Netanyahu speech scandal blows up, and ‘soiled’ Dermer looks like the fall guy

US Politics
on 77 Comments

In the last 24 hours the controversy over the planned speech by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to both houses of Congress on March 3 to rebut the president’s policy on Iran has blown up to a new level. Muted outrage over the invitation has turned into open rage. The opposition to the speech by major Israel supporters across the political spectrum, liberal J Street, center-right Jeffrey Goldberg, and hard-right Abraham Foxman, all of whom say the speech-planners have put the US-Israel relationship at risk by making it a political controversy in the U.S., has been conveyed to the Democratic establishment.

The New York Times and Chris Matthews both landed on the story last night, a full week after it broke, to let us know what a disaster the speech would be if it’s ever delivered. So these media are acting to protect the special relationship by upping the pressure to cancel the speech.

With even AIPAC washing its hands of the speech, it sure looks as if Israel supporters want an exit from this fiasco. Jettisoning Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer or cancelling the speech would seem like a small price to pay in the news cycle next to a spectacle in which leading Democrats are forced to line up against Netanyahu in Washington, even as they file in and out of the AIPAC policy conference and praise Israel to the skies.

Here are the developments. First, the New York Times’ Julie Hirschfeld Davis has a report of unleashed White House fury over the invitation. The story contains the signal that Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador, will be the fall guy for the scandal:

The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.

The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named, and the White House declined to comment….

So: The White House gets to appear as if it is protecting the special relationship between the countries from that shmendrick Dermer. The message to Dermer is delivered in scatological terms by former ambassador Dan Kurtzer, a liberal Zionist:

“He has soiled his pad; who’s he going to work with?” Mr. Kurtzer said.

Dermer’s felony was politicizing the relationship between the countries. Hey, no one wants this politicized? The neoconservatives do; they want a battle over Iran policy. So did Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, when he said Obama was taking his talking points from Tehran. The left surely wants the matter politicized; that way our politicians can come out against Israeli settlements and massacres. But the centrist elements of the lobby have cohered over this issue, saying the speech is a big problem, and Obama must keep Israel supporters happy in order to get the prize here: freedom to negotiate with Iran.

Even AIPAC is trying to steer clear of the wreckage. Ron Kampeas reports:

Alan Elsner of J Street has savaged Dermer in Haaretz, “Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. is planting a rotten seed.” Elsner wrote that Dermer has placed Israel’s most essential protection at risk:

At a time of growing diplomatic isolation, Israel only has one firm ally that it can depend on – the United States. Does it really want to further narrow that base of support by depending entirely on Republicans, as Dermer seems to want to do?

The Times echoes the point, saying the last thing Obama wants is for Americans to start arguing about the special relationship:

White House officials were at first wary that Mr. Dermer would politicize relations between Washington and Jerusalem, but over time cultivated a working relationship with him after concluding that there were advantages in his closeness to Mr. Netanyahu.

The last week has borne out their initial concerns.

The Israelis are reportedly enraged about it too. The Times also published the story that Michael Oren has called on Netanyahu to cancel the speech. Short term political gain at the risk of the entire US-Israel relationship.

Is there a conspiracy of folks trying to protect the US-Israel relationship from any robust debate? Yes. Chris Matthews led off his broadcast last night with the story. This after ignoring it the day it broke last week. Matthews slyly wondered who was at the bottom of the invitation, but then went on to praise Tzipi Livni, Isaac Herzog, Michael Oren, and Abe Foxman as wonderful people. Talk about covering your bases. David Corn seemed to echo J Street when he explained that an Israeli prime minister had two jobs, keeping his country safe and protecting the relationship with the United States. But gosh, that’s Israel’s problem. Where is the American interest? Maybe it would be a good thing if the issue were open to the American voters. They’d get to discuss how they feel about Israeli expansion and massacres and nuclear weapons, and their feelings would be echoed by politicians. We would have a deal with Iran in no time; and there’d be huge pressure on Israel to end the occupation.

Corn said the battle is for “Jewish voters.” This is not true; Jewish voters are in safe states, with the exception of Florida. It’s about Jewish donors and Jewish friends of Israel all over the establishment. Matthews said again that no president could be elected or reelected if he/she allowed Iran to get a nuclear weapon. To his great credit, Corn disagreed. While emphasizing that it is not evident that Iran even wants a nuclear weapon, Corn seemed to express the view that we can contain a nuclear Iran. It’s about time that realist view was expressed in the MSM. The establishment wants this scandal to end in a hurry, but it continues to yield benefits.

Thanks to James North.

Update: National Iranian American Council organizes a campaign to stop the speech. It has three Congresspeople on board.

It is unbelievable that some in our Congress would provide a foreign leader with an official platform to attack our President and start a war. If sanctions pass and diplomacy collapses, Americans could be sent to die in a war with Iran. That is not Bibi Netanyahu’s decision to make.

So some in Congress are taking action to stop Bibi’s speech. Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Steve Cohen (D-TN) are organizing a letter to demand that House Speaker John Boehner (who made the invitation) cancel Bibi’s invite.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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77 Responses

  1. Whizdom
    January 29, 2015, 11:25 am

    Dermer trained under Frank Luntz. Explains a lot

  2. Pretext
    January 29, 2015, 11:42 am

    This is why I’ve been torn about telling my representative to avoid the speech. More people need to see that our so-called “special relationship” is the relationship of a tail that wags the dog. It’s time to lift the taboo against asking hard questions about how we relate to Israel.

    • MRW
      January 29, 2015, 3:55 pm

      They’re mutually exclusive, Pretext. Your rep needs to hear that all is not as Israel thinks exists here. That the US is not 100% behind Israel. I would love Netanyahu to come and talk to a 1/2 or 1/4 full Congress.

      WHAT a photo-op for Israel.

      To see Congress,and not the country, fractured is a picture worth a thousand words. Those reps and senators know they risk their own re-election if they stand for ovations.

      • Kathleen
        January 30, 2015, 12:06 am

        “That the U.S. is 100% behind Israel” Chris Matthews, Eugene Robinson and so many of their colleagues sure feel the need to always repeat “Israel is one of our closest allies” “one of our best friends” They repeat this all of the time. Like a requirement..a badge

      • Ellen
        January 30, 2015, 12:59 am

        @Kathleen, yes it is interesting mantra. One, Israel is not an ally of the US. There is not, and cannot be treaty of alliance as Israel does not have even the basics of defined borders. Until that happens, an ally status is not shared.

        Two, countries , nations, do not have friends, but only interests.

