“The Iran Nuclear Deal (aka JCPOA)” and “The Abraham Accords and Realpolitik”


As can be seen from the book description posted in the preceding “Original Proposal” section, “Bibi” is an autobiography (which BTW Netanyahu wrote “long hand”) covering his entire life as well as many public-policy issues.

For our 17 years of existence, we have always prided ourselves in being a NON-PARTISAN PUBLIC-POLICY STUDY/ACTION GROUP that does NOT waste time supporting particular candidates – but instead, GOES WITH THE WINNERS AND TELLS THEM WHAT TO DO.

In “Bibi” and in his many media interviews, Bibi Netanyahu posits that the TWO MAJOR PUBLIC-POLICY ISSUES motivating him to become Prime Minister for a third time are –

(1) Opposing the Iran Nuclear Deal (aka JCPOA) and taking whatever action is necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; and

(2) Expanding the number of “Abraham Accords” with Arab countries from those achieved in 2020 during his most recent term as Prime Minister – United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. [BTW, Benjamin Netanyahu claims that even those countries would NOT have normalized relations without the tacit approval of Saudi Arabia over which Israel has commercial over-flight privileges to reach the UAE and Bahrain.]
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“The Iran Nuclear Deal (aka JCPOA)” and “The Abraham Accords and Realpolitik”

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---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: “The Iran Nuclear Deal (aka JCPOA)” and “The Abraham Accords and Realpolitik”
From: Solutions
Date: Fri, December 23, 2022 2:47 pm PST
To: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com

Dear John,

Anticipating that tomorrow’s weekly newsletter would feature this month’s first “short quiz,” I looked at our website and was surprised that you had not only already formulated two short quizzes (“The Iran Nuclear Deal (aka JCPOA)” and “The Abraham Accords and Realpolitik”) but also provided the suggested answers to both – please see viewforum.php?f=723&sid=b2995cf7820ca9b ... 6f2fbfd450.

Your focus on those two public-policy issues is not surprising since both “Bibi: My Story” and his many media interviews have said those are the two major motivations for becoming Prime Minister again.

What was really surprising was the eight-question addendum of the second short quiz which (the addendum) was entitled “The NY Times Editorial Board Comment on Benjamin Netanyahu’s Nov 1 Election Victory” which “crosses swords” with the NY Times.

Could you please elaborate by providing more background?

Your friend,


---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Re: “The Iran Nuclear Deal (aka JCPOA)” and “The Abraham Accords and Realpolitik”
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Date: Fri, December 23, 2022 7:19 pm MST
To: Solutions

Dear Solutions,

Thank you very much for your e-mail. Several comments are in order --

FIRST, Thomas Friedman, a foreign-affairs OpEd columnist for the NY Times, wrote a Nov 4 OpEd on the Nov 1 Israeli election entitled “The Israel We Know Is Gone.”

I had been hoping to leave Thomas Friedman out of this since we have frequently considered his views and often “crossed swords” with him.

BTW, despite our many disagreements with him, I recommended two of his books as the foci for two of our meetings and our members approved:

(1) “Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide To Thriving in an Age of Accelerations” by Thomas Friedman (Ferrar, Straus and Giroux 11/22/2016) for our April 2017 meeting.

(2) "That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind In The World It Invented And How We Can Come Back" by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 9/5/2011) for our November 2011 meeting.

SECOND, Thomas Friedman’s Nov 4 OpEd on the Nov 1 Israeli election was “ancient history” by the time (as explained in Q&A-1 and Q&A-2 of the Addendum you referenced) the New York Times published its Dec 17 Editorial Comment on Benjamin Netanyahu’s Nov 1 Election Victory.

As we have noted in the past, the NY Times has often been very attentive to what we say.

For example, please see our e-mails on “Addressing The Cause of Racism (vs. A Mere Symptom)” which were personally solicited by NY Times Editorial Page Editor James D. Bennet as part of his “The Keys To Unlocking Human Potential” project available at viewtopic.php?f=587&t=1919&p=2627&hilit ... 5807#p2627.

Unfortunately, James Bennet was fired for an unrelated reason shortly after our second and final e-mail was sent and his successor, Ms. Kathleen Kingsbury, abandoned the “Keys To Unlocking Human Potential” project and continued the NY Times' habit of studiously ignoring the state of America’s inner-city K-12 education (or lack thereof).

As part of “the NY Times’ habit of studiously ignoring the state of America’s inner-city K-12 education,” you will recall that –

(1) Sections 4 and 5 of our www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org are entitled “Inner-City Holocaust and America’s Apartheid ‘Justice’ System (In Honor of Jonathan Kozol and In Memory of John Howard Griffin).”

