Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Daily Kos Reaction to THE SPEECH (Updated)

Michael L.

anger2Daily Kos is merely one progressive venue among others, but it is more or less representative of the Left in the United States, so how they responded to Netanyahu tells us something about how the Left feels about Israel and, inevitably, about the Jewish people.

First, I want to point out that not everyone was entirely negative, only about 98 percent, or thereabouts.

If we start with Meteor Blades's misleadingly titled, Leader of only nuclear-armed nation in Middle East says bad nuclear deal with Iran will lead to war, we get this rare gem of truthfulness:
As the Prime Minister of Israel and having the (1+ / 0-)

prime responsibility for the security of his people, Netanyahu made a simple, forthright statement in his speech before Congress. His point was that the negotiations under way between Iran and the 5+1 do not point to a nuclear-free Iran. The current negotiations - now going on for over 20 months - have too much slippage that allows Iran to continue its nuclear program. Does Netanyahu have the right to take this position? Of course he does, it is nothing less than his sacred obligation to his people. Most of what is said in contradiction is political toxicity and obscures the point of halting Iran's march toward nuclear weapons.

by Nospinicus on Tue Mar 03, 2015 at 10:37:28 AM PST
That's the point.  All the high-pitched hysteria concerning Netanyahu "obscures the point of halting Iran's march toward nuclear weapons."

(Nowhere, by the way, did Netanyahu say that The Bad Deal will automatically lead to war.  If I missed that, I hope someone will point it out, because, from what I can tell, Timothy Lange, aka "Meteor Blades," an employee of Markos Moulitsas, is misleading his readership.)

In any case, for every Nospinicus we get ten of these:

"bloodthirsty neocon liar" is in the very first comment under Blade's "diary" by dallasdoc, despite the fact that there was nothing the least bit "bloodthirsty" about the speech.  Nothing that he said, from what I can tell, was a lie.  And, what's a "neocon" again?  I haven't heard much of that kind of talk since Wolfowitz left the White House.

TomP says, "He wants war. He would prefer Americans die (71+ / 0-)
to protect his dreams of Greater Israel."

With 71 uprates, no less.  What "greater Israel" has to do with the speech is simply beyond comprehension.  By the way, when they use terms like "greater Israel" they are trying to suggest that Israel is far too large and that what Israeli fascists want is to expand the Israeli empire into some sort-of behemoth.  It's pure stupidity on its face.

JoanMar, in classic anti-Semitic style, insists that the United States is nothing but a colony of Israel.

looseleaf called Netanyahu a "warmonger," despite the fact that he mongered no wars in this speech.  And susan in sc claims to be tired of the "warmongering" despite the fact that there was none.  Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees says that Netanyahu has a "warmongering nature."  

MarioDemocrat repeats the false "warmonger" charge.  LiberalCanuck calls Netanyahu a "warmongering liar," although, so far, it remains a mystery just what Netanyahu is said to be lying about.  And Inland, filled with righteous indignation, thinks that Netanyahu called for war, when he did not.

kharma, in apparent agreement with JoanMar, spits "GOP policy: Israel First," despite the fact that virtually every Democrat attended, as well.

Loge, in order to express sort-of generalized hatred, calls Netanyahu a "petty crook."

MKDAWUSS, apparently not having listened to the speech, wonders aloud if the invasion of Iran has started, yet.

We Shall Overcome calls Netanyahu a "rapist" who is "blaming the victim.

polecat suggests that Netanyahu is a "douchebag, Cheney-wannabe."

Stuart Heady thoughtfully suggests that Netanyahu is "dangerously nuts."

And willard landreth, meanwhile, hopes that Arabs will continue to seek to murder Jews or, as he puts it, he hopes that "the Palestinians will continue their good fight."


Meteor Blades thinks that Israel is opposed to any deal and, therefore, apparently, thinks that the Jewish minority in the Middle East likes never-ending war upon themselves.

rwgate thinks that "Israel wants the US to fight it's wars" and "to die in it's place."   Gee, that's essentially what the Nazis thought about Jews, what a coincidence.

Aluminati thinks that Netanyahu wants to expel all Muslims from Israel.

mjd in florida is "sick and tired of watching Netanyahu commit genocide against his next door neighbors."

frostbite says that "Bibi is a liar and a warmonger with nukes"

The Dead Man thinks that "Bibi is throwing a war party in our Congressional Building."

denig thinks that "Bibi wants the destruction of Iran."

