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Backlash against Netanyahu: He gets 2-1/2 hours with Obama during shutdown, trying to thwart Iran opening

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Maybe you’ve noticed: a groundswell of anger is building toward Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israelis in the wake of the prime minister’s fearmongering speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, and his efforts to stand in the way of the American opening to Iran.

The State Department says we’re in “lockstep” with the Israelis. But if we’re in lockstep, then why is Netanyahu calling the Iranian leader a liar and a charlatan?

Andrea Mitchell showed frank impatience with Netanyahu during an interview with him aired on NBC news last night. When the Israeli prime minister blustered about Iran wanting to destroy Israel, and being led by a messianic, apocalyptic, radical cult, Mitchell demurred, in a Friend-of-Israel way:

Do you think you have a risk of overstating the dangers and hurting Israel by isolating Israel from the rest of the world that wants a diplomatic opening?

Her next questions revealed more impatience with Israeli tactics.

So why not test him [Rouhani]?

Why not give this man a chance?

Then Mitchell put in this final dig:

Even with the US government on the brink of shutting down, on Monday the Israeli leader spent hours with President Obama

I noticed this myself at J Street on Monday, when Vice President Biden showed up late for his speech and offered the following excuse:

I’ve just spent 2 ½ hours meeting with the president and Prime Minister Netanyahu and his team, and then alone in my office for the better part of an hour with just the prime minister and myself, talking about the issues that are of mutual concern.  And so I – (cheers, applause) – I truly – I truly apologize for keeping you waiting.

2-1/2 hours of the president’s time? 3-1/2 hours of the veep’s? Not to mention Biden’s trip to J Street…. In the midst of the government shutdown. Jeez.

Meantime, over at the State Department, reporters were saying the same thing Mitchell was saying, that Netanyahu is seeking to thwart our new policy vis-a-vis Iran. The State Department says it’s in “lockstep” with Israel. But if it’s in lockstep, what about the wild accusations Netanyahu is making. From the briefing with Jen Psaki:

QUESTION: I presume you watched, or at least you have an idea of what [Netanyahu] said today at the UN. Essentially, there were two things: One is, absolutely no trust of what Iran is up to, and that they would act alone – Israel would act alone to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb…. It was quite harsh, compared to even to what he said about this yesterday.

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, he just met with the President and with the Secretary yesterday, and we are in lockstep agreement that we are not going to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon….

QUESTION: But when you say that you’re in a lockstep with the Israelis, does that include… the preferred path being diplomacy?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m not going to speak for what their beliefs are…

QUESTION: You said that you’re in lockstep. However, he is really harsher when it comes to that. Essentially, he’s saying there should be no trust. You can’t trust Iran at all. …

QUESTION: Do you share Prime Minister Netanyahu’s view that Iranian President Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to speak to every comment that every foreign leader makes. I think I can speak to what our view is, which is that President Rouhani – there’s a new opportunity given his election. We will see if they backup their words with actions, and time will tell….

QUESTION: So you think it’s conceivable that President Rouhani is trustworthy?…

QUESTION: [Netanyahu] suggested that the Iranians are like the North Koreans, which as you know, have reached a series of agreements with the United States that the United States subsequently concluded they had violated, right?… So what he is clearly saying is he doesn’t think you can trust Rouhani. Do you think it is possible you can trust Rouhani?

MS. PSAKI: If we did not think a path forward was possible, we wouldn’t be pursuing a path forward. So – and obviously, he is one of the proponents of that.

QUESTION: So did he repeat this idea that Israel would be prepared to go it alone in the meetings yesterday with Secretary Kerry? And if so, what was Secretary Kerry’s advice on that?… Is the United States position in agreement with Israel that they have the right to go it alone if they want to?

