Archive for Benjamin Netanyahu

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:

Untitled

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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Now What, Dumbo?

I’m not certain that’s what Netanyahu said to Obama, but it should have been:

In a phone call with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vents his anger, according to people familiar with the call. It is not clear when the call took place.

Netanyahu told Shapiro the Obama administration was “not to ever second-guess me again” and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to people familiar with the conversation. Netanyahu added that he now “expected” the US and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.

They said Netanyahu made similar points to Kerry, who himself denounced the attack as “outrageous,” saying it was an affront to assurances to respect the ceasefire given to the United States and United Nations, which brokered the truce.

And while we’re on the subject of I told you so:

A television reporter from the Finnish Helsingin Sanomat confirms that Hamas has been firing rockets out of the Al-Shifa Hospital.

The reporter, who is not named in the television segment shot on-site in Gaza, says a rocket was launched “right in the back the parking lot” of the hospital at 2 a.m. between Thursday and Friday.

“Really, it happened right in the area, the sound of it was really loud,” she says, confirming reports that Hamas is committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip by shooting from civilian concentrations, medical centers and other humanitarian institutions.

“It’s true that rockets are launched here from the Gazan side into Israel.”

She said as she sprinted to get out of Gaza before Hamass made a piñata out of her.

What other behavior could one expect from a people who swear they love death more than we love life?

Remember that, Dumbo. You too, Mr. Ed.

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Men of Steel

Finally! Obama and Kerry aren’t taking this act of naked aggression lying down.

They’re talking tough, and prepared to back it up:

According to reports, Obama plans to “forcefully and directly” press Netanyahu to accept major elements of the negotiation framework Secretary of State John Kerry is developing. According to sources, the framework agreement will state that the capital of the Palestinian state will be eastern Jerusalem, and in exchange, there will be Palestinian concessions in other matters, including borders and refugees. There will be no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, according to the reports.

Obama will also press Netanyahu to declare a building freeze in Judea and Samaria, telling him that continued construction would “make it difficult for the U.S. to defend Israel in international forums,” a report on Israel Radio said Monday.

That sounds like a threat, doesn’t it? Netanyahu might need to get his hearing checked:

Before leaving for the U.S. Sunday night, Netanyahu said that there would be no building freeze.

“I will stand steadfast on the State of Israel’s vital interests, especially the security of Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said. “In recent years the State of Israel has been under various pressures. We have rejected them in the face of the unprecedented storm and unrest in the region and are maintaining stability and security. This is what has been and what will be.”

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, who is in the U.S., said that the Prime Minister was prepared for a frank discussion with the President, but that Netanyahu needed to remain steadfast in his defense of Israel. “We cannot outsource our defense to the U.S. or anyone else,” said Bennett. “The only way to peace is through ensuring our security.”

Sounds like Israel has the right men on the job.

PS: What kind of deal does Kerry think he’s offering? The Arabs get half of Jerusalem, territory, and doesn’t have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state—and Israel gets… what? [Bleep] that. I wouldn’t even [bleep] on a deal like that.

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Goofus and Gallant

Goofus ships arms to an inter-Arab (intra-Arab?) civil war.

Gallant opens a hospital to treat people who hate him and his kind:


[It’s mostly in Hebrew and Arabic, but you get the picture.]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited a field hospital on the Golan Heights treating Syria’s wounded as part of a campaign to unveil “the true face of Iran” on Tuesday.

“On the day that the world powers are opening talks in Vienna with Iran it is important for the world to see pictures from this place,” he said. “This place separates the good in the world from the evil in the world.”

The good, he said, was Israel, which “saves lives from the daily slaughter taking place in Syria. This is the true face of Israel.”

The evil, he continued, is Iran, which is arming those carrying out the slaughter. “That is Iran’s true face,” he said. “All the children wounded, to say nothing of those killed, , were harmed as a result of Iran arming, funding, and instructing the Assad regime on the mass slaughter it is carrying out.”

