Friday, February 27, 2009
PLEASE FORWARD: TAKE ACTION NOW AGAINST CHAS FREEMAN APPOINTMENT received from Janet Lehr: ISRAEL LIVES & forwarded by EA Winston
TAKE ACTION NOW AGAINST CHAS FREEMAN APPOINTMENTreceived from Janet Lehr: ISRAEL LIVES & forwarded with comments by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator
President Barack Obama has been assembling a team which reflects his years of close friendships with anarchists, Leftists - even Communists. While I believe President Obama is an exceptionally charismatic personality who equals Elmer Gantry (as played by Burt Lancaster). Who is Obama connected to and is he assembling his own New World Order while bankrupting America?
Freeman is only one of a gang which Obama and his mentors have put into place to turn what once was a free Democratic country into something else.
COMMENTS BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON
ISRAEL LIVESFeb 27, 2006 3nd of Adar, 5769 from email@example.com
TAKE ACTION NOW AGAINST FREEMAN APPOINTMENT
ACT NOW BECAUSE - FREEMAN'S China, Iranian and Saudi connections, and FREEMAN'S totally negative position on Israel render him unfit to be the intelligence filter for the President of the United States of America.
Charles Freeman's appointment as Chief of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) may need confirmation - an issue there seems to be disagreement on. Whether or not confirmation is necessary, in the past 30 days we have seen numbers of presidential nominations derailed by responsible citizens doing what they must - voice their complaint. HELP DEFEAT THIS PROPOSED APPOINTMENT 1- To reach your Congressman/Congresswoman - www.votesmart.org Just input your zip code to find their name and contacts. It may be that it is already a fait accompli. It may be that Congressional approval is not necessary. I have attempted to research both of these points - but have not satisfied myself as to a conclusion. BUT we see that several appointments have been reversed, died in the borning so-to-speak. The appointment of Freeman is serious enough for everyone who supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State must protest. The only mechanism for protest is to your Congressman and to the President himself. 2- firstname.lastname@example.org ;3- email@example.com; 4- Vice.President@whitehouse.gov Then make an endrun:5- First.Lady@whitehouse.gov;
In this issue:
1>Freeman's allegiance to China, Iran and Saudi Arabia should be sufficiently alarming to have you run to the phones to prevent Freeman's appointment
2>Freeman's hatred of Israel should drive you absolutely ballistic. ZOA has compiled a list of Freeman remarks that will ruin your day and hopefully spur you on to call your Congressmen (don't kick your cat). This is not the person you want to have the Presidents ear on National Intelligence issues and intelligence program management.
1>CHAS FREEMAN: 'HELP THE SHIITES (IRAN) WIN FAST, CONSOLIDATE THEIR DAMN DICTATORSHIP AND GET THE HELL OUT'
24 Feb 2009
Chas Freeman's proposed appointment to head the National Intelligence Council is already getting lots of scrutiny. A former Saudi lobbyist who did business with the Bin Laden group, Chas Freeman has naturally spewed more than his share of bile toward Israel, and toadying toward the Saudi kingdom.
After 9/11, Chas Freeman sought to do business with the Bin Laden group and responded to critics by saying that Bin Laden was still "a very honored name in the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]". He's called Hezbollah a legitimate outgrowth of Lebanese nationalism and denied that it was an Iranian puppet. He bragged about his million dollar donation from the Saudi King to fund his organization, which he used to publish Walt and Mearsheimer's article attacking the "Jewish lobby". These days he's pushing for a "One State Solution" in Israel, code for the destruction of Israel.
Much of this has already been effectively laid out by such as Melanie Philips. There is however a lot more I have learned.
Chas Freeman is co-chair of the US China Policy Foundation and the American Iranian Council, with offices in Iran, holder of the Order of Abd Al-Azziz, 1st Class. He is also board chairman of Projects International Inc, a company that facilitates all sorts of projects, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
And even more significantly, Chas Freeman is on the International Advisory Board of China National Offshore Oil Co. CNOOC is a State owned enterprise , controlled by the Chinese government. As such Chas Freeman has openly worked for both Saudi Arabia and the People's Republic of China.
CNOOC did business pretty much the way you expect a Chinese state owned company to do business, with large scale pollution, intimidation and evictions. And CNOOC has designs on snapping up American oil companies, so it can do business in the US. This closeness between Chas Freeman and the People's Republic of China has translated into Freeman ruthlessly doing their propaganda for them.
This puts into perspective the Weekly Standard's revelation that Chas Freeman sent out a message saying that China did not go far enough in the Tiananmen Square Massacre
Such folk, whether they represent a veterans' "Bonus Army" or a "student uprising" on behalf of "the goddess of democracy" should expect to be displaced with despatch from the ground they occupy. I cannot conceive of any American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint that the Zhao Ziyang administration did in China, allowing students to occupy zones that are the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined. while shutting down much of the Chinese government's normal operations. I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang's dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic protesters in China.
This has been covered, but I present some more of Chas Freeman's Greatest Hits that have yet to be covered. Here's the view that Obama's nominee to head the National Intelligence Council offered to Rolling Stone when asked what to do about the War in Iraq.
A panel of experts convened by Rolling Stone agree that the war in Iraq is lost. The only question now is: How bad will the coming explosion be?
Chas Freeman: The most efficient way to avoid mass killings is to help the Shiites win fast, consolidate their damn dictatorship and get the hell out. The level of anarchy and hatred and emotional disturbance is such that it's very hard to imagine anything except a Saddam-style reign of terror succeeding in pacifying the place.
Clear on that? The man who will be advising the White House on the world situation, favored setting up an Iranian backed dictatorship in Iraq, and then quickly withdrawing.
And we're just getting started.
Chas Freeman became the darling of the left wing by repeatedly attacking the US war in Iraq, including repeatedly ridiculing the claim that Saddam had weapons of Mass Destruction. However before the US invasion, Chas Freeman delivered a speech claiming that if we attacked Saddam, he would use weapons of mass destruction against us... while implying that 9/11 was justified because we had attacked Bin Laden's homeland.
Former U. S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman, in a recent speech, warned that the U. S. could expect an eye-for-an-eye response: "One lesson of September 11th that we need to recall more than any other is that if we attack someone else's homeland in this day and age, we can expect that our own homeland will be attacked. We know that if we attack Saddam he will use weapons of mass destruction in whatever way he can. We don't know, however,what preparations he's made."
Of course this was par for the course as Chas Freeman had all but gone into business whoring for the Saudi Kingdom.
I would say that the last two years, as we mark the anniversary of September 11th, have seen a major deterioration in the atmosphere and tone of the U.S.-Saudi relations broadly written, even as the two governments have continued a fairly cordial and cooperative relationship.
The irony is that both Washington and Riyadh have ended up defending the value of the relationship and the quality of the relationship against, frankly, often very ignorant and uninformed, but malicious attacks from their own publics.
