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Netanyahu speech is ‘destructive’ of ‘bipartisan, immutable relationship’ between US and Israel, Rice says

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White House national security adviser Susan Rice’s comments that the Netanyahu speech is “destructive” of the special relationship between Israel and the U.S. are rocketing around news sites today. They are a big story at the Times and at Associated Press and on National Public Radio. Here is the segment of the interview with Charlie Rose last night:

Here’s a transcript:

Rice: The relationship between Israel as a country and the United States as a country has always been bipartisan and we’ve been fortunate that the politics have not been injected into this relationship. What has happened over the last several weeks by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu two weeks in advance of  his election is that on both sides there has now  been injected a degree of partisanship. Which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s  destructive of the fabric of the relationship, and it’s something that–

Rose: It’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship–

Rice: Well, Charlie, take my point, it’s always been bipartisan, we need to keep it that way. We want it that way. I think Israel wants it that way,  want to keep it that way. I think Israel wants it that way, the American people want it that way. When it becomes injected or infused with politics that’s a problem.

Rose: Do you think he’s coming here because he wants to influence the election in Israel?

Rice: I’m not going to ascribe motives to the prime minister. Let him explain for himself. But I think the point is, We want the relationship between the United States and Israel to be unquestionably strong, immutable, regardless of political seasons in either country, regardless of which party may be in charge in each country. We’ve worked very hard to have that and we will work very hard to maintain that “

This is obviously a big moment in the history of the “special relationship” between the countries, and specifically in the life of the Israel lobby. Maintaining support for Israel as a non-political question in policymaking is the essence of the Israel lobby’s work, and Rice claims here that the White House is on board with that policy and wants to keep things that way. I don’t think the White House actually does want to keep things on that footing. Netanyahu opened the door of making Israel support partisan, and now Obama has rushed through, using this opportunity in countless ways to politicize the relationship– VP Joe Biden and Sec’y of State John Kerry are in essence boycotting the Netanyahu visit– and thereby to foster a discussion by the American people of whether Israel’s policy on Iran should be ours. (And other questions follow in train: Are Americans in favor of Israeli colonies in defiance of the Arab Peace Initiative and world opinion? Are we in favor of no vote for Palestinians?)

In days to come, we will see J Street struggling to maintain a Democratic Party line in support of Israel and the special relationship. That is why Democrats offered to have a special meeting with Netanyahu– an offer the PM rejected. The Dems were giving Netanyahu an out from his speech. No, he wants to give the speech and force the Dems to come. Many will show up, but the Obama administration will boycott. And so we are seeing three camps forming. Hardline support (almost all Republicans, and some Schumer-Menendez-Engel Democrats too), J Street Democrats (the center of the Dem Party now, pushing for a Labor victory in Israel) and the Obama/Congressional Black Caucus/leftleaning Dems refusenik bloc. This couldn’t be better for the American people. I don’t think Humpty Dumpty lobby can be put back together again.

Dershowitz endorsement of Netanyahu speech, posted by Netanyahu

Dershowitz endorsement of Netanyahu speech, posted by Netanyahu

Alan Dershowitz is trying to keep the lobby whole. He has a piece up at the Wall Street Journal, now linked on Netanyahu’s Facebook account in the most approving way, along with the little poster at left, saying that it’s “appalling” that anyone is thinking of “boycotting” the speech. Dershowitz suggests that the Congress has a constitutional responsibility to hear Netanyahu, and that skipping the speech is a far worse breach of “protocol” than the invitation to Netanyahu (the White House had called that a breach of protocol).

Dershowitz writes:

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Speaker John Boehner ’s decision to invite Mr. Netanyahu or Mr. Netanyahu’s decision to accept, no legal scholar can dispute that Congress has the power to act independently of the president in matters of foreign policy.

Actually some legal scholars would dispute that. The House of Representatives has no role in making foreign policy, but the Senate does. Some have argued that House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu was unconstitutional.

P.S. Haaretz published a seriously inaccurate transcript of Rice’s remarks.

Update: Wolf Blitzer just had a discussion of the matter on CNN, as a “hornet’s nest” in which Netanyahu “thumbed his nose” at the president and Democrats. Gloria Borger said that Rice would not have made her comments without the “explicit” direction of the president. Obama is obviously “annoyed” and “angered” by Netanyahu’s intervention. And the controversy will only ratchet up next week during the speech and its aftermath.

Ron Brownstein of National Journal put his finger on the issue, saying that such an intervention in our politics by a foreign leader has not happened in modern times. Earlier breaches between US presidents and Israeli leaders (Shamir/Bush 1, Netanyahu 1/Clinton) were not so rancorous.

About Philip Weiss

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

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72 Responses

  1. just
    February 25, 2015, 10:41 am

    I very much want the “bipartisan, immutable relationship” not only seriously debated, but also smashed wide open and given a thorough forensic examination~ an exam that includes microscopy. We need to critically examine the entire out of control organism that has been allowed to grow unchecked (and nurtured) for far too long.

