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March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Binyamin Netanyahu’

Senior US Sen. Charles Schumer Urges Fellow Democrats to Attend Netanyahu Speech to Congress

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

New York’s senior Senator Charles Schumer called on fellow Democrats to put principles above politics this week and be in their seats March 3 when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu walks to the podium in Congress.

The U.S. has always maintained a “bipartisan policy” on its relationship with Israel, Schumer said during a radio interview in New York.

“Democrats and Republicans have always worked together on it; we ought to keep it that way.”

Vice President Joe Biden’s office announced that he will be “out of the country” when Israel’s leader addresses American lawmakers.

Schumer offered the opinion that House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu “could have been done in a different way.”

As the leader of an ally in the Middle East that is “helping us fight terrorism,” Schumer said, Netanyahu has “every right to come here and speak, but he ought to do it in a bipartisan manner.”

Both of New York’s Democratic senators and all but two of its Democratic representatives will attend the session.

Long-time Congress member Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) is one of the ‘won’t go’s.

“I am certain his motivation comes more from Israel than from his American friends,” Rangel told the New York Daily News — as if the Israeli prime minister should put America’s interests above those of his own nation’s citizens.

“I think that they would have to realize that this is not in the best interests of Israel, that he does this for his campaign,” he added. The remark leads one to wonder why a New York Congress member would suddenly make a reference to an Israeli national election when the address – and the topic – was arranged months earlier.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) also plans to be absent for the session, according to the report. Congress member Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) did not respond to a query by the Daily News about her plans; Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told the paper he is “consulting” with his constituents in Brooklyn before deciding. All other New York City Democrats plan to attend, the paper reported. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) commented that skipping the speech would be a political move. “I am not choosing to participate in those politics,” she said.

“I hope that things can be worked out to salve some of the legitimate wounds that people feel,” Schumer said. “I will go to the speech out of my respect and love for the State of Israel.”

Meanwhile, Iran continues to behave in the manner predicted by Israel, which deeply concerns its leadership over the likelihood Tehran will reach a nuclear threshold.

Iran is still not cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to a confidential report obtained by Reuters. The agency remains unable to clarify outstanding measures of explosives tests and other activity that could be used to create nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Data in both areas were to have been provided to the IAEA by August 2014.

But this is not new behavior; Tehran long ago mastered the technique of buying time for more nuclear development by stringing along Western leaders with promises of “new talks” and “negotiations” in return for delays on sanctions. The current P5+1 negotiations, slated to end in a “new agreement” by March 24, are just more of the same.

It is precisely the danger inherent in the repeated delays – and time granted to Iran that allows it to progress in its nuclear activities – that has finally prompted Netanyahu to turn to Congress directly.

‘Devastated’ by Slain Jew, yet Denmark Huge Funder of Anti-Israel Activity

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

The prime minister of Denmark laid flowers on Sunday, Feb. 15, at the site where the day before a Jewish man was shot in the head and killed while volunteering as a security guard outside of a synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Was the murder of Dan Uzan, the son of an Israeli father, an act in which the Danish government was indirectly complicit?

When Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt laid the wreath outside of the synagogue, she offered her condolences to the slain man’s family and to the whole Jewish community. She said she and her entire country were devastated by Uzan’s murder, and by all that happened in Copenhagen on Feb. 14.

“A man has lost his life in a service of that synagogue and we are devastated,” Thorning-Schmidt said, speaking to Jewish Danes.

“Our thoughts go to the whole of the Jewish community today. They belong in Denmark, they are a lasting part of our community. And we will do everything we can to protect the Jewish community,” the Prime Minister concluded, before turning towards the makeshift shrine to Uzan, and then briefly embracing two members of the Jewish community.

On Sunday evening, Thorning-Schmidt spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. She provided him with the details of the weekend’s terrorist attacks. During the conversation, Netanyahu told his Danish counterpart that Israel and Denmark must together fight the current terrorism, one that knows no borders.

