tagged w/ Binyamin Netanyahu
According to Palestinian medical officials and witnesses, at least 11 people have been injured in an Israeli air strike at an airport in southern Gaza. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Palestinian protester Mohammad Qadus was shot and killed by Israeli troops in Nablus. 17-year-old protester Osaid Qadus was also killed after being shot in the head.According to Palestinian medical officials and witnesses, at least 11 people have been... more
A poll by the daily Yediot Ahronot says that 46 percent of respondents support a construction freeze in East Jerusalem, while the figure from a poll commissioned by Haaretz found support for a freeze at 41 percent.A poll by the daily Yediot Ahronot says that 46 percent of respondents support a... more
What should Israel do to defend herself against Iranian Nuclear weapons?
A long-awaited rebellion against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by Likud MKs began to emerge on Monday when a group of hawks inside his faction sent him a letter urging him to build in Judea and Samaria and not to agree to the formation of a Palestinian state.
MK Tzipi Hotovely initiated the letter a day after Netanyahu told the cabinet that his government had brought about a consensus on the need for two states for two peoples. Channel 2 reported that half of the Likud faction had signed the letter. The signatories include deputy minister Ayoub Kara and Danny Danon, Miri Regev, Tzion Pinyan, Carmel Shama and Yariv Levin.
"We Likud MKs are turning to you due to reports that you would agree to freeze settlement growth temporarily in parts of Judea and Samaria, despite our promise to the voters to continue building in the settlements," the MKs wrote in the letter. "The Likud has always been in favor of natural development in Judea and Samaria, including during the election campaign."A long-awaited rebellion against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by Likud MKs began... more
July 4th in Israel and New York.
Commentators in Israeli papers interpreted US President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world as marking a clear shift in ties between the US and Israel, and possibly the end of a special relationship.
One writer called on the Israeli government to adapt to the new winds blowing from Washington or face a storm, while several said the US president had given the government notice that it would now have to honour commitments made towards reaching peace with the Palestinians.
At least one interpreted this as meaning that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would have to reshape his cabinet.
Several writers referred respectfully to the US leader and saw his words in a positive light, while others were disparaging. One saw him as a sycophant.
Continued at link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8085167.stmCommentators in Israeli papers interpreted US President Barack Obama's address to... more
How sad and racist these Israeli's react to the most genuine reach out by President Obama's trip to Egypt and Saudi Arabia.How sad and racist these Israeli's react to the most genuine reach out by... more
Report Ties Dubious Iran Nuclear Docs to Israel
by Gareth Porter, June 04, 2009
A report on Iran’s nuclear program issued by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month generated news stories publicizing an incendiary charge that U.S. intelligence is underestimating Iran’s progress in designing a "nuclear warhead" before the halt in nuclear weapons-related research in 2003.
That false and misleading charge from an intelligence official of a foreign country, who was not identified but was clearly Israeli, reinforces two of Israel’s key propaganda themes on Iran – that the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is wrong, and that Tehran is poised to build nuclear weapons as soon as possible.
But it also provides new evidence that Israeli intelligence was the source of the collection of intelligence documents which have been used to accuse Iran of hiding nuclear weapons research.
The Committee report, dated May 4, cited unnamed "foreign analysts" as claiming intelligence that Iran ended its nuclear weapons-related work in 2003 because it had mastered the design and tested components of a nuclear weapon and thus didn’t need to work on it further until it had produced enough sufficient material.
That conclusion, which implies that Iran has already decided to build nuclear weapons, contradicts both the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, and current intelligence analysis. The NIE concluded that Iran had ended nuclear weapons-related work in 2003 because of increased international scrutiny, and that it was "less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005."
The report included what appears to be a spectacular revelation from "a senior allied intelligence official" that a collection of intelligence documents supposedly obtained by U.S. intelligence in 2004 from an Iranian laptop computer includes "blueprints for a nuclear warhead."
It quotes the unnamed official as saying that the blueprints "precisely matched" similar blueprints the official’s own agency "had obtained from other sources inside Iran."
