Oh no

Israel/Palestine
on 37 Comments

From the White House transcript of Obama and Netanyahu’s press remarks today:

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: One final point, Mr. President — I want to thank you for reaffirming to me in private and now in public as you did the longstanding U.S. commitments to Israel on matters of vital strategic importance. I want to thank you, too, for the great hospitality you and the First Lady have shown Sara and me and our entire delegation. And I think we have to redress the balance — you know, I’ve been coming here a lot. It’s about time —

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I’m ready.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: — you and the First Lady came to Israel, sir.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We look forward to it. Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Any time.

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37 Responses

  1. wondering jew
    July 6, 2010, 4:49 pm

    Obama should have visited Israel a month after his visit to Cairo. The morrow would have weakened his Cairo moment. But the visit to Buchenwald, which was an attempt at balance, certainly did not reassure anyone in Israel or any Israel supporters.

    • potsherd
      July 6, 2010, 6:35 pm

      He already went to Israel. There was the big deal about some jerk stealing the prayer he left in the stones and trying to sell it on ebay or something.

      Obama should go to Palestine. He should go to Gaza.

      • wondering jew
        July 6, 2010, 7:45 pm

        That was before he was elected.

      • Chaos4700
        July 6, 2010, 7:46 pm

        Like I said below, what more do you want, WJ? For him to bend over and kiss Netanyahu smack in his ring finger?

      • wondering jew
        July 6, 2010, 7:53 pm

        Given his current desire to curry favor with Israel supporters or (given the desirability of bolstering the peace camp in Israel) such a visit to Israel (a month after Cairo) would have been wise. A visit to Gaza would entail a change of policy. A visit to Ramallah is a different story.

      • Chaos4700
        July 6, 2010, 7:55 pm

        A visit to Gaza would entail a change of policy.

        Well we can’t have that! Change was absolutely nowhere in Obama’s campaign slogans, let alone his platform.

      • potsherd
        July 6, 2010, 9:41 pm

        A change of policy is precisely what is needed. A change from the favor-currying, ass-kissing of Israel supporters, a change to putting the interests of US citizens first.

        The son of a bitch campaigned on that slogan, let’s see him carry through for once.

      • Danaa
        July 6, 2010, 9:41 pm

        WJ – “Given the desirability of bolstering the peace camp in Israel”? you know that’ only a small part of the reason this sudden ‘desire” to go to Israel just happened to Obama. It’s all about the big donors to the democratic party, 50% of whom are reputed to be from jewish sources, with actually only relatively few contributing the bulk of the money. We are talking the millions, not the the $50. donations some of us might make to specific causes. Most jewish people probably would indeed like to see an equitable settlement come about, and wouldn’t mind a bit if it’ strict ’67 borders (according to some polls at least). But unfortunately, the oness with the big bucks have different interests in mind, and what we might consider “peace” is not quite on top of their list.

        Like everything else in this election season, follow the money is as good a rule as it ever was.

        Though I am sure Obama wouldn’t mind it if peace just happened. But then, he wouldn’t mind it if the BP Oilpocalypse just stopped either. Things is, neither is likely to come to pas any time soon.

      • lysias
        July 7, 2010, 6:29 am

        Follow the money indeed.

        Lead front-page article in yesterday’s Washington Post was about the Dems losing Wall Street donations: Democratic campaign committees losing big Wall Street donors.

        Article said nothing about Israel. It tied the loss to Democratic financial regulation. But it also tied it to Schumer’s no longer being campaign committee chairman. And the article was right on top of the article about Netanyahu’s visit.

      • Danaa
        July 7, 2010, 10:52 am

        lysias, you read what was on my mind – I read the same article on Wall street donations and the Schumer connection and couldn’t help but wonder. Making an arc between wall street and Israel/aipac lobbies is, of course, the epitome of the third rail. Not allowed. As if coincidences just happen.

        To be sure, the article implies that the shift in wall street donation has all to do with the financial regulations bill winding its way – perhaps to passage, if Scott brown can be appeased. But those who follow the negotiations have been telling us that it is so weakened and so toothless by now that the wall street interests that lobbied tooth and nail for biteless bill realize it’s the best they could have gotten (Open Left’s Chris Bowers pens periodic follow ups on the comings and goings there, which I recommend). So I find it hard to believe that the downward donations trend is “only” due to there being a bill in the works.

        The mention of Schumer’s name is, though, curious. Him being not only one of wall street’s greatest champions but also a key aipac enforcer. It’s funny to me the way people like to pretend that lobbies don ‘t make alliances. The only hope we have – as people and as citizens – is that those alliances shift .

    • Chaos4700
      July 6, 2010, 7:45 pm

      He only has an IDF volunteer as his freakin’ Chief of Staff. And both Obama and Biden are scripted to wear kippahs in every photo op they can contrive a reason to, in spite of the fact that neither are Jewish. Help me out here, is that even appropriate? I know Catholics would be insulted about anyone aping our rituals for a mere photo op, and for better or for worse there are sacraments that are supposed to be forbidden to non-Catholics entirely.

