Netanyahu on election eve: Approves 1,200 new settlement homes while promising Israel won’t wait for US to attack Iran

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 27 Comments
cn image size netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Platon)

Looks like Benjamin Netanyahu has been reading Nate Silver and is getting ready for life in with a second Obama administration. Netanyahu is making headlines from a bellicose interview he gave with Israeli television reiterating that Israel will attack Iran with or without American support.

From the New York Times:

“When David Ben-Gurion declared the foundation of the state of Israel, was it done with American approval?” Mr. Netanyahu asked in an interview broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 on Monday night. “When Levi Eshkol was forced to act in order to loosen the siege before 1967, was it done with the Americans’ support?

“If someone sits here as the prime minister of Israel and he can’t take action on matters that are cardinal to the existence of this country, its future and its security, and he is totally dependent on receiving approval from others, then he is not worthy of leading,” Mr. Netanyahu added. “I can make these decisions.”

The same news program that featured the interview with Netanyahu also reported that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israeli military to “prepare for an imminent attack on the Iranian nuclear program” in 2010, but were rebuffed by the Israeli military and intelligence establishment who saw the two as over stepping their bounds and attempting to “steal a war.”

Meanwhile, perhaps taking advantage of the world’s eyes being focused on Dixville Notch, the Israeli government announced it is moving forward with construction on 1,200 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem and Ariel.

From the Associated Press:

The government announced late Monday that it was accepting bids from contractors to build the homes in two Jewish enclaves in east Jerusalem, Ramot and Pisgat Zeev. It also reopened bidding for 72 homes in Ariel, deep inside the West Bank.

Anti-settlement watchdog Peace Now accused the government of issuing the tenders when the world’s attention is on the American presidential election. The projects were all originally announced months ago.

Daniel Seidemann posted a map of the building tenders on Twitter:


(h/t Ira Glunts)

27 Responses

  1. amigo
    November 6, 2012, 7:54 am

    I hope that tomorrow morning Obama,s first call will be to Niet-and yahu to lay out a few new rules of engagement in the coming 2nd term.

    You can only get kicked in the posterior so many times before you kick back.

    Show some cahones Barak.

    • Krauss
      November 6, 2012, 11:39 am

      Call me cynical but when even nutjobs like Dershowitz, who publicly calls Obama the new “Neville Chamberlain”, gets invited into the WH again and again and is consulted by Obama on the I/P then I don’t think Obama will change much, if anything.

      Neither do I think that Ed Koch, Haim Saban and other neo-facists would support him unless they got pretty explicit guarantees from Obama not to actually try to do anything. Just like Romney gave explicit guarantees to Sheldon Adelson before Adelson took the plunge.

      We’ll not know for sure before many years. Probably long after Obama is out of office and Apartheid is crumbling in Israel, decades ahead.

      Either way, Obama will only try to prevent a war with Iran. Bibi knows he can approve as many settlements as he wants. And by going parabolic with 1200 new settlements on election eve he shows very clearly who’s boss and it ain’t Obama.

  2. Citizen
    November 6, 2012, 8:35 am

    It’s all Zionist manipulation; the key is the increase in illegal Israeli settlements, more Jews on more land. Bibi knows the Jewish Israeli well and they like the settlements, and everybody can see neither Obama nor Mitt will do anything effective to end ever more land grabs, more “facts on the ground” that will determine Israel’s future, and as to that, Jewish Israelis long ago concluded more land is always better, both for basic strategic military reasons and to fulfill their biblical chosen dream of Greater Israel, as well as to provide negotiation pawns as if the Jews involved had a right to that land in the first place that’s been recognized by anyone except Israel and influential diaspora Jews.

  3. seafoid
    November 6, 2012, 8:39 am

    “When David Ben-Gurion declared the foundation of the state of Israel, was it done with American approval?”

    It was, indeed.

    The decision to cover Israel’s whimpering ass in 1973 when supplies were running out was also American.

    Over 50 UN vetos supporting Israel have been American

  4. pabelmont
    November 6, 2012, 8:43 am

    Figure shows the label “Terrestrial Jerusalem”. As distinguished, I suppose, from “Celestial”?

    N’yahu is really pushing here. Doing what (as NYT says) Israel has always done, do for itself what it wants to do. First (against majority opposing local opinion but no particular military resistance) it created itself “vi et armis”. A criminal act in the usual circumstances of armed acts against the people and property of a place.