MS. PSAKI: Well, that has been our position for some time…

More evidence of backlash. John Judis in the New Republic–which used to be Israel-friendly– calls Netanyahu’s speech “shockingly bad.” Teeming with misrepresentations, and slighting American policy, which is to get a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s speech was also rife with questionable claims. He contended that Iran is developing intercontinental ballistic missiles “whose sole purpose is to deliver nuclear warheads.” And he warned that these missiles would be able to reach New York “in three or four years.” True? Greg Thielmann of the Arms Control Association wrote this July after Netanyahu aired similar claims on Meet the Press, “So far, Iran has never flight-tested a long-range ballistic missile—neither a 5,500 km range ICBM nor a 3,000-5,500 km range intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). Moreover, in striking contrast to its active pursuit of short- and medium-range missiles, Iran has never declared or demonstrated an interest in developing longer-range systems. It would be appropriate to at least bring these facts into the discussion of when (or if) an Iranian ICBM threat might eventually appear.”

Netanyahu’s speech was filled with head-scratching hypocrisy that must have amused those UN delegates that it didn’t enrage….

I don’t know exactly why the Obama administration began threatening military action against Iran, but I fear that it was prompted by a desire to calm Netanyahu, who in 2011 was already threatening military action. The timing makes it appear that way. What’s worse is that Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have continued to voice this rhetoric. After his White House meeting with Netanyahu yesterday, Obama stated, “I’ve said before and I will repeat that we take no options off the table, including military options, in terms of making sure that we do not have nuclear weapons in Iran that would destabilize the region and potentially threaten the United States of America.” And speaking at the J Street conference, Biden repeated Netanyahu’s canard that Iran poses an “existential threat” to Israel…

The speech itself was 3,138 words. Of these, Netanyahu devoted 53 words at the end to declaring his willingness to deal with the Palestinians. He devoted another 94 words to setting conditions that the Palestinians are not ready to accept. Is Netanyahu serious about making an “historic compromise” with Palestinians? Or could he be less serious about this than Rouhani is about making a deal on Iran’s nuclear program? Who is the deceiver here?

More backlash. speculates that Israel is seeking to derail the diplomacy by conducting assassinations. It refers to this story in USA Today:

The commander of Iran’s cyberwar program has been shot dead in an apparent assassination, a British newspaper reported Wednesday.

Mojtaba Ahmadi, who specialized in computer defense, was found dead in woods near Tehran with two bullets in his heart, The Telegraph said, citing a website linked to the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He was last seen Saturday leaving for his job at the Cyber War Headquarters, according to the site, Alborz


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49 Responses

  1. lysias
    October 3, 2013, 11:03 am

    Walter Pincus of all people has a column in today’s Washington Post calling for Israel to get rid of her nukes as part of a deal to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. Fineprint: A new approach for Israel?

    Pincus usually reflects the views of the U.S. intelligence and military communities. Is this their reaction to Netanyahu’s latest grandstanding?

    • Don
      October 3, 2013, 11:46 am

      Lysias, great link, but you understate the case.

      Pincus is extremely critical of Israel.

      Has anyone ever seen an article this harshly critical of Israel in the Washington Post before?

      • Kathleen
        October 3, 2013, 1:52 pm

        “Pincus is extremely critical of Israel” This may be the first example. Can you show us others? Everything I have ever read that Pincus has written or said about Israel as mild and in support of Israel. Where is this “extreme” criticism of Israel out of Pincus before this piece?

      • Don
        October 3, 2013, 2:09 pm

        I meant this piece specifically.

      • lysias
        October 3, 2013, 2:14 pm

        I think Don meant that Pincus is extremely critical of Israel in the piece I gave the link to.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        October 3, 2013, 2:21 pm

        Where is this “extreme” criticism of Israel out of Pincus before this piece?

        I would never associate Pincus with extreme criticism of Israel but he has written pieces they really didn’t like. This one was easy to find:

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        October 3, 2013, 2:58 pm

        And Pincus was sceptical about Iraq’s so-called WMD, prior to the idiotic US invasion in 2003.