No U.S. or IAEA official has ever claimed that the so-called laptop documents included designs for a "nuclear warhead." The detailed list in a May 26, 2008 IAEA report of the contents of what have been called the "alleged studies" – intelligence documents on alleged Iranian nuclear weapons work — made no mention of any such blueprints.
In using the phrase "blueprints for a nuclear warhead," the unnamed official was evidently seeking to conflate blueprints for the reentry vehicle of the Iranian Shehab missile, which were among the alleged Iranian documents, with blueprints for nuclear weapons.
When New York Times reporters William J. Broad and David E. Sanger used the term "nuclear warhead" to refer to a reentry vehicle in a Nov. 13, 2005 story on the intelligence documents on the Iranian nuclear program, it brought sharp criticism from David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security.
"This distinction is not minor," Albright observed, "and Broad should understand the differences between the two objects, particularly when the information does not contain any words such as nuclear or nuclear warhead."
The Senate report does not identify the country for which the analyst in question works, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff refused to respond to questions about the report from IPS, including the reason why the report concealed the identity of the country for which the unidentified "senior allied intelligence official" works.
Reached later in May, the author of the report, Douglas Frantz, told IPS he is under strict instructions not to speak with the news media.
ContinuedReport Ties Dubious Iran Nuclear Docs to Israel
by Gareth Porter, June 04, 2009... more
By Patrick J. Buchanan
On Sept. 20, 2002, as the War Party was beating the drum for preventive war on Iraq, lest we wake up to “a mushroom cloud over an American city,” The Wall Street Journal introduced an eminent voice to confirm that, yes, Saddam was driving straight for an atomic bomb.
“This is a dictator who is … feverishly trying to acquire nuclear weapons,” wrote Bibi Netanyahu, former prime minister of Israel.
“Saddam’s nuclear program has changed. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the size of washing machines that can be hidden throughout the country — and Iraq is a very big country. Even free and unfettered inspections will not uncover these portable manufacturing sites of mass death. …
“(I)f action is not taken now, we will all be threatened by a much greater peril … (for) no gas mask and no vaccine can protect against nuclear weapons.”
This was horse manure of a high grade, as high as that which Richard Perle deposited on the podium of the Foreign Policy Research Institute a year earlier, when he informed a stunned audience that Saddam “is busily at work on a nuclear weapon.”
Perle had it straight from Saddam’s “Bomb Maker,” “a man named Kadir Hamza.” Hamza, said Perle, told him that after the Osirak reactor was destroyed by Israel in 1981, Saddam “began to build uranium enrichment facilities, many facilities, and we built 400 of them, and they’re all over the country. Some of them look like farmhouses, some of them look like classrooms, some of them look like warehouses. You’ll never find them. They don’t turn out much, but every day they turn out a little bit of nuclear materials.”
“So,” Perle warned his riveted audience, “it’s simply a matter of time before he acquires nuclear weapons.”
Washing-machine centrifuges in uranium enrichment facilities disguised as barns and chicken coops! And Americans believed it. And so we were stampeded into war against a nation that did not threaten or attack us, to strip it of weapons it did not even have.
That war has cost 4,500 American dead and 35,000 wounded. It has brought death to perhaps a hundred thousand Iraqis. Four million people have been driven from their homes, 2 million, including half the Christians, into exile. Hundreds of thousands of fatherless Iraqi children are being raised by women widowed by that war.
Undaunted, the War Party has a new war planned for us.
Target: Tehran. And Obama may just have boxed himself in.
In return for Bibi’s willingness to talk to the Palestinians, Obama agreed to a December deadline for progress in talks with Iran. If the talks are not fruitful by then, America will step on the escalator.
“I’ve been very clear that I don’t take any options off the table with respect to Iran,” said the president.
Bibi got what he came for.
