It’s Time to Take the Iran Deal Off Life Support

Dec. 30 2022

On recently circulated video from a November 4 campaign event in California, President Biden can be heard telling a questioner that the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran—which his administration came into office promising to renew—is now “dead, but we’re not going to announce it.” This comment, although clearly not intended as a policy statement, is of a piece with a variety of mixed and contradictory signals the White House has sent about the negotiations. “What,” asks Ben Cohen, “can explain this reticence” simply to admit that there will be no new agreement?

In part, it’s the old negotiating tactic of not showing your hand if you don’t absolutely need to; let the Iranians be the ones to take the blame for the failure of talks seems to be the idea here. Yet the Europeans are also a factor, in that the EU remains wedded to the goal of a revived [nuclear deal], despite announcing a new round of sanctions on the Iranian regime after the protests erupted. So long as the EU believes there is even the faintest hope of a breakthrough with the mullahs, the U.S. is unlikely to place an official stamp upon its commander-in-chief’s off-the-cuff comments.

This kind of ducking and weaving by the West sends the signal to Tehran that it still has a role to play, by arriving at an outcome that Western nations badly want. To deliver on a deal, the regime has to remain in power. Yet if our goal now—as Biden stated at the rally in California—is to “free Iran” and to offer every assistance we can to the ordinary Iranians driven by this goal, then we need to do the exact opposite. The robust sanctions that have been imposed on numerous Iranian individuals, military organizations, and government agencies need to be amplified by a freeze on diplomatic contacts with the Iranians.

Foremost, this would mean formally ending the negotiations in Vienna to resurrect the deal. Biden’s judgment that the deal is dead would thus become official policy. And as well as ending the nuclear talks, Western nations should suspend diplomatic contacts by pulling their ambassadors out of Tehran while leaving lower-level staff in place to monitor the repression of the protests.

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Read more at JNS

More about: European Union, Iran nuclear program, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy

Demography Is on Israel’s Side

March 24 2023

Yasir Arafat was often quoted as saying that his “strongest weapon is the womb of an Arab woman.” That is, he believed the high birthrates of both Palestinians and Arab Israelis ensured that Jews would eventually be a minority in the Land of Israel, at which point Arabs could call for a binational state and get an Arab one. Using similar logic, both Israelis and their self-styled sympathizers have made the case for territorial concessions to prevent such an eventuality. Yet, Yoram Ettinger argues, the statistics have year after year told a different story:

Contrary to the projections of the demographic establishment at the end of the 19th century and during the 1940s, Israel’s Jewish fertility rate is higher than those of all Muslim countries other than Iraq and the sub-Saharan Muslim countries. Based on the latest data, the Jewish fertility rate of 3.13 births per woman is higher than the 2.85 Arab rate (since 2016) and the 3.01 Arab-Muslim fertility rate (since 2020).

The Westernization of Arab demography is a product of ongoing urbanization and modernization, with an increase in the number of women enrolling in higher education and increased use of contraceptives. Far from facing a “demographic time bomb” in Judea and Samaria, the Jewish state enjoys a robust demographic tailwind, aided by immigration.

However, the demographic and policy-making establishment persists in echoing official Palestinian figures without auditing them, ignoring a 100-percent artificial inflation of those population numbers. This inflation is accomplished via the inclusion of overseas residents, double-counting Jerusalem Arabs and Israeli Arabs married to Arabs living in Judea and Samaria, an inflated birth rate, and deflated death rate.

The U.S. should derive much satisfaction from Israel’s demographic viability and therefore, Israel’s enhanced posture of deterrence, which is America’s top force- and dollar-multiplier in the Middle East and beyond.

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Read more at Ettinger Report

More about: Demography, Fertility, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Yasir Arafat