Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Poll: 66% Israeli's against the division of Israel's capital - Jerusalem

Sixty-six percent of Israelis polled by a Geocartography Knowledge survey this week carried out for Israel’s Channel 1 television, said they are against allowing the Palestinian Authority to have control of any part of the capital.

Virtually the same number – 67 percent – told the pollsters that construction should not be frozen in any part of United Jerusalem.

An overwhelming 73 percent said they are against international control of holy places, which were restricted to Muslims under the Jordanian occupation before Israel opened up churches and synagogues for all visitors after the Six-Day War in 1967.

Netanyahu: "Next year in a more built up Jerusalem."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his uncompromising stance on a united Jerusalem Tuesday night, saying he plans to authorize more building in the capital, in a speech at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu said in his speech Tuesday that Jerusalem would never be divided, emphasizing the Jewish people's longstanding historical connection to the city.
"The rocks and archaeological artifacts found in Jerusalem expose the deep ties between the Jewish people and its capital".

"We came back to Jerusalem as builders, and today Jerusalem is growing and flourishing. We need to continue and build and develop the city. We see how the citizens of Jerusalem walk in it proudly. Jerusalem has once again become the capital of the Jewish people.”
Netanyahu thanked those present for their support during his visit to the United States last week.
“When I was overseas, I received all your blessings and support, You wanted to strengthen me and you did it, because during that entire week I kept remembering one verse: ‘Chazak Chazak v’Nitchazek.’ (Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened). May we strengthen one another. We need that strength every day of the year. We’re undergoing a great struggle but we also have some great achievements. 44 years ago, Israel’s soldiers fulfilled the vision of the prophets and brought back Jerusalem to its proper place.
Netanyahu directly addressed the students of the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, telling them, “There is nothing more dear to you than the Torah, the people of Israel and the land of Israel, at the heart of which is its capital Jerusalem…There are a few here who were or will be in the sayeret (military commando unit) in the IDF, and just like the sayeret goes in front of the camp, so do you go in front of the camp to light its way.”

He then offered the students some advice:
“Always keep in touch with the camp. A pioneer with no camp behind him becomes lost in the desert, but if he has a camp connected to him he becomes part of a great force. All of you – rabbis, avreichim, and students – you stay connected and I’m sure you’ll continue to stay connected to the entire people. Jerusalem can continue to develop only if the people of Israel continue to develop. And the people of Israel will develop only through unity. There’s great strength in unity.”
The Prime Minister ended with a blessing in honor of Jerusalem Day.
“There’s nothing more holy to us than Jerusalem, We’ll keep Jerusalem, we’ll keep its unity, we’ll build it. We’ll protect Jerusalem and Jerusalem will protect us. I say to you not just Chag Sameach, but L’Shana Haba’a BiYerushalyim Habenuya Yoter (Next year in Jerusalem which is built even more)!”

Netanyahu rocks Congress and Twitter - Support for Israel soars on Social Media

(journalism.org). By almost a 3-to-1 margin, bloggers and users of Twitter and Facebook expressed strong support for Israel over the Palestinians in the week following President Obama's May 19 address on the Middle East, according to an analysis of social media conducted by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Many of those expressing support also took President Obama to task for suggesting that peace in the region would best be achieved by creating a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.

Only a small percentage of the conversation was neutral as most users shared strong opinions about the difficult issues involved in the peace process.

In the seven days following Obama's speech, fully 55% of the conversation on blogs on the issue has been in favor of Israel and opposed to a move to the 1967 borders, while 19% has been in favor of the Palestinians and the creation of an independent state. About a quarter, 27%, was neutral.

On Twitter and Facebook, the tone of conversation was similar with 60% pro-Israel compared to 20% pro-Palestinian and 20% neutral.

These are the results of a special edition of the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, utilizing computer technology from Crimson Hexagon. Based on more than 48,000 blog posts and 430,000 posts on Twitter or Facebook, this report goes beyond the normal methodology of PEJ's index of new media to look at the specific themes and tone of the online conversation related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Social media users who sided with Israel criticized Obama for not backing the U.S. ally strongly enough and consequently not upholding American values. Many used phrases suggesting Obama had "thrown Israel under the bus" or "stabbed Israel in the back."

Supporters of the Palestinians were mostly critical of Israel's actions and declared that Israel continues to be an occupying power backed by the U.S. Some were critical of Obama for backing Israel too strongly and not supporting Palestinians they saw as fighting against colonization.

Only about a quarter of the conversation identified on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook on the subject was neutral. This was slightly less than the 28% found in a PEJ analysis of social media regarding the 2010 controversy over the "Ground Zero" Mosque using Crimson Hexagon. It was significantly less than an analysis of election night 2010 where 41% of the messages on Twitter were "neutral." Other analysis of social media debates, in testing the coding software, also found higher levels of neural discussion. In those cases, social media were used more often to pass along straightforward news accounts. This past week, though, in talking about this most recent discussion of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, social media users focused more on expressions of opinion.

The pro-Israeli tone of conversation also stayed relatively constant throughout the week examined. On blogs, the ratio of support for Israel over the Palestinians was virtually the same on May 19, the day of Obama's speech (55% to 19%), as it was on May 25 (54% to 20%).

On Twitter and Facebook, there was a small change over time away from the pro-Israel position, but not enough to see a significant change in the overall makeup of the conversation. On May 19, 62% of the discussion was pro-Israel compared to 20% pro-Palestinian, while a week later the makeup was 54% to 23%.

Some users of social media expressed clear and straightforward support for Israel.

"We must stand with Israel," tweeted Vicki Shroyer.

"When we say never again. We mean never again. Israel always reserves the right to defend itself," added Adriana RM.*

A few were critical of Palestinians.

"Many many younger Palestinians have been indoctrinated to think Israel is horror while Hamas practices terror everyday," declared Anna Teresa Arnold.

Some bloggers, who have more space to expand on their thoughts than Twitter users, explained why they felt the U.S. needed to maintain a strong alliance.

"There are many who believe that prosperity in the United States since the end of World War II is undeniably tied to our love for Israel," wrote Bill Steensland. "We have been a consistent blessing for the Jews who returned to their land and became a nation once again in 1948. If that is true, and if we walk away from our love of Israel, our prosperity will decline as does our love for Israel."

But most of all those in favor of Israel's position criticized Obama's declaration of land swaps and a return to earlier borders. Many contended the president was betraying Israel.

"Obama promised 2 stand w/ Muslims when the political winds turn ugly so are we really surprised when he knifes Israel in the back?" tweeted Glen Spicer.

"Israel's Prime Minister gives Obama a straight up no on moving their borders! Why should Israel have to make sacrifices for peace in the middle east when they are not the problem?" asked Alex Andronicos on Facebook.

"dear israel: obama does NOT speak for most americans with regard to your country's safety and future," tweeted Brooks Bayne.

"I watched in horror Obama's speech yesterday where he literally threw Israel to the Middle Eastern wolves encircling her," wrote Terresa Monroe-Hamilton on the blog New Zeal. "Our President has betrayed our largest, closest and last real ally - Israel... Israel's enemies would literally be able to drive her into the sea as they have threatened for so long. Obama sided with the Palestinians, but Americans don't and they don't side with their President. We are sickened by his weakness and by his treachery."

Even on Twitter, a platform on which users often pass along new information by linking to breaking news stories, many of the links were to stories with opinionated headlines rather than neutral statements of fact.