Netanyahu also told Thoring-Schmidt that “countries which do not fight terrorism today will deal with much worse terrorism tomorrow.”

But other than when a Jew is killed – in a spectacular way – on its soil, does Denmark show support for its Jewish community or the Jewish people? Or does its action actually contribute to the demonization of the Jewish State and of Jews?

This past September, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard threatened Israel. He said that if the then ongoing ‘peace’ negotiations between Israel and the PA did not resolve according to his lights, punitive action would have to be considered.

Lidegaard warned that if Israel failed to commit to serious concessions, such as ending the blockade of Gaza or stopping “illegal settlements,” then Denmark and the European Union would need to consider taking punitive steps. The threats he mentioned included changing trade relations with the Jewish state, Herb Keinon of the Jerusalem Post reported at the time.

But it isn’t only Lidegaard and it isn’t only recently that Denmark has put the screws to Israel.

Denmark has been financially supporting anti-Israel organizations to the tune of many millions of dollars a year, for many years running.

According to the exhaustive data collection and analysis provided by organizational watchdog NGO-Monitor, in recent years the Danes have contributed tens of million of dollars for Israeli and Palestinian Arab organizations. Many of those organizations engage in economic and legal warfare against Israel known as the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns. The BDS movement, along with demonizing Israel, also engages in acts of blatant, hostile anti-Semitism.

Lidegaard’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs directly funds anti-Israel organizations. In 2011 alone, the Danes contributed over $1.1 million directly to Israeli organizations which actively demonize and seek to harm the Jewish State.

Gerald Steinberg, the president of NGO-Monitor, told The Jewish Press, the “Danish government is among the leaders in funding for anti-Israel NGO demonization in Europe, irresponsibly providing large sums via a number of mechanisms.”

Steinberg explained that the Danes support the so-called Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, which is managed by Birzeit University. That entity in turn funds groups such as Adalah, Breaking the Silence, and Al Haq. These and a number of other recipient NGOs promote false “war crimes” allegations and blood libels against the Jewish state. Another recipient of Danish largesse – Badil – uses the money to perpetuate the Palestinian refugee demands and anti-Semitic themes.

Netanyahu Points Out, ‘If the Deal is Good, Why Hide It?’

Monday, February 16th, 2015

If the deal with Iran is so good, why hide it?

That’s the latest point driven home by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as he continues to warn American legislators and world leaders against signing a deal being discussed with Iran over nuclear development activity.

The U.S. is being far more cautious in its updates to Israel on the progress of the talks taking place over the deal, apparently in response to Netanyahu’s determination to move forward with an invitation to address Congress on the issue on March 3.

The “P5+1 talks with Tehran” are scheduled to conclude – so far, apparently with an agreement in place – on March 24. Israel’s national elections will have already been held a few days earlier, on March 17.

Netanyahu contended Sunday in comments at the annual meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, held in Jerusalem, that Israel has a right to know the details of the agreement being discussed – since the Jewish State is the nation that will be most threatened by a nuclear Iran.

“If there is someone who thinks it is a good deal, why is there a need to hide it?” Netanyahu pointed out. The U.S. has gone mum on details of “sensitive information about the Iran talks,” according to a report by David Ignatius of the Washington Post, keeping Israel out of the loop out of concern that Netanyahu’s office had leaked “sensitive details” of the U.S. position.

Among the information no longer being share are details such as the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges that Tehran will be allowed to keep running – a delicate point that could mean the difference between life and death for the Jewish State.

Bibi Says: ‘I am Going to Speak to Congress About the Bad Offer Made to Iran’

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement confirming his decision to go to Washington, D.C. next month and to speak in the U.S. Congress about the dangers of the offer the U.S. and its partners has made to Iran.

The prime minister addressed the issue which has been dividing the leadership of the U.S. and Israel: the acceptance by Netanyahu of an invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress next month. It is something this U.S. administration strongly opposes.

