Saturday, October 31, 2009

Clinton hails PM Netanyahu's stance on West Bank settlements: Netanyahu: We are prepared to start Peace talks

(Skynews, Jpost, Haaretz).US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has hailed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's stance on West Bank settlements as 'unprecedented' after meeting the PM in Israel.

She cited Netanyahu's willingness not to start any new settlements in the occupied West Bank as reason enough to head back to the negotiating table.

In a strong show of support for Israel, she said she approved of Netanyahu's decision to issue a moratorium on new construction permits.

"What the prime minister has offered... a restraint on the policy of settlements, which he has just described, no new starts, for example, is unprecedented in the context of prior to negotiations," Clinton said

"It's also the fact that for forty years, Presidents of both parties have questioned the legitimacy of settlements, but I think that where we are right now is to try to get into the negotiations. The Prime Minister will be able to present his government's proposal about what they are doing regarding settlements which I think when fully explained will be seen as being not only unprecedented in response to many of the concerns that have been expressed," Clinton went on to say.

She urged both sides to resume peace talks that were suspended amid the Gaza war at the turn of the year as soon as possible, saying that any outstanding concerns would be resolved during the talks.

'I want to see both sides begin as soon as possible in negotiations,' Clinton said in Jerusalem.

'Where we are right now is to try to get into the negotiation, the prime minister will be able to present his government's proposal about what they are doing regarding settlement which I think, when fully explained, will be seen as being not only unprecedented but in response to many of the concerns being expressed,' she said.

Netanyahu said that Israel was willing to talk with the Palestinians without any conditions.

"We are prepared to start peace talks immediately," he said. "What we should do on the path to peace is to get on it and to get with it."

He said that in the past 16 years the Palestinians had never demanded that Israel freeze settlement activity as a precondition to talks and that their stance now was a change in policy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Defense minister (Or Foreign?) Barak to join PM Netanyahu on US trip

(Ynet).Defense Minister Ehud Barak will join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his trip to Washington next week. The Prime Minister's Office has yet to confirm that Netanyahu will meet with US President Barack Obama or other administration officials, but Barak's addition implies that the visit will have a diplomatic significance.

Both Netanyahu and Barak are expected to meet again with US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell in the coming days. According to sources in Jerusalem, the meeting is aimed at setting the ground for possible diplomatic meetings in Washington, scheduled to take place from November 8 to 10 during the United Jewish Communities' General Assembly.

President Obama is expected to address the UJC on Monday, November 9. Sources in Jerusalem estimated that Obama would meet with Netanyahu, and perhaps also with Barak, but these meetings have yet to be officially confirmed.

Jerusalem officials have estimated that the White House has yet to confirm the meetings in order to pressure Israel to advance the peace process. According to the source, Obama will meet with Netanyahu to discuss the negotiations with the Palestinians and the Iranian nuclear threat.

Y92 st Debate - Alan Dershowitz vs. Dennis Prager: The Left, the Right and Judaism in America

Why are the left and Liberals an abject failure when it comes to support Israel?

Israel envoy to UN: Human Rights Council betrayed its own values

(Haaretz).Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Professor Gabriela Shalev said on Friday at the organization's weekly assembly that the UN Human Rights Council had betrayed the very values and principles it was established to protect.

Shalev spoke after the assembly was issued the Rights Councils' annual activity report, which includes the Goldstone report findings that accuse Israel and the Palestinians of war crimes during the Gaza offensive in December 2008.

Friday's discussion preceded the upcoming deliberation on Wednesday at the UN assembly regarding the report's conclusions.

Shalev accused the council of constant and exclusive discrimination against Israel and said that more than half of the council's meetings have dealt with condemning Israel for one reason or another.

Shalev also said that the council has approved more resolutions critical of Israel than resolutions criticizing any other UN member country.

In regard to the controversial report compiled by the South African former Judge Richard Goldstone, Shalev said that it is a reminder that the UN rights council is dominated and used by countries obsessed with demonizing Israel and its democratic nature.

The ambassador concluded by saying that the basic human rights of thousands of innocent people are violated throughout the world on a daily basis, but the council has and remains silent to their plight.

US envoy Mitchell: Netanyahu wants peace

(Ma'annews).Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu desires peace in the region, according to US President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy, George Michell, who met with the Israeli leader on Friday in Jerusalem.

During their meeting, Mitchell insisted that both he and the Israeli prime minister shared the "common objective of a comprehensive peace in the region," according to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. "As always I look forward to our discussions."

For his part, Netanyahu said he appreciated Mitchell and Obama's efforts, and that he was looking forward to talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday, after which he vowed to "try to re-launch the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible."

Statements by PM Netanyahu and Senator George Mitchell at the Start of their Meeting:

PM Netanyahu: Very good to see you again Senator Mitchell and I look forward to our discussions, and the discussions with Secretary of State, Clinton, to try to re-launch the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible. I also wanted to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the president's ongoing efforts to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear military capability. I think that the proposal that the president made in Geneva to have Iran withdraw its enriched uranium, or a good portion of it, outside Iran is a positive first step in that direction, and I support and appreciate the president's ongoing effort to unite the international community to address the challenge of Iran's attempts to become a nuclear military power.

Senator Mitchell: Mr. Prime Minister thank you very much for your comments. As always I look forward to our discussions to achieve our common objective of a comprehensive peace in the region and I appreciate again your courtesy in seeing me as you often have in the past.

Israel endorses draft Iran atom deal as 'first step' in direction to stop Iran acquiring Nuclear capabilty

(Ynet).Prime Minister Netanyahu offers cautious praise for UN-drafter , US-backed proposal for dealing with Iran's enriched uranium, calling it "a positive first step" toward denying Tehran the means to make nuclear weaponry.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the issue expressly at the start of talks with US President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who does not usually deal with Iran, following more skeptical remarks by Israeli defense officials.

"I also wanted to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the president's ongoing efforts to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear military capability," Netanyahu said at a brief welcome session video-taped by his office.

"I think that the proposal the president made in Geneva, to have Iran withdraw its enriched uranium -- a portion of it -- outside Iran is a positive first step in that direction."

Netanyahu made no immediate mention of Israel's long-standing demand that any deal with Iran end its domestic uranium enrichment, a process than can yield bomb-grade fuel.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Australian Foreign Minister confirms a meeting between Israel and Iran.

Are Obama's nice words met with action? Sen. Hagel (a recent critic to Israel) named to intelligence board

(JTA).US President Obama has named retired Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) to co-chair the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.

Hagel, who will co-chair the board with former Sen. David Boren (D-Oklahoma) was considered a critic of Israel by many pro-Israel activists during his two terms in the Senate, which ended early this year.

He told an Arab-American group in 2007 that his support for Israel was not "automatic," and in an interview for Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller's book said that "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people" on Capitol Hill.

He also was one of a handful of senators who frequently didn't sign AIPAC-backed letters related to Israel and the peace process during his time in the Senate and opposed additional sanctions on Iran.

In a statement released Wednesday, the White House said the board's role is to "provide the president with an independent source of advice on intelligence matters," including the "quality, quantity and adequacy of intelligence activities," the "effectiveness of organization structure, management and personnel" and the performance of all federal agencies involved in intelligence collection or policy.

The intelligence board has no "day-to-day management or operational responsibilities," according to the statement, and is not a full-time position but reserved for "distinguished private citizens."

The chairman of the board during president George W. Bush's first term was another figure often criticized by pro-Israel activists, former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft.

The Republican Jewish Coalition criticized Hagel's appointment as "a matter for serious concern."

"A review of Hagel's record over the years on these issues reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the region and of the nature of the threats to US interests in the region," said RJC executive director Matt Brooks, in a statement.

Channel 10 Poll: Netanyahu Top Choice for 3rd term as Prime Minister

( If elections were held today, most Israelis would prefer Binyamin Netanyahu as prime minister, according to a poll by Channel 10 television and New Wave which was publicized Thursday evening. Netanyahu was favored by 34 percent of those polled, as compared to 24 percent for Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni, eight percent for Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and six percent for Defense Minister Ehud Barak... (Netanyahu's approval is also high).

On the subject of last winter's Operation Cast Lead, 56 percent of those surveyed felt that there was no need for a commission of inquiry, as demanded by the United Nations Human Rights Council, while 29 percent felt there was a need.

In attemp to engage with Israeli public - Obama to tell Rabin memorial: U.S.-Israel alliance is unbreakable

(Haaretz).The alliance between Israel and the United States is unbreakable, U.S. President Barack Obama will tell Israelis at a memorial ceremony for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on Saturday night.

Obama will make the comments in a videotaped message in which he also will pledge that U.S. support for Israel's defense will never be undermined.

The video is another step in the U.S. leader's attempt to speak directly to the Israeli public in light of the very low level of support he has among Israelis.

Obama will also tell Israelis that the U.S. will never give up on its joint goal with Israel to reach a just peace and coexistence between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab world.

