Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran

20 02 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized presidential aspirant Sarah Palin recently for irresponsibly engaging in war-mongering with respect to Iran.  He took issue with Palin’s suggestion that President Obama could help himself politically if he declared war on Iran.

“I don’t think a president can make a judgment like that on the basis of politics,” Cheney said. “The stakes are too high, the consequences too significant to be treating those as simple political calculations. When you begin to talk about war, talk about crossing international borders, you talk about committing American men and women to combat, that takes place on a plane clear above any political consideration.”[2]

Regrettably, the Wall Street Journal did exactly the same thing as Palin, in an editorial entitled, “Obama and Iran.”[3] Its editors fell into the trap of carrying water for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is possibly the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had.

When Israel engages in targeted killings in Dubai and elsewhere[4], and adopts “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” approach, its enemies around the world are emboldened to respond in kind or worse. In turn, this puts innocent Israelis at risk whenever they travel outside of Israel; and it potentially begets violence against innocent Jews everywhere in the world.  It is so senseless, yet it garners headlines for Mossad—Israel’s national intelligence agency—and makes some Israelis and other Jews feel good and proud.

Clearly, Netanyahu has no qualms about using these tactics.  He was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm[5]; and her views were prescient.

Nothing has changed since Leah Rabin’s death, except Netanyahu is once again Israel’s Prime Minister—despite the fact that Tzipi Livni and her Kadima party won the most seats in the Israeli Knesset.  Indeed, it was the first time in Israel’s history that the party with the most seats was not asked to govern.[6] Quite predictably, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is going nowhere, which is likely until Netanyahu leaves office. In the interim, the United States must not be drawn into hostilities with Iran, or another war that the American people oppose vehemently.

To those who would argue that getting rid of Netanyahu changes nothing, except possibly to get rid of an ally who is willing to fight back, the answer is that Netanyahu is not an ally of the United States.  He never has been, and he never will be.  He is a narcissistic impediment to peace in the Middle East, and always has been.  He is a moral midget and a pygmy when compared with Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin, who were both courageous and remarkable men and had the credentials to prove it. 

Again, Leah Rabin was right in seeing “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm.  The sooner he is gone, the better.

Fortunately—like Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin and other world leaders before him—it appears that Barack Obama learned early on that Netanyahu is dishonest and cannot be trusted. Also, Obama seems determined not to be manipulated by Netanyahu, which bodes well with respect to American policies vis-à-vis Iran and Israel, at least for now.  The Wall Street Journal’s editorial is irresponsible when it describes “Iran as the single biggest threat to . . . U.S. security.”[7] This is utter nonsense.

American hearts go out to the advocates of democracy in Iran, many of whom have been arrested, tortured and killed recently.  These opponents of the country’s brutal theocracy deserve U.S. support whenever, wherever and however possible.  Regrettably, Obama did not support them.  Like the courageous peoples of Eastern Europe who have become our partners in NATO[8], this seems to have been an opportunity that was lost at least for now, but not forever.

Regarding those who irresponsibly advocate that the United States should go to war with Iran, we have not gone to war to free the oppressed peoples of North Korea, Cuba or other totalitarian-controlled countries; and an exception for Iran is not warranted.  Surely—with our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—neither the Wall Street Journal nor any other responsible media organization is advocating that America embark on a third war without end, against Iran, much less as Israel’s “sponsor” or at Netanyahu’s behest.  That is lunacy.

One of the greatest concerns today involves the possibility of an EMP Attack against America—by al-Qaeda, North Korea, Iran, or by China, Russia or their surrogates.  Our only real protection is a reliable, broad-based missile defense system, which Obama has been taking steps to weaken.[9] Similarly, as the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer has written:

[T]he Obama 2011 budget kills [the U.S. Space Shuttle's replacement,] Constellation. Instead, we shall have nothing. For the first time since John Glenn flew in 1962, the United States will have no access of its own for humans into space—and no prospect of getting there in the foreseeable future.[10]

This has serious strategic ramifications too, aside from the peaceful exploration of space.

Lastly, what are America’s alternatives to the use of force against Iran?  Aside from supporting democratic movements within the country, as we did in the case of Eastern Europe, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial outlines steps that can be taken now, which should have been implemented ages ago to put the screws to Iran.[11] More “dithering” is not an option, but neither is war.[12]

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9821035

[3] See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ObamaandIran.pdf

[4] See, e.g.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7028123.ece and http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7025821.ece; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1251581/Terror-innocent-Britons-named-Mossad-assassins.html and http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7029553.ece and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703444804575071561636104090.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEThirdNews

[5] See, e.g., http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/7367/leah-rabin-calls-netanyahu-all-political-manipulation/ and http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9605/29/israel.leah.rabin/index.html

[6] Some of the tactics used against Israeli government officials include arrest warrants issued in other countries, such as against Livni. See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzipi_Livni#UK_arrest_warrant

[7] See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ObamaandIran.pdf

[8] See http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/nato_countries.htm

[9] See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

[10] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/11/AR2010021103484.html

[11] See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ObamaandIran.pdf

[12] See also http://www.naegele.com/documents/NukeIranToSaveIsrael.pdf


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21 02 2010
naegeleblog

Israel’s Shills

Obviously, the Netanyahu regime in Israel sends out shills to defend its policies. There is no better example of this than a Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Israel and the Dubai Murder Mystery.”

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/RonenBergman-IsraelandtheDubaiMurderMystery.pdf

The author of this propaganda piece has it mostly wrong. There is nothing circumstantial nor is there a “mystery” about it. This is how Netanyahu operates, and he is proud of it. He has always operated this way; and he does not fathom that it constitutes sheer stupidity, which points straight at him. Surely he rejoices, and believes he has achieved enormous success.

The fact that it has turned into a diplomatic nightmare for Israel does not register with Netanyahu. Only when such insanity is fully exposed will it cease. Only when all of the participants are brought to justice, and their actions are disclosed in minute detail to the world, will Netanyahu be exposed for what he is.

The author is correct when he states: “In the case of Israel, such operations require the explicit approval of the prime minister . . . and he made a serious miscalculation.” This is obvious to everyone except Netanyahu. He should be brought to justice for his complicity in such actions. The author adds that “the circumstantial evidence is strong,” which is an understatement.

Also, he states: “[M]isjudging the ability of the Dubai authorities [to integrate all the evidence at their disposal into one clear picture and do so with remarkable speed] so spectacularly is evidence of a serious intelligence failure on the part of the organization that sent out the squad.” Of course it is. A colossal blunder, with respect to which heads should fall . . . all the way to the top.

Lastly, what the author totally misses—which is why his Israeli “puff piece” is not worthy of being printed on the pages of the Journal—is that the Dubai actions put innocent Israelis at risk whenever they travel outside of Israel; and such actions potentially beget violence against other innocent Jews everywhere in the world. The author does not understand this, and of course Netanyahu never has nor will.

See also http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7044326.ece (the Netanyahu/Israeli art of killing: “The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural”) and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704479404575087621440351704.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read (“Israel has yet to feel the real cost of the hit in Dubai. But . . . it’s looking more and more like Mr. Mabhouh’s assassination was a serious policy failure”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/#comment-2065 (“What the 27 Mossad agents didn’t know was that the hotel was full of security cameras and while they succeeded in the assassination, the whole world got to watch their comings and goings“)

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22 02 2010
naegeleblog

Israel’s Drones And “Flawed” Missile Defense System

Israel has announced a new class of drone aircraft.

See http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100221/D9E0PR5G0.html

However, because Israel does not have bunker-buster bombs that are capable of destroying Iran’s underground, fortified nuclear facilities, its threats seem to be mere blustering and saber rattling by Netanyahu’s government.

Also, many Israelis question the effectiveness and cost of a new anti-rocket defense system. As a Los Angeles Times’ article indicates:

“It’s no silver bullet,” said Yiftah Shapir, head of the military balance project at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies. “In fact, it’s not going to solve any of our problems.”

. . .

Some critics say such technology will not work against short-range rockets, which can strike in 15 seconds or less and at distances of less than two miles.

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-iron-dome24-2010feb24,0,6909029,full.story

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2 03 2010
naegeleblog

Dubai Police Chief To Seek Netanyahu Arrest

Not surprisingly, Dubai’s police chief plans to seek the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of Mossad over the killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a Dubai hotel.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6214TT20100302

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8 03 2010
naegeleblog

Interpol Issues A Red Alert For Sixteen More

Interpol has issued “red notices,” its highest-level alert, for the sixteen-member team that shadowed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. The total number of people sought by Interpol notices in the case is twenty-seven now.

The group of sixteen is believed to have assisted the other team, which Interpol described as a “smaller core group alleged to have carried out the killing,” and whose members were sought already through Interpol notices.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/InterpolSeeks16inDubaiKilling.pdf; see also http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-dubai-investigation14-2010mar14,0,2523803,full.story

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12 03 2012
Khalid Omar

Dear Sir,

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your notes on the Israeli threat of attack on Iran and dragging America into the conflict with it. I dont think any rational human being has the stomach for a conflict that could end up dragging so many people into pain. I am Kenyan and a Muslim and when we were attacked by Osama bin Laden so many died irrespective of colour or faith – if they attack Iran, Iran may respond with terrorist attacks globally and I promise you it wont only be Israeli or American interests that will be affected. There should be no Nukes in the Middle East on either side – its just asking for trouble, no matter how small the chances of them being used maybe. Please keep spreading your message as we need rational, level headed headlines out there that are balanced not war mongering media houses hell bent on ratings!

Thank you,
Khalid O S

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12 03 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Khalid, for your comments.

I agree completely.

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15 03 2010
naegeleblog

Obama Is Correct, More “Shilling” By The Wall Street Journal, And Netanyahu’s Outrages Continue

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial, which might have been written in Tel Aviv by the Netanyahu government.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ObamasTurnAgainstIsrael.pdf

My response is as follows:

Such righteous indignation by the Journal is not surprising, considering the fact that it has been “shilling” for the Netanyahu government since its latest incarnation. I criticize President Obama regularly, often in scathing terms, but not on this issue.

Leave aside the fact that Tzipi Livni and her Kadima party won the most seats in the Israeli Knesset (e.g., it was the first time in Israel’s history that the party with the most seats was not asked to govern), the Journal has published articles that few other publications would even consider, having been written by the most obvious of Netanyahu’s shills.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/RonenBergman-IsraelandtheDubaiMurderMystery.pdf; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-193

Netanyahu is the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had. He was hated by former Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct. Yet, the Journal keeps carrying water for him.

His assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai was outrageous. The fact that it has turned into a diplomatic nightmare for Israel does not register with Netanyahu. Only when such insanity is fully exposed will it cease. Only when all of the participants are brought to justice, and their actions are disclosed in minute detail to the world, will Netanyahu be exposed for what he is.

One of the Journal‘s writers stated: “In the case of Israel, such operations require the explicit approval of the prime minister . . . and he made a serious miscalculation.” This is obvious to everyone except Netanyahu. He should be brought to justice for his complicity in such actions.

What happened in Dubai puts innocent Israelis at risk whenever they travel outside of Israel; and such actions potentially beget violence against other innocent Jews everywhere in the world. Netanyahu does not understand this, or he does not care.

He is a narcissistic impediment to peace in the Middle East, and always has been. He is a moral midget and a pygmy when compared with Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin, who were both courageous and remarkable men and had the credentials to prove it.

Hopefully some day, the Journal will cease defending the likes of Netanyahu, and give peace a chance in the Middle East, instead of allying itself with the forces of darkness (e.g., Netanyahu). President Obama is right on this one, and the Journal is wrong.

See, e.g, http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/#comment-2065 (“What the 27 Mossad agents didn’t know was that the hotel was full of security cameras and while they succeeded in the assassination, the whole world got to watch their comings and goings“)

The Journal‘s editorial states:

“The U.S. needs Israel’s acquiescence in the Obama Administration’s increasingly drawn-out efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear bid through diplomacy or sanctions.”

Nonsense. America does not need Israel’s acquiescence with respect to anything. It is a client state. It has no true friends anywhere in the world except the U.S. The day that we withdraw all support (e.g., military, economic), Israel collapses. It is as simple as that. The tail does not wag the dog. Thank God, President Obama recognizes this.

Next, the Journal editorial addresses the issue of an Israeli military strike on Iran, which is a joke of course. Despite all of its blustering, the world knows that Israel is toothless. It does not have bunker-buster bombs, much less any that are capable of doing real damage to Iran’s nuclear facilities. Also, to reach Iran by air, it would have to overfly Iraqi air space, which the U.S. controls; and neither the Bush nor Obama Administrations would allow it. Put bluntly, with respect to Iran, Israel is a “paper tiger” and nothing more.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/NukeIranToSaveIsrael.pdf

Also, the editorial states:

“If the Obama Administration opts to transform itself, as the Europeans have, into another set of lawyers for the Palestinians, it will find Israeli concessions increasingly hard to come by.”

Baloney. At some point, America and other nations are apt to say enough is enough with respect to Israel, and impose a Palestinian state on Israel—which may be advisable under any and all circumstances. Certainly, Netanyahu will be an impediment as long as he is in power.

Lastly, Netanyahu has never been a true friend or ally of the United States. That is an illusion, which Obama understands, and so did Sharon and both Rabins.

. . .

The New York Times‘ op-ed columnist Thomas L. Friedman is correct when he writes:

[When] Netanyahu’s government rubbed [Vice President Joe Biden's] nose in some new housing plans for contested East Jerusalem, the vice president missed a chance to send a powerful public signal: He should have snapped his notebook shut, gotten right back on Air Force Two, flown home and left the following scribbled note behind: “Message from America to the Israeli government: Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. And right now, you’re driving drunk. You think you can embarrass your only true ally in the world, to satisfy some domestic political need, with no consequences? You have lost total contact with reality. Call us when you’re serious. We need to focus on building our country.”

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/opinion/14friedman.html?src=me&ref=homepage

Friedman adds:

The last thing the president needs, at a time when he is facing down Iran and China—not to mention Congress—is to look like America’s most dependent ally can push him around.

. . .

If it wants to remain a Jewish democracy, [Israel's] only priority now should be striking a deal with the Palestinians.

. . .

The UK’s Independent is reporting:

A defiant Mr Netanyahu appeared to be digging in despite clear indications that the Obama administration is now demanding the scrapping of plans for 1,600 new Jewish homes, whose announcement overshadowed last week’s visit to Israel by the US Vice-President Joe Biden.

. . .

[T]he Prime Minister, who has apologised for the timing of last week’s announcement, showed no sign of abandoning it altogether.

. . .

[I]n a conference call with Israeli consuls across the US on Saturday night, Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, said that the crisis was one of “historic proportions”. Summoned to the State Department on Friday, he reportedly urged the consuls, on instructions “from the highest level”, to lobby Congress, Jewish community groups and the media to make Israel’s case.

See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/obama-runs-out-of-patience-with-israel-1921812.html

Truly outrageous, but totally consistent with Netanyahu’s life and practices, which is why Sharon and both Rabins hated him so much.

The Independent added:

Mr Netanyahu can at least expect a warm reception in Washington when next week he addresses the annual conference of AIPAC, the staunchly right-of-centre pro-Israel lobby group which is trying to mobilise opposition to the stance taken by Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama.

Needless to say, the “usual cast of characters” has come rushing to Netanyahu’s defense, which is outrageous too.

See also http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100316/D9EFDS500.html (“Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, said he was ‘shocked and stunned at the administration’s tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem'”) and http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100316/pl_nm/us_palestinians_israel_usa_10 (“Some 500,000 Jews live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and about 2.5 million Palestinians”).

Again, there are two “ticking time bombs” that threaten Israel’s existence, much less its existence as a Jewish state, which are (1) demographics, and (2) WMDs.

First, the Arab population is larger and growing at a much faster rate; and hence, that factor alone may end the Jewish state as we know it. Second, I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since.

. . .

Next, the Wall Street Journal has an article by Alan Dershowitz, which is tantamount to more “shilling” on behalf of Netanyahu and his government.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/AlanM.Dershowitz-ObamasLegacyandtheIranianBomb.pdf

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17 03 2010
naegeleblog

Seemingly A Voice Of Reason Among Jewish-American Groups

The Wall Street Journal is reporting:

J Street, the newest Israel-focused lobby in Washington, broke Monday with more established Jewish-American bodies and publicly backed the White House’s sharp criticism of Netanyahu and Israel’s plans to continue building in contested east Jerusalem.

J Street went further in its statement Monday, calling on the Obama administration essentially to impose the terms for new negotiations with the Palestinians on Netanyahu.

See http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/03/15/j-street-backs-obama-in-row-with-israel/

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20 03 2010
24 03 2010
naegeleblog

The Silence Is More Than Deafening

See http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=8E492A98-18FE-70B2-A83FCF8F980401BD (“[B]ehind the scenes Netanyahu seemed to be trying to drive a wedge between [Congress] and the White House“)

The London Times is reporting:

White House staff denied Mr Netanyahu the usual photo opportunities afforded to a visiting leader, issued only the vaguest summary of their talks—let alone a joint statement—and reversed a decision to release an official photo of their meetings.

. . .

White House sources said that observers were right to infer from the news blackout that relations between the two sides were not good. . . .

. . .

Mr Netanyahu’s efforts to persuade Congress that his office had no oversight of the many construction projects in east Jerusalem were greeted with scepticism even within the Prime Minister’s coalition. “Netanyahu decided to spit into Obama’s eye, this time from up close,” said Eitan Cabel, an MP from the Labour Party, a coalition ally of Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party. “He and his pyromaniac ministers insist on setting the Middle East ablaze.”

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7074832.ece; see also http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.b948b77732dbf16fb5c00296069651af.181&show_article=1 (“humiliation“—”disgraced and isolated“), and http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.b948b77732dbf16fb5c00296069651af.1a1&show_article=1 (Netanyahu risks alienating Jordan and Israel’s few Arab friends)

Also, in an article entitled, “Binyamin Netanyahu humiliated after Barack Obama ‘dumped him for dinner’,” the London Times states:

For a head of state to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of.

. . .

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House phone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.

. . .

He returns to Israel dangerously isolated after what Israeli media have called a White House ambush for which he is largely to blame.

. . .

“The Prime Minister leaves America disgraced, isolated and altogether weaker than when he came,” the Israeli daily Ha’aretz said.

. . .

With the atmosphere so soured by the end of the evening, the Israelis decided that they could not trust the phone line they had been lent. Mr Netanyahu retired with his defence minister, Ehud Barak, to the Israeli Embassy to ensure the Americans were not listening in.

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7076431.ece(The comments by the Times’ readers beneath the article are interesting)

. . .

Next, all of the American “shilling” for Netanyahu came to naught (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-261), as President Obama stood firm and rejected the Israeli leader—which was refreshing to see, and long overdue.

Now the world sees Netanyahu for what he is; and the sooner he is gone as Israel’s Prime Minister, the better. He was a disgrace during his first term in that office, and the same thing is true now.

He should be removed from office. After all, Tzipi Livni and her Kadima party won the most seats in the Israeli Knesset—Netanyahu did not. Indeed, it was the first time in Israel’s history that the party with the most seats was not asked to govern, which needs to be corrected.

As discussed in the postings above, he is responsible for the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai; and he is dangerous and irresponsible, and should be removed from office before he engages in other criminal wrongdoing.

See also http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7076976.ece (“US military commanders have aired concerns that Washington’s perceived inability to face down the Netanyahu government is undermining its standing in the volatile region, potentially putting the lives of US servicemen at risk”)

. . .

Lastly, the Wall Street Journal and others who have been “shilling” for Netanyahu describe “Iran as the single biggest threat to . . . U.S. security,” which of course is utter nonsense, as pointed out in my article above.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/ObamaandIran.pdf

Clearly, the Journal recognizes the threat posed by North Korea, which is one of many countries that represent potential threats against America that are equal to or much greater than Iran. Among them are China, Russia and their surrogates.

See, e.g., http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7077655.ece and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704100604575145672974954144.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEForthNews (“The possibility of a violent, potentially apocalyptic regime collapse in North Korea within the decade is one that all countries with an interest in the region should keep in mind“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

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25 03 2010
naegeleblog

Obama Backs Away From Sanctions Against Iran

The Wall Street Journal has an article entitled, “U.S. Softens Sanction Plan Against Iran,” on the heels of Netanyahu and his lackeys departing from Washington “unceremoniously,” to say the least.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/U.S.SoftensSanctionPlanAgainstIran.pdf

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29 03 2010
naegeleblog

Netanyahu’s Actions Potentially Beget Violence Against Innocent Jews Everywhere In The World

Clearly, the concept of “action produces reactions” is in evidence when Netanyahu sets in motion the senseless killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a Dubai hotel, and when Netanyahu rubs Vice President Joe Biden’s nose in some new housing plans for contested East Jerusalem.

See, e.g., http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/29/hate-crimes-force-jews-out-of-malmo/print/

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31 03 2010
naegeleblog

More Shilling On Behalf of Netanyahu And His Reckless Regime

The Wall Street Journal has another article, which says nothing new.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/DaniellePletka-IranSanctionsAreFailing.WhatsNext.pdf

My response is as follows:

This article constitutes more “shilling” and war mongering on behalf of Netanyahu and his reckless regime, which should be driven from office. After all, Tzipi Livni and her Kadima party won the most seats in the Israeli Knesset—Netanyahu did not. Indeed, it was the first time in Israel’s history that the party with the most seats was not asked to govern; and this mistake must be corrected.

Netanyahu is the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had. He was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/

Before Netanyahu set foot in the White House and was humiliated by President Obama, and rightly so, the shilling and drumbeats for war preceded his arrival. Now, his shills like Pletka are fanning the flames of war once again, which is criminal. For example, she states:

“[W]e drift toward war. The only questions remaining, one Washington politico tells me, are who starts it, and how it ends.”

It is just this type of shilling that gave us the war in Iraq, and it must be condemned in unequivocal terms.

See also http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheViewFromJerusalem.pdf

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7 04 2010
naegeleblog

Netanyahu Has No Friends

The prime minister of Turkey, Israel’s only ally in the Muslim world, on Wednesday branded the Jewish state the “principal threat to peace” in the Middle East.

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.f2ad1f74fe9302203b34f1dc60ba222c.401&show_article=1

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13 04 2010
naegeleblog

US And Israel: An Unsettling Alliance Until Netanyahu Is Gone Permanently

The UK’s Financial Times has an interesting article, which refers to Netanyahu implicitly as a “bull in a china shop”:

“The more you resort to throwing your weight around in someone else’s backyard the less compunction they will have about doing the same,” says Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator now at the New America Foundation think-tank in the US.

In his own speech to Aipac, the Israeli prime minister brushed aside any suggestion that the broader conflict between the Muslim world and the west was linked to Israel: “Militant Islam does not hate the west because of Israel. It hates Israel because of the west – because it sees Israel as an outpost of freedom and democracy that prevents them from overrunning the Middle East.”

This is not a view widely shared outside Israel.

. . .

In her Aipac speech, [Hilary Clinton] argued that, in the absence of a peace deal, demographic trends and other factors put Israel’s long-term survival as a democratic Jewish state at risk.

See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/739fbea2-4664-11df-9713-00144feab49a.html

Amen! This should be obvious to Israelis, but Netanyahu is blind to everything except his own narcissism and what is necessary to keep it “fueled.”

The article continues:

Israel has become even more dependent on US military and diplomatic support than in the past.

“If you look at the threat perception in Israel, the threat is mainly considered to be coming from Iran. But it is also quite evident that Israel cannot deal with the Iranian threat on its own,” says Shlomo Brom, a senior analyst at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies and the former director of the army’s strategic planning division.

It is a view widely shared among US analysts. Israel, they say, is likely to need US assistance for any effective military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities – and to deal with the backlash certain to follow such an attack.

Such an attack would be pure insanity, and it would unleash the wrath of the world against tiny Israel. It would be a pariah state, more so than ever; and the US must block such actions by the dangerous pygmy Netanyahu. Instead, he must be ousted from government permanently.

As stated in my article above, he was hated by Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct.

Lastly, the article states:

“I don’t think it is in America’s interest or of anybody else who is a friend of America to encourage America into a collision with Iran,” says Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former US national security adviser. “The issue really is how can one achieve an outcome which is going to be good for the American national interest, ensure Israel’s indefinite well-being and security, and some measure of genuine justice for the Palestinians?”

. . .

For Mr Netanyahu and his government, uncomfortable times lie ahead.

Foreign policy analysis and writer, Michael J. Totten, added in a posting on April 12, 2010:

Striking Iran would, in all likelihood, ignite several Middle Eastern wars all at once. Hamas and Hezbollah would bombard Israel with missile attacks. Lebanon and Gaza would both come under massive counterbattery fire. The war could easily spill over into Iraq and put American soldiers at risk.

See http://www.michaeltotten.com (emphasis added); see also http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/if-you-shoot-at-a-king-you-must-kill-him-15418

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17 04 2010
naegeleblog

Netanyahu Is Irresponsible In Every Way

The latest ramifications of Netanyahu’s words and actions are reflected in what he said about Richard Goldstone, one of South Africa’s most eminent jurists and head of a United Nations investigation that found evidence of war crimes during Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

“We face three major strategic challenges: the Iranian nuclear program, rockets aimed at our civilians and Goldstone.”

The New York Times is reporting that Judge Goldstone is being kept from his grandson’s bar mitzvah, because of threatened disruptions to the ceremony.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/17/world/middleeast/17goldstone.html?hpw

Instead of acting responsibly, Netanyahu fanned the flames of hatred, just as he did with respect to Yitzhak Rabin, whose wife Leah blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. Netanyahu has proved again and again that he is unfit to lead a great nation like Israel, now or at any other time. The sooner that he is driven from office, the better.

The New York Times article adds:

Justice Arthur Chaskalson, who served with Judge Goldstone on South Africa’s Constitutional Court, said the threats [against Goldstone] “reveal a level of bigotry and intolerance meant to shut down any diversity of opinion.”

This is what Netanyahu produces, instead of peace.

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20 04 2010
naegeleblog

“Mood Is Dark as Israel Marks 62nd Year as a Nation”

This is the title of a New York Times article. Why would anyone be surprised? Netanyahu has always been irresponsible, dangerous, and hated by Jews and non-Jews alike. The only issue becomes, what conflagration will he plunge the tiny country into, from which it might not escape sometime?

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/world/middleeast/20israel.html

It is clear that “Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians shows no sign of ending,” and this will continue as long as Netanyahu is in power. It is equally clear that Leah Rabin was correct when she saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm.

The Times quotes a writer for the Jerusalem Post as stating:

[F]or the first time in recent memory there is a president in the White House who is not overly sensitive to the Jewish state and its interests.

This is grossly naive. On some level Obama views the Israelis as the oppressors, or the “enemy,” and the Palestinians as the oppressed, reflecting his views about Apartheid in South Africa. Hence, there is no kinship whatsoever between Obama and Netanyahu; and it is not surprising that Obama would treat him with outright disdain and contempt. If one has any doubts, read his book, “Dreams from My Father.” Viewed in this context, one can understand what Obama is doing and why he is doing it. To him, it is likely that Netanyahu personifies that oppression.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

As stated above in my article, Netanyahu is possibly the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had, and Obama understands this. Until Netanyahu is ousted, he will not only be an impediment to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but he will also be fully capable of plunging the region into the next round of war, with incalculable dimensions and consequences.

The Times article cites an editorial from Haaretz, “the newspaper that serves as the voice of the shrinking political left” in Israel, which contends that the country “is isolated globally and embroiled in a conflict with the superpower whose friendship and support are vital to its very existence.”

The Times article continues:

“It is devoid of any diplomatic plan aside from holding on to the territories and afraid of any movement,” the editorial said. “It wallows in a sense of existential threat that has only grown with time. It seizes on every instance of anti-Semitism, whether real or imagined, as a pretext for continued apathy and passivity.”

This too is not surprising, for it merely reflects what Netanyahu’s stewardship has brought to Israel. The Times article adds:

A new BBC poll of how people around the world regard other countries puts Israel among those least favorably viewed, including Iran, North Korea and Pakistan.

Israelis are profoundly worried . . . about their isolation.

And rightfully so. Netanyahu has driven Israel farther into the status of a pariah state, not unlike Iran and North Korea, in the eyes of many people around the world. Only when he is gone will things begin to improve.

Ari Haaretz, writing for Haaretz, has stated:

The world has an unforgiving view of Israel no longer affected by the Holocaust.

Of course this is correct. Israel is no longer viewed as a shining city on the hill, but as an oppressor; and that perception will only grow worse as long as Netanyahu is in power. He is hated, and he personifies a country that is hated. His removal will provide a breath of fresh air for Israel, which is long overdue.

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21 04 2010
naegeleblog

The Wall Street Journal’s Shilling For Netanyahu, And March Toward War, Never Seem To Lessen

The latest article published by the Journal is worth reading, to learn how “yellow journalism” of the William Randolph Hearst era continues to this day.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/IsraelisDebateStrikingIranWithoutU.S.Consent-WSJ.com.pdf; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism#Spanish-American_War

My response to the Journal’s article is as follows:

This article consists of more attempted pressure on Barack Obama to attack Iran, and launch America into its third war in the region. It is pure tripe and war mongering on behalf of Netanyahu. He is a loose cannon, and the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had. Is there no limit to the Wall Street Journal’s shilling on his behalf, or are we to assume that the Journal will continue to serve as his mouthpiece until his war is finally launched?

Surely the writer, Charles Levinson, will be among the first to volunteer for the war as soon as the fighting starts; and presumably he will gladly put his body right where his mouth and pen are, on the front lines launching the next senseless war in the region. It is abhorrent to read another “armchair strategist” trying to propel America into war. The fact that the Journal prints such tripe speaks volumes; however, its drumbeat for war is not surprising.

It is reminiscent of the pressures that were brought to bear on George W. Bush to attack Iraq. After he did so, and was successful, a corresponding drumbeat of criticism arose concerning the absence of WMDs and other policy shortcomings. Thank God that Barack Obama has spurned Netanyahu and treated him with contempt, and that the president is earnestly seeking peace in the Middle East, which Netanyahu has found repugnant for much of his political life.

The idea that Israel would attack Iran on its own is the height of absurdity, as the world knows all too well. Netanyahu lacks the weapons to do the job, and the means of delivering them. However, he is fully capable of shaking a hornet’s nest, and of having his country suffer deadly attacks as a result. First though, he wants to put America at risk; and he and his lackeys keep trying to goad Obama into attacking and doing their dirty work.

America is not responsible for Israel’s survival, or for making this world safe for the tiny country. It is unlikely that the U.S. would lift a finger to aid Israel if it were attacked, even with history-changing deadly weapons. If Netanyahu is hell bent on bringing war to the Middle East, presumably he can wait long enough to allow the withdrawal of U.S. forces, so that he can embark on his suicidal mission without any Americans in harm’s way. Hopefully enough Israelis comprehend the deadly path on which he is taking them, and decide enough is enough and oust him. He is the wrong leader for Israel; and the sooner he is gone, the better.

Levinson states:

“Some Israeli officials worry a unilateral strike would cause a break with Washington that would threaten Israeli national interests even more than a nuclear-armed Iran.”

So very true. A New York Times article cites a new BBC poll about how people around the world regard other countries, which puts Israel among those least favorably viewed, including Iran, North Korea and Pakistan. The article notes that Israelis are profoundly worried about their isolation, and rightfully so.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/world/middleeast/20israel.html

Netanyahu has driven Israel farther toward the status of a hated pariah state—not unlike Iran and North Korea—in the eyes of non-Arabs around the world. Only when he is gone will things begin to improve.

Any attack by Netanyahu would require Israeli planes to fly through U.S.-controlled airspace in Iraq, or through airspace controlled by U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia or Turkey. It is not beyond the pale to believe that such aircraft will be shot down, rather than allow Netanyahu to create a burning cauldron of the Middle East. Any contingent of U.S. troops in Israel, who are attached to a radar system or are presently there in any other capacity, must be removed immediately. Israel has lived by the sword since its creation, and it may die by the sword with Netanyahu at its helm, which is tragic and preventable but comprehensible as well.

If our soldiers die as a result of an Israeli unilateral attack, Americans will turn against Israel and rightfully so. The world will turn Israel into a pariah state like never before in its 62-year-old history—assuming that it survives the latest onslaught of its enemies. A retired Israeli general asks what Americans will say if Israel drags the U.S. into a war it didn’t want. The first such war involves Iraq, where Israel’s “fingerprints” were conveniently expunged; however, “twice burned” is more than any American should ever tolerate.

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21 04 2010
Carl Lohan

Tim, you are a brave man. Using your real name when condemning Israel is no trivial matter.

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22 04 2010
naegeleblog

Pentagon Confident It Could Defeat Iranian Missile

The Pentagon says the U.S. military is “very confident” it could protect America from a potential Iranian ballistic missile strike. Hence, there are no urgent reasons to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, except (1) to protect Israel, (2) to prevent Iran from threatening other U.S. allies in the Middle East, and (3) to prevent Iran from providing such weapons to al Qaeda and other enemies of the United States. Reasons (2) and (3) apply equally to the proliferation of nuclear weapons from North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, China and India.

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9F7JRN82&show_article=1

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22 04 2010
naegeleblog

Of Greater Concern To America Is North Korea!

The London Times is reporting that North Korea launched one of the worst military acts of provocation since the Korean War, killing 46 South Korean sailors, which amounted to a deliberate and unprovoked attack by North Korea.

The Times article added:

President [Lee Myung Bak]’s government appears to be struggling to find an appropriate response that would demonstrate its resolve in the face of aggression but stop short of a costly and unpredictable war.

. . .

The speculation is that this was an act of retaliation for a naval skirmish in November last year in which the North came off worse.

. . .

Some security officials favour a tit-for-tat response to any North Korean aggression. But the risk is that this could escalate into a war, which might result in eventual victory for the South and its US allies, but could be ruinously destructive and expensive.

A limited war might be exactly what the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, is hoping for. After decades of economic decline and famine in the 1990s which killed as many as a few million people, his economy is in chronic decline.

A military adventure against the routinely demonised “imperialist” US and its South Korean “lackeys” could serve as a welcome and unifying distraction.

. . .

“No one wants to say it out loud,” wrote Song Ho Keun, a professor at Seoul National University in the Joong-Ang Ilbo newspaper.

“We told ourselves to be patient and cool, not to jump to conclusions as there is no definitive evidence implicating the North. But if we find one little piece of evidence pointing definitely at North Korea, the rage we have forcibly suppressed will gush forth.”

If this isn’t war, it is the closest thing to it!

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7104498.ece

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26 04 2010
naegeleblog

More Shilling for Netanyahu

The Wall Street Journal has another article that might have been written in Tel Aviv.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704448304575196312204524930.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

My response is as follows:

Netanyahu is an impediment to peace.

Barack Obama has been right to snub and embarrass him, and implicitly try to remove him from office. He was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/

Regrettably, the Journal only prints articles written by those who shill for Netanyahu, and this article is no exception. Any notion of “fair and balanced news” on the subject is a pipe dream.

The author raises the Israeli-Palestinian issues rhetorically, and then uses them as red herrings to fashion his article:

“There are times one could be forgiven for thinking that solving the Palestinian problem would take care of every global challenge from climate change to the flu.”

This is so much nonsense, and misses the point. Obama views the conflict in terms of Israel being the oppressor and the Palestinians being the oppressed, much like apartheid in South Africa. If you have any doubts, read his book, “Dreams from My Father.” Viewed in this context, one can understand what he is doing and why he is doing it. To him, it is likely that Netanyahu personifies that oppression.

Implicitly, what the author is arguing is that there is no real need for or benefit to be derived from a Palestinian state, which is utter nonsense too. It ignores completely the fact that it is the right thing to do, and it has been the right thing for years if not decades. The time has passed for talking. The notion that the Palestinians might declare such a state, and Obama might recognize it—along with the other nations of the world—is not beyond the pale. Its time has come, and it is long overdue.

It is not “overly ambitious,” in the words of the author, to declare a Palestinian state and for the world to recognize it now. This much is doable. In the process of shilling for Netanyahu and his lackeys, the author is arguing for Palestinian peace on their schedule and their terms, which is where the issue has been for ages, and Obama recognizes this fact. At least the author states that “the Israeli government is too ideological and fractured” to do anything meaningful or constructive. Hence, Obama and the Palestinians may choose to impose a solution.

Next, the author states: “Also needed are efforts to repair U.S.-Israeli ties. . . . It is essential the two governments develop a modicum of trust. . . .” This will only happen after Netanyahu is gone. Tzipi Livni and her Kadima party won the most seats in the Israeli Knesset; Netanyahu did not. Indeed, it was the first time in Israel’s history that the party with the most seats was not asked to govern; and this mistake must be corrected.

Finally, the author states that Iran’s nuclear program is “the most significant strategic threat of this decade.” This is pure poppycock, and irresponsible hyperbole.

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29 04 2010
naegeleblog

Almost Eleven Years Ago . . .

. . . I wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

Should the Palestinians be entitled to less than the Jews achieved with the establishment of the state of Israel? Aren’t the Palestinians entitled to a state of their own, whenever they wish to decree it, over the lands they control? Similarly, is not Jerusalem an international city, representing the convergence of many religions, not just one? Why should Israel control this city, as opposed to the Palestinians?

Peace in the Middle East will transcend the lives of Yasser Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu. Indeed, years from now, both men may be viewed as impediments to the peace process that was realized ultimately. It is time to move forward economically, politically, socially and intellectually in the region. Yesterday’s thinking must give way to a new Israel and a new Palestinian state, and a new Middle East.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/WSJ-Jerusalem.pdf

I believe those words today, every bit as much as I did when I wrote them.

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29 04 2010
naegeleblog

Jews Turn Against Obama—And The New State Of Palestine

Ronald Kessler, writing for Newsmax.com, has described the “stunning turnaround, [in which] President Obama has lost roughly half of his support among Jewish voters.”

See http://newsmax.com/RonaldKessler/Obama-Jews-support-Wright/2010/04/28/id/357172

First, Jewish and non-Jewish Americans should have read Obama’s book, “Dreams from My Father” before the 2008 elections. Had they done so, they might have been shocked with respect to a whole host of issues.

Second, as stated in my blog article above, my guess is that Obama views Israel as the oppressor and the Palestinians as the oppressed, much as he viewed apartheid in South Africa; and that he views Netanyahu as the embodiment or personification of that oppression.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Third, Kessler quotes one Jewish leader as saying: “[Obama] is worse than Jimmy Carter was when he was president. . . . The majority of Jews now realize that this guy is bad for Israel, let alone bad for America.”

From the perspective of Netanyahu and some Jews, this may be true. However, in terms of the long-term goal of a lasting peace in the Middle East, it may not be true. Both Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama have sought genuine peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, unlike Netanyahu.

