Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Braggy Chuck Todd Gets the Bibi/Obama Treatment

During their joint press conference this afternoon in Jerusalem, President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mocked NBC’s Chuck Todd for asking too many questions.

"People Should Get To Know Pres Obama The Way I've Gotten To Know Him'

"Looks like it takes a second term as president and a 3rd term as Prime minister to get things fixed," Prime Minister Netanyahu candidly ended the press conference with President Obama, after a full 3 hour meeting at the PM's residence ion Jerusalem.

Netanyahu and Obama looked like BFF. They complimented, embraced and listened to each other. The tone changes the music. We mnay be experiencing with our own eyes the unfolding of a new intimate relationship between Netanyahu and Obama. The statements at the press conference couldn't of been more embracing to each other. Netanyahu referred to Obama as the most Pro-Israel president, while Obama touched Netanyahu by mentioning his brother Yoni, wife Sarah and referring to him as 'Bibi.'

Obama In PM's Guestbook: US-Israel Cooperation Strong, Thanks To Netanyahu.

President Barack Obama signed in at the Prime Minister's guest book before his meeting with the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

"It is a great honor to reaffirm the extraordinary bond between our two countries, " Obama wrote. "By every measure, from security to our economy, our cooperation has never been greater, and that in part is because of the strong commitment of Prime Minister Netanyahu. May our bound continue to grow on behalf of people and prosperity for all people."

Prime Minister Netanyahu's son, Yair Netanyahu, embraced Obama over his looks. "You look very handsome," He said. Obama responded with "Thank You."

Obama Jokes About Bibi's Obsessive Red-Lines In Off-The-Cuff Conversation.

As he arrived in Israel, Obama was told to "follow the red lines" - coordinator referring to the red lines in which Obama and Netanyahu had walk across to the Iron Dome Battery, following at the welcome ceremony at Ben Gurion airport. "Bibi is always talking about red lines," Obama joked. "This is all a psychological ploy." he added. in which Bibi responded: "It was minutely planned."

Obama was also somewhat candid about the first lady, Michelle Obama. "My wife, Michelle, teases me mercilessly. She says whenever she travels with me it's embarrassing." 

In the video footage, Bibi is also seen shyly following Obama in removing his jacket, while walking over to the iron dome battery that was placed at the airport.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Anti-Zionist Yerushalmites Reach Out To Obama For Redemption

Posters hung all over in Jerusalem on Thursday by Anti-Zionist Yerushalmites welcoming "Barack Hussein Obama - His Excellency" to Israel. In the poster, the Eda Hacharedit are calling for a welcome rally as Obama visits Israel, in which they intend to ask the President to redeem Orthodox Jewry from the hands of the Zionist Regime.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Winners And Losers List of Israel's 33rd Coalition Government

It is hard to define definite winners and losers with the final formation of a coalition government, following the surprising election results on January 22. The prominent winners left some place to be called losers, and the seem-like-losers are also in some sort winners.

Let's start with Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu deserves the title of a winner and a loser combined. If called by the TIME magazine last year 'King Bibi', it is now fair to say the 'King is Naked' - since Lapid managed to strip him from his power, leaving him as a weak Prime Minister in term of policy making and public image, with a turmoil left at home in his party. Hence, if you look at the big picture, Netanyahu is now entering his 3rd term as Prime Minister and is on course of becoming Israel's longest serving Prime minister if the gov't remains stable for its entire term.

After 40 Days of 'Shvitzing' Netanyahu Forms a Colaition Gov't w/o Haredim

What seemed to be the most obvious option as soon as the election results were announced, has now become reality: Netanyahu has managed to form a coalition government that includes - Likud Beitenu, Tzipi Livni's Hatnu'a, The Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid headed by Yair Lapid.

The disputes and demands have all been resolved and put aside as Likud managed to form days before the deadline a government that will reflect the will of the people - voters on Jan. 22. As much as Netanyahu is concerned he is now in his 3rd term as Prime minister, and on course to become Israel's longest serving Prime Minister ever.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stalemate: 'Lapid Obsessed About Becoming Foreign Minister'

Haredim are out, Bennett is in, but Yair Lapid is not yet satisfied. The leader that railed about Israel's middle class situation and who promised to bring the money back home - to the hardworking Israeli society, is now holding back from signing a coalition deal with the Likud for one particular reason: The Foreign Ministry.