Texas Twister thinks that Netanyahu is a "major war criminal" apparently because Hamas has every right to bomb the Holy Crap out of southern Israel.

 sg13565 claims that "Netanyahu is a right wing war monger"

DiesIrae sticks his or her tongue out of her mouth and calls Netanyahu a "jerk." 

cryonaut will probably be screamed at as an anti-Semite for mocking these people.  He is apparently among the two percent:
fucking jews can never get along with anyone. If only there was something that can be done about them.
This was probably mockery and snark.
Obscenely anti-semitic comment. n/t (4+ / 0-)

Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

by Meteor Blades on Tue Mar 03, 2015 at 12:09:27 PM PST 
Is Blades this stupid or is he being disingenuous?  I assumed that he was misguided, but sincere.

This leads me to wonder if he is not actually malicious.  I could be wrong, but I very much doubt that cryonaut was sincere.  I feel reasonably certain he was mocking them, because the entire thread ultimately comes down to:
fucking jews can never get along with anyone.
Aware63 calls the Prime Minister of Israel, in an exceedingly liberal manner, a "Bloodthirsty War-Pig."

ginnyv, cleverly trotting out her yiddish, calls Netanyahu a "schmuck."

Fishtroller01 actually threatens that "If Israel doesn't take him out of the driver's seat they will only have themselves to blame for what comes to them internationally.  And I hope the US government has the wisdom to stay out of whatever that penalty will be..."

In other words, Fishtroller01 thinks that the Jews richly deserve whatever beating the Arabs deliver.


It should be noted that left-leaning hatred toward Benjamin Netanyahu has virtually nothing whatsoever to do with what he actually said, which is that Iran should be held to non-aggressive standards before it should be allowed to join the nuclear club.

23 Standing Ovations

Michael L.

netan thumbAs I begin to write this, I am listening to Netanyahu's much ballyhooed speech before a joint session of Congress and my thoughts on the speech will be offered without the benefit of having read anyone else's take on the matter after the speech was given.

So far, I have to say, I am impressed.  He's a better orator than I realized.  I am, of course, a tad biased on this matter because I want Netanyahu to do well and it seems to me that, from what I heard of the speech so far, he is doing exceedingly well.  To my ear he sounds straightforward, substantive, and sincere.

He also has, by my count, no less than 15 standing ovations, maybe three-quarters the way through, and some terrific stand-alone lines, such as:

"When it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy... is your enemy."


"If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country."


"Now we are being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war.  That's just not true.  The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal."

What would this better deal consist of?

The main thing is that sanctions would remain in place until Iran meets three criteria:

1) Cease aggressions against its neighbors - (Received standing ovation.)

2) Stop supporting terrorism around the world - (Received standing ovation.)

3) Stop threatening to annihilate Israel - (Received a long standing ovation.)

One of Netanyahu's major themes - in this most important speech of his career - is that The Bad Deal will inevitably lead to a nuclear armed Iran and if the details of the deal that we know thus far are accurate then Netanyahu is correct.  At the very least, all sanctions are to be lifted within ten, or so, years, under the sunset clause, leaving Iran a perfectly legal path to its own nuclear arsenal.

Ten years is an eye blink in the history of a nation and is simply insufficient if the goal is to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear bomb... or twenty... or two hundred.

Now that I have finished listening to the speech in its entirety I want to note a few things.

At one point, referring to Obama's efforts, Netanyahu said, "This is a bad deal, a very bad deal.  We're better off without it."  And he received a standing ovation.  Now, it is impossible for me to tell just who was standing and who wasn't standing, but a majority were.

Does this not mean that every congressperson who applauded that line is taking Netanyahu's side on this issue, over that of the President of the United States?

To Netanyahu's credit, he was also straightforward and honest enough to insist upon the fact that the greatest threat to the world today is the potential marriage of political Islam with nuclear technology.

In this, again, the man is correct.

Ultimately, all Netanyahu is saying is that a better deal will prevent Iran from going nuclear unless, or until, the regime changes its behavior in the manner recommended above.

That seem commonsensical to me.

I am sure that there is plenty more to be said - and I can only imagine the venom being spit at places like Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the Guardian.  But I still have yet to read a word of anyone else's analysis.

I want to conclude, for the moment, by noting that toward the end of the speech Netanyahu said, "I can guarantee you this. The days when the Jewish people remain passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those... days... are... over.

