Jew Wars: Episode 7 – Revenge of the White House
Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach delivered a masterful response on CNN Sunday night to critics of his organization’s New York Times full-page advertisement that described National Security Adviser Susan Rice as “blind to genocide.”
The advertisement was a response to Rice’s statement that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress tomorrow is “destructive” for the relationship between the United States and Israel.
Major American Jewish organizations and the White House harshly criticized the advertisement with adjectives ranging from “outrageous” to “perverse.”
The advertisement hit a raw nerve, and Rabbi Boteach explained to CNN’s Poppy Harlow that the goal of the publicity was “to raise consciousness in Americans to the indiscriminate slaughter of innocents around the world.”
He clearly illustrated that the Iranian threat to destroy Israel is only one of several threats or realities of genocide that the United States has not tried to stop. The problem is not the details of a deal with Iran. The problem is the fact that the Obama administration is even talking with Iran.
Harlow asked him to explain his goal by placing in the advertisement a picture of Rice next to skulls, with the headline “blind to genocide,” which smacked right in the middle of America’s conscience.
We all have a blind spot when it comes to genocide, which is why we had Cambodia and Rwanda…. We have seen too many slaughters. This administration needs to step up and do something.
Iran is threatening the annihilation of the Jewish People. It is perverse that these negotiations are taking place without a demand that Iran first totally renounce their genocidal intentions against Jews.”
Rabbi Boteach justified his association of Rice with being blind to genocide based on a statement attributed to her by Samantha Power, her predecessor and now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
He said that Power stated in 1994 that Rice, who was an adviser to Bill Clinton, had declared that genocide in Rwanda could not labeled as such because it would harm Democrats in mid-term elections.
“The reason those pictures [of skulls] are there – those are skulls…from a church…in Rwanda. I was in that church. 800,000 people were hacked to death, and the United States did nothing.
We have to begin to intervene in genocide.
Rabbi Boteach added, “God gave us this military power…. That is our responsibility.”
As for the criticism of Jewish organizations, the ones who are armchair Zionists and carry the traditional torch of die-hard Diaspora Jews who want Israel to make them feel comfortable where they are, Rabbi Boteach said:
We don’t have our principles and convictions determined by popularity or by praise. We believe in the infinite human value and dignity of human life. We believe the United States has to intervene when it comes to genocide.
We believe Susan Rice should not be condemning the leader of a tiny little Middle East country, which is facing a nuclear threat from the foremost sponsor of terrorism around the world. She should not be saying on national TV that he has no right to speak out and [that] if he does he will harm the relationship with the United States.
That is a form of bullying… It is unfair. This country believes in the freedom of speech.
The interview with Rabbi Boteach on CNN can be seen here.
Published at Jewish Business News
by Ilan Shavit
Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, who has spearheaded the White House’s campaign aimed at stopping Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress, has had a dramatic change of heart.
The left-leaning columnist, who chipped at the PM’s credibility in the recent past, most memorably with his quote from an anonymous White House official who told him: “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickens***,” on Sunday published a dramatically different account of how he sees the case against Iran.
While still criticizing Netanyahu for turning the Iran nuclear negotiations into “a stress test of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Goldberg adamantly supports the essence of the PM’s message and is much more critical of what is beginning to appear to be a weak U.S. deal with the Islamic Revolution.
“Netanyahu has a credible case to make,” Goldberg writes. “The deal that seems to be taking shape right now does not fill me—or many others who support a diplomatic solution to this crisis—with confidence.”
Goldberg continues: “Reports suggest that the prospective agreement will legitimate Iran’s right to enrich uranium (a ‘right’ that doesn’t actually exist in international law); it will allow Iran to maintain many thousands of operating centrifuges; and it will lapse after 10 or 15 years, at which point Iran would theoretically be free to go nuclear.”
That’s a reversal fitting of the Purim story.
Goldberg might as well have been quoting from Netanyahu’s talking points sheet.
He continues, again, sounding more like a Likud pamphlet than the good old, left-leaning Goldberg of only a few weeks ago:
“This is a very dangerous moment for Obama and for the world. He has made many promises, and if he fails to keep them—if he inadvertently (or, God forbid, advertently) sets Iran on the path to the nuclear threshold, he will be forever remembered as the president who sparked a nuclear-arms race in the world’s most volatile region, and for breaking a decades-old promise to Israel that the United States would defend its existence and viability as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
And he concludes:
“Netanyahu obviously believes that Obama doesn’t have his, or Israel’s, back. There will be no convincing Netanyahu that Obama is anything but a dangerous adversary. But if a consensus forms in high-level Israeli security circles (where there is a minimum of Obama-related hysterics) that the president has agreed to a weak deal, one that provides a glide path for Iran toward the nuclear threshold, then we will be able to say, fairly, that Obama’s promises to Israel were not kept.”
As Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu departed for Washington, D.C. today, March 1, he underscored the solemnity of his mission, and the fact that his efforts are made on behalf of all Israelis. Every one of them.
The prime minister said:
A few days before the Fast of Esther, I am leaving for Washington on a fateful, even historic, mission. I feel that I am the emissary of all Israelis, even those who disagree with me, of the entire Jewish People. I am deeply and genuinely concerned for the security of all Israelis, for the fate of the nation, and for the fate of our people and I will do my utmost to ensure our future.
Throughout this campaign season in Israel, every one of the major center- to right-wing parties stated that they are in agreement with Netanyahu regarding Iran.
As far left as Labor-Livni, including Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beitenu and Bayit Yehudi, all pledged that there is no space between them and Netanyahu’s position regarding the existential threat posed to Israel, and the entire western world, by an Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons capability.
