What’s the point of this trip?

Netanyahu mimics Obama or vice versa
Netanyahu mimics Obama or vice versa, White House photo by Pete D’Souza

What is the point of this trip? I have no idea, except for Obama to say the name Bibi ten times, as he did yesterday during their press briefing, on this their tenth meeting.

“As Bibi mentioned… As Bibi has just formed a new government… I have shared with Bibi… What Bibi alluded to… etc.”

As usual, the Onion is the only outlet saying the emperor has no clothes, that Obama flew 5000 miles to fake a relationship: “’this is a completely pointless visit and a waste of everyone’s time’… Obama reportedly said out of the corner of his mouth while he and Netanyahu smiled broadly and waved to the gathered crowd.”

The mainstream press is going along with the charade. Brian Williams repeatedly used the phrase Israel’s “tough neighborhood” on NBC Nightly News last night.

Memo to my fellow white people: This phrase has racist connotations in American political history. Do you ever reflect that maybe it’s a tough neighborhood for Palestinians, who have been violently expelled from their property? 

Erin Burnett at CNN used the trip as an opportunity to renew her association with Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett, whom she called Naftali, and whose racist policies she ignored, even when he was complaining that his children have to live a few miles away from Arabs.

Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC enthused about the fact that Obama repeatedly referred to Netanyahu as “Bibi,” and Netanyahu even called Obama Barack. Why is it so important that these men get along? Because of Iran and Syria, she says. She had on Jeffrey Goldberg and Ari Shavit of Haaretz and Martin Fletcher. It was left to Fletcher, the son of a Holocaust survivor who has thoroughly identified with Israelis, to say that Palestinians are not so keen on Obama.

Mitchell also evidently identifies with Israel. Some of her tweets; she calls him Bibi too:

Bibi: I’m absolutely convinced President is committed to Israel’s right to defend itself from a nuclear Iran

Obama calls Netanyahu “Bibi” both men send signals in word and demeanor of restart in chilly relationship

Fletcher said that Obama had snubbed Israel by going to Egypt to give his Cairo speech of 2009. Are Israelis really that self-centered? Yes. And the Israel lobby is also self-centered. Mitchell passed on this criticism in a tweet, quoting Fletcher:

“He did speak directly to the Arabs and ignore the Israelis” in 2009 Cairo speech.”

This is a falsehood. Obama spoke a lot about Israel in that Cairo speech; by my count he mentioned Israel or Israelis 23 times!

And yesterday Obama mentioned Palestine not once in his opening speech.

Of course Obama’s real mistake in Cairo was not citing the ancient Jewish connection to the land, as Annie Robbins has pointed out. On National Public Radio this morning, Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street, which I thought was a secular organization, cited the Dead Sea Scrolls, which Obama will be seeing today, to say that Jews have been reading Hebrew in their homeland for over 2000 years. Karl Vick picks up the Cairo-error theme at Time Magazine.

If there was any question about why President Obama came to Israel on the first overseas trip of his second term — and the question has come up — it vanished into the brilliant blue sky above Ben Gurion Airport when he reached the end of the red carpet and the microphone waiting there. The leader of the free world had come to issue a correction. Four years ago, delivering an address to the Muslim people in Cairo, Obama had irked Israeli Jews by citing the Holocaust as the justification for the 1948 founding of modern Israel. Israelis prefer to reach a bit further back — they find their deed to the land in the Bible — and the misapprehension was aggravated by what Obama did when he left Cairo: fly past Israel to pay a call at Buchenwald, the World War II concentration camp….

“More than 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people lived here, tended the land here, prayed to God here,” Obama began, getting right to it on the tarmac. “And after centuries of exile and persecution, unparalleled in the history of man, the founding of the Jewish state of Israel was a rebirth, a redemption unlike any in history. Today, the sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah are fulfilling the dream of the ages — to be ‘masters of their own fate’ in ‘their own sovereign state.’”

Oh yes, another crazy reason for the most powerful person in the world to take three days out of his schedule to chum up to a horrifying, politically-weakened prime minister whom he privately detests, and even to flirt with the prime minister’s wife, describing her as a rose between thorns in the threesome’s photo opp.

Whatever the stated cause, this trip is about the lobby, about obeisance to a powerful political faction in the U.S. Obama’s biggest mistake is that he didn’t go to Israel before as president. He is only there because he privately promised to go there last fall as part of his “outreach” to the lobby. Just my assumption. It’s not as if the media are reporting it.

Meanwhile, I must read the Onion:

[Obama said to Netanyahu] “You won’t do what I want when it comes to stopping Israeli settlements, and I can’t do what you want in terms of dismissing Palestine. Now, pretend to laugh at what I just said so it appears like we get along.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged

{ 95 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Egbert says:

    Historically, Kings have always had their most loyal servants come to them and pledge their allegiance. So what’s new?

    • JERUSALEM—While touring Israel’s “Iron Dome” all-weather missile defense system Wednesday, President Barack Obama sarcastically asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where he got all the money to build such technologically advanced equipment. “Boy, you’ve gotta have some pretty deep pockets to afford something like this—how much did you say this ran you guys?” asked Obama, who later added that the cutting-edge system designed to intercept both short and long-range missiles must have “cost Israel an arm and a leg.” “I mean, wow. I didn’t know you guys had this much in the old war chest, but apparently you do. Really, really impressive stuff. No wonder you’re so independent.” Sources say Obama’s sarcastic comments came after facetiously asking how much money Israel’s warplanes set them back, at which point Obama cut Netanyahu off and said, “I know exactly how much.”

      thanks egbert, the best coverage of the trip from this source (other than MW, of course!).

      • Egbert says:

        Yup – The Onion is now probably the most reliable and accurate news source in the US!

      • Keith says:

        ANNIE, EGBERT- Either your sense of humor is an enigma wrapped in a riddle or you are somehow unaware that the Onion is parody. Or is the status of the Onion so well known that it is ‘uncool’ to even mention it?