      • irmep
        October 3, 2013, 3:27 pm

        Pincus news articles about foreign agents triggered the Fulbright hearings in the early 1960s. He openly accused various Jewish Agency funded operatives of buying and manipulating Congress, documenting it with subpoenaed files as a Senate investigator.

        He knows a lot.

      • Kathleen
        October 3, 2013, 4:29 pm

        irmep will go looking for those Pincus articles that triggered the Fulbright hearings when I have more time. Bet you have them at your incredible site.

  2. amigo
    October 3, 2013, 11:17 am

    Is Obama pushing Israel into an election.
    Will Israelis call for yahoo,s resignation???.

    Just asking.

    • ziusudra
      October 4, 2013, 3:18 am

      Greetings amigo,
      Caught Mr Nitwit-jahu on TV here in Germany on the ‘Charles Rose’ Show.
      Charles spent his time trying to nail Bibiski into coming over with giving
      diplomacy a chance on Iran, Bibinski simply raved on throughout.
      Bibinski’s finest moment of being constructive was his farewell !
      PS Goebbels & McCarty also ne’er gave in to ‘common sense’.

  3. dbroncos
    October 3, 2013, 11:22 am

    Great reporting, Phil. In their news conference Obama looked thoroughly agitated, beleagured, fatigued, dejected – with that “why am I spending a minute of my time with this ass hole” look on his face. The American electorate, with the shadow of gov’t shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis looming large, had good cause to ask the same question. Netanyahu and his American pals are playing a dangerous game here, coming closer to a direct and public confrontation with American interests than they have in a long time. This could a Waterloo moment for the Israeli juggernaut.

    • chet
      October 3, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Notwithstanding Obama’s appearance of “beleagurement” or “dejection”, he knows full well that “fellating the donkey” is required to get the campaign financing that is at stake.

      • annie
        October 3, 2013, 1:30 pm

        obama is not running again tho, so i am not sure it is campaign financing this time around. maybe for his party, but most likely this is to calm the beast.

    • seafoid
      October 3, 2013, 4:13 pm

      What is happening now is simply incredible. Tea Party intransigence trumps AIPAC. The US may default within a fortnight.

      The US then wouldn’t have the money to go to war for Israel even if the American people weren’t sick of pointless treasury draining wars in the Middle East.

      This was the high point of Zionism :

      It never got any better

      Who would have thought that “shock and awe” would have ended up strengthening Iran ? Or that Galut would have turned its back on Netanyahu’s belligerence?

      • ziusudra
        October 4, 2013, 3:33 am

        Greetings seafoid,
        Serendipity happens where we are unable to phatom it.
        Who would have thought that a simple misunderstanding of
        one of the hierarchy in the DDR in Oct 1989, when asked by a
        reporter whether the Border is or will be opened, inadvertently
        said yes, the border is open. The people walk slowly across the
        border & the last one turned off the light of the end of Deutsche Demokratischer Republik!
        PS O’Bloomers seized the day in the Kairos ( The Greek allorgorical God of the golden moment of opportunity) agreeing to talks with Iran!
        If he pulls this off, he will have saved his presidentcy.

  4. bijou
    October 3, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Great reporting Phil.

    I hope we can use this thread to keep tracking these kinds of responses as they come out.

  5. Citizen
    October 3, 2013, 12:32 pm

    With friends like Netanyahu, who needs enemies? His speech stuck a finger directly in Obama’s eye and US continuing to say we’re in lockstep with Israel anyway is humiliating–surely the whole world watched this big dufus US cuckold in action, once again. Talk about fanning derision. Everybody knows the score here except Dick and Jane.

    • tokyobk
      October 4, 2013, 2:05 am

      Have you ever even checked what your mythical Dick and Jane think about Israel? According to the newest and last Pew studies, twice as many white Evangelicals believe God gave Israel to the Jews as Jews do, some 80%! which of course is Insane.
      Most Americans still support Israel as a Jewish state. So lurking and nefarious David and Judith are in fact not poising the minds of pure hearted Dick and Jane.
      This will certainly change and Netanyahu’s antics will be a catalyst, as will younger Jews caring less about religion and Israel in general. But stop acting like the American public is innocent about about this issue and if they only knew. They know.

