Newsletter : 15fx0813.txt
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Iranian FM to Hizbullah Chief: Nuclear Deal Presents 'Historic Opportunity' To
The nuclear deal between Iran and the West provides Iran and its allies with a
"historic opportunity" to confront Israel, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
told Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah during a meeting in Beirut Tuesday, according to
Hizbullah's al-Manar TV.
"Zarif said from Beirut that the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the world powers
created a historic opportunity to [sic] for regional cooperation to fight extremism and
face threats posed by the Zionist entity," al-Manar reported. He called for "more
cooperation between the Lebanese and Iranian governments and people, so that this new
beginning for our region will be good for regional countries."
Hizbullah, the Iran-backed Lebanese terror organization, has obstructed efforts to
choose a new Lebanese president for more than a year. Hizbullah boasted in May that it had
massively built up its infrastructure and military capabilities with an eye towards
Reporting From Iran, Jewish Paper Sees No Plot to Destroy Israel
By The New York Times
The first journalist from an American Jewish pro-Israel publication to be given an
Iranian visa since 1979 reported Wednesday that he had found little evidence to suggest
that Iran wanted to destroy Israel, as widely asserted by critics of the Iranian nuclear
The journalist, Larry Cohler-Esses, assistant managing editor for news at The Forward,
an influential New York-based newspaper catering to American Jews, also wrote that people
in Iran were eager for outside interaction and willing to speak critically about their
While he heard widespread criticism of the Israeli government and its policies toward
the Palestinians, Cohler-Esses wrote, he also found support among some senior clerics for
a two-state solution, should the Palestinians pursue it.
"Though I had to work with a government fixer and translator, I decided which people I
wanted to interview and what I would ask them," Cohler-Esses wrote in the first of two
articles from his July reporting trip. "Far from the stereotype of a fascist Islamic
state, I found a dynamic push-and-pull between a theocratic government and its often
reluctant and resisting people."
His reporting, coming as Congress prepares to vote on the nuclear agreement next month,
presents a more nuanced view of Iran compared with the descriptions by a number of
Jewish-American advocacy groups that consider Iran an enemy state.
Many of those groups have exhorted lawmakers to reject the nuclear agreement, which
will end sanctions in return for verified guarantees that Iran's nuclear work remains
peaceful. "Ordinary Iranians with whom I spoke have no interest at all in attacking
Israel. Their concern is with their own sense of isolation and economic struggle."
Among some senior ayatollahs and prominent officials, he wrote, there is also dissent
from the official line against Israel. "No one had anything warm to say about the Jewish
state," he wrote. "But pressed as to whether it was Israel's policies or its very
existence to which they objected, several were adamant: It's Israel's policies."
While he emphasized that there was no freedom of the press in Iran, "freedom of the
tongue has been set loose. I was repeatedly struck by the willingness of Iranians to offer
sharp, even withering criticisms of their government on the record, sometimes even to be
videotaped doing so," he wrote.
He added that members of Iran's Jewish population of 9,000 to 20,000 people, "depending
on whom you talk to," were unafraid to complain about discriminatory laws. He called them
"basically well-protected second-class citizens a broadly prosperous, largely
middle-class community whose members have no hesitation about walking down the streets of
Tehran wearing yarmulkes."
Is Obama Using Anti-Semitic Rhetoric?
CAMERA (The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), Tablet and
other media orgs have weighed in on whether pro Iran-deal spokespersons are taking an
anti-Semitic tone. Some say: "Not to worry, there's no anti- Semitism but it will
CAMERA quoted President Barack Obama as having said he will promote the Iran deal
"despite the money, despite the lobbyists." The same Obama was reported by The New York
Times which has come out editorially in favor of the deal to have "denounced
the deal's opponents as 'lobbyists' doling out millions of dollars to trumpet the same
hawkish rhetoric that had led the United States into war with Iraq."
These are examples, CAMERA explains, of "time-worn stereotypes of Jews as
dual-loyalists, using their money and nefarious influence to incite wars [that] have
surfaced in various media." Even more recently, CAMERA noted, a New York Times article
about Senator Chuck Schumer's opposition to the deal used the word "Jewish" no fewer than
The editors of the online magazine Tablet are very worried: "What we increasingly can't
is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial
and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it.
Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and
Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a
majority of the US electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their
votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United
States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the
politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South."
"Murmuring about 'money' and 'lobbying' and 'foreign interests' who seek to drag
America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card," Tablet concluded.
Elliott Abrams has written in a Weekly Standard editorial that Obama cannot plead
ignorance: "The president
must know that he is here feeding a deep line of
anti-Semitism that accuses American Jews of getting America into wars."
Could the effect have trickled down to the street already? An example of real-life
anti-Semitism framed as support for the Iran deal occurred during a protest in New York
City on Monday. Protesters from MoveOn.org and Peace Action protested against Schumer's
rejection of the deal. Other Americans quickly gathered to make their opposing opinions
known and "then it happened," wrote an AFSI (Americans for a Safe Israel)
representative: "Their true colors came out: Chuck is the enemy because he supports Israel
over the US
[and] we were the enemy because we who oppose the deal with Iran,
support Israel - which supports the burning of babies! Yes, these words were [angrily]
yelled at us
There are those who say that Obama is actually not anti-Semitic, and are not overly
worried by the tone of his rhetoric. Blogger Shmuel Rosner, political editor at The Jewish
Journal, writes that Obama's terming those who oppose the deal as war-mongers and more
pro-Israel than pro-America is nothing more than an indication that he very much wants to
sell the deal to Congress and the American people.
However, Rosner acknowledges, it could get worse: "[T]he battle is at an early stage.
If the administration gets to a point where it feels it really might lose it the
tools it is using today could still pale in comparison to the tools it will no doubt use
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