About the Bibi-Obama meeting: what really happened, what was shown to the public, from Barry Ch., and from the Huffington Post- both good articles. Also , some comments YOU made: will Bibi attack, or not? Seems he will need US to tell him what to do!
FRIENDLESS PERSUASION - BARAK MEETS BIBI
by Barry Chamish
Here is a short overview of the Netanyahu-Obama press conference from someone who has attended other such rigged Presidential events in Israel.
We begin in 1978 at the press conference of Prime Minister Begin and Vice President Walter Mondale outside Begin's office in Jerusalem. Back then, the "sophisticated" rigging hadn't begun in earnest and I got to ask Mondale a question. Anwar Sadat had visited Jerusalem the year before and I had followed his tour as a press aide for John Keesler of the Miami Sun. Since then, President Carter made sure that Sadat got everything he demanded and Israel got nothing physical in return.
Now back then I didn't know the game was fixed or that Carter was a member of the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR) or that Mondale was not only a CFR member but also a founding partner of the new sister organization The Tri-Lateral Commission. If I had only known I would have framed my question differently. What I saw was an ever-smiling dope who clearly despised Begin, but portrayed himself as the friendly uncle here for a visit with his good pal, the leader of Israel. That, I saw through and asked him, "Are you more sympathetic to the Israeli or Egyptian negotiating position?" or words to that exact effect.
Wally dropped his smile, and answered the inexperienced reporter, as if dismissing him outright, "We don't take sides. We are objective."
Yeah, sure you were. Within a year Israel had signed away every inch of the Sinai and received a "peace" treaty abrogated by Egypt in half a generation. Today, Egypt doesn't have to risk its soldiers fighting Israel; it just supplies Hamas with Sinai-smuggled weapons and lets them do the dirty work.
But to understand what Netanyahu had to endure in his conference with Obama, we must go to Yitzhak Rabin's joint press conference in Jerusalem with Pres. Bill Clinton of the CFR. As fate would playfully have it, I made friends at the event with a Canadian Christian journalist, who lived in Samaria, recently departed, Grant Livingstone. After the horrific conference was over, he drove me home and thereafter became a close confident and supporter of my work.
Grant overcame the odds and triumphed before Clinton and the world.
The Oslo "peace" Accord was signed the year before and Rabin, without exaggeration, was thoroughly hated by a majority of his people. And that would have to be hidden at all costs. This press conference was staged to remove all signs of Israeli opposition to Rabin, Clinton and Oslo. I sat in the second row, one row back and two away from Secretary of State Warren Christopher (CFR). I looked at his otherworldly face, noticed his ghastly wingtip shoes, and determined he was an alien from a far off galaxy. Of course, that was my imagination. Only much later did we determine that it was true.
As Rabin and Clinton entered the room, not one Israeli got off his chair, but the entire White House press corps rose to their feet and gave them both an extended and phoney standing ovation, as they must have been instructed to do. These clowns were pre-chosen to be the "reporters" for Clinton's trip.
There were two mikes set up for reporters and I saw two Israel tv hacks stand behind each one. I got the message and stood behind one, second in line behind tv "reporter" Emmanuel Halperin. Grant saw what I did and got up to be third in line. My question would be about the Syrian diplomatic process, and Grant wouldn't tell me what he was planning to ask. So while Clinton and Rabin read their prepared statements, I edited my question to the basics on, as I recall, a found napkin.
Then the press questions began and not one was aimed at the open mikes. Instead, Clinton would point at a reporter, name him, and take the "unexpected" questions. "Yes Mary, do you have a question?" he asked. And the tiny old hag asked, "Yes, Mr. President. How would you characterize your trip so far?" And that was the toughest question he fielded all night. I drifted off as the endless session continued. "Helen Thomas here. Mr. President, how did you sleep last night," I imagined in the blur of trivia.
Rabin was asked one, maybe two questions but I caught what I thought was obvious to everyone. He was drunk. His feet swaggered, he slurred his words, and he held onto the podium for balance. It was a highly disturbing sight. And though it WAS noticed after, no one wrote a word of upsetting journalism about Rabin's drunken performance.
Clinton's arm must have been worn out from fielding marshmallows because finally, he agreed to accept questions from the mike. At the opposite mike, an Israeli reporter threw Rabin a softball. After his longwinded inebriated reply, the conference host announced that the next question would be the last. I turned to Grant and said, "We've been set up."
He pushed Halperin away and asked Clinton, " As a Christian, aren't you afraid of the final price you'll pay for forcing Israel to cede land to murderers?"
Silence, followed by a shocked murmur that spread through the White House "reporters!" Clinton's face turned crimson. Hesitating, he started to answer just as the host announced that the press conference was over. Grant unrigged the show.
The whole nation was watching the conference and as we walked to his car people recognized him, congratulated him and actually applauded him. And not a word was written about the man nor the question that blew apart the choreographed press fiasco of Oslo, Rabin and Clinton.
The Obama-Netanyahu conference was even more staged than this. The room was small, the reporters handpicked and left standing for the cameras, for whatever psychological advantage there is in that. Netanyahu and Obama sat in a one on one "friendly" discussion. Netanyahu was clearly previously threatened and his face was ashen, but Obama was not in a nice mood either.
