Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Netanyahu/Obama and the week Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

To Hear PM Netanyahu's speech to congress

TA News Alert
May 24, 2011
Bibi to Congress: No compromise on Jerusalem, refugees or Jordan River presence

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any peace deal with the Palestinians must grant Israel a military presence along the Jordan River, exclude repatriation of Palestinian refugees to Israel and leave Jerusalem as Israel's united capital.

However, the Israeli leader said Tuesday in his address to a joint meeting of Congress, some Jewish settlements in the West Bank would fall outside Israel’s borders in a final peace deal.

“Israel needs unique security arrangements because of its unique size,” Netanyahu said, adding that the Palestinian state must be demilitarized.

Netanyahu received a warm reception from Congress, including more than two dozen standing ovations.
However, the Israeli prime minister did not appear to offer anything new by way of substance for his vision of peace with the Palestinians, saying Israel “would be very generous” about the size of the Palestinian state but providing few details.

From Richard Baehr on Obama and Netanyahu this week
think home runs are too commonplace to give Bibi credit for hitting one with yesterday's speech to Congress. It was beyond that.
Here is the speech, if you missed it:
I wrote a short blog for American Thinker yesterday on why Congress loved Bib. The comments are worth reading. . AT readers are conservatove, and overwhelmingly not Jewish.

The Associated Press ties to deconstruct Bibi's speech and gets taken apart by Daled Amos:

Elder of Ziyon, one of the best pro-Israel bloggers in the wold, takes part the lame arguments of the liberal peace processor camp, exemplified by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen:

There is genuine bipartisan support for Israel in Congress, a very good thing, and Democratic leaders Steny Hoyer, and Harry Reid were very good at AIPAC, creating space between themselves and the President's pro-Palestinian policies. When you adopt the PA position on borders , word for word, and three times start unnecessary fights with Israel to ostensibly advance a peace process going nowhere due to Palestinian obstructionism and disinterest, then yes, it is the pro-Palestinian position. Democratic Congressman Robert Andrews of New Jersey said yesterday that the President was leaning towards Hamas! There are some Democrats in Congress who are not part of this solid bipartisan coalition. Republicans think it is fair game to run against those Democrats on their weak support for Israel, especially since three of them, Chris Murphy in Connecticut, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, and Mark Heinrich in New Mexico, are running for open Senate seats. One Democratic Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, tries to pre-emept using Israel as an issue in their races. That makes as much sense as not considering Barack Obama's record on Israel when he is up for re-election in 2012. If you are a pro-Israel liberal Democrat, that is fine. Three are many worthy candidates to support, including Shelley Berkley, running for Senate in Nevada.
This brings me to one other point, - the leaders of the Jewish community who choose to carry water for Obama in the community this time around , and argue for his pro-Israel bonafides, deserve to be called out and shamed for it. . If Obama is reelected, this much is a certainty- he is a Chicago pol at heart, who carries grudges. His sympathies are all on the other side. He dislikes israel, and despises its Prime Minister, who upstaged him this week- not hard to do when you are much smarter, can speak intelligently without a teleprompter, and actually know some basic history. Obama will screw Israel in his second term. It is a certainty. Do you think he will veto Security Council resolutions aimed at Israel when he no longer needs Jewish cash or votes? Barack Obama was schooled on the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said, Ali Abunimah and Reverend Wright. His "Jewish protectors" in 2008 had a different role- hide the truth about his sentiments on Israel, and scoop up cash from the community.

Jewish Democrats, angered and concerned over President Obama's direction on Mideast affairs, are pulling their support from the president as the 2012 general election approaches.

The Los Angeles Times reports that many Democratic Jews remain concerned over Obama's call for a return to the 1967 lines as a starting point for peace negotiations, even with the caveat of "land swaps" he offered during his recent AIPAC speech.

Describing the reaction of prospective donors, [one Philadelphia fundraiser] said: "There are those who have already served notice that they’re just not going to participate. Then there are those who are saying, 'We want to see how this plays out over the next week or so.’

Tom Knox, a businessman who is also helping to raise money for the Philadelphia event, said: "I wish I could tell you there wouldn't be" repercussions from Obama’s remarks. "There's going to be some backlash on it. I don't know why he said it. I think he's just trying to get the talks going again."

In what could be the biggest blow of all to the Democratic fundraising machine, billionaire media executive Haim Saban strongly suggested he will pull his funding over Obama's policy decisions on the Mideast, Ynet reports.

"The US and Israel need to address the points of difference between them in private and not in front of the cameras," he said, heaping criticism on both leaders.

But his critique was mostly aimed at Obama. "I am perplexed as to why the president has been to Cairo, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey but has not stopped in Israel and spoken to the Israeli people," the billionaire said. "I believe the president can clarify to the Israeli people what his positions are on Israel and calm them down, because they are not calm right now."

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