Party types who would, and no
shortage of Congress members who are wondering why they have to keep
paying Palestinians who spit in the president’s eye.” He reports that
Nides “slumped into his Louis XVth chair.”
Oren also writes about bizarrely petty offenses. In 2010, Obama left
Israel off a list of countries he mentioned as having helped in the wake
of the Haiti earthquake when it was the first nation in the world to
dispatch relief teams and get them to the disaster sites — because the
president was angry about something having to do with the peace process.
Even when the administration is acting friendly, Oren senses it is
doing so not out of genuine fellow feeling but to keep Israel close —
hugging it to prevent it from acting, especially when it came to Iran’s
I'd bet that Dermer is a lot closer to Huckabee and Oren on this than he is to the ADL or the NJDC - he just can't say so.
My own view is that while I'm averse to Holocaust analogies (they make me cringe because I think they're overused), there is something to the notion that 'ovens' reflects Obama's deepest wishes for the people of Israel, if not for (non-liberal) Jews generally. And it certainly reflects what Iran wants to do with its nuclear program.
The Corker-Cardin process was supposed to save President Hussein Obama from having to bring the Iran nuclear sellout for approval by the United States Senate, where it had no chance of winning. But according to Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Obama may have outsmarted himself. The Iranian sellout violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (which was ratified and approved by the Senate), and is therefore effectively an amendment to that treaty that requires two thirds approval from the Senate.
The issue is not whether the executive can without a treaty enter into agreements with foreign governments. Of course it can.
That happens often from negotiating minor details of landing rights to
major agreements. But these executive agreements are done consistent
with treaty obligations, or certainly not in conflict with them. The
Iran Deal conflicts with the NPT.
Treaties are the law of the land
and have the status of federal statutes. They do not trump either the
Constitution or subsequently enacted statutes. As a statute, however, a
treaty would supersede a regulation, an executive order, or an
executive-signed agreement. If an executive agency or an independent
agency has the latitude to issue orders or sign agreements that conflict
with treaty obligations, then treaties ratified by the United States
have little if any enforceability.
In the United States, the administration or an independent agency
cannot simply write an order that conflicts directly with a statute. The
rule of law flows insists on no less. Why should a treaty, the NPT have
The Iran Deal will not have the status of even a statute. As
currently planned, it will not be subject to the constitutionally
mandated process for Senate consent for a treaty. Nor will the Iran Deal
become a statute even under the Corker-Cardin process
of Congressional review. Moreover, as seems likely, the Iran Deal will
result in a joint resolution that will have the support of fewer than
half of the members of either house of Congress, hardly the foundation
for a statute.
Congress had not seen the Iran Deal before the Corker-Cardin process
was enacted and had no reason to believe that it would violate the NPT.
On April 27 just before the Corker-Cardin bill was approved, Secretary
at the 2015 NPT meeting that “nonproliferation must be non-negotiable.
There is no room under the NPT for a country to negotiate its way into
becoming a nuclear-armed state … “[A]ny deal with Iran will rely not on
promises, non on words, but on proof…verification is at the heart of the
The Corker-Cardin bill established a process to review an executive order, not review a treaty amendment. No one has put
forth an argument that Congress can bind itself in advance to a process
to create or amend a treaty by a process different from that stated in
How generous: Obama wants to release Pollard 3 months before parole date but tie him to US
Having served nearly 30 years in an American jail for far less serious crimes than others who served far less time, Jonathan Pollard is up for parole in November. Now, the Obama administration wants to release Pollard (who has been held for ransom for years) three months early in the hope of mollifying Israel in the face of its sellout to a nuclear Iran. There's just one small catch: Fearful of Pollard receiving a hero's welcome in Israel, the Obama administration wants to confine him to the United States.
A senior Israeli diplomatic source revealed on Monday that if
Jonathan Pollard is released in November as has been reported, he won't
be allowed to come to Israel for fear he will receive a hero's welcome.
"The Americans are very worried of a situation in which Pollard will
be received as a hero in Israel, and therefore they likely will prevent
Pollard from leaving American territory," the source told Yedioth Aharonoth.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Saturday that she won't
interfere in the possible release of Pollard, and denied that the move
was timed to assuage Israeli concerns over the Iran nuclear deal.
"Releasing Pollard was a bad idea in 1998 and 2001. It is not a better
idea today," [Former US Secertary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld posted on Twitter, along with a copy of letters
stating his opposition to the move, which he sent to former US
presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush while serving as secretary of
In another tweet Rumsfeld wrote, "Releasing spy Jonathan Pollard doesn't
make the #IranDeal any less of a disaster for Israel and the free
world," suggesting that Pollard's possible release and the Iran deal are
I disagree with Rumsfeld and think Pollard ought to be released. But I agree with him that Pollard's release ought not to be connected with Iran. Seth Lipsky reminds us why.
It’s not that Pollard’s breach of our
Espionage Act wasn’t serious. It certainly was. But the charge to which
he pled guilty comprised a single count of passing classified secrets to
a friendly nation. In exchange for his plea, which saved the government
the risk of losing in court or being forced to drop its case rather
than disclose the secrets, the government made promises it failed to
This came to a head in the early 1990s.
