IsraelAmerica

Israel And America Together As One

  • More Articles On IsraelAmerica

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Trump Embraces Nazis and White Supremacists

Posted by Zamir Ben Etzioni on August 15, 2017

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Deal On Gilad Shalit May Be Imminent

Posted by Zamir Ben Etzioni on November 28, 2009

Originally Published on Haaretz

The American television network Fox News reported on Friday that the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas for the release of Gilad Shalit was close to completion, and that it will likely be carried out this week.

The German weekly Der Spiegel meanwhile reported that the deal’s completion is delayed due to a disagreement within Hamas.


Voice of Palestine radio,  for its part,  quoted Egyptian sources yesterday as saying that in an unusual move, security around the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been beefed up, speculating that the move could signal the imminent exchange.

According to the report by Fox, Egyptian sources said that Hamas has yet to respond to Israel’s latest objections to its demands for Shalit’s release, but that the latest developments indicate that the differences between the two sides have significantly narrowed.

Israeli officials said Friday that talks aimed at advancing the deal would resume tomorrow, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returns from his trip to Germany and the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha concludes.

Fox quoted sources “close to the negotiations” who added that Netanyahu “seems more willing to push a deal forward.”

Khaled Meshal, the Damascus-based Hamas political chief, has reservations about the current terms of the deal, according to Der Spiegel. By contrast, senior Hamas officials in Gaza are interested in carrying out the deal as soon as possible.

The Arabic news station Al Arabiya reported last week that a Palestinian delegation involved in the negotiations in Cairo to free Shalit arrived in Damascus to discuss finalizing the deal with Meshal.

According to reports from last week about a snag in the talks for Shalit’s release, the gap between Hamas and Israel is over between 70 and 100 names of Palestinian prisoners which Israel is not willing to release – including Fatah’s West Bank secretary general, Marwan Barghouti.

A few days earlier, Israel and Hamas came closer to a prisoner deal when officials said Israel had dropped objections to releasing 160 prisoners. According to Der Spiegel, the deal will secure the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in total, 450 in the first phase and the remaining 550 later.

Hamas deputy chief Moussa Abu Marzouk said before the weekend there has been progress on a prisoner swap, but gave no further details in a phone interview with AFP from Damascus.

The parents of Gilad Shalit, who was abducted more than three years ago by Hamas, are scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman today, in the framework of a round of talks they have been holding with cabinet minister since last week. The parents are not scheduled to meet with Netanyahu.

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), who in the past has supported releasing Barghouti, told Channel 10 yesterday that he was “optimistic” about the deal for Shalit’s release.

(Jack Khoury contributed to this article.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Let’s talk about sex

Posted by Zamir Ben Etzioni on November 26, 2009

Depending on whether or not you are married, beautiful or not, rich or poor, sex can evoke totally different responses.
A young man can fall in love with a beautiful, tall, blond-Germanic looking
Half-Jewish Goddess, like I did once, and discover what Shakespeare
meant, as you peer deeply into her crystal blue eyes, and as remarkably, she peers back deeply into your eyes, admiring each other’s flawless lines and delicate grace and strength.  Saying I love you over and over and
meaning it more each time.  With each soft whispered declaration from her moist red lips your own emotions build to a crescendo and you embrace and kiss and flow into each other and react to each other and perform a cosmic yet deeply earthly dance.
You can’t really analyze it,  but it is beauty and symmetry and atom splitting
and speed of light and cold chilled wine and fresh roses
and why you were put here,
and you know it.
The Arabs don’t have these
experiences. They are very religious.    The Arab and Muslim woman is
covered.
In Afghanistan a woman of thirty has forgotten what a cool breeze felt like on her skin, or the morning sun on a mild winter day.
It’s pretty bad in most of the Muslim world, for women.
It takes a toll on a lot of the men, as well.  In fact, it is so bad in parts of the Arab world that young men blow themselves up killing innocent men and women, babies and children, because they think that as soon as they die fulfilling what someone has told them is G-d’s will, they will be rewarded with 72 virgins.
Unlimited sex with numerous beautiful young women is why
some of these young men commit murder.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Frolicking in the Quicksand: How the Obama Administration Keeps Making Huge Mistakes in the Middle East