Naturally Chas Freeman was also against expecting any reforms in Afghanistan for the rights of women.
Chas Freeman, president of the Middle East Policy Council and a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia:
"We need to recall the reason we went to Afghanistan in the first place. . Our purpose was to deny the use of Afghan territory to terrorists with global reach. That was, and is, an attainable objective. It is a limited objective that can be achieved at reasonable cost. We must return to a ruthless focus on this objective. We cannot afford to pursue goals, however worthy, that it contradicts or undermines it. The reform of Afghan politics, society and mores must wait."
But lest you think that Chas Freeman's relationship with the Saudis is monogamous, he has a long history of being equally willing to write hosannas to the People's Republic of China. From justifying the Tianamen Square Massacre to constantly attacking Taiwan, Chas Freeman proved all too willing to serve another brutal dictatorship.
Sometimes, for example, in the matters of Taiwan, Tibet or the democracy movement in Hong Kong, Americans are enlisted by lobbyists acting on behalf of separatist or dissident movements in greater China.
Naturally the only "separatist" movements Chas Freeman seems to support are those backed by Iran or Saudi Arabia. Taiwan, which actually is a separate country, need not apply.
April 19, 2000: Chas Freeman argues that Taiwan has provoked a crisis,and that unless it reverses course, China and the US are headed for war.
Mr. Freeman: But you see, Les, I don't agree that those are the issues because I think that there is virtually zero prospect of Taiwan gratuitously provoking Beijing with a declaration of independence. I think the question before Taiwan now that has been put clearly by Beijing is "Are you prepared to reverse course from the declaration of independence, without using that word, that you have already pronounced. And if you are not prepared to reverse course. If you adhere to the view that you are entitled to be treated by the international community and by other Chinese as a separate state then the consequences of that will be the use of force."
... The Chinese are quite capable of negotiating solutions of issues that are very difficult and being patient. And the saddest thing here is that their counterparts in Taiwan have not allowed them to exercise that patience. Just consider the example of the difference between Indian actions in taking Goa by force and Chinese actions in waiting decades to negotiate a peaceful retrocession of Hong Kong.
In Chas Freeman's twisted worldview, China is to be praised by not invading by force. But what else should one expect from a man who penned the following description of Mao Zedong, China's own Stalin.
Mao Zedong had a force and energy which none but men of equally great spiritual conviction could withstand. His animal appetites, we now know, matched his intellectual vigor. He was an object of adulation to his subjects and of mingled admiration and dread to his subordinates and intimates. While Mao lived, the brilliance of his personality illuminated the farthest corners of his country and inspired many would-be revolutionaries and romantics beyond it.
It is quite clear that Chas Freeman either has no principles that can't be bought, or outright worships and celebrates brutal tyrannies. As Melanie Philips writes, he is indeed the best weapon that Islamists could have in their armory. And not only Islamists. Every dictatorship around the world could not ask for a better friend.
And now Obama will put into place a second Saudi puppet to head a major piece of the national security structure, after James L. Jones. But let's close with one more excerpt from Chas Freeman on Israel.
Tragically, despite all the advantages and opportunities Israel has had over the fifty-nine years of its existence, it has failed to achieve concord and reconciliation with anyone in its region, still less to gain their admiration or affection.
The framework proposed by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at Beirut in 2002 offers Israel an opportunity to accomplish both. It has the support of all Arab governments.
Despite the fact that such a peace is so obviously also in Israel's vital and moral interests, history and the Israeli response to date both strongly suggest that without some tough love from Americans, including especially Israel's American coreligionists, Israel will not risk the uncertainties of peace. ... But unless they are changed, the Arab peace plan will exceed its shelf life, and Arabs will revert to their previous views that Israel is an ethnomaniacal society with which it is impossible for others to coexist and that peace can be achieved only by Israel's eventual annihilation, much as the Crusader kingdoms that once occupied Palestine were eventually destroyed.
An unsubtle threat from a Saudi apologist, which quite openly states that Israel has the choice of accepting the plan advanced by Freeman's Saudi masters or Israel will be annihilated.
This is the man Obama has put in place to have charge of the next National Intelligence Estimate. Kim Philby, eat your heart out. A foreign enemy agent has never had the kind of power that Chas Freeman Jr can expect to wield over American foreign policy on behalf of his clients in Saudi Arabia and China.
2>CHARLES FREEMAN ONE OF THE MOST ANTI-ISRAEL EVER
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed shock and deep concern at President Barack Obama's invitation to anti-Israeli former diplomat and pro-Arab lobbyist Chas W. Freeman Jr. to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council and has called upon the President to rescind the invitation. The Council has a strong influence on the content of intelligence briefings presented to the President and the Council Chairman is often called to brief the President directly.
Freeman has served, among other positions, as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1989-92) and, since 1997, President of the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) (formerly known as the American Arab Affairs Council), a lobbying group for the Arab world. MEPC owes its endowment to the "generosity" of the Saudi monarch. In 1994, Saudi Arabia awarded Freeman the Order of 'King Abd Al-Aziz' 1st Class (Diplomatic Service).
Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Monthly has written:
"Freeman is well-known for his hostility toward Israel, but what's more substantively troubling about this report is the obvious inappropriateness of hiring a well-known advocate for the interests of Middle Eastern autocracies to produce national intelligence estimates for the Obama Administration . it seems inappropriate to give the job to a Saudi sympathizer as well."
Jeffrey Goldberg, 'Saudi Advocate to Run the National Intelligence Council?,'The Atlantic Monthly Jeffrey Goldberg February 23, 2009.
The Middle East Policy Council headed for the past eleven years by Freeman publishes a quarterly journal, Middle East Policy, which has been filled with articles and editorial notes fervently hostile to Israel.
In its Fall 2008 issue, the editor, Anne Joyce perpetuated the veiled anti-Semitic slander that the Iraq war was waged on behalf of Israel.
In its Summer 2007 issue, she invested Israel with Nazi-like characteristics by describing Israel's 1967 capture of the Golan Heights as a "Blitzkrieg."
In its Fall 2006 issue, Middle East Policy published a revised, updated, and unabridged version of the anti-Semitic assault on the pro-Israel advocacy community, by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, 'The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,' about which Freeman boasted saying, "No one else in the United States has dared to publish this article, given the political penalties that the Lobby imposes on those who criticize it. So we continue to do important things that are not done by anybody else, which I think fill some gaps." ('Building Understanding: The Role of the MEPC: A Conversation with Chas W. Freeman, Jr.,' Saudi-US Relations Information Service,'
September 20, 2006). The ZOA critiqued in detail the manifold errors, distortions and omissions that disfigure the Walt-Mearsheimer tract at the time, which can be read here).
