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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Netanyahu at AIPAC: No Peace without Recognition of Israel as Jewish

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to work for a “durable peace” with the Palestinians in the coming weeks and reiterated his refusal to accept a deal with Iran that included any uranium enrichment capacity.

Netanyahu, in his speech Tuesday morning to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference, embraced an optimistic vision of peace with the Palestinians as the key to broader regional stability.

“I’m prepared to make a historic peace with our Palestinian neighbors,” Netanyahu said.

“Peace would be good for us, peace would be good for the Palestinians, but peace would open up the possibility of establishing formal ties between Israel and leading countries in the Arab world,” he said. “Peace with the Palestinians would turn our relations with them and with many Arab countries into open and thriving relationships.”

Netanyahu repeated a number of his demands of a peace agreement, including Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a long-term Israeli military presence on the Jordan-Judea and Samaria border, but he suggested that a deal could come soon.

“As we work in the coming days, in the coming weeks, to forge a durable peace, I hope that the Palestinian leadership will stand with Israel and the United States on the right side of the moral divide, the side of peace, reconciliation and hope,” he said.

He paused, waiting for the AIPAC supporters to applaud this vision, and when they did not, he explicitly solicited their applause.

“You can clap — you want to encourage them to do that!” he said.

Netanyahu’s message came a day after meetings he held with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Obama, before meeting Netanyahu, had told Bloomberg News that he would impress upon him the need to embrace the framework agreement Kerry hopes to unveil soon, and in Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech, he appeared to do so.

The two leaders also discussed the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers, and in this area, Netanyahu did not appear to budge from his insistence than any deal include a total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear capability, including an end to enrichment.

“The leading powers of the world are talking about leaving Iran with the capability to enrich uranium,” he said. “That would be a grave error.”

Obama and officials in his administration have indicated that leaving Iran with a limited enrichment capability is the likeliest outcome of the talks.

Netanyahu said that Israel could not accept such a status.

“We will never be brought to the brink of extinction again,” he said. ”As prime minister of Israel, I will do whatever I must do to defend the Jewish state of Israel.”

Netanyahu also repeated his call for enhanced sanctions on Iran, something that Obama has rejected, saying they could scuttle the talks.

“You know how you get that agreement with Iran?” Netanyahu said. “Not by relieving pressure, but by adding pressure!”

A focus of Netanyahu’s speech was the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel, which he described as anti-Semitic.

“Those who wear the BDS label should be treated as we treat any anti-Semite and bigot — they should be exposed and condemned,” he said. “The boycotters should be boycotted!”

Netanyahu to Obama: Israel Cannot Allow Nuclear Iran

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Obama that Israel cannot let Iran get a nuclear bomb and said an end to uranium enrichment is an Israeli demand of any agreement with Iran.

“If Iran is prevented from enriching uranium and dismantles fully its military nuclear capability,” Israel would accept the deal, the Israeli prime minister told Obama on Monday when they met at the White House in the Oval Office.

Obama and U.S. officials have said that Iran is likely to be left with a limited enrichment capability as part of any deal.

“Israel cannot permit such a state to have the ability to make a bomb,” Netanyahu said. “We just cannot be brought back to the brink of destruction. I as the prime minister of Israel will do whatever I must to defend the Jewish state.”

Netanyahu also appeared to push back against warnings from Obama in an interview published Sunday by Bloomberg View that Israeli settlement expansion and a failure to achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians would lead to Israel’s international isolation.

“Israel has been doing its part, and I regret to say the Palestinians haven’t,” Netanyahu said, saying he expected an end to Palestinian incitement and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

“That’s what the people of Israel expect me to do, to stand strong against criticism, against pressure.” he said.

Obama refrained from pushing back in the Oval Office appearance, confining his remarks to pledging to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and commending Netanyahu for his commitment to the peace process.

AIPAC Conference Opens with Appeal for Bipartisanship

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC opened its annual conference with an appeal for bipartisanship.

“Bipartisanship is essential,” Michael Kassen, the board chairman of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said Sunday in his opening statement to the conference, which drew a record 14,000 activists.

“We must affirm bipartisanship in our own ranks if we want support for Israel to be championed by Democrats and Republicans alike, he said. “AIPAC’s political diversity is critical to our continued success.”

The conference opening Sunday follows a period of tension between the lobby and the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress over AIPAC’s backing for new Iran sanctions, which Obama opposes as a detriment to nuclear talks now underway between Iran and the major powers.

AIPAC last month retreated from pressing for an immediate Senate vote on the sanctions, not wanting to undercut its influence with Democrats. The group is still backing the sanctions bill but is not pressing for a vote until the measure has enough endorsers to bust a promised Obama veto.