By setting a six-month deadline, Obama has given an incentive to Israel, AIPAC, the neocons and even al-Qaida, which wants Shia Iran bombed back to the stone age, to provoke collisions with Iran, until December, then demand that Obama keep his word, suspend talks, impose severe sanctions and start us on the escalator to war.EXCERPTS
By Patrick J. Buchanan
On Sept. 20, 2002, as the War Party was beating... more
A flawed study of ‘rogue' Iran
The Secret War with Iran by Ronen Bergman
Reviewed by Mahan Abedin
The geopolitical rise of Iran and the undoubted successes of its clerical leadership in countering American influence and interests in the Middle East have sparked an intense interest in the institutions and personalities that underpin Iranian success on the international stage.
Specifically, there has been a concerted interest in the study of the Iranian intelligence services, both from academic and journalistic points of view. The Israeli investigative journalist Ronen Bergman's The Secret War with Iran: The 30-year Covert Struggle for Control of a 'Rogue' State falls neatly into the latter category. This politically-charged and ideological title, with its emphasis on
"rogue" state, is a fitting description of the contents of the book. It is often said that a book should not be judged by its cover, but in Bergman's case, the cover sets the stage for the many assumptions and presuppositions that inform his narrative.
Bergman sets out to "situate" a collection of anecdotal evidence and sources (that are not referenced properly) into a meta-narrative that fits neatly into a right-wing Israeli and American view of post-revolutionary Iran. Bergman's work is less a serious study into the covert intelligence wars between Iran and the West than an ideologically-driven exercise to frame Iran and its leadership as a "terrorist" state bent on undermining the international system.
At the center of it all is Israeli security and Bergman's unstated belief that this security (or a right-wing conception of it) should inform the considerations and priorities of the leaders of the Western world. Bergman may be a talented investigative journalist and a credible student of intelligence studies, but he falls into the trap that bedevils Israeli researchers and commentators of all political stripes; namely the simplistic narrative that divides the world between "us" and "them" from the vantage point of Israeli legitimacy and impunity.
First and foremost, Bergman clearly knows very little about Iran, its history, cultures and people. He seems to be inspired by the writings of the sensational (and widely discredited) Iranian journalist Amir Taheri. Indeed, the first two chapters of the book (the Twilight of the Iranian Monarchy and Death to the Infidels) are suffused with the journalistic hyperbole that is the mainstay of Taheri's books on Iran and the Middle East.
More embarrassingly for Bergman he makes costly mistakes. For instance, he identifies the forerunners of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as the "Revolutionary Organization of the Masses of the Islamic Republic"; no such awkward-sounding organization existed and the IRGC itself was formally established in May 1979, a fact that seems to have escaped Bergman's research.
An even costlier mistake is Bergman's description of the SAVAK acronym as the "Royal Organization for Security and Intelligence"; in fact it was the "National Intelligence and Security Organization". These mistakes may be dismissed as minor and insignificant, but given Bergman's role as a serious student of intelligence and security services (he claims to have completed a PhD on Mossad under the tutelage of Cambridge University's Christopher Andrew, the leading scholar on intelligence history) these mistakes cast a shadow of doubt on his knowledge and the thoroughness of his research.EXCERPTS:
A flawed study of ‘rogue' Iran
The Secret War... more
"Obama Calls on World to ‘Stand Up to’ North Korea" read the headline. The United States, Obama said, was determined to protect "the peace and security of the world."
North Korea is a small place. China alone could snuff it out in a few minutes. Yet the president of the U.S. thinks that nothing less than the entire world is a match for North Korea.
We are witnessing the Washington gangsters construct yet another threat like Slobodan Milosevic, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, John Walker Lindh, Yaser Hamdi, José Padilla, Sami al-Arian, Hamas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the hapless detainees demonized by former secretary of defense Rumsfeld as "the 700 most dangerous terrorists on the face of the earth," who were tortured for six years at Gitmo only to be quietly released. Just another mistake, sorry.
The military/security complex that rules America, together with the Israel Lobby and the banksters, needs a long list of dangerous enemies to keep the taxpayers’ money flowing into its coffers.
