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NORPAC November 2013 Newsletter

 

 

Dr. BenMessage from the President 

November has been a busy month, both event-wise and on matters related to US-Israel relations.

 

Iran

The negotiations between Iran and the US-led coalition are ongoing and promises to give everyone anxiety. The stakes are  high and our NORPAC membership has been advocating for continuing sanctions until the Iran Nuclear Weapons program is dismantled. Below are two articles on the subject which may provide some insights. The 6 month interim agreement has been announced. The American and Israel Administrations are at odds about the agreement. The problem mostly being, once you have 3.5% enrichment with the current equipment further enrichment to 20% and beyond is only a matter of days. I expect that the history of our agreement with North Korea plays into the concern for this as well.    

 

The administration has asked for some time to hold off additional sanctions during the next round of meetings with Iran in Geneva. The Democrat members of the Senate are likely to give the Administration this flexibility, but are clearly ready to move forward. It is likely that sanctions will move forward with a timeline and goals included in the legislation to reflect the six month timetable outlined in the agreement with Iran.

 

The following is a bipartisan statement that just came out reflecting those Senators in the leadership of efforts to move the Sanctions forward in the Senate.

 

Bipartisan Statement on Iran Sanctions

WASHINGTON, DC - A bipartisan group of 14 U.S. Senators released the following statement regarding the Senate's consideration of Iran sanctions legislation:

 

"A nuclear weapons capable Iran presents a grave threat to the national security interest of the United States and its allies and we are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring this capability.  We will work together to reconcile Democratic and Republican proposals over the coming weeks and to pass bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation as soon as possible."

 

The statement was signed by the following Senators***:

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) 202-224-4744

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) 202-224-2854

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) 202-224-6542

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) 202-224-4524

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) 202-224-3041

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) 202-224-6324

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) 202-224-2934

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) 202-224-5042

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) 202-224-2823

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) 202-224-3324

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) 202-224-3344

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) 202-224-2235

 

***Please send a note or call these Senators thanking them for their efforts to move the sanctions on Iran forward. 

 

Syria

It is encouraging to see progress on the dismantling of the Chemical Weapon arsenal and the US-led group is currently looking for a site to destroy them. So far no takers. They may end up doing it at sea, so be careful about your sushi (just kidding). If the dismantling of these chemical weapons does successfully take place, it would be a major achievement for this administration and should contain the Syrian civil war to a local or regional problem. 

 

Israel- Palestinian Negotiations

The expectations on these negotiations are low. The PA, run by Abbas, continues to be funded with large dollars of foreign money and there are intrinsic problems to his accepting any deal.  

 

First, is the possibility that Abbas may have concerns about running a state free of the enormous subsidies he is currently receiving. Second, this would likely result in an election or coup the PA would probably lose. Third, any deal Abbas agrees to short of universal Jewish Genocide would be unsatisfactory to at least some of elements of his populous and would risk his assassination. We have often heard that the reason Arafat rejected the Camp David deal was concern for his assassination should he make even the slightest compromise.

 

Expect that whatever is offered, Abbas will find a reason to reject it. Kerry is a very talented and determined diplomat. He has taken on substantial challenges. We hope he and the administration have clear vision to find current solutions or patience to wait for the circumstances to be more amenable for a long term solution. 

 

 

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs148/1101582001930/img/301.jpgDeal in works with Iran much worse than imaginable

By SHELLEY BERKLEY 

SPECIAL TO THE LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Details are still emerging of the deal that was nearly reached in nuclear talks in Geneva over the weekend - a deal the Obama administration will be pushing hard when talks resume next week.

By all reliable accounts, and despite repeated denials, the United States is actively pursuing a catastrophic agreement with Iran, one that would facilitate the nuclearization of one of the most extreme, violent and anti-American tyrannies on Earth, with consequences that will be regretted for generations.

The centerpiece of the deal, from the West's perspective, is Iran's agreement to convert its stockpiles of 20 percent enriched uranium to fuel for civilian use, and to halt further enrichment to 20 percent for a period of six months, in exchange for the release of billions of dollars in frozen assets and the lifting of sanctions on a variety of products such as gold, automobiles and aircraft parts.

The entire question of 20 percent enriched uranium is a smokescreen.

For many years, making a bomb went like this: First you spent a lot of time enriching uranium material to 3.5 percent purity, which was difficult. Then you enriched what you had created to 20 percent purity. When you had enough of that, you would be in a position to easily and quickly convert that material to 90 percent purity - good enough for a nuclear warhead. That took time.

