Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

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SaulChanukah

Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by SaulChanukah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:46 pm

Obama shows his true intentions and how he feels about Israel. It was a matter of time, and here it is:

Obama Sold Out Israel at UN, John Bolton w/GB

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Sun Mar 14, 11:07 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Israel's announcement of plans to build 1,600 settler homes in east Jerusalem was not only an "insult" to the United States but "destructive" of the Middle East peace process, a top White House official said Sunday.

"This was an affront, it was an insult but most importantly it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region," said David Axelrod, one of President Barack Obama's closest advisers.

"We have just started proximity talks, that is shuttle diplomacy, between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and for this announcement to come at that time was very destructive," he said on NBC television's Meet the Press show.

Israel's announcement of plans to build the 1,600 housing units in mostly Arab east Jerusalem came March 10 during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden that had aimed to encourage the first indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks since Israel's 2008-2009 offensive in Gaza.

Axelrod's comments were further evidence of the Obama administration's growing frustration with conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden himself condemned the east Jerusalem building plan in a sharp statement issued in Jerusalem and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Netanyahu directly in a 43-minute phone call that the announcement sent a "deeply negative" signal about Israel's approach to relations with Washington.

Axelrod said both Biden's and Clinton's words reflected Obama's thinking, and he said he believed Netanyahu had received the message.

His comments came after Netanyahu, who has expressed regret over the timing of the announcement, sought to calm down what many in Israel see as the worst crisis in US-Israeli relations in two decades.

"We opened the papers this morning and saw the analyses and reviews," Netanyahu said Sunday ahead of a weekly cabinet meeting. "I suggest we not get carried away, and calm down."

"We know how to deal with situations like these, calmly, responsibly and seriously," he said.

But there was no sign Washington was prepared to let go of the issue.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Netanyahu's expression of regret was "a good start" but suggested that the Israeli leader had more to do to placate his country's closest ally.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, he said that in her conversation with Netanyahu, Clinton outlined steps that the United States thinks he should take.

"I think what would be an even better start is coming to the table with constructive ideas for constructive and trustful dialogue about moving the peace process forward," he said.

On ABC's This Week, Axelrod said, "Israel is a strong and special ally. The bonds run deep. But for just that very reason, this was not the right way to behave."

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:16 pm

Diplomacy's role, one of them at least, is choreographing visits by Important People so embarrassing things don't happen unless on purpose. Obama can afford to whine about Israel's faux pas, if that's what it is. While he received much bigger insults from the Chinese during and after Copenhagen, he dare not make an issue of it. Ditto Iran because he's still in the grovelling mode with them.
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Barry » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:23 pm

I've found over the years that it stings more when a friend is disrespectful to you than when it comes from an enemy. The latter is expected; the former isn't.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:49 pm

Barry wrote:I've found over the years that it stings more when a friend is disrespectful to you than when it comes from an enemy. The latter is expected; the former isn't.
Considering that the Obama administration sought out and adopted the Palestinian freeze on settlements, despite the fact that that act queered the agreement the Bush administration had made with both sides and which was close to signature, I don't think the US is particularly justified in playing the wounded party here.
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SaulChanukah

Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by SaulChanukah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:25 pm

If you ask me, I think that its foolish for the U.S to even engage in this conflict. It has nothing to do with the United States, they only disturb.
They should state that Israel knows better what's good for itself, and we are out of this conflict.
If the U.S will do this, Israel will be free to protect itself without inflaming the White House.
Israel will have the freedom to take back the lands that it gave the Arabs, and restore peace and security.

From what it seems, it looks like the United States pressures Israel to do things against its interest, and this is just wrong.

The United States has its own interests and its pushing them at Israel's expence.

Israel must find ways to fund itself and not rely on the 3 billion it receives from the U.S.

If a friend is not willing to help without strings attached, then its better not to take that help, and be free.

Has it ever came to anyone's mind that this whole 'peace process' with the Arabs is just bad for Israel?

Israel is only on the giving end, and gets nothing in return, it has been so for a number of years since the Oslo Accords.
And the U.S and the E.U with the U.N and the Arab League are pushing Israel to go down this path, even though its very dangerous for Israel.
And Israeli politicians who are pressured by the world and their liberal population takes the bate and jumps into the 'peace wagon'.

Israel must make a clear cut proclamation that it is not willing anymore to give lands to those who are calling and working for its destruction.
And that Israel is not responsible for the Arabs who live in the West Bank and Gaza. Let the U.N and other ‘human rights' organization come and deal with them.
Israel shouldn’t be required to take irreversible risks for an illusionary peace that never exited and will not exist under the current circumstances.

The United States also must understand that it can't hold the fate of nations in its hands and cant control them. There is someone above them who calls the shots and its time for them to understand that the 'God of Israel' never sleeps and he guards over his people, and they don't own Israel and can't push Israel to do what they want. Its morally wrong, and its wrong even from a religious point of view. The U.S is a largely a religious country, and it must respect the freedom of Israel and the Jewish people and not try to blackmail them or do things that will be harmful for them.

Let them learn from history, that those who have stood by Israel's side benefited from God's grace, and those who worked against Israel received God's wrath.

Given the fact that Obama's administration is openly trying to intimidate and blackmail Israel, with Obama giving the most Anti Israel speech in the U.N by any president of the United States. This is not a positive development and I have been always concerned about this, since this guy took office.

Hopefully, in a few years, the American people will go to the polls and elect a true leader who will not abandon his friends in a time of need.

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:59 pm

I am in pretty close to complete agreement with this piece by Mead. I think it's well known among the regulars on here that I'm a staunch supporter of Israel, but even I was pissed about this, both because it was an insult to the U.S. and it was absolutely stupid and unnecessary on Israel's part for the reasons Mead gets into:

The American Interest
March 15th, 2010

The Israel Crisis

The war of words between the Obama administration and the Israeli government continues to heat up. “This was an affront, it was an insult, but most importantly, it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region,” White House senior adviser David Axelrod told the world on NBC yesterday. Axelrod of course was referring to the decision by the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee to move ahead with permission for the construction of 1600 units of housing in East Jerusalem. Continued Axelrod: “For this announcement to come at that time was very, very destructive.”

Axelrod’s comments followed Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s angry 43 minute telephone call to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Saturday, and her call was a follow up to Vice President Biden’s sharp rebuke on his visit.

This is the most sustained reaction of the Obama administration to any action by any foreign government during its first year in office. In an administration which prides itself on a disciplined, unflappable approach to international affairs, the decision to emphasize the depth of its anger was clearly a deliberate step. The emotions are hot, but the decision to make these feelings public and in such a pointed fashion was deliberate and cool.

It was also the right thing to do.
This decision by a relatively low-level Israeli body (more like the Chicago zoning commission than the Department of State) may, as Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli officials insist, have taken them by surprise. But the timing could not have been more destructive and insulting if it had been deliberately planned. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman thinks that Vice President Biden should just gotten in his plane and flown home; that was my reaction as well. The Obama administration had no choice but to respond strongly; otherwise the administration would have looked weak and irresolute and the repercussions throughout the world could well have been grave.

The President of the United States cannot afford to look like a patsy; for Israel’s sake as well as for the many others who depend on American support for their security around the world, any American president needs to be seen as a figure who commands respect. Israel’s actions left the Obama administration looking foolish and weak; like it or not, Israel must now do more than say it is sorry. It must help fix the damage it caused.

Things are not, quite, as bad as they look. Approving new housing projects in Jerusalem, as in any municipality, is a long and complex process and there are many decision points along the way. Construction won’t start tomorrow, and this particular decision isn’t the end of the road. There are opportunities for face-saving compromises here — if the Israelis are willing to make them.

