This is pretty big news. It’s also very good news.
AMMAN—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan spoke by telephone Friday, after a prolonged effort by President Barack Obama and his aides to overcome a deep chill that had settled into the relationship between Israel and Turkey.
Despite being a majority-Muslim country, Turkey had a cooperative relationship with Israel for years. But it soured in 2010 . . . .due primarily to the Israeli raid on a Turkish-registered vessel carrying activists who said they were trying to take aid supplies to Gaza. Nine Turkish citizens were killed in the raid.
. . . Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan during their conversation Friday and acknowledged “operational mistakes” during the raid. Erdogan accepted the apology . . .
The Israeli government confirmed the apology in a statement and said the two leaders also agreed to normalize relations by dispatching ambassadors again and, on Turkey’s part, cancelling legal charges against Israeli forces.
Details are here about Israel’s 2010 raid on the flotilla, which was delivering relief supplies to Gaza. Nine of the activists aboard were killed.
The GOP’s choice for the White House also said this of the Israeli peace process:
[He] as president, would aim to postpone significant action: “[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”
The man’s a giant.
When you have $22 billion, giving ten million to a guy to publicly advocate for the cause of your lifetime is cheap, especially if he salutes and does it. Sheldon Adelson got his money’s worth with Newt.
In December, Gingrich proclaimed the Palestinians “an invented people.” Israel’s Haaretz daily reported later that month that Adelson approved of the remarks. And Gingrich has said that one of the first executive orders he would sign if elected president would move the American Embassy to Jerusalem.
That embassy pledge isn’t new in American politics. But Gingrich also said that Isreal’s official capital, Jerusalem, must be defended as such. I’m not certain what that means, but I’ll guess that it’s a call to reject sharing the city, a negotiating point in all peace talks. He simply dismisses the fact that Jerusalem is central and foundational and sacred to all three Abrahmic relligions. (Fine from a private citizen, but reckless from a public politician running for Presdient.)
Adelson is an ardent Zionist who advocates for the U.S. to adopt the most hard line policies on Israel, stuff even Netanyahu rejects – the kinds of positions opposed by large numbers of Israelis, perhaps even a majority. Positions that ignore danger, shut down negotiatios and invite war.
At least, he doesn’t pretend. He puts his money where his mouthpiece is. And there’s plenty more where that ten million came from.
Posted in 2012 Elections, campaign finance, corporate power, Government, History, Middle East, Politics, war
Tagged campaign finance, elections, foreign policy, Gingrich, Israel, Middle East, Politics, Sheldon Adelson
This one falls under the radar because Herman Cain had sex again, but not only did a nuclear facility in Iran’s 3rd largest city explode – it was the second one in a month.
This will really help:
Major-General Giora Eiland, Israel’s former director of national security, told Israel’s army radio that the Isfahan blast was no accident. “There aren’t many coincidences, and when there are so many events there is probably some sort of guiding hand, though perhaps it’s the hand of God,” he said.
So the Jewish (and Christian?) god told them to smite those damn Muslims. That’ll go down well.
While the neo-con Prime Minister of Israel is insulting our president and defying our foreign policy goals while here, proving himself once again to be among the rudest guys on the planet, Josh Marshall posted this today. His post at TPM acknowledges the hard truth Obama articulated the other day.
Just as no man is an island, no country can be either. On its present course Israel is on its way to becoming a pariah state, a status in which it cannot indefinitely or even perhaps long survive. Neither the fact that Israel faces a profound cultural animosity among the region’s Arab populations nor the bad faith that often greets its actions nor even the anti-Semitism that is sometimes beneath the animus changes this essential fact. The make-up of the 21st century world is simply not compatible with a perpetual military occupation of another people, especially one that crosses a boundary of ethnicity and religion. Only the willfully oblivious can’t see that.