Fourth, AIPAC, other groups (including media organizations) and individuals have been “shilling” for Netanyahu and his lackeys. Yet, Leah Rabin—who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination—saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct.

Fifth, Obama, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel are smart enough to know that Jewish voters will be back in the fold of voting for Obama by 2012. Historically, American Jews have not voted for Republican presidential candidates, even when they were stronger supporters of Israel than the Democrats were (e.g., George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush).

Sixth, and most importantly, Obama may join with the Europeans in declaring and recognizing a new state of “Palestine,” which would shake up the Middle East, and Obama would be hailed around the world. It would be a bold move, which none of his predecessors had the guts or political savvy to accomplish. Among other things, it would constitute recognition of the fact that Obama and the Europeans do not need Israel’s “permission” to bring it into fruition.

Netanyahu has few true non-Jewish friends in the world. Obama will seek to isolate him, and make him look like a fool; and Obama will have the whole world with him. To take down Netanyahu, to impress the world that he is “even-handed” with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian issues, and to galvanize the world into a solution that produces a Palestinian state once and for all, is “win-win” for Obama and a political triumph of enormous proportions, and he knows it.

It would be a masterstroke, and truly brilliant. Bit-by-bit Obama and his allies will peel off those who detest or hate Netanyahu. Indeed, Netanyahu is the perfect “foil” for Obama, and a “sacrificial lamb.” At most, lip service is being paid to Netanyahu and his supporters. He will be humiliated even more, and marginalized politically and shown to be irrelevant, and then ousted. Obama rolled over the GOP in the process of passing ObamaCare, and he may do the same thing with financial reform. Netanyahu will be “small potatoes,” and easy pickings for him.

Also, Obama will be making the case that he is a “friend of Israel,” all the while sticking the shiv into Netanyahu until he is gone. By humiliating Netanyahu, and making him look like an utter fool and evil, and by destroying him—and having the Israeli people call for his ouster, or forcing him to resign—Netanyahu becomes nothing more than a convenient foil or pawn in global politics, which after all is Obama’s playing field.

The destruction of Netanyahu means nothing to him. It is akin to jettisoning Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright when they stood as impediments to his goals. They were expendable; and Netanyahu is way beyond being expendable. He is hated, which means that getting rid of him is “pleasurable” for Obama.

If the state of Palestine is created, and if the world lines up behind it—and it is an enormous political triumph, which the mere creation of it will be—Obama will be basking in a greater glow than when ObamaCare was signed into law. Imagine Obama and world leaders descending on Jerusalem for the founding of the new Palestinian state. Obama understands fully what the stakes are, and how it will cement his place in history.

Netanyahu is a cipher. He can play ball, which I do not believe his narcissism will allow, or he can watch while Obama and the world “steamroll” him. Far too often, Jews have marched in “lock step,” and that is what Netanyahu is asking them to do now, like lemmings marching to the sea. He is playing on their worst fears, and their loyalty to Israel. He is a narcissist and a demagogue, who—down deep—only truly cares about himself and his own political ambitions. This is the story of his life.

. . .

This video is worth watching, because it presents some of the compelling reasons why change is so necessary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fROidpenw1E&feature=related

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6 05 2010
naegeleblog

Criticize Israel And “You Are Suddenly Being Compared To A Holocaust Denier”

The New York Times has a fine article on this subject, which is worth reading. Among other things, it states:

“Most Jews have mixed feelings about Israel,” said Rabbi Tamara Kolton of the Birmingham Temple, a secular humanistic congregation in Farmington Hills. “They support Israel, but it’s complicated. Until now, you never heard from those people. You heard only from the organized ones, the ones who are 100 percent certain: ‘we’re right, they’re wrong.’”

. . .

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder of a Washington lobby known as J Street, . . . said many people have long felt ignored or silenced by the pro-Israel establishment in the United States.

“People are tired of being told that you are either with us or against us,” he said. “The majority of American Jews support the president, support the two-state solution and do not feel that they have been well represented by organizations that demand obedience to every wish of the Israeli government.”

. . .

Professor Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist at Hebrew Union College in Manhattan who co-wrote a study last year charting a steep decline in attachment to Israel among younger Jews, said the younger and liberal-leaning are frustrated at being labeled “anti-Israel” or even anti-Semitic for expressing opposition to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

. . .

The questions that Jews are now facing are rooted not in being for or against Israel, but in the shadings of difference over how to achieve peace, and the complexities of the relationship between Israel—a state whose government is now dominated by nationalist and ultrareligious politicians—and the predominantly liberal-leaning and secular base of Jewish support in the United States.

. . .

In different ways, each [of seven people who gathered in a suburban Detroit synagogue at the request of a reporter because they roughly matched the profile of about 60 percent of American Jews] referred to the history of Jewish persecution throughout the world and noted that the absence of it here and now did not spare one the occasional flash of insight and dread—when swastikas desecrate a synagogue or neo-Nazi militias appear on the six o’clock news—that Israel will always be one’s last sanctuary.

With many of their children intermarried, they pondered what meaning Israel would hold for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“Let’s face it, with each generation we are getting less and less Jewish,” said Irving Hershman, an insurance agent who was raised in an Orthodox home.

He predicted, with regret, that the bonds between American Jews and Israel would dissipate in 5 or 10 generations.

Mr. Moore, the headmaster, expressed frustration that the voice of Israeli advocacy in the United States was monopolized by what he called the “Israel right-or-wrong” camp.

Israel is not just the homeland of Jews but of Jewishness, he said, and should be known for its embrace of the values at the core of Judaism—truth, fairness, kindness, freedom.

That is what he would tell those hard-line relatives of his, he said, “though I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t change their minds.”

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/us/politics/06jews.html?sudsredirect=true&pagewanted=all (emphasis added).

It is worth repeating what I wrote in a posting above, namely that I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-261

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds a sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu and his lackeys.

The beliefs of Leah Rabin echo loud and clear today, who saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct. Israel may not survive for “5 or 10 generations” of American Jews—or even one more generation—unless steps are taken now to bring about a lasting peace. The clocking is ticking.

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11 05 2010
naegeleblog

Welfare System Could Cause Israel To Collapse

According to a Los Angeles Times’ article:

Nearly one in five Israeli men between the ages of 35 and 54 do not work, including Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews, says [economist] Dan Ben-David. As their numbers rise, so does the economic peril. . . .

. . .

Nearly a decade ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then finance minister, won praise for slashing welfare payments, including monthly per-child allowances. But last year Netanyahu, in a nod to his right-wing coalition partners, agreed to nearly double some child allowances.

. . .

Ben-David said Israel should act now to prevent a financial collapse that a nation with many enemies can ill afford.

“In this neighborhood, you don’t get many chances,” Ben-David said. “For us [the opportunity to create a state] only comes around every 2,000 years.”

See http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/topofthetimes/topstories/la-fg-israel-idle-20100511,0,2113135,full.story

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17 05 2010
naegeleblog

Two Articles That Should Be Read

“A Republican’s Case for Peace” by Marshall J. Breger, and “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment” by Peter Beinart, are both terrific articles, very thought provoking, and worth reading.

See http://www.momentmag.com/moment/issues/2010/06/Opinion-Breger.html and http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jun/10/failure-american-jewish-establishment/?pagination=false

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19 05 2010
20 05 2010
naegeleblog

Iran’s Threats Against Israel

The chief of staff to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reported to have said that if Israel attacked his country, it would be destroyed within a week.

See http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3891781,00.html

Regrettably, such incendiary blustering and saber rattling is commonplace among the parties to the Israeli-Palestinian issues; however, it has no place on either side of the debate. Rhetoric like this is often for internal political consumption, but inflaming hatred on either side must be rejected categorically.

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24 05 2010
naegeleblog

No Doubt That Israeli Intelligence Behind Forged Passports Used In Dubai Aassassination

The international manhunt continues for 33 as a new arrest warrant is issued as part of the investigation into the January killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas official, in a Dubai hotel room. The new warrant adds what Dubai officials believe is the first suspect operating without an alias to the list.

Australia’s Foreign Minister said a police investigation left no doubt Israeli intelligence services had been behind the forgery of four Australian passports used by suspects in the case; and Australia ordered the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat over the use of fake passports in the assassination. In March, the UK expelled an Israeli diplomat after accusing Israel of forging British passports related to the case.

Dubai officials have blamed Mabhouh’s death on Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/U.A.E.SeeksBritoninProbeofHamasOfficialsDeath.pdf

In turn, as noted above:

One of the [Wall Street] Journal’s writers stated: “In the case of Israel, such operations require the explicit approval of [Prime Minister Netanyahu] . . . and he made a serious miscalculation.”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-261; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/#comment-2065 (“What the 27 Mossad agents didn’t know was that the hotel was full of security cameras and while they succeeded in the assassination, the whole world got to watch their comings and goings“)

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25 05 2010
Person

This article is better than mainstream media, but still has many innaccuracies.

Niether China, Russia, nor Iran would ever EMP the US. None want to–and the US could always hit back. Just b/c these countries are independent and strong, does not mean they are rabidly after the US. It’s ok to not be able to control everything–just learn to live as an equal to others.

Second, Iran is not like Eastern Europe. It is much more rooted and powerful. It’s not a pawn of Russia-Western rivalry with the people shifting sides. Obama could not have done anything–no revolution was or is possible–it’s Iran that is causing revolutions in Lebanon and Iraq (for now).

But…I like how you point out that Israel can’t hit Iran–that seems 100% true. Btw, Iran has a lot of lessons that the US people could use for ridding themselves from zionist control. I think the US people would do well to gain a more realistic perspective on their problems and look to Iran for answers.

Regards.

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25 05 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you for your comments.

I disagree about China, Russia or Iran and the possibility of an EMP Attack. Most likely it would come in the form of an attack by one of their surrogates. Also, the effects on the U.S. would be devastating, and meaningful retaliation would not affect the horrific results for Americans.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

Lastly, you state:

Btw, Iran has a lot of lessons that the US people could use for ridding themselves from zionist control. I think the US people would do well to gain a more realistic perspective on their problems and look to Iran for answers.

While I disagree vehemently with Netanyahu’s policies, and have for many years, I do not share your views of “zionist control” or anti-Semitism, much less the destruction of Israel.

Hopefully democratic forces prevail in Iran and its theocracy no longer continues as an impediment to lasting peace in the Middle East, which is true of Netanyahu too.

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31 05 2010
naegeleblog

Israel’s Apartheid, Violence At Sea, And War With Iran

Noam Chomsky, a Jewish-American professor who was denied entry to the West Bank by Israeli border guards, has accused Israel of acting in a “paranoid” fashion reminiscent of South Africa during the apartheid era.

He had been invited to deliver lectures at Birzeit University in the Palestinian city of Ramallah; and he had been scheduled to meet Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Prime Minister. His daughter, travelling with him, was also denied entry.

A London Times article states:

“I really don’t know of any other examples outside of totalitarian states where people are denied entry because they are going to talk at a university. It may in part be just a reflection of the change in climate in Israel; the country has visibly got much more paranoid, circling the wagons and so on,” he said. “In fact, it is rather reminiscent of South Africa in the early 1960s, when it began to be recognised that they were becoming a pariah state and reacted pretty much in the way that Israel is reacting now.”

. . .

There was widespread condemnation of the move in Israel. “I would not prevent the man from entering, unless I had information that his statements would pose a danger. Every person has a right; it is his right to enter and his right to leave Israel,” said Yaakov Turkel, a former Supreme Court judge.

Commentary in the mass circulation Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth went farther: “It would not be an exaggeration to say that the decision to shut up Professor Chomsky is an attempt to put an end to freedom in the state of Israel,” a writer thundered. “I am not talking about the stupidity of supplying ammunition to those who say that Israel is fascist, but rather about our concern that we may be becoming fascists.”

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7128835.ece

The “change in climate in Israel” is Netanyahu and his regime.

In another event, the Times has reported:

Israeli warships intercepted a six-ship Palestinian aid convoy sailing for the Gaza Strip earlier today, killing at least ten and wounding up to 30 people on board, local television networks reported.

A spokesman for a Turkish charity involved in the campaign said two people were killed when Israeli forces stormed a Turkish ship leading the flotilla.

. . .

Israel had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza.

. . .

The ships, carrying more than 700 passengers, were on the last leg of a high-profile mission to deliver some 10,000 tonnes of building and other supplies to Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.

. . .

Israel Radio broadcast a recording of one of the missile boats warning the flotilla not to approach Gaza.

“If you ignore this order and enter the blockaded area, the Israeli navy will be forced to take all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade,” the radio message continued.

. . .

The flotilla, which includes three cargo ships and three passenger ships, is trying to draw attention to Israel’s three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. The boats are carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials. The activists said they also were carrying hundreds of electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that after a security check, permitted humanitarian aid confiscated from the boats will be transferred to Gaza through authorised channels. However, Israel would not transfer items it has banned from Gaza under its blockade rules. Palmor said that for example, cement would be allowed only if it is tied to a specific project.

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7140957.ece; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703703704575277632709673018.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

More of Netanyahu’s insanity and violence, which underscores why he should be driven from office.

Next, the Times has reported:

Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.

. . .

The submarines . . . have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.

. . .

Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile.

. . .

Some of the cruise missiles are equipped with the most advanced nuclear warheads in the Israeli arsenal.

. . .

Tel Aviv, Israel’s business and defence centre, remains the most threatened city in the world, said one expert. “There are more missiles per square foot targeting Tel Aviv than any other city,” he said.

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7140282.ece

Not surprising.

Lastly, Netanyahu canceled his scheduled visit to the White House in the aftermath of the Israeli military’s action against the flotilla seeking access to Gaza. Having been humiliated by Obama before, presumably Netanyahu is afraid of that happening again.

See http://www.politico.com/politico44/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-283 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-406

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31 05 2010
Y.

I do not usually bother to reply to anti-Israeli tripe, but this one is so out of whack, I’ll bother typing a bit:

A) Criticizing Israel for Dubai is extremely hypocritical when the American government is running around firing missiles from Predator drone. How many hundereds of civilians did you kill that way? It’s even more outragous when you blame Israel for the atrocities committed by the terror organziations against Jews.

B) Nethanyahu is not leading a “regime”, but an elected government. Unfortunately (judging by press coverage), it seems some people are unable to understand how parliamentry government works.

It’s very simple: the guy who manage to get half+1 MPs to support him is Prime Minister. President Peres received recommendations from over 60 MPs telling him they would support Nethanyahu, and therefor had no choice but to nominate him. Especially since Peres himself tried to form a coalition in 1990 while his party didn’t have the most seats…

Obama’s attempts to overthrow the elected choice of the Israeli public are disrespectful of Israeli democracy. Israel is not a vassal state. They are also doomed to fail, as Obama has single-digit popularity in Israel.

C) Sharon and Rabin did not have Nethanyahu as far as I know. Sharon thought Nethanyahu was talented but too weak under pressure and thus he made him Treasury Ministry under the Sharon government. I do not know what Rabin thought of him, but there’s little reason to assume “hate” unless one is biased… I do note that Rabin’s son had no problems appearing with Nethanyahu at the end of the last election campaign.

D) The idea that Nethanyahu is the obstacle for “regional peace” is laughable. The reality is there’s no chance for the two sides positions to meet (Israel will not grant any version of the “right of return” nor entirely withdraw to the 67′ lines. The Palestinians will not give up the former nor will be satisfied with the latter. All this before asking how to deal with Hamas or the other security arragments Israel will insist on). It is doubtful if any leader is even able to sign an agreement.

Obama is not a fool and knows this perfectly well. Ultimately, the American push is meant to distance the US from Israel for its own ends. Unlike some others, I think this is good for Israel in the long term as America has never been a reliable ally – and the false perception of Israel’s dependency has hurt both itself and America.

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31 05 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you for your comments. It would be nice if you identified yourself by name, but that is your choice.

First, it is worth repeating what I wrote in two postings above, namely that I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-261 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-414

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds a sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu and his lackeys.

Second, the actions of Netanyahu and Mossad in Dubai cannot be explained away by pointing fingers at America.

Third, Netanyahu has proven twice now at the helm of Israel’s government that he is a mistake and irresponsible. Peres, for whom I have had great respect since he served with Rabin, might have chosen otherwise. His decision has come back to “haunt” him and all of Israel, regrettably.

You stated:

Obama’s attempts to overthrow the elected choice of the Israeli public are disrespectful of Israeli democracy. Israel is not a vassal state. They are also doomed to fail, as Obama has single-digit popularity in Israel.

Quite to the contrary, Israel would not exist but for American help. Call it a “vassal state” or whatever you will, the facts are the facts.

With respect to Obama, it appears that like other world leaders for many years now, he has enormous contempt for Netanyahu. Also, as stated above, my guess is that Obama views Israel as the oppressor and the Palestinians as the oppressed, much as he viewed apartheid in South Africa; and that he views Netanyahu as the embodiment or personification of that oppression.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

At some point, Netanyahu will be gone, hopefully soon—and hopefully before he ignites the next war in the Middle East, from which Israel might not recover.

Fourth, Netanayhu was and is hated. Leah Rabin’s views of Netanyahu are indicative.

See, e.g., http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/7367/leah-rabin-calls-netanyahu-all-political-manipulation/ and http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9605/29/israel.leah.rabin/index.html

Fifth, America and other nations may say enough is enough with respect to Netanyahu, and impose a Palestinian state on Israel. Certainly, Netanyahu will be an impediment as long as he is in power.

Obama may join with the Europeans and others in declaring and recognizing a new state of “Palestine,” which would shake up the Middle East. He would be hailed around the world; and it would be a bold move, which none of his predecessors had the guts or political savvy to accomplish. Among other things, it would constitute recognition of the fact that Obama and the Europeans do not need Israel’s “permission” to bring it into fruition.

Netanyahu has few true non-Jewish friends in the world. Obama will seek to isolate him, and make him look like a fool; and Obama will have the whole world with him. To take down Netanyahu, to impress the world that he is “even-handed” with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian issues, and to galvanize the world into a solution that produces a Palestinian state once and for all, is “win-win” for Obama and a political triumph of enormous proportions, and he knows it.

It would be a masterstroke, and truly brilliant. Bit-by-bit Obama and his allies will peel off those Israelis and American Jews who detest or hate Netanyahu. Indeed, Netanyahu is the perfect “foil” for Obama, and a “sacrificial lamb.” At most, lip service is being paid to Netanyahu and his supporters by Obama. Netanyahu will be humiliated even more, and marginalized politically and shown to be irrelevant, and then ousted. Obama rolled over the GOP in the process of passing ObamaCare, and Netanyahu will be “small potatoes” and easy pickings for him.

Also, Obama will be making the case that he is a “friend of Israel,” all the while sticking the shiv into Netanyahu until he is gone. By humiliating Netanyahu, and making him look like an utter fool and evil, and by destroying him—and having the Israeli people call for his ouster, or forcing him to resign—Netanyahu becomes nothing more than a convenient foil or pawn in global politics, which after all is Obama’s playing field.

The destruction of Netanyahu means nothing to him. It is akin to jettisoning Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright when they stood as impediments to his goals. They were expendable; and Netanyahu is way beyond being expendable. He is hated, which means that getting rid of him is “pleasurable” for Obama.

If the state of Palestine is created, and if the world lines up behind it—and if it is an enormous political triumph, which the mere creation of it will be—Obama will be basking in a greater glow than when ObamaCare was signed into law. Imagine Obama and world leaders descending on Jerusalem for the founding of the new Palestinian state. Obama understands fully what the stakes are, and how it will cement his place in history.

Netanyahu is a cipher. He can play ball, which I do not believe his narcissism will allow, or he can watch while Obama and the world “steamroll” him. Far too often, Jews have marched in “lock step,” and that is what Netanyahu is asking them to do now, like lemmings marching to the sea. He is playing on their worst fears, and their loyalty to Israel. He is a narcissist and a demagogue, who—down deep—only truly cares about himself and his own political ambitions. This is the story of his life.

Lastly, you state:

Ultimately, the American push is meant to distance the US from Israel for its own ends. Unlike some others, I think this is good for Israel in the long term as America has never been a reliable ally – and the false perception of Israel’s dependency has hurt both itself and America.

Interesting observations. However, as I alluded to at the outset of these comments, time is running out for peace. Israel’s very future is at stake; and Netanyahu is the wrong leader for the country at this critical juncture in its history. Hopefully the world’s reaction to his latest outrages will bring about an end to his political career once and for all.

See, e.g., http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.912e9a419395c35e47635378ed192ba2.471&show_article=1

Obama keeps taking calculated steps to isolate him, such as Washington’s unprecedented backing of a UN resolution for a nuclear-free Middle East that singles out Israel.

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.5eaf6bbb255b23063c3b3635bd5f7c52.161&show_article=1

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31 05 2010
Y.

I’ll respond in detail:

“I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD… All else is immaterial including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government]” [emph. mine. Assuming this form accepts HTML]

“I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds a sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process”

Well, as your friend said (but you missed), a piece of paper would do nothing to help Israel against a first-strike threat. As one can easily see in the streets of Cairo or Amman, peace does not equal reconciliation. It does not equal acknowledgement of basic humanity. It doesn’t even equal a reduction in aramaments, especially missiles. Even in the best possible scenario, I cannot see anything like reconciliation until the third generation after a peace accord (this makes me an optimist. The late Teddy Kollek thought it would take six to eight generations, and that was said one/two generations ago). All this without considering what happens if a Pakistani nutcase gets a nuke or two.

The only real defense is for Israel to keep enough WMDs to make sure even the nutcases are too frightened to attack it with WMDs. Obama’s recent actions in this regard are quite worrying.

“Second, the actions of Netanyahu and Mossad in Dubai cannot be explained away by pointing fingers at America.”

Ah, yes, hypocrisy at it’s finest.

“Third, Netanyahu has proven twice now at the helm of Israel’s government that he is a mistake and irresponsible.”

Perhaps. Compared to whom? Livni and the previous government with two wars under its belt? Barak which had failed in all his peace efforts and ended with the Second Intifadah? Israel’s tragedy is that there are no prominent political figures which are obviously better than Nethanyahu. Furthermore, I’m utterly sure a new elections right now would end up with an even more right wing knesset.

“Peres, for whom I have had a great respect since he served with Rabin, might have chosen otherwise.”

He had no choice. I guess he could have given the nod to Livni, which had no option of forming a coalition (she couldn’t even make it in the previous Knesset, which was far more favourable to her in composition), have it fail, and then Nethanyahu would have formed a government. But Peres would have lost whatever limited influence he has with the government.

The real open question is why didn’t Nethanyahu and Livni ended in a coalition (with Nethanyahu as PM). I know for a fact Kadima and Likud would have no problem with this. I strongly suspect that neither Livni or Nethanyahu want(ed) this.

“Quite to the contrary, Israel would not exist but for American help. Call it a “vassal state” or whatever you will, the facts are the facts.”

I think that’s exaggerated. Israel managed well until 1968 without any American support. Israel can do for itself in military sphere for the near future at least. What Israel wants from the US is diplomatic support, in particular preventing UN boycotts and sanctions. This would be bad for Israel, but is unlikely to be fatal. I happen to support Obama’s plan to distance from Israel – America can supply diplomatic support (if it wants to) without being so close to Israel (in public perception or otherwise). If it does not want to, there’s no use to the masquerade.

“Obama… has enormous contempt for Netanyahu”

This is a matter for grownups, and they are stuck with each other for awhile. Obama must work with Nethanyahu regardless of his personal feelings (and vice versa).

“At some point, Netanyahu will be gone, hopefully soon—and hopefully before he ignites the next war in the Middle East, from which Israel might not recover.”

As far as ‘igniting’ goes, Nethanyahu’s previous term was the quietest post-Oslo term violence-wise. I doubt another war can be prevented in the long run though. Too many powderkegs, too many sparks, radicals far too strong. The most likely chance for peace was lost in Camp David IMHO.

“Nethanyahu is and was hated”

Definitely so by some Israelis. Obama is also hated by some Americans. However, Nethanyahu is not hated by a majority of Israelis, not by a long shot. They elected him after all. Even Rabin’s son reconciled with him. In any event, Israelis have higher priorities. If you think any plan could be sold to Israelis merely based on “Nethanyahu hates it” you are due to be disappointed.

[snip - plan for an imposed peace]

The obvious problem is that neither side will consider such an agreement binding. Every compromise will be perceived as an illegitimate foriegn imposition, and every unspecified detail will be an opprotunity to resume the fight at a later date.

[Obama will crashes N. as he crashed the GOP]

There’s little comparison between domestic affairs and foreign ones. In foreign policy, Obama has failed again and again, and ultimately, it’s beyond his power to force both sides – it’s just too important to them. In particular, America and the EU has very little influence on the Palestinians.

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31 05 2010
Y.

Oh, and Obama’s support for singling out Israel is an blunder as far as getting the Israeli public’s support. Even Ha’aretz was outraged, and that’s significant given the paper’s politics. And for what? A nonbinding resolution?

It would have been more rational for Obama to have kept his powder dry until he had a concrete goal/plan to press toward. Firing so early allows N. to build the obvious anti-Obama narratives and rally the public in advance.

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31 05 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you again for your comments. Do you have a name, “Y”? :-)

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31 05 2010
Y.

Y yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Well, I’ll pick another handle in the future if that bothers you so much.

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31 05 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you again.

We seldom if ever allow the posting of comments at this blog unless we get real names and real e-mail addresses. Everyone’s privacy is respected and protected, so any information that we receive is not shared with anyone.

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31 05 2010
naegeleblog

With respect to your latest comments, “Y,” you began:

Well, as your friend said (but you missed), a piece of paper would do nothing to help Israel against a first-strike threat.

First, America’s “job” is not to protect Israel, or to guarantee its safety or survival. Whatever happens happens. It was founded in violence, and it may end in violence; and America is not its guarantor.

Having said that, there must be protections on all sides. Other countries and groups are subject to “first-strike threats” from Israel, as we know all too well.

Second, no one should be surprised by the worldwide anger and outrage against Netanyahu’s latest atrocities. The clock is ticking with respect to Israel’s survival, and he is an unfathomable mistake and should be ousted immediately.

Innocent Jews and Israelis will pay an enormous price worldwide for his actions, in terms of anti-Semitism and violence, which is tragic unto itself. He is a raving narcissist, who only cares about himself.

Third, you added:

Even in the best possible scenario, I cannot see anything like reconciliation until the third generation after a peace accord (this makes me an optimist. The late Teddy Kollek thought it would take six to eight generations, and that was said one/two generations ago). All this without considering what happens if a Pakistani nutcase gets a nuke or two.

At the present rate, Israel does not have one generation—much less more than one—to address the issue of a lasting peace. This is why Netanyahu is such a tragic mistake. Anyone who believes otherwise is deluding himself or herself.

Fourth, you said:

The only real defense is for Israel to keep enough WMDs to make sure even the nutcases are too frightened to attack it with WMDs.

With all due respect, I believe that is fallacious, and yesterday’s news. WMDs will not protect Israel, now or in the future. It will be as if the country had none, or they never left the silos (or subs). Their nukes will not afford any protection; that is wishful thinking, and a pipe dream.

Fifth, you stated:

Israel’s tragedy is that there are no prominent political figures which are obviously better than Nethanyahu. Furthermore, I’m utterly sure a new elections right now would end up with an even more right wing knesset.

What you are saying is that there are no Rabins and no Sharons, and that Israel is leaderless. If true, its future is not bright.

Sixth, you argue that effectively Netanyahu was the best of two less-than-ideal choices for Peres. My response is: “Anyone other than Netanyahu!” He had a track record that was deplorable. People were not buying a pig in a poke; they knew what they were getting—which at worst might be Israel’s destruction. However, the fact remains that Livni and Kadima won the most seats in the Knesset; Netanyahu and Likud did not.

Seventh, you state:

The real open question is why didn’t Nethanyahu and Livni ended in a coalition (with Nethanyahu as PM). I know for a fact Kadima and Likud would have no problem with this. I strongly suspect that neither Livni or Nethanyahu want(ed) this.

The answer seems clear. Why would Livni want to climb aboard a sinking ship? Netanyahu is a narcissist who is doomed. The only question is whether he takes Israel down with him.

Eighth, in response to my comments that Israel would not exist but for American help, and that it is essentially a “vassal state,” you add:

I think that’s exaggerated. Israel managed well until 1968 without any American support. Israel can do for itself in military sphere for the near future at least. What Israel wants from the US is diplomatic support, in particular preventing UN boycotts and sanctions. This would be bad for Israel, but is unlikely to be fatal. I happen to support Obama’s plan to distance from Israel – America can supply diplomatic support (if it wants to) without being so close to Israel (in public perception or otherwise). If it does not want to, there’s no use to the masquerade.

Let’s cut off all aid and help of whatever type to Israel, and see how long it lasts. In reality, it may not last that long, as the quote that I cited above indicates.

Ninth, in response to my comment that “Nethanyahu is and was hated,” you stated:

Definitely so by some Israelis. Obama is also hated by some Americans. However, Nethanyahu is not hated by a majority of Israelis, not by a long shot. They elected him after all.

Again, Livni and Kadima won the most seats in the Knesset; Netanyahu and Likud did not. Enough said.

Tenth, with respect to my comments about an “imposed peace,” you stated:

The obvious problem is that neither side will consider such an agreement binding. Every compromise will be perceived as an illegitimate foriegn imposition, and every unspecified detail will be an opprotunity to resume the fight at a later date.

If it were done by Obama, the Europeans and others, there would be euphoria when the new state of Palestine was born, which might engender enormous good will around the world. Also, Obama and others would do whatever was necessary to insure its survival, including the elimination of Netanyahu.

Eleventh, with respect to my comments that Obama might crush Netanyahu as he crushed the GOP, and impose the state of Palestine on Israel, you stated:

There’s little comparison between domestic affairs and foreign ones. In foreign policy, Obama has failed again and again, and ultimately, it’s beyond his power to force both sides – it’s just too important to them. In particular, America and the EU has very little influence on the Palestinians.

Normally, I would agree with you that domestic victories do not translate into international victories; however, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is different. I believe Europe would be in lock step with Obama on this issue; and it would be one around which the world would rally and coalesce.

Lastly, Obama has thousands of ways of cutting off Netanyahu at his knees. Please read (or reread) “Dreams from My Father.” I have little doubt that Obama views Netanyahu as the very personification and embodiment of oppression—and yes, evil—which Obama hates and has hated for most of his life. In Netanyahu, Obama sees the “champions” of apartheid in South Africa, whom he hated. Just read his book.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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2 06 2010
popeye

First, I never said America’s “job” is to protect Israel. It’s not America’s job at all. In fact, until now, America has gone to war on behalf of Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and other Arab and Muslim countries but never for Israel. I do not expect or wish this to change.

Second, MAD is well established, rhetoric aside. The Arab states have their WMD arsenal, as does Israel.

Third, I’m actually more pessimistic than you. Israel has zero generations to address the issue of lasting peace since the chance has come and gone. The Arab side doesn’t have a leader which can make an agreement and survive it. They feel they are winning anyway. The Israeli side has shifted rightward irrevocably.

Fourth, you still don’t quite understand how the Israeli political system works. If it helps, it’s almost exactly like Netherlands’ system (replace Monarch with President, and remove the nigh irrelevant first chamber). Yes, Kadima got a single mandate more. Which means that it got 28 MPs, while Likud has 27 MPs. The total is 120. So the “major” parties don’t have even 50% together!

The big deal is to get the support of a block of parties. The rightist block has 65 MPs, and the voters expected they’d support Nethanyahu. The leftist block has 44 MPs, while the Arab parties have 11 MPs. The Arabs will not support Livni, especially not a few weeks after the Gaza war. Simple math shows Livni had no chance to be PM without cooperation from Nethanyahu.

Fifth, reducing American aid to Israel was actually one of Nethanyahu goals during his first term (IIRC, it’s mentioned in his first speech to congress). He removed the economic component, but later PMs restored the total aid to its original size… Sure, cut it off – it’s just 1% of Israel’s GDP. I do recall that the camp david accords specify a link between aid to Israel and Egypt, so you have to cut off aid to Egypt too. And for the PA while you’re at it. After all, since you’re so fair, you’re willing to stop support of Israel’s enemies too, right?

Sixth, “euphoria”?
This happened after the Oslo accords, and I recall how it ended. In any event, there isn’t going to be euphoria now. Both peoples are used to the “peace process” by now. Besides this would be a specific plan so people can’t attach their dreams to it like they would have for a blank slate.

Obama and the EU may or may not want to “do whatever it takes”. Regardless, I strongly doubt they can force a plan and I’m sure that if they do it won’t make peace. Obama simply has no good way to pressure the Palestinians pre or post deal, so if Hamas or Abbas says “no” this is either dead or (later) war is resumed. On the other hand, pressuring Israel is no panache either if Nethanyahu gets enough of the Israeli public to stick with him (Obama makes this easier and easier). IMHO, Obama may only try to force a plan if he’ll willing to risk a war (and all sides would have reason to start it) and the rise of oil prices to come with it.

Lastly, I’m sure Obama hates Nethanyahu. I’m sure the feeling is mutual. Obama is exactly the type of person N. would find easy to demonize to himself and the Israeli public. Heh, maybe this is fated. Nevertheless, I’m of the school which thinks IR is motivated by interests more than personal feelings or ideology (which is important, but more in the way it influences the way a state percieves its interests rather than directly). If Obama continues to turn against Israel, this would mainly be because a good portion of the American policy elite agrees with him.

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2 06 2010
naegeleblog

Fine comments, thank you. Interestingly, you have gone from “Y” to “popeye,” which of course is your prerogative. :-)

Most important—to me at least—are your following statements:

I’m actually more pessimistic than you. Israel has zero generations to address the issue of lasting peace since the chance has come and gone. The Arab side doesn’t have a leader which can make an agreement and survive it. They feel they are winning anyway. The Israeli side has shifted rightward irrevocably.

Again, I believe peace can and must be achieved, and that war and annihilation are not the answer. They are lunacy.

Next, you said:

[S]ince you’re so fair, you’re willing to stop support of Israel’s enemies too, right?

Yes, of course, it must be symmetrical.

You added:

I’m sure Obama hates Nethanyahu. I’m sure the feeling is mutual. Obama is exactly the type of person N. would find easy to demonize to himself and the Israeli public. Heh, maybe this is fated. . . . If Obama continues to turn against Israel, this would mainly be because a good portion of the American policy elite agrees with him.

I agree that there is no love lost between either of them. As I mentioned in another comment, I believe too that Obama equates Israel with the forces of apartheid in South Africa, which he hated. It is all spelled out in his book, “Dreams from My Father,” which is worth reading if you have not done so already.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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31 05 2010
naegeleblog

Israeli Commandos Gun Down 19 Peace Activists In Raid On Gaza Ships

The UK’s Daily Mail is reporting that Israeli commandos have gunned down nineteen peace activists in their raid on Gaza ships with 28 Britons on board, as well as Nobel peace prize winner Mairead Maguire and reportedly several EU members of parliament.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1282802/Israeli-forces-kill-19-people-carrying-aid-ship-Gaza.html

Daily Mail photo os masked Israeli military personnel after raid on Gaza ships

What appears above is a photo from the Daily Mail of masked Israeli military personnel seen on board one of their boats after the raid.

While the true facts and the full extent of the carnage will not be known for some time, it is clear that Netanyahu’s brutality and viciousness knows no bounds. He should be forced to resign immediately. His next steps may be to turn the Middle East into a blazing cauldron.

See, e.g., http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7140282.ece

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2 06 2010
naegeleblog

Why I Write And Say What I Do

Since I was a little kid growing up in West Los Angeles, I have always had friends who were Jewish. My closest friend, who was my college roommate, is a Jew. They have helped me; they have loved me; they will be my friends for life; and whatever happens to Israel affects them. It does not affect me; I am not Jewish.

Israel could disappear off the face of the earth today, and it would not affect my life one iota. I could wake up tomorrow and go about my life as if it never happened—similar to the disappearance of Moldova as a nation, which is even larger. However, it might affect the lives of Jewish friends whom I love and care about.

With few exceptions, the Nazi Holocaust did not affect my friends at all. Each of them was born and raised here in the United States except one, who was born in Israel before 1948. Their families came to America long before World War II, just as mine did. They are Americans through and through. Some are lawyers, like I am. Others are doctors. Still others are ordinary citizens of this great country.

Yet, if Israel was crushed and destroyed, and its Jewish population massacred, it would be the second tragic and mind-numbing Jewish holocaust in less than a hundred years; and they might always wonder whether they or their family members were next. They might not articulate such fears, but I have no doubt that fear would linger just beneath the surface. It might affect their willingness to travel abroad, beyond the safety of the United States, and in countless other ways.

I find it odd that a Jewish friend in New York City considers Israel to be his second home. Most Americans have no allegiance to a country other than the United States. My ancestors came from Germany, Ireland, Scotland and Britain, but I do not consider any of them my home—nor do I have any allegiance to them. They are nice places to visit, but that is it.

However, many American Jews view Israel as their ancestral home (e.g., “the national homeland of our people”) and their final place of refuge if their world descends into chaos. I believe the United States is that home and refuge, because they are Americans just like me. However, some believe otherwise and my friend in New York is one of them—probably in no small part due to the fact that both of his parents and both of his wife’s parents were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, and immigrant Jews.

Years ago when I was in Germany visiting friends, I was told by someone that the only thing wrong with Hitler was that he did not “finish the job” of killing all of the Jews. I listened, because I wanted to learn what the Germans truly believed. I had been fascinated by Hitler’s rise to power, and wanted to understand how it happened in the country of my paternal ancestors. They came to America in 1849—a husband and wife who had 16 children, and presumably were good Catholics—but I was interested in understanding the German mentality that had allowed Hitler’s rise to power.

As near as I can discern, he was a charismatic leader—and a stirring orator—and the Germans had “dehumanized” their enemies just like many in the West are dehumanizing the followers of Islam now. Dehumanization is a cruel process that breeds contempt, hatred and atrocities, and no society is immune to it. We have seen it in the treatment of American slaves and Indians, and the Palestinians, and billions of other people throughout the course of human history.

But why care about tiny obscure Israel, which might disappear or be incinerated in the blink of an eye? Few people worldwide would truly care about it—much less shed a tear—except the Jews who remain behind. Israel has been a shining city on a hill, a refuge for suffering and wandering Jews worldwide. God has allowed them to survive through thick and thin, even though it can be argued that they were “chosen” to suffer if history is any indicia.

If—like America—tiny Israel represents the hopes of mankind, then it must represent that hope for Jews and Palestinians and other Arabs alike. It must be holier than thou, and stand on a pedestal for all to see. Rightly or wrongly, Jews are held to a higher standard. The survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and their offspring must treat others with the love and respect that they would wish for themselves. When this does not happen, and when Israelis are perceived as having morphed into their ancestors’ Nazi oppressors (e.g., by instituting “Apartheid” vis-à-vis the Palestinians), the world is quick to condemn—perhaps too quickly at times, or maybe not quickly enough at other times.

