Monday, February 28, 2011

Netanyahu: Israel can not ignore International pressure; efforts to maintain existing construction

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost his composure on Monday afternoon during a Likud faction meeting, after Judea and Samaria community heads complained to him over the continuation of the settlement building freeze, claiming that there are not enough construction bids. 

"People don't understand the reality they are living in," Netanyahu told them in response, saying that their statements may affect the existing construction.
"If you don't live in this world you can ignore everything, and I suggest that you beware in order to protect the existing construction, because that's what's on the agenda – not the new construction".

"We all want to support the settlements, so we must not ignore this, We are several weeks after a Quartet resolution and after a US veto and before the next Quartet, so we must take the reality we are living in into consideration when things are changing in the Middle East.

"We can bang our heads against the wall, but that's not what I'm doing. There is construction in Judea and Samaria. It's true that there are no bids in several places, and this is being looked into. We are currently making efforts to maintain the existing construction.

"We are living in a very difficult international reality, and even the American veto at the Security Council was achieved after great efforts. We can ignore everything and say there is no problem, but as a prime minister responsible for this country – the overall responsibility is mine".

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Newt Gingrich: Iran Must Be Stopped; The worst scenario for the Middle East is a Nuclear Iran

Former House Speaker  and possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, Newt Gingrich tells Newsmax that the worst case scenario for the Middle East is a nuclear-armed Iran that would attack Israel and lead to a second Holocaust — and an “utter and total disaster” for the entire region.Iran and Islamic radicals, unlike the Soviet Union, will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons if they obtain them.
“The worst case scenario is a nuclear war. If the Iranians get nuclear weapons — well, people who are prepared to put on a body bomb to walk into a mall and kill themselves, and kill you, are probably prepared to use a nuclear weapon. This is not the Soviet Union. This is not détente.

“So the worst scenario in the Middle East is a substantial nuclear war that from the standpoint of Israel would be a second Holocaust, and from the standpoint of the whole region would be an utter and total disaster, and from the standpoint of the human race would be horrifying.

“The best outcome is that the forces of hatred are defeated, that moderates and reasonable people come to power and the region learns to live in peace and seek prosperity by cooperating with each other.”
Gingrich called Obama’s policy regarding the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East “very strange.”
“If you’re an American ally like Mubarak and you sided with the United States for 30 years, President Obama’s quick to publicly dump you. If you’re an American enemy like Colonel Gadhafi and have been our enemy for 40 years, and now have been publicly implicated as the person who ordered the bombing of the Pan American airplane, somehow the president can’t find a way to explain clearly that you ought to leave.

“I think the United States should be in favor of freedom. It’s who we are. We should be in favor of freedom in Libya, in Saudi Arabia, in Iran, in China, in North Korea. We have to say over and over again that we believe these dictatorships in the long run need to disappear and be replaced by the rule of law.”

Asked if the Obama administration is dropping the ball on this, Gingrich says: “I’m not even sure they know there is a ball.”

Jacob kornbluh/ J Street - on the Wrong side of the Road

J street identify themselves as being a Pro Peace - Pro Israel group in the US, yet as their an annual conference is taking place it becomes more clear than ever, that by hosting speakers such as activists in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, individuals who promotes law fare cases against Israeli officials, and opposition party members that offer no alternative but the removal of the present Israel government. J Street demonstrates that the term “pro-peace” or being viewed as 'Pro Israel" no longer applies to the organization.

Those who participate in this conference or support this organization not only damage or destroy any hope of progress in the peace process, but also contribute and provide credibility to the effort of nullifying the legitimization of Israel.

J street cannot claim its pro peace and pro Israel, when its actions damage the peace process and undermine Israel's legitimate connection to the land by criticizing Israel's current government elected by a majority of the Israeli people. J street should encourage the Palestinians to return to the peace talks and discuss all core issues of the conflict including the future of the settlements in Judea and Samaria.

To blame the Netanyahu government and a citizens of Israel in the stalemate of the peace process is an absurd, first because that is not the case, despite Israel's stretched out hand for peace, despite imposing a 10 Month freeze on Settlement building, the Palestinians have not agreed to discuss a framework for a future agreed settlement, but demand as a pre condition to talks, encouraged by the Obama administration in the early days, and by the Israeli left, hate promoters in left leaning Haaretz newspapers and other media outlets, that if only Israel does this small gesture of freezing settlements, and stop building in the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, peace will be achieved in a split second.

As it has been discussed in numerous speeches and Op-Eds - the Settlement issue is not an obstacle to peace. In addition, instability in the region is not because of the Israel-Palestinians conflict, but the danger of the Iranian influence in the region and the uncertainty of the future of the regimes and our neighboring countries surrounding us.

Hence, to claim that the withdrawal of occupied territories, that were captured legally by war , forced on us by our enemies, then the Jordanians the illegal occupiers of the West Bank and Jerusalem from '48, with all the experience we have been through, if its the withdrawal of Lebanon in '00, the Disengagement of Gaza, or the UN 1701 resolution that brought to a cease fire in Israel's effort to crush down the Hezbollah, bringing on Israel 10,000 rockets and missiles, the Hezbollah rearming itself with weapons that cover and target every building and city in Israel, is not only an incorrect argument but an effort of rewriting History and selling out Israel.

Yes, Israel is a peaceful Nation, it is seeking peace, and is doing everything to prove our neighbors that this is the time to seize the opportunity and sign a peace settlement - a viable secure peace, that will bring peace, prosperity and security to both People.

But by refusing to recognize or deny the existence of Israel as the promised Homeland for the Jewish people, to illegitimately onstruct Israel's legitimacy, sovereignty and connection to this land, rejecting any peace proposal from Prime Ministers from the left, center and the right, by refusing to sit down at one table and negotiate Peace and all the issues, this will not become an excuse of destructing the infrastructure of a future Palestinian State and a peaceful society residing side by side in peace and security with Israel.

J-street support for a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel, opposing an American veto, inviting speakers and their organizations that engage in activities that work against the State of Israel, peace and mutual understanding, that are actively involved in the BDS movement, putting Israel and its allies “on trial", and participating and advocating in the de-legitimization campaign conceptualized at the 2001 Durban Conference, is just another sign to prove that J-Street is not Pro Israel ,nor Pro peace, J-street is on the wrong side of the road, and granting it legitimacy and support is giving a hand to those who seek Israel's destruction and undermine its legitimacy and connection to this land.

The Claim of being pro Peace and pro Israel is given to those speaking united in one voice , may offer alternatives and proposals but promote the same message - Israel seeking peace,a viable secure peace, by recognizing our connection to the land and by having the right to defend itself and guard its borders from its enemies and those who seek its destruction.

John McCain: Israel will be safer when regional turmoil is over

(AFP).Israel will enjoy greater security under democratic regimes that may ultimately emerge from the recent instability and unrest roiling the Middle East, US Senator John McCain told CNN in an interview beamed from Egypt.
"In the short-term, they are obviously less secure because of the unpredictability here and the situation is unpredictable. But in the long-run, I think they are confident they can do business better with democracies than they can with dictatorships."
The 2008 Republican presidential nominee is on a swing through the Middle East accompanied by Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman. They met with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu, among other leaders.

"There is unease because of the changes going on," Lieberman noted.

But he said Netanyahu had told them to support the democratic revolutions underway across the region, especially in Egypt, the most popular Arab nation.
"It is in our interest to support the successful transition to democracy in Egypt and throughout the Arab world, which the Egyptian people have won because we always have better, more steadfast relationships with fellow democrats in the world".

PM Netanyahu to ministers: Talk the Talk, promote Gov't achievements

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting with his ministers on Sunday, where he reproached them and called on them to speak to the press about the "government's achievements".