PM Netanyahu Addressing the Feast of Tabernacles 2009: Take a Stand - against or for...

At Rabin memorial in Knesset, PM Netanyahu remembers PM Rabin as a Patriot; "We must repeatedly denounce all violence".

(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday remembered the late Yitzhak Rabin as a patriot, as Israel marked 14 years since the assassination of the former prime minister.Netanyahu called Rabin a man who "made declarations he believed in and that he thought were important for the welfare of the state of Israel.

Netanyahu made his remarks at a special session of the Knesset on Thursday to honor the slain prime minister.

"The secret to Rabin's charm, for me, was the fact that he was first and foremost a patriot," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he took the podium. "That fateful night saw a heinous killer point a gun at Rabin's bare back and a patriot taken down by a murderer who fired a bullet at the heart of the nation.

"In every one of the positions he held in life, from the young warrior fighting for the country, to the premiership, he made decisions he thought would be in the public's interest."

"We did not always see eye to eye, but even when we profoundly disagreed I always had the greatest respect for him because I knew that his decisions stemmed from what he believed was best for the country… still, even today, there are some who refuse to accept democratic choices and the preeminence of the law,They are a small minority on the margins of society, but we have already seen the power and damage caused by an individual murderer."

"We must repeatedly denounce all violence and apply all the weight of the law and law enforcement authorities against any attempt to use violence," said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu concluded his address by saying, "We will continue to follow Rabin's path – to do what is best for the people. I pray that when the time comes to make the bigger decisions that lay ahead, we will know to respect each other and the law."

PM Netanyahu at Rabin State memorial ceremony:Rabin was "a symbol of the integrity of Israel's fighters".

The annual service commemorating 14 years since the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was held on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl on Thursday afternoon, attended by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and other dignitaries, MKs and family members.

Opening the ceremony, Peres said that Rabin was "impressive both in uniting the country during times of war, and on the path of peace."

Netanyahu said Rabin was "a symbol of the integrity of Israel's fighters."

He decried political extremism, saying, "We are a nation which remembers, but we're not inclined to remember the details of arguments. What we will engrave in our memories is the uncompromising courage of the argument, the 'I and I alone' approach."

"When people are convinced that only their point of view can save the nation, and that any other opinion will destroy it, they are the source of destruction," he added.

Spain fumes over Netanyahu's request to Italy not to replace UNIFIL chief

(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has secretly asked Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to keep his country in charge of the United Nations force in Lebanon rather than handing control to Spain as planned, causing chagrin in Madrid.

The issue, which has turned into a serious diplomatic incident, was expected to feature prominently in talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Spanish officials this week. It appears that Barak, who left for Spain on Sunday to discuss bilateral diplomatic and security-related ties, needs to provide a solid explanation for Israel's request if he is to avert a full-blown crisis.

In making the request of Italy earlier this month, Netanyahu sided with the Israel Defense Forces' argument that Israel should make an effort to keep Italy's Major General Claudio Graziano in charge of the UN Interim Force in Lebonon for at least another six months beyond the scheduled end of his term in a few weeks. The IDF said that though there was no problem with Spanish command of UNIFIL in general, the situation in Lebanon is very sensitive at this time and replacing the UNIFIL commander now is liable to cause difficulties in coordination and destabilize the situation.

The Foreign Ministry, however, said Israel should not get involved in the planned change in command, so as not to insult the major European countries that take part in UNIFIL - Italy, France and Spain, which are due to decide shortly who will be the next commander - and to avoid unnecessary friction. The ministry also said the issue involved a political struggle among the European countries that revolves around their international reputations and their roles in the Afghanistan war.

A Spanish diplomat questioned Israel's argument, asking in a conversation with Haaretz: "What does a 'sensitive period in Lebanon' mean? When isn't there tension in Lebanon? What kind of argument is this?"

Spanish officials were also angered by the initial concealment of the conversation between Netanyahu and Berlusconi, a lack of coordination between the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry and the wrong messages the Spanish government received.

Netanyahu adopted the IDF perspective, but kept his request discreet. However, it was so discreet that the Foreign Ministry didn't know what was going on. Italy told Spain that the Israelis, along with the Lebanese and the Americans, wanted to extend the Italian command of UNIFIL by six months. But when Spanish officials asked the Foreign Ministry for clarification, they got the wrong information because of the lack of internal Israeli coordination.

UN ambassador Shalev: Challenge facing Israel over Goldstone report has nothing to do with laws of war, just politics

(Jpost).The challenge facing Israel over the Goldstone Report is political and not legal, Israel's ambassador to the UN Gabriella Shalev said on Wednesday.

Shalev was speaking from New York by video conference to participants in a round table discussion in Jerusalem sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute on the challenges to Israel posed by the report and what Israel should do about them.

According to Shalev, some countries are challenging Israel's right to exist as a result of the report.

"We are facing an attack on Israel, our army and our judicial system," she said, adding that Israel must not shy away from the fight or treat it as a lost cause but should participate in every forum and try to prove its case.

"We rely on our friends, the US and other enlightened countries," she said.

US congressman Burton: We must act, or Israel will

(Ynet).Israel may strike Iran should the United States fail to take prompt action to curb Tehran's nuclear program, Rep. Dan Burton said Wednesday.

Speaking at a session of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Burton warned that Iran continues to enrich uranium, adding that Israel will not allow the process to continue. The slower America acts, the more it risks the prospect of seeing a military clash in the Middle East, he said.

Similar sentiments were recently expressed by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who stressed the urgency of reaching an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program in order to lift the risk of a pre-emptive Israeli strike.

"They (the Israelis) will not tolerate an Iranian bomb," the French FM said In an interview with the British Daily Telegraph, published Monday.

Also at the session, Rep. Brad Sherman said that the US will freeze anti-Iranian decisions only after Tehran suspends its nuclear plan.

Meanwhile, Committee Chairman Howard Berman said that while he is not happy to enforce solely American sanctions and endorses President Obama's dialogue efforts, the diplomatic effort will have to show results soon.

Berman added that should dialogue fail, the next option he would favor is tough sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council. The third option will be sanctions imposed outsides the framework of the Security Council, in case Russia or China will express objection in the UN. The least favorable option in his view is sanctions imposed by America only.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Exclusive: PM Yitzchak Rabin Opposed a 2 State Solution and return to '67 border - in last speech before the Knesset

( The Foreign Ministry has released, in honor of the anniversary or the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, copies of several speeches delivered by Rabin. However, his last speech in the Knesset was notably not among them. In that speech, he emphasized his opposition to a Palestinian state, stated that Israel would not return to the pre-1967 borders, and said that “united Jerusalem, which will include both Maaleh Adumim and Givat Ze'ev, [will be] the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty.”

Following is part of rabin's speech:
(MFA, The Knesset-October 5, 1995).Today, the Government presents to the Knesset the "Israeli- Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip." The Government will seek the Knesset's approval and will view the Knesset's decision as a vote of confidence in the Government.

The Jewish people, which has known suffering and pain, has also known how to preserve its faith, its heritage and its tradition during thousands of years of exile, and has realized the dream of generations. We have, with our own eyes, been privileged to see the return to Zion, the return of the children to their borders.

Here, in the land of Israel, we returned and built a nation. Here, in the land of Israel, we established a state. The land of the prophets, which bequeathed to the world the values of morality, law and justice, was, after two thousand years, restored to its lawful owners -- the members of the Jewish people. On its land, we have built an exceptional national home and state.

However, we did not return to an empty land. There were Palestinians here who struggled against us for a hundred wild and bloody years. Many thousands, on both sides, were killed in the battle over the same land, over the same strip of territory, and were joined by the armies of the Arab states. Today, after innumerable wars and bloody incidents, we rule more than two million Palestinians through the IDF, and run their lives by a Civil Administration. This is not a peaceful solution.

We can continue to fight. We can continue to kill -- and continue to be killed. But we can also try to put a stop to this never-ending cycle of blood. We can also give peace a chance.

The Government chose to give peace a chance. The Government chose to do something to achieve it.

Members of Knesset,

The agreement before you is the continuation of the implementation of the agreements which were signed between the Government of Israel and the Palestinians. The first agreement which was brought to you was the Declaration of Principles, which was signed in Washington on 13 September 1993.

The second agreement which was presented to you is called the Cairo Agreement, which was signed in Cairo on 4 May 1994. Both of these agreements were ratified by the Knesset.....

Members of Knesset,

We are striving for a permanent solution to the unending bloody conflict between us and the Palestinians and the Arab states.

In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Israel as a Jewish state, at least 80% of whose citizens will be, and are, Jews.

At the same time, we also promise that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel -- Muslim, Christian, Druze and others -- will enjoy full personal, religious and civil rights, like those of any Israeli citizen. Judaism and racism are diametrically opposed.

We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.

And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:

A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev -- as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.