Moshe Arens/ Netanyahu had the courage to stand up to Obama

(Moshe Arens -Former defense Minister- Haaretz). It's been a long time since these words were spoken by an Israeli prime minister. "In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers," Benjamin Netanyahu said in his address to both houses of the U.S. Congress, and the representatives of the American people rose and cheered. Former Israeli prime ministers passively accepted the slurs hurled at Israel over the years at home and abroad that Israel was an "occupier" in the areas beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

This false role that Israeli prime ministers regretfully assumed in the name of the people of Israel, causing inestimable damage to Israel's image throughout the world, helped embed the concept that this "occupation" was an evil that had to be eliminated. It was no mean feat that Netanyahu had the courage to deny the falsehood of the "occupation" in speaking to Congress, a falsehood that had been adopted by his predecessors in recent years.

Netanyahu spoke to Congress after he had made it clear that he did not agree with Barack Obama's call for Israel to withdraw to the "1967 lines," and he reiterated that position in his speech.

So now come the self-anointed Israeli experts on the American system of government and explain to their readers that in the United States, foreign policy is made by the president and Congress plays no part. So it really doesn't matter if the present Congress is especially friendly and supportive of Israel and the positions of the democratically elected government of Israel if it has no voice in making foreign policy.

But these "experts" are only displaying their ignorance of the checks and balances in the United States between the president and Congress, a system that extends to foreign policy. While executive authority rests with the president, he is limited in pursuing a foreign policy that runs counter to the position of the majority in Congress.

In any case, even these "experts" must understand that Netanyahu's reception in Congress was an impressive demonstration of the strong bond between the people of America and the people of Israel. They might also take a look at the Washington Post headline the day after Netanyahu's appearance in Congress, which stated that senior Democrats had criticized the president. When a few days later Obama took part in the G8 meeting in Europe, he was probably surprised when the prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, objected to the inclusion of the "1967 lines" in the G8's resolution on the Middle East. North of the U.S. border there is another great friend of Israel who seems to agree with Netanyahu.

Where is the partner for a “viable, independent, and prosperous” Palestinian State?

(Consul General Meir Shlomo-Houston Chronicle). The conflict between Israel and the Arab world, and part of the Muslim world, is first and foremost about the refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have a Jewish state in the land of Israel. The rest, including the territorial aspect, is secondary at best.

We have no territorial dispute with Iran, and yet every Monday and Friday its leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calls for the annihilation of the state of Israel from the face of the Earth. Moreover, Iran is pressing ahead with its nuclear program, which is designed to give him the necessary tools for his vision.

We have no territorial dispute with Lebanon. The border is marked by the United Nations itself, to the last inch, and still Hezbollah is seeking nothing short of the destruction of Israel.

Still, many say that all these countries are seeking the destruction of Israel in support of the Palestinians. Wrong again. The proof? Even during the Oslo process, when it looked like we were going to achieve a final peace accord with the Palestinians, these countries kept instigating Israel, and even threatened the Palestinian leadership at the time.

The Palestinians also refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. True, with them there is a territorial dispute. Here we come to another truism: the settlements. Are they the reason for the conflict? If so, surely removing all of them would solve the conflict. That is the flawed logic of Israel bashers who insist on disregarding an uncontested fact of history:

The first settlement was established after 1967; however, the conflict started long before, at least in 1948, and persisted for 19 years with the absence of any settlements whatsoever.

So if it is not the settlements, why not use the 1967 line as the basis for a solution? Let’s put this one to bed right away. To see Israel before 1967 is to understand how unbelievably small and vulnerable it was. Imagine that two-thirds of the entire population of Texas, and all the industry and economy of Texas, were concentrated in Houston. Now imagine that you live in the Galleria area. On your border, which is as close as the Astrodome, your opponents can gather an exceedingly large army. Is that a formula for peace or a war waiting to happen?

The recent Arab Spring shook the whole Middle East. From Afghanistan to North Africa, the Middle East is going through an earthquake and tectonic shifts of change — none of that has anything to do with Israel.

Young and old, people are marching in squares and being killed by the hundreds in the streets of Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. You don’t hear them chanting slogans against Israel or the U.S. They march because they want what they really need – freedom. They are killed not because of Israel, but because their own rulers want to deny them freedom.

This political earthquake, completely unrelated to Israel, proves another truism: The core of instability in the Middle East is the lack of democracy and backwardness caused by the lack of democracy, not the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

I just came back from Washington, D.C., where I heard my prime minister deliver a historic speech. Benjamin Netanyahu went on record at the U.S. Congress and said that Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinians for a state that will be “viable, independent, and prosperous.”

Where is the partner who will finally “get it”?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Vice Premier Ya'alon: Conflict isn’t territorial, It's about Recognition of Jewsih State

(Moshe (Bogi) Ya'alon-OpEd Ynet).The key sentence in the prime minister's speech before Congress made it clear that the main reason for the failure of all attempts to secure Israel-Palestinian peace is the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State; that is, to recognize the Jewish people's right to maintain a Jewish nation-state, the State of Israel, on the land of its forefathers.

Israel's Palestinian dialogue partner in peace talks is the PLO; all members of this umbrella organization, including Fatah, reject Israel's right to exist, while accepting it (because of the IDF's military power) on the condition that it would be an entity that lacks an ethnic identity – that is, that it will not be the Jewish people's nation-state.

The Palestinians always stress that they are in favor of the "two-state" solution, rather than a solution based on "two states for two peoples." According to Palestinian leader Abbas, the Jews are not entitled to a state.Abbas defines Jewishness as a religion, rather than a nationality.

Ever since the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians have resorted to a series of verbal maneuvers in order to reject Israel's identity as the Jewish people's nation-state, and they have never renounced the return of refugees. This approach is not only espoused by some sly statesmen. It is the main message conveyed to the Palestinian public in general and Palestinian youth in particular, via the media, textbooks, constitutive documents of political organizations, religious authorities and cultural work.

Palestinian maps make no mention of Israel, and the PMW website, which monitors the Palestinian media, shows us the Palestinian leadership, headed by Abbas, beaming while a talented singer promises that Haifa and other areas within Israel will again be part of Palestine. Moreover, Palestinian children are being educated from young age to hate Israel and adore suicide bombers. This is not the way to make true peace. This is not how one prepares for coexistence.

Promoting an atmosphere that encourages violence and terror, combined with incitement for hatred of Israel and the Jews, is the reason for the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians rather than the steps adopted by Israel to defend itself in the face of this incitement. An Israeli concession on this matter will prompt the establishment of a hostile (and apparently failed) state near our population centers.

The heart of the conflict with the Palestinians is existential and not just territorial, as proven by Nakba Day events and as the prime minister made clear in his speech. As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the occupation started in 1948 and not in 1967. Hence, Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish people's nation-state is a required condition for viable peace with the Palestinians, although it is not a condition for entering negotiations.

Imparting this realization to the Palestinian public is a condition for implementing a peace deal and will require significant time. We should not delude ourselves and cultivate false hopes.

Past experience taught us that for any territory we gave up in order to move closer to the peace we seek, we got terror and rockets rather than peace. I'm glad to see that more and more Israelis are aware of this danger, and the more united Israel is on this front vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the international system, the higher our chances will be of prompting the Palestinians and the world to address the issue, and as result to secure stable, agreed-upon peace that will meet the national demands of both peoples.

The Bibi Report Radio show - Obama, Netanyahu and 1967 - The Strength of the US-Israel Relationship

                                                                              Listen to internet radio with The Bibi Report on Blog Talk Radio

Benjamin Netanyahu stood his ground in Washington Dc, it was the message of strength, and standing on Israel’s best interest, The unvarnished truth, yes ,the truth that sometimes hurts to be heard, was heard loud and clear in the World, as much as Israel wants peace, strives for peace and commits to peace, it will not give up on its defense and survival.