The Prime Minister pointed out that the current cabinet has been taking steps that past cabinets did not take, but that there are people that are "distorting the truth" regarding these achievements.

Netanyahu called on cabinet ministers to interview more frequently in media outlets, in an effort "to present the government's achievements to the public."
"There are governments that talk the talk and don't walk the walk, and this government walks the walk but doesn’t talk the talk."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

GOP Presidential contender Huckabee: Israeli's feel on their own; US has mismanaged Middle east turmoil response

(Newsmax).Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who recently returned from a trip to Israel, tells Newsmax that the Israelis feel “on their own” and no longer can rely on the United States under President Barack Obama, the Obama administration has mismanaged its response to the turmoil in the Middle East and has treated adversary Iran better than longtime ally Egypt.

Possible GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee insists that the Obama administration needs to acknowledge the enemy "publicly, without apology."
“What I wish the United States would do first is just say openly, publicly, without apology — despite the fact that it’s politically incorrect — that Islamic jihadism is a clear and present danger to every person’s freedom on the planet who does not subscribe to radical Islam, Because it is.”

Asked whether the Obama administration has done enough to deal with the outbreak of protests in the Middle East, Huckabee responds: “No. In fact, I think their problem is they don’t even know what’s going on.
“They had no intelligence whatsoever in Egypt to understand that that was coming. They were totally caught off guard.”
“The way we mismanaged that is that we simply sent a message to all our allies in the Middle East, not just in the Middle East but everywhere, and here’s what it said: No matter how strong an ally you have been, if you get in trouble, you are so on your own, because we are immediately going to pick who we think is going to win and jump on their tank with them.”

"Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had been an ally for 30 years. He had kept the peace with Israel. Without praising him or trying to keep him in power, the president could have said this is a matter for the Egyptian people to determine. We respect their sovereignty as a nation, and if their people choose to depose their government, then we won’t interfere with that. But we certainly acknowledge the relationship we have had with President Mubarak and we are grateful that he has kept the peace.

“What [Obama] did by immediately calling for Mubarak’s ouster was something he never did for [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad during the uprising in 2009. We are essentially saying we treat our enemies better than we treat our friends. He never called for the ouster or the stepping down of Ahmadinejad, but on day one he’s calling for Mubarak to step down.”

Commenting on his recent trip to Israel, Huckabee tells Newsmax: “I’ve never seen the Israelis so guarded in terms of their optimism".
“I’ve been going to Israel since 1973 and I’ve seen a lot of changes in Israel. This was my 15th trip there, I think. I visited with many government officials on this trip — the prime minister, the defense minister — and I’ve never seen such a unanimous mood. The Israelis feel on their own. They feel like the United States of America under President Obama cannot be counted on to really step in for them at a crucial moment.”

"The United States has continued to say that building [settlements] in the Judea-Samaria area continues to be the biggest threat to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.”

“And to that I say, nuts! That’s not what is the impediment. The impediment is that the Palestinians have never even acknowledged that Israel has a right to exist, and apart from some security fence would continue to send suicide bombers into Israeli neighborhoods.”


Netanyahu to Telegraph: Western loss of support for Israel is "a huge issue and tragic"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu evoked Sudetenland – and the world’s abandonment of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis in 1938 – to deflect European criticism of Israel’s settlement policy during an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph published on Saturday.

Here is part of the interview:

"Something about the mood of Mr Netanyahu, now in his seventh decade, and two years into his second term in office is ruminative, almost professorial. There is little of the youthful point-scoring arrogance for which he used to be attacked. His talk is full of historical parallels and dates. I pursue his train of thought. If it is not about you, what is it about?

Mr Netanyahu separates the Arab regimes and the people they rule. The regimes, he says, "are preoccupied with Iran, and with the threat from their own people. The people are preoccupied with their own regimes." The political advances of the 20th century "passed over the Arab world and a great chunk of the wider Muslim world". Modern communications are constantly "reminding them what they missed out on". There is a sense of "deprivation". "There's a battle going on between the early 20th century and the 21st century. Will they get to the 21st, or will they be blown back to the ninth century?"

By the ninth century, he means chiefly the plans of Iran and its "proxies", Hamas and Hizbollah. Iran is "seeking to exploit" current events. Its decision to send two naval vessels through the Suez Canal is "the first time we've seen elements of a Persian fleet in the Mediterranean since Alexandrine times". This proves Iran has "aggressive intentions". It is a "very grave development". Iran was working as hard as it could to destabilise societies – Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon – before all this, and now it is trying to take advantage of the new situation. "When I say this, I am not guessing," he says, with a meaning look.

Disappointment with the West's attitude to Iran:
"It is not only in Tahrir Square,  that crowds have protested. It happened in squares in Tehran in 2009, and hundreds of thousands have protested there this month. There, [unlike in Egypt] the regime is applying brutal force...The people want to free themselves of this tyranny.. They need more help – It is very dangerous if there is no regime change".

"The fatal combination – the same would apply if the Taliban were to achieve dominance in Pakistan – is that of militant Islam and nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union was dreadful, but at least it was rational enough to back down when its own survival was at stake, but with militant Islamic regimes, you cannot be so sure.. Under such regimes, self-immolation is held as a great value. Islamists often say that their enemies prefer life and they prefer death – There's truth to that."

"Besides, Iran with nuclear weapons would create new threats...Look at Bahrain. A nuclear Iran would make it a Persian Gulf on both sides, It would control the oil supplies of the world and spawn a nuclear arms race in the Middle East...It is extraordinarily dangerous for my country, but also for your country... Israel is merely a forward position of Western values".
The Western powers agree about the Iranian nuclear threat, he says, citing Britain's Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, as a strong exponent of this view. But he adds: "I think we should do more. I think we can do more." The present sanctions "don't have sufficient bite", and we "need a credible military option if sanctions fail".
"The only time Iran suspended its programme was in 2003, because  it believed that it would suffer US military action if it did not. Without that threat, it will press ahead. So the challenge now for the US is huge. It must keep Iran down, and help preserve the circle of peace made with Israel by Egypt and Jordan, so that, for example, the new Egypt does not open the floodgates in Gaza. But isn't there a feeling of American withdrawal and waning power in the air? That remains to be seen. There's no question that there's a great test of will here"
Peace process - Settlements:.

People accuse Israel of taking advantage of the situation by stalling the peace process and avoiding a clear line. Mr Netanyahu sharply reminds me of his own position. Israel, he says, recognizes the need for a nation state for Palestinians, but unless they recognize Israel's right to be the Jewish state, there is no basis for a discussion of borders. The Palestinians provide no "education for peace". Their school textbooks preach hatred and the public squares under the Palestinian Authority are named after the murderers of Israelis.

Stung by the European criticisms I convey, Mr Netanyahu rises from his seat and takes me to a display cabinet by the window. He shows me a seal found in recent excavations in Jerusalem. It comes from the time not long after King David. He points out the Hebrew characters on the stone. "Do you know what name that is on the stone? It is my name: Netanyahu. So we do have some connection with the place!" He wants to remind Europeans that Israelis are staying: "We are not neo-Crusaders. We are not neo-colonials."

But take the settlements, I respond. You yourself say that they are a relatively minor incursion (less than two per cent) upon the whole, disputed territory. Why do you persist in the face of world condemnation? Is the game worth the candle? He comes straight back with a historical parallel – the Sudetenland in the late 1930s:
"People, especially the leading British media, considered that Czechoslovakia's possession of these German-speaking areas was the barrier to peace with Hitler. It didn't work out quite like that".