B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.

C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six Day War.

D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.

Members of Knesset,

This government, with the Labor Party at its center, this party made its positions known through its party platform, which it made known to the public. Even before the elections to the current Knesset, we made clear and we emphasized to the electorate, at every opportunity, that we preferred a Jewish state, even if not on every part of the Land of Israel, to a binational state, which would emerge with the annexation of 2.2 million Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

We had to choose between the whole of the land of Israel, which meant a binational state, and whose population, as of today, would comprise four and a half million Jews, and more than three million Palestinians, who are a separate entity -- religiously, politically, and nationally -- and a state with less territory, but which would be a Jewish state. We chose to be a Jewish state.

We chose a Jewish state because we are convinced that a binational state with millions of Palestinian Arabs will not be able to fulfill the Jewish role of the State of Israel, which is the state of the Jews.

Members of Knesset,

We re-emphasize that the Palestinians were not in the past, and are not today, a threat to the existence of the State of Israel.

Despite this, the primary obstacle today, to implementing the peace process between us and the Palestinians, is the murderous terrorism of the radical Islamic terrorist organizations, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are joined by the rejectionist organizations.

Terrorism wounds civilians and those serving in the IDF, the Police, the Border Police, and the other security forces, without distinguishing between them. It is clear that murderous terrorism has wounded and woundss Israelis' sense of personal security within the area of the state, and Israelis who live in the area of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

The PLO, those in it subject to the authority of its chairman, Arafat, has stopped the terror against us, as they committed themselves in the Declaration of Principles. And yet, other terrorist organizations, continue to attack us, because it is their political aim to murder Israelis, because they are Israelis, through acts of terror, in order to cause the cessation of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Because this is their aim, we have no intention of shirking from the efforts toward peace, even if the acts of terrorism continue to harm us. We, on our side, will make every effort against the terrorists.

We are well aware of the seriousness of terrorist acts, and in all of our considerations on the road to achieving a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are taking the necessary and permissible steps, in accordance with Israeli law, in order to fight it. This terrorism will not achieve its political goal.

We are also repeating our demand that the Palestinian Authority fulfill its obligation, in accordance with the agreements that we have signed with it has signed to be more severe, to step up, and to intensify its actions against the murderers and enemies of peace in the area under its control. We know the Palestinian Authority has taken a series of measures that have foiled attacks, but they can do more, much more, against the terrorist organizations -- the enemies of peace......

Jordanian King Abdullah II Addresses the J Street Conference

Livni: Teheran is toying with the world - The deal doesn't solve the complete halt of uranium enrichment

(Jpost).Kadima leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday morning warned that "Iran is toying with the world," and said the current proposed deal between the West and Teheran may not be sufficient to ensure the Islamic republic will not achieve military nuclear capability.

According to the UN-drafted deal, Iran would ship much of its uranium to Russia and France for further enrichment, setting back the nuclear program and the time frame in which Iran could reach "breakout" capacity.

"Iran is toying with the world. The deal doesn't solve a major issue - the complete halt of uranium enrichment. There's a clear international consensus that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable," Livni said in a statement during a one-day visit in Moscow.

Livni told Israel Radio that in her meetings with Russian officials, she intends to stress the risks posed by the proposed deal.

"The international and Iranian state of mind must be that all the options are on the table if an arrangement that fully prevents Iran from acquiring nuclear arms is not reached," she stressed.

Livni went on to warn that the demands set by the international community must not be eroded. "We are now in the critical point in time - the offer is on the table and the powers have announced they accept the idea, but it is important to prevent erosion," she said.

"The current deal provides a partial solution, as it doesn't prevent Iran from enriching uranium during the negotiations. Obviously, this is not only an Israeli problem, there are Arab and Muslim states that would not accept a nuclear Iran."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Professional Team to Recommend to PM Netanyahu Possible Alternatives for Dealing with Goldstone report

(IMRA).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Tuesday), 27.10.09, instructed a senior professional team to formulate recommendations on possible alternatives regarding the proper way in which the State of Israel needs to deal with the claims that have been directed at it following the Goldstone report.

The members of the team are: Attorney General Meni Mazuz, IDF Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mendelblit, the Foreign Ministry Legal Adviser, the Defense Ministry Legal Adviser and Cabinet Secretary Eyal Gabai, who will coordinate the work of the team. The team will submit its
recommendations within a short time to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman.

Afterwards, to the extent necessary, the recommendations will be submitted for Cabinet approval.

DM Barak: Left hand seeks peace, right hand on trigger

(Ynet).Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday visited the northern border, where he met with some 40,000 teenagers. "When the left hand opens every door in search of peace, the right hand is on the trigger, ready for any possibility," he told them.

The defense minister took part in the last day of the "In the footsteps of fighters" project, which has taken high school students to battle sites and meetings with representatives of the Israel Defense Forces' various corps, who presented them with the options for joining combat service in the sea, air and land.

Addressing the security situation, Barak said, "There are not only friends around us, but also enemies. We are constantly developing in terms of defense, and fighting whenever needed. We have been in a series of wars since the War of Independence to the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead.

"Israel is not hesitating and is doing all it can to make peace, and peace cannot be made in the Middle East if you don’t have the strongest army. As the left door opens every door in search of peace, the right hand is on the trigger, ready for any option at any given moment."

He turned to the youth and said, "There is no liberty for the people without having someone to protect it. Any country seeking life must have the youths' readiness to enlist to the systems supporting the fighting and to the front's units, knowing that there is a danger and that they may lose their lives while defending the land and homeland."

Rocket hits Galilee panhandle

(Ynet).A 107-millimeter Katyusha rocket exploded Tuesday evening in northern Israel. There were no reports of injuries or damage. In response, the Israel Defense Forces fired 15 shells into the area where the rocket was launched from.

A loud explosion was heard in the Galilee panhandle at around 7:20 pm, only several hours after Defense Minister Ehud Barak toured the northern border. No air raid siren was sounded before the blast, as it has been neutralized.

Israeli security sources estimate that the rocket was not fired by Hezbollah, but rather by a small Palestinian organization.

Heads of local authorities in the north praised the IDF's restraint. Avi Krampa, head of the Maale Yosef Regional Council and chairman of the northern confrontation line forum, said that "this firing is troublesome, but we must take into account that we will be forced to face a similar situation from now. Someone may be truing to drag us into a conflict, but I back the way the IDF has chosen to respond, rather than escalate the situation and lead to a harsh response or to a war over every rocket launched at the north.

"This evening's firing incident reminds the Israeli government that the confrontation line in the north exists and that every budget we are fighting for is crucial. The council head forum's members back the IDF, which makes sure to update us on every development on the border from time to time."

Defense Minister Barak said during his visit to the north on Tuesday, "There are not only friends around us, but also enemies. We are constantly developing in terms of defense, and fighting whenever needed. We have been in a series of wars since the War of Independence to the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead.

"Israel is not hesitating and is doing all it can to make peace, and peace cannot be made in the Middle East if you don’t have the strongest army. As the left door opens every door in search of peace, the right hand is on the trigger, ready for any option at any given moment."

Obama aide Gen. Jones: U.S. commitment to Israel is not a slogan - Our unshakeable bound is to ensure that Israel is treated fairly

(Haaretz).U.S. National Security Adviser General James Jones told participants at the J Street conference on Tuesday that the Obama administration believes "without equivocation" that "Israeli security and peace are inseparable."

Addressing delegates to the left-leaning pro-Israel group's conference in Washington, D.C., James declared that the Obama administration was steadfast in its commitment to Israel and was determined to help bring about an end to the conflict in the Middle East.

"Time is not necessarily on our side - the imperative for peace is now, America's commitment to Israel is not just a slogan and not something we signed on easily."

"This commitment for Israel and peace is as strong as ever in the face of the many challenges in the region,If I could advise the President to solve one problem among the many problems - this would be it. This is the epicenter, where we should focus our efforts... Our unshakeable bound with Israel is to ensure that Israel is treated fairly."

Jones told the delegates that while some of the U.S.' goals regarding the Middle East were moving along, there was still much work to be done. Primarily, he said, the sides must agree to resuming peace negotiations without preconditions.

"We made some progress towards the goal we set but we must do much, much more," he said. "It's time to re-launch negotiations without preconditions".

"We cannot forget people of Gaza and humanitarian situation there and the people of Southern Israel," Jones added. The task ahead will not be easy, there will be false starts and setbacks, but we'll get there."

Vice premier Shalom: Egypt's rejection of Lieberman unacceptable

(Ynet).Vice Premier Silvan Shalom tried to find out Tuesday why Egypt is against having Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attend a European-Middle Eastern convention.

Shalom met with Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Yasser Reda and told him, "This rejection is unacceptable to us."

The Egyptian ambassador replied, "At the moment the conditions are not ripe for convening such a conference. They may mature when the talks with the Palestinians begin."