In recent months, however, Iran has advanced dramatically in both the number of centrifuges at its disposal and their efficiency. Today, experts say that given just a few weeks, Iran can go from 3.5 percent all the way to 90 percent. The whole issue of 20 percent enrichment has become irrelevant. Instead, the most important questions are how much 3.5 percent enriched uranium they have, and whether they are allowed to keep their centrifuges spinning. If the answer to both is yes, they are moving forward on a bomb.

The new agreement would allow Iran to continue to enrich freely to 3.5 percent at its Natanz and Fordow facilities, and to continue building centrifuges that can easily and quickly be installed. At the end of the six-month period, Iran would be even closer to breakout capacity - the ability to build a nuclear warhead so quickly that no one could mobilize forces in time to stop it - than it is now while enjoying six months of quiet and the lifting of the most painful sanctions.

A more recent, totally separate path to making a bomb involves the Iranian plant under construction at Arak, which, once operational, will produce enough weapons-grade plutonium to make several nuclear weapons a year. Yet the emerging agreement does not involve dismantling the plant or even halting its construction, but merely a commitment not to operate the plant for the next six months.

Iran has said that it only wants its nuclear facilities for legitimate, civilian purposes. This is untrue. There is no need to enrich uranium to fuel a power plant, as has been shown by many countries - including Sweden, Italy, Canada and Argentina - that are happy to purchase uranium enriched elsewhere. Nor is there any civilian purpose for the plutonium-producing reactor at Arak.

It is difficult to overstate the consequences of a nuclear Iran. Overnight, immense pressure would come to bear on Gulf states such as Bahrain and others that have been subjected to repeated Iranian attempts to undermine their rule, and that have maintained their allegiance to the United States on the strength of American promises, now proved empty. American naval hegemony in the Persian Gulf would be dramatically undermined, further eroding our control over the sources of oil.

Soon after, Iran would develop the ability to mount its weapons on its mid- and long-range missiles that can reach Israel and our allies across Europe. The nightmare of nuclear deployment by Hezbollah, Bashar al-Assad or other Iranian proxies would be just a matter of time. A nuclear arms race would immediately break out, with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, no longer believing in American protection, concluding they must arm themselves to survive. A rapidly swirling strategic typhoon could engulf the Middle East, completely out of America's control, leaving us and our friends incredibly vulnerable, not just strategically and militarily, but also economically.

The sanctions have indeed worked, bringing the Iranian regime to a point of desperation. But sanctions should be eased only in exchange for the Iranians' unequivocally and irreversibly abandoning their nuclear ambitions. Now is the time to increase the pressure, not withdraw it.

A bad deal, we have been told, is worse than no deal at all. The emerging agreement, however, is much worse than a bad deal. It rewards the Iranians with billions of dollars while enabling them to build the nuclear weapon they so desperately want - all under the veil of détente. Signing it would mean taking a big step toward the unthinkable.

Shelley Berkley represented Southern Nevada in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2013. She is a member of the Board of Directors of The Israel Project.

 

 

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs148/1101582001930/img/300.jpgA nuclear Iran a major concern

By PETER ROSKAM

November 16, 2013

In 2005, North Korea announced plans to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief from the international community. The agreement was hailed as a historic breakthrough by many, who believed diplomacy had successfully averted a nuclear-armed North Korea. A year later, however, North Korea took the world by surprise by successfully detonating its first nuclear device - the product of North Korea's self-described "peaceful" nuclear energy program.

Now Iran is attempting the same ruse by claiming their nuclear development is a civilian energy program, and the Obama administration is flirting with a dangerous nuclear deal that would reduce pressure on the regime. But the intent of the Iranians to develop nuclear weapons capability is clear. Iran operates thousands of advanced centrifuges and is building a heavy water plutonium reactor - both technologies used to develop nuclear weapons. International inspectors are routinely denied access to sites suspected of weapons testing in direct violation of international obligations. And Iran is currently sitting on a massive arsenal of advanced long-range missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

A nuclear-capable Iran would pose a monumental threat to U.S. national security and endanger thousands of American troops serving overseas. It would spark a nuclear arms race in an already-volatile Middle East. Warheads could fall into the hands of Iranian terror proxies Hezbollah and Hamas, who have thousands of advanced rockets ready to launch at a moment's notice. And the Pentagon estimates that Iran will be able to flight test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the United States by 2015.