"The international ganging-up on Israel over the settlements is a classic example of changing the terms of the argument – the reversal of causality,  There were no Jewish settlements in the West Bank before Israel was attacked in the Six Day War of 1967, So what was all that about? Israel proper remains disputed by her enemies, Even moderates don't say that, if the settlements end, we'll make peace with Israel....It is not impossible to resolve it, to make the necessary compromises. The settlement issue has to be resolved."
British Delegitimization of Israel:
"Do you know our Israeli expression 'to look for the keys under the lamp-post?' People look under the lamp-post where there is light, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the keys are there. In other words, it is easier to scrutinise Israel than to explore the darker places where the keys lie".

He is, he admits, "worried" about Britain. In his view, there are "two streams" in British attitudes to Israel and the Jews.
"One, exemplified by Lloyd-George's understanding of history in the Versailles era, is admirable. Col Richard Meinertzhagen, intelligence chief to General Allenby in the Mandate era in Palestine, who, despite having had little previous contact with Jews, quickly discovered that, contrary to his fellow-countrymen's prejudices, they were very good fighters and would provide a bulwark against the aggression of Islamic militancy". 
He also refers to Arthur Stanley, late 19th-century Dean of Westminster, as one of many British luminaries who found the Holy Land neglected and argued that "the Jews would come back and build up this country". Mr Netanyahu has a portrait of his greatest British hero, Winston Churchill, on his shelves. He poses beside it for our photographer.

On the other hand, there are bad attitudes. "Britain was a colonial power, and colonialism has been spurned." Britain therefore tends to look at the Israeli question through its "colonial prism", which makes the British "see us as neo-colonialists". But this is wrong. "We are not Belgians in the Congo! We are not Brits in India!"

In the United States, the situation is different because the Americans were not colonisers, but in revolt against colonial power. Their vision was "one of a society based on the New Jerusalem, the promised land", so they naturally saw Israel as "partners in freedom".

He agrees that Western loss of support for Israel is "a huge issue" and "tragic because, in many ways, we are you and you are us". This has been a talk with Mr Netanyahu in statesmanlike mode. He shows me his books, including the huge, definitive history of the Spanish Inquisition written by his father, who is still alive aged 101.

Friday, February 25, 2011

51% of Americans (2/3 of Republicans) favor continued foreign aid to Israel

(RasmussenReports).Egypt has long been the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, but despite its apparent turn toward democracy and similar ongoing moves in neighboring countries, most Americans want to end that aid to all Arab nations in the Middle East. Just over half favor continuing foreign aid to the number one recipient, Israel.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 20% of American Adults think the United States should continue providing foreign aid to Arab countries in the Middle East. Fifty-eight percent (58%) say that aid should come to an end. Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans, on the other hand, favor continued foreign aid to Israel. One-in-three adults (32%) oppose further aid for Israel, while another 17% are undecided about it.

Higher-income Americans are more supportive of aid to Israel than those who earn less. They also view aid to Arab nations in the Middle East more favorably, but a majority of those in virtually all demographic categories think aid to these countries should come to an end.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans believe America should end all foreign aid to Arab countries in the Middle East, a view shared by just a plurality (48%) of Democrats and 50% of adults not affiliated with either major party.

Similarly, 61% of Republicans support a continuation of foreign aid to Israel. But Democrats and unaffiliateds agree by a much narrower 46% to 34% margin.

The United States has often used foreign aid to encourage friendships in the Middle East, even though those countries lack democratically elected governments, but 60% of Americans agree it is more important for the United States to be allies with any country that best protects our own national security than it is to be allies only with countries that have freely elected governments.

Still, 76% of voters also feel it’s generally good for America when dictators in other countries are replaced with leaders selected in free and fair elections.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bibi:' You disapointed us'; Merkel: 'You disappointed us, I dont trust You'.

(Haaretz).A crisis erupted between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. During a telephone call this week, Merkel told Netanyahu that he had disappointed her and had done nothing to advance peace, sources told Haaretz.

A senior German source said Netanyahu had called Merkel on Monday, following the American veto in the UN Security Council last Friday and Germany's vote in favor of the Palestinian proposal to condemn construction in West Bank settlements.

The conversation between the two leaders was extremely tense and included mutual accusations and harsh statements, the official said.

Netanyahu told Merkel he was disappointed by Germany's vote and by Merkel's refusal to accept Israel's requests before the vote, the source added. Merkel was furious.

"How dare you," she said, "You are the one who disappointed us. You haven't made a single step to advance peace."

The prime minister assured Merkel that he intended to launch a new peace plan that would be a continuation of his Bar-Ilan University speech, given in June 2009, in which he agreed to establishing a Palestinian state, the official revealed.

"I intend to make a new speech about the peace process in two to three weeks" .

The German chancellor and her advisers, who have been repeatedly disappointed by Netanyahu's inaccurate statements and failure to keep promises, did not believe a word of what the prime minister told her, the source said.

A non-government source told Haaretz that Netanyahu and his advisers are working on a speech that would outline an alternative to the interim agreement with the Palestinians, similar to Lieberman's plan. That initiative, which Haaretz reported on a month ago, consists of establishing a Palestinian state within temporary borders on about 50 percent of the West Bank.

Netanyahu on Beersheba attack: 'No one should test our resolve'; Ya'alon: Assad shouldn't challenge us

Netanyahu commented on the firing of Two Grad-model Katyusha rockets struck Beersheba late Wednesday night for the first time since Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip over two years ago.
"I don't advise anyone to test Israel's determination. We will not tolerate our people and citizens being bombed. This is something to which no country would agree and we will act accordingly."
Minister Ya'alon also addressed the Grad attack, saying "Our response tonight made it clear that Hamas is responsible for what happens in Gaza. I urge Hamas and the rest of the organizations behind the escalation to consider the consequences. I hope they won't put our capabilities to the test."

The US Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) reported late Wednesday that Syria established four additional nuclear facilities aside from the one bombed by Israel in 2007.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to address the report directly, but said "I want to make it clear that if Syria strives for peace, it will find a loyal partner in Israel. The problem still revolves around how to conduct the negotiations, because Syria has said it wants to receive the final results before talks even begin."

In response to ISIS report saying Damascus built four nuclear facilities aside from the one bombed by Israel in 2007, strategic affairs minister says 'we know Syrian president as someone connected to axis of evil.'

"We know him as someone connected to the axis of evil, on the one hand to Iran and on the other to terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah," Ya'alon said during a speech at Tel-Hai College. "We are warily following events there, and I hope Assad will not challenge us with provocations of this kind."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Barak on CNN: Iranian warships crossing Suez Canal a provocation, but Israel is not worried

Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today about Iranian warships crossing through the Suez Canal.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST: The new military government that's temporarily taken charge in Egypt, they allowed these two Iranian warships to cross through the Suez Canal. How worried are you about that?

EHUD BARAK: I'm not worried. You know, your aircraft carriers are moving through the canal, our missile boats and submarines went through the canal. They don't have - practically they don't have any way to avoid the Iranians moving, as long as it's a frigate and some support vessel with some cadets on it. It's a provocation. I don't like it but I don't think that any one of us should be worried by it.

BLITZER: Do you know what the objective of the Iranian navy is right now in moving those two warships through the canal into the Mediterranean?

BARAK: You know, they had to plan it before the eruption of the recent events in Egypt so it's part of a wider scheme. If they were bringing rockets or weapons or explosives to the Hamas or Hezbollah, we would have probably act against them. But, they're just coming with weapons with them, but they're coming with cadets, navy cadets, to visit a Syrian port. It's a way of projecting that power, that self-confidence and certain assertiveness in the region.

