With Israel, time for honesty and candor among longtime friends

imrs-1

So was Benjamin Netanyahu lying then, or is he lying now?

I think he’s lying now.

Just a week ago, he was telling the world that if re-elected prime minister of Israel, he would not accept a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As Netanyahu understood better than anyone, such a statement had profound implications,. Support for a two-state solution has been the bedrock of U.S. Middle East policy in every administration dating back to that of Richard Nixon, and Netanyahu had now publicly rejected it. As the election drew closer, he made no attempt to walk back that rhetoric or to correct the impression that his words had made.

Only now, with the election safely behind him, does he attempt to sing a much different song. He tells us now that he had been misinterpreted, that really, he still hopes to see and is willing to work toward an independent Palestinian state. The problem is that nothing in his record as prime minister would suggest that is true. His long personal history on settlements and other issues matches much more closely with his pre-election rejection of a two-state approach than it does his more accommodating rhetoric today. Some things, once seen and said, can’t be unsaid or unseen, and this is one of them.

More importantly, and more depressingly, Netanyahu’s rejection of a two-state solution has now been more or less validated by Israeli voters who have returned him to office. They too are now on record, and that too is the kind of thing that can’t be taken back easily.

As a result, an already strained relationship between Israel and the United States has been seriously damaged, with President Obama already being urged by some to try to repair it as soon as possible. That seems a strange assignment of responsibility.

It is the actions and statements of Israel’s leadership, not of American leadership, that have caused the current problems. It is Israel, and more specifically Netanyahu, who is attempting to redefine the longstanding basis of our relationship as understood by both Democratic and Republican administrations.

In addition, we give Israel billions of dollars in aid each year; we also provide extensive military support as well as much-needed diplomatic cover. While the Israeli-U.S. relationship is important to both countries, it is far more important to Israel and Israel receives far more of its benefits. For all those reasons and more, the onus of repairing the relationship should fall largely although not entirely on the Israeli government, rather than our own.

And here’s a harsh truth that must be told: An Israel that attempts to permanently incorporate all or most of the West Bank into its territory while denying full citizenship and human rights to millions of people who live there — that Israel will not enjoy the permanent, long-term support of the American people. It just cannot be sustained on that basis.

True, for a number of Americans support for Israel is unconditional, and at the moment, that number no doubt constitutes a majority. Over time, however, the type of systemic repression necessary to carry out Netanyahu’s vision would conflict too directly with deeply held American values of democratic self-determination and basic fairness. Over time, that contradiction would prove poisonous, and is already doing so.

The United States of America has proved itself a strong friend, willing to spend its resources and even the lives of its soldiers in defense of an Israel with whom it has proudly shared values. But if those shared values no longer exist, if Israeli leaders and voters are willing to sacrifice those democratic values in exchange for the poisoned fruit of territory, then they choose to undermine the foundation of the relationship between our nations.

It is important that they understand that choice and its implications.

 

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1003 comments
lvg
lvg

Soothsayer2 has only scratched the surface on 3.1 billion dollars of cost of US aid to Israel. Due to conflict with Palestinians, at least 250 million dollars flows to UNWRA that legally cares for over 5 million Palestinians claiming to be permanent  refugeess. Us pledged another 340 million dollars in 2014 to rebuid Gaza due to Israeli destruction.

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

How can anyone even think or even suggest that the honorable Prime Minister Binyomin Netanyahu lies? PM Netanyahu is a strong leader who adheres to the prescription of Peace through Strength. Me and millions of others only wish this once-free nation would have a man like Mr. Netanyahu in charge. Lying? That is something that the Socialist-Democrat Party of American mastered years ago including, "I didn't inhale," "I didn't have sex with that woman," "There are 57 states," "You can keep your doctor," and the Democrat lying hits go on and on. Good night. Amen, Bill

honested
honested

@Bill OrvisWhite 

You need to study nutty-yahoo's record and compare it to the truth.

It might astound you and lead you to wonder why we waste so much US Taxpayer money on that pathetic wedge of sand.

