Stalemate

The international campaign to defeat PM Netanyahu in this week’s elections is remarkable if only for underscoring the world’s obsession with Israel, a country with half the population of the Netherlands and a quarter that of Peru. Will all the problems in the world – even just the Middle East – be resolved if Israel is more pliant, surrenders more land and compromises its security? Will Israel’s disappearance – Heaven forefend! – slake the thirst of this generation’s Almohades who wish to impose their violent world view on everyone? The answer, of course, is not in the least, which then leaves the world’s obsession with Israel as attributable to simple Jew hatred and a fundamental irreconcilability with the existence of the Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people.

Thus, money is pouring into the coffers of the leftist parties – or at least promoting their views – by the millions of dollars from Europe, from America and even from the US State Department, which shamelessly is providing US tax dollars for a get-out-the-(leftist only)-vote in Israel under the guise of an organization called V-15.

It is nothing less that eerie that the tactics in Israel’s elections so parallel those in the United States and that is not complimentary. Consider: Israel’s left, led by MK Buji Herzog, is enjoying the services of some of President Obama’s campaign staffers. Herzog himself said on Israel television last week that “Yisrael rotzeh shinui. Yisrael rotzeh tikvah.” Or, in a familiar language, “Israel wants change. Israel wants hope.” It was hard to believe. There it was, “change and hope,” those tired clichés of the two Obama elections. (At least Herzog was creative enough to switch the order.) Will Israelis fall for that? Their electorate has always been fickle, flitting left to right to left to right to left to right in election cycles for almost forty years.

Consider: The campaign against Netanyahu uses as its slogan “Anyone but Bibi” (“Rak lo Bibi.”). Indeed, that is the slogan of the V-15 campaign, which claims to be “bi-partisan,” but how bi-partisan is blatant support for the left? The shallowness is staggering but the point is to bombard the news media with negativity about Netanyahu, blaming him for sundry and all (lack of affordable housing, lack of peace, Iran’s bombs, even the price of chocolate desserts, etc.) It is insane, but it seeks to accomplish the goal that Obama achieved in his two campaigns: so besmirch the opponent that the voter that would ordinarily lean his way and might vote instead stays home and sits out the election. If you make your opponent seem like such a scoundrel that any reasonable person would be embarrassed to vote for him, you have gained a strategic advantage. But moral people do not conduct themselves like that.

Hence the silliness of the investigations and accusations against the Prime Minister and his wife – and others disfavored by the media – all candidates from the right: Russians from Yisrael Beitenu, right-wingers like Baruch Marzel, and others find themselves suddenly under investigation, details leaked to the media. It is very similar to the fate of NJ’s Senator Bob Menendez whose courageous opposition to Obama’s surrender to Iran has found him under investigation for corruption on old and previously-investigated charges. It is a shameful use of the judicial system in both countries but why have to defeat an opponent at the polls if you can silence him through threats of indictment? It must be right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook.

And that over-the-top abuse compares quite unfavorably with the Herzog scandal of 2000 in which he avoided prosecution in an illegal campaign funding case by pleading Israel’s version of the Fifth Amendment, what is today, unsurprisingly, a non-story in Israel. But Herzog is construed as part of Israel’s royalty – father was president, grandfather was Chief Rabbi, uncle was FM Abba Eban, and so on.

Consider as well the media going all out to defeat Netanyahu. What is stunning is the difference between the way Netanyahu’s speech before Congress was depicted here and in Israel. Here, numerous commentators compared him to Churchill, and several have noted how both Congress and the public have become more engaged in the debate since. In Israel, it was largely depicted as a catastrophe, as “shattering” the special relationship between the US and Israel, and as leaving Israel alone in the world and abandoned to its bitter fate. What a distortion of reality! Israel’s esteem with much of the American public grew measurably after the speech, Netanyahu’s approval ratings here are higher than Obama’s (there was even a “Netanyahu for President” bumper sticker marketed), and the public is duly alerted to the Iranian threat. Israelis should know that, according to a poll last week, an astounding 84% of Americans thinking the pending deal with Iran is a “bad” one (65% favor using force to stop Iran.)  The speech was deemed here to be one of the greatest examples of statesmanship in modern times. You wouldn’t know from watching the news on Israel TV, whose leftist commentators mostly displayed uncontrollable grief and pain – probably because they feared it would give Netanyahu an election boost. It didn’t, perhaps because of them, and perhaps because of another reason.

