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Tag Archives: Israel

Obama: No Iranian Nuclear Weapon “on my Watch”

Whoa whoa whoa whoa waydasecond.

What’s going on here? The Israelis have picked up on something President Obama said in his interview with Tom Friedman, which appeared Saturday in the New York Times.

It appears the goal posts might have been moved a little bit, turning a 50-yard field goal try into an extra point kick.

“I’ve been very clear that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch, and I think they should understand that we mean it,” Obama told Friedman.

On my watch? Uhh, I thought the goal was to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon on ANYONE’S watch.

Well, Obama possibly has prevented Iran from getting the bomb during the next two years. But as Obama himself said, probably accidentally,  “What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.”

By then, Obama will be on the golf course EVERY DAY and President Chelsea Clinton will be dealing with it.

Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you while we were having a nice little discussion about Iranian nuclear weapons.

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations – talk about thankless jobs – Dan Gillerman expressed urgent alarm:

Mr. President, this is not about your watch. This is about the Iranian clock, which is racing towards a nuclear device . . . this is about the life of our children and our grandchildren as well as your grandchildren. So if you don’t care what happens in 20 months, when you leave the White House, we do . . . I think the way that the president is trying to appease Iran is very similar to the appeasement of Hitler.

Gillerman also took strong exception to the White House insult of Prime Minister Netanyahu, done with a tweet mocking Netanyahu’s attempt to delineate the Iranian threat with a drawing of a bomb.

Strong words here from someone who served for years as a spokesman for Israel to the international community.

The Dangerous, Erroneous Assumption Guiding Obama’s Mideast Policy

President Obama, like most liberals, is under the unfortunate and rather self-indulgent misimpression that the rest of the world is just like us.

That’s why Obama and his friends have a hard time being American exceptionalists. That’s why they trust, but aren’t really serious about verify, and to the extent they are, they blithely assume that someone’s going to let them in to verify in the first place. That’s why they don’t see anything wrong with subsuming the country within horde after horde of illegal immigration. Because ultimately, we’re all the same deep down inside, aren’t we?

But are populations that seek to murder other populations the same as us, even, ya know, underneath it all? I sure hope not.

During his press conference this week with Afghan President Ghani, Obama offered his latest glimpse into the attitude the underlies his hope for partnership with the Iranians and the moral equivalence he attaches to the two sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

But I am required to evaluate honestly how we manage Israeli-Palestinian relations over the next several years.  Because up until this point, the premise has been, both under Republican and Democratic administrations, that as different as it was, as challenging as it was, the possibility of two states living side by side in peace and security could marginalize more extreme elements, bring together folks at the center and with some common sense, and we could resolve what has been a vexing issue and one that is ultimately a threat to Israel as well.

The presupposes that “folks at the center” among the Palestinians have goodwill and “some common sense.” But in reality, these folks have some very disconcerting views.

According to a just-released poll of Palestinians by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, sixty eight percent support the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the current security blockade imposed by Israel is not lifted. The blockade was established as a protective measure after the Palestinians voted Hamas, a terrorist organization devoted to the destruction of Israel, into the government and then Hamas seized full control of Gaza.

Launching rockets. On the heads of children.

Obama abbas
Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Half of Palestinians polled support resumption of an armed Intifada, which mainly involves targeting and killing Israeli civilians.

Seventy four percent favor the “Hamas way” of resisting occupation, and 56 percent favor the transfer of Hamas’ armed approach to the West Bank.

Only half of Palestinians polled support a two-state solution, with the other half presumably hoping to drive Israelis into the sea and reclaim the whole place for the Arabs. AND JUST BECAUSE ONE SUPPORTS A TWO-STATE SOLUTION IN THE SHORT RUN DOESN’T MEAN THE ULTIMATE GOAL ISN’T A SINGLE STATE. It is. Talk to almost any Muslim Arab.

Only 39 percent support recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people in return for an Israeli recognition of Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people.

Most Palestinians do not support negotiations with Israel. Thirty seven percent believe that armed confrontation is the most effective route to statehood, 30 percent support “non-violent resistance,” and just 29 percent back negotiation.

Obama exists in his own world of presumptuous fantasies. The Israelis actually have to live in Israel, surrounded by Palestinians and other hostile Arabs, which is why they elected Netanyahu, despite Obama’s objections.

The GOP Road to the White House Runs Through Israel

I have new piece running at the top of the Reuters opinion section this morning, “The Republican road to the White House runs through Israel.” 

The gist of it is that Israel is going to become a huge issue in the 2016 election and that Republicans will benefit – both against each other and the against the eventual Democratic nominee – from trumpeting their support for the Jewish state. Not so much because it will help them gain Jewish votes – but because it will help them with Christians.

I hope you’ll take a look.