        • keith, my soh is such that i wanted others to have the same experience i did when i opened egbert’s excellent link, so i kept up the secret and added much needed suspense by mentioning ‘the best coverage ‘. ;)

        • sardelapasti says:

          Keith – The Onion a parody? I don’t think so. At least this article was way, way closer to fact than any other paper, bar none.

  2. Egbert says:

    A revealing picture showing who has who by the balls

    • Kathleen says:

      Yep as soon as I looked at Obama’s face I knew what he was saying to bb “you want a piece of me? Done deal..you have me by the balls”

  3. seafoid says:

    “Today, the sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah are fulfilling the dream of the ages — to be ‘masters of their own fate’ in ‘their own sovereign state.’””

    “Master of their own fate” is laughable when they need AIPAC and $3bn to get through the year .
    Did the dream of the ages also involve torture and PTSD?

  4. Fakery? Why? Even if it were, it works, so why not?
    Israel seems to view Obama as a trophy they have finally got, and want to show for the world.

    • seafoid says:

      They have to keep on winning US presidents and the way the demographics are going they have a lot of work to do on the Latinos. The older reactionary white guys who are their staple are falling by the wayside as the Republicans figured out in November.

  5. Taxi says:

    Obama: We know that Iran has all the ingredients for a nuke – they’re just holding off on assemblage and citing that it is against their religion to possess a nuke. Looks like they’re within their international rights and we can’t circumvent this.
    Netanyahu: But they’re also saying that no one has the right to stop them assembling their shia bomb if they have to. That’s unacceptable – what are you going to do about it?
    Obama: Look, you and I know that both of us can’t afford to go to war with Iran. Russia and China told us they will interfere too if we do and it’s clear that you can’t go it alone.
    Netanyahu: Yes I know we’re f*cked on Iran – you don’t have to keep reminding me! That’s why the most important thing is NOT to tell the israeli public that Iran already kinda has the bomb. It would be a disaster if half of israelis left the holy land because of Iran’s nuke – I mean we’ve managed to stuff the Palestinians and ignore international law for decades just so we can finally build all these extra settlements on Palestinian land!
    Obama: I know – we’re paying for them.
    Netanyahu: So you’ll keep your mouth shut then and your purse wide open, you hear?!
    Obama: No problemo. Alright with you if I go home now?

  6. Accentitude says:

    Karl Vick: “Four years ago, delivering an address to the Muslim people in Cairo.” Really, we’re just going to call them the “Muslim people”? There are Muslim and Christian Egyptians in Cairo and the in the rest of Egypt. There are also secular Egyptians too….but gosh, why bring any sort of reality into it?

  7. flyod says:

    o is not pretending. israel is entwined in so many aspects of our everyday lives. this trip is about maintaining the status quo in the u.s.. here is but 1 small example
    link to comptroller.nyc.gov

    • Clif Brown says:

      flyod – thanks for bringing attention to this. Illinois has been on the Israel bond-wagon for several years now since State Senator Jeff Schoenberg cleared the way with legislation allowing state purchase of foreign debt – though interestingly in most of the years this has been legal, Israel bonds alone are purchased.

      Ohio has recently joined the Israel bond-wagon, I believe last year.

      Each year I write to each of the members of the Illinois Board of Investments and remind them of the hypocrisy of funding a state that denies indigenous people liberty and justice in their own land. The official response from the attorney of the Illinois State Treasurer is that Israel bonds are a great investment. How the debt of one country outshines the investment possibilities of dozens of others that “foreign investment” would must remain mysterious to investors, to those of us who read Mondoweiss, there is no mystery.

      I encourage any readers in Illinois, Ohio or NYC to write, letting the decision makers know that some can see through the curtain to the Wizard of Oz behind these “investments”.

      • Clif Brown says:

        I forgot to mention – Minnesota is on the Israel bond-wagon too, even in the face of the courageous attempt by the Minnesota Break the Bonds group of activists to get it off.

        • Ellen says:

          Clif, that may explain Senator Klobuchar’s pathetic support and signature of the disingenuous AIPAC letter she signed on the eve of The Obama Love trip.

          She is an attorney and know better to sign any ‘ole thing, but she did.

          This confirmed what a true light weight she is — as demostrated in a hearing with Jon Corzine who stole many millions from her own constituents and she used the opportunity to instead promote some town in Minnesota mentioned in a Ken Burns documentary. Talk about posturing of the completely clueless!

          If you are moved to call and tell her what a tool she is:

          link to klobuchar.senate.gov

      • MRW says:

        The official response from the attorney of the Illinois State Treasurer is that Israel bonds are a great investment.

        The Illinois State Treasurer is removing the state taxpayers’ money from the state economy by purchasing foreign bonds. I don’t think Illinois has a need to hold Israel Shekels, does it, to make international settlement payments? Why would it want to hold Israeli bonds?

        The Illinois State Treasurer is
        (1) impoverishing the state by reducing access to tax revenue (spending on these bonds removes the money and interest from the IL state economy),
        (2) causing the price of goods in the state to be higher because…by reducing the amount of tax dollars available to the state to pay for goods and services here, prices rise.

        The Illinois State Treasurer would have been far wiser to invest in Illinois businesses. That’s been the great genius of the Singaporean government.

        [Just so we are clear, the 50 states, local govts, businesses and households must earn income before they can spend; they are income-constrained. The federal government is not income-constrained because it issues the currency.]

        Besides, we all know Israel is going to default on the bonds by asking the US federal government to pay them off.

