Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category
CBS: The hopes for Palestinian statehood received a one-two punch at the
United Nations on Wednesday with President Barack Obama saying no to statehood without direct negotiations and the French president proposing a time table to restart the talks, giving the Israelis and Palestinians one year to reach an agreement.
“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now,” President Obama said.
Obama said in public what he is also saying in private — that a Palestinian state can only be achieved by the Israelis and Palestinians going to the bargaining table and tackling the hard questions that face them. But he stopped short of directly calling on the Palestinians to drop their plan to seek statehood recognition from the UN Security Council.
Palestinian Ambassasor to U.S. pledges that the new Palestinian state will be “Jew-free.”
DAILY CALLER: During a breakfast briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Tuesday, Palestinian Ambassador to the United States Maen Rashid Areikat reiterated his call to create a Jew-free Palestinian state.“Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future,” he said when asked by The Daily Caller if he could imagine a Jew being elected mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in a future independent Palestinian state. “But after the experience of 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”
Last year, Areikat made a similar statement during an interview with Tablet magazine. Asked whether it would be neccessary to transfer and remove “every Jew” from a future Palestinian state, Areikat responded “absolutely.”
“I’m not saying to transfer every Jew, I’m saying transfer Jews who, after an agreement with Israel, fall under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state,” he said then. “I think this is a very necessary step, before we can allow the two states to somehow develop their separate national identities, and then maybe open up the doors for all kinds of cultural, social, political, economic exchanges, that freedom of movement of both citizens of Israelis and Palestinians from one area to another. You know you have to think of the day after.”
Here’s what Glenn Beck says about this whole fiasco
BARACK OBAMA SPECH TO UN: “And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine,” President Obama said at the UN.
“That is the truth. Each side has legitimate aspirations – and that is what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in each other’s shoes. Each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging.”
Here’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Barry Soetoro in their early twenties (Courtesy Lucianne.com)
Netanyahu schools Obama on why his decision to side with terrorist org Hamas against America’s friend Israel is completely insane
Conservatives could learn a few things from Netanyahu on how to confront Obama effectively.
NEW YORK TIMES: When President Obama met with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, in the Oval Office on Friday, this photo caught our eye. The two men have had a sometimes rocky relationship, (see today’s story by Helene Cooper) but they exchanged cordial words on Friday. This picture was snapped as Mr. Obama listened, almost frozen, during long remarks by Mr. Netanyahu, in which the Israeli leader pushed back against the framework for a peace deal that Mr. Obama outlined in a speech Thursday at the State Department. It made us wonder: What is Mr. Obama thinking?
PRIME MIN. NETANYAHU:
Thank you, Mr. President.
Well, Mr. President — and first, I want to thank you and the first lady for the gracious hospitality that you’ve shown me, my wife and our entire delegation. We have an enduring bond of friendship between our two countries. And I appreciate the opportunity to have this meeting with you after your important speech yesterday.
We share your hope and your vision for the spread of democracy in the Middle East. I appreciate the fact that you reaffirmed once again now and in our conversation, and in actual deed, the commitment to Israel’s security. We value your efforts to advance the peace process.
This is something that we want to have accomplished. Israel wants peace. I want peace. What we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure. And I think that the — we both agree that a peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality, and that the only — the only peace that will endure is one that is based on reality, on unshakable facts.
I think for there to be peace, the Palestinians will have to accept some basic realities. The first is that while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible, because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. Remember that before 1967, Israel was all of 9 miles wide — half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive from them.
So we can’t go back to those indefensible lines, and we’re going to have to have a long-term military presence along the Jordan.
I discussed this with the president. I think that we understand that Israel has certain security requirements that will have to come into place in any deal that we make.
The second is — echoes something the president just said, and that is that Israel cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas. Hamas, as the president said, is a terrorist organization, committed to Israel’s destruction. It’s fired thousands of rockets on our cities, on our children. It’s recently fired an antitank rocket at a — at a yellow school bus, killing a 16-year-old boy.
And Hamas has just attacked you, Mr. President, and the United States for ridding the world of Bin Laden. So Israel obviously cannot be asked to negotiate with a government that is backed by the Palestinian version of Al Qaeda.
I think President Abbas has a simple choice. He has to decide if he negotiates or keeps his pact with Hamas, or makes peace with Israel. And I — I can only express what I said to you just now: that I hope he makes the choice, the right choice, of choosing peace with Israel.
But a third reality is that the Palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved in the context of a Palestinian state but certainly not in the borders of Israel. The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refugee problems, Palestinian refugee problem and Jewish refugees, roughly the same number, who were expelled from Arab lands. Now tiny Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees.
Now, 63 years later, the Palestinians come to us and they say to Israel: accept the grandchildren, really, and the great-grandchildren of these refugees, thereby wiping out Israel’s future as a Jewish state.
So that’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly, it’s not going to happen.
The Palestinian refugee problem has to be resolved. It can be resolved. And it will be resolved if the Palestinians choose to do so in Palestinian state. That’s a real possibility. But it’s not going to be resolved within the Jewish state.