    I wrote this earlier today:

    “Here’s the thing: I don’t care a whit about “bipartisanship” wrt Israel. As a matter of fact, that unquestioned, bipartisan support is exactly the problem! I hope that this is not reduced to a purely ‘political’ ruckus, and that this is a moment in time when reps and the American people can take a cold, hard look at this violent, belligerent, and nuclear armed Occupier who lives entirely outside international law. We must decide if we want to continue aiding and abetting in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, or if we want to preserve and make much better the precious remaining lives, rich heritage, and the culture of a beautiful and historic people.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments#sthash.NfuP1r3w.dpuf

    Rather than ‘historic people’, I should have written indigenous people of historic Palestine.

    • Krauss
      February 25, 2015, 3:39 pm

      My highly unqualified guess is that Netanyahu calculates that Obama is a lost cause anyway at this point. He has no more elections to run in, and as such he is immune to donor pressure. Further, the GOP controls both houses. Obama probably understands that he is a lame duck president in all but name.

      And Bibi understands the same, too. Which is why he is pushing ahead.

      The big question is whether everything can go back to “normal” once Hillary comes into office in 2017, which Bibi counts on. For the WH, that’s probably true. But I think this episode has seared a split in the Democratic party.

      If Warren would win in 2017 instead of Hillary, then it would become much harder for the unrepentant left to keep this position into the years ahead but since Hillary is in the right-wing of the Democratic party – the Schumer crowd – that opens a lot more space for these people because they are opposed to Hillary on most other issues anyway so why would Israel be different?

      Hillary’s fate will be to act as the handmaiden of Apartheid. It will be seen if she is so foolish as to give the so-called “2SS” a serious attempt, even if she knows it is dead. The point is to go through the motions and not seriously try it in the way that Obama did in 2009/2010.

      Either way, post-Bibi will be the Bennett era. Talk about a guy who is unashamedly pro-Apartheid. I wonder how comfortable even the J Street crowd will be with that guy.

    • JWalters
      February 25, 2015, 7:06 pm

      Well put! Here’s another encouraging sign of facts and justice coming to Palestine.
      https://consortiumnews.com/2015/02/25/the-gaza-test-for-world-justice/

  2. lonely rico
    February 25, 2015, 11:05 am

    >just
    a thorough forensic examination~ an exam that includes microscopy.

    A COLONOSCOPY perhaps ?

    • just
      February 25, 2015, 12:25 pm

      You bet!

      One for everyone in the US government, too!

  3. sawah
    February 25, 2015, 11:22 am

    Just and Phil
    you speak for me…thank you.

  4. eljay
    February 25, 2015, 11:41 am

    Rice: … We want the relationship between the United States and Israel to be unquestionably strong, immutable, regardless of political seasons in either country, regardless of which party may be in charge in each country.

    The relationship between any two countries – or between any two people – should never be “unquestionably strong, immutable”. It should always be open to re-evaluation.

    • lysias
      February 25, 2015, 12:01 pm

      Immutable? I take it Rice has not read George Washington’s Farewell Address:

      Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it – It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

      In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

      So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

      As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

      Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

      I learn from Wikipedia that the Farewell Address is still read out every year in the Senate (although the practice has, unfortunately, been abandoned in the House), but the Senators obviously no longer pay any attention to what it says.

      • just
        February 25, 2015, 12:10 pm

        I was reading that the other day for something else I have been working on, lysias.

        Thanks for bringing it here~ it’s even more relevant today than ever before, imho.

        Immutable– unchanging over time or unable to be changed:
        synonyms: fixed · set · rigid · inflexible · permanent · established · carved in stone · unchanging · unchanged · unvarying · unvaried · static · constant · lasting · enduring · steadfast
        (Oxford)

        Not good.

        PS~ Why would we have an “immutable” relationship with an outlaw mutant?

      • Rusty Pipes
        February 25, 2015, 6:25 pm

        What an opportune time for a Washington impersonator to recite the speech somewhere on Capitol Hill (the Senate floor, the House gallery, …), or various members of Code Pink could take turns reciting paragraphs of it from the gallery during Bibi’s speech.

      • just
        February 25, 2015, 6:47 pm

        Absolutely.

        Since Congress does nothing anyway except threaten and obstruct, it would be way cool for a Senator with a conscience and true grit (? LOLOL) to filibuster, and read it over and over and over…a la Mr. Smith Goes to Washington… with a vigorously energized and appreciative audience in attendance. I am sure that any venue would be packed with all kinds of good folks! It would be very educational for those that were less than enthusiastic, and just think how many kids could actually learn something worth being really proud of!

    • eGuard
      February 25, 2015, 7:34 pm

      immutable: Charlie Rose should have asked about that too.