Posted by Zamir Ben Etzioni on November 22, 2009

 

Of course, the Obama Administration has its defenders. They either ignore criticism of the Administration’s foreign policy or claim it is all partisan and ideological. And yet the truth is that if you watch the government’s policy on a daily basis it is truly remarkable how many dumb, avoidable mistakes are made.
I won’t supply a long list here but instead will talk about the latest one. Let’s take it step by step to see what a mess is being created.
Background: Israel announced in 1993, at the time of the Oslo agreement with the PLO, that it did not view construction on existing settlements as a violation. The Palestinians, during the ensuing 16 years, never made this a big issue. The U.S. government, while it can say it technically opposed this, was pretty quiet about it, never did anything.
Then President Barack Obama came to office and made the construction issue the centerpiece of his Middle East policy, sometimes it has appeared to be the keystone of his whole foreign policy. It may seem like an exaggeration but often it seems as if the administration believes that if Israel stopped building 3000 apartments all the region’s problems would go away.
So far, the Administration has wasted almost ten months in this pursuit. First, it shouted at Israel as if it were some servant to do it fast or else. Then when Israel didn’t, the Administration realized that perhaps Israel should get something in exchange for the concession. So it went to Arab states and asked—presuming, wrongly, that they are desperate for a peace agreement—for some compromise but got nothing.
Now it had destroyed its own policy since the Palestinian Authority (PA) refused to come to negotiations until there was a complete freeze. How could it be less hardline than the president?
But there was a solution, sort of. Israel agreed to stop all construction once the apartments currently being built are finished. And naturally, Israel said, this didn’t apply to east Jerusalem.
The United States accepted the deal, with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton exulting about what a huge concession Israel was making. Aside from everything else, the U.S. government knew how big a risk Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was taking with his coalition.
Ok. Sorry to give you all this background but it is necessary to understand how the Administration loves to jump in the quicksand.
So what happened? The PA couldn’t stand to see Israel being praised and doesn’t want to negotiate peace any way. So it threw a temper tantrum: riots in Jerusalem, threats by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to resign, refusal to go to negotiations with Israel, and a clamor for a unilateral declaration of independence.
The hubbub about a unilateral declaration of independence was almost universally described in the media as arising from Palestinian frustration. Not at all. It is based on their own position: Why make a compromise peace with Israel when you can just claim everything you want, ensuring the door be kept open for a future struggle to wipe Israel off the map entirely?
What did the Administration do? It backed down on everything except the independence bid! Having made a deal with Israel, having gotten Netanyahu to take an enormous risk, it then pulled the rug out from under him. Now it said: Well, maybe it wasn’t such a great deal after all.
Those who always advocate Israeli concessions as the solution should take note. Once again, we’ve seen that a concession doesn’t lead to a concession by the other side or progress. It just produces a demand for more concessions without giving any real credit to the last one.
This kind of thing is expected from the PA but one can only say: Et tu Obama? (William Shakespeare’s line for Julius Caesar after his supposed friend, Brutus, stabbed him in the back.) Mind you, the Administration doesn’t mean any harm—after all, it may end up the biggest loser—it just has no idea of what it’s doing.
The latest act in the drama is that after an announcement that Israel would some day build apartments in the Gilo section of Jerusalem—which is quite within the U.S.-Israel deal and, by the way, is not in east Jerusalem—the Administration complained bitterly, showing not only that it wouldn’t respect agreements others made with predecessors but it wouldn’t even respect the agreements it made itself.