    Thereafter, finding itself unloved and unwanted (as any criminal hoarding its violently acquired gains would naturally be), it fought war after war, occasionally in defense, mostly in offensive (aggressive and therefore illegal) wars. And now, more talk of doing it again. No end in sight. Indeed, Israel has never (I believe) had a politician who has spread before his countrymen a vision of long-lasting peace. Instead, its politicians have had only a vision of never ending warfare.

    I wonder if that is where Bush got his idea for a war-without-end against “terror” (by which he meant endless USA attacks on people making armed resistance to the USA’s ever more fierce and ever more unwelcome world-wide imperium).

    And I wonder if the ease with which the USA accepted aggressive war-without-end explains why the USA accepts the OIL and COAL and GAS war-without-end on the natural environment which produces and enhances Global Warming. All sense of caution, morality, and fear of blow-back is absent.

  5. LeaNder
    November 6, 2012, 9:47 am

    Can anyone suggest a live feed of US election reports, I would prefer it to watching it on our own two major public channels or the private one that will cover it.

    Ideally with a link?

    I would be very, very pleased.

    • German Lefty
      November 6, 2012, 10:50 am

      @ LeaNder:

      RT America is streamed live on the Internet.

      Also, Democracy Now! will cover the election night live.

    • German Lefty
      November 6, 2012, 11:22 am

      @ LeaNder:
      It just occured to me. You can also watch the election coverage on CNN (Europe).

      • Klaus Bloemker
        November 6, 2012, 12:55 pm

        Last night I talked to a somewhat tipsy Lufthansa stewardess. Suddenly she shifted the conversation to the US election and told me she votes for Obama.
        I said: “but you don’t have American citizenship”. She replied: “that doesn’t matter, I vote with my heart.”

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2012, 3:24 pm

        She replied: “that doesn’t matter, I vote with my heart.”

        She sounds like a lovely woman. And I bet her heart is in the right place.
        Thanks for the anecdote.

    • LeaNder
      November 6, 2012, 2:00 pm

      thanks, Lefty, I had a phone date but it seems “my girl” is busy. Maybe we do not need to listen to either US or German talking heads?

      • German Lefty
        November 6, 2012, 2:39 pm

        @ LeaNder:
        Your girl? Does that mean you are gay/bi?
        I am not going to follow any live election coverage. I opt for sleeping in my bed. That’s what people are supposed to do at night. During the last election night, I tried to stay awake until the winner was announced but I failed. At that time, I was still excited about Obama.
        Ultimately, it won’t make much of a difference to us if Romney or Obama wins. Both love Israel and drone strikes very, very much. I wish Jill Stein had an actual chance. Then this US terrorism would finally end.

  6. Philip Munger
    November 6, 2012, 9:48 am

    The next time Netanyahu comes into the USA, haul him in for questioning.

  7. seafoid
    November 6, 2012, 10:37 am

    YESHA is like one of Galbraith’s Bezzles. It doesn’t matter how many Jews they shoehorn into YESHA at this stage. What matters is what happens when it all falls apart.

    To the economist embezzlement is the most interesting of crimes. Alone among the various forms of larceny it has a time parameter. Weeks, months or years may elapse between the commission of the crime and its discovery. (This is a period, incidentally, when the embezzler has his gain and the man who has been embezzled, oddly enough, feels no loss. There is a net increase in psychic wealth.) At any given time there exists an inventory of undiscovered embezzlement in – or more precisely not in – the country’s business and banks. This inventory – it should perhaps be called the bezzle – amounts at any moment to many millions of dollars. It also varies in size with the business cycle. In good times people are relaxed, trusting, and money is plentiful. But even though money is plentiful, there are always many people who need more. Under these circumstances the rate of embezzlement grows, the rate of discovery falls off, and the bezzle increases rapidly. In depression all this is reversed. Money is watched with a narrow, suspicious eye. The man who handles it is assumed to be dishonest until he proves himself otherwise. Audits are penetrating and meticulous. Commercial morality is enormously improved. The bezzle shrinks.”

  8. Kate
    November 6, 2012, 10:53 am

    Would this help, LeaNder?
    Live Text
    Reporters: Tom Geoghegan and Taylor Brown

  9. douglasreed
    November 6, 2012, 11:06 am

    For how much longer is the US and the international community going to appease this small, Zionist imperialist who is a politician of a small country but who sees himself as a world-class statesman?