You know, we are turbulent area. But I don't see a reason to be worried.

British PM Cameron: Arab Leader use Issue of Israel as a Distraction; Urges increase of pressure on Iran

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron told students at Qatar University, that some Middle Eastern rulers were using the Israel-Palestine conflict as a distraction from their own oppressive regimes.
“In too many countries in the Middle East, some rulers say to their people ‘be angry about that, don’t be angry about the fact that you live in a non-open society".
Describing himself to the students as “a liberal Conservative, not a neo-conservative,” Cameron said he didn’t believe it was Britain’s role to “point our finger and say this leader has to go and that leader has to go.”

Speaking on the Middle East Peace Process, Prime Minister Cameron said that there needs to be “an urgent return to talks” so that both Palestinian and Israeli aspirations can be fulfilled. The result should be two states, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both, and a fair settlement for refugees, he stated.
“Just as the Palestinian Authority needs to shoulder its responsibility to tackle violence from the West Bank, Israel needs to meet its Road Map obligation to halt illegal settlement activity as the Resolution Britain supported at the UN Security Council last Friday underlines".
Speaking in Doha, Qatar, Mr Cameron said that Tehran “remains a grave concern” because of its intent to acquire nuclear weapons.
"They are already suffering from international sanctions their economy is weak and vulnerable and the regime only survives by cracking down on its political opposition, On its current path Iran is set to become an international pariah state with no friends, no money, nowhere to go.”
Already subject to United Nations and European Union sanctions, Mr Cameron raised the prospect of further restraints on Iran’s international trade and financial activities.

Mr Cameron’s pursuit of sanctions outside the UN is an admission that Russian scepticism about new curbs is likely to block any toughening of the UN regime.
“Both the UN and EU processes are moving very slowly right now, so there is an acceptance that if we want to act on this, we are going to have to do it though other channels “.

"Britain and its international partners remain ready to negotiate and we are not going to be taken for a ride".

"We will continue to find ways to increase the pressure. We will work vigorously to ensure international sanctions are implemented and I have asked my officials to consider what more can be done in this important area."

Netanyahu: Instability in Middle East used by negative forces to sway Democracy result

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the current instability in the Middle East may last for years, in a speech to the Knesset on Wednesday.
"We are in a period of crisis and transition, with instability, that could continue for many years, We hope for the best and hope that the Arab world and Iran will work for true democratization."

"You know that there are other options, and we need to be prepared for any situation, This preparation is more important than it was before...because this instability that we live in is already being used by negative forces that are trying to sway the result to something that none of us want."

"There are arguments in this house. Do we have a partner today? Is he ready to be stable? Will he be ready to [talk]?..There is an argument about the partner today, but there is uncertainty about finding a new partner".
The prime minister called on the opposition to "get in-tune with reality, this reality forces us to acknowledge that the region is extremely unstable."

On the backdrop of the veto placed by the United States last week over a decision to condemn Israel in the Security Council, Netanyahu mentioned a UN vote taken during Cast Lead Operation, and said: "Fourteen states voted against Israel, just like now. One state – The United States – abstained

"(At the time) my peers and I did not attack the government and it never crossed our minds to do so. We supported the government, I, urge the opposition to rise above its narrow considerations and unite for the good of the country."

During the hearing, legislators from Labor and Kadima chided Netanyahu over the deadlocked negotiations with the Palestinians, the series of racist legislation proposals, the affair surrounding the appointment of the IDF chief of staff and the financial situation.

Calling out from his seat, Netanyahu responded "where is the Palestinian partner? Why doesn't he come here?," to which Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron replied, "He is 15 kilometers from here and is not coming because he knows he'll receive nothing from you."

Israel in the eyes of a proud Muslim Bedouin - Meet Israel's top Diplomat Ishmael Khaldi

(Jacob Kornbluh-NY).Last night I had the honor to participate in an inspiring event sponsored by AmbassaDOR, AZM and Act For Israel in NYC with Israeli Deputy Consul, San Francisco and Author of his new book: A Shepherd’s Journey: "the Story of Israel’s First Bedouin Diplomat", Ishmael Khaldi.

Ishmael Khaldi or called by his nick "Ish" Shared his amazing life experiences as a proud Israeli citizen in a Bedouin village in Galilee, as described in his book, and i had the chance to read the full story on the Train on my way back to Brooklyn.

Listening to his remarks, watching him, I can say with confidence that Israel is blessed with such a unique diplomat, if the screens of CNN and Al Jazeera would be filled with such proud Israeli citizens and smart minded outspoken ambassadors, Israel's image would of had a more positive and sympathetic look from the World, or at least win the PR battle of minds.

Here is a taste of his remarks at the event:

"The landscape of the Middle East is changing rapidly. It brings myriad challenges along with a sense of hope. From ethnic clashes in Afghanistan and Iraq, recent religious clashes in Egypt, and the precarious uncertainty in Lebanon, numerous issues threaten the stability of the region. Yet it’s no secret that the Arab world will only witness a change from grassroots rather than regimes. I hope it will be a beginning of positive change."

"Israel is committed to achieving a comprehensive peace and reconciliation with its Arab neighbors. Just as we did with Jordan and Egypt, we want to establish peace with the Palestinians (a conflict that many consider as the heart of Israel’s conflict with Middle Eastern countries). The painful reality is that it may take another generation to reach a real reconciliation, meaning an end to demands from Palestinians and secure borders for Israel. It will take time to see Palestinians forming a united leadership, not divided between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority."

"Israel, as much as any other nation, wants to see the Palestinians living in dignity in their own independent state, led by a democratic regime, side by side with Israel. Israel, perhaps more than any other nation, wants peace with its Arab neighbors, where cooperation – in all fields – is fueling progress, rather than suspicion, greed, hatred and incitement."

"Israel is ready right and left to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict towards a 2 State solution..but Israel has nobody with whom to sign a peace settlement with, There's no united one voiced PA Leadership as a partner for Peace."

"The key lies in achieving a breakthrough with Syria. One of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s first statements concerned his willingness to travel to Damascus if Syria were to demonstrate a readiness for peace. Unfortunately, Syria has yet to distance itself from Iran, to desist from intervening in Lebanon, and to discontinue harboring terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic jihad."

"Israel isn’t a perfect country, but its strength is a blessing to the entire region. Like other countries it has a welter of internal challenges to deal with including the economy, unemployment, internal politics, tensions between Arabs and Jews, religious and secular communities, right and left and etc. After all, this diversity is part of the beauty of a pluralistic democracy."

"What Israel has achieved by Human values can be an example for the entire World..Israeli rapid response to any World human crisis is Israel's human value, and besides its achievements & challenges,Israel accomplished building a multi cultural society...There are equal opportunities to anyone in Israel, its a cultural transition, a growing number of Arab girls in Israel serve 2 years of civil National service, and only last week The first Muslim Judge in the World,was appointed to serve as a judge in Israel."

"I do admit that as a Muslim Bedouin I have all the reasons being proud of my country Israel..this democratic, multicultural, multidimensional and multi ethnic country."

FM Lieberman to EU: Israel has shown genuine desire to renew negotiations

(Jpost).Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman went on the offensive at the annual EU Israel Association Council meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, presenting the EU foreign ministers with a document contrasting Israel’s confidence- building measures toward the Palestinians with the PA’s “confrontational conduct,” and urging the EU not to encourage Palestinian provocations.

Lieberman said it was important to resume direct peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, but that “poverty and misery” are the main reasons for the unrest in Arab countries, and that there was no link between that turmoil and the Israeli- Palestinian diplomatic process.
"Since the establishment of the Netanyahu government Israel has taken numerous steps to improve life for the Palestinians and shown a genuine desire to renew negotiations."