The president and I discussed all of these issues, and I think we may have differences here and there, but I think there is an overall direction that we wish to work together to pursue a real, genuine peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors, a peace that is defensible.
Mr. President, you are the — you are the leader of a great people, the American people. And I am the leader of a much smaller people. The –
PRESIDENT OBAMA: A great people.
PRIME MIN. NETANYAHU: It’s a great people too. It’s the ancient nation of Israel. And you know, we’ve been around for almost 4,000 years. We have experienced struggle and suffering like no other people. We’ve gone through expulsions and pogroms and massacres and the murder of millions.
But I can say that even at the dearth of — even at the nadir of the valley of death, we never lost hope and we never lost our dream of re-establishing a sovereign state in our ancient homeland, the land of Israel. And now it falls on my shoulders as the prime minister of Israel at a time of extraordinary instability and uncertainty in the Middle East to work with you to fashion a peace that will ensure Israel’s security and will not jeopardize its survival.
I take this responsibility with pride but with great humility, because, as I told you in our conversation, we don’t have a lot of margin for error and because, Mr. President, history will not give the Jewish people another chance.
So, in the coming days and weeks and months, I intend to work with you to seek a peace that will address our security concerns, seek a genuine recognition that we wish from our Palestinian neighbors and give a better future for Israel and for the entire region. And I thank you for the opportunity to exchange our views and to work together for this common end.
Thank you, Mr. President.
How will America’s other allies interpret Obama’s betrayal of Israel?
In Obama’s world, America’s enemies are rewarded, friends punished.
ANDREW MCCARTHY-NATIONAL REVIEW:Would that the president of the United States were as worried about Arizona’s border as he is about “Palestine’s.”
There was less fanfare about this latest Obama oration on the future of the Middle East, staged at Foggy Bottom, than there was about his 2009 Cairo speech. It was, however, every bit as delusional, and twice as treacherous.
As for the delusional, “Arab Spring” devotees are thrilled that the president has morphed into his predecessor on the Democracy Project — the enterprise in which future generations of American taxpayers go deeper into hock as our tapped-out government borrows more Chinese billions in order to stimulate the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the few shovel-ready projects President Obama has managed to find (and as a union, the Brothers make the SEIU look like the Jaycees).
Obama fails to isolate Israel
JONATHAN TOBIN-COMMENTARY: President Obama and his staff thought they were being very clever by throwing in the declaration that the 1967 borders were the baseline for future Middle East peace talks into his speech on the Arab Spring protests on the eve of a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They calculated Netanyahu would have no choice but to accept this last-minute slap across the face from his country’s only ally. And if he did talk back, they figured he would find himself isolated without the backing of Israel’s allies in Congress and with most of the American media lined up solidly against him.
But Obama appears to have misread the situation. Netanyahu’s strong reply rightly declaring that the 1967 borders were indefensible may have infuriated the White House, but, contrary to their plan, not everybody is jeering his defiance.
The Washington Post editorial page took the president to school on Friday for injecting a counter-productive irritant into Middle East policy. As the Post wrote:
Mr. Obama’s decision to confront [Netanyahu] with a formal U.S. embrace of the idea, with only a few hours’ warning, ensured a blowup. Israeli bad feeling was exacerbated by Mr. Obama’s failure to repeat past U.S. positions — in particular, an explicit stance against the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.
Mr. Obama should have learned from his past diplomatic failures — including his attempt to force a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank — that initiating a conflict with Israel will thwart rather than advance peace negotiations. He may also be giving short shrift to what Mr. Netanyahu called “some basic realities.” The president appears to assume that Mr. Abbas is open to a peace deal despite growing evidence to the contrary.
The defection of a major editorial page such as that of the Post is a blow to the idea that Israel and Netanyahu have been isolated by Obama’s strategy.
We knew from Obama’s radical past that he would do everything in his power to destroy Israel
STANLEY KURTZ-NATIONAL REVIEW: Does President Obama’s radical past tell us anything significant about his stance on Israel today? Perhaps more important, do the radical alliances of Obama’s Chicago days raise a warning flag about what the president’s position on Israel may be in 2013, should he safely secure reelection? Many will deny it, but I believe Obama’s radical history speaks volumes about the past, present, and likely future course of his policy on Israel.
The Los Angeles Times has long refused to release a videotape in its possession of a farewell dinner, attended by Obama, for scholar and Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi. Obama spoke warmly of his friendship for Khalidi at that event. Unfortunately, the continuing mystery of that video tape has obscured the rather remarkable article that the LA Times did publish about the dinner — and about Obama’s broader views on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In light of the controversy over Obama’s remarks on Israel in his address yesterday on the Middle East, it is worth revisiting that 2008 article from the LA Times.
FLASHBACK: Benjamin Netanyahu in 2006 tells it like it is . . .
ASSOCIATED PRESS: President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.
In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.
Netanyahu rejects withdrawal to ‘indefensible’ 1967 borders
THE REPUBLIC: Israel’s prime minister on Thursday gave a cool reception to President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy speech, warning a withdrawal from the West Bank wold leave Israel vulnerable to attack and setting up what could be a tense meeting at the White House.