      • flyod says:

        indeed clif, ohio too, big time. the point man being josh mandel….

        link to clevelandjewishnews.com

        a little on mandel from wiki

        Israel
        Mandel was a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee at The Ohio State University.[54] In 2008, he attended the 2008 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C, where he gave an address, and was quoted as saying “It was inspiring, the young people so motivated and gung ho about strengthening the Israel-United States relationship… Israel is our best friend and ally in the Middle East and it’s important that we maintain a strong and lasting relationship with them.”[54]
        At this conference, Mandel stated Iran was a threat, and discussed his divestment initiatives as a legislator in Ohio.[55]
        In February 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli government issued a statement thanking Mandel for his support of the operation.[56]
        [edit]

        Family and personal life

        Mandel and his wife Ilana reside in Beachwood, Ohio. They were married August 28, 2008, in Jerusalem.[57]

        the scheme is quite transparent. establishing facts on the ground and not just in palestine

  8. eljay says:

    The hatefulness, greed, self-rightousness, immorality, lawlessness and supremacism of Zionists will be their undoing. Unfortunately, good people (Jews and non-Jews) will get hurt as Zio-supremacism slowly, but surely, comes undone.

  9. Ramzi Jaber says:

    Well, after cornering Obama as an antisemite moslem, he continues to OVERCOMPENSATE just as AIPAC ordered. We have now gone from “unshakeable” to “eternal”. This is the kind of thing that an HONEST and FAIR intermediary must indeed say. Very constructive towards peace!!!!!!

    Obama must keep the following 12 facts in mind:
    1- Palestinians are the GENEROUS party who are willing to share our land with Israel
    2- Herzl dreamed up zionism to solve a non-Palestinian problem: Jews not being welcome in Europe
    3- Zionism IMPOSED a state over land that did not belong to jews
    4- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, the region is NOT better off because of israel
    5- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, israel is NOT a secular democracy
    6- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, israel is NOT the only democracy in the ME
    7- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, israel is NOT the vanguard of a westernized ME
    8- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, israel is NOT the solution to the jewish problem
    9- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, israel has CREATED Palestinian homelessness
    10- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, emerging popular ME governments are not israel’s allies
    11- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, israel is no longer the oppressed but rather the ONLY superpower (plus nukes) in the ME
    12- Contrary to what herzl dreamed up, israel never moved beyond 1800s mentality

    So, President Obama, don’t you think you and USA are betting on the wrong ME horse as seen through the long-term lens of history???

    • MK_Ultra says:

      Contrary to what people say, Herzl didn’t dream any of that crap up. Rather, he was suffering from a high fever (delusional) which eventually killed him at the time he concocted all that. When one understands that fact, the rest becomes self-evident. The Zionists are actually following the hallucinations produced by a demented man during an altered state of mind. The same can almost be said of Hitler only he didn’t have a high fever.

  10. amigo says:

    link to haaretz.com

    Sam Bahour,

    “”At best he’ll prop up the PA for a couple more years by showing that they are state-like,” Bahour said. “This is, I think, part of the U.S. agenda for meeting with the PA. I don’t have much faith that it can result in anything other than giving the PA some credibility that a U.S. president has approached them and allowed them to sustain themselves longer, when all the facts on the ground and all the economic indicators show that the PA is basically in a collapse mode.” .

    He make some interesting points.

  11. biorabbi says:

    Maybe Obama went there to meet Miss Israel. This isn’t on the Onion(yet), but isn’t so difficult to believe when you see her on video. Phil, men have probably traveled more than this for a date. Just a thought.

  12. biorabbi says:

    Onion is getting better and better. I almost spit out my cereal when I read Iron Dome story.

  13. Chu says:

    This trip is symbolic to show that Zionists have a great sense of Power of the US government. As Obama flew to Cairo four years ago, he now has the chance after
    reelection to take the fight to Israel’s governmental body that encourages apartheid policies. None of the fight that people thought would occur post-election is happening, as he offers mere platitudes for befriending the Israeli leader.

    • seafoid says:

      I agree. The point is payback for election funds, to show AIPAC that the money was well spent, to repeat pointless mantras about peace and liberty, to keep the status quo going at least until 2016, to hedge the Dem vote in the next mid terms, to show Israel in a positive light, to do nothing peace wise and to sell the Arab world some smoke.

      But it’s like rearranging deckchairs on cruise ships in iceberg water.

      Israel does not have the luxury of time .

  14. Dan Crowther says:

    Barry: And after centuries of exile and persecution, unparalleled in the history of man.”

    Any brown man or woman on the planet: Unparalleled? Shee-it.

    • Chu says:

      Seriously, you said it… but it’s what the Israelis want to hear. And the president knows how to get the audience to like and listen to him. Any AIPAC soiree has taught a politician how to sweet talk to the Zio brigade. They need unending love and compliments to feel special.

    • seafoid says:

      Or Indian dalits. Or gay people. Women. The bs is so intense outta zion.

  15. Kathleen says:

    And now over and over we are going to hear this hooey about Jews being connected to that land for 2000 years oh I mean 3000 or is it 10,ooo years. What a bunch of hooey. Ancient connection. Hey folks start packing when the native Americans start reclaiming the land we are on think they would give us Florida for all 350 million of us to squeeze into?

    And Andrea Mitchell is one of the biggest Israeli firsters MSNBC has going. She has continually bashed Iran. Automatic bashing of Iran.

    Thank goodness for the internet, Amy Goodman and for a minute Chris Hayes. His mouth is now taped shut with more money and position. Still taking bets we will not hear anything factual about the I/P situation again with his new spot. That door has been shut

    • MK_Ultra says:

      The Earth is only 6,000 years old (according to the ISraelite groupies in the US), therefore, it can’t possibly be 10,000 years old. Although given the time, I’m sure that they’ll be producing [photoshopped] pix of rabbis riding dinosaurs in Jerusalem to prove their legitimate ties to the land. :)

  16. BillM says:

    You ask the right question, what is the point of the trip? Obama has repeated pledged not to actually DO anything, or even propose anything, and as usual he is as good as his word.

    Obama is focused domestically, so the purpose of this trip is clearly to make nice with Netanyahu, defuse political attacks from that quarter, and weaken Republican attacks on him on the foreign policy front so he can concentrate on his domestic agenda. It’s understandable (for someone who doesn’t give a damn about Palestinians), but I really don’t get the politics. I don’t see how this works.

    Everyone is making nice right now (not the Palestinians, but they don’t matter in America). However, we all know how this will play out. Israel will step up with more and more demands. Obama will continually meet them and meet them (he’s already promised to re-up foreign military assistance), until they go simply beyond the pale and he has to refuse something. Then, all the attacks on Obama will resume full force. Obama will look weak and foolish, having wasted his time and billions of American money and having accomplished nothing.

    Politically, I bet that it will be obvious within two weeks that Obama lost by this little stunt.

    • BillM says:

      Also, in the sense that there is any larger foreign affairs or geopolitical point, this is the “Status Quo Reinforcement Tour.” As the Arab Spring continues to undermine the established order in the Middle East, who does Obama visit and promise American support to? A retrograde Israeli government which has publicly pledged to maintain the status quo of no Palestinian state and constant settlement building, and Jordan, Israel’s best friend, where the king is weak and mentally challenged that even Jeffrey Goldberg is a threat. Obama is attempting to shore up the status quo in a region the US has less and less control over.

      • Keith says:

        BILLM- “As the Arab Spring continues to undermine the established order in the Middle East….”

        What have you been smoking? American hegemony in the Middle East remains intact, Tunisia and Egypt contained, the ‘threat’ converted to an opportunity as a pretext for the destruction of Libya, AFRICOM running amok, and Syria under attack with Russia and China more or less powerless to significantly influence events. The neocon gameplan appears to still be in effect with Iran in constant peril. And it ain’t Israel calling the shots. The geostrategic implications of all of this far too serious to indulge Netanyahu. Now, if Israel really was setting US Middle East policy, why doesn’t Israel control any significant oil fields? Why is Israel still utterly dependent upon Uncle Sam to achieve its objectives?

        “Israel is dependent on the United States as no other country is on a friendly power…. Israel sees in intransigence the sole hope for preserving its dignity in a one-sided relationship. It feels instinctively that one admission of weakness, one concession granted without a struggle, will lead to an endless catalogue of demands…. And yet Israel’s obstinacy, maddening as it can be, serves the purpose of both our countries best. A subservient client would soon face an accumulation of ever-growing pressures. It would tempt Israel’s neighbors to escalate their demands. It would saddle us with the opprobrium for every deadlock.” (Henry Kissinger, quoted in “Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East” by Gregory Harms)

        • BillM says:

          Keith,

          No one (except you, obvious) said Israel is setting US Middle East policy, so I won’t bother to debate that point. Regarding the Arab Spring and US hegemony, I think you are badly wrong. The US is still dominant, but it’s control is balanced on the edge of a knife. Mubarak is gone, and Egypt is drifting out of US orbit (as everyone knew it must). Morsi may fall or may simply decide that US/IMF bribes aren’t keeping him safe enough and may shift policy. Saudi is propping the Gulf monarchies up only by force of arms. Turkey is more independent. The US has less and less influence in Iraq. Syria, the official (and utterly ineffectual) enemy, is collapsing, and the US will only be able to keep the civil war there in balance for so long. Eventually one side will win, and the winner will not be pro-American. Heck, even Turkey takes a more independent line than in years past.

          No, the American project in the Middle East is at a very fragile point at a a time when the US is trying to “pivot to Asia.” Obama’s only small geopolitical goal of this tour was to prop up the status quo for a little while longer.

  17. hophmi says:

    This was the point: [edit: transcript] link to politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com

    • Ellen says:

      “the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.”

  18. RJL says:

    Any brown people in Israel? Aside from the obvious black Ethiopian Jews, half of Israelis descend from arab Jews who fled (never mind those who were murdered)from the 1930s onward, espec. in the 1940s, their countries of birth. Call them lily white European occupiers? Don’t think so. Google the Farhud, the short documentary, “The Forgotten Refugees” and Michelle Huberman, who speaks about these forgotten refugees. Obama needs to tell the Palestinians: if you want a state, forget the right of return. If this site wishes to ignore the reality of a sovereign Jewish state, call it zionist or call it survivalist, with defensible borders, then it should ignore the Palestinian wish for statehood and independence. And the one state myth flies not only in the face of brutal reality, and the carnage inflicted on Jewish citizens of arab states for centuries, but also against all international law and UNSC resolutions since 48. Forget the GA-if it had the power, and it only functions as a make a wish foundation-it would have dissolved Israel years ago. Israel is there to stay, as much as any other country. OK, get your fangs into this.

    • seafoid says:

      Israel lives or dies on trade. Best be kind to the Palestinians while there is still time.

    • Taxi says:

      “half of Israelis descend from arab Jews “.
      A favorite lie of the white ashkenazim ruling elite. As if Arab jews are making Aliya from Arab countries in their thousands per year!

      “Israel is there to stay”.
      Another favorite zio delusion. So out of touch with reality. I could give you a long list of why israel has no future but I fear your head might explode.

    • Talkback says:

      RJL says: “And the one state myth flies not only in the face of brutal reality, and the carnage inflicted on Jewish citizens of arab states for centuries, but also against all international law and UNSC resolutions since 48. ”

      Ok, how about the following two state solution:
      The Jews keep 22% of historic Palestine and give up Jerusalem. They won’t live in an independant state but in a national home they can call a state, if they like. 60% of their territory will be controlled, borders and airspace too because of the behaviour of Jews in the past. If Palestinians want to settle illegaly in this territory then there will be land swaps. If Jews don’t like this solution they are going to live under military control until they become Finns.

      Sounds great? I have to admit that it’s not my idea. I stole it from those who can’t be compared to Nazis, because they don’t gas their victims.

    • sardelapasti says:

      Rjl – “arab Jews who fled (never mind those who were murdered)from the 1930s onward, espec. in the 1940s, their countries of birth. ”

      You’re so full of it. Wrong again. What f&^%%$ “fleeing” so-called “Arab”countries *before* the Zionist aggression and massacres starting in 11/47? Exactly. How many before the Lavon affair, please, i.e. provoked by Zionist terrorists? And avoid general bullshit, please.

