AP Claims Rouhani Speech “Absent” of Anti-Israel Rhetoric


Courtesy of The Cartoon Kronicles.

(CAMERA) An AP story today opened by informing readers that “The Iranian president’s first speech to world leaders was absent anti-Israel rhetoric….” The problem is, Rouhani in fact leveled some of the harshest, most inflammatory anti-Israel slurs available during his U.N. speech yesterday, describing Israel as engaging in “brutal repression,” and as practicing something even worse than apartheid.

In language that differed little from the predictable anti-Israel venom often heard from Iranian leaders, Rouhani told delegates at the United Nations:

What has been — and continues to be — practiced against the innocent people of Palestine is nothing less than structural violence. Palestine is under occupation; the basic rights of the Palestinians are tragically violated, and they are deprived of the right of return and access to their homes, birthplace and homeland. Apartheid as a concept can hardly describe the crimes and the institutionalized aggression against the innocent Palestinian people.

More after the jump.
Much later in the piece, the AP reporter, Lara Jakes, did assert that Rouhani “briefly touched on what he described as Palestine’s depravation and subjugation.” But obviously this understated elaboration does not eliminate the need for an opening sentence that does not misinform.

It is also worth noting is that, while Jakes mentioned that Rouhani referred to “crimes the Nazis created toward the Jews,” she inexplicably omitted any reference to the more controversial part of his statement to CNN: “I have said before that I am not a historian, and that when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust it is the historians that should reflect on it” — an equivocation that virtually all other reports recognized was relevant to the story.

CAMERA had informed CNN of the errors and the omission and called for a correction. The first sentence has been fixed to say “The Iranian president’s first speech to world leaders toned down anti-Israel rhetoric…” and the other sentence was fixed to say that “Rouhani briefly criticized Israel for what he described as Palestine’s deprivation and subjugation.” By the time this article was posted in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice, the omitted holocaust statement was still not included in the article.

Iran Lawmaker Admits: Sanctions Caused 45% Drop In Oil Revenue

Abadan Oil Refinery— by David Streeter

The AP reported that an Iranian lawmaker admitted that the international sanctions movement led by President Barack Obama has caused a devastating 45% drop in Iran’s oil revenue. According to the AP:

Iran’s revenues from vital oil and gas exports have dropped by 45 percent because of sanctions over its suspect nuclear program, a senior lawmaker said Monday, a clear admission that sanctions over Iran’s suspect nuclear program are having a severe impact. […]

Gholam Reza Kateb, head of the parliament’s budget committee, said oil exports have dropped 40 percent in the last nine months compared to the corresponding period last year. He said banking sanctions also contributed to the 45 percent reduction in revenues.

After the jump: Newly-Appointed Senate Comissioner Rand Paul Wants to See “Gradual” Cuts to Israel’s Aid‏.

Iran is under U.N. sanctions and Western oil, banking and trade restrictions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which is a potential pathway for nuclear weapons development. The U.S. and its allies believe Iran might be on a path toward producing nuclear bombs. […]

Crude oil exports account for nearly 80 percent of Iran’s foreign revenue.

Kateb said details of the steep revenue drop emerged Monday in a report by Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi to the parliament on the status of crude oil and liquid gas sales.

‘On the basis of the report, oil sales are down 40 percent and income has dropped 45 percent in the last nine months,’ Kateb was quoted by the semiofficial ISNA news agency as saying. […]

The government is already facing a cash crunch from the drop in oil revenues as a result of Western sanctions that Iran calls it an ‘economic war.’ […]

In another sign of the effectiveness of the sanctions, most flights operated by Iranian airlines to domestic and international destinations have been cancelled because of unpaid debts. […]

Iranian airlines nearly doubled prices of plane tickets in November because of higher fuel prices and the plunging value of the Iranian rial against foreign currencies.

Senator Rand Paul Wants to See “Gradual” Cuts to Israel’s Aid‏Rand Paul in Louisville
On his current trip to the Middle East, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) — who is among the newest members to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — said that he would like to see “gradual” cuts to Israel’s aid.

The Jerusalem Post reported (emphasis added):

[Senator Paul] said he favored a gradual reduction of US foreign aid, which he said stands at approximately $30 billion a year.

About $3b. goes to Israel annually in military aid, 74 percent of which must be spent in the US.

‘I’m all for gradualism,’ he said. ‘I would start a little more quickly with those who are enemies of Israel, and enemies of the US. I would like to see their aid end more quickly. With regards to Israel, it could be a gradual phenomenon.’

“As we’ve said many times before, Senator Paul’s misguided views on aid to Israel are plain wrong and do not reflect the myriad benefits that come from American assistance to Israel,” said NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris.

As we predicted on Friday, Paul’s appointment to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would give him a bigger platform from which to spout his radical views. It appears that we were correct — and pro-Israel Republicans are utterly failing to intervene. Now is as good a time as any for them to take a stand against Paul’s dangerous vision for Israel’s aid — as many pro-Israel Democratic senators did when he first started pushing for cuts to Israel’s aid.

Mitt Romney and Ron Paul “Concerned” Over Nevada Kosher Caucus

Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational CampusWe recently broke the news about a special caucus being organized in Las Vegas, Nevada after sundown so that observant Jews could participate in Nevada’s Republican Caucus.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, approximately 500 voters — most of whom are Jewish — are expected to attend the event, which will be held at a Jewish day school.

While there had been mixed reporting previously surrounding the campaign’s reactions, the San Francisco Chronicle most recently reported that “officials in the campaigns of both former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Representative Ron Paul are privately expressing concern about the decision” to hold the Saturday night caucus that will enfranchise a large number of observant Jewish Republicans.

UN Security Council Frustrated at Obama Admin. for Backing Israel

— David Streeter

The AP reported that 14 members of the United Nations Security Council expressed frustration at the Obama Administration for defending Israel by blocking the effort to condemn Israel’s settlement policies in the West Bank. According to the AP:

Fourteen frustrated members of the U.N. Security Council pointed a finger at the United States Tuesday for blocking any condemnation of Israel’s accelerated settlement construction in Palestinian territory….

While the United States was not mentioned by name, the diplomats anger was clearly directed at Washington which vetoed a resolution in February backed by the 14 other council members that would have demanded an immediate halt to all settlement building. The Obama administration has also promised to veto any Security Council resolution supporting Palestine’s bid to become the 194th member of the United Nations.

The U.S. has said repeatedly it does not support settlement building. But Payton Knopf, the U.S. Mission’s deputy spokesman, told AP “the only way to resolve the outstanding issues between Israelis and Palestinians is through serious and substantive direct negotiations.”

The United States also opposes Security Council action on “final status issues” because this “would only harden the positions of both sides and make the resumption of negotiations more difficult,” Knopf said.

President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has been working intensely to ensure that Israel receives fair treatment in UN bodies and is not singled out for criticism. Rice was recently honored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and spoke about her work to defend Israel in UN bodies.