        Friendships are the stuff of human emotions only.

        Now if these talking heads, say “Israel is a state that shares I interests with The US….blah blah” that might cause some thinking and questioning and is why we do not hear truthful language.

      • oldgeezer
        January 30, 2015, 1:14 am

        Can anyone list the various things that Israel has done as an ally of either the US or other western democracies?

        Has it ever fought with us or prevented attacks on any of us?

        Does it contribute to our war effort against those who do attack us?

        Does it share our values of equality regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity? Nope fractional equality doesn’t count.

        Western democracies are so far from perfect it’s not funny. Pretending to share our values while actively enacting and enforcing laws contrary to those values places you outside the pale.

        Israel is no worse than countries such as Saudi Arabia. Pretending Israel is any better than countries such as SA is delusional.

        Granted SA isn’t oppressing people outside it’s borders or stealing territories it doesn’t own but it isn’t worthy of any kudos due to that.

        It’s risible that yonah, hophmi, dabakr, jeffb, feel that they embody western values anymore than the other repressive regimes in the ME.

        And even western nations fall short of our ideals. No question about that.

        At least we try instead of just trying to pretend. And at least we have an honest judiciary who haul us up by the short and curlies when we screw up instead of having a legal system which enforces racism and injustuce as it’s primary purpose.

  3. hophmi
    January 29, 2015, 11:44 am

    1. Abe Foxman is not hard-right, and you know that. He’s firmly in the center.

    2. “Maybe it would be a good thing if the issue were open to the American voters. They’d get to discuss how they feel about Israeli expansion and massacres and nuclear weapons, and their feelings would be echoed by politicians. We would have a deal with Iran in no time; and there’d be huge pressure on Israel to end the occupation.”

    Are you really that naive? Do you really think Iran is just about Israel and no one else? Have you read nothing about how scared shitless Saudi Arabia is by an ascendant Iran? Did it not register with you that the President cut short a successful trip with one of the most important countries for the 21st century to make a 4-hour stopover with a high-level Congressional delegation in order to pay fealty to an absolute monarch in a state where women can’t drive, dissenting bloggers are flogged and imprisoned, and thieves are beheaded? What do you think that that was all about? You are myopic to a fault, and you will overplay this issue as you overplay everything.

    At any rate, yes, this is the kind of thing that Dermer does, and yes, as messy and embarrassing as it is, it will almost certainly blow over with time, because at the end of the day, the US-Israel relationship is not defined by the personal relationship between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States, and never has been. The benefit may be that Netanyahu loses the election in March, and you’ll have a less easy target to kick around. If you stepped out of your left-wing activist comfort zone, you’d see the error of your analysis.

    • philadelphialawyer
      January 29, 2015, 1:31 pm

      Why should anyone care about what the you yourself see as horrible regime in the KSA is afraid of?

      The KSA regime is everything you say it is, and worse. So, naturally, it has plenty of things to fear.

      But that hardly means the USA has any reason to fear the same things.

    • a blah chick
      January 29, 2015, 2:35 pm

      “President cut short a successful trip with one of the most important countries for the 21st century to make a 4-hour stopover…in order to pay fealty to an absolute monarch in a state where women can’t drive, dissenting bloggers are flogged and imprisoned, and thieves are beheaded? What do you think that that was all about?”

      Ah, the rich getting richer and the elites looking after their own?

      But, hey, what’s a little flogging and beheadings between friends!

    • Giles
      January 29, 2015, 3:01 pm

      1. I am not sure Heinrich Himmler was further to the right than Abe.

      2. There is no doubt the concerns over Iran have been ginned up by Israel and her supporters. Is it naïve to know the truth?

      3.”… the US-Israel relationship is not defined by the personal relationship between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States, and never has been.” Correct, it is about the power of the Israel Crime Family to extort, bribe, and blackmail the US congress.

      • yonah fredman
        January 29, 2015, 4:01 pm

        Some people find occasional utility out of the zionism=Nazism equation. But this Heinrich Himmler and Abe Foxman statement is a clear example of the facile childish destructive nature of this type of loose talk. It is suited to a street corner and not to intelligent conversation. But I know that aspiring to intelligence is shunned upon on MW.

      • hophmi
        January 29, 2015, 4:18 pm

        “1. I am not sure Heinrich Himmler was further to the right than Abe.”

        Are you also not sure whether the sky is blue, the grass is green, or whether the Pope defecates in the woods?

        “2. There is no doubt the concerns over Iran have been ginned up by Israel and her supporters. Is it naïve to know the truth?”

        There’s quite a lot of doubt that they are the only ones to gin up concern.

        “Correct, it is about the power of the Israel Crime Family to extort, bribe, and blackmail the US congress.”

        The Israel Crime Family? LOL. Because Congresspeople couldn’t decide to support Israel on their own in the face of the Jewish conspiracy. LOL.

      • just
        January 29, 2015, 4:32 pm

        @ yonah says:

        “But I know that aspiring to intelligence is shunned upon on MW.”

        Quite the contrary. LOL.

      • hungrydave
        January 29, 2015, 6:29 pm

        Hophmi: What’s your position on whether Israel and KSA are afraid of Iran throwing a nuke at them, or whether they’re afraid of a power shift in the region?
        I’d be interested to know…

      • Mooser
        January 30, 2015, 2:18 pm

        “But I know that aspiring to intelligence is shunned upon on MW.”

        Is that some way of excusing your own abysmal ignorance, and tendency to go off half-cockeyed?
        You figure if you sweep in like some dybbuk en mackinaw and start handing out judgements right and left, you’ll be taken seriously? As the song says, Yonah, that day is done.

      • Mooser
        January 30, 2015, 2:25 pm

        “It is suited to a street corner and not to intelligent conversation”

        And here you are, every day except Saturday, to add to the fun!
        Wanna play jacks? Stickball? Hopscotch?

      • DavidDaoud
        January 30, 2015, 2:39 pm

        Giles, nobody talks much about “the Israel Crime Family”

        Just where does the Israel Lobby in America end and the Jewish Mafia begin? If there is an article about this, I haven’t seen it.

    • MRW
      January 29, 2015, 4:10 pm

      It will almost certainly blow over with time.

      Everything blows over with time. What’s your point?

    • Innocent Bystander
      January 29, 2015, 8:38 pm

      “Do you really think Iran is just about Israel and no one else? Have you read nothing about how scared shitless Saudi Arabia is by an ascendant Iran?”

      We all know why Israel is fanning the flames against Iran, so no mystery there.