In his speech, Obama endorsed the Palestinian position on the borders of their future state, saying it should be based on Israel’s lines before the 1967 Mideast war. Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the fighting, and the Palestinians claim those areas for their state.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas planned to convene a meeting with senior officials as soon as possible to decide on the next steps, said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Knesset Member: Obama is the new Arafat
JERUSALEM POST: “Barack Hussein Obama adopted the staged plan for Israel’s destruction of Yasser Arafat, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister,” said Likud MK Danny Danon. “All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967 borders without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: To tell Obama forget about it.”
National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari also slammed Obama’s speech, calling it “a landmine with pretty wrapping.”
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, who as a minister close to Netanyahu must be more diplomatic, complained on Channel 2 that according to Obama’s approach, the Palestinians would receive their demands on borders before negotiations begin.
“Once they have everything from the start, they have no reason to make any concessions,”Erdan said.
But opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Obama’s plan was clearly in Israel’s interests, while the diplomatic stalemate that she believes was brought on by Netanyahu is not.
“On his visit, Netanyahu must display the leadership necessary now to create the conditions necessary to restart negotiations with those who are ready to end the conflict,” Livni said. “Only a real Israeli initiative with content that can receive American and international support can be an answer to the current dangers and opportunities.”
REUTERS: The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Monday condemned the killing by U.S. forces of Osama bin Laden and mourned him as an “Arab holy warrior.”
“We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood,” Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, told reporters.
Though he noted doctrinal differences between bin Laden’s al Qaeda and Hamas, Haniyeh said: “We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.”
BEN SAYS: This should remove any doubt about anything productive coming from Israel attempting to negotiate a peaceful resolution with Hamas. If Palestine were to become a state, bordering Israel, that country would then become a permanent staging ground for an al Qaeda-style terrorist organization (government) to launch never-ending attacks on Israel. We (and Israel) should turn our intent to destroying Hamas, not negotiating with Hamas. It’s time we do to Hamas’s leadership what we’re doing to al Qaeda’s leadership.
YNET NEWS: “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder,” wrote British historian Arnold Toynbee in the middle of the 20th Century. At this time it appears that Western civilization no longer has the strength, desire and willingness to stand up to its external enemies and especially to face liberal leftist elements within it that do everything in their power to render it powerless.
And so, it took NATO a week to issue the “brave” statement that it will not interfere in the Libyan carnage, it took nine days for the president of the American superpower to condemn the massacre in the country, and the UN secretary general needed 10 days to call for a Security Council session in order to mull “far-reaching” steps such as sanctions against the Libyan regime. This is more or less the amazing effort that the West, with its great military might, was able to produce in the face of a nutty leader and a military that is no match for even a tiny part of NATO’s force in Europe.
TURTLE BAY: The U.S. informed Arab governments Tuesday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal.
But the Palestinians rejected the American offer following a meeting late Wednesday of Arab representatives and said it is planning to press for a vote on its resolution on Friday, according to officials familar with the issue. The decision to reject the American offer raised the prospect that the Obama adminstration will cast its first ever veto in the U.N. Security Council.
Still, the U.S. offer signaled a renewed willingness to seek a way out of the current impasse, even if it requires breaking with Israel and joining others in the council in sending a strong message to its key ally to stop its construction of new settlements. U.S. officials were not available for comment, but two Security Council diplomats confirmed the proposal.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: President Barack Obama’s response to the crisis in Egypt is drawing fierce criticism in Israel, where many view the U.S. leader as a political naif whose pressure on a stalwart ally to hand over power is liable to backfire.
Critics – including senior Israeli officials who have shied from saying so publicly – say Obama is repeating the same mistakes of predecessors whose calls for human rights and democracy in the Middle East have often backfired by bringing anti-West regimes to power.
Israeli officials, while refraining from open criticism of Obama, have made no secret of their view that shunning Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and pushing for swift elections in Egypt could bring unintended results.
“I don’t think the Americans understand yet the disaster they have pushed the Middle East into,” said lawmaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who until recently was a Cabinet minister and who is a longtime friend of Mubarak.
HAARETZ: Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as “the president who lost Iran,” which during his term went from being a major strategic ally of the United States to being the revolutionary Islamic Republic. Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who “lost” Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled.
The superficial circumstances are similar. In both cases, a United States in financial crisis and after failed wars loses global influence under a leftist president whose good intentions are interpreted abroad as expressions of weakness. The results are reflected in the fall of regimes that were dependent on their relationship with Washington for survival, or in a change in their orientation, as with Ankara.
America’s general weakness clearly affects its friends. But unlike Carter, who preached human rights even when it hurt allies, Obama sat on the fence and exercised caution. He neither embraced despised leaders nor evangelized for political freedom, for fear of undermining stability.
YNET NEWS: A fundamental change of government in Egypt may lead to a “revolution in Israel’s security doctrine,” a defense official told Ynet Friday night, as protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s rule continued to intensify.
The security official made it clear that Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt constitutes an important strategic asset, “which enables the IDF to focus on other theaters.” The defense source said that the IDF would have to dedicate major resources in order to devote any attention to the Egyptian front as well.