Netanyahu acknowledged the very close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, one that has remained strong despite many strong disagreements between leaders in the two countries throughout that relationship. Examples of those disagreements included ones between Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and the U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, Levi Eshkol’s decision at the start of the Six Day War, Menachem Begin’s decision to bomb Iraq’s Osirik nuclear reactor, and Prime Minister Sharon’s Operation Defensive Shield.

The Prime Minister turned next to the heart of the current disagreement. It is not over whether Netanyahu should speak before a joint session of Congress, or about how or even when the invitation was extended.

The fundamental disagreement is over the offer Netanyahu said the P5+1, including the U.S., ‘has made‘ to Iran. Note: not may make, not is thinking of making, but has made. According to Netanyahu, the offer has already been extended, and it is an offer, Netanyahu said, that “threatens Israel’s survival.”

Under this deal, Netanyahu stated, Iran will be able “to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs.”

Netanyahu repeated this is not a personal disagreement between himself and President Obama. “I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields,” he said, and he is not going to Washington because he seeks “a confrontation with the President.”

But Netanyahu is going to Washington, he said, “because I must fulfill my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country,” and he will speak to Congress before the March 24th political framework deadline, “because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran.”

J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami Appoints Himself New American Jewish Rep

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

J Street is apparently indulging itself in a deliberate attempt to twist both the intent and words of Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks on his upcoming trip to Washington next month.

The group’s director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, writes with a Left wing bent that has in the past positioned him as one who sometimes walks the thin line separating support for the State of Israel from that for the border-free, terrorist-riddled entity endorsed as “Palestine” by the United Nations General Assembly.

And in a display ad appropriately bearing turquoise blue and black (like a bruise on the landscape) on its logo, J Street runs with the slogan, “The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.” A graver misnomer could not be.

“Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that when he comes to Washington next month, he’ll be speaking “not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representatiave of the entire Jewish people.” I don’t know about you, but he doesn’t speak for me. Help us let his Ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, know: as an American, as a Jew – Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t speak for you.” the ad reads.

It then goes on to claim: “In the coming Israeli election, less than a quarter of Israelis will vote for him. More than half the Israeli public disapproves of his performance.

“And, here in the United States, where Jews overwhelmingly support diplomacy with Iran, the Prime Minister is deeply out of step with our community politically. “Make clear that no one person – even the Prime Minister of Israel – speaks for us all by signing our petition today.”

A link to J Street’s petition is embedded in the web campaign ad, which is also found in a “P.S.” that reminds, “Ambassador Dermer needs to hear from us.” and urges the reader to recruit “friends and family” to visit “DoesNotSpeakFor.me.”

Pretty slick. But the problem is, the statistics are really off. And Netanyahu never claimed to speak for every Jew. He said he is “representing” all Jews when he stands up to fight against the existential threat to Israel posed by anti-Semitism and Iranian nuclear technology development.

This writer wonders why Ben-Ami is picking a fight with Israel’s prime minister. In fact, it seems that over the past six weeks, everyone is picking a fight with Israel’s prime minister, and doing so with really cool, sophisticated slogans alongside. Sure looks like a well-funded fancy American-style ad campaign to me. American Jewish leaders organized to lobby Israel’s political leadership over Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress?

American Jewish heavy hitters coming out with weighty, well-thought-out statements offering sage advice to the prime minister on various ways to back out of his commitment to the Speaker of the House?

Vice President Joe Biden and a panel of top Democratic lawmakers notifying media about their plans not to attend Netanyahu’s speech to Congress?

A boycott on meetings with Netanyahu when he arrives in Washington by the White House, the State Department and all the rest of the U.S. top leadership, casually brushed off by President Barack Obama as “protocol” since the Israeli elections follow two weeks later?

Leaks to international media about meetings at the Munich Security Conference between Israeli opposition leader, Labor party chairman Isaac Herzog and a host of top leaders – including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and European Union foreign policy chief Federico Mogherini among them?