For example, Swiss banks and German companies were “extorted,” and forced to pay several billion dollars in reparations in the name of Holocaust survivors; however, only a relatively small percentage of the monies have actually gone to them. Many have died without receiving anything meaningful from the Claims Conference. This is wrong, and a travesty. Also, Israel’s brutal attack on the USS Liberty, and the killing of innocent Americans, was a tragedy that was covered up—and must never be forgotten.

See, http://www.freedocumentaries.org/int.php?filmID=350 (“The Final Insult”—”This film raises some serious questions about the motives of those in charge of defending the rights of the dwindling Holocaust survivors”) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claims_Conference#Criticism: see also http://www.gtr5.com/

I have been tarred as an anti-Semite and a “Jew hater” for writing what I do, but that comes with the territory. Some Jews call other Jews by those names, who do not fall into lock step in supporting Israel—right or wrong. They are labels that used to be reserved for the Nazis and their ilk, but now they seem to be thrown around freely, to stifle dissent and criticism on the part of Jews and non-Jews alike. I might wear them as badges of honor if they were true, but they are not.

There are good Jews and not-so-good Jews, which is true of Christians, the followers of Islam, Buddha and other religions. My mother taught me that there was good in all people and religions, and I believe it to this day. The Jews have suffered throughout history, and I understand why many engage in name-calling rather than addressing the real problems facing Israel and its survival. Indeed, many condemn present-day Germans as a “race” for what Hitler did, yet they take umbrage at claims that they were responsible for Jesus’ death. Both condemnations are wrong.

I am concerned that the end may be coming to Israel, if things continue on their present course. As mentioned above, I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel—told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s seemingly-prophetic words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds my sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process . . . before it is too late.

Netanyahu’s wall may be torn down by non-Jews, just as the Berlin Wall was destroyed. Israel’s Apartheid may not end peacefully, but in carnage. The world may turn its back on Israel, once and for all.

However, I want Israel to survive and prosper, and for my Jewish friends and others to live in peace without worrying about their futures or those of their loved ones. This will not happen as long as Benjamin Netanyahu leads Israel and creates a climate of fear, hate and oppression.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1825 (“[I]n asking about the treatment of Palestinians: ‘Is this how I wanted to be treated when I was a minority in another people’s country?'”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/ (“Ariel Sharon Is Missed”)

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2 06 2010
popeye

I reject this completely.

First, Jews are human beings, and to judge them by any different standard than other nations is classic racism, no matter the rationalization. Particularly vile is the idea that they must do so due to the Holocaust – they do not have to act as the World’s atonement, rather the reverse if at all. One can’t help that but thinking that a large part of siding with the Palestinians (the only ones in the conflict trying to kill off the other side) is a method to salve the World’s conscience – “you are Nazis too” type of argument.

Second, I keep hearing that “Some Jews call other Jews by those names, who do not fall into lock step in supporting Israel”. Funny thing there, any kind of objective analysis (or even trivial observation) would show that “dissent” is far higher amongst Jews than others. Jews are criticized by other Jews because they believe they are wrong, as it is all over the place.

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2 06 2010
naegeleblog

Thanks again for your comments.

First, whoever said that Jews were not human beings, or that they should be judged differently than others? The issue is their place in the world and the survival of Israel, which is dear to many of them.

Second, I do not side with the Palestinians. I simply hope there is fair treatment on both sides. My guess, however, is that Barack Obama views the Israelis as oppressors and the Palestinians as the oppressed, much as he viewed Apartheid in South Africa. You might wish to read his book, “Dreams from My Father,” if you have not done so already.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Third, yes, I am aware of healthy albeit sometimes vicious “dissent” among Jews. Civility is not a hallmark of this debate, it seems.

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2 06 2010
naegeleblog

The Flotilla Mistake, Siege Fatigue, And The End Of Israel

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent article by Ronen Bergman on these subjects, which is worth reading.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/RonenBergman-SiegeFatigueandtheFlotillaMistake.pdf; see also http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7142188.ece

Netanyahu is a living, breathing disaster for Israel, and he should be forced to resign immediately. The “flotilla mistake” is just the latest example of his ineptitude. His assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, and the killing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere, are other examples. Yet, there is reason to believe that the worst is yet to come.

See, e.g., http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7140282.ece

Under Netanyahu, not only is Israel “terminally isolated” in the words of the author, but it is terminal period—or at least potentially so. The author is correct too when he writes: “[T]he war over world opinion is over—and Israel has lost. . . . One might as well simply give up.” It is not surprising that “siege fatigue” is weighing down Israelis. Indeed, it was predictable once Netanyahu came to power. Peace was not an option. His style was always confrontation. No Palestinian state would be born on his watch; he was determined to see to that.

What is clear is that Israel needs new leadership now, not months or even years from now. Time is not on its side. I am concerned that the end may be coming to the country, if things continue on their present course. This undergirds my sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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2 06 2010
popeye

Again, I’m trying to tell you that the worse is yet to come regardless. Do not think a Livni/Barak government would have acted any differently. Indeed the previous Olmert/Livni/Barak government also had a naval blockade of Gaza, and killed people such as Imad Muanigyh (can’t recall spelling now).

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2 06 2010
naegeleblog

If the worst is yet to come “regardless,” then there is no hope for the peace process, and the state of Israel is doomed; it is just a function of time before it disappears (e.g., WMDs, demographics). I do not believe that.

I see a day when there is a new state of Palestine, which the world has blessed; and the states of Israel and Palestine reside side-by-side, and there is peace. Sure, there will be haters and distrust on both sides, but I believe cooler heads will prevail.

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2 06 2010
popeye

First, the language of “question/answer” or “problem/solution” isn’t all that helpful in describing reality. Events will happen or will not happen. What will not happen is peace, regardless of what a good “answer” it would be technically. Maybe Obama will extort some weakening of Israel before the next round, but nothing more.

Second, the conflict is not about the establishment of a Palestinian state (they only had at least 5 or so chances to do so, and in fact declared one in 1949 and in 1988). Borders are important, but not the main deal – they can always be fixed later. It’s about Israel and the desire of a good part of the Arab/Muslim world to kill it.

Thus, there exists no better way to prevent peace from ever happening but by telling the world that the Arabs are bound to win if the fighting continues (which I disagree with, but whatever). Once that is said, there are more than enough Arab/Muslim fanatics willing to pay the price and especially to kill anyone that disagrees with them that it’s worth paying. And of course, Israel will not agree to weaken itself further if the opinion is that it’s too weak already.

Third, of course you are judging Jews by a different standard:
“It must be holier than thou, and stand on a pedestal for all to see. Rightly or wrongly, Jews are held to a higher standard. The survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and their offspring must treat others with the love and respect that they would wish for themselves.”

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2 06 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you again for your comments.

First, if peace will not happen, then war is inevitable and at some point Israel will be destroyed. I do not accept that premise.

Second, Netanyahu “feeds” the hatred of Jews and Israel, and “the desire of a good part of the Arab/Muslim world to kill it.” He is a lightning rod, and always has been.

My sense is that Israel is a “paper tiger” militarily. Its WMDs are effectively useless, and the Arabs are winning the asymmetrical war. Thus, “peace” is its only option—or siege fatigue will carry the day, and sooner or later it will be history.

Third, I judge America by the same standard, as the shining city on the hill, and a beacon of light and freedom to the world. Perhaps both judgments are altruistic, but many in the world judge America by that standard.

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2 06 2010
popeye

First, I’m not sure what you accept or not is all that relevant. Events will happen as they must.

Second, the enmity is pretty constant and is the fault of Israel’s enemies. If anything, “peaceniks” have fought far far more wars during Israel’s history.

Third, peace needs both sides, the Arabs do not believe they have any reason to accept and Israel will not accept a fraud. Sooner or later, war will come and Nethanyahu (or some other PM) will be forced to change Israel’s direction. All the available options then will be very bloody to all sides, but ultimately the Arabs always lose symmetrical wars.

Lastly, you don’t judge America by the same standard. You are supposedly abhorred by Israel’s killing of an enemy, but when someone points out America is far worse by the same standard, the reply is that it’s just pointing fingers at America. I would have thought that as a citizen of the USA, you should be more involved in “fixing your house first” so to speak…

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2 06 2010
naegeleblog

Thanks again for your comments.

You said:

Sooner or later, war will come and Nethanyahu (or some other PM) will be forced to change Israel’s direction. All the available options then will be very bloody to all sides, but ultimately the Arabs always lose symmetrical wars.

And if you are wrong about the result? Then, Israel disappears, which lots of very smart, non-anti-Semitic people believe will happen.

Lastly, innocent people are not enemies. Also, I supported George W. Bush and voted for him, but I did not believe in invading Iraq. The “surge” worked and I am thankful for that; however, vast treasures (e.g., lives, money) have been wasted. The same is true of Afghanistan, which is now Obama’s war. I am not a pacifist, but only certain wars are worth fighting.

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3 06 2010
popeye

What if I’m wrong? Well, it’s not like my opinion influences anyone’s policy. That said, my assessment is based on past results and an observation of current military preparations. The Arabs seem to have deemphasized conventional attack in favor of terror bombings of civilians. This will kill many people, but is equivalent to the discredited theories of Douhet and will end in the same manner.

Lastly, it is ludicrous to call Mabhouh “innocent”. Nobody denies his senior Hamas role. The self-righteous outrage simply masks a turn in Western policy which will only accelerate the replacement of the dead peace process with something very different. Your reply is intriguing in another manner though – I wonder, do you support the war in Afghanistan?

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3 06 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you again for your comments.

First, your insightful opinions and mine and everyone else’s are important because hopefully the peace process is advanced and the Israel moves away from the edge of an abyss.

Second, the game-changers are WMDs, which I mentioned when I cited a quote above with respect to the issue.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544

Third, I was not attaching the label “innocent” to Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. I had shifted to the broader issue of killing innocent Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere, and perhaps I should have made that clearer.

Lastly, I believe America was wrong to commence the Iraq War, which has cost this country dearly in terms of its treasures (e.g., American lives, money). However, I am pleased that the “surge” worked, and that Saddam Hussein and his ruthless regime are gone, and that the Iraqi people have a real chance to enjoy freedom and democracy.

I would hope for the same thing in Afghanistan. The poppy fields should have been destroyed from Day One, and al-Qaeda and the Taliban should not have sanctuaries in Pakistan. Why are we really there? To make sure that Pakistan does not descend into chaos and its nuclear arsenal does not fall into the hands of our enemies.

Also, as Laura Bush and others have championed, the plight of Afghan women has improved, and hopefully that continues.

Will we succeed in Afghanistan? People who know the country and region far better than I do, and whose judgment I respect enormously, believe our chances are “dicey” at best.

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3 06 2010
naegeleblog

UK Jewish MP: Israel Acting Like Nazis In Gaza

This video, which was brought to my attention by someone at the Wall Street Journal’s Web site, is worth watching:

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4 06 2010
naegeleblog

The Next-To-The-Last Jewish Holocaust?

I have read and respected the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer for many years. He is a rare human being. He studied to be a doctor, but suffered a paralyzing diving accident in his first year of medical school, and apparently has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Krauthammer#Life_and_career

Perhaps the fact that I grew up with a mother in a wheelchair makes me appreciate what he has overcome in life—just as my mother did—to write brilliant weekly columns and offer lucid observations about domestic and world events, and to be a voice of reason on so many issues when often there appears to be none. My mother overcame her disabilities too, and triumphed.

He has an article today that is especially worth reading. In essence, what he says is that the world’s condemnation of Israel has been systematically removing its means of defense, and that ultimately the tiny country might be destroyed—and along with it, approximately 5.6 million Jews—which would be the second Jewish Holocaust in the last 100 years.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/03/AR2010060304287.html

As I have mentioned above, and elsewhere in my writings, I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, with impeccable credentials that I am sure are well known to Krauthammer—told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds my sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu.

I do not like him, and seemingly never have, beginning more than a decade ago when he was Israel’s prime minister the first time (see, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/WSJ-Jerusalem.pdf). I believe he is dishonest, corrupt, a raving narcissist who cares only about himself, dangerous, reckless, and someone who is totally capable of setting off a war in the Middle East that might destroy Israel and inflict terrible losses on American personnel who are stationed in the region.

In the interim, I believe he fans the flames of anti-Semitism, endangering the lives of innocent Israelis and Jews throughout the world—who can be targeted and killed at a moment’s notice, and there is nothing that Netanyahu or anyone else can do to prevent it. As I have written above and elsewhere, I believe he is the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had; and I believe Leah Rabin was correct when she saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm.

Having said all of this, how does one prevent Krauthammer’s ominous prediction of “a more final solution,” and that contained in the quote I cited above from coming true? I have been told that the situation is hopeless, but this is only true as long as Netanyahu remains at Israel’s helm. I have been told too that there are no leaders in Israel who can change the course of history and bring about a lasting peace. To that, I answer that Abraham Lincoln came out of nowhere to lead this fractured nation; and Ronald Reagan did too, and he brought down the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union.

Israel has leaders who can make a difference, and they need to rise and do so now. The clock is ticking.

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7 06 2010
Wallace Brand

Naegele’s response assumes that the so called peace process is not a charade. He has neglected to read the revelations of Major General Ion Pacepa, the highest ranking defector from the Soviet bloc during the Cold War.

Let me provide some facts supplied from General Pacepa’s personal knowledge: http://www.think-israel.org/brand.russiatheenemy.html

In addition to Carter buying the Soviet disinformation experts’ story, Rabiin did too. He brought the Arab thugs from Tunisia, where they had been isolated, into the heart of Israel — leading to where we are now. Every President of the US since has bought the peace process charade.

Obama is relentlessly pushing Netanyahu to concession after concession on the assumption that the peace process is real and not a charade, and that peace can be achieved between the Jews on the one hand, desperate for an end to warfare, and the Arabs on the other motivated by religious jihad who expressly seek to annihilate the Jews. See the PLO charter which continues to list that goal many years after promises to eliminate it.

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7 06 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you, Wallace, for your comments.

First, you stated at the Wall Street Journal’s Web site:

Naegele’s comment, provided through a link, consists principally of advertising his legal services and ad hominem against Netanyahu. I prefer comment that cites facts and finds reasons from them that can be used to evaluate the editorial.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704025304575284210429984110.html#articleTabs%3Dcomments%26commentId=1244289?mod=djemcomnewtrackedcomment

Neither my legal services nor that of my law firm is “advertised” at this blog; and this blog is not even mentioned at my law firm’s Web site. The two are kept as separate and distinct as possible—principally because (1) I have friends and clients who may not share my views on various subjects, and (2) my intent is not to mix “apples and oranges,” or offend them.

Having said that, your second paragraph is blatant advertising for your article, which we have permitted by authorizing your comments to appear here.

Second, in all of his political incarnations, Netanyahu has made it clear that his peace efforts are a “charade.” This is why Leah Rabin was right in seeing “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm.

To the extent that both Netanyahu and the Palestinians view the peace process as a charade, then war is inevitable, which does not bode well for Israel in the long run, as I have mentioned above. This is why peace efforts are so essential—once again, not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu.

Third, if you were correct, the peace process should be dispensed with, period. I do not agree with that, and am guardedly optimistic that peace is possible. Barack Obama may be on the right track in this regard; and I do not rule out the idea of peace being “imposed” on Israel, as mentioned above.

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4 06 2010
naegeleblog

Helen Thomas And Anti-Semitism

Helen Thomas is a White House press correspondent who has covered every U.S. president beginning with John F. Kennedy. She has had a storied career, which has spanned five decades; and she has often been outspoken and controversial. However, she blazed the trail for many female correspondents who followed after her.

In on-camera remarks at the White House, for which she later apologized, she was asked whether she had any comments about Israel, and responded:

Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land; it’s not German[y], it’s not Poland.

Asked where they should go, meaning the Jews, she responded:

Go home. Poland. Germany. America, and everywhere else.

See http://www.breitbart.tv/helen-thomas-tells-jews-get-the-hell-out-of-palestine-and-go-back-to-germany-poland

Thomas’ call for Jews to get out of Israel and go back to Poland brings to mind the more than 900 German Jewish refugees who were aboard a German ocean liner in 1939, the MS St. Louis, seeking asylum from Nazi persecution. They were denied entry to Cuba, and then denied entry to America by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and returned to Europe where only half of the passengers survived the war.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_St._Louis

There will be an outcry, calling for Thomas’ termination by the Hearst Corporation, and describing her as a senile anti-Semite and by other derogatory terms. What is most significant is that anti-Semitism lurks just beneath the surface in America and other countries of the world; and it rears its ugly head when outrages occur such as Netanyahu’s attack on the Gaza flotilla.

There should be an end to anti-Semitism wherever it exists. However, it must be accepted that it exists globally, and that Helen Thomas’ beliefs are not isolated. Charles Krauthammer’s article that is cited in the posting above this one describes it too, but even he “pulls his punches” for public consumption.

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6 06 2010
naegeleblog

Ari Fleischer Is Wrong

I have admired Fleischer ever since he served as George W. Bush’s press secretary, and I was sorry to see him leave the White House. He was terrific. Thus, I am disappointed that he would charaterize Helen Thomas’ comments as follows;

She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her? If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs.

See http://dailypaul.com/node/136760

This is nonsense.

First, like so many people around the world, she stated that the Palestinians’ lands were taken from them, which is at the very heart of the “right-of-return” issue.

Second, freedom of speech is guaranteed by our Constitution; and Fleischer knows better than to try to intimidate Thomas, or cast aspersions against her, much less seek to have her fired.

Third, “political correctness” is dead, and Thomas ought to be free to say whatever she wants, however inflammatory her remarks may be. Her right to do so is protected by and enshrined in our Constitution, thank God.

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7 06 2010
naegeleblog

Freedom Of Speech Suffered Another Blow Today

The Hearst Newspapers announced Helen Thomas’ retirement, presumably under enormous duress and pressures, which is an affront to freedom of speech. As stated above, she has been outspoken and controversial throughout her career that has spanned five decades, which has been part of her charm for each of the presidents during whose terms she has served. Agree with her or not, she has been a Washington institution.

See http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/0610/Helen_Thomas_retires.html

I do not defend Thomas’ remarks, but I defend her right to say them.

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6 06 2010
naegeleblog

Netanayahu = Thug

If there was ever a person in contemporary world politics who could be labeled a “thug,” and rightly so—aside from Russia’s dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin—it is Netanyahu. Yet, as much as I have detested Netanyahu for at least a decade and believe he is the wrong leader for Israel at this critical juncture in the country’s history, he is a “saint” when compared to Putin.

Everything is relative; and while Netanyahu should be removed from office, Putin is a killer who should be eliminated, period.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

In condemnation of the Netanyahu government, the Los Angeles Times is reporting:

{A] group of top [Israeli] naval reserves officers said it was inappropriate to blame flotilla organizers for the raid, which they characterized as a “failure,” according to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. The group, delivering one of the first public criticisms from Israel’s military community and calling for an “external inquiry,["] said raid commanders should shoulder the blame.

. . .

And an Iranian spokesman said the elite Revolutionary Guards were prepared to supply a military escort to cargo ships seeking to break the Israeli blockade.

“Iran’s Revolutionary Guards naval forces are fully prepared to escort the peace and freedom convoys to Gaza with all their powers and capabilities,” Ali Shirazi, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-gaza-flotilla-20100607,0,5777628.story; see also http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/06/gaza-blockade-iran-aid-convoy

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7 06 2010
naegeleblog

Who Should Israel Negotiate With?

This is a fundamental question, which deserves an answer. Who should Israel negotiate with? Hamas, Fatah, the Palestinian Authority? It has been said:

They are at war with each other. Should Iran or Syria be at the table since they supply weapons and money to these organizations? . . . How can you negotiate with someone who does not want you to exist? How many rocket attacks should Israel allow before they take action? How many would you allow to strike your home?

My responses are as follows—which incorporate comments that appear in the postings above:

First, my criticisms relate to Netanyahu, not Israel or the Israeli people. Second, I am well aware of what Israel is up against, which is why Netanyahu is such a tragic figure and an anachronism at this critical juncture in the country’s history. Third, it is my hope that Israel will survive forever; however, it is questionable whether it will survive this decade, much less a generation—certainly if Netanyahu remains at its helm.

Fourth, as I have written, I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, with impeccable credentials—told me a number of years ago:

“I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].”

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds my sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu.

He was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct.

Fifth, at some point, Barack Obama and other world leaders may say enough is enough with respect to Netanyahu, and impose a Palestinian state on Israel. Certainly, Netanyahu will be an impediment to peace as long as he is in power; and Obama may seek a “victory” with respect to this issue before his presidency ends, which will cement his place in history.

Indeed, he may join with the Europeans and others in declaring and recognizing a new state of “Palestine,” which would shake up the Middle East. He would be hailed around the world; and it would be a bold move, which none of his predecessors had the guts or political savvy to accomplish. Among other things, it would constitute recognition of the fact that Obama and the Europeans do not need Israel’s “permission” to bring it into being.

I believe Obama views the Israelis as the oppressors, and the Palestinians as the oppressed, much as he viewed apartheid in South Africa—which he hated and believed was evil. I believe too that he views Netanyahu as the personification of Israeli oppression. Hence, down deep, he has little or no empathy for Israel. If you have not done so already, you might wish to read “Dreams from My Father,” in which his views are set out clearly.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Netanyahu has few true non-Jewish friends in the world. Obama will seek to isolate him, and make him look like a fool; and Obama will have the whole world with him. To take down Netanyahu, to impress the world that he is “even-handed” with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian issues, and to galvanize the world into a solution that produces a Palestinian state once and for all, is “win-win” for Obama and a political triumph of enormous proportions, and he knows it.

It would be a masterstroke, and truly brilliant. Bit-by-bit Obama and his allies will peel off those Israelis and American Jews who detest or hate Netanyahu. Indeed, Netanyahu is the perfect “foil” for Obama and a “sacrificial lamb.” At most, lip service is being paid to Netanyahu and his supporters by Obama—who rolled over the GOP in the process of passing ObamaCare, and Netanyahu will be “small potatoes” and easy pickings for him.

Also, Obama will be making the case that he is a “friend of Israel,” all the while sticking the shiv into Netanyahu until he is gone. By humiliating Netanyahu, and making him look like an utter fool and evil, and by destroying him—and having the Israeli people call for his ouster, or forcing him to resign—Netanyahu becomes nothing more than a convenient foil or pawn in global politics, which after all is Obama’s playing field.

The destruction of Netanyahu means nothing to him. It is akin to jettisoning Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright when they stood as impediments to his goals. They were expendable; and Netanyahu is way beyond being expendable. As mentioned above, for Obama, Netanyahu may represent the personification of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, which means that getting rid of Netanyahu might be “pleasurable” for Obama.

If the state of Palestine is created, and if the world lines up behind it—and if it is an enormous political triumph, which the mere creation of it will be—Obama will be basking in a greater glow than when ObamaCare was signed into law. Imagine Obama and world leaders descending on Jerusalem for the founding of the new Palestinian state. Obama understands fully what the stakes are, and how it will cement his place in history.

Netanyahu is a cipher. He can play ball, which I do not believe his narcissism will allow, or he can watch while Obama and the world “steamroll” him. Far too often, Jews have marched in “lock step,” and that is what Netanyahu is asking them to do now, like lemmings marching to the sea. He is playing on their worst fears, and their loyalty to Israel. He is a narcissist and a dangerous demagogue, who—down deep—only truly cares about himself and his own political ambitions. This is the story of his life.

With the euphoria surrounding the creation of a new Palestinian state, responsibilities will be present for the Palestinian people too, which would be enforced by the United States and other countries. Clearly, the world would expect it to act responsibly, like never before; and there would be enforcement mechanisms put into place to insure this happens.

Lastly, if we continue down the present path and eschew the chances of a meaningful peace, Netanyahu is fully capable of triggering a war that might end in the destruction of Israel and the deaths of countless Americans in the region.

See, e.g., http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7140282.ece

Are these the full and complete answers to complex issues that have plagued foreign policy experts for decades? Of course not. However, they represent approaches to the issues that might fundamentally change the debate and outcome. In essence, they can be summed up by saying: give peace a chance, a real chance. We have tried everything else—and the parties must pull away from the edge of the abyss once and for all.

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8 06 2010
naegeleblog

Barack Obama, An Honest Broker In The Middle East?

Unlike George W. Bush whose “unconditional support” of Israel never waned during his eight years as president, Barack Obama is being castigated for even-handed policies and trying to be an “honest broker” in the Middle East.

See, e.g., http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6570SP20100608

Unfortunately, American Jews rejected Bush and his father, and embraced Obama overwhelmingly in the last election. Thus, it would appear that they deserve what they are getting policy-wise. The Bushes were Israel’s champions, yet they were maligned consistently.

See also http://www.naegele.com/documents/Tragedyhopeandtruefriends.pdf

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11 06 2010
naegeleblog

Obama Destabilizes Netanyahu

This is an interesting article, which is worth reading:

http://www.debka.com/article/8843/

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14 06 2010
naegeleblog

Netanyahu Interferes With Jordan’s Peaceful Nuclear Ambitions

The Wall Street Journal has an article on this subject, which is worth reading.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/JordansNuclearAmbitionsPoseQuandaryforUS.pdf

The author refers to Jordan as “America’s closest Arab ally in the volatile region.” In many ways, Jordan is more important to America than Israel. It is a bridge to the Islamic world, which Israel will never be—assuming Israel survives for another decade, which many doubt.

King Abdullah II is a loyal friend of the United States. Netanyahu is not, and never will be. He is a thorn in our side, and always has been.

Jordan’s recent discoveries of big deposits of uranium ore is a plus for us, and for Jordan. As the article states:

[T]he discovery of at least 65,000 tons of uranium ore in the deserts outside Amman in 2007 has led King Abdullah to order a drastic reshaping of his nation’s economic strategy.

. . .

“Now that we have a raw material, people are coming for the first time in our history and knocking on our door,” King Abdullah said in the interview.

. . .

In the interview, King Abdullah said Israel has been pressuring countries like South Korea and France not to sell nuclear technologies to Jordan. He said Israel’s “underhanded” actions have helped bring Jordan-Israeli relations to their lowest point since a 1994 peace agreement.

“There are countries, Israel in particular, that are more worried about us being economically independent than the issue of nuclear energy, and have been voicing their concerns,” King Abdullah said. “There are many such reactors in the world and a lot more coming, so [the Israelis must] go mind their own business.”

More skulduggery by the brutal Netanyahu regime and its lackeys. Of course the king is correct.

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19 06 2010
naegeleblog

Obama Loathes the British, Colonialism And The Israelis

An article of mine explains Barack Obama’s feelings about the British and Colonialism, which are clear when one reads his book, “Dreams from My Father.” He hated apartheid too, which he equates with the Israelis’ treatment of the Palestinians.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

UK’s Daily Mail has an interesting article, which states in part:

The Kenyan bowed his head as his captors opened the prison cell door to deliver another brutal whipping—a punishment meted out after he was accused of taking part in the independence movement against the British colonial authorities.

The man had been working as a cook for a British Army officer. And his name? Hussein Onyango Obama—President Barack Obama’s paternal grandfather.

He had been arrested in 1949 and jailed for two years in a high-security prison. There, according to his family, he was subjected to horrific violence. They say British soldiers used torture in an effort to get him to reveal rebel secrets.

. . .

[T]hese bitter tales form part of the Obama family folklore, and seem to have left the U.S. President with a vehemently anti-British outlook.

So has Obama’s memory of his grandfather’s treatment influenced his aggressive reaction to BP over its handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?

The [UK] Government has become increasingly concerned by Obama’s anti-British rhetoric. For example, he has often referred to the global company as ‘British Petroleum’, although it changed its name to BP more than a decade ago, and even compared the disaster to 9/11.

But this is not the first time he has paid little heed to the so-called Special Relationship. When he entered the Oval office, he immediately returned a bust of Winston Churchill that was on loan from Britain.

And during the recent stand-off between Britain and Argentina over oil rights around the Falkland Islands, America was less than supportive.

. . .

For some time, [Hussein Onyango Obama] was too traumatised to speak about his experiences. Mrs Onyango told her grandson: ‘From that day on, I saw that he was now an old man.’ This week she told us: ‘My husband rarely spoke about the British and colonial rule after his arrest. All I know is that he hated them.

‘After serving the British very diligently, they turned him into enemy number one.

‘His awful tales of his experiences at the British torture chambers always moved his emotions. He wondered why the British never respected African culture.

. . .

The old man would shed tears at the mention of the British and colonial rule. He simply hated them.’

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1287828/Revealed-Why-President-Obama-loathes-British.html

This article is consistent with Obama’s “Dreams from My Father.”

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19 06 2010
naegeleblog

Israel Losing Battle Against Country’s Isolation Worldwide?

The effects of Netanyahu’s policies have been disastrous for Israel, as it becomes even more isolated in the world, and a pariah nation. However, superstar Elton John defied the global ban, and performed live in Tel Aviv.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1287884/Aint-gonna-stop-coming-baby-Elton-John-performs-Israel-string-artists-cancel-appearances.html

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24 06 2010
Joseph

You make many sweeping statements that seem to have no basis in reality. For example, your constant demonizing of Netanyahu. The Arabs have sworn over and over to destroy Israel and even to wipe out all Jews in the world (as per the Koran’s assertion regarding the rock and tree pointing out the Jew hiding for his life and urging his murder). In the lifetime of your parents the Mufti urged Hitler to destroy ALL Jews and was a welcome guest in Berlin. An entire SS division was made up of Moslems (in Bosnia). Murderous terrorists have deliberately murdered tens of thousands, including plenty of non-Jooos, while trying to strike Israel directly or indirectly. Many Jews had to flee Arab lands for their lives, To this day no Jew can own land in any Moslem country or even live in one openly. Any nincompoop can look at a world map and see Arab territory stretching from the Atlantic to Chine—one-sixth of the world’s inhabitable land—and folks like you want us to believe that if only Israel gave up some hard-won land to the Arabs there would be peace.

Additionally, you state:

“Eighth, in response to my comments that Israel would not exist but for American help, and that it is essentially a ‘vassal state,’ you add:

I think that’s exaggerated. Israel managed well until 1968 without any American support. Israel can do for itself in military sphere for the near future at least. What Israel wants from the US is diplomatic support, in particular preventing UN boycotts and sanctions. This would be bad for Israel, but is unlikely to be fatal. I happen to support Obama’s plan to distance from Israel – America can supply diplomatic support (if it wants to) without being so close to Israel (in public perception or otherwise). If it does not want to, there’s no use to the masquerade.

“Let’s cut off all aid and help of whatever type to Israel, and see how long it lasts. In reality, it may not last that long, as the quote that I cited above indicates.”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-537

It is a matter of historical fact that Israel never got American aid until DeGaulle broke off all arms sales to Israel after 1967. And since America has only been around for some 240 years and Israel, in one for or another, has been around for approx. 3,300 years, you make a surprising assertion.

In short, I think you have all the symptoms of a classic Joo-hater. I have no idea why this is so, but you still have time to look deep into your soul and correct this very serious character flaw. You will one day, in the too distant future, be standing before your Maker—the very same one which your Bible testifies as having given the Jooos an everlasting heritage—the Land of Israel.

You are obviously a passionate and intelligent man. What a shame to cast your lot with the Arafats, Muftis, Streichers, and Obamas of this world.

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24 06 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you for your comments, Joseph, which are in addition to other comments that you have made.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-607

I am not a Jew hater, nor do I hate Israel as you suggested in your other comment. Similarly, I have not cast my lot with the Arafats, Muftis, Streichers, and Obamas of this world. You might wish to read my blog articles about Obama, which will confirm this.

You are equally passionate about what you believe, and are intelligent. You and I differ with respect to Netanyahu and his effect on Israel now and in the future. My beliefs are not unique. They have been shared by the Rabins, Sharon and many others. Netanyahu is a mistake for Israel, which may prove tragic.

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7 07 2010
naegeleblog

Obama And Netanyahu: Pathetic Birds Of A Feather

While the clock ticks away, two raving narcissists—Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu—have ostensibly buried their differences, and exchanged superficial pleasantries in meaningless meetings that concluded in Washington. Time is running out for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, yet the two leaders act as if there are years or even decades ahead in which to fashion some lasting solution.

Netanyahu came to Washington as part of a carefully-orchestrated and scripted PR charade, to buy time so he could continue to do nothing with respect to the peace process, which has always been his primary objective and modus operandi. Obama is getting weaker politically with each passing day; and it is unlikely that he will do anything meaningful between now and November, or afterward, because his weakness will only increase, not lessen.

In the months to come, there is apt to be a laissez-faire approach taken by Obama and Israel, which does not advance the goal of lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the avoidance of armed conflict that might end Israel’s existence ultimately. Tragically, the so-called “peace process” is an enormous and seemingly-cynical joke, like counting angels on the head of a pin, which is being played by both Netanyahu and Israel’s enemies that will only inure to the latter’s benefit over the near- and long-term, in all probability.

Because Obama hated apartheid in South Africa, and seemingly views the Israelis as the oppressors and the Palestinians as the oppressed, he may be perfectly content to do nothing except pay lip service to the peace process, rather than spending already-diminished and ever-dwindling political capital to help the Jewish state, which he may not really care about. While there is reason to believe that Obama genuinely detests Netanyahu, ultimately he may hurt him more by doing essentially nothing too, rather than fully engaging and trying to bring about peace and reduce the chances of Armageddon.

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29 07 2010
naegeleblog

Anti-Semitism On The Rise In California

According to a report by the Anti-Defamation League, there was a sharp uptick in anti-Semitic incidents in California last year, many of them involving taunts, threats and insults by adolescents and teenagers.

See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/07/embargoed-until-9-am-tuesday-morningfor-the-second-year-in-a-row-the-anti-defamation-league-reported-a-sharp-uptick-in-anti-.html

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31 07 2010
naegeleblog

International Manhunt Continues With Respect To Killing Of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Including American Cooperation

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that American investigators are cooperating in a probe of the January assassination of the top Palestinian leader in Dubai. They have identified a handful of U.S.-based companies believed to have been used to transfer money in the case, a finding that brings international authorities closer to identifying who or what entity funded the operation. The “noose” may be tightening around Netanyahu and Israel’s Mossad.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703314904575399091233047622.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEThirdNews; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/#comment-2065 (“What the 27 Mossad agents didn’t know was that the hotel was full of security cameras and while they succeeded in the assassination, the whole world got to watch their comings and goings“)

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2 08 2010
naegeleblog

Shimon Peres Denies Calling Brits “Anti-Semites”

I have believed for a very long time that labeling people as anti-Semites, much less on a wholesale basis, reverberates to the detriment of Jews, Israel and Israelis. Are there anti-Semites, and large numbers of them in this world? Of course so. But the tarring of innocent individuals or vast numbers of them as such, and attempting to “demonize” them, produces an opposite effect—unless of course the intent is to “punish” them, which does not succeed either.

I assume it is done to shame people into changing their ways and no longer being anti-Semites. Or it is done to call attention to anti-Semitic acts, so vast numbers of people who are not anti-Semitic will stop and say (or think): “Yes, that is wrong”—and do something positive about it. Instead, in my opinion, it produces anger on the part of those who are wrongly labeled and accused, and they are repulsed and react accordingly.

My guess is that the majority of Brits do not even know what the words “anti-Semite” or “anti-Semitic” mean. However, when they read in the newspaper or hear on TV or someone tells them that they have been called such names, they find out what is meant, and they are angry that someone has called them that. Anyone who is “defamed” in any way reacts and often becomes angry. The person who is called a Gay, when he or she is not, reacts. The person who is wrongly labeled as a bigot reacts.

As I have written for more than a decade now, my detest for Netanyahu knows almost no bounds, inter alia, because like Leah Rabin I believe he is a raving narcissist who cares only about himself and not about the future of Israel, Israelis or Jews worldwide. Contrariwise, for some unknown reason, I have always liked Shimon Peres, and have essentially believed he could do no wrong. Perhaps it was his association with Yitzhak Rabin that gave him a special place in my heart.

I came to like Ariel Sharon, and feel his stroke and the timing of it could not have been worse for Israel—although the enormous physical weight that he carried for much of his life was a “disaster waiting to happen.” I still like Ehud Olmert despite the scandal that has befallen him; and I like Ehud Barak as well. Thus, even though I believe it is wrong, I could almost tolerate “anti-Semitic labeling” from any of these Israeli leaders. However, when it is done, it reflects not only on Israel and Israelis, but also on Jews globally. For better or worse, Jews are “tied at the hip” on a worldwide basis with Israel, as well as with the actions and statements of Israelis, certainly in the eyes of most non-Jews in the world.

And yes, like it or not, Israel and Israelis are held to a higher standard than other people around the world. Thus, when Shimon Peres labels Brits as anti-Semitic, the repercussions are far and wide. While he and others might say that behind closed doors, when it is said publicly and receives media coverage and reaches innocent Brits and others worldwide, such non-Jews are repulsed and rightly so. As its president, Peres speaks for Israel and in turn for world Jewry, although in actuality he does not and his official position is mostly ceremonial. After all, he is the man who chose Netanyahu over Tzipi Livni and Kadima, even though they won the most seats in the Knesset, so his power is perceived as very real.

I am pleased that Peres recanted, or denied his labeling, but the damage is done. It should be a message to Israelis and American Jews that the days of labeling their opponents as anti-Semites are over. The supporters of America’s J Street are sometimes labeled as “self-hating Jews” and anti-Semites too, when they are not. Indeed, anyone who criticizes Netanyahu and his regime is labeled as such, in an attempt to smear and silence them. Imagine how Israelis and American Jews would feel (and react) if they were labeled as “Christ killers.” Clearly, malicious labeling has no place in the United States, Israel or the world today.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7921391/Shimon-Peres-denies-calling-British-anti-Semites.html

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18 11 2010
Joseph

I wish I had the time to analyze your comments properly and point out all the proofs I see regarding the fact that YOU are an anti-Semite, who demands that Israel — a tiny peace-loving democracy — rolls over and plays dead to the 50 Moslem nations who collectively bay for its blood.

You despise Netanyahu? Eventhough he actually signed the disasterous Wye accords, thus giving Arafat Hebron and other precious land in exchange for nothing but empty promises?

One day soon Israel will have some real Jewish leadership, as the Macabees of old, and finally stand up to the murderous Arabs and their terror. I can’t help but wonder what your ranting will be like then.

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19 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Joseph, for your comments.

If you had bothered to read the article above, much less all of my postings beneath it, you would realize fully that I am not an anti-Semite. Unfortunately, that label is thrown about irresponsibly to stifle discussion and dissent, and in an attempt to intimidate those who would criticize Netanyahu and his actions—which may lead to the destruction of Israel, war in the region that might affect American forces, and the deaths of countless numbers of innocent Israelis as well as Jews outside of Israel. Sharon and the Rabins were correct in their assessments of him.

