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December 23 2013



Weekly Parashah, Biblically based Torah Resources, Hebrew and Greek language learning aids http://www.torahresource.com/Hebrews.html

November 25 2013


‘Historic’ Deal Reached In Iranian Nuclear Talks

Historic nuclear dealer reached with Iran. There are vast implications. We’ll have world-wide reaction.


Laurence Norman, deputy Brussels bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal. (@laurnorman)

Mehrzad Boroujerdi, director of the Middle East Studies Program at Syracuse University, president of the International Society of Iranian Studies.

David IgnatiusWashington Post columnist covering foreign affairs. Author of “Bloodmoney.” (@IgnatiusPost)

Emily Landau, senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, director of the INSS’ Arms Control and Regional Security Project. Author of “Arms Control in the Middle East: Cooperative Security Dialogue and Regional Constraints

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Major Powers Reach Deal With Iran To Freeze Nuclear Program –”Iran will gain relief from Western economic sanctions that U.S. officials believe will provide between $6 billion and $7 billion in badly needed foreign exchange for Tehran over the next half-year. The agreement reached in Geneva is an interim deal for about six months that will allow international powers to try to strike a permanent pact, an effort experts said would be the true test of Iran’s new government, headed by revitalization-minded President Hasan Rouhani.”

Washington Post: Backstage brawl over a deal – “As the Iran deal has taken shape, a backstage brawl is developing with Israel and Saudi Arabia, two countries crucially affected by the deal. The unrelenting attacks on the agreement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which are the culmination of four years of mistrust between him and President Obama, are rumbling the bedrock of the U.S.-Israeli relationship — a consequence neither country wants.”

The Economist: Modest, but still historic –”The deal struck this weekend is not yet even the beginning of the end of the danger to the world posed by the possible (actually probable) military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities. It is a modest first step and there is still an awful lot that could go wrong: in particular, there are irreconcilables on all sides who might prefer that it did. Nor can Iran ever be fully defanged unless and until its leaders believe that it is in their best interests for that to happen—and that is still a long way off. But compared with the situation just a few months ago, what happened in Geneva is extraordinary and does properly deserve to be described as ‘historic.’”

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November 14 2013


Iranian Peace Talks Stay Stuck

The US and Israel are split over negotiations with nuclear Iran. We’ll look at the arguments, and the stakes.


Michael Hirsh, chief correspondent at National Journal. (@MichaelPHirsh)

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Co-chair of the Project on U.S. Middle East Nonproliferation Strategy. (@dubo1968)

Suzanne Maloney, senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institute’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. (@MaloneySuzanne)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: The Case for Stronger Sanctions on Iran — “The Geneva negotiations indicate that Mr. Rouhani’s bosses are willing only to make concessions that are easily revoked or not much of a nuclear impediment to start with. The U.S. and its allies seem much more likely to get the attention of the supreme leader and the Revolutionary Guards if the pain from sanctions is so intense that a choice has to be made between economic collapse and the nuclear program.”

CNN: Bad Iran deal worse than no deal — “The problem is that the Iranian leadership does not operate by Western standards. Seldom does the Iranian government place the wellbeing of its population above its own revolutionary ideology. The Supreme Leader considers himself the Deputy of the Messiah on Earth. Sovereignty comes from God; what the Iranian people may think is beside the point.”

Haaretz: Netanyahu’s rage at Iran nuclear deal is fueled by 1938 Western betrayal at Munich — “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, cannot accept any agreement that Iran has agreed to. Conversely, the only nuclear accord that Israel can live with is one that Tehran can’t. Actually, nothing short of complete and utter dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure can convince Israel that the mullahs in Tehran have changed their ways. That Iran has given up its quest for nuclear weapons. That Tehran is no longer pursuing a bomb with which to achieve regional hegemony and to threaten Israel with extinction.”

