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Posts Tagged ‘us-israel relations’

Follow Obama’s Visit to Israel on app

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office launched an app to follow President Obama’s visit in real time.

The app, which is available though Israel’s Apple store, will assist journalists covering the visit and allow Israelis to receive real-time updates, including video streaming. It will be available shortly for Android.

Now available in Hebrew and English, the app soon will be available in Arabic.

The app was announced Sunday at a preparatory meeting ahead of Obama’s visit to Israel later this month. Representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the president’s residence, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Israel Police, the JerusalemMunicipality, Ben-GurionInternationalAirport and other agencies attended the meeting.

‘Obama to Visit Israel, Ready or Not’

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

U.S. and Israeli officials said President Barack Obama would not delay his trip to Israel in the event that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unable to form a government.

An Israeli Embassy official in Washington described as “baseless” reports in the Israeli media earlier this week that Obama would delay his trip should Netanyahu fail to meet a March 16 deadline to form a government, a few days before Obama is due to arrive.

The official told JTA that preparations for the trip were continuing apace and there was no sign of a postponement.

It has been assumed that President Obama would postpone his trip rather than land at Ben Gurion Airport and be faced with a having to deal with officials who might not be in their same posts when a coalition finally is formed.

It is possible that the White House has to put on a good face towards the visit. Any remarks hinting that Obama will not arrive on March 20 could be interpreted as pressure on all parties to get their act together and form a government.

Assuming President Obama arrives as planned. he will not speak at the Knesset, where he might be subject to undisciplined Knesset Members from both sides of the political fence.

In his 2008 campaign visit to Jerusalem, he visited the Western Wall. This time around, he would cause a diplomatic catastrophe were he to step one foot into the Old City or any other part of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

More likely he will speak at the Jerusalem Convention Center, the Times of Israel reported. He probably  also make a “de rigeur” obligatory visit to the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

Obama ‘Damned If He Visits and Damned If He Doesn’t’

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Israelis, who were so anxious the past four years for President Barack Obama to show his support by visiting Israel, now are increasingly anxious about his trip in two weeks.

“People are concerned about what the real goal is,” Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations Michael Hoenlein told Politico.

“There’s a lot of speculation…..They keep asking, ‘Why is he coming? Why is he coming?’” Hoenlein said. “I say, ‘For four years, you were saying, “Why isn’t he coming?” Now, you’re asking “Why is he coming?’”

President Obama is scheduled to leave Washington March 19 for Israel and Jordan, but that depends on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ability to form a coalition government before then.

It is assumed that that the President will postpone the trip if there is no government, and officials cannot wait until the last minute to decide. Politico cited the needs for security arrangements and placing communications equipment and advance staff before the visit.

“The White House may need to make a decision on scrubbing the trip even before Netanyahu’s March 16 deadline” to form a coalition, the website reported.

Ehud Barak First Defense Minister to Meet with Secretary Hagel

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to be the first foreign defense minister to meet with newly confirmed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The Tuesday meeting will take place following Barak’s speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference, which begins Sunday and ends on Tuesday.

The two defense chiefs, who have known each other for more than a decade, will discuss the Iranian threat during their meeting, according to Reuters.

It is also expected that they will talk about cuts in U.S. assistance to Israel due to sequestration. It is not known yet exactly how much those cuts will amount to, but the figure could be as high as $300 million and affect the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Barak did not run for re-election in the recent Knesset elections following dismal ratings in pre-election polls.

US and Israel Prepare for Iran, Score Arrow Missile Success

Monday, February 25th, 2013

The joint Israeli-American Arrow anti-missile system scored its first successful trial at a would-be Israeli target over the Mediterranean Sea Monday morning. The experiment tested the launch system but did not include a dummy missile target.

One of the potential targets for the Arrow is the Iranian Shihab missile.

The Arrow 3 interceptor was successfully launched and flew an exo-atmospheric trajectory through space, in accordance with the test plan.

Below is a video of successful Arrow 3 launch test last September. Initial operating capability of Arrow 3 is expected in 2016, two years later than originally planned.

Sen. Rubio Tells Netanyahu US-Israel Partnership is Bipartisan

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomes on Wednesday Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, touted as one of the top possibilities to be GOP’s presidential candidate in 2016.

They traded the usual pleasantries, the Prime Minister stating his gratitude for American support and Rubio pledging to back security in Israel.

“You live in a challenging neighborhood but the Israeli-American relationship is one of the most important ones we have,” said the senator. “Certainly our commitment to that partnership is bipartisan and it should remain that way. And that’s why I’m pleased the President is coming here in March.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu stated, “I appreciate your support. I appreciate the tremendous support of the American people, bipartisan support for our security and our quest for peace. It’s a daunting task, both security and the quest for peace, but we know we have your support and we appreciate it. I look forward to talking with you about our challenges.”

Jewifying the Opposition

Monday, January 7th, 2013

The president is going to nominate Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

Over the last few weeks, just like when the plan was to appoint Arabist Chas Freeman to a sensitive intelligence post, the strategy for the appointment has been to leak the planned appointment, then respond to opposition by ‘Israelifying’ the objections, and ‘Jewifying’ the opponents.

In other words, administration surrogates are doing their best to make the public think that objections to Hagel are all related to his anti-Israel politics (don’t just ask me — ask Iranian Press TV), and that opponents to his nomination are doing the bidding of the ‘Jewish Lobby’ (as Hagel himself called it).

Freeman’s Saudi and Chinese connections did him in. He wasn’t a member of the Senate who could expect to receive many votes out of collegial courtesy. The administration saw the handwriting on the wall and didn’t push it.

But this time the calculations are that Hagel can make it. This is despite the fact that many Senators will vote against him because his positions on issues of national security and foreign policy are far to the left of the mainstream for that body. What can you say about someone who opposed economic sanctions on Iran and a resolution calling Hizballah a “terrorist organization,” and suggested that the US president negotiate with Hamas?

It’s not as though there aren’t other good candidates, including some who are much more experienced in the details of running the complicated defense establishment, such as the highly competent Michelle Flournoy.

Unfortunately, the administration has succeeded in making the issue of Hagel all about Israel and Jews, rather than about a potential Secretary of Defense with little practical experience who seems to think that a nuclear Iran is acceptable. One wonders if the president himself views it this way, and sees the nomination as a way to punish and humiliate Israel (and perhaps the “Jewish Lobby”).

That would be really, really stupid, a classic case of allowing the anti-Israeli tail to wag the dog of real American interests.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/jewifying-the-opposition/2013/01/07/

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