The Homeland Security lobby is dependent on endless threats to convince Americans that they must forgo civil liberty in order to be safe and secure.
The real question: who is going to stand up to the American and Israeli governments?
Who is going to protect Americans’ and Israelis’ civil liberties, especially those of Israeli dissenters and Israel’s Arab citizens?
Who is going to protect Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans, Lebanese, Iranians, and Syrians from Americans and Israelis?
Not Obama, and not the right-wing brownshirts who today rule Israel.
Obama’s notion that it takes the entire world to stand up to North Korea is mind-boggling, but this mind-boggling idea pales in comparison to Obama’s guarantee that America will protect "the peace and security of the world."
Is this the same America that bombed Serbia, including Chinese diplomatic offices and civilian passenger trains, and pried Kosovo loose from Serbia and gave it to a gang of Muslim drug lords, lending them NATO troops to protect their operation?
Is this the same America that is responsible for approximately 1 million dead Iraqis, leaving orphans and widows everywhere and making refugees out of one-fifth of the Iraqi population?
Is this the same America that blocked the rest of the world from condemning Israel for its murderous attack on Lebanese civilians in 2006 and on Gazans most recently, the same America that has covered up for Israel’s theft of Palestine over the past 60 years, a theft that has produced 4 million Palestinian refugees driven by Israeli violence and terror from their homes and villages?
Is this the same America that is conducting military exercises in former constituent parts of Russia and ringing Russia with missile bases?
Is this the same America that has bombed Afghanistan into rubble with massive civilian casualties?
Is this the same America that has started a horrific new war in Pakistan, a war that in its first few days has produced 1 million refugees?
"The peace and security of the world"? Whose world?
On his return from his consultation with Obama in Washington, the brownshirted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that it was Israel’s responsibility to "eliminate" the "nuclear threat" from Iran.
What nuclear threat? The U.S. intelligence agencies are unanimous in their conclusion that Iran has had no nuclear weapons program since 2003. The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency report that there is no sign of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.
"Obama Calls on World to ‘Stand Up to’ North Korea"... more
Nations define their relationships based on a number of interactions, but when it comes to going to war there should be only one standard: whether a nation’s very existence or a vital national interest at stake. Nothing else justifies the unintended consequences that inevitably result from warfare, and nothing less merits sending one’s sons and daughters to their possible deaths. In this age of nation-building and regime-change, that fundamental principle has been blurred, but it remains as true now as it did when Machiavelli first examined war’s place in the art of statecraft. War opens the gates of hell, releasing a Pandora’s box of evils. It should be the last option, only resorted to when all else fails.
The past eight years have seen several wars that have been unnecessary if judged by the national interest standard. Iraq posed no threat to the United States or to any of its neighbors. Afghanistan, one of the world’s poorest and most backward countries, was a threat to its neighbors and to the world only because it gave shelter to an international terrorist group. That al-Qaeda should have been attacked and removed from Afghan soil would be considered a proportionate and appropriate use of force by most observers, but nobody could have foreseen a completely bungled military operation that actually let the perpetrators of 9/11 go free and move to neighboring Pakistan. There followed a seven-year occupation of Afghanistan in support of an unpopular and corrupt puppet government that has culminated in an imploding security environment that has also spilled over into Pakistan.
The United States has apparently not learned from its mistakes as new President Barack Obama seems dedicated to continuing the occupation of Iraq while waging an expanding war in Af-Pak, as it is now being called. As if that were not enough, Obama is also being drawn somewhat reluctantly into a hot war with Iran, something that neoconservatives and Blue Dog Democrats alike seem to favor. Iran would seem to be an unlikely enemy, with virtually no industrial base and an economy less than 5 percent the size of the U.S. economy. Its military spending amounts to only about 1 percent of the U.S. defense budget. Nevertheless, Obama has repeated the Bush administration mantra that "all options are on the table" regarding Iran. He has stressed his willingness to talk with Tehran, but he has unwisely allowed himself to be locked into a timetable by visiting Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. If the negotiations route does not show solid results by the end of the year, Washington will be committed to moving toward a punishing sanctions regime. Netanyahu wants the U.S. to do his fighting for him against Iran, and he wants to shift the narrative away from his avoidance of negotiations with the Palestinians, so a focus on a short timetable centered on Iran suits him very well.