During the meeting, held at Minister Shalom's office, the Egyptian envoy clarified that the reason for the decision to postpone the conference was an attempt to re-coordinate the event's date, in accordance with the re-launching of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

He said Egypt seeks to hold the conference in the presence of heads of state, and perhaps even US President Barack Obama.

Reda told Shalom that Israel should bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, "because there is no other alternative."

Shalom responded, "We are working with the Palestinian in economic and political cooperation. Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Quartet's Mideast envoy Tony Blair will soon inaugurate the Jenin crossing. Unfortunately, I see no desire to cooperate on the Palestinian side."

Never gives Up - Ahmadinejad: 'The Zionist regime is a threat to all nations'

(AP , JPOST)."The Zionist regime is a threat to all nations ... it cannot tolerate the existence of any strong country in the region," said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday, according to Teheran news agency Press TV.

Ahmadinejad spoke after welcoming Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who arrived in Teheran Tuesday for a two-day visit.

Iran's president praised Erdogan's stance over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the Turkish leader's "clear stance toward the Zionist regime has had a positive impact on the world of Islam."

Ahmadinejad lashed out at Israel, which is believed to have nuclear weapons, saying that when an "illegal regime has atomic weapons, it's impossible to block others" from having peaceful nuclear energy.

The Iranian leader was echoing statements voiced by Erdogan in the Guardian on Monday, accusing the five permanent Security Council members of hypocrisy. While these countries put pressure on Iran, which does not have "a weapon," he said, they themselves keep nuclear arsenals for military purposes.

During the Guardian interview, Erdogan also referred to reports saying Israel or other Western countries were planning to carry out what he termed a "crazy" attack against Iran in lieu of sanctions or negotiations.

"On the one hand you say you want global peace, on the other hand you are going to have such a destructive approach to a state which has 10,000 years of history. It is not correct," he was quoted as saying, adding that Ankara was firm in its belief that Teheran's nuclear program was peaceful.

Ahmadinejad reportedly suggested that if Turkey and Iran "reinforce their unity, they will overcome serious threats and make use of opportunities in favor of their own nations."

In related news, Ahmadinejad announced on Tuesday that his country would persist with its nuclear program, despite international concerns.

His remarks were the first since a UN-backed draft was put forth aimed at easing tensions with the West.

Iranian State TV reported later on Tuesday that Teheran opposes shipping its full stockpile of low-enriched uranium at once, and seeks changes to the UN plan.

Acknowledging facts - PA negotiator: Israel painting us as 'untrustworthy bastards'

(Haaretz).The chief Palestinian negotiator lashed out at Israel's stance toward peace talks on Tuesday, after a report that his president, Mahmoud Abbas, had threatened to step down due to the lack of progress in the peace process.

"You're presenting us as 'untrustworthy bastards,' while the fact of the matter is that you're the ones foot-dragging and refusing to end the occupation," Saeb Erekat told Army Radio.

"Netanyahu says he is ready to return to negotiations, but this the same old tune," Erekat added. "Every [Israeli] government that comes along demands that we come to the discussions without preconditions, after we have already succeeded in reaching agreements with previous governments.

Monday, October 26, 2009

IDF chief Ashkenazi in Berlin: 'We'll never underestimate threats'

Israel will not entrust its security to the hands of "strangers" and will do "everything needed" to protect its citizens if war is forced upon it, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi warned on Monday, during a speech in Berlin that contained a veiled reference to Iran.

Ashkenazi spoke mostly in Hebrew at a Holocaust memorial situated on platform 17 of the Grünewald train station, which commemorates the forced deportations of Jews to Nazi concentration camps. He was accompanied by the commander of the Bundeswehr (German Federal Defense Force), Gen. Wolfgang Schneiderhan.

"Today, 64 years after the last train led Jews from this platform to death camps, and 61 years after the Jewish homeland was founded, anti-Semitism refuses to disappear from the world. It changes its face, language, path and justifications, but its aim remains the same. Today, state leaders openly declare their desire to destroy the State of Israel, and deny the right of the Jewish people to national sovereignty.

"The Jewish nation renewed itself in its land, and is committed to its independence and security. The IDF, the protector of the Jewish nation, is not a warmongering military, but a defensive military. We do not relish combat, but, if war is forced upon us, we will do all that is necessary so that Israeli citizens can sit safely in their homes. No one should test our power."

"The cry of our Jewish brothers and sisters who marched into train cars, led, beaten and humiliated, echoes to this day."

"We are obligated never to underestimate those who plot to harm us, never to entrust our security to the hands of strangers, and not to allow anyone to control the future of the Jewish people,".

Switching to English, Ashkenazi said, "In the name of the entire Jewish nation, I'm committed to do our utmost in order to prevent Jewish blood from being spilled once again."

He paid tribute to the close cooperation between the IDF and the German military.

"The very fact that the German chief of the General Staff and the Israeli chief of Staff are standing here together, shoulder to shoulder, 64 years after the Second World War, and the warm cooperation our militaries share, demonstrates our steadfast determination that never again will such atrocities occur," he said.

Aliza Davidovit/A Smear Campaign Against Netanyahu from the Grave--perfect for Halloween

(’s Left-leaning Haaretz could find no better way to celebrate the 14th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's death than to publish 10-year-old letters written by Rabin’s wife Leah in which she called Netanyahu a “nightmare” and a “monstrosity.” And those were just the compliments. How typical of the glossy-eyed Left who believe that peace with Israel’s murderous enemies is attainable, yet find it implausible to reconcile with their fellow Israelis who sit to their “right” --even when that Israeli is a sitting prime minister.

Following the national tragedy of Rabin’s assassination, some believed, including Leah Rabin, that Netanyahu's differences of opinion with her husband were woven into a rhetoric that had instigated the violence that took the prime ministers’ life. Netanyahu served as the scapegoat the Left so desperately needed at the time. Their dreams of an easy peace and of a "Disneyland" in the Middle East were not materializing. After the historic handshake on the White House lawn, which was supposed to end all terror, buses and cafes were still blowing up in the heart of Israel. Arafat, with his Nobel Peace Prize (that hard to come by honor) made fools of Rabin, Peres, Barak, and President Clinton.

It turned out that Netanyahu , their arch enemy, was right all along. What the Left called “instigating rhetoric” was simply a call for reciprocity by Netanyahu who believed in give and take, not just give and give. He cautioned that peace at any price was untenable and said that in the end “you'll pay that price – and you still won't have peace."

It appears the Left has never forgiven Netanyahu for being right or for making a comeback. It is ironic that the left side of the brain is responsible for short term memory, as Israel’s Left appears to have already forgotten what divisiveness has cost the Jewish people. Golda Meir once said there will be peace when the Arabs learn to love their kids more than they hate Israelis. Today it can be said that Jews will have peace when they stop hating each other more than the enemies who want to see them dead. The same applies to the liberal Jews in America who supported Obama, who showed hints early on that he is not a friend to Israel--from the people he associated with to the quick pivot he made in his statements at AIPAC regarding an undivided Jerusalem. Liberal leaning Jews, though I respect their right to differ in opinion, need to stop looking for love instead of respect. Stop pleasing, stop appeasing and start standing up for your God-given birthright and the future of your people and Homeland. In today’s world gays are proud to be gays, and terrorists are proud to be terrorists (no moral equivalence). But Jews, God’s chosen people, a great and productive nation, cower under the cloak of liberalism. Let’s call our own prime minister names and maybe people will like us more and see how open-minded we are. Yes, so open-minded that your brains have fallen out.

To introduce the hateful letter against Netanyahu now, especially in light of the grave state of world affairs, is nothing more than a smear campaign against the prime minister based on long term grudges but short-term memory. Those on the left who have been wrong on just about everything (don’t take my word for it, ask the 1000 Israelis killed in the Second Intifadah, the “peaceful” progeny of Oslo) are jealous that the prime minister is talented, articulate, strong and capable. Every Jew around the world and every Israeli should thank God that Netanyahu is PM now.

Yes, he has made mistakes, but he has learned from them and he has come back as a better person and a better leader. He has earned his place as head of the Knesset by incessantly fighting for the well-being of the Jewish Homeland. If Bibi's opponents have nothing more than a decade-old letter from a deceased yente to hold against him, they'd do better to keep their mouths shut. Perchance Bibi’s Jewish detractors are also part of the Goldstone fan club and prefer to gaze east from the gas chambers than from Mt. Scopus.

The Jewish state is in greater peril now than perhaps it has ever been since its coming into existence. It would serve our people much better to galvanize around the common purpose of survival rather than pulling out old letters or rabbits from hats. Perhaps in the sprit of Halloween they raise the voice of the dead Leah Rabin to haunt the tenure of the current prime minister. I can assure you, he will not be frightened. He has seen Ahmadinejad’s face and it is indeed much scarier. For certain, Netanyahu is shrewd, clever, politically savvy and maybe he’s not even “nice.” But thank God for that, seeing the current crop of “friends” we have in the White House and around the world.

