Archive for Benjamin Netanyahu

What a Difference Two Days Make!

Obama, January 25th: “We have a profound interest, as I believe every country does, in promoting a core principle, which is: Large countries don’t bully smaller countries.”

Obama today:

A top appointee in President Barack Obama’s 2012 election campaign is now working to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming March election.

Jeremy Bird was the national field director for Obama’s 2012 campaign, and he’s now working for an Israel-based group, dubbed V15, an anti-Netanyahu group that is backed by a U.S. -U.K. group titled “One Voice.”

“We are working with OneVoice,” confirmed Lynda Tran, who co-founded Bird’s campaign firm, 270 Strategies.

There’s little or no chance that Bird would work against Netanyahu if Obama didn’t want Netanyahu defeated in the March election.

Spread the word. Let’s make it backfire. Is Israel going to let itself be bullied by a “large country”?

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Bullsh**ter-in-Chief Calls Chickens**t. Again.

The Speaker of the House invites Bibi to address Congress—a great honor.

What’s it got to do with the First Narcissist?

The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face.

“We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior US official as saying. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us.

“There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price,” he said.

Officials in Washington said that the “chickenshit” epithet — with which an anonymous administration official branded Netanyahu several months ago — was mild compared to the language used in the White House when news of Netanyahu’s planned speech came in.

We apologize to our readers for the indecorous language spewing from the White House. We regret it more than you can ever know.

Now for something a little more civil:

“The Prime Minister is expected to arrive in the US at the beginning of March and will also participate in the AIPAC conference,” read a statement from the PMO. “The speech in front of both houses of Congress will give the prime minister the opportunity to thank President Barack Obama, Congress, and the American people for their support of Israel.

“I look forward to the opportunity to express before the joint session Israel’s vision for a joint effort to deal with [Islamist terrorism and Iran’s nuclear program], and to emphasize Israel’s commitment to the special bond between our two democracies,” Netanyahu said, according to the statement.

At least there’s one adult.

Meanwhile, back at the kids’ table:

US President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to Washington in early March.

The State Department said later Thursday that Secretary of State John Kerry would also not meet with Netanyahu during the trip.

They say it’s because of the Israeli elections. Fine.

It’s just that:

Leftist sources in Israel have decried Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of an invitation extended by the US Congress and changing the date to two weeks before March 17 elections; likewise US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry refused to meet Netanyahu, claiming a policy of not meeting foreign leaders close to elections.

However, just 19 years ago then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres visited the US to meet then-President Bill Clinton – a mere month before elections.

Peres’s visit at the time came on the background of his government’s inability to stop Arab terrorism, and Netanyahu was the head of the opposition then, accusing Peres of “manipulating” his close relations with Clinton to help his chances in the elections.

America’s most recent election was a thorough rejection of Obama and his politics. Not over Israel, primarily, but I think Netanyahu is smart to go over and around Obama.

Who was busy anyway:

Someone in there is the leader of the free world. I think it’s the broad with the green lipstick.

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Je Suis Outta Here

We’ve covered some of this ground already, but not in the presence of the divine Caroline Glick:

January 16 is the nine-year anniversary of the beginning of the Ilan Halimi disaster.

On January 16, 2006, Sorour Arbabzadeh, the seductress from the Muslim anti-Jewish kidnapping gang led by Youssouf Fofana, entered the cellphone store where Halimi worked and set the honey trap.

Four days later, Halimi met Arbabzadeh for a drink at a working class bar and agreed to walk her home. She walked him straight into an ambush. Her comrades beat him, bound him and threw him into the trunk of their car.

They brought Halimi to a slum apartment and tortured him for 24 days and 24 nights before dumping him, handcuffed, naked, stabbed and suffering from third degree burns over two-thirds of his body, at a railway siding in Paris.

He died a few hours later in the hospital.

Measured by duration and premeditation, the Halimi torture must rank as the second-worst of France’s recent brushes with Muslim terrorism—worse than the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher massacres, not as horrific as the Toulouse slaughter of Jewish schoolchildren. (Your rankings may differ.)