      But, Saudi Arabia? Doesn’t the excrement-free reaction from the Saudi’s have more to do with their small, Wahabi/Sunni reactionary cult’s religious intolerance towards the much larger Shia population than any “possible” nuclear capability in Iran?

    • Misterioso
      January 30, 2015, 1:07 pm

      Setting aside the fact that Iran has never threatened to attack Israel (Israel, however, has frequently threatened to attack Iran) and the lack of credible evidence that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, why would Iran attack Israel if it had them? Apart from the horrific massive nuclear retaliation it would suffer, if Iran were to launch a nuclear strike on Israel, it would also result in the deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Palestinians as well as Israeli Jews and given the resulting radioactivity and prevailing winds off the Med., tens of thousands of Lebanese, including Shiite Muslims, as well as Jordanians, etc., would perish. In short, for Iran to attack Israel with nuclear weapons would be self-defeating in the extreme.

      Most relevant is the fact that Israel possesses between 200 and 300 nuclear warheads with missiles capable of delivering them throughout the region and far beyond. Furthermore, it will not sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty or allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities. Iran has long since agreed with Saudi Arabia and declared the entire ME should be nuclear weapons free. This is also in accordance with the Pentagon which has declared that the best way to deal with the issue is to have Israel rid its self of nuclear weapons. Of course, Israel has refused to cooperate because it wants to remain the invincible bully of the ME and hence, able to maintain its belligerent, illegal/brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands, continue stealing their water resources and building illegal Jewish settlement/colonies.

      About two years ago, the respected Brookings Institute released extensive polling results regarding what Arabs think about Iran. Contrary to the spin being put out by Israel and its lobbies, the polls revealed that 80% of the “Arab street” views Israel as the major threat to the region, not Iran. 77% of Arabs view the US as the second major threat and only 10% see Iran as a threat. When it comes to nuclear weapons, a majority of Arabs (57%) believe that if Iran had nuclear weapons it would have a positive effect on the region.

      We should also keep in mind the bombshell briefing presented by senior military officers to former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen. The team, dispatched by then Commander General David Petraeus informed the Pentagon that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.

    • Sulphurdunn
      January 30, 2015, 1:52 pm

      “…one of the most important countries for the 21st century…” What country is that and why?

  4. amigo
    January 29, 2015, 12:06 pm

    I say let Nietanyahu make his speech.Let Americans hear what he has to say.

    Then pounce on him and the traitorous Israel firsters .It is time Dick and Jane who provide the 3.5 billion dollars each year to this pip squeak tin pot nation who considers them as morons to be used in the pursuit of a racist, oppressive and ethnocentric criminal nation that sticks it,,s fingers at democratic principles, get to know the facts.They should know these traitors work hand in glove with Israel,s leaders to spill American blood to protect those who could care less about American interests.

    It is time to remove this blood sucking parasite from Americas neck and consign zionism to the bin of history.

    If and that is a big if , there are Israeli pols genuinely willing to end the occupation and get out of Palestine and live in peace with all their neighbours , then and only then , should America engage with Israel.Absent that, the USA should end all support for Israel, both monetary and diplomatic.We will then see how long the State of Israel survives.

    • American
      January 29, 2015, 11:09 pm

      @ amigo

      Ditto

    • Sulphurdunn
      January 30, 2015, 1:59 pm

      The IDF could start a war with Iran, but it couldn’t finish one. Iran is not Hamas. It has a very powerful, defensively deployed military. The US would have to do the fighting. It’s unlikely NATO would help us with that. The most tragic thing about this whole stupidity is that it isn’t even necessary, but then the Iraq war wasn’t either. How many IDF soldiers died in that war?

    • italian ex-pat
      January 30, 2015, 6:06 pm

      New settlement home-building in the West Bank announced today. And the usual US Administration’s response that ” this is counterproductive”. That’s sure to make Israel shake in its boots.
      When will the American government put its money where its mouth is?

  5. RichM
    January 29, 2015, 12:11 pm

    “…Maybe it would be a good thing if the issue were open to the American voters. They’d get to discuss how they feel about Israeli expansion and massacres and nuclear weapons, and their feelings would be echoed by politicians…”

    -Phil’s article is good, but this particular passage strikes me as wishful thinking. It’s just not how things work in the US. The sad truth is that US voters play virtually no role whatever in determining US govt policy on things that really matter. For example, do we get to “decide” or “discuss” the fact that the US is in a state of perpetual war? Do we get to “vote” or “discuss” the absurd amounts of money spent on “defense” (aka the US global domination project) or “intelligence”? Did we get to decide whether the govt should proceed with the Wall St bailout? Of course not. And since Israel is an important piece of the US global domination project, voters will play no role in deciding that aspect of policy, either. It will all be handled behind the scenes, in accord with elite interests.

    • dx
      January 29, 2015, 9:59 pm

      I generally agree with what you’re saying, but I think if Netanyahu comes and pushes for US strikes in Iran, Americans are likely to take notice. Strikes will have repercussions. I just don’t think America has the appetite for starting a war with an organized country. Also, I wonder if the issue of Israeli nuclear weapons will come up, and what the effect may be if it does. Netanyahu never ever mentions his own country’s nuclear capabilities and is never questioned about it in interviews. I really don’t understand why no one in the news ever calls him on it.

    • Sycamores
      January 30, 2015, 1:08 pm

      @ RichM,

      interesting piece in the Observer

      Any responsible Israeli leader must at least explore the unimaginable, especially with younger Americans viewing Israel quite differently from older Americans.

      Those who see themselves as Democrats are less likely than Republicans to be positively predisposed to Israel. During last summer’s war in Gaza, 45 percent of Democrats called Israel’s actions justified versus 73 percent of Republicans, according to a CNN poll. If this trend continues and Israel policy becomes a genuinely partisan issue, the future of the Israel-U.S. relationship will be in grave danger.

      http://observer.com/2015/01/borscht-belt-will-israel-spurn-america-for-russia/

      • DavidDaoud
        January 30, 2015, 4:09 pm

        As someone who lived for more than 2 years with Palestinians in the West Bank, I find that “45 percent of Democrats called Israel’s actions justified” shocking and quite disturbing.
        American propaganda works!

  6. David Doppler
    January 29, 2015, 12:21 pm

    Great piece about a great development. While it took a week – one on the outside speculates about the inner workings of our MSM propaganda apparatus – that’s a true zinger: “repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the Unites States.”

    At last there is red meat for those in Israel and the US who are past tired of Netanyahu’s leadership. And you parse it well, White House protecting special relationship, Dermer to go under the bus as Republican operative, with Foxman-Goldberg-Matthews-NYT all voting to cancel or delay, even AIPAC claiming it was innocent in the dark.