While his partner Naftali Bennett is already eager to join the government, Lapid's Yesh Atid canceled, earlier on Wednesday, the coalition meeting with Likud-Beytenu representatives amid what were initially reported as objections to what it sees as an excessive number of ministers planned for the next government.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In First Major Speech, Senator Mark Kirk Delivers Resounding Message To the Ayatollahs

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is listed as a keynote speaker Monday night at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Gala dinner Monday evening. Instead, Senator Kirk who has recently returned to the Senate following an absence of almost a year after suffering a stroke, delivered a simple but resounding one line speech, which brought down the house. 

"I have got one message to the dictators in Iran: I am baacck," said Senator Kirk, before leaving the stage to the applause of the 13,000 pro-Israel activists and attendees.

Cantor Rebukes Obama at AIPAC Gala: Lead On Iran and Support Israel

Eric Cantor, the highest ranking Jewish legislator used the opportunity onstage at the AIPAC conference Monday night, to give voice to recent Republican criticism of President Obama's policy on Israel.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Biden Assures AIPAC: Security of Israel Is Our Naked Self-Interest

Vice President Joe Biden didn't say anything new that was not known until now of the Obama administration, at the AIPAC's annual conference. hence, amidst the security challenges ahead and the start of a second term for the Obama administration, the Vice President felt eager to tout the administration's achievements in terms of assisting Israel with its defense shield, and reassuring the pro Israel crowd that Israel has his and the President's back.

In Satellite Speech, Bibi Admits Shellacking by Bennett/Lapid

PM Netanyahu could of used a forceful speech before the 13,000 attendees at the annual AIPAC convention in DC to boost his standing among the Israeli public. Nothing is equivalent to a rousing crowd applauding every word coming out of your mouth, especially when reiterating Israel's right to defend itself by herself is best when given in English on US soil.

Unfortunately, Netanyahu could not attend this year's conference due to the stalemate in forming a stable coalition at his will. Instead, Netanyahu appeared on satellite, following a well received speech by Vice President Joe Biden.

Poll: 39% Of American Voters Say Obama Not Supportive Enough of Israel

Ahead of President Obama's highly anticipated visit to Israel this month, a new poll conducted by The Hill show a majority of American voters are not convinced that the president is supportive enough of Israel, and that he needs to do more to prove he's pro Israel in general.

Barak: All Options Must Remain on the Table As a Meaningful Threat

Addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee'annual conference in DC as the highest ranking Israeli official this year, outgoing Defense Minister Ehud barak echoed Netanyahu in voicing doubt that diplomacy would stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, thus calling for a credible military threat 

"Therefore, all options must remain on the table," he told AIPAC attendees Sunday evening. "We expect all those who say it to mean it. We mean it." 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Reporting Live From AIPAC 2013 - Live Blog

US Israel Relationship Celebrated At Iron Dome Tribute Luncheon In DC

Several hundred Jewish leaders from across the U.S. offered their gratitude to members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives for their staunch support of the U.S.-Israel relationship, on on Wednesday.

Seventeen members of congress and Israeli ambassador Michael Oren were among those who gathered in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building for the Iron Dome Tribute Luncheon. The event also honored the memory of  the late Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye, who was instrumental in securing funding for the Iron Dome and was known as a staunch ally of the State of Israel throughout his political career.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Netanyahu Exploring Unity Gov't Without Bennet and Lapid

The chances are not high, but every day that Naftali Bennett insists not giving up his strengthened alliance with Yair Lapid, the chances are that Netanyahu will not fold and will rather seek to form a perfect unity government with Labor.

The alliance between Bennett and Lapid can not be dismantled, so they will both remain out of the next government, an official close to the coalition talks is quoted by Yoav Yitzhak.

Ya'alon Denounces Bennett's Strangling of Netanyahu Forming Broad Coalition

Vice Premier, and favorite to become next Defense minister, denounced Staurday night Naftali Bennett'sd attempt to force netanayhu leaving the Haredim out of the coalition. Such a move would force Netanyahu to form a less broader coalition, or seek alliances with the parties on the left.

“Equality in the burden [of national service] is what unites Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi against the haredim? That sounds totally strange,” Ya’alon told Dana Weiss on Israel's Channel 2 'Meet the Press' program. “They have a treaty that does not reflect their basic interests.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Panels Poll: 3/4 Israelis Think Obama is Either "Pro-Palestinian" or Merely "Neutral".

