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Majority Of Israelis Oppose Iran Strike, Poll Finds

March 1, 2012

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A majority of Israelis oppose a strike on Iran or favor such a strike only if it has American backing, according to a new survey.

Some 34 percent of those surveyed said they were against an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities; another 42 percent favored an attack that had U.S. backing. Another 19 percent favor an attack even without backing from the United States.



U.S. Congresswomen See Israel, Palestinians In The Eyes Of J Street

KALANDIYA, West Bank (JTA) -- The U.S. congresswomen get off the bus and stand in the chilly shadows of the Kalandiya crossing point between the West Bank and Jerusalem.

It’s late morning, well past the rush hour when thousands of Palestinians congregate here, and only a few dozen Palestinians stand in line. To cross, the Palestinians go through a series of metal turnstiles and wait with their documents until they are called, one by one, to approach the Israeli soldiers sitting behind bullet-proof barriers.

One Palestinian man strikes up a conversation.

“I have American citizenship but I am not allowed to travel through Ben Gurion Airport because I have a Palestinian ID card,” Hamad Hindi of Louisiana tells the congresswomen. “We are seen as guilty of something because we are Palestinian.”



The Emergency Committee For Israel Calls On Jewish Foundations To Defund Media Matters, CAP

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Emergency Committee for Israel called on Jewish charitable foundations to stop funneling money to two liberal groups that have offered criticisms of Israel.

A full-page ad in The New York Times by the right-wing pro-Israel group published Thursday highlights criticism by Jewish groups and opinion shapers of the Center for American Progress think tank and Media Matters, a liberal media watchdog.

CAP has taken steps in recent months to address some of the harsh rhetoric voiced by some of its staffers, and two of the three Jewish groups cited in the ad have since praised its efforts. The ad does not note the steps by CAP.

Media Matters has stood by a staffer who calls right-wing pro-Israel advocates "Israel firsters," a term that analysts have shown has its origins in anti-Semitic writings.



Koch Brothers Suing CATO Institute

According to a post at The Washington Post‘s ThinkTanked blog, billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are suing the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank that was founded as the Charles Koch Institute in 1974.

The Post reports that it has obtained court papers centered on “the handling of the shares of William A Niskanen, a former chairman of the Cato Institute, following his death October 26, 2011.”

The lawsuit names Charles and David Koch as plaintiffs and the Cato Institute as well as Cato executives Kathryn Washburn and Edward H. Crane, lll, as defendants.



U.S. Exporters Sell 120,000 Tons of Wheat to Iran, Most Since August 2008

U.S. exporters sold 120,000 metric tons of wheat to Iran, the most in more than three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

U.S. trade sanctions against Iran provide an exemption for “licensed exports of agricultural commodities,” according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, a division of the Treasury Department. The U.S. exported $53.035 million in agricultural products to Iran last year, the least since 2006, USDA data show.



Most Senators Leaving Since 1996 May Mean More Polarized Chamber

By Laura Litvan and James Rowley - Mar 1, 2012 12:01 AM ET

Retirement announcements by Senator Olympia Snowe and other centrists are putting more U.S. Senate seats at stake than at any time since 1996 -- and the result may be an even more polarized environment next year.

Snowe, a three-term Maine Republican known for voting with Democrats on some high-profile issues, said her decision was driven by frustration over partisanship and lack of compromise in the Senate. Other departing senators who seek consensus on such issues as debt reduction say they share her view.

“It’s very difficult to get things accomplished,” said Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat who said he will retire after two six-year terms to spend more time with his family. “People back home complain about gridlock, but they send people here who engage in that very thing.”

Ten senators -- seven Democrats and three Republicans --say they won’t face voters again in November, the largest number of elected senators eschewing re-election since 13 decided to forgo new terms in 1996.



Iran Nuke Plans Provoke Heightened U.S. Warnings

Source: Bloomberg

By John Walcott - Thu Mar 01 13:25:47 GMT 2012

Obama administration officials are escalating warnings that the U.S. could join Israel in attacking Iran if the Islamic republic doesn’t dispel concerns that its nuclear-research program is aimed at producing weapons.

Four days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive in Washington, Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz told reporters the Joint Chiefs of Staff have prepared military options to strike Iranian nuclear sites in the event of a conflict.

“What we can do, you wouldn’t want to be in the area,” Schwartz told reporters in Washington yesterday.

Pentagon officials said military options being prepared start with providing aerial refueling for Israeli planes and include attacking the pillars of the clerical regime, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite Qods Force, regular Iranian military bases and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Pentagon plans are classified.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-01/u-s-escalates-warnings-on-iran-s-nuclear-program-as-netanyahu-visit-nears.html
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