    I would suggest one further perspective, the possibility that Netanyahu-Dermer and a small handful of Likudniks and Neocons are going for broke: the rising tide of Neocon clash-of-civilization mongering is in danger of ebbing, with an Iran deal that leaves the sea wall of protection against general warfare unbreached, indeed strengthened. Netanyahu is at risk in this election, he takes Bennett’s “strength-of-the-Israeli-leader’s-spine” as a personal insult/challenge, and he is in full “bunker” mentality, needing a vast escalation of war as the only way to save his sorry ass from defeat (which in megalomania he equates with Israel’s).

    The attack against Syria, with Hezbollah and Iranian casualties, another symptom – of ongoing efforts to stimulate fear in his electorate and escalate tension with Iran. Dermer’s gambit a bold move in a secret plan to start a bigger conflagration. Today’s concerted effort to walk back both situations a reaction from cooler heads within Zionist leadership who were NOT part of the secret plan.

    Empathize if you can for a moment with those who identify culturally with Islam and/or the Arab world. Video of Netanyahu haranguing the US Government, to repeated standing ovations from our Congress, with highly offensive, biased, demonizing descriptions of Iran, Islam, and (one might predict) Arabs of both Sunni and Shia persuasion, is certain to trigger alarm and to stimulate unity in opposition to further Israeli-led western invasions of Arab and Islamic countries. Just as images of Western Leaders seemingly led by the (uninvited) Israeli Prime Minister appearing united in support of cartoonists who mock the prophet would have had a similar effect.

    If he pulls off the Congressional address with standing ovations two weeks before his election, and then, say, one week later, there’s some major escalation from the other side, which he both responds strongly to (showing the strength of his spine), while fanning the flames of fear (count how many times he uses the word “terror,” and how often he conflates Hamas with Hezbollah-Iran-ISIS-AlQueda), that is a potential formula for Netanyahu’s re-election.

    This is someone whose supporters use the term “risk of peace,” which they regard as an existential threat to Israel.

    The entire Zionist power structure in the US – like the CIA – is one not subject to ordinary checks and balances, with anonymity, secrecy, plausible deniability, non-accountability built in, and such power structures are inherently subject to abuse by small groups of plotters who have the Leader’s secret, deniable, backing. It’s authoritarianism, differing only in flavor from fascism, a very dangerous governing philosophy, completely un-American.

    I see the weeks until the Israeli election as very high risk, which won’t recede until Netanyahu loses to a more Centrist coalition, and an Iranian deal is done. Unless and until both occur, we should assume the same sorts of efforts that drove the US to war in Iraq are underway again.

    And we and the press should stop presuming that Netanyahu and the Neocons are incapable of false flag attacks to achieve their goals, or that Zionist operatives in the US power structure aren’t available to their Leader to advance his agenda, under requirements of absolute secrecy.

    • Chu
      January 29, 2015, 1:06 pm

      I’d agree that Netanyahu’s election success/failure is now tied to his congressional speech.
      I don’t think he’ll back down, or throw Dermer under the bus as they’ve had a very long relationship, although Dermer could willingly accept the beat down for the sake of Zionism and Netanyahu’s political survival.

      But Bennett and the other good ole’ boys back in Jonestown are going to smell spineless actions if he fails to push forward, since the fanatical mind always sees an enemy when they don’t have their wish granted. Obama has already been smeared by his own party members (talking points coming straight out of Tehran) obviously coming from AIPAC memos. I can’t wait to watch Netanyahu next moves.

      • David Doppler
        January 29, 2015, 2:06 pm

        “But Bennett and the other good ole’ boys back in Jonestown are going to smell spineless actions if he fails to push forward . . . .” What a wonderful and hilarious mix of metaphors. Thank you, Chu!

        And it is a dilemma for Netanyahu, can’t back down (spineless), can’t go forward (growing risk of harming the special relationship, creating chaotic infighting within the American Zionist infrastructure). Still too nerve-racking to enjoy, until the risk of some USS Maine/USS Arizona/JFK assassination/911 attack/Anthrax attack- type event igniting conflagration is past.

      • Chu
        January 29, 2015, 4:11 pm

        David, At least we can laugh about these political topics, and good analysis you put forward.
        It’s interesting to see that Israel and it’s leaders seem to have more power when the issues are buried by Congress & the complaint American media, but as soon as Netanyahu makes a ‘big’ move he has to show the world what his next move will be – and it’s not so easy for him now, especially with that macho Israel election looming in the near future!

      • W.Jones
        January 29, 2015, 5:03 pm

        David,

        You can look at Netanyahu’s past actions as well as this one to suggest that he will probably come. About a month ago, when the strange Hebdo incident occurred and there was a public march by France’s and Germany’s leaders, France’s president Hollande asked Netanyahu not to come to avoid controversy. Netanyahu not only came, but pushed his way to the front of the march, one or two spaces from Hollande.

        Likewise, this time Netanyahu did not care about Obama’s response so he came anyway without telling Obama, knowing full well that it would rock the boats with Obama.

        The only thing perhaps unexpected for Netanyahu could be the mixed public response from other key players in the US. Would that be enough to discourage his speech?

        At this point, probably not. One of the main things is that Netanyahu’s electorate is very right wing and getting more so, and that is who Netanyahu cares about, along with his key, well-funded pro-settler donors and Neocon supporters in the US establishment. Netanyahu wants to be a savy politician, and he is aware that his electoral base is shifting to the right, which explains his coalition partners. Netanyahu going forward with the speech would look to them like a rallying move, while giving in would look to them like weakness on his part.

        I don’t think that Netanyahu feels personally totally compelled to see Iran broken or hold onto the West Bank, but they are things that he wants, along with making the speech to Congress. Were some other major factors, or his key supporters, to push on him against those things, he would be able to change his policies and plans.

        In other words, you would need the Israeli right or his strong US supporters to tell him to change his mind about the speech, or you would need US liberals to send a strong enough message for him to do so. At this point, I don’t see those things in the cards, except for some possible action by the Obama administration. However Obama has been typically weak for the last six years with Netanyahu, and Obama’s back is not put up against a wall because of the speech, so he probably won’t fight back big time. I think that Netanyahu has probably game planned all of this ahead of time.

    • just
      January 29, 2015, 1:43 pm

      +1!, David, and many thanks to James North & Phil Weiss for this article.

      Dermer is only one of the many that are subverting the President, US national security, and the will of the American people. Their name is Legion…

      I relish seeing them all exposed~ however it happens. Making Dermer the “fall guy” is aiding in this beyond my wildest hopes.

      “Is there a conspiracy of folks trying to protect the US-Israel relationship from any robust debate?”

      you ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, Phil! The American people need to find out that their elected Senators and Congress members have served Israel first for a long, long time now.

      • Pixel
        January 29, 2015, 6:48 pm

        “you ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, Phil!”

        oops.

        maybe there’s a little too much negative baggage, here…

      • Pixel
        January 29, 2015, 6:52 pm

        @just

        …know you were just excited.

      • just
        January 29, 2015, 6:55 pm

        I see what you mean, but I was making (an obviously failed) reference to the deliberately uninformed, mostly deluded red- staters that I run into far too frequently~ those that never question anything Israel, but always support and spout dislike (hatred) of Muslims and immigrants from x, y, and z.

    • Pixel
      January 29, 2015, 6:58 pm

      “And we and the press should stop presuming that Netanyahu and the Neocons are incapable of false flag attacks to achieve their goals, or that Zionist operatives in the US power structure aren’t available to their Leader to advance his agenda, under requirements of absolute secrecy.”

      Some things bear repeating.

    • maiselm
      January 30, 2015, 9:08 am

      I agree that this is a fortuitous and welcome development. These kinds of things
      are the little rocker wheels upon which history turns. Those of us who stand for
      human rights must make the most of it.

  7. Balfour
    January 29, 2015, 12:49 pm

    Not only do I hope that Dermer becomes the public face for this fiasco, I also hope the American media plays up Ron Dermer’s renouncing of his U.S. Citizenship in order to become Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.A. (As Michael Oren did before him) Insolence and impertinence are qualities that Americans cannot tolerate from allies receiving billions of free dollars each year. Americans who renounce their American citizenship and manipulate the American political system on behalf of their new political homeland are not going to be received very well by the typical American voter, either.

  8. philadelphialawyer
    January 29, 2015, 12:54 pm

    I don’t doubt the analysis here.

    Still, I see the outrage, even if it is cabined to the speech itself and even if some of it is of the faux variety and designed to protect the “special relationship” rather than call it into question or even bring its full implications out in the open, as, overall, a good thing.

    A militarist, oppressor Israeli PM wanted to spit in the face of the US President, to casually and cavalierly bypass normal diplomatic channels and International Relations 101 protocol and interfere directly in US politics and policy making in the legislative branch, and to get his usual Stalinist hundred standing ovations/who will stop applauding first response from that legislature (as well as from the media and from the public), but instead the whole thing, for once, has blown up in his fat, ugly, fascist face.

    And the rats are scurrying off the sinking ship too.

    Sounds good to me, even if a certain amount of CYA is going on.

    • Philip Weiss
      January 29, 2015, 1:33 pm

      like that word cabined. Going to steal it some time!

      • Inanna
        January 29, 2015, 9:50 pm

        Phil, it’s from Macbeth and is Macbeth’s own line in Act 3 Scene 4:

        Then comes my fit again: I had else been perfect,
        Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
        As broad and general as the casing air:
        But now I am cabin’d, cribb’d, confined, bound in
        To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo’s safe?

        and is said just before the entry of Banquo’s ghost.

        Yes, I would like to see Netanyahu ‘cabin’d’ and see the ghosts of all those he has had killed.

    • W.Jones
      January 29, 2015, 3:28 pm

      “and to get his usual Stalinist hundred standing ovations/who will stop applauding first response from that legislature (as well as from the media and from the public)”

      Check it out. I don’t know who this “Stalin” guy is, but he looks amazing. His hair is like a mane. he looks like a lion.

      Meanwhile, compare this with Netanyahu’s speech to our whole legislature:

      A heckler gets up, interrupts, and yells something about Palestinian rights and democracy. The AIPAC people in the back injure her so badly right there in the packed legislative hall that she gets hospitalized and needs a neck brace.

      First, what does the whole legislature do? It immediately gives Netanyahu an ovation just for that.

      Second, what does Netanyahu do? He says that the protestor is a sign of “democracy” because Iran would not allow a protestor in their parliament. Well guess what? The protestor was not allowed in this parliament either because she was beaten up right in front of him.

      Third, what would the “great” Stalin do in his speech if that happened? I am not sure, but I can guarantee you that he would not say that the protestor’s right to heckle him was a “sign of democracy”, especially when the protestor got beat up in front of hundreds of people. Stalin at least wanted the outward appearance of consistency when it came to public events, which would be contradicted by the heckler’s public beat down. And Stalin did not want to even pretend to encourage disruptive protestors by falsely saying that they had such “rights”.

      • W.Jones
        January 29, 2015, 3:44 pm

        My guess is that Stalin and Teheran would just use their security guards to drag the person out and then continue on with their speech, maybe talking about “threats” from opponents. Bear in mind however that Netanyahu was visiting a foreign country, the US. Stalin and Teheran would not be able to control the response of US legislators and the public, so they would certainly not openly call US dissentors a “threat”.

        Netanyahu however watched a severe beat down by his supporters, got a full US legislative ovation for that, and then talked about how the US allows protestors in the legislature because it is a democracy, unlike his opponent, Iran.

      • JWalters
        January 29, 2015, 6:11 pm

        Netanyahu will get standing ovations from Congress because his financial backers bought the tickets for the entire audience.

      • Chu
        January 30, 2015, 10:09 am

        Funny comparison Jones, although the AIPAC lackeys will say Netanyahu never took them out back and shot them dead. Yahu isn’t half the orator that Stalin was, or Mao for that matter, so Congress, As Walters says, gets paid to perform and stand up to his Israel-centric speeches. Can’t wait to see this next one though in the congress. I’ll wager side bets with you on who claps and stands up the most.

    • MRW
      January 29, 2015, 4:06 pm

      They need to lay off the Viagra in Tel Aviv.

  9. Whizdom
    January 29, 2015, 1:08 pm

    Obama: Please proceed, Mr. Prime Minister.

  10. seafoid
    January 29, 2015, 2:42 pm

    Dermer is a total toerag. Way out of his depth. A tribute to the later Israeli education and bubble thinking. At least his predecessor could talk coherently even though he was lying.

    I used to love the Fall Guy as a kid

    • Elisabeth
      January 29, 2015, 3:19 pm

      One of the things I like here is those funny songs and old tv series and movies you guys/gals always link to. A nice insight for me into ‘the American soul’.