      • Ellen
        October 4, 2013, 10:00 am

        It is a pattern in the way Hasbarists refer to polls to back up the assertion the Dick and Jane are all behind Israel as a “Jewish State.”

        Confronted with such questions that are designed to elicit a specific response (most all polls carry a result bias by design) Dick and Jane do not even understand what they are responding to.

        Mostly, they do not care about Israel and care about their own lives and safety. Israel offers conflict, costs and insecurity to Dick and Jane.

        This is what more Americans understand.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        October 5, 2013, 6:33 pm

        Average American is scarcely aware of the Israel lobby. Even if they are foolish Christian Zionists getting played by the lobby.

  6. Tom Callaghan
    Tom Callaghan
    October 3, 2013, 12:40 pm

    It seems to me that Bibi either does not know or does not care how mainstream Americans think. He must feel totally secure in the knowledge that his hammerlock on Congress is a trump card he can play indefinitely.

    That may be an incorrect assumption. I was pleasantly surprised by the comments to Danny Danon’s OP-ED in the New York Times calling for Israel to Annul the Oslo Accords.

    People were angry at the arrogance of the piece and some expressed displeasure that the Times would publish a piece that purported to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian
    problem without even mentioning the word “settlements”. The anger was palpable and those were just the comments they choose to publish.

    • seafoid
      October 3, 2013, 1:42 pm

      Yoffie says Israel is losing the battle for American minds

      “In America, Israel is losing the debate on Iran
      With isolationism now firmly mainstream among the U.S. public, Netanyahu must lower his sights: focus on sanctions, and keep up the momentum with the Palestinians

      Americans have been engaged in two wars over a 12-year period, and neither has gone well. Add to that the antics of a dysfunctional national government that has lurched from crisis to crisis while the economy sputters, and it is hardly a surprise to find resistance among most Americans to any additional foreign involvements.

      On the other hand, just in the last three to four months, isolationist feeling appears to have grown significantly. When President Barack Obama called for military action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons, even veteran pundits were taken aback by the intensity of the public’s opposition. According to a Gallup poll, support for military action was among the lowest for any intervention the polling organization has asked about in the last 20 years.

      Of great importance as well are the dramatic changes in the conservative camp. In recent years, Republicans have seen themselves as the assertive, hard-line party, advocates of American activism and champions of American values abroad. But with remarkable speed, this image has disintegrated. Pressured by Senator Rand Paul and the Tea Party, the once assertive GOP has become an either silent or stuttering voice on the great foreign policy issues of the day. Paul, who just last year was seen as a fringe figure, is now on most everyone’s list as a first-tier Republican presidential candidate. Paul is talented, charming, intelligent, and principled — and an unwavering isolationist who demands that America withdraw from the world. ”

      What does this mean for Netanyahu?
      First, when the time comes, he could order an Israeli attack on Iran. But it is hard to find any American official who believes this is going to happen.
      Second, following up on his strong UN speech, Netanyahu should lower the tone, dispense with bluster and work hard with American Jews to educate both American parties on the continuing danger and deceptions of Iran.
      Third, he must convince the Americans that he is prepared for progress on the negotiations with the Palestinians. These negotiations are a high priority for the Obama administration and for the European Union; like it or not, attitudes on Iran will be shaped by perceptions of Israel’s role in the talks. ”

      The game is up for Netanyahu and greater Israel.

  7. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    October 3, 2013, 12:52 pm

    “2-1/2 hours of the president’s time? 3-1/2 hours of the veep’s?”

    Yup, rather than spending the time to solve an American crisis and attend to issues of importance to America and Americans, this duo of bought-and-paid-for, lick-spittle cravens waste their time to attend to this monster and his paranoid pathologies. Time to take back America from the control of this alien state.

