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originally posted by: sueloujo
a reply to: Harte
Finished debating with anyone who gives links from 2011. We are talking about today..israel continues bulldozing Palestinian homes and building illegal settlements for themselves. Most people are educated enough these days to see what is happening.
originally posted by: sueloujoIsrael wants to rid Gaza to get to the offshore oil so they are slowly draining the people dry. Funny that a deal was going ahead with Gazprom just before the recent war.
originally posted by: SheopleNation
originally posted by: Harte
Actually, the only claim is that they don't really know.
Can you be a little more specific? ~$heopleNation
Tens of thousands in Tel Aviv demand Netanyahu's ouster
The rally was held under the banner, “Israel wants change,” and was being billed as an anti-Benjamin Netanyahu event.
Among the speakers scheduled to take part in the event were former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, Michal Kestan-Kedar ( the widow of a lieutenant-colonel who was killed in Operation Defensive Edge), a social justice activist, activist, journalists and others.
In his speech, Dagan told the crowd that he is more scared of Israel’s leadership than its enemies. Saying that he wants neither a bi-national state nor an apartheid state, the former Mossad chief derided the current leadership for using fear and threats to present peace as unattainable.
“To those who say we don’t have any alternative, as somebody who worked directly with three prime ministers: there is a better alternative,” Dagan said.
Telling Scary Stories about Iran
The person outside government who has studied the Israeli nuclear program most extensively is Avner Cohen, an Israeli-born scholar currently based in the United States. Cohen has written two books on the subject, Israel and the Bomb and The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb. He probably knows more than anyone outside the Israeli government about the Israeli program and the strategic thinking underlying it.
It thus is especially interesting to hear what Cohen has to say about the current battle over the Iranian program. In a commentary just published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Cohen writes about how, as I discussed the other day, the actions and lobbying of Benjamin Netanyahu are at odds with his own alarmist rhetoric, and about what this implies concerning Netanyahu’s motivations.
Cohen criticizes Netanyahu’s drumbeat message that the agreement being negotiated would be very bad for Israel; he notes the “potential advantages” of the agreement, which is from the standpoint of Israel’s interests a “reasonable compromise.” He points out that the demand to prevent any Iranian enrichment of uranium will never be realized, and that the demand has no basis in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
A leaked document hugely discomfits the PM. Was this a case of Obama’s revenge?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Friday appearance at a meeting with Likud activists from the central Israeli city of Yehud exposed the pressure he is under following his return from Washington and the release of a document by Yedioth Ahronoth revealing past discussions with the Palestinian Authority.
It’s been a long time since Netanyahu has panicked, but he’s got plenty of reasons to do so now. He has not taken off in the polls, even after his “historic” speech to the American Congress. (And neither, lo and behold, has that address changed anything in the Middle East.) The transition from lofty Washington to humble Yehud has taken its toll. Television pundits have even discussed the possibility of Netanyahu announcing his retirement if Likud wins 18 seats or fewer in the elections.
And then there is that document.
The leaking Friday of the document exposing negotiations conducted in 2013 between Netanyahu confidant Yitzhak Molcho, Hussein al-Araj, a Fatah official and chief ally of Mahmoud Abbas, and former US administration official Dennis Ross was designed to weaken the prime minister’s support among right-wing voters. Despite Netanyahu’s claims, however, this leak was not the work of Noni Moses, Yedioth’s publisher and fierce Netanyahu critic. The document is legitimate and some of the journalists who have followed diplomatic communications between Israel and the PA in recent years knew of its existence. (Details of the back channel were reported on last November by the Walla news site.)
Furthermore, and here is where Likud hawks should be worried, the text agreed upon by Molcho and al-Araj, and documented by Ross (who wrote down the agreed formulations), shows an unprecedented willingness for one-on-one territorial exchanges in the event of a permanent peace agreement and the establishment a Palestinian state. This is a principle that no Israeli prime minister had ever fully accepted before. Not Ehud Barak at Camp David in July 2000, definitely not Ariel Sharon and not even Ehud Olmert, who offered far-reaching one-for-one exchanges in most areas but proposed to compensate the Palestinians with a tunnel route rather than accept one particular territorial demand.
Netanyahu cannot credibly claim that he was not “in the know” or blame his envoy for making unauthorized decisions. Molcho is the person closest to Netanyahu when it comes to handling the Palestinian issue — the prime minister’s gatekeeper.
So, what can he say? Pretty much the things we heard on Friday in Yehud. Or as the Prime Minister’s Office put it in a statement Friday, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has always refused to withdraw to the ’67 borders, opposed the division of Jerusalem and rejected recognition of the right of return.” True enough, but there is no contradiction. As the leaked document specifies, he “only” agreed that, for the purposes of the framework of talks on a permanent accord, “Palestine will be an independent and sovereign state in an area the size of that controlled by Egypt and Jordan before June 4, 1967…”
This was a non-binding framework, it should be stressed, but it still shows an unprecedented Palestinian success in the face-off with Israel, in that it grounds the negotiations on the basis of the pre-1967 lines and makes plain that, if a deal is achieved, there will be an exchange of territory and the Palestinians will be entitled to a state the size of the pre-1967 Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem areas pre-1967.
This amounts to a one-for-one land swap, and that means Netanyahu was committing to the same position as advocated by the left-wing Geneva Initiative and dovish former Labor minister Yossi Beilin. (The Geneva Initiative folks have some pretty good marketing material here.)
