Israel wants its stealth bomber gift in writing because Obama administration ‘is not credible’

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This is good. Three hitters. George Washington bats third. (Who’s gonna bat cleanup, you, Barack?)

1. Didi Remez translates Hebrew press, at 972:

On the front page of this morning’s Maariv, senior columnist Ben Caspit reports:

“At least three top Likud figures who were briefed recently by officials very close to Netanyahu on the talks with the Americans, on the letter that has not (yet) been written, on the promises that were not made and the stealth bombers that stole away, say that the prevalent view in the Prime Minister’s Bureau about the US administration is that it is ‘not a credible administration.’ That is the reason, these sources say, for Netanyahu’s insistence on receiving the promises in writing. And that is the reason, say these sources, that some of the promises that Netanyahu heard from the Americans evaporated shortly afterwards.”

Caspit agrees with the analysis but is astounded that the Prime Minister’s Bureau should actually express it, pouring “oil” instead of “water” on the fires of the Israeli-American relationship when it’s “at an unprecedented nadir.”

2. From Mark Landler’s November 19 NYT story on-line, which appeared in slightly different, and unsigned form, in the print version yesterday:

Another sticking point, Israeli and American officials say, is the terms under
which the United States would deliver 20 F-35 stealth aircraft, worth $3
billion. The planes are the most tangible security incentive offered by Mrs.
Clinton in an eight-hour session with Mr. Netanyahu in New York on Nov. 11.

Initially, a senior official said, the planes were contingent on Mr. Netanyahu
concluding a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Now, he said, Israel may get the planes even if it does not clinch a deal.

[CHANGED in November 20 print version to read: “Another sticking point. . .is whether the United States would deliver the 20 F-35 stealth aircraft. . .if Mr. Netanyahu did not conclude a peace deal with the Palestinians.” NOTE: “may get even if” has been cut.]

Israeli officials believe Mrs. Clinton offered the planes free of charge,
according to a senior Israeli official. But an American official said Israel
must pay some of the $3 billion.

Two paragraphs from George Washington’s Farewell Address:

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. . . . 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.


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