"By contrast,during this time the Palestinians have worked in the opposite direction and have done everything to upset relations between the sides, in the belief that this will win them sympathy and support in the international community.”
Lieberman gave the EU foreign ministers a paper prepared by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on “The Palestinian Authority’s political offensive against the State of Israel,” which details the PA’s activities over the past two years.

The Palestinians were “violating the Oslo Accords” by attempting to change the status of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, inciting against Israel, acting against Israel within the international organizations, organizing boycotts, glorifying suicide terrorists and encouraging terrorism, the paper said.

Lieberman told his EU counterparts,that those who genuinely want to bring about a renewal of negotiations need to condemn the Palestinian actions.
“Whoever truly wishes to improve Israeli-Palestinian relations and to bring about a renewal of sincere, effective negotiations between the sides must condemn the Palestinians for their actions and for their brazen violation of agreements signed with Israel, and let them know that their attempts to unilaterally establish a fait accompli will not succeed."

“The international community and the European countries in particular have a responsibility to urge the Palestinians to return to negotiating, rather than encouraging them to continue their provocations, which will only lead to a dead end that will harm the Palestinians more than it will harm Israel."
The paper, which the Foreign Ministry plans to present to members of the US Congress as well as to members of European parliaments, says that while the Palestinians have been confronting Israel, the Netanyahu government has taken numerous steps to benefit the Palestinians, including helping to improve and strengthen the Palestinian economy; reducing roadblocks; upgrading goods crossings; encouraging Palestinian business activity; increasing the numbers of Palestinians employed in Israel; promotion infrastructure, electricity and water projects; and engaging in security cooperation with the PA.

The paper also described a series of steps Israel took to ease the lives of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip: promotion of health and education projects: upgrading the crossings for goods; providing entry permits into Israel for businessmen; increasing exports from the Gaza Strip; and agreeing to the “Blair package” to improve infrastructure in the Strip.

President Peres in Spain: The World is sleeping, All of Europe under nuclear threat

President Shimon Peres warned against the Iranian nuclear threat Wednesday, also inveighing against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi amid bloody protests signifying the possible overturning of his regime.

In a speech Peres gave before senior journalists and diplomats in Spain, Peres said Gaddafi was concerned only for himself. "You can see by his outfits how much he spends on clothing rather than on people," he said.

On the rapidly spreading protests in Arab states Peres said:
"Israel supports the strengthening of democracy and peace in the Middle East. The youth of the region demand freedom, equal opportunities, and the right to live decently and we applaud this."

"The recent developments in the region provide both Israel and the Palestinians with an opportunity to return to direct negotiations....The gaps between the sides are not too big."
Peres had a warning for European countries regarding the Islamic Republic:
"You are sleeping. One day you will wake up with nuclear warheads pointed at Madrid."
"The real threat stands as a clear warning sign to Europe and the entire world: Iran is developing nuclear weapons for mass destruction, and when nuclear weapons reach the hands of terror organizations, Iran's satellites, all of Europe's capitals will be under existential threat."

"Leaders who have their pictures taken beside Ahmadinejad should be ashamed, and he must not be invited to march on the UN's red carpets."

"Spain has suffered very serious terror attacks, and this will be the fate of many countries in the world if drastic measures are not taken against Iran".

Monday, February 21, 2011

British PM Cameron urges Egypt to prove its democratic future

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday Egypt must do more to show it has a democratic future following the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak.

"I think they have to do more to show people that those people can have confidence that Egypt is going to have an open and democratic future," he told Sky News.

"That will be good for people in Egypt but good for everyone in this region as well."

"This is a great opportunity for us to go and talk to those currently running Egypt to make sure this really is a genuine transition from military rule to civilian rule and see what friendly countries like Britain and others in Europe can do to help," Cameron told journalists on the flight, according to the Press Association.

Cameron is due to hold talks with the head of the Armed Forces Supreme Council, Defense Minister Mohamed Tantawi, and Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq.

WND/WENZEL Poll: 75% Americans believe Israel is the top target of Islamic radicals

(WND).A new survey reveals literally hundreds of millions of Americans have a strong affinity for Israel and believe the U.S. should intervene if Israel is attacked by Iran.

The poll for WND by Wenzel Strategies also documents that Christians, especially those who describe themselves as born-again believers, largely hold stronger feelings regarding Israel than do Jews.

The poll, a telephone survey conducted Feb. 9-15 with a resulting margin of error of 3.37 percent, showed 3 in 4 Americans agree with the statement that "Israel is the No. 1 target for destruction of Islamic radicals in the Middle East."

Fifty-five percent said while Israel seeks peace with its neighbors, "its neighbors are generally unwilling to agree to peace with Israel."

Analysis from Wenzel Strategies' Fritz Wenzel:
"This survey gives the unmistakable impression that, in yet another area, President Obama is out of step with the mindset of the American people, This was a survey of all adults, which is a significantly more favorable audience for Obama than respondent samples of registered voters or likely voters, and yet American support for Israel far outstrips that shown by the Obama administration to date."

"A good example came just recently during the government crisis in Egypt, where the Obama administration was quick to push for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, who had maintained a 30-year peace treaty with Israel. It is still unknown what the long-term fate of that landmark treaty will be, but it's future is highly unlikely to be more beneficial to Israel, yet Israel security is a top priority for the U.S. public."

"Obama's inaction and inattentiveness to the Iranian nuclear weapons threat is another area in Middle East policy where he is at odds with Americans in general. This survey registers significant concern about Iranian threats against Israel and demonstrates an appetite for U.S. involvement to protect Israel in case of an imminent threat".
The results of the 20-question assessment confirmed, too, that those who self-identify as born-again Christians have a powerful affinity for Israel.

Other results:

* About 80 percent of born-again Christians disagreed with the statement that Israel "is an aggressor nation," nearly the same as the 85 percent of Jews who held that opinion.

* Fifty-eight percent of the Jews said they agreed with the statement that the U.S. does not provide enough moral support to Israel, but more than 62 percent of the born-again Christians held that view.

* Thirty-nine percent of the Jews believe the U.S. is undermining Israel by pushing a Palestinian state, while almost 56 percent of the born-again Christians believe that.

* Fifty-one percent of the Jews believe the U.S. should make support of Israel the primary plank in Middle East policy, but more than 72 percent of born-again Christians hold that perspective.

* Some 22.4 percent of the Jews believe the U.S. will be judged by God according to the way it treats Israel, but 2 of 3 born-again Christians agreed with that statement.

* While 55.2 percent of Jews believe Americans should be very concerned about Israel's national security, that figure was 71.1 percent for born-again Christians.

"The survey also shows most Americans believe Israel is under a continuing grave threat from Islamic radicals," the analysis said.

According to the survey, 75 percent of all respondents in the survey said they believe Israel is the top target of Islamic radicals. Eighty-six percent said they are at least somewhat concerned about Israel's national security – and 53 percent said they were "very concerned" about it.

Further, "71 percent said they believe the U.S. should support Israel if Israel engages in military action to counter a possible Iranian nuclear attack against Israel. And, while the U.S continues to wage two other heavy military actions in the region – Iraq and Afghanistan – 64 percent said they would favor using American military troops against Iran if Iran attempts a nuclear attack on Israel."

The report continued, "Even as Iraq remakes itself as a fledgling democracy and Egypt struggles to figure out what its government might look like after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, 62 percent of survey respondents said they agree Israel is the only true pro-Western ally of the United States in the region. Among Republicans, 70 percent said as much, as did 68 percent of political independents, but just 50 percent of Democrats agreed."

