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February 25, 2015 8:14 pm

Senior Israeli Minister Responds to Kerry’s Criticism of Netanyahu: ‘He Might Not Know What We Know’

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Israeli minister Yuval Steinitz in 2012. Photo: Israel's Ministry of Finance.

Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz responded on Wednesday to criticism that US Secretary of State John Kerry had apparently directed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his stance on how to address the Iranian nuclear threat, Israel’s NRG reported.

Steinitz, a key Netanyahu loyalist, said, “[Kerry] might not know everything we know,” referring to Kerry’s implication on Tuesday that being as Israel is not involved in the minutiae of the upcoming agreement with Tehran about its nuclear program, it therefore cannot comment on the nature of the agreement’s outcome.

Steinitz’ remarks followed comments made by Secretary Kerry in a hearing before the United States House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, where he argued that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opposition to the agreement may be wrong.

Kerry claimed that despite the fact that Netanyahu, who is slated to address Congress next week, had previously expressed opposition to the Interim Agreement with Tehran, he later decided to support it after it was was clear that it succeeded in delaying Iran’s nuclear program.

Speaking at a conference of the research center “Mituim,” dealing with the question of Israel’s international isolation, Steinitz said that, “We know all that we need to know, and we have an excellent picture of the negotiations.” He said that Israel is in close contact with French negotiators who are in touch with Iran’s representatives and are well-versed in the content of the talks currently taking place between the parties. He added that the information that has reached Jerusalem so far is the cause for Israel’s concern, and that despite the US-Israel friendship – which is indeed a strategic asset – “when it comes to the security of the State, we are also ready to fight.”

On Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to the United States, Steinitz said that, “this is a critical issue for our existence, and so we need to make every effort to prevent the agreement, or at least ensure further modifications, improvements  and conditions in order to prevent an even worse agreement.” When it comes to the possibility of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Steinitz noted that “all options are on the table.”

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  • Roz Shorenstein

    It is frustrating to see how Obam, in his sympathy for the Muslim world, has emboldened the Arabs and Iranians to incite anti-Semitic and fascistic tendencies of their own fanatics as well as the underlying hatred of Europeans, South Americans,etc. I feel that, short of totally cutting off our dependence on Arab and Iranian oil, our only hope is that Congress will not relinquish the sanctions against Iran. Go for the money- that is the power Iranians have to fund terrorism and murder. To permit Iran a strong economy is the final appeasement.

  • Dr.M.Otero

    Four years ago,Boehner reportedly consulted with MrO about inviting Bibi to address the Congress. Obama reportedly said NO. At the time, Israel was wanting to attack Iran on its own with US approval. Mr,O was confiding to no one that he was negotiating with Iran behind everyone’s back. It’s great as an idea if we’re playing naive games. Don’t we have any Mafia types to go over to deal with Iran? They are used to dealing with the likes of the Iranian liars and thugs. We can recognize now the original source of the Mr.Obama and Bibi antipathy. Mr.O has dispatched some of his reelection aides to Israel to defeat Bibi who really deserves world attention March 3.

  • You don’t have to be a political expert to understand that relations between the Unite State and Russia are today less friendly than in recent years.

    However, only on ONE point they apparently agree – to give Power and Arms to…Iran!
    Do you have any idea WHY?

    • ted weiss

      Yes Obama made Iran kingmaker of middle east and Iran created an ilusionary Isis to justify the us support for Irans dominance in middle east

  • Jack

    As much as the world community feels Israeli fears about the possibility of an Irani bomb are well founded, in reality there is little to be done until Iran breaches the international law on these issues.
    The unfortunate reality also includes the dynamic that any politician in the west that tries to accomplish anything in this area will be frustrated and look like Chamberlain crying ‘peace in our time’…..until Iran crosses the line.
    Then everything Bebe has been trying to avoid will likely occur.
    Unfortunately, until Tehran puts its head fully in that noose leaders of law abiding democracies are reticent to use force.
    Unfortunate because many innocent lives will be lost before then.