    • MK_Ultra says:

      Obama needs to tell the Palestinians: if you want a state, forget the right of return.

      LOL @ the hypocrisy.

      Oh, Yaweh, one thing I ask of thee: please let irony/hypocrisy hurt. A lot! Amen!

  19. Ellen says:

    The point? Obama is seeking love and rewarding Netanyahu for being so mean to him during the elections when the Israeli PM meddled in the US election process.

    The staged touchy feely exchanges between the two men is unbearable, but it will help Netty maintain any semblance of political weight in Israel. Netty needs Obama now as Obama IS the US President and Israeli’s depend on the US. Netty must show his country that he has not completely blown it.

    And then there is all the backroom dealing. With every presidential visit to a country, there are always deals made among industry and governments. Lots of military contracts to secure. That is going on this very moment.

    Another point of this show is to tell Palestinians to give it up. That only Israel has the support of the US. That message has been made clear.

    When they really have nothing, it is so ironic that the POTUS is now telling the Palestinians that they must attend the sham negotiations as the settlements expand. (Manifest Destiny is now secured as the supported US policy in Israel. )

    Why should they? No matter what they do now, everything is being taken with the active support of the USA. Water. Land. Homes. A life, a culture, a people.

    Let’s say 50 or 100 years down the road, the Zionist dream of a Zionist-only ghetto in “the land of Israel” is reality. Then what? Think of what kind of society that will be?

    Who wins?

  20. Taxi says:

    Obama, of his own volition, CHOSE to visit Egypt in his first term.
    Obama, in his second term, was PRESSURED to visit israel.

    I hope zionists parse on this fact and choke.

  21. dimadok says:

    @Mr. Weiss:
    “”He did speak directly to the Arabs and ignore the Israelis” in 2009 Cairo speech.”
    This is a falsehood. Obama spoke a lot about Israel in that Cairo speech; by my count he mentioned Israel or Israelis 23 times!”

    Well as often as it happens on THIS blog it is a truthful as it gets!
    Look at the mirror.

    • seafoid says:

      Dim

      Israel can buy support in DC but it can’t buy business when it goes to war.

      Money will bring Israel to its senses eventually.

      link to haaretz.com

      “El Al lost $26.5 million in the last quarter of 2012 due to Gaza war
      Declines in passenger and cargo traffic and yields during Operation Pillar of Defense contributed to airline’s grim balance sheet”

      • dimadok says:

        @Seafoid. Did you even read my comment?

        • seafoid says:

          “Well as often as it happens on THIS blog it is a truthful as it gets!”

          I said to myself “Oh Christ . Not more of he same hasbara Bollocks” so I decided to honour you with the post about El Al. Some facts. Do you know anything about facts ?

  22. quercus says:

    OBAMA IS A COMPLETE PUTZ!

  23. kalithea says:

    Obama is awarded the medal of distinguished DISHONOR by Zionists. Oy vey! Now he is even more indebted to the criminal operation of occupation, oppression, ethnic cleansing and murder on behalf of Zionism. Could there be more hypocritical symbolism than this???

    This is an award not with strings attached but chains and representing bondage for millions of Palestinians. Obama even indulged these Zionists by referring to a growing demographic reality as a THREAT, as if the growing majority is a THREAT; aye! MLK is turning around. It’s INTOLERABLE that a man who stands on the shoulders of the civil rights resistance and the suffering of slaves would indulge racists and masters at apartheid in this manner!

  24. hophmi says:

    I posted the speech in the comments, but it was not approved.

    It’s amazing none of you seem to be commenting on it.

  25. Ramzi Jaber says:

    Well, here it is, with the velvet noose snugly tight around his neck using the presidential zionist medal of oppression and crime and colonilization, Obama has completed his total subjection and conversion to an extreme zionist rightist. I can no longer tell the difference between Obama and Kahana, even speaking almost more in hebrew than English.

    Disturbing. Disgusting. Disappointing. Demoralizing. Disgracing.

    Wither peace, here comes 1SS. Abbas, dissolve the PA and go to the ICC and ICJ… NOW!

    • Ramzi Jaber says:

      Oh yeah, the only thing that Obama forgot to do is to get bar-mitzva’d……… (assuming he is already circumcised as any good Jewish boy is)

  26. RE: Of course Obama’s real mistake in Cairo was not citing the ancient Jewish connection to the land, as Annie Robbins has pointed out. ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Two-state solution R.I.P.! ! ! The Likudnik Revisionist Zionists and the settlers desperately want everyone to acknowledge “the Jews’ 4,000-year connection” to their homeland* [Judea and Samaria (a/k/a the occupied West Bank)] so that it will legitimate Israel’s continued colonization and ultimate annexation of the West Bank.
    Consequently, the Likudniks/settlers were very upset by Obama’s having referred to the Holocaust, etc. as justifying Israel’s existence in his June 2009 Cairo speech.
    While the Holocaust, etc. might well justify the existence of Israel, the Eretz Israel crowd fears that the international community might not see the Holocaust as necessarily justifying Israel’s absorption of “Judea and Samaria” [a/k/a the "disputed" West Bank (f/k/a the occupied West Bank)] . To remedy this, the Likudniks want the “Biblical narrative” used to justify Israel’s existence because they see it as being more specific to “Judea and Samaria”.
    By referring to Israel as the ‘historic homeland’ of ‘the Jewish people’ in his 2010 speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama has – for the settlers in the West Bank and their supporters – acknowledged that “Judea and Samaria” is/are a legitimate part of Israel. That was probably the final nail in the coffin of the two-state solution. Of course, the two-state solution had long been in an advanced state of Rigor mortis, so a proper Christian burial was probably in order.
    Obama is a Christian, right? I can never keep that straight.

  27. RE: “What is the point of this trip? I have no idea, except for Obama to say the name Bibi ten times, as he did yesterday during their press briefing, on this their tenth meeting.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: So, once again the U.S. acts as the “Great Enabler” of Israel’s occupation.