  5. Kay24
    February 25, 2015, 11:48 am

    From within Israel, and from the US, many, many officials, all say the same thing, this speech is a very bad idea, and should be cancelled. Netanyahu must be an idiot, to keep ignoring all warnings. His arrogance prevents him to think clearly, and associating with Mr. Dirtbag, right now, when he is accused of nasty things, shows bad judgement on Netanyahu’s part. I hope all this backfires on this liar. He is risking too much just to win votes. Obviously he cannot run on his achievements, he has to insult the US President, just to impress his people and convince them to vote for him.

    • hophmi
      February 25, 2015, 12:06 pm

      “This couldn’t be better for the American people. I don’t think Humpty Dumpty lobby can be put back together again.”

      Only if you believe that the American people benefit from coddling a country like Iran. They don’t. Neither do the Iranian people, who will now have a tougher time dislodge the radical regime in Iran.

      The pro-Israel community in the United States will suffer a little, but as long as the anti-Israel community in the United States remains essentially marginalized as the latest fashion of the radical community, it won’t make much difference. Ultimately, those in the pro-Israel community are far better organized and far more effective than those in the anti-Israel community, and they have the vast majority of Americans behind them.

      • just
        February 25, 2015, 3:39 pm

        “Only if you believe that the American people benefit from coddling a country like Iran. They don’t. Neither do the Iranian people, who will now have a tougher time dislodge the radical regime in Iran.”

        This is not “coddling”! I understand that normalization of relations between nations and peace making is not your strong suit. You have no experience with it. Too bad, so sad. And who are you to say what the Iranian people want. I’m aghast at what Israeli people have demonstrated that they want! I think that 95% of Jewish Israelis are extremists, and at least as radical as their regime.

      • eljay
        February 25, 2015, 3:54 pm

        || hophmeee: Only if you believe that the American people benefit from coddling a country like Iran. They don’t. Neither do the Iranian people, who will now have a tougher time dislodge the radical regime in Iran. ||

        The American people also don’t benefit from coddling an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and religion-supremacist country like Israel. Neither do the Israeli people (including Israeli refugees) or the occupied Palestinians, who will now have a tougher time dislodging the radical regime in Israel.

      • Giles
        February 25, 2015, 5:44 pm

        Amazing . Israel gets an aid package worth well more than $3 billion per year from the USA, year after year, decade after decade. And an automatic veto by the USA of anything that crops us in the UN Security Council that they want vetoed.

        Iran gets attacked by computer viruses, threatened with war, has her scientists assassinated, has massive sanctions placed on it, is regularly accused of having a nuclear weapons program when it does not (but Israel sure does), and much more.

        And from this reality, hophmi concludes that Iran, not Israel, is the coddled country!

        You can’t make this stuff up.

      • eljay
        February 25, 2015, 8:49 pm

        || Giles: … from this reality, hophmi concludes that Iran, not Israel, is the coddled country!

        You can’t make this stuff up. ||

        And yet there it is. Zio-supremacists seem to enjoy re-defining words:
        – Demonizing, destabilizing and imposing crushing sanctions on a non-aggressor, nuclear-free country is “coddling”.
        – Goal + methods = “morality”.
        – To engage in aggression, theft, occupation and colonization is to act “defensively”.

      • Kay24
        February 25, 2015, 9:22 pm

        Why hops, look like you are jealous that Iran is being coddled. Tell you what, when they start getting $3 billion of aid, weapons, a couple of iron domes, and resolutions against them vetoed at the UN, I will agree with you that they are indeed getting “coddled”.

      • pjdude
        February 25, 2015, 11:46 pm

        well it seems your understanding of geopolitics is on par with your understanding of history, poor and substandard. normalizing relations with Iran will undercut the radicals because they won’t have the legiatmate rallying case of our aggression against them. it would give the majority of moderate Iranians the lift they need. of course that will still be hard with Israel’s calls for Iran’s demise. its hard for good people to succeed in peaceful goals when their being threatened by sociopaths.

        also it should be noted that most Iranians have a relatively positive view of the US. in fact i’m sure if you you looked at even though we blindly support Israel’s war crimes and attack Iran the Iranian people probably view americans more favorabaly than Israelis do.

      • oldgeezer
        February 26, 2015, 12:26 am

        @hophmi

        If sanctions are coddling then I sure hope our governments will coddle Israel. It can never be too soon.

        As usual you pervert language. To the same extent you disrepest human life. If you are an example of zionism then it’s an abject failure and needs to be driven out from society. At the very least we need to stop children from being indoctrinated into the cult.

      • Marnie
        February 26, 2015, 1:11 am

        Rice: The relationship between Israel as a country and the United States as a country has always been bipartisan and we’ve been fortunate that the politics have not been injected into this relationship. What has happened over the last several weeks by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu two weeks in advance of his election is that on both sides there has now been injected a degree of partisanship. Which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship, and it’s something that–

        Rose: It’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship–

        Rice: I didn’t stutter Charlie!

