Obama beat Romney, 17-14, in mentions of Israel during debate

Israel/Palestine
on 41 Comments
debate1
 

Israel was mentioned 31 times by the presidential candidates in last night’s foreign policy debate, according to my count of the transcript. Obama mentioned Israel 17 times, Romney mentioned the country 14 times.

And of course Palestine was only mentioned once in passing, by Romney, at the end of the excerpts below. He referred to Palestinians.

Global warming was never mentioned. The two state solution was never mentioned.

I apologize to readers for underestimating the importance of the Israel lobby in our politics. Here’s the count:

Obama:

what I’ve done throughout my presidency and will continue to do, is, number one, make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts; number two, make sure that they are standing by our interests in Israel’s security, because it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region.

And so everything we’re doing, we’re doing in consultation with our partners in the region, including Israel, which obviously has a huge interest in seeing what happens in Syria,

Romney:

Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea. It’s the route for them to arm Hezbollah in Lebanon, which threatens, of course, our ally Israel.

We need to make sure as well that we coordinate this effort with our allies and particularly with — with — with Israel.

Obama:

They have to abide by their treaty with Israel. That is a red line for us, because not only is Israel’s security at stake, but our security is at stake if that unravels.

Romney:

We have to also stand by our allies. I think the tension that existed between Israel and the United States was very unfortunate.

Obama:

And, Governor Romney, our alliances have never been stronger. In Asia, in Europe, in Africa, with Israel where we have unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, including dealing with the Iranian threat.

Well, first of all, Israel is a true friend. It is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I’ve made that clear throughout my presidency. And —

MR. SCHIEFFER: So you’re saying we’ve already made that declaration?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I will stand with Israel if they are attacked. And this is the reason why, working with Israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history. In fact, this week we’ll be carrying out the largest military exercise with Israel in history, this very week.

And the reason we did this is because a nuclear Iran is a threat to our national security and it’s threat to Israel’s national security.

And they have said that they want to see Israel wiped off the map.

Romney:

when I’m president of the United States, we will stand with Israel. And — and if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily. That’s number one.

crippling sanctions are something I’d called for five years ago when I was in Israel speaking at the Herzliya Conference.

Obama:

And I’ve been very clear to them, you know, because of the intelligence coordination that we do with a range of countries, including Israel, we have a sense of when they would get breakout capacity,

Romney

And I think that when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel that — that they noticed that as well.

by way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations. And by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel.

Obama:

And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors, I didn’t attend fundraisers, I went to Yad Vashem, the — the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the — the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.

And then I went down to the border towns of Sderot, which had experienced missiles raining down from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children’s bedrooms, and I was reminded of — of what that would mean if those were my kids, which is why, as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles.

So that’s how I’ve used my travels when I travel to Israel and when I travel to the region

Romney:

Our relationship with Israel, my relationship with the prime minister of Israel is such that we would not get a call saying our bombers are on the way or their fighters are on the way. This is the kind of thing that would have been discussed and thoroughly evaluated well before that kind of action.

I think it ought to be, in part because of the — the — the turmoil with Israel. I mean, the president received a letter from 38 Democrat senators saying the tensions with Israel were a real problem.

Is — are Israel and the Palestinians closer to — to reaching a peace agreement? No, they haven’t had talks in two years.

41 Responses

  1. seafoid
    October 23, 2012, 9:34 am

    Romney’s knowledge of regional geography is a joke.

    In the future once climate change really starts to hurt the US the people are going to look back at 2012 and think WTF was going on that one country far away where 59% of people are in favour of apartheid could be more important than the future of the children of the US.

    • piotr
      October 23, 2012, 1:18 pm

      He spent too much time reading Anabasis. Also, when you read it is also good to check maps, and what countries are there today. Toto, we are not in Mesopotamia anymore. And Iraq is actually another Arab ally of Iran, giving the safe supply route to Syria. And Lebanon is in Arab world too.