"There was striking partisan disagreement on the question of President Barack Obama' pressuring Israel to stop building or repairing Jewish homes in and around Jerusalem. While 61 percent of Democrats approved of Obama's stance, just 28 percent of Republicans felt the same way," the analysis said.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

IU Student Association Student Body Congress pass resolution affirming US support for Israel

(IDSnews).On Feb. 8, our IU Student Association Student Body Congress passed a resolution affirming support for Israel, one of America’s closest friends and allies. While debate on the resolution was heated, the resolution was overwhelmingly approved with a 26-5 vote.

After that important vote, IU became the second university in the country to send a strong message to our nation’s leaders that the U.S.-Israel relationship is an important issue to students. Your student leaders recognize that strong American support for Israel means a lasting peace can be achieved in the Middle East.

The close relationship between the United States and Israel is exemplified by the overwhelming popular support of the American public that, according to a Gallup poll, stands at 68 percent. This helps us understand that much of the American public recognizes both the cultural and strategic relationship the state of Israel offers. I hope to cast a little light on why continued American support for this country is vital.

Continued American support for Israel is crucial in many ways for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated his support for a two-state solution which would allow for independent Jewish and Palestinian states.

While the two-state solution sounds good on paper, the negotiations need to take place in direct dialogue between Israel and Palestine and not through some unilateral institution like the United Nations.

The problem with having a unilateral institution like the U.N. broker the negotiations is that it would undermine the true aspirations of peace. This was evident in 1988 when the U.N. passed a resolution declaring support for a Palestinian state. Against U.S. and Israeli opposition, the resolution hurt any trust or progress that had been achieved in developing a lasting peace.

The United States’ support for the peace process through bilateral negotiations has not changed. In an Oct. 20 speech last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “There is no substitute for face-to-face discussion ... (and) that is the only path that will lead to the fulfillment of the Palestinian national aspirations and the necessary outcome of two states for two peoples.”

According to a memo released by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Nov. 15, bilateral negotiations between Israel and Palestine are the only way to lasting peace. The memo states that “while there are significant gaps between the parties on fundamental issues, rejecting negotiations and threatening alternative approaches will guarantee failure.”

The memo also points out that unilateral negotiations fail to address the issues “at the heart of the dispute,” which includes addressing “borders, refugees, Jerusalem, security arrangements and water.”

According to the same memo, Prime Minister Netanyahu has already made serious proposals to restart negotiations. He has recently “implemented a 10-month moratorium on housing starts in the West Bank and taken dramatic action to improve the day-to-day lives of the Palestinians.”

Support from the United States can come in many ways, including consistent policy positions as well as foreign aid. President Obama indicated his support for a memorandum that will provide $30 billion in U.S. foreign aid for 10 years that will help Israel maintain its military edge in a volatile part of the world. Seventy-five percent of this aid is spent by Israel in the United States to support areas like the American defense industry.

Addressing the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a heated debate in any circle. In American politics, it is truly the one bipartisan issue most Democrats and Republicans can agree on. This is witnessed in the passing of the IUSA resolution last week as both the College Democrats and College Republicans signed on as sponsors.

Whatever the final peace solution, the United States of America must stand strong in its solidarity with Israel and support bilateral negotiations to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Netanyahu: Israel views with utmost gravity Iran's attempt to expand influence in the region

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel views with utmost gravity the intent of Iran to send warships to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, a move he termed "an Iranian attempt to expand its influence in the region."

Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting that the "security component is critical to any peace agreement.":

"Over the weekend, US President Barack Obama decided to veto a draft UN Security Council decision condemning Israel. Israel deeply appreciates this decision and we remain committed to advancing peace both with our neighbors in the region and with the Palestinians. I believe that the US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is direct negotiations and not through the actions of international bodies, which are designed to bypass direct negotiations. The most important thing in any negotiations that we conduct is the security component. The security component is critical to any peace agreement and I think that today, we can see what an unstable region we live in, a region in which Iran tries to exploit the situation that has been created in order to expand its influence by passing warships through the Suez Canal. Israel views this Iranian move with utmost gravity and this step, like other steps and developments, underscores what I have reiterated in recent years – Israel's security needs will grow and the defense budget must grow accordingly.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Netanyahu: Israel 'deeply appreciates' Obama's veto on UN resolution condemning settlements

Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States on Saturday after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity. "Israel deeply appreciates the decision by President Obama to veto the Security Council Resolution", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.
"Israel deeply appreciates the decision by President Obama to veto the Security Council Resolution today.
Israel remains committed to pursuing comprehensive peace with all our neighbors, including the Palestinians.

We seek a solution that will reconcile the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for statehood with Israel's need for security and recognition.

Today's decision by the U.S. makes it clear that the only path to such a peace will come through direct negotiations and not through the decisions of international bodies.

We are prepared to pursue those peace negotiations vigorously and are eager to get on with the work of achieving a secure peace. We hope the Palestinians will join us in that effort as soon as possible".

Friday, February 18, 2011

Actions speak louder than words - US vetoes UN resolution calling Israeli Settlements illegal

The United States vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements as "illegal" and called for an immediate halt to all settlement building.

The 14 other Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution in Friday's vote.

The U.S. opposes new Israeli settlements but says taking the issue to the UN will only complicate efforts to resume stalled negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on a two-state solution.

Rice said the U.S. vote against the resolution should not be misunderstood as U.S. support for Israeli settlement activity.

"On the contrary, we reject in the strongest possible terms the legitimacy of continued settlement activity, For more than four decades, [Israeli settlement activity] has undermined security ...corroded hopes for peace and security ... it violates international commitments and threatens prospects for peace."

But, Rice said, "this resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides."

AIPAC expressed appreciation that the "Obama administration utilized its veto to prevent another one-sided, anti-Israel resolution from being enacted by the U.N. Security Council. The most effective action the administration can take to encourage peace is to use its influence to bring PA President Abbas back to the negotiating table—immediately and unconditionally".

The Facts: UN delegitimizing Israel's legal Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria

As the UN is about to vote on the Palestinian resolution condemning Israel's settlement activities, and calling the jewish settlements in judea and Samaria illegial. so instead of attacking the Palestinians and thier allies, here are the FACTS on the so called occupied territories:

Ambassador Dore Gold wrote in Jan. 2002:

"Occupation" as an Accusation
“The use of "occupied Palestinian territories" denies any Israeli claim to the land: had the more neutral language of "disputed territories" been used, then the Palestinians and Israel would be on an even playing field with equal rights. Additionally, by presenting Israel as a "foreign occupier," advocates of the Palestinian cause can delegitimize the Jewish historical attachment to Israel.
The politically-loaded term "occupied territories" or "occupation" seems to apply only to Israel and is hardly ever used when other territorial disputes are discussed, especially by interested third parties. For example, the U.S. Department of State refers to Kashmir as "disputed areas."
Despite the 1975 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice establishing that Western Sahara was not under Moroccan territorial sovereignty, it is not commonly accepted to describe the Moroccan military incursion in the former Spanish colony as an act of "occupation." In a more recent decision of the International Court of Justice from March 2001, the Persian Gulf island of Zubarah, claimed by both Qatar and Bahrain, was described by the Court as "disputed territory," until it was finally allocated to Qatar.7
The case of the West Bank and Gaza Strip appears to be a special exception in recent history, for in many other territorial disputes since the Second World War, in which the land in question was under the previous sovereignty of another state, the term "occupied territory" has not been applied to the territory that had come under one side's military control as a result of armed conflict.
Here are some facts according to Dore Gold:
*Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Meir Shamgar wrote in the 1970s that there is no de jure applicability of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention regarding occupied territories to the case of the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the Convention "is based on the assumption that there had been a sovereign who was ousted and that he had been a legitimate sovereign."

