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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

‘The US Can Forget about Democracy in Egypt’

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

The United States should forget about trying to turn Egypt into a democratic country, according to retired IDF Major-General Amos Gilad, who served for years as senior adviser to the Defense Ministry.

Expectations of establishing Western-style democracy in Egypt or anywhere else in the Middle East are “an illusion,” he said last week at a gathering in Israel of  the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), as reported by Defense News.

He added that, Mideast democracy is “four or five decades” away. “As an Israeli, I am for stability rather than for so-called democracy that brings in terrible forces like the Muslim Brotherhood. I realize this is not politically correct to say in the United States … but I think we need, together, to prefer stability,” he said.

Al Qaeda Terrorizing Iraq Again – Please Don’t Stop Them

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Al-Qaeda has come roaring back in Iraq since U.S. troops left in late 2011, reports the AP Monday morning, saying the international terrorism network now looks stronger than it has done in years. Once again, they are capable of carrying out several mass-casualty attacks a month, managing to drive the death toll in Iraq up to its highest level in five years.

As usual, Terror Inc. sees each attack as a way to “cultivate an atmosphere of chaos that weakens the Shiite-led government’s authority.”

Those words should be music to the ears of every American. They basically mean that while President Obama, despite all his good intentions, has been utterly unable to fix the multi-trillion dollar catastrophe of his Republican predecessor, nature—Arab nature, that is—which appears to abhor vacuum like any good nature does, is on the go to set things right in the Cradle of Civilization.

President George W. Bush, after our country had been attacked in 2001 by 19 Saudis based in Afghanistan, decided in 2003 to retaliate in Iraq. That terrible bastion of tyranny was governed by a Sunni minority, which was in the habit of doing awful things to the Shiite majority. One of the really bad things the Sunnis in Iraq were doing was keeping the scariest Shiite country on the planet, Iran, from spreading down the Gulf coast and over to the Saudi border.

But a lavish investment of several trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives has put a stop to that, and the Shiites were permitted to rule Iraq and immediately form a bond with Iran that must have encouraged the Arab Emirates and the Saudis to switch to short-term savings accounts.

It’s impossible to tell apart the damage inflicted on the U.S. by President Bush 2 in Iraq from the damage being inflicted on us by President Obama in Afghanistan. I expect that by the time we leave Afghanistan next year, the Taliban will be back in full force, burning down girl schools, executing beardless men in the streets and running up the opium market. But while the Islamist takeover should be complete, erasing any trace of the presence and the sacrifices made by misled Americans – in Iraq U.S. foreign policy being given a new lease on life.

Al Qaeda is a great force of history, moving across the casbahs and suks of major Arab cities in waves of destruction and gore. It is at once splintered and unified, intellectually astute, mystical and blood thirsty. If they were in my country, I’d fully expect my security forces to execute all of them as enemy combatants, no Miranda needed. but, thank God, they’re not in my country but, rather, in the four or so countries that worry me the most.

“Nobody is able to control this situation,” a local grave keeper told the AP. “We are not safe in the coffee shops or mosques, not even in soccer fields.” The rate of killings in Iraq these days is around a thousand a month. Fewer than in neighboring Syria, but rising all the time.

Al Qaeda’s indiscriminate waves of car bombs and suicide attacks in civilian areas has been creating the bulk of the bloodshed, as at least 42 people were killed in bombings in mostly Shiite-majority Iraqi cities on Sunday.

“Al-Qaeda can blow up whatever number of car bombs they want whenever they choose,” Ali Nasser, a Shiite government employee from Baghdad, told the AP. “It seems like al-Qaeda is running the country, not the government in Baghdad.”

The United States believes Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Iraqi al-Qaeda franchise leader, is now operating from Syria.

“Given the security vacuum, it makes sense for him to do that,” Paul Floyd, a military analyst, told the AP. He said the “unrest” in Syria could be making it even easier for al-Qaeda to get its hands on explosives for use in Iraq.

“We know Syrian military stocks have fallen into the hands of rebels. There’s nothing to preclude some of that stuff flowing across the border,” he said.

