As the spat between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations plays itself out, Uri Avnery and Gideon Levy look at the ramifications of the “chickenshit” appellation thrown at Netanyahu. This conflict with Obama is one that Netanhayu has provoked and wants, argues Uri Avnery. And, adds Levy, “Netanyahu, at least, is acting according to his ideology and belief. Obama is acting against his – and that’s pure cowardice.” So who’s the chickenshit then?
US government frustration and anger with Netanyahu is reaching boiling point as Israel’s government ignores Washington, particularly on the issue of settlement building. As the head of the Anti-Defamation League told American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, in quiet understatement: “The Israelis do not show sufficient appreciation for America’s role in backing Israel.” Goldberg and Israeli journalist Barak Ravid speculate on possible outcomes.
Excellent analysis by Mouin Rabban, published a fortnight ago.
“Once again, Israel is ‘mowing the lawn’ with impunity, targeting civilian non-combatants and civilian infrastructure. Given its continual insistence that it uses the most precise weapons available and chooses its targets carefully, it is impossible to conclude that the targeting is not deliberate. ”
Now read on…
Richard Silverstein: Israel’s Shin Bet has been weakened in its fight against Jewish terror. Former Shabak and Mossad chiefs, Shabtai Shavit and Carmi Gillon, have said that Israel is a land with laws that aren’t enforced when it comes to Jews attacking Palestinians… Gillon has gone as far as to say that “The price tag phenomenon is likely to lead to the murder of another Israeli prime minister.”
Here are two opinion pieces from Ynet, Israel’s biggest selling newspaper and not known as a critic of their prime minster: both offer withering critiques of Bibi’s response to John Kerry’s diplomacy – contrasting it with the former bete noir, now new peace-maker, Avigdor Lieberman. While the PM authorises, or tolerates, splenetic attacks on the US’s secretary of state, Lieberman has come up with a new catchphrase: “The unity of the people is more important than the unity of the land.”
To the military/political command of Israel, the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism has made all peace treaties pointless. Suicide bombers are not bound by them. The Jordan valley must remain under control, said Netanyahu at a memorial event for Yitzhak Rabin, for Israel’s security, and he claimed that Rabin had said the same in his last speech. Read this post for who said what when.
On his Facebook page, PM Netanyahu has spewed hatred about Muslims and vaunted the civilised superiority of Jews through the ages. Like any charlatan, he makes up stuff to sell his product (Israeli ultra-nationalism) while knowing nothing about the tradition which he pretends provides him with the evidence for his patter. Richard Silverstein is outraged at this abuse of his religion and tradition.
At a meeting of the UN’s General Assembly in New York on Thursday both President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu had a rare chance to discuss the urgent question of Palestine. President Abbas did so, solemnly. Israel’s Prime Minister preferred the delegates to imagine a war with Iran. He provided the pictures with the aplomb of a 7-year old and the conviction of Colin Powell with his WMD dossier.
Larry Derfner is alarmed at the likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran before November this year with no-one but IDF Chief Benny Gantz able to block it, which he won’t. A report for Congress, 2nd, gives an optimistic assessment of Israel’s decision-making process which, the authors believe, will prevent risky or rash political decisions. See posting for link to report on Israel’s rash, lethal attack on the flotilla.
Israel’s State Comptroller has produced a damning report of the decision-making that led to the lethal attack on the flotilla to Gaza in 2010. He says that all the procedures and safeguards that exist to ensure proper decision-making were ignored. It appears that the decision to attack was neither ‘efficient’ nor democratic in any terms.
Regular readers may remember the times Netanyahu has warned, many years apart, of an ‘imminent’ danger of attack from Iran. Here he, and ministers, are at it again, over black immigrants. In Bibi-speak an ‘existential threat’ to Israel means anything from nuclear annihilation through ‘delegitimisation’ to too many of the wrong people having babies in The Only Democracy in the Middle East™. Reports from Mondoweiss, Times of Israel, Guardian, Haaretz 2010.
One of the greatest and most unimaginable tragedies in human history – the slaughter of millions by the Nazis – is commemorated in Israel as Yom HaShoah on April 18th. The day has become an occasion for patriotic flag-waving and belligerent speeches about the enemy Iran reports Adam Keller. His reference to ‘Eisner’ is explained by the shocking photos of an assault on a Dutch peace activist in the 2nd item.
This year, the Jewish holiday of Purim, which celebrates the delivery of the Jews from a threatened massacre by the ruler of Persia, is observed from sunset, 7 March to sunset on 8 March. Though many Jews dislike the festival for its commemoration of massacres – presumably why Netanyahu gave the Book of Esther, which recounts the tale, to Obama – others have a different way of reading the story. Three of them here.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with Canada’s Stephen Harper on March 2nd on his way to meet President Obama. The group Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East has prepared this list of ten questions that should be put to him there – or anywhere.
The changes known as the Arab Spring offered Israel a unique opportunity, writes Avi Shaim, to make common cause with its neighbours to embed democracy and peaceful relations. Both the Israeli elite and the young protesters of last summer rejected the chance. Fear of not making security the paramaount policy or patriotism the paramount virtue have blocked this route to a freer, safer future
On the last stage of his European tour, in which he is seeking to increase diplomatic presure on Israel to stop settlement building, the PA President tells Russia’s RT that Israel might withdraw from a few settlements and try to persuade the world that this has changed the status quo of occupier and occupied. Which it won’t. But he remains willing to negotiate on the two things that matter – borders and security.
If Obama wins a second term, it is believed likely his policy towards Israeli recalcitrance will become tougher. Bad prospect for Netanyahu who has called a snap Likud leadership election, likely to lead to an early general election. Thus will his position be shored up before Israel is divided by American pressure
Lampooned as a liar Netanyahu is simply the least convncing of successive lying Prime Ministers – who are cheered in their peace words and violent actions by Israeli voters. It’s the G7 leaders who have an interest in denouncing Netanyahu writes Amira Hass (see also http://jfjfp.com/?p=26428 for the military link)
The IDF want to release some Fatah prisoners to bolster Abbas’s weakened Palestinian Authority against Hamas. But Netanyahu and his close advisers are determined to maintain pressure on Abbas as punishment for his unilateral bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu has not only reversed the policies of previous Prime Minsters (that outposts – precursors of settlements – were illegal and would be removed) but it is reported that outposts built on privately-owned West Bank land will be ‘legalised’. Report from Peace Now, and Lara Friedman and Hagit Ofran on this abuse of law