Some recent statements by Chas W. Freeman:
Freeman Remarks to the 14th Annual US-Arab Policymakers Conference The National Council on US-Arab Relations, Washington, D.C., September 12, 2005
· "As long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political
protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected. Israeli occupation and settlement of Arab lands is inherently violent ... And as long as such Israeli violence against Palestinians continues, it is utterly unrealistic to expect that Palestinians will stand down from violent resistance and retaliation against Israelis." (Remarks to the 14th Annual US-Arab Policymakers Conference The National Council on US-Arab Relations, Washington, D.C., September 12, 2005).
Freemann remarks to the 15th Annual US-Arab Policymakers Conference,' Washington, D.C., 31 October 2006
inability to find peace with the Palestinians and other Arabs is the driving factor in the region's radicalization and anti-Americanism . Demonstrably, Israel excels at war; sadly, it has shown no talent for peace . For the past half decade Israel has enjoyed carte blanche from the United States to experiment with any policy it favored to stabilize its relations with the Palestinians and its other Arab neighbors, including most recently its efforts to bomb Lebanon into peaceful coexistence with it and to smother Palestinian democracy in its cradle . The suspension of the independent exercise of American judgment about what best serves our interests as well as those of Israelis and Arabs has caused the Arabs to lose confidence in the United States as a peace partner .By sad contrast, the American decision to let Israel call the shots in the Middle East has revealed how frightened Israelis now are of their Arab neighbors and how reluctant this fear has made them to risk respectful coexistence with the other peoples of their region . [the 2002 so-called Arab Peace Initiative] would exchange Arab acceptance of Israel and a secure place for the Jewish state in the region for Israeli recognition of Palestinians as human beings with equal weight in the eyes of God, entitled to the same rights of democratic self-determination . Despite the fact that such a peace is so obviously also in Israel's vital and moral interests, history and the Israeli response to date both strongly suggest that without some tough love from Americans, including especially Israel's American coreligionists, Israel will not risk the uncertainties of peace. Instead, it will persist in the belief, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that it can gain safety through the officially sanctioned assassination of potential opponents, the terrorization of Arab civilians, and the cluster bombing of neighbors rather than negotiation with them. These policies have not worked; they will not work. But unless they are changed, the Arab peace plan will exceed its shelf life, and Arabs will revert to their previous views that Israel is an ethnomaniacal society with which it is impossible for others to coexist and that peace can be achieved only by Israel's eventual annihilation, much as the Crusader kingdoms that once occupied Palestine were eventually destroyed.
Americans need to be clear about the consequences of continuing our current counterproductive approaches to security in the Middle East. We have paid heavily and often in treasure in the past for our unflinching support and unstinting subsidies of Israel's approach to managing its relations with the Arabs. Five years ago we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home. We are now paying with the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines on battlefields in several regions of the realm of Islam, with more said by our government's neoconservative mentors to be in prospect." ('Remarks to the 15th Annual US-Arab Policymakers Conference,' Washington, D.C., 31 October 2006).
Freeman remarks to the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs 24 May 2007. 'Can American Leadership Be Restored?'
· "The problem of terrorism that now bedevils us has its origins in one region - the Middle East.
To end this terrorism we must address the issues in the region that give rise to it. Principal among these is the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation ... American identification with Israeli policy has also become total. Those in the region and beyond it who detest Israeli behavior, which is to say almost everyone, now naturally extend their loathing to Americans. This has had the effect of universalizing anti-Americanism, legitimizing radical Islamism, and gaining Iran a foothold among Sunni as well as Shiite Arabs. For its part, Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians; it strives instead to pacify them. Palestinian retaliation against this policy is as likely to be directed against Israel's American backers as against Israel itself. Under the circumstances, such retaliation - whatever form it takes - will have the support or at least the sympathy of most people in the region and many outside it. This makes the long-term escalation of terrorism against the United States a certainty, not a matter of conjecture. The Palestine problem cannot be solved by the use of force; it requires much more than the diplomacy-free foreign policy we have practiced since 9/11.
Israel is not only not managing this problem; it is severely aggravating it . Israel has shown - not surprisingly - that, if we offer nothing but unquestioning support and political protection for whatever it does, it will feel no incentive to pay attention to either our interests or our advice. Hamas is showing that if we offer it nothing but unreasoning hostility and condemnation, it will only stiffen its position and seek allies among our enemies . There will be no negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians, no peace, and no reconciliation between them - and there will be no reduction in anti-American terrorism - until we have the courage to act on our interests." ('Can American Leadership Be Restored?' Remarks to the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs Washington, D.C., 24 May 2007).
Freeman remarks to the 'Diplomacy in the Age of Terror, Remarks to the Pacific Council on International Policy The American Academy of Diplomacy,' Los Angeles, October 4, 2007 .
· ". we embraced Israel's
enemies as our own; they responded by equating Americans with Israelis as their enemies. We abandoned the role of Middle East peacemaker to back Israel's efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoized Arabpopulations. We wring our hands while sitting on them as the Jewish state continues to seize ever more Arab land for its colonists . Now the United States has brought the Palestinian experience - of humiliation, dislocation, and death - to millions more in Afghanistan and Iraq."('Diplomacy in the Age of Terror, Remarks to the Pacific Council on International Policy The American Academy of Diplomacy,' Los Angeles, October 4, 2007).
National President Morton A. Klein said, "We are naturally appalled, as are a large number of American Jewish and pro-Israeli groups, that a lobbyist for Saudi and other autocratic Arab interests as well as someone so obviously brimming with hostility against the Jewish state and its supporters should have been invited to occupy this senior intelligence position within the Obama Administration.
"The statements we have cited clearly display Mr. Freeman's animus and malignant hostility to Israel.
"After Israel recognized the PLO, agreed to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), gave away half of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza to Palestinian control, as well as disbursing funds, assets and even arms to the PA, and offered statehood in almost all of the disputed territories, only to receive more terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder in return, Freeman has the gall to assert that Israel has not acted to achieve peace.
"Freeman's words explicitly justify Palestinian terrorism as reasonable behavior in response to what he calls the "inherently violent" presence of Jews living and building communities in Judea and Samaria. This is nothing less than endorsement of the racist Palestinian agenda that regards the presence of even a single Jew in Judea and Samaria or in a future Palestinian state as unacceptable. Imagine what Freeman would say if it were Israeli policy that all of Israel be forcibly depopulated of Arabs.