The clear message was that Israel maintains the right and the ability to go it alone if need be.

Let's hope that it does not come to that.

Monday, March 2, 2015

One of Obama's Jews Has a Few Questions

Michael L. 

goldbergJeffrey Goldberg writes for the The Atlantic and is one of the premier journalists in the United States today.

A big part of the reason for his success, aside from the fact that he is a terrific writer, is that he has accrued access to the Obama White House much more so than most of his colleagues.

When the Obama administration wants to loft an idea concerning Israel into the public domain they often rely on Goldberg to knock it out there.  He has been a reliable friend of the Obama administration and, along with people such as Thomas Friedman, has provided an invaluable service by generally covering Obama's flank with the President's Jewish constituency.

Nonetheless, tomorrow morning Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is going to speak to the world from Washington, D.C. concerning the Iranian Bad Deal and Goldberg has a few questions.

He writes:
The deal that seems to be taking shape right now does not fill me—or many others who support a diplomatic solution to this crisis—with confidence. Reports suggest that the prospective agreement will legitimate Iran’s right to enrich uranium (a “right” that doesn’t actually exist in international law); it will allow Iran to maintain many thousands of operating centrifuges; and it will lapse after 10 or 15 years, at which point Iran would theoretically be free to go nuclear. (The matter of the sunset clause worries me, but I’m more worried that the Iranians will find a way to cheat their way out of the agreement even before the sun is scheduled to set.) - Editor's emphasis.
I am not exactly filled with confidence, either. Leaving Iran as a nuclear-weaponized threshold state is not what Obama promised the American people.  What he said, quite specifically, was that it was US policy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Goldberg, himself, wrote about this in an October 2, 2012, column entitled, Obama's Crystal-Clear Promise to Stop Iran From Getting a Nuclear Weapon.
Reuters is reporting that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu are both satisfied with their non-encounter at the United Nations last week. Both men "left the U.N. meeting with more than they arrived with: Obama with an assurance that Israel would not attack Iran's nuclear sites before the November 6 U.S. presidential election, and Netanyahu with a commitment from Obama to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from producing an atomic bomb."
Obama has changed the policy without alerting the American public.  Apparently now the policy is to try to manage and finesse Iran's nuclear weaponry development and to merely hold it off for a few years.  From now until then Obama will be able to say that he has lived up to his word.

This, needless to say, puts the United States, Israel, and the rest of the world in a position of weakness in which all we can really do is hope for the best.  It certainly puts Iran in a position wherein if it wanted to step up its rise as a Middle Eastern hegemon, it could demonstrate nuclear weapons capabilities in short order.

The fact of the matter is that Iran does not need nuclear enrichment facilities - particularly given its resources in oil - if its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes.  If that were the case it could purchase enriched uranium elsewhere, as do most other countries.
This is a very dangerous moment for Obama and for the world. He has made many promises, and if he fails to keep them—if he inadvertently (or, God forbid, advertently) sets Iran on the path to the nuclear threshold, he will be forever remembered as the president who sparked a nuclear-arms race in the world’s most volatile region, and for breaking a decades-old promise to Israel that the United States would defend its existence and viability as the nation-state of the Jewish people. 
From what I read in the newspapers, Obama is advertantly setting Iran onto a path to the nuclear bomb threshold.  What they tell us is that it is supposed to be a 1-year threshold.  That is, Iran agrees to remain one year away from break-out capacity and we are, thus, supposed to trust the ayatollahs.

That is putting an awful lot of faith into an Islamist government that has been an enemy of the United States since 1979.  This is particularly true given Iran's emergence as a contemporary imperial power in the Middle East during the Obama presidency.

In fact, from a strictly logical point of view, it is completely... nuts.

I do not want to see the United States or Israel go to war and I do not know that a ground campaign is our only option beyond near capitulation, which is what Obama's Bad Deal is.
One of Netanyahu’s most strident critics, Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said recently, “A nuclear Iran is a reality that Israel won't be able to come to terms with.”

He went on to say, “Two issues in particular concern me with respect to the talks between the world powers and Iran: What happens if and when the Iranians violate the agreement, and what happens when the period of the agreement comes to an end and they decide to pursue nuclear weapons?”

In the coming weeks, President Obama must provide compelling answers to these questions.
This, my friends, is a very big moment and we are going to have to wait until we see final terms in order to make final judgments.