    • Inanna
      October 23, 2012, 6:35 pm

      You can always count on the US to be friends with the most horrible countries in any region.

  2. Dan Crowther
    October 23, 2012, 9:49 am

    At one point, I thought the candidates were gonna give us a circumcision check.

    So much for your theory Israel would be “debated” eh, Phil?

    • Citizen
      October 23, 2012, 3:02 pm

      @ Dan Crowther
      Yeah, the debate was like when Al Bundy was accidentally circumcised, and when Seinfeld had their circumcision episode–Israel uber alles elephant in room remains invisible. Time to replay the old movie about Sgt York. His Ma said, “I don’t know why we’s at war.”

  3. American
    October 23, 2012, 9:57 am

    “I went to Yad Vashem, the — the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the — the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable”….O

    yea, we’re bonded with Israel all right……in the same kind of evil mentality as the Nazis and their collaborators.
    I’m gonna be feeling nauseated when I have to go vote for bad over worse.

    • anonymouscomments
      October 23, 2012, 1:48 pm

      the bipartisan support for israeli insanity, as well as SO many other issues, will not be broken, if us principled and informed people KEEP voting for the *perceived* lesser of two evils. the push button topics are designed to split us down the middle, and keep us running to the side which protects our leanings on some issues.

      yeah, some things we much prefer w/ obama, but aren’t they both united on the *worst* of US policy? immoral support for israel, various wars and full/semi-occupations, covert wars, insane military spending, huge deficits causing a debt crisis/inflation in time (regardless of what they say), NDAA, a veritable police state, increased secrecy, and BOTH very possibly ready to lead us against iran in time (and already *united* in supporting various ACTS of war on iran).

      i think people from both parties need to get brave, and we need to *grow* an independent party, which ideally draws people almost equally from the Rs and Ds. this way we can remove the fear of leaving your “lesser of two evils”, as the party is especially designed, ideologically, to draw from both parties *equally*, and really pull them in with the “true conservative”/”liberal anti-war” message.

      basically, we need a centrist anti-war party, which seeks to cut defense, and aims to balance the budget through mixed means. everything else is rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.

      we are under a yoke of a false 2 party system. they both answer to the same masters, and all that changes on the *biggest* issues is rhetoric (slightly), and tactics (sometimes), or nothing at all.

      this has us driving off a cliff in time, and i already feel we drove off at high speed after 9/11/01 and are coasting just as gravity starts to accelerate us downward (and neither R or D puppet can fight the laws of gravity).

      let’s not vote for either, and if you are *NOT* in a swing state, you have zero excuse…. it is CLEAR. just vote for any of the moral 3rd party candidates. it’s a protest vote, as much as it may scare you that romney is bibi’s friend and might start WWIII (so might obama, and are you in a swing state, or not?). i want that vote count to show the “other” column with a few percent, and 4 years from now, i hope it balloons.

      but we need, after this elections, to form a real 3rd party option (can be independent), which pulls both Rs and Ds. i always thought a ron paul, kucinich ticket would be cool, but that is a little extreme. but we need a carefully crafted anti-war ticket, and it should garner support from all the other fringe parties/individuals. and the campaign should start in january.

      where should the ticket split from the bipartisan consensus, thus getting voters and supporters? my guesses-

      1) audit the fed [get the ron paulians]

      2) end the wars [get true conservatives, and republicans who want to come home, and a chunk of the “dems”; the majority of the independents]

      3) push some powers/issues to states (where they constitutionally belong), and state that local politics are less corrupt and more accountable, and that the states should be able to freely lean left or right on various issues, which will help work out the best tactics for various issues, and be suited to the local population’s economy and ideological opinions….
      [this can be made to appeal to both Rs and Ds, as each will think their red or green state will be able to show its true colors. liberals will have to get over their condescending pretentions that they are the protectors of all those people stuck in red states. the federal courts can protect them for the most important things, or else they can pay to move them out of the red states if they effing want…. in reality red states would not get all “crazy”, and they can learn from their mistakes if they get extreme. i do not even care if they teach creationism and say evolution is a lie, kids have the internet, and who really cares, we have much bigger fish to fry]

      4) seek a balanced budget through a variety of measures, that will include some decreases in the federal gov, but also taxes on corporations, the >$250k population, real inheritance taxes on >$1 million estates, and small taxes on some financial transactions.