Without looking to score points, Netanyahu won the argument, getting the support of both aisles in the House, even the Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid, Bibi succeeded in getting through the message, because he spoke American, I would say that he is the only considered Republican that came across as a bi partisan leader in unifying America behind his message ,the message of freedom and liberty, because of the strong ties and relationship between the two peoples.

As Netanyahu pointed out on Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting:
The American nation is a great and strong friend of the State of Israel. There are some who do not understand the strength of this connection… It does not stem – as more than a few people wrote during and after the visit – from this or that small segment. Neither does it stem solely from evangelist support. Jews and believing Christians do exist but the support, as very, very important commentators wrote, is much more sweeping, vis-à-vis the American people's solidarity with the State of Israel. Somebody wrote that, 'Israel is an American value,' and I think that there is much truth in this.”

“The American support is a very, very important asset for the State of Israel and I think that it is also important that the world sees this".

The success of Netanyahu's US Tour, is not a personal victory, it’s an indication that the US - Israel relations are greater than individuals or policies.

And Israel must always remain a bi partisan issue, speak in one voice in defense of Israel, the only thing I do expect from the Republican presidential contenders is to offer alternatives to the current policies that should match the Israeli gov’t policies regarding the Middle East conflict.

Israel and America not only share the same enemy and fight the same wars, but share the common values of Freedom and liberty, and therefore Israel is not the 51st State, but the Flesh, Blood and bones of America, its One.

Netanyahu: 'laid down cornerstone uniting most parties' in US

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday recounted his aims for a recent visit to the US, saying that he had "laid down the cornerstone uniting most of the parties".

Netanyahu said that the issues uniting his government were:
"The recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, military presence along the Jordan River, and the issue of Hamas not being obligated to the Quartet".

"I told the president we cannot accept the 1967 lines, which he referred to in his speech. At AIPAC the president said the borders would not be (those of) '67. The final version of Obama's speech was approved during the day before his speech. There is a lot of support in America for Israel".

Sen. Schumer: No One Should Set Preconditions For Peace Agreement

U.S. Senator Schumer addressed a Jewish political function Sunday night, and discussed the Israeli / Palestinian conflict.

During his speech Schumer said the following:

“Whatever boundaries might have to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, should be negotiated by those two parties alone – and no one should set any preconditions on those negotiations.

That is not just my position, that is the position of the United States Senate, our leader Harry Reid said that at the AIPAC dinner Monday night, and I think it is the position of the overwhelming majority of both democrats and republicans in the congress, and that is why Bibi Netanyahu got such a strong reception when he visited the Congress last week.”

Netanyahu: Israel cannot prevent UN recognition of Palestinian state

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that no one can prevent the recognition of a Palestinian state in the United Nations in September.
"No one has the power to stop the decision to recognize a Palestinian state in the UN General Assembly in September, It can also be possible to make the decision there that the world is flat."
Netanyahu said Israel can't prevent UN recognition of a Palestinian state, and added that Israel expects to receive support only from a handful of countries.

"We have no way to obstruct the UN decision," Netanyahu said, but warned that that the Palestinians will not succeed in their efforts in the UN Security Council.
"It is impossible to recognize a Palestinian state without passing through the Security Council and such a move is bound to fail."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jeff Jacoby/ The solidarity with Israel is deep-rooted and durable

(Jeff jacoby0Boston Globe). The interplay among Obama, Netanyahu, and Congress made for an interesting show, but it changed nothing on the ground. The US-Israeli relationship was and is strong. The Israeli-Palestinian “peace process’’ was and is fruitless. Those realities are no different today than they were last month.

If anything, Netanyahu’s visit and its attendant fireworks served mostly as a reminder of two political axioms: 1) It takes more than Congress to change a president’s foreign policy. But 2) it takes more than a president to change a fundamental US relationship.

For better or for worse, presidential attitudes shape US foreign policy, and it is clear that the current president, unlike his two predecessors, feels little instinctive warmth for Israel. Between picking fights over housing starts in Jerusalem or insinuating that Israeli policy in Gaza endangers US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the president has seemed at times to go out of his way to telegraph an aloof coolness toward the Jewish state.

That was why Obama’s talk of an Israeli retrenchment to the pre-1967 lines, even with “mutually agreed swaps,’’ provoked such a strong reaction. It reinforced what many see as Obama’s lack of empathy for Israel’s security predicament, and suggested that he is more interested in getting Israel to change its shape than in getting the Palestinians to change their behavior. Obama later backtracked, and his apologists have been arguing that his words were misconstrued. But the president knew those words would spark a firestorm, and insisted on saying them anyway. Clearly he intended to intensify the pressure on Israel.

But even the president of the United States is limited in the amount of pressure he can put on an ally with which the American people feel such a powerful affinity.

There are many illustrations of American exceptionalism, but one of the most striking is the solidarity with Israel that is such an abiding feature of US opinion. That solidarity is deep-rooted and durable; it cuts across age and sex and party line; and it is mirrored in the views of America’s elected officials.

The thunderous reception Prime Minister Netanyahu received on Capitol Hill last week was as heartfelt as anything in American politics can be. It reflected the kinship of common values that links the greatest liberal democracy in the world with one of the smallest — and that has done so since Harry Truman recognized the embattled state of Israel within minutes of its birth 63 years ago this month.

Israel is still embattled, and its enemies hate Americans as much as they hate Jews. That too helps explain the bond Americans feel for Israel.

Netanyahu: Israel is an American value; American support is an asset for Israel

Upon his return from Washington, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made use of the Cabinet meeting Sunday to quote U.S. foreign affairs expert Walter Russell Mead, who wrote that “Israel is an American value.”

Mead, Editor-at-Large of The American Interest and former Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, also wrote that Netanyahu had “eviscerated” President Barack Obama in their latest match-up, and the fact that Netanyahu quoted him could be an indication of his own assessment of his Washington visit.
“They tell us all the time how we do not have any friends,” said Netanyahu. “We have friends. The American nation is a great and strong friend of the State of Israel. There are some who do not understand the strength of this connection… It does not stem – as more than a few people wrote during and after the visit – from this or that small segment. Neither does it stem solely from evangelist support. Jews and believing Christians do exist but the support, as very, very important commentators wrote, is much more sweeping, vis-à-vis the American people's solidarity with the State of Israel. Somebody wrote that, 'Israel is an American value,' and I think that there is much truth in this.”

“The American support is a very, very important asset for the State of Israel and I think that it is also important that the world sees this".
Netanyahu hinted that Israel could stay its course in spite of Obama’s pressure:
“We are in a process, a struggle, but there have been many important achievements because we have friends around the world, more than many think, and I am pleased to see that on various continents, in various meetings, they rebuffed matters that were not desirable to us".

Friday, May 27, 2011

Canada's Harper stands up for Israel at G8 summit

(Reuters) - Group of Eight leaders had to soften a statement urging Israel and the Palestinians to return to negotiations because Canada objected to a specific mention of 1967 borders, diplomats said on Friday.

Canada's right-leaning Conservative government has adopted a staunchly pro-Israel position in international negotiations since coming to power in 2006, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying Canada will back Israel whatever the cost.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was “adamant” about eliminating any mention of 1967 in the G-8 statement even though other leaders wanted to include it.

Below is an excerpt of the Final G8 statement:
"a. Negotiations are the only way toward a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the conflict. The framework for these negotiations is well known. We urge both parties to return to substantive talks with a view to concluding a framework agreement on all final status issues. To that effect, we express our strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by President Obama on May 19, 2011

d. We call on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to abide by existing co-operation agreements and to abstain from unilateral measures that could hamper progress and further reforms. We call for the easing of the situation in Gaza.

e. We demand the unconditional release of the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit without delay.