      • Pixel
        January 29, 2015, 8:17 pm

        :o)

  11. gracie fr
    January 29, 2015, 2:43 pm

    Mr. Kurtzer said while it was unlikely the Obama administration would take the extraordinary step of declaring Mr. Dermer “persona non grata” — the official method for a foreign diplomat to be ousted from a country — it could request that Mr. Dermer be reprimanded or removed………..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/us/politics/white-house-expresses-displeasure-over-speech-planned-by-netanyahu.html?_r=0

  12. W.Jones
    January 29, 2015, 2:53 pm

    Phil,
    You do realize that Netanyahu’s speech encouraging tensions with Iran for its alleged desire to destroy Israel is scheduled for Shushan Purim, which commemorates a “preventive” attack on Iranians?

    As you may know, I love the stories of the Old Testament, but the book of Esther is one I have a harder time with, as do some theologians.

  13. MRW
    January 29, 2015, 4:03 pm

    Dermer, from the NYT

    “My understanding was that it was the speaker’s prerogative to do, and that he would be the one to inform the administration,” Mr. Dermer said.

    A Legislative speaker’s prerogative to run a separate foreign policy than the Executive? Did this jerk study Civics in Florida? Does he not know about the separation of powers and what they are for?

    I love the former Israeli Ambassador calling Dermer a political operative, not an ambassador. Dermer needs to be removed, recalled.

    • straightline
      January 29, 2015, 6:29 pm

      There are at least 6 different US foreign policies:

      1. President
      2. Congress
      3. State Dept
      4. Pentagon
      5. CIA
      6. John McCain

      and now maybe

      7. John Boehner

      • Mooser
        January 30, 2015, 2:34 pm

        Yes, and the Pentagon and CIA are on the spot, and can precipitate action.

  14. MRW
    January 29, 2015, 4:12 pm

    The timing of Adam Curtis’ latest film BITTER LAKE couldn’t be better with this tempest brewing. Too bad Americans can’t see it without using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) product. There are free ones you can download to spoof that you live in England. If you get that far, google BBC iPlayer to access it.

  15. hungrydave
    January 29, 2015, 6:06 pm

    Hi Phil and Mondoweiss team. I would like to make a suggestion for the website if i may.

    I think it would be great to have a pinned post, open thread for information exchange. This information could be provided by Mondo Staff and/or Mondo Commentators.

    For example, just now i was trying to find some information regarding the percentage split between congress funding from Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists. Unfortunately, i’ve been unable to find this info yet. If there was a pinned post for information exchange on the website, I would simply ask my question and check back later to see if anyone had commented or had supplied a link.

    In short, there’s so much knowledge here, it would be great to be able to access it without being ‘off-topic’.

    I’m no web-techie, but it seems to me that it would be very easy to facilitate this – although possibly a thread with so many comments would be a problem? I don’t know.

    What do you all think?

    Cheers

    • Pixel
      January 29, 2015, 8:19 pm

      HD,

      I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about but it sounds like it could be a good idea!

      • hungrydave
        January 30, 2015, 4:56 am

        Sorry, did my example not make sense? I’ll be extremely clear.

        I’m proposing a MW website page called “Mondoweiss users information exchange”.

        ‘Pinned’, which means it wouldn’t drop down the list with older articles so it would be easily accessible from the main MW page.

        Mondoweiss users – You, I, Phil, Annie, Staff, commenters, any user of MW – could post up requests for information relating to the conflict, or comment with answers:

        “does anyone know where i can find a link to that Chomsky speech where he discusses…”

        “Does anyone have a link or numbers for the Palestinian population figures taken by the British in 1920?”

        “How many civilians were killed in operation cast lead?”

        “what percentage of congresssional funding comes from AIPAC?”

        etc. etc. etc.

        The point is, the hasbara crew have their talking points and email lists and support groups to help them debate (or obfuscate). I am suggesting we have a similar thing, but not talking points and rank propaganda, but a genuine factual information exchange. Truth and exchange of knowledge from this community to counter arguments. If you get into a debate and know you read something that relates to the debate you’re having and strengthens your point, but you can’t find the source to link, or the specific numbers that demonstrate your point, it can be very frustrating. Why not as a community arm ourselves with our shared knowledge to get truth out there more effectively?

        We can’t just start peppering questions all over MW articles because it would be off-topic. That’s why it needs to be a separate article or pinned page where any questions and answers about anything relating to the the I/P conflict are welcome

        Hopefully i have explained this properly this time? Seems to me like a really effective idea that would be easy to implement.

  16. sulai
    January 29, 2015, 7:17 pm

    I apologize dearly if this is off topic and a no-no, I am a newly registered member so please set me straight if I shouldn’t be doing this here. I came across a youtube video of a debate between Dershowitz and Chomsky and reading through the comment section, I came across this:

