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MA#44  –  JERUSALEM BESIEGED  -  APRIL 2010

  

 

JERUSALEM

A VERY HEAVY ROCK FOR ALL THE NATIONS   

“The message of the word of YHWH concerning Israel. YHWH who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, declares: ‘Look! I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the people around. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.  And on that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem a very heavy rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will be severely injured’.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

Today, Jerusalem, the capital of ancient and modern Israel, is being surrounded by enemies who are demanding that Israel divide the city, so that the eastern sector can become the capital of a Palestinian state.

The nations are being motivated by rationalism, and their perceived solutions to the 4000-year-old conflict between the Ishmaelites and the Israelites.

Long ago God provided a territorial solution. To the descendants of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob (Israel), He gave the land of Canaan:

“On that day YHWH made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates’.” (Genesis 15:18)

To the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael, He gave the lands of Egypt and most of the Middle East.

“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Watch! I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac.” (Genesis 17:20-21)

The Muslim world has a religious capital  -  Mecca.  And when Muslims in any part of the world pray, they bow down facing Mecca.

The Jewish world has a religious capital – Jerusalem.  Jews pray towards Jerusalem. And in Jerusalem they pray facing the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. 

The word Jerusalem is found in the Hebrew Bible some 800 times.  It is not mentioned even once in the Koran.

YHWH the LORD calls Zion (Jerusalem) His holy mountain, and He says regarding the nations:

“Why do the nations rage and the people devise a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against YHWH and against His Anointed - His Messiah: ‘Let us break Their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off Their fetters!’ He who is seated in the heavens laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His fury, saying, ‘I, yes, I have installed My King on Zion, My holy mountain.” (Psalm 2:1-6)

The nations today, however, care little for what God has said. They listen rather to the voice of expediency and rationalism. Whatever their puny finite minds can concoct, is what infuses them with rash rhetoric and reckless policies.

The drive of the Arabic-Persian-Turkic nations is more understandable, for it is clear from their holy book.

But Europe? Of course, Europe is well into a post-Christian era, so that the Bible does not count for very much there.  Australia is in much the same condition.

And what about the USA? Well, the people voted in a president who said the US is no longer a Christian country, and that “Nobody should be concerned with a few obscure Bible verses.” Barack Obama is proving to be the most anti-Israel US president since the creation of the modern Zionist state in 1948.

HISTORICAL JERUSALEM

Jerusalem was originally a small Jebusite city in the time of Abraham some 4,000 years ago. It was established as the capital of Israel by King David, over 3,000 years ago. Even when the land was later occupied by other nations, Jerusalem had a sizable Jewish population. And it has never been a capital city of any of the nations that captured it. 

In the Turkish Ottoman Empire Jerusalem was simply an outpost. In World War 1, Jerusalem was liberated from the Turks by the British who then administered the land under a mandate of the League of Nations. 

In 1947 the United Nations voted and decided to partition “West Palestine,” and the resolution called for Jerusalem to be placed under UN administration.

The Arab nations rejected the UN resolution and launched a war against the newly declared state of Israel in 1948. The Jordanian army drove the Jews out of eastern Jerusalem - the Old City - the City of David. The Jews held onto the western sectors.

Although the Jordanians controlled most of Samaria-Judea which they called “The West Bank” for 19 years, there was no attempt to establish an Arab state in the territory, or to set up a capital in  Jerusalem.

1967  -  JERUSALEM REUNITED

During the Six-day War of 1967, Jerusalem and the West Bank were liberated from the Jordanians. Thereafter, Jews began to return to their former neighborhoods in the east, north and south of Jerusalem, and they have remained there ever since. All areas of Jerusalem were annexed to Israel, and the united city remains the nation’s capital.

The Palestinian Authority claims that the areas controlled by Jordan for 19 years, rightfully belong to the Palestinian race and should become a capital of a future Arab state.

The fact is that there has never been a Palestinian nation, a Palestinian race, a Palestinian identity, a Palestinian government or currency.  In the first half of the 20th century, anyone living in Palestrina – (Palestine), including the Jews, was called Palestinians.  In those days the Palestine Post was a Jewish newspaper. The Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra was a totally Jewish orchestra.

The people now called “Palestinians” are a hybrid race, made up of Arabs and Bedouins from the nations around.  Yasser Arafat was, in fact, an Egyptian.

Mahmoud Abbas was born in Safed, Galilee (Israel), but at the age of 13, he fled with his parents, and settled in Syria.  Like many of the Arabs, they were ordered by the Arab leaders to temporarily get out of the Jewish areas. They were promised that after the Jews were wiped out, they would return and take over the whole land.  But that never happened! And they found them-selves as refugees in Jordan, Egyptian-Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and the Persian Gulf. Abbas graduated from Damascus University, then went to Egypt to study law.

 

  JEWS AND ARABS     

Israel is a predominately Jewish nation, and the majority of the first citizens were Jewish émigrés from Soviet and European nations. After 1948, Jews “returned” to Israel from all over the world. Today, the majority of Israelis have been born in the land.

The total Israeli citizenship is nearing 7 million; about 6 million are Jews, and one million are Arabs – mostly descendants of those who remained in the land during the 1948-49 war. 

“The Palestinians” are not Israelis. Prior to 1967 they were Arabs living under Jordan and Egypt. Since 1967 neither Egypt nor Jordan has wanted them!  So they now claim to be an ancient ‘Palestinian’ race. (There is no evidence they descended from the Philistines).

The Palestinians, as people, of course, need to be settled.  Several million “refugees” (which are mostly descendants of original refugees, have long been settled in their host countries - but they have often been a problem to their hosts.

After 1967, Israel accommodated the Arabs within the liberated territories – Judea, Samaria, Gaza and E. Jerusalem, and most were doing well. But when the PLO was formed, it fomented trouble in Israel, as it did also in Jordan and Lebanon.

Gaza, in particular, became a hotbed of terrorism. Israel finally decided to give the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians there, to administer, and to develop as a prosperous community in harmony with both Egypt and Israel.  But the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt had created the Hamas movement in Gaza, and its agenda was nothing less than the destruction of Israel.  So instead of prosperity and freedom, Gazans reaped the opposite.

In the West Bank, instead of living in peace and prosperity, radical Palestinians encouraged countless suicide bombings in Israeli cities, which forced Israel to build protective barriers and a security wall around the territory.

Although the Palestinian Authority has recognised Israel (because of the Oslo Accord in 1993), the main party in the West Bank, Fatah, like Hamas, still maintains a charter that calls for Israel to be wiped out.

Basically the Palestinians don’t want to live alongside Israel; and the Arab nations, and Iran, do not want a Jewish state in the Middle East. And of course, the Jews are not thrilled to be surrounded by hostile Arabs.

WHY PEACE EFFORTS HAVE FAILED

Numerous Israeli leaders and American presidents, have striven to produce a solution. George Bush Snr, forced Palestinian and Israeli leaders to sit together after the first Gulf War.  Bill Clinton oversaw the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993, and the Camp David talks in 1980, with the hope of producing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. But he also failed ... because Yasser Arafat would not budge from his demands. Next, George Bush Jnr, declared that he would bring peace to the Middle East; and his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice tried her level best to achieve it – and they also failed.

Now, the new “messiah” President Barack Obama, along with the international  “Quartet,” is determined to solve the problem – even if it means imposing a US-EU-UN-crafted remedy upon Israel – and even if that remedy reduces Israel to a mini-state within the 1967’s indefensible borders. (Understandably, Israel is not willing to accept such a suicide solution.)

But Obama’s hard line towards Israel has encouraged the Palestinians to take an even more uncompromising stand - which makes a reasonable solution even more improbable. 

There is no “solution,” except world war.  Even the Antichrist’s 7-year peace treaty will not bring “peace” for more than a few months.

War is a solution that no-one wants – no-one except Iran, and the insiders who plan to impose global governance on the world. And that world government agenda is the motivation for the powers of darkness to draw all nations up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat – the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem, for battle.

The LORD warns of this through Joel the prophet:

“Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of YHWH is coming; surely it is near - a day of darkness and gloom; a day of clouds and gross darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, so there is a great and mighty people coming; there has never been anything like it, nor will there ever be in the ages to come. A fire consumes before them, and behind them a flame burns ...

“Before them the earth quakes; the heavens tremble; the sun and the moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. YHWH thunders at the head of His army. Surely His camp is very great, and strong is the One who carries out His word. The day of YHWH is indeed great and very awesome; who can endure it?  …

“Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up to attack! Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong!’

“Come quickly all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves together! Bring down, O YHWH, Your mighty ones! Let the nations be aroused and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.” (Joel 2:1-3. 3:10-12)

OBAMA’S FEUD WITH ISRAEL

After he was sworn in as president in Jan 2009, Barack Obama began a courtship with the Islamic nations, and at the same time distanced himself from Israel.  In his first 14 months in office he has visited Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Djibouti, Ghana, Germany, Afghanistan, and South America, and has even shaken the hand of Hugo Chavez (an outspoken enemy of the US). But while Obama visited Israel before the elections, he has since bypassed his “strategic partner.”

Evidently he wants to show the Arab world that far from favouring the Jewish state, he intends to bring it to its knees. 

Obama’s envoy, George Mitchell, has had very little success with the Middle East peace process over the past year - that is, if we are thinking of a true solution. Mitchell, of course, has long been pro-Palestinian, and formerly he was a director in the Council on Foreign Relations which is pushing for world governance.

After a stalemate in year-long talks, in 2008, Mahmoud Abbas changed tactics. He now demands concessions before starting talks again. 

After all Barack Obama’s failed foreign initiatives, this “breakthrough” evidently encouraged  him with something positive - something that now looked possible.  So he sent his Vice-President, Joe Biden, to Israel, ostensibly to rebuild ties.