*In fact, prior to 1967, Jordan had occupied the West Bank and Egypt had occupied the Gaza Strip; their presence in those territories was the result of their illegal invasion in 1948, in defiance of the UN Security Council. Jordan's 1950 annexation of the West Bank was recognized only by Great Britain (excluding the annexation of Jerusalem) and Pakistan, and rejected by the vast majority of the international community, including the Arab states.

*The 1949 Armistice Agreement specifically stated: "no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations".

*Former State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in the Hague, wrote in 1970 regarding Israel's case: "Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title."9

*Under UN Security Council Resolution 242 from November 22, 1967 -- that has served as the basis of the 1991 Madrid Conference:Israel is only expected to withdraw "from territories" to "secure and recognized boundaries" and not from "the territories" or "all the territories" captured in the Six-Day War.
Britain's foreign secretary in 1967, George Brown, stated three years later that the meaning of Resolution 242 was "that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories."11

*In 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, recognized Jewish national rights in the whole of the Mandated territory: "recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

*The 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 6) states that the Occupying Power would only be bound to its terms "to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory." Under the earlier 1907 Hague Regulations, as well, a territory can only be considered occupied when it is under the effective and actual control of the occupier. Thus, according to the main international agreements dealing with military occupation, Israel's transfer of powers to the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Agreements has made it difficult to continue to characterize the West Bank and Gaza as occupied territories.

* U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright stated in March 1994: "We simply do not support the description of the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 War as occupied Palestinian territory."
* * *
And now to my opinion: The truth is why complain when out own brothers and sisters turn this issue into a political bashing bag, when attacks on the right, on settlers, on an elected Prime minister, on the Legal justice dep. led by groups funded by foreign anti Israel countries, but here is my thing: argue, debate, disagree, offer alternatives, yes ur more then welcome, but for crying out loud, why LIE? why call urself fair and balanced, when the reports u write up, the voice u utter , comes from a bias, unjustified , maybe even a destructive mean, to undermine Israel’s sovereignty, to deny Israel’s historical right to this land, and give legitimacy to terror attack, to hatred and contribute to carry out Ahmedinjad’s call for the destruction of Israel.

This reminds me a story with a jew facing a trail against a gentile, going to the judge a day before, handing him over a envelope of cash money, the Judge looked up to him in shock, how come? it says in ur Torah-bible that giving bribe is not permitted, il explain yu says the jew, by us our minds are usually straight, therefore when I give bribe I intend to sway and bend the Judge’s mind towards my opnion, but you , ur mind is already bended towards the other side that is against me, so my bribe intensions are only to bend it back to the middle.

Republican Presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney Op-Ed: Obama Turns His Back on Israel

(Op-Ed Mitt Romney-NRO).The Obama administration has been seeking a way to avoid vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel. It has floated the idea of meeting Israel’s critics halfway with a U.N. “presidential statement” calling Israeli settlements “illegitimate.” Whether or not such a statement is actually issued, the very idea is a mistake. Indeed, we have here in this single idea a display of multiple foreign-policy failures of this presidency. Let us count the ways the administration’s proposed action has already injured Israel and the United States.

For one thing, the U.N. condemnation put forward by the president puts Israel, our closest ally in the region, in an untenable position. In exchange for peace, previous Israeli governments offered radical border concessions, surrendering most of the West Bank and even portions of Jerusalem. In 2005, the government of Ariel Sharon withdrew from the Gaza Strip, uprooting thousands of its own citizens. Yet all such proposals and steps toward peace have been met by Palestinian rejection, by intifadas, by suicide bombings, and by Qassam rocket fire. Isolated more than ever in the region, Israel must now contend with the fact that its principal backer in the world, the United States, is seeking to ingratiate itself with Arab opinion at its expense. Will an increasingly tenuous relationship with the U.S., at the very moment when it is becoming more vulnerable, encourage Israel to be as flexible as it has in the past, or the reverse? The answer is clear.

For another thing, even on its own terms of supposedly promoting the Arab-Israeli peace process, this is not a step forward but a step back. By taking up and embracing a core Palestinian demand, as the president has done repeatedly on this issue over the past two years, the United States is removing incentives for the Palestinians to parley with Israel at all. They are induced to believe that they can simply wait until their demands are handed to them on a silver platter by Washington. The administration’s contemplated compromise in the U.N. thus would punish Israel and reward Palestinian intransigence.

The harm wrought by the Obama administration’s diplomatic decisionmaking is doubly driven home by the fact that it is taking place in that chamber of double-standards, the United Nations. For decades the U.N. has been the epicenter of the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel, a campaign that has often devolved into naked anti-Semitism. Democratic and Republican administrations alike have long resisted this vicious business. It was Daniel Patrick Moynihan who in 1975 denounced the U.N.’s “Zionism Equals Racism” resolution as an obscenity, and it was Pres. George H. W. Bush who in 1991 won its repeal. The Obama administration is abysmally remiss in departing from our proud tradition of standing by a democratic ally when the world’s most unsavory regimes gang up on it.

Finally, the episode reveals a strategic failure that transcends mishandling of the Israeli-Palestinian problem alone. For its first two years, the Obama administration downplayed the importance of promoting democracy around the world. Reflexively shunning the foreign-policy approach of its predecessor, it sought to engage adversaries like Iran and North Korea, coddle autocratic allies, and distance itself from democratic friends.

True, over the last few days the administration has belatedly recognized that, in the wake of the revolutions sweeping the Arab world, supporting aspirations for human freedom might be important. It has finally, for example, issued strong statements condemning the Iranian ayatollahs for their violent suppression of the democratic opposition. But one step forward, two steps backward. President Obama’s decision to lean hard on Israel has the U.S. once again currying favor with dictators and distancing itself from democrats.

Putting forward a misbegotten U.N. statement as a compromise was a tactical, strategic, and moral mistake. The administration may conceive of its action as a low cost, split-the-difference gesture, but it has harmed an ally, sent a dangerous signal of inconstancy to allies and adversaries alike, and betrayed basic American principles. That’s three mistakes in one. I hope in the end the U.S. vetoes the anti-Israel resolution, but significant damage has already been done.

Obama warned PA that they will face 'repercussions' in relationship with US

(AFP).US President Barack Obama warned the Palestinians of "repercussions" if they pushed for a United Nations Security Council vote against Jewish settlements, a Palestinian official said Friday.

"President Obama threatened on Thursday night to take measures against the Palestinian Authority if it insists on going to the Security Council to condemn Israeli settlement activity, and demand that it be stopped," the senior Palestinian official told AFP.

During the hour-long telephone conversation with Abbas late Thursday, Obama told Abbas: "There will be repercussions for Palestinian-American relations if you continue your attempts to go to the Security Council and ignore our requests in this matter, especially as we suggested other alternatives."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Political commentator Chanan Crystal praises the Netanyahu/Barak pair

(IMRA).Political commentator Chanan Crystal is anything but a big fan of Binyamin Netanyahu. Here is a translation of his remarks today at the start of Israel Radio's Hakol Diburim program:

Chanan Crystal: I will say a word. You know, this week everyone celebrated two years since the elections. It is slightly less than two year for the government .
Recently the "B pair" - Barak, Ehud and Binyamin Netanyahu, grabbed very harsh criticism in the media and political system and a large part of it may be valid. More for Barak than Netanyahu.

The past two years were the calmest, from a security standpoint, in scores of past years.

