Tag Archives: Israel

Red, Not Green Light, On Iran Attack, Says Obama

President Obama made clear that Joe Biden’s mouth that roared did not speak for the American government when he indicated that Israel had the right to launch air strikes on Iran. The president said his administration had made clear to Israel that “absolutely” opposed such action. “We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East.” He admitted the United States could not tell other nations what to do, but “what is also true is the policy of the United States to try to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear capabilities.” He wants to work through diplomatic channels, not the channel of airplanes bombing targets.

Unfortunately, while Joe Biden is a man with deep compassion he too often allows his mouth to speak before consulting his brain. The last thing to tell the current right wing Israel government is they have a right to throw the entire Middle East into a state of terror.

Did Biden Give Israel Iranian Bombing Green Light?

It is sometimes difficult knowing whether Vice President Joe Biden is just shooting off his mouth without serious reflection or whether he is expressing the views of the Obama administration. Over the weekend, Joe Biden made outrageous comments that threaten to endanger peace in the Middle East. He told ABC the United States “cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do. Israel can determine for itself–it’s a sovereign nation– what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.” Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed a rather different perspective on the possibility of an Israel bombing of Iran. “I have been, for some time, concerned about any strike on Iran. I worry about i t being very destabilizing.”

It is time for President Obama to have a talk with this loose mouth vice president who actually believes an Israel air strike on Iran has no impact on American policy in the Middle East. Such an attack would result in hundreds of missiles directed at Israel, Iraq and other areas of the Middle East which, most probably, would result in the death of thousands, including American soldiers. If Israel even hints at such action, the United States has no other recourse other than to halt any aid to Israel and withdraw its ambassador to express our concern for any such irresponsible actions.

Yes, Iran is a difficult nation. But, recent events indicate division in the country. Several important clerics have condemned the presidential election. An Israel air strike would unite Iranians behind Ahmadinejad.

Israel Housing Minister Preaches Anti-Arab Hatred!

Ariel Attias, Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister, told the Bar Association in Tel Aviv, that it was time to face the reality that Arabs and Jews must inhabit separate sections of the country because if they live together it threatens the existence of Israel. “We can all be bleeding hearts, but I think it is unsuitable (for Jews and Arabs) to live together.” His argues that Arabs want to inhabit areas where Jews live in order to force them to flee and thus gradually the Arabs can take over large sections of Israel. Member of Knesset, Ahmed Tibi, expressed the shock that any Jew or Muslim should be saying it is incredible that a member of the Israel government regards its citizens as threats to security.

In 1965, I was among the first Jews to obtain a house in the previously all Christian Webster Groves community located in St. Louis. My six year old daughter experienced prejudice because she was the only Jewish girl in the school. I politely went to discuss the situation with a neighbor who told me, “why did you people come to our community? No one wants you here.” We eventually had to withdraw our daughter from her school. I read the words of Ariel Attias in shock. How can this man be a Jew! To be a Jew is to fight against bigotry and prejudice. To be a Jew is to remember that Palestinians are our brothers and sisters, not our enemies. As long as Benjamin Netanyahu and his gang of bigots like Avigdor Lieberman and Attias are in power, there can be no peace with Palestinians. It is time for Israelis to look into the mirror of hate and prejudice and see their reflections.

US Congressman Urges Settlement Freeze In West Bank

American Congressman Robert Wexler, a prominent political ally of President Obama, urged the Israel government to place a freeze on West Bank settlements, arguing to do so would send a message that Israel is ready to compromise. “A request for a moratorium or freeze in settlement activity that can be mutually agreed upon by the US and Israel in the next several weeks is a tiny, tiny gesture and down payment to make when you look at potentially what is on other side of the equation.” Wexler pointed out if the Israel willingness to compromise on an important issue did not meet with reciprocal gestures by President Abbas, Israel comes out on top as the nation seeking peace. In a sense, Congressman Wexler urged Israel to call the bluff of Palestinians regarding their interest in peace.

Hopefully, Prime Minister Netanyhu will listen carefully to sound advice. A few months of no housing in the West Bank is not a terrible price to pay to discover the seriousness of Palestinian leaders. Wexler also pointed out the Israel media has rarely reported what Obama is demanding of Arab nations such as direct economic links with Israel, cultural and educational exchanges and over-fly rights for Israel airlines.

Now is the time for Israel to demonstrate it is willing to go the extra mile in the quest for peace. That will achieve greater results than invading Gaza.

Israel Government Plays Word Games With Settlements

There is an ancient Arab legend entitled, “An Appointment in Samarra.” According to the legend, a servant went out one day and saw Death in the marketplace. He rushed home and told his master. His master feared Death had come for him and fled to the city of Samarra. The servant went back to the marketplace and criticized Death for frightening his master. Death replied he meant no harm, he was just passing through because he had an appointment in Samarra.” The state of Israel is like the merchant, it is fleeing headlong into an appointment in Samarra. The Israel Defense Ministry announced it was approving construction of 50 new homes. The houses will be built for the relocation of 200 settlers from Migron, a wildcat settlement built without official permission.

British Foreign Minister David Miliband exploded by saying “settlements are illegal under international law and they are a major blockage to peace in the Middle East. This is the worse possible time for new settlements.”