 

JOE BIDEN’S VISIT TO ISRAEL

Vice President Biden’s visit to Israel in mid-March was supposed to promote American-mediated talks between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel, with a view of producing a new Palestinian state.

In the beginning, all went well. Biden met with both Israeli President Shimon Peres and PM Benjamin Netanyahu. During a joint press conference with Netanyahu, Biden praised Israel for restarting the peace process, and said that America was committed to Israel’s security.

Netanyahu in turn expressed thanks to the US for its leadership against Iran’s nuclear weapons program. “I very much appreciate the efforts of President Obama and the American government to lead the international community to place tough sanctions on Iran,” he said.

Shortly thereafter, Israel’s Interior Ministry, which is run by the ultra-orthodox, nationalist party, Shas, made the ill-timed announcement - that it was going ahead with plans to build 1600 new homes in the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo – in the north-west of Jerusalem.

This announcement was a surprise apparently, to both Biden and Netanyahu. The prime minister apologised to his guest over the bad timing of the announcement.

BIDEN SIDES UP WITH PALESTINIANS   

The man who came to Israel on a charm offensive, could no longer hide the truth about where the Obama administration’s true sympathies lie. After declaring his undying love and fidelity to Israel just hours before, Biden switched gears and condemned Israel for “undermining” prospects for peace.

The next day Mr Biden stood side by side with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah, and condemned Israel for its decision to continue building in Jerusalem. He also said that the Palestinians deserve a “viable and contiguous” independent state that is not broken up by Israeli settlements. 

The day after Biden left his Palestinian partners in Ramallah, the PA honored Dalal Mughrabi, the leader of the deadliest-ever terrorist attack in Israel, by naming a square in Ramallah after her.

BIDEN BLIGHTS US-ISRAEL RELATIONS

On Mar 12/10, the washingtontimes.com reported that the fallout from Biden’s 48 hours in Israel undid a year of effort by the Israeli government to build a foreign policy, and an understanding with Washington as the bedrock of a coordinated proactive policy on Iran. But instead of ironing out misunderstandings which have marred relations, the visitor struck out on his own as America’s would-be Middle East policy overlord.

Biden came to the region with three missions: to sweeten US-Israeli relations, celebrate the launching of indirect Israel-Palestinian peace talks, and to underscore the commonality of US-Israeli purpose on Iran. As it happened, he fell down on all three counts; instead, launching an independent Middle East posture at odds with the White House’s avowed policies.

Instead of smoothing ruffled feathers in Jerusalem with interviews to the host media, VP Biden snubbed them all and granted the only interview of his trip to the Arabic Al Jazeera TV, whose news content is sharply slanted against Israel, US military campaigns, and the Western war on terror.

By ending his Israel visit with the Al Jazeera interview, Joe Biden showed exactly how he felt about Israel. And so the worst crisis between the US and Israel since the 1970s began; and Biden’s visit ended up as a fiasco. 

BIDEN’S PRIVATE TALKS NOT SO SWEET

According to debkafile’s sources, “the sweetness and light” conveyed in public statements was hardly present in the Vice President’s private talks with Israeli leaders.

Netanyahu may have approved the Jerusalem announcement as an indirect comeback for the way the American visitor was laying down the law on a number of issues of Israeli concern, chiefly the matter of Iran’s rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon. But the announcement was certainly a forthright statement on the Interior Ministry’s resistance to the division of Jerusalem.

The peremptory word (dictatorial demands) was first heard at Biden’s meeting with President Shimon Peres. There he explicitly warned Israel against venturing to attack Iran without prior American permission.

Even the oft-repeated American commitment to Israel’s security was delivered with this notable reservation:

“I can promise the people of Israel that we will confront every security challenge that we will face,” Biden said. But this statement ruled out any unilateral Israel operation in its own defence. Forget unilateral action, he was saying: From now on, “we” will make the decisions about the levels of “security challenge” facing Israel and how to “confront it.”

Jerusalem was also taken aback by Biden’s assertion that Iran was isolated as never before. A distorted prism was held up by the Obama administration to justify its backtracking on painful sanctions for Iran.

Sanctions had been explicitly promised by the White House to Netanyahu and to Defence Minister Ehud Barak in return for Israel’s consent to hold back from striking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Biden’s visit to Israel, therefore, far from meeting its avowed goal of smoothing over the differences between the Obama administration and Israel, left Jerusalem more distrustful than ever.

MEDIA AND POLITICAL BLOWS

Binyamin Netanyahu copped the heat for the crisis that erupted with the approval of new construction in Ramat Shlomo - a town located in a part of Jerusalem that was restored to Israel when Jerusalem was reunited after the Six Day War – a reunion the US does not recognize.

Much of the media criticized the PM for embarrassing Biden, although Netanyahu insisted he had nothing to do with the timing of the announcement.

Much of the foreign and Israeli media placed Israel in a bad light for upsetting American plans to mediate between the PA and Israel for a new Arab state within Israel’s borders. However, an “editor-at-large” for UPI, which generally reports with less bias than other news agencies, commented that the “anaemic Middle East ‘peace process’ is beginning to look like The Fool’s Errand.”

CLINTON REPRIMANDS NETANYAHU   

After the initial media and political blows were delivered to Netanyahu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave him a 43-minute telephone tongue lashing, and then followed that up with an unprecedented and scathing public attack on him.

Clinton told CNN news on March 13: “The announcement of the settlements on the very day that the vice president was there was insulting.” A State Department spokesman said that Clinton called Israel’s PM “to make clear that the US considered the announcement to be a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship and counter to the spirit of the vice president’s trip.”

White House political advisor David Axelrod then continued the attack by publicly calling Israel’s Ramat Shlomo announcement an “affront” and an “insult,” surprising Israeli government officials who expected calmer words. President Obama also was reportedly deeply upset that the Israeli government would announce plans to build homes in East Jerusalem -- especially during the visit of his vice president.

“JERUSALEM BUILDING WILL CONTINUE”

On Mar 15,  PM Netanyahu switched from apologies to the Obama administration, and went on the offensive. Buoyed by virtually unanimous Cabinet support, he told Likud Knesset Members (MKs) at a party meeting, “Building in Jerusalem and in all other places will continue in the same way that has been accepted in the last 42 years. The construction does not harm Arabs.”

In response to a question posed by a strongly nationalistic MK concerning the 10-

 

month building freeze on new homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu said “the freeze was a ‘goodwill’ gesture to President Obama, to entice the PA to resume negotiations. It is ‘binding,’ but will not be extended.”

   U.S. DETERMINED TO STOP ISRAEL BUILDING

With the Obama administration apparently not making any effort to tone down the rhetoric against Netanyahu, American political analysts have commented that the president may be trying to topple the Israeli government.

The Obama government insists it is not imposing terms on Israel. But in fact, it has been paving the ground for Israel to stop building in the restored parts of Jerusalem, at least until a final agreement is made with the PA.

The Arab world, however, is standing firm that there is no ground for negotiations – not until all their claims to the Old City and Judea-Samaria are met.

TRUE COLOURS

Biden, Clinton and the Obama administration have now shown their true colors to the Israeli government.

Biden, standing shoulder to shoulder with terrorists, said that Israel needs to play fair!  Next, Clinton’s 43-minute tongue lashing for “embarrassing” Biden; and then Obama’s hostile White House behaviour to his “close ally.”

All three - Biden, Clinton and Obama - have been severely criticized in the media and elsewhere for over-reacting, and for what appeared as gross interference in Israeli affairs.

    

 

ISRAEL-US TIES IN WORST CRISIS SINCE 1975

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was quoted by the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper telling other Israeli diplomats in a telephone briefing, “Israel’s ties with the United States are in their worst crisis since 1975 ... a crisis of historic proportions.”

REPUBLICANS LEAD BACKLASH AGAINST OBAMA

President Obama is behind the public chastising of PM Netanyahu over the housing plan, according to the New York Times. But his handling of the diplomatic crisis is being increasingly criticized in the US.

American Jewish and non-Jewish groups have rallied to the side of Israel, charging the Obama administration with miscalculating widespread Israeli opposition to American efforts to create a de facto PA claim to parts of Jerusalem.

Republican Party leaders attacked the Obama administration with unusually harsh language, charging it with an “irresponsible” position against an ally.

“In an effort to ingratiate our country with the Arab world, this administration has shown a troubling eagerness to undercut our allies and friends,” said the only Jewish Republican Congressman, Eric Cantor of Virginia. Cantor went so far as to say that the dispute “jeopardizes America’s national security.”

A leading Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, charged that the Obama government’s condemnations of “an indispensable ally and friend of the United States … undermine both our allies and the peace process, while encouraging the enemies of America and Israel alike. She noted that President Obama has taken “softer approaches” towards the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Iran. 

Senator Sam Brownback’s office stated, “It’s hard to see how spending a weekend condemning Israel for a zoning decision in its capital city amounts to a positive step towards peace.”

Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement saying, “The Administration’s decision to escalate its rhetoric following Joe Biden’s visit to Israel is not merely irresponsible; it is an affront to the values and foundation of our long-term relationship with a close friend and ally.”

According to the Republican leader, “The Administration has demonstrated a repeated pattern since it took office: while it makes concessions to countries acting contrary to US national interests, it ignores or snubs the commitments, shared values and sacrifices of many of our country’s best allies.

“If the Administration wants to work toward resolving the conflict in the Middle East, it should focus its efforts on Iran’s behavior, including its pursuit of nuclear weapons, its state-sponsorship of terrorism, its crushing of domestic democratic forces, and the impact its behavior is having, not just on Israel, but also on the calculations of other countries in the region as well as on the credibility of international non-proliferation efforts,” Boehner said.

The American-Jewish criticism of Obama was led by the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman, who issued this statement:

“We are shocked and stunned at the Administration’s tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem,” he said. “One can only wonder how far the US is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians.”

