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Iran

  • Why the Lausanne deal protects both Israel and Iran

    Israelis don't seem to understand that the Lausanne agreement will allow them to maintain nuclear ambiguity, while providing Iran with a last-ditch survival strategy to protect itself from a military strike.  By Shemuel Meir The framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 reached in Lausanne came down on Israeli decision-makers and analysts like a lightning bolt on a sunny day. They were expecting failure in the talks and an anemic press release. Instead, the agreement was announced and detailed information was published about its significant technical parameters that will block Iran’s path to the bomb. Don’t pay too much attention to reports…

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  • Every day is Holocaust Day in Israel

    Netanyahu talks about Iran every single day. Today was the one day he shouldn't have.  Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. But if someone had landed here from another planet, they wouldn't necessarily catch on. They might find it hard to  commemorate the Jewish lives taken in Europe during World War II, and instead be preoccupied with Iran's nuclear program. On Thursday night, as businesses closed throughout the country, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust museum. Standing on the podium, among the few survivors that are still alive, he took the opportunity to talk about Iran, and…

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  • How Israel can stop a nuclear arms race in the Middle East

    While Israel is busy wringing its hands over a nuclear deal over which it has no control, it should instead be looking at processes it can influence. By Sharon Dolev People in Israel tend to see the nuclear agreement with Iran as an isolated, historical event, one that will either save Israel or place it under an existential threat. While we’re discussing and dissecting an agreement over which we have absolutely no influence, however, passing by right under our nose are other processes and developments — ones we haven’t thought of, spoken of, or even contemplated. That is, despite the…

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  • Ten things you didn't know about Mimouna

    Mimouna, the traditional festival celebrated by North African Jews on the last day of Passover, is often overlooked when discussing the Jewish holiday of liberation. Here are 10 things you might not know about the celebration that once brought Jews and Muslims together.  By Ophir Toubul 1. The name of the holiday, "Mimouna," has several different, fascinating meanings. The most famous of them attribute the name to the Hebrew word "emuna" (belief), the death of the preeminent medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher, Rambam ("Maimonides") or the name of the Berber goddess of luck ("Mimouna"). A less popular explanation ascribes the name…

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  • Netanyahu's hypocrisy about intervening in other countries' affairs

    What would happen if a foreign country started lobbying for bills in the Israeli Knesset, going so far as to seek the insertion of specific clauses into them? The Right in Israel isn’t the biggest fan of foreign countries getting involved in its affairs. It’s true when it comes to the European Union providing shelter for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, or supporting human rights organizations that challenge aspects of Israeli legislation in Israeli courts, or Netanyahu’s unproven allegations that European states funded campaigns to increase Arab voter participation in hopes of ousting him as prime minister.…

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  • America’s choice on Iran: Obama’s peace or Netanyahu's war

    If Bibi, the Israel lobby and the GOP stymie this historic nuclear deal, it will be very bad for Israel, America and America’s Jews. Anybody who thinks Obama has won, that Israel and the Israel lobby and the Republicans are just going to concede the Iran nuclear deal without a fight, could not be more wrong. For the Israeli and American Jews involved, this is the supreme cause of their lives – preventing another Holocaust, as they see it. The framework agreement announced last Thursday looks to them like Munich. These are the terms they use. For the American gentile…

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  • Israel media survey: Iran deal, not so bad after all?

    A number of senior columnists and reporters say that Israel should be pleasantly surprised by the deal struck between the P5+1 and Iran over the latter's nuclear program. Netanyahu — and his mouthpiece — digs in his heels. Although the pushback from the Prime Minister’s Office was immediate and unchanged, many senior figures in the Israeli media appeared to be pleasantly surprised by the details of the Iranian nuclear deal Thursday night and Friday morning. Ron Ben-Yishai, the senior military analyst for Israel’s most mainstream newspaper, Yedioth Aharonot, penned a column early Friday morning in which he said the deal…

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  • The Iranian nuclear threat and other phantoms

    The 'framework agreement' announced Thursday night in Lausanne is a lot better than no agreement. But an approach to Iran involving no sanctions and no hysteria would have been best of all. NOTE: This post has been changed to reflect the author's happy surprise that the framework agreement was not the dud he thought it would be - even after it was first announced - but is, according to all accounts, a very meaningful step.   Remember the threat of North Korea going nuclear? The sanctions, the scare rhetoric from the United States, the specter of the craziest, cultiest nation…

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  • An historic deal between Iran and the world

    Iran’s relations with the West have seen their ups and downs, almost always ending in disappointment and frustration for the Iranians. Now, for the first time in modern history, negotiations are taking place in which world powers are addressing Iran at eye level. The pending deal is not perfect, but compared to the alternatives it would be a pretty good outcome. By Lior Sternfeld If all goes according to plan, in the coming hours an historic agreement will be signed between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany). We can already say…

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  • How the anti-Netanyahu daily actually brought him to power

    Enhance a fear of Iran. Promote a privatization policy. Encourage the view that Israel has no peace partner. If you do all that, don't expect the voters to reject the person who represents this very worldview. Daniel Dor (translated by Sol Salbe) I recently heard some people saying that we now have the proof that the media really does not have any sway over the voting public. Look how much effort it invested in the campaign against Netanyahu, and once again he won. A generation of media professionals will now be raised on this so-called insight. It fits the industry's…

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  • Israelis, Iranians pay the same price for nuclear ambitions

    The discussion surrounding Netanyahu’s Congress speech presumes that Iran does not have a right to nuclear weapons but that Israel does. Another way of looking at things is a nuclear-free Middle East, and an alliance between the oppressed citizens of Iran and Israel. By Mati Shemoelof Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trip to the United States, which was ostensibly meant to address the danger of Iran's nuclear program, has a hidden angle that goes unspoken in the Israeli media. The discussion surrounding Iran deals mainly with whether the Islamic Republic has nuclear capabilities. This angle does not deal with Israel itself, or…

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  • Netanyahu's Congress speech: An election stunt, after all

    Netanyahu didn't offer any new thinking on Iran, but he might have succeeded in regaining control over elections that were slipping away from him Ever since Speaker of the House John Boehner revealed his invitation to the Israeli prime minister to speak before a joint session of Congress, people have been wondering who exactly is playing who here. Is Bibi risking Israeli-American relations in order to help the GOP score points against President Obama, or did Boehner break protocol — by not informing the White House of the invitation — in order to help Netanyahu in the coming elections? Tonight…

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  • With Netanyahu, confrontations are a feature, not a bug

    Netanyahu believes he can impress Israelis by standing up to the world on his signature political issue. Previous rifts with the White House paid off for him — this time might be different.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will claim to represent the Jewish people in his speech before Congress Tuesday, but the fact of the matter is that he doesn’t even have an Israeli consensus behind him. His journey to Washington was heavily criticized by Israeli opposition leaders, public figures and parts of the media — especially the Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth dailies, which are taking a clear anti-Bibi stance…

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