GOP candidates Perry and Romney assail Obama on Israel

GOP candidates Perry and Romney assail Obama on Israel

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney waded into a tense foreign policy dispute Tuesday by criticizing the Palestinian Authority’s effort to seek a formal recognition of statehood by the U.N. General Assembly.

The Republican rivals also used the jockeying at the U.N. to assail President Barack Obama’s policy toward Israel.

Perry, the Texas governor and Republican front-runner, is pledging in a speech in New York strong support for Israel and criticizing Obama for demanding concessions from the Jewish state that Perry says emboldened the Palestinians to seek recognition by the U.N.

“We are indignant that certain Middle Eastern leaders have discarded the principle of direct negotiations between the sovereign nation of Israel and the Palestinian leadership,” Perry said in excerpts provided by one of his aides to The Associated Press. “And we are equally indignant that the Obama administration’s Middle East policy of appeasement has encouraged such an ominous act of bad faith.”

In a written statement before Perry spoke, Romney called the diplomatic maneuvering at the United Nations this week an “unmitigated diplomatic disaster.” The former Massachusetts governor also accused Obama’s administration of “repeated efforts over three years to throw Israel under the bus and undermine its negotiating position.”

“That policy must stop now,” Romney said.

The two Republicans who lead in early polls for the Republican nomination, as well as their lesser-known opponents, are intent on showing they stand strongly behind Israel, an effort to appeal to Jewish voters and donors who play a pivotal role in presidential elections. So they’re trying to grab a share of the spotlight as the Palestinians push for statehood this week at the U.N.

Perry and Romney weighed in as Obama was in New York for meetings on the sidelines of the General Assembly. He planned to meet later in the week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S. has promised a veto in the Security Council, but the Palestinians can press for a more limited recognition of statehood before the full — and much more supportive — General Assembly. The Obama administration has pushed hard for countries around the world to block the Palestinian bid, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday there was still time to avert a divisive showdown.

Obama has been criticized by Republicans and many pro-Israel activists for seeming to push the Jewish state harder than the Palestinians to make compromises to achieve peace. Among other things, Obama has called on Israel to cease building housing settlements in the West Bank and to negotiate the scope of the Palestinian state using 1967 borders as a starting point — a diplomatic position the U.S. has long maintained but one that has never before been explicitly embraced by a U.S. president.

Complaints about Obama’s Israel policy helped a Republican, Bob Turner, win a special election in a heavily Jewish and Democratic New York congressional district last week.

“It’s vitally important for America to preserve alliances with leaders who seek to preserve peace and stability in the region,” Perry said in the speech. “But today, neither adversaries nor allies know where America stands. Our muddle of a foreign policy has created great uncertainty in the midst of the Arab Spring.”

Romney called on Obama to unequivocally reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security and promise to cut foreign assistance to the Palestinians if they succeed in getting U.N. recognition. He also called for the United States to re-evaluate its funding of U.N. programs and its relationship with any nation voting in favor of recognition.

LOL: Despite Promises Of Cooperation, Most Of Israel Maintains That Obama Is “Still Evil”

LOL: Despite Promises Of Cooperation, Most Of Israel Maintains That Obama Is “Still Evil”

July 7th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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Jerusalem Post:

US President Barack Obama’s attempts to portray himself as pro-Israel in his press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday failed to persuade right-wing MKs, who warned that Obama is “still evil.”

The MKs questioned the president’s motives and suggested that he was putting on a show for American Jews ahead of the crucial November mid-term elections, in which the Democrats may lose control of Congress.

“He doesn’t sound evil now because he needs Jewish votes and money,” said Deputy Negev and Galilee Development Minister Ayoub Kara.

“But I won’t forget the pressure he put on Netanyahu and the stress I saw in the prime minister the last time he came back from Washington. He is acting the way he is for political reasons.

I hope he will stay this way but I doubt it, because he hasn’t changed.”

Likud MK Danny Danon said he believes Obama learned his lesson that pressuring Israel does not work. He said he hopes Obama will also learn that the Likud would not allow Netanyahu to continue the 10- month construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria beyond September.

“Obama restrained himself and didn’t attack our prime minister this time, but he still set unrealistic expectations for the peace process,” Danon said.

“He is wrong if he thinks the freeze must continue for direct talks to begin. He instead must pressure the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table, regardless of the freeze. He sounds nice now but after November, I am worried that he will sound different.”

National Union MK Arye Eldad, who heads the Knesset’s Land of Israel caucus, said Obama was delaying pressure on Israel for tactical reasons. He said Obama realized that Netanyahu would not agree now to extend the freeze, so the president will instead try to initiate direct talks with the Palestinians in order to put Netanyahu in a position in September where he would not be able to resume construction.

“Obama doesn’t sound wicked now, but he was merely buying time,” Eldad said.

