When Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry sticks out his already protruding chin, you know he really means business, even if that business happens to be telling a lie.
In his Dec. 28, 2016 speech that would have been hailed by the original Pinocchio, Kerry ripped into Israel, deploring their settlements and detesting their presence in that part of original Israel, now called the West Bank. (In 1949 Jordan it was a crime to call that area “Palestine“; Arabs maintained instead that it was a part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.)
Kerry also noted that he had passed by “military checkpoints (in the West Bank) that can make even the most routine daily trips to work or school an ordeal” – delaying workers and travelers for hours every day.
While John Forbes is no expert on travel in the West Bank, Ami Horowitz has earned the title of On Site Expert. A New York-based documentary filmmaker, Horowitz decided to test for himself whether it takes West Bank Arabs hours to travel from place to place because of Israeli roadblocks.
In an interview with Israeli media outlets last week, Horowitz explained how he tested the checkpoint humiliation and delays of Arabs east of the Jordan River. Continue reading →
Logic turned upside down – Obama deal is welcomed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – how dare Israel complain of dangers?
General Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard was quoted today on Iran state tv: “With God’s grace, the revolutionary children of Islamic Iran have succeeded in defending the rights of the Iranian nation and the Iranian nation and the Guard appreciate their honest political efforts.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, an Israeli Channel 10 TV report said informants disclosed that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards “are preparing for war” in the event that negotiations to turn last week’s framework nuclear verbal deal between the P5+1 world powers and Tehran collapses by the June 30 deadline
The Channel 10 report also said Arab intelligence agencies have warned “France, the U.K. and the U.S. that the Revolutionary Guard fears Iran could face a military strike should the talks break down, and that the Guards are ready to close the Strait of Hormuz and take other unspecified measures.”
Iran’s government was also very happy with the deal.
The Times of Israel reported that Iranian lawmakers (their Congress – hope you see the irony) voiced their approval for the April 2 framework nuclear agreement with world powers in a closed-door parliamentary session Tuesday in Tehran, with one MP calling any concessions made by Iran to world powers “unimportant.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian atomic bureau officials briefed the plenum on the deal’s outline, and what the country will adopt in exchange for easing economic sanctions.
During the meeting, Zarif told lawmakers that Iran is capable of producing an atomic bomb at any given moment, but will refrain from doing so due to religious Islamic injunctions against such a move, Israel Radio reported, but Zarif didn’t mention that the fearless leader can change the state religion rules, whenever convenient.
“We achieved major gains in the talks and made unimportant concessions,” Nozar Shafiei, a parliament member, told the Iranian Republic News Agency Tuesday.
An Israeli source reveals that all is not in agreement between the U.S. and one of its partners in the deal. The use of the more advanced IR-2 and IR-4 centrifuges, according to the French fact sheet, would enable Iran to more rapidly accumulate the highly enriched uranium needed to build nuclear weapons, accelerating its breakout time to the bomb.
The French fact sheet also specifies that Iran will be allowed to continue R&D work on the advanced IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges, the last of which can enrich uranium at 20-times the speed of Iran’s current IR-1 centrifuges, whereas the American parameters are less specific.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday issued its own fact sheet, which differs starkly with the official American parameters and with the French fact sheet seen by The Times of Israel.
Six key discrepancies between the US and Iranian documents, some of them at the very heart of the framework agreement announced in Lausanne, Switzerland, last Thursday, were reviewed by Israeli experts on Saturday
On Saturday Foreign Minister Zarif said that, under the deal, Iran has the right to continue working on more of the advanced IR-8 centrifuges: “Some said Iran can have no R&D, but we now have the right to develop IR-8, which has 20 times the output of IR-1.”
The Israeli government on Monday issued a series of demands intended to transform the non-signed framework agreement into a more reasonable deal by the scheduled June 30 deadline, and asked 10 key questions about the terms, several of which related to the emerging discrepancies between the various players’ accounts of what was decided in Lausanne.
Finally, in two interviews with Israel critic Ben Rhodes, a senior adviser to Barack Obama, quashed the notion that the final deal would be markedly more stringent on Iran than the terms of the framework agreement, declaring that the deal as it now stands meets U.S. “core objectives.”
Rhodes, like Obama, Susan Rice, John Forbes Kerry and Valerie Jarrett, has opposed the idea of requiring Iran to acknowledge Israel’s right to even exist – claiming it would “upset” negotiations. He did not comment on Ayatollah Khomeini”s recent calls for “Death to Israel! Death to America!” and why that didn’t “upset” U.S. negotiators.