EVEN MANY DEMOCRATS UNEASY

Many Democrats were uneasy over the crisis but for a different reason – they are worried about what impact it would have on the Congressional elections near the end of the year.  And polls have shown that Obama’s political stature is sinking.

Some circles in the US, and many in Israel, say the Obama administration is blowing the crisis up with deliberate intent. 

STILL NO OBAMA VISIT TO ISRAEL

Over a year has passed since Barack Obama took office as President of the US, and during the past fourteen months, the President has not yet made a trip to Israel – the United States’ “greatest ally in the Middle East.”

He has visited a wide variety of countries, including Ghana, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Djibouti, and has even shaken the hand of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez (an outspoken enemy of the US). Yet, while Obama visited Israel in 2008 before the elections, he has not stopped off in Jerusalem since.

Commentator Arnaud de Borchgrave explained that what neither President Obama nor his vice president seemed to realize is that Netanyahu and his supporters “were deeply aggrieved when the US president went to Cairo last June 4 for an address to the Muslim world without stopping in Israel on the way home.

AS ISRAEL IS BLAMED,

ITS ENEMIES ARE EMBOLDENED

Ever since March 12 when Hillary Clinton lambasted the Israeli PM, the Obama administration has been livid. The timing of this crisis couldn’t be worse - as Obama should fully understand in the light of recent events.

In a speech of March 3, Iran’s President Ahmadinejad vowed that Israel’s annihilation was at hand, and said that Israel is “losing the support of the West and would soon disappear.”

In the aftermath of this hideous threat of genocide against the children of Israel, we see the Obama administration doing nothing but adding credibility to Ahmadinejad’s words, and emboldening all of Israel’s enemies.

The Palestinians don’t need a lot of excuses to riot against Israel. The fact is that the US is openly expressing its “anger” toward Israel for not giving the Palestinians what they want? And this is fueling the fires of hatred in the region toward Israel.

ARABS RIOT IN JERUSALEM

The Palestinians have been swift to capitalize on the Obama administration’s recent harsh denouncements of Israel, organizing riots in Jerusalem as well as in at least one Arab town in Samaria.

Thousands of Israeli police were posted in and around the Old City as clashes broke out that saw 60 Arabs and a number of Israeli officers wounded.

Arabs hurled rocks from behind smokescreens created by burning tires and trash cans, and police responded with rubber bullets and teargas. Dozens of Arabs were arrested, some by undercover Israeli police, who moved in to nab primary instigators.

Hundreds of Arabs, including busloads of Bedouin from the Negev responding to inciting calls from their leadership, came to the capital to “rescue” the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount from the Jews.

Israeli Arab Knesset Members - who are openly loyal to the “Palestinian Cause” rather than to their own state - were condemned by Jewish lawmakers for encouraging the riots.

According to some analysts, the renewed violence might be just what Washington’s land-for-peace-gang had hoped would happen - as it upped the already intense pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to make yet more territorial concessions in favor of the “Palestinians.”

                                                             - By Stan Goodenough /Jerusalem Watchman 

After cooling down a bit, Hilary Clinton pledged an …

“UNSHAKEABLE BOND” WITH ISRAEL

Mar 16/10. In an effort to quell the diplomatic spat that rocked ties between Washington and its closest Middle East ally, Clinton hailed the “unshakeable bond” between the US and Israel.

“We have an absolute commitment to Israel’s security. We have a close, unshakeable bond between the United States and Israel,” Clinton told a news briefing. Her comments seemed to mark a turn around after days of tough American talk.

Mr Obama also sought to soften the ferocity of the rhetoric his administration has used against Israel in recent days by stressing America’s “special bond” with the Israeli people.

“Israel is one of our closest allies and we and the Israeli people have a special bond that’s not going to go away,” said President Barack Obama to Fox News after denying any crisis in the relationship.

Debkafile’s Washington sources note that denial makes a lot of sense for the president because it lets him off the hook for dealing with it. But the continued US demands, make us wonder if “special bond” means “bond-servant”! 

THE U.S. IRON-HANDED DEMANDS

Mar 18/10. “Clinton’s demands on Netanyahu might be impossible for him to fulfill,” according to Foreign Policy’s “The Cable.”  It quoted an unnamed aide of Netanyahu as saying that “there is no faith within the Israeli government that final status issues such as borders can be negotiated through a third party, even the Americans.”

Obama has increased pressure on Mr Netanyahu by blaming the crisis on Eli Yishai, Israel’s minister of Internal Affairs who is also the leader of a hardline party in the PM’s right wing coalition. Some observers say the president was sending Mr Netanyahu a coded message to sack Mr Yishai who is known as a radical, in exchange for returning relations to normal.

Mr Netanyahu called his inner cabinet into session on the crisis and the seven ministers were asked to review the situation after President Obama and Hilary Clinton turned down their initial proposals for easing the upset, and laid down three pre-conditions for restoring normal relations with Jerusalem:

1. The Netanyahu government must extend the 10-month freeze on West Bank settlement construction to include East Jerusalem;

2. When the moratorium runs out in September, it must be renewed for the duration of peace negotiations with the Palestinians;

3. Israeli must make more concessions to the Palestinian Authority and its chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu tried offering the Obama administration a number of compromise proposals, such as the suspension of construction in East Jerusalem and the city’s outlying Jewish suburbs until September, but they were rejected, as was an offer to prohibit further Jewish purchases of land and buildings in Jerusalem’s Arab districts during peace negotiations.

Obama and Clinton made it clear they would not accept any departures from their three demands, which Israel is required to treat as an ultimatum.

BLAMING ISRAEL FOR MID-EAST PROBLEMS

Neither the US nor Israel has broadcast the US administration’s fourth condition for resuming normal relations: an Israeli commitment to refrain from attacking Iran’s nuclear program without prior US consent.

Because that commitment has not been given, administration officials are continuing to hammer Israel in every possible arena. Indeed, the gloves are now off in earnest for insinuations that Israel’s settlement policy is the root-cause of Iran’s drive for a nuclear bomb and of the conflicts endangering American lives in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Joe Biden launched this drive, when he attacked Netanyahu in Jerusalem by saying: “What you are doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

A much-admired American military figure CENTCOM chief,

Gen. David Petraeus, was the next US official to put this linkage into words.

 

 “ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT HURTS

THE U.S. INTERESTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST”

Mar 18/10.  US Gen. David Petraeus said the Arab-Israeli conflict hurts America’s ability to advance its interests in the Middle East, fomenting anti-American sentiment and limiting America’s strategic partnerships with Arab governments.

Petraeus called the conflict one of the “root causes of instability” and “obstacles to security” in the region – which aids al-Qaida – and he argued that serious progress in the peace process could weaken Iran’s reach, as it uses the conflict to fuel support for its terror group proxies.

Petraeus, commander of the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM), a zone that ranges from Egypt to Pakistan, but excludes Israel and the Palestinian Authority, offered the assessment in a prepared testimony for the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests,” he said in the written testimony. “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships with governments and peoples in the Middle East and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world.”

There is a possibility that the Palestinian territories might be added to CENTCOM’s turf. Debkafile’s military sources explain that such a step would be tantamount to providing the Palestinians with an American military umbrella against Israel.                                                                                                             – www.debka.com

ANALYSIS

WHY ARE RELATIONS WITH THE U.S. STEEPED IN CRISIS

News analyst, Caroline Glick, answers this question:

The reason relations are so bad is because Obama has opted to attack Israel. In the space of the past ten days alone, Israel has been subject to three malicious blows courtesy of Obama and his advisors.

First, during his visit to the White House, Obama treated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu like a two-bit potentate. Rather than respectfully disagree with the elected leader of a key US ally, Obama walked out in the middle of their meeting to dine with his family and left Netanyahu to meditate on his grave offense of not agreeing to give up Israel’s capital city as a precondition for indirect, US-orchestrated negotiations with an unelected, unpopular, Palestinian leadership that supports terrorism and denies Israel’s right to exist.

Although unsettling, this dismal state of affairs has a bright side. It provides Israel with a rare opportunity to stop acceding to US policies that are bad for Israel and the US alike.

After all, if the US is willing to instigate a crisis in its relations with Israel over plans to zone for housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods like Ramat Shlomo and French Hill, then clearly Israel can do no right. And if Israel can do no right in the eyes of the administration, then there is no point in bending to its will. Instead, Israel must simply do what it must, to secure its interests.

                         http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2010/04/

ANALYSIS

WHY IS OBAMA AGAINST ISRAEL?

A Wall Street Journal op-ed wrote that the Obama administration “has endorsed ‘healthy relations’ between Iran and Syria, mildly rebuked Syrian President Bashar Assad for accusing the US of ‘colonialism,’ and publicly apologized to Muammar Gadhafi for treating him with less than appropriate deference after the Libyan called for ‘a jihad’ against Switzerland.”

However, when it comes to Israel, “the administration has no trouble rising to a high pitch of public indignation,” says the article entitled “Obama’s Turn Against Israel.”

Not even “repeated apologies from the Israeli PM prevented Hilary Clinton - at what White House sources ostentatiously said was the personal direction of President Obama – from calling the announcement ‘an insult to the US’,” stated the opinion piece.

“Since nobody is defending the Israeli announcement, least of all an obviously embarrassed Israeli government, it’s difficult to see why the Administration has chosen this occasion to spark a full-blown diplomatic crisis with its most reliable Middle Eastern ally … If Israel senses that the Administration is looking for any pretext to blow up relations, it will care much less how the US might react to a military strike on Iran.’

The financial newspaper took an opposite stance on West Bank settlements than that adopted by the Obama administration: “As for the West Bank settlements, it is increasingly difficult to argue that their existence is the key obstacle to a peace deal with the Palestinians. Israel withdrew all of its settlements from Gaza in 2005, only to see the Strip transform itself into a Hamas statelet and a base for continuous rocket fire against Israeli civilians.

