TIME Foreign Policy

Here’s the Sculpture of Moses That Netanyahu Referenced

Architect of the Capitol

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dropped a lot of names during his speech to Congress: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Secretary of State John Kerry, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, even poet Robert Frost.

But for the close he went for an obvious pick: Moses.

“Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us … is the image of Moses,” he said. “Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land.”

He then quoted Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses’ parting words to the Israelites, in Hebrew: “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them.”

Netanyahu was referencing a marble relief that has hung in the House chamber since 1950, just two years after the modern state of Israel was founded. The bas relief was sculpted of white Vermont marble by artist Jean de Marco, according to the Architect of the Capitol.

It’s part of a series of 23 portraits chosen to represent historical figures who established the legal principles underlying the American system of government. Moses is in the center, facing forward, with 11 portraits on either side facing right and left toward him.

Other portraits include Hammurabi, Pope Gregory IX and Thomas Jefferson.

TIME Foreign Policy

Netanyahu Tells Congress Iran Deal ‘Paves Path to a Bomb’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the emerging nuclear agreement with Iran Tuesday in an address to a joint meeting of Congress, saying the deal to prevent the regime from obtaining nuclear weapons would have the opposite result.

Addressing a spirited Congress in the House chamber, Netanyahu warned the P5+1 nuclear deal “could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people,” encouraging lawmakers to oppose the agreement being negotiated by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

“It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves Iran’s path to the bomb,” Netanyahu said, saying it would only embolden the Iranian government. “That deal will not prevent Iran from nuclear weapons, it would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons — lots of them.”

“This is a bad deal,” he added. “It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”

Netanyahu’s speech was repeatedly punctuated by applause and standing ovations, often bringing both Democrats and Republicans to their feet. The image and the speech was a thumb in the eye to Obama, who was not consulted before Netanyahu was invited to address lawmakers and who sees the potential agreement a capstone to his legacy in office. National Security Adviser Susan Rice even called Netanyahu’s visit “destructive” to the U.S.-Israel relationship.

The speech fell just two weeks before Netanyahu stands for re-election in a close race at home, shading the speech with elements of his domestic politics as much American divisions.

The Israeli leader said he didn’t intend his visit to become the partisan lightning rod it had become and praised Obama’s commitment to Israel, including record levels of security assistance under his Administration. “I know that my speech has been the subject of much controversy,” he said. “I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention.”

But Netanyahu did not pull any punches in outlining why he believes Obama is on the wrong path, painting a picture of a Middle East engaged in a furious nuclear arms race. “This deal won’t be a farewell to arms,” he said. “It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinder box.”

MORE: Why Bibi and Barack Can’t Get Along

Netanyahu raised objection that the emerging deal does not lengthen the so-called breakout time — the time it would take Iran to construct a nuclear weapon — and that it would lift sanctions on the country without requiring it to stop funding terrorist groups like Hizballah.

“Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger?” he asked. “If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it’s under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism? Why should Iran’s radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world’s: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?”

Netanyahu rejected the notion that the alternative to a deal is war, as Obama allies have maintained. “The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal,” he said. But he offered no path toward a deal that Iran would agree to, other than calling for the continuation of global sanctions, until Iran halts funding terror and aggressive actions against its neighbors, and stops calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.

“If Iran threatens to walk away from the table, and this often happens in a Persian bazaar, call their bluff,” he said. “They’ll be back. They need a deal a lot more than you do.”

TIME politics

Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail Trouble Started in 1997

Oct. 20, 1997, cover of TIME
Cover Credit: PATRICK DEMARCHELIER The Oct. 20, 1997, cover of TIME

The former Secretary of State is in hot water over her e-mail usage while in that office. While First Lady, she resolved to overcome a fear of computers

Possible Presidential contender Hillary Clinton may have broken the e-mail rules during her time as Secretary of State, according to a new story in the New York Times. Clinton used her own personal e-mail account to conduct government business, the Times reports.