New Wave Poll: 60% of Israeli's Oppose Obama proposal for negotiations

(IMRA).Poll carried out by New Wave for Yisrael Hayom the week of 27 May 2011 of a representative sample of 500 adult Hebrew speaking Israeli Jews for all questions other than the question on voting for the Knesset and a representative sample of 620 adult Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) for the question on voting for the Knesset and published on 27 May, 2011:

If elections held today (expressed in Knesset seats)
Current Knesset seats in [brackets].

32 [27] Likud
28 [28] Kadima
16 [15] Yisrael Beiteinu
09 [13] Labor
09 [11] Shas
05 [05] Yahadut Hatorah
04 [04] Nat'l Union
03 [03] Meretz
03 [03] Jewish Home/NRP
11 [11] Arab parties

Are you satisfied or unsatisfied with the performance of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu?
Satisfied 45% Not satisfied 41% Don't know 14%

Are you satisfied or unsatisfied with the performance of U.S. President
Satisfied 34% Not satisfied 49% Don't know 17%

President Obama called for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of the 1967 borders with agreed land swaps. Do you support or oppose this?
Support 28% Oppose 60% Don't know 12%

Is Obama closer to Israel or the Palestinians?
Israel 38% Palestinians 37% Don't know 25%

Is Obama committed to Israel's security?
Committed 65% Not committed 27% Don't know 8%

At the end of the White House meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that he absolutely rejects part of the proposal of President Obama. Did Netanyahu unnecessarily endanger Israeli-American relations or faithfully present Israel's interests?
Unnecessarily endangered 16% Represented interests 68% Don't know 16%

Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that Israel would agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state while retaining Jewish settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, a long term military presence in the Jordan Valley and united Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Do you support or oppose then principles the prime minister presented?
Support 61% Oppose 25% Don't know 14%

Do the Palestinians want to reach a peace arrangement with Israel?
Yes 19% No 72% Don't know 9%

In the wake of the agreement between Fatah and Hamas, should Israel
negotiate now with the Palestinians?
Yes 41% No 47% Don't know 12%

Revolutions are taking place in the Arab world and there are demonstrations taking place against the ruling regimes. Are the changes taking place in the Arab world good or bad for Israel?
Good 18% Bad 41% No effect 16% Don' know 25%

Thursday, May 26, 2011

King of israel - Globes poll: 50% believe Netanyahu did not harm Israeli interests

Lilach Weissman-Globes).For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this has been his most successful week since the election. He has not enjoyed such a level of public approval since February 2009. In fact, even then he didn't win the kind of support he has now.

According to all the opinion polls carried out after Netanyahu's speech in the US Congress, the Likud would win over 30 Knesset seats if an election were held now, and support for the party is soaring to heights it hasn't known for years. The prime minister has found the winning formula: as his personal approval rating rises, the number of seats for Likud rises in train.

The dramatic turnaround in Netanyahu's status began when the public in Israel learned of the severe confrontation between him and President Obama at the White House. The prime minister, who, in two and half years in office, had never shown the boldness of a leader, had not produced a peace plan or done anything much in the economic or social spheres, plucked up his courage and stood tall against the US president.

The tough exchange of words between the two led to a strengthening of his standing first of all on the right, which cheered his courage in saying to the president "that's far enough." It seems it touched people emotionally and stirred Israeli pride, and that found expression in the numbers. The Israeli public, particularly on the right, love it when their prime minister emerges a hero. Even if he comes to blows with his boss, with the main sponsor.

A public opinion survey by Rafi Smith for "Globes" shows that half the public believes that Netanyahu did not harm Israeli interests. Among Likud voters that figure rises to 80%, and it is similar among traditional and religious Jews and those with a right-wing outlook. Only 29% of those surveyed think that the way the prime minister behaved towards the president of the US damaged the State of Israel's interests. 21% expressed no opinion. Israelis have an ambivalent attitude towards Obama: the US is our greatest friend, but, on the other hand, the current president is not always easy for Israel to deal with.

The speech Netanyahu made in Congress strengthened support for him even more. He managed to speak to everybody: he stroked right-wing sympathies when he said that Judea and Samaria were ours by right from our forefathers, something no Israeli prime minister has said before, and he also stroked the political center when a second afterwards he said that reality compels us to compromise on some of these places. Just as in the 1999 election campaign, in an instant, and in the US Congress of all places, Netanyahu became everyone's prime minister.

Even though he deviated from his ideology and that of the Likud, only a few twitters were heard from those who tried to raise the banner of rebellion. The polls showing that the prime minister emerged victorious in this round, and the high public support for him, succeeded in silencing, or at least muffling, those on his right flank and his opposition. No-one wants to attack a popular prime minister. On the contrary. Netanyahu's regular chorus of support has been joined by new voices. It's no longer just Ofir Akunis, Yuval Steinitz, and Gilad Erdan. It's also Yisrael Katz, Gidon Sa'ar, Yuli Edelstein, and Limor Livnat. All were interviewed by the media this week, stormed the television studios, flooded the radio programs.

The opposition also realized that it wasn't worthwhile swimming against the tide, and only a light stammering was heard from that direction. The main problem facing Netanyahu at the moment is how to keep the following wind he is enjoying from the public, and how to break the barrier of repugnance many Kadima voters feel towards him. It's not certain that press releases about romantic strolls in Washington are the solution.

It turns out that the word "No" and the number "1967" were all that Netanyahu had to say to hit the target with an overwhelming majority of public opinion. Asked whether they agree that in a peace agreement with the Palestinians the borders should be based on the 1967 lines with agreed exchanges of territory, which reflects Obama's stance, 66% of Israelis responded that they did not agree.

Michele Bachmann: Obama speaks for himself on Border issue and not for the American people

(Newsmax). President Barack Obamas policies are depriving the nation of a golden future, says Rep. Michele Bachmann, potential GOP presidential candidate. The Minnesota Republican also told Newsmax.TV in a video interview that no president has done more to betray the state of Israel than Obama in his call for a return to 1967 borders

Referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on Tuesday, Bachmann tells Newsmax: “He was phenomenal. He was clear. He eloquently stated Israel’s position and he stated the problems in the Middle East.
“The best line that summed up what Netanyahu said was this: Israel isn’t what’s wrong with the Middle East, Israel is what is right with the Middle East.

“Israel wants to have a peaceful solution but if Israel would do what President Obama has called for – giving up yet more land and reducing their borders to the 1967 borders — there wouldn’t be peace, there would be all-out war against the Jewish state.

“The Prime Minister rightly said Israel recognizes that Palestinians should have a state, but they need to recognize that the Jewish state of Israel has a right to exist.”

Bachmann called Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, “al-Qaida in Palestine.”
“We cannot expect Israel to negotiate with the al-Qaida version in Palestine. I think the prime minister was clear on that.

“President Obama stands alone in his [call] to put Israel in a position of indefensible borders.”

Bachmann said there’s “no question” that President Obama aided the forces trying to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.
“President Obama is the leader of the Free World and he’s also supposed to be Israel’s friend".

“From the time that Harry Truman recognized Israel as a sovereign state 11 minutes after Israel declared its independence until today, no president has done more to betray the State of Israel. It’s shocking and outrageous, the statement that President Obama said last Thursday".

“One would think the President would have had the backing and support of his own party, but it was interesting that even Senator Harry Reid will not stand with the president on the border issue".