    However, this is not an attack on Binyam Netanyahu but a withering attack on those spineless congressmen & women who prostrate themselves before the greenbacks of the Israel lobby in order to swim in its curdled favor and to retain their questionable power, authority and salaries.

    Whilst Netanyahu makes a complete mockery of any claims to democracy, justice, morality, human and civil rights and civilized decency, these minions in the House avert their faces and close their eyes to the flagrant injustice meted out daily, with the essential help of American supplied arms and money.

    At least Neville Chamberlain was sincere in his belief and his gesture of appeasement.
    But whilst Netanyahu runs rings around the United States government that funds him to the tune of $6 billion every 12 months in direct aid and loan guarantees, the House still looks the other way. That is being complicit in an overt, criminal land grab that will soon end in nuclear war. And still the House remains silent as it renews the aid, year after year and the monstrous blockade of 1.6 million in Gaza continues and the illegal settlements increase, and the world looks on impotently at these obscene activities that are supported and funded by America.

    I have not witnessed such acts of cowardice in all the time that I served in the military in many parts of the world. The status quo in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem is uniquely abhorrent to democratic societies in this the 21st century.

    • seafoid
      November 6, 2012, 12:21 pm

      The Israelis need everything to stay as it is for the next 50 years. Nobody gets old, nobody dies. No young people take over from their parents’ generation.

      As long as this happens it is very hard to see anything changing.

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2012, 1:04 pm

        “As long as this happens it is very hard to see anything changing.”

        From what I understand, medical care for the affluent in Israel and America is exceptional, and lifespans are being lengthened unconscionably, as they said about King whoever-it-was. George III, wasn’t it?

      • seafoid
        November 6, 2012, 3:19 pm

        If the dersh was cher he would look 30. But he’s old style and his teeth must be falling out And he is nowhere near the league of HL Mencken but even Mencken died and is forgotten. I am guessing that judaism only got into this eternal view with zionism. I see the dersh as more of a tibetan figure. It all goes in circles , even for israel. Dersh is like a panchen lama of hatred and will be reincarnated as a code pink baby.

  10. atime forpeace
    November 6, 2012, 1:40 pm

    Is there a Phrenologist in the house.

  11. Denis
    November 6, 2012, 4:57 pm

    @Adam: Netanyahu on election eve:

    Damn right! How dare Bibi take any action on election eve. What sacrilege. What disrespect for America and its great institutions.

    The whole world is supposed to suspend everything it’s doing and sit in front of their TV’s on election eve, staring dumbly at the screen like 300 million Americans, as the results of the great American electoral process are presented by MSM pundits.

    Shame on Bibi; has he no decency?? [Now, there’s a trick: using “Bibi” and “decency” in the same sentence. I had to employ a semi-colon to pull that off.]

  12. sandhillexit
    November 6, 2012, 5:53 pm

    Morgan Bach is trying to go university to university and church to synagogue to mosque to explain settlements and demolitions in Area ‘C’ based on her year in the West Bank. Help her stay on the road, or offer her a house-party to explain “facts on the ground” to your friends and neighbors and a sofa to save travel money. It turns out the little guest house Morgan started in Al Aqaba means that Al Aqaba is on the couch surfing website, but NOT on Google Maps!

  13. DICKERSON3870
    November 6, 2012, 7:35 pm

    RE: “When Levi Eshkol was ‘forced to act’ in order to loosen the siege before 1967 . . .” ~ Netanyahu

    MY COMMENT: Forced to act? By whom?

    SEE: “Israel and the Neocons Mounting Pre-Emptive Strike on History”, by Ray McGovern, Common Dreams, 5/18/12

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Regarding the events of 1967, America’s pro-Israel pundit class knows only too well that Egyptians, Turks, Syrians, Jordanians and other audiences in the Middle East will not buy Israel’s faux-history of the Six-Day War — many having been on the receiving end of it.
    Thus, it is abundantly clear that the primary targets of the disinformation are Americans like those who subscribe to the neoconservative Washington Post, whose editors in recent decades have been careful to keep their readers malnourished on the thin gruel of watered-down (or unreliable) facts about the Middle East (think, Iraq’s WMDs).
    So, it would be simply too much to acknowledge, as former Israeli Prime Minister Begin did 30 years ago, in an uncommon burst of hubris-tinged honesty, that Israel’s attack on its neighbors in 1967 was in no way a defensive war — or even a “pre-emptive” war (there being no really dangerous Egyptian or other threat to pre-empt).
    While Prime Minister in 1982, Begin declared: “In June 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches (did) not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

    Such real history would lift the veil now shrouding Israel’s version that plays up the “threat” posed by Egypt and disguises the grand enterprise to expand Israel’s borders and — in double-contravention of international law — to colonize the occupied territories. . .