A number of conservatives and Republicans have since urged the group to resume its pressure for a Senate vote, even if it would land AIPAC in a partisan battle. Advocates of renewing pressure for a sanctions vote say the stakes with Iran are too high to consider Democratic sensibilities.

Kassen’s remarks seemed directly aimed at those who would advocate for an immediate vote.

In addition to seeking additional endorsers for the sanctions bill, AIPAC delegates who will meet Tuesday with lawmakers will press for the passage of an enhanced U.S.-Israel security relationship bill. AIPAC activists backed the same bill at the last conference a year ago, but it has only made limited headway.

The delegates also will seek signatories on a bipartisan Senate letter to Obama outlining the “core principles” that must come out of the talks with Iran. Chief among them is preventing Iran from “having a uranium or plutonium path to a nuclear bomb.” A similar letter may also come out of the U.S. House of Representatives in time for the Tuesday lobbying blitz.

The “path” wording allows for a degree of flexibility between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outspoken advocacy for ending Iran’s uranium enrichment capability and the Obama administration’s warnings that Iran likely will have some limited civilian enrichment capability.

Howard Kohr, AIPAC’s executive director, told delegates they would encounter a degree of resistance to their Iran-related advocacy on Capitol Hill.

“When you’re up on the Hill, no matter what reception you receive, no matter how forcefully your member of Congress may express reservations,” he said, “be gracious and be respectful and make clear that the conversation cannot end here, that you will come back.”

Cantor Compares Obama Iran Policy to Pre-WW2 Isolationism

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, cited the lateness of American actions against the Nazis in critiquing President Obama’s foreign policy.

In a speech Monday to the Virginia Military Institute, Cantor (R-Va.), who is Jewish, described leading a congressional delegation recently to Auschwitz to mark the 69th anniversary of the Nazi death camp’s liberation.

“Standing there as the frigid wind swept through the eerily quiet ruins of the camp, I could not help but regret that American action in World War II came too late to save countless millions of innocent lives,” he said.

“Hitler’s rise and conquest of Europe did not come as a surprise. We must not repeat the same mistake by reducing our preparedness, accepting the notion that we are one of many or ceding global leadership to others.”

Cantor said that “evil and hateful ideologies still exist in the world,” citing as perhaps the most evident Iran’s “determined march” to produce nuclear weapons.

“I can imagine few more destabilizing moments in world history than Iran on the threshold of being a nuclear power,” he said.

Cantor called on the United States to prepare for additional sanctions to counter what he said was the erosion of Iran’s isolation through its participation in international talks aimed at keeping it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“An America that leads is an America that must work to restore the badly eroded international pressure on Tehran,” he said. “We should lay the groundwork now for additional sanctions in the event Iran violates the terms of the interim agreement.”

The Obama administration has said that the removal of a number of sanctions ahead of the talks has not diminished a tough sanctions regime. It has opposed new sanctions while talks are underway, saying that unilateral U.S. sanctions could fracture the international alliance that has nudged Iran to the talks.

White House Says Netanyahu’s Visit Shows ‘Deep Bonds’ with Israel

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The White House on Wednesday confirmed that President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet on March 3 and added that the Prime Minister’s visit “is a demonstration of the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel, and our close consultations on a range of security issues.”

That was White House press secretary Jay Carney’s way of stating that Obama is ready to beat Netanyahu over the head to come up with a deal with the Palestinian Authority if he wants the United States to get serious over Iran’s nuclear weapons development.

President Obama also will be meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II this Friday. A meeting Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is also scheduled in the near future as tensions grows towards the supposed end of  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s nine-month peace talk program.

Netanyahu will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention next month. He told the Likud Beitenu faction in the Knesset earlier this week that his visit to the United States will focus on Iran, the Palm, Israeli technology and tourism.

Russia Buying Out US Influence with $2 Billion Arms Deal for Egypt

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Egyptian army chief and probable next president, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, landed in Moscow Wednesday and is expected to sign up with Russia for a $2 million arms deal in another move that could diminish American influence over Cairo as well as the entire Middle East.

After the Obama administration openly warned the Egyptian regime last year,it could face cuts in military aid from Washington because of its undemocratic policies, Saudi Arabia stepped into the break to offer help to Egypt.

The United States pooh-poohed the idea that it was losing its clout in Cairo, but Russia now is set to take advantage of Saudi financial aid to Egypt and boost its defense sales and to further erode the Obama administration’s position.

Al-Sisi’s is on his first foreign visit since he replaced ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Russia’s foreign and defense ministers visit Cairo last November.

