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Obama admin using media against Israel

Obama admin using media against Israel

Mideast Media Sampler – 08/02/2013 – How the Obama administration is playing Israel in the Mainstream Media

1) Targeting Israel in Syria

First the sequence:

a) Israeli Airstrike in Syria Targets Arms Convoy, U.S. Says by Isabel Kershner and Michael Gordon – January 30, 2013

Israeli warplanes carried out a strike deep inside Syrian territory on Wednesday, American officials reported, saying they believed the target was a convoy carrying sophisticated antiaircraft weaponry on the outskirts of Damascus that was intended for the Hezbollah Shiite militia in Lebanon.

The American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Israel had notified the United States about the attack, which the Syrian government condemned as an act of “arrogance and aggression.” Israel’s move demonstrated its determination to ensure that Hezbollah — its arch foe in the north — is unable to take advantage of the chaos in Syria to bolster its arsenal significantly.

b) Israel Bombs Syria as the U.S. Considers Its Own Military Options by Michael Gordon, Eric Schmitt and David Sanger – May 3, 2013

Israel aircraft bombed a target in Syria overnight Thursday, an Obama administration official said Friday night, as United States officials said they were considering military options, including carrying out their own airstrikes.

c) Israel Airstrike Targeted Advanced Missiles That Russia Sold to Syria, U.S. Says by Michael Gordon – July 13, 2013

Israel carried out an air attack in Syria this month that targeted advanced antiship cruise missiles sold to the Syria government by Russia, American officials said Saturday.

The officials, who declined to be identified because they were discussing intelligence reports, said the attack occurred July 5 near Latakia, Syria’s principal port city. The target was a type of missile called the Yakhont, they said.

d) Some Syria Missiles Eluded Israeli Strike, Officials Say by Michael Gordon – July 31, 2013

American intelligence analysts have concluded that a recent Israeli airstrike on a warehouse in Syria did not succeed in destroying all of the Russian-made antiship cruise missiles that were its target, American officials said on Wednesday, and that further Israeli strikes are likely. …

The officials who described the new assessment declined to be identified because they were discussing classified information.

On four separate occasions this year, administration officials talking to Michael Gordon (and other reporters) of the New York Times revealed information about Israeli striking Syria. In three of the cases it’s acknowledged explicitly that official speaking to the Gordon would not identify him or her self. Yet only once did the United States apologize. Still, in three separate instances the administration deprived Israel of deniability about the strike. The most recent case, suggested that Israel would strike Syria again. The suggestion hardly something that helps Israel.

Last year in the wake of reports of the Stuxnet virus damaging Iran’s nuclear facilities, a report in the New York Times had the administration boasting of its efforts to create the virus. However there were some reported problems with the virus. Then the administration blamed Israel.

An error in the code, they said, had led it to spread to an engineer’s computer when it was hooked up to the centrifuges. When the engineer left Natanz and connected the computer to the Internet, the American- and Israeli-made bug failed to recognize that its environment had changed. It began replicating itself all around the world. Suddenly, the code was exposed, though its intent would not be clear, at least to ordinary computer users.

“We think there was a modification done by the Israelis,” one of the briefers told the president, “and we don’t know if we were part of that activity.”

Mr. Obama, according to officials in the room, asked a series of questions, fearful that the code could do damage outside the plant. The answers came back in hedged terms. Mr. Biden fumed. “It’s got to be the Israelis,” he said. “They went too far.”

It’s unclear who leaked this story to the New York Times, but recently the Justice Department has been investigating Gen. James Cartright for leaking the information about Stuxnet. There is no reporting suggesting that the leakers about the Israeli attacks on Syria are being investigate. It’s curious why Cartright and not others are being investigated. It’s also curious why administration leaks seem to make Israel look bad.

2) Targeting Israel in Egypt

A few days ago the New York Times published a news analysis U.S. Balancing Act With Egypt Grows Trickier by Mark Landler.

For the Obama administration, the problem is not simply its relationship with the Egyptian military but also with Israel, whose security interests are weighing particularly heavily on administration officials as they try to nurture a new round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel depends on Egyptian troops to root out Islamic extremists in the Sinai Peninsula, and Israeli officials have publicly and privately urged the United States not to cut off the aid, which underpins the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Israeli concerns are presented as a reason holding the administration back from doing the “right thing” in Egypt. Later on the article emphasizes this point by hypothesizing what might happen if aid to Egypt were cut off and Egypt then failed to take control of the Sinai.