As always, Israel’s right-wing is fragmented into several different parties. It is not that they are all identical in their thinking, but rather that the differences between them do not justify the existence of so many parties seeking votes from the same sector of the population. In truth, the Likud has never been a stable right-wing party, and as is sadly known, has surrendered more of the land of Israel to the Arabs than the left-wing parties have. Indeed, “Labor proposes and Likud disposes” has been a reality for almost four decades. Part of the right-wing fragmentation is the “Mi Barosh” syndrome – who will be the leader, the top dog, the number one? That is why so much of the discord is personal – especially among the religious parties – and so little based on ideology.

There is an interesting debate going on in right-wing circles as to which party should win the votes of their natural constituency. These calculations have been broadened to include other dynamics. Thus, we read regularly (I’ll use letters instead of party names), that if you vote for A, you will really help B. But B says if you vote for A, you will help C. D and E say they will not sit in a coalition together with F or G, and C says it hopes to entice both D and F into the coalition, or perhaps E and G. Meanwhile, H just wants to get enough votes to qualify, but it will not sit with D, E, F or G. J does not think K should even have the right to sit in the Knesset. You need a doctorate in mathematics to figure it out, and even if the numbers then make sense, the ideological odd fellows expected to coexist make no sense at all. And the big surprise of the election might turn out to be the Arab vote, which, if their turnout increases, might gain them 15 seats in the Knesset.

The real problem is that Israel remains hopelessly divided in its politics, and no coalition can expect to have any longevity or stability.

All the complaints about “income inequality” (how painfully familiar is that?) and the housing shortage and lingering poverty in certain sectors are all meant to obscure the fact that Israel is one of the economic success stories of last decade, averting the economic collapse that afflicted the US and many European countries. There are literally dozens of measures enacted by the government in the last two years that molded Israel’s prosperity and helped the working poor as well. But the desire in Israel remains strong to have small, sectoral, narrowly-focused parties just interested in bringing home the bagels for their voters, and that negatively affects the sensibilities of the voters.

That being said, if I could vote (shame on me!), I would vote for “the Jewish Home.” It had many accomplishments in its two years in government, especially Naftali Bennett, successfully overhauling many troublesome parts of the economy and in the Religious Affairs bureaucracy. The contention that voting for Bennett hurts Netanyahu and could deprive him of the ability to form a coalition is not implausible, but nor is it entirely persuasive. On balance he has done a fine job as Prime Minister, considering all the challenges, some of them insoluble, and all the demands, most of which cannot be satisfied. But he has also shown a tendency to veer left (two-state solution, settlement freeze, release of terrorist prisoners, etc.) and the suspicion lingers that a smaller Bayit Yehudi and a larger Likud will lead Likud right into a National Unity government with the left that excludes the right-wing parties, including Bayit Yehudi. In essence, a split of Likud 21 and Bayit Yehudi 15 is a much better breakdown than Likud 24 and Bayit Yehudi 12, because in such a scenario, Bayit Yehudi remains a factor instead of being a non-factor.

More to the point, I always think it wiser to vote one’s dreams and ideals rather than one’s fears. Certainly, Israel is better off with Netanyahu as prime minister rather than Herzog, but Israel in the past has suffered under both Likud and Labor governments, despite the fact that the Likud rhetoric is always more pleasing. The question then becomes: whose vision of the Jewish state is more profound and substantive? The answer is the Jewish Home, because it is the party that wishes to implement the Torah system in a modern state. To have that voice silenced or muted would be a tragedy, and therefore it is the natural home for supporters of the Religious Zionist ethos. (I write this with full understanding that there are fine Religious Zionists on the Likud and Yachad lists, and the support of esteemed Rabbanim for Jewish Home and for Yachad.)