Gmare
Gmare

Just had to sign in for the 2nd time this morning. Geeze!

breckenridge
breckenridge

March 20 -A federal judge in Wisconsin on Friday ruled that the state’s effort to beef up patient safety at abortion clinics is unconstitutional because of its unequal impact on women. The ruling is a poignant rebuff to a potent antiabortion strategy that has already begun to shutter abortion clinics in the South and Midwest.

Individual Liberty - 1

Enemies of Individual Liberty - 0

Squirrel_Whisperer
Squirrel_Whisperer

Police Officer Alex Yazzie,  Navajo Division of Public Safety, Tribal Police

End of Watch: Thursday, March 19, 2015

AScalleyWagge
AScalleyWagge

Yeah but this "bullty wannabee" win wars and his country has more courage than the Beloved Country that Obama has rolled under the bus. Im a Bibi backer and also Israel. Too bad the liberals who voted this FAIL of a leader in don't see that.

TarHeelUK
TarHeelUK

I agree. 


As someone who used to lean toward Israel I have now completely changed in the last 5-10 years. They continue to thumb their nose at any semblance of decency and human rights and we continue to cover for them. I for one amy ready for that to stop. 

honested
honested

@TarHeelUK 

It's hard to keep giving your lunch money to the small stature bully-wannabe.

Especially when they spit into your eye.

honested
honested

Earlier there was discussion of information outlets...

The discussion included legitimate news sources as well as the FauxOpinionNetworx

While showering, I remembered the words of a great American thinker from a few decades back and his prescient comments on the future (and what would become fauxnewz).

I'm the slime oozin' out of your teevee set..

You will obey me while I lead you...

And eat the garbage that I feed you..

Until the day that I don't need you...

Don't go for help, no one will hear you...

Your mind is totally controlled...

It has been stuffed into my mold...

And you will do as you are told....

UNTIL the rights to you are sold....

Who knew that ailes and rove were Frank Zappa fans!

Kamchak
Kamchak

@honested 

Even more prescient is Paddy Chayefsky's 1976 film, Network.

honested
honested

@Kamchak @honested 

Agreed.

But Frank puts it in succinct, faux proletarian terms........a couple of decades before there was a faux-newz.

Soothsayer2
Soothsayer2

U.S. Military Aid and the Israel/Palestine Conflict

“Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.”

- John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
"The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"

According to this report, the Obama Administration gave $3.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel for the Fiscal Year 2014. In addition, the U.S contributed $504 million to the joint U.S.-Israel Missile Defense Program during FY 2014. If we include that number, American taxpayers give Israel $9.9 million per day.

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has been slowly phasing out economic aid to Israel and gradually replacing it with increased military aid. In 2007, the Bush Administration and the Israeli government agreed to a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package FY 2009 to FY 2018. In 2012, the U.S. began giving Israel $3.1 billion a year (or an average of $8.5 million a day) and promised to provide that amount every year through FY 2018.

Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military aid (see how other nations compare). According to the CRS report, the President’s request for Israel for FY 2015 will encompass approximately 55% of total U.S. foreign military financing worldwide. According to the CRS report, "[a]nnual FMF grants to Israel represent 23% to 25% of the overall Israeli defense budget."

Contrary to ordinary U.S. policy, Israel has been and continues to be allowed to use approximately 25% of this military aid to purchase equipment from Israeli manufacturers. According to CRS, “no other recipient of U.S. military assistance has been granted this benefit.” Thanks in part to this indirect U.S. subsidy, Israel’s arms industry has become one of the strongest in the world. “Between 2001 and 2008, it was the 7th largest arms supplier to the world with sales worth a total of 9.9 billion.”

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stat/usaid.html

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At a time when many Americans are wondering how they are going to pay the rent or afford groceries, it's amazing to me that we are sending this kind of money to Israel.

td1234
td1234

@Soothsayer2 How many groceries do you think the people working in US military production plants are putting on their tables? Lockheed workers in GA, Glock workers in GA? 

honested
honested

@td1234 @Soothsayer2 

Tiny dog, 

Don't care.