“The president has sent a signal to let the thugs of the world think that they can have a heyday with Israel, and that is not the view of the people that I represent, nor of the people that I speak to all across America, nor my colleagues in the House, nor my colleagues in the United States Senate. President Obama speaks for himself on this issue and not for the American people.”

Netanyahu's popularity soars, as Israeli's consider US Trip an overwhelming success

"The public seems to be turning a deaf ear to analysts who criticized Netanyahu's address to Congress"

(Yossi Verter-haaretz).It's doubtful that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his wildest, most optimistic dreams, would have dared to imagine when he set off for the United States last week that Israelis would respond to his six-day trip so enthusiastically: According to a new Haaretz poll, they are giving the visit high marks, considering it an overwhelming success.

The poll, conducted by the Dialog organization, under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs of the Tel Aviv University Statistics Department, showed that 47 percent of the Israeli public believes the U.S. trip was a success, while only 10 percent viewed it as a failure.

Nearly half of the public felt "pride" at seeing Netanyahu address the joint session of Congress on Tuesday, while only 5 percent deemed it a "missed opportunity." The rest expressed no opinion, while 20 percent of those questioned said they hadn't watched the speech.

Israelis also don't believe that U.S.-Israel relations have been harmed by the visit despite its attendant problems, tensions and disputes.

Some 27 percent of those polled said they believe relations between the two countries will actually improve as a result of the visit, while only 13 percent thought relations would deteriorate. Nearly half of those questioned don't think there will be any change.

From the poll, it emerged that Netanyahu's trip not only put a brake on the drop in his popularity ratings, but actually reversed the trend.

While in a Haaretz poll five weeks ago Netanyahu seemed to be in hot water with the public, with 38 percent expressing satisfaction with his performance and 53 percent disappointed with it, in yesterday's poll the results were essentially reversed: 51 percent were satisfied, while 36 percent were not.

It's doubtful that U.S. President Barack Obama enjoyed such a spike in his popularity after the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

The public thus seems to be turning a deaf ear to the many political and diplomatic analysts who criticized the prime minister's address to Congress and who said it proved that Netanyahu was not capable of pulling the negotiations with the Palestinians out of the dangerous mire they are in.

The public also seems to have dismissed the learned warnings that Netanyahu had generated an unnecessary confrontation with Obama, for which Israel is liable to pay a high price down the line. Apparently average Israelis - from the right, the center, and even from some parts of the left - are welcoming Netanyahu back to Israel with open arms.

Asked their opinion of Obama, who tussled with Netanyahu late last week and also stung him a bit during his speech to the AIPAC annual conference on Sunday, 43 percent of those polled described him as "businesslike," while a quarter described him as friendly and only 20 percent saw him as hostile.

Most of the respondents, however, distinguished between Obama's relations with Israel and his personal relationship with Netanyahu, recognizing that there is a lack of chemistry between the two, though they did not seem too concerned by this.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Billionaire Haim Saban: Obama Must Do More For Israel

(CNBC). The most prominent Israeli-American business leader in the United States, Haim Saban, says President Obama needs to do more to show his support of Israel in light of the President’s comments last week suggesting Israel needs to return to its pre-1967 borders to achieve peace with the Palestinians.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC, Saban, one of the biggest individual supporters to the Democratic Party and chairman of Saban Capital Group, said Obama needs to visit Israel as he has done with other countries in the Middle East.
“I'm very perplexed as to why the president, who's been to Cairo, to Saudi Arabia, to Turkey, has not made a stop in Israel and spoken to the Israeli people, I believe that the president can clarify to the Israeli people what his positions are on Israel and calm them down. Because they are not calm right now.”
In response to that shift in Obama's position Saban said, “The president has clarified what he means, and I believe that with that, you know, we're all good. As an Israeli-American, we're all good.”

Right now, Saban doesn’t plan to donate to President Obama as he has other Democrats.
“President Obama has raised so much money and will raise so much money through the Internet, more than anybody before him. And he frankly doesn't, I believe, need any of my donations".

"Will I donate if I am solicited? I will donate. But I can tell you that my staunch support in enlisting people to contribute to the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and to the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] as well as to Democratic senators and congresspeople hasn't weakened in any way, shape or form. I continue to be a very active supporters of Democrats in both the Senate and the Congress.”

Warm reception for Netanyahu at Congress a deterring message to Israel’s foes, Arabs

(Ron Ben Yisha-Ynet). Prime Minister Netanyahu aimed his speech directly and exclusively at American ears. Not so much at President Obama, who already expressed his views and presented his model for addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but at the American public and legislators. The PM wants public pressure as well as pressure by members of Congress to force upon the president positions that are closer to Netanyahu’s vies than to those presented by Obama in his speech last week.

Hence, the fundamental disagreements between Israel’s PM and America’s president remain. That’s bad for Obama, who is about to embark on another election campaign, but it’s also bad for Israel. At the end of the day, it’s the president, rather than Congress, who outlines and carries out America’s foreign policy. There is a difference between the way the US defends Israel from de-legitimization and international isolation when the president is convinced and wholly dedicated to this mission and when the president and his people operate with no enthusiasm.

Netanyahu attempted to soften the disagreement by complimenting Obama at length for supporting Israel’s security, the means he takes to prevent nuclear weapons from Iran, and his war on terror. However, it is doubtful whether the warm words uttered by Israel’s PM will minimize the hostility and mistrust between the two leaders.

The speech did not provide Obama, who is currently in Europe, with ammunition for convincing Britain, France and Belgium, for example, to refrain from recognizing Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. Yet to Netanyahu’s credit, he made a genuine effort to say “yes, but” – in line with Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s advice. It’s unclear whether this effort was sufficient for International Quartet members as well as important European, Asian and Latin American states in respect to the expected UN vote in September.

On some issues, Netanyahu showed impressive success. In respect to what is known as the “narrative,” Netanyahu drew great applause when he spoke about the causes of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the failure to resolve it since 1948. Congress members showed clear support for Israel’s version, whereby most responsibility lies with the Palestinians and Arabs.

He also managed to be convincing when he explained why Israel demands that a Palestinian state be demilitarized, and why strict security arrangements are needed – including a longtime Israeli military presence on the Jordan River.

A third point where Netanyahu seemed to have succeeded pertains to Iran. The prime minister received great applause when he declared directly, and even bluntly, that the military option must not be taken off the table as a means for curbing Iran’s nuclear aspirations. Netanyahu stressed that in his view, and given historical experience, utilizing military force or threatening to use such force by the US is the only way to secure the desired result.

The prime minister succeeded on another front as well: The very warmth and applause from American legislators showed to the world, and to the Arabs, the firm and deep support enjoyed by Israel among America’s policy makers and public. This, in and of itself, serves as a deterrent to anyone threatening Israel and planning to harm it; it may even prompt the Palestinians to rethink their positions.

Jennifer Rubin/ Bibi rocks the House

(Jennifer Rubin).It was simply the most extraordinary and clever speech given by an Israeli prime minister. Bibi Netanyahu did several critical things: demonstrated that he and members of Congress from both parties are entirely in sync; refocused the world on Iran; publicly stated he would give up land considered by Jews to be part of their historic homeland; left no doubt that the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize a Jewish state is the sole reason there is no Palestinian state; and implicitly made a mockery of President Obama’s fixation on settlements. I will take each in order.

The genuine expression of warmth and respect, but more important, agreement from Congress was undeniable. On each key point, whether on Hamas or the right of return or the U.N., there was a full standing ovation from every attendee I could spot. Netanyahu is a uniter — is there ANY issue on which the Congress is so totally united? And Netanyahu made a key point to lawmakers weary about demands form unstable regimes. “No nation building is needed. Israel is already built. There is no need to export democracy.We already are one.” And there’s no need for U.S. troops because “we defend ourselves.”