The administration wants more. Israeli ineptitude (to put the kindest interpretation on what happened) put the United States in an impossible position; out of sheer self respect the Obama administration will need concrete signs from Israel that demonstrate Israel’s understanding that the president of the United States cannot be treated in this way. For the sake of the bilateral relationship, for the sake of Israel’s own security, this moment needs to be marked. The White House will not be happy with an outcome that Prime Minister Netanyahu can paint as a political success back home.

This latest dispute is the second serious breach between Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government and the Obama administration. The first came last year when Washington demanded a complete halt on all construction in all settlements, including East Jerusalem. This was asking something that the Israeli government could not do — and it was a demand that Washington could not enforce. The Obama administration paid a price for its overreach and its miscalculation, and Israelis were not slow to press their advantage home.

Last week it was the Israelis who stepped over the line, and it is the Israeli side that needs to figure out how to get the relationship back on track. But the Obama administration will need to play its cards carefully; if it pushes too hard it could lose the moral and political upper hand once again. We will see how this works out. Neither country and neither government will benefit from a long, bitter and inconclusive public spat. The administration’s goal should be to get the peace process on track, not to score points.

Unfortunately, the US-Israel relationship isn’t the only important international relationship the Netanyahu government has flubbed. Last January deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon committed one of the most grotesque diplomatic blunders in decades when he summoned the Turkish ambassador into his office and staged a deliberately humiliating and provocative dressing down. Ayalon was soon forced to issue a groveling, humilating apology — but kept his job.

The conventional response to all this, which I share in large part, is to blame the factionalism and extremism of Israeli domestic politics. Proportional representation ensures that even small groups with extremist views can elect enough members to the Knesset that Israeli governments have to do business with them. Religious politics, the settler lobby, immigrant parties and other groups can and do use the fractured parliamentary system to impose their agenda on the country at large. Unsavory and incompetent individuals come to hold great power in Israeli politics, and prime ministers have to indulge them, appoint them to senior posts, and hope and pray that they don’t cause too many train wrecks in Israel’s foreign policy by outrageous decisions and clownish diplomacy.*

Israel by rights should be in even worse shape than it is. Even more than the United States, it is a nation of immigrants, as Jews from all over the world sought refuge there. Traumatized European survivors of the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of penniless refugees forced out of Arab countries after Israeli independence, hundreds of thousands fleeing the wreckage of the Soviet collapse, black Ethiopian Jews, and many others have had to build a new society and a new state under constant threat of terror and conventional war while facing non-stop criticism from all over the world. That Israel would be a flawed and divided society was inevitable; that it would grow into a dynamic and lively democracy with one of the world’s most innovative economies was not.

Israel has a hard row to hoe. Decades of hostility and terrorism have taken their toll on Israel’s political culture and, with the shadow of Iran’s nuclear program lengthening by the day, Israelis live against a background of tension and anxiety that it is hard for others to understand. A diet of bitter criticism from those (like the Europeans) who judge Israel in crisis from their own safe havens does not help. The anger, frustration and bitterness that many Israelis feel sometimes boils to the surface. Yet precisely because their state is exposed to so many threats Israelis must keep their cool.

It is deeply unfair, but Israelis have to be smarter, more flexible and more self-controlled than other people just to survive.

In this latest crisis in the relationship with its most important ally, Israel has already shot itself in the foot and handed a great political victory to those in the administration who would like to see the two countries less closely associated. Israelis need to understand that putting the president of the United States in a humiliating position undercuts the strong support it enjoys in American public opinion.


This is particularly true because Israel’s strongest supporters in the United States today belong to the Jacksonian school of American foreign relations. Jacksonians are honor-focused; they react very negatively to insults against the dignity and honor of the United States. While President Obama is not a Jacksonian favorite, he is the President of the United States, and gratuitous foreign insults to him and his administration do not go over well among the millions of Jacksonian American gentiles who today form the bedrock of Israel’s American support.

The stakes are high. American support for Israel is based on broad public sympathy for Israel; if public opinion shifts against Israel then American policy sooner or later will follow.

The Israeli government groveled to appease Turkey’s justified wrath after Danny Ayalon’s blunder. It doesn’t need to grovel now, but American public opinion, and the Obama administration, need to see real evidence that Israel cares what Americans think.

“We love Israel,” a famous American evangelical leader once told me after a conversation with Netanyahu. “But it’s not a blank check.”

Israel has enough enemies already; it needs to think a little harder about keeping its friends.
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/ ... el-crisis/

* I've written on here in the past about the extent to which Israel's form of democracy is causing problems for them for the very reason Mead spells out in this paragraph. I've felt for a while that they're in need of something like a constitutional convention to make changes to their democracy that will prevent small, relatively extremist factions and the politicians who represent them from having too much influence within the government.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:09 pm

None of this matters. The "peace process" is going nowhere. It's not even close to getting off the ground. The parties don't want it enough. Things seem relatively quiet at the moment. That security wall that everyone complained about turned out to be a great idea, and apparently very effective.

The Palestinian people vote in people like Hamas in Gaza, the "moderate" leadership in the west bank is corrupt and has been talking about a "two step solution" to getting rid of Israel for ages, and the new big kid on the block - and soon to be nuclear power, Iran, constantly talks of wiping Israel off the map.

Israel would be insane to make itself more vulnerable in any way at this time. "Peace" will come, if ever, when a there is a new middle east. None is on the horizon.

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:39 pm

JackC wrote:None of this matters. The "peace process" is going nowhere. It's not even close to getting off the ground. The parties don't want it enough. Things seem relatively quiet at the moment. That security wall that everyone complained about turned out to be a great idea, and apparently very effective.

The Palestinian people vote in people like Hamas in Gaza, the "moderate" leadership in the west bank is corrupt and has been talking about a "two step solution" to getting rid of Israel for ages, and the new big kid on the block - and soon to be nuclear power, Iran, constantly talks of wiping Israel off the map.

Israel would be insane to make itself more vulnerable in any way at this time. "Peace" will come, if ever, when a there is a new middle east. None is on the horizon.
That aside, I'm afraid the U.S. now has an interest in maintaining some sense of stability in the Middle East. I know we can only do so much, but having another crisis erupt, including from Israel attacking Iran, could drag us in to something we just don't need now that we're trying to get Afghanistan right and not let things fall apart on the way out of Iraq.
And I say that knowing full well that allowing to have Iran get the bomb would be a terrible thing. But we're faced with nothing but terrible options at this point. Stretching our military further at this point because of a war or some type of significant crisis in the Middle East could lead to all kinds of unforeseen consequences? Who is to say that if we get further bogged down, that China won't suddenly decide that it's not a bad time to make a move on Taiwan? We were able to disuade that by simply sending a carrier group to the Taiwan Strait a little over a decade ago. I'm skeptical that we could do that so easily again at this point. The last thing we need is to take another big step in the direction of decline in comparison to other world powers. We don't have the luxury of handing off to another responsible democracy to ensure a degree of world stability like the Brits had at the close of World War II. It's in our interest to remain the world's top power for as long as possible IMO. And while I don't want us to fundamentally change our relationship with Israel (I also wouldn't want us to sit back and watch them go down if things ever get that bad), I support the President in efforts to try and prevent another crisis from breaking out (including by appearing a little less bias towards Israel publicly ... as I said, so long as we don't fundamentally change the fact that we are allied with them and continue our close military relationship with them) because I guess in the final anaylsis, I think it's better for us, Israel and much of the rest of the world if we can deal with Iran, China, Russia, etc. from a position of strength in the coming year. And that probably won't be possible if we've got a severely over-stretched military and a broken economy (which would likely be one of the consequences of a major conflict involving Iran, possibly to an even greater extent than we experienced in '08-'09). We saw how free Russia felt to move while we were bogged down in the Middle East; and that was while Bush was still President. We probably can't stop that for the foreseeable future regardless of what we do. But I support trying to build our all-around power (that includes economic) up so that we may have a shot to do so down the road.