Yet, with all the machinations, analyses, and multiplicity of parties, the winner is likely to be stalemate. Moshiach, where are you?

———————————————————————————————-

On a related issue: Nothing seems to rile President Obama more than people doing to him exactly what he does to others. One case in point stands out this week. Forty-seven Senators, all Republicans (surprise!) sent a letter to Iran that any agreement worked out between the US and Iran that is not approved by US Congress and is merely an agreement with Obama will not necessarily be honored by the next President or a future Congress.

That sent Obama into a tizzy, comparing those Senators to the “hard-liners in Iran” who also do not want a deal. (Keep an eye on combat veteran and freshmen Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas, who retorted, cutting through the diplomatic gobbledygook and wishful thinking, “everyone in Iran is a hard-liner.”

And yet, among the first acts of President Obama, through his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was to nullify the intent and commitments made in a letter sent by President George W. Bush to Ariel Sharon. Sharon had spelled out his plan to expel Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria and completely withdraw Israeli forces. In exchange for which, Bush committed that the US would recognize the legality of settlements and cease insisting on a withdrawal to the 1967 lines, Here, in pertinent part, is the paragraph in question in the letter from Bush to Sharon:

“As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.”

    That is an American commitment. Well, PM Netanyahu was told soon after taking office in 20009 that as far as Obama and Clinton was concerned, that was merely a private letter from Bush and did not bind them at all. This has enabled Obama to force Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 armistice lines, again. Certainly, Sharon did not perceive it in that vein, and who knows if absent that commitment he would have surrendered Gaza?

Iran –be forewarned. This administration believes that the word of prior presidents need not be kept. Perhaps the next president will feel the same.

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39 responses to “Stalemate

  1. “Netanyahu’s approval ratings here are higher than Obama’s”

    According to Gallup on March 11, Netanyahu’s approval is at 38%. They’ve got Obama at 49% approval.

    Does that prove you wrong? Technically, yes. But I think it’s a little more complicated than that since Obama’s disapproval rating is higher than Netanyahu’s. Obviously more people in America have an opinion about their own leader than a foreign head of state.

    But the really interesting tidbit is that Gallup shows a significant decrease in support for Netanyahu after the speech. He used to be at 45% approval in mid February. That’s a big drop. Make of it what you will.

  2. Hey, did you know that even Fox News found Obama with a higher approval rating than Netanyahu? I didn’t believe it myself.

    Go look at the March 1-3 poll. (That’s the same poll that produced the 84% opposition to Iran deal that you cited above.) They put Obama at 42% and Netanyahu at 32%. Once again, more people have no opinion of Netanhayu than Obama.

    • Democrats, Democrats, Democrats. Even in the Gallup poll, netanyahu’s popularity rose among Republicans – 62-17. It tanked among Democrats for obvious reasons having to do with their reflexive support for Obama and growing dislike for Israel. Sad but unsurprising.
      -RSP

      • “Democrats, Democrats, Democrats.”

        I agree, I agree, I agree. Support for Israel is going the direction that many other issues have gone. It’s hard to recall, but universal healthcare was once a bipartisan issue. So were key aspects of the welfare state. Immigration policy too. Even climate change legislation used to have vocal backers in both parties. No longer. These are all partisan issues now. Our political parties are rapidly sorting themselves out along idealogical lines and the polarizing Netanyahu speech is yet one more continuation of that pattern.

  3. Who Are the Palestinians?
    by Yashiko Sagamori — 2002 November 25

    Yashiko Sagamori is a New York-based Information Technology consultant.

    If you are so sure that “Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history”, I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of “Palestine”:

    1. When was it founded and by whom?

    2. What were its borders?

    3. What was its capital?

    4. What were its major cities?

    5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

    6. What was its form of government?

    7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

    8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

    9. What was the language of the country of Palestine?

    10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

    11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and try and find the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, British pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.

    12. Have the Palestinians left any artifacts behind?

    13. Do you know of a library where one could find a work of Palestinian literature produced before 1967 CE?

    14. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

    If you are lamenting the “low sinking” of “once proud” nation, then please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?

