Speech at Congress strengthens Israel-USA connections
Ari Soffer also says Netanyahu was successful, and yes, it certainly was quite an excellent speech.
I am leaving for Washington on a fateful, even historic mission. I am the emissary of all Israelis, even those who disagree with me.
— בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) March 1, 2015
I am deeply and genuinely concerned for the security of all Israelis, for the fate of the nation, and for the fate of our people.
— בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) March 1, 2015
I will do my utmost to ensure our future.
— בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) March 1, 2015
Dozens of Arabs, the ones who are full-fledged Israelis complete with citizenship, greeted Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni Saturday with catcalls, slurs, Palestinian Authority flags and fights when the duo visited the area of Wadi Ara, a hotbed of Islamic Movement radicals.This is a lot different from what you might've expected in past times. The name they've now given the Labor party certainly isn't impressing upon anybody there. Also of important note:
Protesters called the new faction, a merger of Livni's HaTnua and the Labor parties, "radical right-wingers" with "blood on their hands."
Bujie and Tzipi are tied up in the age-old bleeding heart philosophy that if you simply show the Arabs you really aren't so Jewish and Zionist, they will hug and kiss you without a knife in the back.
The demonstrators on Saturday southeast of Haifa were more honest than that. Herzog and Livni's "Zionist Camp" gimmick is the last thing that is going to convince Arabs who openly want a "one-state" solution that they can be partners for peaceful co-existence so long as there is a Jewish government.
There were many Arab supporters for Herzog and Livni during Saturday's campaign stop, but they and the "Members of the Homeland" protesters literally fought with each other, leading to six arrests.
"We do not want anyone from the Zionist Union to come here. They are accomplices to murders against the Palestinian nation," one protester said, according to Yediot Acharonot.
Last month, the Zionist Union was forced to cancel a planned campaign event in Nazareth, likely due to pressure from the Arab Joint List and its supporters, media reported at the time.An excellent question. It is possible that this election, Labor will get far less votes from Arab citizens than before, partly due to their supporting a disqualification of one of the Arab party's members, even though the supreme court reversed it.
The Kul al-Arab site reported the visit was dropped because the mayor and the municipality had come under pressure from the Joint List, which feared the Zionist Union would take away Arab votes.
Kul al-Arab owner and general manager Fayez Eshtiwy told The Jerusalem Post at the time that he had heard Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam canceled because he was sick with a cold. However, “the question is if that is the truth.”
Citing “well-placed sources,” Al-Jarida claims that sometime in 2014, the Israeli government made plans to attack Iran when they heard that the United States and Iran were on the cusp of striking a secret nuclear deal behind Israeli’s back. The decision was made after Israel learned the terms of the deal were supposedly “a threat to Israel’s security.”Could that have really been the case? It's obviously not clear, but all the same, it still give a very lurid feeling. No wonder it's a good idea to go to Washington now to debate this whole issue of Iran's nuclear development.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly came to the decision after four nights of deliberation with commanders, and Israeli jets even managed experimental test flights in Iranian airspace after evading Iranian radars. But when an Israeli official with good ties to the Obama administration revealed the planned airstrikes, Obama allegedly threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets.
"Thank goodness for Congress!" said Howard Kohr, the CEO of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.That's good to hear. If they follow through with stopping funding to the UN, that'll help the USA's own tax money, which is better spent on other developments, preferably non-political. On that note, yes, thank goodness for Congress.
Applause filled the Washington Convention Center, from thousands of people attending AIPAC's annual policy conference. In the Obama years, AIPAC's show of force in Washington often overlapped with a moment of tension or scandal in the relationship between the president and the Likud government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This year's conference coincides with Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress, which originated in conversations with the Republican leadership—not, as is the norm, via conversations with the White House. [...]
The Netanyahu drama, which will hang over the entire week, mostly emphasized how much support Israel otherwise had in Washington. "We have spent many active hours lobbying for members of the House and Senate to attend this speech," said Kohr.
Cardin won more applause by telling the AIPAC crowd about legislation "coming this week" to use trade negotiations to penalize countries that boycotted, divested from or sanctioned Israel. Graham, newly empowered as a member of the Senate majority, one-upped Cardin again.
"All the money that goes in to support the State Department comes through my committee," said Graham. "I’m gonna put the United Nations on notice." If the U.N. "marginalized" Israel in anyway way, he'd come after its funding.