  8. annie
    October 3, 2013, 1:16 pm

    great reporting phil.

    also, i mentioned in another thread, netanyahu mentions ‘nuclear weapons program’ 15 times in his speech. 15 times. but according to our intel, iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program.

    interestingly, NBC scrubbed this incredibly enthusiastic video of andrea mitchell discussing rapprochement with iran on 9/18.

    here’s the text i saved at the post (bold added)

    Mitchell: This is a very, very big deal. I can tell you at the White House and at the highest levels of the State Department they were watching for this all day. They were looking for these signals in this interview. Because he made it very clear he wants a deal on the nuclear weapons. The president told José Díaz-Balart on Telemundo yesterday he wants to test his seriousness. That is what they are going to be looking for at the U.N. There is no formal meeting scheduled, they are not planning one. But unlike Ahmadinejad, his predecessor, you can very well understand that next week when both of them are at the U.N., the same time, the same place, they are going to look for an opportunity to see each other, to perhaps have a real conversation. And they believe that Iran wants this because of the sanctions, because they are crippling the economy, that the time is right but there is a short window to see whether Iran is serious, whether this man with a clerical background can do the deal. I was told by a top top State Department official they have been working on the back channel for two years and one of the significant players is the foreign minister Zarif who was the U.N. Ambassador and is well known to everyone in this administration.

    why? and when you click on the original NBC embed at

    “Listen to the undercurrent of excitement in Andrea Mitchell’s framing on NBC News:

    the title on top of the browser page switches from “A breakthrough with Iran” to “First American anti Nazi film found” and that’s what you get!

    strange eh?

  9. James Canning
    James Canning
    October 3, 2013, 1:45 pm

    3 1/2 hours with Netanyahu would be exhausting.

    Let’s hope more reporters in the US see the danger posed by Netanyahu’s effort to block any improvement in US relations with Iran.

  10. Kathleen
    October 3, 2013, 1:58 pm

    “frank impatience” would be more like “PM Netanyahoo it does seem rather hypocritical that the Nation you are the leader of sits on a massive stockpile of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that go un inspected by the international community and your country has refused and continues to refuse to sign the IAEA’s NPT the very agreement that you want Iran to abide by as a signatory to that international agreement” Is that at all contradictory you PM? Because it sure is to the rest of the world.

    All this time more illegal settlements, more bulldozing of Palestinian homes the two state solution is done…long ago

  11. Sycamores
    October 3, 2013, 3:46 pm

    with all the commotion about Iran alleged nuclear weapon program wouldn’t this be a good time to discuss Mordechai Vanunu and what about Mr Olmert, who let slip during an interview in Germany that Israel did indeed have weapons of mass destruction. He told Germany’s Sat.1 channel last night:
    “Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly, threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel and Russia?”

  12. sandhillexit
    October 3, 2013, 3:50 pm

    A nuclear disarmament deal that applies equally to both the Persians and the Israelis is something Americans can understand and support. Full stop. Yammering on about the evils of nuclear weapons without mentioning that Pakistan and Israel have them too is just not going to cut it.

  13. seafoid
    October 3, 2013, 4:24 pm

    Netanyahu must have early onset brain disease

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told BBC Persian Thursday that if Tehran develops nuclear weapons, it will spell slavery for the Iranian people. The interview was one of several given in the wake of his United Nations General Assembly address.

    “If the Iranian regime gets nukes, the Iranian people will never be freed from tyranny and will live in slavery forever,” he said in his first interview to a Persian-language television channel, which broadcasts to around 12 million people every week, according to network figures.

    The prime minister also addressed his audience briefly in Farsi. “We are not patsies,” Netanyahu said in Farsi. Netanyahu also held up a book authored by Iranian President Hassan Rohani, which, he said, includes passages in which Rohani explains his policy of using deception against the West in order to further Iran’s nuclear program.
    On Thursday night, Rohani tweeted that “Tel Aviv upset & angry…because the Iranian nation’s message of #peace is being heard better. #Iran #Dialogue.”