    And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over – or thrown out of – the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day-War?

    I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern-day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won´t work here.

    The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal through military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it “the Palestinian people” and installed it in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

    How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the “West Bank” and Gaza, respectively, in the aftermath of the 1967 war?

    The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less of a claim to nationhood than the American Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called “Palestinians” have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel. In my book that is not sufficient to consider them a “nation” — or anything else — except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

    In fact, there is only one way to achieve piece in the Middle East. Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side, should pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited upon it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and acceptance of Israel´s ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

    That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?

  4. The criteria for choosing who to vote for should be : Who is going to make the country better? I think it’s just inaccurate to whitewash the many problems in this country that Bibi Netanyahu has failed to deal with over his many years in power.

    The crushing cost of living issues, the poverty in the Haredi world (that Bibi was only too happy to fund as long as he had his coalition in place) the deteriorating standing of Israel on the world stage…

    Even (Israeli) Bibi defenders such as David Weinberg have to say to defend him is that the criticism has gotten over the top… but the basic criticism sticks – Bibi has not made life better for the citizens of Israel over time.

    Both Bibi and Herzog have campaigned on thin air. ‘It’s Us or Them.’ Well, let me tell you that there is no real difference between them. Both Bibi and Herzog will do direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Both Bibi and Herzog will jump into bed with the Haredim and condemn the next generation of Haredi children to poverty. Neither of them have any concrete policies on healthcare, education, or welfare.

    Israel’s right wing is drifting into extremism, the Bayit Yehudi’s pretends to care about Am Yisrael but it is just a cover for the far-right of the settler movement and Bennet can only do what his rabbis tell him to do.

    The criteria for choosing who to vote for should be : Who is going to make the country better? There is only one party who is even trying to do that… Yesh Atid.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israel-needs-a-strong-center/

    • Really? No leader solves every problem, and no leader can solve the problem of poverty among people whose willful unemployment rate is so high and whose educational system is inadequate to enable them to work and live in a modern culture. The attempts made so far have made some inroads, but Yesh Atid? Smoke and mirrors, slogans, pretty faces, hostility to the notion of a “Jewish” state (not to an “Israeli” state), etc. They too have their place in society and government, and did some good things, but there are good reasons why the charm has diminished. You can’t base a party on opposition to one sector of society, which also has an important role to play in that society.
      By the way, not every problem can be solved anyway – too many conflicting interests. That’s what makes politics interesting and the perennial promises of the politicians so ludicrous.
      -RSP

  5. Oh, and about that Fox News poll…

    In other polls, a plurality of voters (hovering around 60%) have misgivings about the Iran deal, but no other poll comes even close to 84% disapproval. So why is Fox News such an outlier?

    Here’s the question they posed: “Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to allow Iran to get nuclear weapons 10 years from now in return for it agreeing that it won’t obtain nuclear weapons before then?”

    That’s a specific question about the sunset clause within the Iran deal. This is a classic technique in biased journalism. You poll the least popular element of a deal/bill/speech/campaign and then pretend that it’s synecdoche for the entire thing. (Fox News used to do this often when polling Obamacare. They would ask people only about the individual mandate and then trumpet the negative response as if it reflected attitudes toward the whole law.)

    For what it’s worth, the administration disagrees that they’re allowing Iran to get nuclear weapons in 10 years. They claim that all arms control deals have sunset clauses (which is true by the way) and that in 10 years America will be in a strong position to renegotiate the terms of the deal and keep Iran from going nuclear.

    Are you allowed to disagree with the administration on what will happen in 10 years? Absolutely. That’s what debate is for. But Fox News shouldn’t take sides in that dispute, poll only the critic’s characterization of the deal, produce a result that is wildly off kilter from the rest of the world’s polling outfits, and then pretend like they’ve done something “fair and balanced.”