While the Haaretz news site leads today with the story that the Palestinian leader sees no chance of advancing the peace process with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they may also want enumerate the many reasons Netanyahu is such a tough negotiator. Maybe because when peace was possible, with Ehud Barak offering the Palestinians virtually everything they had been demanding including a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over the Temple Mount, a return of approximately 95 percent of the West Bank and all the Gaza strip, and a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees, they reciprocated with suicide bombs. Olmert offered them even more than Barak. Oddly, still no peace was to be found. The Left needs to take a hard look at its agenda and decide if it wants to bury the hatchet--or bury more Jews.

Netanyahu and Opposition leader Livni meet after months of tension and enraged behavior towards the PM

(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with opposition chairwoman Tzipi Livni on Monday, the first such meeting in months.

Livni, who served as foreign minister during the Olmert administration, will visit Moscow on Tuesday at the invite of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The former foreign minister is expected to raise the matter of Iran's nuclear program during her talks with Lavrov. Livni met with Netanyahu to coordinate positions on the issue before departing for Moscow.

The relationship between Livni and Netanyahu has been characterized by tension and antagonism. The prime minister updated Livni on the government's latest position on Iran following the recent agreement reached by Tehran with the International Atomic Energy Agency on uranium enrichment.

In addition, Livni is expected to discuss the Goldstone report during her talks with Lavrov.

The opposition chief will request that the Russians oppose referral of the report, which accuses Israel of war crimes during its military offensive against Hamas last winter in Gaza, to the UN Security Council.

Livni aides said on Monday that her trip to Russia was also coordinated with the current foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

Looking for a way out of a courage Peace! Abbas to Obama: I'll quit, there's no chance for peace with Netanyahu

(Haaretz).Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the White House that he intends to resign his post, Channel 10 reported on Monday.

According to the report, the Palestinian leader told U.S. President Barack Obama that he sees no chance of advancing the peace process with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power.

Channel 10 also reported that Abbas communicated to Obama his disappointment in the White House's "capitulation" to Jerusalem on the issue of West Bank settlement construction.

According to Channel 10, Abbas told Obama that the Palestinian Authority's initial decision to defer a vote on the Goldstone Report at the United Nations Human Rights Council was politically damaging.

In recent days, Abbas has sent a number of blunt, unequivocal messages to the White House, Channel 10 reported. According to information which reached Israeli officials, Abbas told the U.S. president that he will not stand for re-election as Palestinian Authority president given the diplomatic stalemate with Israel.

Israel rebuffs Obama demand to surrender before negotiations

(israeltoday).Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a demand by US President Barack Obama that he commit to a major expulsion of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria prior to a renewal of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

According to Israeli media reports on Wednesday, Obama wanted to organize a major peace summit one month from now based on such an Israeli commitment. Even before the sides had a chance to sit down at the negotiating table, Israel was to surrender to all Arab demands to allow the creation of a Palestinian Arab state on every inch of land they claim.

A report in an Arabic-language newspaper indicated that the Palestinian Authority had informed Obama the peace process would not move forward until Israel was strong-armed into accepting those conditions.

At the same time, visiting US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told Netanyahu that the White House expects more than just "lip service" from Israel regarding restarting the peace process.

Netanyahu has repeatedly stated his willingness to immediately restart talks with the Palestinians. He has issued only one precondition of his own, that the Palestinians finally honor their previous peace commitment to recognize Israel as the national home of the Jews.

Israeli radio persona Dudu Elharar: Ariel Sharon is an evil oppressor

"Ariel Sahron is an oppressor…he deserves the gravest punishment under heaven." These statements were made by musician and radio presenter Dudu Elharar during an interview with a Peace Now activist who pretended to be a documentary filmmaker, as part of the movement's project of exploring the extreme right movement in Israel.

Elharar later told Ynet that he stands by what he said, adding "I was even kind and merciful."

During the interview, which was held in Elharar's home, the radioman said of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, "I so wish he would suffer. (He's) just a scoundrel, a cheat and probably a thief."

He later went on to compare Sharon to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. "The first time I felt burning hate was for Arik Sharon. Hitler, I thought he was crazy, he's not normal – a thousand and one things you could say about him. (But) this is pure evil of the most revolting kind – malicious and whoring. Whoring in the sense that he cheats and cons people. Disgusting. He would never be forgiven."

Elhrarar later told Ynet that he was referring to Sharon's actions in Gush Katif, during the Gaza Pullout. "He acted violently and forcefully, went against his voters and evicted them along with their children and small babies."

Asked whether the harsh sentiments he expressed towards Sharon are also directed at his family members, Elharar replied a resolute "sure" and noted that all those who voted for Sharon will be punished. "The Arabs will get to them all," the musician said.

Elharar is currently working as a musical producer and has previously hosted a program on Army Radio. He became involved in a legal battle after an attempt to fire him.

DM Barak: The Left is acting like a small child, that says, 'I want peace'

(Ynet).In response to his faction members' demands to give in to international pressure to set up an inquiry commission to probe Operation cast Lead, Barak said during the Labor faction's weekly meeting, "The Left is acting like a small child, that says, 'I want peace'. This is the difference between a child and an adult. The Child says: I want candy here and now, and the adult must understand the entirety of the considerations and understand who is on the other side."

The first to raise the subject was Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who said, "We must make some kind of move of self-examination. We don't have to examine the soldiers, but we must probe what occurred. Our situation in the world is deteriorating. We must take someone accepted like (former Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamgar), that can be trusted." Minister Yitzhak Herzog, Avishay Braverman and Orit Noked agreed.

Barak, who is against the appointment of an independent commission of inquiry into last winter's Israeli operation in Gaza, did not refer to this matter during the weekly Labor meeting, but spoke of other aspects in the Israeli way of action.

"We will launch an internal discussion in order to amend the rules of warfare, in order to deal efficiently with terror coming out of crowded areas and constructed areas."

As part of the responses to the Goldstone Report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already said that Israel must work to change the rules of warfare in the world.

"This need exists not only for us," the defense minister stressed Monday, "but for all countries dealing with terror – in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other places in the future."

Barak also addressed the stalemate in the peace process, noting that US special envoy George Mitchell is expected to arrive in Israel on Wednesday. "Netanyahu will most probably meet with (US President Barack Obama) in the United States on the second week of next month," he said. "Additional meetings may take place."

The defense minister added that Israel "has a responsibility and plans to work as much as it can for the launching of significant negotiations with the Palestinians as soon as possible. It's required and important, and I would also say urgent."

Survey: US support for Israel strong - 64% Israel is serious about Peace, 53% say Palestinians to refuse recognition of Israel's existence

(JPOST).The American people's strong support for Israel remains constant and their support for action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power has substantially increased, according to a new nationwide survey released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday.

The 2009 Survey of American Attitudes on Israel, The Palestinians and Prospects for Peace in the Middle East, a national telephone survey of 1,200 American adults, was conducted September 26-October 4, 2009 by Marttila Communications of Washington, D.C. and Boston.

"This latest survey of the American people, coming at a time of a full range of challenging issues facing Israel and the region demonstrates anew the breadth and depth of American public support for Israel from a variety of perspectives," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Americans see Israel as a loyal ally to the US, as being very serious about wanting to achieve peace with the Palestinians and as deserving the sympathy of the American people in the conflict with the Palestinians."

Foxman also noted a changing dynamic regarding Iran and the nuclear issue. "The significant increase in Americans viewing Iran as a threat and supporting, if nothing else works, US or Israeli military options against Iran, reflect a new and needed sense of urgency about the issue in light of Iran's oppressive policies and the discovery of a secret Iranian nuclear plant," he said. "This is the first time a majority of Americans - 54 percent - support such an option for the US"

Some two thirds of Americans consider Israel a strong and loyal US ally, as previous surveys showed. On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 64% believe that Israel is serious about achieving peace with the Palestinians, with three-to-one respondents expressing more sympathy with Israel than the Palestinians, when asked to choose a side. Support for US involvement in the peace process rose by nine percentage points to 39% since 2007, but 48% believe the two sides must ultimately solve their own problems.

With recent US efforts to freeze Israeli settlement activity, 53% of those questioned believe that even if Israel halts all construction Arab leaders will continue to refuse Israel's right to exist. Some 61% believe that the conflict will continue for years with 51% claiming that Palestinian divisions are an obstacle to peace and 56% saying no Palestinian state should be established until Palestinians cease violence and accept Israel's legitimacy.

Concerning the question of the Iranian threat, 63% of the respondents consider Iran an immediate or short-term security threat to the Middle East compared to 50% in 2007. There has also been significant gain in those who would support either Israel or the US using military action to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, with 57% of Americans supporting an Israeli hit, up from 42% in 2007, and 54% supporting a US campaign, up from 47% in 2007.