“This episode does fit Mr. Obama’s foreign policy pattern to date: Our enemies get courted; our friends get the squeeze. It has happened to Poland, the Czech Republic, Honduras and Colombia. Now it’s Israel’s turn,” said the Wall Street Journal.   – reported by www.ynetnews.com

ANALYSIS

WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?

Barry Rubin, in The Jerusalem Post, asks “What’s all the fuss about?” He says it was simply a stupid mess-up, and that it would have been better for the country’s international position if the announcement had not been made, because it allows the Obama administration (which needs excuses for its own failure to succeed at peacemaking) and the PA and Arab states (which need some rationale for their own policies) to blame Israel.

At most, what this announcement shows is that Israel doesn’t want or intend to give up all of east Jerusalem as part of a peace agreement. That’s not exactly news!

But does it really change the course of a peace process going nowhere due to Palestinian intransigence on the real issues? Or does it make the PA and Arab states, which are supposedly salivating for a peace deal, change their minds and not make peace?  In both cases, No!

Let’s consider the actual background of these recent events. Israel has announced since 1993, when the Oslo Agreement was signed, that it would continue building on existing settlements. The PLO accepted this framework and during the next 16 years the issue of construction on settlements never had any effect on the negotiations.

In January 2009, the PA stopped negotiations because Hamas attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip and Israel defended itself. Of course, Hamas is also the PA’s enemy and the PA would be delighted if Israel destroyed that group. But for public relations purposes, the PA had to pretend inter-Palestinian solidarity.

A few weeks later, the new president, Barack Obama, demanded that all construction on settlements stop. Israel eventually agreed but announced it would keep building in east Jerusalem. The US accepted that, and even praised Israel’s policy as a major concession.

But the PA still refused to return to negotiations. Was it because the construction offended it so deeply? No, it’s because Fatah’s radical leaders don’t want to make a peace deal since they believe they can win total victory and destroy Israel. At the same time, the more moderate ones are too weak to make a deal because of Hamas and their own radicals.

Abbas has seized the opportunity of the apartment-building announcement to declare he wouldn’t talk. Is he indignant? Is he upset? Does he feel betrayed? No, he’s delighted to have an excuse to do what he wants – not negotiate with Israel.

And so Abbas gets to close down talks, keep his winnings and blames it on Israel. While Abbas and the PA don’t agree with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on much, they do agree on one point: they (wrongly) think the West is abandoning Israel. So why shouldn’t they reject peace and try to destroy weakened Israel (in Ahmadinejad’s case) or merely wait until the West gives the Palestinians a state on a silver platter with no concessions on their part (Abbas’ case)?

As Obama himself has indicated, there is no real hope for a comprehensive deal. The talks are mainly a Public Relations gesture for everyone involved. Still, as long as much of the West keeps sending the wrong signals – it’s all Israel’s fault, no real pressure will be put on the PA – their policy will delay any progress toward peace despite their best intentions to promote it.

PALESTINIANS PLAN RESISTANCE

The Palestinian Authority has made a strategic decision to coordinate continued “resistance” in the eastern parts of Jerusalem. Sources close to both Hamas and the Fatah party, said Palestinian protest activities will focus on Jerusalem instead of the West Bank, to increase pressure on Israel to discuss final-status issues in proximity talks brokered by the Obama administration.

ABBAS: FREEZE CONSTRUCTION OR NO TALKS

March 11/10. The Palestinians have welcomed Biden’s condemnation of Israel, but urged the Americans to go further by pressing Israel to cancel the Jerusalem settlement plan.

The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas said, “Unless Israel clearly commits to a total construction freeze, indirect peace talks won’t resume.”

ASHTON SLAMS ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS   

March 15/10. The European Union’s new high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, began her first official trip to the Middle East with strong words against Israel.

Addressing members of the Arab League in Cairo, Ashton voiced her disapproval of Israel’s decision to approve the construction of new homes in Jerusalem.

Israel’s announcements was just two days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had reluctantly agreed to begin indirect peace talks. Those talks have since been put on the backburner.

Ashton said Israel’s move “endangered and undermined the tentative agreement to begin proximity talks. The EU position on settlements is clear,” she said. “Settlements are illegal, constitute an obstacle to peace, and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.”

NETANYAHU’S RESPONSE

PM Netanyahu rebuffed criticism from Ashton and from the US. “Construction will continue in Jerusalem as this has been the case over the past 42 years.”

From the Knesset, Bibi told Obama (and Ashton) to “leave us alone. Israel will continue to build in all of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods.” He also said that we would resume building in Judea and Samaria in six months.

Let’s trust Netanyahu sticks to his resolution.

 

NETANYAHU AT AIPAC, IN WASHINGTON

“JERUSALEM NOT A SETTLEMENT; IT’S OUR CAPITAL”

March 22/10. Mr Netanyahu addressed a conference hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most powerful pro-Israel lobby group in the United States.

In his speech, the prime minister challenged Hillary Clinton’s strong anti-united Jerusalem stand and told a cheering AIPAC crowd; “The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today.  Jerusalem is not a settlement; it’s our capital.

The PM received scores of standing ovations. The longest and most sustained came when he directly challenged the policy of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton who seek to divide Jerusalem and stop Israel from building “settlements” in East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu spoke several hours after Clinton charged that Israel’s building in the parts of Jerusalem that Washington does not recognize as being under Israeli sovereignty, “undermines” US policy.  She told AIPAC members that the continued expansion of Jewish settlements undermined “mutual trust and endangers the proximity talks that are the first step toward the full negotiations that both sides want and need.”

More than half of the American Congressmen were among the more than 7,000 people listening to the speech at the annual conference of the pro-Israel lobby group.

CLINTON: “ISRAEL’S SURVIVAL AT STAKE”

Mar 22/10. Hillary Clinton warned Israel that its survival could be in jeopardy unless it reached a peace deal with the Palestinians. Her warning came in an address to the conference of AIPAC in Washington.

“The conflict with the Palestinians and with Israel’s Arab neighbors ... threatens Israel’s long-term future as a secure and democratic Jewish state,” she said.

Clinton’s stand inherently backs PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ claim that Jerusalem must be the capital of a future PA state, leaving little room for “negotiations” in the talks.

Netanyahu pointed out that Israel has made constant concessions to the US and Palestinian Authority, but it drew the red line at Jerusalem, reasoning that building houses for Jews in all of united Jerusalem “in no way precludes the possibility of a two-state solution.”

 

THE BINYAMIN - BARACK MEETING

March 23/10. Binyamin and Barack met in the White House for 90 minutes, against the backdrop of an ongoing diplomatic crisis over east Jerusalem.  Later they had another 30 minutes meeting.

Netanyahu entered his meeting with Obama unaware of reports that revealed another controversial construction project had been approved in the eastern part of Jerusalem, this time in Sheikh Jarah.

No press release was issued after the meetings which reportedly were quite cold.  But the Prime Minister’s Office announced diplomatically that the talks were “conducted in a good atmosphere.”

The BBC said that a few details of the talks suggest that the US and Israeli leaders are clearly down to hard negotiations, and the stage is set for a historic test of wills. The BBC correspondent said:

“On the Israeli side, there is a neurosis about the important relationship with the US. But the US will also be concerned that when there is daylight (division) between the two countries, it points to trouble in the region.  The last thing the US wants is for this to turn into some sort of problem that would encourage Israel’s enemies there.”

A State Department spokesman told Associated Press that the US and Israel were currently engaged in “give and take.” And at present, top officials in Washington are seeking to work out an agreement that will bring the core issues up for discussion in the upcoming proximity talk between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

WHAT IF THE WORLD DOES NOT STOP IRAN?

 

The desire of Radical Islam to annihilate Israel was the first issue Netanyahu raised, and rightly so.

“Iran’s rulers say, ‘Israel is a one bomb country’,” the Prime Minister noted. “The head of Hizb’ollah says, ‘If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.’”

“Today, an unprecedented threat to humanity looms large,” Netanyahu continued. “A radical Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons could bring an end to the era of nuclear peace the world has enjoyed for the last 65 years. Such a regime could provide nuclear weapons to terrorists and might even be tempted to use them. Our world would never be the same. Iran’s brazen bid to develop nuclear weapons is first and foremost a threat to Israel, but it is also a grave threat to the region and to the world.”

Netanyahu called on the world to “act swiftly and decisively to thwart this danger,” but he made it clear that if the world does not stop Iran, Israel will!

“The greatest threat to any living organism or nation is not to recognize danger in time,” the Prime Minister said in his speech’s most sobering moment. “75 years ago, many leaders around the world put their heads in the sand. Untold millions died in the war that followed. Ultimately, two of history’s greatest leaders helped turn the tide. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill helped save the world. But they were too late to save six million of my own people. The future of the Jewish state can never depend on the goodwill of even the greatest of men. Israel must always reserve the right to defend itself.”

That said, Israel’s deep and substantive commitment to making peace — and the Prime Minister’s respectful but clear disagreement with the US over the Jerusalem issue and the conduct of the peace process with Palestinians — was his central message.

DEAFENING SILENCE AFTER MEETING

The Obama administration shifted this week from red hot anger at Benjamin Netanyahu to an icier suspicion toward him.

The clearest sign of Netanyahu’s rift with the White House, however, may have been his intense focus on Congress, which has blunted the attempts of many of Obama’s predecessors to pressure the Jewish state.

OBAMA ‘HUMILIATED’ NETANYAHU

A number of sources report that the Israeli Prime Minister’s talks with President Obama in Washington, were apparently disastrous.