      [possibly] 5) a clear message on israel may be given, if it does not scare too many away [ie support for a 2 state solution based on various resolutions and the longstanding international consensus. we will not dictate anything to israel, but if they continue any illegal settlement expansion, they do not deserve unconditional gifts of $$billions from the US, it is their choice, and we feel it is in israel’s interest to cease settlements anyways]

      sorry for the rant, but i feel such a 3rd party/independent ticket is NEEDED, and we needed it this election. but maybe we can make it happen next one.

      the key is that the candidates are well vetted, generally centrist, and the *clear* message is that the system is broke, and they explicitly want to draw from all americans, and *equal* numbers of Rs and Ds.

  4. radii
    October 23, 2012, 10:04 am

    of all people, the noxious Ari Fleischer had the funny line of the night over on CNN
    [paraphrasing here] “During the debate, I got a text from someone over in Israel and they said they counted 34 mentions of Israel so far … 33 of them by Obama”

  5. Binyamin in Orangeburg
    October 23, 2012, 10:23 am

    Phil, I am old enough to remember the run-up to the war in Vietnam. There was hardly any discussion in the 1960 presidential campaign of the incipient war in Southeast Asia. There was virtually no daylight in the presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon on the issue of “fighting communism.”

    When it came to Johnson vs. Goldwater, “our true friend in the region” was none other than the corrupt regime ruling South Vietnam, and the issue was who could best support them.

    It was only as the layers of hypocracy were stripped away that American people repudiated the policy.

    With our Israel policy, its about 1965. We have a ways to go, but as Israel consolidates its apartheid rule over the West Bank, and maintains the siege of Gaza, they will have to use more and more violence. The edifice of the “only democracy in the Middle East” will degenerate into a Syria-like suppression of the Palestinians, and may well include the Arab citizens of Israel.

    Fear not, the righteousness of the Palestinian struggle will become more apparent to our fellow citizens.

    • Citizen
      October 23, 2012, 3:07 pm

      Well, maybe, but right now nobody who called into CSPAN WJ this morning over 3 hours apropos the 3rd debate even mentioned the Palestinians.

    • lysias
      October 23, 2012, 3:26 pm

      Nixon and JFK may both have been Cold Warriors in 1960, but JFK in office learned better. Which is why he was killed.

  6. yourstruly
    October 23, 2012, 10:48 am

    now what obama has to do is make good on romney’s claim that the president is going to create daylight between the u.s. & israel. about as much chance this happening as a snowball in hell? not if israel firsters are exposed to the public for the traitors that they are!

    • yourstruly
      October 23, 2012, 11:28 am

      from the oval office, early in his 2nd term, president obama addresses the public re: his change of position on palestine/israel –

      my fellow americans, some will say that the following represents my flip-flopping on the subject of palestine/israel. contrariwise, this switcheroo in my government’s relationship with israel, as distasteful as this may seem to some, is something that I, as president of the u.s. of a., that city that shines atop a hill, cannot shirk from, since human rights must always come before so-called states’ rights. and let me reiterate, there is nothing more incompatible with freedom and democracy as we know it than the racist system of apartheid which, alas, israel has imposed upon the palestinian people. it is for this reason that the first rays of the dawn’s early light are appearing now between us & apartheid israel, with justice for palestine sure to follow.

      • Dan Crowther
        October 23, 2012, 11:47 am

        HAHAHA!!

        That would be something! Unfortunately, No Chance.