Obama is clearly uneasy with the prospect of war with Iran. Admittedly, sanctions are not war, but they create an environment where armed conflict is just one small step away. If a resolution moving through Congress is any indication, sanctions could include blocking the import of refined petroleum products. As Iran, a major petroleum exporter, has only limited refining capacity, the country’s economy would grind to a halt, resulting in catastrophic hardship for most of the Iranian people. Many would consider the sanctioning of Iranian energy imports to be an act of war. It would also reopen old wounds and pit the United States against most Europeans, who are rightly wary of yet another war in the Middle East.EXCERPTS:
Nations define their relationships based on a number of interactions, but... more
I don't want to get overconfident, but there were glimmerings of sanity on the subject of Iran from not one, but two leading Israeli politicians this week.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak: "We are not the Jews of Europe. The State of Israel is the strong one here. I don't see anyone annihilating it."
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni: "(T)he connection to the Holocaust... is wrong, both with regards to the Holocaust itself, and also with regards to the correct ethos of our nation, from the perspective of its strength."
What should we make of this? It might be that Barak and Livni were just getting in a dig at their rival, Prime Minister Binyamin ("It's 1938 and Iran is Germany") Netanyahu, but maybe they meant what they were saying. Maybe they really think the balance of power between Iran and Israel is more than a little different from what it was between Nazi Germany and European Jewry. They may even think Iran's leaders actually aren't looking forward to dooming their ancient civilization to nuclear extinction at the hands of Zionists.
Taking Barak and Livni at their word, those are some pretty daring statements to be making in 21st-century Israel. To suggest that we are living through anything but a reprise of the European '30s is considered either fatally naïve or subversive. It's considered our patriotic duty to be scared to death of Iran, and it's our leaders' responsibility to keep themselves and us at the end of our wits. And we're all doing a great job. We've come up with all sorts of doomsday scenarios that don't even require the Iranians to use nuclear weapons against us; they can destroy Israel just by having them, we're convinced.
"THE FIRST-STAGE Iranian goal, in the understanding of Netanyahu and his advisers, is to frighten Israel's most talented citizens into leaving the country," wrote The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg after an interview with the prime minister. Michael Oren, just before being named ambassador to the US, wrote in Commentary that if Iran goes nuclear, "Israel will swiftly find itself in a profoundly unstable nuclear neighborhood prone to violent revolutions and miscalculations leading to war. As former Labor Party minister Efraim Sneh says, under such circumstances, all Israelis who can leave the country will."
What? Where do they get this idea? There are tens of thousands of enemy missiles pointed at Israel at this moment; the Iranians, the Syrians and who knows which other Muslim countries have chemical weapons and maybe biological weapons as well - and is any Israeli running away?
Did any Americans flee the US during the Red Scare? Did any Reds flee Russia? Has India become depopulated in the decade since Pakistan got The Bomb? Are the Pakistanis emigrating en masse in fear of nuclear-armed India?
What is this craziness? Israelis are going to leave the country if Iran builds nuclear weapons? Actually, they might, if people keep telling them that Hitler's back and this time he's got nukes and he's going to turn the country into one big Auschwitz. With that sort of message dripping into our brains day after day, maybe this place really would empty out if Iran got nukes.
MORE LIKELY, of course, this brainwashing by popular demand will cause us to attack Iran - unless Barack Obama stops us, which I think he will. But then who knows? If you take Netanyahu at his word - a dicey proposition, I know - he's going to do whatever's necessary to keep The Bomb out of Iran's hands, no matter what price he or Israel has to pay. What is Obama, what is America, what is anything when you're convinced your country is on the brink of destruction?
