Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a portion of his AIPAC speech today to list the times when Israel has defied U.S. warnings to act in its self defense.
"America and Israel have had some serious disagreements over the course of our nearly 70-year-old friendship," said Netanyahu from the annual AIPAC policy conference. "That started with the beginning.
"In 1948, Secretary of State George Marshall opposed David Ben-Gurion's intention to declare statehood. That's an understatement -- he vehemently opposed it. But, Ben-Gurion, understanding what was at stake, went ahead and declared Israel's independence. In 1967, as an Arab noose was tightening around Israel's neck, the United States warned [the prime minister] that if Israel acted alone, it would be alone. But Israel did act --acted alone -- to defend itself. In 1981, under the leadership of Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor at Osirak. The United States criticized Israel and suspended arms-transfers for three months. And in 2002, after the worst wave of Palestinian terror attacks in Israel's history, Prime Minister Sharon launched Operation Defensive Shield. The United States demanded that Israel withdraw its troops immediately but Sharon continued until the operation was completed.
"There's a reason I mention all of these. I mention them to make a point. Despite occasional disagreements, the friendship between America and Israel grew stronger and stronger, decade after decade. And our friendship will weather the current disagreements as well to grow even stronger in the future."
Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress tomorrow.
Last week, the Obama administration succeeded in pressuring Democrats to insist there not be a vote on the Senate floor in support of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 until after the March 24 deadline for negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear weapons program. Lacking the votes in the Senate to impose cloture, Republicans had little choice but to go along. But the delay is unfortunate.
In John Kerry's statement on President Obama's Cuba policy changes, the secretary of state doesn't simply suggest the policies in place for five and a half decades are outdated. He seems to be suggesting they were a failure from the start. And in doing so, he apparently misstates his own age at the time President Kennedy made one of the most well known presidential addresses in our nation's history, and certainly the most notable regarding Cuba.
Imagine for a moment that you are a Saudi, Emirati, Jordanian, or Israeli. Your main national security worry these days is Iran—Iran’s rise, its nuclear program, its troops fighting in Iraq and Syria, its growing influence from Yemen through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.
Foreign Policy reports that the U.S. believes Iran is cheating on U.N. nuclear sanctions. "The United States has privately accused Iran of going on an international shopping spree to acquire components for a heavy-water reactor that American officials have long feared could be used in the production of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium," reports Colum Lynch.
It's heartening these days to see an outbreak of bipartisan seriousness, given how rare those instances have become. Herewith some excerpts from a statement delivered by Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at the committee’s December 3 hearing on “Dismantling Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program,” which The Scrapbook enthusiastically cosigns:
How to explain America’s failure, after 20 years of efforts, to impose genuinely crippling sanctions on Iran? Start with the penchant of the executive branch—from Presidents Clinton to Obama—for excluding Congress from the process.
At the White House Wednesday for bilateral talks with President Obama, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather publicly reminded the president of how seriously Israel takes the threat of a nuclear Iran.
When nations start imposing sanctions and embargoes on each other, black markets and hoarding follow as light comes with dawn. Witness Cuban cigars, which never went away and became even more desirable, especially as a status item favored by international types who smoked them to demonstrate that they knew where, and how, to get them.
Hillary Clinton will shortly release a memoir, Hard Choices, chronicling her tenure as secretary of state. If what she has to say in its pages resembles what she had to say from the stage at the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) annual Global Forum on May 14—where she claimed undue credit for implementing sanctions against Iran—it’s worth setting the record straight now.