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PM Netanyahu's speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

​The potential deal with Iran could threaten the survival of Israel. If Iran develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to annihilate Israel, as it has vowed to do. As prime minister of Israel, I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there's still time to avert them.

Following is the transcript of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference:

"Thank you. Wow, 16,000 people. Anyone here from California? Florida? New York? Well, these are the easy ones. How about Colorado? Indiana? I think I got it. Montana? Texas?
You're here in record numbers. You're here from coast to coast, from every part of this great land. And you're here at a critical time. You're here to tell the world that reports of the demise of the Israeli-U.S. relations are not only premature, they're just wrong.
You're here to tell the world that our alliance is stronger than ever.
And because of you, and millions like you, across this great country, it's going to get even stronger in the coming years.
Thank you Bob Cohen, Michael Kassen, Howard Kohr and all the leadership of AIPAC. Thank you for your tireless, dedicated work to strengthen the partnership between Israel and the United States.
I want to thank, most especially, Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans. I deeply appreciate your steadfast support for Israel, year in, year out. You have our boundless gratitude.
I want to welcome President Zeman of the Czech Republic. Mr. President, Israel never forgets its friends. And the Czech people have always been steadfast friends of Israel, the Jewish people, from the days of Thomas Masaryk at the inception of Zionism. You know, Mr. President, when I entered the Israeli army in 1967, I received a Czech rifle. That was one of the rifles that was given to us by your people in our time of need in 1948. So thank you for being here today.
Also here are two great friends of Israel, former Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar and as of last month, former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. Thank you both for your unwavering support. You are true champions of Israel, and you are, too, champions of the truth.
I also want to recognize the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, for your genuine friendship, Dan, and for the great job you're doing representing the United States and the State of Israel.
And I want to recognize the two Rons. I want to thank Ambassador Ron Prosor for the exemplary job he's doing at the U.N. in a very difficult forum.
And I want to recognize the other Ron, a man who knows how to take the heat, Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. Ron, I couldn't be prouder to have you representing Israel in Washington.
And finally, I want to recognize my wife, Sara, whose courage in the face of adversity is an inspiration to me. Sara divides her time as a child psychologist, as a loving mother, and her public duties as the wife of the prime minister. Sara, I'm so proud to have you here with me today, to have you with me at my side always.
My friends,
I bring greetings to you from Jerusalem, our eternal undivided capital.
And I also bring to you news that you may not have heard. You see, I'll be speaking in Congress tomorrow.
You know, never has so much been written about a speech that hasn't been given. And I'm not going to speak today about the content of that speech, but I do want to say a few words about the purpose of that speech.
First, let me clarify what is not the purpose of that speech. My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama or the esteemed office that he holds. I have great respect for both.
I deeply appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel, security cooperation, intelligence sharing, support at the UN, and much more, some things that I, as prime minister of Israel, cannot even divulge to you because it remains in the realm of the confidences that are kept between an American president and an Israeli prime minister. I am deeply grateful for this support, and so should you be.
My speech is also not intended to inject Israel into the American partisan debate. An important reason why our alliance has grown stronger decade after decade is that it has been championed by both parties and so it must remain.
Both Democratic and Republican presidents have worked together with friends from both sides of the aisle in Congress to strengthen Israel and our alliance between our two countries, and working together, they have provided Israel with generous military assistance and missile defense spending. We've seen how important that is just last summer.
Working together, they've made Israel the first free-trade partner of America 30 years ago and its first official strategic partner last year.
They've backed Israel in defending itself at war and in our efforts to achieve a durable peace with our neighbors. Working together has made Israel stronger; working together has made our alliance stronger.
And that's why the last thing that anyone who cares about Israel, the last thing that I would want is for Israel to become a partisan issue. And I regret that some people have misperceived my visit here this week as doing that. Israel has always been a bipartisan issue.