And again, destruction wouldn't have to come from falling Iranian nukes - according to leading-edge opinion around here, Iran's mere possession of nuclear weapons would cause not only mass emigration but a flight of foreign capital, too. The economy would dry up!EXCERPTS:
I don't want to get overconfident, but there were glimmerings of... more
There is no viable military option for dealing the Iranian nuclear threat, and efforts by the Israeli government and its supporters to link that threat to progress in peace with the Palestinians and Syria are "nonsense" and an obstacle to the Arab-Israeli and international cooperation essential to changing Iranian behavior.
That's the conclusion of Keith Weissman, the Iran expert formerly at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), speaking publicly for the first time since the government dropped espionage charges against him and his colleague, Steve Rosen, earlier this month.
There's no assurance an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities - even if all of them could be located - would be anything more than a temporary setback, Weissman told me. Instead, a military strike would unify Iranians behind an unpopular regime, ignite a wave of retaliation that would leave thousands dead from Teheran to Tel Aviv, block oil exports from the Persian Gulf and probably necessitate a ground war, he said.
"The only viable solution is dialogue. You don't deal with Iran with threats or preaching regime change," said Weissman, who has lived in Iran, knows Farsi (as well as Arabic, Turkish and French) and wrote his doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago on Iranian history. That's where the Bush administration went wrong, in his view.
"President Bush's demand that Iran halt all nuclear enrichment before we would talk with the regime was an excuse not to talk at all," Weissman said. "And the administration's preaching of regime change only made the Iranians more paranoid and told them there was no real desire to engage them, only demonize them. The thing they fear most is American meddling in their internal politics."
HE SAID PRESIDENT Barack Obama is right to make it clear that regime change is not our goal. "Without that assurance we can't begin any dialogue or hope to be able to do anything about their nuclear program. Without a doubt, talking with Iran will be very difficult and frustrating, but there are no other viable options."
AIPAC has been the driving force on Capitol Hill for a get-tough policy, pushing through Congress a series of sanction bills, and Weissman was the lobby's expert on the topic.
"All along the idea was that sanctions were a bargaining chip to be traded for something tangible," he said. "We never opposed America and Iran talking to each other about these issues. However, the US strategy should have been directed at the supreme leader; he's the guy at the top and the one who makes the important decisions, not politicians like presidents Khatami or Ahmadinejad."
Weissman said Israel's worries about Iran getting a nuclear weapon are understandable, but despite some of the rhetoric coming out of Teheran, the Iranian leaders "are not fanatics and they're not suicidal. They know that Israel could make Iran glow for many years." He was referring to reports that Israel may have 200 or more nuclear weapons as well as the missiles and aircraft for devastating retaliation.
He believes Iran has the know-how to build a nuclear device, but he doubts it's made the final decision to go ahead with it. Iran may be "a few years or more" away from having an actual weapon and the means for accurate delivery.
"However, they would be crazy to test a weapon," he said. "That would essentially unite the world against them. Right now we can't get Russia and China to seriously help us deal with Iran, but if the Iranians tested a weapon, that would change in a flash. I don't think the Iranians are that stupid."
There is no viable military option for dealing the Iranian nuclear threat,... more
The New York Times assigned to the story a campaign-trail reporter, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, whose political perceptions are bland and whose knowledge of Israeli-American relations is an antiseptic zero. At the newspaper of record, a thing like that does not happen by accident. They took the most anxiously awaited meeting with a foreign leader of President Obama's term thus far, and buried it on page 12. The coverage of a major event, which the same newspaper had greeted only the day before by running an oversize attack-Iran op-ed by Jeffrey Goldberg, has officially now shrunk to the scale of a smaller op-ed.