Time is not on our side. Iran has accelerated its installation of advanced centrifuges over the past year while steadily growing its stockpile of weapons-grade enriched uranium. The Arak heavy water reactor will begin producing weapons-grade plutonium by early 2014 - giving Iran an alternative path to the bomb. And a study last month estimated that Iran may be weeks away from being able to build a nuclear weapon. These developments reinforce speculation that Iran may reach its nuclear breakout capacity much sooner than the world anticipated.

Recently, Iran signed a limited agreement with the UN to allow international inspectors improved access to its nuclear facilities. But unfortunately the White House continues to push a suckers deal to ease economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for cosmetic concessions that would do little to prevent a nuclear Iran. The agreement would cripple U.S. negotiating leverage while buying time for the mullahs to continue uranium enrichment. It's a win-win for Iran, which would get sanctions relief and keep its nuclear program, which is why the deal cannot go forward.

My colleagues and I will continue to fight to intensify pressure on Iran until it abandons its quest for nuclear weapons. This begins with the Senate promptly acting to pass the critical, House-approved Iran sanctions package. We must continue to implement crippling economic sanctions in order to extract substantive nuclear concessions. Years of diplomacy have only moved Iran closer to, not further from, building a nuclear bomb. So while we hope to achieve a peaceful resolution through negotiations, we must maintain a policy to prevent, not contain, a nuclear Iran.

Peter Roskam represents the 6th District, which includes part of Naperville, in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

 

Meeting with Governor Cuomo 

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  Our members frequently take the initiative to meet significant leaders and especially those with a large bully pulpit and who have the potential to reach the White House. These are not NORPAC events, but  are important for US-Israel relations. Jack Rosen, one of the nation's foremost Jewish leaders took the initiative to host the Governor. We are optimistic Coumo will be taking a delgation to Israel within the next year. 

 

 

NORPAC Upcoming Events: December 2013

 

Representative Ed Royce (R-CA)

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs148/1101582001930/img/289.jpg  NORPAC welcomes back Rep. Ed Royce at an event in Teaneck in mid-December. This year, Ed Royce was the Principal Republican Sponsor of the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 (H.R. 850) which NORPAC members advocated for during our Mission to Washington and passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives by a vote of 400 - 20. This legislation has been referred to the Senate Banking Committee which is currently drafting similar legislation to move forward with crippling sanctions against Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. This event will be hosted by Mort & Esther Fridman, and supporting Congressman Royce is very worthwhile.

Please contact Avi Schranz to contribute or for more information at 201-788-5133 or Avi@NORPAC.net.

 

 

NORPAC's Recent Past Events


Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

 
http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs148/1101582001930/img/298.jpg On November 17th, NORPAC hosted a dinner event at the home of Kevin & Lori Lemmer for Senator Kelly Ayotte. First elected to the Senate in 2010, she has quickly made her reputation as an upcoming leader in the party and the Senate. She has been both active and vigilant in her support of U.S.-Israel relations. She is also on the short list for Republican candidates for the Executive Branch. We thank the Lemmer's for their leadership in what was a fabulous evening with this national leader. Senator Ayotte has moved herself into the forefront of Senators working to prevent Iran from acquiring WMDs.


 

Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs148/1101582001930/img/297.jpg  Dr. Laurie Baumel, NORPAC's Mission to Washington Co-Chair, hosted a lunch event for Rep. Steve Chabot on Sunday, November 17th. Since becoming a Member of Congress, Steve has served on the Committee of the Judiciary, the Committee on Small Business, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was named to the role of Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific in 2013, after previously serving as the Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee from 2011-2012. Rep. Chabot is also a long-standing member of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus. This event was also chaired by Dr Mort Fridman, and we thank Mort for his fantastic leadership.

 

 

Senator James Risch (R-ID)  


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  On Sunday, November 3rd, NORPAC sponsored an event in support of Senator James (Jim) Risch at the home of Elisabeth & Avi Samuels in Englewood. Senator Risch is the second highest ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Importantly, he is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee that oversees U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa.

Senator Risch has strongly supported Israel and its right to defend itself since his election to the U.S. Senate in 2009. In 2010, he sponsored a resolution to express the sense of the Senate that Israel has an undeniable right to self-defense, and to condemn the destabilizing actions by extremists aboard the ship Mavi Marmara. He also co-authored a letter with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) condemning the U.N.'s anti-Israel efforts the following year.

We are grateful to add Avi and Elisabeth to the NORPAC Hosting Club. Avi did a great job getting people to and funds for the event, and his leadership is a welcome addition to our ranks. 