As Mead indicated, this isn't necessarily "fair" in some respects. But I think it's the best way to deal with the reality that we're faced with.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Modernistfan
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Modernistfan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:47 pm

I fail to see any difference whatsoever between the Israeli policy that reserves these homes in East Jerusalem for Jews and bars Arabs from buying them or living in them and the former policies of the now thankfully defunct apartheid South African government, such as the Group Areas Act, that barred blacks and what were called "colored" from living in areas reserved for whites. It's time for the United States to halt all aid to this racist, international-law-flouting, rogue state. If that doesn't work, the next step should be to treat private donations by Americans to Israel and the purchase of Israel Bonds by Americans in much the same way as donations to Muslim charities that are purportedly linked to Palestinian terrorism are currently treated.

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:08 pm

Modernistfan wrote:I fail to see any difference whatsoever between the Israeli policy that reserves these homes in East Jerusalem for Jews and bars Arabs from buying them or living in them and the former policies of the now thankfully defunct apartheid South African government, such as the Group Areas Act, that barred blacks and what were called "colored" from living in areas reserved for whites. It's time for the United States to halt all aid to this racist, international-law-flouting, rogue state. If that doesn't work, the next step should be to treat private donations by Americans to Israel and the purchase of Israel Bonds by Americans in much the same way as donations to Muslim charities that are purportedly linked to Palestinian terrorism are currently treated.

Oh God, not more of this crap. :roll:

Israel is the only decent democratic society in the entire Mid-East. It is surrounded by forces that desire, and have been attempting to accomplish, its destruction since it was created. I know which side I'm on.
Last edited by JackC on Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Modernistfan
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Modernistfan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:17 pm

Israel is not a democracy, period, any more than Iran is a democracy. A democracy has a reasonable separation between religion and the state, if not necessarily on the American model. A democracy does not disenfranchise or exclude people on the basis of religion, ethnicity, or ancestry, as does Israel. The fact that Israel has elections and some degree of press freedom does not make it a democracy; apartheid South Africa also had elections and even some opposition representatives elected (e.g., Helen Suzman). It's time for the United States to step back and fashion its policy according to what is in the interests of the United States and not necessarily in the interests of Israel. The Holocaust, as horrible as that was, cannot justify this any more 65 years and counting after the end of World War II.

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:19 pm

Modernistfan wrote:I fail to see any difference whatsoever between the Israeli policy that reserves these homes in East Jerusalem for Jews and bars Arabs from buying them or living in them and the former policies of the now thankfully defunct apartheid South African government, such as the Group Areas Act, that barred blacks and what were called "colored" from living in areas reserved for whites. It's time for the United States to halt all aid to this racist, international-law-flouting, rogue state. If that doesn't work, the next step should be to treat private donations by Americans to Israel and the purchase of Israel Bonds by Americans in much the same way as donations to Muslim charities that are purportedly linked to Palestinian terrorism are currently treated.
You're ignoring that if the Palestinians/Arabs had complete control of East Jerusalem, they'd be banning Jews (and worse). In fact, they did just that before Israel took control. Given the history of Arab treatment of Jews and the extent to which they denied them access to some of the most significant sites in Judaism when they controled the city, it's hardly surprising that the Israeli Jews would want to maintain Jewish control of it now.
That being said, some form of compromise that doesn't leave Israel with sole control of East Jerusalem may have to be reached at some point down the road. It won't be easy to get there though. Even if every other issue between the two sides is resolved, I suspect the unwillingness of both to give in on control of East Jerusalem would be a sticking point getting in the way of any comprehensive peace agreement.
Last edited by Barry on Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:21 pm

Modernistfan wrote:Israel is not a democracy, period, any more than Iran is a democracy. A democracy has a reasonable separation between religion and the state, if not necessarily on the American model. A democracy does not disenfranchise or exclude people on the basis of religion, ethnicity, or ancestry, as does Israel. The fact that Israel has elections and some degree of press freedom does not make it a democracy; apartheid South Africa also had elections and even some opposition representatives elected (e.g., Helen Suzman). It's time for the United States to step back and fashion its policy according to what is in the interests of the United States and not necessarily in the interests of Israel. The Holocaust, as horrible as that was, cannot justify this any more 65 years and counting after the end of World War II.
Yeah - let's support those people who, if they had half a chance, would slaughter every jew they could find. The world needs more countries like Egypt, Sryia, Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq. :roll: :roll:

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Modernistfan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:23 pm

Why is slaughtering Jews any worse than slaughtering Palestinians or Muslims? They are also human (a point not readily conceded by bigoted Orthodox Jewish extremists who have more and more control over Israeli policy).

Barry
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:29 pm

Modernistfan wrote:Why is slaughtering Jews any worse than slaughtering Palestinians or Muslims? They are also human (a point not readily conceded by bigoted Orthodox Jewish extremists who have more and more control over Israeli policy).
I don't think an objective person (including one representing the UN) could characterize what Israel does as "slaughtering" Palestinians. They have a right to use force in self defense. They aren't going to be patsies and sit back and allow themselves to get bombed without responding. They are the only country in the world that's expected to just take it in a situation like that. Trading missile for missile instead of taking the steps necessary to stop the enemy from bombing them is stupidity and irresponsible to the Israeli citizens.

On the other hand, there is nothing that would make the people in control of Gaza and many of the Palestinians (not only in Gaza) who support them happier than seeing every Jew in Israel "slaughtered." And yes; I'm using the word properly there.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:32 pm

Barry wrote:
Modernistfan wrote:Why is slaughtering Jews any worse than slaughtering Palestinians or Muslims? They are also human (a point not readily conceded by bigoted Orthodox Jewish extremists who have more and more control over Israeli policy).
I don't think an objective person (including one representing the UN) could characterize what Israel does as "slaughtering" Palestinians. They have a right to use force in self defense. They aren't going to be patsies and sit back and allow themselves to get bombed without responding. They are the only country in the world that's expected to just take it in a situation like that. Trading missile for missile instead of taking the steps necessary to stop the enemy from bombing them is stupidity and irresponsible to the Israeli citizens.

On the other hand, there is nothing that would make the people in control of Gaza and many of the Palestinians (not only in Gaza) who support them happier than seeing every Jew in Israel "slaughtered." And yes; I'm using the word properly there.
Precisely, but that won't even begin to penetrate the mindset that gives rise to such babble.

Cosima__J

Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Cosima__J » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:14 pm

OK, you can call me simplistic if you want, but the whole thing boils down to this:

1) 6 million Jews were slaughtered (and I think I'm completely accurate in using that word) in Nazi camps while the world did absolutely nothing to stop it.

2) In 1948 Jews were able to establish one tiny little piece of land (Israel) to call their own

3) Jerusalem has been the spiritual capitol of Judaism way, way longer than there has ever been a people called Arabs

4) For God's sake, leave the Jews alone in peace and let them have their country and their city. Do not the Arabs have ever other square inch in the Middle East?