Next, at no time have I ever suggested that Israel “roll over and play dead” to those who would seek to destroy her. That is utter nonsense.

Lastly, Israel had real leadership with Yitzhak Rabin and Arik Sharon, who I came to admire in the latter years of his political career; and it was tragic when their lives were cut short in their prime.

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13 08 2010
naegeleblog

John Bolton, The Depicable Hacks Of All Hacks, Has Done It Again

Hated by the Democrats who refused to confirm him as America’s UN ambassador, and hated by the supporters of George W. Bush—of which this writer is one—for having trashed the former president who gave him a recess appointment, Bolton is shilling for the Netanyahu regime once again, by threatening war against Iran.

He is the Oliver Stone of American politics. And like the former Independent Counsel while Bill Clinton was president, Ken Starr, who was hated by the Democrats for seeking to jail Clinton and by the GOP for not having succeeded, Bolton seems to be a man without a country, politically—unless it be Netanyahu’s Israel. No Democratic administration in the U.S. would ever appoint him to anything; and rightly so, no future GOP administration should do so either.

See http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/John–Bolton–Iran–Nuclear–israel/2010/08/13/id/367449?s=al&promo_code=A80B-1

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19 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

After leaving the government, Bolton proceeded to trash his sponsor, George W. Bush, without whom he never would have received a recess appointment as our Ambassador to the UN. Absent that appointment, no one today would know who he is.

The Democrats refused to confirm him, and rightly so; and nowhere in Bush’s just-released memoirs is there any mention of him. It is as though he never existed. Also, he was never mentioned in Laura Bush’s memoirs either, which—like her husband’s—names everyone who was important in the George W. Bush presidency. Bolton is persona non grata among both the Democrats and the Bushies, and is being written out of history.

The fact that both Democrats and Republicans have equal contempt for Bolton speaks volumes.

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20 08 2010
naegeleblog

Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Set In September, Which Are Worth Pursuing, But Likely Futile

The Wall Street Journal has reported:

The U.S. invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet in Washington on Sept. 2 to launch long-stalled direct talks on a peace agreement.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the renewed negotiations aim to “resolve all final-status issues, which we believe can be completed within one year.”

President Barack Obama has also invited [President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah II of Jordan] to Washington to take part in the launch.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704476104575440580729721798.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

Regrettably, it is unlikely that serious progress will be made. Among other things, Netanyahu does not want progress or a lasting peace. He does not believe in the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security, with defined borders and an end to the conflict.

Indeed, the world will watch and see if he attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities and incites chaos in the region, and destroys any chance of a meaningful peace. He is a narcissistic “bull in a china shop” who is fully capable of doing that, which would be tragic! He is the wrong leader for Israel at this or any other time.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/

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21 08 2010
naegeleblog

Iran Goes Nuclear!

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/iran_nuclear;_ylt=AgyM23lTVqfzvYx.sg_Xwl.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNjMDRvNDVnBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwODIxL2lyYW5fbnVjbGVhcgRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzEEcG9zAzIEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA2lyYW5zdGFydHNudQ–

Now it begins . . .

Jeffrey Goldberg have a lengthy but truly excellent article in the September 2010 issue of The Atlantic entitled, “The Point of No Return,” which is recommended reading.

See http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/09/the-point-of-no-return/8186/

The urgent attack on Iran by Israel—which the forever-hapless “shill” for Netanyahu, John Bolton, predicted would happen by now, and advocated—has passed as a non-event so far. However, Netanyahu is fully capable of attacking anyway and plunging Israel and the region, if not the world, into chaos that might lead to the destruction of the Jewish state, and a calamity only equaled by the Nazi Holocaust itself. Yes, those are dire predictions, which hopefully never come to pass, but the risks are there. Israel would not be merely “a leper among nations,” as Goldberg describes in his article, but it might be gone completely.

The tragedy of the 20th Century for the Jewish people would have been equaled by a tragedy of the 21st Century; and the number of Jewish deaths might be similar. This is why groups like J Street exist—not only to further the idea of a two-state solution, but to prevent the second Holocaust of the 20th and 21st Centuries from happening. Its role is pivotal; and while it is still very young and vibrant, the foundations have been laid for its important actions ahead.

Most ominous is Goldberg’s quote from a former Iranian military leader: “The day will come when, like Salman Rushdie, the Jews will not find a place to live anywhere in the world.” This concept, albeit blustering, transcends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Israeli-Iranian conflict, and goes to the heart of targeting Jews around the world. It is surprising that Israel’s enemies have not done this already, for it would be almost impossible to guard against or deter.

Among other things, Goldberg raises what he describes as “the most pressing question: are there any circumstances under which President Obama would deploy force to stop Iran from going nuclear?” The answer seems clear: none. There are no circumstances in which he would launch decisive American military forces against Iran, especially since he is tied down in Afghanistan like Gulliver by the “Lilliputians” of the Taliban.

It is not in America’s best or strategic interests to do anything against Iran; and it is certainly not in Obama’s best or political interests to do so, especially since a majority of Americans are against “his” war in Afghanistan. See, e.g., http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j34wJrEYh7J3IiyhYvsCnWfSl31QD9HN9OB80 and http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/17/poll-opposition-to-iraq-afghanistan-wars-reach-all-time-high/

Tragically, our president cannot even say that “victory” is America’s goal in Afghanistan. Thus, how is he going to stand up against Iran militarily? The answer is that he will not, period—end of story. He will pontificate and bluster, but nothing more. By nature, he is a far-Left, anti-war pacifist. Just read (or reread) his “Dreams from My Father.”

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

By way of contrast, George W. Bush is still supporting our troops and their missions (see, e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOC_JjNFkVw); and it is likely that he will go down in history as one of America’s great presidents, much like Harry Truman. Indeed, Goldberg writes:

Bush, bogged down by two wars and believing that Iran wasn’t that close to crossing the nuclear threshold, opposed the use of force against Iran’s program, and made his view clear, “but no one believed him.”

Like Ronald Reagan before him, Bush was considered a “cowboy president,” who could be counted on to run roughshod over his opposition, and was considered unpredictable. This is why Reagan won the Cold War, and why Bush triumphed in Iraq after his “surge” was implemented. No one fears Obama, and probably never will.

Goldberg adds, quoting an Israeli:

In World War II, the Jews had no power to stop Hitler from annihilating us. Six million were slaughtered. Today, 6 million Jews live in Israel, and someone is threatening them with annihilation. But now we have the power to stop them. [Netanyahu] knows that this is the choice.

This is all bravado, and little more; and it is unlikely that Israel has either the will or the capability of stopping the Iranians. It will not use nuclear weapons, assuming that it has them; and its conventional military forces cannot get the job done. Hence, it is “toothless” and the Iranians know this. At some point, either they or their surrogates will attack Israel, possibly rendering a fatal attack. Until then, the blustering will continue—in Israel, Iran and America.

Goldberg’s discussion of Netanyahu’s relationship with his 100-year-old father is interesting and instructive—about how Netanyahu will not do anything (e.g., peace) that would lose favor in his father’s eyes. This does not bode well for the peace effort, at least as long as his father is alive.

Also, while the critical time frame for peace is “now,” which is consistent with J Street’s views, Goldberg quotes a former Israeli general in discussing a longer-range viewpoint—which may or may not be realistic:

[I]f Israel is no longer understood by its 6 million Jewish citizens, and by the roughly 7 million Jews who live outside of Israel, to be a “natural safe haven,” then its raison d’être will have been subverted.

Amen . . . if we ever get that far.

Goldberg adds:

[The former Israeli general] directed my attention to a framed photograph on his wall of three Israeli air force F-15s flying over Auschwitz, in Poland. The Israelis had been invited in 2003 by the Polish air force to make this highly symbolic flight. The photograph was not new to me; I had seen it before on a dozen office walls in the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. “You see those planes?” [the former general] asked me. “That’s the picture I look at all the time. When someone says that they will wipe out the Jews, we have to deny him the tools. The problem with the photograph is that we were too late.”

It is arguable that Israel’s air force and military in general, and its nuclear arsenal (assuming one exists), are no longer deterrents, which is why peace is so important. The destruction of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities and towns, and military bases, might come by way of one or more types of “WMDs,” against which Israel is “powerless” and has no effective deterrents.

Again, as I have stated in postings above, I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds a sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu. However difficult the task of achieving peace and lasting security is, as well as regional economic cooperation that includes Israel, Netanyahu is not on the path to a lasting and meaningful peace, and never will be.

Goldberg cites an Israeli general as saying:

We are very good at this kind of operation, but [attacking Iran successfully] is a big stretch for us. The Americans can do this with a minimum of difficulty, by comparison. This is too big for us.

Goldberg adds:

Gabi Ashkenazi, the Israeli army chief of staff, is said by numerous sources to doubt the usefulness of an attack. . . .

Indeed, Goldberg cites the former Israeli general mentioned above as saying:

“We have created a strategic balance in our favor,” he said, “but Iran may launch a ballistic missile with a nuclear bomb, and this F-15 in the picture cannot prevent that.”

Amen. Finally, some Israeli realism is present, in contrast to the blustering of Netanyahu and his lackeys.

Next, Goldberg cites the former Israeli general, in writing:

The Shoah is not some sort of psychological complex. It is an historic lesson. My grandmother and my grandfather were from Poland. My father fought for the Polish army as an officer and escaped in 1940. My grandparents stayed, and they were killed by the Polish farmer who was supposed to give them shelter, for a lot of money. That’s why I don’t trust the goyim. One time is enough. I don’t put my life in the hands of goyim.

I understand this. I have a Jewish friend whom I met when both of us wrote articles that were published simultaneously by an Israeli Web site. He read mine, and I read his; and he told me that I was full of shit, and I said the same was true of him. We have been friends for seven years now, and exchange one or more e-mail messages almost every day. Both of his parents were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust; both of his wife’s parents were survivors too; he is a first-generation American; and he has told me that down deep, he does not trust anyone, including his wife and kids. Again, I understand.

Goldberg asks:

One question no administration official seems eager to answer is this: what will the United States do if sanctions fail?

The answer is short and sweet, and clear: seek more sanctions. Military action will not be taken by the U.S., as long as Obama is president—despite the blustering by Rahm Emanuel and the rest of Obama’s minions. Goldberg cites a foreign minister as saying:

Obama’s voters like it when the administration shows that it doesn’t want to fight Iran. . . .

Amen! That, and the fact that Obama is (1) innately a pacifist and anti-war Leftist, and he (2) hated South Africa’s apartheid and down deep may view Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in a similar vein—again, please read (or reread) his “Dreams from My Father”—means that he will never order decisive military action against Iran, period.

I have always liked and admired Israel’s President and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and agree with his position as described by Goldberg:

[H]e advocates the imposition of “moral sanctions” followed by economic sanctions, and then the creation of “an envelope around Iran of anti-missile systems so the missiles of Iran will not be able to fly.”

I respectfully disagree with Peres’ belief that “Obama would come to Israel’s defense if necessary.” He will not, or so I believe. In any event, a massive and multi-faceted WMD attack on Israel might happen quickly, and thereby preclude any meaningful American or other foreign help for the Jewish state.

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7 09 2010
naegeleblog

The Delegitimization Of Israel

The Wall Street Journal has an article by Bret Stephens, formerly editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, in which he assails a Time magazine cover story entitled, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.” Both are worth reading.

By using the term “delegitimization of Israel,” Stephens means:

[T]he idea that the country ought not to exist. Insisting that Israel be wiped off the map, as Iran’s leaders do with such numbing frequency, is one method of delegitimization.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/BretStephens-RhymesWithFagin.pdf

While there is little doubt where Stephens’ heart is, and understandably so, there is a distinction to be drawn between the notion that “Israelis don’t care about peace” and Netanyahu does not care about peace. They are very different. I believe without any doubts or reservations whatsover that the latter is true. I do not believe that the former is true. The Israelis want lasting peace as much as the Palestinian people do. Both have suffered greatly, and both are victims.

Jeffrey Goldberg have a lengthy but truly excellent article in the September 2010 issue of The Atlantic entitled, “The Point of No Return,” which is recommended reading and is discussed above.

See http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/09/the-point-of-no-return/8186; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-687

Also, as stated in the article above, Netanyahu was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct. Lip service will be paid to the peace process by Netanyahu, but nothing more.

Stephens cites the trade commissioner of the European Union, Karel de Gucht, as saying:

“There is indeed a belief—it’s difficult to describe it otherwise—among most Jews that they are right,” he explained. “So it’s not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is happening in the Middle East.”

While Stephens belittles de Gucht’s comments and treats them with scorn and disdain, the fact is that I have a close friend who is a very prominent Jew nationally, and he feels exactly the way that de Gucht describes. He is not unique. I understand his feelings and respect them. Both of his parents were survivors of the Holocaust, and his wife’s parents were too. One can understand his feelings.

Again, the issue is not to paint the Israelis with a broad brush, but to realize fully that meaningful peace between the Israelis and the Palestinian people will not be possible with Netanyahu in Israel’s government, period.

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10 09 2010
naegeleblog

Charles Krauthammer’s Sobering Assessment Of The Chances For Peace Between The Israelis and Palestinians

The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer is excellent with respect to essentially every subject that he writes about. In his latest article about the peace process, his bottom line is that the talks are likely to go nowhere. And as stated in the last paragraph of the article, with respect to the Palestinians:

Why not walk out? The world, which already condemns Israel even for self-defense, will be only too eager to blame Israel for the negotiation breakdown. And there is growing pressure to create a Palestinian state even if the talks fail — i.e., even if the Palestinians make no concessions at all. So why make any?

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/09/AR2010090904999.html

I agree with him, and have wondered for ages why the Palestinians did not just go ahead and create the State Of Palestine, which most of the world would recognize diplomatically (and otherwise) in a nanosecond, and then blame Israel for everything after that. It seems to make enormous sense from the Palestinian perspective. Indeed, it is arguable that peace is not in their long-term best interests, inter alia, because they will “win” without it.

I believe the Democrats are “going down the drain” in November’s elections; and that we have seen the “beginning of the end” of the Obama presidency already—with much more to come as Obama’s support among Democrats erodes dramatically.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-735

The Clintons are beginning to take aim at him, in no small part because they are political animals who can see “blood in the water,” and any support for Obama among Republicans and Independents is essentially gone.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-736

Thus, Obama is not in a position to make anything meaningful happen with respect to the peace process, especially since he is mired down with domestic economic issues and with his Afghan war. Netanyahu knows this; and he will put on the best face possible, all the while realizing that nothing constructive is going to happen. It is a charade and a “tribal dance,” which the world has seen many times before.

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11 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Netanyahu Continues To Be Impediment To Peace

As the Wall Street Journal notes, Netanyahu has made it clear that he is fully able to restart the freeze on Jewish settlement building.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/NetanyahuOffersConditionalSettlementFreeze.pdf

His latest positions, such as the controversial loyalty oath law, and requiring the recognition of Israel as a Jewish-Zionist state (and I am not using the term “Zionist” as a pejorative term)—despite the fact that Arab citizens of Israel comprise approximately 20 percent of the country’s total population, and that percentage is growing—lay bare Netanyahu’s hypocrisy for the world to see. There will be no serious political process while he and his government pursue settlements, or throw up one roadblock after another to the peace process.

Clearly, he could have frozen the Jewish settlements all along, and even eliminated them entirely like Ariel Sharon did. However, Netanyahu is against peace, and his actions demonstrate that fact in no uncertain terms. He knows full well that Barack Obama is weak, and likely to be a “lame-duck” president after next month’s U.S. elections, so he is doing nothing constructive to advance the peace process, but is simply playing cruel games.

Even though the far-right, pro-settlement parties in Netanyahu’s coalition oppose another building moratorium, as does Israel’s far-right Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu is the real impediment to peace. He is an unprincipled narcissistic politician, who is a tragic mistake for Israel at this critical juncture in its history. While Lieberman is a leading proponent of the bill to amend the citizenship oath, which would require non-Jewish immigrants to swear loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish and Democratic state” as a condition of citizenship, it is Netanyahu who is the impediment to peace now, which has always been the case. He pays lip service to peace, and nothing more.

As another Wall Street Journal article noted:

The Labor Party, which is the lone left-of-center member of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition, human-rights groups and representatives of Israel’s Palestinian minority oppose the [oath] law. They call it racist and undemocratic and say it singles out Israel’s Palestinian citizens and forces them to pledge allegiance to a pro-Zionist ideology that many reject.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/NetanyahutoPutLoyaltyOathtoVote-WSJ.com_002.pdf

The clock is ticking with respect to the peace process, and time is not on Israel’s side. The consequences of not achieving peace may be even more tragic than the past.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran

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14 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

All West Bank Jewish Settlements Must be Eliminated

The Wall Street Journal has an article that deals with the settlement issues, which is worth reading.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/YossiKleinHalevi-WhyIsraelWontAbandontheSettlers.pdf

Israel must eliminate all settlements without any preconditions, as Ariel Sharon eliminated them, using military force if necessary. Like Netanyahu, they are impediments to peace.

Clearly, Netanyahu is the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had. He was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct.

While the prospect of a West Bank withdrawal may be traumatic, it must be done like the withdrawal from Gaza. The author of the Journal article makes the specious comment:

If the army is sent to dismantle settlements in the West Bank—as it did in Gaza in 2005—there is the very real threat of widespread disobedience and the collapse of entire units.

Clearly, dismantlement of the settlements must take place, and disobedience must be put down by the Israeli military as it was in Gaza. The author is correct: “The ‘settler’ has assumed a near demonic image around the world . . . .”

Quite predictably, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is going nowhere, which is likely until Netanyahu is removed from Israel’s government, which is long overdue.

The international community is justified in its antipathy toward the settlers and its urgency to uproot settlements in their entirety. Again, like Netanyahu, they represent an impediment to peace that must be removed immediately.

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9 11 2010
E. Rocamontes

I suggest reading “Son of Hamas” by Yousef. Born in the West Bank, son of a Hamas founder, he explains that the PLO and Hamas have turned their back on opportunities for peace; they would give up too much money and power if peace were to happen in Israel. It’s an interesting read from a credible source.

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9 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Thanks so much for your recommendation.

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25 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Catholic Bishops: The Bible Cannot Be Used To Justify The Return Of Jews to Israel Or The Expatriation Of Palestinians

After a meeting chaired by Pope Benedict XVI, Middle East Catholic bishops “called on the international community to end the occupation of Arab lands in an official statement following a two-week synod held at the Vatican.”

An article about the meeting added:

“Recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable,” the synod said.

Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, head of the commission which drew up the statement, went one step further, saying: “The theme of the Promised Land cannot be used as a basis to justify the return of the Jews to Israel and the expatriation of the Palestinians.”

. . .

But [Israel's] foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said scripture had never been used by any Israeli government to justify the occupation or settlement of territory.

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.5f120bbe460b15f95ab9522cc596b7bc.671&show_article=1

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8 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Netanyahu’s Efforts To Push America Toward War With Iran Must Be Rejected

Once again, Netanyahu is a war-monger who seeks to have America do Israel’s “dirty work” in the Middle East, and push the United States toward war with Iran—all the while being the greatest single impediment to any meaningful and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Reuters is reporting:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday that only a credible military threat can deter Iran from building a nuclear weapon, Israeli political sources said.

. . .

Netanyahu and Biden met on the sidelines of an American Jewish conference in New Orleans that both are due to address, and also discussed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks suspended in a dispute over building in settlements in the West Bank.

“The only way to ensure that Iran will not go nuclear is to create a credible threat of military action against it if it doesn’t cease its race for a nuclear weapon,” one of the sources said Netanyahu told Biden.

. . .

The tough talk swiftly raised speculation in Israeli media that Netanyahu, who has rebuffed U.S. and international calls to reimpose a freeze on building in West Bank settlements, was trying to shift the focus of his visit away from stalemate.

. . .

A 10-month moratorium on housing starts in West Bank settlements expired in late September, some three weeks after direct peace talks began in Washington. Clinton said on Thursday she was working nonstop to break the deadlock.

“We are talking about American proposals, together with Israeli ideas,” the Israeli source said, without elaborating.

Diplomats said Washington has offered Israel a package of incentives, including ideas on security, to persuade Netanyahu to resume a partial settlement freeze for two months.

. . .

Netanyahu flies to New York on Monday after speaking to the Jewish Federations of North America and will raise in a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Israel’s objection to any unilateral statehood moves at the U.N. by the Palestinians, an Israeli official said.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101107/ts_nm/us_usa_israel

Under Netanyahu’s failed leadership, Israel has become even more of a pariah state, and perhaps the most hated state worldwide—which may result in the tragic deaths of innocent Israelis and other Jews globally. America must never go to war on Israel’s behalf, nor be pushed into any military action on behalf of the Jewish state.

Indeed, the United States must block all Israeli military actions against Iran that might potentially plunge America into a third war in the region. Any actions by Netanyahu or his government to thrust the United States into such a war, or otherwise jeopardize vital American interests in the region, must be met with the immediate termination of all U.S. military and economic aid to Israel.

Also, all Israeli settlements in what is likely to become the new State of Palestine must be eliminated, just as Ariel Sharon used the Israeli military to forcibly remove Jewish settlers from Gaza. No incentives of any kind should be offered to Israel to remove such settlements; and the United Nations should foster and approve unilateral statehood efforts by the Palestinians, which are apt to be embraced enthusiastically by countries around the world.

Only when Netanyahu is gone from political office will a meaningful and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians be possible.

. . .

Also, it is being reported that Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates—acting responsibly, and in a manner that is totally consistent with vital American interests—has rejected Netanyahu’s call for a “credible’ military threat against Iran”:

The US has rejected comments by Israel’s prime minister calling for a military threat against Iran to ensure it does not obtain nuclear weapons.

“We know that they are concerned about the impact of the sanctions. The sanctions are biting more deeply than they anticipated and we are working very hard at this,” Robert Gates, US defence secretary, said on Monday.

“So I would disagree that only a credible military threat can get Iran to take the actions it needs to end its nuclear weapons programme,” he said during a visit to Australia for security talks.

See http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/11/201011843928513710.html

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14 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Tries To Bribe Israel, Which Is Outrageous

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that President Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, have offered a package to the Netanyahu regime in Israel, which includes “20 stealth fighter jets worth $3 billion and a promise to veto anti-Israel proposals raised in the U.N. Security Council during the next year, including a potential Palestinian bid to seek international support for a unilateral declaration of statehood.” All of this is reportedly in exchange for Israel “renew[ing] its partial West Bank construction moratorium for 90 days,” which is patently absurd, a travesty, and another irresponsible waste of American taxpayers’ monies by Obama.

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mideast-talks-20101115,0,455416.story; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704327704575614662954058370.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_world

Netanyahu should not be rewarded for anything. However, the package demonstrates that Obama and Hillary—the possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2012 (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-968 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/sarah-and-todd-palin-the-big-winners/)—are serious about trying to jump start the peace talks, which Netanyahu scuttled.

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18 11 2010
Joseph

Geez… Give it up already!

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28 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Israeli Military Facing Decline In Status, Recruits

This is the headline from a Boston Globe article about the decline of Israel’s once-vault military, which adds:

[T]he Israel Defense Forces’ position as the country’s most venerated institution appears to be slipping. While service is compulsory for most young men and women, a growing minority is avoiding conscription, leaving planners to worry that the military will not have the troops it says it needs.

. . .

Recent scandals have reignited debate about morals and accountability in the armed forces, and analysts say public trust in the military is declining. Last month, a YouTube video of a dancing Israeli soldier near a bound and blindfolded Palestinian woman went viral on the Internet, further embarrassing the military.

The share of military-age Jewish Israelis who do not serve grew from 12.1 percent in 1980 to 26 percent in 2007, according to a study by Haifa University political scientists published in August. The military predicts that figure will increase to 43 percent by 2020.

. . .

The biggest explanation for the declining service rate is the growing number of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who study full time in yeshivas, or religious schools, and are eligible for exemptions from military service. Others are exempted for health reasons, criminal records, or foreign residence.

Today, the military loses 13 percent of its potential draftees because of ultra-Orthodox exemptions, compared with 4 percent 10 years ago. In 2020, that number is expected to reach 20 percent because of a significantly higher birthrate among the ultra-Orthodox compared with secular Israelis.

. . .

The Israeli military says its monitoring of Facebook has helped catch 1,000 women lying about their religious background to avoid serving.

The army hired investigators two years ago to help stem the increase of draft dodgers and has used Facebook to find evidence of those women lying to avoid conscription.

A military official said recently that one woman who said she was a religious Jew posted a photo of herself on Facebook holding a menu from a non-kosher restaurant. Another updated her profile on the Sabbath.

All were brought back to duty.

. . .

The military says it still fills its combat unit quotas, but officials contend they do not have enough soldiers for support units and administrative jobs.

See http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2010/11/28/israeli_military_facing_decline_in_status_recruits/; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703848204575608473772263624.html (“Who will defend this country?“)

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17 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Israel Can’t Defeat Hezbollah: Israeli Expert

Reuters is reporting:

Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah in a direct engagement and the Lebanese guerrilla group would inflict heavy damage on the Israeli home front if war broke out, a former Israeli national security adviser said Thursday.

. . .

“Israel does not know how to beat Hezbollah,” said Giora Eiland, an army ex-general who served as national security adviser to former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.

“Therefore a war waged only as Israel-versus-Hezbollah might yield better damage on Hezbollah, but Hezbollah would inflict far worse damage on the Israeli homefront than it did 4-1/2 years ago,” he told Israel Radio.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101216/wl_nm/us_israel_lebanon

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26 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process In 2011: Dead

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is being held hostage to Netanyahu and his personality. He has power again, and he will do nothing to risk his power; and hence, nothing happens.

Obama challenged him in the beginning, after assuming the presidency, but then folded when Netanyahu and AIPAC orchestrated a display of “raw power” themselves. Like Netanyahu’s instincts for political survival, Obama is not likely to challenge Netanyahu again, especially after the Democrats’ stunning 2010 mid-term election losses. He tried to bribe Netanyahu, but that did not work either.

The political challenges to Netanyahu from within Israel seem almost nonexistent, except from his Right; and hence, there are not any dynamics that are moving the peace process forward in a meaningful way. With respect to the idea of the Palestinians going to the UN and seeking recognition of their new state, there is no reason to believe that may be fruitful either.

For those who seek a lasting and meaningful peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the creation of a viable State of Palestine, 2011 may be a very frustrating year.

Indeed, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, has said that peace is “impossible.”

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101226/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

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27 12 2010
Joseph

Here’s something to chew on:

I do not think that they do it because they are bad people. I have gotten to know quite a few Arabs with hearts of gold. They also do not do it because of some dark primitivism. And they are not stupid.

But they have a problem with the Islamic religion and culture.

When a doctor from Kfar Saba’s Meir Hospital murders his sister for “family honor,” he is motivated by a very problematic cultural background.

“The Arab is not the son of the desert, but its progenitor,” said the first British commissioner of the Sinai, Sir Charles Darvis. Wherever the Arab goes, he brings the desert with him. Now he has brought the desert to the evergreen Carmel Mountains.

Take Israel-hater Arab MK Azmi Bishara, for example. If his dream comes true and Israel is defeated, he will lose his fat salary and the other benefits that he has. Why is he cutting off the branch upon which he sits?

The answer is that questions like that are irrelevant in a culture of robbers. In Arab countries, there is no middle class. In the Middle East, either you are one of the lucky few partaking in the feast, or you belong to the masses that are part of the menu. For this reason there is not, and there never will be, democracy in the Arab states, and their economies will never flourish. Israel produces more than all of its neighbors combined. That is not because we are extremely industrious. It is because true economic vitality cannot exist in a culture of robbery.

“The Jews’ goal is to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel,” explained former British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ernest Bevin to the UN, “while the goal of the Arabs is that there should not be a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.” Bevin cannot be counted as a friend of Israel. But he, like Darvis 30 years before him, understood that there is no struggle taking place in Israel between nations and cultures that desire to settle and develop the land. Rather there is only one side that wants to do so – while the other side has no positive intentions. Its only goal is the elimination of the first side’s goals.

Arab culture is anti-productive. It has no good and bad, only strong and weak. If you have given me something, it is a sign that you are weak – in other words, morally inferior to me. And that makes you my prey.

Currently, Israel is the main course on the Arab menu. If they want to live, they’ll have to wake up and deal with the Arab enemy. Sadly, they have plenty of experience.

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27 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

If true, then there is no real hope on the Arab side, and there is no hope on the Israeli side either, certainly with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm. The logical outcomes are more wars, until Israel is probably eliminated, tragically.

Again, as stated above, I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds a sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu.

As stated above too, the beliefs of Leah Rabin echo loud and clear today, who saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct. Israel may not survive for “5 or 10 generations” of American Jews—or even one more generation—unless steps are taken now to bring about a lasting peace. The clocking is ticking.

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30 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Time For A Two-State Solution Has Come And Gone—Is War Next?

This is the “verdict” of Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International, who has written:

Few [people] have been as optimistic about the chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace than Marwan Muasher, a brilliant Jordanian who has held almost all the important political and diplomatic jobs his country has to offer. He dismissed skeptics year in and year out. But now he has finally conceded. The time for a two-state solution has come and gone.

Muasher now says neither side can offer what the other party needs. A new paradigm is urgently needed. The United States can’t escape, he says, the fact that it needs to put its own ideas on the table for there to be a serious move to solve the conflict.

The Jordanian statesman reluctantly faces up to the Israeli bottom line. 1) The Israeli economy is doing fine; 2) the wall provides almost total separation between the Palestinians and most Israelis; 3) many Israelis don’t believe the status quo is necessarily a bad thing; 4) there is no incentive or burning desire to reach a settlement.

AIPAC—the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—is arguably Washington’s most powerful lobby, backed as it is by 100,000 of America’s most influential and wealthy Jews. AIPAC is the self-appointed guardian of Israel’s security. Anything it objects to won’t pass muster on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank has resumed as some 300,000 Jewish settlers continue to consolidate their roots. Some 200,000 in East Jerusalem, what Palestinians insist has to be their capital, continue to expand house by house.

The entire Arab world is ready to recognize Israel in its pre-1967 war borders and deal with it as normal states do with others. Israel isn’t interested, which leaves the Palestinians little choice. As Muasher, the prototype of a moderate Arab, puts it, “the Palestinians can either unilaterally declare statehood (as the Israelis did in 1948), or get the U.N. to accept a Palestinian state.”

While the Israeli side can live with existing conditions for several more years, Muasher says if 2011 passes without a final resolution of the conflict, the status quo won’t be sustainable. A fourth intifada? “It is a clear fact that radicalism in the Arab world is on the rise (and) the gridlocked peace process is a major reason for the frustration across the region,” Muasher concludes.

Frequently overlooked is this perennial conflict was—and still is—the principal motivation behind Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorism.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2010/12/29/Commentary-Third-World-America/UPI-19141293622440/

The UK’s Economist adds:

[E]very time an attempt at Arab-Israeli peacemaking fails . . . , the peace becomes a little more fragile and the danger of war increases. Sadly, there is reason to believe that unless remedial action is taken, 2011 might see the most destructive such war for many years.

One much-discussed way in which war might arise stems from the apparent desire of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons at any cost, and Israel’s apparent desire to stop Iran at any cost. But fear of Iran’s nuclear programme is only one of the fuses that could detonate an explosion at any moment. Another is the frantic arms race that has been under way since the inconclusive war in 2006 between Israel and Hizbullah, Iran’s ally in Lebanon. Both sides have been intensively preparing for what each says will be a “decisive” second round.

Such a war would bear little resemblance to the previous clashes between Israel and its neighbours. For all their many horrors, the Lebanon war of 2006 and the Gaza war of 2009 were limited affairs. On the Israeli side, in particular, civilian casualties were light. Since 2006, however, Iran and Syria have provided Hizbullah with an arsenal of perhaps 50,000 missiles and rockets, many with ranges and payloads well beyond what Hizbullah had last time. This marks an extraordinary change in the balance of power. For the first time a radical non-state actor has the power to kill thousands of civilians in Israel’s cities more or less at the press of a button.

In that event, says Israel, it will strike back with double force. A war of this sort could easily draw in Syria, and perhaps Iran. For the moment, deterrence keeps the peace. But a peace maintained by deterrence alone is a frail thing. The shipment to Hizbullah of a balance-tipping new weapon, a skirmish on the Lebanese or increasingly volatile Gaza border—any number of miscalculations could ignite a conflagration.

From peace process to war process

All of this should give new urgency to Arab-Israeli peacemaking. To start with, at least, peace will be incomplete: Iran, Hizbullah and sometimes Hamas say that they will never accept a Jewish state in the Middle East. But it is the unending Israeli occupation that gives these rejectionists their oxygen. Give the Palestinians a state on the West Bank and it will become very much harder for the rejectionists to justify going to war.

Easy enough to say. The question is whether peacemaking can succeed. After striving for almost two years to shepherd Israeli and Palestinian leaders into direct talks, only for this effort to collapse over the issue of settlements, Mr Obama is in danger of concluding like many presidents before him that Arab-Israeli diplomacy is a Sisyphean distraction. But giving up would be a tragic mistake, as bad for America and Israel as for the Palestinians. The instant the peace process ends, the war process begins, and wars in this energy-rich corner of the world usually suck in America, one way or another. Israel will suffer too if Mr Obama fails, because the Palestinians have shown time and again that they will not fall silent while their rights are denied. The longer Israel keeps them stateless under military occupation, the lonelier it becomes—and the more it undermines its own identity as a liberal democracy.

Don’t mediate. Legislate

Instead of giving up, Mr Obama needs to change his angle of attack. America has clung too long to the dogma that direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians are the way forward. James Baker, a former secretary of state, once said that America could not want peace more than the local parties did. This is no longer true. The recent history proves that the extremists on each side are too strong for timid local leaders to make the necessary compromises alone. It is time for the world to agree on a settlement and impose it on the feuding parties.

The outlines of such an agreement have been clear since Bill Clinton set out his “parameters” after the failure of the Camp David summit a decade ago. The border between Israel and a new Palestine would follow the pre-1967 line, with adjustments to accommodate some of the bigger border-hugging Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and land-swaps to compensate the Palestinians for those adjustments. But there is also much difficult detail to be filled in: how to make Jerusalem into a shared capital, settle the fate of the refugees and ensure that the West Bank will not become, as Gaza did, an advance base for war against Israel after Israeli forces withdraw.

. . .

In his first round of peacemaking, Mr Obama picked a fight with Israel over settlements and then backed down, thereby making America look weak in a region where too many people already believe that its power is waning [see second article cited below]. This is a misperception the president needs to correct. For all its economic worries at home and military woes in Iraq and Afghanistan, America is far from weak in the Levant, where both Israel and the nascent Palestine in the West Bank continue to depend on it in countless vital ways.

The Palestinians have flirted lately with the idea of bypassing America and taking their cause directly to the UN. Going to the UN is well and good. But the fact remains that without the sort of tough love that America alone can bestow, Israel will probably never be able to overcome its settler movement and make the deal that could win it acceptance in the Arab world. Mr Obama has shown in battles as different as health reform and the New START nuclear treaty with Russia that he has the quality of persistence. He should persist in Palestine, too.

See http://www.economist.com/node/17800151?fsrc=nwl (emphasis added); see also http://www.economist.com/node/17797714 (“America and the Middle East: Great sacrifices, small rewards—Has America’s obsession with this region been worth it?”)

In the final analysis, the time for a two-state solution may have come and gone, and the next war may be inevitable. Tragically, it may be simply a function of time before it begins.

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30 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

America’s Influence Seems To Be Withering Faster In the Middle East Than Anywhere Else

This is the conclusion of the UK’s Economist in a fascinating article entitled, “America and the Middle East: Great sacrifices, small rewards”—and subtitled, “Has America’s obsession with this region been worth it?”—which is worth reading. In pertinent part, it states:

Since September 11th 2001, and the rise of radical Islam as the sole violent challenge to an American-shaped international order, America’s focus on the region between the Nile and the Indus rivers has been obsessive. Yet all the attention would seem to have been in vain. America’s influence has dwindled everywhere with the financial crisis and the rise of emerging powers. But it seems to be withering faster in the Middle East than anywhere else.

Two decades ago, when America marshalled a daunting force to toss Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, it stood unchallenged in the region. Kings and presidents-for-life vied for American favour. Countries such as Iran that would not, or Somalia that could not, were ignored. When America summoned leaders to Madrid in 1991 to sort out the most intractable Middle Eastern mess, the Arab-Israeli struggle, some grumbled, but all fell into line.

Most of them still come when America beckons, but ten years ago things began to slip. Despite the commitment of successive American presidents, and despite near-consensus worldwide on the outlines of an agreement, Arab-Israeli peace has kept receding out of reach. The invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 vastly expanded America’s bootprint in the region. But the smoke of those Pyrrhic triumphs cleared to reveal America in trouble. The global “war on terror” declared by George Bush displaced al-Qaeda and prevented several serious attacks. But those successes drained America’s treasury, alienated its friends and emboldened its enemies. Recalcitrant, revolutionary Iran found itself magically enhanced.

America’s Middle East policy now looks thwarted at every turn. Its closest ally, Israel, which has received more than $27 billion in American military aid over the past decade, has rebuffed pleas, backed by offers of yet more aid and diplomatic support, to pause in its building of illegal Jewish settlements in occupied territory. Another Middle Eastern friend and aid recipient, Egypt, has cocked a snook at American requests to set an example of democratic reform. It rejected a call by Barack Obama to let international observers monitor a recent, garishly fraudulent election. Iraq, where America has expended so much blood and treasure, took nine months to form a shaky government that looks more to Iran’s liking than America’s. And Iran seems undiminished in its determination to pursue its nuclear ambitions, no matter how much America and its allies rattle sabres and pile on sanctions.

Even the popularity of Mr Obama, which surged among Arabs and Muslims after his inauguration, has fallen back. Shibley Telhami, of the University of Maryland who has long experience in polling regional opinion, notes two trends. Arabs used to distinguish between a dislike for American policies and a liking for Americans as people; now they tend to dismiss both. And when asked which leaders they admire, Arabs continue to cheer those who stand up to America and to its ally Israel. This year Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan tops the list, followed by Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s yanqui-baiter-in-chief.

Several reasons lie behind America’s loss of potency. Some reflect changes within the Middle East. Allies such as Israel and Turkey long followed American wishes reflexively because they felt imperilled and dependent on American largesse. They have now grown too strong for that. With its thriving economy, Israel feels able to take a more independent line. Turkey has also become an economic power and its government, unlike the dictatorships elsewhere in the Middle East, is now democratic. And although the region’s two strongest states still pursue policies that dovetail with America’s, they have grown unhelpfully estranged from each other.