Lieberman in the Crosshairs! Egypt boycott of Lieberman pushes off Med Union summit; Turkey PM says Lieberman threatened to nuke Gaza

(Haaretz).France on Monday postponed the start of a foreign ministers meeting for member states of the Union for the Mediterranean due to Egypt's refusal to participate in protest of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's planned attendance.

The summit was originally scheduled to take place next week in Istanbul.

In recent days, Paris has exerted pressure on Cairo to relent and agree to take part in the summit. Yet the Egyptians have thus far refused.

Earlier this month, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner that Egypt would not attend the session if Lieberman is present.


Turkey's prime minister has further inflamed simmering Israel-Turkey tensions, claiming that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to use nuclear weapons against Gaza, The Guardian reported Monday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as making the allegation in an interview published by the British newspaper. The comments came amid a crisis in ties between the two allies, which erupted earlier in the month after Turkey banned Israel from participating in a NATO air force drill.

The crisis was deepened two weeks ago, when Ankara refused to take off the air a television drama that depicts Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian children.

In the interview, Erdogan reportedly insisted that the Turkey-Israel strategic alliance remained alive, but chided Lieberman over the alleged nuclear threat regarding the Gaza Strip.

The Turkish leader also stressed that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction, was a "friend" of Turkey's.

"There is no doubt he is our friend," Erdogan was quoted as saying. "As a friend so far we have very good relations and have had no difficulty at all."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Palestinians say no talks soon; Peres: Problem is not on Israeli side

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are unlikely to resume in the near future, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Monday, blaming Israel for the impasse and urging Washington to do the same.

"The gap is still wide and Israel does not give a single sign of meeting its obligations under the road map, halting settlement activities and resuming negotiations where they left off," he told Voice of Palestine radio.

"I do not see any possibility for restarting peace talks in the near future," he said, in an assessment echoed by Israeli government officials.

The US-backed peace Road Map of 2003, which charts a course to Palestinian statehood, commits Israel to halting settlement activity in the West Bank.

"If President (Barack) Obama's administration cannot make Israel abide by its commitments, it has to announce that Israel is the party that is obstructing the launching of peace negotiations," Erekat said, referring the road map agreements.

President Shimon Peres met Monday with students from the Western Galilee and from the Manor-Cabri high school, where abducted soldier Gilad Shalit once studied.

The president commented on the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, saying that "the problem is not on the Israeli side."

Violent clashes erupt at Jerusalem's holiest site as Hamas Leader declares: War will settle Jerusalem dispute, not talks

(AP)=— Israeli police firing stun grenades faced off Sunday against masked Palestinian protesters hurling stones and plastic chairs outside the Holy Land's most volatile shrine, where past violence has escalated into prolonged conflict.

A wall of Israeli riot police behind plexiglass shields marched toward young men covering their faces with T-shirts and scarves, sending many of them running for cover into the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of the Islamic structures in the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

They remained holed up in the mosque with police outside for several hours until dispersing before nightfall. Eighteen protesters were arrested, and no serious injuries were reported. But even mild troubles at the disputed compound in Jerusalem's Old City can quickly ignite widespread unrest, and police remained on high alert.

Following a conflagration of violence at Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal declared that "Jerusalem's fate will be decided with jihad (holy war) and resistance, and not negotiations."

Clashes between Israeli police and youths armed with rocks broke out Sunday at the Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount compound, home of the Muslim holy site, the al Aqsa mosque. The confrontation was apparently sparked by radical Jewish clerics' call to their followers to go up to the compound, and by calls by radical Muslim clerics for their followers to defend the site.

Meshal, in Damascus, voiced hope that Israel's Arabs and the residents of the West Bank would join the residents of the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas, in staging demonstrations in protest of the Jerusalem events, Israel Radio reported.

Meanwhile, Jordan warned the Israel Police and religious Jewish radicals on Sunday that further provocation at the compound would "fuel violence in the region and jeopardize peace efforts".

"Any new provocative attempts by Israeli troops and Jewish extremists such as what happened today in the shrine's compound represents a flagrant violation of international law and conventions and sets the stage for more tension and acts of violence," Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communication Nabil Sharif said in a statement.

Peace with Whom? 'Moderate Leader' Barghouti Calls to Resume Terror

( Palestinian Authority arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti, often touted by Israel's left as a “moderate” PA leader, has called on the PA to resume its support for terrorist attacks on Israelis. His comments were printed last week in Al-Quds.

The PA should support terrorists in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) who launch attacks on Israel because it has been proven that the PA cannot achieve its goals by negotiation alone, Barghouti explained. He called to continue negotiation as well, and to pursue both peace talks and terrorism simultaneously.

Barghouti compared Israel to Nazi Germany, saying, “The occupier's defeat is certain, its fate will be no different than the fate of Nazism or fascism.”

Barghouti is serving five life sentences in prison in Israel for his role in fatal terrorist attacks. In August, he was elected in absentia to the top spot on the Fatah terror group's central council.

His new position led to renewed calls from Israel's political left to free him and allow him to take part in leading the PA. Israel should release Barghouti “in order to create a strong and moderate political leadership among the Palestinians,” Minister Avishai Braverman of Labor said.

MK Gideon Ezra of Kadima said Barghouti should be freed because “Israel needs a strong man who can negotiate.”

Analysis / Expect more trickery from Iran in nuclear talks

(Amos Harel-Haaretz).The excited responses, in praise or condemnation, proved to have been too soon. Iran continues operating at its own pace. The last deadline that the international negotiators set was Friday, and the Iranians did not bother to issue an official response to the draft agreement on giving most of their enriched uranium to Europe to be treated.

Instead of a response, Iran issued a rather murky promise of one toward the middle of the week, accompanied, as is customary, by contradictory signals. Last Wednesday's initial positive declaration was replaced with skepticism and further preconditions. We can assume fairly certainly that this is how Tehran will conduct itself in the future: more conditions, more delays, a strategy of making the powers believe it is still possible to resolve the crisis by peaceful means while squeezing out more concessions and buying more time for the centrifuges.

From Israel's point of view, there is an inkling of positive news in last week's developments. The draft agreement, as it was presented last week, would not end Iran's nuclear program, only postpone it. If it is adopted, it would make Israel appear to be an eternal skeptic. If on the other hand Iran rejects the deal, it will emerge as the refusenik.

A failure in the negotiations may expedite stricter sanctions against Iran. This will probably not be a Security Council initiative because China opposes this, but rather an American-European plan, which would have a shot at convincing the Iranians to reconsider freezing their race for the bomb. But we are still far from that. On the way there will be further ups and downs, certainly accompanied by other acts of trickery by Tehran.

Israel has responded wisely - it has kept a low profile, while retaining one advantage: its intelligence on the Iranian program is considered largely reliable and accurate, and is readily welcomed by the powers. The difficulty lies elsewhere. The international community, at least at this stage, does not favorably view an attack - by the U.S. or Israel - on the Iranian nuclear sites. It also appears that the declarations of the Iranian leadership, in particular President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, cause more fear in Israel than in the West.

UN Nuclear Team in Iran Visits Newly Revealed Site

(Bloomberg) -- United Nations inspectors entered Iran’s newly revealed uranium enrichment plant today, two days after the country postponed its response to a proposal for Russia to process nuclear fuel for a Tehran reactor.

Inspectors of the UN nuclear watchdog arrived in Iran late yesterday and will make several visits to the site, the state- run Mehr news agency reported. The team of experts, which is scheduled to leave Oct. 27, will compare information provided by Iran with data collected at the site, Mehr said in an earlier report, citing an unidentified Vienna-based official.

The plant, which was revealed by Iran on Sept. 21, is its second to enrich uranium and isolate isotopes of the metal to generate fuel used in a nuclear reactor. The facility is about 100 miles south of Tehran on the way to the holy city of Qom, according to state-run Press TV.

The disclosure of the site, known as “Fordo,” has raised concerns among world powers about Iran’s nuclear goals. Enriched uranium can be used in higher concentrations to make a nuclear bomb and the U.S. suspects Iran is trying to build one. Iran rejects the allegation, saying its program is peaceful and meant for research and electricity generation.

AlJazeera English reports on Israel's nuclear capabilities

"Israel has two nuclear research centres - at Dimona and Soreq. The latest estimates suggest that Israel has produced at least 118 warheads with weapons grade plutonium.

The Jericho ballistic missiles are capable of carrying such weapons.

The Jericho One, which is now obsolete, had a range of 500 kilometres, and could carry a 20 kiloton nuclear warhead - 20 times more powerful than the US bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

The Jericho Two has a range of 1500 kilometres. It could just reach Iran - and is believed to be able to carry a one megaton nuclear bomb, which is 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.

It is believed a Jericho Three missile is now being developed - that will be able to travel around 5,000 kilometres, bringing all of Iran and Europe into its range".