Russia has become a major thorn in the side of President Barack Obama over Syria and Iran. At the same time, the Arab world is increasingly fed up with the president’s foreign policy. Obama’s “engagement” with Iran has disappointed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The former American administrations’ military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have left behind anarchy, violence and rabid anti-Americanism.

It is no wonder that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is willing to go for broke for a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. That would restore America’s shine to some extent, but if a deal is made, which is unlikely, and if it falls apart in the future, which is more than probably, the United States will be in a weaker position in the Middle East.

Obama’s Lament to Fox New Echoes ‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon’s Tears

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

On November 7, 1962 President Richard M. Nixon said at his so-called “last press conference” after he lost the race for governor of California to to Democratic incumbent Pat Brown, “I leave you gentleman now. You will now write it; you will interpret it; that’s your right. But as I leave you I want you to know…. just think how much you’re going to be missing. You don’t have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.”

On February Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, 2014, President Barack Obama told Fox News in interviewer’s Bill O’Reilly’s taped session, “What you guys are gonna have to figure out is … what are you gonna do when I’m gone?”

There is no comparison of the man Nixon, known as Tricky Dick, with Obama. Nixon was uncouth. Obama is sophisticated, or at least pseudo-sophisticated.

But there is a common thread in their laments to the media, a common denominator of feeling sorry for themselves.

Nixon’s speech was that of a total crybaby who painted himself as an innocent victim of the media, and Jews, to nail him to the political cross.

He said, “I believe in reading what my opponents say and I hope that what I have said today will at least make television, radio, the press, first recognize the great responsibility they have to report all the news and, second, recognize that they have a right and a responsibility, if they’re against a candidate, give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then.”

Fox News is known as having no love for President Obama, who granted the network’s Bill O’Reilly an interview before the Super Bowl game, just as he did last year to CBS when it carried the football game.

“Do you think I’m being unfair to you?” O’Reilly asked.

“Absolutely,” Obama said. “Of course you are, Bill — but, I like you anyway.”

After leading questions about “health care not working” and a”wholly corrupt IRS,” the president continued, “This is okay. If you want to be president of the United States, then you know that you’re going to be subject to criticism. I think regardless of whether it’s fair or not … it has made Fox News very successful.”

And: “What you guys are gonna have to figure out is … what are you gonna do when I’m gone?”

Nixon wasn’t smart smug enough to take the credit for helping reporters to sell their newspapers.

Obama has the chutzpa and the conceit to do so, but the bottom line is that both Obama, like Nixon, feels sorry for himself.

In three years Fox News won’t have Obama to kick around anymore.

But unlike Nixon, Obama always will have The New York Times to kiss him where he has been kicked.

Obama to Make Diplomatic Rescue Visit to Saudi Arabia

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

President Barack Obama will fly to Saudi Arabia next month in an effort to repair a deteriorating relationship following his failure to significantly improve ties in his 2011 trip to Riyadh and in the wake of differences over relations with Egypt, Iran and Syria.

Obama will visit the Vatican on the same junket, as well as the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

The White House did not specifically include the Palestinian Authority as being on the agenda of issues the president will discuss with King Abdullah.

White House press secretary Jay Carney tried to make the scheduled visit seem like a routine trip, a “part of regular consultations.” He added, “The president looks forward to discussing with King Abdullah the enduring and strategic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia as well as ongoing cooperation to advance a range of common interests related to Gulf and regional security, peace in the Middle East, countering violent extremism, and other issues of prosperity and security.”

“Peace in the Middle East” probably refers to much more violent situations than the Palestinian Authority-Israel argument, The Wall Street Journal reported. For starters, there is the Muslim civil war in Syria, with the Sunni sect, backed by Saudi Arabia, against the Iranian-backed Shi’ites.

There is not lack of work for the Obama administration if it wants to get along better with Saudi Arabia, which was extremely unhappy with President Barack Obama’s backing the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who was replaced by a violent military regime that was succeeded by a violent Muslim Brotherhood regime, which was in turn succeeded by another violent military regime.

Saudi Arabia was upset at Obama’s appeasement of Iran and his about-face on the idea of using military force to help Syrian rebels.

The Obama administration also has lost some influence in Egypt, where Saudi Arabia has stepped in to help the current military regime deal with the crippled economy.

Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia in 2011 did little to calm the monarchy anger over the American support to get rid of Mubarak, implicitly backing Arab Spring unrest.

Obama called for changes in attitudes in the Middle East, and that is the last thing Saudi officials want to see in its own country.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-to-make-diplomatic-rescue-visit-to-saudi-arabia/2014/02/03/

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