      • Walid
        February 26, 2015, 1:53 am

        “If you are an example of zionism then it’s an abject failure and needs to be driven out from society. ”

        Oldgeezer, Ahmadinejad said exactly the same thing about eliminating Zionism as an ideology and true to form, the Zionists deformed it into a statement to mean that he wanted to destroy the Jewish people and they have been hanging on to it like a dog with a bone since then. Ahmadinejad has long been gone but you just can’t get those Zionists to drop the bone.

      • Brewer
        February 26, 2015, 2:38 am

        It would benefit Hophmi to study the Iranian political system in some depth. Along with the Libyan system under Gaddhafi it maybe offers some lessons in how a democracy can be more representative of the people it serves.
        Whatever you might think of the statements made by its leaders, they appear to me to be supported by the people which is more than I can say for either my Government or yours.
        http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2015/02/sharpening-stick-at-both-ends-lord-of.html

    • amigo
      February 25, 2015, 1:23 pm

      Kay 24, I thought we mostly agreed that it would be better to let him have at it.

      He has a big mouth, better he is given the opportunity to prove it again and especially as the audience will be far greater this time.Of course, if this appearance reduces his chance of being re-elected , then I would have reservations.We do not want another ten years of fake peace process as the expansion continues under Herzhog/Livni.

      • Bornajoo
        February 25, 2015, 7:01 pm

        “We do not want another ten years of fake peace process as the expansion continues under Herzhog/Livni.”

        Greetings Amigo. We sure don’t
        Nuttyyahoo knows his audience well. He has calculated that he will score more points back home by looking tough and strong and supposedly standing up to Obama. His main concern is to be reelected and at any cost. This speech will help get him reelected and he doesn’t give two hoots about collateral damage. That’s why it’s essential to keep this self destructive self proclaimed king of the Jews right where he is

      • just
        February 25, 2015, 7:16 pm

        Bingo, amigo and Bornajoo.

        Seems that his wife has a big mouth, too and it’s making Likkkud nervous:

        “In the conversation Sara Netanyahu is heard scolding Monique Ben Melech, wife of former Sderot mayor, Eli Moyal, for Moyal’s criticism of the prime minister’s performance during the war in Gaza.

        Moyal confirmed the recording exists Wednesday and said he was in favor of releasing it, but it was up to his wife to decide what to do with it.

        Journalist Ben Caspit published excerpts of the recording in Maariv newspaper last August. The conversation took place after Moyal’s call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign on Channel 2 News one evening. An angry Sara Netanyahu is cited extolling her husband’s virtues: “The man took the entire State of Israel on his shoulders, he sends troops to battle, acts with extraordinary political wisdom, he’s read tons of books, he understands economics, he understands security, he’s got university degrees … He knows how to talk to world leaders … The whole world worships him … Who’s your Eli Moyal? He can’t hold a candle to Bibi,””

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-election-2015/1.644253?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

        Does she really believe that “He knows how to talk to world leaders…The whole world worships him…”???

        Maybe they don’t have tv or the internet in any of their haunts.

      • Bornajoo
        February 25, 2015, 7:32 pm

        “Does she really believe that “He knows how to talk to world leaders…The whole world worships him…”???”

        You know the old saying Just, behind every successful maniac there must be a psychotic wife

        She probably tells him repeatedly like a chant that he’s the king of the Jews while she’s combing his hair into that funny shape.

      • just
        February 25, 2015, 8:03 pm

        rotflmao!

        It IS a funny shape………

      • Kay24
        February 25, 2015, 9:33 pm

        Bibi has blundered, blustered, and bullied. He has bombed and butchered. He has bulldozed his way into the Congress because of Boehner. Although I agree that any zionist elected as PM will not change anything, the occupation will continue, so will the illegal settlements, somehow Beebs has become a toxic personality, that has been shown to be a liar, and called a liar.
        I still think it is better for the President to deal with a newer leader. It will take years for that likely newcomer to be able to “move America” the way Bibi does.

  6. a blah chick
    February 25, 2015, 12:17 pm

    “Dershowitz suggests that the Congress has a constitutional responsibility to hear Netanyahu,”

    Bwahahahaha!

  7. JLewisDickerson
    February 25, 2015, 12:23 pm

    Regarding that photo of Dershowitz used for the poster, see THIS. And remember, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
    As to who’s flattering whom, I’m fairly certain Dershowitz’s photo is the more recent of the two.

    • just
      February 25, 2015, 12:27 pm

      :-O !

    • ckg
      February 25, 2015, 2:12 pm

      is THIS safe for work?

      • tree
        February 25, 2015, 3:07 pm

        As long as your work doesn’t mind you looking at photos of Ahmedinajad and Dershowitz it should be safe.

      • ckg
        February 25, 2015, 3:35 pm

        Well okay then. My work would only mind if Dershowitz didn’t keep his underwear on.

