WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. But the stick only started to hurt its targets -- terrorist groups and rogue nations -- when he figured out how to soft-talk nations and private businesses into going along.
Levey is that rarity -- a senior government official who has transitioned not just between two administrations, but between two presidents with profound foreign policy differences.
Could pro-Israel leaders here face a grim day of reckoning on the issue of Iran's nuclear program?
Last week the UN Security Council passed new sanctions demanded by the Obama administration, which won the support of China and Russia – the biggest obstacles to a new sanctions regime. Congress seems poised to pass tougher U.S. sanctions targeting companies, individuals and states that deal with Iran's nuclear sector, JTA reports.
Today a Washington Post editorial offers a surprisingly sensible solution to the problem of Israel's Gaza blockade, which is under mounting international condemnation and which the Obama administration calls 'unsustainable.”
Israel’s disputes with its neighbors have a long history — but there’s also a less tangible, but no less important front line: the media. Public opinion in the United States is an important area of concern for Israel, especially considering Israel has not always been great with its own public relations. Fortunately, there are a number of American-based groups that help make the case for Israel, and one of the best is The Israel Project (TIP).
No humanitarian aid to Shalit, and no story either.
Even before the facts were clear about the battle between Israeli commandos and the pro-Hamas flotilla, we were told by The New York Times website, and dozens of other online media, that Israel was being “condemned.” Indeed it was.
Jewish groups were scrambling on Wednesday to develop strategies for protesting next week's likely New York visit of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian leader has requested a visa to attend the U.N.-sponsored Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Obama administration officials hope the meeting will strengthen the 1970 pact as they wrestle with how to enlist international support for tough sanctions aimed at thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which downplayed the immediacy of the Iranian nuclear threat and claimed that Tehran suspended its weapons program in 2003, exploded like a charge of TNT in Washington’s foreign policy establishment this week. On the left, there was a collective “I told you so” as analysts portrayed the report by 16 U.S. intelligence agencies as “proof” that the Iranian threat was little more than a neo-con hallucination.
Awareness of the very real danger posed by a nuclear Iran has become a given in Washington. But that may prove a mixed blessing as the issue gets sucked into the maws of partisan politics. In reality, the Iran threat is too important and too complex for the chest thumping, sloganeering and jockeying for partisan gain that define the Iran debate on the 2008 presidential campaign trail.
Politicians in both parties are vying to establish their hawkish bona fides. Tehran will “never” get the bomb under their watch, contenders promise; some
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Israel’s war against Iran is underway. Over in London, the Telegraph headlined (Feb. 16): “Israel Launches Covert War Against Iran.” The sub-head: “Israel has launched a covert war against Iran as an alternative to direct military strikes against Tehran’s nuclear programme, US intelligence sources have revealed.”
In the late 1970s the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the New York-based organization that supports Jewish life in small communities around the world, needed someone to head its office in Tehran.
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