When a single heckler interrupted, Congress stood in unison to show solidarity. In one of his best lines, Netanyahu said, “You can’t have these protests in the farcical parliaments of Tehran or Tripoli. This is real democracy.”

On Iran, he reminded the audience of Obama’s pledge to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapons capability. He warned that despite the sanctions, “time is running out.” He chastised the free world, making clear the calls for Israel’s destruction are generally met with “silence,” and even worse, “Israel is condemned for defending itself” against Iranian surrogates such as Hamas. He noted that Iran only once suspended its nuclear program — in 2003, when it was afraid of attack. The more Iran “believes that all options are on the table, the less chance of a confrontation,” he said.

And then Netanyahu demonstrated that the fuss over settlements was pointless. “I am willing to make painful compromises,” he said. He acknowledged publicly that he understands that Israel will have to give up some of the land of biblical Israel to attain peace. In other words, a settlement freeze is irrelevant because he will, consistent with security, uproot some Jews in the West Bank. He made clear that Israel has already uprooted roadblocks, withdrawn from Gaza and assisted in economic development for the West Bank.

So what’s the hang-up? “All six prime ministers since the signing of the Oslo accords — including me — have agreed to establish a Palestinian state.” In a line for the ages he asserted: “It has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state; it’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state.” He reiterated that borders will have to be set in negotiations, Israel must have a long-term presence in the Jordan Valley; the Palestinian state must be demilitarized; and “the Palestinian refu­gee problem must be resolved outside the borders of Israel. Everybody knows it.” (Hmm, where’d we hear that phrase last?) Jerusalem, he made clear, will “never again be divided.”

Netanyahu robustly rejected the idea of a unilateral Palestinian state being imposed by the U.N. As for Hamas, he said, “Israel will not negotiate with a government backed by the Palestinian version of al-Qaeda.”

You were left wondering how in the world the Obama administration could have a problem with that. The focus on the wrong issue (settlements), the intentionally provocative speech on Thursday and the obvious preference for committing the United States to only the Palestinians’ issues (land) suggest this president simply doesn’t understand the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Or, maybe he just thinks Israel is the problem and has to make amends.

In any case, Netanyahu’s heroic speech is likely to boost his popularity at home and endear him further to Congress. Obama has pledged to block a U.N. recognition of the Palestinian state and Congress will certainly cut off aid to the unity government if it survives. And beyond that exactly nothing will happen until Palestinian leaders are willing to make peace. In the entire 63 years of the Jewish state, nothing has changed.

WH satisfied by Netanyahu's Congress speech and commitment to 2 State vision

White House spokesman Jay Carney expressed satisfaction with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Congress address and his commitment to peace. The White House is satisfied with the commitment Netanyahu expressed for the two-state vision, Carney said.

Ben Rhodes, a senior official in the US National Security Council who is currently touring Europe with President Barack Obama, also praised Netanyahu's speech. He noted that he himself would not equate Hamas with al-Qaeda but could not help agree with the comparison.

Senator John McCain tweeted "Just left strong speech by Israeli PM Netanyahu. America stands with Israel and always will."

Netanyahu: There is strong US support for our principles

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed at Ben Gurion Airport Wednesday, after concluding his visit to the United States, during which he spoke before Congress.

"There is strong American support for our principles and what we want," he told reporters at the airport. "Now we are just waiting for the Palestinian response".

National security adviser Yaakov Amidror noted that "It was a very important visit, which contributed greatly to Israel's security and the ability to conduct political negotiations. It was an in-depth political explanation that contributed to the understanding of Israel's stances...I did not sense any tension. I though it was right to clarify Israel's positions."

Meanwhile, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan in a speech at inauguration ceremony for a new 100-family settlement located in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud said:
"We must support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today in his position as was presented during his US visit, and forever we should say – that's enough, Jerusalem should stay untouched, Israel without Jerusalem or Zionism without Zion are like a body without a soul. We, as the government of Israel, are committed to strengthening Jerusalem and keeping it whole and united, and continuing to build in all parts of the city."

Bernie Quigley/ Netanyahu speaks as America’s patriarch.

Bernie Quigley - The hill).The century ahead could be seen to have taken shape this past week with President Obama’s stunning claim — a wish, really — that Israel repeal 50 years of history and return to its indefensible 1967 borders. It was followed by an address yesterday by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that shook the halls of Congress. Obama then, traveling in Europe, where he feels most comfortable, brought forth an op-ed in The Times of London with England’s Prime Minister David Cameron, calling the “Arab Spring” a situation similar to the fall of the Soviet Union, and comparing themselves to be the modern-day Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Possibly this helped Netanyahu. His speech was greeted with roaring applause and dozens of standing ovations. For the first time in my memory, and Israeli leader appeared as an authentic American patriarch; a strong and ancient Father Abraham here to speak — to intervene, perhaps — on our behalf.

America is a rising arc and today, it is clear, so is Israel. As we inherently feel England to be our ancestor, so we feel today about Israel in a way we have not felt before. Possibly because 9/11 has finally sunk in and we understand that we share a common enemy.

James Kitfield/ Netanyahu's 'Unvarnished Truth' Tour

(James Kitfield-The Atlantic).In remarks that were unusually blunt for a visiting head of state, Netanyahu outlined his vision for a Middle East peace that is not only at odds with recent White House proposals, but also anathema to Palestinians.

When Netanyahu flatly rejected Obama's call to restart territorial negotiations based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, with mutual "land swaps," he wasn't actually rejecting the substance of the proposal. Netanyahu knows that fundamental construct has served as the basis for every Israeli-Palestinian negotiation going back to the Oslo Accords of the early 1990s. He objected to an American president stating the obvious publicly for the first time, thus potentially raising the expectations of Palestinian negotiators about the nature and ratio of those "land swaps." So Netanyahu mischaracterized what Obama had proposed, eyeball-to-eyeball in the White House, insisting it called for a return to 1967 borders.

When Netanyahu repeatedly stressed that "Israel will not return to the indefensible lines of 1967," because they would leave Israel only "9 miles wide" at its most narrow point, he was pointing to an actual disagreement with the Obama administration. In his May 19 speech, Obama called for a "full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces" from a "demilitarized" Palestinian state. Netanyahu intends no such withdrawal. "It is absolutely vital for Israel's security that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized, and it is vital that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River," Netanyahu said in his May 24 speech before Congress.

On the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Netanyahu was on firm ground in stating that "under any realistic peace agreement" the large settlement blocs on the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be incorporated into the final borders of Israel. That is the genesis of the required "land swaps" that Obama referred to in his proposal for restarting negotiations. But in grudgingly accepting the principle of "land for peace" that has undergirded Israel-Palestinian talks going back decades, Netanyahu adopted the narrative of the settlement movement that only Israel has a true, historic claim to the land.

In calling for renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the issues of territorial borders and security, Obama cast them as a foundation from which to address the two most "wrenching and emotional issues" that would remain: the fate of Palestinian refugees and the future of Jerusalem. In the failed Camp David Summit of 2000 and Taba negotiations of 2001, Palestinians settled on only a token "right of return" for a limited number of Palestinian refugees in return for making East Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state.

Once again on his trip to Washington, however, Netanyahu called for Palestinian recognition of some hard truths, tipping his likely position should negotiations restart at some future date. "Palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate, if they so choose, to a Palestinian state. This means the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel," Netanyahu told Congress. "As for Jerusalem, [it] must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel."