      • JLewisDickerson
        February 25, 2015, 3:46 pm

        RE: “My work would only mind if Dershowitz didn’t keep his underwear on.” ~ ckg

        MY REPLY: Perish the thought! Puh-leeze! ! !

    • Pixel
      February 25, 2015, 8:17 pm

      @JLD

      Priceless!

  8. just
    February 25, 2015, 12:23 pm

    “One of Israel’s strongest supporters in the Democratic Party, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, issued a rare public rebuke to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday for refusing an invitation to meet with Democratic Senators during his upcoming visit to Congress.

    “His refusal to meet is disappointing to those of us who have stood by Israel for decades,” Durbin said.

    Durbin, who initiated the invitation to Netanyahu along with California Senator Diane Feinstein, said: “We offered the Prime Minister an opportunity to balance the politically divisive invitation from Speaker Boehner with a private meeting with Democrats who are committed to keeping the bipartisan support of Israel strong.”

    Durbin and Feinstein had invited Netanyahu to a closed-door meeting with Democratic senators in a letter on Monday, amid tensions over his plans to address the U.S. Congress on Iran’s nuclear program”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.644199?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    You call that a “rebuke’??? I call it pandering. I am sickened by the Democratic ‘leadership’s” latest licking of the boot.

    ‘Coffers for Coffins’ seems to be the only thing that the US pols are interested in. Israel first, the US (and a whole lot of other people, including Palestinians) last~ prevails.

  9. JLewisDickerson
    February 25, 2015, 1:01 pm

    RE: “Netanyahu opened the door of making Israel support partisan . . .” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: For quite some time, there has been a “mature, symbiotic relationship” (to borrow from Doug Feith) between the Republican and Likud Parties.

  10. DaBakr
    February 25, 2015, 1:26 pm

    Bullsh*t the ‘relationship between Israel the nation and the US the nation has always been bipartisan’.

    James Baker : “Fk the Jews,…they did’t vote for us”

    • just
      February 25, 2015, 3:20 pm

      one guy.

      That’s all you got?

      • DaBakr
        February 25, 2015, 7:49 pm

        @just

        look up “always” in an English dictionary. “Usually” would probably have been more accurate since everybody on this commentary blog is so worried about ‘accuracy’ ;)

    • amigo
      February 26, 2015, 9:44 am

      “Usually” would probably have been more accurate since everybody on this commentary blog is so worried about ‘accuracy’ ;) dabakr

      James da baker “Fk the Jews,…they did’t vote for us” –

      Hmmm, for someone so interested in accuracy, too bad you ” did,t” practice what you preach.

  11. W.Jones
    February 25, 2015, 1:41 pm

    How much more obeisant can US officials appear, beyond the unanimous 28 standing ovations to a full joint session?

    Walking to an enthroned foreign dignatory on the knees, kissing toes, and laying prostrate is no longer very “PC”. But we still have politically obilgatory “pilgrimages”, in one of the most recent of which Obama laid a wreath for Herzl. What do you think? Or is this a sensitive topic, wherein criticizing some signs of respect could be considered anti-semitism?

  12. W.Jones
    February 25, 2015, 2:18 pm

    Trapped Democrats Can’t Decide on Netanyahu Speech

    for the more than 15,000 Aipac volunteers who will descend on the capital. Congressional staffers working on the issue say they expect the volunteers will ask lawmakers to co-sponsor the Kirk-Menendez bill on Iran sanctions, which Obama says he will veto, but will not press for a vote before the March 24 deadline for a political framework to come out of the Geneva talks.
    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-02-25/trapped-democrats-can-t-decide-on-netanyahu-speech

    According to Chomsky, the Israeli lobby is “one of the smaller lobbies.”

    Do you realize how much lobbying power 15,000 lobbyists is? That is the size of a large university population. Some “major” Christian peace groups can put together a few hundred volunteers for a conference.

  13. Kris
    February 25, 2015, 2:35 pm

    The “special relationship” is like the “special relationship” that exists between the mother who looks away, and the father who is abusing their daughter.

    To refresh and refocus, try this achingly beautiful video with English subtitles:

    Teenage Palestinian singer Miral Ayyad, who won Ma’an Network’s Best Talent competition. Footage filmed in the Gaza Strip, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jerusalem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52D4yZKrb38#t=279

    (Thank you, “Just,” for the link.)

    • just
      February 25, 2015, 4:43 pm

      Spread it all around, Kris!

      You’re welcome.

  14. JLewisDickerson
    February 25, 2015, 3:00 pm

    RE: “Netanyahu speech is ‘destructive’ of ‘bipartisan, immutable relationship’ between US and Israel, Rice says”

    BLUNTLY PUT: “You have a head of state who happens to be a maniac” – Norman Finkelstein on Israel

    • just
      February 25, 2015, 4:46 pm

      The Professor is in- I watched it the other day!

