Israel Political Brief May 17, 2012: US Senate Republicans Stall Iran Sanctions for being Too Soft

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Republicans Stall Iran Sanctions for being Too Soft

Senate Republicans: bill needs to say United States will use force to stop any nuclear weapons program.
Obama with USAF Col. Michael Minihan

Obama with USAF Col. Michael Minihan
Reuters

Senate Republicans blocked package of sanctions against Iran on Thursday because the bill’s wording was not tough enough in their opinion. The GOP senators said that besides listing economic sanctions, the bill needs to say that the United States is prepared to use force to stop any nuclear weapons program.

“I just want to add one simple line that says we recognize what the president was saying that military force is also an option,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on the floor during the debate over the bill.

Republicans agreed that the bill as it is worded at present would signal a step back from Obama’s stated policy that he would do “anything necessary” to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

According to The Hill, Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), who has sponsored a separate use of force resolution with Graham and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), said the senators should be able to reach agreement sometime Thursday on necessary changes to the bill.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) urged Republicans to pass the bill in its present form but agreed that the Senate should be on record as determining that Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.

If it passes Thursday, the bill’s timing will send a message to Iran just days before next week’s talks in Baghdad between Iran and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany.

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Israel Political Brief April 16, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Talks with Iran Have Given it a ‘Freebie’

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu: Talks with Iran Have Given it a ‘Freebie’

PM Netanyahu meets U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, warns against Iran using talks to further advance its nuclear program.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed on Sunday the latest round of talks between Iran and six world powers, which were held in Turkey over the weekend.

Netanyahu, who met with U.S. Senator (ID-CT) Joe Lieberman, warned against Iran using the opportunity to advance its nuclear weapons program.

On Saturday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said the talks have been constructive and that the sides will meet again in Baghdad on May 23.

Ashton said future talks will be guided by the “principle of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity.”

“My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie,” Netanyahu said during his meeting with Lieberman. “It’s got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation.”

He added, “I think Iran should take immediate steps. First, stop all enrichment, take out all the enriched material and dismantle the nuclear facility in Qom. I believe that the world’s greatest practitioner of terrorism must not have the opportunity to develop atomic bombs.”

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was now “urgent” for Iran to ease concerns over its nuclear program.

“We believe there is still time for diplomacy, but it is urgent that the Iranians come to the table to establish an environment conducive to achieving concrete results through a sustained process,” Clinton said.

Israel Political Brief April 15, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks, About the Talks on the Iranian Nuclear Issue, at the Start of Meeting with US Sen. Joe Lieberman

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks, About the Talks on the Iranian Nuclear Issue, at the Start of his Meeting with US Sen. Joe Lieberman

Source: PMO, 4-15-12

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks, about the talks on the Iranian nuclear issue, earlier today at the start of his meeting with US Senator (ID-CT) Joe Lieberman:

“My initial impression is that Iran has been given a ‘freebie.’  It has got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition.  I think Iran should take immediate steps to stop all enrichment, take out all enrichment material and dismantle the nuclear facility in Qom.  I believe that the world’s greatest practitioner of terrorism must not have the opportunity to develop atomic bombs.”

31 US Senators Sign Resolution Against Obama’s Call that Israel Return 1967 Borders

Source: JTA, 6-12-11

U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced a resolution calling an Israeli return to 1967 lines “contrary to United States policy and national security.”

The resolution introduced June 9 is co-signed by 29 other senators, including at least two Democrats, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

It declares “that it is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in maintaining defensible borders and that it is contrary to United States policy and national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.”

In a major Mideast policy speech  last month, President Obama called for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to be restarted on the basis of 1967 borders with “mutually agreed upon land swaps.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin has rejected these borders as a starting point, calling them “indefensible.” The Palestinians say they will not return to the negotiating table unless the 1967 borders are used as the basis for discussing borders in the negotiations.

Congress further opposes Obama Mideast peace plan

Joe Lieberman to attend Glenn Beck rally

Source: JTA, 6-7-11

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) plans to attend a Glenn Beck rally in Jerusalem.

“The idea of the ‘Restoring Courage’ gathering in Jerusalem is an important idea and a very constructive one at a very important time for Israel,” Lieberman said in a video posted on the right wing talk show provocateur’s website this week. “It’s not against anybody or any group, it’s to stand with Israel at a time when a lot of the rest of the world is attempting to delegitimize Israel.”

The Jerusalem rally is scheduled for Aug. 20.

Beck last summer drew major crowds to Washington for a rally to “restore honor.”

Lieberman and Beck have been close since the talk show host moved to Connecticut in the 1990s. Lieberman was the first Jew to appear on a national presidential ticket when Al Gore selected him as his running mate in 2000, on the Democratic ticket.

Beck, who is ardently pro-Israel, nonetheless angered an array of Jewish groups recently for likening the quest for “social justice” to Nazism and for falsely insinuating that liberal philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros was a Nazi collaborator.

Beck ended his relationship with Fox News Channel last month. He still has a syndicated radio show.

Senators Hatch & Lieberman Introduce Resolution Supporting Israel’s Post-1967 Borders

Source: RTT News, 6-4-11

In an effort to counter recent remarks from President Barack Obama, Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced a congressional resolution Thursday reaffirming U.S. support for allowing Israel to maintain control of territory gained during the Six-Day War in 1967.

The resolution states, “It is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in maintaining, secure, recognized and defensible borders and that it is contrary to United States policy and our national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.”

The introduction of the resolution comes after Obama delivered a speech last month calling for the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state to be based on the pre-1967 boundaries with mutually agreed land swaps.

Obama’s initial remarks attracted considerable criticism, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the president clarified in later remarks that the mutually agreed-upon swaps mean that the border would be different than the one that existed before the war.

As a result of the 1967 war, Israel took effective control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Control of the Sinai Peninsula has since been returned to Egypt.

Lieberman said, “Israel’s borders as they existed on June 4, 1967 are not an acceptable endpoint for negotiations because they do not allow Israel to defend itself or respect the reality that hundreds of thousands of Israelis now live east of the 1967 borders.”

“This bipartisan resolution reaffirms that simple but important reality, along with the commitment of the United States to the security of our ally Israel,” he added.

Along with Hatch and Lieberman, 29 other Senators cosponsored the resolution, including Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

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