Were that to happen, analysts said, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would face enormous domestic pressure not to make any concessions to the Palestinians, especially on security issues. He probably could not even continue talking to them.

If the theme that Israel prizes its security at the expense of Egypt’s freedom sounds familiar its because it was a common refrain in Thomas Friedman’s columns at the beginning of the “Arab Spring.” In particular, Friedman wrote in Postcard from Cairo II:

Rather than even listening to what the democracy youth in Tahrir Square were saying and then trying to digest what it meant, this Israeli government took two approaches during the last three weeks: Frantically calling the White House and telling the president he must not abandon Pharaoh – to the point where the White House was thoroughly disgusted with its Israeli interlocutors – and using the opportunity to score propaganda points: “Look at us! Look at us! We told you so! We are the only stable country in the region, because we are the only democracy.’’

I have no idea what the Israeli officials really said, only how Friedman interpreted – and, if he is to be trusted, how certain administration officials interpreted – their comments. Israeli was probably rightfully guarded in its appraisal of the protests and it bother Friedman and perhaps some in the administration, that Israel wasn’t more enthusiastic. The success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt validated the Israeli approach. (Friedman is arguing that Israel wasn’t really secure since it was depending on undependable strongmen for peace. Of course 2003, that is precisely the advice Friedman gave Israel in advocating that Arab peace initiative.)

Landler is the White House correspondent for the New York Times and from what I’ve seen a cheerleader for the administration. It’s possible that he framed the analysis based on his own understandings and prejudices. It’s also possible that he was faithfully recording the message the administration wanted to send.

3) Targeting Israel in the Peace Talks

David Ignatius wrote one of the more disturbing op-eds I could imagine, Kerry’s big-bang Mideast diplomacy:

What Kerry has done, in effect, is get the two sides to grab hold of a stick of dynamite. If they can’t defuse it within nine months through an agreement, it’s going to blow up: The moderate Palestinian government in the West Bank would collapse; militant Palestinians would take statehood to the United Nations, probably this time with broad European support; an angry Arab League would withdraw its peace initiative. It would be a big mess for everyone.

Tzipi Livni, the chief Israeli negotiator, recalled at a State Department ceremony Tuesday that when she first talked with Kerry about a new round of peace talks five months ago, he told her that “failure is not an option.” By pushing the two sides into an actual negotiation, Kerry has put some teeth into that bromide. If they fail this time, it will cost the parties dearly, probably Israel most of all. That provides harsh leverage for Washington.

Kerry’s second advantage is that he’s ready to be an active broker in this deal rather than a passive listener or mediator. When the two sides reach impasses or get bogged down on side issues, Kerry will seek to break the logjam with U.S. proposals. By putting a nine-month fuse on his dynamite stick, Kerry limits stalling tactics of the sort adopted in the past by both sides.

What’s important to remember about Ignatius is that he’s very well connected. If someone want to look good in Washington he becomes a source for Ignatius who will write him or her up favorably. Presumably Kerry or someone in the State Department went to Ignatius for this op-ed. If Kerry (or a subordinate) was boasting of this agenda, then Secretary of State is a poor job title for Kerry. Master of disaster would be more appropriate.

In 2000, Prime Minister Barak cut made an end of conflict offer to Yasser Arafat. Arafat refused it. And then he started the so-called “Aqsa intifada.”

What makes Ignatius or Kerry certain that Abbas won’t refuse Netanyahu as Arafat refused Barak or Abbas refused Olmert in 2008? It isn’t the negotiating that will bring peace, it has to be the sense that only negotiations will help Abbas get what he says he needs. Abbas has calculated that he will do much better bringing international pressure to bear on than he will from bilateral negotiations. No one, not the Kerry, not the EU, not the UN has told him otherwise.

But think about underlying premise of this approach apparently adopted by Kerry and advocated by Ignatius. The United States is telling an ally: give the other guy everything he wants or you will regret it.

Apparently someone in the State Department wants Israel to get this message and got Ignatius to deliver it.


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I’m afraid the U.S. will not get tough with Israel. I don’t know what it has on us. They aren’t useful anymore as a ally against Russia…never were IMO…Israel has always been much more of a problem to us than a “friend”.
Were I president, I would ignore Israel and any proposed “negotiations”. No good faith negotiations have ever took place between Israel and the Palestinians. There’s too much inequity. I do not believe that Israel wants peace. There’s no evidence for it.

well, our SCOAMF always said he’d stand with the moose slimes, so this is no real surprise. the State Department has been full of anti-Semitic scum for generations.