TIMING OF THE SPEECH
One of the main criticisms aimed at Netanyahu for coming to speak to Congress in March is that it is a scant few weeks before the Israeli elections. Presumably, the thought was, the speech would unfairly boost his standing and translate into more votes for him.
How strange, then, that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is slated for 10:45 a.m., east coast time. This means that very few working Americans will be able to watch the speech live; they will all be at work.
Having Netanyahu speak to Congress at 10:45 east coast time, however, means that he will be on the air in Israel during prime viewing time, starting at about 5:50 p.m. (there will be a five minute delay in Israel).
In other words, to the extent the White House had any ability to influence the timing of the speech, it was deemed more important that Americans not be able to see and hear the Israeli prime minister, than that Israeli voters might be influenced by their prime minister’s congressional speech.
Had the speech been scheduled for 9:00 p.m. EST, as most important speeches are, only the most die-hard Bibi fans in Israel would be up at 4:00 a.m. to watch.
The fear is and was that Netanyahu will be able to infuse Congress and the American people with the necessary backbone to stand up to the global threat of a nuclear armed Iran.
Yitzchak Herzog is so desperate for votes that he blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday for a woman airplane passenger’s outburst at a flight crew that she didn’t get her promised chocolates.
The airplane incident was caught on YouTube last week, showing a woman having a fit at a bewildered stewardess
The passenger, later joined by her family, screamed in a wild rant at the flight attendants for not selling her duty-free chocolates.
She called the stewardess a “piece of trash” and a few other unprintable expletives.
One would think that no one would justify the family’s behavior, which provided American Jewish media with a great opportunity to show Israelis as rude and brash, if not insane.
Herzog thinks differently.
With polls showing that despite his party and media outlets throwing everything at Netanyahu, including the most picayune and petty insults at his wife Sara, the voters are not changing their minds so quickly.
If elections were held today, Herzog and his political partner Tzipi Livni might eke out a tiny victory over the Likud, but they would have no chance of forming a government.
Herzog, reaching at the bottom of the electoral pit, said on Saturday that the woman’s behavior actually is Netanyahu’s fault.
Herzog is copying Obama’s logic that if the ISIS terrorists were given good jobs, they might stop decapitating victims, and Kerry’s logic that Palestinian Authority Arabs would be friendly to Israel if Netanyahu would simply surrender half of the country and expel 10 percent of the Jewish population from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The woman’s rant on the Israeli flight was a “result of the division and arguments that Netanyahu caused,” he said, apparently with a straight face.
Things will be different under Herzog, he said. He will unite the people, who no longer will scream at flight attendants because they didn’t get their desserts, just or not.
Livni also tried to use the in-flight incident for political points. She wrote on Facebook that it was an “ugly incident” but took credit that as Justice Minister for promoting transparency that allows for publishing incidents, especially ugly ones, in the government.
It is no wonder that Herzog and Livni are not gaining any ground in the polls.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu boarded a plane for New York late Sunday Morning and will deliver a speech to Congress Tuesday, which he called “fateful and maybe even historic.”
“I feel I am an emissary for all citizens of Israel, including those who disagree with me,” he told reporters at Ben Gurion Airport.
He reiterated that he “will do everything” to maintain Israel’s security.
Snow will await the Prime Minister when he lands Sunday morning, New York time.
He will address the annual AIPAC conference on Monday, where U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice also will speak. Last week, she termed Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to Congress “destructive.”
House Speaker John Boehner invited the Prime Minister, an invitation that sparked outrage at the White House and from Netanyahu’s foes in the Knesset election campaign, especially the merged parties headed by Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni and the Israeli media establishment.
Yediot Acharonot, the country’s largest newspaper, and Kol Yisrael (Reshet Bet) have strongly slanted their coverage against Netanyahu for years and even more so after it was announced he will speak to Congress.
A cold rain is forecast in Washington on Tuesday, symbolic of the Obama administration’s view of Netanyahu.
His address will be broadcast in Israel with a five-minute delay so Election Committee officials can censor any comments that they think are a campaign speech.
He will return to Israel early Wednesday morning, just in time for Purim.
The Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida reported Saturday that President Barack Obama stopped Israel from attacking Iran last year by threatening to down the Israeli attack plan.
The report has no confirmation from any other source and appears at first glance to be an invention of an imaginative editor. No other news site has carried the Kuwaiti newspaper report except for the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.
However, Al-Jarida is considered to be a relatively liberal publication whose editor Mohammed al-Sager previously won the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists “for courageous reporting on political and human rights issues in the face of government threats of censorship and prosecution,”
He also is a former Kuwaiti parliament member and chairman of the legislature.
Al-Sager also was sentenced to six months in jail in 1998 for “insulting the essence of the Divine Being” following the publication of a joke. The sentence was overturned by a higher court.
The idea that President Barack Obama would order the U.S. Air Force to down an Israeli seems like a Grade-B horror movie plot.
Al-Jarida quoted “well-placed” sources that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after consulting with then-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, decided to attack Iran to halt its nuclear program that is assumed to be aimed at building or obtaining a nuclear weapon that would be aimed at Israel.
The media was filled with reports the past two years of Air Force training for an aerial strike on Iran.
An Israel minister, who implicitly was Avigdor Lieberman according to Al Jarida’s source, supposedly leaked the plan to the Obama administration.
There always is the possibility that Netanyahu asked Lieberman to tip off Obama, but in any case, the president promptly warned he would order that American planes shoot down attacking Israeli planes.
Netanyahu backed down, according to Al Jarida.
The report may be fantasy, but the fact that Al Jarida dared to report it says a lot about perceptions of the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama.