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November 3, 2014 5:29 pm

Republican-Controlled Senate Will Likely Challenge Obama Over Iran

avatar by Ben Cohen

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President Obama speaking on the phone with the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, September 2013. Photo: The White House

The Obama Administration will face a serious political battle over a potential nuclear deal with Iran should Republicans win control of the Senate in tomorrow’s midterm elections, a leading pro-Israel advocate in Washington, DC told The Algemeiner.

Noah Pollak, Executive Director of the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI,) an advocacy group focused on strengthening the bond between American elected officials and Israel, said that in the event of a deal with Iran by the November 24 deadline, “the sanctions regime against Iran will be falling apart as the administration bypasses Congress to grant loopholes and waivers.”  Although Congress would not be able to prevent that outcome, Pollak said, “the administration will put Democrats in a tough spot. Do they support the White House’s Iran sellout, or do they criticize it?”

“Congress may even pass new sanctions, or vote on opposition to the administration granting loopholes on sanctions, measures that [current Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid has protected Democrats from having to vote on,” Pollak said. “Should Republicans take the Senate, Reid, acting on behalf of Obama, will not be able to protect Democrats from having to take votes on Iran.” Polling ahead of the midterms indicates that the GOP will win a majority in the Senate.

Pollak continued: “This includes, of course, potential Democratic presidential candidates, most obviously Hillary Clinton, who will find it difficult to avoid addressing the controversy. A bad Iran deal will leave Democrats exposed and sharpen the perception that they shouldn’t be trusted on foreign policy.”

A Republican victory in tomorrow’s contest would, Pollak said, likely strengthen Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose relations with the Obama Administration have hit rock bottom. “There’s been a pattern, almost comedic, in which Obama’s outbursts against Netanyahu actually strengthen the prime minister instead of weakening him, as Obama would prefer,” Pollak said. “The average Israeli concludes that Netanyahu is the only person who can protect Israel from a hostile and deluded President.”

Much of ECI’s energy in the current midterms has been focused upon Arkansas, where Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor is facing a strong challenge from Republican Tom Cotton, a decorated veteran of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and a stalwart supporter of Israel, in a key race. “We spent one million dollars in Arkansas in showing the difference between Cotton and Pryor. Pryor refused to even debate Tom Cotton on foreign policy,” Pollak said. “Pryor hasn’t been a leader on the issues of concern to us, whereas Cotton will be. Restoring American power, restoring the military budget, being a pro-Israel voice; these are all things that Cotton prioritizes.”

The gridlock over Obama’s domestic agenda that a Republican Senate would impose might lead to the President becoming even more vociferous on foreign policy matters. “He wants an Iran deal, he wants to foster a Palestinian state, he’s looking for a reason to throw Israel under the bus at the UN – these are all things he can do on his own,” Pollak argued. There is also potential for the U.S. to harden its language on Israeli activities beyond the “Green Line” that separates Israel from the West Bank. Currently, American rhetoric characterizes Israeli construction beyond the Green Line as “illegitimate;” in the current climate, Pollak said, the administration may seek to align itself with European governments, who depict the same activities as “illegal.”

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  • Christina Lily

    Personally the only thing I really like about Obama is that he stands up to that pig Netanyahu. Tom Cotton is just another loser who will bend over and spread his cheeks for the Zionist mess of a state. I don’t understand why my fellow countrymen and women support Israel. They leach off us and expect our precious young soldiers to fight their battles against Iran and Syria. They have sold our military secrets to China, they interfere and screw up our president and then buy and blackmail congress. The PNAC scum William Kristol and fat Robert Kagan created the “New Pearl Harbor”, and yes Israel was involved in some way in 911! They are not friends they are backstabbing users that we need to distance ourselves from,

  • Jim

    Obama’s objective with regard to Israel is to get the American military into a shooting war with the IDF for the purpose of setting off pogroms in America. He will then use those events to declare martial law, enabling him to become dictator.

    This objective comes from his psychological issues with having been abandoned by both his parents and has been his goal since he first ran.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    Obama seems to be suicidal on behalf of the good of our nation. Dont let him throw the US and Israel down the elevator shaft. Obama must be stopped in his egotistical drive for a my way of the highway policy in the middle east. Vote REpublican. I say this as a lifelong Democrat who voted for Obama twice.

  • RiverKing

    “American rhetoric characterizes Israeli construction as illegitimate” is insulting to the majority of Americans, who do not share the current administration’s views.

  • Efram

    I hate to see the senate become the purview of the troglodytes, but it may be the world’s last chance to stop Iran from completing their nuclear weapons program.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Obama and the Democrats have been a great self-inflicted wound for American Jewry.

  • steven L

    Illegitimate is simple Goebbels propaganda. Reputable experts have stated unequivocally: contested territories. As a lawyer he knows the difference.
    Obama has nothing to lose. IL has everything to lose.

  • Valery

    I think no one in the US is not yet a real danger to the United States in the event of failure of the signing of the contract with Iran.
    Iran, in our opinion, will not make major concessions in its nuclear program. Alternative non-agreement with Iran alone – this is war. Understand whether it is in the US? Need a US war with totally unpredictable consequences?
    Control over nuclear ambitions of Iran is needed, and control hard.
    But the art of diplomacy – the art of the possible, but not reckless.
    And one more thing to consider – the position of Russia. In the context of the Cold War with the West, Iran has become a trump card for Moscow, joker.

  • Julian Clovelley

    Despite all these electioneering articles I feel that the American public has long grasped the reality that – the two parties being so similar except on their lunatic fringes – it is highly unlikely anything will change however loud the hoohah, and whatever the result

    It isn’t really democracy at work – more a piece of theatre that ends up the same way every time. Only some of the faces behind the idiot grins, circumvented questions, and silly platitudes, will differ

    Ultimately the only difference may be the important one of whether America can continue to join the civilised world with the kind of Public Health services most advanced countries have had for some sixty years, or remain a medical services as well as a religious backwater. The rest is mostly dross.

    The idea that Republican Party domination is suddenly going to make Settlements and Occupation acceptable is clutching at straws. It won’t happen. Better the devil you know. It’s not much comfort, but if you really want changes you need new, genuinely democratic political parties, instead of the rubbish currently on offer

    It’s just the same here in Australia, and in my birth country of the UK. The parties are all firmly under extra Parliamentary control. Some say its the Illuminati – some say its all a plot by Jewish Bankers – Some say it is the rise of Islamic power or the Chinese printing money. The remaining X-file fans seem to blame it on groups of aliens.

    I blame it on a combination of media nurtured public stupidity, incompetent public education, the nurturing of increasingly imbecilic superstition, and lousy Constitutions that deliberately negate democratic aims. Be assured of one thing – the old adage:

    “It doesn’t matter who you vote for – the Government always wins”

    The sun will rise at its usual time, the Climate will continue to degrade, the rich will get richer and the poor poorer. You still won’t be able to get proper health care if you don’t have the money, and the TV and newspapers will be full of crap.

    Silly games like the “Tea Party” game won’t get you anywhere. We need parties that are more than just extentions of the aforementioned lunatic fringe. You are in Thomas Jefferson’s worst case scenario where a badly drafted Constitution over-rides the principles of the Declaration of Independence – and as the world’s great Super-power you spread that mess, and pay for the consequences

    But good luck trying to fix it. Nowhere else has much succeeded. Best of luck to you all. Preserve freedom and liberty – above all – in the mind. That’s where it is safest. The greatest defence of personal liberty is a free-thinking mind. I dream of a day when everyone walks away from the rubbish that mentally binds them

    Then we can have real democratic election and throw all of the trash out.