From Israel’s view point, this development in nearly ideal, coming as it has done dovetailed with the statements made last week by the al-Qaeda number one figure, Ayman al-Zawahiri, urging destruction and mayhem in Egypt and Syria, to promote the universal values of Suni Islam, top one of which is: we hate Shiites. Second value: we hate everybody else.

Update: Egypt Wrongly Identified US Citizen Who Hanged Himself

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

An American citizen, now identified as James Lunn after Egypt said he was retired U.S. Army officer James Henry, hanged himself in an Egyptian prison cell Sunday after having been held for six weeks following a terrorist attack in the area.

Lunn who used his shoelaces to hang himself in his cell in the Suez City of Ismailia, one day after American consulate officials visited him. Egyptian officials had told him they were extending his detention by another 30 days.

Police arrested him on August 28 for violating a dusk-to-dawn curfew between El Arish and Rafiah, which straddles the Gaza border. Authorities then discovered he was carrying a map and some kind of undefined electronic device, shortly after terrorists killed five Egyptian policemen in a bomb attack. Egyptian police did not produce any evidence or charges connecting Henry to the explosion.

The only official comment after his suicide was statement by U.S. Embassy official in Cairo, who said , “A U.S. citizen prisoner in Ismailia died from an apparent suicide. The embassy is in contact with authorities regarding the case and continues to provide all consular services.” He also said that Lunn had not told Consulate officials of any mistreatment.

The suicide follows by one month the death of a French man at the hands of other prisoners, who killed him during severe beatings. Last week, two Canadians in the area were beaten up by police officials. They were preparing a documentary about Gaza doctors,

Sunday’s suicide may complicate matters for the regime, which already faces cuts in military aid form then Obama administration because of its failure to advance new elections following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi, although he was voted into office in free elections a year ago.

After Ergdogan, Next Hamas Meeting is with Iran

Friday, October 11th, 2013

After the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal has been seeking out new partners to help support his Gaza based Islamic dictatorship and its ongoing terror activities against Israel and Egypt.

The military regime in Egypt has had almost enough of Hamas’s support for terror in the Sinai, and last week contemplated a direct military strike on Gaza. Epypt has been destroying Gaza’s terror tunnels in an attempt to stop the attacks against Egyptians in the Sinai.

Hamas leader Mashal met with Turkish PM Erdogan in Anakara this week to ensure and solidify Turkey’s support for Hamas.

Next week, Mashaal will be flying to Iran, for the first time in two years.

Iran’s financial support of Hamas has been dwindling over the past few years, and Mashal wants to get it back.

In order to help win Iranian support, Hamas is repositioning itself in favor of the Assad regime.

Mashal’s message this week has been for a third Initfada, and for everyone to point their guns and rifles at their united enemy – Israel.

Obama Tries to Buy Democracy in Egypt with Cut in Military Aid

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The Obama administration is cutting back military aid to Egypt in another effort to force democracy on a Muslim country that has become more unstable and violent with every American move to prove to Egyptians it knows what is best for them.

U.S. State Dept. assistant spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Wednesday, “The President has…been clear that we are not able to continue to with business [with Egypt] as usual. As you know, we have already announced that we are not proceeding with the delivery of certain military systems… We will continue to support a democratic transition and oppose violence as a means of resolving differences in Egypt.”

The American government is suspending shipments of F-16 warplanes, Apache helicopters, 1,000 M1 tanks, spare parts needed for maintenance and missiles, among other items.

The cut in aid is “pending credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

The last time the United States tried that game, it resulted in the election of the Muslim Brotherhood government. One year later, the Obama administration saw its game plan went awry, and it backed the ouster of the democratically-elected government.

In other words, it wants the Egyptian military regime to get off its horse and take another crack at corrupting Islam with democratic elections.

If “corrupt” sounds too harsh, here is what former Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer, born and raised in Iraq and a lot more in tune with the Arabic mentality that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and a long line of “have a nice day” predecessors.

He told Voice of Israel radio the Americans do not understand that democracy contradicts Islamic law.

But the Obama administration insists on forcing a round pole into a square hole.