Other allies that once augmented American power by proxy have grown too weak to help. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia packs financial clout, but its ruling princes are ageing and absorbed by a struggle for succession. Egypt, the most populous and diplomatically agile Arab country, is also run by old men. Once they could rally Arabs behind American objectives, but the Egyptians have struggled lately even to get the two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, to talk to each other. The Mubaraks and the Al Sauds have little impact any more on the Arab Street: “resistance” and defiance carry more appeal. “The sense of how weak we are is a factor of how weak our partners are,” says Scott Carpenter, a Bush-administration official now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Fingers burned

America’s own mistakes, tactical and strategic, have speeded its decline. The failure to find banned weapons in Saddam’s Iraq and the torture at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib have tainted America’s moral authority. The application of American firepower has, ironically, also raised the bar for defying America’s will. Iran and its allies, including Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shia party-cum-militia, feel they can call America’s bluff because they think that, having burned its fingers in Iraq and Afghanistan, it will no longer back harsh words with invasions.

You can see how they might reach that judgment. Aside from nearly 6,000 American fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan, the expenditure, so far, of more than $1.1 trillion on military operations in those theatres has sapped the will for more campaigns. The cost of keeping a single soldier on the ground now exceeds $500,000 a year—a strong reason for a poorer America to reduce its presence in the region.

The incoming, Tea-Party-infused Congress is likely to make things harder. Whereas rivalry between Democrats and Republicans used to end at the water’s edge, it now extends into foreign policy. Despite the ratification of the New START treaty at the end of 2010, Congress is beset by partisanship, even in petty matters. Solely because of partisan obstruction, Mr Obama has yet to secure approval for his choice of two career diplomats as ambassadors to Turkey and Syria.

America’s pro-Israel lobby shows no sign of losing strength. Jonathan Broder, foreign-affairs editor of the Congressional Quarterly, discerns an effort by Republicans to woo Jewish voters, long more supportive of Democrats, by outbidding the administration over Israel. Eric Cantor, the incoming House majority leader, has proposed moving the $3 billion annual military grant to Israel from the foreign-aid budget to the Pentagon, in effect shielding it from spending cuts. “Not only would this remove a lever for American pressure,” warns Mr Broder, “it would make us silent accomplices in the settlement process.”

. . .

Picking up the pieces

America’s woes have led some to accuse Mr Obama’s team of managing the Middle East even more ineptly than Mr Bush’s did. The American right and many Israelis think he is too pro-Arab. Arabs, Europeans and critics from the left charge him with being timid and oversensitive to domestic politics; with lacking strategic vision; with being locked into black-and-white views that overlook useful ambiguities; and with substituting lofty talk for firm action.

. . .

The biggest headache

. . .

The Obama team may have underestimated [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu’s ability to resist [the two-state peace process]. The White House was outfoxed in Washington, where the Israeli leader used the mid-term elections for Congress and pro-Israel Republicans to cow the administration.

. . .

Israel may have outbluffed America, using the power of its supporters in Congress, but it stands increasingly isolated in the world.

. . .

[T]he Middle East’s need for an active America is as great as ever. Don’t forget that America’s footprint spreads across the region, and in most places still rests on a comfortable carpet. Smaller states welcome American forces, accepting the need for protection much as Europe did after the second world war. Iran may declare that its objective is to chase America from the Persian Gulf, but it is Iranian recalcitrance that prompts its neighbours to host American bases and spend lavishly on American arms. Privately, most Iraqi leaders hope that American forces will stay. North African countries and Yemen quietly welcome American help against al-Qaeda.

. . .

Yet even if America’s influence endures, is it worth the price? Few Americans realise that the Persian Gulf nowadays supplies barely 10% of America’s oil. Its value is far less than what the Pentagon spends on American fleets and bases in the region, even excluding the costs of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. America projects that over the next 25 years its dependence on Gulf energy will fall. Hence its armed muscle is, in effect, protecting the world from a Middle Eastern oil shock. That benefits America—because its consumers pay a world price for their oil. But it also benefits emerging rivals such as China and India, which shoulder none of the burden of serving as the world’s policeman.

At the same time, the two things most consistently cited by Arabs and Muslims as their main objections to America—and which therefore serve as the biggest rallying calls to jihad—are its support for Israel and the regional presence of American forces. Neither of these is likely to change. That may one day lead Americans to ask why they invest so much in a troubled region with such poor returns.

See http://www.economist.com/node/17797714 (emphasis in original)

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30 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Has Israel Ceased To Be A Democracy Because Of Its 43-Year-Old Occupation Of The West Bank, And Is It A Tragic, Failed Experiment?

These are issues discussed in an Atlantic article by Jeffery Goldberg, which is worth reading—and states:

[T]here’s very little Israel’s right-wing government has done in the past year or so to suggest that it is willing to wean itself from its addiction to West Bank settlements, and the expansion of settlements bodes ill for the creation of a Palestinian state—and the absence of Palestinian statehood means that Israel will one day soon confront this crucial question concerning its democratic nature: Will it grant West Bank Arabs the right to vote, or will it deny them the vote? If it grants them the vote, this will be the end of Israel as a Jewish state; if it denies them the vote in perpetuity, it will cease to be a democratic state.

. . .

I’ve had a couple of conversations this week with people, in Jerusalem and out of Jerusalem, that suggest to me that democracy is something less than a religious value for wide swaths of Israeli Jewish society. I’m speaking here of four groups, each ascendant to varying degrees:The haredim, the ultra-Orthodox Jews, whose community continues to grow at a rapid clip; the working-class religious Sephardim—Jews from Arab countries, mainly—whose interests are represented in the Knesset by the obscurantist rabbis of the Shas Party; the settler movement, which still seems to get whatever it needs in order to grow; and the million or so recent immigrants from Russia, who support, in distressing numbers, the Putin-like Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister and leader of the “Israel is Our Home” party.

Let’s just say, as a hypothetical, that one day in the near future, Prime Minister Lieberman’s government . . . annexes swaths of the West Bank in order to take in Jewish settlements, but announces summarily that the Arabs in the annexed territory are in fact citizens of Jordan, and can vote there if they want to, but they won’t be voting in Israel. What happens then? Do the courts come to the rescue? I hope so. Do the Israeli people come to the rescue? I’m not entirely sure. There are many Israelis who value democracy, but they might not possess the strength to fight. Does American Jewry come to the rescue? Well, most of American Jewry would be so disgusted by Israel’s abandonment of democratic principles that I think the majority would simply write off Israel as a tragic, failed experiment.

. . .

[T]he Israel that I see today is not the Israel I was introduced to more than twenty years ago. The rise to power of the four groups I mentioned above has changed, in some very serious ways . . . the nature and character of the Jewish state.

See http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/12/what-if-israel-ceases-to-be-a-democracy/68582; see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8233929/Holocaust-survivors-warn-of-stirrings-of-neo-fascism.html (“Holocaust survivors warn of stirrings of neo-fascism [in Israel]“)

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3 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

One Has To Love Netanyahu

On the one hand, he supposedly wants nonstop talks with the Palestinians, even though he has stonewalled meaningful peace efforts consistently. On the other hand, it is reported that under his leadership, Israel has been preparing for a “large scale war.” Neither is surprising. The first announcement is simply disingenuous hyperbole, while the second recognizes the realities that Israel faces.

See http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110102/D9KGA27O1.html and http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.68f5e94c91d2e5bac59427d81c150711.671&show_article=1

As I have stated many times before, in my comments above, I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. This undergirds a sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu.

The beliefs of Leah Rabin still echo loud and clear today, who saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and of course she was correct. The clocking is ticking, and time is running out.

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17 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Ehud Barak Quits Israel’s Labor Party

The Wall Street Journal has reported:

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced Monday that he was leaving the center-left Labor Party, casting clouds over the stability of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and the prospects of restarting the peace process.

Mr. Barak said Monday he is forming a new, more centrist Independence Party, which will include four breakaway Labor Party lawmakers in addition to himself. Mr. Barak’s new party will remain in Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition.

The announcement marks a key moment in the remaking—or further unraveling—of Labor, the party of Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, and of the slain prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, which was most affiliated with advocating peace with Israel’s enemies. Labor’s influence has waned in the past decade following Mr. Barak’s failed bid as Prime Minister to negotiate peace with the Palestinians in 2000 and the ensuing outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising.

Labor won an all-time low 13 out of 120 seats in 2009 parliamentary elections, and its lawmakers were the only left-leaning member of Mr. Netanyahu’s governing coalition, a group otherwise made up of nationalist and religious parties.

The shakeup to Labor wasn’t unexpected. For months, Labor lawmakers had grown impatient with the lack of progress on the peace process and blamed Mr. Barak for not doing enough to pressure Mr. Netanyahu to make concessions to the Palestinians.

But Mr. Barak—a former special-forces commander with a reputation for being a farsighted strategist who brings military-like precision to his politics—appeared to have outflanked the Labor Party just as it was preparing to force Mr. Barak out of the government.

. . .

The likely loss of . . . eight Labor lawmakers would leave Mr. Netanyahu with a smaller but more ideologically cohesive coalition of 66 seats in Israel’s 120-seat legislature.

Mr. Netanyahu said his “government has grown much stronger” after the departure of lawmakers who had long been threatening to force the entire Labor party out of the government. That would have been far more destabilizing for Mr. Netanyahu: Mr. Barak’s presence and authority as military leader representing the center left appears to be a top political priority for Mr. Netanyahu.

Mr. Netanyahu said the public dissent from within his coalition by the departing Labor lawmakers had given the Palestinians false hope that if they avoided peace negotiations, Mr. Netanyahu’s government might fall.

“The whole world knows, and the Palestinians know, that this government will be around for the next few years and that it is with this government that they should negotiate for peace,” Mr. Netanyahu said after Mr. Barak’s announcement.

. . .

Tzippi Livni, leader of the opposition centrist Kadima Party, seized on Mr. Barak’s move to stake her claim as the sole remaining opposition leader in Israel. She had competed with Mr. Barak for votes from the center-left in 2009, but by abandoning Labor, Mr. Barak had cast his lot firmly with Mr. Netanyahu, she said.

“The Netanyahu government is a narrow government crumbling from the inside,” she said.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/EhudBarakQuitsIsraelsLaborParty.pdf (emphasis added)

This does not bode well for the peace process, which seems to have been doomed anyway; and it is a sad day for the once-powerful, historically-important and influential Labor party.

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17 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Only Thing Wrong With Hitler . . .

As I have written above:

Years ago when I was in Germany visiting friends, I was told by someone that the only thing wrong with Hitler was that he failed to “finish the job” of exterminating the Jews. I had been fascinated by Hitler’s rise to power, and wanted to understand how it happened in the country of my father’s ancestors. They came to America in 1849—a husband and wife with 16 children, who were presumably good Catholics—but I was interested in understanding the German mentality that allowed Hitler’s rise to happen.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

The UK’s Daily Mail has an article entitled, “Revealed: How even German civilians took part in killing concentration camp survivors,” which is worth reading. It states in pertinent part as follows:

A new book about the closing days of WW2 chronicles how German civilians murdered many concentration camp survivors as they moved through their towns and villages on infamous ‘death marches’ back into the shrinking Reich.

The violence shows how even with their nation in ruins, the Allies advancing on all fronts and the war hopeless, ordinary people were so indoctrinated with Nazi hate they were prepared to kill defenceless people in cold blood.

‘The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide,’ by Daniel Blatman, is the first book to research what drove these civilians to acts of savage murder.

Some 500,000 prisoners from the concentration camp gulag both within and without Germany were on the move in the first months of 1945.

As the Allies advanced, the shocking fate of approximately half of them became all too apparent.

. . .

Blatman believes tens of thousands of ‘ordinary Germans’ became killers despite no documentary evidence whatsoever that any of the S.S. or Nazi party hierarchy had ever ordered them to behave in such a fashion.

Blatman says that the mentality of the prisoners’ sadistic guards—that they were defending their homeland from ‘subhumans’—somehow resonated with the civilian population as they saw this ‘enemy’ passing by their homes.

A decade of indoctrination, a genocidal mentality that had systematically dehumanized the Jews and the Slavs, led to the collective hunt,’ he said.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1347908/WW2-Holocaust-Even-German-civilians-killed-concentration-camp-survivors.html

I have no doubts that this happened, because I found strong anti-Semitic sentiments to be present in Germany approximately 40 years after World War II ended.

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18 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

If The Demonstrations Spread, Things Could Get Out Of Control And Lead To The Downfall Of The Jordanian Monarchy

This is the conclusion of a Palestinian journalist who used to work in Amman—which has been reported in the Jerusalem Post. The Post’s article adds:

Jordan’s opposition groups plan to step up their anti-government protests in the coming days amid increased fears that the kingdom may be headed toward a period of instability and unrest.

Some Jordanian opposition figures are talking about organizing a one-million-strong demonstration in Amman in a bid to force the king to remove the unpopular government headed by Prime Minister Samir Rifai.

Palestinians who returned to the West Bank from Jordan in recent days said that many Jordanians were openly talking about the need to copy the Tunisian model and revolt against the regime.

“King Abdullah is said to be very nervous,” said a merchant from Ramallah who spent the past three weeks in Amman. “There is even talk in Jordan that the king has set up a special operations room in his palace to prevent the kingdom from plunging into anarchy and lawlessness.”

In recent days, thousands of Jordanians have staged street protests to demand the resignation of Rifai’s government, which they hold responsible for the bad economy and high rate of unemployment.

. . .

The demonstrators also chanted slogans in support of the “Tunisian revolution.”

Although the protests were directed primarily against the Rifai government, some Jordanians, especially those affiliated with Islamic groups, openly called for regime change in the kingdom.

. . .

“Many Jordanians are furious with the Rifai government because of unemployment and poverty, but there are also many people who are blaming the king,” said Mufid Abu Khalaf, a businessman who shuttles frequently between Amman and Hebron. “Some Jordanians are saying that what happened to [deposed Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine] Ben Ali will repeat itself in other Arab countries, including Jordan.”

. . .

Security authorities have been cautious in dealing with the anti-government demonstrations, allowing protesters to vent their frustration and anger.

“The authorities can tolerate the demonstrations as long as they are directed only against the government’s economic policies,” said Muneer Shami, an east Jerusalem university student who has been living in Amman for two years. “Everyone knows that the situation will change if the demonstrators turn against the king. The law in Jordan forbids citizens from saying anything bad against the king.”

. . .

In the coming days and weeks, Jordanian opposition groups plan a series of public protests that could lead to scenes of anarchy and lawlessness similar to those coming out of Tunisia.

“The pressure on the king is mounting,” said Maher Abdel Kareem, a Palestinian journalist who used to work in Amman. “If the demonstrations spread, things could get out of control and lead to the downfall of the monarchy.”

See http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=204030

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29 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Barack Obama Deserves To Be Impeached Immediately

In an article entitled, “Egypt protests: America’s secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising”—and subtitled, “The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning ‘regime change’ for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned”—the UK’s Telegraph has reported:

The crisis in Egypt follows the toppling of Tunisian president Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, who fled the country after widespread protests forced him from office.

. . .

[President Hosni Mubarak], facing the biggest challenge to his authority in his 31 years in power, ordered the army on to the streets of Cairo yesterday as rioting erupted across Egypt.

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in open defiance of a curfew. An explosion rocked the centre of Cairo as thousands defied orders to return to their homes. As the violence escalated, flames could be seen near the headquarters of the governing National Democratic Party.

Police fired rubber bullets and used tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

At least five people were killed in Cairo alone yesterday and 870 injured, several with bullet wounds. Mohamed ElBaradei, the pro-reform leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was placed under house arrest after returning to Egypt to join the dissidents. Riots also took place in Suez, Alexandria and other major cities across the country.

. . .

The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But . . . leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8289686/Egypt-protests-Americas-secret-backing-for-rebel-leaders-behind-uprising.html; see also http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/01/axelrod-president-obama-has-on-several-occasions-directly-confronted-mubarak-on-human-rights-for-the.html

Barack Obama is “Jimmy Carter-lite,” and evil. One must never forget that Carter’s policies with respect to Iran led to the fall of the Shah, and to the present regime, which is a threat to Israel, the region, the United States and the world.

Obama is the wrong person to be leading the United States today, and things will only get worse before he is gone. His departure cannot come fast enough.

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30 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Barack Obama Go Down In History As The President Who Lost The Middle East?

As I have written:

[Obama's] naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism; and he is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter. Indeed, it is likely that his presidency will be considered a sad and tragic watershed in history; and the American people are recognizing this more and more with each day that passes. Hopefully he chooses to end his political career with dignity by not running for reelection in 2012, instead of continuing to drag this great nation down with him.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected

He is a cowardly demagogue, who failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election.

It was a seminal moment in Obama’s presidency up to that point in time. He flinched, and demonstrated to the world that he is not a true small-“d” democrat; and that he is weak like Jimmy Carter was. He stood with our enemy, the theocracy in Iran.

With respect to Egypt, the United States must do whatever is necessary to make sure that radical Islam does not take over the country. If it happens, and if that spreads—for example to Jordan, another ally of ours and of Israel—at the very least Obama will go down in history as the president who lost the Middle East. Also, this might determine the fate of Israel.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1344; but see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703833204576114252976824050.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop (“Egypt . . . has the opportunity to become what it always should have been—the leader of a movement toward freedom and democracy in the Arab world”)

Political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, has warned:

Unless President Obama reverses field and strongly opposes letting the Muslim [B]rotherhood take over Egypt, he will be hit with the . . . question: Who Lost Egypt?

The Iranian government is waiting for Egypt to fall into its lap. The Muslim Brotherhood, dominated by Iranian Islamic fundamentalism, will doubtless emerge as the winner should the government of Egypt fall. The Obama Administration, in failing to throw its weight against an Islamic takeover, is guilty of the same mistake that led President Carter to fail to support the Shah, opening the door for the Ayatollah Khomeini to take over Iran.

The United States has enormous leverage in Egypt—far more than it had in Iran. We provide Egypt with upwards of $2 billion a year in foreign aid under the provisos of the Camp David Accords orchestrated by Carter. The Egyptian military, in particular, receives $1.3 billion of this money. The United States, as the pay master, needs to send a signal to the military that it will be supportive of its efforts to keep Egypt out of the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists. Instead, Obama has put our military aid to Egypt “under review” to pressure Mubarak to mute his response to the demonstrators and has given top priority to “preventing the loss of human life.”

President Obama should say that Egypt has always been a friend of the United States. He should point out that it was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel. He should recall that President Sadat, who signed the peace accords, paid for doing so with his life and that President Mubarak has carried on in his footsteps. He should condemn the efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood extremists to take over the country and indicate that America stands by her longtime ally. He should address the need for reform and urge Mubarak to enact needed changes. But his emphasis should be on standing with our ally.

The return of Nobel laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) . . . to Egypt as the presumptive heir to Mubarak tells us where this revolution is headed. Carolyn Glick, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, explains how dangerous ElBaradei is. “As IAEA head,” she writes, “Elbaradei shielded Iran’s nuclear weapons program from the Security Council. He [has] continued to lobby against significant UN Security Council sanctions or other actions against Iran…Last week, he dismissed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran [saying] ‘there is a lot of hype in this debate’.”

As for the Muslim Brotherhood, Glick notes that “it forms the largest and best organized opposition to the Mubarak regime and [is] the progenitor of Hamas and al [Qaeda]. It seeks Egypt’s transformation into an Islamic regime that will stand at the forefront of the global jihad.”

Now is the time for Republicans and conservatives to start asking the question: Who is losing Egypt? We need to debunk the starry eyed idealistic yearning for reform and the fantasy that a liberal democracy will come from these demonstrations. It won’t. Iranian domination will.

Egypt, with 80 million people, is the largest country in the Middle East or North Africa. Combined with Iran’s 75 million (the second largest) they have 155 million people. By contrast the entire rest of the region—Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar combined—have only 200 million.

We must not let the two most populous and powerful nations in the region fall under the sway of Muslim extremism, the one through the weakness of Jimmy Carter and the other through the weakness of Barack Obama.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/who-lost-egypt/

The United States cannot afford to lose Egypt, Jordan and other allies in the region. Among other things, Obama is pulling our forces out of Iraq; and a debacle is likely to follow in Afghanistan too, which seems to be a lost cause. All of this might determine the fate of Israel.

See, e.g., http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110201/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq;_ylt=Akg0dRp1i4NSyUsUi6YKt.0LewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTJkdnRuaHE2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMjAxL21sX2lyYXEEcG9zAzEEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDc2VuYXRlcmVwb3J0 (“American diplomats and other mission employees may not be safe in Iraq if the U.S. military leaves the volatile country at the end of the year as planned, according to a new report released [by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee]“)

As I have written:

Obama is a [fool, a] fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected (emphasis added)

Obama might tragically alter America’s history by losing the Middle East.

The Israelis are deeply and justifiably concerned. In an important article entitled, “Israel shocked by Obama’s ‘betrayal’ of Mubarak,” Reuters has reported:

If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel’s President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

“We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak,” he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. “I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East.”

Newspaper columnists were far more blunt.

One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled “A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam.” It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

Who is advising them, he asked, “to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president … an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?”

. . .

Obama on Sunday called for an “orderly transition” to democracy in Egypt, stopping short of calling on Mubarak to step down, but signaling that his days may be numbered.

“AMERICA HAS LOST IT”

Netanyahu instructed Israeli ambassadors in a dozen key capitals over the weekend to impress on host governments that Egypt’s stability is paramount, official sources said.

“Jordan and Saudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone is abandoning Mubarak, and this will have very serious implications,” Haaretz daily quoted one official as saying.

Egypt, Israel’s most powerful neighbor, was the first Arab country to make peace with the Jewish state, in 1979. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the treaty, was assassinated two years later by an Egyptian fanatic.

It took another 13 years before King Hussein of Jordan broke Arab ranks to [make] a second peace with the Israelis. That treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated one year later, in 1995, by an Israeli fanatic.

There have been no peace treaties since. Lebanon and Syria are still technically at war with Israel. Conservative Gulf Arab regimes have failed to advance their peace ideas. A hostile Iran has greatly increased its influence in the Middle East conflict.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/us-egypt-israel-usa-idUSTRE70U53720110131; see also http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110130/D9L2Q1Q00.html (“If Egypt resumes its conflict with Israel, Israelis fear, it will put a powerful Western-armed military on the side of Israel’s enemies while also weakening pro-Western states like Jordan and Saudi Arabia”)

Also, in an article captioned, “Israel Watches ‘Regional Earthquake’ in Egypt,” the Wall Street Journal has reported:

Israeli commentators depicted the crumbling of President Hosni Mubarak’s rule in Egypt as a regional earthquake, calling it the most significant Middle East event since the 1979 revolution against the Shah in Iran.

. . .

The speed at which Mr. Mubarak’s troubles escalated appeared to blindside Israeli officials, who have watched with growing alarm as protests in Cairo and other Egyptian cities swelled, endangering the grip on power of their strongest ally in the region. Inspired by a popular uprising in Tunisia, Egyptian protests swelled in a matter of days late last week. By the weekend, it was clear Mr. Mubarak’s reign was in jeopardy.

“We were caught by surprise,” said Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in New York, a few hours before Mr. Mubarak’s announcement. “The Egyptian regime seemed very strong and very stable.”

Israel has a huge stake in Egypt’s stability. The historic 1979 peace treaty between the two countries, which share a long border, is the cornerstone of a regional balance. For more than 30 years, Israel has been able to count on Egypt to refrain from siding in Arab hostilities against the Jewish state.

An unfriendly government in Egypt would deprive Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his only ally in a region that has grown more hostile toward Israel over the past several years, with the growing influence of Iran, the armed takeover of Gaza by Hamas, the rise of Hezbollah as a major political force in Lebanon, and Turkey’s tilt away from Israel and toward Syria.

Apart from geopolitical interest, Israel has economic stakes in Egyptian stability. Egyptian natural-gas supplies generate 20% to 25% of Israel’s electricity needs.

Israeli officials have said they worry that elections in Egypt could benefit Islamist groups hostile to Israel. Mr. Steinitz said Israel supports the establishment of a democracy in Egypt. But “sometimes, even democracies can lead to very negative results.” he said.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/IsraelWatchesRegionalEarthquakeinEgypt.pdf

The battle of Cairo has begun, just as battles have begun elsewhere in the Middle East. They will be ugly and brutal. When the dust settles finally, America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac”—or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama might have lost the region, just as Carter lost Iran to Islamic fascists. The consequences will be mind-boggling.

See also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703445904576117801815760950.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories#articleTabs%3Dinteractive (The Wall Street Journal’s Interactive Timeline of “Regional Upheaval” in the Middle East)

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1 02 2011
Dovy

After reading a recent interview with Sysrian President Assad in the Wall Street Journal the other day, I was struck by the absence of personal vitriol on his part versus Netanyahu as compared to yours. Something to possibly think over!

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1 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Dovy, for your comments.

Yes, you are correct that I have been an outspoken critic of Netanyahu—for a long time—as indicated in my article above and my comments beneath it. I have not been alone in my thinking. Among others, the late Yitzhak and Leah Rabin, as well as Ariel Sharon, had similar views.

And no, I will not retract a word that I have written above. I believe “Palestine” is a powder keg of hatred, which might have been lessened if other policies had been pursued. However, as written in my comments immediately above these, we are at a different juncture in world history today. The peace process may be a dead letter; Egypt and other countries of the Middle East may fall; Israel may be in an even more precarious position in the days to come; and its very survival is at stake.

Under those circumstances, Israelis must “hunker down” and anticipate the worst, and hope—and yes, pray—for the best. So far, Netanyahu has acted responsibly; and I support the positions that he has taken during this crisis. Indeed, I have cited to them in my comments immediately above these.

Next, one of the articles that I have read in the last few days cited the importance to Israel of the peace with Egypt. Relatively few Israeli soldiers have been required, which has allowed Israel to flourish economically. All that might change in an instant, as you know.

. . .

Next, Obama is proving to be an unmitigated disaster, which was predictable before he was elected in 2008.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/; see also the footnotes and comments beneath both articles

The following headlines and articles are important: the “U.S. ‘held secret meeting with Muslim Brotherhood'” (see http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=258405); “Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Prepare Egyptians for war with Israel'” (see http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=206130); “Netanyahu fears Islamist takeover in Egypt” (see http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/australian-news/8750927/netanyahu-fears-islamist-takeover-in-egypt/); see also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12338222 (“We are already facing Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and the prospect of, God forbid, an autocratic, fundamentalist, Islamic organisation taking over in Egypt is obviously not something we can ignore. . . . What Israel wants is regional stability and President Mubarak has delivered that.”)

. . .

Lastly, it is one thing to criticize Netanyahu when the Middle East is relatively stable, as I have done. I have long felt that pushing the peace process might help defuse hatred of Israel and of the Jews. However, the history of the Middle East is changing—potentially in a tragic and ominous direction—and all bets are off.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1367

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3 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It

In an important article entitled, “US response to Egypt draws criticism in Israel,” the AP has reported:

President Barack Obama’s response to the crisis in Egypt is drawing fierce criticism in Israel, where many view the U.S. leader as a political naif whose pressure on a stalwart ally to hand over power is liable to backfire.

Critics—including senior Israeli officials who have shied from saying so publicly—say Obama is repeating the same mistakes of predecessors whose calls for human rights and democracy in the Middle East have often backfired by bringing anti-West regimes to power.

Israeli officials, while refraining from open criticism of Obama, have made no secret of their view that shunning Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and pushing for swift elections in Egypt could bring unintended results.

“I don’t think the Americans understand yet the disaster they have pushed the Middle East into,” said lawmaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who until recently was a Cabinet minister and who is a longtime friend of Mubarak.

“If there are elections like the Americans want, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t win a majority, it would win half of the seats in parliament,” he told Army Radio. “It will be a new Middle East, extremist radical Islam.”

Three decades ago, President Jimmy Carter urged another staunch American ally—the shah of Iran—to loosen his grip on power, only to see his autocratic regime replaced by the Islamic Republic. More recently, U.S.-supported elections have strengthened such groups as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and anti-American radicals in Iran.

“Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as ‘the president who lost Iran,'” the analyst Aluf Benn wrote in the daily Haaretz this week. “Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who ‘lost’ Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled,” Benn wrote.

Israel has tremendous respect for Mubarak, who carefully honored his country’s peace agreement with Israel after taking power nearly 30 years ago.

While relations were often cool, Mubarak maintained a stable situation that has allowed Israel to greatly reduce its military spending and troop presence along the border with Egypt.

He also worked with Israel to contain the Gaza Strip’s Hamas government and served as a bridge to the broader Arab world.

. . .

In the course of the turmoil, the Obama administration has repeatedly recalibrated its posture, initially expressing confidence in Egypt’s government, later threatening to withhold U.S. aid, and lastly, pressing Mubarak to loosen his grip on power immediately.

. . .

Critics say the U.S. is once again confusing the mechanics of democracy with democracy itself.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed similar sentiments this week when he warned that “if extremist forces are allowed to exploit democratic processes to come to power to advance anti-democratic goals—as has happened in Iran and elsewhere—the outcome will be bad for peace and bad for democracy.”

So far, no unified opposition leadership or clear program for change has emerged in Egypt. Historically the leading opposition in Egypt has been the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that favors Islamic rule and has been repressed by Mubarak throughout his tenure.

Many young people see the former director of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, as Egypt’s democratic hope, but critics say he is out of touch with Egypt’s problems because he has spent so many years outside of the country.

The calls for democracy inside Egypt have put the U.S. in an awkward position of having to balance its defense for human rights with its longtime ties to an authoritarian regime that has been a crucial Arab ally.

In Israel, critics say the U.S. has suffered a credibility loss by shaking off Mubarak when his regime started crumbling.

“The Israeli concept is that the U.S. rushed to stab Mubarak in the back,” said Eytan Gilboa, an expert on the U.S. at Bar-Ilan University.

“As Israel sees it, they could have pressured Mubarak, but not in such an overt way, because the consequence could be a loss of faith in the U.S. by all pro-Western Arab states in the Middle East, and also a loss of faith in Israel,” he said.

Raphael Israeli, a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, echoed a widely felt perception that before the unrest erupted, the Obama administration paid only lip service to the lack of human rights in Mubarak’s authoritarian regime.

“If Obama were genuinely concerned with what is going on in Egypt, he should have made the same demands two years ago (when he addressed the Muslim world in Cairo) and eight years and 20 years ago. Mubarak didn’t come to power yesterday.”

See http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110203/D9L59U1G0.html (emphasis added); see also http://www.economist.com/node/18065691 (“Worried Israel: Bad news for the Jewish state: Egypt’s upheaval is rattling the Israelis“)

As emphasized above, one conclusion jumps out:

Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who ‘lost’ Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled.

Beyond that, he may be remembered as the American president who lost the Middle East, or certainly large portions of it. Again, he is an utter fool and a feckless naïf, and he must be removed from office before he can do even more damage to America and U.S. interests.

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4 02 2011
DWBrown

It’s not a matter of what Israel does or does not do, nor is Netanyahu all that important, because Israel is not the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. If war does get started it won’t be the fault of Israel.

There simply is no pathway to a negotiated peace when one side wants to survive and perhaps is willing to rearrange borders, and the other side’s goal is the total elimination of the former.

And that means war is the only recourse left to resolve the differences.

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4 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments.

You may be correct that war is inevitable. It is worth repeating, however, what I have written in several postings above. I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words then, and I have reflected on them many times since.

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4 02 2011
DWBrown

So don’t be overly shocked if the logic of the situation – as you and your quote laid out – prevails, and you wake up one morning after the Arabs (plus Persians) launch another war, and Mecca plus a half dozen other cities are gone.

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4 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments.

First, if that happened, it would be tantamount to a blunderbust approach, using a shotgun instead of a rifle. It would not affect the thousands of missiles that might be headed Israel’s way, or the other asymmetric warfare that might be directed at it; and the radioactive fallout from such attacks by Israel might kill its own citizens.

Second, as indicated in the article above, and in my other writings, I have been an outspoken critic of Netanyahu for at least a decade, beginning well before he came back into power for the second time. However, I am supportive of his positions today because the Middle East appears to be changing radically.

The niceties of the peace process may be swept aside by history; and Israel may be vulnerable like never before. Netanyahu is a strong leader; and there may not be anyone stronger to lead Israel through such perilous times.

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4 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

A Military Solution In Egypt?

The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer has a new article about Egypt, which is worth reading. In it, he states:

The worldwide euphoria that has greeted the Egyptian uprising is understandable. All revolutions are blissful in the first days. The romance could be forgiven if this were Paris 1789. But it is not. In the intervening 222 years, we have learned how these things can end.

. . .

[O]nly a child can believe that a democratic outcome is inevitable. And only a blinkered optimist can believe that it is even the most likely outcome.

Yes, the Egyptian revolution is broad-based. But so were the French and the Russian and the Iranian revolutions. Indeed in Iran, the revolution only succeeded—the shah was long opposed by the mullahs—when the merchants, the housewives, the students and the secularists joined to bring him down.

And who ended up in control? The most disciplined, ruthless and ideologically committed—the radical Islamists.

This is why our paramount moral and strategic interest in Egypt is real democracy in which power does not devolve to those who believe in one man, one vote, one time. That would be Egypt’s fate should the Muslim Brotherhood prevail. That was the fate of Gaza, now under the brutal thumb of Hamas, a Palestinian wing (see Article 2 of Hamas’s founding covenant) of the Muslim Brotherhood.

We are told by sage Western analysts not to worry about the Brotherhood because it probably commands only about 30 percent of the vote. This is reassurance? In a country where the secular democratic opposition is weak and fractured after decades of persecution, any Islamist party commanding a third of the vote rules the country.

. . .

The House of Mubarak is no more. He is 82, reviled and not running for reelection. The only question is who fills the vacuum. There are two principal possibilities: a provisional government of opposition forces, possibly led by Mohamed ElBaradei, or an interim government led by the military.

ElBaradei would be a disaster. As head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he did more than anyone to make an Iranian nuclear bomb possible, covering for the mullahs for years. (As soon as he left, the IAEA issued a strikingly tough, unvarnished report about the program.)

Worse, ElBaradei has allied himself with the Muslim Brotherhood. Such an alliance is grossly unequal. The Brotherhood has organization, discipline and widespread support. In 2005, it won approximately 20 percent of parliamentary seats. ElBaradei has no constituency of his own, no political base, no political history within Egypt at all.

He has lived abroad for decades. He has less of a residency claim to Egypt than Rahm Emanuel has to Chicago. A man with no constituency allied with a highly organized and powerful political party is nothing but a mouthpiece and a figurehead, a useful idiot whom the Brotherhood will dispense with when it ceases to have need of a cosmopolitan frontman.

The Egyptian military, on the other hand, is the most stable and important institution in the country. It is Western-oriented and rightly suspicious of the Brotherhood. And it is widely respected, carrying the prestige of the 1952 Free Officers Movement that overthrew the monarchy and the 1973 October War that restored Egyptian pride along with the Sinai.

The military is the best vehicle for guiding the country to free elections over the coming months. Whether it does so with Mubarak at the top, or with Vice President Omar Suleiman or perhaps with some technocrat who arouses no ire among the demonstrators, matters not to us. If the army calculates that sacrificing Mubarak (through exile) will satisfy the opposition and end the unrest, so be it.

The overriding objective is a period of stability during which secularists and other democratic elements of civil society can organize themselves for the coming elections and prevail. ElBaradei is a menace. Mubarak will be gone one way or the other. The key is the military. The United States should say very little in public and do everything behind the scenes to help the military midwife—and then guarantee—what is still something of a long shot: Egyptian democracy.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/03/AR2011020305173.html

However, even more ominous is the following conclusion from an article by Arnaud de Borchgrave—editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—which states:

Between World War I and World War II, Egypt hovered between faux colonialism and faux democracy, between bad and worse. It has only known six years of real democracy (1946-52) in its 5,000-year history.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/2/the-mubarak-legend/

No American or citizen of any other nation should believe Barack Obama. He is a fool and a feckless naïf; and there are reports that the Israelis believe it too.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1369

What happens now is less important than what happens in the future; and there is reason to believe that Obama is losing Egypt, and may well lose the Middle East, or large parts of it. He is an unmitigated disaster with respect to this issue and essentially everything else that he touches.

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4 02 2011
DWBrown

Given the context you set up by your words and quote – the survival-threatening bind Israel will be in due to WMD and the geographical compression – what other outcome do you foresee?

Re: peace process being swept away….Since only one side is willing to negotiate towards a mutual coexistence, I’m not sure that the demise of the ‘peace process’ has any meaning. The struggle is just transitioning is the best that could be said.

In any case, the continuation of peace in its current form with little real ‘peaceful’ interaction (i.e. trade and movement of people) between Israel and its neighbors especially the largest one Egypt, may not be the best for Israel’s long term survival. Egypt’s population is kept suppressed and hostile towards Israel by a dictatorship ‘allied’ with the US (bought off might be a better more truthful description). It can neither grow economically, which might soften the hostility, nor can there be a decisive war with the alliance in place.

I agree that having Obama in charge does not inspire confidence that the outcome will be a good one, but no matter who is president the choices are not easy – this may be a case of finding the least bad outcome.

The biggest problem with Obama and his minions is that they really believe that the obstacle to peace is Israel when the real obstacle is elsewhere.

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4 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thanks for your comments, as always.

My guess is that the net result would be total annihilation, and no possibility of “victory” for anyone. Hopefully Americans are nowhere to be found when that happens. “Palestine” and other areas would all look like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but on an area-wide or regional basis. Armageddon would have occurred.

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5 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Barack Obama Becoming A Handmaiden To Islamic Fascists?

It is a given that Obama is a cowardly demagogue. For example, he failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election. The government of Iran is America’s enemy. Egypt’s Mubarak has been our ally, whom Obama has been “throwing under the bus”—which the Israelis understand fully, and watch with dismay and revulsion.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1367 (“Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It”)

The Brits—another staunch ally—are outraged that Obama has agreed to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets. The UK’s Telegraph has reported that Obama secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information about Britain’s nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign the New START Treaty, which is traitorous and an impeachable offense.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1383

The battle of Cairo has begun, just as battles have begun elsewhere in the Middle East. They will be ugly and brutal. When the dust settles finally, America’s far-Left, naïve, anti-war, narcissistic president—our “Hamlet on the Potomac” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama might have lost not just Egypt but the entire region, just as Carter lost Iran to Islamic fascists. The consequences will be mind-boggling.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1357; see also http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.4f6d274f3aeb88a025c7211f3b0a1ee7.3b1&show_article=1 (“Jordan will sooner or later be the target of an uprising similar to the ones in Tunisia and Egypt”)

Obama is a fool and a feckless naïf, who is pulling out of Iraq completely. His policies are leading to the utter failure of his Afghan War; and it is simply a matter of time before he cuts and runs from there as well. As shrewd as Hillary and Bill Clinton can be at times, they seem to miss the fact that we may be in the midst of “The Clash of Civilizations” that Samuel P. Huntington wrote about—which Richard Nixon worried about.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Clash_of_Civilizations; but see http://www.economist.com/node/18063852 (“[George W.] Bush was . . . a far more active champion of democracy than Mr Obama has been. . . . [T]he experts who scoffed at Mr Bush for thinking that Arabs wanted and were ready for democracy on the Western model are suddenly looking less clever—and Mr Bush’s simple and rather wonderful notion that Arabs want, deserve and are capable of democracy is looking rather wise”)

Islamic fascists find democratic movements and democracies abhorrent to them; and they are outwitting Obama at every turn, and making him into their handmaiden.