Pollard was arrested in 1985. He pled guilty in 1986. He drew life in
1987. He sought to withdraw his plea in 1990. And the Appeals Court
judges who ride circuit in the District of Columbia disposed of his
claims in 1992. It was an incredibly distinguished panel, including
Laurence Silberman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Fain Williams.
Yet two of the three judges took what can
only be described as a powder, casting Pollard into prison for what the
law calls life (30 years) on the grounds that he didn’t appeal the life
sentence in a timely manner. The memorable opinion in the case was the
dissent of Judge Williams, who concluded that the government that put
Pollard away had broken the promises it had made in return for his plea.
The promises were that it would bring to
the court’s attention the value of Pollard’s cooperation, refrain from
seeking a life sentence, and limit its allocution — its statements —
regarding “the facts and circumstances” of Pollard’s crimes. Williams
concluded that the government “complied in spirit with none of its
promises” and, in respect of the third promise, “it complied in neither
letter nor spirit.”
One of the points Williams marked was the
government’s suggestion that Pollard had committed treason. That came
in a memo to the court from the defense secretary at the time, Caspar
Weinberger, who asked the Court to mete out a punishment reflecting the
“magnitude of the treason committed.” Yet Weinberg and the Court knew
that whatever Pollard did was not treason.
That’s because the Constitution prohibits
Congress from defining treason as anything other than levying war
against the U.S. or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and
comfort. Treason, Williams noted, carries the death penalty. It can be
committed only with an enemy. The espionage statute to which Pollard
pled encompassed aid to friendly nations and carried a maximum of life.
Shalom and Erekat meet in Jordan, Europeans sponsor, US not informed
Interior Minister Sylvan Shalom and 'Palestinian' chief negotiatorbottle washer Saeb Erekat had a get-acquainted meeting in Amman on Thursday. Jordan knew of and sponsored the meeting alongside the European Union. In a reflection of just how important Obama and Kerry are to the 'process,' the United States was not even told.
A private individual who holds no official position in the Israeli
government acted as a middleman in preparing for last Thursday’s meeting
between Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and chief Palestinian
negotiator Saeb Erekat, Haaretz has learned.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas were aware of the talks about holding the
meeting and approved it. Senior officials in the Jordanian government
and the European Union were also involved. The United States, however,
was kept in the dark and Israel did not update the Americans before or
after the meeting took place.
At a certain stage European Union envoy Fernando
Gentilini tried to coordinate between the sides and even suggested the
meeting be held in Brussels, however Erekat asked that it be held in
Amman, Jordan, which brought the Jordanian government into the secret.
Erekat did not present preconditions for the meeting, beyond that it be
held at a neutral venue.
The two-hour meeting was mainly intended for the two
to get acquainted. Both Erekat and Shalom presented initial suggestions
on how to restart the peace process, but did not enter into a detailed
discussion. They agreed to report back to Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and to meet
again in the near future.
The Amman meeting began in the presence of Jordanian
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, and later Erekat and Shalom continued in
I don't really expect this to go anywhere. The 'Palestinians' are hoping the United Nations will do their dirty work by passing a resolution in September mandating a 'Palestinian state.' But the big story here is the non-existent American influence. #ThanksObama.
Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif says that the nuclear deal he negotiated with US Secretary of State John Kerry permits cheating and puts the 'Zionist regime' in irrecoverable danger. Israel also believes it is endangered by this deal. Obama-Kerry say 'don't worry, be happy.' Whom to believe?
Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator in nuclear talks said
that under the terms of the recently inked accord, the Islamic Republic
is permitted to violate current embargoes on the shipment of arms and
construction of missiles, according to recent comments made before
Zarif, who spoke to the country’s parliament about the terms of the
nuclear deal, also bragged that the finalization of the accord “puts the
Zionist Regime in an irrecoverable danger,” according to an independent
translation of his Persian language remarks provided to the Washington Free Beacon.
Zarif insisted that “violating the arms and missiles embargo” placed
on Iran by the United Nations “does not violate the nuclear agreement.”
Is it possible to say that someone was fleeced on purpose?
In an important essay for the online journal Mosaic
this past November, Meir Soloveichik, the Director of the Straus Center
for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University in N.Y., writes
that Israel’s 1967 “status quo” arrangement is one of the “most
misguided in Israel’s history”.
Instead of setting aside a designated section on the Temple Mount for
Jewish prayer—one that wouldn’t have interfered with Muslim worship and
would’ve also been appropriate according to halakhah (Jewish
religious law), which forbids Jews from visiting certain portions of the
Har HaBayit—the government’s decision “set in place a policy that
resulted in the worst of all possible worlds”:
First, many Jews who continued to visit the Mount did so
without any rabbinic guidance, entering areas where according to
halakhah they should not have set foot. Second, Israel’s self-imposed
ban on Jewish prayer persuaded both the Waqf and the Palestinians and
Arab world in general that Israel’s leaders lacked any attachment to or
reverence for the site”.