      • yourstruly
        October 23, 2012, 11:49 am

        ……as for israel firsters, i have sent the following letter to the attorney general of my government –

        “you are hereby instructed to investigate alleged israel firster complicity in the establishment of official u.s. policies (vis-a-vis p/i) that did not serve the public’s interests, especially any policies that directly or indirectly led to the death of americans. said investigation is to include members of my & previous governments (including me, myself & I)”

  7. amigo
    October 23, 2012, 10:57 am

    So what will be the punishment for the new Mitt for mentioning the P word, if only once.Will all the Lobby money go to Obama.

    What a sick system of democracy the USA has.

    When will American Presidential candidates put America first.

  8. sajepress
    October 23, 2012, 10:59 am

    Here are some impressions from last night’s debate:
    -Whatever little Americans know about the rest of the world was abundantly demonstrated by both candidates. Even more so by Mitt Romney.
    -All foreign policy matters must be decided with Israel in mind. To rephrase, U.S. foreign policy should come from Tel Aviv, not Washington.
    -We must take care of Israelis before we take care of Americans.
    -If we attack, bomb, kill, maim enough people in Muslim countries somehow that will make them love us. Romney would want to do that with more ships, planes and tanks. Obama would make that happen at a lower cost by utilizing drones and so-called smart weapons.
    -So far these policies have garnered so much love and goodwill for the U.S. around the world that staying on course is the only viable option.

    Both candidates validated the classic definition of insanity; Keep repeating failed approaches, and continue to expect vastly different results. This has worked remarkably in Iraq, and Afghanistan, at least in their eyes.

    Expect more devastation for the foreseeable future.

  9. pabelmont
    October 23, 2012, 11:00 am

    On Palestine, BIG MONEY (mostly BIG-ZION) doesn’t want the problem to be recognized, so — hey presto — there is no problem.

    Global Warming is an attack by humankind (especially advanced industrial HK) against the natural world — with very high consequences for HK itself (which is inescapably part of the natural world, whether it likes it or not or knows it or not).

    Seeing GW today: The droughts (and fires) (and fall-offs of agricultural production); the floods (and fall-offs of agricultural production); the acidification of oceans, the death of forests in Colorado and north into Canada due to pine-bark-beetles (whose eggs, located under the bark, used to die over the cold winters but no longer do — due to very slightly warmer winters). And probably a lot of other ways. The ravages of GW are just beginning to be seen and felt on earth — but it is not at all a matter of bad effects coming in the future. It is now.

    And politicians cannot or will not see it, because they are “tuned” to threats by human enemies (Al Qaida for instance) and not to threts from friends (Israel) or threats from self *global wraming). And anyhow, the BIG MONEY doesn’t want to acknowledge GW — so it doesn’t exist! (Ostriches have important lessons for us all!)

  10. RudyM
    October 23, 2012, 11:14 am

    I think Obama’s saying “And [Iran has] said that they want to see Israel wiped off the map” somehow bothers me most of all here. It’s been established over and over again that is not what Aahmadinejad said.

    And this is one of the problems I have with giving Obama a pass on his rhetoric on Iran, even if his actions suggest he is actually resisting pressure to attack Iran.

    By saying things like this, Obama has helped to create a climate in which there will be more support for a strike on Iran. When you have the president, one still beloved in some circles and not simply regarded as a lesser of evil by all his supporters, promoting lies like this, it becomes very difficult to change people’s minds about the “Iranian threat.”

  11. Steve Macklevore
    October 23, 2012, 11:19 am

    Great article Phil, too bad I feel slightly sick after reading it.

    Pity the Palestinian people; they’re up against an entire super-power thanks to that super-power’s corrupt and archaic political system.

  12. hophmi
    October 23, 2012, 11:29 am

    I think if you look closely you’ll see that Romney voiced support for the two-state solution. Which is why I tell keep telling my friends on the right that they will be disappointed if they think voting Romney is going to mean some huge change in policy.

    • chinese box
      October 23, 2012, 11:39 am

      I think if you look closely you’ll see that Romney voiced support for the two-state solution.

      hophmi,

      Romney already stated that there wouldn’t be any 2ss, on that secret tape at his fundraiser (the 47%er tape). I take that as more indicative of his true position than pablum he put out for the general public at this debate.