In an important Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Could al Qaeda Hijack Egypt’s Revolution?”—and subtitled, “Terrorists in Pakistan and mullahs in Tehran want to see chaos in Cairo. A splintered army and premature elections would help their cause”—Kenneth M. Pollack writes:

It is the nature of revolutions to be entirely unpredictable. Most fail, and even those that succeed often follow paths that no one foresaw—not their targets, not their protagonists, not the partisans on any side.

. . .

The uprising in Egypt is far from over, and neither is America’s necessary role. We must work to guard against the worst outcomes, which may seem remote but are all too likely in the unpredictable maelstrom of revolution:

The disintegration of the Egyptian army. Though hardly a paragon of democratic virtue, the army is the most important institution in Egypt, and it is vital to a peaceful transition to a moderate form of government. If the army fractures, Egypt will descend into chaos.

U.S. officials don’t know how loyal the army’s senior officers feel toward Hosni Mubarak, nor how sympathetic the enlisted men feel toward the protesters in Tahrir Square. Nor do we know where the loyalties of middle-ranking officers lie, but it is not hard to imagine that they are caught betwixt and between. At some point that no one will recognize until after the fact, the military may lose its cohesion and its ability to act on anyone’s behalf.

Thus the U.S. must maintain its extensive ties with Egypt’s soldiery, bolster their spirits, and encourage them to act as the impartial guardians of their country’s orderly transition. It’s imperative that the U.S. help Egypt past its current deadlock before divided loyalties tear apart the army.

Premature elections. If there is a need for a speedy resolution to the present impasse, the answer should not be an accelerated move to new elections. Where elections are concerned, speed kills.

Elections are an important element of democracy, but they are not synonymous with democracy. Few things can do more harm to a nascent democracy than premature elections.

. . .

Egypt is not ready to have good elections. It needs a new constitution and time for viable political leaders to establish parties, something the Mubarak regime prevented for 30 years. It is an open question whether eight months will be enough, but advancing that timetable would be incredibly reckless.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood likely represents only a minority of Egyptians, it probably would dominate any early elections. It is the only true mass party in Egypt, well-organized and disciplined, with a well-known track record and a well-understood political platform.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not al Qaeda, and it might provide reasonable leadership of a new government. But perhaps not. We simply don’t know, because Mr. Mubarak never allowed the Brotherhood any meaningful degree of participation in politics, so it never had to show its true colors.

It could be disastrous if the Brotherhood got to pick the next president of Egypt simply because it was the only organized party when elections were held.

A reprise of Lenin’s 1917 train ride into the Russian Revolution. Whatever our concerns about it, the Muslim Brotherhood is essentially the “Menshevik” faction of the Egyptian revolution. It espouses a moderate version of an ideology common among the Egyptian opposition and other Arab opposition movements, and it says it is willing to live and work within the constraints of a democratic system.

But revolutions often get hijacked by equivalents of the “Bolsheviks,” extremists who previously seemed so marginalized that they could never pose a real threat. The “Bolsheviks” of the Egyptian revolution are sitting in caves in Pakistan. They are the Salafist extremists of Ayman Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad and other groups that sought to bring about an Egyptian revolution throughout the 1990s. They waged a vicious terrorist campaign to try to do so and were ultimately driven from the country and into the arms of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, where they became one of its dominant factions.

We should not doubt that when Zawahiri and his cohorts heard the news from Tahrir Square, they were probably jubilant that the revolution they had sought for so long had begun. They were likely also frustrated that they were not there to hijack it and lead it toward the radical Islamist state they seek. Zawahiri is probably doing whatever he can to play catch-up—to dispatch his supporters to Egypt to take control of the revolution.

The Iranian regime is also gleeful about the collapse of Mr. Mubarak, one of America’s most important Arab allies and one of Tehran’s most passionate enemies. Iran’s mullahs often see opportunity in chaos and violence, believing that anything that disrupts the region’s American-backed status quo works to their advantage. Witness their various efforts over the years in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Bahrain.

Tehran may have already concluded that turmoil in Egypt suits its interests far more than any successful transition to stable democracy. Turmoil, after all, might prevent a new American ally from emerging and enhance the chances that Egypt’s new regime is more radical and friendly toward Iran. All of this gives Iran and al Qaeda common interests that may drive them toward tacit cooperation—with the goal of fomenting a modern Bolshevik Revolution.

In 1917, the Kaiser’s Germany famously arranged a train to take Vladimir Lenin from his exile in Switzerland across Germany to Russia. Berlin knew that Lenin was a wild radical who wished no good for Germany either, but it facilitated his entry into the Russian Revolution because it hoped he would make the situation worse and accelerate the collapse of the Russian state. It’s a model that could hold great appeal for Tehran today.

All of this may seem unlikely, but revolutions are also unlikely events, and once that threshold is crossed, old rules about what is normal and likely go out the window. That’s why those who start revolutions are rarely those who end up in charge when the smoke clears and the barricades come down. And it’s why the U.S., as Egypt’s friend and ally, must try to prevent a revolution made in the name of democracy from being hijacked by something much worse.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/KennethM.Pollack-CouldalQaedaHijackEgyptsRevolution.pdf; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703313304576132362771119834.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond (“In the Desert, a Tourist Drought”)

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12 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Collapse Of The Mubarak Regime, Wholly Unexpected A Month Ago, May Constitute A Precursor Of What Is To Come Elsewhere In The Middle East

Which countries are next? Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Israel? Where this stops, no one knows.

For those who think that it might never happen in Israel, the following comments—from an article in the UK’s Economist—are sobering:

[S]ome Israelis ask whether Palestinian police units—or Israeli security forces, for that matter—would really crush a mass democracy movement live on world television, after Egypt’s powerful army has set a precedent of forbearance.

. . .

[C]ould [Israel] win against masses of peaceful protesters in town squares across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel too, demanding political rights for Palestinians? It is a question that makes many Israelis queasy.

See http://www.economist.com/node/18065691 (“Worried Israel: Bad news for the Jewish state: Egypt’s upheaval is rattling the Israelis“); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1367 (“Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It”) and http://af.reuters.com/article/tunisiaNews/idAFLDE71C0KP20110213?sp=true (“Gaddafi tells Palestinians: revolt against Israel”)

Will the Jewish state be the next to fall—or among the next?

Another crucial question to ask is whether Barack Obama is the handmaiden of Islamic fascists, and whether he is facilitating the fall of America’s allies in the Middle East like dominoes?

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1385

With respect to Israel, it bears repeating that I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. I have always assumed that Israel would be attacked from outside of “Palestine,” but not from within.

. . .

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal states:

Political Islam is so 1979—nowhere more so than in Iran, where an opposition rose up two years ago with the same demands as the Egyptians, only to fail amid a ruthless and violent government crackdown. Egypt’s revolt should inspire the Iranians anew. . .

However, one must never forget that America’s far-Left, naïve, anti-war, narcissistic president—“Hamlet on the Potomac” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election.

Even worse, he coddled and gave comfort to America’s enemies, the brutal theocratic regime in that country. The Journal was guarded and too kind when it described his conduct as an “embarrassing silence.” It was nothing short of cruel; and he may have “signed” the death sentences of courageous Iranian protesters—but this is true of other uncaring, raving narcissists like Obama.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/IranianCrackdownGoesGlobal.pdf (“Iranian Crackdown Goes Global”) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/PresidentObamaSnubsIransDemocrats.pdf (“The President Snubs Iran’s Democrats”) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/Iransentences5todeathinpostelectionturmoil.pdf (“Iran sentences 5 to death in postelection turmoil”) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/IranianProtestersSentencedtoDeath.pdf (“An Alternative Nobel”)

For example, one Journal article—dated November 3, 2009—stated:

[C]ourageous and dignified overtures to the U.S. by [Iranian] Green Movement activists have been snubbed by the Obama administration. The administration has avoided discussion about the prospects for liberalization in a country that exports radical Islamist ideology throughout the Middle East and beyond. In regressive realpolitik fashion, it has grown increasingly reticent about the Iranian people’s struggle for human rights, apparently viewing it as irrelevant to U.S security interests. Rather than bolstering the opposition at a time when the Iranian regime is at its weakest, America is pursuing a policy of appeasement.

. . .

Iranian cyberspace is brimming with anger at what the Green Movement sees as betrayal by the West. From legendary filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi’s representative in Europe, to Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Iranian democrats are expressing disappointment at what they see as the trading of their democratic aspirations for dubious progress toward the goal of preventing a nuclear Iran.

“Engagement,” it turns out, is about nuclear weapons alone—no matter how many innocent Iranians are being beaten, tortured, raped and killed for expressing their hope for change.

. . .

Can the Obama administration achieve anything with Ahmadinejad’s cabal on the nuclear front that could possibly justify its betrayal of the Iranian people and American values?

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/PresidentObamaSnubsIransDemocrats.pdf

Also, the four articles cited immediately above stated: (1) the regime cracked down hard at home, and a Wall Street Journal investigation showed that it extended that crackdown to many of the 4 million Iranians living abroad as well; (2) Obama’s “engagement” with Iran was about nuclear weapons alone, no matter how many innocent Iranians were being beaten, tortured, raped and killed for expressing their hope for change; (3) the Iranian courts sentenced at least 89 defendants and 81 of them got prison terms ranging from six months up to 15 years; (4) the Obama Administration downplayed human rights in Iran as it pursued a negotiated nuclear settlement with the Ahmadinejad government; and (5) forgotten—at least by Barack Obama—is 27-year old Neda Aga Soltan, whose murder in June of 2009 by one of Ahmadinejad’s goon squads was captured on a video seen around the world.

. . .

In the final analysis, what is happening in Egypt and elsewhere may be another vindication of George W. Bush. Indeed, the Journal added:

This is also a day to note that George W. Bush was the President who broke with the foreign policy establishment and declared that Arabs deserved political freedom as much as the rest of the world. He was reviled for it by many of the same pundits who are now claiming solidarity with Egyptians in the streets.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704364004576132281877448852.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop; see also http://www.economist.com/node/18063852 (“[George W.] Bush was . . . a far more active champion of democracy than Mr Obama has been. . . . [T]he experts who scoffed at Mr Bush for thinking that Arabs wanted and were ready for democracy on the Western model are suddenly looking less clever—and Mr Bush’s simple and rather wonderful notion that Arabs want, deserve and are capable of democracy is looking rather wise”) and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/03/AR2011030304239.html (“[R]evolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush’s freedom agenda”)

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17 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Middle East Is On Fire Again, And Crazy Muslims With Funny Names Aren’t Helping Things—. . . Barack . . .

This is the first paragraph of Ann Coulter’s latest column entitled, “Democrats: Emboldening America’s Enemies & Terrifying Her Allies Since 1976,” which added:

The major new development is that NOW liberals want to get rid of a dictator in the Middle East! Where were they when we were taking out the guy with the rape rooms?

Remember? The one who had gassed his own people, invaded his neighbors and was desperately seeking weapons of mass destruction?

. . .

Liberals couldn’t have been less interested in removing Saddam Hussein and building a democracy in Iraq.

. . .

Liberals angrily cited the high unemployment rate in Egypt as a proof that Mubarak was a beast who must step down. Did they, by any chance, see the January employment numbers for the United States?

. . .

You know another country where Obama wasn’t interested in democracy? (I mean, besides the U.S. when it comes to health care reform?) That’s right—Iran.

. . .

When peaceful Iranian students were protesting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s stolen election in 2009, we didn’t hear a peep out of Obama. The students had good reason to believe the election had been rigged. In some pro-Ahmadinejad districts, turnout was more than 100 percent.

Wait, no, I’m sorry—that was Al Franken’s election to the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. But there was also plenty of vote-stealing in Ahmadinejad’s election.

When it came to Iran, however, the flame of democracy didn’t burn so brightly in liberal hearts. Even when the Iranian protester, Neda [Aga Soltan], was shot dead while standing peacefully on a street in Tehran, Obama responded by . . . going out for an ice cream cone.

But a mob of Egyptians start decapitating mummies, and Obama was on the horn telling Mubarak he had to leave. Obama didn’t acknowledge Neda’s existence, but the moment Egyptians started rioting, Obama said, “We hear your voices.”

. . .

The fact that liberals support democracy in Egypt, but not in Iraq or Iran, can mean only one thing: Democracy in Egypt will be bad for the United States and its allies. (As long as we’re on the subject, liberals also opposed democracy in Russia, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and all the Soviet satellite states, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Grenada, Nicaragua and Minnesota.)

Democrats are all for meddling in other countries—but only provided a change of regime will harm U.S. national security interests.

Time and again, Democrats’ fecklessness has emboldened America’s enemies and terrified its allies. . . .

For 50 years, Democrats have harbored traitors, lost wars, lost continents to communism, hobnobbed with the nation’s enemies, attacked America’s allies, and counseled retreat and surrender. Or as they call it, “foreign policy.”

As Joe McCarthy once said, if liberals were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that at least some of their decisions would serve America’s interests.

See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41848; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1408

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24 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Gates Presses Israeli And Palestinian Leaders To Restart Peace Talks

Reuters has reported:

“[U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates] will make the general argument that … the Israelis have a very deep strategic interest in getting out in front of the wave of populism that’s sweeping the region,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Showing real progress on the peace track with the Palestinians would put them in a much better position for where the region’s likely to be in six months or a year from now.”

. . .

Gates would make a similar argument to Israel that he’s been making to Arab allies as he travels throughout the region “that they need to get out in front of this push for political change.”

Gates is fresh from a visit to Egypt, where longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was toppled in an uprising last month. He was in Bahrain less than two weeks ago, urging reform there.

On Wednesday in Cairo, Gates expressed amazement at the speed with which the revolts have spread “regardless of the diversity of the governments involved.”

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110324/pl_nm/us_israel_usa_gates

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24 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Egypt Air Removes Israel From Map

In an article that is subtitled, “Jordan stretches to sea in online map by Egypt’s largest airline, though it continues to fly to Israel,” it is reported:

Egypt Air, the largest airline in Egypt, has removed Israel from the map—literally. On its website, Ynet has learned, Jordan’s land reaches the Mediterranean Sea.

The airline’s subsidiary, Air Sinai, flies to Israel regularly, but customers seeking flights to Ben Gurion National Airport will have a hard time finding them. On the map are the names of the Mideast capitals—Amman, Beirut, and Damascus—but Israel is nowhere to be found.

See http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4046460,00.html

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3 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Most Countries—More Than 100—Are Expected To Vote Yes On The Issue Of Palestinian Statehood, Meaning It Will Pass In The UN’s General Assembly

In an important article entitled, “In Israel, Time for Peace Offer May Run Out,” the New York Times reported:

With revolutionary fervor sweeping the Middle East, Israel is under mounting pressure to make a far-reaching offer to the Palestinians or face a United Nations vote welcoming the State of Palestine as a member whose territory includes all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority has been steadily building support for such a resolution in September, a move that could place Israel into a diplomatic vise. Israel would be occupying land belonging to a fellow United Nations member. . . .

. . .

Not a single government supports Israel’s settlements. The Palestinians say the settlements are proof that the Israelis do not really want a Palestinian state to arise since they are built on land that should go to that state.

. . .

[C]ome September the Palestinian Authority seems set to go ahead with plans to ask the General Assembly to accept it as a member. Diplomats involved in the issue say most countries—more than 100—are expected to vote yes, meaning it will pass. (There are no vetoes in the General Assembly so the United States cannot save Israel as it often has in the Security Council.)

What happens then?

Some Palestinian leaders say relations with Israel would change.

. . .

Israel would then be in daily violation of the rights of a fellow member state and diplomatic and legal consequences could follow, all of which would be painful for Israel.

In the Haaretz newspaper on Thursday, Ari Shavit, who is a political centrist, drew a comparison between 2011 and the biggest military setback Israel ever faced, the 1973 war.

He wrote that “2011 is going to be a diplomatic 1973,” because a Palestinian state will be recognized internationally. “Every military base in the West Bank will be contravening the sovereignty of an independent U.N. member state.” He added, “A diplomatic siege from without and a civil uprising from within will grip Israel in a stranglehold.”

See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/world/middleeast/03mideast.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1405

Arguably the Palestinians would be smart to go to the UN, and establish the State of Palestine, without waiting any longer. If it happens, this is what the “leadership” of Netanyahu will have produced.

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12 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

UN: Palestinian Institutions Ready For Statehood

Reuters has reported:

The Palestinian Authority is ready to run an independent state but will struggle to make further institutional progress due to the restrictions of the Israeli occupation, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The U.N. report followed equally upbeat assessments of the PA’s nation-building achievements released over the past week by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The positive statements comes before a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday of aid donor countries which will review Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s drive to construct the framework of a state by mid-2011.

“In six areas where the U.N. is most engaged, governmental functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state,” said the report, entitled “Palestinian State-building: A Decisive Period.”

It listed the six areas as rule of law and human rights; livelihoods; education and culture; health; social protection; and infrastructure and water.

However, it said the PA could not make significant further advances given the continued Israeli occupation of much of the West Bank and a breakdown in Middle East peace talks.

“Measures of occupation which stifle Palestinian life need to be fundamentally rolled back by more far reaching Israeli actions to match the progress of the state-building program,” the report said.

. . .

Given the impasse, Palestinian leaders aim to ask the United Nations General Assembly in September for recognition of statehood on all of the territory Israel occupied in 1967, including Gaza—over which the PA has no control.

. . .

[T]he report said the main constraint to the creation and successful running of a Palestinian nation remained the Israeli occupation. Israel still controlled 62 percent of the West Bank, including major road links, it said.

“The current situation leaves Palestinians significantly constrained in terms of movement of people and goods and access to land,” the report said.

Israel says the security controls are needed to maintain security in the West Bank, which is home to around 2.5 million Palestinians and 192,000 Israeli settlers.

See http://ca.news.yahoo.com/palestinian-institutions-ready-statehood-u-n-20110412-070929-139.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1545

As an article in the UK’s Economist has noted:

[S]ome Israelis ask whether Palestinian police units—or Israeli security forces, for that matter—would really crush a mass democracy movement live on world television, after Egypt’s powerful army has set a precedent of forbearance.

. . .

[C]ould [Israel] win against masses of peaceful protesters in town squares across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel too, demanding political rights for Palestinians? It is a question that makes many Israelis queasy.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1405

Will the “Scent of Jasmine” that began in Tunisia spread to and engulf Israel, or will peace reign and the new State of Palestine be established?

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18 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will The Scent Of Jasmine Spawn Democratic Revolutions Like Those Of Eastern Europe, Or Islamic Revolutions Like Iran?

This is the dichotomy posed by Israel’s Netanyahu, which is discussed in an article entitled, “Arab Spring may turn into Iranian winter: Israel PM”:

The pro-democracy uprisings sweeping through the Arab world are in danger of being manipulated by Iran’s Islamic Republic, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu warned in an interview with AFP.

. . . [T]he Israeli premier said the unprecedented protests sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa could go one of two ways.

“What we hope to see is the European Spring of 1989,” he said, referring to the year which marked a turning point for the wave of revolutions sweeping through the Eastern Bloc which led to the break-up of the Soviet Union two years later.

But Tehran, he warned, was trying to cash in on the tide of mass uprising sweeping the region to turn it to its advantage in a bid to repeat the events of 1979 and the Islamic Revolution.

“We could find that the Arab Spring turns into an Iranian winter,” he warned.

Since the start of the unprecedented popular protests in January, which first saw millions take to the streets of Tunisia and Egypt in a movement which has then swept through the region, Israel has been raising the spectre of an Iranian-style theocracy moving in to take over.

“In a time of chaos, an organised Islamic group can take over the state. It happened in Iran and it also happened in other places,” the Israeli premier said in February.

In Iran, mass protests against the Western-backed Shah erupted in January 1978 and he was forced out a year later, leaving a power vacuum that was grasped by the exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who returned to set up the Islamic Republic.

Since then, the Iranian regime has become Israel’s most virulent enemy, with its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly predicting the demise of the Jewish state.

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.eb63d08c46fc03277ee2b129a6b13866.c41&show_article=1

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10 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Israel A Villa In The Jungle?

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz asks and answers this question in an important editorial entitled, “Israel is a country evading reality”—and subtitled, “Israel is not located on a different planet than its neighbors. It cannot cut itself off from the storms raging in the Middle East, from the spirit of the times or from its growing isolation”—which is worth reading. It states in pertinent part the following:

On the eve of the 63rd anniversary of its independence, more than ever Israel ostensibly appears like the “villa in the jungle” that Defense Minister Ehud Barak referred to. It enjoys stable governance, strong democracy, economic power and relative quiet on the security front. In the region, on the other hand, the ground is shaking under Israel’s neighbors and altering the geopolitical situation, with regimes being toppled and leaders slaughtering their own citizens, and with the adversaries of yesterday closing ranks . . . , including a real Palestinian state on our doorstep.

Anyone getting heady from the quiet in the eye of the storm should not ignore its transient nature and its fragility. Israel is not located on a different planet than its neighbors. It cannot cut itself off from the storms raging in the Middle East, from the spirit of the times or from its growing isolation.

That is apparently not the Israeli government’s line of thinking, however, in that it is acting as if the image of the villa in the jungle does not represent unfortunate constraints, devoid of a bright future, but rather an ideal worth promoting and perpetuating. Led by a prime minister who instinctively deflects any initiative or change, who sows fear and foils any positive prospects, pouncing on any proof that there is no partner for diplomatic dialogue, the country in its 63rd year looks like someone on whom old age has suddenly crept up: withdrawn and shut-in, paralyzed with fear, repressing what it sees out the window, entrenched in its views. Its initiatives reflect a steadfast embrace of every status quo, casting aspersions at every change, complaining to the world and frightening its own citizens over the dangers lurking in the jungle and the ostensibly unavoidable “next war.”

. . . The changes in the region, . . . including the demise of autocratic regimes and efforts at unity among the Palestinians, present not only risks but also new possibilities for creative leadership.

Does Israel have such a leadership? Beyond any specific diplomatic step one wonders, particularly on Independence Day, where that creative, optimistic, peace-seeking spirit that reverberated in Israel in the past has gone, and how it was supplanted by a passive and introverted mentality, evading reality—particularly the reality of positive prospects and opportunities.

See http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-is-a-country-evading-reality-1.360637

Netanyahu is an impediment to peace; and there seems to be an almost complete leadership void or vacuum in Israel. Where is today’s Yitzhak Rabin who recognizes the new opportunities for creative leadership and seizes them and the helm of Israel—and is not killed in the process?

Given Netanyahu’s continued intransigence and obstructionism—which is unlikely to change one iota—it is arguable that those who want lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians should welcome the UN efforts, not obstruct them. Such developments might change the entire political equation and landscape dramatically, in a positive direction.

A UN vote welcoming the State of Palestine as a member—whose territory includes all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem—might constitute diplomatic recognition of the new state by more than 100 countries that are expected to vote “yes” on the issue of Palestinian statehood, and be consistent with the “Scent of Jasmine” that has been sweeping the Middle East. This UN vote is described by Ethan Bronner in a recent New York Times’ article; and it may do more to advance the peace process than anything that both Netanyahu and Barack Obama will ever do before it happens.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/world/middleeast/03mideast.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1545 (“Most Countries—More Than 100—Are Expected To Vote Yes On The Issue Of Palestinian Statehood, Meaning It Will Pass In The UN’s General Assembly”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1559 (“UN: Palestinian Institutions Ready For Statehood”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8514919/Mossad-carries-out-daring-London-raid-on-Syrian-official.html (“Mossad carries out daring London raid on Syrian official”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1387322/16-shot-dead-dozens-injured-violence-erupts-Israels-borders-Syria.html (“16 dead, dozens injured as violence erupts along Israel’s borders with Syria”) and http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-05-19-israel-middle-east-uprising-future_n.htm (“Israelis split on impact of Middle East uprisings”) and http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/05/20/Commentary-Israel-So-Nu/UPI-19401305890346/ (“It [is] easier to spot the rites of hell in the Arab world than the rites of spring”)

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21 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The 1967 Borders

The Wall Street Journal had two articles about this subject, and whether such borders are defensible by Israel. Both argue that they are not; however, if a majority of the UN General Assembly’s members vote “yes” on the issue of Palestinian statehood, based on such borders, query what this will mean?

An editorial in the Journal stated:

[A]ll attention is now focused on the coda [Barack Obama] offered about the Arab-Israeli conflict, in which he said that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines.” Though he immediately added that those lines should be adjusted “with mutually agreed swaps” of territory “so that secure and recognized borders are established for both parties,” it’s the 1967 line that is sticking.

. . .

Most Israelis would not object to a Palestinian state, even on the 1967 lines, if its politics resembled those of, say, Canada. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s problem is that political trends among the Palestinians lean more in the direction of Iran, despite some recent promising economic trends.

Nor does it help that Mr. Obama wants Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory even before the two sides resolve the issues of the status of Jerusalem and of the 1948 Palestinian refugees, recently in the news with their attempt to force their way through Israel’s borders.

. . .

[Obama] provided Palestinian hardliners with a negotiating line that will become totemic to them and their sympathizers in the years ahead, no matter what happens on the ground.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/The1967LineofFire.pdf

An article by Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations—entitled, “Israel’s 1967 Borders Aren’t Defensible”—added:

It’s no secret that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to lobby the U.N. General Assembly this September for a resolution that will predetermine the results of any Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on borders. He made clear in a New York Times op-ed this week that he will insist that member states recognize a Palestinian state on 1967 lines, meaning Israel’s boundaries before the Six Day War.

Unfortunately, even President Barack Obama appears to have been influenced by this thinking. He asserted in a speech Thursday that Israel’s future borders with a Palestinian state “should be based on the 1967 lines,” a position he tried to offset by offering “mutually agreed land swaps.” Mr. Abbas has said many times that any land swaps would be minuscule.

. . .

The truth is that Mr. Abbas has chosen a unilateralist course instead of negotiations. For that reason he has no problem tying his fate to Hamas, the radical organization that is the antithesis of peace. Its infamous 1988 Charter calls for Israel’s complete destruction and sees Islam in an historic battle with the Jewish people.

. . .

As [Abbas] wrote this week: “Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one.”

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703421204576329373006279638.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

Indeed, Abbas wrote:

Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.

Our quest for recognition as a state should not be seen as a stunt; too many of our men and women have been lost for us to engage in such political theater. We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own. We cannot wait indefinitely while Israel continues to send more settlers to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem. Neither political pressure nor promises of rewards by the United States have stopped Israel’s settlement program.

. . .

Despite Israel’s attempt to deny us our long-awaited membership in the community of nations, we have met all prerequisites to statehood listed in the Montevideo Convention, the 1933 treaty that sets out the rights and duties of states. The permanent population of our land is the Palestinian people, whose right to self-determination has been repeatedly recognized by the United Nations, and by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Our territory is recognized as the lands framed by the 1967 border, though it is occupied by Israel.

We have the capacity to enter into relations with other states and have embassies and missions in more than 100 countries. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union have indicated that our institutions are developed to the level where we are now prepared for statehood. Only the occupation of our land hinders us from reaching our full national potential; it does not impede United Nations recognition.

See also http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/opinion/17abbas.html

As Ethan Bronner pointed out in a New York Times article, if more than 100 countries vote “yes” in the UN General Assembly on the issue of Palestinian statehood, based on the 1967 borders, it will potentially create a conundrum of unfathomable and dangerous proportions for the Israelis—which might determine the State of Israel’s very existence ultimately.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1545; see also http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-20/netanyahus-ill-advised-white-house-tantrum-over-obamas-mideast-speech/?om_rid=NsfkQq&om_mid=_BN18WLB8bTQEfB# (“Netanyahu’s rejection of Obama’s Mideast speech underestimated the president’s strength—and could hasten the Israeli leader’s political demise”) and http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-23/benjamin-netanyahus-bizarre-response-to-obamas-proposal-for-negotiations-with-palestinians/?om_rid=NsfkQq&om_mid=_BN2konB8bVoy$r (“[T]he U.N. General Assembly will vote, probably overwhelmingly, to recognize a Palestinian state along Israel’s 1967 borders. . . . [Netanyahu] has made it easy for the Palestinians to eschew negotiations and stick with their U.N. strategy. Obama threw him a lifeline and he has defiantly tossed it back. It makes you wonder whether Netanyahu has any grasp of the world in which he is living. . . . Does he have any strategy for the ‘diplomatic tsunami’—in Ehud Barak’s words—that is about to hit?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1587 (“Is Israel A Villa In The Jungle?”)

. . .

Perhaps most prophetic about Israel’s future is an article by political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, who is himself a Jew. While the article was intended to present a stark choice for Jewish-American voters, between Obama and the Jewish state’s survival, it underscores Israel’s perilous future. Among other things, Morris writes:

No American Jew who values the existence of the nation of Israel can kid himself any longer. President Obama is against the Jewish state. His speech on Thursday overtly embraces the position of the Palestinians and is designed to force Israel to surrender to their domination.

How else are we to interpret a demand that Israel return to its 1967 borders and that this be the starting point for further negotiations?

. . .

To force Israel into indefensible borders is not a prelude to a solution. It is the prelude to a modern equivalent of the Final Solution—the destruction of Israel and of the seven million Jews who live there.

Who can pretend that shrinking Israel would appease the Arabs any more than dismembering Czechoslovakia appeased Hitler?

. . .

The consequences for Jewish Democrats of Obama’s remarks are profound. They must each now choose, bluntly and without room for equivocation between their support for Obama and their backing for Israel. It is not Israel or the Republican Party that has forced this choice upon them. It is the President himself whose anti-Israel bias has never been more blatantly on display.

As President Obama solicits funds from American Jews, let us all remember our family, friends, and compatriots in Israel and honor them by saying no. It is the time for American Jews to choose. Just like it was in 1938.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/obamas-war-on-israel/#more-3142

. . .

Next—in an article entitled, “What Obama did to Israel”—the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer writes:

[L]ast week in his State Department speech, President Obama . . . declared that the Arab-Israeli conflict should . . . be resolved along “the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”

Nothing new here, said Obama three days later. “By definition, it means that the parties themselves—Israelis and Palestinians—will negotiate a border that is different” from 1967.

It means nothing of the sort. “Mutually” means both parties have to agree. And if one side doesn’t? Then, by definition, you’re back to the 1967 lines.

. . .

Indeed, in September the Palestinians are going to the United Nations to get the world to ratify precisely that—a Palestinian state on the ’67 lines. No swaps.

Note how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position. He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war—its only bargaining chip.

. . .

Obama didn’t just move the goal posts on borders. He also did so on the so-called right of return. Flooding Israel with millions of Arabs would destroy the world’s only Jewish state while creating a 23rd Arab state and a second Palestinian state. . . .

. . .

The only remaining question is whether this perverse and ultimately self-defeating policy is born of [Obama's] genuine antipathy toward Israel or of the arrogance of a blundering amateur who refuses to see that he is undermining not just peace but the very possibility of negotiations.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-obama-did-to-israel/2011/05/26/AGJfYJCH_story.html

As I have stated before, Obama views Israel with antipathy—if not genuine hatred—as the oppressor, and the Palestinians as the oppressed, much as he viewed apartheid in South Africa; and he views Netanyahu as the embodiment or personification of that oppression.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304066504576341212934894494.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion (“An Anti-Israel President”)

. . .

What would a lopsided vote in the UN—in favor of Palestinian statehood—mean for Israel, as a practical matter? It would be disastrous, and might lead to (1) the isolation of Israel by the world community; (2) divestment of investments in Israel and Israel-related entities, and a boycott of its products; (3) limits on the travel of Israeli officials and other Israeli citizens; (4) charges being brought in national and international tribunals against Israelis and the State of Israel; (5) riots like those sweeping other countries, which Israel would be hard pressed to put down; and (6) the list goes on and on.

Such a lopsided vote in favor of statehood would represent the utter failure of Netanyahu and his government, and Israel’s rejection by the world community. At some point, Netanyahu may be urged to resign, and forced to do so—and humiliated. The problem is that Israel has a leadership vacuum. Where is Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin today? Also, if things get as bad as they might, can the “Genie” be put back in the jar, or will chaos descend—and will it be too late? There is the suggestion already that some of Israel’s brighter minds in the tech field might flee to Silicon Valley or elsewhere.

Like the game of chess, once the State of Palestine is created and sanctioned by a lopsided vote in its favor by a majority of the UN General Assembly’s members, Israel might be in “check.” If so, can “checkmate” be far off?

But see http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-israel-cannot-prevent-un-recognition-of-palestinian-state-1.364963

. . .

And now it begins . . .

As the UK’s Economist noted:

[S]ome Israelis ask whether Palestinian police units—or Israeli security forces, for that matter—would really crush a mass democracy movement live on world television, after Egypt’s powerful army has set a precedent of forbearance.

. . .

[C]ould [Israel] win against masses of peaceful protesters in town squares across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel too, demanding political rights for Palestinians? It is a question that makes many Israelis queasy.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1405; see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8557772/Israeli-troops-fire-on-Palestinian-protesters-killing-four.html (“Israeli troops fire on Palestinian protesters, killing four”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8558216/20-dead-as-Israeli-troops-fire-on-Golan-Heights-protesters.html (“’20 dead’ as Israeli troops fire on Golan Heights protesters”) and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304474804576366973385341118.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories (“Syria’s state news agency said 23 people were killed and more than 350 were injured”)

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6 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will An Unchecked Netanyahu Act Irresponsibly, Dangerously And Disastrously?

Veteran TIME magazine political columnist Joe Klein wrote a potentially-important column entitled, “Some Sanity From Israel,” which is worth reading. It stated in pertinent part:

Given the lingering hangover effects of Benjamin Netanyahu’s arrogant visit upon his American supporters—bitterness (toward Obama), smugness, delusion—the recent testimony of just-retired Mossad Chief Meir Dagan has provided a needed corrective. Like most recent Mossad chiefs, Dagan is a realist. He sees the big, long-term picture. And he excoriates both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on two critical topics: Iran and the Palestinian peace process.

In the past, Dagan had called an Israeli military strike on Iran “a stupid idea” and he elaborated on that this week:

This week Mr. Dagan, speaking at Tel Aviv University, said that attacking Iran “would mean regional war, and in that case you would have given Iran the best possible reason to continue the nuclear program.” He added, “The regional challenge that Israel would face would be impossible.” Mr. Dagan went on to complain that Israel had failed to put forward a peace initiative with the Palestinians and that it had foolishly ignored the Saudi peace initiative promising full diplomatic relations in exchange for a return to the 1967 border lines. He worried that Israel would soon be pushed into a corner.

Furthermore, Dagan revealed that other recently-resigned military leaders felt the same way:

In recent months, the military chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, and the director of the Shin Bet internal security agency, Yuval Diskin, have also stepped down. Mr. Dagan was quoted in several newspapers as saying that the three of them had served as a counterweight to Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak. “I decided to speak out because when I was in office, Diskin, Ashkenazi and I could block any dangerous adventure,” he was quoted as saying. “Now I am afraid that there is no one to stop Bibi and Barak,” he added, using Mr. Netanyahu’s nickname.

It seems to me that American neoconservatives—as well as fellow-traveling Democrats like Harry Reid and Steny Hoyer—have some explaining to do when they side with Netanyahu, not just against the combined heads of Israel’s internal and external spy services and the Israeli military, but also against their own President, Barack Obama. This also should put a lid on the disgraceful canard . . . that those of us who disagree with Netanyahu are somehow anti-Israel. Indeed, I have far more faith in the judgment of Israel’s defense professionals than I do in the leader of a political party that caters the to whims of religious fanatics, illegal settlers and American evangelicals hoping for the Rapture. . . . [Netanyahu's] . . . positions are . . . terribly, perhaps disastrously, wrong.

See http://swampland.time.com/2011/06/05/some-sanity-from-israel/ (emphasis added)

In a hard-hitting commentary—entitled, “Bibi: Et Tu Brutus?”—Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International, confirmed what Klein wrote, and added:

The [UN General Assembly Palestinian statehood] vote is expected to be unanimous—other than two dissenters: The United States and Israel.

This is when Dagan expects Netanyahu to attack Iran. By going public now, he hopes to put the kibosh on the well-rehearsed plan.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/06/06/Commentary-Bibi-Et-Tu-Brutus/UPI-15191307361251/; see also http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/08/05/Commentary-Black-swans-galore/UPI-12431312550158/

Dagan, Ashkenazi, and Diskin are not lightweights, nor are they anything other than total Israeli patriots. Yet, imagine Netanyahu making some truly irresponsible and dangerous moves—which are “unchecked”—simply because he can. Nothing short of scary. However, being the raving narcissist and demagogue that he is, anything is possible.

It is small wonder that he was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient. If anything, they seem like an understatement today.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran (see also the footnotes and other comments beneath this article)

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18 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Mass Protests Like The Kind Seen In Arab Nations In Recent Months Would Be Unstoppable

In an article entitled, “Israelis, Palestinians brace for massive statehood protests,” the Los Angeles Times has reported:

A month before a potentially historic United Nations showdown over Palestinian statehood, [Palestinians and Israelis] are mobilizing for the possibility of mass street protests that some fear could spiral into a violent uprising.

. . .

“There will be activities everywhere—against the wall [Israel's separation barrier], against the settlements and against the occupation,” said Wasel Abu Yousef, who heads the Palestine Liberation Front, a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “We want to escalate all popular protests.”

. . .

A new Facebook page launched by the Palestinian Authority seeks to organize and motivate young people to support a Sept. 20 demonstration, dubbed Palestine 194 to signify Palestinians’ hopes of becoming the 194th state to be recognized by the U.N. General Assembly. That decision would be made later in the month.

. . .

Military officials are particularly worried about large-scale demonstrations attempting to swarm into Jewish settlements in the West Bank or break through checkpoints into Jerusalem.

One military officer told the newspaper Haaretz that mass protests like the kind seen in Arab nations in recent months would be “unstoppable. Such a great number of determined people cannot be stopped by tear gas and rubber bullets.”

. . .

Palestinian officials said Israel was exaggerating the potential threat.

“All indications show that we will have only peaceful demonstrations,” said Maj. Gen. Adnan Damiri, a spokesman for the Palestinian security forces. “We are not nervous nor on alert. The Israelis have their reasons and motives. They want to show to the world that by going to the U.N. we are taking this region and the world to war. We do not see it the same way.”