  6. The answer is in two words: North Korea.
    Does anyone believe Iran will wait ten years? Why would they?
    -RSP

    • North Korea was mere months away from enriching plutonium until we negotiated the agreed framework with them in 1994. They halted all plutonium production and placed their sites under international inspection. That kept the peace until the end of the Clinton years. Then a number of issues complicated the relationship, the biggest being the election of George W Bush. North Korea feared the Bush administration and so they began secretly working on uranium production, which they claimed didn’t violate the terms of the deal because it wasn’t plutonium. Many analysts continue to believe their uranium production was to be used as a bargaining chip for a new deal.

      The Bush administration had a choice at that point. They could renegotiate or they could “get tough” on North Korea. They chose the latter, Bush withdrew from the agreed framework, and then subsequently named them to the axis of evil. Hearing those words made Americans feel great and stirred up some powerful emotions, but it didn’t work. North Korea moved forward with their uranium production. America then sent a clear, loud message to all tyrants around the world by invading Iraq. That too failed to deter North Korea (or Iran for that matter) and today they are a nuclear state.

      Would we have been better off if we never signed the Agreed Framework? Or if we had tried to expand the framework in 2002 to include their uranium production? These are the kinds of high-stakes decisions for which I am glad to not be involved. But I continue to believe that the North Korea example is much more complicated than your two word answer would imply.

      • Well, when reality is simple but painful, “complications” make the failures easier to digest – and defend.
        – RSP

  7. Not to belabor the point, but here was a more typical reaction in the US:

    BIBI’S SPEECH
    By Wayne Allyn Root

    Wasn’t that refreshing? Don’t you wish we had Benjamin Netanyahu as president, instead of Obama? I took a sampling among my friends- all smart, educated business owners. Men of substance. Every one of them said if they had a choice, they’d choose Bibi over Obama for president…of the United States.

    The media will concentrate on the substance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu’s speech. But let’s first look at the style. I am a business and motivational speaker who speaks all over the globe, often to audiences in the thousands. I understand communication, charisma, chutzpah and salesmanship. Bibi gets an A+ in all four categories. He delivered the speech of a lifetime.

    Americans and the world just got a lesson in CHUTZPAH. That’s the Jewish word for “balls.” No one else in the world could have pulled off what Bibi just did. Talk about a masterful speech. He walked into a joint session of the U.S. Congress like he owned it. Like he was the President of the United States. He received 29 standing ovations. If you just dropped in from another planet, you might have assumed you were watching U.S. President Netanyahu give his State of the Union.

    Keep in mind Bibi is the leader of a tiny nation with the population of some anonymous, obscure African nation. Yet he held court over the U.S. Congress for almost an hour like he was the most powerful man in the world. Like he was the leader of America, Russia, China, UK or Germany. That takes chutzpah.

    Can you imagine the look on the faces of Obama, Michelle and Valerie Jarrett. I’d have paid a million dollars to be a fly on that wall!

    Can you imagine the looks on the faces of the leaders of every Muslim nation on earth? The anger, shock, jealousy. Why Bibi? Why is he presiding over the U.S. Congress? Why are they fawning over his every word? Oh to be a fly on the wall of the leaders of Iran or Qatar or Afghanistan.

    How about the looks on the faces of the leaders of ISIS. Can’t you picture them saying, “Israel’s leader gets the attention of the world by addressing a joint session of Congress…we have to set fire to prisoners in cages to get anyone’s attention!”

    And that vibe. Bibi gave off the vibe that he alone holds the key to saving the world. And just maybe…he does.

    Now to the substance of Bibi’s speech. Bibi walked onto the biggest stage in America and embarrassed Obama. He schooled him. He took him to the woodshed. And here’s the masterful part- he killed him with kindness! Bibi pulled off a speech ripping America’s president to shreds, in front of the political leadership of America…in front of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi…in front of the American people…and he did like only a master of communication, chutzpah and salesmanship could- by first praising him. By thanking Obama. By showering him with compliments. Then he proceeded to strip him naked and pummel him into submission.

    What was the main takeaway of the speech? That you can’t reward bad behavior. That you must punish bad behavior. That you can’t agree to deals with tyrants, terrorists, liars, thieves and murderers whose word cannot be trusted.