Israeli media reported that Mr Obama humiliated Mr Netanyahu by leaving their meeting early.  “I’m going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls,” Mr Obama reportedly said, adding that Mr Netanyahu should consult his aides about the goodwill gestures Israel was prepared to make towards the Palestinians before renewed peace talks.  “I’m still around,” he said. “Let me know if there is anything new.’’

The talks were shrouded in a news blackout, with no statement issued after the meeting and no official photographs released.

US officials said the two met alone for about 90 minutes. Netanyahu then huddled with staff separately for 90 minutes before requesting a second meeting with Obama.  When the President returned, Netanyahu is said to have made a counter-offer which Mr Obama did not accept.

Although Netanyahu said, I think we made progress today,” a congressman who met him after the White House meeting said: “It was awful. Netanyahu looked excessively concerned and upset.

In the Israeli Ma’ariv, columnist Ben Caspit wrote, “There was no humiliation exercise that the Americans did not try on Mr Netanyahu. Bibi received in the White House the treatment reserved for the president of Equatorial Guinea.”

Yedioth Ahronoth said the White House ambushed Mr Netanyahu. “Everything was scrupulously planned, most likely, and the Israeli Premier, perhaps the most sought-after personage in the Oval Office in the past two decades, was received like the last of the Wazirs from Lower Senegal.

“The US is abandoning us and effectively turning into Europe,” Caspit wrote. “From now on, we are completely alone. The entire world, from one end to another, talks about a Palestinian state inside territory similar to 1967.’’

THE BLUEPRINT

President Obama said he intended formulating in detail, for the first time, the shape of the settlement the US government sought for solving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Now US and Israeli officials are working on a blueprint,” which Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to sell to his cabinet, while the US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, will take it to Arab and Palestinian officials for approval.

This would be tantamount to a US diktat and put the lid on negotiations, direct or indirect, because Israel would be dragged to the table in handcuffs to face an Arab partner who would accept nothing less than the terms Washington imposed in advance on Israel.

Such a notice would put a clamp on the close dialogue which has historically characterized US-Israeli ties, to the detriment of Israel’s international standing.

NO CHANGE ON JERUSALEM POLICY

Mar 21/10.  PM Netanyahu informed Washington in writing that Israel would not stop Jewish settlement in and around Jerusalem. 

Mar 26/10.  Netanyahu’s office said that Israel will not change its policy vis-à-vis Jerusalem despite US pressure to restrict the construction of housing for Jews in parts of the capital city.

Right wing MKs (Members of the Knesset - the Israeli parliament) and groups are demonstrating that mainstream Israel is with Netanyahu on the Jerusalem issue. Much of Israeli mainstream media, however, described the US meetings as a failure.

Obama pushed Netanyahu to agree to extend the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, to release hundreds of terrorists affiliated with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization, and to deny Jews the right to build in parts of Jerusalem that were under Jordanian control between the years 1948 and 1967.

Netanyahu refused to concede to these demands, and said he would discuss the matter with his mini-Cabinet of seven senior ministers.

WHO WILL BACK DOWN?

A comment from Israel: The US administration has managed to create a unique situation out of the construction issue. If Bibi backs down, his political position ... and our security situation will be seriously damaged.

If Obama backs down, his international standing ... and America’s diplomatic reputation will be seriously damaged.  What we have now is a “lose-lose” situation.

JERUSALEM, THE HARDEST ISSUE

In a bid to end the crisis with the US, Netanyahu agreed to include core issues in talks with the Palestinians.

The US is pressing Israel to start discussing the question of borders as the first core issue. The argument put forth by the US was that the moment borders are agreed upon, there would be no construction freeze problem and each side would be able to build in its own territory.

Mar 21/10. David Ignatius of the Washington Post wrote, “The east Jerusalem move wasn’t an accident but an emphatic public statement of the Israeli right’s rejection of concessions on Jerusalem.

“PM Netanyahu had been trying to play along with US requests to fuzz the issue by avoiding provocative actions on Jerusalem. But the right-wing Shas party, which controls the Interior Ministry, basically called his bluff. The Israeli Right put the Jerusalem issue on the agenda.”

“Jerusalem is the hardest issue of all in the negotiations, and for that reason, would-be peacemakers have wanted to save it for last. But this month’s crisis shows the step-by-step approach was a mistake, and that strategic waffling is impossible. Thanks to the Israeli right, the Jerusalem issue is joined.”

Ignatius suggested that “what’s needed now is for Obama to announce that when negotiations begin, the US will state its views about Jerusalem and other key issues – sketching the outlines of the deal that most Israelis and Palestinians want. If Netanyahu refuses to play, then we have a real crisis in US-Israeli relations.”

CONGRESS STANDS WITH ISRAEL

Mar 23/10. “We in Congress stand by Israel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, standing beside Netanyahu. “In Congress, we speak with one voice on the subject of Israel.” But while Congress was speaking publicly with one voice, behind the scenes Netanyahu seemed to be trying to drive a wedge between it and the White House.

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana was more critical. He called the White House stance on the Jewish state “absurd,” saying President Barack Obama needs to stop trying to “micro-manage” Israel on settlement issues. “I never thought I’d live to see the day that an American administration would denounce the Jewish state of Israel for rebuilding Jerusalem,” Pence said.

Netanyahu “is too smart not to understand that Washington has changed,” veteran Middle East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller said. “And that a potentially transformative president who is now “king of the world for a day” is facing off against Benjamin Netanyahu, “king of Israel.” And the fight between the two is not today. What we see now is positioning.”

                                                                                         

THE MIDDLE EAST” PEACE” QUARTET DEMANDS FREEZE

The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - the US, Russia, the EU and the UN - condemned the Israeli housing announcement concerning Ramat Shlomo.

At its ministerial meeting in Moscow on 19 March, the Quartet called on Israel to freeze all building for Jews in areas that the Palestinian Authority wants as part of a new Arab state. 

During the Bush era, the Quartet avoided the issue of housing for Jews in areas of reunited Jerusalem, but now the Quartet has pointed out that the international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem, which is home to 300,000 Jews.

Close to 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 capture of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Quartet says they are illegal.

SARKOZY CONDEMNS ISRAELI CONSTRUCTION

Mar 30/10. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said his country stands with the US in condemning Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem.  Shame!!

JERUSALEM MAYOR REMAINS ADAMANT

Mar 24/10. Any hopes of a compromise on Jerusalem with the Obama administration were dashed when Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem, insisted that Jewish settlements would go ahead in spite of US objections.

Mr Barkat said, “I do not think anybody intended to insult the US, but let us not get mixed up. Planning in the city of Jerusalem has to, should, and will continue. 

Mr Barkat said that Jerusalem would remain the capital of the Jewish state. It is believed that Israel may be prepared to hold off for a matter of weeks to enable talks to resume with the Palestinians, but has ruled out a permanent freeze.

He was strongly backed by Mr Netanyahu, who offered an uncompromising defense of Israeli construction plans in east Jerusalem, and told the AIPAC conference:

“The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem cannot be denied. Nearly half of Jerusalem’s Jewish population lives beyond the 1949 armistice line in what is considered east Jerusalem. Everybody knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any settlement,” he said. “Therefore building in them in no way precludes a two-state solution.”

The Hal Lindsey Report

OBAMA’S HARDLINE ISRAEL POLICY

Mar 26/10. Since it took power in 2009, the Obama Administration has been stonewalling Israel over its requests for critical advanced weapons systems and munitions. These requests were approved in 2008 by the Bush Administration, but President Obama has forbidden their delivery to Israel. In fact, he recently diverted a shipment of bunker-buster bombs. They’re now sitting in a warehouse on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

No one is admitting it, but the shipment was diverted right around the time that Israel outrageously “insulted” VP Joe Biden and, (according to S of S Hillary Clinton), insulted also President Obama and the entire US.

You remember, Israel “insulted our (US) national pride” by announcing the approval of step four in a seven step process toward building a 1,600 unit apartment complex in a longtime Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem. That’s the sort of insult that could make a great nation like ours collapse in a tearful heap of broken hearts !!!  (haha)

But I smell a rat; the whole incident seems ‘manufactured.’ Looking at the treatment the Israeli Prime Minister received at the hands of the President during his visit to Washington, it’s obvious to me that the Administration is once again engaged in its trademark Chicago-style politics and arm-twisting. But who knows what they’re after?

One thing I know for sure, though, this Administration has absolutely no concern for our ally’s best interests. In fact, I think President Obama is getting ready to throw Israel under the bus. And there’s no way that can end well for the United States.

PUNISHMENT FOR ISRAEL!

OBAMA BLOCKS DELIVERY OF BUNKER-BUSTERS TO ISRAEL

www.worldtribune.com

The US has diverted a shipment of bunker-busters designated for Israel.

Officials said the US military was ordered to divert a shipment of smart bunker-buster bombs from Israel to a military base in Diego Garcia. They said the shipment of 387 smart munitions had been slated to join pre-positioned US military equipment in Israel Air Force bases. “This was a political decision,” an official said.

In 2008, the United States approved an Israeli request for bunker-busters capable of destroying underground facilities, including Iranian nuclear weapons sites. Officials said delivery of the weapons was held up by the Obama administration.

Since taking office, Obama has refused to approve any major Israeli requests for U.S. weapons platforms or advanced systems. Officials said this included proposed Israeli procurement of AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, refueling systems, advanced munitions and data on a stealth variant of the F-15E.

“All signs indicate that this will continue in 2010,” a congressional source familiar with the Israeli military requests said. “This is really an embargo, but nobody talks about it publicly.”

Under the plan, the US military was to have stored 195 BLU-110 and 192 BLU-117 munitions in unspecified air force bases in Israel. The US military uses four Israeli bases for the storage of about $400 million worth of pre-positioned equipment meant for use by either Washington or Jerusalem in any regional war.

In January 2010, the administration agreed to an Israeli request to double the amount of US military stockpiles to $800 million. Officials said the bunker-busters as well as Patriot missile interceptors were included in the agreement.