  • I am not a prophet nor am I FULL OF MYSELF. What I am is a Rabbi with 41 years experience in the field and one who seems to be granted a radar system to detect trouble in the Jewish world. I am not great with computers nor do I know the tricks of the trade. I have been accused for shouting when I type in caps, the truth is I am a lousy typist and do not realize I have typed with 4 fingers with the caps lock on. I have been warning you about what is happening to Israel and the Jewish world in general. I predicted world wide anti-Semitism when others said I was being an alarmist. In todays New York TIMES PG. 1 THE RELATIONSHIP “has never been so terrible as it is today. .Nobody even tries to use any diplomatic words.” (Gloria Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser) I predicted this relationship with Israel and the Obama administration. Please help me to let others know the truth. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

    • Dov

      I see nothing wrong with fearing a relationship. Who cares what President Obama thinks. As Jews we have only ourselves and of course G-d, who has protected us from evil men like Obama for three thousand years.

    • Help bring Texas Longhorns Home to Israel

      To help defend the ranches & farms, as they are environmentally more suitable then Israeli’s English cattle.

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      To lower the price of meat in Israel so poor families and their children may eat a little meat for Shabbat dinner.

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    • Yechiel Shlipshon

      Dear Rabbi; The problem is not your four fingers, it is the illegal actions by an illegal president. It is by a populace which refused to think, when it should have, in 2007. It is a Congress that when it does do the right thing, by the time it does, too often it is past the time when it would have benefitted the nation, and the people of this nation. Keep on with your four fingers; it is doing more good to inform us, than the one finger to many use.

  • Hein Tiede

    There is no reason to trust the Iranian government. They are lying since the beginning of the negotiation. The West is waiting till it isn’t strong enough to defeat the danger.

  • Laura Berman

    Very sad. Netanyahu has managed for the first time
    ever to damage U.S. Israeli relations. U.s. is the
    only true friend Israeli has in this world. I understand
    his concerns but the way he is doing this l(his trip to
    the U.S) is wrong. Our president has said that he
    would not let Iran get the bomg. He has said that over
    and over again. Netanyahu may not believe him but I do.Pres. Obama knows what the consequences would be.
    Laura Berman


      If you are “brilliant” enough to believe that the President is honest, honorable and concerned for the State of Israel or the Jewish People I suggest you return any and all academic certificates you may have acquired. Laura … if you are now in Brooklyn … I have a wonderful bridge to sell you.

    • Isi Erez

      Sorry about your comments, Obama has a long history of following anti-Semites and the Western world does not trust him. Why would you? Please check his resume thoroughly.

    • Yechiel Shlipshon

      Laura; WHAT!!!!

  • BonniePrinceCharlie

    Well, we know that Iran is playing America by continually postponing talks while it continues to develop its nuclear capability.

  • John Kerry representing the Obama administration should be very very careful when it comes to the safety of Israel and her people. He should remember God’s promise to Abram – ‘those who bless Israel, I shall bless and those who curse Israel, I shall curse!’Genesis Chapter 12 verse 3. Tread warily John Kerry when it comes to Israel!

  • From the day Obama took office, he has been nothing but hostile and disrespectful to Netanyahu and anyone else related to Israel, with the exception of left wing ass kissers like Livni and Peres. Kerry needs to keep his anti Semitic, pro Arab mouth shut. In case the Obama administration ever wants to get their head out of their ass, there are several Arab countries throughout the middle east that are thoroughly disgusted with Obama because of his idiocy regarding the way he is dealing with Iran. But, the damage Obama is doing does not end here, Obama is deliberately not taking any action against ISIS or assisting the Ukrainians because he doesn’t want to piss off the Iranians. Apparently, it’s perfectly fine to have innocent people getting burnt alive and decapitated. In addition, every foreign relations expert I heard thinks what Obama is doing is disastrous, not only for Israel but for the rest of the world as well. . What idiot would agree to sign a treaty with one of the world’s worst regimes that would still allow the Iranians the capability to produce nuclear weapons. I don’t think Obama and his henchmen are in the position to be criticizing anyone, especially Israel. This is what happens when the American electorate is lazy and uninformed.