 

 

Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ)


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NORPAC welcomed back Congressman Albio Sires at an event hosted by Dr. Munr Kazmir in Closter, New Jersey.


Recently, Congressman Sires supported the passage of H.R. 850, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, and H.R. 4133, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012. Both these pieces of legislation were actively advocated for by participants at NORPAC's Mission to Washington 2012 and 2013, respectively.


Coming from a Cuban background, Rep. Sires has also condemned anti-Semitic remarks made by Fidel Castro and has worked to fight bias against the Jewish people abroad.  This member of Congress is in our opinion going to take on a more important role in Foreign Affairs policy and legislation in the coming years.

 

 

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) 

 

  http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs148/1101582001930/img/283.jpg

NORPAC hosted an event in support of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) at the home of Rabbi Steven & Yael Weil in October. Jeffries is a freshman Congressman whose district encompasses the lower-middle and eastern portions of Brooklyn, including Canarsie and East New York. He currently sits on the Committees on Budget and Judiciary, respectively. As a Member of Congress, Hakeem Jeffries co-sponsored the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 (H.R. 850), The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (H.R. 938), and The Iron Dome Support Act (H.R. 1130). 

 

Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA)

 

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs148/1101582001930/img/290.jpgRepresentative Ed Royce (R-CA) was hosted in Riverdale by Howard and Debbie Jonas. For the 113th Congress, Royce was selected by the Speaker and his Caucus to be Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Royce has served on the Committee since entering Congress in 1993. He also serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

 

Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY)

 

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs148/1101582001930/img/291.jpgCongressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) was hosted in Riverdale by Howard and Debbie Jonas. For years, Eliot has been a co-chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and a leader in sponsoring and drafting legislation in support and defense of Israel. His strong record on U.S.-Israel relations is backed by his ability to work across the aisle to gain bipartisan support on critical legislation related to Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East.


There are few if any Members of Congress who have both a commitment as deep and a record of accomplishment as long on U.S.-Israel relations as Eliot Engel. He has been at the forefront of almost every major piece of legislation regarding the relationship of America and Israel during his long tenure in the House of Representatives. He was the original author of the House version of the Syria Accountability Act.  

 

 

Upcoming NORPAC events with dates pending:

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI); Chair Moshael Straus

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK); Chair Jason Muss

Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ); Chair Kevin Lemmer

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC); Chair Baruch Prince

Senator Jeff Sessions Chair Stanley Stern

Senator Mary Landrieu Chair Howard Miller

Senator Chris Coons January Chair Jack Rosen

Senator Chris Coons March Chair Harry Fader


We are seeking hosts for events for the following Members of Congress

Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY)

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Congressman Nita Lowey (D-NY)

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

 

 

Not so bad to be old

  I got my first Senior Discount at the Paramus Zoo a couple of months ago. I got another one recently at the first movie I have gone to this year. My son was surprised to see me take the extra time to save the one dollar. I am uncertain why, but that discount felt great. I have made it into an exclusive club, AARP, no youngsters need apply. We have made it big, movie discounts and Medicare. Gd willing I will use them both for a long time and get my moneys worth from all the years I paid in. 

 

Mazel Tov

  • To Roz and Leon Kozak on the birth of a granddaughter, Kayla Frances, to their children Ami and Rozy Kozak 
  • To Anne and Jerry Gontownik on the birth of their granddaughter, Eliana Leba, to Ari and Shira Gontownik.
  • To Esther and Mort Fridman on the engagement of their son Rabbi Daniel Fridman to Dr. Chaya Gopin
  • To Avi Schranz on his upcoming marriage to Devorah Friedman
  • To Esther and Ben Chouake on the Birth of a granddaughter, Layla Zahara, to Tovah and Michael Javitt.

Any members with a mazel tov announcement may send it to avi@norpac.net

 

Renew your donation

It is difficult to imagine the turmoil and hostility in the Middle East on every border with Israel and beyond, and yet Israel moves forward, trying to prepare and survive. Our work helps them secure Military Aid, prevents international boycotts, and gives agency to Israel, so with Hashem's help, our homeland can forge a bright future.  

  

We help prepare America and the West from countries like Iran by putting the best understanding of these dangers before the national leadership.

 
Please do your part so that we can continue to facilitate the survival of the Jewish people.  Your donation is not Tseduka, it is Pikuat Nefesh. 

 

We need your donations to the general fund to continue our work. Every dollar counts. Please go to http://norpac.net/contribute to donate, or call Avi Schranz at 201-788-5133.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at future events.

Ben Chouake (Dr Ben)

 

 

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