But is that how France saw it?

The anti-Jewish nature of the gang was clear from its chosen victims. The anti-Semitic nature of their atrocious crime against Halimi was obvious from the first time they contacted his mother, Ruth Halimi, demanding ransom for his release. They made anti-Jewish slurs in all their communications with her.

And as she heard her sons tortured cries in the background, Ruth was subjected to his torturers’ recitation of Koranic verses.

And yet, throughout the period of his captivity, French authorities refused to consider the anti-Jewish nature of the crime, and as a result, refused to treat the case as life threatening or urgent.

The same attitude continued well after Halimi was found. As Weitzmann noted, the investigative magistrate insisted “There isn’t a single element to allow one to attach this murder to an anti-Semitic purpose or an anti-Semitic act.”

The denial went on through the 2009 trials of the 29 kidnappers and their accomplices. Anti-Semitism was listed as an aggravating circumstance of the crime – and as such, a cause for harsher sentencing – only for the gang leader Fofana. And in the end, even for him, the judges did not take it into account at sentencing.

As for those 29 kidnappers and accomplices, as Weitzmann notes, each one of them had a circle of friends and family.

As a consequence, by a one reporters’ conservative estimate, at least 50 people were aware of the crime and where Halimi was being held, while he was being held. And not one of them called the police. Not one of them felt moved to make a call that could save the life of a Jew.

After the fact, the media in France were happy to publish articles by the torturers’ defense lawyers insisting, “Only people motivated by ‘political reasons’ would try to sell the opinion that anti-Semitism is eating away at French society.”

[W]hen Halimi, and six years later when the three children and the rabbi massacred at Otzar Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse, were brought to Israel for burial, the media reported their decision in a negative way hinting that it was evidence of the basic disloyalty, or otherness of the Jews of France.

We made the same point about Netanyahu’s insistence on coming to France for the public memorial and march for the victims. Remember, their families had asked that they be buried in Israel. It was only proper that he (even if only symbolically) accompany their bodies to their ancestral home. And he should be praised, not scourged, for offering a home to living French Jews, not just dead ones.

Glick looks at the last nine years of France’s relations with its Jews and sees the same merde, different jour.

[W]hat Halimi’s murder exposed is that anti-Semitism in France is systemic. Muslims are the main perpetrators of violence. And they operate in social environments that are at a minimum indifferent to Jewish suffering and victimization. This violence and indifference is abetted by non-Islamic elites. French authorities minimize the unique threat Jews face. And the media are happy to ignore the issue, or when given the slightest opportunity, to claim that the Jews are responsible for their own victimization.

Indeed, in live reports from the scene of the hostage taking at the kosher supermarket in Paris last week, Weitzmann noted that in the early hours of the attack, French media failed to mention that the hostages were Jews.

This line is a whopper:

When all is said and done, it is their necks on the line while humanity’s conscience is merely troubled.

PS: I wrote yesterday about the flaming a-hole on NPR who ragged on Netanyahu and Israel. One of his points I forgot to mention is that he didn’t think many French Jews would pursue the aliyah suggested by Neyanyahu. His ignorance knows no bounds:

Speaking of aliya is also essential because so far the only thing that has caused French authorities to speak directly against anti-Semitism and take action to defend French Jewry has been the prospect of a mass exodus of their Jews.

The year 2014 saw a 50 percent increase in French aliya. And the Jewish Agency anticipates that that number will double to 15,000 in 2015, with 50,000 more not far behind.

If Jews don’t flee France in 2016, it will be because they’ve already left.

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Meanwhile, in the Muslim World…

While others swooned at the chutzpah of the Israeli Prime Minister inviting Jews from France and the entire world to their ancestral homeland (see below), we thought we’d follow Benjamin Netanyahu’s line of thinking about the practices of radical Islam today.

He cited ISIS:

Two men were hurled from the top of a tower block, two more were crucified in front of a baying crowd and a woman was stoned to death in the latest series of horrific executions by ISIS.

The men were thrown from the roof down to the crowd below in the brutal punishment for being gay.