      Seriously, what more does Israel want? What more do you Zionists want from him? He’s pretty much already sacrificed the dregs of American foreign policy good will as it is — the rest of the world knows who wears the pants in our relationship with Israel after what happened to our citizens on the relief aid flotilla. You want him to hang an Israeli flag over the American flag on the White House lawn too?

    • syvanen
      July 6, 2010, 11:14 pm

      WJ are you really serious. Obama is deeply hated by about 1/3 of the Israeli public and near 2/3 of the remainder don’t like him. One fanatical rabbi issues a fatwa and there would likely be a few hundred thousand potential assassins. The person who pulled that off would be as revered as Yighal Amir and Baruch Goldstein — to this day they are heroes to probably 25% of the Jewish Israelis. Not just that but Netanyahoo just declared the Cave of the Patriarchs a national heritage site — that is where Goldstein murdered 29 Palestinian Moslems. You are Israeli, surely you must be aware of the hate that motivates these people.

      And don’t argue that Israeli defense forces would protect Obama — we all know how the WB settlers have infiltrated the IDF.

      • wondering jew
        July 7, 2010, 1:03 am

        Any Likudnik who gives money to the Democratic party would do so not because of Obama, but despite Obama. I think these current “make up” sessions are stupid. If we could go back in time to the Cairo moment and have followed it up with an Obama visit to Israel at that time (a month later), it would have obviated the need for the false “make up” session taking place currently.

        I am not sure what percentage of Israelis admire Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir. The declaration of Hebron as part of the Israel heritage trail was an unwise move particularly the way it was done, (I could imagine a theoretical Israeli leader getting together with the Palestinian leader and figuring out how to increase tourism to Hebron in a way that does not offend Palestinian nationalistic feelings, but obviously given the current situation and the Jews who happen to live in Hebron, that is not in the realm of the possible) But in any case, it was not done in praise of Baruch Goldstein, but in praise of the Jewish connection to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.

        The current Likud thinking seems to be that there is nothing to be gained from a declaration of new boundaries (land exchange) without a concession from the Palestinians on the issue of Right of Return. Personally I think something could be gained from the declaration of new boundaries even if there is no agreement on Right of Return.

        I think it is fine to wish that Obama was a true advocate of real change, but I think an element of realism is worthwhile especially if it yields fruit. The fact that fruit seem unlikely to be produced from this tree certainly strengthens those who wish advocacy of purer ideals.

      • James
        July 7, 2010, 1:29 am

        …”I think an element of realism is worthwhile especially if it yields fruit. The fact that fruit seem unlikely to be produced from this tree”…

        it made me think of the olive groves that the israeli’s like uprooting from the palestinians… that is the kind of fruit the present community living in israel are producing and you can take this to the bank – it is not producing anything positive, nor will it either… i think it is smart to think about being realistic and wanting to yield some fruit… good luck with that one especially if you are identifying with the present actions and behaviour coming out of israel and as reflected in it’s present leadership…

      • syvanen
        July 7, 2010, 2:43 am

        but obviously given the current situation and the Jews who happen to live in Hebron, that is not in the realm of the possible

        Nothing is in the realm of the possible except the complete settlement of the WB as long as you allow the WB settlers determine Israeli policy. If you can’t stop that then perpetual was is your only alternative. It is your decision, please do not require Obama to solve this mess for you.

      • Sumud
        July 7, 2010, 3:23 am

        “I am not sure what percentage of Israelis admire Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir. ”

        I’d say ~21%, the percentage of schoolchildren that think “death to arabs” is a legitimate expression – 45% of religious students, 16% of secular. It’s reasonable to assume there’s a correlation between the values of children and their parents.

        ‘Poll: 46% of high-schoolers don’t want equality for Arabs’
        link to ynetnews.com

        On Liked thinking, it’s time they addressed concessions from an international law/rights framework instead of a “we’ve got the guns” framework. It’s not an Israeli concession to insist on holding land beyond the green line – that’s a Palestinian concession. “We’ll keep some of your land if you agree to renounce your right of return” doesn’t tally outside the bubble.

  2. hayate
    July 6, 2010, 5:38 pm

    “PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: — you and the First Lady came to Israel, sir.”

    Would that be michele or rahm?

    ;D

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist that set-up)

  3. lysias
    July 6, 2010, 5:53 pm

    Given how infiltrated Israeli security organs are by religious fanatics, would it be prudent for Obama to go to Israel? That goes double for his taking Mrs. Obama with him.

    • Chaos4700
      July 6, 2010, 7:48 pm

      Given how full Obama’s staff is over Israeli security organs? Does it matter?

