Humor: Obama picks Maxwell Smart as Secretary of Defense and Gender Equality

Posted November 25, 2014 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Hagel, Humor, Obama

Tags: , , ,

Obama picks Maxwell Smart as Secretary of Defense and Gender Equality, Dan Miller’s Blog, November 25, 2014

(With Iran, the U. N., Europe, the Non-Islamic State, Ferguson, MO and a bunch of other annoyances, a spot of humor seemed worth attempting. — DM)

Immediately upon hearing of Secretary Hagel’s decision to resign, President Obama began His search for the best available replacement. Today, He announced His eagerly awaited choice for a successor.

I have personal problems.

I have too many personal problems.

Statement of President Obama:

My fellow Americans, as you are well aware, I pledged soon after taking office in 2009 that My administration would be the most transparent ever. In keeping with My solemn vow, I want to tell you this evening about My most important actions over the past few days, and how I decided to take them, to make our already exceptional national security even better.

A few days ago, My very close personal friend and scapegoat Republican colleague, Huck Bagel, informed Me that personal problems compelled him to resign as My Secretary of Defense and Gender Equality. There is, of course, no truth to any of the scurrilous lies that I forced him to resign. Contrary to the unfounded assertions of racist media sources, that’s not the way My administration works. Indeed, I did not even begin My exhaustive search for the best possible candidate to replace him until after I learned of his intentions.

Fortunately for us all, a wise Latina caddy at My Presidential Golf Course — I call her Soto because she reminds me of a Supreme Court justice whom I appointed — had over the years become one of My closest and most trusted advisers. She understood the many problems and opportunities before Me. Based on her superior knowledge of television programs, as well as of the qualification needed for the position, she suggested Maxwell Smart.

If I can do it anybody can

Sure, Mr. President. I can do that!

With my closest friend, mentor and adviser, Valerie Jarrett, I carefully analyzed recordings of the TV programs Soto had suggested, giving them My always intensely focused attention. Val provided her uniquely helpful advice and I then decided to act decisively by deciding that I needed to get smart. I promptly telephoned Mr. Smart and he graciously agreed to serve.

As all of you know, all of My foreign and domestic policies and actions have always been based on this simple but important principle: Don’t do anything stupid. I have not once strayed from it.

Mr. Smart’s exemplary qualifications are subtly but well demonstrated in this video as well as in many others.

As should be obvious, Mr. Smart is highly qualified to lead My Department of Defense and Gender Equality. It is My hope and desire that the Senate will act promptly, in true bipartisan fashion, to approve him. Our very own national security demands it. Although My administration has already taken great strides in transforming My military, We still must move ever forward with My most important national security mission: bringing ever greater gender equality, and hence ever better gender relations, to all of My armed forces. We cannot — and must not — wait to make the changes that you, My dear people, have long been hoping and waiting for!

I fully expect that Mr. Smart will also be useful in achieving My goal of degrading the non-Islamic State and other non-Islamic terror organizations in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. However, it remains my firm conviction that true peace can come only through extended negotiations, with give and take on all sides. As has been shown by Our extended negotiations with Iran over its alleged nuclear ambitions, by giving only a little much can be gained.

Thank you, My America. When you elected Me I promised the changes that you hoped for. Once again, I have responded to your hopes for change. May Allah damn bless you all and bring unto you many beautiful dreams about the wonders I have already wrought and those that I will continue to provide for so long as I remain your beloved leader.

Obama as we know and love(?) him!

ALL of My policies are the best ever

ALL of My policies are awesome!

Iranian Negotiators Brag How They Are Artfully Tricking Western Diplomats With A Good Cop/Bad Cop Tactic

Posted November 25, 2014 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Iran, Iran scam, Javad Zarif, Kerry, Nukes

Tags: , , , , , ,

Iranian Negotiators Brag How They Are Artfully Tricking Western Diplomats With A Good Cop/Bad Cop Tactic, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, November 25, 2014

No doubt, Kerry and others never heard of this tactic even though every kid watching old cop shows is well-versed in it.

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mohammad_javad_zarif_2014
220px-john_kerry_official_secretary_of_state_portrait

 

Many cops, attorneys and others have used the classic good cop/bad cop tactic to try to force concessions or confessions. The key of course is not to admit that you are just doing good cop/bad cop. That seems to have escaped Iranian negotiators in the ongoing nuclear program talks who have been giving interviews bragging about how they are screaming at American and other diplomats in a good cop/bad cop ploy. Hmmmm. It is nothing like a man screaming like a lunatic to convince you that he and his country should have access to weapons-grade nuclear material.