Let’s face it. The Obama Presidency was never viable without a devoted and worshipful press.

Goodness. Those are some crazy, shrill, scary responses.
I’ve been following the relationship tween Israel and it’s neighbors for 40 yrs, closely.
Spare me the govt propaganda sites, I’m not a sheep.
Linking Isreal’s interests with “the Jews” is dishonest.
Most diaspora Jews don’t have any regard or interest in that land.
Many are critical. For good reason.
We need a pres who will stand up to that country, not give unqualified support.

    Admiral Ackbar in reply to danobivins. | August 2, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    “Linking Isreal’s interests with “the Jews” is dishonest.
    Most diaspora Jews don’t have any regard or interest in that land.
    Many are critical. For good reason.”

    This might be the most ridiculous assertion, without any fact to back it up, that I have ever heard in relation to Israel. Even aside from “many are critical” seeming to me showing SOME kind of “regard or interest”, which I think makes your post an oxymoron, you dismiss any history, ancient or modern.

    How exactly was modern Israel reestablished? By diaspora Jews.
    Why was it reestablished? To be a safe haven for diaspora Jews in an increasingly hostile world.

    I really can’t believe you’ve even spoken to a Jew. Everyone I know, everyone I speak to, has an opinion about Israel. Sure you get the ones, as you say, “are critical”, believing the worst even when there is little evidence, or even none. They have a “not in my name” kind of attitude. Unwarranted, I would argue with them.
    But there are far more Jews that continue to support Israel.

    In any case, no matter their views, it’s simply ridiculous to state (may I remind you again, with no evidence) most diaspora Jews “don’t have any regard or interest in that land”

Carol Herman | August 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Benghazi is the BIG secret. There were 36 or more CIA agents on the ground, doing a “fast & furious” with arms and missiles from libya going to syrian “rebels.”

That the media is antisemitic? You just figured this out today? And, when things “heat up” in the press … it’s like a magician’s talent of “misdirection.” Things aren’t as they appear … because you’re letting your eyes get misdirected.

What’s unknown? Why is Bibi making such proffers? Isn’t this the same Bibi who was at WYE in 1996? So, why as “why?” There’s an elite in Israel. Left and secular. Who have been trying to make peace with the arabs since the end of October, 1973. All their offers, however, keep getting rejected.

You think Jimmy Carter disliked Jews more or less than Obama?

The real problem is that in Israel you get a choice at the polls between dozens of characters. Who, when they arrive in the knesset are ‘left” and “lefter.”

Can Bibi get away with what he’s pulling?

Well, maybe, the better question is can he give away more than Arik Sharon did, without getting a stroke? (Sharon didn’t anticipate his stroke, ya know.)

At least the IDF still functions. Just the other day another arms depot got blown up. (And, this is not counting the rebel hit on Hom’s.)

With endgame in sight in Syria, it is my guess that there’s gonna be a whole lot of story telling going on … trying to misdirect attention to Israel. Because who is better to hit? Israel’s the pinata at the party.

Livni and Olmert? Friends of Bibi. While I’ve read comments from religious Jews in Israel who say … Bibi “promised” this will be a yakity-yak fest that lasts nine months. But doesn’t produce a baby.

Behind the scenes I wouldn’t be surprised the saud’s are calling obama on the phone and screaming at him like you wouldn’t believe. Does it matter? I don’t know.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Carol Herman. | August 3, 2013 at 5:11 am


    It’s Fast and Furious – Middle East Version.

    It’s also a CRIMINAL ACTION.

    Obama and Hillary know it.
    That’s why they are busily hiding and changing the names of the operatives who were funneling guns and missiles to Syria.

    The purpose of all those guns is not primarily to topple Assad, but for the endgame against Israel.

    Obama and Hillary, the Butchers of Benghazi and Planned Parenthood will go down in infamy as murderous evildoers.

    Thus they have always been and always will be unless they repent, confess and abandon their sins and evil ideology. However, their consciences may have been hardened beyond repair.

    The extent of their evil deeds (even during the Clinton Arkansas and White House years) has not yet come to light.

    I will just close with this quote from the man who worked with Hillary on the Nixon impeachment:

    “In March 2008, as Hillary Clinton was running for president, Jerry Zeifman — the chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee at the time of Nixon’s impeachment and a lifelong Democrat — expressed his profound disappointment with her work on the committee. Among her transgressions were lying, removing files from the committee offices without permission, and arguing that Nixon shouldn’t be allowed any legal counsel before the committee. “I terminated her employment on the Nixon impeachment staff,” he told me. “My only regret was I had not reported her unethical practices to the appropriate bar associations. I could not recommend her for any subsequent position of public or private trust.”