I do wish they would get jobs doing something that BENEFITS society though.

alexander2
alexander2

@Soothsayer2 Sooth ,$$ talks in DC and this has been going on for decades, perhaps this recent Israeli election will force an objective view of our special relationship, but our deep seated angst related to the 2nd WW won't allow it.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

Ya'll have a good weekend. Doomy out. Got some drinkin and hell raising to do. 


Someone give Polly a cracker. LOL! 

gotalife
gotalife

Prosecute the gop for fraud. No amnesty, no statue of limitations and lets start locking them up.

Kamchak
Kamchak

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/its-time-to-stop-pretending-that-james-okeefe-isnt-just-evil-but-is-also-a-dangerous-piece-of-crap/

Apparently there are some people somewhere who appreciate the “work” that scuzzy unattended porta-john James O’Keefe does; starting fires so he can stand back and say, “Hey look! A fire! Exclusive – must credit James O’Keefe.”

O’Keefe, who should rightfully be in prison living the life of a loner after the Aryan Nation threw his skinny white butt out for not being worth the trouble, is still able to scam people even dumber than SarahPAC  contributors (proving it would take a bathysphere to find the muddy bottom of stupidity in America) to send him money to run his video scam operation.

I mean, Jesus, even Andrew Breibart cut ties with him. How messed up do you have to be for the late Breitbart to want nothing to do with you? “James O’Keefe-messed-up,” would be the answer to that if you’re taking notes at home.

Penses
Penses

@Kamchak 

Ruh, roh...someone got their feelings hurt by being exposed (can you say "David Corn"?)...

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Penses 

Ruh, roh...looks like someone wants to stand next to "independent" film-maker James O'Keefe.

Don't let me get in your way, sport.

BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

td1234
td1234

@Kamchak Rawstory again. Dang son, will you ever get out of the make believe world? 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234 

will you ever get out of the make believe world? 

Only wee bairns such as yourself inhabit the make believe world of Fox News.

Just sayin'.

gotalife
gotalife

"Think about what these budgets would do if you ignore the mysterious trillions in unspecified spending cuts and revenue enhancements. What you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. And the simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer.

But this is, of course, not a policy direction the public would support if it were clearly explained. So the budgets must be sold as courageous efforts to eliminate deficits and pay down debt — which means that they must include trillions in imaginary, unexplained savings.

Does this mean that all those politicians declaiming about the evils of budget deficits and their determination to end the scourge of debt were never sincere? Yes, it does.

Look, I know that it’s hard to keep up the outrage after so many years of fiscal fraudulence. But please try. We’re looking at an enormous, destructive con job, and you should be very, very angry." Krugman.


Shut down congress already.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

FNM thread gots 22 posts already!

Jumped the shark? Hmmmmmm?

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Truth in advertising: Last time I posted there Jay yelled at me and made me feel sad.

Penses
Penses

@josef 

"The reason I am making such a big deal out of this is that when it comes to discussing or bringing up "the Jews," many people have no knowledge of just how few of us there are in the world, overestimating our number and our influence.  In times of rising anti-Semitism, this has significance."

I don't know who overestimates their number, but it cannot be argued they do not exert influence greatly disproportionate to their number. From a Christian perspective, I find that bothersome. Not the influence of religious Jews, but secular ones.   

josef
josef

@LeninTime @Penses @josef 

That is a double edged sword of Damocles.  Is "our" influence as Jews or as human beings?  The reference to the "secular" ones disturbs me.  The old canard of the Inquisition, "judaization" by those "secretly Jews" rears its ugly head here.  

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Penses @josef 

So you object to the disproportionate influence of Jews in the world, but only of secular ones? 


Sounds to me like you saying that, to be good Jews, Jews need to get themselves back to their proper religious traditions.

Which, needless to say, is a form of antisemitism.