Ahead of President Obama's highly anticipated Israel visit, only 14% of Israelis believe that Obama deserves to be called 'pro-Israel', a drop of 7 points since September 2012, according to a new Panels poll. This is Obama's lowest score on an Israeli survey since May 2011, writes Shmuel Rozner, based on his Israeli Opinion on Obama tracker. Three out of four Israelis view Obama as "pro-Palestinian" (29%) or merely "neutral" (a whopping 44%).  

Monday, February 11, 2013

SNL Skit Mocks Republican Support of Israel During Hagel Hearing

In an unaired skit cut from its Saturday night broadcast, NBC’s comedy show Saturday Night Live took aim at the full-throated support for Israel expressed by some Republican senators during the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Chuck Hagel.


The skit begins with a parodied South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham quoting a 1998 statement by Hagel that “the United States will always have an extremely close relationship with the state of Israel, but that’s not to say that in every single instance our interests and those of Israel will be identical.”  

Lapid in Debut Knesset Speech: 'This Isn't Democracy, This Is Anarchy.'

Yair Lapid's debut speech in the Knesset Plenum as a public leader sounded more like a state of the union, but the State of the union ain't so great, accrding to MK Yair Lapid, "there is a crisis of statesmanship." 

Citing recent event that shook up the society, such as Women segregation, Settler violence, Lapid said of the current State of Israel: "This isn't democracy, this is anarchy, rule of minority over majority."

Netanyahu , Bennett Meet for 2 Hour 'Straightforward' Meeting

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi Chairman MK Naftali Bennett held their first meeting after a five year break up. The meeting, at the Prime minister's office in Tel Aviv,  lasted two hours.

Bennett refused to comment on the meeting and said only that he hopes the reporters and the entire nation have an excellent day. The Prime Minister's Office said that the meeting was "straightforward" and that the two discussed "all of the subjects on the agenda," and agreed to continue their talks in coming days.

'Americans See Netanyahu as the Churchill of Our Day'

“I hope [Obama] will reassure the people of Israel that there is absolutely no way that America will stand by and let Iran develop a nuclear weapon. He needs to say that loudly, clearly and without equivocation,” former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee told The Times of Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.“It needs to be an absolute line in the sand so that there is no ambiguity and that there’s no doubt on the part of the Iranian government that there is a line that cannot be crossed.” 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

SHOCK!! Leading Rightist Website Describes Haaretz as 'A Generally Anti-Israeli Newspaper'

Really? Since when does a newspaper or a news site become anti-Israel, just due to the fact that it doesn't represent or agree to your political views?

Israel National News, originally Arutz 7, followed up with a report in Haaretz about Israel's National security Adviser, Yaakov Amidror's comments that "it is impossible to explain the subject of construction in the settlements" to supporters of Israel in the international community. As if Haaretz was just launched last night, INN describes Haaretz (without even bothering to post a link to the report): "Haaretz (pronounced huh-aah-retz), a generally anti-Israeli newspaper published in Israel."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In First Post-Election Prime Time Speech, Netanyahu Calls For Assemblance

New Knesset. New Faces. New Hopes. Same Politics.

Two weeks after the January 22 elections, the 120 members, 48 of them are new to the plenum, of Israel’s 19th Knesset were sworn in on Tuesday afternoon. The ceremony featured three songs by Singer Koby Aflalo, speeches by President Shimon Peres and Knesset veteran member, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, who will serve as the temporary Knesset Speaker until a new government is sworn in, and the 120 Knesset members taking oath of office by swearing to uphold the laws of the State of Israel. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

VIDEO: Israel Owes Ed Koch a Great Debt of Gratitude

Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, speaks at the late Mayor's funeral at Temple Emanu-El:

Netanyahu Changed FB Profile picture to TV Impersonator

To mark "doppelgänger" week on Facebook (Doppelgänger week is celebrated in the first week of February), Netanyahu has joined the plethora of Facebook users and replaced his image with that of a famous lookalike – in his case Mariano Idelman, a member of the Israeli satirical show Wonderful Country (Eretz Nehedret) whose impression of the prime minister as a bumbling and clumsy fool has won over Israeli audiences. via Jpost

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Netanyahu-Lapid Alliance: Where it All Began

The picture above was taken in 2006 at the home of Hanoch Daum, an Israeli journalist and writer, who celebrated his birthday with the presence of two distinguished guests: Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and TV anchor and journalist Yair Lapid.