  14. DICKERSON3870
    October 3, 2013, 4:38 pm

    RE: “The State Department says we’re in ‘lockstep’ with the Israelis”

    MY QUESTION/COMMENT: So, are we are fellow soldiers, fellow inmate members of a chain gang, or are we both in the Hitler Youth?!?!

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Lockstep]:

    Lockstep marching or simply lockstep refers to marching, in the USA, in a very close single file in such a way that the leg of each person in the file moves in the same way and at the same time as the corresponding leg of the person immediately in front of him, so that their legs stay very close all the time.
    Originally it was used in drilling soldiers. Each soldier stepped on the point just vacated by the foot of the soldier in front of him. Thus the soldiers stayed in position to form close files.[1]
    Lockstep marching was a characteristic trait of American prisons of the 19th century.[2] “Inmates formed in single file, right hand on the shoulder of the man in front, left hand on the side; the convicts then stepped off in unison, raising the right foot high and shuffling with the left.”[3] The reason for the shuffling step was the chain that connected the legs of a chain gang.
    In the Auburn Prison, John Cray developed the following form of the lockstep, as part of the penal system that has become known as the Auburn system, developed in the 1820s: “The lockstep was a method of walking where each man walked with his arms locked under the man’s arms in front of him”. This system was devised to keep prisoners under control during mass marches of several hundred prisoners from work places to mess, to cells, several times a day. Also, the inmates in lockstep were often required to alternate which side they were looking toward, to preclude communication.[4]
    The Auburn system, including its lockstep, was also adopted in Canada.[5]
    In some prisons, the inmates were divided into categories, with some of them walking in an ordinary military step, while lockstep was applied to others as a form of punishment.[6]
    In Nazi Germany, members of the Hitler Youth were also made to march in lockstep.[7]
    Along with striped robes and enforced silence, the prison lockstep was criticized as dehumanizing until it was abolished by the early 1900s.[8]
    The term acquired a number of other meanings by the way of analogy, referring to synchronous or imitating movement or other behavior, following something or someone (“in lockstep with…”), often with a pejorative tone.

    SOURCE –

    P.S. PHOTO: Lockstep in the Auburn Prison, c.1910

  15. Justpassingby
    October 3, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Sorry Phil but these are no backlash at all.

  16. DICKERSON3870
    October 3, 2013, 5:02 pm

    RE: But if we’re in lockstep, then why is Netanyahu calling the Iranian leader a liar and a charlatan?” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Because this is a special kind of lockstep. The U.S. has to do whatever the Israelis do, but the Israelis are free to do whatever they want to do (irrespective of what we do).
    AIPAC and the Likudniks say that there can be no “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel, but they don’t mean that Israel has to close the gap by doing what the U.S. does. The onus is ALWAYS on the U.S. to close any gap by moving closer to Israel. Consequently, when Israel moves away from a U.S. position, the U.S. must adopt the Israeli position (except for things like Israel’s government-run, socialized health care) so as to avoid the verboten “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel.
    In other words, America MUST always be Israel’s be “frayer”* so as to ensure that Israel does not become America’s frayer! ! !

    * FROM frayer:

    [EXCERPTS] There is one correct definition of the term frayer. It means “sucker” or “mark,” in the sense that somebody is a sucker if he goes along with the rules when nobody else is following them, or a mark if he’s a naive target for thieves. . .
    . . . In Israeli life and society, the worst thing anybody can ever be is a frayer, and most people will do anything and everything they can at all times to avoid being a frayer. The only way to be certain at any given moment that you are not a frayer is to make somebody else a frayer.