(2) Sections 4 and 5 contain zillions of legal briefs, court opinions, etc., in my litigation against 15 of the world’s largest financial institutions for the $84 billion that they owed me and that had long-since been pledged in legally-binding fashion to benefit the education of 10 million inner-city children.

The essence of the litigation was captured in the “Question Presented For Review” in our final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court –

“Can state court judges order their decisions which they know are diametrically-opposed to well-settled law, not to be published or cited (a strategy labeled ‘the segregated toilet’ in correspondence with 51 inner-city clergy who represent the 10 million inner-city children who have been disclosed from the outset as the ‘real parties at interest’ in this law suit) in order to flush away the rights of the 10 million inner-city children without disturbing the rights of first-class American citizens -- without violating the ‘Equal Protection of the Law’ requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?”

(3) 21 national and California governmental officials starting with President Obama each ignored three pleas during the three-year course of the litigation to file Amicus Curiae briefs even though doing so for most of them would have been routine in such matters.

[Indeed, President Obama was intimately familiar with Eugene Lang’s “I Have A Dream” model which regularly transformed typical SINGLE-DIGIT inner-city high-school graduation rates to MORE THAN 90% - since there had been approximately one dozen such projects on Chicago’s South Side when President Obama was a “community organizer” there.]

(4) 43 NEWS-MEDIA SUPERSTARS ignored three pleas during the three-year course of the litigation to shine a light on what was going down – EVEN THOUGH EACH OF THE 43 KNEW THAT ANY ONE OF THEM SHINING A SINGLE RAY MIGHT HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT TO SAVE 10 MILLION INNER-CITY CHILDREN FROM “A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH”!!!

(5) AMONG THE 43 NEWS-MEDIA SUPERSTARS WERE ALL SEVEN OF THE NY TIMES’ REGULAR OP-ED COLUMNISTS – INCLUDING THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN – please see the list of 43 names and addresses contained in the attachment to the sample 5/18/2011 letter which is available for download at viewtopic.php?f=211&t=767&sid=c39687dfa ... 7e934e1044.

THIRD, Thomas Friedman is NOT a member of the NY Times Editorial Board which, per the New York Times at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... board.html, comprises –

Kathleen Kingsbury – Opinion Editor
Jyoti Thottam – Editorials Editor
Binjamin Appelbaum – Economics and Business
Greg Bensinger – Technology
Michelle Cottle – U.S. Politics
Mara Gay – New York State and Local Affairs
Jeneen Interlandi – Health and Science
Lauren Kelley – Women and Reproductive Rights
Alex Kingsbury – Editor at Large
Serge Schmemann – International Affairs
Brent Staples – Education, Criminal Justice, Economics
Farah Stockman – National and International Affairs
Jesse Wegman – The Supreme Court, Legal Affairs
Nick Fox, Editor at Large

It would appear that Thomas Friedman is outranked by both Kathleen Kingsbury (Opinion Editor) and Jyoti Thottam (Editorials Editor).

And doesn’t even have the same status as members Serge Schmemann (International Affairs) or Farah Stockman (National and International Affairs).

FINALLY, the Dec 17 NY Times Editorial Board Comment on Benjamin Netanyahu’s Nov 1 Election Victory MAKES ALL THE EGREGIOUS MISTAKES catalogued in the eight-question addendum of the second short quiz which (the addendum) was entitled “The NY Times Editorial Board Comment on Benjamin Netanyahu’s Nov 1 Election Victory.”

All of which are featured in Thomas Friedman’s Nov. 4 OpEd which says toward the end –

“For decades members of the Israeli right, a vast majority of whom were ‘security hawks,’ have believed that the Palestinians have never and will never accept a Jewish state next to them and therefore Israel needed to take whatever military means were necessary to protect itself from them.”

Of course, Friedman does NOT bother to explain why his article is based on the idea that it is untrue that “Palestinians have never and will never accept a Jewish state next to [Israel]” in the face of the facts we have marshalled, including –

(1) In 2000, President Clinton succeeded in negotiating a “two-state” solution with Israel and Yasser Arafat (Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian National Authority). However, Yasser Arafat reneged on the agreement because, in his Arabic speeches to his Palestinian followers, he had always promised undying enmity toward Israel and promised to never rest until Israel “was thrown into the sea” and, when he returned to Palestine, he found that he hadn’t prepared his followers sufficiently to accept his Peace Plan and that he would be deposed.

(2) Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza in 2005, including the forced repatriation by the Israeli Government of all Jewish “settlers” back to Israel. However, Israel has been rewarded for unilaterally giving Gaza its independence in a partial or first-step “two-state solution” with sporadic missile attacks from Gaza, many of which have been intense.