"Freeman's detestation of Israel is evident in his Orwellian language. About a Palestinian polity that insists on the expulsion of every last Jew from a Palestinian state, he has not a word of criticism. But about democratic Israel, which has 20 percent Arab citizenry, complete freedom of religion and full Arab participation in the legislative and judicial arms of government, he speaks of an 'ethnomaniacal state.' We note that Freeman has not criticized Saudi Arabia, with whom he retains ties and from whom he accepted in 1994 the Order of 'King Abd Al-Aziz' 1st Class (Diplomatic Service), for its complete suppression of freedom of religion, extending even to prohibition on the holding of even private church services among Westerners in the country, the lack of basic rights for women, the promotion of extreme Wahhabi Islamist doctrine, or the routine ban on entry of Jews to the country
"Freeman's has made other Orwellian, flat-earth statements about 'Palestinian democracy' which he claims Israel seeks to 'smother,' or alleged seizure of land for 'colonists' are a good indication of his malicious hostility to Israel. In no other case could one imagine Freeman having the temerity to claim that a polity like the PA, in which someone who denounced suicide bombings as a moral obscenity would be strung up and lynched, is a functioning democracy. In no other case could one imagine Freeman referring to a 'democracy' when speaking of a regime that, like the PA, incites hatred of Jews and glorifies suicide terrorism in its controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps.
"We are appalled and perturbed that President Obama has turned to this clear apologist for Arab autocracies, facilitator of anti-Semitic smears and vicious defamer of Israel when seeking someone to occupy a senior appointment in our intelligence community. Mistakes occur in government all the time and the correct response must be to acknowledge and fix them. We therefore call upon President Obama to rescind this invitation to Chas W. Freeman."
Janet Lehr If I am not for myself, WHO WILL BE?
IsraelLives If I am only for myself, WHAT AM I?
firstname.lastname@example.org If not now, WHEN ?
Thursday, February 26, 2009
2. Zerach replied:
Thanks, very nice, Actually according to this math, we are still owed quite a few thousand dead Hamas terrorists! He was being too politically correct.
A.M. sent this.
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The big question in everybody's mind is: what will happen to Israel during the coming Iran-Israel war: will we make it, or will we be decimated? Who will live, and who will die? Here are some differing religious views - and remember Birkat Hachamah!
The Iran-Israel nuclear endgame is now much closer
EDWIN BLACK , THE JERUSALEM POST
In recent days, four key developments have clicked in to edge Iran and Israel much closer to a military denouement with profound consequences for American oil that the nation is not prepared to meet.
What has happened?
American policymakers are now convinced that Iran, despite all protests and charades, is in a mad dash to create a deliverable nuclear weapon. The Obama administration has almost openly abandoned the assertions of the CIA's much-questioned 2008 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iran was not pursuing nuclear weaponry for the simple reason that its atomic program and military programs were housed in separate buildings.
Israeli countermeasures to date have included a massive international covert program of equipment sabotage, assassination of key nuclear personnel and a vibrant diplomatic offensive. But all these efforts combined amount to nothing more than delaying tactics, as Iran is irrevocably determined to achieve a nuclear weapon as fast as possible. Many believe such a weapon will be used to fulfill its prediction that Israel will soon be wiped off the map.
THE CONSEQUENCES for this confrontation are apocalyptic because Iran's full partner in this enterprise is Russia. The Russian company Atomstroiexport has provided most if not all of the nuclear material for the 1,000 megawatt Bushehr reactor, along with thousands of technicians to service and operate it.
Following its invasion of Georgia, Moscow forged ahead with final delivery plans for the S-300 advanced air defense system which can track scores of IAF airborne intruders simultaneously, whether low-level drones or high-altitude missiles, and shoot them down. But the S-300, the linchpin of Iran's defense against Israel, will not be fully operational for several months, creating a narrow window for Israel to act. Indeed, Russia has just announced a pause in missile deliveries for the system in fear that it will accelerate an Israeli response.
Iran, of course, has repeatedly threatened to counter any such attack by closing the Strait of Hormuz, as well as launching missiles against the Ras Tanura Gulf oil terminal and bombarding the indispensable Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq which is responsible for some 65 percent of Saudi production. Any one of these military options, let alone all three, would immediately shut off 40% of all seaborne oil, 18% of global oil, and some 20% of America's daily consumption.
America's oil vulnerability has been back-burnered due to the economic crisis and the plunge in gasoline prices. However, the price of gasoline will not mitigate an interruption of oil flow. The price of oil does not impact its ability to flow through blocked or destroyed facilities. Indeed, an interruption would not restore prices to those of last summer - which Russian and Saudi oil officials say is needed - but probably zoom the pump cost to $20 per gallon.
American oil vulnerability in recent months has escalated precisely because of oil's precipitous drop to $35 to $40 a barrel. At that price, America's number one supplier, Canada, which supplies some 2 million out of 20 million barrels of oil a day, cannot afford to produce. Canadian oil sand petroleum is not viable below $70 a barrel. Much of Canada's supply has already been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. America's strategic petroleum reserve can only keep that country moving for approximately 57 days.
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, like the Bush administration before it, has developed no plan or contingency legislation for an oil interruption, such as a surge in retrofitting America's 250 million gas guzzling cars and trucks - each with a 10-year life - or a stimulus of the alternate fuel production needed to rapidly get off oil. Ironically, Iran has undertaken such a crash program converting some 20% of its gasoline fleet yearly to compressed natural gas (CNG) as a countermeasure to Western nuclear sanctions against the Teheran regime that could completely block the flow of gasoline to Iran. Iran has no refining capability.
The question of when and how this endgame will play out is not known by anyone. Israeli leaders wish to avoid military preemption at all costs if possible. But many feel the military moment must come; and when that moment does come, it will be swift, highly technologic and in the twinkling of an eye. But as one informed official quipped, "Those who know, don't talk. Those who talk, don't know."
The writer is The New York Times best-selling investigative author of IBM and the Holocaust, Internal Combustion and the just released The Plan: How to Save America When the Oil Stops - or the Day Before (Dialog Press).
right after bill also sent this:
NIS 400,000 budget to include upgraded pride parade with dog-stylist corner, mass gay picnic, book fair, film festival, and more in celebration of city's 100th birthday Yoav Zeitun
Published: 02.26.09, 11:32 / Israel Travel
As part of Tel Aviv's centennial celebrations, the celebrations board has allocated the sum of NIS 100,000 ($23,700) towards the city's homosexual community, out of a total festivities budget of NIS 44 million ($10.4 million).
to which DS replied:
"Moshiach will come when the generation has the face of a dog."
... and right after DS had sent the posts about Birchat Hachamah,
... and after Carl also sent this:
.....the Pope, as evil as he is, could be the instrument that God is using to carry out his coming judgment on endtime Babylon (US), and also in preparation for the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer. 30:7). Israel must pass through this purging in order to repent and receive Moshiach. He will not come before then. Remember that God uses evil leaders as instruments of his judgment, e.g. Pharoah (430 years in Egypt), Nebuchadnezzar (Babylonian Captivity), the Assyrians (Assyrian Captivity), etc.