Obama said that the Gilo construction complicates administration efforts to relaunch peace talks, makes it harder to achieve peace and embitters the Palestinians.
Funny, he never said this about: PA incitement to terrorism; failure to punish terrorists; negotiations with Hamas despite its hardline positions, genocidal goals, antisemitic views, and terrorist acts; refusal to return to talks with Israel despite Obama’s express request to do so; breaking its promise on not to be a sponsor of using the Goldstone report to punish Israel; and other such actions. Each of these individually is more dangerous than the Gilo construction.
Now here’s another point you probably won’t see anywhere except here:
Having sabotaged negotiations by escalating the construction-on-settlements issue, the Administration has now escalated even higher: no construction in Jerusalem is the minimum demand. Of course, Arab states and the PA will echo this, refusing all talks unless that happens. And since Israel won’t stop building in Jerusalem and the Arab side won’t—unlike the Administration—back down—Obama has just guaranteed a dead peace process for his entire four-year term in office. In fact, he’s probably ensured no comprehensive negotiations will take place, much less succeed.
Talk about painting yourself into a corner, and the Administration keeps making that corner smaller!
Here’s another problem: By blaming Israel repeatedly for every failure, the Administration is not only signalling the PA and Arab states that they can do anything and pay no cost, it is also unintentionally encouraging them to sabotage any progress. Why? Because the worse and slower things go the more they can blame Israel and expect the United States and Europe to do so also. The Administration is making its own failure far more likely.
One final point: The same loss of U.S. credibility and reliability that affects Israel also hits the relatively moderate Arab states in the Administration’s dealings with them. The Obama Administration is doing the same thing to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and other Arab regimes. See here for details on that factor.
No doubt we will soon be hearing that if Israel stopped building apartments in Gilo there would be Arab-Israeli peace, no terrorism, Iran would give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Obama would get the Nobel Peace Prize. Oops, that last event has already happened. How about giving him the Nobel Peace-Destroying Prize.
The Daled Amos blog has a terrific evaluation of how much the Obama Administration has accomplished (not) on Arab-Israeli issues. The story begins with a hysterically funny State Department press briefing where a spokesguy claims Obama has done more in nine months than the previous president did in eight years.
Then, the claim quickly–and embarrassingly–collapses when a reporter who knows something on the subject asks a few questions. The spokesman insists that the Obama Administration succeeded in getting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a two-state solution. But, asks the reporter, didn’t that happen under the Bush Administration? (Actually, it took place in 1996 under the Clinton Administration).
Within a few minutes, the spokesman backs down entirely. Even he cannot think of a credible achievement for the Obama Administration. It reminds one of the famous essay about the snakes of Ireland whose whole text reads: There aren’t any. In this case, the progress–to use the euphemistic language of Washington government–has been all in a backward direction.  The exchange is also a great metaphor for the gap between what the Administration has done and what it gets away with claiming on lots of issues.
[PS: Within minutes of finishing the writing of this piece I started spotting media reactions claiming that Israel is “defying” the United States, that Gilo is a “new settlement” built on “Palestinian land,” that it is on the West Bank, etc. I don’t recall seeing headlines about the PA defying the United States on any of the points discussed above. As anyone who has been in Gilo knows, it’s a neighborhood in Jerusalem with 40,000 people, mostly in pre-1967 Israel, the land beyond that border was purchased by Jews before 1948, and  the idea of building 900 more apartments there is in a years-long approval process and no construction whatsoever is imminent.]
*Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to http://www.gloria-center.org