Part of the tactic does not appear to be an act. This appears to be the signature style of Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator Javad Zarif. His shouting and screaming is so loud that security repeatedly came bursting into the room out of concern that there was a violent breakout. Western diplomats have been sitting back to allow Zarif to blow himself out in each of the tirades. In one incident, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton assured worried security officers that it was just Zarif again and that everyone was used to it.

What really caught my eye however was that Zarif’s unprofessional outbursts were openly discussed in the Iranian press and that the Iranian team also has been discussing how they are tricking Western diplomats with the use of the good cop/bad cop tactic. No doubt, Kerry and others never heard of this tactic even though every kid watching old cop shows is well-versed in it.

Iranian diplomat Abbas Araghchi discussed how Zarif “shouted” at Kerry in a way that was likely “unprecedented” in the history of U.S. diplomacy. That appears to be a good thing and a source of pride. He then went on to brag that he and Zarif play the roles of “good cop, bad cop” to “baffle the Western diplomats” and keep them uneasy. Clever.

As if to show the triumph of Iranian diplomacy, Araghchi said that after Zarif yells at Kerry and other diplomats there is largely silence in the room except for “one or two very respectful sentences.” They appear to mistake shocked and embarrassed silence of diplomats with people are cowed by the brilliant screaming and pounding of Zarif. They will see the same reaction to people raving on the New York subway. Few people call the guy screaming about the microchip in his brain in the Penn Station “a master negotiator.” However, they may now wonder if he is an Iranian diplomat.

Iran’s no China

Posted November 25, 2014 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Our World: Iran’s no China.

Caroline B. Glick

Not only is Obama no Nixon, compared to him, Neville Chamberlain looks like a minor, almost insignificant failure.

The Obama administration will never abandon its courtship of Iran. On the eve of the extended deadline in the US-led six-party talks with Iran regarding Teheran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, the one thing that is absolutely clear is that courting Iran is the centerpiece of US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy. Come what may in Geneva, this will not change.

To be clear, Obama does not seek to check Iran’s rise to regional hegemony by appeasing it. None of the actions he has taken to date with regard to Iran can be construed as efforts to check or contain Iran.

Their goal is to cultivate a US alliance with Iran. As Obama sees things, Iran for him is what China was for then US president Richard Nixon. Nixon didn’t normalize US relations with the People’s Republic of China in order to harm the Chinese Communists. And Obama isn’t wooing Iran’s Islamic revolutionaries in order to harm them.

Unfortunately for the world, China is not a relevant analogy for Iran. Nixon sought to develop ties with Beijing because he wanted to pry the Chinese out of the Soviet orbit. Courting China meant harming Moscow, and Moscow as the US’s greatest foe.

There is no Moscow that will be weakened by the US’s empowerment of Tehran. The only parties directly and immediately harmed by Obama’s policy of courting Iran are America’s allies in the Middle East. The Allies’ appeasement deal with the Nazis in 1938 had three victims: Czechoslovakia, the rest of Europe, and the rest of the world.

Obama’s policy of courting Iran also has three victims: Israel, the Sunni Arab states, and the rest of the world.

Obama’s initiation of the six-power nuclear talks with Iran harms Israel because the talks facilitate Iran’s nuclear program. That is, Obama is enabling Iran to develop the means to attack Israel with nuclear weapons.

According to press reports of the content of the negotiations, the US has already abandoned its major red lines. It has abandoned its demand that Iran dismantle its centrifuges. Late last week the US was reportedly about to abandon its demand for Iranian transparency to the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its past work on atomic bomb development.

In other words, the deal the US was hoping to conclude this week with Iran, and will now continue negotiating next month, involves taking no serious action to curtail Iran’s progress in developing nuclear weapons.

And in exchange for taking no action to curtail its nuclear progress, Iran demands and will likely receive a complete abrogation of binding UN Security Council economic sanctions against it. Those sanctions were passed in response to Iran’s illicit nuclear progress. The deal the US is now willing to sign renders Iran’s nuclear program legitimate.