Obama Signals He Will Confront Netanyahu

It was difficult to ascertain exactly what President Obama was trying to say today during his press conference when he addressed the issue of Israeli-Palestinian relations. But as far as I can tell, what’s going on is that the U.S. stance toward Israel is going to become confrontational, and the United States will join other countries in steps that provide some kind of recognition of a Palestinian state, whether the Israelis like it or not.

What gives me this impression is, first of all, Obama’s repeated “assurances” of the U.S. commitment to protect Israel. Such assurances aren’t needed unless something that suggests less U.S. commitment to Israel is about to happen.

But more to the point, Obama said that even Netanyahu’s walk-back of his campaign statement against a Palestinian state – Netanyahu subsequently said a two-state solution could occur if conditions like Palestinian recognition of Israel are met – shows that Netanyahu is not committed to a Palestinian state, and further peace talks are useless.

Obama said:

(Netanyahu’s) conditions were such that they would be impossible to meet anytime soon.  So even if you accepted, I think, the corrective of Prime Minister Netanyahu in subsequent days, there still does not appear to be a prospect of a meaningful framework established that would lead to a Palestinian state even if there were a whole range of conditions and security requirements that might be phased in over a long period of time — which was always the presumption . . .

What we can’t do is pretend that there’s a possibility of something that’s not there.  And we can’t continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen at least in the next several years . . .

We believe that two states is the best path forward for Israel’s security, for Palestinian aspirations, and for regional stability.  That’s our view, and that continues to be our view.  And Prime Minister Netanyahu has a different approach.  And so this can’t be reduced to a matter of somehow let’s all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.”

So, fine, suspend negotiations. But here’s the new Obama twist: Instead of a policy of benign neglect and support for Israel’s right to makes its own policies, Obama is about to do what no president has done, namely, start taking the side of the Arabs.

Since talking is finished, he will begin pressuring Israel. And then, if the Palestinians resort to violence to augment the pressure, he will, in typical Obama fashion, blame others for the consequences of his policies. He’ll say the Israelis have been intransigent, even though Netanyahu has reiterated his commitment to a Palestinian state.

He’s going to start turning the screws. And Israel will be administered a brutal dose of hope and change.

McDonough: “An Occupation that has Lasted 50 Years Must End”

I’m beginning to wonder if President Obama is going to provoke another Intifada.

What has happened is clear. Secretary of State Kerry tried to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize – and who knows, a second for Obama? – by negotiating a “peace” agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Now that this didn’t work, and with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu firmly ensconced under the skin of Obama, the administration has decided to ratchet up the pressure and force Israel to accept what it couldn’t get through voluntary negotiation. To this end, the United States will abandon its support for Israel in certain international fora, increasing worldwide pressure on the Israelis to accept a Palestinian state.

And Obama will have support from many American Jews, who are traumatized at the criticism by their allies on the left of Israel’s lack of “social justice” and are aghast that their Israeli cousins voted overwhelmingly for right wingers. The divide between Jews in Israel and the United States is outlined in this piece by Dennis Prager.

Just look at this video. Here is White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough receiving wild applause during remarks Monday from the leftist Jewish group “J Street,” a rapturous, standing ovation for a statement that could have been made by the leader of Hamas:

An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end, and the Palestinian people must have there right and live in, and govern themselves in their own sovereign state.

This is frightening. I hope those screaming their approval will plan some travel to Israel once ISIS or the equivalent takes over the Palestinian “sovereign state” and explosives begin raining down on the heads of Israelis.

And think of how this was phrased. “An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years.” As if Israel were an evil, colonial force rather than a nation trying to preserve some kind of buffer for itself between existence and doom.

With the White House now siding with Israel’s enemies, one has to wonder if the Palestinians, enthralled and emboldened by their new White House backing, will calculate that it would benefit them to add to the pressure with a little of their vintage terrorism. What’s more, the violence could provoke an Israeli response that would further antagonize the world, and Obama.

The White House is playing with fire. All Israel has is America. And now, with America about to deliver to the Iranians a nuclear weapon and hoping to hand the Palestinians a state, Israel is in mortal jeopardy.

Obama Calls to Give Bibi Hell

Well, President Obama finally called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Thursday evening to “congratulate” him on his election victory, but it wasn’t your typical congratulatory call. It was congratulations, Obama style.

It’s a little like congratulating someone on their wedding by saying, I hope you get divorced soon.

During the call, according to the New York Times, Obama threatened to change – presumably not in a good way – the U.S. relationship with Israel:

In a striking indication of how bitter tensions remain between the two, Mr. Obama told Mr. Netanyahu directly that the United States would have to “re-assess our options” after the prime minister’s “new positions and comments” on the two-state solution, according to a White House official who spoke without authorization to detail the private conversation.

According to reports, Obama also brought up Netanyahu’s election day warning that left wing organizations were busing Arab voters to the polls, employing the same rhetoric Obama aides have used suggesting the statement was “cynical” – i.e., racist.