To meet or not to meet? Washington caught off guard by Netanyahu visit

(Ynet). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's intention to visit Washington for the annual UJC General Assembly has surprised many on Capitol Hill and was apparently not coordinated with the Obama administration.

An American source told Ynet Sunday that news of the visit had been received with reserved astonishment.

The Obama administration has not yet responded to questions of whether a meeting with Netanyahu was forthcoming due to their surprise over the unscheduled visit. On the other hand, failure to invite Netanyahu to the White House may be perceived as a diplomatic crisis.

Sources in Jerusalem say Netanyahu did indeed decide to attend the GA without first consulting President Barack Obama, but that since the latter would also be present at the event the two may meet in any case.

The sources say a summit between the two leaders would be superfluous at this point in the peace process, and for this reason an official meeting has not been scheduled.

Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks at the Jewish Agency.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Peres interview with the Washington post on Iran, peace, U.S. and Netanyahu

Washington Post Interview by Lally Weymouth:

Everyone here is talking about the Goldstone report. Now it has gone to the Security Council. Do you think it puts Israel in a corner that it's impossible to get out of?

I think it's a great victory for terror. Never before did any terrorist organization gain such recognition, in the most unfair way.


Yes. First of all, we have a problem in the United Nations: There is a built-in majority against Israel. Israel doesn't stand a chance to win any single issue because the Muslim and the Arab nations and the ones who follow them are a majority. I think Mr. Goldstone made a mistake by agreeing to preside over a committee which has an anti-Israeli majority -- it cannot be objective if the judges are not objective. And the terms of reference were one-sided: to investigate the war crimes of Israel. And the conclusions -- they're one sided. There are 26 recommendations. Not one deals with terror. The terrorists are flying free and high. It's unbelievable.

Israel does not occupy Gaza. We left Gaza completely. We are the only country that forced our own settlers and army [out] without any foreign pressure to leave Gaza. And for eight years we restrained [while they fired missiles]. No reference to it.

You refer to the missiles coming into Israel from Gaza during those eight years and the Israeli towns that had to be evacuated.

Yes, there were about 12,000 missiles. No country would stand it. And all this -- it doesn't exist in the report. When you read the report, you think Israel woke up in a poor mood and went to attack Gaza.

You say the dispute over land between Israel and the Palestinians is only [about] 2 or 3 percent [of the land].

Yes, it is nothing. We can solve it.

You mean between Olmert and --

Yes, Netanyahu too. He said, "I'm ready to have a two-state solution." That is a major change. And we are being described as rightists, as extremists?

Is Netanyahu being unfairly portrayed as a rightist in the United States?

He came from the right, but he's no longer a rightist. He agreed to a two-state solution and to what no other prime minister ever agreed to -- to freeze settlements.

I understand that you meet with the prime minister quite often. That you discuss the peace process quite often.

Yes. What I can say is that he is listening to me. Maybe I have had a certain influence upon the steps that he has taken. I don't expect him to take everything that I say. My advice is simple: We have to make peace. We shouldn't postpone it.

I've never heard of a U.S. president at 4 percent or 5 percent in the Israeli polls.

I'm telling you my view. I think that we have to and can work with him. It's for the good of the United States; it's for the good of Israel. It's for the good of peace. I don't think we have to create an artificial or hostile relationship. That is totally unnecessary, and it is a mistake.

How do you feel about the Iran situation? Many say that Iran is close to getting a nuclear weapon.

I don't think we have now to enumerate all the options. The present situation is that the danger of Iran is recognized as a world danger, and not just as an Israeli danger. So we shouldn't monopolize it and make it again an Israeli danger. President Obama says he wants to handle the situation in a certain way. If he will fail, he will look for another way. Let the president try his hand.

What do you think of the Geneva talks, with the proposal that Iran would send most of its low-enriched uranium out of the country?

I'm a little bit worried because the policy should be of prevention, not just of inspection -- to prevent the building of a bomb. Because later on to inspect the procedure of enriching uranium is very, very difficult, particularly when the Iranians are extremely economical about telling the truth.

Do you think the Iranians agreed to the Obama suggestion in order to buy time for the regime -- to legitimize it?

My impression is that they try to maneuver rather than to agree. To create an impression of an agreement without agreeing. But, you know, I don't think our people or the Americans are foolish.

Do you think it is a realistic dream to separate Syria from Iran?

It's their decision. They cannot have both. They cannot make peace with the country that calls to destroy us and make peace with us. They have to make up their minds. Look, governing is choosing.

You've seen the U.S. relationship in its various ups and downs through the years. How would you describe the current situation?

I think there is a deep friendship between the United States and Israel, and the ups and downs are of a passing nature. And I don't think that one of us is going to abandon [the other]. President Obama was elected by a majority of the American people. I do believe he will continue the same American tradition vis-à-vis Israel.

So many people your age are looking back. How is it that you keep looking ahead?

We are just at the beginning of a very long journey into the future. I think that we have to conclude a peace agreement. Some people ask, "What will happen to Israel in the coming 100 years vis-à-vis the Arab world?" And my answer is, the Arabs will change. Not us. They have to join in a new age.

With Abu Mazen [Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas]? Is he strong enough to make peace?

I would like [it] to be with Abu Mazen. I hope it will be with Abu Mazen. But what I said in the Knesset, I shall repeat here: It won't be a romantic peace. It won't be peace out of love; it will be peace out of necessity.

What is holding up peace talks?

The problem is a serious one. Bibi [Netanyahu] says "without preconditions." And there is logic to what he says. Because if we will negotiate about the negotiations, we'll never finish the pre-negotiations. And the Palestinians insist on some preconditions.

Like freezing settlements?

Yes. I think it's not necessary. We can find solutions.

So you're still looking ahead to tomorrow?

Yes. I'm looking ahead at tomorrow, self-assured, full of hope. I know that we are in a difficult passage. And I don't deny it. But, you know, passages are passages. The world is not made only of passages; it's made of continents. And the continent of peace is the greatest one.

Peres: Netanyahu is unfairly portrayed as an extremist in US

(Ynet).President Shimon Peres told the Washington Post Saturday he believed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "came from the right, but he's no longer a rightist".

When asked whether he believed Netanyahu was being portrayed unfairly as an extremist in the US Peres answered, "He agreed to a two-state solution and to what no other prime minister ever agreed to – to freeze settlements."

The president added that he had given the prime minister advice and affected some of his decisions, though not all of them. "My advice is simple: We have to make peace. We shouldn't postpone it," he told interviewer Lally Weymouth.

Peres said he did not believe Iran would agree to a new US proposal to send most of its enriched uranium out of the country. "My impression is that they try to maneuver rather than to agree. To create an impression of an agreement without agreeing," he said.

Regarding the Islamic Republic's relations with Syria he said, "It's (Syria's) decision. They cannot have both. They cannot make peace with the country that calls to destroy us and make peace with us. They have to make up their minds. Look, governing is choosing."

PM Netanyahu interview with The Washington post: On Iran-‘The Issue is Not the Security of Israel But of the World’

Lally Weymouth of Newsweek and The Post interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Excerpts:

Q. What did you think of the Goldstone report?

A. I thought there were limits to hypocrisy but I was obviously wrong. The so-called human rights commission accuses Israel that legitimately defended itself against Hamas of war crimes. Mind you, Hamas . . . committed four. First, they called for the destruction of Israel, which under the U.N. Charter is considered a war crime -- incitement to genocide; secondly, they fired deliberately on civilians; third, they hid behind civilians; and fourth, they've been holding our captured soldier, Gilad Shalit, without access to the Red Cross, for three years.

And who gets accused of criminal behavior at the end of the day? Israel that sent thousands of text messages and made tens of thousands of cellular phone calls to Palestinian civilians [to warn them to evacuate]. . . .

So you're not in favor of an independent inquiry?

We're looking into that not because of the Goldstone report but because of our own internal needs.

The best way to defuse this issue is to speak the truth because Israel was defending itself with just means against an unjust attack. Serious countries have to think about adapting the laws of war in the age of terrorism and guerrilla warfare. If the terrorists believe they have a license to kill by choosing to kill from behind civilian lines, that's what they'll do again and again. What exactly is Israel supposed to do?

What did you think of the Geneva deal that the Obama administration and other Western countries appear to have struck with Iran?

It's too early to say because the crucial thing is that the international community pressure Iran to stop the enrichment of uranium, which has only one purpose. Iran is swimming in oil. The purpose of enrichment is the development of nuclear weapons capability, so any solution has to be accompanied by the cessation of enrichment. . . .

The issue is not merely the security of Israel but of the world. Free and open societies are menaced by a dark radicalism that is seeking to arm itself and its proxies with nuclear weapons.

You're speaking of Iran?

Yes. We're definitely the first country threatened but definitely not the last.

Reportedly, Israel might be preparing for a strike against Iran.

I'm not responsible for rumors. Our belief is that this is a global problem. Since it's the problem of the international community, the international effort led by the United States is the way to stop this danger.