Mubarak was an autocrat and a dear friend of several U.S. governments, but when the Arab Spring rebellion brought out the worst of Mubarak, with nearly 1,000 Egyptians brutally killed, the Obama administration jumped on the anarchists’ bandwagon and encouraged his overthrow.

Once it appeared the radical Muslim Brotherhood would be a dominant force, it did somersaults away from a strong policy of staying clear of the Brotherhood and instead began embracing it, despite its open anti-American and anti-Israel agenda.

The White House and Foggy Bottom congratulated the Muslim Brotherhood on winning the elections because it was a victory for democracy.

The rest is history. After one year, the Brotherhood proved just as corrupt and brutal as Mubarak, but politically ignorant.

So the Obama administration decided that democracy is not such a great idea when radical Muslims win.

Out goes the Muslim Brotherhood and in its place comes a “temporary” military regime, desperately trying to save Egypt from bankruptcy and from Hamas and Al Qaeda terrorists and  a few other fanatical groups vying for 72 virgins.

But the military regime was not very polite to the Brotherhood and brutally killed protesters. That is what Mubarak did. That is what the Brotherhood did. It seems that is the way things run in Egypt.

But Washington knows better and now is holding back some military aid, which will make it even harder for the regime to combat terrorists, such as those who killed four Egyptian soldiers Thursday morning in a car bomb explosion in the Sinai.

“We’ll see, next time, when a U.S. aircraft carrier wants to go through the Suez Canal, whether it goes to the front of the line,”  David Schenker, director of the Arab politics program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Bloomberg News Wednesday He added that  Egyptians “do a lot of things that are very helpful to us and they can be less helpful.”

The American government has thrown itself in a corner with a law that requires the suspension of aid to countries where there has been a coup d’etat, which the administration refuses to admit occurred in Egypt.

Despite the new suspension in military aid, the United States still is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Egypt.

Paul Gamble, Director of the Africa & Middle East team of Fitch’s Sovereign Ratings Group, told Asharq Al-Awsat. “This does not mean any less money is going to the Egyptian economy, so it really does not have an impact. It’s more a political gesture.”

Egypt Kills 28 Morsi Backers ‘Celebrating’ Yom Kippur War

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Egyptian military forces killed at least 28 supporters of Mohammed Morsi Sunday and would dozens of others after they crowded the streets of Cairo to “celebrate” the English anniversary of the Egyptian invasion of Israel at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War 40 years ago.

Egyptians celebrated the anniversary, a national holiday, every year, but the pro-Morsi protests upset the military regime’s plans that the festivities this year would honor the armed forces.

More than 300 Morsi supporters throughout the country.

 

After the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Is Hamas in Gaza Next in Line?

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Originally published at Israel and Terrorism.

Egypt has finally decided to tackle the security threat from the Sinai Peninsula, a region that was nearly under the control of jihadist organizations with links to al-Qaeda and Hamas.

The Egyptian army’s ultimate goal is clear: to recover Egypt’s sovereignty in Sinai. In order to succeed in its mission, the Egyptian supreme command understands that it must neutralize Hamas, which it sees as partly responsible for the security situation in Sinai during the last few years.

For the first time since it was founded, Hamas is showing signs of panic. Egyptian newspapers quoted Palestinian sources as saying that 90 percent of the smuggling tunnels along the border with Gaza have stopped functioning as a result of Egyptian measures, leading to the potential loss of nearly 40 percent of Hamas’ revenues.

With the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt counting its dead by the hundreds and the campaign being waged by the Egyptian army against them far from over, and with its relations with Turkey and Qatar faltering, Hamas has instructed its spokesmen to avoid making any comments about the crisis in Egypt so as not to evoke the wrath of Egyptian army Commander in Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Since the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in early July 2013, it has embarked on a punitive campaign against Hamas, the self-declared offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood.