(n.b. Carl follows the Christian view of history)
..... to which DS replied
Some sages think Jacob's trouble is already past....I would think the Holocaust certainly would have qualified.
to which Carl replied:
Not quite. During the time of Jacob's Trouble, one-half the world's population will be destroyed within a 3 1/2 year time period. That's somewhere between 3 and 3 1/2 billion people. Concerning the Jewish population, according to Zechariah 2/3 of the Jews will die. The remaining remnant will be around to receive Moshiach.
to which DS replied:
During the Holocaust. HALF the Jewish population was killed, that is even more than what Zechariah prophesied. And during WWII, many millions of non -Jews died as well.
So now, dear readers, which one is it:
will we merit the REDEMPTION ACHISHENAH, or BEITAH? With this dog parade coming up in June, I am not so sure anymore, Bircat Hachamah notwithstanding!
Very exciting reminder of the occurrence of Bircat Hachamah , this year falling Erev Pessach, very rare and unique placement that happened first during the Exodus from Egypt, and also during the original story of Purim. Hebrew, and English.
השנה תתקיים מצוות ברכת החמה שהיא מצווה נדירה המתקיימת כל 28 שנים.
השנה היא תתקיים בי"ד ניסן ערב פסח.
קביעות כזאת - שברכת החמה מתקיימת בדיוק בערב פסח - תיתכן רק שלוש פעמים במשך ההסטוריה האנושית!!!
פעם ראשונה בעת גאולת מצריים בשנת ב' תמ"ח.
פעם שניה בעת גאולת פורים בימי מרדכי ואסתר
ופעם שלישית בשנת ה' תשס"ט.
מצורף קישור לצילום מתוך הספר "מאיר עיני חכמים" של רבי מאיר יחיאל הלוי מאוסטרובצה זצ"ל מגדולי הגאונים ואדירי התורה בדור הקודם
חפשו בגוגל ותמצאו אוצרות נוספים.
ויהי רצון שתהיה זו הגאולה האמיתית והשלימה בביאת משיח צדקינו אמן ואמן.
רוצים עוד פרטים?
חב"ד הוציאו חוברת המבארת את ההלכות והמנהגים.
- When will the next Birkat Hachama take place? Birkat Hachama will next be said on Wednesday, 8 April in the year 2009 (Hebrew date: 14 Nissan 5769). ...
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2 Feb 2009 ... History - Sorry, but that story is incorrect. For example, Birkat haChamah was on Erev Pesach in 1925. February 3, 2009 2:17 PM ...
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Today I hope to wrap our discussion with a few more questions related to when, exactly, we "bless the sun" with Birkat haChamah this year, and a few other ...
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Birchat HaChamah1 is recited every 28 years, after sunrise on the first ... month of Nisan by rising at dawn to make the Bircat HaChamah, the blessing on the sun. ... In the year 5769 (2009), the 206th cycle of the sun will be complete, ...
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However, we do not take this into account for Birkat HaChamah, since the day ... The Hebrew year 5769 (2009) will mark the completion of two hundred and six ...
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Birkat haChamah / Blessing the Sun 2009 Erev Pesach, Part III 2009-02-03 5:18am PT | Total Score: 5 points | Average Rating: 5 out of 5 | Post History ...
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Birkat Hachama will next be said on Wednesday, 8 April in the year 2009 ... when to say Birkat Hachamah and the Prayer for Dew and Rain (Tal U'matar). ...
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Posted: Feb 20, 2009. Re: Creation of the Sun. Great question. For the complete answer, see Calculating the Date of Birkat Hachamah. ...
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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and from Jack , written by Ted Belman
Ted, look past what George Bush said to what his administration did. It is not so different from what Obama has planned. Truthfully, I prefer dealing with the open hatred of Obama's people. Clinton's administration perfected the strategy of "loving the Jews to death." It continued into the Bush administration and there are Jews who really believe that Clinton was the best friend the Jews ever had in the White House. There are people who believe the same about Bush. Both are wrong. Jews know how to react to open Jew-haters, anti-Semites in their guts and bones. With Bush 41 and Baker, the situation is clear. Jews do not know how to react to anti-Semites who smile at us and say nice things. Jews will trust them and walk straight into the ovens for them, God forbid! I prefer Jew-haters who tell the truth about where they stand. Bring 'em on!
The stunning news that the U.S. plans to provide some $900 million to help rebuild Gaza is just one indication that the "change" President Obama promised is upon us and that Israel is in for a tough ride. Plainly, the notion that Hamas should feel inhibited out of fear of a repeat of Operation Cast Lead has now been rendered laughable.
Equally comical are the administration's assurances that the money will be funneled through the PA so as not to benefit Hamas. Of course, Hamas is firmly in charge in Gaza and would inevitably have a hand in all reconstruction and receive the lion's share of credit for any improvement in Gaza's landscape and infrastructure.
On Tuesday came the news that a former U.S. envoy to Saudi Arabia who happens to be a leading advocate for the Arab side in the Middle East conflict is President Obama's choice to chair the National Intelligence Council, which coordinates the work of U.S. intelligence agencies. (See front-page news story.)
And there is more. A little over a week ago, the Obama administration did an about-face with respect to the next Durban conference. That UN-sponsored conclave, touted as an international forum to confront racism, served in 2001 as a vehicle for savaging Israel. The Bush administration accorded it pariah status. The Obama administration is now preliminarily involved in Durban II and suggesting that the conference has redeeming value.
Prior to the recent Israeli elections, as it became increasingly clear that Benjamin Netanyahu would be the next Israeli prime minister, there was a series of White House leaks suggesting a looming confrontation between President Obama and Mr. Netanyahu concerning the latter's position on settlements. At the same time, in a direct reversal of Bush administration policy, President Obama's Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, expressed support for Egyptian efforts to forge a Palestinian national unity government, indicating that America was taking a dramatically new approach to Hamas.
In other words, Bibi no, Hamas yes.
It seems the newly minted U.S. senator from New York gets the new order of things. In a February 14 interview, Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, rather haughtily if somewhat clumsily declared, "You never know: as the leader, Mr. Netanyahu may find that when he works with America, he may broaden his view. He may decide that in the interest of peace is a two-state solution. That may well indeed be the path to peace."
Asked whether she would advocate this position in the Senate, she said "I will certainly offer what I think is the best policy, regardless of what Netanyahu says is what he wants to do. I will always be an advocate for the solutions that I think will be most effective."
As for President Obama applying pressure on Israel, she said, "I think the president will use all the means and all the tools in his toolbox to reach a solution for peace in the Middle East. And if he offers positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement, that will be a strategic decision for the administration and our secretary of state."
Back in May 2007, we cautioned about what might be expected from a Democrat in the White House in the course of our comments on some startling statements made by Congressman Gary Ackerman, Democrat of Queens and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. In his opening remarks at the outset of his subcommittee's hearings on "Two Sides of the Same Coin: Jewish and Palestinian Refugees," Cong. Ackerman had said,
For Palestinians, the refugee question, more than any other, embodies their cause. It carries the weight of their dispossession and collective anger against Israel; their frustration with the inability of their leaders to resolve their national crisis; their sense of abandonment by the world.