Down on the ground, two men accused of banditry have been tied to makeshift metal crosses.

Strung up tightly with yellow and green ribbon around their wrists, the men were hanged from the crosses, wincing in agony’

Two masked IS fighters, dressed in khaki military fatigues are photographed standing behind the two crucified men. Upon drawing their pistols, the fighters shoot the two alleged bandits in cold blood. Their motionless bodies remain tied to the metal crosses to the delight of the all male crowd.

Al-Ansari, who appears shabbily dressed in a black robe and a pair of combat boots, is shown shown reading out the crimes against a woman, accused of adultery. The woman is dressed in a full black burqa.

The final two photos show the burqa clad woman being stoned to death by a horde of Islamic State militants, hurling large rocks at the woman.

Lying on the ground surrounded by a pile of rocks, her bright red socks are still visible. An old piece of blue tarpaulin was then used to cover the dead woman’s body as the militants disperse from the horrific scene.

He cited Boko Haram:

An Amnesty International report released Jan. 15 says Boko Haram attacks carried out between Jan. 3 and 7 are “the largest and most destructive yet.”

On Jan. 3, militants began attacking several small towns in northeastern Nigeria. Boko Haram caused extensive damage in the neighbouring border towns of Baga and Doron Baga, leaving over 3,700 homes and buildings damaged or completely destroyed. Satellite images of Doron Baga contained in the report show the scope of the damage.

The number of reported deaths in these attacks vary. An earlier report from Amnesty suggests the death toll reached 2,000 people, while a Nigerian military official reported 150 deaths.

One eyewitness to the attacks told Amnesty that militants shot at people indiscriminately, and also described the killing of a woman in childbirth.

“[Half] of the baby boy is out and she died like this,” the witness said in the report.

He cited Al Qaeda:

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula commander Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi’s 12-minute message declares brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi to be — in the group’s eyes — “heroes” who “were assigned and accepted and fulfilled” a task.

It claims that much of what remains of al Qaeda’s command was somehow involved in choosing the Charlie Hebdo magazine as a target. Several times, it evokes the name of Osama bin Laden, and his successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri — names that, in the current focus on ISIS’ rampage across the Middle East, seem almost to hail from a time of jihad past.

He cited al Nusra:

Al-Qaida’s Syria wing, Nusra Front, shot dead a woman in the northwest of the country after accusing her of adultery, a monitoring group said on Wednesday, saying it showed such execution-style killings were not confined to the militant Islamic State group.

Islamic State, which split from al-Qaida and has seized land in Iraq and Syria, has beheaded and stoned to death Syrian and foreign civilians and combatants for crimes it sees as violating its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said he received a video showing the woman being shot in the head outside Idlib city after being charged with adultery. Before she was killed, she begged to see her children but her killer refused, he added.

He cited al Shabaab:

A Kenyan soldier died and five gunmen were killed in a firefight with suspected al-Shabaab militants in the coastal region of Lamu near the Somali border, the army said.

Three soldiers were injured in the clashes at Basuba, about 470 kilometers (290 miles) southeast of the capital, Nairobi, army spokesman David Obonyo said in a statement posted on the website of Kenya’s defense ministry.

“Kenya troops disrupted a suspected al-Shabaab ambush,” Obonyo said. “Five suspected militants were killed and others escaped with multiple injuries.”

Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda linked Islamist militant group, has carried out a series of attacks in Kenya since the East African nation deployed troops in Somalia in October 2011 to fight the insurgents. In September 2013, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi in which at least 67 people died.

Sneaky little devil that he is, he also included Hamass and Hezbollah (as well he might).

And people are upset that Netanyahu invited Jews to the home that has always been open to them. We may not all be as sick as those French Muslims who kill Jewish shoppers (in Hyper Cacher), Jewish schoolchildren (in Toulouse), and Jewish men (Ilan Halimi), but if we cannot see evil for what it is, and call it so, we are very little better.

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Netanyahu Takes Selfie With Dead French Jews

Not my opinion—farthest from it—but the opinion of National Public Radio.