Accordingly, it seems reasonable to hold the NY Times Editorial Board responsible for its own irresponsible opinion that -

(1) The NY Times is entitled to gamble with the future of Israel and the Gulf State Six (aka The Gulf State Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) on behalf of a group that just couldn’t bring itself to say “yes” in 2000 or in 2005.

(2) The NY Times fantasizes that the Palestinians want a “two-state” solution rather than Yasser Arafat’s long-proclaimed undying enmity toward Israel which he always claimed would NOT permit him to rest until Israel “was thrown into the sea.”

After all, the Times Editorial Board’s Dec 17 opinion is in line with its historical Anti-Semitism as recorded, for example, in Laurel Leff’s “Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper” (Cambridge University Press 3/21/2005) which received “The Best Media Book” Award from the American Journalism Historians Association.

Thank you again for your e-mail.

The reason for the speed in composing the two short quizzes and their suggested answers is that some of the members of my Harvard Law School Class of 1967 have a weekly Zoom-chat and the Dec 17 NY Times Editorial Board Opinion was on the agenda for last Monday’s Zoom-chat - please see the following e-mails.

Of the 560 members of our class, 396 were still alive as of the end of this past October (our 55th reunion).

Of those, only 52 have participated in the weekly Zoom chats, probably because the Zoom chats often feature participants citing with approval items in the NY Times (if memory serves, nobody had ever criticized the NY Times so the immediately-following e-mail probably came as quite a shock to most of them).

On the other hand, since our non-partisan public-policy study/action group often “crosses swords” with the NY Times, it is not surprising that 3 dozen or so of my HLS classmates are among the 223 recipients of our weekly newsletter but only 7 or 8 of them have ever participated in the Zoom-chats.

Your friend,

John K.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: HLS-67-Last Monday’s Zoom-Chat Agenda Item of the Dec 17 NY Times Editorial Board Opinion Re Benjamin Netanyahu
Date: 2022-12-21 11:27
From: john@johnkarls.com
To: john@johnkarls.com
Bcc: 52 HLS Classmates

Dear Friends,

I apologize for being forced to miss last Monday’s Zoom-Chat since all of your views were guaranteed to be interesting and insightful.

Nevertheless, it seemed worthwhile to share with you my views.

They are posted on the website of a non-partisan public-policy study/action group that I have facilitated for the past 17 years.

By way of background, the participants at my group’s Dec 14 Zoom meeting voted as our focus book for January “Bibi: My Story” by Benjamin Netanyahu - Israeli Prime Minister 1996-1999 and 2009-2021 and presently forming a new government*** following the 11/1/2022 election (Thresholds Editions Publishing 10/18/2022 – 654 pages sans notes & index).

[*** he announced 9 hours ago that he had succeeded in forming a majority coalition ahead of today’s midnight deadline.]

Each month, I try to generate enthusiasm from our 223 members (more than 2 dozen of whom are members of the national & international news media) by concocting so-called “Short Quizzes” and then providing suggested answers (the most common of which is “What Do You Think??? Let’s Discuss!!!”).

This month’s Short Quizzes which are available at viewforum.php?f=723&sid=9b6d18df41ec8d3 ... 4eebf236d5 are entitled –

“The Iran Nuclear Deal (aka JCPOA)” and
“The Abraham Accords and Realpolitik.”

My views on the NY Times Editorial Board Opinion re Benjamin Netanyahu are contained in an 8-question Addendum of the Suggested Answers to the Second Short Quiz (The Abraham Accords and Realpolitik) which are available at viewtopic.php?f=723&t=2289&sid=9b6d18df ... 4eebf236d5.

Reactions would be most welcome.


John Karls

-------- Original Message --------

Subject: HLS '67 Virtual Luncheon Mondays December 19 and 26, Noon EST
Date: 2022-12-18 19:55 GMT+2
From: Donald Leka
To: Donald Leka

Dear classmates,

Please join us for discussion, bon mots, and repartee on the coming Mondays December 19 and 26. I include both days because I will be in Wyoming on the latter date and may not circulate a notice. But never frear, the Zoom credentials below will suffice for both dates.

Ron Yank has suggested a discussion topic based on a recent New York Times editorial about democracy in Israel. The editorial follows up an op ed by Thomas Friedman. The link to the editorial is:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/17/opin ... nyahu.html

My response is The Times of Israel could probably publish a similar editorial aboutthe United States. The choice about discussing this topic is up to the group, since other news currents are also percolating - such as Criminal Referrals - 2 referrals or 3?

Hope to see you. Zoom invitation is below.



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