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:06 pm

Barry wrote:
Modernistfan wrote:Why is slaughtering Jews any worse than slaughtering Palestinians or Muslims? They are also human (a point not readily conceded by bigoted Orthodox Jewish extremists who have more and more control over Israeli policy).
I don't think an objective person (including one representing the UN) could characterize what Israel does as "slaughtering" Palestinians. They have a right to use force in self defense. They aren't going to be patsies and sit back and allow themselves to get bombed without responding. They are the only country in the world that's expected to just take it in a situation like that. Trading missile for missile instead of taking the steps necessary to stop the enemy from bombing them is stupidity and irresponsible to the Israeli citizens.

On the other hand, there is nothing that would make the people in control of Gaza and many of the Palestinians (not only in Gaza) who support them happier than seeing every Jew in Israel "slaughtered." And yes; I'm using the word properly there.
Absolutely. And then, they're settling on land that doesn't belong to them with a view to its permanent appropriation, and that is wrong irrespective of every other consideration. Moral ambiguity is not an easy thing to deal with, especially for people who think moral absolutes are the rule in life. We support Israel, we justify that (unlike Saudi Arabia, for instance) because Israel is a "good country," Israel is taking land that doesn't belong to them and we're stuck with that as a permanent feature of the deal, ergo taking that land must somehow be good. (Barry is not reasoning that way but others here are.) It doesn't work that way in terms of the morality. We're compromised, and that's that.

On the other hand, we can't treat Israel like a pariah state as South Africa was under apartheid. It's still more good than bad, and needed as an ally.

Those who have bought into this nonsense of biblical borders should consider whether they are also interested in reinstating the Roman Empire.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

SaulChanukah

Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by SaulChanukah » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:16 pm

Barry wrote:I am in pretty close to complete agreement with this piece by Mead. I think it's well known among the regulars on here that I'm a staunch supporter of Israel, but even I was pissed about this, both because it was an insult to the U.S. and it was absolutely stupid and unnecessary on Israel's part for the reasons Mead gets into:

The American Interest
March 15th, 2010

The Israel Crisis

The war of words between the Obama administration and the Israeli government continues to heat up. “This was an affront, it was an insult, but most importantly, it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region,” White House senior adviser David Axelrod told the world on NBC yesterday. Axelrod of course was referring to the decision by the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee to move ahead with permission for the construction of 1600 units of housing in East Jerusalem. Continued Axelrod: “For this announcement to come at that time was very, very destructive.”

Axelrod’s comments followed Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s angry 43 minute telephone call to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Saturday, and her call was a follow up to Vice President Biden’s sharp rebuke on his visit.

This is the most sustained reaction of the Obama administration to any action by any foreign government during its first year in office. In an administration which prides itself on a disciplined, unflappable approach to international affairs, the decision to emphasize the depth of its anger was clearly a deliberate step. The emotions are hot, but the decision to make these feelings public and in such a pointed fashion was deliberate and cool.

It was also the right thing to do.
This decision by a relatively low-level Israeli body (more like the Chicago zoning commission than the Department of State) may, as Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli officials insist, have taken them by surprise. But the timing could not have been more destructive and insulting if it had been deliberately planned. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman thinks that Vice President Biden should just gotten in his plane and flown home; that was my reaction as well. The Obama administration had no choice but to respond strongly; otherwise the administration would have looked weak and irresolute and the repercussions throughout the world could well have been grave.

The President of the United States cannot afford to look like a patsy; for Israel’s sake as well as for the many others who depend on American support for their security around the world, any American president needs to be seen as a figure who commands respect. Israel’s actions left the Obama administration looking foolish and weak; like it or not, Israel must now do more than say it is sorry. It must help fix the damage it caused.

Things are not, quite, as bad as they look. Approving new housing projects in Jerusalem, as in any municipality, is a long and complex process and there are many decision points along the way. Construction won’t start tomorrow, and this particular decision isn’t the end of the road. There are opportunities for face-saving compromises here — if the Israelis are willing to make them.

The administration wants more. Israeli ineptitude (to put the kindest interpretation on what happened) put the United States in an impossible position; out of sheer self respect the Obama administration will need concrete signs from Israel that demonstrate Israel’s understanding that the president of the United States cannot be treated in this way. For the sake of the bilateral relationship, for the sake of Israel’s own security, this moment needs to be marked. The White House will not be happy with an outcome that Prime Minister Netanyahu can paint as a political success back home.

This latest dispute is the second serious breach between Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government and the Obama administration. The first came last year when Washington demanded a complete halt on all construction in all settlements, including East Jerusalem. This was asking something that the Israeli government could not do — and it was a demand that Washington could not enforce. The Obama administration paid a price for its overreach and its miscalculation, and Israelis were not slow to press their advantage home.

Last week it was the Israelis who stepped over the line, and it is the Israeli side that needs to figure out how to get the relationship back on track. But the Obama administration will need to play its cards carefully; if it pushes too hard it could lose the moral and political upper hand once again. We will see how this works out. Neither country and neither government will benefit from a long, bitter and inconclusive public spat. The administration’s goal should be to get the peace process on track, not to score points.

Unfortunately, the US-Israel relationship isn’t the only important international relationship the Netanyahu government has flubbed. Last January deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon committed one of the most grotesque diplomatic blunders in decades when he summoned the Turkish ambassador into his office and staged a deliberately humiliating and provocative dressing down. Ayalon was soon forced to issue a groveling, humilating apology — but kept his job.

The conventional response to all this, which I share in large part, is to blame the factionalism and extremism of Israeli domestic politics. Proportional representation ensures that even small groups with extremist views can elect enough members to the Knesset that Israeli governments have to do business with them. Religious politics, the settler lobby, immigrant parties and other groups can and do use the fractured parliamentary system to impose their agenda on the country at large. Unsavory and incompetent individuals come to hold great power in Israeli politics, and prime ministers have to indulge them, appoint them to senior posts, and hope and pray that they don’t cause too many train wrecks in Israel’s foreign policy by outrageous decisions and clownish diplomacy.*

Israel by rights should be in even worse shape than it is. Even more than the United States, it is a nation of immigrants, as Jews from all over the world sought refuge there. Traumatized European survivors of the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of penniless refugees forced out of Arab countries after Israeli independence, hundreds of thousands fleeing the wreckage of the Soviet collapse, black Ethiopian Jews, and many others have had to build a new society and a new state under constant threat of terror and conventional war while facing non-stop criticism from all over the world. That Israel would be a flawed and divided society was inevitable; that it would grow into a dynamic and lively democracy with one of the world’s most innovative economies was not.

Israel has a hard row to hoe. Decades of hostility and terrorism have taken their toll on Israel’s political culture and, with the shadow of Iran’s nuclear program lengthening by the day, Israelis live against a background of tension and anxiety that it is hard for others to understand. A diet of bitter criticism from those (like the Europeans) who judge Israel in crisis from their own safe havens does not help. The anger, frustration and bitterness that many Israelis feel sometimes boils to the surface. Yet precisely because their state is exposed to so many threats Israelis must keep their cool.

It is deeply unfair, but Israelis have to be smarter, more flexible and more self-controlled than other people just to survive.

In this latest crisis in the relationship with its most important ally, Israel has already shot itself in the foot and handed a great political victory to those in the administration who would like to see the two countries less closely associated. Israelis need to understand that putting the president of the United States in a humiliating position undercuts the strong support it enjoys in American public opinion.


This is particularly true because Israel’s strongest supporters in the United States today belong to the Jacksonian school of American foreign relations. Jacksonians are honor-focused; they react very negatively to insults against the dignity and honor of the United States. While President Obama is not a Jacksonian favorite, he is the President of the United States, and gratuitous foreign insults to him and his administration do not go over well among the millions of Jacksonian American gentiles who today form the bedrock of Israel’s American support.