“From here,” Netanyahu continued, “I want to say to the world, with the renewal of the talks, that Iran has not changed its aggressive policies. Iran has not changed its cruel character, Iran continues to support the Assad regime which is slaughtering its citizens. This is the true face of Iran, and the world must not forget that.”

And the true face of the world looks the other way.

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Call Forwarding

Your civilization is very important to us. Please wait on the line until the next cabinet secretary is available. Your wait is approximately… eternity… minutes.

US President Barack Obama has refused to answer phone calls from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “more than once,” according to Kuwaiti news source Al-Jarida.

In a deliberate snub, Netanyahu’s calls have instead been forwarded to US Secretary of State John Kerry.

An American source told Al-Jarida that Jewish American politicians have been keen to fix the situation, which has steadily been deteriorating over the past month, and are attempting to set up a meeting between the two world leaders at the White House.

The news is the latest in a series of public spats between the two nations, whose differences about the handling of a nuclear Iran threaten the traditional US-Israel alliance.

Obama has also reportedly been in the process of lifting the sanctions for over 5 months – without a deal with Iran or express Congressional approval.

The statements follow controversial remarks by Kerry last Wednesday, who told Republican senators who were briefed about recent talks with Iran to “ignore anything the Israelis say” about the issue.

Naturally, such damning news comes with its own denial:

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a flat denial, saying, “The report in Al Jarida is wrong.”

Which then leads to this counter to the denial:

The Kuwaiti paper’s exclusive reports on what’s going on behind the scenes of the Prime Minister’s Office have raised the question of whether Netanyahu’s bureau is intentionally using the paper to release information to which it doesn’t want to be directly linked.

If those are the rules of the game, play on.

We have surmised before that Obama and Kerry are using the ObamaCare fiasco as a smokescreen to carry out this spineless, disgraceful betrayal of Israel. Never let a crisis go to waste is the mantra. If I were to surmise further, I would say that Obama is behind this most of all; he’s just using Kerry’s unbridled ego and measureless stupidity as his battering ram. As long as it doesn’t mess with the hair.

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Oh [Bleep]

How do you really feel, Bibi?

You can see and hear the anger, unless it’s fear, at this administration’s reckless naivete. (Did I make that up—not quite.)

I’m already scouting for a location for the war crimes trial for Obama, Kerry, Susan Rice, Samantha Power et al. I’m thinking Branson, MO, for their ultimate discomfort.

Netanyahu is not laughing:

“I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be because they got everything and paid nothing,” he said, speaking as if a deal had already been done. “They wanted relief of sanctions after years of a grueling sanctions regime, they got that, they are paying nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability,” he said.

“So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal, this is a very bad deal. Israel utterly rejects it,” he said, “Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and the security of its people.”

Meaning…

Whatever the hell you think it means.

PS: As Aggie reported the other day, Saudi Arabia has taken matters into its own hands, having arranged with Pakistan to take delivery of an H-Bomb or three at any time of its choosing. To think that John Kerry’s arrogance once amounted to just having a fire hydrant relocated from the front of his Beacon Hill mansion. Now look what he’s done.

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Amen

I was going to title this post “Damn Straight”, but it seemed inappropriate:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, this evening (Tuesday, 17 September 2013), at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, held an additional meeting of the renewed Tanakh Study Circle. Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau attended the circle, which is named after Sara Netanyahu’s late father, Shmuel Ben-Artzi.

This is the fourth meeting of the Circle, which was renewed in May 2012. The Tanakh Study Circle is a tradition from the days of former prime ministers David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin and is held in cooperation with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

This evening’s session focused on the last weekly portion of the Book of Deuteronomy, 33:1-34:12.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “I would like to open the discussion with Deuteronomy 34:1-6. Moses our Teacher could not enter the Promised Land and we are here in his merit and in the merit of the struggle of our people to be here, the inheritance of our ancestors, and we welcome every moment. It is a very great privilege to read this great book and know that we are realizing what the Almighty commanded our people. The fact that this is our inheritance and we are here, reading these words today, and knowing that we will remain here forever – thus we are fulfilling the precept.”

Any questions?

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