      Thanks JDL.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        February 26, 2015, 11:36 am

        So Netanyahu was afraid to visit Britain out of fear of arrest. His visit to Washington provides an excellent opportunity to arrest him there. I suggest that in order to maximize the dramatic effect he be arrested and taken away in handcuffs just as he is about to address the Congress.

  15. just
    February 25, 2015, 4:35 pm

    O/T but really humorous, via Rania K:

    “Israeli @ronnie_barkan is in America. He tells me and @samknight1 he’s “just visiting the mainland””

    https://twitter.com/RaniaKhalek/status/570430207586390017

    (Great photo at the link. fyi, Ronnie Barkan, Sam Knight, and Rania Khalek have contributed to MW!)

    And another from Max B~ it is to laugh!!!

    “Max Blumenthal
    The Israeli army has uncovered a cache of antique Palestinian terror muskets!

    https://twitter.com/maxblumenthal

    Not gonna link to the iof, you’ll have to find it from his link.

  16. just
    February 25, 2015, 4:57 pm

    “U.S. pro-Palestinian group’s latest bus ad to target Netanyahu speech to Congress

    American Muslims for Palestine previously posted ads in New York train stations accusing Israel of apartheid; new ad, like old ones, call for end to U.S. aid to Israel.

    The Washington D.C.-based American Muslims for Palestine on Wednesday unveiled their latest ad, which targets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial upcoming speech to Congress, and which the group intends to run on buses.

    The ad excepts a statement Netanyahu, unaware he was being filmed, made to West Bank settlers in 2001, reading, “America is a thing you can move very easily.” The ad then states: “Stop the disrespect – End U.S. aid to Israel.”

    It also shows Netanyahu making his “cartoon bomb” speech to the United Nations, but the placard he’s holding shows not the cartoon, but rather a checklist he’s presenting to Congress, with “Israel agenda” checked off and an X next to “U.S. agenda.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.644241

    So excellent, perfect timing! Yay AMP!

    Picture of sign is here @ https://twitter.com/haaretzcom/status/570673112900980736

    • Neil Schipper
      February 26, 2015, 11:12 am

      .. but the placard he’s holding shows not the cartoon, but rather ..

      If the cause is so noble, why must the proponents so frequently lie?

  17. Pixel
    February 25, 2015, 8:02 pm

    Kerry Bombs Bibi on Iraq War

    “The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush. We all know what happened with that decision.”

    ZING!

  18. Pixel
    February 25, 2015, 10:23 pm

    Jeffrey Goldberg @JeffreyGoldberg ·
    7:14 PM – 24 Feb 2015 | 24h 24 hours ago
    Someone please explain Netanyahu’s behavior to me. I don’t understand his decision to reject a meeting with Democratic senators.

    7:27 PM – 24 Feb 2015 | 24h
    One thing I do know is that Ron Dermer is in Jerusalem now, by Bibi’s side — so decision to reject Dem meeting was made with his input.

    Jeffrey Goldberg @JeffreyGoldberg
    7:32 PM – 24 Feb 2015 | 23h 23 hours ago
    Plausible explanation for Bibi behavior from @mkoplow: https://twitter.com/mkoplow/status/570425617616908289

    Michael Koplow ‏@mkoplow
    7:30 PM – 24 Feb 2015 | 23h 23 hours ago
    @JeffreyGoldberg if he gives the Dem senators the photo-op without any GOPers there, it’s admitting mistake of partisan speech invite

    =========

    Having spent “all day” on the phone with Diane’s, Dick’s, and other Dem’s staffers, lodging my disgust at their invite to Bibi, I had to rub my eyes several times to make sure I was reading correctly that Bibi had turned them down.

    Nearly simultaneously, Jeffrey Goldberg and I must have been thinking, “WTF?”

    While nothing involving Bibi should ever shock me, I WAS shocked – FLOORED, really. The GREAT news just keeps coming!!

    Seriously, those Dems (traitors that they are) reached out to meet with him “in consolation,” and he declined the invitation? I can’t IMAGINE what he and Dermer were thinking with their continued misreading of everything possible that’s related to this wondrous fiasco — but in doubling down on the insult they doubled down on their stupidity (or vice versa).

    THANK GOD, they’re stupid!

    1. Vote Bibi IN
    2. Vote Rahm OUT

  19. echinococcus
    February 25, 2015, 10:34 pm

    This exceptionally candid confession by Rice should be an invaluable tool to beat the Democratic voter base with, along with similar statements by Hillary. Properly used, they may well help a very decent showing by any anti-Zionist third party.

  20. Kay24
    February 25, 2015, 11:14 pm

    Vote all those who put Israel above their own country OUT. I am sick of the entire lot conniving against their own President, and his effort to avoid peace. That goes for both parties.