    JACLYN FRIEDMAN (from “It’s Time for Some Israel Real Talk”):

    [EXCERPT] . . . I love Israel. As an American Jew, the dream of Israel has held me in thrall since I was a small child. The day I wept at the Wailing Wall was one of the most transcendent and emotional of my life. But loving someone doesn’t mean helping them do whatever destructive thing they want. Call that enabling or co-dependence, but it’s not love. I love Israel like I’d love a drunk friend who wants their car keys. . .

    SOURCE – link to prospect.org

    • P.S. ALSO SEE: “How Israel Is Like an Alcoholic Mother”, by Megan McArdle, The Atlantic, 3/22/12

      [EXCERPTS] . . . What is it Alex Portnoy overhears his mother say to her friends, apropos of the lengths she has to go to to get him to eat? “I have to stand over him with a knife!”
      To be a bit more serious for a moment, though, Chesterton famously quipped: “My country, right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying: My mother, drunk or sober.” Well, yes, but she is your mother, drunk or sober, right? Similarly, it is your country, whether your country is right or wrong. The question is what that entails. If your mother is a drunk, and begs for another drink, are you obliged to give it to her? Presumably not.
      But are you obliged to devote yourself to getting her to dry out? That, it seems to me is the real heart of the question. I think many of Beinart’s critics — like Jeffrey Goldberg — would say: that’s exactly how they think about Israel and the settlements. They are against them. . . They think they were and are a grave and historic mistake…
      . . . So they are doing what they can to convince their mother to check herself in and dry out. But she’s their mother. If it takes her a long time to convince, they’ll keep trying. If she slips a drink on the sly, they’ll try to hide the liquor better, but they’ll forgive her. [In other words, they will act as "enablers". ~ J.L.D.] And, whatever she does, they certainly aren’t going to call the cops on her, and give the neighbors (who never liked her, even have tried to get her evicted) the satisfaction of seeing her humiliated by her own son in public. After all, she’s their mother. [Let's call this "constructive engagement"! ~ J.L.D.]
      Well, talk to a few children of alcoholics, and you’ll discover that “my mother, drunk or sober” is not always a tenable proposition. Sometimes, for some people, the sense of obligation to one’s mother is trumped by a sense of obligation to oneself, and to protect oneself from her disease. And that, in a nutshell, is what Beinart is saying. She may be my mother, yes, but if she keeps carrying on, I don’t care what the neighbors say, and I don’t care if she never speaks to me again afterward: I’m going to call the cops on her. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to theatlantic.com

      • piotr says:

        “If she slips a drink on the sly, they’ll try to hide the liquor better, but they’ll forgive her.”

        Except this is not what Liberal Zionists do. First, they fight to death to keep the cash allowance intact. Second, beer is reclassified as “soft drink” and chocolates with liquor as “sweets”. And when she occasionally rages and attacks neighbors, we pass resolutions of support.

    • P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Enabling – When ‘Helping’ Doesn’t Really Help”, By Buddy T, About.com Guide, 3/05/11

      [EXCERPT] Many times when family and friends try to “help” alcoholics, they are actually making it easier for them to continue in the progression of the disease.
      This baffling phenomenon is called enabling, which takes many forms, all of which have the same effect –
      allowing the alcoholic to avoid the consequences of his actions. This in turn allows the alcoholic to continue merrily along his (or her) drinking ways, secure in the knowledge that no matter how much he screws up, somebody will always be there to rescue him from his mistakes. . .

      SOURCE – link to alcoholism.about.com

      AND SEE: “Are You an Addiction Enabler?”, By Sunrise Recovery

      [EXCERPT] The problem of alcoholism or drug addiction is often shared by two people. There is a substance abuser and there is an enabler.
      The enabler may be a spouse, life-partner, relative or friend. The substance abuser and the enabler are partners in a co-dependent relationship that encourages or overlooks the abuser’s unhealthy behavior. The enabler makes excuses for and protects the substance abuser, often out of a misplaced sense of loyalty or love. As a result, the substance abuser’s problems with addiction are prolonged. . .

      SOURCE – link to drugrehabranch.crchealth.com

  28. Rusty Pipes says:

    Whatever other points may be to Obama’s trip, this trip is bigtime payback to the congressional leadership for backing him on his cabinet picks. What could make the AIPAC-related donors happier than seeing Obama accompanied by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Elliot Engel? As head of the DNC, Wasserman Schultz is responsible for Democratic Party fundraising efforts. Elliot Engel has spearheaded many AIPAC-initiated pieces of legislation, including the Syria Accountability Act.

    As Mearsheimer and Walt wrote in 2007:

    In the spring of 2002, when Iraq was becoming the main issue, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was also promoting legislation to formally place Syria on the “axis of evil” and Congressman Engel introduced the Syria Accountability Act in Congress. It threatened sanctions against Syria if it did not withdraw from Lebanon, give up its WMD, and stop supporting terrorism. The proposed act also called for Syria and Lebanon to take concrete steps to make peace with Israel. This legislation was strongly endorsed by a number of groups in the lobby — especially AIPAC — and “framed,” according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, “by some of Israel’s best friends in congress.” JTA also reported that its “most avid proponent in the administration” was Elliott Abrams.