    “I am not “more Israeli then the Israelis”. I am just more historically accurate. The situation today results because of over-doses of diplomacy and acute starvation of reality. In this case, the concept that “you’re both right” amounts to “you’re both going to suffer indefinitely”.
    This began BEFORE WW1. Not WW2, NOT 2,000 years ago but just EXACTLY at the historical point when oil became a strategic commodity. At that moment, the world first heard the words: “Self Determination”, which became the bumper-sticker for the Paris Peace Conference (1919). But it was a bogus scam to cover the side-deals being made to redistribute the oil in favor of the USA, UK and to a lesser extent, France.
    The UK then made further conflicted side deals with the USA & the Zionists and conversely, with the Arab tyrants. The Holocaust was partly the attempt by Germany to crawl their way back into the petroleum club, which they had been ejected from in WW1.
    This practice of conflicted promises continued renewed, when UNSCR 242 was ratified with two very different (known) legal interpretations unresolved.
    Pause for a moment to reflect: Ben Franklin had been an avowed abolitionist. Yet, he became the DECIDING vote in favor of the US Constitution–one without a ban on slavery. This act of misplaced diplomacy ultimately led to the US Civil War, with millions dead.
    Now, does the United Nations even have the legal authority to pass UNHCR 242? NO. The Charter of the United Nations does NOT provide for such authority, on two separate levels.
    First, the role of the Security Council is defined as being charged with the power to intervene in matters which threaten world peace. What is that? Does it mean that any group (or groups) can push a conflict until it fits that description, just because (example) the rotating Security Council membership might provide a favorable vote for THEM during that two year span? I don’t think that is the legal or ethical definition, but that is the practical one, which the world has been working with–because there is NO ONE who can tell the Security Council to stand down.
    Secondly, Article 80 of the UN Charter places off limits, “arrangements” which the UN inherited upon its formation. This conflicted territorial claim is not only one of those but the PRIMARY one of those being referenced, again with TOO MUCH diplomacy added, so that its precise meaning could continue to be debated (and fought over). The basic position of the Western Powers has been: “hands off our oil and if the Mid East tribes want to kill each other, when they grow tired of it they shall make peace”.
    We must also not forget that the UN Partition Plan (UNGAR 181) called for a UN sovereign state–consuming most of the Jerusalem area. No where in the Charter of the United Nations does it provide for one inch of territorial sovereignty by the Treaty Organization. So the first attempted “land grab” was by the United Nations itself.
    For the past 10 years, I have been posting entries on various blog sites stating that the ultimate goal of the radical Arab/Muslim militancy is to establish a “caliphate” covering the entire Mid East. Many of these posts were deleted–in the name of “moderation” and of those which remained posted, they were usually answered with accusations of “racism”, “Islamophobia”, bigotry, etc.. SOME PEOPLE CAN NOT KEEP TRACK OF THE BLATANT (SOMETIMES RECENT) PAST, YET THEY ASSAULT THOSE LIKE MYSELF, WHO CAN IDENTIFY EVENTS WHICH HAVE NOT YET OCCURED.
    Most of you reading are therefore functionally akin to sheep. If you do not want to be sheep, pay attention:
    Around a dozen separate times in the 20th century, new territorial borders were often followed by migrating ethnic and/or religious populations, sometimes moved by force. One year before Israeli independence, Islamic Pakistan (with support from the USA and UK) declared its independence from Hindu India. This resulted in 20-million displaced people and probably more civilians murdered in the name of God(s) then the entire number of displaced Arabs from 1948.
    In this case, the JEWISH PEOPLE OF THE WORLD had SEVEN separate international treaties and conventions providing for a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine, (which was then inclusive of Jordan). Paris Peace Conference (1919), Treaty of Versailles (1920), San Remo Peace Conference (1920), Treaty of Sevres (1920), League of Nations Mandate (1922), Lodge-Fish Resolution of US Congress (1923) and the Anglo American Treaty of 1924. These treaties supersede anything the United Nations has legal authority over and are what is (too loosely) referenced in Article-80 of the UN Charter.
    The Camp David Peace Conference of 2000 was ended by Chairman Arafat over the so called “right of return” of (then) 4+ million Arabs, most all of whom had never once set foot inside Israel in their entire lives. These so called “refugees” could have been resettled by the UNHCR over the previous 52 years but were purposefully kept in tact, precisely to maintain this ongoing state of belligerency against the Jews. (People who dispute this fact can provide no other reason BTW). The numbers can not lie. 750,000 in 1948 and 4+ million by year 2000.
    Prof. Chomsky is, in my opinion not a truthful person and in fact, his entire role in this dispute is to linguistically manipulate the frame-of-reference to where it is least favorable to the Israelis and collaterally, to the social and economic determent of Jews worldwide. ”

    I wrote in reply the following:

    “The Islamic world was one way before the world was carved into nation states and Arab tribes were not constantly killing each other off until oil became important and Western interference in the region started. These same Western powers carved today’s artificial borders in the middle east propping up your so called “Arab Tyrants” during the colonial era and this has much to do with the infighting between Arab nations and tribes. These Western forces wanted a European presence in the middle east, and so Israel was created with Judaism being the excuse. Most Israeli Zionists are secular and do not even believe in a God, Israel is simply a colonial state and the last of its kind on the last of it’s legs. Your cleverness is impressive and your words make for sophisticated lies and serve for great Zionist talking points but the lies are falling apart. Israeli boldness, greed and stupidity is the reason why the nation will eventually fold with a decaying America being its last protector, in fact, Israel has everything to do with the acceleration of American cultural/moral decay in these last few years but that is a whole different topic altogether. Israel has brought so much attention on itself with it’s bold stupidity, all of which is dependent upon American money, that now you Zionist liars no longer have the power to narrate the history of the conflict to the Western world. In fact, you are falling one by one…Dershowitz is being exposed now, Dermer is being exposed now, Netanyahu is being exposed now and there are more to follow. Your children do not have the counterfeit yearning for an Israeli homeland like you do, all that is left is a new generation of ugly “charactered” Israeli settler immigrants and they are the raw and real face of Israel. I can only imagine the paranoia you live with, every moment must be filled with uneasiness as you watch this unfold. Your words are laughable – “Prof. Chomsky is, in my opinion not a truthful person and in fact, his entire role in this dispute is to linguistically manipulate” – what a spot on description of your own commentary here or better yet a spot on description of Alan Dershowitz, the proven liar who stole second hand quotes and was called out for his plagiarism by Professor Finkelstein and was caught red handed for it, basing his garbage book on the other proven garbage book written by Joan Peters. Look up the Democracy Now segment on youtube, Norman Finkelsten and Dershowitz debate the book and Alan is so painfully embarrassed that its sad to watch. No doubt, you know about this but want to instead call professor Chomsky the liar. And Dershowitz is fighting a pedophile case as we speak, everything is falling apart for you guys and I am enjoying watching it happen. ”

    Hopefully I said nothing offensive to anyone here and I apologize if I did. My words are feeble compared to the articles and accompanying comment sections here, I check this site out everyday because it gives me hope that the tide is turning.

    I am not yet equipped to take on each of his little so called factual statements myself so I kept my reply general. I am wondering if someone here could elaborate on some of his specif claims because I am interested to hear what you guys think.

  17. sulai
    January 29, 2015, 7:23 pm

    One more comment, this sounds like a sophisticated version of a repeated talking point that Zionists use…one which seems to blame the western world for not doing enough to secure the sovereignty of a European colonial nation masquerading as a Jewish nation for a people without a land.

    • seafoid
      January 29, 2015, 8:12 pm

      Regarding the bots and Purim and using Iron age history to justify an attack on Iran, the whole thing exposes the long term lunacy of reestablishing a Jewish caliphate in Palestine.

      The reason biblical Jews hated the Persians was because there were fewer of them and Persia was richer than poor little Judea with its semi desert land and open to attack location on a flat plain at a crossroads of civilisations between much bigger power blocs.

      Haaretz’s breathless descriptions of archaeological finds in Jerusalem bear this out- the Jewish stuff is on layer 19 below all the other empires and it’s very hard to dig coherently and dump all the non Jewish stuff even for historical bigots.