Then there are the rest of the states in the region. The Saudis and their Sunni brethren are not the Czechs. They are Poland, Belgium France and Holland. Like the Nazis and the European states in late 1938, Iran threatens all Sunni states in the region.

As the Americans have engaged in obsessive-compulsive nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Iranians have divided their attention between nuclear development and regional expansion. In September they took over Yemen.

Houthi militia from northern Yemen took over Yemen’s capital city Sana’a that month. The Houthi are Shi’ite, and are to Yemen what Iran’s Lebanese Shi’ite proxy Hezbollah is to Lebanon. The Houthis, who are already a major force in the US-trained Yemeni armed forces, are demanding control over them.

In addition to its proxy’s takeover of Yemen, as Middle East analyst Tony Badran reported earlier this month, the Iranian leadership is orchestrating a major information campaign to present itself as the regional hegemon to regional actors.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Qassem Soleimani has had his picture taken with Kurdish peshmerga in Iraq as well as with Iraqi regular military forces. Iranian security chief Ali Shamkhani went to Lebanon in late September and offered to arm the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Iran, these photo-ops and visits signal – is the new boss of the region. Yemen shares a 1,700 km border with Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis already fought a border war with Saudi Arabia in 2009. The Iranian proxy’s control over much of the border today is a clear threat to Saudi sovereignty. In light of the close ties the Houthis have spent the past decade cultivating with Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ite minority, it is also a threat to the internal political stability of the kingdom.

As the Obama administration has erased red line after red line in the nuclear talks, and sided with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and other Iranian Sunni allies against US allies, Iran’s leaders have gloated that their hegemony over Yemen raises to four the number of Arab states under their dominion, that list including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Iran’s control over Yemen is a direct threat to the world economy. Before the Houthis marched on Sana’a, Iran was able to threaten global oil markets with its sovereignty over the Straits of Hormuz that controls naval traffic between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. With the Port of Aden, Iran will also control maritime traffic between the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

It is true that massive increases in US oil sales due to its shale oil development will reduce some of the Middle East’s power to dictate oil prices. But Middle Eastern oil sales still constitute 40 percent of the world market and will continue to be a massive force in the global economy in the coming years. As the force controlling the flow of that oil, Iran will exert massive influence over the global economy.

Add to that the fact that Iran’s Hezbollah has sleeper cells in every major city in Europe and in several hubs in North America, and that Iran has strategic alliances with Venezuela and Nicaragua, a nuclear- armed Iran exerting hegemonic control over the Middle East and its oil exports will become a strategic danger to the global economy and global security.

One of the many eyebrow raising aspects of Obama’s courtship of Iran is that it isn’t tied to a US retreat from the region. The US isn’t retreating.

Obama has ordered hundreds of air strikes on Islamic State targets to date, and more will undoubtedly follow. The US participated in the NATO overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. US power remains a major factor in regional affairs, and Obama has not shied away from using it during his tenure in office.

The problem is that in all cases, his use of US power has helped Iran more than it has helped US allies. And in the case of Libya, US power has directly threatened US allies and empowered al-Qaida and it associates.

With the rise of China today, some US analysts question the wisdom of Nixon’s opening to Beijing.

But there is little argument that his China gambit caused strategic damage to the Soviet Union and contributed to the US victory in the Cold War.

Not only will Obama’s Iran opening not redound to the US’s benefit in the short term. Its inevitable result will be a decade or more of major and minor regional wars and chronic instability, with the nuclear-armed Iran threatening the survival of all of America’s regional allies. It will also lead to shocks in the global economy and massively expand Iran’s direct coercive power over the word as a whole.

Not only is Obama no Nixon, compared to him, Neville Chamberlain looks like a minor, almost insignificant failure.

Iran’s win-win

Posted November 25, 2014 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Iran scam, Iranian nukes, Israel, Kerry, Obama, P5+1

Tags: , , , , , ,

Iran’s win-win, Power Line, Paul Mirengoff, November 24, 2014

(The $700 million per month that Iran will receive is, presumably, in addition to its continuing lucrative relief from business sanctions. While the money continues to roll in and the negotiations continue to plod along, there is no realistic expectation that any final deal will prevent Iran from getting (or keeping) nuclear weaponry. — DM)

Iran will receive about $700 million per month in frozen assets. In exchange, it makes no concessions. Instead, the status quo is maintained with regard to Iran’s nuclear program.

