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Obama team readying for confrontation with Netanyahu
By Aluf Benn
In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration is readying for a possible confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by briefing Democratic congressmen on the peace process and the positions of the new government in Israel regarding a two-state solution.
The Obama administration is expecting a clash with Netanyahu over his refusal to support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
In recent weeks, American officials have briefed senior Democratic congressmen and prepared the ground for the possibility of disagreements with Israel over the peace process, according to information recently received. The administration's efforts are focused on President Barack Obama's Democratic Party, which now holds a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The preemptive briefing is meant to foil the possibility that Netanyahu may try to bypass the administration by rallying support in Congress.
The message that administration officials have relayed to the congressmen is that President Obama is committed to the security of Israel and intends to continue the military assistance agreement that was signed by his predecessor, George W. Bush.
However, Obama considers the two-state solution central to his Middle East policy, as he reiterated during a speech in Turkey on Monday, and he intends to ask that Netanyahu fulfill all the commitments made by previous governments in Israel: accepting the principle of a Palestinian state; freezing settlement activity; evacuating illegal outposts; and providing economic and security assistance to the Palestinian Authority.
Administration officials made it clear to congressmen that the Palestinians will also be required to fulfill their obligations in line with the road map and the Annapolis process.
According to the reports received in Israel, the U.S. administration is not concerned about recent statements by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calling for a rejection of the Annapolis process or overtures made by Netanyahu during the election campaign.
U.S. officials say they will wait and hear Netanyahu's position from the prime minister himself when he meets Obama in Washington next month.
No hurry to play mediator
The Obama administration is also not opposed to the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Syria but will insist that the Syrian track not be used in Jerusalem as a way of evading obligations undertaken by Israel as part of the Annapolis process.
Obama is in no hurry to bring the U.S. in as lead mediator between Israel and Syria. American involvement, which both Israel and Syria consider essential for substantive progress, will remain conditional on progress in the dialogue between Washington and Damascus.
Regarding Iran, the Obama administration is preparing the ground for a policy distinguishing between Iran's right to have nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment done under international supervision, and the actual building of a nuclear weapon.
U.S. Intelligence Official about Israel: “This is just the beginning”
U.S. Intelligence official “breaks silence” on Israel situation”
31 December 2008: Northeast Intelligence Network director Doug Hagmann interviewed a highly-placed U.S. intelligence official late yesterday who not only confirmed rumors about escalated and more intensive Israeli military operations against the Muslim terrorists in Gaza, warned of the increasing probability of abandonment of Israel by the U.S. and other Western countries based on what he termed “malicious intelligence.”
“Remember that term,” advised this well-placed intelligence official, “you’ll be hearing it again.”
“This is just the beginning,” stated this intelligence official, who wished to remain anonymous. This official stated that the possibility for a much more protracted ground war is more likely today than at any other time in the past, adding that Israel is exercising her right to protect herself from her enemies in Gaza. But there is a catch, noted this official, and a big one at that: Israel could be about to lose the support of the United States.
“I have every reason to believe, based on what I’ve seen at my level of [security] clearance especially over the last several years, that Israel will soon be completely on their own… or worse.” When asked what could be worse than losing the support of the United States, he stated: “when our administration provides more support to Arab countries [with] financial and military aid, undercutting Israel’s defense efforts all while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation.”
According to this official, the U.S. has been slowly proceeding down this road. He cited the 2005 surrender of Gush Katif to the Palestinian Authority as one critical example of the slow dismantlement of Israel as a viable nation. “Despite critical intelligence outlining in every possible manner imaginable that this would be a disastrous move leading to the events we are seeing today, it was done anyway,” he stated.
“We are seeing the very scenario play out today that was outlined in intelligence briefs three and four years ago. Knowing that, there is something very wrong with this picture,” he stated.
He added that Western media is also playing a very big role in the current war in the Middle East, thanks, in part, to carefully worded statements prepared by political officials in Washington. Officials in the current administration, like some previous administrations, submit carefully crafted informational releases to a media that is controlled by those having special interests that are contrary to a legitimate peace in the Middle East.
“The game is rigged. At the highest levels of power in the U.S. and even by some in power in Israel, the game is rigged,” he emphasized.
The next obvious question in this interview was, of course, “how is it rigged?” followed by ”how are you in a position to know?”
This official responded by stating that he has spent the last two decades serving in “an unfortunate position where intelligence and politics meet and often collide.” Now, merely days away from retirement, he stated that he is looking forward to leaving his position after conducting over 20 years of intelligence work “that has been molded and massaged to advance the agendas of a select few.”
He continued: “When an intelligence work product that has been thoroughly and properly vetted is submitted to those in Washington, and I see a completely different and entirely inaccurate product intentionally submitted and aired in the media, only to be told ‘that is the way it must be,’ then I know it’s time for me to leave.”
“It is obvious to me that most Americans don’t understand or don’t care what is actually happening in the Middle East relative to Israel. People don’t understand history, or have been subjected to revisionist history based on lies and more lies. Add to that a media that fails to provide an accurate assessment of what is taking place in Israel, in Gaza, and you end up with a very bad situation for Israel,” stated this source. He added that the disinformation coming and going to and from Washington is getting worse, as is the media bias against Israel.
The events currently taking place in Israel are extremely perilous for Israel and especially perilous for the national security of the United States, according to this source. Contrary to the accepted assessments of “Middle East experts” in the news, our intelligence services have “ample evidence to prove active collusion and support between HAMAS and other terrorist organizations, both Sunni and #e. Further, there is a level of Iranian complicity in this war that is not being talked about, or being dismissed out of hand because of the schism between the Sunni and Shia sects,” stated this source.