    …as soon as Baghdad fell in April 2003, the lobby renewed its campaign against Syria. Encouraged by what then looked like a decisive victory in Iraq, some of Israel’s backers were no longer interested in simply getting Syria to change its behavior. Instead, they now wanted to topple the regime itself. …

    Back on Capitol Hill, Engel reintroduced the Syria Accountability Act on April 12. Three days later, Richard Perle called for Congress to pass it. But the Bush administration still had little enthusiasm for the legislation and was able to stall it again. In mid-August, Engel and a group of politicians and Jewish leaders from New York traveled to Israel and met for ninety minutes with Ariel Sharon in his Jerusalem office. The Israeli leader complained to his visitors that the United States was not putting enough pressure on Syria, although he specifically thanked Engel for sponsoring the Syria Accountability Act and made it clear that he strongly favored continued efforts to push the legislation on Capitol Hill. The following month, Engel, who announced he was “fed up with the … administration’s maneuvering on Syria” began pushing the bill again. With AIPAC’s full support, Engel began rounding up votes on Capitol Hill. Bush could no longer hold Congress back in the face of this full-court press from the lobby, and the anti-Syrian act passed by overwhelming margins (398-4 in the House; 89-4 in the Senate). Bush signed it into law on December 12, 2003. (pp.274-6)

  29. Keith says:

    PHIL- “What is the point of this trip? I have no idea….”
    “Whatever the stated cause, this trip is about the lobby, about obeisance to a powerful political faction in the U.S. ….”

    Your first comment is honest, however, when all else fails, come back to “the Lobby made him do it!” Rubbish! You are intellectually imprisoned by your liberal bias. Obama is exactly what he appears to be, the CEO of empire. He could care less about the Palestinians, or the ongoing carnage in Iraq, or the Blacks in Detroit. His concern in Israel is how to destroy all opposition to US Middle East imperial hegemony and Israeli dominance. To work out an agreement on how best to destroy Syria and subdue Iran, and in so doing, effectively contain both Russia and China. It is all part of the big picture which you tend to ignore in favor of wishful thinking and Lobby scapegoating.

    • piotr says:

      Except that for USA, the “empire” is a pointless hobby of the Establishment. “Securing oil supplies” is bullshit, China has her supplies as secure as USA simply by having cash to buy it.

      Why should we “contain Russia and China”? It is not like a modern Cheng Ho (Zheng He) will lead an armada of the treasure ships and conquer our Pacific coast (or Senkaku islands).

      • Keith says:

        PIOTR- “Securing oil supplies” is bullshit, China has her supplies as secure as USA simply by having cash to buy it.”

        How much “cash” did Gaddafi have in Western banks at the start of the NATO intervention? How much was he able to spend? How much “cash” was in the Iranian accounts after the fall of the Shah? How much has been available to Iran to spend? Partner, you have as much money as the Wall Street controlled financial system says you have, not a penny more. Accounts can be frozen, assets seized. China is dependent upon US markets, the global financial system, and US secured oil to survive. Continuing to assert that oil is just another commodity is ludicrous in our hydrocarbon era.

        “A less self-indulgent look at the reality of the post-World War II era suggests a different story. Whether in Latin America, southern Africa, the Middle East, or Southeast Asia, the central goal of U.S. foreign policy has been consistent: to make sure that an independent course of development did not succeed anywhere, out of a fear that it might spread to the rest of the developing world and threaten U.S. economic domination. In the Middle East, the specific task has been to make sure that the flow of oil and oil profits continues in a fashion conducive to U.S. interests.” (Robert Jensen)
        link to dissidentvoice.org

        “China is in fact correct to be worried about its oil supply. Some say the invasion of Iraq was meant to enhance U.S control over the Middle East’s black gold in light of a rapidly expanding Chinese appetite. Elsewhere, reports the Washington Post, “The United States is building a network of military bases and diplomatic missions whose main goal is to protect American access to oil fields in volatile places such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and tiny Sao Tome and, as important, to deny that access to China.” (Dissident voice, 4/24/10)
        link to dissidentvoice.org

        “And the pipeline, coupled with green energy projects in China, South Korea, and Japan, might begin to wean East Asia from its dependency on Middle Eastern oil and thus on the U.S. military to secure access and protect shipping routes.” (John Feffer)
        link to counterpunch.org

        Henry A. Kissinger, Rockefeller’s well-compensated, multi-purpose minion and long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) said: “Control the oil and you can control entire Continents. Control food and you control people.”[2] Michael Collon, Belgian author said: “If you want to rule the world, you need to control oil. All the oil. Anywhere.”[3]
        link to rense.com

        • piotr says:

          US government can size Piotr’s bank accounts at any time indeed, they do not even need to prove anything but have “suspicions”. China’s accounts — not so much. This is like financial thermonuclear war — mutually assured destruction.

          Empire costs so much — chiefly from insanely bloated military budget, as compared to budgets of putative adversaries who spend less then our allies — that it is really a vehicle to preserve self-importance of our elite. To give some perspective, how many thousands were killed to secure our supplies of bananas? What was it for?

  30. Les says:

    Obama is counting on Netanyahu’s support for his plan to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid with the promise to Netanyahu, for his assistance, that US taxpayer dollars will continue to support Israel’s socialized medicine.

  31. Let’s say the odds against an Israel Palestine peace treaty before January 20, 2017 were 100 to 1 against and let’s say the odds against just improved to 99 to 1 against as a result of improved communication between Obama and the Israeli electorate.

    Granted that the peace plan that might result would not be acceptable to most of the commenters here at Mondoweiss, so therefore the improved odds are certainly not something you would cheer. But should Obama allow the absence of a visit to Israel to create a block against improved atmospherics down the line to the peace plan that he has in mind?

    It was a mistake for Obama to consider a visit to Buchenwald sufficient to balance the Cairo speech, he should have visited Israel at that time. It is good that he visited Israel now.

    • Cliff says:

      So you’re saying what Wondering Jew?

      That the odds have improved slightly?

      Nothing will happen because Congress is Zionist.

      Nothing will happen among Israelis because they have quiet. That’s enough. Quiet while at the same time they are gaining more land with the ongoing colonialism.

      Tell me what the incentive is from the perspective of a colonist like you?

      And tell me what precedent is there to demonstrate that Obama inspired the Israeli electorate?

      Look at the Israeli elections you fool.

    • K Renner says:

      He shouldn’t have had to “balance” out Cairo with anything except maybe a trip to a Shia majority country like Iran.