In the light of phenomena -- how were they termed? tectonic, changes, etc., it should be assessed -- it is my assessment - that many of the critics in the media and the political system feel better and sleep better that the "B pair", Binyamin Netanyahu, Barak, Ehud, are at the helm of the government over any other team that I know -- without mentioning names. Period.

Obama calls Abbas to prevent UN vote on Settlements; makes clear US will will veto resolution

(Haaretz).U.S. President Barack Obama called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday in an attempt to prevent the impending vote on a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements.

The U.S. has made it clear that it will veto the resolution should it come to a vote, and it would mark the first time the United States has used its veto power since Barack Obama assumed the presidency.

Security Council members have carried out unofficial discussions on Thursday evening ahead of Friday's vote. UN sources told Haaretz that according to the discussions it seems that the United States is not the only member that is against carrying out the vote.

A senior diplomat said that the U.S. isn't alone in its reservations regarding the vote, and that the five permanent council members do not like votes which force a rift between the permanent members of the Security Council.

The diplomat said that the general feeling that comes from the unofficial discussions between member states it that they would rather go for a move that would not create conflict in the Security Council.

One of the attempts by the U.S. to thwart the vote was to offer a compromise to the Palestinians, that instead of a resolution condemning Israel, the U.S. would support a presidential statement that would call the settlement activity illegitimate, which is not legally binding as a UN Security Council resolution.

TIP Poll: U.S. Support for Israel Rises to 55% during Period of Mideast Instability;

(The Israel Project).Fully fifty percent of voters personally support Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, up from forty-five percent in January. And, an even greater number (55 percent) believe the United States SHOULD support Israel. This rise in support for Israel comes amid continued unrest in Egypt and throughout the Arab world following Egyptian President Mubarak’s decision to step down. The rise in support is significant and suggests the importance American voters give to their alliance with Israel. 

Neil Newhouse, Republican partner of TIP’s bipartisan polling team, notes “This uptick in support for Israel in the U.S. comes at a critical time as voters are paying a little more attention to recent events in the Middle East.”

Thinking about the future of Egypt, a majority (56 percent) believe the country is more likely to end up like Turkey, with a Muslim majority, mostly democratic government and a U.S. ally, than it is to end up like Iran, an Islamic fundamentalist state. A similar number (53 percent) say that a future Egyptian government will maintain diplomatic ties with Israel and honor its peace agreement. However, voters are divided as to whether the new Egypt will secure the border with Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling (39 percent – WILL secure border/34 percent – NOT likely to secure border).

When asked their greatest concern about the instability crisis in the Middle East, voters cited “The United States will have to get even more involved in the Middle East,” and “It will cause American leaders to focus on foreign policy instead of problems at home” as the top two concerns.

Stanley Greenberg, Democratic partner of TIP’s bipartisan polling team, explains “U.S. public is optimistic about the popular forces and the prospective new, ‘democratic’ regime that may emerge. They think Egypt will continue to recognize Israel, though are uncertain whether they will address the on-going problem in Gaza.”

The national survey (Poll Questions, Presentation) of 1,000 likely 2012 voters reached by both landline and cell-phone was conducted February 7-9, 2011 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of The Israel Project.

Gallup: 68% of Americans view Israel favorable, highest since '91 Gulf war

A substantial majority of Americans -- 68 percent -- continue to rate Israel favorably, according to the latest Gallup Poll.

Israel ranked seventh among 21 countries in this year's poll, conducted Feb. 2-5, behind, in order, Canada, Britain, Germany, Japan, India and France.

Iran scored last, with 11 percent approval. The Palestinian Authority scored fifth from last, with 19 percent approval.

In analyzing the results, Gallup said in a statement: "Countries that are friendly to the United States and supportive of its foreign policy are generally rated positively, while countries that are unfriendly to the United States and oppose its policies are rated negatively."

House Speaker Boehner: We Stand by Our Close Ally, Israel

US House Speaker John Boehner assured Israel Wednesday that the United States would back it in the face of growing Middle Eastern instability.

Speaker Boehner met with Israel's Ambassador to Washington, DC, Michael Oren. Following the meeting, Boehner said: 
"Israel is one of America’s strongest allies. We share common values, and fight common enemies in the form of violent extremism. The people of Israel have sacrificed for the sake of peace and stability. With change coming rapidly to the Middle East, the United States is committed to standing by our close ally to maintain peace and stability in the region."

The ambassador, for his part, expressed "deep appreciation for the Speaker’s unwavering friendship for Israel, and his firm leadership of Congressional initiatives in support of the Jewish state."
"Speaker Boehner’s commitment to Israel is especially valued at this time of change in the Middle East, and as Israel continues to confront the threats of terror and Iranian nuclearization, Israel looks forward to working with Congress toward achieving peace throughout the Middle East".

Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs presents new face of Israeli public diplomacy: Faces of Israel

A special Israeli youth delegation, including Druze, Arabs, Jews, Ethiopian immigrants and representatives of the gay community, plans to leave next week on a unique public diplomacy campaign at leading US and Canadian universities. The delegation, entitled "Faces of Israel", was formed at the initiative of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, with the assistance of the Foreign Ministry, and is designed to have Israelis present Israel. All members of the delegation volunteered to put aside their daily routines in order to undergo special training to present and represent abroad the true faces of Israeli society.

Minister Edelstein explains:
"We believe that this is the right answer to the campaign of delegitimization that is taking place against Israel around the world. The Ministry's pre-emptive activity will acquaint local students with their Israeli peers, face to face, in order to bring about genuine familiarity with Israeli society. The delegation will divide into groups that will be sent to the various universities and participate in various forums, including open panels and direct meetings on campuses." 
"This is a new strategy that seeks to promote the human face of Israel not just by means of ministers and diplomats in suits but directly, face to face, by means of regular people who go out into the field."
The delegation's activities will lead into a main event that will take place in New York on Sunday, 6.3.11, in which Minister Edelstein will speak on the importance of the struggle against the campaign to delegitimize Israel.

Obama admin join's UN legitimacy attack on Settlements in Judea and Samaria

(FP).The U.S. informed Arab governments Tuesday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal.

But the Palestinians rejected the American offer following a meeting late Wednesday of Arab representatives and said it is planning to press for a vote on its resolution on Friday, according to officials familar with the issue. The decision to reject the American offer raised the prospect that the Obama adminstration will cast its first ever veto in the U.N. Security Council.

Still, the U.S. offer signaled a renewed willingness to seek a way out of the current impasse, even if it requires breaking with Israel and joining others in the council in sending a strong message to its key ally to stop its construction of new settlements. U.S. officials were not available for comment, but two Security Council diplomats confirmed the proposal.

Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, outlined the new U.S. offer in a closed door meeting on Tuesday with the Arab Group, a bloc of Arab countries from North Africa and the Middle East. In exchange for scuttling the Palestinian resolution, the United States would support the council statement, consider supporting a U.N. Security Council visit to the Middle East, the first since 1979, and commit to supporting strong language criticizing Israel's settlement policies in a future statement by the Middle East Quartet.

The U.S.-backed draft statement -- which was first reported by Al Hurra -- was obtained by Turtle Bay. In it, the Security Council "expresses its strong opposition to any unilateral actions by any party, which cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community, and reaffirms, that it does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, which is a serious obstacle to the peace process." The statement also condemns "all forms of violence, including rocket fire from Gaza, and stresses the need for calm and security for both peoples."

Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, signals that pro-Israel Democrats aren't going to be on board with this:
This is too clever by half. Instead of doing the correct and principled thing and vetoing an inappropriate and wrong resolution, they now have opened the door to more and more anti-Israeli efforts coming to the floor of the U.N. The correct venue for discussions about settlements and the other aspects of a peace plan is at the negotiating table. Period.