  • Jonah

    Is their something we all know that Kerry does not. Is islam paying back the U.S. For weapons received through Bengazi by contributing to American charitable trusts. It appears so.

  • Jonah

    Is there something we might know Kerry does not know?. Does it seem that islam is paying the U.S. Back for the billions of dollars of weapons they received through the Clinton trust. No wonder no one wanted any witnesses.

  • I find this discussion between the Israel’s and the representatives of the White House stimulating. My major concern about the White House is that it assumes that it can dictate the terms of the discussion about its negotiations with Iran. This reflects President Obama’s tendency toward control as oppose to cooperation in the democratic process. Congress has to approve any treaty, as a result they (as an equal partner in the government) have the right to invite whom it pleases to speak to them about an important of concern to the American people and many Muslims who look to the United States to protect their interest. This nonsense about protocol is simply an effort at control, control the white house does not have.

    • J. Brooks

      Does the president know that he is not the King and still needs our Congress which is elected by us to represent us? I would hope that he would have would realized this by now but I seriously doubt it. We need to hear Netanyahu speak on Iran. I trust Netanyahu more than the Ayatollah and the rest of the so called leaders of Iran. But obviously o bam a does not and thinks a deal with a terrorist state is in the Best interest of our country. Most Americans just don’t get it! I hope our Congress doesn’t get it and makes moves to stop it.

  • Joe

    I pray that sanity will prevail because the current American administration seems bend on screwing up including there approach to the Ukrainian crises.

  • theo

    How can a People that lost six million souls within living memory forget what happened to them at the hands of an evil regime and not be concerned when the same annihilation threat is repeated by Iran
    Iran is determined to acquire nuclear weapons to finish what the Nazis left undone
    How can the leader of the Jewish people not be in the forefront and warn and warn again of the dangers of a nuclear Iran , regime which relishes terror
    To ignore this threat is to be complicit to its evil designs History will not absolve those leaders of states who are not able to see the dangers ahead

  • I am not particularly a Natanyahu supporter, however, on this particular issue there is absolutely no question that the country, as well as the reasonable world – if there is such a thing – must indeed support the Prime Minister. The fact that he will address Congress , is of the utmost urgency, not only because of Israel’s strategic involvement in the region, but because of the fact that it’s the very existence is once again threatened. It is beyond shameful that America, an ally, a supporter and essential part of Israel’s security, should find Israel to be a ‘stumbling block’ instead of embracing anything and everything offered by Natanyahu. To create a bi-partisan conflict over his visit is a and foolish stance, resembling a power struggle between children rather than lawmakers who have the good of the world at heart. Obama’s not receiving Natanyahu simply reiterates his resolve to break the age old loyalty chain between the US and Israel and stake it’s security. At this point in world history this stance beyond dangerous. Natanyahu, in my humble opinion, at this point, represents not only Israel’s position, but the position that should be shared and supported by the free world as a whole. To have gotten to this point in the negotiations already proves the lack of real understanding on the part of the ‘world’ regarding the threat presented.

  • Obama caused the evaporation of America’s credibility and stature in the world.

    Barack Obama is willing to sacrifice the America’s integrity and reliability in order to come to an absurd agreement with Iran, which would jeopardize the whole free world.
    The Iranians know Obama has no backbone and they are taking advantage of it. During the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis, Iran took advantage of Jimmy Carter’s weakness and kept the hostages for 444 days, but within hours of President Ronald Reagan swearing-in, Iran released the hostages. The Iranians knew President Reagan would use extreme force to release the American hostages. The Iranians did not want to start with the Reagan administration. Dealing from strength is the way to win arguments and conflicts and not cowering to the Iranians or any other leaders or country that want to take America to the task and test America’s resolve.
    It is as if Obama wanted the Iraq war to fail intentionally so that he would not face a citizenry with the staying power to pursue its international responsibilities. Thus, he would be free to transform America without distraction.
    How can a nation be credible when it is led by a man who fears his base more than he fears the rising domination of a nuclear Iran being armed by a Russian thug on the ascent? After six years in office, Barack Obama has no idea what he is doing or how to fulfill his responsibilities as leader of the free world. He does know how to run from confrontation as quickly as he can find the door, irrespective of what becomes of our national security or our relationship with our allies. And he has succeeded in destroying our credibility on the world stage.
    As the 9/11 tragedy with its horrific pictures, it is not just the memories of that fateful day and the loss of 3,000 Americans that come rushing back. It is the feeling of dread that the Democrats who are running the foreign policy show are taking us back to those pre-9/11 days, when the terrorists were left unchecked and emboldened. And that will be Obama’s legacy — not the legacy of what Iraq could have been, but of what it turned into once Obama entered office. This legacy has nothing whatsoever to do with diplomacy versus military strength and a war-weary country. It has everything in the world to do with the evaporation of our nation’s credibility and stature in the world.

  • Peter Joffe

    With the Quran’s explicit instructions to kill off all infidels (especially Jews) it is not possible to do deals with Muslims and they are ordered to lie and to cheat in order to either delay or to wear down the enemy. How do you negotiate with someone who want to eliminate you? Perhaps you can get a shorter or a longer hangman’s rope?

  • When your country’s existence you have to do whatever it takes to protect it. Offending Obama should not matter as he is no friend of Israel and will do anything he can in a misguided effort to build his legacy as a peacemaker even at the expense of sacrificing the State of Israel.

  • Sad. The reading of tactic and method used in history makes concern. If Britain was handled as Poland, etc., then we would been severely affected.
    Now, Israel which is an Ally , needs no less regard. That is just smart.
    I hope I am making sense.

  • Alan Bergstein

    John Kerry, whose current attacks on PM Netanyahu and Israel, stem from his hair roots that have embedded themselves into his brain, causing him to become somewhat befuddled in his thinking and his talk. Sadly, he represents the United States while being so handicapped. An embarrassment to us all.

  • Jacqueline

    Thank G-D for Israel.

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    Without any due respect for Don Kerry.
    Iran has in multiple occasions and at all forums declared its intent to destroy Eretz Israel and all of us using all means at their disposal. We have extensive experience with such threats and plans. The Nazis declared it and did it and the sand Nazis are just as willing.
    The US administration is entirely entitled to decide on subjects as they affect her exclusively, no one else is obliged to commit suicide to please Mr. Hussein Obama or Don Kerry, Miss Rice as well as others. That will not happen. End of subject.
    Iran is a mortal enemy of ours and so is Islam as a whole.
    As such they will, sooner rather than later be dealt with.

  • Suzette

    Obama and Kerry have nothing to contribute but their arrogrant words! What an appalling and obvious contrast to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu and Senior Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz!

    I thank God for these two humble honorable men that are fighting for the security of Israel as well as for the security of the United States! America certainly needs the support of Israel for protection against the evil that is being prepared to destroy both Israel and the USA!

    May God help these so called American leaders that talk as though they know it all while keeping their heads buried with no regard or respect for truth!

    I shudder to think of where the USA would be with out the help that Israel offers to our country! Thank you, Israel!

    Continuing to pray for the peace of Israel!

  • Excellent stance on Steinitz behalf.
    American Department of State is naiive thinking Israel is not in the picture when it comes to its survival, even though it is not present at the negotiations with the greatest Satan of recent history.

  • art

    well maybe if Obama and Kerry were honest and open with Israel there might not be a problem today on US credibility.
    If obama wants Israel to trust him and rely on his “assurances” Obama should have let Israel participate in the talks or at least be open and honest

  • racy

    I know O Bum A is very nervous about Netanyahu’s speech.
    He a bully, certainly afraid Congress will learn the truth. I can’t wait for Netanyahu to go before Congress.
    I can’t wait to see who will and who will not be seated
    to listen to a wise and courageous man. IT’S ONLY A FEW DAYS AWAY.

  • steven L

    The “agreement” will be based on what the West knows. But we all know that Iran has been lying and cheating for more than 20 years.
    All the Iranians want nuke tech even the most moderate ones.

  • Arty Cohn

    Kerry thinks that he is smart, but he is not!

    • Kerry may no a thing or to about Hunt’s Ketchup, but his knowledge ends there !

  • Historian

    Sec Kerry is as impotent as is Pres Obama. If he were Israeli we would be hearing a different story. Israel is left to do what Obama and Kerry will not. Why does Obama trust the Iranians? The US is not the 1st country that Iran intends to attack.

  • To bad Mr. Kerry doesn’t know as much as the prime minister knows about the negotiations.

  • Toby

    Sec. Kerry’s statement confirms what Prime Minister Netanyahu feared; the agreement will “postpone” Iran’s getting the bomb. Israel (and the world) needs to know that Iran will be prevented from ever getting nuclear wapons.

  • Cameron

    Given what I know about John, Steinitz is probably right

  • nelson marans

    Now with Susan Rice, an adviser to President Obama and a long time friend and confidant, joining in the criticism of Netanyahu by implying that by his actions he is severing the long time friendly relationship between the U. S. and Israel, the cycle has been completed. We have a president who is openly hostile toward Israel, joined by his cohorts in the State Department and in his personal circle in attempting to demonize the Jewish state. Only a Congress and an alert electorate can stop the Obama-Wright-Farrakhan-Khaledi cammpaign to destroy the Jewish state.

  • Obama Will Betray America With Iran
    All this president has been doing since he took office is empathizing with dictators and terrorists…

    Today, President Obama stated that he doesn’t rule out opening an embassy in Iran. This is the end game in a long line of decisions by President Obama to appease Iran and get a deal!

    You see, the agenda for the Obama administration is not to increase the security of the United States globally and prevent further terrorism against the homeland or against our allies. No, the agenda of the Obama administration and their leftist allies is to weaken U.S. power abroad. They see the United States as the enemy and have attempted to destroy her power base since arriving in office six years ago.

    The Iranians have been relentless in their campaign to lie, obfuscate, and extend deadlines over and over again to buy time to develop the bomb. Once they do, Katy bar the door. They will directly threaten our strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel. Obama, while relaxing sanctions on Iran, has leaked the idea of establishing sanctions on Israel. Iran has never retracted its stated desire to wipe the Jewish State off the map. They want to destroy Israel. When they get the bomb, they will do so.

    Obama has enabled the Iranians in their strategy of lie and delay. John Kerry has been his instrument to bring the international community along in this effort. Obama just wants to say he has a deal, the security of the United States and our allies be damned. This is a concept he simply has never cared about.

    Business Insider reports today, “Obama nevertheless insisted the US can empathize with the Islamic Republic’s demands regarding its nuclear program.” All this president has been doing since he took office is empathizing with dictators and terrorists who want to destroy the American way of life. To me, this is as obvious as my hand in front of my face.

    Obama will give the Iranians what they want. He will allow them to develop nuclear weapons. He will normalize relations and give them credibility in the world as America’s friend. He will close his eyes to the people the Iranian terror forces kill in Israel and around the world. He will betray America and will not lose a minute of sleep over it.

    This article is: Quoted from other sources

  • brenrod

    I cant wait to see these overage college kids get out of the white house. They are so inexperienced and incompetent its embarrassing. they appear to be guided behind the scenes by those seeking to destroy America

  • BH in Iowa

    Hanoi John is now Halal John. What a piece of work.

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