Israel should always remain a bipartisan issue.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The purpose of my address to Congress tomorrow is to speak up about a potential deal with Iran that could threaten the survival of Israel. Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Look at that graph. Look at that map. And you see on the wall, it shows Iran training, arming, dispatching terrorists on five continents. Iran envelopes the entire world with its tentacles of terror. This is what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran would do with nuclear weapons.
And this same Iran vows to annihilate Israel. If it develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to achieve that goal. We must not let that happen.
And as prime minister of Israel, I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there's still time to avert them. For 2,000 years, my people, the Jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless. We were utterly powerless against our enemies who swore to destroy us. We suffered relentless persecution and horrific attacks. We could never speak on our own behalf, and we could not defend ourselves.
Well, no more, no more.
The days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilate us, those days are over. Today in our sovereign state of Israel, we defend ourselves. And being able to defend ourselves, we ally with others, most importantly, the United States of America, to defend our common civilization against common threats.
In our part of the world and increasingly, in every part of the world, no one makes alliances with the weak. You seek out those who have strength, those who have resolve, those who have the determination to fight for themselves. That's how alliances are formed.
So we defend ourselves and in so doing, create the basis of a broader alliance.
And today, we are no longer silent; today, we have a voice. And tomorrow, as prime minister of the one and only Jewish state, I plan to use that voice.
I plan to speak about an Iranian regime that is threatening to destroy Israel, that's devouring country after country in the Middle East, that's exporting terror throughout the world and that is developing, as we speak, the capacity to make nuclear weapons, lots of them.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Israel and the United States agree that Iran should not have nuclear weapons, but we disagree on the best way to prevent Iran from developing those weapons.
Now disagreements among allies are only natural from time to time, even among the closest of allies. Because they're important differences between America and Israel.
The United States of America is a large country, one of the largest. Israel is a small country, one of the smallest.
America lives in one of the world's safest neighborhoods. Israel lives in the world's most dangerous neighborhood. America is the strongest power in the world. Israel is strong, but it's much more vulnerable. American leaders worry about the security of their country. Israeli leaders worry about the survival of their country.
You know I think that encapsulates the difference. I've been prime minister of Israel for nine years. There's not a single day, not one day that I didn't think about the survival of my country and the actions that I take to ensure that survival, not one day.
And because of these differences, America and Israel have had some serious disagreements over the course of our nearly 70-year-old friendship.
Now, it started with the beginning. In 1948, Secretary of State 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 Prime Minister Levi Eshkol 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 the nuclear reactor at Osirak [in Iraq]. 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 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 disagreement, as well, to grow even stronger in the future.
And I'll tell you why; because we share the same dreams. Because we pray and hope and aspire for that same better world; because the values that unite us are much stronger than the differences that divide us, values like liberty, equality, justice, tolerance, compassion.
As our region descends into medieval barbarism, Israel is the one that upholds these values common to us and to you.
As Assad drops bell bombs on his own people, Israeli doctors treat his victims in our hospitals right across the fence in the Golan Heights.
As Christians in the Middle East are beheaded and their ancient communities are decimated, Israel's Christian community is growing and thriving, the only one such community in the Middle East.
As women in the region are repressed, enslaved, and raped, women in Israel serve as chief justices [of the Supreme Court], CEOs, fighter pilots, two women chief justices in a row. Well, not in a row, but in succession. That's pretty good.
In a dark, and savage, and desperate Middle East, Israel is a beacon of humanity, of light, and of hope.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Now, disagreements in the family are always uncomfortable, but we must always remember that we are family.
Rooted in a common heritage, upholding common values, sharing a common destiny. And that's the message I came to tell you today. Our alliance is sound. Our friendship is strong. And with your efforts it will get even stronger in the years to come.
Thank you, AIPAC. Thank you, America. God bless you all."