Obama envisages some sort of mega-deal with Iran, pursuant to which the mullah regime helps bring stability to the region. Iran’s posture in the nuclear negotiations would persuade anyone but a fool or a blind ideologue that a meaningful “grand bargain” is not to be had.

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The deadline for reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program expires today without the parties having reached a negotiated agreement. The negotiating period will be extended until July 1 of next year.

This development is being reported as “no deal,” but there actually is a deal of sorts here. According to the British foreign secretary, Iran will receive about $700 million per month in frozen assets. In exchange, it makes no concessions. Instead, the status quo is maintained with regard to Iran’s nuclear program.

In all likelihood, then, Iran’s economy will continue to expand. No longer will it experience the severe bite that caused it to come to the negotiating table. Thus, Iran will have even less incentive to make concessions than it has had in the run-up to the current stalemate.

Meanwhile, Obama will feel pressure to make additional concessions. Clearly, he wants a deal; otherwise he would have walked away in the face of Iran’s intransigence.

Obama wants a deal for his legacy. Two of the three major components of that legacy — Obamacare and Obamnesty — are subject to possible reversal. The third component — pulling out of Iraq — has exploded in his face.

Obama also wants a deal to reduce the likelihood of Israel attacking Iran. Short of a deal, Obama needs the negotiating process to continue for this purpose.

Finally, Obama envisages some sort of mega-deal with Iran, pursuant to which the mullah regime helps bring stability to the region. Iran’s posture in the nuclear negotiations would persuade anyone but a fool or a blind ideologue that a meaningful “grand bargain” is not to be had.

I’ll leave it to the reader to say which of these descriptons fit Obama.

Obama’s desperation has already driven him to make a series of concessions. Lee Smithcatalogues them.

Among the concessions are these:

1. Obama has offered Iran a 10-year sunset period. After 10 years, any deal would be void.

2. Obama has given up on its demands that Iran enrich no uranium at all.

3. Obama has abandoned the demand that Iran must dismantle its centrifuges.

According to Smith, there are also reports that Obama may have given up on demanding that Iran fully disclose its past activities, including possible military dimensions of the nuclear program.

No wonder Iran wants to keep Obama at the negotiating table. The mullahs are in a win-win position. Either the status quo continues and Iran prospers or Obama eventually gives away the store.

The mullahs lose only if Israel attacks. Neither side wants that, so negotiations, such as they are, will persist.

Khameenei admits scuttling nuclear talks

Posted November 25, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

Khameenei admits scuttling nuclear talksIran’s Supreme Leader tweeted today that he personally ordered the Iranian representatives to break off the negotiations. “The West will never bring us to our knees,” he stated.

Nov 25, 2014, 03:49PM | Rachel Avraham

via Israel News – Khameenei admits scuttling nuclear talks – JerusalemOnline.

 


Khomeini Photo Credit: Channel 2

Iran’s Supreme Leader thwarted the nuclear deal.  On the twitter account run by the office of Ayatollah Khamenei, these accusations were published this morning in light of the cessation of the talks with the west renewed within a month.   “The powers are pompous,” claimed Khomeini, since they have not bended to Iran’s position.

The Iranian Spiritual Leader claimed that “regarding the nuclear issue, the arrogant ones did their best to get Iran on their knees, but they didn’t succeed to do so and won’t succeed to do so.” The Iran experts on history claim that the “arrogant powers,” namely the United States and Israel, had their dreams explode in Iran since 1979, when Washington, DC broke off relations with Iran.

In another post written on Khamenei’s account, he accused the west of being involved in the Middle East: “Radical Islam has turned the Arab Spring into battles within Islam in accordance with the goals of the arrogant powers. After that, it is written that the “coalition against Islamic State is a bluff. The Untied States wants to continue the war among Muslims via Islamic State.” He believes the US is not serious about eliminating the terror movement.

Another senior level Iranian official, Iran’s deputy chief of staff, joined the criticism after no agreement was reached and claimed that Tehran cannot rely upon the US. “Most of the problems in the Muslim world are because of the arrogant behavior of the colonialist powers,” Massoud Jazayeri stated. “For this reason, we don’t have confidence in the Americans and their promises.”

Who Is Setting the West Bank on Fire?