Even as these claims have lingered and the grievances of the refugees have hardened, time has not stood still. The reality is that an exchange of populations has taken place; that the Jews of Iran and the Arab countries are not going back to those lands; and that the Palestinian refugees will not be returning to homes in the State of Israel.
President Bush made as much clear in his letter of April 2004 to Prime Minister Sharon, wherein he acknowledged that "It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
While including the words "agreed, just, fair and realistic," President Bush nonetheless took some liberties with Palestinian options. I'm not certain this was wise. Even though I agree with the president's assessment of what is, and what is not possible, I have deep concerns about the wisdom of the United States handicapping one party to a negotiation before the deal-making begins. If you're going to run a high-stakes card game, you have to let the players handle their own cards.
Cong. Ackerman went on to say that even if Palestinian negotiators "were prepared to move forward within the confines described by President Bush, the outcome of any negotiations initiated on this basis wouldn't be acceptable or considered legitimate by the Palestinian people."
So the Palestinians were in effect told that a key congressional figure in the area of the Middle East policy - one with a reputation as a respected supporter of Israel - acknowledged the overarching justness of their "right of return," which, given the Arab defeats in several wars of aggression, has no precedent in modern history. And they were made to understand that they had someone in a very high place who understood why they must be catered to in the course of negotiations.
But George W. Bush was president then, and despite the efforts of the likes of Mr. Ackerman, Israel was not forced to accept unreasonable bargaining chips from the other side. Now one cannot be so sure. Indeed, Cong. Ackerman raised the same concern less than two weeks ago in another introductory address at one of his subcommittee's hearings. And while he carefully insisted he was not suggesting any notion of "moral equivalence," he decried a "spiraling downward" in the Middle East that he explained as follows:
The downward pressure comes from terrorism and the march of settlements and outposts; from the firing of rockets and the perpetration of settler pogroms. It comes in daily images of destruction and the constant reiteration that "they only understand the language of force." It comes in the form of a political party that's always just a few months away from reform and in the form of governing coalitions whose chief purpose is avoiding new elections. It comes in the form of promises that bloodshed is what God desires and declarations that dirt and stones mean more than human life. It comes from tunnels in Gaza and from digging in Jerusalem as well. There is no moral equivalence between these acts but they are part of the same destructive dynamic.
The message to the Palestinians, both of the Fatah and Hamas stripe, is clear. Despite all the formulaic declarations of honoring the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, there is in the Democratic Party mindset an insistence on moral equivalence and a determination to establish a Palestinian state at the substantial expense of Israel. Granted, such a mindset may not countenance the outright physical destruction of the Jewish state, but pretty much anything short of it is in play.
This is the "change" Barack Obama promised. Believe it.
+1 416 256 7597
Will the INVESTIGATORS be prosecuted for firing in self-defense into the air? How about buying the Brooklyn bridge?.... On the other hand... if one of US dares fire into the air in self-defense, woe to him or her: CRIME! FELONY! JAIL TIME!
Arabs Attack Investigators in Atarot
(IsraelNN.com) Arabs attacked two private investigators who arrived at the factory for filling gas in Atarot, in north Jerusalem, on Wednesday. One of the investigators who felt threatened fired two shots into the air.
Police who arrived at the scene were also attacked, and resorted to the use of tear gas to subdue the Arabs. Two policeman were lightly injured. Police arrested seven suspects at the scene.
And the US are not making an effort to help Cuba, what an outrage, we should complain to the International Court of Justice! I DEMAND that the US send $900 million aid to the poor Cubans, who don't eat steak every day: AND DON'T FORGET THE KETCHUP!
Clinton: lsrael 'Not Making an Effort' to Aid Gaza
(IsraelNN.com) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed anger over the past week at what she said were obstacles placed by Israel that slowed down the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Senior Clinton aides reportedly have told officials in Jerusalem that the Secretary of State plans to focus on the issue when she arrives in Israel next Tuesday.
"Israel is not making enough effort to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza," American officials have told their Israeli counterparts, and "the U.S. expects Israel to meet its commitments on this matter." Israel, however, contends that demand in Gaza for grain – including wheat, to make flour – has dropped.
Click here for the full story
Yesterday I was asking why a new Archbishop of New York had been appointed by Benedikt XVI. I think I got the answer. Also, more happy news for Adar.Please read below.
Please read the links below:
Bishop Williamson, who got expelled from Argentina on a technicality, but in fact because of his raging antisemitism, showed his true colors at the airport. Escorted by two goons, when approached by a reporter, he VIOLENTLY pushed the man against a pole, while his acolytes seized the poor journalist brutally. Oh the sweet taste of reality: here you see the Church for all it's worth, its LOVE, its TOLERANCE, its PEACEFUL NATURE... I am glad the cat is out of the bag.
And by the way,did you know that PIUS X was a GRAND MASTER of the ORDER OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE, A CRUSADER ORDER?? ( you can read about it further down, in another context). That sort of puts Williamson and his rehabilitation by the pope in a slightly different perspective, doesn't it?
Now that I got this story out of my system, on to the main course: the changing of the guard FOR THE AMERICAN POPE that was announced yesterday - the actual change will take place in April. If you go back to my article, "The Secret Machinations of the Vatican....", posted at ISRAEL TRUTH TIMES on February 4th, 2009, you will see that the Papal Nuncio in Jerusalem was also replaced under similar circumstances: together with the changing of the guard in Israel; then it was Ariel Sharon in a coma; today, it is A NEW KNESSET SWORN IN, with NETANYAHU having been hand-picked as ISRAEL'S PRIME MINISTER..
You have to realize that the issue of Israel, and of Jerusalem in particular, is ALL IMPORTANT TO THIS POPE. If you look at the appointments he has made, for instance of Cardinal George for President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, an extremely important position in America, you will see that the appointees , by and large, obey certain criteria:
1. they are conservative orthodox ( that means also, anti-abortion, and anti-gay, which is OK by me)
2. they repudiate Vatican II
3. they have strong ties to the Jesuits
4. they FAVOR THE INQUISITION and its version of Catholicism, and
5. they have ties to the MODERN DAY CRUSADERS, in this case, the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, etc.
The Williamson rehabilitation, together with that of the Society of Pius X, can certainly be understood in this light by anyone who is willing to read beyond the official - and lying- version of the church.
If you read the articles below, you will see that the church - and by extension, Europe - views Netanyahu with considerable alarm. An article written by the Meshumad Aryeh Cohen,( who has been writing for Asia News, a Vatican mouthpiece to the world, for years now), shows how the church views Bibi: as an enemy to be feared and loathed. Because don't forget that under the verbiage of peace, this pope is a CRUSADER, for whom Jerusalem is the ultimate goal. If you read the letter written by the head bishop of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to Condi a few months ago, and you compare it with US policy in Israel, you will see that Condi VOICED PRACTICALLY WORD FOR WORD THE LETTER COMING FROM THE CHURCH. WITH OTHER WORDS, - AND THIS IS NOT NEWS, it happened during Ariel Sharon's tenure as well, see my article again - AMERICAN POLICY IN ISRAEL HAS BEEN NOT ONLY INFLUENCED BY THE CHURCH, BUT DICTATED BY IT. We can see this clearly from the text of this letter.