Less than a week before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress, former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells Israel Hayom that the focus on Netanyahu's visit rather than on his message is an "unfortunate distraction" from the important issue -- the Iranian threat.The fuller interview can be read here. Rumsfeld says the speech can elevate public dialogue on Iran's totalitarianism. And it should. In fact, one could say it's happening already, and the Obama administration's only achieved the opposite of what they'd prefer.
"I find it stunning to see the comments out of the White House on this issue," he says. "It is more than a distraction, it is unfortunate. It plays into the hands of those people who are not in favor of the relationship [between Israel and the U.S.], who are not in favor of Israel or who are in favor of Iran, and the idea that people are saying what they are saying I find most unfortunate."
In a special interview, to be published in full on Friday, Rumsfeld says that "the entire discussion on his visit, it seems to me, is a distraction from the important subject about Iran. Here is a country that is supporting terrorism, has a pattern of being hostile not only toward the United States and Israel but toward many of the countries in your region.
The Satmar Rebbe, who is currently in Antwerp, Belgium for several days, on the occasion of the inauguration of the new study hall, strongly condemned last night (Saturday night) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for European Jews to immigrate to Israel.First, note his terminology of "infidels". That sounds eerily similar to what Muslim clerics say about non-Muslims! And is Teitelbaum saying Netanyahu should call on Jews to leave Hebron and the Har Nof neighborhood? Don't be surprised if a man as hostile to Israel as Teitelbaum is sees nothing wrong with that. And he doesn't stop there:
At the inauguration of the new study hall the Rebbe said, “the Prime Minister of the infidels (Netanyahu) begs Jews living in Europe – Leave Europe go up to Israel”.
“When there was a terrorist attack in Har Nof or Hebron, did you also tell them to leave Har Nof or Hebron? It is great audacity, and if he has the power to save the country, why is it that what happens there, happens?” the Rebbe roared.
The Rebbe added, “The head of the klipa of the Zionists (Benjamin Netanyahu) got up and delivered meaningless sermons after these events, he called for European Jews to immigrate to holy Israel, does this proud nothing also open his mouth when 3 young men are killed in Hebron, does he also tell all settlers to leave their homes? When he went to war last summer, killing more than 70 Jewish soldiers, did he say to flee from the land of Israel? How has he the audacity and nerve to say to Europe’s Jews to move to Israel? Can he protect them?”This is enough to make my jaw fall of my face and crash to the floor in disbelief. It was Islamofascists who killed those soldiers, not Netanyahu and Zionists! Teitelbaum is as monstrous as they come. He's one of the crowd opposing Netanyahu's speech to Congress, and misusing taxpayers' money in Kiryas Joel as he directs his Chelmites to live by socialism, in contradiction of the Torah.
It is 3:59 P.M. on February 18. I am sitting in the office of former house manager Menny Naftali, who is suing the Netanyahus for $290,000 claiming he was insulted, treated unfairly, yadda, yadda, yadda. There are piles of plastic bags stuffed with unidentifiable material, a randomly placed iron, an unhappy plant, a round top to something or other, and a half-eaten bar of Elite chocolate. I’m thinking: If this is the way Naftali left it, the Netanyahus should be suing him. At four PM the Comptroller’s Report is due to be released concerning the Netanyahus use of public funds in maintaining the Prime Minister’s residence.Since she brought this up, I should take the time to note that a neighbor of Naftali's reported seeing him bringing home packages of food to his in-laws:
A resident of Afula files a complaint with police claiming that Menny Naftali, former caretaker of the Prime Minister’s Residence, transferred cartons full of food items to his relatives on a weekly basis between 2011 and 2012.What are the odds Naftali took these goods from the prime minister's residence? If so, then he is a pure disgrace, and for all we know, he's probably accountable for expenses at the prime ministerial residence.
The complainant, Avi Gabay, lived in the past few years close to the home of Naftali’s in-laws. He says Naftali would come every week and bring between five and seven boxes full of groceries.
“I used to stand at the window of my house and see Mr. Naftali as well as the boxes he was carrying, sometimes to his father in law, sometimes to his mother in law. Some of the boxes were open and so I could see from above what was inside them,” the complainant said.
“Would you like to say something about the Comptroller’s Report?” I ask her right off the bat, wanting to usher the elephant out of the room.Precisely. It's pretty apparent by now it was all deliberate.