During this time, the Egyptian army has destroyed more than 300 tunnels (out of as many as 800), the arteries of the Gaza economy; created a 500-meter-wide buffer zone along the 11 km. Gaza-Egypt border, from the Mediterranean Sea until the Israel-Egypt border south of Rafah, while razing scores of inhabited buildings that stood in the way;1 implemented a de-facto siege on Gaza by closing intermittently the official Israel-Egypt border crossing; chased Gaza fisherman at sea; and engaged in an unprecedented and coordinated media smear campaign against Hamas, accusing the terrorist group of trying to destabilize Egypt and ultimately replace the government with its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Indeed, Egypt has finally decided to tackle the security threat from the Sinai Peninsula, a region that was nearly under the control of jihadist organizations with links to al-Qaeda and Hamas. The Egyptian army has massed troops, deployed combat helicopters, dispatched navy patrol boats, and is carrying out coordinated attacks against concentrations of terrorists in Sinai.

The Egyptian army’s ultimate goal is clear: to recover Egypt’s sovereignty in Sinai. In order to succeed in its mission, the Egyptian supreme command understands that it must neutralize Hamas, which it sees as partly responsible for the security situation in Sinai during the last few years.

Hamas’ Strong Ties to the Muslim Brotherhood

There is no doubt that the origin of the Egyptian military’s actions against Hamas lay in the basic fact that during the brief rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt under the Morsi presidency, Hamas enjoyed a privileged position and almost an official adoption by the regime, to such a point that Hamas behaved as if it was part of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood. For example, Hamas enjoyed complete freedom for its illegal commerce through the 650-800 tunnels that linked the Gaza Strip to Egypt; for its assistance to jihadi groups in Sinai; for its unaccountability for the six Egyptian police officers kidnapped and held in Gaza for more than five years; and, ultimately, for ignoring the Egyptian armed forces’ warnings since Hamas was (according to some sources) led by government officials who issued instructions to ignore the Egyptian army since it was irrelevant.

However, beyond these facts, the actual ruling team in Egypt knows that Hamas was involved in the earliest days of the revolution against President Mubarak, when protesters stormed Egyptian prisons and freed hundreds of detainees, who were mostly Muslim Brothers, as well as Hizbullah and Palestinian operatives held in Egypt for terrorist activities. Hamas took part alongside the Egyptian Muslim Brothers in the violence against the Mubarak regime and, according to some press releases, Hamas operatives were involved in firing metal darts against anti-Morsi protesters loyal to the regime.2

In addition, the Egyptian armed forces accuse Hamas of harboring the jihadists that killed almost 30 Egyptian officers and soldiers in Sinai in the summer of 2012. The Egyptian army also claims that at least five Hamas operatives were involved in the execution of 25 unarmed Egyptian policemen near el-Arish on August 19, 2013.3 The Egyptian army has also accused Hamas of trying to smuggle hundreds of deadly weapons, including 19 Grad rockets, and fake Egyptian army uniforms, in order to create havoc inside Egypt.4

Currently, 15 major terrorist groups operate in Sinai. Each of these groups, without exception, is closely linked to terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip. Egyptian and Israeli authorities are aware that several of the most dominant jihadists in Sinai, including those who were involved in the attack against the Egyptian army in 2012, are now hiding in Gaza with Hamas’ knowledge and consent.5 Finally, Hamas is accused of harboring the new Muslim Brothers’ Supreme Guide, Mahmoud Ezzat, in Gaza and of conducting joint training between Muslim Brothers who found refuge in Gaza and elements of the Al-Qassam Brigades in the area of Khan Younes before sending them to Sinai and inside Egypt.6

Economic Pressure in Gaza

Given what is happening in Egypt now, Hamas is alarmed. For the first time since it was founded, Hamas is showing signs of panic.7 The cost to Hamas is tremendous: Egyptian newspapers quoted Palestinian sources as saying that 90 percent of the smuggling tunnels along the border with the Gaza Strip have stopped functioning as a result of the Egyptian measures. According to the Gaza economic ministry, the recent tunnel destruction has cost Gaza around $230 million.8 Hamas spokesmen appealed to the Egyptian authorities asking them not to shut down the tunnels until Hamas could find other channels for bringing goods into Gaza. The extent to which Hamas relies on the smuggling tunnels is evident in an internal report made public by the Al-Monitor news site. It shows that Gaza gets most of its goods through the tunnels, and not through the official border crossings from Israel or Egypt. In the first quarter of 2013, for example, the tunnels provided 65 percent of flour, 98 percent of sugar and 100 percent of steel and cement deliveries.9