      Actually, seriously talking to those in Tehran and ignoring the idiotic bleating and justifications from tel aviv would be the better thing for any American leader actually interested in regional stability and not only in paying lip service to those who feel they have him by the balls.

      So, ideally, zero visits to Israel and give them the cold shoulder all the way. Call it an unrealistic pipe dream considering the dismal state of affairs in American politics today.

      • IL1948 says:

        That is a fantastic idea and demonstrative of somebody with a well reasoned, rational view of the way the world works.

        Better yet, perhaps the president should visit both Iran and North Korea on the same trip.

        Clearly, iran is an anchor of stability in the middle east.

        • K Renner says:

          As if you have a “well reasoned and rational idea of how the world works.”

          Better to let AIPAC and the sociopaths in Israel have their way with America in starting another war?

          “Iran clearly is an anchor of stability in the Middle East.”

          I don’t see Iran stealing other people’s land or threatening to attack other nations in the ME. Unlike your precious Israel, where maybe 60% of the population actively hates Palestinians and all other regional non-jews, and the remaining 40% apathetic- there is a lot of opposition towards the leaders in Iran, centering around the Green Movement.

          Yes, talking to Iranians is far more preferable then bombing them because a pack of selfish headcases told you to.

    • Donald says:

      “But should Obama allow the absence of a visit to Israel to create a block against improved atmospherics down the line to the peace plan that he has in mind?”

      That only makes sense if he’s going to make a serious effort and if he is willing to get tough with the Israelis even if Congress won’t back him. So far there’s no indication that he has the inclination to do this and if that’s the case, what the trip demonstrated once again is that the US is biased against the Palestinians and cannot serve as an honest broker. (Which has been clear for decades now.)

      Notice that I’m not arguing about the 1SS solution here. Even if one accepts the 2SS along the 67 borders (with any adjustment in boundaries compensating the Palestinians in some major way for what they lose), the rhetoric employed by Obama and most “liberal Zionist” politicians is heavily biased in favor the Israel. Israel’s “security needs” are constantly mentioned, never Palestinian. I saw part of the speech–Obama says that most Israeli parents, if they had met the Palestinian children he’d met, would want the best for them. Even that is hasbara–the message is that Israelis are basically good caring people and Palestinian children are good, but guess who isn’t good? Those who don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. My point being that the conflict is framed so that there is one clear set of bad guys–Palestinians who use violence and/or reject Israel’s right to exist (the Nakba is never mentioned), and everyone else is good, if somewhat misguided and not always recognizing what is best for their own interests.

      That’s not a way of being an honest broker–it’s a way of stacking the deck, and if anything goes wrong, and something always will, it immediately leaves the door open for people to put most of the blame on the Palestinians. Arguably the biggest barrier to a 2SS all these years has been the people who claim to support a 2SS, because their first priority is to make sure that Israel never gets more than 50 percent of the blame, and if there’s a war, the percentage drops to near zero.

      • aiman says:

        “Even if one accepts the 2SS along the 67 borders (with any adjustment in boundaries compensating the Palestinians in some major way for what they lose), the rhetoric employed by Obama and most “liberal Zionist” politicians is heavily biased in favor the Israel.”

        Right on Donald. I also think liberal Zionists happen to be the number one fans of Obama even if other liberals have given up or are giving up on him. Liberal Zionist critique of Israel is tepid even at its most severe, it is made to ingratiate liberal Zionists to the wider and corrupt liberal establishment while at the same time maintaining Zionist credentials. Those who are truly liberal and universalist have no place in the liberal establishment and neither should they.

      • mondonut says:

        Donald says: Even that is hasbara–the message is that Israelis are basically good caring people and Palestinian children are good, but guess who isn’t good? Those who don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist.
        ==================================================
        Pretty much correct. As the official position of the US is to seek a 2SS, those who seek to eliminate Israel (Hamas and friends) are obviously outside of that policy. So yes, they are not good, they are part of the problem.

  32. Donald says:

    I watched a bit of Rachel Maddow last night–from her perspective, the real purpose of the visit was to provide lots of photo ops showing all the love between Obama and various Israelis and how they gave him standing ovations, so that she could then use this to make fun of Fox News, which is still pushing the meme that Obama is an enemy to Israel.

    That’s the brilliant, truth-telling MSNBC analyst that so many liberals seem to love.

    • MK_Ultra says:

      Surely, she didn’t find a thing wrong with that. Quite the contrary.

    • aiman says:

      “That’s the brilliant, truth-telling MSNBC analyst that so many liberals seem to love.”

      These liberals are ensconced in privilege and incapable of any questioning. They are Puritan minded and liberated only in their latte sipping or sexual awakening, whatever they want to call it. It was not the conservatives that run Pilger and Hedges under their wheels by censuring them though conservatives are abominable too, it were liberals like Maddow, who edit papers and the liberal establishment in general.

      Here’s another such liberal: link to antonyloewenstein.com. The case reveals how the liberal establishment functions.

  33. NickJOCW says:

    United States will oppose unilateral efforts to bypass negotiations through the United Nations… is something of an Orwellian inversion since involving the whole community of nations would strike most people as a multilateral effort. Constructing settlements, on the other hand, is decidedly unilateral.

  34. NickJOCW says:

    Obama has no clear-cut solution to the Iranian problem, or to the disintegration of Syria. He’s also finding it hard to bring his influence to bear on the political crisis in Egypt and to assuage Israeli concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood is planning to annul the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. So he’s playing for time by reassuring Israel, by whispering sweet nothings of unconditional love and support into the ears of the Israeli people, and by publicly referring to the prime minister by his nickname.
    And there’s a good chance it will work. With every passing day, Israel becomes less capable of taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities by itself, while its dependence on the United States for military superiority just keeps growing.

    This is Auf Ben.. I don’t know if it appeared in Haaretz but here it is in France 24. link to france24.com

  35. What’s the point of this trip?

    Reminds me of this — fading empire reassures dependent pariah regime:

    link to spiegel.de

    link to en.wikipedia.org