But, if the deal contains a one year break-out, and if there are secret facilities in Iran, that means Iran can go nuclear at practically a moment's notice.

Ultimately, you can only have faith in the Bad Deal, as we understand it today, if you do not honestly care if Iran gets a Jihad Bomb.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Obama Insults AIPAC, American Jews

Michael L.

While the Obama administration seeks to delegitimize Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, directly before his upcoming speech to Congress this Tuesday - and just prior to his re-election bid - it also allowed rumors to swirl that it would boycott the AIPAC conference scheduled for this week.

Given that AIPAC is the single most important pro-Israel organization in the United States, to not send a high ranking official to the conference would be considered an insult to American Jewry, as well.

The much ballyhooed Obama boycott of AIPAC has turned out to be false, however.

The Obama administration is not boycotting AIPAC.

Obama intends to send national security adviser, Susan Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, both of whom are high level Obama administration officials.   Rice, however, claims that Netanyahu, in the speech that he has yet to give, is "destructive of the fabric of the relationship" between the United States and its foremost Middle Eastern ally.  Power, on the other hand, has pondered aloud about the circumstances in which the US might be compelled to fight Israeli Jews on behalf of the Palestinian-Arabs.

In a piece for the Jerusalem Post, Michael Freund asks, Is Obama stirring up anti-Semitism?
This is a sure sign that not only does the Obama administration lack message discipline, but can barely conceal its unmitigated hostility toward the Jewish state and the man who leads it. Indeed, to decry a speech by a close US ally to the elected representatives of the American people as “destructive” is not only offensive, but it crosses the lines of diplomatic decency. It is the kind of remark that Israel’s enemies will be more than happy to exploit in an effort to paint the Jewish state, and Jews themselves, as undermining America.
I would argue that, in fact, Barack Obama is stirring up anti-Semitism and has been for years.

It is not that Barack Obama is himself, necessarily, anti-Semitic, but that his disdain for the Jewish State of Israel tends to justify the hatred of those who are.  By continually making unreasonable demands upon the Jews of the Middle East - such as that they not be allowed to build housing for themselves and their children in Judea and Samaria, the traditional homeland of the Jewish people, even within existing townships and villages - he helps create an atmosphere wherein anti-Semitism thrives and Jews around the world are put on the defensive.

To invite Susan Rice to AIPAC is a kick in the head to all of us who care about the well-being of Israel.  Obama is mocking AIPAC, if not American Jews, more generally, because now that he has won his second term there is little that we can do about it.

During the previous two presidential elections, American Jewry got down on its hands and knees and gave Barack Obama a big, wet smooch on the tush.  In response, Obama has turned around and, with a smile, kicked us directly in the teeth... but he has been doing that, more or less continually, in a variety of ways for many years now.

However counterproductive and false Susan Rice's views of Benjamin Netanyahu might be, she never discussed on camera the circumstances necessary for conquering Israel, as Samantha Power did.

The conversation took place entirely as a hypothetical in which she was asked, in the event that either side undertook genocide against the other, what should be the US response?

Needless to say, she automatically - and insultingly - assumed that the Jews would commit genocide against Arabs.

This is the exact question:
Let me give you a thought experiment, here, without asking you to address the Israel-Palestine problem.  Let's say that you were an adviser to the President of the United States, how would, in response to current events, would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation least one party or another be looking like they might, uh, be moving toward genocide?
Under such circumstances, she said, the US would need to "put something on the line," i.e., be willing to make hard sacrifices.

And what might putting "something" on the line mean?
Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of (giggles) tremendous political and financial import.
Power muses that the US would need "a mammoth protection force" in Israel.  It would have to be a "meaningful military presence" because "you have to put something on the line."

Obama chose Rice and Power precisely to send a message to American Jewry.

Were that not the case he would have chosen individuals who do not stir up hatred for Netanyahu and Israel, nor those who ponder aloud the circumstances under which the United States would have to militarily crush Jewish opposition in the Middle East.

He didn't.  Instead he chose Rice and Power... Power and Rice.

Clearly Obama was aware of the feelings of these close advisers before he chose them to represent his administration at the current AIPAC conference.  Given the manufactured hostility from Obama toward Netanyahu and, by extension, Israel, his appointment of Rice and Power to represent his administration at AIPAC 2015 could not have been accidental.

Obama is driving a wedge between American Jews and the Democratic party, while trying to drive a wedge between American Jews and the State of Israel.