So in this context, and with Obama at the helm now, this new appointment in New York makes sense: there has been quite a bit of conflict between Cardinal George, who also happens to be the archbishop of CHICAGO, and whom obviously Obama knows well, and Obama, over abortion issues.Also don't forget that Cardinal Egan had no problem ordering Rice and Bush around, because they are both aspiring catholics, and as such, would do the bidding of the pope with nary a peep. However with Obama the muslim we face a different challenge! Would he accept orders from a dhimmi? Then there is the issue of personality, Obama's huge ego: so here comes this new, jovial face, happy go lucky guy, as phony as Obama is, they can outdo each other in fake charm, and who knows, they might even fall for each other's lies....in order to convince Obama to do the church's bidding, Egan style won't do: Obama the Muslim won't fall for catholic doctrine: you need a young, new face, somebody Obama can relate to, who can play the game the right way, with the right mask, the right words... Dolan is perfect!
AS EUROPE, AND BY EXTENSION, THE CHURCH ARE SAYING:
ONLY OBAMA CAN PUSH ISRAEL - SEE BELOW.
NOT THAT OBAMA NEEDS A PUSH, MIND YOU, BUT JUST IN CASE, THE CHURCH PUT TOGETHER A MECHANISM TO PRESSURE ISRAEL VIA THE US GOVERNMENT, but this time, in a style appropriate to the black muslim in the White House.
ALSO DON'T FORGET THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN; ANTISEMITISM. THAT IS THE OTHER WEAPON THE CHURCH INTENDS TO USE FULLY: THE MOMENT IT DOESN'T GET WHAT IT WANTS IN ISRAEL, ROME UNLEASHES ITS OTHER DEADLY WEAPON; THE WAR AGAINST THE JEWS OF THE GALUT: IT PLAYS A VERY DIRTY AND OLD TRICK USED BY ROME OF OLD: THE GLADIATOR GAMES: DO YOU REMEMBER HOW ROME USED TO LOVE WATCHING HEBREW SLAVES ( AND OTHERS) FIGHT EACH OTHER TO THE DEATH? WELL, I SEE IT PLAYING THIS VERY SAME GAME THESE DAYS: PITTING THE JEWS OF THE GALUT AGAINST THE JEWS OF ISRAEL, SO THEY START HATING EACH OTHER, TELLING DIASPORA JEWS THAT IN ESSENCE, IT IS ISRAELI JEWS' FAULT THAT THERE IS ANTISEMITISM IN THE WORLD, WHEN IN FACT, THE TRUTH IS THAT THE CHURCH, VIA THE JESUITS , THE FORD FOUNDATION, ETC., INFLAMES ANTISEMITISM WORLDWIDE AT WILL, AND PARTICULARLY WHEN ISRAEL DOES WHAT IS BEST FOR ITS JEWS. IIT IS A DEADLY GAME; WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND HOW IT IS BEING PLAYED BY THE LIKES OF CARDINAL GEORGE, ARCHBISHOP EGAN, THE JESUITS, PIETRO SAMBI, ETC.
So much for now.
Knesset Swearing-In Ceremony Begins
(IsraelNN.com) The swearing-in ceremony for the 18th Knesset began Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. The traditional ceremony is led by President Shimon Peres.
Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu has been selected to form a governing coalition. Focus has centered on whether he will be able to build a national unity government.
By GREGORY KATZ – Feb 11, 2009
LONDON (AP) — As the two leading candidates in Israel's election continued to claim victory, many Europeans expressed fear Wednesday that the shaky peace process was the real loser in the nearly deadlocked vote.
With an ultranationalist in the role of kingmaker, many were predicting that the hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu would eventually prevail over the moderate Tzipi Livni — hardening the government's stance in already stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
The ambiguous election results threaten President Barack Obama's desire to make a peace deal an urgent priority, as signaled by his appointment of veteran negotiator Sen. George Mitchell as special envoy, European politicians and commentators said.
Andrew Gwynne, a Labour Party legislator in Britain who chairs a pro-Israeli group, said he was disappointed by the results, which he said are likely to bring Netanyahu's rightwing Likud Party back to power.
"That seems the most realistic outcome, sadly, although I would like to see a progressive government committed to the peace process," said Gwynne, chairman of Labour Friends of Israel.
In the past, Netanyahu has strongly resisted compromising with the Palestinians.
The rising influence of Avigdor Lieberman, whose ultranationalist party won enough seats to become the third-leading force in Israel's Parliament, also caused alarm. His party pushed Israel's once formidable Labor Party, which has often pursued peace, into fourth place.
"Can you imagine anything further from the proposals of Barack Obama than the xenophobic ideas proposed" by Lieberman, asked Italy's left leaning La Repubblica newspaper.
The Swiss daily newspaper Basler Zeitung said the vote showed "the majority of Israelis don't believe in peace" and that impetus toward a settlement must now come from outside.
Mike Williams, a specialist at the University of London who advised Obama's foreign policy team during the presidential campaign, said the election results pose a challenge to Obama.
"It's not good for the peace process," he said. "Obama wanted to start from day one, now that is going to be problematic."
He said the results also raise the prospect that a hardline Israeli government might launch unilateral action against Iran to curtail the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
"It ratchets up the pressure on the Obama administration to keep Israel in line over Iran," he said. "The major concern for the U.S. is that Israel will start a military operation it can't finish and Washington would have to mop up afterward. The Israelis don't have the technology to effectively retard the Iranian nuclear program."
In Norway, University of Oslo history professor and author Hilde Henriksen Waage said the vote will likely lead to more Israeli use of military force.
"I think the whole Israeli society has taken a step to the right and a more military direction," she said.
Swedish newspapers agreed that the Israeli vote would probably bring about more problems than solutions, largely because Netanyahu has the best chances to form a government but would have to rely on alliances with far-right parties to do so.
"But such a government, where Netanyahu is totally exposed to three or four fanatic extremist parties, and which soon would come on collision course with both the U.S. and the Arab world, is one he wants to avoid," the daily Dagens Nyheter said.
Avi Shlaim, a foreign affairs specialist at Oxford University who frequently criticizes Israel, said it is not inevitable that Netanyahu will emerge atop a new Israeli government — but he said the only way the peace process can move forward now is if the Obama administration pressures Israel.
"The implication of the election for the peace process is more of the same," he said. "Only America can push Israel. Obama is an improvement, an honest broker, but America must go a step forward and push Israel toward a settlement."