    SOURCE –

    P.S. ALSO SEE: James’ Journey to Jerusalem (Massa’ot James Be’eretz Hakodesh), 2004, NR, 87 minutes
    In the imaginary village of Entshongweni [probably somewhere in Africa], far from western civilization, young James is chosen to undertake a mission — a pilgrimage to holy Jerusalem. But Israel is no longer the Holy Land that James and his people imagined. When he’s suspected of trying to infiltrate the country to work illegally, James’s journey takes him through the cruel heart of our [i.e., Israel’s] economic system, as he learns the tricks of the game [how to avoid becoming a “frayer”] and plays it toward an inevitable end.
    Director: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
    Language: Hebrew (with English subtitles)
    Netflix format: DVD
    Netflix listing –
    IMDb –
    Massa’ot James Be’eretz Hakodesh (2003) – movie trailer [VIDEO, 01:38] –

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 3, 2013, 5:17 pm

      P.P.S. CORRECTED LINK: Massa’ot James Be’eretz Hakodesh (2003) – movie trailer [VIDEO, 01:39] –

    • pabelmont
      October 3, 2013, 5:37 pm

      “term frayer *** means “sucker” or “mark,” in the sense that somebody is a sucker if he goes along with the rules when nobody else is following them, or a mark if he’s a naive target for thieves. . . . . . In Israeli life and society, the worst thing anybody can ever be is a frayer, and most people will do anything and everything they can at all times to avoid being a frayer.”

      Well, ahem, the whole society, I mean the society-as-a-whole, evidently seeks to avoid being a “frayer” in the sense of going along with any rules that are NOT ENFORCED UPON ISRAEL — independent of whether the rules are enforced elsewhere. It might be called “get away with whatever you want to get away with and can get away with.”

      The chief modern instances of this are Israel’s nukes, its settlements, its land seizures, its refusals to comply with a lot of UNSC and UNGA resolutions, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and there are more.

      Viewing what Israel does (starting with its terroristic self-creation as a state in 1947-8), it is not surprising that its people follow similar rules in their individual lives. In a criminal enterprise (b.w.i.m.: take what you want by force), the members of the enterprise are likely to be criminals.

      • DICKERSON3870
        October 3, 2013, 6:39 pm

        I Just heard on the PBS Newshour that Biden said today that the Obama Administration would not allow Iran to use negotiations to “sucker” the U.S.
        Apparently they are trying to talk to Israel in “language” that Israel understands.
        The downside of that from the standpoint of George Lakoff is that they appear to be adopting Israel’s “central (conceptual/cognitive) metaphor” (i.e., the “frayer” one) rather than a more constructive one. No matter how good of an agreement the U.S. negotiates, Likudnik Israel will ALWAYS feel like it is being “suckered” by Iran. It is virtually impossible for Likudnik Israel to see anything as a “win-win”.

      • ziusudra
        October 4, 2013, 4:20 am

        Greetings pabelmont,
        …. fray, frayer, frayest……
        It seems surreal to me with Bibinski making his visits to O’Bloomers.
        Can we imagine Gobbels visiting Roosevelt seeking only to get closer to
        Austria & seeking advice from Roosevelt on how to use a little force on
        Poland to gain their friendship in 1938/39. This being the start of the advancement of Europe!
        If Nitwit-jahud is the Thesis of Goebbels today, who is Antithesis of Roosevelt today? No one because we have a dog in this fight.
        PS We knew the rules of the game, but the rules have been changed,
        enter, Prince George Orwell, Macheavelli & Klausiwitz.

  17. DICKERSON3870
    October 3, 2013, 5:34 pm

    RE: Is Netanyahu serious about making an “historic compromise” with Palestinians? ~ Judis

    A QUESTION OF GRAMMAR: I frequently see people use ‘an’ before ‘historic’, but my understanding is that since the ‘h’ in ‘historic’ is not silent (as in ‘hour’), historic should be preceded by ‘a’ (not ‘an’). Can anyone clear this up for me?