"At the end of a long night, at 2:30 in the morning, I sat in my chair and I felt some hope," writes Hanoch Daum at the start of his article in Yediot's 7 days magazine. "At that point, the thought that came to my mind was completely disengaged from reality: Benjamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid will work one day together, and even handle it well... In my living room that long night something in the free atmosphere made me see that  these two have much in common. Much more on what they agree on than what to argue about," he writes.

VIDEO: Yair Lapid Celebrates Victory With 'A Little Help from My Friends'

Celebrating his party's victory in Netzer Sereni, a kibbutz in central Israel, Yair Lapid thanked campaign workers and thousand of supporters who helped Yesh Atid become the second-largest party in Israel.

“We won,” he shouted happily as the crowd cheered him on, Times of Israel reported.

During the event, Lapid took to the stage to play guitar and sing several songs, including The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from my Friends.” 

President Peres Tasks Netanyahu to Form New Gov't

President Shimon Peres formally called on Netanyahu to assemble a new coalition government following the January 22 general election, accepting the recommendations of 82 Knesset members.

"The task would be completed quickly, President Peres said. "The State of Israel needs political and economic stability in order to make the proper decisions regarding these issues, which are part of our daily existence. The public expects the government to be formed quickly so that it can roll up its sleeves and make an earnest effort on the many serious, urgent challenges ahead of us."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Yair Lapid: The Arab-Israeli Conflict is Irrelevant in Daily Life

In a joint interview with his parents Tommy and Shulamit to 'Der Spiegel'  in 2008, Yair Lapid added his two cents to the Arab-Israeli conflcit and the threats Israel faces:
"Israel is a long way from facing a threat to its very existence. We are too strong, both economically and militarily, for that. If anything threatens Israel, it is this form of paranoid thought that makes us think: "Oh God, they're going to kill us in two seconds! What should we do?"....
..."Eleven Israeli civilians were killed in terrorist attacks since the beginning of the year. More people die in car accidents in Israel on a single weekend. It seems more dangerous than it is. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the biggest problem, but small problems shape the daily lives of Israelis. Unless there happens to be a war going on, the Arab-Israeli conflict is irrelevant in daily life."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

UPDATED: Does Yair Lapid's Diplomatic Principles Look More or Less like Netanyahu's ?

Yair Lapid, who may become Israel's next foreign minister, states in his party's platform that no new settlements will be built during negotiations with the Palestinians, but that settlement growth will be allowed within the needs of the population, which bring Noam Sheizaf to argue that Lapid ain't the left's hope following his stunning victory last Tuesday.

Hint? Netanyahu: Security Threats Not on Hold During Formation of New Gov't

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Cabinet Sunday that regional security threats are not “on hold” as he works to form the next government coalition.

“In the perspective of the almost 75 years that have passed since the Holocaust, what has not changed is the desire to annihilate the Jews,” Netanyahu noted at the start of the cabinet meeting marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. "Holocaust-denial is being spread by one of the world's major countries, not by a group or by individual countries or by marginal elements, but by Iran which, today, from the UN or any other platform, is the leader of Holocaust-denial while preparing for what they deem to be another Holocaust – the destruction of the state of the Jews. They are not halting their relentless and systematic race to achieve a nuclear weapons capability in order to realize this intention. We do not make light of these threats and we will prevent them. This is our primary mission as a government and as a people," Netanyahu asserted.

MK Elect Dov Lipman Giving up US Citizenship with Hard Feelings

In the last 24 hours, Newly elected MK on Yesh Atid's party list, Dov Lipman told The Jerusalem Post he had done “19 interviews, including NPR, BBC Iran, the Knesset channel" and an assortment of other domestic and foreign media.

Maryland native Lipman, who will serve as the first US born Knesset Member since 1984,  said giving up his American citizenship is one of the hardest things he has ever done,  adding that just as the issue of helping small towns is important to him, so is being a voice for the Anglo community.

His main expected role in the party is to be a liaison to the haredi community in negotiations over serving in the IDF and national service.