What do you think should happen with the Palestinians?

We just wasted six months because of the Palestinian effort to place preconditions on the negotiations -- preconditions that weren't there for the last 16 years.

Is that freezing the settlements?

It's freezing the settlements, it's committing in advance to the results of the negotiations.

It's committing to the outcome basically?

Yes, it's the old technique. Let's agree on what the results of the negotiations will be before the negotiations begin.

Didn't the U.S. get the Palestinians' hopes up by saying there should be a settlement freeze?

I think the Palestinians have to recognize [that] Washington says there should be negotiations without preconditions.

Shimon Peres told me that you are mistakenly viewed as a right-winger.

I think we do represent a consensus of the Israeli public. I think what we've done in the last six months is to consolidate a great part of the Israeli body politic around certain clear principles that will enable us to achieve peace.

The gist of the problem is that for 62 years the Palestinians have refused to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

The Palestinians say they've recognized Israel, but now they have to recognize it as a Jewish state.

That's right. Israel is not a binational state. It has non-Jews who live here with full, equal rights, but it has two things that assure its special character. It's the homeland of any Jew. And there is a very broad consensus in Israel that the Palestinian refugee problem should be resolved outside Israel's borders. Jews come here and Palestinians will go there. So choose. That's the basis of a solution.

I gave a speech at Bar-Ilan University in which I said [this]. It wasn't easy but I did it. There has yet to be a Palestinian leader who actually turns to his people and says, 'We're not going to have a state that will continue to make demands on Israel. It's over. We recognize that Israel is the Jewish state just as we ask the Israelis to recognize the Palestinian state. . . .'

The popular explanation is that this conflict is about the territories captured in the 1967 war. So why did the conflict rage [when] there were no settlements? The Arabs fought wars and terror campaigns in the 1920s, '30s and '40s against any Jewish state, and then they rejected the partition. Our presence in the territories is not the cause of the conflict but one of its results.

. . . I'm not talking about Hamas. I'm talking about the moderates. . . . We will end the conflict by establishing a state. That simple truth requires a lot of courage from the Palestinian leadership. They have to stand up and say we will make a final peace with the Jewish state of Israel. Courage is required on both sides.

What do you think of President Obama?

There is much greater cooperation and transparency between the Obama administration and my government than people know. We speak openly.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sesame Street seeks Gaza access - talk to Gaza kids about peaceful conflict resolution

(AFP).Big Bird and his pals are trying hard to get access to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to talk about peaceful conflict resolution and carry out some Muppet Diplomacy, Sesame Street announced on Wednesday.

"We know that it's an extremely volatile area, but we also feel that it's really important that we take these step forward to promote self esteem for Palestinians," said Gary Knell, president of the Sesame Workshop, the educational organisation behind the popular children's series.

A Palestinian version of the series - Sharaa Simsim - is already shown in the West Bank, but the signal does not reach Gaza.

"We are going into production with new programmes now based in Ramallah that will focus a lot on peaceful conflict resolution," Knell said at a news conference in Jerusalem

He said he is particularly keen to send the famous Muppets to Gaza, where the station run by Hamas has stirred international outrage with its cartoon characters seen as glorifying violence against Israel.

"We have felt it important to broadcast (Sharaa Simsin) in Gaza. We feel the children there are in need of positive programming in light of the circumstances over the past couple years," Knell said.

"We're going to work with the ministry of education in the Palestinian territories, the prime minister and others to build a really strong Sharaa Simsim, and it is our goal to have this broadcast in Gaza," he said.

Bernard Henri-Levy on Netanyahu: There is a new Netanyahu

( the end of a long article in today’s Yediot Ahronoth, Nahum Barnea interviews Bernard Henri-Levy, a leading French philosopher, who is in Israel to attend the President’s Conference. In his recent book, American Vertigo, published in 2006, Henri-Levy followed in the footsteps of Alexis de Tocqueville and crisscrossed the US interviewing a wide cross section of American society, including Barack Obama.

Asked on his take between the Netanyahu of 1996 and the Netanyahu of today, Henri-Levy replied:
Twelve years ago, in Netanyahu's previous term, I wrote a terrible article about him… I wrote that he is a danger to Israel. Today I would not write such an article. He has learned a lot and changed a lot. Did he learn enough, that I don't know. Today Netanyahu is discovering what the ancient Greeks discovered: that you can be strong, but you can never know if you are the strongest. You cannot rely only on your military might. There are also moral values and political wisdom. I may be wrong, but my sense is that there is a new Netanyahu. He realizes how urgent the Palestinian issue is. If peace is not attained soon, this will not only be a tragedy for the Palestinians but also for Israel. You will face a choice: either there will be no Jewish state-or you will turn into South Africa.

Obama, Netanyahu to Address General Assembly of UJC/Jewish Federations next Month; Netanyahu to Meet Obama

(WSJ,Ynet,jewishjournal).President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will both speak at a Nov. 8-10 Washington conference of the Jewish Federations of North America, according to sources familiar with the planning.

The president’s speech, his first major address to the Jewish community since his inauguration, comes at a prickly time. White House officials said in September it wanted to set a date for the formal resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians by mid-October. That didn’t happen, in part because of intransigence from Palestinians and members of Netanyahu’s government.

Obama will address the 2009 General Assembly (GA) of the Jewish Federations of North America in Washington, D.C. on Monday morning, November 9.

“We are honored to be hosting President Obama at the GA,” said Dede Feinberg of Washington, who with her husband Kenneth is serving as the GA’s North America co-chair, in partnership with International Co-Chair Leonid Nevzlin of Israel.
“The voice of President Obama will surely expand our thinking and stretch our perspectives,” said Joe Kanfer, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America.
This year’s GA, with the theme “Remember When You Thought Anything Was Possible? It Still Is,” highlights how The Jewish Federations of North America helps the Jewish people worldwide.

The sudden decision to address a significant and high profile Jewish audience comes as poll numbers show Obama’s popularity declining among Jewish voters, and his approval ratings among Israelis in the single digits.

UJC officials are working out the final details for a live appearance by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sources in Washington said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to meet with US President Barack Obama during the United Jewish Communities General Assembly in Washington in two weeks.

As of yet no official announcement of a scheduled meeting has been made, but sources believe that Netanyahu will not visit Washington without meeting with the American president.

George Gilder: "Benjamin Netanyahu is the Greatest leader today of the West ''

(Source: Makor Rishon newspaper).The " guru " of the Hi tech industry in United States, and who was the economic next adviser of President Ronald Reagan, a speech writer for President Nixon, George Gilder, has become lately a very strong supporter of Israel, and recently wrote 2 books describing Israel and its amazing contribution to the World.

This week he was a guest in Israel being present at the President conference in Jerusalem. He spoke in front of a limited group of experts in relevant policy, communication and economy, and among his words, he had to say the following:

"... Israel is necessary today to the American industry and to maintain her Globalism , a continuation to the contribution of the Jews in the 20th century. Therefor its Forbidden for the United States to lose Israel. Interpretation of this will be a sunset, and a end of the world respect to the attendance of America, and we will not be in the position of the Worlds leadership."

"Benjamin Netanyahu another gift of Israel to the western culture. He is the Greatest leader today of the West".

"What is known is that he guided administration Reagan in the subject of fighting terror.but what is less known is, that Bibi is the Biggest economic leader today. He has full control of Industrial economy ,There is no better leader that understands the economy so good, He (Netanyahu) ts the current leader of the West, and its worthwhile that he himself knows this too ".

Chris Karelse Christian Palastinian on his Love for the Jewish People and Israel on VHTV show from Israel

Iran manipulating the West! State-run TV: Iran rejects nuclear draft deal

(Haaretz).Iran on Friday failed to accept a United Nations-drafted plan that would ship most of the country's uranium abroad for enrichment, saying instead it would prefer to buy the nuclear fuel it needs for a reactor that makes medical isotopes.

While Iran did not reject the plan outright, state TV reported that Tehran was waiting for a response to its own proposal to buy nuclear fuel rather than ship low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment.

Iran has often used counterproposals as a way to draw out nuclear negotiations with the West.

A U.S. official on Friday said that Washington would await a formal response from Iran on the proposed nuclear draft, while French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was quoted as saying that indications received from Iran were "not very positive."

"I cannot say that the situation regarding Iran is very positive. Now, meetings are being held in Vienna. But via the indications we are receiving, matters are not very positive," Kouchner said during an official visit to Lebanon.

Meanwhile, officials in Tehran said on Friday they were was awaiting a "positive and constructive" response from world powers to its proposal on providing nuclear fuel for the reactor, state television reported.

"Now we are awaiting a positive and constructive response on Iran's proposal from the other party on providing nuclear fuel for Tehran's reactor," TV quoted a member of Iran's negotiating team, who attended the Vienna meeting on Oct 21, as saying.