What prompted the intemperate outburst against the prime minister of the Jewish State? What wouldn’t?

A little background. Local NPR affiliate WBUR produces a national news talk program, On Point, hosted by Tom Ashbrook. Every Friday, they have a round table discussion of the week’s events, with several guest journalists. I knew something was up when the panel consisted of a retired editor of the Atlantic, a CNN correspondent, and Politico’s Michael Hirsh. A Murderer’s Row of modernist media mediocrity. I guess anyone from Fox, News, the WSJ, the Washington Times, etc. had a previous engagement.

The discussion turned to the rally in Paris, and the “controversy” of Netanyahu’s attendance. Hirsh led the way. Hollande didn’t want Netanyahu to attend, he claimed (there is reporting to that effect, if it is to be believed), but Netanyahu ignored the wishes of his hosts. And why wouldn’t he? The Muslim terrorists targeted the kosher shop because of its association with Jews—why shouldn’t the PM of Israel attend a rally in honor of the Jews who died there? How is that even controversial? Mahmoud Abbas was there. Merkel and Cameron were there. Even the African man (presumably) in the hat. An American functionary was there. But not Netanyahu? That’s insane.

But Hirsch was just getting started. He said Netanyahu hijacked the event to make a plea for French Jews to come to Israel. More, he did so not out of concern for their lives, but out of demographic greed. He needs all the Jews can get his hands on.

You may think I’m mischaracterizing Hirsh’s position. Alas, there is no transcript. (Why can a private radio entrepreneur like Rush Limbaugh get his transcripts up within a few hours, and leave them on the web, searchable, indefinitely, but state-run radio can’t be bothered?)

But there was this supportive comment that confirms everything I wrote:

I want to thank Michael Hirsh from Politico for putting Netanyahu’s self serving comments on inviting French Jews to Israel into perspective. It was a breath of fresh air from someone in the press….and must continue.

I feel it is too bad Jack Beatty doesn’f take on this truth weekly coming out of Israel & the Middle East by their Capital Hill and Wall St Zionist apologists.

Why have freedom of speech and the press and public radio if one is intimidated to take on the truth and the real outlaws of our times in Israel… so many Americans are disgusted with today and boycott.

It seems to me they are the root cause of all this Muslim unrest along with their Wall Street and Wash Apologists and want war daily in the Middle East (see their Bomb ,Bomb Iran mentality in an NYT Op-ed and their warning of “next ” to Syria in London Review) instead of doing what is right and awful and getting off Palestinian land with their illegal Jewish settlements, Fascist wall & blockade of Gaza

Dee, whatever s/he is, loves itself some Michael Hirsh. What was “fresh air” to him/her was one of the most sulfurous emissions from the bowels of Hell to which I have ever had the misfortune of being exposed to. I hear Jim Clancy is out at CNN for his nasty and taunting Twitter comments toward Jews. Maybe Politico is hiring.

But I can’t leave it there. Truth must be heard in the end. This is what Netanyahu said in the Great Synagogue of Paris. Take offense if you will:

On this day, all citizens of Israel and Jews around the world stand with France and the French people. I greatly appreciate the determined stance of the President of France, Francois Hollande, and Prime Minister Valls against any expression of anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism and against terror. This stance is important to France and it is important to the world.

I wish to convey my condolences to the families of the journalists and police and all those innocent people who were murdered while realizing their most basic rights: freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of belief, even the freedom not to believe. These are the values on which modern France is built and these are values that are worth fighting for.

Today I marched through the streets of Paris, in one line with leaders from around the world, in order to say that terror must end. It is time that we fight against terror together. And I would like to use this opportunity to salute the French security forces who acted with remarkable bravery, as well as to express my appreciation to the Malian, who is a Muslim, who helped save seven Jews.

My dear brothers and sisters, I came here from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, to share in your pain over the murders of Francois-Michel, Philippe, Yoav and of Yohan, who bravely tried to grab the terrorist’s gun and was fatally wounded. The memory of our four holy brothers will be forever engraved on the hearts of our people.