DRC Declares Itself Ebola-Free, New Patient Headed for US

  • Published in Health
VOA News

The Democratic Republic of Congo said Saturday it was free of Ebola, three months after the deadly virus appeared in the country, resulting in the deaths of nearly 50 people.

Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi, who made the announcement, warned that the country could still be in danger if the strain ravaging Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — different from the DRC's — made its way into Central Africa.

There was no immediate confirmation of the announcement from international health agencies.

The DRC’s success contrasts with the continuing suffering of the three West African nations that have been at the epicenter of the epidemic. The World Health Organization on Friday noted a slight rise in the death toll, reporting 5,177 deaths and 14,413 confirmed cases worldwide, since the start of the current outbreak. Most of those cases are in West Africa.

The agency also said there has been a steep increase in the number of cases in Sierra Leone, including 421 new infections reported this week.

Meanwhile, a surgeon who contracted Ebola in his native Sierra Leone arrived Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska for treatment. Dr. Martin Salia, who lives in Maryland and is married to a U.S. citizen, had been working as a general surgeon at a Freetown hospital when he was diagnosed. He will be treated at the Nebraska Medical Center, one of several U.S. hospitals equipped to handle Ebola patients.

On Friday, officials in Mali announced they were trying to trace at least 200 contacts of people linked to Ebola patients in that country. Mali shares a border with Guinea and has recently had reports of at least five cases. The first victim of Mali's recent outbreak was a two-year-old girl from Guinea.

In London, pop musicians such as Bono, the lead singer of the band U2, and the popular boy band One Direction, began recording a song to benefit the fight against Ebola. Organized by Irish musician Bob Geldof, some 30 musicians were to record a new version of the song "Do They Know It's Christmas," a song first released 30 years ago as a charity record for the famine in Ethiopia.

Geldof said the United Nations contacted him for help raising money to prevent the spread of Ebola.


$20 Million raised at the Gala Dinner for the wellbeing of IDF soldiers

New York, NY, Israel Defense Forces Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, told guests at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) National Gala in New York that Israel’s “enemies” are building a “bustling industry of terror” that they are trying to conceal while presenting another face to the West.

More than 1,400 prominent business and philanthropic leaders from across the country gathered at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel for the FIDF National NY Gala Dinner, demonstrating their love and support for the soldiers of Israel and FIDF and raising $20 million. National Chairman Emeritus Arthur Stark served as the Gala Chairman, and author and nationally syndicated radio host Dr. Monica Crowley served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

“Our enemies are weaving a web of deceit that allows them to make unprecedented complex strides - a web which they go to great lengths to conceal, but we go to greater lengths to uncover,” Gantz told FIDF supporters. “We see them, we hear them, we recognize them, and most important of all, we act with boldness, innovation and courage to stop them anywhere, in any way and at any time.”

Gantz also spoke of the “deep and eternal commitment” between Israel and the United States, which he said fosters strong operational ties between the two countries’ armed forces. The relationship is “based on shared values, almost identical interests and a similar social and political structure, creating commitment in the struggle for peace and security,” he said.

Among the distinguished guests in attendance were FIDF National Chairman, Nily Falic; FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon; Israel Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the U.S. and Canada, Maj. Gen. Yaacob Ayish; Israel Air Force Attaché and Deputy Defense Attaché to the U.S. and Canada, Brig. Gen. Yakov Shaharabani; IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz; the IDF’s 19th Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi; President of the New York Yankees, Randy Levine and his wife, Mindy; American real estate tycoon and media proprietor, Mort Zuckerman; American sex therapist, media personality, and author, Dr. Ruth Westheimer; and Executive Director of the FIDF Tri-State Region, Richard Goldstein.

“The IDF soldiers stand ready to do what it takes to protect the State of Israel and the Jewish people – wherever they may be. They do it willingly, they do it with an incredible pride and passion and, often, they do it at great personal sacrifice,” said Arthur Stark. “FIDF is a unique organization that tells these brave men and women, our sons and daughters who proudly wear the IDF uniform that we recognize that passion, we recognize that sacrifice, we recognize that devotion, and we stand with them.”

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, greeted the audience via satellite, and thanked them for their invaluable support for Israel’s soldiers. Guests then were treated to a special surprise when the Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, together with a group of combat pilots, joined via live satellite from Israel and simulated a complex Air Force operation.

$20 million dollars was raised by the evening’s end. Notable among the donations was $2 million pledged by FIDF National Chairman, Nily Falic, and family, $1.5 million pledged by President of FIDF NY Young Leadership (YL), Lemor Bar-Or, on behalf of YL-NY; $1 million pledged by National Board Member, Benny Shabtai; $1 million pledged by the Iranian American Jewish Federation (IAJF); $1 million pledged by Genesis Philanthropy Group North America; and $500,000 pledged by Stuart Rhar.

The evening culminated with heartfelt words shared by Yael Schiffenbauer, the widow of helicopter pilot Daniel Shiffenbauer, a former Squadron Commander in the IDF Air Force who was killed during military exercises in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania in 2010. In her speech, she spoke about losing her beloved husband and the father of their three sons, and the healing support offered to her family in their time of grief.

The funds raised during the evening will provide much needed and well-deserved services such as academic scholarships to former combat soldiers, financial support for soldiers in-need and Lone Soldiers from around the world, weeks of rest and recreation for entire IDF units, as well as educational, cultural, and recreational facilities. The evening was a rare and exclusive opportunity to pay tribute to the State of Israel and to send a message of love and support to the brave men and women in uniform.