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-palestinians-protest-20110818,0,2483570.story (emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1629 (“Will An Unchecked Netanyahu Act Irresponsibly, Dangerously And Disastrously?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1599 (“The 1967 Borders”)

Will the “Arab Spring” and the “Scent of Jasmine” engulf Israel? Only time will tell.

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20 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Israel Issues A Rare Apology For The Killing Of Three Egyptian Security Officers

The New York Times has reported:

Diplomats scrambled to avert a crisis in relations between Egypt and Israel on Saturday, and the Israeli government issued a rare statement of regret for the killing of three Egyptian security officers by an Israeli warplane.

Tensions between the two countries, which at one point on Saturday led Egypt to announce that it would recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv, reached the worst point since the historic Camp David peace accords three decades ago, spurred by a burst of violence along their shared border in the Sinai Peninsula. A series of attacks there killed eight Israelis on Thursday; the Israeli government then retaliated against Gaza-based militants, and the three Egyptians died in the crossfire.

. . .

[B]reaking a customary silence on the Sabbath, the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, released a statement saying, “We regret the deaths of members of the Egyptian security forces during the terror attack on the Israeli-Egyptian border.”

Mr. Barak, who had seemed on Thursday to blame lax Egyptian security for allowing the attacks near the border, said that after an internal inquiry, an Israeli-Egyptian committee would investigate. And he went on to note the importance of the peace treaty with Egypt and his admiration for the judgment and responsibility of the Egyptian people.

It was not immediately clear whether his statement would satisfy Egyptian demands for an apology. Thousands of protesters demonstrated for a second night outside the Israeli Embassy [in Cairo] on Saturday, demanding the expulsion of the ambassador. The crowd was expected to grow after Muslims break their Ramadan fast at the end of the day. Egyptian state television reported that the protesters were divided between celebrating Mr. Barak’s concession and holding out for more.

The crisis has been the sharpest signal yet that the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February is transforming the three-decade-old alliance between Egypt and Israel that has been the cornerstone of the regional political order.

By removing Mr. Mubarak’s authoritarian but dependably loyal government, the revolution has stripped away a bulwark of Israel’s position in the region, unleashing the Egyptian public’s pent-up anger at Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians at a time when a transitional government is scrambling to maintain its own legitimacy in the Egyptian streets.

Mohamed Bassiouni, a former Egyptian ambassador to Israel, called the episode a lesson to Israel about the new politics of a more democratic Egypt, where the ruling military council and aspiring political candidates are eager to stay in step.

. . .

While some Israeli officials say they await the results of an internal investigation, at least one Israeli military officer has acknowledged that the Egyptian officers were killed by Israeli fire. After militants killed eight Israelis in three attacks near the Red Sea resort city of Eilat on Thursday, Israel retaliated against the Gaza-based militants it blamed for the assaults. An Israeli warplane chasing suspects across the border into Egypt fired into a group of Egyptian soldiers and police officers, killing three.

. . .

Israelis have complained for months that Egypt’s transitional government has failed to restore security on its side of the shared border in the Sinai Peninsula, allowing a series of five unexplained bombings to disrupt the flow of natural gas to Israel that is crucial to its energy supply. The Egyptian police have all but completely withdrawn from the Bedouin-dominated northern Sinai since the revolution. . . .

. . .

Israel’s relations with Turkey, a once-close regional ally, have seriously deteriorated since Israel’s deadly commando raid on a Turkish boat trying to challenge the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza in May 2010. Israel said last week that precluding any imminent restoration of ties, it would not comply with Turkish demands for an apology for the killing of nine activists after a confrontation broke out on board the vessel. Now, the episode with Egypt has heightened anxiety about the future of the 30-year peace that has weathered Israel’s wars in Lebanon and Gaza as well as two Palestinian uprisings.

“There are people in Egypt who would like to push the ruling military council in Cairo to sever relations with Israel,” said Shlomo Avineri, a political scientist at Hebrew University and onetime director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, “and we should do everything possible to avoid further confrontation and deterioration.”

See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/world/middleeast/21egypt.html?hp (emphasis added)

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1 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Lessons of Baghdad: Obama And NATO Snookered By Al Qaeda And China In Libya?

In a Wall Street Journal article entitled, “From Baghdad to Tripoli”—and subtitled, “In stark contrast to the challenges faced by Iraq, fair winds attend the Libyan venture”—Fouad Ajami has written:

The spectacles of joy in Tripoli today recall the delirious scenes in Baghdad’s Firdos Square in 2003—the statues pulled down, the palaces of faux grandeur and kitsch ransacked by people awakening to their own sense of violation and power, the man at the helm who had been full of might and bravado making a run for it, exposed as a paranoid and pretender, living in fear of his day of reckoning.

In neither case had the people of these two tormented societies secured their liberty on their own. In Baghdad, the Baathist reign of terror would have lasted indefinitely had George W. Bush not pushed it into its grave. There had been no sign of organized resistance in that terrified land, not since the end of the 1991 Gulf War and the slaughter that quelled the Shiite uprising.

Libya offered its own mix of native resistance and foreign help.

. . .

But it was Egypt, the big country on Libya’s eastern frontier, that shook the Libyan tyranny. In February, after a popular insurrection that held the Arab world enthralled, Hosni Mubarak bent to his people’s will and relinquished power. Six days later a spark caught fire in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city. A reluctant American president was pulled into the fight. Gadhafi’s fate was sealed—NATO would function as the air force of the rebellion.

. . .

But Libya is not the historical knot that Iraq was, and for all the surface similarities, Gadhafi was never the menace that Saddam had been. In stark contrast to the challenges faced by Iraq, fair winds attend this Libyan venture.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/FouadAjami-FromBaghdadtoTripoli.pdf

This rosy assessment for Libya stands in sharp contrast with the sobering views of Arnaud de Borchgrave—the distinguished editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

Indeed, de Borchgrave has written:

After 42 years in power in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi’s regime is history but unmentioned during NATO’s five-month bombing campaign is that the victorious rebel regime of Benghazi is heavily infiltrated by Islamist extremists.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/08/22/Commentary-New-world-disorder/UPI-22821314015006/

Even more disturbing are the following facts about Libya, which de Borchgrave has described in great detail in an article—entitled, “Global con?”—which is essential reading:

Were the United States, France, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Qatar and the United Arad Emirates—the NATO-led coalition that set out to overthrow Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime—snookered by al-Qaida? A preposterous scenario with some disturbing factual elements.

. . .

“[T]he story of how an al-Qaida asset turned out to be the top Libyan military commander in still war-torn Tripoli is bound to shatter—once again—that wilderness of mirrors that is the ‘war on terror,’ as well as deeply compromising the carefully constructed propaganda of NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ intervention in Libya.”

His name . . . is Abdelhakim Belhaj. Few in the West and across the world have ever heard of him. Gadhafi’s fortress of Bab-al-Aziziyah, originally his army headquarters when he seized power in 1969, was “essentially invaded and conquered 10 days ago by Belhaj’s men—who were “at the forefront of a militia of Berbers from the mountains southwest of Tripoli.”

The militia, this account says, is the so-called Tripoli Brigade, . . . [which] turned out to be the rebels’ most effective militia in six months of tribal/civil war.

Abdelhakim Belhaj, also known as Abu Abdullah al-Sadek, is a Libyan jihadi . . . [who] honed his skills with the mujahedin in the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.

Belhaj is the founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and its de facto emir. . . . After the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, the LIFG kept two training camps in Afghanistan, one of them, 19 miles north of Kabul—run by Abu Yahya (a high-ranking member of al-Qaida)—was “strictly for al-Qaida-linked jihadis.

After Sept. 11, 2001, Belhaj, still according to this account, moved to Pakistan and then to Iraq, where he befriended Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—all this before al-Qaida in Iraq pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

. . .

In 2007, Zawahiri (bin Laden’s deputy) officially announced the merger of LIFG and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. “So, for all practical purposes since then,” says this version of events, “LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same—and Belhaj was/is its emir.”

Before year’s end in 2007, LIFG was calling for jihad against Gadhafi and also against the United States and Western “infidels.”

Every intelligence agency in the United States, Europe and the Arab world knows where Belhaj is coming from,” writes Escobar. Belhaj has made sure in Libya that he and his militia will only settle for Shariah law.

The assassination of rebel military commander Gen. Abdel Fattah Younis—by the rebels themselves—seems to point to Belhaj “or at least people very close to him.”

Younis, before he defected from the regime, was in charge of Libya’s Special Forces as they battled the LIFG in Cyrenaica near Benghazi between 1990 and 1995. It was in 1993 that Gadhafi asked this reporter to tell the CIA director that he wanted to work with the United States against Islamist extremists in Cyrenaica.

[A]ll the top military commanders working with NATO are LIFG, from Belhaj in Tripoli to Ismael as-Salabi in Benghazi and Abdelhakim al-Assadi in Derna.

. . .

“[I]t does not require a crystal ball to picture the consequences of LIFG/AQIM—having conquered military power and being among the war ‘winners’—not remotely interested in relinquishing control just to please NATO. Meanwhile, amid the fog of war, it is unclear whether Gadhafi is planning to trap the Tripoli brigade in urban warfare or to force the bulk of rebel militias to enter the huge Warfalla tribal areas.”

Gadhafi’s favorite wife belongs to the Warfalla, Libya’s largest tribe, with up to one million people and 54 sub-tribes.

“The inside word in Brussels . . . is that NATO expects Gadhafi to fight for months, if not years; thus the bounty on his head and the desperate return to NATO’s plan A, which was always to take him out.”

Libya, according to this prediction, may now be facing the specter of a twin-headed guerrilla Hydra; Gadhafi forces against a weak TNC central government and NATO boots on the ground; and the LIFG/AQIM nebula in a jihad against NATO.”

A harum-scarum scenario of NATO snookered by al-Qaida affiliates that can only please China.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/09/01/Commentary-Global-con/UPI-85911314879713/

Will China, Islamic fascists and al Qaeda win the war in Libya; and once again has America’s raving narcissist and consummate demagogue—its “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama, been nothing more than a fool, a buffoon, and a feckless naïf, who lost the Middle East?

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3 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Jeremy Ben-Ami, “A New Voice For Israel”—A Wonderful Book That Should Be Read By Anyone Who Cares About And Wants To Understand Israel’s Past, Present And Future

Israel flag

Jeremy Ben-Ami is a gifted leader with great attention to detail, who has surrounded himself with exceptional people at J Street. His excellent book, “A New Voice For Israel,” reflects the man, the organization, the values of both, very touching personal remembrances, and lots of ideas. Hopefully these ideas will take root and help shape the debate concerning the direction of peace in the Middle East—between Israel, the Palestinians, and other states that are changing their directions as a result of the “Arab Spring” and the “Scent of Jasmine,” which have been sweeping the region.

Ben-Ami attacks the “sacred cows” of American Jewry and its “traditional pro-Israel lobbying groups,” as well as “the acceptable parameters of the Israel conversation,” the “guardians of the pro-Israel brand,” the “us-versus-them worldview” and the right-of-center “official American Jewish establishment”—such as the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). His views are considered by many as heresy and treasonous; however, as he points out, the establishment might have saved more Jews from their horrendous fate in World War II, instead of being impediments. The same thing was true of the crushing of Irgun, the patriotic Jewish underground militia with which Ben-Ami’s father served.

A fundamental issue raised by the book is why Ben-Ami seeks to shape the views of a likely one-term president, Barack Obama, American Jews and members of Congress, when it is the reactionary elements in Israel—led and epitomized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, possibly the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had—which must be changed. Why work the American side of the Atlantic when it is Israelis who must want a lasting peace in the Middle East, or perish. As Ben-Ami points out, more and more Jewish-American students are looking for ways to express concern and anger over the plight of the Palestinian people; and responses grounded in denial or worse simply deepen this anger.

Netanyahu was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient. Nothing has changed since Leah Rabin’s death, except Netanyahu is once again Israel’s Prime Minister. He is fully capable of igniting a conflagration in the Middle East that might end Israel’s existence, and become the first “Holocaust” of the 21st Century.

In a sense, Ben-Ami’s book is similar to Obama’s “Dreams from My Father,” except Obama concluded that his father—whom he only knew for one month of his life, at the age of 10—was a “bitter drunk,” an “abusive husband,” and a “defeated, lonely bureaucrat,” and that “[w]hatever I do, it seems, I won’t do much worse than he did.” Ben-Ami is continuing his father’s dreams; and there is reason to believe that his father would be very proud of him, albeit they might not agree completely.

In some ways, Ben-Ami and I are polar opposites. I am not Jewish; he is. His “unwritten family rule” and his own leanings were against voting for Republicans. I grew up in a devoutly Republican family, which revered Dwight Eisenhower—a German-American hero who destroyed the Third Reich—Richard Nixon and Douglas MacArthur, and thought Harry Truman was a traitor. However, when given the chance to vote, I registered as a Democrat, and never voted for Nixon. I left the party because of Lyndon Johnson and his Vietnam War; and I left the Republican Party after that, because it was too conservative and dogmatic. I voted for Reagan and the Bushes, and would do so again today, although I have been an Independent for 20 years.

Like Ben-Ami and his views of the “mainstream Jewish leadership,” I too have rebelled against the leadership of both American political parties, and look forward to the day when an Independent occupies the White House, and other major officeholders are Independents as well. My parents were not anti-Semitic; and in fact, I do not recall them mentioning Israel at all. Yet, I grew up believing it was David against Goliath; and that Israel could do no wrong. My Israeli hero was Yitzhak Rabin; and I even came to admire Sharon before his stroke, inter alia, because he recognized that Israeli settlements had become impediments to peace, and must be removed by force if necessary. I admire Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak as well.

Today, Israel is no longer viewed as “a shining city upon a hill” or the “light unto the nations”—which it once was—but as an oppressor. This perception will only grow as long as Netanyahu remains in power. He is hated, and he personifies a country that is hated; and his critics, Jews and non-Jews alike, are falsely labeled as “Israel haters,” “self-hating Jews” or anti-Semites. His removal will provide a breath of fresh air for Israel, which is long overdue, and a chance for peace between Israelis and their neighbors. In a very real sense, despite what he says publicly, there is reason to believe that Obama views Israel as the oppressor too, just as he hated Apartheid in South Africa and British colonial rule.

What is fascinating—and represents a challenge to Jewish orthodoxy—is that the Republicans, with George W. Bush being an outstanding example, have been much stronger supporters and champions of Israel than the Democrats. Yet, a failure or refusal to recognize this fact has led American Jews including Ben-Ami to embrace Democrats. What Ben-Ami has spelled out in his thoughtful and well-written book is his mission and that of J Street to complete Yitzhak Rabin’s work of achieving lasting peace, and to dedicate their efforts to ending the violence, and to “rewrite the rules” of political discourse with respect to Israel, so that moderate voices are heard—worthy goals that I support completely.

To achieve this, Ben-Ami and J Street will have to reach out to Jews and non-Jews, Republicans and Independents, members of the Tea Party movement and “disenchanted” Democrats, because far-Left and Leftist Democrats are not the solution to anything. Indeed, it is a grave mistake to tie one’s star to them, or to be exclusionary. Bush family confidant, former Reagan chief of staff and Secretary of State James Baker was correct when he observed that Jews do not vote for Republicans—and they “constitute only 2 percent of the entire American population” anyway, according to Ben-Ami—so why should Republicans help Israel or support Jewish causes at all?

Yes, right-wing evangelical Christians are rabid supporters of Israel and a force within the GOP, but their views do not reflect those of mainstream Christians. Like David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis who crushed the Jews of Irgun, the Democrats must not be permitted to dominate and skew J Street or Israel’s future; and the GOP must not be viewed as monolithic or in lock step with evangelical Christian fringe groups, such as “Christian Zionists.”

My paternal grandfather believed it was a mistake for the United States to be in the Middle East; and there is wisdom in his views. According to his logic, we would not have fought the Gulf War, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and we would remain neutral with respect to Israel and the Palestinians, and the other countries of the Middle East as well. Any notion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a fundamental national interest of America is nonsense. Like the views of many in the United States prior to World War II, Americans might remain neutral and let the chips fall where they may, rather than engage in any more unpopular military incursions.

Israel and the United States are not “joined at the hip,” and they have vastly different and divergent national self-interests. Presumably Ben-Ami does not agree, although he does say: “We should not ask people, organizations, or even countries to pick sides—either with us or against us.” One wonders at times, however, whether he is not attempting to push at one end of a string, regardless of how well intentioned, moralistic and idealistic he is. One wonders too whether he and the Jews with whom I grew up in Los Angeles are polar opposites. They were integrated and assimilated; and neither their parents nor they were victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

Another example comes to mind of a Jewish lawyer from the Midwest with whom I was working on a lawsuit. He came to Washington, D.C. and had never seen the Holocaust Museum, so I took him there. His family came to the United States in the 1800s, and he told me that none of his relatives were victims of the Holocaust, nor did he know anyone who was affected by it. In many ways, he did not relate to it, although he was moved emotionally after we toured the museum. He and the Jews with whom I grew up may not relate to Ben-Ami, inter alia, because neither they nor their parents are immigrant Jews. To them, Israel may be as distant and foreign as the Germany, Ireland, Scotland and England of my ancestors are to me.

I visited Dachau during a summer in Europe when I was in law school at Berkeley, so I had seen the Nazi horrors firsthand, but my lawyer-friend had not. I tried to understand how Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany—the country of my father’s ancestors, who came to America in 1849. What I learned was that anti-Semitism is alive in Germany; and that “the campaign to silence dissent”—as Ben-Ami describes intimidation, fear, invective, division and discrimination in the Jewish community—is what allowed Nazism to flourish. Dissenters were viewed as traitors, hated and killed.

Contrariwise, dissent and healthy debate must be welcomed and encouraged; and they are the very essence of America’s democracy and our freedoms. Far too often, criticism—for example, of our institutions such as law enforcement or the judiciary—is equated with disloyalty toward either the United States or Israel, which it is not. “Witch hunts” and “thought police” (Ben-Ami’s terms) have no place in democratic societies.

Next, will any of Ben-Ami’s fine analysis, nuanced discussions, and logical and sober reasoning make a tinker’s dam worth of difference if Israel does not survive? I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew, and a strong supporter of Israel, with impeccable credentials—told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since.

This and the uprisings sweeping the region, which may be co-opted by Islamic fascists and engulf Israel ultimately, undergird a sense of urgency concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; not peace at any price, but something different than the approach being taken by Netanyahu. Indeed, action by the UN General Assembly on the issue of Palestinian statehood may be the only means of moving the peace process forward, because neither Obama—in the waning days of his failed presidency—nor Netanyahu, are likely to make a positive difference.

Does Ben-Ami have the answers? His heart is in the right place; and his is a legitimate, persuasive voice. He certainly rings the alarm bells, inter alia, by soberly raising the issue of whether Israel and his great-grandparents’ Tel Aviv will be there for his offspring in 2109 at the city’s bicentennial—and implicitly, well before then. He is frank, forthright and courageous in his assessments, concerns and the stark choices ahead for Israel. While I do not agree with all of his views, one cannot discount his honesty, sincerity and integrity, which shine through in his essentially-flawless writings and hard-hitting, thought-provoking book.

Lastly, Simon Wiesenthal was a hero of mine, ever since I read his book many years ago, “The Murderers Among Us.” Later I read an article about him, in which the famous Nazi hunter spoke about the duty owed by survivors of the Nazi Holocaust to Jews and non-Jews alike to insure that other holocausts do not occur again, and of course he was correct. In many ways, Ben-Ami evokes the wisdom of Wiesenthal and the heritage of their forefathers, in asking about the treatment of Palestinians: “Is this how I wanted to be treated when I was a minority in another people’s country?”

See http://www.amazon.com/New-Voice-Israel-Fighting-Survival/dp/0230112749/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top and http://www.amazon.com/review/R2KIT50GPQDUMR/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0230112749&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

. . .

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (“The Rise Of Independents”) and http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=25102&docId=l:1492175491&isRss=true&Em=4 (“The Obama administration has begun a last-ditch diplomatic campaign to avert a confrontation this month over a Palestinian plan to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations, but it may already be too late”) and http://news.yahoo.com/us-campaigns-avoid-palestinian-statehood-vote-045709137.html (“‘We won’t give up UN bid': Palestinians”) and http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NachrichtenHeute/tabid/178/nid/22934/language/en-US/Default.aspx (“Jewish ‘settlers’ prepared for Palestinian onslaught”) and http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/03/us-israel-economy-protests-idUSTRE7821OS20110903 (“Biggest rally in Israel’s history presses [Netanyahu]“) and http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5idEZtPjhgTs-Ra5FXoNHhn99CL7Q?docId=c47392e7459646518d9afc2444065c0a (“Israel’s leader [Netanyahu] defiantly refused . . . to apologize to Turkey for a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish-led flotilla bent on breaching Israel’s Gaza Strip blockade”) and http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4118220,00.html (“Senior IDF officer warns of ‘radical Islamic winter’ that may lead to regional war, could prompt use of WMDs”) and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/opinion/06iht-edcohen06.html?_r=1&hp (“Israel Isolates Itself”)

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6 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Israeli Intelligence Operations In The United States Are Quite Extensive, Ranking Just Below Those Of China And Russia

According to the New York Times, this is the conclusion of former American counterintelligence officials, and they added:

F.B.I. counterintelligence agents have long kept an eye on Israeli spying.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/us/06leak.html

The latest context in which this has arisen is described in the Times article as follows:

[T]he reason for the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Obama administration’s first prosecution for leaking information to the news media seems clear: [Shamai K. Leibowitz], a contract Hebrew translator, passed on secret transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Those overheard by the eavesdroppers included American supporters of Israel and at least one member of Congress, according to the blogger, Richard Silverstein.

. . .

Mr. Leibowitz, who declined to comment for this article, released the documents because of concerns about Israel’s aggressive efforts to influence Congress and public opinion, and fears that Israel might strike nuclear facilities in Iran, a move he saw as potentially disastrous, according to Mr. Silverstein.

. . .

Mr. Silverstein said he got to know Mr. Leibowitz, a lawyer with a history of political activism, after noticing that he, too, had a liberal-minded blog, called Pursuing Justice. The men shared a concern about repercussions from a possible Israeli airstrike on nuclear facilities in Iran. From his F.B.I. work from January to August of 2009, Mr. Leibowitz also believed that Israeli diplomats’ efforts to influence Congress and shape American public opinion were excessive and improper, Mr. Silverstein said.

“I see him as an American patriot and a whistle-blower, and I’d like his actions to be seen in that context,” Mr. Silverstein said. “What really concerned Shamai at the time was the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, which he thought would be damaging to both Israel and the United States.”

. . .

While treated as highly classified by the F.B.I., the fact that the United States spies on Israel is taken for granted by experts on intelligence. “We started spying on Israel even before the state of Israel was formally founded in 1948, and Israel has always spied on us,” said [Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence writer]. “Israeli intercepts have always been one of the most sensitive categories,” designated with the code word Gamma to indicate their protected status, he said.

See also http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/24/AR2010052403795_pf.html (“Former FBI employee sentenced for leaking classified papers”)

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11 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Israel’s Options Are Limited And Poor, While An Increasingly-Impotent Netanyahu Flails About, Seemingly Oblivious To What He Has Done To Destroy Peace With His Country’s Neighbors

This was all foreseeable. Nonetheless, it is very sobering, with much worse yet to come.

In an article entitled, “Beyond Cairo, Israel Sensing a Wider Siege,” the New York Times notes:

With its Cairo embassy ransacked, its ambassador to Turkey expelled and the Palestinians seeking statehood recognition at the United Nations, Israel found itself on Saturday increasingly isolated and grappling with a radically transformed Middle East where it believes its options are limited and poor.

The diplomatic crisis, in which winds unleashed by the Arab Spring are now casting a chill over the region, was crystallized by the scene of Israeli military jets sweeping into Cairo at dawn on Saturday to evacuate diplomats after the Israeli Embassy had been besieged by thousands of protesters.

It was an image that reminded some Israelis of Iran in 1979, when Israel evacuated its embassy in Tehran after the revolution there replaced an ally with an implacable foe.

. . .

Facing crises in relations with Egypt and Turkey, its two most important regional allies, Israel turned to the United States. Throughout the night on Friday, desperate Israeli officials called their American counterparts seeking help to pressure the Egyptians to protect the embassy.

. . .

Since the start of the Arab uprisings, internal critics and foreign friends, including the United States, have urged Israel to take bold conciliatory steps toward the Palestinians, and after confrontations in which Israeli forces killed Egyptian and Turkish citizens, to reach accommodations with both countries.

Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador a week ago over Israel’s refusal to apologize for a deadly raid last year on a Turkish ship bound for Gaza in which nine Turks were killed. The storming of the embassy in Cairo on Saturday was precipitated by the killing of three Egyptian soldiers along the border by Israeli military forces pursuing terrorism suspects.

. . .

“Egypt is not going toward democracy but toward Islamicization,” said Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Cairo who reflected the government’s view. “It is the same in Turkey and in Gaza. It is just like what happened in Iran in 1979.”

. . .

Daniel Ben-Simon, a member of Parliament from the left-leaning Labor Party, said the Netanyahu government was on a path “not just to diplomatic isolation but to actually putting Israelis in danger,” he said. “It all comes down to his obsession against a Palestinian state, his total paralysis toward the Palestinian issue. We are facing an international tide at the United Nations. If he joined the vote for a Palestinian state instead of fighting it, that would be the best thing he could do for us in the Arab world.”

The Palestinians have given up on talks with Israel, and within the next two weeks they plan to ask the United Nations to grant them membership and statehood recognition within the 1967 lines, including East Jerusalem as a capital.

Potential side effects of the diplomatic disputes have already emerged.

. . .

Initial Israeli fears about the Arab Spring uprisings have begun to materialize in concrete ways. When the uprisings began in Tunisia and Egypt at the start of the year, little attention was directed toward Israel because so much focus was on throwing off dictatorial rule and creating a new political order.

Traditionally, many Arab leaders have used Israel as a convenient scapegoat, turning public wrath against it and blaming it for their problems. The faint hope here was that a freer Middle East might move away from such anti-Israel hostility because the overthrow of dictators would open up debate.

But as the months of Arab Spring have turned autumnal, Israel has increasingly become a target of public outrage. Some here say Israel is again being made a scapegoat, this time for unfulfilled revolutionary promises.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/world/middleeast/11israel.html?_r=1&hp; see also http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/09/10/123733/israel-facing-diplomatic-tsunami.html (“When the [UN] vote happens[,] Israel will see how isolated it truly is”) and http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=TX-PAR-HVF13&show_article=1 (“Russia supports Palestinian bid to win UN statehood: envoy”) and http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4121261,00.html (“Jordan’s Abdullah: Israel’s situation today more difficult than ever”) and http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9PO05D00&show_article=1 (“Former President Carter backs Palestinian UN bid”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8762950/Israel-warns-of-harsh-consequences-of-Palestinian-UN-bid.html (“Israel warns of ‘harsh’ consequences of Palestinian UN bid”)

The chickens are coming home to roost. It is time to remove Netanyahu from political office once and for all.

. . .

Note: We receive all kinds of comments with respect to the articles and comments that I write. Some are very intelligent and well reasoned, while others are from “cranks,” et al. We just received this one, which is sobering and ominous:

The great masses of people throughout the mideast region are violently antisemitic and reject the very concept of a Jewish state. The various states confronting Israel are dictatorial regimes that ignore the popular will and rule by brute force. Tactical treaties with such unstable regimes are possible but they are simply scraps of paper, destined to become worthless when the facade cracks and the inevitable downfall begins. The Israels have always recognized this reality. They have never been willing to stake the lives of their children and wives on such treaties. Up till now, people in America and Europe have less to lose and could afford illusions but the Arab spring and the economic problems in the developed world, spell the ending of this phase. The factions on the Arab street now have full scope to vent their Jew hatred and they are doing so with gusto. Except for language and religion, this hatred seems to be the only glue capable of holding Arab society together. The factions of the street will thus compete to see who is most committed to confrontation and anyone interested in peace with Israel will be denounced as a traitor. As the political process of forming new Arab governments proceeds, a gradual build up to full-out war hysteria seems inevitable. Israel must therefore prepare for war. This coming war will not be of their choosing though they will conduct it with ferocity and they may feel compelled to strike first if cornered. Israel has never had any realistic possibility for true and fundamental peace with its neighbors.

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18 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is A Hypocrite, A Demagogue, and a Raving Unprincipled Narcissist

Obama=not a clue

As the UK’s Financial Times has underscored:

Exactly a year ago this week, President Barack Obama stood at the podium at the UN General Assembly and declared his support for a Palestinian state.

“Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state,” Mr Obama told the general assembly, unless the two parties reached a peace agreement.

So it will be some degree of awkwardness that Mr Obama returns to the UN this week and directs his representatives to vote against a plan that would lead to Palestinians achieving that exact destination. . . .

Indeed, the US president will be acutely aware how hypocritical he must appear: voicing support for democratic transitions across the Middle East at the same time as scuppering Palestinian aspirations for recognition. Mr Obama hardly wants to be seen as being on the wrong side of the change sweeping through the Arab world.

Palestinian leaders this week plan to make a bid for full membership of the UN, a move that would officially make it a state, Palestine, on an equal footing with Israel. But the US has explicitly stated that it will use its veto power through the Security Council to block any such move.

. . .

Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US and part of the ruling family, last week warned that an American veto would end the allies’ “special relationship” and would make the US “toxic” in the Arab world.

Blocking the move would also undercut the US’s authority as a genuine mediator in the peace process that Mr Obama has only half-heartedly pursued since taking office.

See http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/0e21ea0a-dfe2-11e0-a820-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1YLoV5Mjk; see also http://www.naegele.com/documents/PalestinianOptionsatUNLeadtoLegalThreattoIsraelsMilitary.pdf (“Palestinian Options at U.N. Lead to Legal Threat to Israel’s Military”)

What is clear from this and so many other examples like it is that Obama is a fool, a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

His naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism; and he is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter. Indeed, it is likely that his presidency will be considered a sad and tragic watershed in history; and the American people are recognizing this more and more with each day that passes.

He must be sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii not later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library. It cannot happen fast enough, for the good of the world, the United States and the American people, before he does even more damage!

Obama=frantic

See also http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-09-20/poll-economy-obama/50483094/1?loc=interstitialskip (“Poll: Economic pessimism deepens, and more blame Obama”)

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22 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Bill Clinton: Netanyahu Killed The Peace Process

While I have seldom agreed with the former American president in the past, and I did not vote for him, I agree 100 percent with this conclusion, which is discussed in a Foreign Policy article:

Who’s to blame for the continued failure of the Middle East peace process? Former President Bill Clinton said today that it is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—whose government moved the goalposts upon taking power, and whose rise represents a key reason there has been no Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

. . .

[Clinton] said there are two main reasons for the lack of a comprehensive peace today: the reluctance of the Netanyahu administration to accept the terms of the Camp David deal and a demographic shift in Israel that is making the Israeli public less amenable to peace.

“The two great tragedies in modern Middle Eastern politics, which make you wonder if God wants Middle East peace or not, were [Yitzhak] Rabin’s assassination and [Ariel] Sharon’s stroke,” Clinton said.

Sharon had decided he needed to build a new centrist coalition, so he created the Kadima party and gained the support of leaders like Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert. He was working toward a consensus for a peace deal before he fell ill, Clinton said. But that effort was scuttled when the Likud party returned to power.

“The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn’t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu. They wanted to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there’s no question—and the Netanyahu government has said—that this is the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank,” Clinton said.

“[Palestinian leaders] have explicitly said on more than one occasion that if [Netanyahu] put up the deal that was offered to them before—my deal—that they would take it,” Clinton said, referring to the 2000 Camp David deal that Yasser Arafat rejected.

But the Israeli government has drifted a long way from the Ehud Barak-led government that came so close to peace in 2000, Clinton said, and any new negotiations with the Netanyahu government are now on starkly different terms—terms that the Palestinians are unlikely to accept.

. . .

Israel also wants a normalization of relations with its Arab neighbors to accompany a peace deal. Clinton said that the Saudi-inspired Arab Peace Initiative put forth in 2002 represented an answer to that Israeli demand.

“The King of Saudi Arabia started lining up all the Arab countries to say to the Israelis, ‘if you work it out with the Palestinians … we will give you immediately not only recognition but a political, economic, and security partnership,'” Clinton said. “This is huge…. It’s a heck of a deal.”

The Netanyahu government has received all of the assurances previous Israeli governments said they wanted but now won’t accept those terms to make peace, Clinton said.

“Now that they have those things, they don’t seem so important to this current Israeli government, partly because it’s a different country,” said Clinton. “In the interim, you’ve had all these immigrants coming in from the former Soviet Union, and they have no history in Israel proper, so the traditional claims of the Palestinians have less weight with them.”

Clinton then repeated his assertions made at last year’s conference that Israeli society can be divided into demographic groups that have various levels of enthusiasm for making peace.

“The most pro-peace Israelis are the Arabs; second the Sabras, the Jewish Israelis that were born there; third, the Ashkenazi of long-standing, the European Jews who came there around the time of Israel’s founding,” Clinton said. “The most anti-peace are the ultra-religious, who believe they’re supposed to keep Judea and Samaria, and the settler groups, and what you might call the territorialists, the people who just showed up lately and they’re not encumbered by the historical record.”

. . .

“That’s what happened. Every American needs to know this. That’s how we got to where we are,” Clinton said. “The real cynics believe that the Netanyahu’s government’s continued call for negotiations over borders and such means that he’s just not going to give up the West Bank.”

See http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/09/22/bill_clinton_netanyahu_killed_the_peace_process; see also http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/UN_MIDEAST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-09-23-11-33-58 (“Palestinians submit UN statehood bid”) and http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/09/23/abbas-expected-to-push-ahead-with-bid-for-palestinian-membership-in-u-n/ (“Netanyahu Blasts UN As ‘House Of Lies'”) and http://www.economist.com/node/21530117 (“Netanyahu has been the biggest stumbling-block. . . . By his intransigence[,] Netanyahu has played into the hands of those who would destroy Israel”)

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3 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Panetta Warns Of Israeli Isolation

This is the title of a Wall Street Journal article, which states:

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Sunday that Israel was at risk of becoming isolated and more vulnerable if it did not take steps to repair ties with neighboring countries and restart negotiations with the Palestinians.

. . .

Israel has strained to maintain ties to neighboring countries with which it once had strong working relationships. Turkey, which once had close bonds to Israel, has grown more distant over the issue of the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. Israel’s relations with Egypt have also deteriorated, culminating in a recent attack on the Israeli embassy by protestors in Cairo.

. . .

“It is pretty clear at this dramatic time in the Middle East when there have been so many changes that it is not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that is what has happened,” Mr. Panetta said.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/PanettaWarnsofIsraeliIsolation.pdf

The Palestinians would be foolish to trust Netanyahu, because he cannot be trusted. They should move ahead full speed with respect to the United Nations’ recognition of the new State of Palestine, by overwhelming votes of its members.

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12 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Netanyahu Bows To Palestinians

In agreeing to release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, Netanyahu has bestowed a “great victory for terrorism.” This is the conclusion of Israel’s National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau; and of course he is correct.

See http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/rightwing-minister-uzi-landau-shalit-swap-deal-is-great-victory-for-terrorism-1.389591 and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8822044/Israel-Cabinet-minister-says-Gilad-Shalit-deal-is-victory-for-terror.html; see also http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-10-16/israel-palestinian-swap/50788868/1 (“Hamas militants will release Sgt. Gilad Schalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinians in Israeli prisons”)

It has always been clear that Netanyahu has no principles at all, and this is simply further confirmation of that fact.

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28 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Netanyahu’s Next Irresponsible Adventure An Attack On Iran?

This is what has been suggested in a Washington Times article entitled, “Israeli prisoner swap may be prelude to attack on Iran,” which states:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to execute a 1,000-for-1 prisoner exchange last week despite his frequently voiced opposition to such lopsided deals is seen by several Israeli military commentators as an effort to “clear the deck” before possibly undertaking an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Amir Oren, the veteran military analyst for Ha’aretz newspaper, . . . wrote that the price paid by Mr. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak “can be interpreted only in a context that goes beyond that of the Gilad Schalit deal.”

He noted that Israeli leaders in the past have shown a readiness to absorb “a small loss” in order to attain a greater success, generally involving “some sort of military adventure.”

Mr. Oren also noted that, until recently, Mr. Netanyahu had faced opposition to attacking Iran from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Mossad intelligence chief Meir Dagan. Both retired earlier this year and have been replaced by men believed to hold a different view on Iran.

. . .

Writing in Yediot Achronot, Alex Fishman said that for Mr. Netanyahu, who built a political career as a warrior on terror, the Schalit deal was a very courageous step, particularly in view of an estimate by Israel’s security services that 60 percent of Palestinians who are released in such exchanges return to terror.

“He took a risk in a certain area and thereby focused all our attention on much more troubling fronts—in distant Iran and in the Arab revolutions around us,” Mr. Fishman wrote. To deal with these problems, national consensus is necessary and the freeing of Gilad Shalit went far toward achieving that.

Mr. Oren offered another insight that he says may point Mr. Netanyahu toward military action against Iran.

Although the prime minister failed to make any enduring mark on history during his previous term or so far during his present term, Mr. Netanyahu may see Iran as an opportunity to achieve his Churchillian moment, Mr. Oren wrote. “The day is not far off, Netanyahu believes, when Churchill will emerge from him.”

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/28/israeli-prisoner-swap-may-be-prelude-attack-iran/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1629 (“Will An Unchecked Netanyahu Act Irresponsibly, Dangerously And Disastrously?”) and http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-israel-iran-20111108,0,1547654.story (“Netanyahu . . . [is] reckless and gambling with Israel’s future”) and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204224604577027842025797760.html?grcc=999a5383fcf0735b091f94c87c059d42Z3&mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_opinion&_nocache=1321022247721articleTabs=comments&user=welcome&mg=id-wsj#articleTabs%3Darticle (The Wall Street Journal “shills” for Netanyahu, and champions war with Iran, which is irresponsible journalism at its zenith) and http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/14/attack-on-iran-could-risk-gulf-oil-supplies/ (“Attack on Iran could risk Gulf oil supplies”) and http://swampland.time.com/2011/11/29/israeli-thuggery/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter (“Israeli Thuggery”)

There is no question that Netanyahu is the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had, and a narcissistic demagogue who is delusional.

As noted in the article and comments above, he was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

World leaders have had almost universal contempt if not hatred for Netanyahu since he became Israel’s Prime Minister, both times. For example, it has been reported:

The conversation . . . drifted to Netanyahu, at which time [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy declared: “I cannot stand him. He is a liar.” According to the report, [U.S. President Barack] Obama replied: “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”

The remark was naturally meant to be said in confidence, but the two leaders’ microphones were accidently left on, making the would-be private comment embarrassingly public.