The stakes are high. American support for Israel is based on broad public sympathy for Israel; if public opinion shifts against Israel then American policy sooner or later will follow.

The Israeli government groveled to appease Turkey’s justified wrath after Danny Ayalon’s blunder. It doesn’t need to grovel now, but American public opinion, and the Obama administration, need to see real evidence that Israel cares what Americans think.

“We love Israel,” a famous American evangelical leader once told me after a conversation with Netanyahu. “But it’s not a blank check.”

Israel has enough enemies already; it needs to think a little harder about keeping its friends.
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/ ... el-crisis/

* I've written on here in the past about the extent to which Israel's form of democracy is causing problems for them for the very reason Mead spells out in this paragraph. I've felt for a while that they're in need of something like a constitutional convention to make changes to their democracy that will prevent small, relatively extremist factions and the politicians who represent them from having too much influence within the government.
Imagine if it will be an insult to America that Israel even exists...

Should Israel now stand back and leave this land and not to offend or insult our Ally The U.S?

Big deal that America was offended, Israel has been offended and insulted by America hundreds of times more, big deal.

Israel is not America's plaything, and it will do whatever it sees fit for its own security.

'Insults'... :roll:


Give me a break...

Barry
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:17 pm

SaulChanukah wrote: Israel ... will do whatever it sees fit for its own security.
Likewise, I'm sure.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:40 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Barry wrote:
Modernistfan wrote:Why is slaughtering Jews any worse than slaughtering Palestinians or Muslims? They are also human (a point not readily conceded by bigoted Orthodox Jewish extremists who have more and more control over Israeli policy).
I don't think an objective person (including one representing the UN) could characterize what Israel does as "slaughtering" Palestinians. They have a right to use force in self defense. They aren't going to be patsies and sit back and allow themselves to get bombed without responding. They are the only country in the world that's expected to just take it in a situation like that. Trading missile for missile instead of taking the steps necessary to stop the enemy from bombing them is stupidity and irresponsible to the Israeli citizens.

On the other hand, there is nothing that would make the people in control of Gaza and many of the Palestinians (not only in Gaza) who support them happier than seeing every Jew in Israel "slaughtered." And yes; I'm using the word properly there.
Absolutely. And then, they're settling on land that doesn't belong to them with a view to its permanent appropriation, and that is wrong irrespective of every other consideration. Moral ambiguity is not an easy thing to deal with, especially for people who think moral absolutes are the rule in life. We support Israel, we justify that (unlike Saudi Arabia, for instance) because Israel is a "good country," Israel is taking land that doesn't belong to them and we're stuck with that as a permanent feature of the deal, ergo taking that land must somehow be good. (Barry is not reasoning that way but others here are.) It doesn't work that way in terms of the morality. We're compromised, and that's that.

On the other hand, we can't treat Israel like a pariah state as South Africa was under apartheid. It's still more good than bad, and needed as an ally.

Those who have bought into this nonsense of biblical borders should consider whether they are also interested in reinstating the Roman Empire.

Does ANY of the land "belong" to Israel??

Most of the territory it occupies that was not given to it when it ws created, it occupies because it was taken when it enemies started wars against it trying to wipe it off the map.

Only a fool would allow itself to be attacked, again and again, and then "give the land back" after each attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.

Barry
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:05 pm

JackC wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Barry wrote:
Modernistfan wrote:Why is slaughtering Jews any worse than slaughtering Palestinians or Muslims? They are also human (a point not readily conceded by bigoted Orthodox Jewish extremists who have more and more control over Israeli policy).
I don't think an objective person (including one representing the UN) could characterize what Israel does as "slaughtering" Palestinians. They have a right to use force in self defense. They aren't going to be patsies and sit back and allow themselves to get bombed without responding. They are the only country in the world that's expected to just take it in a situation like that. Trading missile for missile instead of taking the steps necessary to stop the enemy from bombing them is stupidity and irresponsible to the Israeli citizens.

On the other hand, there is nothing that would make the people in control of Gaza and many of the Palestinians (not only in Gaza) who support them happier than seeing every Jew in Israel "slaughtered." And yes; I'm using the word properly there.
Absolutely. And then, they're settling on land that doesn't belong to them with a view to its permanent appropriation, and that is wrong irrespective of every other consideration. Moral ambiguity is not an easy thing to deal with, especially for people who think moral absolutes are the rule in life. We support Israel, we justify that (unlike Saudi Arabia, for instance) because Israel is a "good country," Israel is taking land that doesn't belong to them and we're stuck with that as a permanent feature of the deal, ergo taking that land must somehow be good. (Barry is not reasoning that way but others here are.) It doesn't work that way in terms of the morality. We're compromised, and that's that.

On the other hand, we can't treat Israel like a pariah state as South Africa was under apartheid. It's still more good than bad, and needed as an ally.

Those who have bought into this nonsense of biblical borders should consider whether they are also interested in reinstating the Roman Empire.

Does ANY of the land "belong" to Israel??

Most of the territory it occupies that was not given to it when it ws created, it occupies because it was taken when it enemies started wars against it trying to wipe it off the map.

Only a fool would allow itself to be attacked, again and again, and then "give the land back" after each attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.
I agree with Jack that Israel has a moral right to the land that was used more than once to attack them. But as Mead alluded to, what's fair and just doesn't always carry the day. Unfortunately, competing factors and interests get in the way and force an unfair result.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Corlyss_D
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:10 pm

Modernistfan wrote:It's time for the United States to step back and fashion its policy according to what is in the interests of the United States and not necessarily in the interests of Israel.
That's exactly what the US has been doing. The civil/human rights pimps may not like the fact that Israel is as close to a democracy as they come in the wretched neighborhood where they live, but we will continue to stand by Israel as long as it is the closest thing to a democracy in the region.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:17 pm

Barry wrote:
JackC wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Barry wrote:
Modernistfan wrote:Why is slaughtering Jews any worse than slaughtering Palestinians or Muslims? They are also human (a point not readily conceded by bigoted Orthodox Jewish extremists who have more and more control over Israeli policy).
I don't think an objective person (including one representing the UN) could characterize what Israel does as "slaughtering" Palestinians. They have a right to use force in self defense. They aren't going to be patsies and sit back and allow themselves to get bombed without responding. They are the only country in the world that's expected to just take it in a situation like that. Trading missile for missile instead of taking the steps necessary to stop the enemy from bombing them is stupidity and irresponsible to the Israeli citizens.

On the other hand, there is nothing that would make the people in control of Gaza and many of the Palestinians (not only in Gaza) who support them happier than seeing every Jew in Israel "slaughtered." And yes; I'm using the word properly there.
Absolutely. And then, they're settling on land that doesn't belong to them with a view to its permanent appropriation, and that is wrong irrespective of every other consideration. Moral ambiguity is not an easy thing to deal with, especially for people who think moral absolutes are the rule in life. We support Israel, we justify that (unlike Saudi Arabia, for instance) because Israel is a "good country," Israel is taking land that doesn't belong to them and we're stuck with that as a permanent feature of the deal, ergo taking that land must somehow be good. (Barry is not reasoning that way but others here are.) It doesn't work that way in terms of the morality. We're compromised, and that's that.

On the other hand, we can't treat Israel like a pariah state as South Africa was under apartheid. It's still more good than bad, and needed as an ally.

Those who have bought into this nonsense of biblical borders should consider whether they are also interested in reinstating the Roman Empire.

Does ANY of the land "belong" to Israel??

Most of the territory it occupies that was not given to it when it ws created, it occupies because it was taken when it enemies started wars against it trying to wipe it off the map.