According to Soloveichik the indifference has merely reinforced the
“foul false narrative” that the Jews never worshipped God on the Mount,
that the Temples never existed, and that the Jewish nation has no
It’s a sentiment echoed recently by the indefatigable Vic Rosenthal. Writing in Abu Yehuda, a “blog about the struggle to keep the Jewish state”, Rosenthal claims that Israel now either has to “exercise sovereignty” on the Temple Mount “or lose it”:
When Israel conquered the Old City in 1967, the Arabs
expected that they would be kicked out. After all, that is what they did
to the Jews in eastern Jerusalem in 1948. That is what a victorious
people in a national conflict over possession of land have always done,
if they didn’t kill or enslave the population. But that is not what
Israel did. When Israeli law was extended to eastern Jerusalem in 1967,
Arab residents were offered Israeli citizenship. Most refused and became
permanent residents, with the right to vote in municipal elections,
health and social security benefits, etc…When the IDF took control of
the Temple Mount, IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren wanted to build a
synagogue there…But Defense Minister Moshe Dayan had other ideas: he
prohibited Jews from praying on the Mount, and placed its administration
in the hands of the Jordanian waqf…Thus were the seeds planted
for the current situation, which includes absurdities like Israeli
police officers arresting Jews who are seen to move their lips when
visiting the Mount, and shrieking Arab women confronting Jews who want
to just stand there”.
We have only ourselves to blame. But then, it's not surprising. Anyone who has read Michael Oren's account of the Six Day War is aware that the government did not want to liberate Jerusalem and the Temple Mount - only the late Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren was interested in doing so. Unfortunately, the government of Israel has never reconciled itself to being in control of the Mount.
Report: Erdogan's daughter running clinic for wounded ISIS fighters
Over the weekend, there were numerous reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (President Hussein Obama's best friend forever) had ordered his troops to attack Kurds in Turkey and Iraq as part of his 'help' in combating ISIS (Islamic State).
But Erdogan's assistance to ISIS is not limited to the indirect assistance of allowing its fighters to regroup by attacking the Kurds who had them on the run. Erodgan's daughter, Sümeyye Erdoğan, is running a clinic in Southeastern Turkey that is treating wounded ISIS fighters, providing direct assistance to the people her father has told the world he is fighting.
Living in a dilapidated apartment in Istanbul’s outskirts along with
her two children, a 34-year- old emaciated nurse who spoke on the
condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, disclosed her seven-week
agonizing ordeal of working in secret military hospital in Şanlıurfa,
150 km (93 miles) east of Gaziantep and 1,300 km (808 miles) southeast
of Istanbul. “Almost every day several khaki Turkish military trucks
were bringing scores of severely injured, shaggy ISIS rebels to our
secret hospital and we had to prepare the operating rooms and help
doctors in the following procedures.
I was given a generous salary of $ 7,500 but they were unaware of my
religion. The fact is that I adhere to Alawite faith and since Erdoğan
took the helm of the country the system shows utter contempt for Alawite
minority – Alawite faith is an esoteric offshoot of Shia Islam,” Said
the nurse, recoiling in horror from the thought of imminent persecution
by Turkish much-vaunted secret police, known by its acronym MİT.
And Sümeyye is not the only member of the Erdogan family helping ISIS. So is the President's son, Bilal.
Mr. Erdoğan who always sheds crocodile tears for the plight of Syrian
trapped between the hammer of hunger and the anvil of ISIS’ extremism,
conceals the fact that his own son, Bilal Erdoğan, is involved in
lucrative business of smuggling the Iraqi and Syrian plundered oil.
Bilal Erdoğan who owns several maritime companies, had allegedly signed
contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to
different Asian countries.
Turkish government unwittingly supports ISIS by buying Iraqi
plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi sized oil wells.
Bilal Erdoğan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and
Ceyhan ports transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil
tankers. The Turkish opposition parties also accuse the belicose
President Erdoğan of desperately trying to whitewash inordinate number
of scandals concerning Bilal’s involvement in transporting Iraqi oil and
thus making ISIS the wealthiest global terrorist group. “President
Erdoğan claims that according to international transportation
conventions there is no legal infraction concerning Bilal’s illicit
activities and his son is doing an ordinary business with the registered
Japanese companies, but in fact Bilal Erdoğan is up to his necks in
complicity with terrorism, but as long as his father holds office he
will be immune from any judicial prosecution,” Gürsel Tekin ,a senior
CHP party official said in Ankara on Tuesday.
The leading CHP official further underscored that Bilal Erdoğan’s
maritime company, BMZ Ltd, is considered a family business and president
Erdoğan’s close relatives hold shares in BMZ and they misused public
funds and took illicit loans from Turkish banks. Weak, dependent,
lugubrious though defiant; the Turkish nurse pleaded for Turkish
judiciary help, imploring the last bastion of freedom, Turkish Army, to
overthrow Erdoğan’s corrupt regime.
Of course, if that happened, President Hussein Obama would step in to protect his friend....
It's amazing that the world continues to ignore Erdogan's duplicity. What hold does he have on NATO and Europe? It seems that his hold is his friendship with US President Obama. One may only hope that the next US President will relate to Erdogan more honestly.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married and a fourth is engaged! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com