The decision to divert the BLU munitions was taken amid the crisis between Israel and the United States over planned construction of Jewish homes in Jerusalem. The administration, including Hillary Clinton, has warned that Washington could reduce military aid to Israel because of its construction policy.

OBAMA’S WAR ON ISRAEL

By Caroline Glick – www.jpost.com

March 19/10. Why has President Barack Obama decided to foment a crisis in US relations with Israel? He himself claims that he has launched a political war against Israel in the interest of promoting peace.

Obama ordered Hillary Clinton to present Netanyahu with a four-part ultimatum.

First, Israel must cancel the approval of the housing units in Ramat Shlomo.

Second, Israel must prohibit all construction for Jews in Jerusalem neighborhoods built since 1967.

Third, Israel must make a gesture to the Palestinians to show them we want peace. The US suggests releasing hundreds of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons.

Fourth, Israel must agree (1) to negotiate all substantive issues, including the partition of Jerusalem (including the Jewish neighborhoods constructed since 1967 that are now home to more than a half million Israelis) and (2) the immigration of millions of hostile foreign Arabs to Israel under the rubric of the so-called “right of return”- all in the course of indirect, Obama administration-mediated negotiations with the Palestinians.

To date, Israel has maintained that substantive discussions can only be conducted in direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Obama’s ultimatum makes clear that mediating peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not a goal he is interested in achieving.

Obama’s new demands follow the months of American pressure that eventually coerced Netanyahu into announcing both his support for a Palestinian state and a 10-month ban on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria. No previous Israeli government had ever been asked to make the latter concession.

Netanyahu was led to believe that in return for these concessions, Obama would begin behaving like the credible mediator his predecessors were. But instead of acting like his predecessors, Obama has behaved like the Palestinians. Rather than reward Netanyahu for taking a risk for peace, Obama has, in the model of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, pocketed Netanyahu’s concessions and escalated his demands. This is not the behavior of a mediator. This is the behaviour of an adversary.

With the US president treating Israel like an enemy, the Palestinians have no reason to agree to sit down and negotiate. Indeed, they have no choice but to declare war.

There are five explanations for Obama’s behaviour. And they are not mutually exclusive.   …

1. Obama’s assault on Israel is likely related to the failure of his Iran policy.

2. To divert the public’s attention away from the failure of his Iran policy. He may be attacking Israel in a bid to coerce Netanyahu into agreeing to give him (Obama) veto power over any Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear installations.

3. By making demands Netanyahu and his coalition partners cannot accept, Obama hopes to either bring down the government and replace Netanyahu and Likud with the far-leftist Tzipi Livni and Kadima.

4. Obama’s behavior could indicate that he seeks to realign US foreign policy away from Israel.

5. To use his manufactured crisis to justify adopting an overtly anti-Israel position vis-à-vis the Palestinians.

Obama has made clear that he is not Israel’s ally. And for the remainder of his term, he will do everything he can to downgrade US relations with Israel while maintaining his constant genuflection to the likes of Iran, Syria, the Palestinians and Turkey.    FULL ARTICLE>  http://carolineglick.com/

 

“THE US-ENGINEERED DEADLOCK”

Mar 26/10. The Washington Post published an editorial this week terming the deadlock between Israel and the PA as “a US-engineered deadlock.”

Author Jackson Diehl noted that each of Obama’s demands on Israel led to Abbas declaring that “the PA will not begin negotiating with Israel if the demand is not met.” “How could he do otherwise?” Diehl asked. “The Palestinian leader cannot be less pro-Palestinian than the White House.”

In addition to reducing the PA leadership’s willingness to hold talks, Obama “has added more poison to a US-Israeli relationship that already was at its lowest point in two decades,” Diehl said.

“Netanyahu is being treated as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator, needed for strategic reasons but conspicuously held at arms length. That is something the rest of the world will be quick to notice and respond to,” he said. “Just like the Palestinians, European governments cannot be more friendly to an Israeli leader than the United States. Would Britain have expelled a senior Israeli diplomat last week because of a flap over forged passports if there were no daylight (division) between Obama and Netanyahu?”

OBAMA DESPERATELY WANTS A SUCCESS

President Obama wants an accomplishment with which he’ll be able to come to the Arab League, to the international community, and to the Palestinians - an achievement to offset all the difficulties in his foreign policy – from Afghanistan, through Iraq, to the sanctions against Iran. The Americans are basically saying: “Let us reach this achievement, so that it will serve you too. This way we can also strengthen the trust between Washington and Jerusalem.”

DEBKAfile reports that Netanyahu was told bluntly to issue a White House-dictated public pledge to eschew further construction in East Jerusalem, or face a presidential notice condemning Israel and holding its government responsible for the failure to restart indirect Israel-Palestinian talks.

OBAMA IS GOING AFTER REGIME CHANGE IN ... ISRAEL

Mar 25/10: President Barack Obama made it brutally clear that the Netanyahu government is an obstacle to his goals in the Middle East and he will not tolerate disobedience. He therefore has no qualms about seeking regime change, not in Tehran, but in Jerusalem.

HOUSE MAJORITY TO CLINTON:

 “CALM DOWN ON ISRAEL”

More than 75 percent of Congressmen in the US House of Representatives have signed a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing support for Israel and demanding an end to the highly-publicized state of tensions with Israel.

Signed by 327 Representatives, out of 435, the letter calls on Clinton and the Obama Administration to settle its disputes with Israel in a non-public and friendly fashion. The current tensions “will not advance the interests the US and Israel share,” the letter states, as “above all, we must remain focused on the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program to Middle East peace and stability.”

“A strong Israel is an asset to the national security of the US and brings stability to the Middle East.”

“We are writing to reaffirm our commitment to the unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel, and to express to you our deep concern over recent tension,” the letter said. “In every important relationship, there will be occasional misunderstandings and conflicts … Differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies…

“We are reassured that Mr Netanyahu’s commitment to put in place new procedures will ensure that such surprises [as a municipal Jerusalem announcement on approval of another step towards the construction of 1,600 apartments in a post-1967 Jerusalem neighbor-hood during Vice President Biden’s recent visit to Israel], however unintended, will not recur.

“The US and Israel are close allies whose people[s] share a deep and abiding friendship based on a shared commitment to core values including democracy, human rights and freedom of the press and religion. Our two countries are partners in the fight against terrorism, and share an important strategic relation-ship.”  - Arutz Sheva / 28 March 10

“CLINTON OWES NEW YORKERS AN APOLOGY”

March 28/10. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her “to apologize to your former New York constituents (when you were their Senator) for having misled them by falsely claiming to support an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” 

The letter was signed by Morton A. Klein, President of ZOA; Dr. Michael Goldblatt, Chairman, National Board; Dr. Alan Mazurek, Chair, Executive Committee and Steven Goldberg, Esq., Vice-Chairman, National Board.

The letter went on to say, “when you were New York’s Senator from 2001 to 2009, you repeatedly stated in speeches and in a September 2007 position paper that you believed ‘Israel’s right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, must never be questioned.’  Your spokesperson, Jim Chon, even said, ‘this paper is a reflection of her consistent policy. That hasn’t changed.’

“Madame Secretary, you also signed the June 2004 Senate Resolution endorsing President Bush’s letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that supported Israel ‘retaining major Israeli population centers’ in Judea and Samaria in any final peace agreement.’

“We make this demand following your passionate and heartfelt condemnation of Israel for announcing the construction of Jewish homes in a Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem by stating that Jews building and moving there ‘is an insult to America.’  The only reasonable interpretation of this policy is that it is a first step toward dividing Jerusalem.”

The ZOA letter went on to say, “Your shocking words about Israel building in east Jerusalem is especially perplexing in light of the fact that you have ignored Congress passing the ‘Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995’ by a margin of 93 to 5 in the U.S. Senate and 347 to 37 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The Act which is U.S. Law stated:

(1)    Jerusalem should remain an undivided city.

(2)    Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel.’

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It took only a few months to confirm that Secretary of State Clinton bears little resemblance to Senator Clinton on Israel issues and was apparently misrepresenting her true views and beliefs on Israel to her New York constituents. 

From having once loudly proclaimed support for an undivided Jerusalem, upon becoming Secretary of State, suddenly, parts of an “undivided Jerusalem” became places where Jews may not move or build, even though Jews were a majority in eastern Jerusalem from the mid-1800s until 1948, when Jordan forced Jewish residents to flee, and are now a majority once again. 

Her recent harsh words of condemnation - a term used in diplomacy normally only to describe the most heinous acts committed by a non-democratic regime, confirms that Secretary Clinton did not believe what she said about Jerusalem when she was Senator Clinton.

“Preventing Jews, because they are Jews, from moving into or developing their communities in Jerusalem is a racist and even apartheid American and Palestinian Arab policy which aims to weaken Israel’s claim to Jerusalem and is a first step towards dividing the city. 

This is a policy one would never have expected Secretary Clinton to support in view of her previous unequivocal statements, as Senator from New York, of support for a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.

“Secretary Clinton owes her New York Jewish and pro-Israel constituents a public apology,” the ZOA said.

PEACE FOR JERUSALEM?

A crisis between Israel and the US that was widely predicted when Benjamin Netanyahu took office as prime minister last year, finally erupted in mid March.

Now the American president, international community of leaders, and the world news media combine to force Israel into their own mould for world peace, which they obviously believe must begin at Jerusalem.

They aren’t far wrong in that belief. The peace of Jerusalem is something for which God’s people are told to pray: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” (Ps. 122:6)

However, the “peace” that will eventuate from the humanistic efforts will be a “peace” that will destroy many (Dan. 8:25). It will be peace “made with death and hell.” (Isaiah 28:15, 18)

There is no one, in terms of national entities, to stand with Israel against the threat from Iran, other than the United States. America alone supplies fuel and spare parts for Israel’s air force, as well as the warning signals for any missiles that might be headed Israel’s way.