Only a fool would allow itself to be attacked, again and again, and then "give the land back" after each attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.
I agree with Jack that Israel has a moral right to the land that was used more than once to attack them. But as Mead alluded to, what's fair and just doesn't always carry the day. Unfortunately, competing factors and interests get in the way and force an unfair result.
I don't think it is a "moral right" to the land used to attack it indefinitely. But I do think it has a right to hold it until those who seek to destroy it come to grip with Israel's right to exist, and there is a real chance for an enforceable defensible peace. We are nowhere near that point. Not even close. In fact, with the turn to fanaticism and terrorism, things are going the other way. You don't generate people interested in peace by bringing them up to think their highest calling in life is to kill themselves in order to take a few jews with them.


If the Palestinians had been led by a Ghandi, instead if an Arafat, they would have had their state long ago, and it would have been bigger than anything they are ever likely to get in negotiations now.

Barry
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:16 pm

JackC wrote: I don't think it is a "moral right" to the land used to attack it indefinitely. But I do think it has a right to hold it until those who seek to destroy it come to grip with Israel's right to exist, and there is a real chance for an enforceable defensible peace. We are nowhere near that point. Not even close. In fact, with the turn to fanaticism and terrorism, things are going the other way. You don't generate people interested in peace by bringing them up to think their highest calling in life is to kill themselves in order to take a few jews with them.


If the Palestinians had been led by a Ghandi, instead if an Arafat, they would have had their state long ago, and it would have been bigger than anything they are ever likely to get in negotiations now.
I probably didn't phrase that as smoothly as I should have. I just meant that Israel's taking and possession of the land that was used to attack them multiple times is just.
And I agree with you on Palestinian leadership over the years.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

SaulChanukah

Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by SaulChanukah » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:38 pm

Modernistfan wrote:Why is slaughtering Jews any worse than slaughtering Palestinians or Muslims? They are also human (a point not readily conceded by bigoted Orthodox Jewish extremists who have more and more control over Israeli policy).
Actually when you are a Nazi you cease been human for the Image of God has been erased from you and you become like a beast void of any soul.
Therefore eliminating hamas terrorists and all other scumball Arabs who want to see every Jew dead, is not 'slaughtering' its freeing this world from evil. Just like all decent human beings will like to see this world free of Nazism and those who follow this destructive ideology, so too, all decent human beings want to see hamas and their supporters dead and erased from this world.

All other Arabs who are not engaging in terrorism and don’t support terror organizations and don't want to murder Jews, I say God bless them.

My question is why the world is not doing anything to stop the terror of Hamas Iran and the Hezbollah?

Because this war on terror is fought with one hand tied behind the back while the liberals and the U.N cast oil on the soldiers so they may slip and fall.

First we need to win the war against those who stop us from wining, and only then we can actually win.

SaulChanukah

Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by SaulChanukah » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:36 pm

Eric Cantor: W.H. 'irresponsible' on Israel

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/34436.html


The second-ranking House Republican blasted the Obama administration as “irresponsible” in its dealings with Israel, accusing the White House of trying to curry favor with the Arab world by deriding America’s closest ally in the Middle East.


House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia also declined to condemn Israel for announcing the construction of more settlements while Vice President Joe Biden was on a visit to the country. Many diplomacy experts saw that move as a snub to the Obama administration, hurting relations between the longtime allies.


“While it condemns Israel, the administration continues to ignore a host of Palestinian provocations that undermine prospects for peace in the region,” Cantor said in a statement. “Where is the outrage when top Fatah officials call for riots on the Temple Mount? Why does the Palestinian Authority get a pass when it holds a ceremony glorifying the woman responsible for one of the deadliest terror attack in Israel’s history? Surely, the Administration’s double standard has set back the peace process.”


Tensions between Israel and the U.S. are heating up on the heels of Biden's visit. The settlement announcement, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed as coincidential, has soured relationships between the nations. The U.S. has long been opposed to the expansion of settlements.


White House officials have been on the offensive on this issue.


David Axelrod and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have offered a sharp rebuke of Israel’s actions. Axelrod, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday called it an “affront.” Clinton called Netanyahu Friday to express her discontent with the decision to expand settlements. Israel said the announcement did not purposely coincide with Biden’s visit.


Cantor said “Israel has always been committed to the peace process."


“For this administration to treat our special relationship with Israel, one of our closest and most strategic Democratic allies, in this fashion is beyond irresponsible and jeopardizes America’s national security,” Cantor said.

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:29 pm

JackC wrote: Most of the territory it occupies that was not given to it when it ws created, it occupies because it was taken when it enemies started wars against it trying to wipe it off the map.

Only a fool would allow itself to be attacked, again and again, and then "give the land back" after each attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.
It is not necessary to their survival to annex the territory as they are effectively doing. They could hold it militarily as a buffer against their enemies indefinitely without ever permanently settling it. You are being either disingenuous or naive in suggesting that they have any other motivation for claiming the land beyond defensive needs for any reason other than that it makes an emotionally more satisfying Israel for some of them (not even all Israelis are behind the settlements).

I feel like we're going over some very old ground. :wink:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

SaulChanukah

Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by SaulChanukah » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:49 pm

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SaulChanukah

Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by SaulChanukah » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:08 pm

CNN March 15th, 2010

Report: Israel, U.S. ties worst in 35 years, official says
Israel's ties with the United States are at their worst in 35 years, the country's top envoy to the United States was quoted as saying Monday.

Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, made the remarks in a conference call to the country's consuls general Saturday night, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported.

His comments came as the United States harshly criticized Israel for announcing new settlement construction in disputed East Jerusalem territory while Vice President Joe Biden was visiting the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has set up a team to investigate the timing of the announcement, which U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called "insulting" to her country.

The United States has asked Israel to "do something significant" to show that it is serious about moving toward negotiations with Palestinians, a U.S. official and an Israeli official told CNN. Specifically, the United States asked Israel to rescind the decision on the settlement project in East Jerusalem, the sources said.

State Department Deputy Secretary James Steinberg delivered that message Friday in a meeting with Oren, and Clinton reiterated it in a phone call with Netanyahu, the sources said.

"It's not about words any more," said the U.S. official, who could not speak on the record because of the sensitive nature of the diplomacy. "We need to see some concrete steps."

Earlier, Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said he could not confirm whether Clinton presented Israel with a set of demands.

Netanyahu was focused on trying to "calm things down," Regev said.

Speaking Monday during an event at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, Netanyahu argued that such construction has been going on for decades and does not hurt Arabs.

"In the last 42 years, there has not been a government that has limited the building in Jerusalem," he said, citing several suburbs of the city. "The development of these Jewish neighborhoods never hurt in any way the Arabs in East Jerusalem and did not come on account of them."

He added there is broad agreement such neighborhoods will remain part of Israel in a final peace agreement. "We will continue to keep Jerusalem as an open city for all the religions," Netanyahu said," a city where Jews and Arabs, Christians and Muslims live in coexistence, enjoy freedom to worship at their holy sites."

The Israeli announcement of construction in Ramat Shlomo came during Biden's visit last week. It complicated U.S. efforts to set up so-called proximity talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, the latest attempt to nudge the two sides back toward talking directly.

Biden condemned the decision, calling it "a step that undermines the trust we need right now."


Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren

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JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:36 am

jbuck919 wrote:
JackC wrote: Most of the territory it occupies that was not given to it when it ws created, it occupies because it was taken when it enemies started wars against it trying to wipe it off the map.