The communication faux pas went unnoticed for several minutes, during which the conversation between the two heads of state—which quickly reverted to other matters—was all but open to members the press, who were still in possession of headsets provided by the Elysée for the sake of simultaneous translation during the G20 press conference.

See http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4145266,00.html (“Report: Sarkozy calls Netanyahu ‘liar'”); but see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8877203/Is-Benjamin-Netanyahu-having-the-last-laugh-at-Barack-Obamas-expense.html (“Is Benjamin Netanyahu having the last laugh at Barack Obama’s expense?”)

The United States must not go to war for Israel. This is insanity.

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7 11 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

An American Tragedy: Barack Obama Lost Iraq

This is the conclusion of the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer, who has written:

Barack Obama was . . . handed a war that was won. The surge had succeeded. Al-Qaeda in Iraq had been routed, driven to humiliating defeat by an Anbar Awakening of Sunnis fighting side-by-side with the infidel Americans. Even more remarkably, the Shiite militias had been taken down, with U.S. backing, by the forces of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. They crushed the Sadr militias from Basra to Sadr City.

Al-Qaeda decimated. A Shiite prime minister taking a decisively nationalist line. Iraqi Sunnis ready to integrate into a new national government. U.S. casualties at their lowest ebb in the entire war. Elections approaching. Obama was left with but a single task: Negotiate a new status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) to reinforce these gains and create a strategic partnership with the Arab world’s only democracy.

He blew it. Negotiations, such as they were, finally collapsed last month. There is no agreement, no partnership. As of Dec. 31, the U.S. military presence in Iraq will be liquidated.

And it’s not as if that deadline snuck up on Obama. He had three years to prepare for it. Everyone involved, Iraqi and American, knew that the 2008 SOFA calling for full U.S. withdrawal was meant to be renegotiated. And all major parties but one (the Sadr faction) had an interest in some residual stabilizing U.S. force, like the postwar deployments in Japan, Germany and Korea.

Three years, two abject failures. The first was the administration’s inability, at the height of American post-surge power, to broker a centrist nationalist coalition governed by the major blocs—one predominantly Shiite (Maliki’s), one predominantly Sunni (Ayad Allawi’s), one Kurdish—that among them won a large majority (69 percent) of seats in the 2010 election.

Vice President Biden was given the job. He failed utterly. The government ended up effectively being run by a narrow sectarian coalition where the balance of power is held by the relatively small (12 percent) Iranian-client Sadr faction.

The second failure was the SOFA itself. U.S. commanders recommended nearly 20,000 troops, considerably fewer than our 28,500 in Korea, 40,000 in Japan and 54,000 in Germany. The president rejected those proposals, choosing instead a level of 3,000 to 5,000 troops.

A deployment so risibly small would have to expend all its energies simply protecting itself—the fate of our tragic, missionless 1982 Lebanon deployment—with no real capability to train the Iraqis, build their U.S.-equipped air force, mediate ethnic disputes (as we have successfully done, for example, between local Arabs and Kurds), operate surveillance and special-ops bases, and establish the kind of close military-to-military relations that undergird our strongest alliances.

. . . It became clear that [Obama] simply wanted out, leaving any Iraqi foolish enough to maintain a pro-American orientation exposed to Iranian influence, now unopposed and potentially lethal. Message received. Just this past week, Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurds—for two decades the staunchest of U.S. allies—visited Tehran to bend a knee to both President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It didn’t have to be this way. Our friends did not have to be left out in the cold to seek Iranian protection. Three years and a won war had given Obama the opportunity to establish a lasting strategic alliance with the Arab world’s second most important power.

. . . The excuse is Iraqi refusal to grant legal immunity to U.S. forces. But the Bush administration encountered the same problem and overcame it. Obama had little desire to. Indeed, he portrays the evacuation as a success, the fulfillment of a campaign promise.

But surely the obligation to defend the security and the interests of the nation supersede personal vindication. Obama opposed the war, but when he became commander in chief the terrible price had already been paid in blood and treasure. His obligation was to make something of that sacrifice, to secure the strategic gains that sacrifice had already achieved.

He did not, failing at precisely what this administration so flatters itself for doing so well: diplomacy. After years of allegedly clumsy brutish force, Obama was to usher in an era of not hard power, not soft power, but smart power.

Which turns out in Iraq to be . . . no power. Years from now, we will be asking not “Who lost Iraq?”—that already is clear—but “Why?”

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/who-lost-iraq/2011/11/03/gIQAUcUqjM_story.html (emphasis in original); see also http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/11/07/Commentary-Grapes-of-wrath/UPI-63781320672616/ (“Grapes of wrath”) and http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/who-lost-the-arab-world-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/ (“Who Lost The Arab World?”)

It has been said:

Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to “O.”

This is an understatement.

Biden is a total buffoon and a pathological liar, so the results of his efforts were predictable. What is even worse is that Obama—America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite,” who is the United States’ worst president ever, having been raised in an Islamic country (i.e., Indonesia)—is losing Afghanistan and the Middle East as well.

What is abundantly clear is that Obama must not be simply defeated in his reelection bid. He should be impeached, and driven from the American presidency in shame and disgrace!

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3 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Israel Preparing To Attack Iran?

This is the title of a Washington Post article; and as I have written before, Netanyahu is irresponsible and ‘unhinged” enough to do it. Also, it is likely that this article reflects ever-increasing Israeli propaganda, designed to apply maximum pressure on Iran and bring the United States into another shooting war in the Middle East, if Israel’s efforts produce a calamity.

Nonetheless, the article states in pertinent part as follows:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta['s] . . . biggest worry is the growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran over the next few months.

Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June—before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon—and only the United States could then stop them militarily.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to leave the fate of Israel dependent on American action. . . .

. . .

[T]he White House hasn’t yet decided precisely how the United States would respond if the Israelis do attack.

. . .

The administration appears to favor staying out of the conflict unless Iran hits U.S. assets, which would trigger a strong U.S. response.

This U.S. policy—signaling that Israel is acting on its own—might open a breach like the one in 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower condemned an Israeli-European attack on the Suez Canal.

. . .

Administration officials caution that Tehran shouldn’t misunderstand: The United States has a 60-year commitment to Israeli security, and if Israel’s population centers were hit, the United States could feel obligated to come to Israel’s defense.

. . .

One Israeli estimate is that the Jewish state might have to absorb 500 casualties.

. . .

Israeli leaders are said to accept, and even welcome, the prospect of going it alone and demonstrating their resolve at a time when their security is undermined by the Arab Spring.

. . .

U.S. officials don’t think that Netanyahu has made a final decision to attack, and they note that top Israeli intelligence officials remain skeptical of the project. But senior Americans doubt that the Israelis are bluffing. They’re worrying about the guns of spring—and the unintended consequences.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-israel-preparing-to-attack-iran/2012/02/02/gIQANjfTkQ_story.html and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1880 (“Is Netanyahu’s Next Irresponsible Adventure An Attack On Iran?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1838 (“Bill Clinton: Netanyahu Killed The Peace Process”)

If Barack Obama cannot restrain or stop America’s ally, Israel, he should be removed from office—which is likely to happen anyway, not later than January of 2013, when he retreats either to Chicago or Hawaii to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his presidential library.

Also, America should not provide any military aid or assistance to Israel, which would enable that country to precipitate another war in the Middle East. The United States is not obligated, morally or otherwise, to come to Israel’s defense or rescue if it is attacked. That is utter nonsense, and simply Israeli propaganda.

As I have written many times in the article and comments above, which are reflected in the words and actions of world leaders as well, Netanyahu is the most dangerous and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had. He is fully capable of bringing about the destruction of his own country and/or launching America into another war in the Middle East.

He is a “demonic” Narcissistic warmonger—who is perfectly willing to shed American blood—not a peacemaker; and he is no friend of the United States.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1880 (“World leaders have had almost universal contempt if not hatred for Netanyahu since he became Israel’s Prime Minister, both times”)

Also, it would be very easy for Islamic fascists to begin targeting Jews worldwide, in Europe and elsewhere. There is nothing that Israel or its Mossad could do to prevent this. Indeed, it is surprising that such attacks have not begun already, creating a tragic “silent” Holocaust. These are the “fires” that Netanyahu is fanning—and has been fanning for most of his political life—which would put innocent Jews everywhere at risk.

One must never forget, as I have written in the article above:

[Yitzhak] Rabin’s wife Leah . . . blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/

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9 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Israel Teams With Terror Group—Which Killed Americans—To Kill Iran’s Nuclear Scientists

According to NBC News:

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

The Iranians have no doubt who is responsible—Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, known by various acronyms, including MEK, MKO and PMI.

. . .

[T]he Mossad, the Israeli secret service, is training MEK members in Israel on the use of motorcycles and small bombs. In one case . . . , Mossad agents built a replica of the home of an Iranian nuclear scientist so that the assassins could familiarize themselves with the layout prior to the attack.

. . .

Two senior U.S. officials confirmed for NBC News the MEK’s role in the assassinations, with one senior official saying, “All your inclinations are correct.”

. . .

In the most recent attack, on Jan. 11, 2012, Mostafa Ahamdi Roshan died in a blast in Tehran moments after two assailants on a motorcycle placed a small magnetic bomb on his vehicle. Roshan was a deputy director at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and was reportedly involved in procurement for the nuclear program, which Iran insists is not a weapons program.

Previous attacks include the assassination of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, killed by a bomb outside his Tehran home in January 2010, and an explosion in November of that year that took the life of Majid Shahriari and wounded Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, who is now the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.

In the case of Roshan, the bomb appears to have been a shaped charge that directed all the explosive power inside the vehicle, killing him and his bodyguard driver but leaving nearby traffic unaffected.

. . .

There are unconfirmed reports in the Israeli press and elsewhere that Israel and the MEK were involved in a Nov. 12 explosion that destroyed the Iranian missile research and development site at Bin Kaneh, 30 miles outside Tehran. Among those killed was Maj. Gen. Hassan Moghaddam, director of missile development for the Revolutionary Guard, and a dozen other researchers. So important was Moghaddam that Ayatollah Khamenei attended his funeral.

. . .

For the United States, the alleged role of the MEK is particularly troublesome. In 1997, the State Department designated it a terrorist group, justifying it with an unclassified 40-page summary of the organization’s activities going back more than 25 years. The paper, sent to Congress in 1998, was written by Wendy Sherman, now undersecretary of state for political affairs and then an aide to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The report, which was obtained by NBC News, was unsparing in its assessment. “The Mujahedin (MEK) collaborated with Ayatollah Khomeini to overthrow the former shah of Iran,” it said. “As part of that struggle, they assassinated at least six American citizens, supported the takeover of the U.S. embassy, and opposed the release of the American hostages.” In each case, the paper noted, “Bombs were the Mujahedin’s weapon of choice, which they frequently employed against American targets.”

See http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/09/10354553-israel-teams-with-terror-group-to-kill-irans-nuclear-scientists-us-officials-tell-nbc-news

Can anyone be the least bit surprised about this?

It is the way that the “demonic” Narcissistic warmonger, Netanyahu, operates—who is the most dangerous, reckless and irresponsible leader that Israel has ever had. At his behest, Israel has engaged in targeted killings in Dubai and elsewhere, which are discussed in the article and comments above.

The moral depravity that this represents is reminiscent of the brutal attack by Israel on the U.S. Navy intelligence ship, the USS Liberty, in which 34 Americans were killed and another 174 were wounded.

See, e.g., http://www.gtr5.com/index.html

Again, as I have written in the article above, Netanyahu was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

What will Netanyahu do to provoke America’s involvement in a war with Iran? Stay tuned. It is probably only a matter of time, not if or whether he will do it.

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13 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

New Attacks On Israelis Have Begun, Which May Spread To Other Jews Worldwide

In an article entitled, “Bombs target Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia; 2 injured,” the Washington Post reported:

The wife of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi and her driver were injured on Monday when the car they were traveling in was bombed, officials said. A second attempted bombing was defused outside the Israeli embassy in Tblisi, Georgia, at about the same time.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately blamed Iran, which has vowed revenge for the recent assassinations of several scientists involved in Iran’s controversial nuclear program. Hezbollah, which receives funding and strong support from Iran, also had promised to avenge the assassination of one of its leaders, Imad Moughniyeh, who was killed in a car bombing in Damascus on Feb. 12, 2008.

Ticking off a list of recent attempts around the globe to attack Israelis and Jews, all of which he said were successfully thwarted, Netanyahu called Iran “the greatest exporter of terror in the world.”

“In all these cases,” Netanyahu said, “the elements behind the attacks were Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah.”

Netanyahu offered no details of the recent attempted attacks or specific evidence for his claim.

. . .

The attack in New Delhi bore eerie similarities to the Jan. 11 killing of Iranian nuclear chemist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, a 32-year-old deputy head of procurement at the Natanz enrichment facility.

The scientist was killed in an explosion after an unknown assailant on a motorcycle slapped a magnetic bomb on his car as he commuted to work. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has categorically denied any United States involvement.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/bombs-target-israeli-diplomats-in-india-georgia-2-injured/2012/02/13/gIQA2kDlAR_story.html

As NBC News reported, Israel teamed with a terror group—which killed Americans—to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists. And it has engaged in other targeted killings. Thus, how can anyone be shocked when Israelis are targeted as well? Or that Netanyahu has once again blamed Iran?

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1996

As I wrote in the article above:

When Israel engages in targeted killings in Dubai and elsewhere, and adopts “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” approach, its enemies around the world are emboldened to respond in kind or worse. In turn, this puts innocent Israelis at risk whenever they travel outside of Israel; and it potentially begets violence against innocent Jews everywhere in the world. It is so senseless, yet it garners headlines for Mossad—Israel’s national intelligence agency—and makes some Israelis and other Jews feel good and proud.

And I added in a comment:

[I]t would be very easy for Islamic fascists to begin targeting Jews worldwide, in Europe and elsewhere. There is nothing that Israel or its Mossad could do to prevent this. Indeed, it is surprising that such attacks have not begun already, creating a tragic “silent” Holocaust. These are the “fires” that Netanyahu is fanning—and has been fanning for most of his political life—which would put innocent Jews everywhere at risk.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1980 (“Is Israel Preparing To Attack Iran?”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-193 (“Israel’s Shills”)

Today, Israeli diplomats are attacked. Tomorrow it may be Israeli citizens, traveling outside of their country. Then, it may be innocent Jews anywhere in the world. And the attackers may not be Iranians or their surrogates, but “faceless” Islamic fascists everywhere—like the killers in Dubai.

The war against Israel would have entered a new phase or dimension; and it might be unstoppable, even if Israel could eradicate Iran or bring about a regime change there. Indeed, the fury that such actions might spawn could be catastrophic for the Jewish State and Jews worldwide. A tragic “silent” Holocaust might in fact occur globally.

As I have written:

For every action . . . there is generally a reaction; and . . . such actions and reactions go on and on, and assume a life of their own, and never stop. Also, the world of international espionage is murky at best, and truth and justice are often in the eye of the beholder. Families are torn apart, and honor is illusive.

See http://www.amazon.com/review/R2IZNLUFAV5TJX/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Instead of a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians being closer at hand, it is more unlikely than ever. And the madness is continuing, and taking on a life of its own.

. . .

Arnaud de Borchgrave—the distinguished editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—has written an article about Zbigniew Brzezinski, whom he describes as “the only rival to Henry Kissinger in America’s contemporary geopolitical hall of fame.” In it, he notes:

An Israeli attack on Iran, Brzezinski says, would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States more than for Israel in the short run and a fundamental disaster for Israel in the long run.

It would trigger a collision with the United States and make our task in Afghanistan impossible. It would set the Persian Gulf ablaze; increase the price of oil three or fourfold. Americans, already paying almost $4 a gallon, would see this quickly escalate to $12 or more.

Europe would become even more dependent on Russian oil than it already is. So what would be the benefit for the United States?

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2012/02/13/Commentary-Global-power-gone/UPI-55401329133416/

The answer, of course, is “slim-to-none.” It would represent madness, compliments of Israel’s “demonic” Narcissistic warmonger, Netanyahu. He is trying to drive the United States to war—not unlike the prelude to our war in Iraq, which cost Americans vast financial and human treasures—just when our economy is “teetering,” Europe’s economy is a basket case, and lots of Americans are suffering greatly.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-2001 (“Greece Is The Tip Of An Enormous Iceberg”) (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and all of the other comments beneath it)

. . .

Many people globally remember the closing scene and the famous line from the Academy Award-winning “Best Picture” and Hollywood movie classic, Casablanca. The Vichy Captain, who is in charge of the local police, tells them to “round up the usual suspects” instead of arresting actor Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick for murder.

Without trivializing the brutal attacks on Israelis or other Jews at all, Netanyahu conveniently blames Iran (or its surrogates) for fomenting all of these attacks, while Israel denies any culpability with respect to the targeted killing in Dubai and the deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists. His duplicity and demagoguery are not lost on people around the world who, at the very least, try to remain neutral with respect to Israel.

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21 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

The Wall Street Journal And Others Shill For Netanyahu

In one of the most irresponsible pieces of war-mongering yellow journalism yet by a major American media organization, the Journal has criticized the Chairman of our Joints Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, for not saying that if Iran escalates in response to an Israeli attack, the U.S. would have no choice but to intervene on behalf of Israel. This is pure madness, brought to us by Netanyahu and his lackeys.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ContainingIsraelonIran.pdf

Dempsey sent precisely the right message. It is Netanyahu who must be contained.

The United States is right to oppose an attack on Iran, and that such attack isn’t likely to work in any case. Israel does not have that military capability.

Netanyahu is trying to drag us into a war with Iran, which is madness. Americans want out of the Middle East, not another war brought to us by the Israelis.

Dempsey was right not to spew Israeli propaganda. Netanyahu and his lackeys do enough of that already.

Barack Obama’s real priority must be to contain Israel first, and he is right in doing so.

We have not gone to war with North Korea, and we must not do so with Iran. Precisely the same arguments can be made for war with North Korea. Yet, our ally South Korea has not pushed us into another war on the Korean peninsula. it is Netanyahu and his lackeys who are trying to push us into a war with Iran. He is America’s enemy.

America’s strategic goals do not include making this world safe for Israel. That is utter nonsense. Israel is on its own, forever, sink or swim, period.

Many Americans will vote for Obama, precisely because he will restrain Israel. The sooner Netanyahu is gone, the better.

As discussed in my article above, he was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

. . .

In a hard-hitting article by Arnaud de Borchgrave—the distinguished editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—he concludes:

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu—despite the counsel of three outgoing Israeli intelligence chiefs and the opinions of three U.S. former CENTCOM commanders—says Israel cannot wait for Iran to produce its first nuclear weapon.

So what happens when Netanyahu calls U.S. President Barack Obama and says, “Mr. President, I am calling to inform you I have ordered our air force to take out three key nuclear targets in Iran”?

Obama knows the United States will automatically be drawn in to the conflict as Iran unleashes its asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities up and down the Persian Gulf, including the Strait of Hormuz through which pass 20 percent of the world’s oil consumption.

The U.S. Congress, where the American Israel Public Affairs Committee wields decisive influence, will then vote a resolution of support for Israel.

Obama’s freedom to maneuver diplomatically will be sharply curtailed.

The October surprise: The United States will be in its third war in 10 years.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2012/02/20/Commentary-Kaleidoscope-of-illusions/UPI-40681329741231/?spt=hs&or=an (emphasis added)

This will be Netanyahu’s cruel “gift” to Americans, which is why he must be stopped, by whatever means it takes!

. . .

The Netanyahu “shills” are out in full force, as always. Thus, it bears repeating—as I have stated above clearly and unequivocally—I want Israel to survive. However, most importantly, I do not want the United States drawn into another war in the Middle East, at Israel’s behest. Enough is enough. America is hated in the region and globally for supporting Israel.

As for Americans shedding blood for Israel, this has been done already, when Israel attacked the USS Liberty. And then there are the American deaths and injuries in Iraq. No more. Never again!

See, e.g., http://www.gtr5.com/index.html

The United States should never intervene on Israel’s behalf, period—any more than we are intervening to save the Syrians.

. . .

Netanyahu is Israel today, certainly in the eyes of the world. Yitzhak Rabin and even Ariel Sharon were taking Israel in one direction, toward peace through strength; and Netanyahu has taken it in an entirely different direction—after possibly having been responsible for Rabin’s assassination, which is what Leah Rabin believed.

There are many Jews and non-Jews alike who care deeply about Israel’s future and believe it will not survive. Even worse, there may be celebrations around the world when and if Israel goes, perhaps unlike any celebrations in recorded history. And innocent Israelis and other Jews may be targeted globally in a “silent” holocaust.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2002 (“New Attacks On Israelis Have Begun, Which May Spread To Other Jews Worldwide”); see also http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4193517,00.html (“Russia warns Israel not to attack Iran”)

This is so so tragic, yet it is what Netanyahu has wrought. He has created enemies for his country that never existed before. What must not happen—which is Netanyahu’s goal—is to have the United States drawn into the abyss as well. Americans have a choice. The Israelis do not . . . unless they take steps now to oust Netanyahu and put an end to the madness before it is too late.

. . .

Lastly, in an article worth reading, Peter Beinart has written:

How can it be, less than a decade after the U.S. invaded Iraq, that the Iran debate is breaking down along largely the same lines, and the people who were manifestly, painfully wrong about that war are driving the debate this time as well? Culturally, it’s a fascinating question—and too depressing for words.

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/21/experts-say-iraq-attack-is-irrational-yet-hawks-are-winning-the-debate.html (“Experts Say Iran Attack Is Irrational, Yet Hawks Are Winning the Debate”); see also http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran-intel-20120224,0,5827032.story (“U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb”) and http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-iran-20120224,0,6780170.story (“[F]ormer CIA Director Michael V. Hayden called it ‘beyond the capacity’ of Israel to launch an attack that would seriously set Iran back. What’s more, Iran’s response to such an attack could disrupt global oil shipments, unleash Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel and threaten U.S. interests worldwide”)

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29 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Sobering And Sad

Ever since I worked at the Pentagon as an Army officer, and then on Capitol Hill as a young lawyer—where I had a unique opportunity to see the most important U.S. governmental entities firsthand in action, in an “overview” that few people experience—I have been a strong supporter of America’s military. It is not perfect, but it is the most efficient and effective major governmental organ in the United States and probably anywhere in the world.

By and large, it has done a truly brilliant job, and served our country well. It has been an instrument of American foreign policy and our national security needs; and we remain the only superpower in the world because of it. Under Jimmy Carter, it was in decline, until Ronald Reagan came along and restored the American spirit, and ended the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union.

Fast forward to 2012, as our national elections approach, and we are on the verge of being back in the “malaise” that Reagan inherited from Carter. We have fought two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq; and Americans are “bone-tired” of war, and our military forces have borne the brunt of fighting for ten years now.

Yet, Israel’s Narcissistic demagogue Netanyahu is trying to propel the United States into a third war in the region, against Iran, which is outrageous, pure madness and must be stopped. To Barack Obama’s credit—and I am not a fan is his—he has withstood enormous political pressures and thwarted Netanyahu’s reckless ambitions thus far, and hopefully that will continue.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2015 (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and all of the comments beneath it)

Russia’s “dictator-for-life” Putin is pure evil too, and finally the Russian people are rising up and trying to reclaim the country’s fledgling democracy. Hopefully that succeeds, and a newfound democratic Russia emerges in the post-Putin era.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1910 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-2020

What is sobering though are the costs that America’s military has paid, which is underscored by the following comments—from a Russian “sympathizer”—about the decline in America’s fortunes and its military might:

[Y]ou lost the Vietnam war. To the Third World country. Admit it. Without nukes, napalm and carpet bombing your military is nothing. US troops won’t fight without Cola, bio toilets and salary.

You can’t win even Afghanistan despite the ‘First World military’. Russia’s military has won Georgia in 2008 who was equipped by ‘First World’ US arms and advisers. Only 5 days!!!!

Sad, but true in many ways.

The real story about Vietnam is the following, which was told to me by someone whom I know and respect greatly—who is considered by many to be one of America’s great foreign policy experts, and has dealt with essentially everyone who has been important nationally and internationally during this person’s lifetime:

Tim, We won the Vietnam war – and Congress lost it.

Let me explain.

Last US soldier left Vietnam March 29, 1973.

Saigon fell April 15, 1975.

ARVN – South Vietnamese army – did very well on its own for two years with US military assistance, but no US soldiers, not even as advisers to ARVN.

Then Congress, in its infinite wisdom, cut off all further military aid to Saigon.

ARVN saw no point in continuing to fight, stabbed in the back by the US Congress.

Gen. Giap, in his memoirs, says Hanoi was taken by surprise by what Congress did because they thought that taking Saigon would not be within their reach for two more years.

So Giap improvised an offensive – and Saigon fell without a fight.

And it is true too that Russia’s military today is a mere shadow of the former Soviet Union’s military might—and almost that of a Third World country. Yet, the issue is not Russia’s military power (or lack of it), but that of the United States.

As the U.S. and global economies go through even more wrenching experiences during the balance of this decade, and as this world is fraught with even greater dangers ahead, our military must be “second to none”—and we must rebuild it, not weaken it even more.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-2024 (“Plan For An Economic 9/11″) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/

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1 03 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

NETANYAHU’S MADNESS

Netanyahu

[Note: the comments below have become the subject of a separate article, which you might wish to read: https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu]

In addition to my numerous comments on this subject, the sobering assessment of Arnaud de Borchgrave—the distinguished editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—is worth reading and reflecting on:

U.S. three-star generals and admirals, Defense Intelligence Agency and CIA sources, along with three former CENTCOM commanders and the three former chiefs of Israeli intelligence services who retired last year—a formidable array of military and civilian experts who share impressive expertise on the Middle East—are all waving a red flag against unilateral Israeli or bilateral U.S.-Israeli bombing of Iran’s nuclear installations.

They can see such actions triggering a wider conflict spreading to the entire Middle East and the rest of the Arab world.

. . .

A three-star with much recent experience in the Middle East says an Israeli strike could move the entire region in the wrong direction.

Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz, not just for a few hours, as the Israelis say, but long enough to drive oil prices into the stratosphere. An admiral with years of experience in the region at different times of his career said privately Iran can sow thousands of mines in an area that handles one-fifth of the world’s daily oil requirements. They are below the surface and can be detonated by remote control as a warship sails over them. Iran’s shore line, which covers the entire eastern side of the Persian Gulf, is pock-marked with concealed missile sites.

The Iranians would also use hundreds of small boats in a swarming configuration that U.S. warships are prepared to cope with—but one or two are bound to get through a curtain of fire and punch a hole in the hull of a U.S. or NATO minesweeper.

Such a small boat in Aden harbor in October 2000 punctured the hull of the USS Cole, a $1 billion Arleigh Burke class destroyer, killing 17 sailors, and putting the warship out of service for 18 months with a $220 million repair bill. Cost of the operation to al-Qaida: $10,000 plus three volunteer suicide bombers.

The response of Israeli naysayers is that such tactics would hurt Iran far more than any of its intended targets. U.S. generals and admirals respond that the Iranian leadership wouldn’t be averse to cutting off its nose to spite its face.

The Iranians can also absorb temporary belt-tightening far more readily than Western Europeans. And with gas at the pump suddenly selling at $10 to $15 a gallon, U.S. President Barack Obama’s updated resume wouldn’t look too appealing at the ballot box in November.

. . .

U.S. Navy 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain is vulnerable; two-thirds of its population is Shiite Muslim and rooting for Tehran in the current conflict.

. . .

Most Iran watchers in the intelligence community say that one Israeli or U.S. bomb on Iran would push Iran’s youthful protesters right into the arms of the government they despise.

. . .

More important than his meeting with Obama [next week] is Netanyahu’s speech to the annual AIPAC convention. The endorsement of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington’s most powerful lobby, is tantamount to solid congressional approval.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2012/03/01/Commentary-Geopolitical-maelstrom/UPI-88241330603862/ (“Geopolitical maelstrom”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1880 (“Is Netanyahu’s Next Irresponsible Adventure An Attack On Iran?”)

By attacking Iran, Netanyahu and Israel will stir up a hornet’s nest in the Islamic world, and achieve little or nothing militarily. Israel does not have the means of destroying Iran’s nuclear capabilities; and it is likely that the mission would end in failure. Also, what Arnaud de Borchgrave neglected to mention in his fine article is that in the Middle East, in Europe and worldwide, Israelis and other innocent Jews can be targeted by Islamic fascists; and there is nothing that Israel or its Mossad can do to prevent it.

A “silent” holocaust might take place globally, which would be unstoppable. There are approximately 1.3–1.65 billion followers of Islam worldwide, while Iran’s total population is approximately 78 million; and there are 14–18 million Jews worldwide, of which approximately 6 million live in Israel.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2002 (“New Attacks On Israelis Have Begun, Which May Spread To Other Jews Worldwide”)

It is the Narcissistic demagogic Netanyahu who must be stopped, before he triggers actions in the Middle East and elsewhere that might be truly catastrophic. His goal is to provoke an American attack on Iran, which is outrageous, reprehensible, and similar to the pressures that were brought to bear before the United States invaded Iraq. There are no limits to his arrogance, or the extremes to which he will go to provoke an American attack on Iran. He and Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Russia’s Putin are “moral equivalents.”

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/; see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9125129/2012-is-not-1944-Netanyahu-invokes-Auschwitz-in-warning-to-Obama-over-Iran.html (“‘2012 is not 1944′: Netanyahu invokes Auschwitz in warning to Obama over Iran”)

America is not Israel’s surrogate; the two countries are not tied at the hip; and Iran is not America’s fight. The American people are bone-tired of fighting wars in the region, and want out. And our valiant and heroic military forces have been stretched far enough.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2027; see also http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/opinion/iran-israel-and-the-united-states.html?_r=1 (“[T]here must be no illusions about what it would take to seriously damage Iran’s nuclear complex, the high costs and the limited returns”)

The New York Times has reported:

Thomas E. Donilon, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, . . . spent two days [in Jerusalem] recently, along with a team of intelligence and defense officials, meeting with Mr. Netanyahu and his lieutenants. Both sides contended that the meetings were highly successful. The Israelis were told that the administration not only says it would use military force if sanctions against Iran failed, it is also doing the planning for it.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/world/middleeast/for-obama-and-netanyahu-wariness-on-iran-will-dominate-talks.html

Not a single drop of American blood should ever be spilled to protect or defend Israel, period. It is on its own, sink or swim. It is a pariah state worldwide because of Netanyahu, who continually seeks to dictate and distort American foreign and national security policies. Barack Obama was right in reaching out to the Islamic world—and he must block all warmongering actions by Netanyahu. An Israeli attack would undoubtedly draw fury from Islamic nations and the followers of Islam around the world. America is not at war with Islam; and Netanyahu must not be allowed to provoke this.

As I have written above, on some level Obama views the Israelis as the oppressors, or the “enemy,” and the Palestinians as the oppressed—reflecting his deep-seated beliefs about Apartheid in South Africa, which he viewed as pure evil. Hence, there is no kinship whatsoever between Obama and Netanyahu; and it is not surprising that Obama would treat him with outright disdain and contempt. If one has any doubts, read his book, “Dreams from My Father.” Viewed in this context, one can understand what Obama is doing and why he is doing it. To him, it is likely that Netanyahu personifies that oppression.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

What I wrote in the article above—and in other comments beneath it—bears repeating:

[Netanyahu] was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

What is perhaps most surprising—and disturbing—is that the Israeli people have not ousted Netanyahu before now, despite the warnings of Sharon, the Rabins and others.

. . .

In advance of Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu, the Los Angeles Times reported:

Obama said he plans to tell Netanyahu that he will order military strikes against Iran’s nuclear program if the current international sanctions are not successful in deterring its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

. . .

“I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” Obama said. . . .

See http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-interview-iran-20120302,0,7234351.story (“Obama on Iran: ‘I don’t bluff'”)

This is absurd, and simply political theater. Obama has cut and run from Iraq, like a dog with his tail between his legs; he is in the process of doing the same thing in Afghanistan, and losing the Middle East to Islamic fascists; and he is trying to “gut” our great nation’s military might. The idea that America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac”—and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—would all of a sudden reverse course and launch the United States into a potentially devastating war with Iran and the Islamic world is nonsensical. He is an actor, pure and simple, and not much more.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-2028 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1959 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1883

. . .

The path on which Netanyahu is leading the Israelis is fraught with peril for their tiny Jewish nation . . . and potentially for Jews worldwide. He is determined to take the United States and the American people on the “joy ride” with him, which is utter madness.

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6 03 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

At times I offer the comments of others here, not necessarily because I agree with them, but because they are interesting and provoke discussion. The following is an example:

Projecting into the hypothetical, it seems that the least risky situation of all, in terms of life and death, is if Iran in fact acquires a bomb. What will they then do, launch it at Israel? The collateral damage to Palestinians would be intolerable, and it would only provoke a retaliatory nuclear strike by Israel, raising the mutual death toll to horrific levels. And to what end? Neither country will be wiped off the map, no matter how extensive the damage.

This scenario just doesn’t make sense, which only reiterates the insanity of the Israeli what-if scenarios. In turn, the implication is that the Israelis are really worried not about being wiped off the map, but something else. My guess is that it is purely that if Iran obtains nuclear arms, they will achieve military parity with Israel, devastating their attempt to resist the shifting balance of political and military power in the Middle East that is inexorably closing in on their Zionist enterprise. Their real battle is against change. That is insane too.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/opinion/iran-israel-and-the-united-states.html?_r=1 (“Iran, Israel and the United States,” comments)

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6 03 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

The United States Is Not Responsible For Israel’s Fate

The UK’s Telegraph has reported:

In an uneasy discussion in front of TV cameras in the Oval Office, Mr Netanyahu sought to tie Mr Obama to Israel’s eventual decision, suggesting that Tehran would not distinguish between them.

“For them, you’re the Great Satan, we’re the Little Satan,” he said. “For them, we are you, and you are us”.

. . .

Mr Obama, appearing to bristle at the prime minister’s reference to their countries’ Iranian nicknames, repeated the delicately balanced position he gave to a pro-Israeli conference in Washington on Sunday.

. . .

[T]he president . . . spoke haltingly before Mr Netanyahu’s stridently delivered remarks.

. . .

[A] former foreign policy senior aide to President George W. Bush, said: “We have not assured the Israelis that at the end of that road, we will strike. So my guess is that the Israelis will”.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9124552/Israel-must-remain-master-of-its-fate-Benjamin-Netanyahu-tells-Barack-Obama.html

If the United States is considered the “Great Satan,” it is because of our support for Israel at the expense of our Islamic friends.

Also, Israel does not have the military capability to achieve successful raids on and the destruction of Iran’s nuclear program. What it does have is the ability to ratchet up the hatred of Israelis and Jews globally to unprecedented levels, and to create chaos in the Middle East and beyond.

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12 03 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

The Spymaster, Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan, Compelled To Speak Out Because He Is So Opposed To Preemptive Israeli Strike Against Iran

Tel Aviv In Ruins After Iran Attack

[Tel Aviv in ruins after Iranian attack—Drudge Report, March 11, 2012]

In a rare interview, ex-chief of Mossad Meir Dagan has spoken out in opposition to a preemptive strike by Israel against Iranian nuclear facilities anytime soon. He says the Iranian regime is rational in its own way, CBS’ Lesley Stahl reported. The following script has been edited from “The Spymaster Speaks,” which aired on March 11, 2012:

[H]e told us he felt compelled to talk, because he is so opposed to a preemptive Israeli strike against Iran anytime soon.

Dagan headed the Mossad for nearly a decade until last year. His primary, if not his only mission was to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. And he says there is time to wait, perhaps as long as three years.

Lesley Stahl: You have said publicly that bombing Iran now is the stupidest idea you’ve ever heard. That’s a direct quote.

. . .

Dagan: The regime in Iran is a very rational regime.

Stahl: Do you think Ahmadinejad is rational?

Dagan: The answer is yes. Not exactly our rationale, but I think that he is rational.

. . .

Dagan argues that a preemptive Israeli strike this year would be reckless and irresponsible. The Obama administration agrees that there’s time to wait.

. . .

In his memoir, former Vice President Dick Cheney says that in 2007 Dagan came to Washington with intel to make the case for bombing the Syrian nuclear reactor that Israel later took out in a surprise attack. Syria did not retaliate. This time, Dagan thinks it’ll be different. He worries about a rain of missiles which some estimate could be as many as 50,000.

Dagan: We are going to ignite, at least from my point of view, a regional war. And wars, you know how they start. You never know how you are ending it.

We went outside and looked out from his balcony at the bright lights of the very prosperous, modern city of Tel Aviv.

Stahl: If Israel does strike Iran, the retaliation would probably take place right here. Hezbollah could come from the north; Hamas could fire from the south.

Dagan: It will be a devastating impact on our ability to continue with our daily life. I think that Israel will be in a very serious situation for quite a time.

Dagan’s other concern is that a bombing attack would not be effective. It’s been widely reported that there are four main, heavily fortified, nuclear facilities dispersed across Iran. He says it’s more complicated than that.

Dagan: There are dozens of sites.

Stahl: Dozens?

Dagan: Dozens.

Stahl: Not four?

Dagan: Not four.

Stahl: So if Israel were to go and have their strike, they’d have to have a dozen hits?

Dagan: You’ll have to deal with a large number of targets.

Stahl: Here’s something that I saw that you said. You said, “There’s no military attack that can halt the Iranian nuclear project. It could only delay it.”

Dagan: Yes, I agree.

. . .

Dagan: I know it would sound anti-Semitic if I said some of my best friends are Arabs, but I truly, really admire some of the qualities of Arabs.

. . .

[G]lory turned to scorn at a Dubai hotel in 2010 during an operation to kill a top arms courier for Hamas.

What the 27 Mossad agents didn’t know was that the hotel was full of security cameras and while they succeeded in the assassination, the whole world got to watch their comings and goings including the two agents who conspicuously hung around the elevator in their tennis shorts. Pictures of the “secret agents” were on front pages around the world.

Stahl: This is considered kind of a disaster for the Mossad.

Dagan: I never heard that any Israeli was arrested.

. . .

Stahl: I wonder if it is the reason that you are no longer at the Mossad. That it was seen as such a botched operation, that that basically ended your career.

. . .

Dagan says he retired, but it’s widely believed in Israel that Netanyahu refused to renew his term and that’s one reason Dagan has broken the Mossad code of silence to criticize the prime minister’s stand on Iran.

. . .

Stahl: I’ve heard of talk that people want to put you on trial. They think what you’re doing is treasonous.

Dagan: Let them put me on trial. I’ll be very happy to go on trial. It’ll be fun.

See http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57394904/the-spymaster-meir-dagan-on-irans-threat/ (emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran”)

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