Israel does not stand to benefit from antagonizing its most important ally, but Netanyahu has historically taken a hard line against territorial concessions to the Palestinians, and a curb on east Jerusalem construction would threaten to fracture his hawkish coalition.

“For thus says YHWH of Hosts - (after His glory sent me against the nations which plunder you - for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye): ‘Look, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their servants.” Then you will know that YHWH of Hosts has sent Me’.” (Zechariah 2:8-9)

PRAY BIBI WILL RESIST THE PRESSURE

While the Quartet tries to divide Jerusalem and Israel, God is warning of judgment coming on these nations:

“For behold, in those days and at that time…I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter in judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance Israel [because] they have divided up My land.” (Joel 3:1-2)

Pray that the Lord would give the PM the courage to resist the intense international pressure to divide Jerusalem and further divide the Holy Land.

        “OBAMA RESIGNED TO NUCLEAR IRAN”      

Mar 28/10. Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton has expressed concern that Washington was coming to terms with a nuclear Iran. “I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that’s why there’s this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack Iran,” Bolton said.

The former envoy told Army Radio that this pressure was the focus of the meetings in Washington between Netanyahu and Obama, and US officials.

Bolton said that the Obama administration had embraced the view prevalent in Europe, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the key to the resolution of all other conflicts throughout the Middle East, including the Iranian conflict.

He added that the rift in US-Israel relations stemmed from a fundamental difference in the understanding of the Middle East and Israel’s role in the Middle East, and is not really about east Jerusalem at all.

Bolton said that the treatment Netanyahu received during his visit “should tell the people of Israel how difficult it’s going to be dealing with Washington for the next couple of years.” – www.jpost.com

OBAMA: “IRAN AIMS TO ACQUIRE NUKES”

Apr 2/10. President Obama has admitted on CBS television that all evidence indicates Tehran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. “They might decide that, once they have the capacity that they’d hold off right at the edge - in order not to

incur - more sanctions. We’re going to ratchet up the pressure and examine how they respond but we’re going to do so with a unified international community,” Obama said. 

AHMADINEJAD:

“HATED ISRAEL WILL BE ANNIHILATED”

Mar 12/10. Ahmadinejad warns aggression won’t save the “most criminal regime in the world.”

“The Palestinians and the nations of the Middle East will be rid of a ‘bad omen’ once Israel is annihilated,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech communicated by Press TV.

Speaking to supporters in southern Iran, Ahmadinejad charged that Israel, a foreign presence and a “Western prodigy” in the region, had “reached the end of its road.” – www.jpost.com

Defence sources in Washington reported the view that the Obama administration, which has never cultivated warm relations with the Netanyahu government, has seized on the Jerusalem housing spat as a device for restraining Israel from attacking Iran’s nuclear sites - a step which the White House strenuously opposes.

IRAN URGES WEST TO PUNISH ISRAEL

Mar 25/10. The Islamic Republic’s foreign ministry urges Western nations to ‘put a stop to the Zionist regime’s state terrorism.’ Iran urged the West to take action against Israel over the Jewish state’s decision to build more houses in east Jerusalem.

AHMADINEJAD:

“WEST PRESSURE WILL NOT AFFECT IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM”

 The Iranian president says efforts by the West to halt Iran’s nuclear program will not bear fruit. Addressing the West, Ahmadinejad said: “Rest assured that your efforts will be fruitless.” He also urged the West to stop supporting Israel. - www.news.yahoo.com

ARAB LEAGUE FOCUSED ON JERUSALEM

Mar 28/10.  The Arab League concluded its 22nd summit in Libya without any changes from its longstanding policies:

      * no to recognizing Israel under any conditions,

      * yes to armed resistance against Israel,

      * no condemnation of genocide in Darfur,

      * yes to Arab Jerusalem, and more.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said that the Arab world should prepare for the possibility of “complete failure” of the American-led diplomatic process on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-Moon gave support for Palestinian demands, and again “condemned” Israel for building for Jews in the areas of Jerusalem where the US does not recognize Israeli sovereignty. 

Ban urged Arab leaders to facilitate Israeli-Palestinian talks, saying our common goal should be to resolve all final-status issues within 24 months.” He also reiterated that Israel’s settlement activity in Arab areas of Jerusalem was “illegal” and stressed Jerusalem must emerge as the capital of two states.”

  ABBAS REJECTS OBAMA’S PEACE TALKS

At the Arab League summit, Palestinian Leader, Mahmoud Abbas declared that Jerusalem is a “jewel” that cannot be compromised. “We cannot resume indirect negotiations as long as Israel maintains its settlement policy and the status quo,” he said.

“Negotiations on borders would be absurd if Israel decided the borders (of a new PA state by building) on the ground. We have always said that Jerusalem is the jewel in the crown and the gate to peace.”

Emboldened by President Obama’s tough talk on Israel, Abbas has rejected American-mediated talks with Israel unless Israel agrees to demands to stop building for Jews in most newer parts of Jerusalem.

OBAMA HEADING TO “IMPOSE” SETTLEMENT

Obama’s demands during his meeting with Netanyahu seemed to point to an intention of imposing a permanent settlement on Israel and the Palestinians in less than two years.

www.haaretz.com says, “Israeli officials view the demands that Obama made at the White House as the tip of the iceberg under which lies a dramatic change in US policy toward Israel.  Of 10 demands posed by Obama, four deal with Jerusalem:

1. opening a Palestinian commercial interests office in East Jerusalem,

2. an end to the razing of structures in Palestinian neighborhoods in the capital, 3. stopping construction in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem,

4. no building in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

But another key demand - to discuss the dispute’s core issues during the indirect talks that are planned - is perceived in Jerusalem as a problem because it implies that direct negotiations would be bypassed. This would set up a framework through which the Americans would be able to impose a final settlement.

It is not just Obama’s demands, however, that are problematic; the White House and State Department have been contacting Israel’s European allies on which is perceived to be an effort to isolate Israel and to put enormous political pressure on it.

OBAMA NOT “IMPOSING” SOLUTION

President Obama has insisted that he is not imposing an agreement on Israel, but Abbas has taken the president’s condemnation of Israel’s building for Jews in all of Jerusalem as a signal that Israel can be pushed into a diplomatic corner.

OBAMA’S DIPLOMACY, FROM BAD TO WORSE

Apr 7/10. Two top administration officials told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, that Obama was “seriously considering” proposing an American peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict.

Ignatius reports that Obama came to the conclusion that he should impose a “peace plan” after meeting with six former national security advisors.

A senior PA negotiator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said rather than act as an intermediary, the US has been negotiating with Israel on behalf of the PA, assuming all Palestinian positions and bargaining with Israel from the Palestinian side.

“NO TALKS UNTIL 2,000 TERRORISTS FREED”

Mar 23/10: The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas laid down a fresh condition for indirect peace talks to begin: Israel must first open its prison doors to free 2,000 Palestinian terrorists.

That is twice the number demanded by Hamas for handing over kidnapped soldier Gilead Shalit. Abbas knows quite well that even for the soldier, Israel had refused to hand over to Hamas 323 hard-core prisoners on the Palestinian list, because letting them go free would set Israel’s counter-terror gains back by decades.

www.haaretz.com article asks the question:

IS A CRISIS WITH THE EU IN THE WORKS?

Mar 25/10.  Israeli government sources say it is likely that after the current diplomatic crisis and pressure by the US, Israel will soon face an even more serious row with the European Union.

This concern was voiced at a conference called between Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal, and seven of Israel’s ambassadors - the envoys to the US, EU, London, Rome, the UN, Moscow and Paris.

The envoys all said that if US pressure continued, the EU would go even further in condemning Israel and promoting diplomatic initiatives.

OBAMA’S WAR ON ISRAEL CONTINUES

Obama’s goal is to get Israel to openly declare that it will accept a Palestinian State based on the indefensible 1967 lines. He wants Israel to approve a document that calls for a cessation of all building in Jerusalem and address other “core” issues like the right of return.

Obama is forcing a crisis in American/Israeli relations. His motives can be speculated about but there is no doubt that he is determined to placate the Arabs at the expense of the security of the State of Israel.

Meanwhile Israel has watched Obama allow Iran to move closer and closer toward attaining nuclear weapons. America’s half-hearted attempt to stop the nuclear program has failed.  Obama is still trying to persuade the radical leaders in Iran to enter negotiations. Meanwhile Obama refuses to provide any comfort to the Iranians who are victims of the brutal regime.

Obama’s reckless policies are placing Israel, America and the free world at serious risk. 

US MILITARY ANALYST:

“OBAMA IS THE FIRST ANTI-ISRAELI PRESIDENT”  

Apr 1/10.  Lt.-Col. (ret.) Ralph Peters, military analyst and author of a book on Middle East politics, says Obama apparently has a chip on his shoulder against Israel – and it’s not “helpful to our civilization.”

Peters, who wrote “Endless War: Middle Eastern Islam vs. Western Civilization,” was asked to explain why he felt American-Israeli friendship appears to have been derailed so dramatically. “The answer is two words,” he said. “President Obama.”

“Obama’s treatment of [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu [during their recent meeting in Washington] was disgraceful and shameful,” Peters told FoxNews. “We treat our enemies with greater courtesy!

In addition, it was counter-productive – because this vendetta on the part of the White House against Israel - all it does is encourage the Palestinians and their Arab backers to make ever wilder demands that Israel cannot possibly fulfill. This is not a peace process; this is something about a chip on the President’s shoulder.”

Peters says that Obama’s approach is “absolutely” a departure from past American policy. “It all started with Obama’s Cairo speech,” he said, “where Obama attempted to appease radical Muslims in the Middle East, cold-shouldered Israel, and raised Palestinian expectations that he’d take care of Israel and that the Palestinians would get their revenge.