Our shared enemy is radical Islam, not Islam and not just radicals – radical Islam. This form of Islam has many names: ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, al-Shabab, Hezbollah; but they are all branches from the same poison tree.

Although the various factions of radical Islam are given to local bloody conflicts, including amongst themselves, they all share the same aspiration: To impose a dark tyranny on the world, to return humanity one thousand years to the past. They trample anyone who does not share their path, first and foremost their Muslim brothers, but their greatest hatred is saved for Western culture, that same culture that respects freedom and equal rights – all the things they so despise.

For this reason it is not a coincidence that radical Islam has sought to destroy Israel from the very day it declared its independence: Because Israel is the only Western democracy in the Middle East, because Israel is the only place that is truly safe for Christians, women, minorities, that respects all human rights.

Well, here is another truth: Radical Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because it is an organic part of the West. It rightly views Israel as an island of Western democracy and tolerance in an ocean of fanaticism and violence that it wishes to impose on the Middle East, Europe and the entire world.

Israel is not under attack because of this or that detail of its policies, but rather because of its very existence and nature.

Israel stands with Europe and Europe must stand with Israel. As the civilized world today stands with France against terror, so must it stand with Israel against terror. It is the exact same terror. Those who slaughtered Jews in the synagogue in Jerusalem and those who slaughtered Jews and journalists in Paris belong to the same murderous terrorist movement. They should be condemned in the same measure and they must be fought in the same manner.

Only when the international community fights our shared enemy in a uniform manner will we know that we are on the path to victory. I promise you: Israel will continue to fight against terror. Israel will continue to defend itself and we know that when we defend ourselves, we defend the entire civilized world.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, Jews of France, I would like to say to you what I say to our Jewish brothers and sisters from all countries: You have the full right to live in safety and tranquility as citizens with equal rights wherever you wish, including here in France. But Jews of our time have been blessed with another right, a right that did not exist for previous generations of Jews: The right to join their Jewish brothers and sisters in our historic homeland, the Land of Israel; the right to live in our free country, the one and only Jewish state, the State of Israel; the right to stand tall and proud at the walls of Zion, our eternal capital of Jerusalem.

Any Jew who wishes to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed with open arms and warm and accepting hearts. They will not arrive in a foreign land but rather the land of our forefathers. God willing, they will come and many of you will come to our home. Am Yisrael Chai.

The Obama regime dismisses him as “chickens**t” and “Aspergery”. I find him inspiring—one of the very few leaders in the world today willing to speak the truth, certainly the most moving. Those who are affronted choose to be so. They know very well what they do. I choose never to forgive them.

PS: How could I forget that Netanyahu came to claim the bodies of the four dead Jews for burial in Israel—at the request of the families?! This makes criticism even more obscene, if possible. I’m so disgusted, I could spit.

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Israel’s “Partner” in “Peace”

Really, what is there to say?

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Today, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party posted this photoshopped picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wearing a Nazi uniform.

The Palestinian Authority and Fatah often demonize Israelis and Jews as “Nazis” or “worse than Nazis” and Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Holocaust desecration, denial, and abuse are all components of their ideology.

Last year, the official PA daily referred to Netanyahu as having Nazi genes and imitating Hitler and stated that Israel “enthusiastically imitates everything the Nazis did to them”. During Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which aimed at destroying Hamas’ terror infrastructure and ability to launch rockets at Israel, the PA and Fatah used Holocaust imagery to compare Israeli conduct to Nazism numerous times.

Thusly:

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Peace with these people may not be immoral, but the peace process sure is. When this is how they think and act.

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Disqualified

Again, internal Israeli politics is not my game, but as Rush likes to say, I can read the stitches on a fastball.

Popular former minister Moshe Kahlon, who will be campaigning for the Knesset with a new faction based his previous success dismantling the mobile carriers’ monopoly, decided to step out of his comfort zone and discuss his diplomatic positions on Friday.

The former minister, a rising star in the Likud until he announced a break from politics, presented his position on the difficult diplomatic dilemma faced by every prime minister since 1967. “I am a product of the Likud and my worldview is center, slightly leaning to the right.”