    • Donald
      October 23, 2012, 12:51 pm

      “they will be disappointed if they think voting Romney is going to mean some huge change in policy.’

      That might be true in a sense you didn’t mean. Obama has surrendered to Netanyahu on the I/P conflict, basically doing what Romney said he’d do on his 47 percent video–ignoring it, kicking thc can down the road, and basically letting the Israelis do what they want.

      Whether Obama will change if he wins re-election I don’t know, but I don’t expect much.

  13. flyod
    October 23, 2012, 12:03 pm

    President Obama “And one last thing. I’m — just to make this point: The clock is ticking.

    We’re not going to allow Iran to perpetually engage in negotiations that lead nowhere. And I’ve been very clear to them, you know, because of the intelligence coordination that we do with a range of countries, including Israel, we have a sense of when they would get breakout capacity, which means that we would not be able to intervene in time to stop their nuclear program, and that clock is ticking.

    MR. SCHIEFFER: All right.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: And we’re going to make sure that if they do not meet the demands of the international community, then we are going to take all options necessary to make sure they don’t have a nuclear weapon.”

    couldn’t schieffer at this point bring into play iran’s legal right to enrichment? also a perfect time to talk about the israeli nukes. schieffer is complicit in the gross disinformation campaign taking place here. sad.

    • Citizen
      October 23, 2012, 3:15 pm

      @ flyod
      You are right. /schieffer also did not follow up when Mitt refused to answer the hypothetical question re what would he do if he got a call from Israel it was attacking/or had attacked Iran? Both candidates said the would support Israel if it were attacked. Schieffer should have followed up, ” What if the attack on Israel was a defensive counter-attack by Iran?” Our 4th Estate is totally corrupt.

  14. tokyobk
    October 23, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Some here remained perpetually baffled because they cannot process the fact that Americans mostly support Israel, and mostly do so independent of being duped by a lobby. The idea of innocent but ignorant or naive Americans being duped by scheming transnational sheisters is too appealing.

    The Israel lobby is of course powerful. Christian Zionism, however, is a powerful force in its own right often with no regard for actual Jews. I have Christian friends far to the right on Israel than most Jews I know, and far more believing in a literal Chosen-ness than 90% of Jews I know (being 100% of non super-frum (religious) Jews).

    And most Americans accept national conquest as a normal part of history since that is how America got here.

    I have taught history to very privileged and less privileged students and in both groups, holocausts, genocides, slave trades, certainly the Nakhba, are really remote, sad as that is.

    But actually Romney will not be better for Israel necessarily. Obama is a good partner for Netanyahu style. Romney will be much stronger and more independent in his decisions and is less cosmopolitain, more America firstish.

    • Ellen
      October 23, 2012, 2:54 pm

      Toykobk,

      There is no basis in fact for your meme, “Some here remained perpetually baffled because they cannot process the fact that Americans mostly support Israel, and mostly do so independent of being duped by a lobby.”

      And please do no go citing those bogus Gallup polls designed to get the answers desired.

      The rest of your post is more lying and sickening Hasbarisms: “most Americans accept national conquests as a normal part of history because that is how most Americans got here.”

      Aside from the fact that we are not in the 17th century anymore and colonial enterprises are not acceptable in the modern world, it is not how most Americans got here. Geesh!

      It does not matter for Israel which puppet gets in: ken-doll Romney or weasling and feckless Obama.

    • Shingo
      October 23, 2012, 6:16 pm

      Some here remained perpetually baffled because they cannot process the fact that Americans mostly support Israel, and mostly do so independent of being duped by a lobby.

      That’s a bit like saying that most Americans though Iraq had WMD in 2002, independent of being duped by the Bush Administration. But then, blaming the neocons for putting those ideas into their head is too appealing – they just all of a sudden started believing in WMD without reason.