The only question is, why?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Give 'Em Hell, Bibi!

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

bbDuring the 1948 presidential campaign, Harry Truman toured the country attacking Republicans and putting forth his own views on what was best for America.  At one point during a speech in Bremerton, Washington, a man in the crowd cried out, "Give 'em hell, Harry!"

To the delight of the listeners Truman called out, "I don't have to give 'em hell.  I just tell 'em the truth and they think it's hell!"

Well, one thing is certain, Benjamin Netanyahu has not been "giving 'em hell" in recent years.

Under pressure from a hostile American administration and its European Union partners, Benjamin Netanyahu, was forced to humiliate himself by apologizing to Turkey's president Erdogan for the fact that Turkish Jihadis got themselves killed in a foolhardy attempt to break the blockade of Gaza.  Netanyahu caved to the Palestinian demand that it release Jihadi terrorists in return for the privilege of maybe, at some point, sitting across the table from Palestinian-Arab dictator, Mahmoud Abbas, who is now in the tenth year of his four year term.  Netanyahu agreed to support the creation of a "Palestinian" state on traditional Jewish land in Judea and Samaria and provided electricity to Gaza while the Gazans were shooting rockets into the southern part of the country, making life practically unlivable there.

Netanyahu even agreed to a ten month freeze on building within Jewish townships in Judea and Samaria in order to encourage Abbas back to the negotiating table, but Abbas refused until the final weeks of that ten month period, pocketed the concession and then demanded an extension of the freeze in return for exactly nothing.

No matter how many concessions Israel makes, the Palestinian Authority never reciprocates, continues to teach its children to despise Jews, and incites its people to violence against us.

Yet, as far as Barack Obama is concerned, it is the side that calls for peace and that makes concessions, i.e., the Israeli side, which is intransigent, while the "Palestinian" side calls for blood, never makes a concession, and is never asked to concede anything.  It does not matter to the Obama administration what the "Palestinians" do or do not do, because it is the Jews of Israel, and only the Jews of Israel, that must be disciplined and forced into compliance.

As for Obama, he did give 'em "hell"... the Israelis that is.

As Caroline Glick recalls in the Jerusalem Post:
He and his representatives have given a backwind to the forces that seek to wage economic warfare against Israel, repeatedly indicating that the application of economic sanctions against Israel – illegal under the World Trade Organization treaties – are a natural response to Israel’s unwillingness to bow to every Palestinian demand. The same goes for the movement to deny the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence. Senior administration officials have threatened that Israel will become illegitimate if it refuses to surrender to Palestinian demands.

Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas’s terrorist war against Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas’s demands for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against Israel.
But, now, Netanyahu has an opportunity to "give 'em hell" in return and I very much hope that he does so.

This is not for the purpose of giving Obama the comeuppance that he so richly deserves, but to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear bomb within 2 years or 5 years or 10.

Obama broke his promise.  He told the world that the United States would prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weaponry, but now he has changed his tune.  Instead of preventing Iran from nuclear break-out capacity, the Obama administration wants the United States to constrain, but not impede, Iranian nukes for maybe ten years, while allowing it a one-year window for completing its Jihadi Bomb.

The reason that Obama is going to allow Iranian nuclear break-out capacity is because the US administration is endeavoring to turn the Islamist state into a regional strategic partner.  It is also for this reason that the Obama administration is comfortable with Iranian expansion into Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, if not Iraq.

This is entirely unacceptable to the people of Israel - left, right, and center - and the Sunnis throughout the region are, for the most part, no happier about any of this than are the Jews.  The only people who seem comfortable with Iranian nukes are Barack Obama and the Iranians, themselves.

If Obama gets his way, we will see an arms race throughout the Middle East with virtually every significant player scrambling to kick-start their own nuclear programs.  There is certainly no possible way that Egypt will allow a nuclear armed Shia Iran without Cairo gaining that capacity, as well.

What is necessary is for the American people to make it clear to the Obama administration that we stand not only with the people of Israel, but with people the world over - most particularly in the Middle East - who understand that a nuclear-weaponized Iran is potentially disastrous enough that as a basic matter of common sense it must be prevented.

Obama is not up to this job, because his heart is clearly not in it.  Obama the community organizer from Chicago is comfortable with Iranian nukes.

Benjamin Netanyahu the commando from Israel clearly is not.

I say, give 'em hell, Bibi.

Just tell 'em the truth and they'll think it's hell.