    • DICKERSON3870
      November 6, 2012, 7:47 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Six days in Israel, 45 years ago”, By Miko Peled, L.A. Times, 6/06/12

      [EXCERPTS] In early June 1967, as I cowered with my mother and sisters in the “safest” room of our house near Jerusalem — the downstairs bathroom — we feared the worst. . .
      . . . Many believe now, as they believed then, that Israel was forced to initiate a preemptive strike in 1967 because it faced an existential threat from Arab armies that were ready — and intending — to destroy it. As it happens, my father, Gen. Matti Peled, who was the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of logistics at the time, was one of the few who knew that was not so. In an article published six years later in the Israeli newspaper Maariv, he wrote of Egypt’s president, who commanded the biggest of the Arab armies: “I was surprised that Nasser decided to place his troops so close to our border because this allowed us to strike and destroy them at any time we wished to do so, and there was not a single knowledgeable person who did not see that. From a military standpoint, it was not the IDF that was in danger when the Egyptian army amassed troops on the Israeli border, but the Egyptian army.” In interviews over the years, other generals who served at that time confirmed this, including Ariel Sharon and Ezer Weitzman.
      In 1967, as today, the two power centers in Israel were the IDF high command and the Cabinet. On June 2, 1967, the two groups met at IDF headquarters. The military hosts greeted the generally cautious and dovish prime minister, Levi Eshkol, with such a level of belligerence that the meeting was later commonly called “the Generals’ Coup.”
      The transcripts of that meeting, which I found in the Israeli army archives, reveal that the generals made it clear to Eshkol that the Egyptians would need 18 months to two years before they would be ready for a full-scale war, and therefore this was the time for a preemptive strike. My father told Eshkol: “Nasser is advancing an ill-prepared army because he is counting on the Cabinet being hesitant. Your hesitation is working in his advantage.” The prime minister parried this criticism, saying, “The Cabinet must also think of the wives and mothers who will become bereaved.”
      Throughout the meeting, there was no mention of a threat but rather of an “opportunity” that was there, to be seized.
      Within short order, the Cabinet succumbed to the pressure of the army, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Six-Day War began three days later . . .

      ENTIRE OP-ED ––six-day-war-20120606,0,3821348.story

    • gamal
      November 9, 2012, 12:03 am

      “it would be simply too much to acknowledge, as former Israeli Prime Minister Begin did 30 years ago, in an uncommon burst of hubris-tinged honesty,”

      Have read links as much as i can but dont see the real explanation for Begins remarks, I may have missed or i may just be wrong but i think I recall that it was part of the debate around the disastrous ’82 war and Begin attacked by Labour for starting a war of choice in ’82 reminded Labour that Israel had fought many wars of choice previously, and the war was only disaster in the fact that the lamentably slow learners to found at the back of the class in Europe and the USA couldnt process the images of Israeli murderous brutality with the figments that they had been harbouring in their heads about the ‘Light unto the Nations’ sunk amongst barbarous hordes up until then.
      I thought all things considered that he acquitted himself tolerably well in the Knesset, Labour looked like idiots, recycling daydreams that were too much for an unsentimental terrorist like Begin, his appeal “we must be honest with ourselves” has a timeless quality, not restricted to Israeli’s.

  14. Kathleen
    November 6, 2012, 7:53 pm

    So Israel burying the two state solution even further. How far down can they dig?

  15. ToivoS
    November 6, 2012, 7:55 pm

    One quick glance at the map of the tender offer shows how Israel is using the settlement expansion as a means to seal off East Jerusalem from the rest of the WB. That has been Israeli policy for at least two decades. Surround, isolate and conquer. Those are classical military tactics. The Israelis know there is a war going on and they are using appropriate military tactics to consolidate their gains. While they are doing that the rest of the “liberal” Western world are arguing irrelevancies (we support the two state solution, but the Palestinians, but, but, but). And the US insists it supports two states but must veto this UN proposal or that one for what ever reason. All the time Israel creeps farther and farther into the WB.

    As long as the world’s strongest nuclear power insists on supporting that annexation there is not a whole lot that the rest of us can do to stop it. US diplomats are quite skilled in denying the obvious. Until that day when it no longer works. Then what happens?

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