  18. DICKERSON3870
    October 3, 2013, 5:43 pm

    RE: Is Netanyahu serious about making an “historic compromise” with Palestinians? Or could he be less serious about this than Rouhani is about making a deal on Iran’s nuclear program? Who is the deceiver here? ~ Judis

    “How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents”, By Morgan Strong (A Special Report),, 5/31/10

    ● Secret Nukes and JFK
    . . . Even as it backed down in the Sinai [following its invasion in 1956], Israel was involved in another monumental deception, a plan for building its own nuclear arsenal.
    In 1956, Israel had concluded an agreement with France to build a nuclear reactor in the Negev desert. Israel also signed a secret agreement with France to build an adjacent plutonium reprocessing plant.

    Israel began constructing its nuclear plant in 1958. However, French President Charles de Gaulle was worried about nuclear weapons destabilizing the Middle East and insisted that Israel not develop a nuclear bomb from the plutonium processing plant. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion assured de Gaulle that the processing plant was for peaceful purposes only.
    After John F. Kennedy became President, he also wrote to Ben-Gurion explicitly calling on Israel not to join the nuclear-weapons club, drawing another pledge from Ben-Gurion that Israel had no such intention.
    Nevertheless, Kennedy continued to press, forcing the Israelis to let U.S. scientists inspect the nuclear reactor at Dimona. But the Israelis first built a fake control room while bricking up and otherwise disguising parts of the building that housed the plutonium processing plant.
    In return for allowing inspectors into Dimona, Ben-Gurion also demanded that the United States sell Hawk surface-to-air missiles to the Israeli military. Kennedy agreed to the sale as a show of good faith.
    Subsequently, however, the CIA got wind of the Dimona deception and leaked to the press that Israel was secretly building a nuclear bomb.
    After Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon Johnson also grew concerned over Israel’s acquiring nuclear weapons. He asked then-Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    Eshkol assured Johnson that Israel was studying the matter and would sign the treaty in due course. However, Israel has never signed the treaty
    and never has admitted that it developed nuclear weapons. [For details, See “Israel and The Bomb” by Avner Cohen.] . . .


  19. RoHa
    October 3, 2013, 8:48 pm

    “2-1/2 hours of the president’s time? 3-1/2 hours of the veep’s? Not to mention Biden’s trip to J Street…. In the midst of the government shutdown.”

    They should not be meeting anyone. Like other Federal employees, they should be at home worrying about when they will get their next pay check .

  20. Citizen
    October 4, 2013, 10:15 am

    M J Rosenberg:

    “Rep. Alan Grayson, who led the fight against bombing Syria, although he is very close to AIPAC, says that the lobby is irrelevant when public opinion is on the other side.

    Here he is speaking about why AIPAC failed on Syria. His explanation is equally applicable to Iran:
    AIPAC has issued a statement saying that they’re in favor of an attack… But at this point it’s not relevant, because the public is engaged, the public is paying attention, and the public is adamantly against this. All these organizations sort of fall to the wayside when the public weighs in. There are now both Democratic and Republican members of Congress who have reported that their emails and letters and phone calls to their office are running more than a hundred to one against this. People are against it. They’re adamantly against it….So, any organization, like AIPAC or otherwise, cannot operate effectively in the environment that we’re in, where the public is speaking and speaking very loudly.
    AIPAC “falls to the wayside when the public weighs in.””

  21. Citizen
    October 4, 2013, 10:22 am

    I agree with Rosenberg, a former AIPAC member, and Grayson, generally an AIPAC follower. Both say AIPAC can only be overcome by a large, involved voice of the American people, as it was overcome re Syria, and/or by POTUS taking the case as a matter of US best interests, especially defense interest, over the head of AIPAC and Congress–directly to the American people. Obama did a mini version of this when he picked up the phone and talked to the Iranian president, and when he sent Kerry to talk to his Iranian peer. The mainstream media could not avoid giving the public this news, and after Netanyahu’s speech at the UN, even Dick and Jane have a clue, despite State saying Israel and US are in lockstep, that there is a difference in US policy and Israel’s regarding Iran, and the public doesn’t want more war in the Middle East while Netanyahu is war-mongering like crazy.

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