Following up on yesterday’s tantalizing suggestion from Al Jazeera that Israel might take in Mubarak, now here’s a story from Haaretz saying that Israel is urging the world to cool down the anti- Mubarak criticism. I can understand why Israel would be happier with Mubarak in power – it’s preferable to Mubarak out of power. As commenter Alan noted a few days ago, Mubarak has contained the radicals in that country.
But the premise of the story just doesn’t ring true: Israel can see the writing on the wall. They can’t possibly believe that toning down the rhetoric is going to keep Mubarak in charge. So it’s something else. Are they still planning to take him in?
UPDATE: Just listening to Richard Engle, one of the few reporters I trust. He’s saying a compromise is possible. He says it could be the Army taking over and pushing Mubarak out. And thru it all, the Brotherhood is gaining ground. It was Engle who said two days ago that theirs was not a big presence; he says it’s changing. He adds that if the wealthy start fleeing en masse, he thinks the Army will move in and take charge. They could rule for a while and hold elections or they could simply allow space for a government to step in. It is SO up in the air. He also says Brotherhood may be talking to the Army about being a reasonable player in this. So dynamic.
He adds “Whoever controls the mosques, the unions, the people who clean the streets – that is the grassroots and that is the place to watch.”
I’m heading off to the Miami Book Fair shortly, but let’s see if I’ve got this straight.:
A Republican leader of the US House of Represetntatives has just told the head of a Foreign Country not to pay attention to the words or actions of the President of the United States, that the Republican caucus in Congress will protect said Foreign Country from any Official Foreign Policy of the United States of America.
I think I got that right. Yeah.
Why didn’t the Israeli commandos board that ship bound for Gaza with stun guns? Tranquilizer darts? Orders to shoot, but not to kill? Commandos are supposed to know how to do that.
UPDATE: I may have to take that comment back. It appears that it’s more complicated and that the Israelis first used rifles that fired paintballs. I’ll update once I do some more reading.
Repbulicans in congress and the media have been thundering against Obama’s policies toward Israel and blame him for a cooling of the formal relationship. The same claims are being flung around by the Likkud party in Israel, neo-cons to the bone.
Guess who believes differently? According to a poll out today by Haaretz “56 percent questioned said they don’t believe politicians who call Obama anti-Semitic or hostile to Israel, or who say he is “striving to topple Netanyahu.”
“On the whole, Obama’s popularity may be declining in American public opinion, but a sweeping majority of Israelis think his treatment of this country is friendly and fair.”
Someone tell Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. And maybe Neil Cavuto and Mitch McConnell. And Eric Cantor. (And Rush. Don’t forget that giant of foreign policy wisdom.)
And while giving them that news, perhaps we could also remind them that today is the 161st day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.
UPDATE: Laura Rosen at Politico fleshes out this story. The Haaretz poll isn’t the only one showing considerable distrust of Netanyahu.
Posted in Afghanistan, Cable News, Civics, Congress critters, Current Events, Media, Politics
Tagged Afghanistan, FOX News, Haaretz, Israel, Media, Politics
I just can't quit you
Can two right wing hawks from the US Senate attack the current US administration on foreign soil and challenge the foreign policies of the president with respect to the country they’re visiting? Well, when it’s the HuggaBush sisters, McCain and Lieberman, the answer is of course they can! They can even do it in an open news conference.
Andrew Sullivan fleshes it out some: “They go to Israel and back prime minister Netanyahu against their own president . . . the man who lost the last election . . . directly undercut[s] the victor’s foreign policy goals, and does so abroad in the very country Obama is trying to push toward change. Lieberman, for his part, is effectively telling the Israelis that Obama does not control US foreign policy with respect to Israel.”
And oh my Lord, here they are on CNN which is playing in the next room. The video is apparently from earlier in the day. There are the two of them, side by side, looking sternly at the camera, the hills of Jerusalem behind them. They aren’t holding hands or dancing, but perhaps that was earlier in the broadcast and I missed it.
These are disgraceful men. Both of them at the tit of the government all of their adult lives, all full of fluff and bother and sticking out their tongues because they aren’t getting their way.