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inFOCUS Quarterly

Spring 2015

inFocus Examines Israel

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Articles by the JPC

The US is There When it "Matters," Right?

by Shoshana Bryen
April 29, 2015 | American Thinker

Who thought it wouldn't be Israel that first came to test the American "what matters" principle, but rather the Marshall Islands - a tiny country of 68,480 people spread over 24 atolls in the Micronesian island chain? Iran fired on and boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship and forced it and its 34 crew members into an Iranian port, claiming the ship was in Iranian territorial waters.

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Is the U.S. Israel's Ally "When It Matters"?

by Shoshana Bryen
April 22, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. will no longer automatically exercise its veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel.

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Forty Years from Saigon

by Shoshana Bryen
April 21, 2015 | American Thinker

Forty years ago, Saigon fell to communist North Vietnam. Images of terrified South Vietnamese clambering to the roof of the U.S. embassy, and Vietnamese helicopter pilots ferrying them to ships and then pushing the helicopters overboard to make room for more refugees are still heart-wrenching.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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Blaming the Jews for Fun and Profit

by Shoshana Bryen
February 9, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times does not want Israel mucking in American policy-making toward Iran, and so counsels Prime Minister Netanyahu to cancel his planned speech to the U.S. Congress. He seems to believe Iran's determined march toward nuclear weapons and genocidal rhetoric about Israel, in fact, has nothing to do with Israel, and that Israel should avoid getting in America's way. But understand that Friedman is only trying to protect Israel.

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The U.S. as 'Pindostan'

by Shoshana Bryen
January 30, 2015 | American Thinker

It is a mistake to belittle Vladimir Putin. Dislike and distrust him, fine. Believe he is a monomaniacal empire-builder determined to restore Russia's former colonies and holdings, OK. To snicker at his bare-chested antics, particularly with animals, is probably unavoidable. But for all that, Putin is a man with a plan that should be understood by the American government, and in particular by Victoria Neuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Instead, Ms. Neuland glibly poked at RT (Russia Today) while assuring Putin of the peaceful intentions of the U.S. and the West.

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Iran Doesn't Need Nuclear Weapons

by Shoshana Bryen
January 24, 2015 | American Thinker

In his State of the Union address, President Obama forcefully announced he would not accept "a nuclear-armed Iran." This reflects his view that the only objectionable element of Iran's behavior would be acquisition and possible use of such weapons. This is conveniently narrow.

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The West Bank Army of the "State of Palestine," Thanks to the United States

by Shoshana Bryen
January 21, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

Last week, officials from the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem attended a Palestinian protest over Israel's removal of olive trees illegally planted in the West Bank. Coordinated with the Palestinian Authority [PA] but not Israel, the Consulate personnel ended up clashing with Israelis living nearby. It was, perhaps, the quietest international almost-incident you never heard of.

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