“The timing is surprising,” she says. “A few weeks before the election, and there is no sense of proportion. There was supposed to be a line by line comparison of costs between the running of the Prime Minister’s official residence, with the cost of running similar public institutions like the President’s House. Without that, how is the average person supposed to judge what’s going on?”
“Let’s talk about something a little more pleasant,” I say quickly, happy to put this unfruitful topic aside. “Let’s start with your childhood. I’ve read many articles about you, but I never heard you once describe your upbringing.”And this matters not to the leftist press. Their judgement is not based on color of character but on political standings. Is it any wonder they wouldn't care about her childhood or how she managed her early life, which the article has more about, including her army service?
“That’s because no one ever asks me and no one is interested,” she replies, giving me my first glimpse into her fraught relationship with the Israeli press, which has hounded her for years, creating a narrative in which she is usually pictured as a cross between the Wicked Witch of the West, Marie Antoinette and Imelda Marcos. “She is the most hated woman in Israel,” someone wrote me recently in a talkback.
And here I am sitting next to the object of almost apocryphal derision as she graciously pulls up a chair beside me instead of barricading herself behind her desk, answering my questions as we pour over baby pictures together (she was an adorable blonde cherub between three older brothers, her family’s pride and joy). “We had a very close family. I wouldn’t say our parents spoiled us—there was very little money in those days for that—but they spent time with us, and education was very important to them. It was a warm and nurturing household.”
I don’t have to ask why it is we’ve heard almost nothing about this part of Sara Netanyahu’s life. Working with children and their families to give them better lives, and a better educational experience simply doesn’t fit into the narrative of the spoiled, frivolous, extravagant woman the Leftist press has taught us to hate.Doing social work for children's benefits is a very admirable job. No wonder the leftist media despises this part of her life. She's also maintained relations with the relatives of the Fogel family and other victims of jihad, and this doesn't matter to the media either.
As I listened to her, I just couldn’t help myself. I had to know. Where did it start, this devastating public image of her as a haughty, wasteful spendthrift, who abuses household help, is extravagant with public money, and parsimonious with her own, lavishly feathering her nest at the taxpayer’s expense while collecting bottles and pocketing the return deposit? What’s really behind all these slew of outrageous and petty stories, that no matter how many times they are debunked keep coming back in different forms?I agree with her too. Moses is a truly awful lot, and an embarrassment in the extreme. Read the full interview for all Ragen's gathered about Netanyahu's background and see the real image of somebody who's far from the image the leftist media want to view her as.
She answers me without hesitation: “There is one man behind it: Noni [Arnon] Moses [publisher of daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot and and its sister site on the internet, Ynet], who has for the last nineteen years put me in his sights in order to destroy my husband.”
Moses, who some call the most powerful man in Israel, has been backing a leftist agenda for years, supporting the Oslo Accords, the disengagement, and the Labor party. Many see the free newspaper, Yisrael Hayom, founded by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, as an attempt to finally get the public another point of view. For years, Moses has shamelessly tried to shut down Yisrael Hayom, going so far as to use his powerful connections to further a Knesset bill to that effect. In a post uploaded to Facebook, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Moses of being “the key factor behind the wave of smears against me and my wife.”
Sara continues “Everyone who works for me knows that the media is waiting for them – to give them honor, and maybe money, to say something negative about me. Any person who has bad things to say about me, is suddenly very popular with the media.”
From my own experience with the Israeli legal system, going to court is very expensive. Who is financing all the legal disputes of your maids and janitors? I ask her.
“That’s a question I wish the public would ask. I’ve sued for libel. And I’ve won every single time.”
I know how that goes. They put the negative things on page one, and when the lies are exposed, and your name is cleared, it finds its way to the back pages, or not at all. I tell her this, and she nods in agreement.
Imagine for a moment that your neighbor down the street was engaged in some basement science that could level your house and even kill you, if he so desired. Your best friend, who happens to live some distance away, out of harm's reach, can end the threat to your life and property but is now trying to legalize your neighbor's dangerous work. What would you do?This is all the more reason why the speech must be given. And for those who have such a problem with it, they'd do well to consider what Jeffery Wiesenfeld has to say about grovelers like "rabbi" Stephen Wise, who cared far more about acceptance by Washington's elite than the millions of Jewish lives he turned his back on in Europe. Such cowards are exactly what cause disaster, and all those who oppose the speech to Congress are only doing the same disfavor, not just for Jews, but for everyone civilized.