Posted November 25, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , ,

By: Mudar ZahranPublished: November 25th, 2014

via The Jewish Press » » Who Is Setting the West Bank on Fire?.


Recently, both, the West Bank and Jerusalem witnessed a level of violence unseen since the last Intifada. The main question here is: Why now?

The West Bank and Jerusalem were relatively calm during the last Gaza war in which over 1,900 Palestinians were killed. So, why is the unrest now, when there is no outstanding driver of Palestinians’ anger? Therefore, it’s safe to say the unrest was possibly planned rather than a reaction to a certain incident or provocation.

To answer the question above; one has to wonder:”Who is benefiting from the violence?”.

I prayed in Al-Aqsa almost every day I was in Jerusalem last summer, and I could confirm the daily routine: Non-Muslims, Jews, Christians or others, are allowed to visit the premises until 11:00 am, after that only Muslims are allowed to enter. Jews have entered Al-Aqsa as visitors for decades, where they are not allowed to pray by the Israeli authorities. This did not change in the last few weeks.

Nonetheless, suddenly the Palestinian, Jordanian and Qatari media(Aljazeera) began reporting on a daily basis:”Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa”.

In addition to the media’s messages, suddenly banners and posters started popping up across the West Bank and Jerusalem:”Jews are attacking Al-Aqsa, will you get angry?”, and around the same time those appeared violence began.

Surprisingly to some, Jordan’s king’s media launched an anti-Israeli campaign urging “a third Intifada for Al-Aqsa”. Why would the king do that?

Jordan’s king’s apologists usually claim the king lets his media demonize Israel and incite our young men to fight it just because “He wants to verbally appease his people who hate Israel”, only this time, this excuse won’t stick at all: The king’s media began inciting and calling for an Intifada long before any unrest in the West Bank or Jerusalem. A thorough and honest examination of Jordanian media would show mountains of evidence of that.

Needless to say, Jordan’s media is closely controlled by the king’s media office and his intelligence department.

In short, the king wanted this to happen. But did his role stop just with media incitement? Let’s see.

The unrest began with Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood members in Jerusalem, and the king has a least-known influence over those. Here’s how: The king in is full alliance with Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB). While this might shock many, the king’s former Minister of Political Reform, Bassam Hadadeen, said it live on Aljazeera: “The MB is a part of the Hashemite regime”.

In November 2012, when we, Jordan’s seculars, launched the largest revolution in Jordan’s history, the MB’s leaders told the media on 20 November 2012:”We have chosen to reform the regime and not let it fall”, and their members even attacked and terrorized the peaceful anti-King protesters.

While Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE have declared the MB as a terrorist organization, Jordan king allows the MB as a registered charity, with a licensed political party and a trust fund of investments worth $2 billion. Also, he openly refused to ban the MB despite Saudi pressure, to the point where Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported “Egypt’s Sisi was not eager to deal with Jordan’s king because of his support to the MB”.

In an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffery Goldberg, the king didn’t deny his alliance with the MB, and said there was only “A 10 percent distrust from me, and 10 percent distrust from them”.

Hamas falls under Jordan’s MB in hierarchy, and all of Hamas’ top leaders are Jordanian citizens. Therefore, it is unlikely that the unrest was against the king’s wishes, because he could have stopped it, or at least reduced it if he wanted.

But why is Jordan’s king doing all of this? Despite the media not covering Jordan; the king is very unstable, just last week locals of central Amman surrounded the king’s palace three time in a row (This was documented by Jordan’s media itself). Both the majority of Palestinian origins and the East Bankers openly exhibit hatred and disrespect to the king. Gun battles between the king’s police and locals of Maan, South, have been ongoing for the last nine months; this is all documented.

Seeking to export his problems to someone else, the king knows that unrest in Israel, or an Intifada, could deter Jordanians’ anger from the king towards Israel, and also highlight his role as “peace mediator” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Further, Jordan’s king has a close partnership with the Palestinian Authority’s president Abbas. Abbas, a Jordanian citizen himself, has been collaborating with Jordan’s king on all major aspects Kerry’s peace plan, the Palestinian statehood bid and now the situation in Al-Aqsa.

Unrest in the West Bank and Jerusalem helps Abbas and Abdullah in defusing their people’s anger, gaining political momentum and appearing as the “only moderates in town” before the US administration.