Not to mention frequent references by the U.S. president to his differences with Netanyahu on the “Iran issue” and most recently – yesterday, in fact – an outright plea not to “sour” a deal with Iran on its nuclear development activities under discussion between Tehran, the U.S. and world powers.

Netanyahu ‘Will Go Anywhere Invited’ to Prevent Iran from Achieving Nuclear Weapons

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened this week’s Sunday cabinet meeting with a grim warning about the current negotiations taking place between world powers and Iran — and the implications for Israel.

World powers currently negotiating with Iran are liable to reach a framework agreement in the coming weeks, Netanyahu said in a statement at the start of the meeting.

The agreement, if reached, is “an agreement that is liable to leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, which would endanger, first and foremost, the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu warned.

“This is the same Iran that has taken over Lebanon and Syria and is now taking over Yemen and Iran,” he continued. “This is the same Iran that is preparing an active front against us both on the Golan Heights and in southern Lebanon. This same Iran cannot advance toward nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.

In a clear response to the past week’s brouhaha over Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress – not a first-time event for the prime minister in any case – Netanyahu then added:

“As Prime Minister of Israel, I am obligated to make every effort in order to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons that would be aimed at the State of Israel. This effort is worldwide and I will go anywhere I am invited in order to enunciate the State of Israel’s position and in order to defend its future and its existence.”

Time-Honored White House Diplomatic Traditions on Israel

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

For those readers who have become avid fans of the soap opera unfolding in the White House around the drama between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a tidbit just for you.

On Friday, as the White House press corps was engaged in its usual back-and-forth with spokesperson Josh Earnest, they finally managed to force a truth from his lips: The President and the Prime Minister, he said, have a “fundamental disagreement” about diplomatic talks with Iran.

Netanyahu “doesn’t share [Obama’s] view,” Earnest admitted. But still, he claimed, those “differences of opinion” don’t undermine the “unshakable” American commitment to Israel’s security.

On America’s terms, of course. And if it happens to prove mistaken and an existential threat to the Jewish State, which is about the size of New Jersey, well. . .

<menacing music>

As it happens, most members of Congress also have a “fundamental disagreement” with the President about the diplomatic talks with Iran, it seems. Not just the Republicans, who comprise the majority in both houses, but there are a fair number of Democrats who also believe Iran is using the talks simply to gain more time for its covert nuclear development activities.

And Iranians have long made it clear both in the street and in their mosques that their targets will not be limited to Israel; America is in the cross-hairs as well. Members of the intelligence community are well aware of it, as are members of Congress and the Israeli government.

So as early as last October, U.S. Rep. John Boehner was talking to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer about inviting Netanyahu to address the Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat. The formal invitation was made public last week – and accepted as well – to the apparent “surprise” of the White House.

It’s a bit hard to believe that any of The President’s Men – or Women – could be caught off guard. But let’s leave that bit for quiet contemplation.

It turns out the annual AIPAC conference is being held in March this year – a “must” for every Israeli head of state, and Netanyahu is no exception. The address to Congress made much more sense scheduled around AIPAC, and was penciled in for the same week.

Utter fury at the White House. Sarcastic remarks from press secretary Josh Earnest, with a reference to the Speaker of the House making a “departure from protocol.” On the Prime Minister’s visit, Earnest was altogether tight-lipped, saying his boss was “reserving judgment.”

Later reporters were told that neither Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry would meet with Israel’s head of state while he is in Washington for both events.

Imagine. One of America’s “closest allies” comes to the capital and neither the President nor the Secretary of State makes time to meet with him, when the United States shares military, intelligence, economy, academic and who knows how many other priorities with Israel.

Not to mention their “differences of opinion” that are so important to work out – something that one would believe an administration so committed to the process of “diplomacy” would consider a priority.

The White House spokesperson tried to put a good face on it.

“As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” he explained Thursday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/time-honored-white-house-diplomatic-traditions-on-israel/2015/01/24/

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