It’s not the first time Clinton’s e-mail has given her trouble — her use of personal e-mail accounts had been made public at least two years ago, but it was almost two decades ago she didn’t hide the fact that she was, as a TIME cover story about the then-First Lady put it, “computer illiterate.”

That particular story used the First Lady’s 50th birthday as a way to discuss the Baby Boom generation’s maturation: Clinton, newly an empty-nester, was re-examining her life and deciding where to go from there. One possible direction was online:

With Chelsea’s departure, the First Lady who mastered Game Boy has resolved to overcome her phobia of computers. Her chief of staff, Melanne Verveer, lately caught her thumbing through a book called Internet E-Mail for Dummies.

At the time, President Clinton said he imagined the couple retiring one day to sit on a beach as “old people laughing about our lives”; TIME commented that such a future was unlikely to satisfy his wife, who said that she would instead “go on to do something else that I find challenging and interesting.” Years later, there’s no doubt that she made good on that prediction. She may have even overcome her fear of computers. After all, by today’s standards when it comes to “Internet E-Mail,” most people in 1997 were pretty much dummies.

Read the 1997 cover story here, in the TIME Vault: Turning Fifty

TIME Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Speech Draws Big Names

Israeli PM Netanyahu Addresses Joint Meeting Of Congress
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is greeted by members of Congress as he arrives to speak during a joint meeting of the United States Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.

As many as 50 Democrats may be missing the speech, but Republicans have packed the house

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress felt a bit like a State of the Union.

Despite the partisan contention around the speech which led as many as 53 Democratic lawmakers to skip the speech, it proved popular with Republicans, former lawmakers and interested citizens, according to reporters tweeting at the event.

It was a hot ticket. Speaker John Boehner’s office said there were 10 times as many requests for tickets as there were seats available in the gallery.

Some former lawmakers seen on Capitol Hill Tuesday include former Speaker Newt Gingrich, former representative and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, former representative and current Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Reps. Michele Bachmann and Dennis Kucinich and former Sens. Joe Lieberman and Norm Coleman.

The event drew some big names in conservative circles. Casino magnate and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, Weekly Standard founder William Kristol, conservative radio host Mark Levin, Republican political consultant Frank Luntz and attorney Alan Dershowitz were also spotted by reporters inside the Capitol.

The speech drew interest from outside politics too. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart.

TIME scotus

Top Lawyers Would Most Like to Lunch Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Richard Tucker Music Foundation's 38th Annual Gala
Monica Schipper—Getty Images Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of Supreme Court of the United States, attends Richard Tucker Music Foundation's 38th annual gala at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on November 17, 2013 in New York City.

RBG named as the Supreme Court Justice they'd most like to break bread with

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been voted #1 Supreme Court lunch date by hungry American lawyers, according to a new survey.

Ginsburg came out on top as the most popular potential lunch date, followed by Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor, presumably because they’re kind of in Ginsburg’s posse. Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Elena Kagan were middle-of-the-pack, like that kid you kind of know from Chemistry class who lets you copy his notes. Samuel Alito, Jr was the least popular pick, not unlike that poor kid who eats his lunch from a tray in a bathroom stall.

The survey of almost 100 leading lawyers was conducted by Super Lawyers, part of Thompson Reuters, and the organizer noted that many lawyers actually picked a Justice with whom they don’t necessarily agree. “Lawyers being lawyers, they wanted to argue, I guess,” said Super Lawyers Editor-in-Chief Erik Lundegaard in a statement. “So a choice for lunch date, like a retweet, isn’t necessarily an endorsement.”

TIME Congress

GOP to Vote on Homeland Security Bill Without Conditions

Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images US Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Feb. 26, 2015 in Washington, DC.

The vote could be as early as Tuesday

(WASHINGTON) — Republicans say the House will vote as early as Tuesday on a bill to fully fund the Homeland Security Department through the end of the budget year, without immigration restrictions.

Facing dwindling options, Speaker John Boehner outlined the situation for rank-and-file GOP members during a closed-door caucus meeting Tuesday morning.