Record Number of U.S. Dentists Planning Aliyah

Take Israeli Ministry of Health Licensing Exam in New Jersey 

Paramus, New Jersey, An unprecedented number of 20 dentists from around the United States who are planning to make Aliyah to Israel gathered to take the Israeli Dentistry Licensing Exam, which was held for them at the Nefesh B’Nefesh offices in Paramus, New Jersey. This is the largest group ever to take the test outside Israel.

Dentists who immigrate to Israel must pass the Dentistry Licensing Examination given by the Ministry of Health’s Dentistry Department in order to practice their profession in Israel. The test has two parts - theoretical and practical - and takes place twice a year in various languages. Following the unique cooperation between Nefesh B’Nefesh and the State of Israel’s Ministry of Health, it was decided that the dentists would be given the opportunity to take the first theoretical exam in the United States to help expedite the process of obtaining an Israeli license and make the process easier for them. The dentists still have to complete the practical part of the exam when they arrive in Israel. This part of the exam must be taken within three years of taking the theoretical exam.

“I think it’s an amazing thing to be able to have the opportunity to take the Israeli Government’s Dentistry Licensing Exam while I am still in the U.S.,” said Debbie Goldschmiedt of New York City, one of the dentists who took the exam today. “This new option is saving a lot of waiting time and energy, and more importantly, it will enable me to start working as a dentist and earn a living in Israel shortly after my Aliyah.”

Nefesh B'Nefesh, in partnership with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel,Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF USA, has been assisting the dentists in every area of the exam including completing forms, payment arrangements, and preparing for the exam, as well as serving as a mediator with the Health Ministry.

“The fact that the Israeli Government, and more specifically the Health Ministry, is accommodating dentists interested in making Aliyah, is an extraordinary display of the State of Israel’s willingness to do all in their power to encourage Aliyah,” explained Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “It is an absolute game changer that Olim dentists will now be able to join the Israeli work force shortly after their arrival in Israel.”


Analysts: Rich, Poor Far Apart in US

VOA News, Carolyn Presutti

VOA News, WASHINGTON — Many analysts agree there is a wide economic divide in the United States between the destitute and the wealthy. And they say it's not getting any better. But there are differing opinions about what led the country to this divide, and whether President Obama can do anything to close the gap, as he suggested in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Ameyah doesn’t understand why her mother has to pay bills.

But Tiffany Beroid can think of little else as she struggles to make ends meet. She works part-time, making minimum wage at Walmart. If she takes a full-time job, she won’t be able to afford child care for her two daughters.

Beroid calls herself “the working poor.” And she recently added the label of sole breadwinner, because her husband just got laid off.

“It makes it very very tough for us now, so now we have to really buckle down and there’s nothing extra that we can afford," she said. "After we buy diapers and things for the girls, that’s just it.”

Beroid works at her neighborhood Walmart in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Here, there are no boutiques and no places to stroll.

But 29 kilometers away, life is far different in upscale Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Locals refer to an area in the center of the suburban city as the “Rodeo Drive of Maryland,” named after the famous celebrity shopping district in Beverly Hills, California. The main shopping district is lined with high-end stores for people who can afford them.

People in this neighborhood live in houses that doubled their median value in the past decade - to nearly $1 million.

A University of California Berkeley study says the salaries of America's top 1 percent wage earners soared by 30 percent over three years. While everyone else's salary grew less than half a percent

Peter Cappelli, who is with the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, blames the outsourcing of union jobs as paychecks ballooned in the financial sector.

"The big question is are things going on that have kind of changed the rules and stacked the deck further in favor of people who are already pretty wealthy," he said.

Back in Chevy Chase, another explanation.

“In the last few years because of the economic crisis I would think a lot of people lost jobs,” one woman said.

“Because of greed in the world,” a man added.

Beroid is fighting Walmart to raise its minimum wage. Walmart says its wages are higher than average. As a private employer, the store would not be affected by the president's expected order to raise wages for federal contractors.

Obama had pushed to raise the minimum for all workers, but Congress argued that higher wages would lead to more layoffs.

Cappelli says raising wages is only a short-term fix.

“I don’t think anybody would choose this as the best way to help the working poor, but it’s in place," he said. "We can increase the minimum wage more easily than we could put in place an entirely new program.”

Capelli says the country should focus on future generations and preserving America's middle ground, because that's what it's losing.

Israel Demands End to US Spying

Robert Berger, Jerusalem, Israel has reacted angrily to reports the country was a target of espionage by the United States.