      Christian Zionism, however, is a powerful force in its own right often with no regard for actual Jews

      Since when has Zionism been concerned for actual Jews. Jews that reject Zionism are cast aside by Zionists.

      And most Americans accept national conquest as a normal part of history since that is how America got here.

      That’s a bit like saying that most Americans accept slavery because it was part of history. Of course, they don’t accept it today.

      I find it hard to believe that anyone with such a limited intellect would ever be allowed to teach history to anyone.

    • Mooser
      October 23, 2012, 6:37 pm

      Holy Mackeral, tokyobk, you spend your time around some pretty odious people.

    • American
      October 23, 2012, 6:52 pm

      tokyobk says:

      Some here remained perpetually baffled because they cannot process the fact that Americans mostly support Israel”>>>>>>>

      I am perpetually baffled by those who think 90% of Americans actually care about Israel one way or another…….sad to say most of my fellow Americans seldom think beyond our own shores……call them “practically” selfish…not inclined to care much unless it concerns something ‘personal to them. And then they aren’t exactly educated on foreign affairs by our thought police media are they?
      But still, you know Israel is now getting lots and lots of criticism from the more informed public…and how about those Christian churches?

      On c-span this am I did hear one christian zio call in and say …”Obama doesn’t support Israel enough and the bible says….”…and then she went to what sounded like having some kind of orgasm over old testament Israel right there on air. Scary people.

    • Cliff
      October 23, 2012, 7:16 pm

      Hey tb,

      Do most Americans support slavery too? Do most Americans support genocide and smallpox blankets?

      Do most Americans support all of the horrible things pre-America ‘Americans’ did for us to ‘get here’?

      There is a lot of social programming done on our country to shape attitudes. It’s not as if we’re mindless innocent victims with putty for brains – but, those taboos and social pressures play a part in shaping our popular opinions.

      And with a Lobby and tribal-mentality, its Zionist Jews who do the most profound damage. Then there is the secondary effects like those pressures we feel to conform.

      You are a teacher of some kind? If so, you’re a perfect example of the corrupt intellectual. Do you teach only Jewish history? Or are you just generally speaking, a history teacher?

      I must have been lucky because in college I had a history teacher with no ethnic loyalties affecti his pedagogy. He was a fan of a systems analysis perspective of history.

      Tendencies, pressures, variables that explain history (which is people clashing with other people/change over time).

      There are no certainties or Providence. Just likelihoods.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 23, 2012, 7:33 pm

      bk, prefacing your theories with “the fact” doesn’t change their stature. it only makes you sound like a carbon copy hasbrat. “process the fact” has the same impact. do you think repeating that ‘most americans support israel’ over and over will make it so? it won’t.

    • lyn117
      October 24, 2012, 1:22 am

      I don’t know how you come up with Romney being more America firstish than Obama. He has Swiss bank accounts and tax havens in the Caymans set up by him specifically for Bain Capital of which he’s one of the main beneficiaries. Romney is Romney firstish, far more than Obama is Obama firstish.

  15. Ellen
    October 23, 2012, 2:38 pm

    As the show Meisters Obama and Romney entertained Americans with a pretend debate of foreign policy (cough cough) the Emir of Qatar was en route to the Gaza strip with 400 million in infrastructure development funds.

    This has huge significance all around, and for the US relations.

    Qatar was the only Arab country that had diplomatic relations with Israel, including an Israeli commercial development office in Doha. That is until Israel attacked the civilian population of Gaza, murdering over 400 children while at it.

    Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas. A mammoth gas field has been discovered off Gaza. Israel has had recent talks with Palistinians about development of those fields (while trying to bypass Hamas).

    link to trust.org

    But now with Qatar working directly with Hamas, sending massive infrastructure aid to Gaza, and Israel is besides itself.

    link to bbc.co.uk

    This is going to get really interesting as it plays out. Prediction: Hamas and Fatah will get their act together and share power in some kind of two party structure. Abbas will go.