Kahlon presented his faction as the pragmatic alternative. “Real Likud knew how to make peace, how to concede territory, but on the other hand was responsibly conservative. My world view, in general, is core Likud, which truly intends to safeguard the State of Israel.”

BUZZZZZZ!!!!!!

Oh, I’m sorry. That’s the wrong answer. The correct answer was that Likud conceded territory for peace exactly once, and that was Sinai to Egypt over a third of a century ago. Conceding Gaza to Hamass did not yield peace, but rather successive wars and nine straight years of Gazan Arab shelling and border incursions. No Oslo Accord, no Hebron Protocol, no Wye River Memorandum has done [bleep]-all to “safeguard the State of Israel” from the murderous intent of Gazan, Judean, or Samarian Arabs. Kinda surprised you didn’t know that.

But thanks for playing “Who Wants to be a Prime Minister?” Here’s our home version board game for hours of family fun.

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Who Says Obama Never Gets Tough With Our Enemies? [UPDATED]

Russia laughs at us; Iran couldn’t be more contemptuous.

But Israel, boy, they’ll regret the day they crossed Barack Hussein Obama.

The United States is considering taking “harsher action” against Israeli construction efforts in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, reports Thursday said.

According to the report in Ha’aretz, the White House has been discussing taking “active measures” to discourage Israeli construction, instead of just issuing condemnations, as it has done until now.

But commentators on Israel’s right dismissed the story as “political scare tactics” in the wake of upcoming elections in Israel.

The report said that senior American officials asked about the report “did not deny this, but refused to disclose more details.” According to the report, “a discussion on such a sensitive and politically-loaded issue in the White House is extremely irregular and shows to what extent relations between the Obama administration and Netanyahu government have deteriorated.”

According to the report, the White House decided on this new policy after the recent meeting between US President Barack H. Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The meeting occurred as Peace Now announced that Israel had approved the construction of 1,600 homes in Jerusalem’s Givat Hamatos neighborhood, and activists moved into homes in the City of David neighborhood.

The report said that American actions could include abstaining in votes condemning Israel at the UN Security Council, instead of vetoing them, or banning funding of projects in Judea and Samaria.

Consider the timing:

Political commentators on the right in Israel dismissed the Ha’aretz report as “election propaganda.”

The fact the report emerged a day after the Knesset decided on new elections “is more than just mere coincidence,” said one commentator.

“Whether it was the idea of Ha’aretz or a White House functionary, it’s clear that the message here is that Israel will be better off with someone other than Netanyahu leading it. These kinds of stories always ‘happen’ to surface before elections, and nothing ever comes of them.”

May it backfire. May Israelis know that America has their back, even if Obama wants to kick them in the nuts. Proverbial nuts.

UPDATE
As I was saying:

With Israeli elections now scheduled for March 2015, there’s no doubt who the Obama Administration is rooting for: Mr. or Ms. A.B.B.—Anybody But Bibi. But the president and secretary need to be very careful here. We don’t read Israeli politics very well; and we haven’t proven very effective in predicting, let alone orchestrating outcomes. The best advice to an administration that has proven anything but sure footed in the Middle East, particularly in dealing with Israel, is to keep out of Israeli politics.

Like that’s gonna happen:

Like Bush 41 and Shamir, Bill Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu were not exactly soul mates. In June 1996, after their first meeting, Clinton, frustrated by Bibi’s brashness, exploded: “Who’s the fucking superpower here?”

You can see why relations were tense. For the preceding two months, Clinton had done everything he could to tip the election to Shimon Peres, a caretaker prime minister, in the wake of Rabin’s assassination by an Israeli radical in November 1995.

Clinton had persuaded Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to convene a Summit of the Peacemakers in Egypt in an effort to save the peace process and Peres, too, after a series of Hamas terror attacks. When Peres visited Washington, Clinton went out of his way to praise Peres’s leadership and insisted on referring to the upcoming election in a reference that all but said “vote for Peres if you’re serious about peace.”

….