Only a fool would allow itself to be attacked, again and again, and then "give the land back" after each attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.
It is not necessary to their survival to annex the territory as they are effectively doing. They could hold it militarily as a buffer against their enemies indefinitely without ever permanently settling it. You are being either disingenuous or naive suggesting that they have any other motivation for claiming the land beyond defensive needs for any reason other than that it makes an emotionally more satisfying Israel for some of them (not even all Israelis are behind the settlements).

I feel like we're going over some very old ground. :wink:
Why should they hold it as a "buffer zone" - which just to sends a message to their enemies -- don't worry, you'll get it back some day. lol :roll:

The fact is that Israel gave back the entire Sinai, in which had invested a considerable amount of energy and expense to develop oil resources, to Egypt when it had a real chance for peace with Egypt. It also dismantled settlements in Gaza.

No doubt there are some Israeli's who think God gave the the west bank etc. But the fact is Israel has proven it is willing to sacrifice for peace. Israel is not the problem. The problem is the cesspool of a neighborhood that sourrounds it.

Sorry to be so "disingenuous or naive" :roll: :roll: Stick it in your ear pal.

JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:39 am

JackC wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
JackC wrote: Most of the territory it occupies that was not given to it when it ws created, it occupies because it was taken when it enemies started wars against it trying to wipe it off the map.

Only a fool would allow itself to be attacked, again and again, and then "give the land back" after each attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.
It is not necessary to their survival to annex the territory as they are effectively doing. They could hold it militarily as a buffer against their enemies indefinitely without ever permanently settling it. You are being either disingenuous or naive suggesting that they have any other motivation for claiming the land beyond defensive needs for any reason other than that it makes an emotionally more satisfying Israel for some of them (not even all Israelis are behind the settlements).

I feel like we're going over some very old ground. :wink:
Why should they hold it as a "buffer zone" - which just to sends a message to their enemies -- don't worry, you'll get it back some day. lol :roll:

The fact is that Israel gave back the entire Sinai, in which had invested a considerable amount of energy and expense to develop oil resources, to Egypt when it had a real chance for peace with Egypt. It also dismantled settlements in Gaza.

No doubt there are some Israelis who think God gave theM the West Bank etc. But the fact is Israel has proven it is willing to sacrifice for peace. Israel is not the problem. The problem is the cesspool of a neighborhood that surrounds it.

Sorry to be so "disingenuous or naive" :roll: :roll: Stick it in your ear pal.

jbuck919
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:32 am

JackC wrote:
JackC wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
JackC wrote: Most of the territory it occupies that was not given to it when it ws created, it occupies because it was taken when it enemies started wars against it trying to wipe it off the map.

Only a fool would allow itself to be attacked, again and again, and then "give the land back" after each attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.
It is not necessary to their survival to annex the territory as they are effectively doing. They could hold it militarily as a buffer against their enemies indefinitely without ever permanently settling it. You are being either disingenuous or naive suggesting that they have any other motivation for claiming the land beyond defensive needs for any reason other than that it makes an emotionally more satisfying Israel for some of them (not even all Israelis are behind the settlements).

I feel like we're going over some very old ground. :wink:
Why should they hold it as a "buffer zone" - which just to sends a message to their enemies -- don't worry, you'll get it back some day. lol :roll:

The fact is that Israel gave back the entire Sinai, in which had invested a considerable amount of energy and expense to develop oil resources, to Egypt when it had a real chance for peace with Egypt. It also dismantled settlements in Gaza.

No doubt there are some Israelis who think God gave theM the West Bank etc. But the fact is Israel has proven it is willing to sacrifice for peace. Israel is not the problem. The problem is the cesspool of a neighborhood that surrounds it.
If the Sinai is the model, then that means all the more that the occupied territories are also not a permanent part of Israel. Furthermore, the Sinai model would indicate that settlement is wrong because it forces the country to give up much more when it finally ends its occupation. Indefinite prolongation of a buffer zone is not an inherent evil, though modern standards of international law are plain that old-fashioned military conquest for the sake of aggrandizing a country is. As far as Israel's neighbors are concerned, the worst geopolitical situations that seem permanent can eventually change, as witness the fall of communism (or the treaty with Egypt, for that matter).

A great deal of the argument here is premised on the moral inequivalence of Israel and its enemies. While this cannot be denied, and while the world does beat up on Israel grossly disproportionately, that is never an excuse for turning a blind eye to a rectifiable wrong. We have limited direct influence over many countries that are malignantly against our interest, but that it not an excuse for turning a blind eye to problems closer to home. To reverse Jesus' metaphor, the fact that someone else has a beam in his eye doesn't mean you should not remove the mote from yours. People who argue for "Israel right or wrong" on the grounds that it is not like Iran remind me of those who, when any abuse committed by the US government during the Cold War came to light, marked the whistle-blowers as unpatriotic because they were not instead denouncing the Soviet Union.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:51 am

jbuck919 wrote:
JackC wrote:
JackC wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
JackC wrote: Most of the territory it occupies that was not given to it when it ws created, it occupies because it was taken when it enemies started wars against it trying to wipe it off the map.

Only a fool would allow itself to be attacked, again and again, and then "give the land back" after each attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.
It is not necessary to their survival to annex the territory as they are effectively doing. They could hold it militarily as a buffer against their enemies indefinitely without ever permanently settling it. You are being either disingenuous or naive suggesting that they have any other motivation for claiming the land beyond defensive needs for any reason other than that it makes an emotionally more satisfying Israel for some of them (not even all Israelis are behind the settlements).

I feel like we're going over some very old ground. :wink:
Why should they hold it as a "buffer zone" - which just to sends a message to their enemies -- don't worry, you'll get it back some day. lol :roll:

The fact is that Israel gave back the entire Sinai, in which had invested a considerable amount of energy and expense to develop oil resources, to Egypt when it had a real chance for peace with Egypt. It also dismantled settlements in Gaza.

No doubt there are some Israelis who think God gave theM the West Bank etc. But the fact is Israel has proven it is willing to sacrifice for peace. Israel is not the problem. The problem is the cesspool of a neighborhood that surrounds it.
If the Sinai is the model, then that means all the more that the occupied territories are also not a permanent part of Israel. Furthermore, the Sinai model would indicate that settlement is wrong because it forces the country to give up much more when it finally ends its occupation. Indefinite prolongation of a buffer zone is not an inherent evil, though modern standards of international law are plain that old-fashioned military conquest for the sake of aggrandizing a country is. As far as Israel's neighbors are concerned, the worst geopolitical situations that seem permanent can eventually change, as witness the fall of communism (or the treaty with Egypt, for that matter).

A great deal of the argument here is premised on the moral inequivalence of Israel and its enemies. While this cannot be denied, and while the world does beat up on Israel grossly disproportionately, that is never an excuse for turning a blind eye to a rectifiable wrong. We have limited direct influence over many countries that are malignantly against our interest, but that it not an excuse for turning a blind eye to problems closer to home. To reverse Jesus' metaphor, the fact that someone else has a beam in his eye doesn't mean you should not remove the mote from yours. People who argue for "Israel right or wrong" on the grounds that it is not like Iran remind me of those who, when any abuse committed by the US government during the Cold War came to light, marked the whistle-blowers as unpatriotic because they were not instead denouncing the Soviet Union.

I never said "Israel right or wrong" and I acknowledged that some in Israel want some things, territory, that are not justified.

Still, anyone who looks at the situation overall, and in particular the numerous attempts over the last 60 years by virtually every one of its neighbors to wipe it off the map, and the more recent move to terrorism because they kept losing all the major wars, and thinks that Israel is the problem or that the settlements is the reason there is no peace, either has his head up his butt or has another agenda.