If the delivery of goods via the tunnels is discontinued, a lack of supplies will not be the only problem. It will create financial disaster for Hamas, since taxes on goods delivered via Israel are transferred to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Only taxes on smuggled goods end up in the Hamas treasury. It has been estimated that these taxes account for 40 percent of the government’s entire revenue and are used by Hamas to pay the salaries of over 45,000 civil servants. In recent months, Hamas has been earning some $8 million in taxes on smuggled fuel alone, and also levies a tax of about $5.40 on every ton of cement. An average of 70,000 tons of cement is smuggled into Gaza every month.10

Hamas’ leaders are consulting over how, and even if, they can help their brothers in Cairo, but at the same time they are talking about how to stay alive. So while the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is counting its dead by the hundreds, and the campaign being waged by the Egyptian army against them is far from over, the Hamas movement has withdrawn into itself and instructed its spokesmen to avoid making any comments about the crisis in Egypt, so that it does not upset those very people it really does not want to upset right now. Hamas spokesmen totally deny Hamas involvement in terrorist attacks conducted against Egyptian troops in Sinai. Hamas did not dare organize even a single rally in support of them. It seems that fear causes Hamas to take extra precautions – both in word and deed – so as not to evoke the wrath of Egyptian army Commander in Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.11

The situation in Egypt has paralyzed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and even the leader of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, who seems to have disappeared ever since Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was deposed.12

There was little surprise that the Hamas leaders who have spoken out against Egypt are those based abroad and not those living in Gaza.13 As a political scientist at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University put it, “Those who live abroad don’t care as much about Gaza’s isolation, but Gaza’s rulers will pay the price for any Egyptian escalation. I think those in Gaza will be more prudent and nuanced when they speak about the new Egyptian government.”14

Hamas Losing Allies

The most important question of all remains: What future does Hamas have? For the first time in more than two decades, Hamas has no regional political allies in positions of power – a huge problem for a movement that is heavily dependent on alliances that provide financial, military, and political support. Sunni Hamas severed ties with former ally Syria last year over its crackdown on the predominantly Sunni Syrian opposition. As a result, Iran has stopped its financial aid that consisted of almost $20 million per month.15 Syria and Hamas, along with Iran and Hizbullah, formed the so-called “axis of resistance” that opposed Israel and the West. For decades, Syria embraced Hamas’ leadership and provided the Islamic movement with funds, weapons, and political support, which were used to wage war against Israel and, later, the more moderate Palestinian faction, Fatah.

Now, Hamas has turned to Turkey and Qatar to fill the void.16 However, since Egypt’s Islamist government was toppled, and following the deterioration in Turkish-Egyptian as well as Qatari-Egyptian relations, Hamas’ relationship with Turkey and Qatar has seemed to be faltering. Egypt was the critical link between Gaza and its benefactors because of its shared border.

An article in Hamas’ official daily Al-Rissalah claimed: “Indications on the ground show that Cairo…will not allow the Islamic model in Gaza to remain standing due to its ideological ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is being marginalized from the Egyptian political scene at gunpoint….Those who follow Egyptian affairs know full well that Gaza is prone to return to its political isolation. This is the biggest fear of Palestinians living in the Strip, following a year of regional and international acceptance.”17

It would be fair to assess that Gaza’s isolation is Egypt’s ultimate goal, since such an objective would meet Egypt’s interests: to consign Gaza to oblivion and reduce Hamas to its real size.

*     *     *

Notes

1. Assaf Gibor, Maariv-nrg, 2 September 2013.
2. Elhanan Miller, “Hamas used metal darts to kill protesters during Egypt’s revolution,” Times of Israel, 30 April 2013.
3. i24news, 25 August 2013.
4. “Egyptian General: Hamas terrorizing Egyptians,” Times of Israel, 18 July 2013.
5. Avi Issacharoff, “No summer break in the violent Middle East,” Times of Israel, 23 August 2013.
6. Al-Yawm el-Sabei, Egypt, 24 August 2013.
7. Shlomi Eldar, “Has Hamas abandoned Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood?” Al-Monitor, 19 August 2013.
8. Ahmad Aldabba, “With Brotherhood’s fall in Egypt, Hamas faces harsh reality again,” Christian Science Monitor, 27 July 2013.
9. Theresa Breuer, “Closed tunnels could ruin Hamas,” Der Spiegel, 30 July 2013.
10. Ibid.
11. Shlomi Eldar, op.cit.
12. Ibid.
13. Elhanan Miller, “Cautiously Hamas speaks out against Egyptian bloodshed,” Times of Israel, 19 August 2013.
14. Ibid.
15. Theresa Breuer, op.cit.
16. Ahmad Aldabba, op.cit.
17. Elhanan Miller, op.cit.