This is the situation facing Israel on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress, a speech preceded by so much talk of protocol and partisanship that we seem to have lost the forest for the trees. It is clear that for more than a decade, Iran has been illicitly developing nuclear capabilities and thumbing its nose at efforts to monitor its progress in accordance with international guidelines. During that period, Iran has worked assiduously to expand its influence throughout the Middle East. Iranian money, arms and training assistance have enabled Hezbollah and Hamas to rank alongside Al Qaeda and Islamic State as the world's most dangerous terrorist organizations. And throughout, Iran has never hidden its hatred for Israel or its desire to expunge it from the historical record.
The international community has realized the serious dangers posed by a nuclear Iran and has embarked on a noble and necessary effort to bring the Iranian project to a halt. No achievement could be more important than resolving this issue peacefully through negotiations that maintain sanctions on Iran and ensure it is free of centrifuges, heavy-water reactors, enrichment facilities and programs to develop intercontinental delivery systems.
We have a historic opportunity to dismantle Iran's nuclear program; unfortunately, the agreement taking shape falls short of what we can achieve. The proposed deal would place limits on Iran's nuclear program but will not eliminate it or even, in the long term, contain it. And though Iran would be subject to rigorous international inspections, it has never been forthcoming on its nuclear program — not even during the current round of negotiations, as a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report makes clear.
As criticism in both Israel and the US of his planned speech to Congress continues to mount, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu framed the debate over Iran in life-and-death terms on Wednesday.It's also the responsibility of world leaders to combat jihadism too, and many of them abandoned it long ago, ditto the responsibility to their own populations.
“I respect the White House and the US president,” he said of the friction triggered by his decision to address Congress, “but on a matter so fateful that it could determine whether we exist or not, my obligation is do everything to prevent such a great danger to the State of Israel.”
Speaking to a Likud gathering in Ma’aleh Adumim, Netanyahu – after addressing the comptroller's report about housing – said the biggest threat to life in Israel and to the state is an Iran armed with nuclear weapons.
“We have many reasons to worry about the agreement that is being formulated now,” he said. “The world powers committed themselves to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, but from the emerging accord it appears that they have given up on that commitment and have come to accept the idea of Iran – gradually over the years – developing the ability to make the fissile material needed for many nuclear bombs.”
While the world may have come to accept this notion, “we have not,” he said.
Netanyahu said it is his responsibility as Israel’s leader to do everything he could to warn of the dangers and to oppose the deal.
Three men were charged on Wednesday with conspiring to support Islamic State, including two who planned to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of the radical group, U.S. authorities said.The jihad sympathisers are turning up everywhere, more and more all the time. Something has to be done to stop them, or to keep them out of civilized countries and ensure they never return if they're already on the outside.
One of the men, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, of Kazakhstan was arrested early on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where authorities said he was attempting to board a flight to Turkey on his way to Syria.
Another defendant, Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, of Uzbekistan, had previously purchased a ticket for a March flight to Istanbul, said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn.
Abror Habibov, 30, of Uzbekistan, was accused of helping to fund Saidakhmetov's efforts, prosecutors said.
All three men live in Brooklyn.
In moments like these, facing a terrorist, you act mainly by intuition and do what anyone would be expected to do -- take out the terrorist. Terrorism is a global problem and needs to be dealt with harshly -- in Paris, in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem, and anywhere else.Exactly. Dr. Haim Shine's made a similar argument, that Israel can only rely on itself.
Barkat’s word of advice to Americans wanting to avoid terrorist attacks on U.S. soil? “The Iranians are the bad guys. They want nukes. They’re very radical and extremist people. Don’t trust them.”Indeed no, we should not.
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Shalom Cohen, who is renowned for his divisive and controversial comments, has once again caused consternation over his outspoken views when he called Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikva,” a “stupid song.”In other words, they despise Moses for leading the ancient Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. How can they call themselves God's servants and then denounce what God wanted us to be in our own country? This is just one more reason why Shas does not deserve votes in the next election. Also worth noting:
Speaking at a Shas campaign rally in Netivot on Sunday, Cohen disparaged those who sing the anthem when he spoke of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the late legendary rabbinic leader of Shas. Cohen was describing the appointment ceremony of former Sephardi chief rabbi Yitzhak Nissim in 1955, which he attended along with Yosef.