    That the only deal worth doing punishes Iran and takes away their nuclear capabilities until they change their behavior…until they stop supporting and funding terrorism…until they stop vowing to annihilate their neighbor Israel and kill all the Jewish people…until they check their aggressive support of militant, radical Islam all over the world. That to allow any nuclear capability for a militant Muslim nation is suicide for the entire world.

    Do you understand the chutzpah of Bibi. The leader of tiny Israel was giving Obama lessons in negotiation. This was more entertaining to conservatives like me than watching “American Sniper.” I asked my family to pass the popcorn.

    Bibi made three great points that emasculated Obama:

    #1) The art of negotiating. Bibi compared negotiating with Iran to negotiating at a Persian bazaar. Hilarious, and so true. “If they threaten to walk away, let them.” Bibi said. “Because they’ll be back.” It takes an Israeli to understand the human nature of Persians. That threat of walking away is just part of a negotiation. Bibi understands that.

    Can Obama be that stupid? Bibi sure made him seem that stupid. But I know Bibi knows what I know. He just can’t say it in public. Obama is not stupid. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s not on Israel’s side. So Bibi had to play a masterful game of chess with Obama. So he painted him as naïve and stupid. He embarrassed him in front of the world. He made it clear the deal Obama has negotiated is Neville Chamberlain all over again. It’s a repeat of the worst deal ever agreed to- Chamberlain’s deal with Hitler.

    #2) Secondly, Bibi made it clear that Iran is not a normal country. It shouldn’t be treated like a normal country. It is a militant Islamic country. Obama can’t even use those words. He thinks “Islamic” is some kind of compliment. Remember we’re dealing with a man who claims Islam was a founding religion of America. Bibi understands who he is dealing with.

    Bibi pointed out that Iran is a rogue terrorist state no different than ISIS. Iran is the enemy of ISIS, so Bibi had to make a very interesting point. Iran and ISIS are the same people. They want the same thing. They say it. They tweet it. Iran wrote it in their constitution. They are dedicated to killing, conquering, converting and enslavng first the entire region, then the world. Iran is only fighting ISIS to determine who gets to do it in the name of Allah. Bibi then drove the nail home, “The enemy of your enemy…is your enemy.” Great line! I hope Obama was wearing a cup. If not, he may be down for a while.

    #3) Thirdly, Bibi made a simple clear point that the American people can understand. Forget intellectual arguments. Forget the fancy words of lawyers and Ivy Leaguers like Obama, meant to obscure, confuse, distract and deceive the people. Bibi spoke from the heart. He painted a picture of militant radical Muslims like ISIS and how they act- they cut off heads…they torture…they throw gays off buildings…they parade prisoners in cages…they set people on fire…they kill women and children…even babies are cut in half and mutilated at the hands of militant radical Muslims. And Obama wants to allow them to possess NUCLEAR WEAPONS? And he thinks that’s okay? He thinks they’ll change? He thinks they’ll stop being angry and aggressive with a nuclear weapon now in their hands?

    No wonder Obama didn’t show up at the speech. At this point the whole world could see our emperor has no clothes.

    No one watching can forget Bibi’s lesson: No militant Islamic state can ever be allowed to possess nuclear weapons…or they will certainly use them. No one in the world will be ever again sleep soundly. No one’s children will ever again be safe. Bibi made it clear Obama’s deal with Iran allows them to possess nuclear weapons. It’s only a matter of when. That cannot be allowed to pass.

    I think I could hear Obama and Valerie Jarrett screaming at the TV set inside the White House “war room.” Bibi embarrassed them. Thrashed them. Emasculated them. By the way, not only is it clear Obama does not like Israel…that Obama is a Muslim sympathizer…that Obama is trying to weaken Israel and put her people in danger…but the ruler of Obama’s White House is Valerie Jarrett. Where was Valerie born? Iran.

    Obama’s actions and negotiations are no mistake…fluke…coincidence…not done out of naivete. Bibi knows that as well as I do. So he had to deconstruct this president and his Iranian-born svengali in a nice way…in front of the Congress…in Obama’s own house.