Their tactics have worked; Netanyahu flew to Amman to meet Abdullah and Kerry to resolve the trouble in Jerusalem, thus Abdullah reinforced himself as “the custodian of holy places of Jerusalem.” Abdullah’s media portrayed the whole thing as a massive victory for Abdullah, and even confirmed:”Netanyahu will visit the king again to plea for Jordan’s ambassador returns to Tel Aviv”.

In short, Abdullah and Abbas won this round.

Jordanian opposition figure, Emad Tarifi– whose father was one of the founders of the PLO–told me:”Abbas is just a student of Jordan’s king’s agendas… “,”Abbas is in trouble; he threatened to take Israel to the International Criminal Court, and instead, Israel ended up taking him there..no Palestinian likes or respects him”, “The king is in the same position”, therefore, “They need the unrest [in Israel] to save themselves”.

Tarifi’s claims ring true: days ago Jordan’s king’s senior advisors organized a festival in Amman to commemorate Arafat’s anniversary, Palestinian attendees started calling Abbas names and accusing him of being “a puppet of Jordan’s king”.

As it seems, Jordan’s king and Abbas are in bed together, seeking to cause unrest in order to gain while Jordanians, Palestinians and Israelis lose.

This could have never happened if Jordan’s king feared any concussions-from Israel’s lobby in the US for example- but he knows that may never happen!

The unrest has not ended, and more trouble might be ahead for all of us as long as Jordan’s king and Abbas have an interest in it and could get away with it.

In short, Jordan and the PA are setting the West Bank ablaze with their tactics, and Israeli and Palestinians are paying the price.

Mudar Zahran is the Secretrary General of the Jordanian Coalition of Opposition, a known Jordanian- Palestinian politician and writer, who now resides in the UK as a political refugee. Zahran’s writing regularly appear in Arab, Israeli and American publications.

Netanyahu: Recognition of Israel as nation state of Jews is basis for future peace accord

Posted November 25, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

Netanyahu: Recognition of Israel as nation state of Jews is basis for future peace accord

via Netanyahu: Recognition of Israel as nation state of Jews is basis for future peace accord.

 


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka,

Nov. 25. (photo credit:AMOS BEN GERSHOM, GPO)
 

ecognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is the basis of any future peace accord, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, responding to critics both domestic and abroad claiming that the controversial “Jewish state” legislation will water down the country’s democratic character.

“Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said during a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka as part of the annual government-to-government meeting between Israeli and Czech cabinet ministers. “Israel is an exemplary democratic country – that is the way it was and the way it will be. A country that anchors personal equal rights for each of its citizens.”

Netanyahu said he did not know a more vibrant, democratic country than Israel in the world, “certainly not in our region.”

The Prime minister said that while the country’s democratic character was ensured, what is being challenged constantly is it being the nation-state of the Jewish people. “And for that reason we will anchor in law the national rights of the Jewish people, alongside with assurances of the personal rights of each citizen,” he said. “That combination is what is important, and what I will promote in the principles of this law. We will continue to do this to make clear the fact that Israel is a Jewish democratic state.”

Hamas warned on Monday that the “Jewish state bill” could lead to a “religious war” in the region.

The group said the bill is “a dangerous development aimed at changing historic realities on the ground.”

The group added in a statement, that the bill “sets off alarm bells for Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims about Zionist ambitions in the region, to employ ideological, religious Zionist myths in order to gain control over the entire Arab region, steal its resources and humiliate its people.”

The Mufti of Jerusalem Mohamed Hussein also slammed the bill, saying that it “exposes Israel’s racist face and could ignite a religious war.”

The United States on Monday reacted to the controversial bill, highlighting the importance of Israel maintaining its democratic character.

Though the legislative process is still ongoing – a Knesset vote on the bill has been delayed until next week amid a coalition crisis – State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said the US expected Israel to preserve its “commitment to democratic principles,” no matter the “shape and final outcome.”

Rathke, speaking to journalists in Washington, reiterated a long-held belief of the Obama administration – that “Israel is a Jewish and democratic state in which all citizens should enjoy equal rights.”

Referring to the public interest the legislation has aroused both within the Jewish state and beyond, the spokesman said he hoped any final vote would “continue” to align with US views which remain “unchanged.”

Although a final say by the Knesset was postponed, Netanyahu has promised to push forward with the “Jewish state bill,” with or without his coalition partners’ backing.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.


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