    Bibi has painted himself into a corner, and seem to go down with a lot of bluster, and unable to reverse this disaster he and his side kick Dermer, concocted, and Boehner was eager to join.
    Apart from the US Congress, who seems eager to kiss up to the Liar of Telaviv, it seems officials in Israel, the zionist media, and American Jews, all think this is a stupid idea, and can see the repercussions this may have on many fronts, including the relationship with the WH.
    I hope this backfires BIG TIME on the troublemaker. His saber rattling, fake bomb cartoons, and sky is falling routine, is getting stale and has lost ALL credibility.

    • oldgeezer
      February 25, 2015, 11:45 pm

      The other major problem is the JeffB type. Let’s face it that he is never going to have the authority to do much worse than order the cook to burn you toast but at the same time he has stated, in black and white, his loyalty to the US is secondary to his loyalty to the tribe and the state of Israel I doubt he is alone. There are likely many others. There are like many Hispanics, Whites, Blacks or other groups who would profess similar loyalties.

      What is a state to do about supposed citizens who owe their primary loyalty elsewhere. I say supposed as your loyalty has been reduced to a matter of convenience which means no loyalty at all. These people are not real citizens and certainly don’t deserve a vote at the very least.

      • Kay24
        February 26, 2015, 5:17 am

        We should not give such elements our trust, or vote for them. Even the zionist media, shamelessly toes the zio line, and are afraid to whisper criticism or the truth. The lobbies finance and help these elements to beat their rival at elections, and then they are their puppets forever. There are plenty of good reasons why Boobi man says American can be moved by the them very easily.

  21. crone
    February 26, 2015, 2:16 am

    I think this should run as a full page ad in the NYTimes… from http://normanfinkelstein.com/2015/02/24/jsw-on-israeli-elections/

    “If Benjamin Netanyahu hadn’t gone into politics he’d be on Broadway, hamming it up as a pantomime villain. Israel’s hawkish prime minister is theatrically obnoxious to the point where even Israel’s staunchest allies in the American Jewish community are urging him to tone it down. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t just show up to your house uninvited, but brings along his dirty laundry, empties your fridge, urinates in the sink and then abruptly storms out, complaining about poor service.”

    • Walid
      February 26, 2015, 4:16 am

      “If Benjamin Netanyahu hadn’t gone into politics he’d be on Broadway, hamming it up as a pantomime villain -”

      A graying Oil Can Harry.

    • Kay24
      February 26, 2015, 5:19 am

      Don’t forget the aging actress by his side. She needs thousands of Israeli shekels for make up (wasted effort) and acts like the Queen of Zioland, throwing her weight around too. What a pathetic duo.

      • Neil Schipper
        February 26, 2015, 10:59 am

        She needs thousands of Israeli shekels for make up (wasted effort) and acts like the Queen of Zioland ..

        White hot hatred of the cruel and greedy is perhaps not the worst sentiment. But it needs to be calibrated.

        The Arab world’s first ladies of oppression

        “Every revolution has its Lady Macbeth,” sighed one Middle East expert in Paris. The dictators’ wives are all very different, united by the varying degrees of hatred they inspired, eye-watering fortunes, expensive wardrobes and often a state-sanctioned so-called “feminism” or, like Asma al-Assad, charity work as a public distraction against the brutal realities of the regime.

        Leila Trabelsi, the politically ambitious wife of Tunisia’s Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, was easily the most detested, a monstrous symbol of nepotism and corruption, whose embezzlement of state wealth made Imelda Marcos’s nearly 3,000 pair of shoes seem trifling. Trabelsi sparked the sense of injustice that flamed the revolution, keeping a mafia-style hold of the nation’s economy, siphoning off riches to her and her husband’s family, who were thought to control 30-40% of the economy, running everything from customs to car-dealers, supermarket chains and banana importations. She and her relatives are accused of ordering people from their homes if they wanted their land, confiscating their businesses if they thought they could profit from them. Trabelsi took archaeological artefacts to decorate her palace rooms while her daughter and son in law flew in ice-cream from St-Tropez for dinner parties.

        Described as the woman who sparked the Arab spring, Trabelsi, who liked to be called “Madame La Présidente”, inspires dread in the public imagination. A book by her butler recently described how she would ritually sacrifice chameleons to supposedly cast spells over her husband and how she punished one cook by plunging their hands into boiling oil. From exile in Saudi Arabia with her husband Ben Ali, the couple are seeking to appeal their sentencing in absentia last year to 35 years in jail accused of theft and unlawful possession of large sums of foreign currency, jewellery, archaeological artefacts, drugs and weapons – the first of several cases against them. After they fled, $27m (£17m) in cash and jewels, guns and 2kg of drugs were found at one of their lavish palaces outside Tunis.