And, still, Netanyahu won.

[I]n December 2000, a month before his term ran out, the president was prepared to fly to Israel to broker an agreement between Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, not least in order to help Barak defeat Ariel Sharon in elections scheduled for February 2001. But the deal foundered and Barak lost.

Now, as the clock ticks down on Israeli elections scheduled for March 2015, will the Obama Administration play internal Israeli politics to try to tip the election against Netanyahu?

Resist the temptation, Barack:

It’s an inconvenient but important reality to acknowledge that of the three U.S.-orchestrated breakthroughs in the Middle East peace process, two of them—the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and the Madrid peace conference—came from hardline Likud prime ministers. The third—the three disengagement agreements following the 1973 war —came courtesy of a very tough Labor prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin.

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Election Time!

Sometimes—not often but sometimes—I envy parliamentary systems:

HOPE

The Likud party is projected to remain the largest party in the Knesset in the 2015 snap elections, according to a survey conducted Tuesday, shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would dissolve his government.

The poll, conducted by Channel 2 and Midgam, indicated that in the elections slated for March 2015, Netanyahu’s Likud party would win 22 seats, up from its from its current 18, followed by Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party with 17 seats, up from its current 12.

The Labor party was predicted to win 13 seats, down from its current 15, and Yisrael Beitenu’s mandates were anticipated to drop to 10 seats, down from its present 13.

Perhaps the poll’s most interesting finding was former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon’s yet-to-be established party that was projected to win 10 seats.

Those four right-leaning parties put a coalition at 59 out of a necessary 61 seats. Even one of the religious parties would give it a solid majority. And leave the leftist weenies out in the cold.

The poll showed a drop in the ultra-Orthodox Shas party’s mandates from 11 down to nine in 2015, while United Torah Judaism was expected to maintain its eight seats.

I follow Israeli politics, but it’s not my strong suit. Still, I can’t help thinking this is good news. Elections are a chore, but if the government can speak more uniformly, it will have been worth it. And Naftali Bennett looks like a fine PM-in-waiting. (As does Moshe Feiglin, in my book.)

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What is Rarer Than a Day in June?

A Temple Mount Jew:

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Likud MK Moshe Feiglin visited the Temple Mount on Sunday, pressing for Jews to be allowed to pray there despite heightened tensions over its status – and despite a call to “tone down” rhetoric on Judaism’s holiest site from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

An AFP photographer said Feiglin visited the compound in Jerusalem Sunday morning, and was met with slurs from Muslims crying “Allahu akbar” (God is greater).

Feiglin visited the Mount following the attempted murder of Temple Mount rights advocate Yehuda Glick on Wednesday.

Not despite Netanyahu’s call to “tone down”—because of it. I’m a big fan of Bibi, but there’s nothing about the status to keep quo:

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) on Sunday joined in calls for Israel to change the status quo by allowing Jews not only to visit the compound but also to pray there.

“Jews must be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. There is enough room for everybody,” he argued.

Netanyahu, who has repeatedly said he has no intention to change the status quo, on Saturday urged MKs to act “responsibly” in the face of mounting tensions.

He recently folded to Jordanian pressure by promising to maintain the discriminatory status quo by which the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust) has forbidden Jewish prayer.

What does the Waqf think it is, the IRS? Houston’s mayor?

Is the Vatican administered by Hindus who forbid prayers by Catholics? Do Buddhists run Mecca, keeping a watchful eye on any Muslim who might even be thinking Allah is anything close to akbar? Is this situation any less insane? No, no, and no, if you’re keeping score.

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Hating on the Hebrew PM

If you want a closer look inside the toxic relationship between Obama and Netanyahu than that provided by Jeffrey Goldberg, you’ll need a colonoscope.

Either way, it’s FOS:

The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit.”

A great word, one I use whenever I can, but not enlightening here. To my understanding (and Urban Dictionary’s), it has two distinct meanings: nonsense, but nonsense more trivial than its bovine cousin; and just plain chicken, as in cowardly.