“Secondly, in the past, under Presidents Clinton and Bush, there were face-to-face negotiations; the Palestinians were offered one deal after another, and it was always - always! - the Palestinians who walked away.”

The American animosity towards Israel “is not about housing in Jerusalem or anything else,” Ralph Peters emphasized. “We need to back up and get a little wide-angle picture and recognize the fundamental issue in play here: Israel wants to live in peace with its neighbors, and its neighbors want Israel destroyed. The President refuses to understand that.”

To turn away from Israel as we are doing is not going to help our diplomacy; it is going to hurt our civilization.”   - http://www.israelnationalnews.com/

“OBAMA WILLING TO THROW ISRAEL UNDER THE BUS”

President Barack Obama is anti-Israel and “is willing to throw Israel under the bus in order to please Muslim nations,” former New York City Mayor Ed Koch charged.

Koch, a Jewish Democrat, has been gradually “falling out of love” with President Obama, a term he used in a commentary he published last August. The recent snub by the president of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, highlighted by a meeting without a press conference or even an official photograph, broke the proverbial camel’s back for Koch.

After having opposed President Obama’s health care reform plan and expressing disappointment over his failure to convince Russia and China to back harsh sanctions against Iran, the former mayor recently wrote, “President Obama’s abysmal attitude toward the State of Israel and his humiliating treatment of Prime Minister Netanyahu is shocking.”

He then went one step further with unprecedented public criticism of President Obama by a leading Democrat, telling Fox News that the country’s leader is more interested in pacifying Muslim nations than helping Israel.

“What they did is, they wanted to make Israel into a pariah,” he said. “It’s outrageous in my judgment,” Koch commented. “I have been a supporter of President Obama and went to Florida for him, urged Jews all over the country to vote for him, saying that he would be just as good as John McCain on the security of Israel. I don’t think it’s true anymore.”   - Arutz Sheva

BOTH OBAMA AND NETANYAHU UNDER POLITICAL PRESSURE

Not only has there been strong criticism of Obama in the US itself, but the president has to keep his eye on midterm congressional elections in November. Because of this US political calendar, Obama has limited time to press Israel before it becomes a major domestic political issue affecting the elections.

And Netanyahu, who has been conferring with his closest allies, has limited political space in which to operate, if he wants to stay in power. His coalition is made up by six medium-size parties whose politicians mostly support Jewish settlements in the West Bank, oppose any concessions on Jerusalem, and are sceptical of an independent Palestinian state next door.

FATAH: “INTENSIFY POPULAR STRUGGLE”

Mar 30/10. While Jerusalem and Washington hope to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as soon as possible, senior Fatah officials have called to intensify the “popular struggle” against the Jewish state. “All options are on the table,” senior Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub said.

A couple of days later, a senior Fatah official declared:

 

 “WE WANT A ‘PEACEFUL’ INTIFADA”

Apr 2/10. The new “popular intifada” that Fatah is planning in the West Bank won’t be an armed one, said Nabil Shaath. The option of an armed intifada under the current circumstances, where Israel “fully occupies the West Bank and is besieging the Gaza Strip, is impossible.”

Shaath said, “In light of the heavy losses the Palestinians suffered as a result of the use of weapons and suicide bombings during the second intifada, as well as the ongoing power struggle between Fatah and Hamas, it is impossible for Palestinians living in the West Bank to launch another armed uprising.”

Shaath revealed that Fatah was now carrying out a strategy that consists of four elements in response to the current political stalemate: pursuing and escalating the “popular resistance,” confronting Israel politically, economically and legally in the international arena, achieving national unity with Hamas and building institutions of the future Palestinian state.

FAYYAD “WE WILL HAVE A STATE NEXT YEAR”   

Apr 2/10.  Next year, “the birth of a Palestinian state will be celebrated as a day of joy by the entire community of nations,” says Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad.

Relaying Passover greetings to the Jewish community, Fayyad said he hopes Israelis will also participate in the celebrations for the birth of a new state.  “The time for this baby to be born will come, and we estimate it will come around 2011. That is our vision, and a reflection of our will to exercise our right to live in freedom and dignity in the country [where] we are born, alongside the State of Israel in complete harmony.”

He also welcomed the recent Quartet’s announcement in Moscow, which supports the PA’s August 2009 plan to establish a state within 24 months.

Fayyad says the Palestinians want an independent and sovereign state, emphasizing they are “not looking for a state of leftovers - a Mickey Mouse state.”

“If for one reason or another, by August 2011 [the plan] will have failed... I believe we will have amassed such credit, in form of positive facts on the ground, that the reality is bound to force itself on the political process to produce the outcome.”

Fayyad was asked: Would you agree to leave the issue of Jerusalem to a later stage of the process?

“Not at all,” he replied. “It should be handled at the very beginning. The negotiations should not be about principles, they should be about arrangements, accommodations, and access.  Politically, we feel a right to have a state of Palestine on the land that was occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem.” - Haaretz.     

     

  LIEBERMAN WARNS AGAINST

  UNILATERAL INDEPENDENCE

 

Apr 5/10. Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, warned the PA against plans to declare U I next year, saying such a move could prompt Israel to annex parts of the West Bank and annul past peace agreements.

Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad, whose Western-backed government has a limited governing role in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, has announced plans to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state, possibly as early as the summer of 2011 - even without a peace deal.

Toward that aim, Fayyad has begun ambitious reforms of the government and security forces, building up Palestinian institutions and developing the economy in preparation for independence.

The international community has welcomed Fayyad’s reform efforts, raising fears in Israel that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood could win international recognition.

Lieberman warned that Israel would not tolerate such a step, and could revoke a series of agreements made under the so-called Oslo interim peace accords of the 1990s and even annex parts of the West Bank.

“Any unilateral decision will release us from all of our commitments and will allow us also to make unilateral decisions. For example, imposing Israeli sovereignty on certain areas, cutting off all kinds of ties and transfers of money and a string of benefits and agreements put into place since the Oslo accords,” Lieberman said.

OBAMA & HU WEIGH SANCTIONS TRADEOFF AGAINST IRAN AND ISRAEL

www.debka.com reports that Chinese president Hu Jintao indicated a willingness to consider abstaining on a UN Security Council vote imposing sanctions against Iran - if the United States reciprocated by withholding its vote on sanctions against Israel over its construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Withholding support from an anti-Israel resolution in the Security Council would be a first time for a US president.

White House officials dealing with Arab governments were quick to pass the word around of the evolving Obama approach. They tied it in with the US envoy George Mitchell’s new plan to push for a negotiated Israel-Palestinian deal on the borders of a Palestinian state to be struck within four months.

‘US & ISRAEL SEE EYE TO EYE ON IRAN’

Apr 2/10.  The US and Israel are fully in sync when it comes to Iran, a senior member of the US National Security Council told Jewish leaders in Washington.

The official, Dan Shapiro, Director for Near East Affairs at the National Security Council, assured the leaders that Iran is the National Security Council’s top priority and that the US is adamant to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

But debkafile’s Washington sources report that the American-Jewish leaders addressed by Shapiro received his message with extreme skepticism.

The US president’s openness to Beijing’s proposed sanctions trade, belies the assurance Shapiro sought to achieve by denying relations were in crisis after Netanyahu’s chilly welcome at the White House, and by insisting that there had been more agreement than disagreement between the two leaders.

“TURKEY ALIGNING WITH MUSLIM WORLD” 

                                                                               AHMADINEJAD    ERDOGAN

Apr 5/10.  The Israel Foreign Ministry said the Turkish PM is attempting to integrate with the Muslim world at the expense of his country’s ties with Israel.

A few hours earlier,  Turkey’s PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, criticized Israel’s policy in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

And addressing heightened tensions in Jerusalem, Erdogan said, “Arabs and Turks are brothers and we share the same values.  Turkey will always be on the side of Muslims wherever they are. We cannot be indifferent to the problems of the Islamic world of Jerusalem. Our task is the integration with the western world but we did not turn our back to the East.”

 “JORDAN WAS BETTER OFF WITHOUT PEACE WITH ISRAEL”

King Abdullah of Jordan has joined the Arab world’s saber-rattling against Israel and warned that the status of Jerusalem could blow up into another war.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he also stated that Jordan was better off economically before it made peace with Israel in 1994. 

“Our relationship with Israel is at an all-time low. It hasn’t been as bad as it is today and as tense as it is today.  The political trust is gone,” he said. “There is no real economic relationship between Jordan and Israel. So economically we were better off in trade and in movement before my father signed the peace treaty.”

The king also maintained that “Jerusalem specifically engages Jordan because we are the custodians of the Muslim and Christian holy places and this is a flashpoint that goes beyond Jordanian-Israeli relations.”

“I think the future of Israel is in jeopardy unless we solve our problems. 57 countries in the world, a third of the United Nations, do not recognize Israel.”

SAUDI CLERIC PLANS TO VISIT JERUSALEM

Ap 4/10. A Saudi Arabian cleric announced on television he will make an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem next week as part of an intensive Arab world effort to claim Muslim ties to the city.

 

JERUSALEM SURROUNDED BY ENEMIES

The Arabs believe that Israel is now well out of favour with the US. It’s damned as a war criminal by the Goldstone Report, and increasingly treated as a pariah by the EU.  Russia and China are solidly on board with the Arabs and Iran, and Turkey is daily distancing itself ever further from Israel which until recently was called an ally; and now the king in Amman may well be gearing up to jump over to the other side.

The times are extremely critical. The climax of the age is drawing near. The coming of the Lord is near. Every day so much imminent Rapture news is being published that it is difficult to keep up with it all. And we can’t send you the news quick enough. Please check our website for urgent news reports.

         Shalom. God bless!     www.maranathaMRC.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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