Arlene from Israel: Keep On Keeping On.

I begin by telling my readers that – as is the joyous norm for me during late summer – I am going to have grandchildren staying with me off and on. And so expect fewer postings at several points in August.  My relationship with these kids is a blessing that confers upon me strength to continue my writing.


 And, indeed, strength is something we all need now: There can be no flagging in our efforts to 1) arouse American public opinion against the Iran deal, and 2) apply pressure on Congress to vote against that deal.  The momentum must be built ever greater, until we see victory in September.

Here we have an editorial – “Congress Must Send a Message and Reject Disastrous Iran Deal” – from the Observer (NY) that presents an important perspective on what is going on, an overview that addresses Iran’s goals and Obama’s intent.  It makes stunningly important points (emphasis added):

 The Iran agreement is about changing the Middle East balance of power and setting an epic precedent for changing America’s role in the world.”

 “The Iranians got to keep their nuclear program, their high-speed centrifuges, their enriched uranium, their cloaked, off-the-table military installations, and oxymoronic agreed-to inspections requiring advance notice. There is no dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure or “anytime, anywhere” inspections that the administration originally sold to the public as deal breakers when these talks began last November.

“But equally important, Iran is going to get the release of tens of billions of dollars in frozen assets, information on how to thwart the next Stuxnet-type computer virus, access to advanced Chinese and Russian weaponry, and Europeans crawling all over each other to invest in Iran’s energy and infrastructure. Tehran has already secured over $100 billion in new energy deals.

“Why does Iran want all of this? Iran wants to be the regional hegemonic power and put an end to the second-class status of Shiites. It wants to expand Shiite influence and build a Shiite crescent from its eastern border to the Mediterranean Sea.

“In a culture based on honor and shame, the Shiites have experienced the degradation of being the outliers in Sunni-dominated Islamic cultures. Iran intends to restore the Shiite position of honor and use its new military might to dominate the Sunni Arab states.”


Whoa!  Blood-chilling, when summarized thus.

 “So what did America get out of this deal? Let’s begin with the notion that the deal was not about Iran getting nuclear weapons, because the safeguards are far less than those imposed on North Korea, and North Korea developed nuclear weapons. The nuclear deal was window dressing for Barack Obama’s vision of a more humble and unexceptional America restoring relations with Iran while getting it to provide short-term stability to the region beginning with its potential defeat of the Islamic State.

 “After the expenditure of much blood and treasure, the Obama administration wants to exit the Middle East, downsize the American military, and turn its attention to social welfare programs, the likes of which benefit Mr. Obama’s constituency and which will remake America in the progressive image he supports. The president is so desperate to make this happen he is willing to leave behind four U.S. citizens held captive by Iran. He didn’t even think addressing their imprisonment should be part of the negotiations…

 “The Iran agreement will transform both Iran and America. Iran will become the Middle East hegemonic power, and America will retreat to its own shores. Its military, meanwhile, will be reduced. Iran advances while America retreats. That is the purpose of the deal. That is the primary function that can be deduced from the deal’s outcome.”

I repeat:  Iran advances while America retreats. That is the purpose of the deal.

(With thanks to Robert S. for getting me to focus on this piece.)


Here we have yet more information (I’m encountering a great deal) that indicates that the more people know about the Iran deal the less they support it:

“The poll, commissioned by the Secure America Now group, found that of respondents who had not yet read the details of the deal, 45% opposed it while 29% favored it. Among those familiar with the details of the deal, the level of opposition jumped to 65%, with only 25% in favor.

“The poll also found that 56% of respondents believed the U.S. should insist on a better deal and only 30% agreed with the U.S. government’s assertion that the only alternative to the deal was war.”


One of the things that has evolved in the negotiation process with Iran is a number of “side agreements” between the IAEA and Iran, regarding the verification process and the military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear history.  Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday responded to testimony to the committee given by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on the issue of these side deals.

Said McCain:

“It is absolutely astounding that you have not seen the documents which outline the practice of verification.”

Unbelievable? Believe it.