    • Taxi
      July 6, 2010, 11:25 pm

      Sara Natanyahu should be checked by WH security when she finishes her tea party with Michelle – we all know she has a penchant for ‘official silverware’. They steal land, they steal silverware – the fucking white euro trash that the Natanyahus are!

      • Sumud
        July 7, 2010, 3:28 am

        The Mileikowskys, Taxi. “Netanyahu” is an adopted name designed to obscure Polish heritage.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Taxi
        July 7, 2010, 6:39 am

        ‘Tis why I call them ‘euro trash’, Sumud, my old pal.

      • eljay
        July 7, 2010, 6:58 am

        >> … “Netanyahu” is an adopted name designed to obscure Polish heritage.

        Ah, but that Polish heritage in turn obscures a “long-term exile”. No more “talking at” Bibi: It’s time to give him a hug! :-)

      • Frances
        July 7, 2010, 10:49 am

        I can’t do it, because I’m busy placing green yarn along the Green Line whilst dodging IDF snipers and tear gas canisters, but give him a minimalist, Israeli fear-assuaging, Gandhian hug for me.

        Not sure if anyone has posted this before on this site, but these links had me nearly crying with laughter:

        Wit and Wisdom of Mark Regev

        link to youtube.com

        Wit and Wisdom of Tzipi Livni

        link to youtube.com

        Inside the Head of Mark Regev

      • hayate
        July 7, 2010, 9:49 pm

        Frances

        :D

      • Sumud
        July 8, 2010, 12:23 am

        :-) Thanks Frances, I’ve seen the last one but not the first two, hilarious, especially Tzipi, she’s SO happy talking about flattening Gaza and killing Palestinians, just as I remember her from that period.

      • Frances
        July 8, 2010, 1:21 am

        @Sumud, I’m sure that you know this, but to clarify before the sayanim jump down my throat, the “translations” in the videos are totally fake.

      • Sumud
        July 8, 2010, 1:30 am

        I do Frances, the tragedy is the fake translations are so much closer to what actually happened in Gaza – much more so than the revolting hasbara issued by Israel.

  4. VR
    July 7, 2010, 12:37 am

    Don;t kid yourself, when this is combined with the praise for the precious little that Israel did in regard to the Gaza siege, it is complete capitulation to the “special relationship.” It is time to break up the relationship, that is the job of the people.

  5. Sumud
    July 7, 2010, 3:36 am

    The pressure will really be on for Abbas now to move to direct negotiations so Obama and Netanyahu can get their photo-op and pretend they’re serious about Palestinian independence..

    Obama should definitely visit Israel, also Gaza and East Jerusalem/West Bank. A few days touring Gaza, a little time in Silwan, a little in Hebron, and then a visit deep in Area C where Palestinians aren’t permitted water, electricity or any structure more permanent than a tent. If Obama were serious in Cairo he could easily shift US opinion with a comprehensive visit to the OPTs.

  6. esteban folsom
    July 7, 2010, 4:02 am

    wait a minute
    am i to actually believe
    that israel or any other country
    would really launch nuclear weapons
    for any reason whatsoever ?

    not acceptable in any event
    can’t we figure that much out ?

    ‘now is the time
    for all good men
    to come to the aid
    of their country’

  7. Miss Dee Mena
    July 7, 2010, 5:30 am

    Oh no x 2.

    link to haaretz.com

  8. Chu
    July 7, 2010, 9:24 am

    If Barack goes to Israel he should tour the West Bank and
    Gaza extensively. That way all is fair, as Wondering Jew
    seems to think.
    I’m sure Michelle Obama would love to see the checkpoints
    in person and then have tea with Sara.

    • eljay
      July 7, 2010, 2:22 pm

      >> I’m sure Michelle Obama would love to see the checkpoints in person and then have tea with Sara.

      She could also watch homes being razed, aquifers being toppled, fields being plowed over and land being stolen, after which she could admonish the nearby Palestinian for just lying there with a boot on his neck instead of getting up and hugging the scared soldier.

  9. MHughes976
    July 7, 2010, 11:01 am

    The worst model is that of Angela Merkel’s visit of 08, marked by much fawning on the Israelis and complete ignoring of the Palestinians. I don’t think Obama will be quite that bad, though bolstering and boosting the usurping Abbas group will not be much better.

  10. Richard Parker
    July 8, 2010, 1:53 am

    Sumud: Obama should definitely visit Israel, also Gaza and East Jerusalem/West Bank. A few days touring Gaza, a little time in Silwan, a little in Hebron, and then a visit deep in Area C where Palestinians aren’t permitted water, electricity or any structure more permanent than a tent. If Obama were serious in Cairo he could easily shift US opinion with a comprehensive visit to the OPTs
    Oh come on! He’s already visited Sderot and that’s all he needs to know.
    But he could do more, indeed.

  11. Richard Parker
    July 8, 2010, 1:59 am

    If the man had the guts to visit he Occupied Territories, with his wife, he could change the whole perception of the US in an instant. But he’s an empty sad sack.

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