According to Prime Minister Netanyahu housing will only be built for “natural growth.” So, a group of people develop a settlement illegally and they are now entitled to housing under the guidelines of “natural growth.” This stinks to high heaven. Unless the people of Israel cease this stupid rush to stupidity, they are doomed to an appointment in Samarra.

Sarkozy Tells Israel Get Rid Of Schmuck Lieberman!

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told visiting Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the best way to assist Israel in gaining its foreign policy objectives is to fire the racist mouth that roars nonsense, Avigdor Lieberman. Sarkozy said he ordinarily enjoyed meeting foreign ministers when they passed through Paris, but he had absolutely no interest in ever meeting Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He urged the Israel leader to reach out to former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and form a coalition government that would be able to lead Israel along the path of peace. The words of the French leader were merely those thought but rarely expressed by European leaders who regard Lieberman as ignorant, racist, and unable to conduct himself in a manner conducive to peace.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was furious to learn what the French president said to the Israeli prime minister. “If the words attributed to the president of France are correct, the interference of a president of a respected state in matters of another democratic state is a grave intolerable thing.”

Of course, insulting Israeli Arabs and calling for their expulsion is simply Avigdor in his most democratic manner.

Israel Blasts UN Report On Gaza

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations blasted a report by UN Humanitarian Affairs chief, John Holmes which sharply criticized actions in Gaza that resulted in the death of hundreds of Gaaza civilians. Gabriela Shaley charged the report was biased and ignored the fact thousands of rockets had been fired into Israel from Gaza. “The report completely ignores the context in which Israel’s defensive actions were taken.” A defensive tone increasingly characterizes Israel’s respond to any critical comments directed toward its government. The Netanyahu government has still to grasp that George Bush no longer is in charge of American foreign policy and there is no one in the American government who automatically supports any action on the part of Israel.

A defensive tone will only go so far. The Obama administration is taking a proactive stance toward the Palestinian-Israel conflict. It waits in vain for a proactive stance from Netanyahu who believes whatever Israel has done in the past can not be changed. The American Congress which has completely supported Israel for decades is now asking questions and demanding changes not cosmetic smoothing over of West Bank policy. The world awaits a proactive Israel statement on foreign policy which outlines concrete steps to curtail West Bank building and lift the embargo in Gaza which only serves to strengthen Hamas, not damage its power.

It is time for Israel to look forward and cease returning to the past to justify every violation of human rights.

Israel Has Met The Enemy And He Is Them!

Throughout its history, leaders of Israel complained they were unable to engage in meaningful dialogue and negotiations with Arabs because none of these nations would acknowledge the existence of their country. A continual Israel problem was refusal on the part of Arab leaders to respect international law by resorting to violence against innocent civilians. Today, the exact same complaints made by Israel towards Arabs is being directed back to the Israel government. Ironically, the American government this week announced it was returning diplomats to Damascus in recognition of President Assad’s commitment to working for peace with Israel and fighting terrorism. He reportedly has agreed to clamp down on terrorists going through his nation on their way to Iraq.

President Assad’s comments this week could readily have been uttered by Golda Meier forty years ago. He said: “achieving peace requires an Israeli partner and commitment to international law. The Israeli partner does not currently exist.”

The Israel press contains right wingers who complain their government wants peace but they have no one to negotiate with for peace. Of course, the reason is simple– Netanyahu refuses to halt West Bank settlements and he imposes conditions that President Abbas must accept while insisting no one has the right to impose conditions on Israel.

David Ben-Gurion is turning over in his grave every time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks.

Israel For Peace, A Piece Of Jerusalem, West Bank, etc..

In 2003, Israel signed onto an American sponsored road map peace plan which called for a settlement freeze including natural growth, but to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when Israel signs an agreement it is open to interpretation, but when Arabs sign agreements, what is signed is. An American State Department spokesperson made clear the Obama administration believes any further expansion of building whether in the West Bank or in east Jerusalem is a violation of the 2003 road map. “We’re talking about all settlement activity, yes, in the area across the line.” Israel insists it has a right to build anywhere in Jerusalem, it says so in the Torah.

Benjamin Netanyahu is a cynical political leader whose goal is maintaining power and he will take whatever steps are necessary to gain support of the religious right and West Bank settlers. The Obama administration will lose all credibility in the Middle East if it allows Netanyahu to continue building settlements. Obama must stand firm, he is the only real friend the state of Israel has in the world.

Egyptians Dismayed By Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister’s recent speech announcing his nation would recognize the existence of a Palestinian state provided— and then came the list of “buts” has only reinforced views in the Muslim world there is slight likelihood of a resolution of the Palestinian-Israel dispute. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stated bluntly that Netanyahu’s speech torpedod all chances for successful peace talks. He said the “Middle East will remain a scene of stability for as long as a peaceful and fair settlement for the Palestinian cause remains evasive.” Even Robert Serri, the UN’s special envoy for the Middle East was hesitant in making any positive remarks about the Israel offer.

There is growing feeling the Obama speech failed to energize Israel leaders to engage in meaningful discussions with Palestinian leaders. At some point, Israel must confront reality– a peace between Palestine and Israel requires compromise on the part of both sides. Instead of announcing what Israel demands, it might be wiser to begin negotiations without any preconditions. How would Israel react if President Abbas said there were preconditions that must be met.