Lawmakers and congressional aides said the House plans to vote on the bill despite opposition from conservatives who demanded that the measure roll back President Barack Obama’s unilateral changes on immigration.

Boehner told the caucus that he was outraged by the president’s actions, but this was the right decision “for this team and the right one for this country.”

Aides and other lawmakers described his comments.

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York said “sanity is prevailing.”

TIME 2016 Election

Ben Carson Launches Presidential Committee for 2016 Run

Former neurosurgeon and grassroots favorite is preparing for a potential run in 2016

Conservative grassroots darling Dr. Ben Carson is formally exploring a bid for president in 2016, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Carson, a former neurosurgeon and author, has formed an official committee to raise money for a potential campaign. Although he has no experience as an elected politician—or perhaps because of it—he has already won the favor of some conservative voters; at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Carson ranked fourth in the straw poll.

The Gifted Hands author has also made a number of strategic hires as of late, picking up staff members for a potential campaign in early caucus states like South Carolina and Iowa.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

TIME democrats

Former Maryland Governor O’Malley Won’t Seek Mikulski’s Seat

Outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and wife Katie at the inauguration ceremony of Governor Larry Hogan in Annapolis, Md. on Jan. 21, 2015.
Linda Davidson—The Washington Post/Getty Images Outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and wife Katie at the inauguration ceremony of Governor Larry Hogan in Annapolis, Md. on Jan. 21, 2015.

The move keeps his path to the White House open

(WASHINGTON) — Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Tuesday he will not seek the Senate seat of retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, keeping open his option of running for president in a Democratic primary likely to include Hillary Rodham Clinton.

O’Malley said in a statement he was “hopeful and confident that very capable public servants with a desire to serve in the Senate will step up as candidates for this important office. I will not be one of them.”

Mikulski announced plans to retire on Monday, giving O’Malley a second option if he wanted to avoid what looks today to be a longshot bid against Clinton. The surprise decision came as O’Malley has been gearing up toward a presidential campaign with upcoming appearances in New Hampshire and Iowa.

Little known outside his home state, O’Malley has yet to gain much traction in a hypothetical matchup against Clinton, who has a network of super PACs already working on her behalf and much of the party’s establishment eagerly waiting for her to announce her candidacy. Those pining for someone other than Clinton have largely focused their longing not on O’Malley, but Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who tells everyone who asks she isn’t running.

O’Malley has deep ties to Mikulski. While in law school, he served as field director on her first Senate campaign in 1986 and his mother Barbara has worked as a receptionist in Mikulski’s Washington office since 1987. Yet the retiring senator has already endorsed Clinton.

O’Malley would have likely been the leading contender if he had pursued a Senate bid in a state where Democrats have a large voter registration advantage. But the Democratic field could be large and include members of the state’s congressional delegation, led by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, along with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a former Montgomery County, Md., council member and O’Malley appointee.

Before the announcement, O’Malley allies noted that the former governor had always enjoyed the role of executive, having served as Baltimore’s mayor for seven years before becoming governor in 2007. He has shown little interest in the past in serving in Congress.

O’Malley has said he will make a final decision on a presidential campaign this spring. He is scheduled to headline fundraisers and appearances in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday and has separate trips to Iowa planned for March and April.

During an appearance in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Saturday, he took a veiled shot at Clinton, warning Democrats that more “triangulation” would not be a successful strategy for the party. And he suggested large financial institutions should be broken up if they pose a threat to the American economy, something Warren has called for.

“People want to see new faces. There’s a certain amount of Clinton fatigue,” said Dan Calegari, a New Hampshire Democratic activist who first met O’Malley in 1983 when both worked on Sen. Gary Hart’s presidential campaign. “They’ve been around for 30 years now. Quite honestly, I think if Martin decides to get in the race he will surprise some people.”

Calegari was organizing a small meeting of party activists with O’Malley in Manchester, N.H., on Friday night.