Penses
Penses

@josef 

I was responding to YOUR statement regarding estimations of Jewish influence. Jews ARE human beings (so your distinction makes no sense to me). And I think many secular Jews, because of the Holocaust and other reasons, tend to be anti-Christian and anti-religious. I see traditional moral values as the backbone of our culture. I don't think I need to make a case to you that in many ways our society, as some have aid, is "on the skids". Much of that change has been fostered by mass media and academics (in which Jews exert a disproportionate influence). Hence my comment. Influence is good and unavoidable, just so long as IT is good. If you want to argue that secular Jewish influence in America has been a net positive, I am all ears. Make your case. 

honested
honested

@Penses @josef 

Just think of how we atheists view both groups in terms of undue influence.

josef
josef

@Penses @josef 

Jews in America are pretty much like any other group...good, bad, and ugly.  Like I said, though, any time  I see a statement such as " mass media and academics (in which Jews exert a disproportionate influence," my radar goes up.  Remember we have suffered unduly from quota systems.


Do I thin Jewish secular Jewish "influence" in America is a net positive?  I'm hesitant to answer that for fear of coming off as, well, uppity.  But it matters little what I, or even "we" think when others are doing the evaluation.


Again, I've been reading over today's blog and going here and there listening to what, especially, the left-liberals, heavily secular themselves, are saying.  And way too many of them for comfort seem to think so. 

Penses
Penses

@josef 

Gotta run, bud. We can take up subject another day if you'd like. ;-)

ALibNotToBeMessedW/
ALibNotToBeMessedW/

"Fox is the most fair and balanced network on TV"


We are not even into the second quarter of 2015, and yet I feel confident nominating that statement as, by far, without question, unequivocally, the most absurd statement of 2015.  


Well done, sir, well done.

td1234
td1234

@Doom Classical liberal The very reason you see so many of the progs ride for cover when there is more than 3 or 4 conservatives on this very blog during the day. 

Penses
Penses

@Don't mess with this lib 

What you don't get on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and PBS is a lot of dialogue. What you get are monologues, which may or may not be biased (and you would never know because a different perspective or account is never offered). I think the idea of FNC is to provide different views on a subject, albeit with an acknowledged conservative bias. MSNBC, which is a kind of counter to FNC, provides much fewer alternative perspectives. The reason liberals dislike FNC so much is because it offers reporting and opinions that run counter to what the liberal (and it is UNDENIABLY liberal) mainstream media says and writes.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Penses @Don't mess with this lib


Fox news there are progs opposing the cons on every show. And, as usual, when the facts come out the cons always win the debate. And that is what really irks the kooks. Much easier for them to be spoon fed monologue that reinforces their narrative- narrative that does not stand up to the scrutiny of an opposing view. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234 

Then please tell us all what network is more fair and balanced?

I don't give a flying f**k about "fair and balanced". If they give equal time to crappy opinions, all you end up with is crap.

honested
honested

@Doom Classical liberal @Penses @Don't mess with this lib 

Who are these imaginary 'progs'?

Is Paul Krugman included on economic issues, or maybe Joe Stigletz?

Is Bernie Sanders included on the proper role of Government?

Elizabeth Warren on the necessity of financial regulation?

Or just whoever the wrong wing determines is a 'prog'?

Penses
Penses

@Kamchak 

And THAT'S your problem. You are about as close-minded as they come here. You offer NO arguments or evidence, but merely 1) parrot what others say or 2) utter banalities. And you complain about "crap". ROFL!

td1234
td1234

@honested No, I very much meant to say ride, as in riding off on your high horse. 

td1234
td1234

@honested You are not even naming main stream progressives. You are talking about socialist or communist. 

Penses
Penses

@honested 

Do you know how news stories are "produced"? Do you know that only a small number of all events are covered by, say, Scott Pelley on CBS news? Do you know that they choose which stories to cover? Do you know they often use whatever supporting evidence they wish to? Do you know they choose how to word their stories and what headlines they publish? All of these activities present opportunities for bias.

honested
honested

@Penses @honested 

I waded through that sea of pablum and I don't see what it has to do with my question (or in other words, it proves my point).

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

No, tiny dog, I am talking about REAL world Progressives.

Your extreme wrong-wing bent prevents you from comprehending what open minded people are discussing.

At least in the area of economists, the people I referred to are the ones that ACCURATELY identified the appropriate methods for recovery from the "bush depression" instead of bleating about imaginary inflation spirals.