Associated Press Writers Victor L. Simpson in Rome, Louise Nordstrom in Stockholm, Eliane Engeler in Geneva and Doug Mellgren in Oslo contributed to this report
NETANYAHU PICKS A FIGHT WITH THE VATICAN.
Now Mr Netanyahu has picked a fight with the Vatican at a time when hopes were raised among Roman Catholics that Pope John Paul II would visit the Holy Land for the millennium.
Mr Netanyahu was trying to block the appointment of Palestinian Archbishop Pierre Mouallem to lead mainly Arabic-speaking Melkite Christians in the northern Israeli region of Galilee last month.
On 6 August the hardline Israeli leader charged that archbishop Mouallem, who until his appointment was a bishop in Brazil, had been chosen under pressure from officials of the Palestine Liberation Organisation like Farouk Kaddoumi and Palestinian supporters in the Catholic Church. He angered the Vatican by naming Hilarion Capucci, a former Melkite archbishop of Jerusalem, as the one responsible for influencing the Mouallem choice. Rev. Capucci was convicted of smuggling guns from Lebanon to Israel in 1975 and spent two years in an Israeli prison. Pope Paul VI won Capucci's release by promising the prelate would never return to the region.
The Vatican made it known in July that the Pope appointed Mouallem archbishop of Akko, a diocese of 45,000 Melkite Christians in Galilee. Melkite Christians follow an Eastern Rite liturgy of Roman Catholicism and accept the authority of Rome. Israeli officials told reporters that Archbishop Mouallem, a 70 year old Arabic-speaker, born in Ailaboun near Nazareth who became a refugee during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, harbours PLO sympathies.
"We think there should not be any politicisation of the choices of emissaries on the part of the church," Mr Netanyahu told reporters.
The Vatican was quick to rebuff Mr Netanyahu's efforts and made a terse, swift and uncompromising response within hours of his remarks.
"In the nomination of His Excellency Mouallem the synod of the Greek Catholic Church carried out its duties free from any external pressures," a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said in a written statement.
"The fundamental accord existing between the Holy See and the state of Israel", the statement went on, "provides for the autonomy of church and state, each in its own sphere."
Israeli newspapers reported, on the same day as the Vatican response was made public, that Mr Netanyahu had suggested a different candidate, the Rev. Emil Shufani viewed by the Israelis as more moderate. The Prime Minister's office confirmed that Mr Netanyahu had met with Rev. Shufani, and other leaders of the Greek Catholic Church.
Asked whether the Vatican had any intention of changing the nomination to avoid politicising the issue, Rev. Benedettini replied, "On the contrary."
This is the first open confrontation between the Holy See and the Jewish State since they established diplomatic relations in 1994, an historic step, initiated by the pope as he intended to end 2,000 years of hostility between Catholics and Jews
Israel in Shock at Election Results by Arieh Cohen
Tensions are high between Liebermann's secularists and the ultra-orthodox Shas. Peace and a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are put off to the next government.TEL AVIV (AsiaNews) - Moderate, "normal", Israelis are still reeling from the shock of the results of the general election held on 10 February, which have seen the ascendancy of the nationalist right wing, with an unusually large representation for the right's extreme fringes.
More than any other result, it is the number of seats in the 120-member unicameral parliament, the Knesset, that will now go to the extreme right wing nationalist "Yisrael Beiteinu" Party that has been causing consternation. The nationalist extremism of this party is not even about the perpetuation of the military occupation (begun in 1967) of the West Bank and the Golan Heights, but about inciting ethnic tensions within Israel itself, between the majority Jews and the minority Arabs.
Headed by Mr. Avigdor Liebermann, a settler from Russia, with unsavoury ties in his original homeland, and almost permanently under investigation by police and prosecutors (on suspicion of bribery and money-laundering), this party may have a key role in a right wing Government headed by Mr. Netanyahu, if one is established. The only ray of light in this result is that Mr. Liebermann's extremism is strictly secular and even anticlerical, and that his party would serve as a counterweight to the theocratic programme of the fundamentalist Shas party, which is also a likely important participant in a right-wing Netanyahu government.
But will it be Mr. Netanyahu who will form and head the new government? This is still not at all certain, although he himself says he will. Mr. Netanyahu was prime minister once before, from 1996 to 1999, and his tenure is generally remembered as a dismal failure on all fronts. But, at least in theory, he can command a parliamentary majority made up entirely of the right, whereas Ms. Livni's Kadima party, even if it does come out ahead in the number of legislators, cannot build up a majority of the centre-left, because such a majority simply does not exist.
Under these circumstances, many agree that the "least worst" coalition government would be made up of Mr. Netanyahu's Likud, Ms. Livni's Kadima and what remains of Mr. Ehud Barak's Labour Party (which has been devastated further by these elections after years of inexorable decline). Together the three parties command a comfortable parliamentary majority, and could afford to leave out all the "crazies", the nationalist extremists as well as the religious fundamentalists.
But will it happen? Most people I have talked to doubt whether Mr. Netanyahu and Ms. Livni could set aside their "egos" sufficiently to agree on such an "emergency programme".
And even if it does happen, it is practically certain that, with Mr. Netanyahu's Likud in the government, in such a prominent, commanding (or co-commanding) role, there will be no prospects at all for any peace treaty, with either Palestine or Syria.
Therefore, the best the peoples of the area will be able to hope for is for all their governments together to be willing and able, not indeed to resolve the conflict, but to "manage" it as competently as possible, and to avoid pointless provocations, while waiting for yet another election and another government in Israel to take up the challenge of peace.
In November 2007 Cardinal George was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Christian-Jewish relationsIn 2007, he asked Jews to reconsider descriptions of Jesus in the Talmud as a "bastard" in exchange for a softening of traditional Catholic prayers calling for Jews to be converted to Christianity....
/.....Cardinal George had been mentioned as potential candidate to succeed Pope John Paul II according to TIME magazine, and later to succeed Pope Benedict XVI as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. However, Benedict appointed former Archbishop of San Francisco William Levada to fill that office. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Catholic University of America, a senior board member of Mundelein Seminary and Loyola University Chicago, and a member of the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
.......Pius X assumed the title of Grand Master.
........Michel Sabbah (Grand Prior)
- ^ http://www.order-of-the-holy-sepulchre.org/hist1.html Official website
The Holy See continues to support a two-state solution in the Holy Land in which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side within secure borders. The Catholic Church also favors a political arrangement that recognizes Jerusalem's international status as a spiritual center for Jews, Christians and Muslims.
( interesting: yesterday I referred to the bishop as a "pigface"'; today the picture has changed , even though the article stayed the same. I guess somebody noticed he doesn't look too good, and replaced that ugly but true replica of the human being with this phony, affable looking image of a naive priest. Doesn't fool me, not after I saw the other picture. In good Jesuit style, they'll probably black-out every single picture on the net that hints at the true nature of this 'pigface"!)