http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.co.il/2013/10/after-muslim-brotherhood-in-egypt-is.html

Netanyahu, Obama, Address Middle East Threats

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Just days after U.S. President Barack Obama became telephone buddies with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Israel’s Prime Minister urged Obama not to let up on the international sanctions imposed on Iran because even for diplomacy to work, “those pressures must be kept in place.”

The two heads of country met in the Oval Office on Monday, September 30, and discussed several matters including the ongoing discussions between Israeli and Arab Palestinian negotiators, and the crises in Syria and Egypt.

One of the primary topics of mutual concern was whether there has been a sea change in Iran’s dealing with the West – and more importantly, its nuclear weapons program – or if Rouhani is merely better at public diplomacy than was his predecessor.

There was a brief press conference following the meeting.

President Obama spoke first.  He started by mentioning the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Arab Palestinians, and then turned his attention to the other threats in the Middle East.

The U.S. president stated that he was “clear-eyed” going into the new rounds of negotiations with the Iranians, and he also confirmed that “we take no options off the table, including military options, in terms of making sure that we do not have a — nuclear weapons in Iran that would destabilize the region and potentially threaten the United States of America.”

When it was the Israeli leader’s turn to speak, Netanyahu immediately pointed out, first, that the U.S. has “no better ally, more reliable, more stable, more democratic other than Israel in a very broad, dangerous place,” and second, that “the most important challenge is preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu spent the bulk of his remarks focused on Iran.

“Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction,” is the way Netanyahu described the situation. In the simplest possible language, and in the present tense, the Israeli prime minister made clear he does not believe a change in the Iranian presidency has altered Iran’s position towards Israel, regardless of the happy holiday message Rouhini sent to the Jewish people and in spite of the condemnation of Nazi atrocities.

For the Jewish State, unless Iran fully and publicly dismantles its machinery for creating nuclear weapons, there is no question that the country remains an existential threat to Israel.  As Netanyahu put it: “the bottom line, again, is that Iran fully dismantles its military nuclear program.”

In praising the U.S. leadership on international sanctions against Iran, Netanyahu explained he believes “that it’s the combination of a credible military threat and the pressure of those sanctions that have brought Iran to the negotiating table.”  He firmly urged Obama and other world leaders to maintain the pressure of those sanctions, and not to loosen them in response to the more cheerful countenance than Ahmadinejad showed throughout his presidency.

The Israeli leader said that it is the position of his country that if it is determined Iran is moving forward on its path to the creation of nuclear weapons, the sanctions should be strengthened.

The most succinct formulation of Netanyahu’s approach to dealing with Iran is, as he put it on Monday, “a credible military threat and strong sanctions, I think, is still the only formula that can get a peaceful resolution of this problem.”

At the end of his remarks, Netanyahu again referred to the negotiations between his country and the Arab Palestinians, and thanked Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for helping to “advance peace” between the two peoples.  While stating that he remains committed to that peace, he once again put on the record, that “for peace to endure, it must be based on Israel’s capacity to defend itself by itself.”

What Netanyahu said from the Oval Office on Monday provided language which the Obama team can use to show Netanyahu is grateful for the leadership the Americans have shown.

However, the actual words used by the Israeli leader on Monday made clear he doesn’t trust the new Iranian president any more than he did the last one. And Netanyahu also stated clearly that Israel will not agree to weaken itself in order to abide by demands made by the Arab Palestinians, or by demands made on their behalf.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/netanyahu-and-obama-from-oval-office-address-middle-east-threats/2013/09/30/

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