What is more disturbing and far more consequential is that the Times made this meeting into a story about Iran. They read into Obama's careful and measured remarks exactly the hostile intention toward Iran and the explicit deadline for results from his negotiations with Iran that Obama had taken great pains to avoid stating. Obama's relevant remark was this:
My expectation would be that if we can begin discussions soon, shortly after the Iranian elections, we should have a fairly good sense by the end of the year as to whether they are moving in the right direction and whether the parties involved are making progress and that there's a good faith effort to resolve differences. That doesn't mean every issue would be resolved by that point, but it does mean that we'll probably be able to gauge and do a reassessment by the end of the year of this approach.
"Shortly after," "fairly good sense," "the right direction," "good faith effort," "probably," "by the end of the year." This was a language chosen deliberately to cool the fever of Netanyahu and his far-right War Coalition in Israel. But Stolberg, writing for the Times, converts these hedged and vague suggestions into a revelation that Obama for the first time seemed "willing to set even a general timetable for progress in talks with Iran."
In fact, as any reader of the transcript may judge, President Obama sounded a more urgent note about the progress Israel ought to make in yielding what it long has promised to the Palestinian people. Palestine was the proper name that dominated Obama's side of the news conference. In the Times story, by contrast, the word Iran occurs three times before the first mention of "Palestinians." Iran is mentioned twice more before the words West Bank are uttered once.
Regarding the necessity of a Palestinian state, President Obama was explicit:
We have seen progress stalled on this front, and I suggested to the Prime Minister that he has an historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure.
And when Netanyahu said the Israeli attitude toward Palestine would completely depend on the details of progress toward securing Iran against the acquisition of a single nuclear weapon, Obama replied that his view was almost the reverse. In a leader as averse as Barack Obama to the slightest public hint of personal conflict, this was a critical moment in the exchange; how far, a reporter asked Obama, did he assent to the Netanyahu concept of "linkage" -- the idea that first the U.S. must deal with Iran, and a more obliging Israeli approach to Palestine will surely follow. Obama answered:
The New York Times assigned to the story a campaign-trail reporter, Sheryl... more
Mr Netanyahu said Israel was ready to live "side by side" with Palestinians as long as they were ready for regular scraps, the odd slaughter and at least two full scale wars a year. Any agreement also depended on Palestinian acceptance of Israel's right to "kick the shit out of their houses daily", he added.
http://thestupidtimes.blogspot.com/2009/05/netanyahu-agrees-two-war-solution.htmlMr Netanyahu said Israel was ready to live "side by side" with Palestinians... more
Palestinians say that Netanyahu is not serious about restarting negotiations.
Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu address more than 60 ambassadors and over half the US Congress at the AIPAC conference Monday night. As Netanyahu reiterated that he will be a partner for peace for Palestinians, several Palestinian leaders ask what this really means.Palestinians say that Netanyahu is not serious about restarting negotiations.
Agreeing the warm-up was in itself a tough call. Several late night meetings dragged on til dawn as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to budge on using 'Back-2-Back drawing', and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman demanded they play 'Pin the Tail on the Palestinian'. Barak, a leading moderate voice in the government, eventually stepped in and brokered the deal.
http://thestupidtimes.blogspot.com/2009/05/israel-and-palestinians-finally-agree.htmlAgreeing the warm-up was in itself a tough call. Several late night meetings dragged... more
The final installment of Sam Seder interviewing Daniel Levy, a political scientist Senior Fellow at both the New America Foundation and The Century Foundation and expert on U.S./ Israeli policies.
BreakRoomLive with Maron and Seder is LIVE weekdays, 3-4pm from the Air America Break Room.
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The final installment of Sam Seder interviewing Daniel Levy, a... more
So far, the foreign minister post is set to go to Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of Yisrael Beitenu, a party that advocates making all non-Jewish Israeli's wear green stars as they are kicked out of the country. Other posts are set to go to a swathe of other right-wing and special interest parties including Shas, United Torah Judaism, Nation Union, and the brand new Kick Some Sand in That Arab Boy's Soup party.
http://thestupidtimes.blogspot.com/2009/03/netanyahu-given-more-time-to-shaft.htmlSo far, the foreign minister post is set to go to Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of... more