Clearly stung by news reports that his administration paid a $400 million ransom to Iran, President Obama addressed reporters at the Pentagon last week and made this stunning claim: "By all accounts, [the Iranian nuclear deal] has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work. It's not just the assessment of our intelligence community, it's the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community. The country that was most opposed to this deal acknowledges this has been a game changer. . ."
Clearly stung by news reports that his administration paid a $400 million ransom to Iran, President Obama addressed reporters at the Pentagon last week and made this stunning claim:
“By all accounts, [the Iranian nuclear deal] has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work. It’s not just the assessment of our intelligence community, it’s the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community. The country that was most opposed to this deal acknowledges this has been a game changer…”
To clear up any confusion, the Israeli Defense Ministry issued a blistering statement in response to Obama’s comment:
“The Israeli defense establishment believes that agreements have value only if they are based on an existing reality, and that they have no value if the facts on the ground are completely the opposite of [the concepts] on which an agreement is based on. The Munich agreement did not prevent the Second World War and the Holocaust, precisely because their basic assumption, that Nazi Germany could be a partner to any kind of agreement, was wrong, and because the leaders of the world at that time ignored the explicit statements by Hitler and the rest of the leaders of Nazi Germany.
"This is the same regarding the agreement with Iran, which itself explicitly and publicly announces that its goal is to destroy the state of Israel. A U.S. State Department document published this year states that Iran is the chief state sponsor of terror worldwide. Therefore, the Israeli security establishment, the nation of Israel, and many other nations around the world, understand that agreements like those signed between the world super powers and Iran aren’t helpful.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also rejected Obama’s claim. In a statement, Netanyahu’s office said:
“Israel’s position on the Iran Nuclear Deal remains as it was… As Netanyahu said in his U.N. speech last year, it’s important that those who were for the agreement and those who were against it cooperate to fulfill three goals: to make sure that Iran doesn’t violate the agreement, to deal with Iran’s regional aggression, and to dismantle Iran’s global terror network.”
One of the major arguments for the nuclear deal was that once we engaged Iran and demonstrated the value of normal diplomatic relations, there could be progress on other issues. But that has not happened.
Iran has doubled down on its aggression — seizing American sailors, test-firing ballistic missiles and fomenting unrest throughout the Middle East. Obama’s major talking point has been proven false.
By the way, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is demanding we give Tehran even more money.
Anti-Semitism At The Olympics
For all the concern about Zika, there is more than one virus infecting the Olympic Games in Rio. Saturday, a Lebanese official physically blocked the door of a bus in order to prevent the Israeli Olympic team from riding on the same bus as the Lebanese team. The official, Salim Haj Nicola, doesn’t deny the accusation. In fact, he admits it.
“I asked the bus driver to close the door but the guide with the Israeli team prevented him from doing so. I then stood at the door of the bus to prevent the Israel team from entering,” Haj Nicola said. Sadly, Lebanon has become a breeding ground for Hezbollah, a terrorist army that does Iran’s bidding throughout the Middle East.
But that’s not the only example of anti-Semitism facing Israeli athletes.
In June, Ala Ghasoun, a Syrian boxer, refused to fight an Israeli during an Olympic qualifying match. As Ghasoun explained, “I quit the competition because my rival was Israeli, and I cannot shake his hand or compete against him… If I fight against him, it would mean that I, as an athlete, and Syria, as a state, recognize the state of Israel.”
Some commentators have tried to blame these incidents on Israel, whose democratically elected government follows Western values. But other Olympic teams, even those from nations with repressive governments, are not treated like this. It is nothing more than anti-Semitism plain and simple.
Race-Baiting In Rio
The Olympic Games are supposed to be a model of meritocracy — the pinnacle of sports talent. Yet for some left-wing activists, it’s all about race and identity politics.
For example, CNN host Kamau Bell last week called on Michael Phelps, one of America’s greatest Olympic athletes and the most decorated Olympian in history, to give up the honor of carrying the American flag during the opening ceremonies.
Why should Phelps refuse this honor? In part, because of his white privilege. In Bell’s view, “America has enough tall, successful, rich white guys hogging the spotlight trying to make America great … again.” Instead of Phelps, Bell wanted Ibtihaj Muhammad, a black Muslim fencer, to carry the flag.
Why Muhammad? Because she “would be nearly a one-stop inclusion shop… an African-American, hijab-wearing Muslim woman… Those are all groups that could always use some more love, acceptance, and respect from this country.”
That Bell could write such a column represents the triumph of race baiting and identity politics in America. I think Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. would be disappointed that so many on the left today insist on judging people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character or, in the case of Olympic athletes, their ability.