    Bibi had to kill Obama with kindness. He could not win over the American people by ripping our president in our own home stadium. So he never once named Obama as the bad guy. He never once blamed Obama for a bad deal, or bad negotiations. He never said out loud “Your president is trying to hurt Israel.” But he didn’t have to. We all know.

    Bravo Bibi. You just showed us all what a real leader looks like- someone who stands up to evil, instead of negotiating and compromising in the face of another Hitler. Bibi made his point subtly…as subtly as a jackhammer and blowtorch. Congrats Bibi, you made a lot of smart Americans wish you were our president instead of Obama.

    And the bonus is…we all got a 2 for the price of 1. Bibi’s speech destroyed both Iran and Obama. A 2 for 1 sale on the floor of the U.S. Congress? It’s kind of like a Persian bazaar.

  8. Bibi’s speech was really good. I’m not sure about the facts though. Let’s be honest he has been warning that Iran is a year or two away from getting nuclear weapons for the last 20 years.

  9. “It is insane, but it seeks to accomplish the goal that Obama achieved in his two campaigns: so besmirch the opponent that the voter that would ordinarily lean his way and might vote instead stays home and sits out the election.”

    I always find it amusing when people accuse/blame Obama for attacking his opponents When you consider all the unfair criticism and hatred he has had to deal with from the right. Throw in the negative campaigns the Republicans have run in the past ( think 2004 Bush Kerry) it’s hard for me to sympathize with those who suddenly just want to debate the issues.

  10. Rabbi, call it ironic, but looks like our first choice in this election is the same. If I could vote, it would be for Naftali Bennet. Our views on Us politics may be polar opposites but we both seem to think the same regarding Israel. Anyway, I am nervous about tomorrow’s election. Really hoping Bibi/Likud pull it out….

  11. That Netanyahu delivered a most powerful and significant speech to Congress is indisputable. That he made Obama’s foreign policy vis-a-vis Iran and its nuclear ambitions look like baloney is also undeniable. That Obama pitched a temper tantrum at these facts shows what an amateur we have occupying the White House. However, I fear for Israel and its very existence should Iran be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon and a system for its delivery. Israelis need a strong, forceful leader to protect them and not cower in the face of evil. And that man is Netanyahu, contrary to the efforts of the Obama administration and it’s illegal efforts to thwart Bibi’s re-election.

  12. David Berman

    If you were to vote for your “dreams and ideals”, wouldn’t you vote for Yachad?

    • Mr. Cohen I believe that Obama is Pro Israel, reading the propaganda you just posted won’t change that

  13. Rabbi, what does this remind you of:

    Julia [Roberts] told reporters that not only did her separations from Lyle not hurt the marriage, they actually helped it by keeping her and Lyle in an ongoing state of bliss.

    “It’s like we’re on a perpetual honeymoon,” she said a few months after the wedding, “especially when we spend 5 or 7 days apart. Because then it starts all over again.

    He opens the door and I go gasp, ‘Oh my G_d!’

    How many wives are lucky enough to say that every time their husband opens the door, their heart skips a beat?”

    SOURCE: Julia: Her Life (chapter 25, page 204) by James Spada, year 2004 CE, St. Martin’s Press, http://www.stmartins.com, New York, ISBN 0-312-28565-5.

  14. Haha! Bibi’s convincing win more a kick in the keister of Obama than anything else. Israeli voters fortunately despise him as much as intelligent Americans. Obama gets what he deserves in meddling in Israel’s election. Take that, Mr. Community Organizer.

  15. “Well, when reality is simple but…”

    I respectfully disagree. Reality is never simple.

  16. Jay Rosenblum

    One of the “highlights” of the nascent Obama world view when he first took office and made his “apologist” speech about US Foreign Policy was his concept that the US interfered too much in the affairs of other lands thus causing ill-will. Yet he persists in trying to manipulate Israeli policy, down to sticking his nose into the elections of the only democratic country in the area. And it doesn’t work (even backfires) because he doesn’t know Israelis who don’t like to be told what is good and right for them. His reaction is to become a petulant, boorish, immature child…………the word that comes to mind is PUERILE !!!