Senior officials in Jerusalem are demanding an end to U.S. spying on Israel after revelations the National Security Agency intercepted e-mails from Israeli leaders.

The allegations were disclosed by former NSA contractor and whistle blower Edward Snowden and published in several Western newspapers. The reports said from 2008 to 2011, the NSA targeted e-mail addresses belonging to then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The issue topped the agenda at Israel’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

“This is not legitimate,” said Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz.

He said Israel was “not tracking the U.S. president, White House or secretary of defense.”

Steinitz said Israel and the United States hadan “intelligence alliance” and sharedthe most sensitive information; and therefore he said, allies must reach an agreement not to spy on one another.

Israel joins the list of other top American allies who have been targeted by the NSA, including France and Germany.

The issue touches a raw nerve in Israel because of the case of Jonathan Pollard, a former American intelligence analyst who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for spying for Israel. The case strained ties at the time and has been a sore spot ever since. The United States has repeatedly rejected Israeli requests for Pollard’s release.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet that Israel was continuing to press President Barack Obama to free the ailing Pollard and allow him to come “home” to Israel.

Israel’s response was uncharacteristically angry. Officials saidt was necessary to issue a strong protest, but they have also made it clear that Israel would allow the affair to harm relations with its best friend and ally, the United States.


ZOA: Iranian Appeasement Deal Is Our Era’s “Munich” dangerous for America & Israel

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has described the agreement concluded in Geneva between the P5+1 –– the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States) and Germany –– and the Islamic Republic of Iran as an appeasement deal. This is our era’s new Munich and President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are the new Neville Chamberlains. Dr. Donald Kagan, renowned Professor of Classics at Yale University, in his book, The Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace, has studied appeasement throughout history and concluded, “appeasement has always failed and ultimately led to violence and war.”
Under the terms of the deal, Iran retains all essential elements of its illegal nuclear weapons program while gaining significant relief from sanctions. Iran will be able to
1. Continue construction of its Arak plutonium reactor, suspending, but not terminating, heavy water-related projects and not being required to dismantle the site;
2. Keep all its centrifuges, need not dismantle a single one;
3. Continue to enrich uranium to 5% enrichment for the next six months–– enough, given Iran’s recent, hugely expanded number of centrifuges, now numbering over 18,000, to become a “break-out” nuclear state at a time of its choosing;
4. Retain half of its existing stocks of 20% enriched uranium, ostensibly, for use nuclear fuel for peaceful uses; &
5. Maintain without any limitations its UN Security Council-prohibited intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program, which already enables Iran to strike Israel and Europe and, within a few years, to strike the U.S. as well.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “As we stated last week, a deal that gives Iran relief from sanctions while allowing it to keep essential elements, not for a nuclear energy program, but for a nuclear weapons program, is a historic mistake making the world a more dangerous place –– not a safe one. That is what we now have.
“Iran will be be able to maintain its research on nuclear explosives which, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports in March 2011 and November 2011, ‘may still be ongoing.’
“The Geneva deal brings us no closer to ascertaining the full extent of these activities –– surely a minimum requirement for an interim agreement. How can one have a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear weapons program if the interim agreement specifies no requirements and machinery for ascertaining the extent and nature of such research? As Mark Dubowitz and Orde Kettrie of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies argue, this is ‘all trust and no verify.’
“If we can’t obtain a comprehensive agreement on ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which is the goal, when sanctions now are at their peak, causing Iran great economic pain, how can we expect Iran to end its nuclear weapons program later, when sanctions have been significantly eroded?
“It is an illusion that sanctions can be quickly restored if Iran reneges on this agreement. Sanctions take time to put in place and require agreement from many states eager for trade with Iran. Can anyone recall a case where sanctions that had been dropped were reinstated?
“Worse, the Iranian nuclear weapons program is being unrealistically treated in isolation. This regime has:
• Called repeatedly for destruction for America and Israel;
• Proxies that have murdered thousands of Americans;
• Lied about and concealed its nuclear weapons program in the first place;
• Is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, funding and arming recognized terrorist groups including Hizballah and Hamas, both of which have spoken of destroying Israel and America and murdering Jews worldwide;
• Has murdered scores of Jews in terrorist attacks in Argentina; and
• Murdered numerous Iranian human rights advocates and dissidents abroad.
“Last week, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni, even during these very negotiations, has called Israel a ‘rabid dog’ and declared that ‘Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them …The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation.’ He has called America an ‘enemy that smiles.’ He also promised that Tehran would not step back ‘one iota’ from what he called Iran’s nuclear rights; and professed to be interested in American friendship even while his militiamen chanted ‘Death to America.’
“A murderous, theocratic regime cannot be trusted; any agreement with it must be conclusive and verifiable. This one is not.
“Last month, President Obama’s own former aide on the National Security Council, Gary Samore, warned that ending Iran’s present production of 20%-enriched uranium and reducing future production to 3.5% –– as was being proposed at the time –– is inadequate because Iran can now reach weapons-grade uranium with its new, improved centrifuges. The current deal, in which Iran can enrich to 5% is, of course, even more inadequate.
“In this way, President Obama’s agreement in Geneva looks frighteningly like Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement at Munich. At Munich, Germany agreed to get only part of what it wanted but was able to prepare for and seize the rest later unopposed. Here, Iran gets only part of what it wants but can prepare for taking the rest later when sanctions are relaxed. As Dubowitz and Kettrie write, ‘even if Iran faithfully implements each of its commitments under the interim agreement, it could find itself, in May 2014, a mere month further away than it is now from having weapons-grade uranium—but six months closer to having the rest of a deliverable nuclear weapon.’
“This agreement may well be more about having an interim deal in place, no matter how flawed, so that Israel can be constrained from taking action against Iran, rather than about ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This is more about stopping Israel than about stopping Iran.
“Remember, Vice-President Joseph Biden and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey have both demanded that Israel not use military force against Iran, while Obama adviser and close friend, Zbigniew Brzezinski, once said that, if Israel launched a military strike against Iran, the U.S. should shoot its planes down.
“The ZOA agrees with and commends Senator Charles Schumer (D–NY), who has criticized the Geneva agreement, saying, “It was strong sanctions, not the goodness of the hearts of the Iranian leaders, that brought Iran to the table, and any reduction relieves the psychological pressure of future sanctions and gives them hope that they will be able to gain nuclear weapon capability while further sanctions are reduced. A fairer agreement would have coupled a reduction in sanctions with a proportionate reduction in Iranian nuclear capability … The disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December.’


60 FIDF leaders from across the U.S. visit Israel to show gratitude for IDF soldiers

Jerusalem, Israel, Over 60 prominent Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) leaders from across the United States embarked on a unique seven-day journey to Israel as part of the FIDF National Leadership Mission to Israel to show their appreciation and support for Israel’s soldiers.

The special Leadership Mission, led by National Chairman, Nily Falic, National President, Julian Josephson, and National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon, brought national and local community leaders from FIDF’s chapters across the U.S. together with the brave men and women of the IDF. The group met with soldiers and commanders on various military bases across Israel, including the Gaza Division’s headquarters of Re’im, the Intelligence Corps training base, the Regional Division 36 on the Golan Heights, and the Tel-Nof Air Force base, where participants learned from F-15 pilots about the advanced technologies used in Israeli Air Force (IAF) operations. The group also participated in briefings by officers of both the Southern Command and Northern Command of the IDF.

Mission participants had the opportunity to meet with several top-level government and IDF officials, including the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, Head of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Chief of the IDF Education Corps, Brig. Gen. Avner Paz Tzuk, the former Minister of Internal Security and former Head of Shabak (Shin Bet), the Internal General Security Service of Israel, Avi Dicter, and former Israeli Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Avi Melamed.

This extraordinary journey throughout Israel culminated with a special FIDF ceremony at the Smolarz Auditorium in Tel Aviv University on November 6, 2013. Hundreds of soldiers and commanders, FIDF IMPACT! scholarship recipients, FIDF supporters, and members of the IDF general staff came together for an evening of celebration of and gratitude for Israel's soldiers and the hard work they endure to protect the Jewish homeland and its people around the world.

“The Friends of the IDF delegation which has embarked on this important journey to Israel signifies the deeply rooted connection between the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the brave soldiers who serve to protect it,” said FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon.


UN, Iran Reach Nuclear Cooperation Deal

VOA News, The United Nations and Iran have announced an agreement to cooperate on resolving outstanding issues regarding the country's nuclear program. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said critics of a separate bid to limit Iran's nuclear activity need to let negotiations take their course.

Talks Monday between the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, and the Iranian nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, yielded a roadmap that will allow for wider U.N. inspections, including at a heavy water reactor site and a uranium mine.

The IAEA has been focused for two years on reaching a deal with Iran to gain greater access to documents regarding the country’s nuclear program, in addition to related personnel and sites.

Meanwhile, Kerry said on Monday during a visit to Abu Dhabi that critics, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, must recognize that world powers have not yet reached any agreement in their talks with Iran.

He said the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany were united on the plan they presented to Iranian negotiators Saturday in Geneva, but that Iran could not accept it at that time.

The powers are seeking to persuade Iran to suspend work that could allow it to build nuclear weapons in exchange for the easing of some sanctions against Iran. Those negotiations are due to resume next week.

Israel, which calls Iran's nuclear drive a mortal threat, has warned against any deal that would leave some of Iran's nuclear fuel-making capacity intact while giving Tehran respite from sanctions.

Kerry said on Monday that it would not be responsible to ignore an opportunity to come to a verifiable agreement with Iran that would prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

There has been hope that the election of new moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in June will lead to progress in both the talks with the IAEA and the group of six world powers.

Rouhani told his parliament on Sunday that Iran will not give up what it considers its nuclear rights, including the right to enrich uranium on Iranian soil, in any deal with international negotiators.

PM Netanyahu to Polish President Komorowski: The Iranian regime, controlled by Khamenei, has tens of thousands of people on the streets of Tehran today chanting "death to America"

PM Netanyahu meets with Polish President Komorowski. ​PM Netanyahu: Khamenei fuels the hatred of America and the West. Do we want this country to have nuclear weapons? The answer is: Absolutely not. America and the P5+1 should give no discounts to Tehran.

PM Netanyahu: Mr. President, it's a pleasure to welcome you to Jerusalem. You're a great friend of Israel, and it's a pleasure to welcome you and your delegation.
First, let me express the condolences of the people of Israel for the passing of Prime Minister Mazowiecki. He was one of the founders of modern, democratic Poland. We understand this as a people, the role of formative leaders in formative transitions.
You know, Mr. President, I have had the opportunity to make about half a dozen trips to Poland, and on each visit, I was impressed by the great achievements of the Polish people. Poland can be justly proud of its economic success. You have achieved tremendous growth and a tremendous increase in your standard of living. And you can also be proud of your strong democracy. And you personally have played an important role in establishing that democracy, building it. I know that you paid a personal price, and people have a way of repaying people, leaders who have paid their dues.

Mr. President, our two peoples share a long history together. It's a history that contains periods of both great mutual achievement and incomparable suffering. The murder of millions of Polish Jews by the Nazis on Polish soil is the most unparalleled strategy in the history of mankind. My wife's father's family was wiped out and this is mirrored in the stories of many, many other Israelis and Jews around the world who personally experienced, directly or through their family members this calamity and this catastrophe.
We will never forget the victims of the Holocaust; we will never forget this ultimate crime against humanity, the crime of genocide; and we will never forget and never lessen our commitment to make sure this never happens again.

I also know the tremendous suffering that the Nazi occupation brought to the people of Poland, and to the people of Warsaw, and to the extraordinary struggle of heroism and courage that accompanied this suffering.

So both our peoples have struggled against tremendous adversity. We have both fought for our independence and freedom. In our case, I'd say, we fought for our actual survival. And we both triumphed. So that means we don't take anything for granted. Today, we see a strong, free Poland, a strong, free Israel – two confident, prosperous, proud democracies. And I know that in Poland, we have a true friend. We cooperate in so many fields: in trade and science and technology, in culture and education. In my recent visit to Poland with Prime Minister Tusk, we strengthened that cooperation even more, and I was impressed in all these fields how we can help one another strengthen our relationship, strengthen our economies. And we're doing it. And your visit is an opportunity to strengthen it even further, especially in another field in which we cooperate, which is international affairs and the field of security.
Mr. President, while we are meeting here in Jerusalem, tens of thousands of people are chanting "death to America" in the streets of Tehran. They're commemorating, even celebrating the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy. If you want to see the true face of this regime, see it there – chants of "death to America". Because there's a debate now in the West: what is the true face of Iran?

Here's what I want to say… There's a debate in the West today. People are saying: what is the true face of the Iranian regime, because they have obviously changed their style. They speak now in English and they smile. Yeah, they smile in the talks in Europe, but that regime, which is controlled by Khamenei, has tens of thousands of people on the streets of Tehran today chanting "death to America", celebrating the seizure of the US Embassy in 1979, 34 years ago. They're celebrating, and Khamenei, who is the real ruler of Iran, yesterday says: America is the most hated country in the world.
You can't believe a word of what they say. And he fuels that hatred. That's the real Iran. That's the boss of Iran. That's what Iran wants to do, this country that sends terrorists around the world, including to Washington, DC to kill the Saudi ambassador; this country that participates in the mass murder of tens of thousands of men, women and children in Damascus; this country that continuously defies UN Security Council resolutions telling it to stop developing nuclear weapons. This country is saying, chanting "death to America". 
Do we want this country to have nuclear weapons? And the answer is: absolutely not and they shouldn't be given a free pass. They shouldn't be given a partial deal that allows them to keep most or all of their nuclear weapons capability for the exchange of reducing sanctions. America and the P5+1 should listen to the chants of "death to America" in Tehran, give no discounts to Tehran.
Mr. President, Poland and Israel recognize a tyrannical regime when they see one. And the tyrants of Tehran should not have centrifuges or plutonium to build nuclear weapons. This is the interest of Israel and the Arab world and Europe and America and Russia and China – anybody in the world who wants to see peace has that same interest.

And we have many other interests, which I look forward to discuss with you. This is not your first visit to Israel, but it's your first visit to Israel as the President of Poland. I welcome you warmly in the name of the Government of Israel and the people of Israel. Welcome to Jerusalem.

President Komorowski: Prime Minister, Polish-Israel or actually Polish-Jewish relations have really very long and very rich history. From that history, we can take handfuls of good measures, good incentives and what ideas with which we can contribute to the development of good relations between our states and our nations today.

I want to tell you openly that it is always a great pleasure for me to find when I speak with other people, with my interlocutors, that they are able to find in their own history and their own family the traditions that have their roots in the many centuries of the presence of Jewish communities in the territory of Poland. It is always a very nice feeling and really it gives me this soft soft that I can hear the family histories that are uttered by the President of the State of Israel, Prime Minister, the head of the National Security Council. It is important because it also illustrates very friendly relations between Poland and Israel and our two nations.
And I would like to thank you very much, Prime Minister, for reminding here the name of a person who is very important for all of us here, Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who was the first non-Communist prime minister of the government in the pre-independent and democratic Poland. And I also want to say that it is really good to note that it was during the government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the turn of the systems in Poland – '89-'90 – when a decision was made to establish diplomatic relations between Poland and the State of Israel. That decision was executed in 1990. And I wish to stress that the newly regained freedom and democracy in Poland signified the new relations between Poland and Israel, Poland and Jewish people.
So I'm really glad that the relations between our two countries today, Poland and Israel, are not only focusing on the reflecting on the past together, the tragic past, the past that was especially difficult and tragic in the period of the Nazi occupation and the Jewish Holocaust. But it is really a possibility for us now to develop direct relations, human relations, between our young people in Israel and in Poland, representatives of our military, our business community, our trade, our culture. An element of this process is also the intensification of political and diplomatic relations.
To tell you openly, I believe that we can use this possibility of cooperation and strengthening our relations not only to pursue our economy or our economic goals, but also to share our experiences. And our experiences have roots in the fact that both of our nations used to live, or have been living in the area that is not always very friendly.

As you know, Prime Minister, Poland happens to be located for thousands of years between Germany and Russia, two mighty powers. That is why we understand perfectly well the determination of the State of Israel and the pride of the State of Israel to build a state to defend against their adversaries. And that is also the Polish experience, that you have to be determined in order to avoid taking once again the lesson of difficult loss of our independence. One of the Polish experiences of the last 25 years is also the ability to be able to overcome the barriers of history and historic resentments, and try to build reconciliation and understanding and cooperation with those who have been believed to be our eternal enemies.
And I would like to stress once again that we in Poland understand very well the strong position and the strong policy of Israel to defend your security, and we in Poland, we hope that the security of this region will be rooted in the peace talks and the attempts to seek security for the State of Israel and for the whole region. And as friends of Israel, we are keeping fingers crossed for all the processes that go in the direction of increasing the security of the State of Israel and the development of the better statehood of Israel and the betterhood [sic] of the whole region.
PM Netanyahu: I would say that we seek a secure and genuine peace with the Palestinians, and we will never allow Iran to have nuclear weapons or nuclear weapon capability. That sums up our commitment for peace and security.

President Komorowski: It is an extremely important element to provide for the security of Israel and the whole of the region, and we understand it.
PM Netanyahu: Well, I'm sure you do, and I'd like to invite you to lunch.
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