The Obamagruppenfuhrers mean both:

The relationship between these two administrations— dual guarantors of the putatively “unbreakable” bond between the U.S. and Israel—is now the worst it’s ever been, and it stands to get significantly worse after the November midterm elections. By next year, the Obama administration may actually withdraw diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations, but even before that, both sides are expecting a showdown over Iran, should an agreement be reached about the future of its nuclear program.

Netanyahu has told several people I’ve spoken to in recent days that he has “written off” the Obama administration, and plans to speak directly to Congress and to the American people should an Iran nuclear deal be reached. For their part, Obama administration officials express, in the words of one official, a “red-hot anger” at Netanyahu for pursuing settlement policies on the West Bank, and building policies in Jerusalem, that they believe have fatally undermined Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace process.

Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.) But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickenshit.”

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”

Okay, they’ve made their case; now I’ll make mine.

Sharon would have regretted giving Gaza to Hamass terrorists if he had not had an all-but-fatal stroke shortly after he did so. He certainly would not have allowed their massive militarization to take place unchecked, leading to two wars with Hamass, and their countless rockets and missiles, in less than a decade. His fellow hawk, Yitzak Rabin, would also likely have considered his Oslo accords an abject failure. Begin had Sadat, an Egyptian president, not a Palestinian terrorist. And Sadat got a hell of a deal from Begin, one no other Israeli PM could ever hope to match: Sinai (all 23,500 square miles). Just for promising not to launch another war he would certainly lose (again).

Oh yes, and two of these four characters, Sadat and Rabin, were assassinated for their efforts. Try to keep your wishful thinking out of it, Barack.

I am a serial admirer of Prime Minister Netanyahu—I would swap our nations’ leaders faster than you could say “hand me a five iron”. But I am also open about his faults. Most of those have to do with asking how high when Obama says jump.

Which the Obamagruppenfuhrers acknowledge even as they poke needles into his effigy:

I ran this notion by another senior official who deals with the Israel file regularly. This official agreed that Netanyahu is a “chickenshit” on matters related to the comatose peace process, but added that he’s also a “coward” on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat. The official said the Obama administration no longer believes that Netanyahu would launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to keep the regime in Tehran from building an atomic arsenal. “It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”

So, when he doesn’t do what you want, he’s a chicken[bleep]; and when he does do what you want (as above), he’s also a chicken[bleep].

Doesn’t that qualify as unadulterated bull[bleep]? It has to.

But then, this is their point of view, not mine. Certainly not Netanyahu’s.

Theirs and the author’s:

It is the Netanyahu government that appears to be disconnected from reality. Jerusalem is on the verge of exploding into a third Palestinian uprising. It is true that Jews have a moral right to live anywhere they want in Jerusalem, their holiest city. It is also true that a mature government understands that not all rights have to be exercised simultaneously.

Kind of Goldberg, presumably Jewish, to grant Jews the liberty to live (or not) in Jerusalem. Thousands of years late, but better late than never.

There’s so much more I could say, but the point is clear. This means war.

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Speaking Truth to Power

More like speaking truth to vain, ignorant posing (which isn’t as pithy):

“As Prime Minister of Israel, I do not understand the criticism – Arabs in Jerusalem buy apartments and no one bothers them or rules them out. By the same token, I’m not going to say to Jews not to buy in Jerusalem, including in Silwan – we cannot have discrimination – this approach is unacceptable to me.

“It is the right of Jews to buy an apartment in Jerusalem – I stand firm by my decision, there will not be a situation where Jews will not be able to buy an apartment in Jerusalem,” the prime minister reiterated.

I’m sure Bibi was diplomatic when speaking to Barack:

Israeli public radio quoted Netanyahu as telling Obama in talks in Washington Wednesday to “study the facts and details before making statements” about the building plan.

“It’s worth learning the information properly before deciding to take a position like that,” he said of the statement.

In a parallel universe, there is a world which celebrates the return of Jews to their ancestral homeland. That we lived to see it, that a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital existed, would be considered a miracle in that world.

We’re stuck with this one. At least, for every Obama there is a Netanyahu.

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