Oh, and then there was the congratulations.

What Netanyahu said about Arab voters being bused to the polls is a fact. No one argues with it. What they criticize is his motivation for saying it.

Of course, statements of uncomfortable facts these days are often adjudged by the liberal elite as racist, intolerant, sexist, whatever. No matter that they are facts.

Here’s what Netanyahu said:

The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are going en masse to the polls. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them on buses.

What I don’t understand is, how are we to know that Netanyahu intended this to energize his – by implication of the criticism – racist voters? Everyone knows that Arabs were voting against him. Could Netanyahu’s statement not also have been an attempt to clearly delineate the threat to Likud?

It was the left that was actually targeting the Arabs.

If tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish delicatessen owners opposed Likud, and the Left was offering them free, quality pastrami if they go to the polls, wouldn’t it be natural for Netanyahu to warn Likud voters that delicatessen owners were being induced to vote?

What is never mentioned is that Netanyahu actually did soon try to clarify his message. He said:

What’s wrong is not that Arab citizens are voting, but that massive funds from abroad from left-wing NGOs and foreign governments are bringing them en masse to the polls in an organized way, thus twisting the true will of all Israeli citizens who are voting, for the good of the Left.

But there was no deterring the thought police at this point, who not only want to dictate your thoughts, but who think they can deduce them as well.

One of the policemen gave Netanyahu a call last night. And he’ll be writing tickets for the next two years.

 

White House to Bibi: You Can’t Take it Back

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today declined to accept Israeli Prime Minister Netayahu’s reversal today of his earlier rejection – which had been made during the final moments of a campaign – of a two state solution, saying the White House “reevaluation” of its stance toward Israel would go forward.

Why? I’ll tell you why. Because the White House has wanted to do this for a long time, and Netanyahu’s statement rejecting a Palestinian state was the perfect pretext for moving ahead.

Under repeated questioning, Earnest’s only hint of flexibility was to say the U.S. would monitor Netanyahu’s future statements.

Earnest spoke during the daily White House briefing:

What is apparent is that in the context of the campaign and while he was the sitting Prime Minister of Israel, he walked back from commitments that Israel had previously made to a two-state solution.

So it is, as we mentioned yesterday, cause for the United States to evaluate what our path is forward, given the Prime Minister’s comments. And so we’ll have to sort of see what sort of policy and priorities the Prime Minister chooses, but we certainly are in a position to evaluate our approach to these issues, given that the Prime Minister essentially backed away from commitments that Israel had previously made to this effort.

This despite Netanyahu’s clear statement that he want a two-state solution, albeit with some reasonable caveats, according to NBC News.

“I don’t want a one-state solution,” he told NBC News in an interview. “I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution.”

But he cautioned that “circumstances have to change” for that to happen. He said that the Palestinian leader refuses to recognize Israel and has made a pact with Hamas calling for Israel’s destruction.

“And every territory that is vacated today in the Middle East is taken up by Islamist forces,” he said. “We want that to change so we can realize a vision of real, sustained peace.”

Earnest also specifically suggested that the United States, as part of its “reevaluation,” might change its policy of protecting Israel against hostile resolutions in the UN.

Why Israel Should be Very Worried

Let me tell you three things about President Obama that auger very poorly for Israel. 1. Obama is, at heart, an internationalist. It pains him to make the United States the stumbling block in front of international opinion. Now he feels he is free to join with the consensus of the other internationalists at organizations such asContinue Reading

Obama Aides Won’t Rule Out Lessening Support for Israel

Top Obama administration officials refused Wednesday to rule out a reduction in long-time U.S. support for Israel, including refusing to fend off resolutions at the United Nations hostile toward Israel, according to Politico. The possible – I’d say all-but-certain – change in stance comes in the wake of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reelection and his vowContinue Reading

U.S. To “Reevaluate” Approach to Israeli-Palestian Question

In the wake of an election that saw Israelis return President Obama’s detested foe – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – to power, the White House today said it would “reevaluate” its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Sounds menacing to me. Earnest, who spoke aboard Air Force One as Obama headed to Cleveland, noted that in theContinue Reading

Netanyahu Gets a Congratulatory Call . . . From India’s PM

Now this will be very interesting, to see how the White House handles Netanyahu’s win. It’s their worst nightmare, of course. Not only did the hated Netanyahu cruise to victory, but he did it opposing President Obama’s key Middle East policies: a nuclear deal favorable to Iran and a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians. WhoContinue Reading

Sorry President Obama: Netanyahu Wins Big

UPDATE 10:30 PM ET: LIKUD OPENS UP A BIG LEAD . . . NETANYAHU DELIVERS VICOTRY SPEECH From the Jerusalem Post: The Israeli elections took a dramatic turn in the early morning hours on Wednesday as official tallies from nearly all precincts indicate that Likud has opened up a significant lead over Zionist Union, a farContinue Reading