And what of Jerusalem and the refugees? No big surprises here. Netanyahu, as he has pointed out, did not agree to divide Jerusalem, but the document shows he was ready to recognize “the historical connection, social and cultural development” of the Palestinians in the city. The same applies to the Jordan Valley: Netanyahu makes clear in the framework drawn up by Molcho and al-Araj that he is prepared to accept a Palestinian presence in the Jordan Valley. And yes, there is a even talk of a humanitarian return for refugees to pre-1948 areas. And all this even before negotiations began in earnest.
Netanyahu’s statements on the Palestinian issue following the leak of this document are only likely to get harsher in the run up to election day. His people will hail their construction of thousands of housing units in the West Bank during his term in office as though it were a daring move behind enemy lines to thwart the Iranian nuclear program. Netanyahu, like a typical politician (in the worst sense of the word) has chosen to duke it out with Naftali Bennett for another Knesset seat or two on the right by staking out a hawkish position on the Palestinians. The national interest, which he chose to neglect, would have seen him present the document as proof of the efforts he was prepared to make for compromise. He could have highlighted the Palestinians’ stubbornness, or utilized the leak to push again for resumed talks.
Finally, it would seem that the White House on Friday showed Netanyahu how it gets even. The writers of “House of Cards” would be proud of a storyline in which the US administration takes its revenge against a prime minister who came to Washington seeking to reap a domestic political reward at the expense of President Barack Obama. Netanyahu has found out the hard way that there’s a price to pay for meddling in partisan American politics.
Liz Cheney Is Terrified Peace Will Break Out If Bibi Loses
he Israeli elections are less than a day away, and Fox News is pulling out all the stops to prepare its audience for a possible Likud Party defeat. Liz Cheney appeared on Fox and Friends with Brian Kilmeade in an attempt to incense viewers by falsely claiming the President and his staffers are illegally meddling in the elections in the Jewish State. Yesterday I explained the faux Republican outrage over American corporate involvement in this election, and today, Liz weighs in on the controversy. It seems she's a little nervous about things in her favorite powder keg, the Middle East.
Nobody ever thought the window for a two-state solution would ever truly close — or be closed. Benjamin Netanyahu just declared it so in a last-ditched attempt to rally his base ahead of elections.
Forget whatever temporary crisis Benjamin Netanyahu created with the United States in his campaign speech on the Hill. If Netanyahu is re-elected on Tuesday, Israel is going to have a much more serious problem with Europe.
In an interview with Israeli news site NRG one day before elections, the prime minister made clear what he has only hinted at and skirted around for years.
The interviewer wasn’t going to have it. “If you are prime minister, a Palestinian state will not be established?” he asked.
“Indeed,” responded Netanyahu.
And therein lies the problem. The very foundation of Netanyahu’s strategy vis-a-vis the Palestinians and the international community has been to stall, to muddle, to talk the talk but not walk the walk.
His strategy has paid off thus far. Nobody in the world fully believes that Netanyahu ever earnestly went all-in to peace talks, but as long as the process continued, as long as there was a chance, the gravest consequences of Israel’s intransigence have been held at bay.
In Brussels last year senior EU bureaucrats crafting Europe’s policy in the Middle East made clear to me that the ongoing peace process was the only thing stopping them from implementing what can only be described as sanctions.
But if the Israeli government were to declare officially that two states were off the table and if the peace process were to be declared definitively dead, then there would be no more “business as usual.”
Last year, the idea seemed fantastical. No-one — neither diplomats nor analysts — believed the Israeli side would ever say say ‘game over.’ But things have changed.
And it is important to note that Europe is Israel’s largest trading partner, which gives it tremendous influence.
Netanyahu’s declaration, should he be re-elected, would also provide the Palestinian Authority with reasons beyond reproach to move ahead in the United Nations and other international institutions.
This will make things a bit awkward for the United States. How can it continue to veto anti-settlement resolutions in the UN Security Council if the Israeli government’s official position is that Palestinian statehood is off the table — that the West Bank belongs to Israel and not the Palestinians?
Would an International Criminal Court investigation into Israeli settlements as a war crime be emboldened by a newly unabashedly settler government?
We’ll find out in a few days.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration admonished Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political party on Wednesday, accusing it of using anti-Arab rhetoric ahead of Israel's election. A spokesman said President Barack Obama still believes in Palestinian statehood — even if Netanyahu no longer does.
In its first public response to Netanyahu's triumph in the election, the spokesman said the White House was "deeply concerned" about divisive language emanating from Netanyahu's Likud Party. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the party had sought to marginalize Israel's minority Arab community, an apparent reference to social media posts the Likud distributed that warned Israelis about the danger of high turnout by Arab voters.
"These are views the administration intends to convey directly to the Israelis," Earnest said.
And while Earnest said Obama would be calling Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory, he acknowledged the U.S. would have to re-evaluate the best way to bring about a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — a cornerstone of U.S. Mideast policy for years. In a veer to the right just before the election, Netanyahu reversed his former position and said he now opposes the creation of a separate Palestinian state.
"Based on those comments, the U.S. will evaluate our position going forward," Earnest told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One on a flight to Cleveland for an event focused on U.S. manufacturing.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Netanyahu shortly after the election to congratulate him, Earnest said, and Obama was to do the same in the days ahead. Downplaying any suggestion the president was delaying that call, Earnest pointed out that after previous Israeli elections, Obama had waited until the Israeli president had formally tasked the leading candidate with forming a new government. Netanyahu has said he hopes to form a government quickly, within two to three weeks.