(The miserable bastard nations directly responsible for the genocidal massacre ...
(The miserable bastard nations directly responsible for the genocidal massacre of 6 million Jews - now dedicated to finishing the job in Israel.) jsk
European Union and Israel
Redacted from article by Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST
April 3, 2009
In the chanceries of Europe, the die has apparently been cast. The time has come to launch an all-out diplomatic war against Israel. That is, the time has come to begin to unravel EU acceptance of Israel's right to exist. Last Friday, in anticipation of the swearing in of the new Netanyahu government, EU foreign ministers met in Prague and discussed how they would stick it to the Jews. According to media reports, the assembled ministers and diplomats decided that they will freeze the process of upgrading EU relations with Israel until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explicitly commits his government to establishing a Palestinian state and accepts that the only legitimate policy an Israeli government can have is the so-called "two-state solution."
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, reportedly summed up the new approach saying, "There won't be any progress in relations between Israel and the European Union until the Israeli government clarifies its stance on the creation of a Palestinian state."
On an operational level, the assembled ministers and diplomats decided to cancel the Israel-EU summit now scheduled for late May until Israel has bowed to Europe's demand. Europe's decision to launch a preemptive strike against the Netanyahu government even before it was sworn into office on Tuesday came against the backdrop of its growing enthusiasm for opening formal ties with Hamas. As The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday, Europe's diplomatic courtship of the Iranian-sponsored genocidal terror group is being spearheaded by Sweden and Switzerland. However, they are far from alone. Britain's Foreign Minister David Miliband has in recent weeks openly called for recognizing Hamas. France is reportedly using its involvement in the attempts to secure the release of Israeli hostage Gilad Schalit from his Hamas-controlled captors to advance its own bilateral ties to the jihadist group. At last Friday's meeting, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht reportedly also called for Europe to open ties with Hamas.
In its move to isolate Israel - and indeed to treat the only free country in the Middle East as if it is morally and politically inferior to Hamas - the EU reportedly believes that it is acting in concert with the Obama administration. Since entering office, and increasingly in recent weeks, the Obama administration has been both directly and indirectly signaling that it will adopt a hostile stance toward Netanyahu and his government. Unnamed Democratic congressional and administration sources have been warning Israel through the media that the administration does not accept the Israeli voters' right to set a new agenda for the incoming government that rejects the Olmert-Livni government's subordination of Israel's national interests to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The administration itself has stated through both White House and State Department spokesmen that it is completely committed to the swift establishment of a Palestinian state - regardless of Israel's position on the issue.
Other global policy-shapers have also weighed in. Former British prime minister and current Quartet Middle East mediator Tony Blair has been making daily statements warning of a breach with Israel if the Netanyahu government doesn't fall in line. On Wednesday, for instance, Blair threatened, "There is no alternative to a two-state solution, except the one-state solution. And if there is a one-state solution, there's going to be a big fight."
The Palestinians are enjoying the ride. Last Saturday, Fatah negotiator Saeb Erekat published an op-ed in The Washington Post where he portrayed Netanyahu as more radical than Hamas, and demanded that the US show that it is a true "honest broker" by treating Israel and Palestinian terrorists as moral, political and strategic equals. Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has also piled on, announcing that he will boycott the Netanyahu government until it falls into line.
THE RESPONSIBILITY for this horrendous state of affairs belongs mainly with Netanyahu's predecessors - former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and opposition leader Tzipi Livni. During their tenures in office, Olmert and Livni effectively embraced Israel's enemies' view that, unlike the PLO and even Hamas, Israel has no right to exist. Indeed, not only did they accept that view, they turned it into the official policy of the government.
Israel embarked on the road toward accepting the PLO's position when it accepted the legitimacy of the PLO with the launch of the Oslo peace process in 1993. The first time Israel explicitly and formally accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state, however, came only in 2004, with the Sharon government's qualified acceptance of the Middle East Quartet's so-called road map plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
That acceptance was not unconditional. As both the government's reservations
and Sharon's repeated statements made clear, Israel would only accept the
eventual establishment of a Palestinian state after the Palestinian
Authority dismantled all terror groups operating in Palestinian society
including its own Fatah terror groups. That is, for the Sharon government,
it was the Palestinian state, not the Jewish state, whose legitimacy was
contingent on its actions.
The innovation of the Olmert-Livni government was to discard this position.
In November 2007, Olmert and Livni enthusiastically signed on to the
Annapolis formula for Palestinian statehood, which itself was nothing more
than a regurgitation of the PLO's position. Then-US secretary of state
Condoleezza Rice extolled the Annapolis formula specifically because it
removed the requirement that the Palestinians dismantle all terror groups
operating in their territory before receiving statehood.
Now, as Europe, the US and regional actors are all making clear, Israel must accept that its own right to exist is contingent on the establishment of a Palestinian state - regardless of its character or the identity of the Palestinian leadership. That is, if Israel doesn't accept the legitimacy of a Hamas or Fatah-ruled Palestinian terror state in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza, then it has no right to exist.
This reality, of course, was made clear by the outcry that Foreign Minister
Avigdor Lieberman's official denunciation of the Annapolis formula on Wednesday induced. All Lieberman said was that the Netanyahu government will not accept a Palestinian terror state.
For the past 16 years, from Israel's first acceptance of the PLO as a legitimate actor to Israel's acceptance of the PLO's position that it is the Jewish state rather than the Palestinian state whose legitimacy is conditional, Israel's international position has become ever more tenuous as prospects for peace have become ever more remote. The Netanyahu government was elected to put an end to this disastrous trend. It is heartening to see that straight out of the starting gate, it is working to accomplish this essential task.