        Meanwhile, Suzanne, the half-Welsh wife of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, benefited from a fortune of billions in a country where around 40% of the population lives on less than £1.20 per day. She is now being investigated alongside her husband on allegations of crimes against the state and has relinquished disputed assets worth nearly £2.5m. Before the Egyptian revolution, whole newspaper pages were “allocated” to cover Suzanne’s “charitable engagements” and “actions” for women. But like Trabelsi, this was a facade. The Tunisian first lady headed several official women’s rights bodies, awarding herself prizes for feminism, while grassroots feminist democracy campaigners saw their members regularly beaten in the street by the regime’s police and political prisoners were raped in torture cells. Similarly, Suzanne Mubarak would jet off to meet Arab leaders’ wives to talk about women’s issues while independent women in Egypt were being heavily repressed.

        Suzanne, 71, whose father was a doctor and mother a nurse from Pontypridd, married Mubarak when she was 17 and he was a 30-year-old army officer. One account described her lying weeping on the palace floor, refusing to leave during the uprising.

        Whataboutery: it’s deep.

  22. edding
    February 26, 2015, 8:57 am

    The ”special relationship” began with Israel as a proxy to advance U.S. interests in the Middle East, and as a domestic political decision by Truman, except that the U.S. has in its own right also become a client state advancing the interests of Israel. The American people have never been told the truth by its leaders about the history of the region, as opposed to a narrative conceived to legitimize and advance those geopolitical and economic interests.

    Unfortunately, if one questions the narrative of a ‘special and immutable relationship’ one is attacked as unpatriotic and lacking in morality. How ‘special’ is that? It would be better for our leaders to look at what the U.S. really needs to do to advance its interests, and for Israel to be more willing to live in harmony with its neighbors- and also to pay its debts to the U.S. and the Palestinian people.

    Israel is counting upon becoming a major player in the energy industry, and the major player in the Mediterranean and Levant, but if it keeps stoking conflict and involving itself in regime change, the hatred on the other side will continue, and as other choices become available, there will be less need to trade with the Israelis and that is what will hurt them.
    Right now a different alliance that includes Egypt is beginning to coalesce around Russia, China and Iran, since offers better options for peace, security and economic development for the region.

  23. steven l
    February 26, 2015, 10:41 am

    Looks to me that the US Adm is DESPERATELY trying to brake the bipartisan position of the Senate and congress on Iran.
    The President legitimized the Fanatical Jihadi Islamic Dictatorship of Iran, he legitimized Iranian International terrorism and intended from day ONE to provide the Fanatics with a minimum of Nuke capacity.
    He also delegitimized the Iranian people and delegitimized Iranian democracy.
    When he legitimized Shia Jihadism, in reaction he legitimized Sunnis Jihadism.
    Now he is collaborating to the recreation of Russia zone of influence in Eastern Europe and leading to a new cold war type of era and perhaps a new IRON WALL that was brought down under Reagan!
    He has also undeniably exacerbated antisemitism while doing as little as possible to address the Islamism issue.
    Great foreign policy agenda and achievements!!!
    This looks like an anti-Western agenda.

  24. Neil Schipper
    February 26, 2015, 12:23 pm

    “You have a head of state who happens to be a maniac” – Norman Finkelstein on Israel

    And yet, if the election does not go Netanyahu’s way, he will relinquish power.

    I sometimes wonder what goes on in the minds of the elites of the Arab world — all the “Ministers of the Interior”, the oil and public works ministers, the judges, the UN representatives who drearily cast votes condemning Israel for “violations of international law”, and their jet-setting, shopaholic families — when they behold an Israeli election, noisy and bloodless. What do they make of its aftermath, the coalition formation process, with personalities as disparate as Livni and Lapid, Bennet and Lieberman, all agreeing to join a governing cabinet?

    Throughout the region, and well beyond, political power remains for the most part wielded by viscious unaccountable alpha-of-the-pack wolves, their power maintained by networks of paid thugs.

    Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh is suspected of amassing $30bn-$62bn of assets during and after his time in power, UN experts have said.

    They said Mr Saleh was believed to have transferred much of the wealth abroad under other names.

    Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East.

    The report said Mr Saleh’s assets included property, cash, shares, gold and other valuable commodities spread across at least 20 countries.

    Yemen ex-leader Saleh ‘amassed up to $60bn’ – UN probe – BBC News

    The low estimate, $30bn, equal to some ten years of U.S. funds provided to Israel, for one guy’s private fortune.

    Thousands of Arabs who stood against this thuggery in recent years, many brave young men and women, are dead or languishing in prison. Many of those were targeted because they expressed political views on social media.

    What we are doing on these sites.

    Whataboutery: it’s deep.

    • RoHa
      February 26, 2015, 5:56 pm

      “What we are doing on these sites.”

      Mostly commenting on and criticizing the evil of Zionism.

      Anything wrong with that?

      Fairly often commenting on the flaws of the Arab world and the various evils of Arab governments.

      Anything wrong with that?

      “Whataboutery: it’s deep.”

      What is that supposed to mean?

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