 Admiral (ret.) James Stavridis, who served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander, addressed the Iran deal on MSNBC yesterday.  He said:

“I think the top [issue] is the verification regime, which is starting to roughly resemble Swiss cheese. You can drive a truck through some of the holes. I am very concerned about that.” (Emphasis added)


I truly did not want to write about this, but in the end I decided I must:

Credit: Yonatan Sindel, Flash90.

In the last few days there has been considerable agitation in the community of Beit El, in the Binyamin Region of Samaria.  Two buildings, known as the Draynoff Houses, constituting 24 units, were ordered demolished by the High Court because of what it maintained was lack of proper documentation.  Certain documentation – official approval – had come retroactively, after the Houses had been built.  Those opposing the demolition (and count me very much among them) argued that the documentation did exist, and there was no reason to take down the structures. In the end, the State of Israel requested that the Court not order the demolition, but was not heeded.  The court has its own political orientation.

This should not have happened. Especially now.  Sad and painful, with large groups of young people gathered to protest what was taking place.


 As all documentation IS in order now – all permits in place from the Civil Authority regarding use for building purposes of the land (which had been previously set aside for military purposes) – it becomes possible for re-building to take place. Yes, a bit insane, that this should have been necessary.

In any event, prime minister Netanyahu has announced that 300 housing units promised to Beit El three years ago and never built would now be constructed. A cornerstone is scheduled to be placed on the site of the demolition, to mark the start of building efforts.  It will not happen so fast, as there is a process to be followed.  The important thing is that it should be followed and that now these units should actually be constructed as speedily as possible.

We must exhibit strength and unity now.


But here is my reason for deciding to deal with this incident:

“UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned the approvals, reiterating that ‘settlements are illegal under international law, an impediment to peace…’” 

A similar statement emanated from the EU.

“Ban urged Israel ‘to halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace.’”

This is nonsense, and cannot pass without response.  The Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are most certainly not illegal under international law.  Be informed.  Please see here for basic facts regarding Jewish rights in Judea and Samaria:

That entities as morally corrupt as the UN and the EU should think they have anything to say about what Israel does is an outrage.  I invite Ban Ki-moon to take a long walk on a summer evening and just keep going.  (Forgive my politically incorrect response – it seems a good idea.)


 It is a given that the international community has it in mind, still, to try to rekindle “peace” negotiations.  Any such notion is ridiculous, but that has never stopped the international community.

This is part of the reason why we must stand united and strong, and be prepared to enunciate our rights.


There are reports of two strikes Israel launched in the north yesterday, one in Syria at the Golan, where terrorists were the target, and one in Lebanon in the Beka’a region, a Hezbollah stronghold where an arms depot was located:

Such reports are never officially confirmed by Israel.

There were claims that Lebanese Druze terrorist Samir Kuntar was taken out in the attack on the Golan, and then denials.  His elimination could only be a good thing, but I do not know if he was indeed successfully hit.


Please see this video: a sheikh teaching “martyrdom” to Arab children right on the Temple Mount:

Talk about the need to assert our rights!


Dore Gold, Director General of the Foreign Ministry, spoke at a presentation in New York yesterday, organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations.  The topic, needless to say, was Iran – and the presidents of many of those mainstream Jewish organizations desperately need a briefing on the subject (or surgery to install backbones).  Please note what Ambassador Gold said:

“What we have is a regime on a roll that is trying to conquer the Middle East,, and it’s not Israel talking, that is our Sunni Arab neighbors — and you know what? I’ll use another expression – that is our Sunni Arab allies talking.” (Emphasis added)

While those Sunni nations to which he is referring are not bastions of enlightenment, I do see this as one more ray of light on a dark horizon – a shifting in the dynamics here that serves us well.


I’ll close here with evidence that Israelis are pretty wonderful.  See this delightful and fascinating catalogue of 12 impossible ideas that Israelis turned into reality. Israelis, you see, accept a challenge with enthusiasm and enormous determination.

Rehab patients at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York using the ReWalk.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. Contact:

If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.


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