      The indefensible plain theme is eternal btw- it links to Israel’s “Auschwitz borders” whine. The reason Hebron is so holy to Judaism is because it is in the hills that the biblical fathers retreated to when they couldn’t hold the plains.

      So ancient Israel could never flourish long term between Egypt and Persia. It was just too small.

      The Torah in one sense is like what journalists do- they take a theme and romanticise the shit out of it. Right, Phil? And what can be more romantic than an ancient Kingdom that had what those who work on nuclear physics would call a typical FRED shape: fast rise, exponential decay.

      And the glamour of Masada and we are different and the golden age – it kept them going for over 3000 years. You know the romance that goes with someone really good who dies age 27 ?

      That’s the germ of the Torah story

      Do not try this at home. Especially at ancestral home.

  18. seafoid
    January 29, 2015, 8:02 pm

    The picture of Obama reminds me of Tony Blair. Another charlatan and warmonger.

    There is a load of geopolitical great game shit going on with Iran already via the collapsing oil price.

    Iran needs an oil price of $130 a barrel to balance its budget. Saudi needs $89. Oil is now down to around $50.

    http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil-brent.aspx

    Saudi is playing poker – it has big reserves and can wait for the price fall to cripple competitors and take out people it doesn’t like- including Iran

    One theory was explained recently in the FT

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/27cbd5e0-7fa0-11e4-b4f5-00144feabdc0.html

    “The practice of hosing socio-political problems with money has been especially visible since the chain of Arab uprisings began four years ago. In early 2011, King Abdullah fired a $130bn welfare broadside at his Saudi subjects. But this traditional model of buying loyalty was quickly exported to neighbouring countries under stress. Within hours of the 2013 Egyptian coup against the Muslim Brotherhood – a rival Pan-Islamic brand – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had a $12bn aid package ready for the generals, almost 10 times annual US aid to Egypt’s military.
    Wahhabi Saudi Arabia’s visceral hatred of the Shia – as well as its rivalry with the Persian and Shia Islamic Republic for hegemony in the Gulf and the Levant – should be factored into the oil price equation. Riyadh, sitting on foreign exchange reserves of more than $750bn, can ride out lower oil revenues. Iran, which needs the price to be twice the current level to make ends meet, is haemorrhaging. Already economically hobbled by sanctions, Tehran is by some estimates spending $1.5bn a month supporting its allies in Syria and Iraq. Markets of course influence oil prices; but so do viscera.”

  19. Pixel
    January 29, 2015, 8:12 pm

    “politicizing the relationship between the countries.”

    The sheer beauty of this is breathtaking to behold.

    AND as a result of something so simple, really.

    I imagined it might take years, if not decades, to get to this point, arriving at clarity as difficult to have achieved as combing through dreadlocks.

  20. American
    January 29, 2015, 11:21 pm

    Oh my, all the red herrings, yes its all about Netanyahu’s election- Not and scapegoats being thrown out , poor Dermer- Not, by the nattering fifth column media and mouthpieces to obscure the REAL issue—–which is the US congress giving a official platform to a Foreign Country, a outlaw and welfare client state of the US, to oppose a US President.
    Treason.
    Hang em.

  21. Kathleen
    January 30, 2015, 12:09 am

    Prof Cole has a zinger up over at Informed Comment about what this speech is intended to do. Undermine negotiations with Iran…start another war. “Netanyahu and Boehner”

    • oldgeezer
      January 30, 2015, 1:47 am

      Prof Cole has it nailed. Isreal covets more territory regardless of the cost in human lives. Israel is beacon of light unto nations who value their tribe over the lives above the lives of other humans. It embodies the worst of values long abandoned two hundred years ago. no wonder it delights in bombing societies back to the stone age.

  22. W.Jones
    January 30, 2015, 12:50 am

    So why didn’t Netanyahu or Boehner choose to tell Obama? Did they think he wouldn’t find out? Or because it would mean initiating a dialogue over whether it would be OK? I think the latter. Boehner or Net. would call up Obama and say that Net. is coming over and Obama would say it’s not a good idea, and then they would have an uncomfortable argument.

  23. eGuard
    January 30, 2015, 2:36 am

    Great news analysis. Now it starts making sense. And the National Iranian American Council update sets the base line.

    I’d like to know, how are the individual congresspeople doing? Any organized pushback? Any thinking of boycotting the speech? Let’s enjoy this is splitting the Israel Lobby!

  24. eGuard
    January 30, 2015, 2:41 am

    Well, the main thing I praise Obama for is that Obama did not start a war against Iran.

    I still do. Remember he chased out the warmongering torturing overspending neocons.

  25. German Lefty
    January 30, 2015, 8:49 am

    I don’t know if someone has posted this before, but Chris Hayes had a 13-minute segment about Boehner and Netanyahu on his show: http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/john-boehner—netanyahus-favor-to-obama-390550595511

  26. just
    January 30, 2015, 12:52 pm

    I listened to part of the “Diane Rehm Show” today:

    Dermer did not give up his US citizenship to become Israel’s whip/whipping boy. He merely gained dual citizenship (iirc, it was Karen DeYoung from Wapo who said it~ transcript not up yet).

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2015-01-30/friday_news_roundup_international

    (I never got the opportunity to speak…)

    (never mind about the killing of the Spanish peacekeeper by Israel… or anything about the frozen children of Gaza…)

    From an interesting article @ “Tablet”

    “That spring, nearly a decade after arriving in Israel, Dermer was dispatched to Washington in his first official government capacity, as the Israeli Embassy’s minister for economic affairs, under the auspices of Netanyahu, who was then serving as minister of finance under Ariel Sharon. Taking the job required Dermer, at 33, to give up his American citizenship. By then he had remarried—his wife, Rhoda, is a Yale-trained lawyer—and become a father. In a column for the New York Sun, Dermer offered a public goodbye: “I will never renounce America or its people. As a faithful son of America, I will never betray its ideals. In serving the State of Israel and in working to secure our common future, I will champion those ideals all of my life. May God forever bless America.””

    http://tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/78543/bibis-brain

    One more thing:

    “Netanyahu on Peres US visit in 1996: Ploy to win votes

    Nearly 20 years ago, Netanyahu slammed then-Prime Minister Peres’ US visit shortly before Israelis went to polls, calling it a ‘cynical attempt’ to improve his chances for re-election.

    “I can’t find an example of any previous Israeli government whose prime minister, on the eve of elections, made a cynical attempt to use relations between Israel and the United States as a party advertisement,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said in remarks in 1996, while serving as opposition leader, blasting then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ decision to travel to the US less than a month before the Knesset elections.”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4618781,00.html

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