The vision for an eventual peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians that emerged from Netanyahu's visit was thus unyielding on nearly all of the key contested points. Israel will incorporate the major settlement blocs, maintain a long-term military presence, retain uncontested sovereignty over Jerusalem and deny the return of Palestinian refugees.

"President Obama tried to point out that the tides of history are moving against Israel and its occupation is becoming untenable, and in response Netanyahu delivered a point-scoring, propaganda speech that raised the bar for a Palestinian state beyond the reach of any imaginable Palestinian leader," said Daniel Levy, codirector of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation. "I think Netanyahu knows a real peace deal will require compromises he is not willing to make, which has left him absolutely bereft of any viable vision for peace."

Robert Spencer/ Netanyahu Shines in Congress - The Realistic World Leader

Robert Spencer-Frontpagemag).The most riveting moment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much-applauded address to Congress on Tuesday was his declaration that the hinge of history may soon turn, for the greatest danger of all could soon be upon us: a militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons.” He was speaking of Iran, but then he broadened his scope, adding: “Militant Islam threatens the world. It threatens Islam.”

“It threatens Islam” — i.e., the real Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists. This unreality is disappointing to see, and will not bode well for Israel insofar as it continues to translate into policy. Nonetheless, even to acknowledge that the threat has any Islamic character at all is a huge advance over Obama, George W. Bush, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, et al.

For it was not until four years after 9/11, in October 2005, that Bush pointed out that the terrorists’ attacks “serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane. Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant Jihadism; still others, Islamo-fascism.” He had never used such terminology before that, generally limiting himself to calling the enemy “terrorists” and “evildoers” — names so general that they can apply to multitudes besides those who are actually warring against the United States today — and hardly ever used it after that.

John O. Brennan, Obama’s top counterterrorism advisor, summed up the Obama administration’s warmly positive stance toward Islam in an August 2009 address: “Nor does President Obama see this challenge as a fight against `jihadists.’ Describing terrorists in this way–using a legitimate term, `jihad,’ meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal–risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve. Worse, it risks reinforcing the idea that the United States is somehow at war with Islam itself. And this is why President Obama has confronted this perception directly and forcefully in his speeches to Muslim audiences, declaring that America is not and never will be at war with Islam.”

That may be so, but Netanyahu’s statement is true as well – at least the first part of it: “Militant Islam threatens the world.” America is not and never will be at war with Islam, but a significant element of Islam is at war with America, Israel, and the rest of the free world – and Netanyahu is much more realistic about that fact than any other Western leader.

Nor is that the extent of his realism. In his address to Congress, he spoke other truths that Barack Obama apparently would prefer to ignore, including a stout defense of his country: “In an unstable Middle East, Israel is the one anchor of stability. In a region of shifting alliances, Israel is America’s unwavering ally….My friends, you don’t have to — you don’t need to do nation-building in Israel. We’re already built. You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it. And you don’t need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves.”

Americans stand with Israel : "Ich bin ein Israeli"

(Russ Vaughn_AmericanThinker).He came, he saw, he conquered. Bibi Netanyahu took America by storm this week. This charismatic, articulate spokesman for the Jewish people and for their Israeli homeland, seized every media opportunity to demonstrate that he is the world leader in command of the issues and the situations involving Israel and her antagonists. Watching him on various media venues, I became convinced of two things: Netanyahu is a better American than many Americans, more knowledgeable of our democratic underpinnings than many of our fellow citizens; secondly, he is a leader who will reestablish the term Churchillian in coming events.

There's an email circulating right now with a photo of Bibi in his youth, dressed out in the uniform of an Israeli paratrooper juxtaposed with a picture of a young Obama of approximately the same age, laid back, cool and toking. One young man is suiting up to face death, defending his vulnerable country while the other is laid back and soaking up the many benefits afforded him by a languid, guilty society. To this old paratrooper those two pictures speak volumes about the basics of leadership and character. It is there in the one picture while the other forecasts what now passes so lamely for leadership in America.

To reinforce my admitted prejudice, our president attempts to manipulate the media to make himself look good to the Muslim world by calling for Israel to surrender territories earned by blood and toil, then backpedals shamelessly in the face of world resistance to his too-easy willingness to appease his Muslim brothers. More tellingly, he backtracks in the face of losing millions of dollars in campaign donations from prominent American Jews. What profound character, what principled beliefs, eh?

I watch, I witness and I take my stand. I, a non-Jew, will stand with Israel. If my president insists on his present course then I will support any and every move to unseat him including impeachment. As Bibi so eloquently stated, Israel is the eastern democratic arm of America in the midst of all that Middle Eastern tyranny. Simply put, Bibi is right and Obama is dead wrong. One has a grasp of geopolitical realities and assumes the responsibilities inherent in guiding and guarding his vulnerable state; the other blithely and narcistically campaigns for re-election. The distinction could not be more stark. After the events of this week, I truly believe that many millions of Americans will join me in paraphrasing John Kennedy:

Ich bin ein Israeli.

Obama: 'A Mistake' For the Palestinians to take the United Nations route

U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters in London Wednesday that he is still confident the Palestinian Authority will get its own state.

He reiterated, as he did in his Middle East policy speech, that the resolution of the conflict rests on four points -- permanent borders, Israel's security, Jerusalem and the disposition of the Palestinian refugees and their generations of descendants. The last two points, he added, were "extraordinarily emotional" and would demand "wrenching concessions." He did not specify from whom the concessions would need to be made.
“My goal, as I set out in a speech I gave last week,is a Jewish State of Israel that is safe and secure and recognized by its neighbors, and a sovereign State of Palestine in which the Palestinian people are able to determine their own fate and their own future...I am confident that can be achieved,”

As for the United Nations, I’ve already said -- I said in the speech last week and I will repeat -- the United Nations can achieve a lot of important work. What the United Nations is not going to be able to do is deliver a Palestinian state. The only way that we’re going to see a Palestinian state is if Israelis and Palestinians agree on a just peace.

"I strongly believe that for the Palestinians to take the United Nations route rather than the path of sitting down and talking with the Israelis is a mistake; that it does not serve the interests of the Palestinian people, it will not achieve their stated goal of achieving a Palestinian state. And the United States will continue to make that argument both in the United Nations and in our various meetings around the world".
He also noted that it is unrealistic for Israel to be expected to sit down with a PA government that includes Hamas, which has refused to recognize Israel's right to exist, and has not renounced violence:
"The Israelis are properly concerned about the agreement that’s been made between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas has not renounced violence. Hamas is an organization that has thus far rejected the recognition of Israel as a legitimate state. It is very difficult for Israelis to sit across the table and negotiate with a party that is denying your right to exist, and has not renounced the right to send missiles and rockets into your territory".

"So, as much as it’s important for the United States, as Israel’s closest friend and partner, to remind them of the urgency of achieving peace, I don’t want the Palestinians to forget that they have obligations as well. And they are going to have to resolve in a credible way the meaning of this agreement between Fatah and Hamas if we’re going to have any prospect for peace moving forward".

"I believe that Hamas, in its own description of its agenda, has not renounced violence and has not recognized the state of Israel. And until they do, it is very difficult to expect Israelis to have a serious conversation, because ultimately they have to have confidence that a Palestinian state is one that is going to stick to its -- to whatever bargain is struck; that if they make territorial compromises, if they arrive at a peace deal, that, in fact, that will mean the safety and security of the Jewish people and of Israel. And Hamas has not shown any willingess to make the kinds of concessions that Fatah has, and it’s going to be very difficult for us to get a Palestinian partner on the other side of the table that is not observing the basic Quartet principles that we both believe -- that both David and I believe in -- the need to renounce violence, recognize the state of Israel, abide by previous agreements".