October 03 2013


Day of the Drones - Books and Authors - Browse - Big Ideas - ABC TV

This panel examines the moral legitimacy of using drones as killing machines as well as for the surveillance of private citizens. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2013/09/30/3856807.htm

September 09 2013


Sep 9, 2013 — Heather Hurlburt & Daniel Drezner

September 07 2013


The Clandestine World of MOSSAD - Weekend Arts - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

MOSSAD, the Israeli Secret Service, has been responsible for capturing Hitler’s henchman, Adolf Eichmann in Argentina, kidnapping dissident Israeli nuclear scientist, Mordechai Vanunu and, in more recent times, has killed key Iranian scientists, working on that country’s nuclear program. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/weekendarts/paul-barclay---israeli/4915202

August 14 2013


New documentary sheds light on Israel's spy leaders - Breakfast - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

While most people have heard of Mossad, few have heard of Israel's internal secret service, Shin Bet. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/new-documentary-sheds-light-on-israels-spy-leaders/4885688

New documentary sheds light on Israel's spy leaders - Breakfast - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

While most people have heard of Mossad, few have heard of Israel's internal secret service, Shin Bet. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/new-documentary-sheds-light-on-israels-spy-leaders/4885688

January 19 2012


US-Israel and Iran: Looming Military Confrontation? | Atlantic Council

This discussion takes place in the context of recent military exercises by the Iranian and US navies in the Persian Gulf and tensions as sanctions are ratcheted up against Iran. The briefing features Michael Eisenstadt and Bruce Riedel with moderation by Barbara Slavin. Recorded on January 17, 2012. http://www.acus.org/event/us-israel-and-iran-looming-military-confrontation

January 09 2012


Stephan Grigat: Israel, der „arabische Frühling“ und das iranische Regime

„Da ist was los, da gehen wir hin und machen mit“. Auf diese einfache Formel lassen sich die Reaktionen von der FAZ bis zu linken Blättern in Deutschland zu den Aufständen in der arabischen Welt bringen, die bezeichnenderweise mit einer Selbstverbrennung in Tunesien ihren Anfang nahmen. Unumstritten ist bei Kommentatoren und Freunden kommender Aufstände, dass es sich bei den Massenprotesten in Tunesien, Ägypten usw. usf. um Revolutionen handele. Sicher führten die Proteste zum Sturz repressiver Regime. Doch der Austausch politischer Machteliten als Resultat eines Kampfes rivalisierender Rackets um Ressourcen und Machtpositionen ist keinesfalls Anzeichen einer Revolution. Es stellt sich die Frage, ob der Sturz der bisherigen Herrscher tatsächlich zu einer radikalen Umwälzung der sozialen Verhältnisse führt und wenn ja, wie diese aussehen wird. Bislang gibt es kaum Anzeichen dafür, dass es überhaupt das mehrheitliche Bedürfnis seitens der Aufständischen gibt, die Herrschaft von Tradition, Familie und islamischer Zurichtung, also die Sehnsucht nach der autoritär-repressiven Nestwärme, zu hinterfragen, um sich aus der „Blutsurenge“ (Marx) zu befreien. Der Vortrag wird versuchen, eine Einschätzung der bisherigen Entwicklung zu geben und insbesondere die Bedeutung der Umwälzungen in den diversen arabischen Ländern für den Expansionsdrang des iranischen Regimes und für die prekäre Situation Israels darzustellen. Vortrag und Diskussion mit Stephan Grigat, Lehrbeauftragter für Philosophie und Politikwissenschaft an der Universität Wien.

April 28 2011


Syrian Spring, Arab Spring

We peer into the uprising and brutal crackdown in Syria. Will the "Arab Spring" come to a grinding halt at Syria's doorstep, or will it sweep away the Assad regime along with the others?

September 14 2010


MidEast Peace: The Last Optimists

You can call them the last optimists. As new peace talks kick off in Egypt, we hear from Palestinians and Israelis who say peace has a chance.

August 19 2010


Airstrikes, Israel, and Iran

The Atlantic magazine’s Jeffrey Goldberg says Israel is preparing right now to bomb Iran. We get his report, and a critique of bombing to stop “the bomb” in Iran.

June 09 2010


Turkey’s Moves, U.S.-Israel Impact

With Israel and Turkey now sharply at odds, a big American observer says embrace Turkey, and one day Iran--and Israel.
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