Israel exists in a sh*thole of a neighborhood. It is the only decent entity in that part of the world. I don't claim all that it does it right, but it doesn't have the luxury of being perfect. And I'm not about to do anything to encourage its neighbors who are playing some in the West for suckers.

The best thing Israel has done has been to build that security wall that had almost every country in Europe going batsh*t. The next best thing was its move into Gaza, which drove the EU and the UN even more batsh*t.

There will be peace when that part of the world gives up on its dreams of destroying Israel, and we aren't even close to being there yet.

And Obama's decision to turn what could have been a minor incident into a major fight with Israel has to be one of the stupidest things he has done. How likely is THAT to advance the "peace process"?? :roll:

My goodness, even the Washington Post is scratching its head over this one.
:lol:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02667.html

Of course now the news is that "violence flairs" in the mid-east
- as if there was anything spontaneous about it- because of the settlements. Nice work Obama!!! :roll: :roll:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35886954/ns ... tn_africa/

Werner
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Werner » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:31 am

I'll allow myself a rare Pub statement to correct, as I see it, a misimpression in your post, John. You refer - in passing, as it seems - to Israel's return of Gaza. You'd have expected that this might lead to a similar result as the previous deal with Egypt.

And it was Ariiel Sharon, the legendary general and longtime defender of Israel, who led his nation to unilaterally evacuate Gaza. Instead of leading to closer relations with Israel's neighbors, Gaza became the realm of Hamas, with cotinuing existential threats to Israel.

This continues the threat under which Israel has existed ever since the early wars, which led to the original "conquest" of the West Bank and the socalled "Territories." As long as these threats continue, no nation can be expected to neglect the defense of its existence. Given a cessatioh of these threats, a new world of peace and common prosperity can open for all concrned. When will that happen? Who can tell, given the success of the participants in avoiding the obvious.
Werner Isler

josé echenique
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by josé echenique » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:38 am

I can imagine most Israelis would love to have Denmark instead of Palestine as a neighbour, but that of course, will never happen, the Palestinians will always be there. Still, it would be a very desirable thing for them to have a Jordan-like Palestine instead of an Iran-like Palestine next door. And for that to happen, the Palestinians need a real economy with real jobs, they need prosperity. But in the dire present situation, Palestine is only producing extremists.

jbuck919
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:18 am

Werner wrote:I'll allow myself a rare Pub statement to correct, as I see it, a misimpression in your post, John. You refer - in passing, as it seems - to Israel's return of Gaza. You'd have expected that this might lead to a similar result as the previous deal with Egypt.

And it was Ariiel Sharon, the legendary general and longtime defender of Israel, who led his nation to unilaterally evacuate Gaza. Instead of leading to closer relations with Israel's neighbors, Gaza became the realm of Hamas, with cotinuing existential threats to Israel.

This continues the threat under which Israel has existed ever since the early wars, which led to the original "conquest" of the West Bank and the socalled "Territories." As long as these threats continue, no nation can be expected to neglect the defense of its existence. Given a cessatioh of these threats, a new world of peace and common prosperity can open for all concrned. When will that happen? Who can tell, given the success of the participants in avoiding the obvious.
Thank you for the clarification, Werner. I am not advocating that Israel pull back against the interest of its self-preservation, and I wasn't even thinking of Gaza as an example of one thing or another. It is, as you indicate, unlike the Sinai, an unsuccessful (in terms of security) example of conceding territory though another good one of the problems encountered when they have to abandon settlements. My issue was with current settlements in occupied territories, and I was only addressing the questionable legitimacy of squatter's rights. Either Israel is knave for settling in anticipation of annexation, or it is fool for settling knowing what has to happen to the settlements if and when they eventually hand over the land (hoping it will eventually be a "good" hand-over and not like Gaza). Or it is playing a long-term hedging game of knave against fool.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

JackC
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by JackC » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:38 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8571143.stm

Hillary Clinton affirms US support for Israel after row

Hillary Clinton said the US could not agree with its allies on everything
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has dismissed the idea that US-Israeli relations are in crisis amid a row over Jewish settlers in Arab East Jerusalem.


So the very next day after precipitating a diplomatic crisis by rejecting Israel's apology and going on the attack against Israel, Obama has the very same person, Hillary, go out and say there is no crisis. :roll:

The word "incompetence" springs to mind.


And while this has been playing out, those peace-loving Palestinians have just renamed a central public square in Ramallah after their latest "hero" or rather heroine - a woman terrorist who slaughtered 39 Israelis, including 13 children.


http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blog ... -mute.aspx

Fatah representatives at the ceremony on Thursday described Mughrabi as “a courageous fighter who held a proud place in Palestinian history.”

“We are all Dalal Mughrabi,” declared Tawfiq Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee.



Oh yes, peace is at hand!!!! :roll: :roll:

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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:38 am

From Batchelor's site:

The Obama administration has picked a contrived diplomatic fight with Bibi Netanyahu over the last week, and it is sad and inevitable that this mistake turn into a nightmare in Israel. The ever opportunistic PA launches its arranged mobs of rock-throwing unemployed goons (on PA salaries). Spoke Bret Stephens, WSJ, who underlined that this split between washington and Jerusalem is a concoction of White House ops looking for yet more concessions form Israel prior to the border negotiations with the PA. Aaron Klein, WABC, reports this PA0hired and cynical Third Intifada will spread throughout the country on Day 2, and perhaps longer, as the PA and its Fatah find advantage in the provocations. The Obama administration is unbalanced and reckless. My sources point to dumbfounded outrage from the POTUS supporters* in the American Jewish voting bloc.

Very naive of them not to see this, or some variant, coming from any Dem president. What does one do about people so enamored of and deluded by their cosmopolitanism that they can't tell a hawk from a handsaw when it comes to where their true interests lie? The Dems don't care what the Jews think as long as the declare their perpetual devotion to Israel while concocting any excuse to get tough with Israel. Just like the slavish blacks, the Dems can always count on their votes no matter how disastrous their embrace of the party is. Go figure.
Corlyss
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SaulChanukah

Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by SaulChanukah » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:41 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:From Batchelor's site:

The Obama administration has picked a contrived diplomatic fight with Bibi Netanyahu over the last week, and it is sad and inevitable that this mistake turn into a nightmare in Israel. The ever opportunistic PA launches its arranged mobs of rock-throwing unemployed goons (on PA salaries). Spoke Bret Stephens, WSJ, who underlined that this split between washington and Jerusalem is a concoction of White House ops looking for yet more concessions form Israel prior to the border negotiations with the PA. Aaron Klein, WABC, reports this PA0hired and cynical Third Intifada will spread throughout the country on Day 2, and perhaps longer, as the PA and its Fatah find advantage in the provocations. The Obama administration is unbalanced and reckless. My sources point to dumbfounded outrage from the POTUS supporters* in the American Jewish voting bloc.

Very naive of them not to see this, or some variant, coming from any Dem president. What does one do about people so enamored of and deluded by their cosmopolitanism that they can't tell a hawk from a handsaw when it comes to where their true interests lie? The Dems don't care what the Jews think as long as the declare their perpetual devotion to Israel while concocting any excuse to get tough with Israel. Just like the slavish blacks, the Dems can always count on their votes no matter how disastrous their embrace of the party is. Go figure.
For some Jews in order to become a right winger they have to change their liberal life style. And that is just too difficult for them to do. And its a big shame.

jbuck919
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Re: Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:09 pm

SaulChanukah wrote: For some Jews in order to become a right winger they have to change their liberal life style.
:roll:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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