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inFOCUS Quarterly

Spring 2015

inFocus Examines Israel


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JPC Statement on the U.S.-Iran Framework Agreement

April 3, 2015 | Jewish Policy Center

The Jewish Policy Center expresses grave reservations over the U.S.-Iran announcement of "parameters for a joint comprehensive plan of action" following an apparent agreement reached between Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Zarif in Lausanne on Thursday. The parameters published by the White House do not constitute an agreement, a treaty, or a binding document, making it impossible to measure whether or how the agreement constrains Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. Such weapons could be wedded to Iran's known and robust missile capability in pursuit of its often-stated hegemonic aims in the Middle East and beyond and its threats against the State of Israel.

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A Blueprint for Failure

by Gabriel Scheinmann
March 23, 2015 | The Weekly Standard

A half-century of estrangement is over, President Obama declared late last year, in a surprise announcement that he was transforming U.S. policy towards Cuba. Having broken the ice, the administration hopes that normalizing diplomatic relations and lifting the economic embargo will, as the recently released National Security Strategy explains, "enhance our engagement in our own hemisphere, where there are enormous opportunities to consolidate gains in pursuit of peace, prosperity, democracy, and energy security." Actually, it's a geopolitically insignificant decision—except for the pattern it continues, one we would do well to recall as the deadline for a deal with Iran looms.

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Obama's Nuclear Deal Could Mean War

by Gabriel Scheinmann
March 12, 2015 | Time Magazine

The Obama Administration may be on the verge of completing a deal that leaves Iran with a substantial nuclear capability, but about a year away from a bomb's worth of fissile material. By not insisting on the dismantlement of any major nuclear infrastructure, or even on the complete cessation of enrichment activities, the White House is betting that not only is Iran likely to heed the deal, but also that the United States would have enough time to act appropriately and decisively if it does not. Believing it has headed-off the seemingly unavoidable march towards war with Iran, the White House is crowing about its impending diplomatic feat.

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Shoshana Bryen on Voice of Israel

by National Security with Dan Diker
March 1, 2015 | Voice of Israel

Jewish Policy Center Senior Director Shoshana Bryen appeared on Voice of Israel's National Security program with Dan Diker on March 1st. The panel discussion titled "How the American Heartland Perceives the Iranian Threat and Israel" also featured former U.S. Army Intelligence officer Jerry Gordon and U.S. talk-radio personality Mike Bates.

Shoshana Bryen Talks Middle East Policy on Northwest Florida Radio.

February 24, 2015 | 1330AM WEBY Radio

Senior Director Shoshana Bryen talks to the Middle East Round Table on Your Turn with host Mike Bates on 1330AM WEBY radio on February 24, 2015.

NYPD had it Right a Long Time Ago

by Shoshana Bryen
February 27, 2015 | American Thinker

Better than a plea for understanding "root causes" and sympathy for certain people's inability to find a "legitimate" outlet for grievances, would be a hard-headed consideration of the fact that professional jihadists are trolling for susceptible people - primarily males, but increasingly females - to take up the cause of religious violence and rush to the battlefields. The fault lies there, not with the West's lack of empathy.

The U.S.-Israel Divide on Iran

by Shoshana Bryen
February 23, 2015 | American Thinker

Portrayed mainly as a tiff between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the U.S.-Israel divide over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program is much more serious and dates to the 1980s. It reflects the difference in each country's margin of error. President Obama has only widened an existing divide by suggesting Iran might be returned to the family of nations short of dismantling its nuclear program. Prime Minister Netanyahu's planned appearance before Congress will articulate Israel's existential concerns and try, perhaps, narrow the differences over ends, if not means.

Gabriel Scheinmann on Newstalk KGVO

February 11, 2015 | KGVO Radio

On February 11th, Jewish Policy Center Director of Policy Gabriel Scheinmann appeared on KGVO's Newstalk to discuss a variety of topics related to the Middle East.

Is This the Way to Run a War?

by Shoshana Bryen
February 19, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

A Jordanian, 21 Egyptians and 4 Americans – sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it is not. They, along with thousands of others, have been murdered by the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) in the Middle East, and by Boko Haram in Nigeria. The victims are Muslim, Christian (Nigerian Christians, Egyptian Copts beheaded in Libya, plus Yazidis, Chaldeans and 45 members of smaller sects in Iraq burned alive), and others (Japanese hostages and some who professed no religion). They are killed in places where governments have lost control of their territory to bands of increasingly well-armed Islamic radical forces.

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Russia to Sell S-300s to Iran

by Michael Johnson
April 16, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Russian leaders announced Monday that they would lift a moratorium on delivering an advanced surface-to-air missile system to Iran. Officials in Moscow could sell S-300 missile batteries (commonly exported as the Antey-2500) to Tehran this year, even though a final nuclear deal has not been reached.

IS Seizes Yarmouk Camp in Damascus

by Michael Johnson
April 8, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Fighters with the Islamic State seized large parts of the predominantly Palestinian Yarmouk camp on the southern side of Damascus this past week. International aid agencies warn that conflict between IS and other rebel factions, as well as an ongoing government blockade, could lead to a humanitarian disaster inside the camp.

Obama Ends Freeze on Arms Sales to Egypt

by Michael Johnson
April 2, 2015 at 9:52 am

The White House announced Tuesday that it is lifting a year-and-a-half long moratorium on U.S. arms sales to Egypt, citing the need to fight violent extremism in the region. The Obama administration's move signals a willingness to prioritize stability and security over human rights concerns in the region.

Iraqi Forces Retake Tikrit

by Michael Johnson
March 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm

After nearly a month of stalled fighting, Iraqi forces regained control over much of Tikrit on Tuesday, displacing Islamic State militants who had captured the city last June. During their fight to take back the city, about 80 miles northwest of Baghdad, the Iraqi government revealed an important, yet controversial part of their strategy–Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

Riyadh Intervenes Against Yemeni Rebels

by Michael Johnson
March 26, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Saudi Arabia began a series of airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias in Yemen yesterday in conjunction with other regional allies. Riyadh's ambassador to the U.S. announced "Operation Storm of Resolve" on Wednesday night in Washington, justifying the measure as a last resort in protecting Yemen's "legitimate government" against Houthi rebels.

IS Claims Responsibility for Tunis Attack

by Michael Johnson
March 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Islamic State claimed responsibility Thursday for an attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis that killed 20 foreigners earlier this week. Security forces killed two terrorists during the assault, which has highlighted Tunisia's growing susceptibility to Islamic State terrorists in the region.

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