“At the end of the ceremony they began to sing “kol od be’levav [the beginning words of “Hatikva”],” Cohen said. “I thought to myself ‘they’re mad.’ I didn’t stand, everyone stood up like it was the aleinu le’shabayach [prayer] but the rabbi [Yosef] also stood.
“I asked the rabbi ‘why did you stand up?’ He said, ‘I said the aleinu le’shabayach prayer.’ Why did he say aleinu le’shabayach? He didn’t want this stupid song to influence us at all,” said Cohen.
Large parts of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) world have a long-held animus toward the Israeli national anthem. The words “to be a free nation in our land” that appear in the anthem are generally scorned by the haredi community, who see themselves as servants of God. It is commonly believed in the ultra-Orthodox community that the meaning behind the words “free nation” is free of the religious commandments of the Torah.
“The haredi world is of the opinion that it is intolerable that the national anthem of the Jewish state declares that the hope of the Jewish people is to be a free people,” said Shahar Ilan, the deputy director of the Hiddush religious freedom lobbying group.
Cohen was distorting the actions of Yosef on the day of the anointment ceremony, Ilan said, since Yosef stood up so as not cause offence.And that proves he doesn't respect Yosef either.
Shas is stinging from the desertion the influential Sephardi Rabbi Yoram Abergil, who has announced he is supporting the Yachad party led by former Shas leader Eli Yishai.After Cohen's latest offense, I sincerely hope Yishai's party manages to take away votes from Shas.
The Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority were the catalysts for a series of terrorist attacks in the early 2000s in Israel that killed or wounded several Americans, a U.S. jury found Monday at a high-stakes civil trial.Good point. It would be even better if the PLO leaders were thrown in prison for what they enabled, and someday, they will end up paying very dearly for all the trouble they'll continue to cause.
In finding the Palestinian authorities liable in the attacks, jurors awarded the victims $218.5 million in damages for the bloodshed. The U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act could allow for that to be tripled.
The case in Manhattan and another in Brooklyn have been viewed as the most notable attempts by American victims of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to use U.S. courts to seek damages that could reach into the billions of dollars. [...]
In closing arguments, plaintiff attorney Kent Yalowitz had urged the Manhattan jury to order the PLO and Palestinian Authority to pay $350 million for providing material support to terrorists involved in six bombings and shootings from 2002 to 2004.
No amount could make up for the human toll, he said. “But if the only thing you can give them is money, then money has to stand in as compensation for the unspeakable loss,” he added.
Is the Zionist Union no longer "Winning Together"?If that's how they intend to run their campaign, why don't they leave Herzog out of it too? He just implied Iran's not the threat it happens to be:
The Labor-Hatnuah joint list has adopted a new strategy, hiding its No. 2, Tzipi Livni. The Zionist Union's slogan of "Winning Together" -- a reference to the partnership between Livni and leader Isaac Herzog -- has been changed to "Herzog -- A Reasonable and Responsible Leader."
The change was initiated by Reuven Adler, recently hired by the Zionist Union to serve as its chief strategist. The Zionist Union is publicly trying to downplay the change, but the message to campaign operatives has been clear -- emphasize Herzog as the Zionist Union's prime ministerial candidate and don't mention the Herzog-Livni rotation agreement.
Meanwhile, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog told the Washington Post in article published on Saturday that he trusted Obama on Iran, and that the Islamic republic's nuclearization was "a big threat," but not an existential one.Herzog has just proven why, if he's elected, he'll only prove a fiasco for this country. He is truly awful.
"I trust Obama to get a good deal," Herzog told the newspaper. "I agree that a nuclear Iran is extremely dangerous, and I believe that it must be prevented. No Israeli leader will accept a nuclear Iran. All options for me are still on the table [including a military strike]."
However, Herzog made it clear that confronting Obama or Kerry were not options he intended to pursue, saying, "I would rather hold face-to-face talks and renew the trust that is necessary between the United States and Israel."
Asked if Iran was an existential threat, he responded: "It is a big threat. That’s enough." In a second question-answer piece published by the Washington Post, Herzog did not directly restate these opinions.
Likud officials were quick to attack Herzog's oppositional stance.
"While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working night and day to explain the significance of the existential threat Iran poses to the State of Israel, [Herzog] is operating without security experience and out of cynical and political considerations, which harms Israel's efforts to stop the Iranian threat," a Likud statement said.
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