    Hillary’s MO has remained the same since her early years in politics. Same with Obama.

Well, dano, first you would disregard Israel, now you would stand up to them. Which is it arm chair Prez?
I would go so far as to say that most ex-pats or descendants of a foreign country living in other countries don’t have too much interest in their ancestral homeland. Whatever is your incredibly weak sounding point?

In what ways are the opponents of Israel better friends or even friends at all? You condemn only Israel, so by inference you support the Arab position. Please give us examples of the stable friendships that we would be enjoying if we gave our ‘unqualified support’ to Palestine and its supporters.

If u can’t easily discern my point, i can’t help u.
I don’t subscribe to the principle that you’re either a champion of Israel or an enemy.
I see an apartheid state that insists that anyone who “negotiate” with them must identify as a zionist (officially recognize Israel). Hard to do when it’s borders constantly expand.
I submit that if we **(Americans)** distance ourselves from and defund Israel, terrorism and anti-American activity around the world will evaporate like a puddle in the desert.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to danobivins. | August 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    You poor deluded soul. Islamic terrorism has existed since Mohammed the original terrorist and it will exist until the last Islamist repents and abandons that spiritual stronghold of evil that Mohammed created by worshipping a god he made in image of his own bloodthirsty, lustful soul.

    stevewhitemd in reply to danobivins. | August 2, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Dan: you’re not a very good troll. Try to work on it.

    Americans who support Israel, and there are many, do so for a simple reason: Israel is a vibrant, liberal democracy with periodic elections and changes in government. Israel is western-oriented in its mores and culture. Its people speak not only a national language but also the languages of the west. It has a legal code, courts, and redress for its citizens. It is a secular state with a deep belief in religious values, values and mores shared by many Americans. Israel is by no means perfect, but it shares all the attributes of a modern, western nation.

    Whereas the Palestinians do not.

    Defunding Israel would only encourage the Palestinians and Arab states to press on to their ultimate goal: the elimination of Israel as a nation state and the death (that is to say, genocide) and/or subjugation of the Israelis.

    How do I know this?

    Because the Palestinians say so, right up front.

    Hamas, one of the major Palestinian political/military/terrorist groups, calls for the elimination of Israel in the very first paragraph of its charter. You could look it up. Fatah, another major group, has the same goal. Ditto Islamic Jihad, a Syrian sponsored group.

    Defunding Israel would show the Palestinians that we in the West do not care about the fate of Israel. Instead of terrorism evaporating, it would multiply. Anti-American activity would increase, not decrease, as the Palestinians and other terror/militant groups around the world figured out who the strong horse was, and wasn’t.

    The Palestinians, and especially the militant Palestinians, not want a ‘two-state’ solution. They want a one-state solution, their state, all of ‘Palestine’, with Israel extinguished and its citizens dead or enslaved. Their state will be an Islamic one with a small cabal of religious thugs in charge. Democracy need not apply; it is un-Islamic.

    Israel, in their vision, is an infidel state whose very existence is an affront to Islam as defined by the Palestinian men and women who carry guns and bombs. No Palestinian leader will ever acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. Indeed, recent offers by Hamas, called a ‘truce’ proposal in the western press, are correctly read as a ‘hudna’: an Arabic word that means a cessation of hostility only long enough for the Palestinians to gather their strength for a new attack.

    The Palestinians have never been able to stand successfully against Israel in any conventional conflict so they have adopted the ways and values of terrorism. The short-term goal of terrorism is to terrorize, the long-term goal is to conquer. Accommodation with Israel is neither possible nor desired. The citizens of the West do not understand and thus continue to offer the Palestinians various bribes and deals. Thank you, the Palestinians will say, and then will terrorize some more. Whatever idealism (or not) that started the Palestinian movement, the movement today is run by armed gangs and thugs who derive their power and support from being terrorists. Like the scorpion on the back of the frog, it is what they do.

    So Dan: I discern your point. It is obvious. You prefer Israel to go away, to cease to exist.

    I am a champion of Israel; but I also champion every group of people in the world who are committed to the beliefs and ideas to which I commit myself. The Palestinians are committed to something very different. I will not support them.

Well stated Stevewhitemd. Isn’t it not odd that there are so seldom liberal responses to a well reasoned statement?