    The US will not endanger its vital relationship with Qatar. And not only to preserve its airbase in Qatar.

    And Israel? hard to say and would be a big boring post. But developments like this do point to the unsustainability of it’s current path.

    • American
      October 23, 2012, 3:39 pm

      That Trust.org link is interesting,…. although as always ….why in the hell should Palestine have to get Israel’s o.k. to drill it’s own Gaza gas fields. And anything pig Blair is involved in means there will many hands trying to skim a share out of Palestine gas resources.

      Israel, Palestinians discuss developing gas off Gaza coast
      Sun, 23 Sep 2012 17:32 GMT

      Source: reuters // Reuters

      * Sponsored by envoy Blair, projects would circumvent Hamas

      * Gas may salve Palestinian Authority fiscal woes – eventually

      By Dan Williams

      JERUSALEM, Sept 23 (Reuters) – The U.S.-backed Palestinian administration is negotiating with Israel for permission to develop natural gas off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli and foreign diplomats said on Sunday.

      Mediterranean gas could be a windfall for the Palestinian Authority (PA), which operates under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and has alarmed the World Bank by sinking into fiscal crises amid shortfalls in international aid.

      As envisaged in the exploratory gas talks initiated by peace envoy Tony Blair, the PA would alone levy tariffs on any eventual revenues from private pumping in Gazan waters, though breakaway Hamas Islamists govern the coastal enclave.

      Israel, which keeps Gaza under a close maritime blockade, said it had held “initial negotiations” with the PA, and at its behest, about the Palestinian gas.

      “Development of the Gaza Marine gas field will generate revenues that could contribute dramatically to Palestinian fiscal sustainability,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a report, published on Sunday, to world powers coordinating economic aid for the Palestinians.”

      • Ellen
        October 23, 2012, 5:48 pm

        Exactly, the blockade of Gaza by Israel would prevent any development of those fields. Unless it is done on Israel’s terms with Israel.

        With the ongoing blockade and recent destruction and massacre in Gaza by Israel, plus the ongoing incursions and attacks, under the pretense of retaliation for the stupid hand held rocket attacks is there any chance the Palestinians will cozy up with Tony Blair, BP and Israelis to drill for gas?

        If corruption among the Palestinian leadership prevails, yes.

        But now with mega gas producer Qatar in the picture and showering Hamas with an infrastructure project to the tune of 400 million, there is a wrench in the works. The game is changing.

  16. lysias
    October 23, 2012, 3:22 pm

    They have to abide by their treaty with Israel. That is a red line for us, because not only is Israel’s security at stake, but our security is at stake if that unravels.

    How is our security at stake? Is that a reference to the Samson Option?

  17. Charltonr
    October 23, 2012, 6:00 pm

    And Iranians are not Arabs.

  18. DICKERSON3870
    October 23, 2012, 9:30 pm

    RE: “Israel was mentioned 31 times by the presidential candidates in last night’s foreign policy debate, according to my count of the transcript. Obama mentioned Israel 17 times, Romney mentioned the country 14 times.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: OMG, y’all! Phil’s countin’ again!
    Countin’ this,
    and countin’ that.
    Countin’ the number of times Obama mentioned Israel (17),
    and countin’ the number of times Romney mentioned Israel (14).
    And countin’ the number of times global warming(0) or the two state solution(0) was mentioned.
    Will it ever end?
    It’s a shame he missed his “true calling”, y’all.
    He should have been a “bean counter”!

    ♦ THE COUNTIN’ CHRONICLES (A COUNTIN’ COMPENDIUM) ♦
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

  19. dbroncos
    October 24, 2012, 12:40 am

    Obama and Romney referred repeatedly to the neccessity for the US to control/influence the political landscape in the rapidly changing ME, and to our capacity to exercise said control/influence for the benefit of Israelis and Americans. Never mind the interests of the hundreds of millions of people who live there. The arrogance of both Romney and Obama illustrates why American influence in the ME is fading fast.

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