Remix: Bi Bi Pro America

Bi Bi Pro Americano - a Noy Alooshe Remix

NETANYAHU IN CONGRESS: "In an unstable Middle East, Israel is the one anchor of stability. In a region of shifting alliances, Israel is America's unwavering ally. Israel has always been pro-American. Israel will always be pro-American".

Netanyahu: Mutual recognition and defensible borders, is the meat and potatoes of peace

NBC News' Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday, about his relationship with President Obama and the state of peace negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The below excerpt aired on Tuesday's "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams", with the interview airing in full on Wendesday's 'Andrea Mitchell Reports' on MSNBC.

ANDREA MITCHELL: President Obama has said to you that they -- you cannot afford any more delay, that with all of the upheavals, the changes in the Arab world, that Israel is at risk of being isolated, of being left behind. What do you say to the President?

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, I think the President shares with me, and I share with him, the desire to move the peace process forward. And I said in Congress that there's one way to move this thing forward. President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has to do what I did two years ago.

Two years ago, I spoke to my people and I said: "I will accept a Palestinian state." I think the President -- President Abbas has to say these same six words to his people: "I will accept the Jewish state." You know what, I'll give him a break, five words: "I accept the Jewish state." Because I think if he says that, then that will move the process forward. People will say, okay, we have a real peace partner, and for real peace, we're willing to move and move quickly.

ANDREA MITCHELL: The wider world is in upheaval. Isn't Israel at risk of being isolated, of the UN taking action in September to declare a Palestinian state?

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: The world is changing. We want to make sure that when we make peace, we not only have somebody who will recognize us, but that we know that we have a secure border to defend ourselves -- not only to defend the peace, but to defend ourselves if peace unravels. And I think that we are seeing what is happening in Syria, we're seeing what is happening in other places, in Egypt. We don't even know whether our peace partners will be there tomorrow. I mean, really tomorrow, not in an abstract notion. So when we say we want mutual recognition and defensible borders for Israel, that's really the meat and potatoes of peace.

ANDREA MITCHELL: There was a moment in the Oval Office on Friday -- you and the President of the United States -- and some of your early supporters, friends of Israel, said that you were lecturing him, that it went too far.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I wasn't lecturing anyone. I was speaking about the basic things that Israel requires to have peace and security and survival. I'm the leader of an old nation. The President said a great nation, but he's the leader of a great nation, the American people. And I have the greatest respect for America, and for the office of the Presidency.

Maariv Poll: 47% Say "Yes, But" to Obama, 36% say No

In the morning following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress, a poll published by the Israeli daily Maariv indicates that while Netanyahu enjoys considerable support among Israelis, the public is far more inclined than its prime minister to make concessions to the Palestinians.

The survey, published in the Maariv newspaper, found 10 per cent of Israelis thought Benjamin Netanyahu should have “declared his support for the president’s remarks with no reservations.”

Another 46.8 per cent said the Israeli leader should have expressed support “but with reservations,” while 36.7 per cent said Netanyahu should have declared his opposition to Obama’s principles for the peace process.

46.3% think that Netanyahu was right in his public criticism of Obama's 1967 proposal, while 47.5% think that he had to guard the criticism to closed private conversations with the administration.

The Maariv poll also found that if elections were held in Israel today, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party would win, increasing its number of seats in the Knesset to 30, from the 27 it currently holds.

The opposition Kadima party would take 27 seats of the 120-seat legislature, down from its current 28, while the ultra-nationalist Israel Beitenu party led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would take 16 seats, compared with the 15 it currently holds.

Netanyahu also came out ahead of his political opponents on an individual basis, with 36.9 per cent of respondents saying he was best suited to be prime minister.

Respondents put Kadima head Tzipi Livni in second place with 28.3 per cent support, followed by Lieberman with 9.2 per cent and Defence Minister Ehud Barak with just 2.6 per cent.

The Prime ministers Approval rating is still stable, 42% are satisfied with Netanyahu's performance as prime minister, while 56% are unsatisfied.

Polls: Likud opens a strong Lead

(INN).The Likud party, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has opened up a larger lead over other parties in the latest poll, mostly at the expense of the Labor party.

The poll, taken before the Prime Minister spoke in Congress on Tuesday, also showed that respondents favored Netanyahu over Opposition leader Tzipi Livni as prime minister by a margin of 38-35 percent. The effect on voters of the Prime Minister's speech to Congress on Tuesday is unknown.

If elections were held today, the Likud would win 34 Knesset seats, seven more than it now has, according to the Sarid Institute survey carried out for Israel’s Channel 2 television. Kadima, headed by Livni, would lose one mandate and win 27 seats, while the recently-split Labor party would win only eight places in the Knesset. Under the leadership of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who left the party earlier this year, Labor won 13 seats in the last election.

Respondents awarded Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, 14 Knesset Members, one less than it now has.

According to a Channel 1 poll: Likud would gain 6 seats on the expense of the opposition party Kadima, Likud would win 33 Knesset Seats, with opposition party Kadima dropping from 27 to 22 seats, Lieberman 17, and the entire Right wing bloc would win a majority of 70 seats out of 120.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Netanyahu's Peace plan: Six words Abbas, say: "I will accept a Jewish state."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Unites States Congress in a historic and much anticipated speech amid on Tuesday.

Netanyahu declared "I am willing to make painful compromises to achieve peace. As a leader it's my responsibility to lead my people to peace. It's not easy, because I recognize that in a genuine peace we will be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland."

"We'll be generous about the size of the Palestinian state but as Obama said the border will be different than 1948. Israel will not return to the border of 1967."

This compromise must reflect the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967. The vast majority of the 650,000 Israelis who live beyond the 1967 lines, reside in neighborhoods and suburbs of Jerusalem and Greater Tel Aviv.

These areas are densely populated but geographically quite small. Under any realistic peace agreement, these areas, as well as other places of critical strategic and national importance, will be incorporated into the final borders of Israel".

"The status of the settlements will be decided only in negotiations. But we must also be honest. So I am saying today something that should be said publicly by anyone serious about peace. In any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel’s borders. The precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated".

"We recognize that a Palestinian state must be big enough to be viable, independent and prosperous. President Obama rightly referred to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, just as he referred to the future Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people. Jews from around the world have a right to immigrate to the Jewish state. Palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate, if they so choose, to a Palestinian state. This means that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel".

"As for Jerusalem, only a democratic Israel has protected freedom of worship for all faiths in the city. Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel. I know that this is a difficult issue for Palestinians. But I believe with creativity and goodwill a solution can be found.

Netanyahu stressed that Israel is not a colonial power. "The Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We're not the British in India, or the Belgians in the Congo. This is the land of our forefathers… no distortion of history will deny the 4000 year old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land."

"President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people, and I told you it wasn’t easy for me, and I said… "I will accept a Palestinian state." It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say… "I will accept a Jewish state."

"Those six words will change history. They will make clear to the Palestinians that this conflict must come to an end. That they are not building a state to continue the conflict with Israel, but to end it. They will convince the people of Israel that they have a true partner for peace. With such a partner, the people of Israel will be prepared to make a far reaching compromise. I will be prepared to make a far reaching compromise".

Netanyahu addressed Mahmoud Abbas and urged him to cancel the reconciliation agreement with Hamas.
"Tear up your pact with Hamas! Sit down and negotiate! Make peace with the Jewish state! And if you do, I promise you this. Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations. It will be the first to do so".