“Obama is betting on getting the entire pot. Our job in the [caucus] will be to put pressure on Netanyahu so he won’t make concessions that threaten Israel’s future.”

Meretz leader Haim Oron said he was not impressed by the gestures made by either leader. He expressed hope that Obama would not stop pressuring Netanyahu.

“Bibi is trying to escape the peace process,” Oron said. “If he succeeds, it is bad for Israel.

I hope they put advancing peace above the goal of just getting along.”

US-Israeli Relations Suffer “Tectonic Rift”

US-Israeli Relations Suffer “Tectonic Rift”

June 28th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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The Telegraph:

A senior Israeli diplomat has warned that the Jewish state’s relationship with the United States has suffered a “tectonic rift”.

The sobering assessment comes a week before Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, meets President Barack Obama at the White House.

There had been hope the two could lay to rest a row that erupted between the two allies in March but the new comments have raised fears of long-term damage.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, told foreign ministry colleagues at a private briefing in Jerusalem that they were facing a long and potentially irrevocable estrangement.

Sources said Mr Oren told the meeting: “There is no crisis in Israel-US relations because in a crisis there are ups and downs. [Instead] relations are in a state of tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart.”

Mr Oren’s privately-voiced pessimism stands in stark contrast to public declarations in both Jerusalem and Washington that differences between the two states amount to nothing more than “disagreements” between allies.

The ambassador told the Jerusalem Post newspaper last week that US-Israel ties were stronger than many observers believed.

Unlike his previous encounter with Mr Obama in March, when he was given a stern dressing-down and denied permission to hold a joint press conference, Mr Netanyahu’s visit to the White House next Tuesday is likely to be cloaked in civility.

The Israeli prime minister is being promised photo opportunities with his host in the White House Rose Garden and perhaps even an invitation to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

But the show of unity is being seen as a sop to members of Mr Obama’s party who afraid of angering Jewish American voters ahead of November’s midterm elections than as a sign of genuine rapprochement.

Israeli officials have been quoted as saying that they expect a sterner private reception for their prime minister, who is yet to be fully forgiven for the perceived humiliation of Joe Biden, the US vice president, during a visit to Israel in March.

Mr Biden had come to Holy Land to launch indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. But negotiations collapsed before they started after Mr Netanyahu’s government announced plans to expand a Jewish settlement in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.

According to Mr Oren, attempts to gain leverage over President Obama through some of his “pro-Israel” aides – believed to be a reference to Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief-of-staff, and Dennis Ross, a senior State Department official – had failed.

Instead Mr Obama had shown determination to take personal charge of the faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace process and is understood to hold Mr Netanyahu at least partly responsible for the lack of progress.

“It’s a one man show,” Mr Oren reportedly told his colleagues.

During the briefing, Mr Oren insisted that Mr Emanuel, despite some doubts in Israel, remained a friend of the Jewish state.

On a recent visit to Israel for his son’s bar mitzvah, Mr Emanuel, who is Jewish, telephoned him in tears because of the warm reception he had received from ordinary Israelis during a jog in Tel Aviv, Mr Oren said.

Mr Oren denied the comments attributed to him during the briefing. It is the second time pessimistic comments made by the ambassador during private briefings have been made in the past four months.

Obama Encouraging War against Israel

Obama Encouraging War against Israel

June 18th, 2010

By James Lewis

The Middle East is now teetering on the brink of war because a vast international mob has been loosed, with the tacit approval of Barack Hussein Obama. That is the real meaning of the Gaza martyrdom stunt of May 31, 2010. That purposeful provocation is not past. The Gaza suicide operation is still being used all over the Middle East and Europe to whip up hatred and violence.

As Mark Steyn just reported from a dingy cafe in Algeria,

I can just about make out the plasma TV up in the corner on which Jimmy Carter, dubbed into Arabic, is denouncing Israel. Al Jazeera doesn’t so much cover the Zionist Entity as feast on it, hour after hour, without end. So here, at the western frontier of the Muslim world … the only news that matters is from a tiny strip of land barely wider at its narrowest point than a rural Canadian township way down the other end of the Mediterranean. … (there is) saturation coverage of the “Massacre In The Med” (as the front page headline in Britain’s Daily Mirror put it).

Iran, Lebanon, and Islamist Turkey have just announced new flotillas to break the Gaza blockade. If they succeed, it will not stop with Gaza. The conquest of Jerusalem and rest of Israel is the target. That is why Ahmadinejad has trained all his life in the “Al-Quds” (Jerusalem) Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the shock suicide brigade for reconquering Jerusalem. That is why the Hamas flag shows a green Islamic Jerusalem. It is why Kofi Annan at the U.N. proudly posed in front of a map of the Middle East with Israel erased.

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Meanwhile, Clinton said recently that the U.S. would no longer consider an Iranian attack on Israel as an attack on America. Interesting coincidence