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Benjamin Netanyahu Tag

Probably the one columnist I have critiqued more than any other in my blogging career is Thomas Friedman of The New York Times. Friedman, one-time NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief, is considered The Times' go-to expert on the Middle East, globalization and environmental issues. However, when reading Friedman's columns, it's easy to see that rather than being an expert on any of these topics, he holds certain beliefs and uses all of his observations to support his deeply held beliefs. He often conveys his convictions using superficial metaphors that sound clever, but are meaningless or misleading.

We've covered the back and forth today, from John Kerry's angry policy speech putting most of the blame on Israel for failure to reach an agreement on the final status of the dispute, to Bibi Netanyahu's equally blistering rebuttal. The rallying around Israel and Netanyahu by politicians on both sides of the aisle is a reflection of both ideological support for Israel and the fact that Israel remains hugely popular among the American public. The maligned "Israel Lobby" consists of a substantial majority of Americans who not only support Israel, but support Israel over the Palestinians. The American people are the Israel Lobby. But that can't explain the reaction against Obama's U.N. move.

Back in February 2012, I wrote that I expected that in his second term Obama would force his vision of a "peace" deal on the Israelis. We've had several close calls, with the John Kerry negotiation fiasco and flirtation with various European and Arab initiatives through the UN. The mechanism would be a failure to veto a Security Council resolution setting the terms of a deal. Part of it is Obama hatred of Bibi Netanyahu, dating back to the beginning of Obama's presidency. The snubs and dislike was palpable long before Netanyahu's address to Congress opposing the Iran nuclear deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't hesitate to take to social media to get his point across, including when the press treats him unfairly. (Where have I heard that before?) But if you read the headlines about some comments he made at a press event, you'd think Netanyahu just admitted to "attacking", "lashing out" at, and "berating, badmouthing" journalists on social media. But that's not what he said. Those journalists misstated the question he was asked in their headlines. Leftist Haaretz used the "lashing out" words:

Early on in his first term, President Barack Obama suggested that in order to achieve peace between Israeli and the Palestinians, there needed to be more "daylight" between the United States and Israel. Obama, according to a report on a meeting between the president and American Jewish leaders, said, referring to the Bush administration, "During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states." During Obama's two terms in office, he made efforts to put daylight between his administration and Israel, and not just in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: in 2010 the administration harangued Netanyahu over a plan to build apartments in Jerusalem, the administration pursued the nuclear deal with Iran over Israeli objections, senior administration officials, on and off the record, have disparaged Netanyahu, and Obama is said to be considering a move in the UN to support Palestinian statehood.

Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the U.N. today. As usual, it was an excellent speech. The headline is that Netanyahu offered to have Palestinian President speak at the Israeli Knesset (parliament) and for Netanhahu to speak at the parliament in Ramallah. https://twitter.com/IsraeliPM/status/779005562390515712 Put aside intentions, there will be some hurdles to overcome if Netanyahu is to speak to the Palestinian parliament. It hasn't met since 2007.

Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated an obvious truth. The demand that Jews leave Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") as part of a two-state solution is nothing less than a demand for ethnic cleansing that cannot be a basis for peace, Netanyahu: Ethnic Cleansing of Jews For Peace is Absurd: That video, and the truth underlying it, caused a fury because it took on a core (but false) international view that Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice line (pre-1967) is illegitimate at best, illegal at worst.

The other day we reported on Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's video in which he pointed out that advocating the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") is hardly a path to peace, Ethnic Cleansing of Jews For Peace is Absurd: Netanyahu was factually correct on the goals of the Palestinian leadership, and not only from Hamas:

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a new video Friday. In his latest YouTube chat, Netanyahu challenges the idea that ethnic cleansing of Jews in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") will lead to peace. According to Israel National News:
"The Palestinian Authority leadership’s demand that a Palestinian state be free of Jews is ethnic cleansing, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Friday, and the concept of ethnic cleansing for peace is absurd. Netanyahu’s comments came in a video he released in Hebrew and English and which was also released in a version with Arabic subtitles."

Today is the 4th of July and besides being the 240th birthday of America... (Mazal Tov! You've already doubled the usual wish of "until 120" ) ...it is also the 40th anniversary of an equally auspicious day - the miraculous rescue by IDF special forces of over 100 Jewish hostages held by German and Palestinian terrorists in Entebbe, after their Air France airplane was hijacked on its way from France to Tel Aviv.

This past Sunday more than 1,500 people—along with dozens of members of the media and press—attended The Jerusalem Post’s 5th Annual Conference in New York City. The one-day event, themed “Israel, the U.S. and the Free World Facing Global Terror,” was held at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in the heart of Times Square and Manhattan’s theater district. JPost annual conference 2016 logo According to the pre-conference publicity, the annual conference—which in the past has proved to be “both newsworthy and dazzling”—was predicted to be the “best and biggest yet”. It was indeed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told French Prime Minister Manuel Valls he wants to hold a one-on-one meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas instead of a multinational conference in Paris. Netanyahu thinks Abbas will use the conference as a way to ignore direct negotiations with Israel. France has scheduled the peace talks for the beginning of June without Israel or Palestinian Authority representatives. From The Times of Israel:
“The Palestinian Authority does not see the French initiative as an inducer for negotiations, but as a way to avoid them,” he said. Instead, Netanayhu said, he would be willing to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “in Paris or wherever,” and hold face-to-face negotiations without international mediation. “Every difficult issue will be on the table,” he said.
France plans to host another conference with Israel and Palestine in the autumn.
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