Even as an underdog, there is a place for O’Malley in the presidential race, Hart said.

“I am not in favor of coronations and I’m certainly not in favor of the preordination of two families in America who can govern,” Hart said. “I think it would be healthy for the Democratic party to have competition.”


Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/kthomasdc


Morning Must Reads: March 3

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the U.S. and his vocal criticism of President Barack Obama’s policies, especially his approach to Iran, have highlighted the deep ideological gulf between the two leaders

Clinton Under Scrutiny Over Emails

Hillary Clinton exclusively used a personal email account while she was Secretary of State, the New York Times reports, possibly breaching a federal law

Execution Postponed in Georgia

Corrections officials have postponed Georgia’s first execution of a woman in 70 years, citing problems with the drug that would be used for lethal injection

How to Get Free Pancakes Today, Courtesy of IHOP

Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of National Pancake Day, an annual event in which IHOP customers get free pancakes and millions of dollars are raised for charity. The magic combo easily makes Pancake Day one of the most beloved fake holidays of the year

Read the First-Ever Issue of TIME, From March 3, 1923

The first issue lacked the distinctive red border for which the magazine has come to be known. The cover subject was the now obscure Joseph G. Cannon, and the whole thing was only 32 pages long. Flip through the pages as TIME turns 92

ISIS Threat to Pope Exists, Vatican Police Says

The commander of the Vatican’s security forces acknowledged the existence of a real threat to the Pope from ISIS, but said there is no indication of a planned attack on the Catholic leader. “The threat exists,” Domenico Giani said

3-5 Cups of Coffee a Day May Help Keep Arteries Clear

Drinking three to five cups of coffee per day may help to reduce signs of blocked arteries, says a new study out of South Korea. The findings, published Monday in the medical journal Heart, add to the discussion about whether or not coffee is good for cardiovascular health

Jennifer Lawrence to Star in New Steven Spielberg Film

Warner Bros. is said to be finalizing a deal to bring It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War to the big screen, with Steven Spielberg attached as director and Jennifer Lawrence in a starring role. The memoir by Lynsey Addario has barely been out a month

E.U. Faces a Deadly Air-Pollution Crisis

Hundreds of thousands of people in the E.U. will suffer premature death in the next two decades because of toxic air, a report says. The European Environment Agency says in 2011 alone, over 400,000 Europeans died from pollution

Canadian Pastor Feared Detained in North Korea

Fears are growing for a Canadian pastor who has not been heard from since Jan. 31 when he was invited by North Korean officials to Pyongyang, according to a South Korean activist. The Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim is considered a highly influential Christian missionary

Over-30s Must Pay Double for Tinder’s Premium Service

Tinder launched its much anticipated premium service on Monday, but the popular dating app will cost twice as much for people over 30. Users in the U.S. can purchase the new upgrade for $9.99 a month, unless you’re over 30, in which case you’ll have to pay $19.99

NBA Suspends James Harden for Kicking LeBron James

The NBA announced on Monday that it has suspended Houston Rockets guard James Harden for one game without pay for kicking Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James in the groin during Sunday’s game. Harden said the kick was unintentional

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TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Only Used a Personal Email Account While Secretary of State, Report Says

Hillary Clinton Addresses National Council for Behavioral Health Conference
Patrick Smith—Getty Images Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks during the National Council for Behavioral Health's Annual Conference in National Harbor, Md., on May 6, 2014

Federal law stipulates that her emails should have been kept on departmental and not private servers

Hillary Clinton exclusively used a personal email account while she was Secretary of State, the New York Times reports, possibly breaching a federal law mandating the archiving of all correspondence by State Department officials.

Clinton’s aides allegedly made no effort to upload her personal emails to the department’s servers during her four-year tenure, as stipulated under the the Federal Records Act, the Times says.

Instead, they reportedly went through thousands of emails two months ago, selecting which to submit as part of a renewed compliance effort from the State Department.

Attorney Jason R. Baron, a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration, told the Times that it was “very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its Cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel.”

Read more at the Times

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