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Terrorist Chief Kvetching Obama Loves Israel

Posted by Zamir Ben Etzioni on November 12, 2009

It seems only common sense.
Of course Obama favors Israel.
Who in their right mind would favor terrorist killers?
But common sense is not the forte of Hizbullah or the other criminal terror groups.  Michael
_________________________________________________________
by Hana Levi Julian
(IsraelNN.com) Hizbullah terrorist chief Hassan Nasrallah complained bitterly in a speech broadcast Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama favors Israel over Arabs and Muslims. The fiery remarks, beamed to tens of thousands of supporters in a southern Beirut suburb, marked Lebanon’s “Shahid Day.”
Nasrallah rarely has spoken in public since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, beaming his addresses to the public by a video hook-up from a secret hideout, due to fears of assassination by Israeli intelligence agents. His second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed in a February 2008 car bomb attack in Damascus by unknown assassins. Since the assassination, Nasrallah has tightened his personal security arrangements even further.
Referring to President Obama, Nasrallah said, “When he was elected, many relied on him and believed it would mark a major turnaround in favor of the Arab world, but this notion quickly dissipated.” Instead, he claimed, Obama has strengthened his commitment to the security of the Jewish State. The evidence, he said, was to be found in Obama’s videotaped message to participants at a memorial rally in Rabin Square to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. In his address, Obama told the crowd “The strong bond between the United States and Israel cannot be broken. Our support in defending Israel’s security will never waver…”
Nasrallah accused Obama of conspiring together with Israel to make a show of demanding the Jewish State freeze all construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem as a “tactic” before gradually backing down, calling it a “ploy to pass the time and gain Arab sympathy.”
He lamented that the world had hoped a new face in the White House would “try and change the savage American policy,” but said that what has resulted instead is even worse.
“What we see is absolute American commitment to Israeli interests, Israeli conditions and Israeli security… while disregarding the dignity or feelings of the Arab and Muslim people and their nations and governments,” according to Nasrallah.
Noting that the joint U.S.-Israel Juniper Cobra military exercise had just ended, he declared, “The Americans are coming for the first time in decades, and perhaps the first time since Israel’s existence, to be a field partner in any confrontation that Israel might force on Gaza, Lebanon, Syria or Iran.”
The joint military drill was held to test an air missile defense system that would protect Israel from attack. During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah fired thousands of short and medium-range Katyusha missiles at the Jewish State, nearly reaching the central region. More recently, just prior to and during the counterterrorist Operation Cast Lead carried out by the IDF in Gaza, the Hamas terrorist organization launched Kassam and Grad missiles at southern Israel that reached as far north and east as Ashdod, Be’er Sheva and Yavne.
The Hizbullah secretary-general accused Obama of providing even stronger military support for the Jewish State than had his predecessor, former President George W. Bush. He added, “We did not see this during the Bush Administration.”
The stinging criticism reflected a deep anger; Bush was despised by much of the Arab world due to his declared war on terror, the U.S. invasion of Iraq and his willingness to bluntly label PLO chairman Yasser Arafat “a terrorist.”

Hizbullah Chief Complains Obama Favors Israel by Hana Levi JulianFollow Israel news on  and .
(IsraelNN.com) Hizbullah terrorist chief Hassan Nasrallah complained bitterly in a speech broadcast Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama favors Israel over Arabs and Muslims. The fiery remarks, beamed to tens of thousands of supporters in a southern Beirut suburb, marked Lebanon’s “Shahid Day.”
Nasrallah rarely has spoken in public since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, beaming his addresses to the public by a video hook-up from a secret hideout, due to fears of assassination by Israeli intelligence agents. His second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed in a February 2008 car bomb attack in Damascus by unknown assassins. Since the assassination, Nasrallah has tightened his personal security arrangements even further.

Referring to President Obama, Nasrallah said, “When he was elected, many relied on him and believed it would mark a major turnaround in favor of the Arab world, but this notion quickly dissipated.” Instead, he claimed, Obama has strengthened his commitment to the security of the Jewish State. The evidence, he said, was to be found in Obama’s videotaped message to participants at a memorial rally in Rabin Square to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. In his address, Obama told the crowd “The strong bond between the United States and Israel cannot be broken. Our support in defending Israel’s security will never waver…”
Nasrallah accused Obama of conspiring together with Israel to make a show of demanding the Jewish State freeze all construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem as a “tactic” before gradually backing down, calling it a “ploy to pass the time and gain Arab sympathy.”
He lamented that the world had hoped a new face in the White House would “try and change the savage American policy,” but said that what has resulted instead is even worse.
“What we see is absolute American commitment to Israeli interests, Israeli conditions and Israeli security… while disregarding the dignity or feelings of the Arab and Muslim people and their nations and governments,” according to Nasrallah.
Noting that the joint U.S.-Israel Juniper Cobra military exercise had just ended, he declared, “The Americans are coming for the first time in decades, and perhaps the first time since Israel’s existence, to be a field partner in any confrontation that Israel might force on Gaza, Lebanon, Syria or Iran.”
The joint military drill was held to test an air missile defense system that would protect Israel from attack. During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah fired thousands of short and medium-range Katyusha missiles at the Jewish State, nearly reaching the central region. More recently, just prior to and during the counterterrorist Operation Cast Lead carried out by the IDF in Gaza, the Hamas terrorist organization launched Kassam and Grad missiles at southern Israel that reached as far north and east as Ashdod, Be’er Sheva and Yavne.
The Hizbullah secretary-general accused Obama of providing even stronger military support for the Jewish State than had his predecessor, former President George W. Bush. He added, “We did not see this during the Bush Administration.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »