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Must Read, February 9, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

February 9, 2012 | 4:54 am

Barack Obama at the Western Wall, July 2008. (Photo: Reuters)

U.S. and Israel Split on Speed of Iran Threat

Washington and Jerusalem are at odds over if and when to take military action over Iran’s nuclear program, write Mark Landler and David E. Sanger in the New York Times

The Israelis have zeroed in on Iran’s plan to put much of its uranium enrichment near Qum in an underground facility beneath so many layers of granite that even the Pentagon acknowledges it would be out of the reach of its best bunker-busting bombs. Once enrichment activities are under way at Qum, the Israelis argue, Iran could throw out United Nations inspectors and produce bomb-grade fuel without fear the facility would be destroyed.


Jewish voters won’t abandon Democratic Party, but they will Obama

Steve Kurlander of the South Florida Sun Sentinel examines whether Obama’s perceived anti-Israel stance will impact on the results of November’s presidential elections.

… AJC and Pew studies illustrate that the Democratic Party and President Obama have a significant “gornisht” problem with Jewish voters in 2012, especially in swing states where Jews are a significant voting bloc, particularly Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Obama’s big problem is with traditionally liberal Jews, and those who originally supported the candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2008, who are upset by Obama’s continued waning toward the center and even the right.


Touting Obama’s Jewish Creds

Recognizing the president’s image problem among some Jewish voters, the Democrats are fighting back, writes Stewart Ain of the Jewish Week.

The 2012 election, most analysts believe, will hinge on the state of the economy, but in the Jewish community the Israel issue can figure prominently, in the race both for money and votes.


Don’t Count on a Syria Intervention

After a decade of military action abroad, Obama and the American people seem to be on the same page when it comes to policing the world, writes Scott Clement in Foreign Policy.

While harping on the need for Assad to stop the violence, President Barack Obama is throwing cold water on prospects of a Libya-like military intervention. And the administration’s reluctance to use force jibes with the philosophy of most Americans, who see spreading democracy as a good thing in general, but are much more ambivalent these days about using the military to topple dictators.


Crisis Guide: Iran

The Council on Foreign Relations presents an in-depth look at Iran’s history, its path to nuclear aspirations and the various options on offer to thwart these aims.

Iran has pursued nuclear energy technology since the 1950s and made progress through the 1970s with Western help. Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran briefly suspended the nuclear program until the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War.

 

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