He wanted to start on giving away the ship to the Palestinians, while Netanyahu desired an Iran first diplomacy. But, he reiterated, Israel will not surprise America with an attack. Like it could. To get to Iran, Israeli planes would have to overfly American-held Iraq, or America's ally Saudi Arabia, at which point it would find itself in a dogfight with the American Air Force. Big concession.
They both stared each other down as each spoke and they found excuses to be in agreement on anything available. But they fooled no one. It's endgame for Israel time and Netanyahu tried to delay Obama's final diplomacy. But so did Begin, and Carter forced him to betray his ideals. But so did Rabin, and Clinton got him to betray Israel's basic security.
Now it's Netanyahu's turn and give it time, Obama will make him betray his country or Israel is doomed to be friendless in this world.
That was the not so rigged message of the Obama-Netanyahu choreographed press conference.
What is more disturbing and far more consequential is that the Times made this meeting into a story about Iran. They read into Obama's careful and measured remarks exactly the hostile intention toward Iran and the explicit deadline for results from his negotiations with Iran that Obama had taken great pains to avoid stating. Obama's relevant remark was this:
My expectation would be that if we can begin discussions soon, shortly after the Iranian elections, we should have a fairly good sense by the end of the year as to whether they are moving in the right direction and whether the parties involved are making progress and that there's a good faith effort to resolve differences. That doesn't mean every issue would be resolved by that point, but it does mean that we'll probably be able to gauge and do a reassessment by the end of the year of this approach.
"Shortly after," "fairly good sense," "the right direction," "good faith effort," "probably," "by the end of the year." This was a language chosen deliberately to cool the fever of Netanyahu and his far-right War Coalition in Israel. But Stolberg, writing for the Times, converts these hedged and vague suggestions into a revelation that Obama for the first time seemed "willing to set even a general timetable for progress in talks with Iran."
In fact, as any reader of the transcript may judge, President Obama sounded a more urgent note about the progress Israel ought to make in yielding what it long has promised to the Palestinian people. Palestine was the proper name that dominated Obama's side of the news conference. In the Times story, by contrast, the word Iran occurs three times before the first mention of "Palestinians." Iran is mentioned twice more before the words West Bank are uttered once.
Regarding the necessity of a Palestinian state, President Obama was explicit:
We have seen progress stalled on this front, and I suggested to the Prime Minister that he has an historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure.
And when Netanyahu said the Israeli attitude toward Palestine would completely depend on the details of progress toward securing Iran against the acquisition of a single nuclear weapon, Obama replied that his view was almost the reverse. In a leader as averse as Barack Obama to the slightest public hint of personal conflict, this was a critical moment in the exchange; how far, a reporter asked Obama, did he assent to the Netanyahu concept of "linkage" -- the idea that first the U.S. must deal with Iran, and a more obliging Israeli approach to Palestine will surely follow. Obama answered:
I recognize Israel's legitimate concerns about the possibility of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon when they have a president who has in the past said that Israel should not exist. That would give any leader of any country pause. Having said that, if there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way. To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians -- between the Palestinians and the Israelis -- then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with a potential Iranian threat.
This was a reluctantly formulated but direct and inescapable inversion of the Netanyahu doctrine on linkage. Not a trace of it appears in the Times account.
Finally, Gaza was much in President Obama's mind and on his conscience at this meeting; so much so that he broke decorum and stepped out of his way to mention it:
The fact is, is that if the people of Gaza have no hope, if they can't even get clean water at this point, if the border closures are so tight that it is impossible for reconstruction and humanitarian efforts to take place, then that is not going to be a recipe for Israel's long-term security or a constructive peace track to move forward.
And yet not a word from Stolberg and the Times about these words of Obama's on Gaza. Nor was any analytic piece offered as a supplement -- the usual procedure in assessing an event of this importance.
To sum up, what happened at the meeting can be judged plainly enough by the news conference that followed. Binyamin Netanyahu tried to make it all about Iran. Obama declined, and spoke again and again about the importance of peace in the entire region, and the crucial role that Israel would have to play by freezing the West Bank settlements and negotiating in good faith to achieve a Palestinian state.
Let us end where we began, with Barack Obama on the good of peaceable relations with Iran, and the New York Times on the importance of thinking such relations are close to impossible.
President Obama: "You know, I don't want to set an artificial deadline."
Now the Times headline: "Obama Tells Netanyahu He Has a Timetable on Iran." And the Times front-page teaser for their A12 story: "Obama's Iran Timetable."
The decision-makers at the New York Times are acting again as if their readers had no other means of checking the facts they report. They are saying the thing that is not, without remembering that the record which refutes them has become easily and quickly available. A great newspaper is dying. And on the subject of Israel, it is doing its best to earn its death-warrant.
Responses to the question whether you think Bibi will attack Iran or not:
First came Barry, who said:
Israel will NEVER attack Iran. You have to overfly Iraq or Saudi
Arabia and confront the American Air Force for that. Barry
Then Herb said:
And Zerach commented:
That thought was on the news. CNN of all channels (anderson cooper).. BUT, in a different context. It is the fallout for american soldiers that the US is worried about if it allows Israel to fly thru that airspace. Even the sypathizers will be gunning and kidnapping US soldiers.
Israel is afraid of the US. Their skills are as good or better than the US. They would and could find a way.
Being the distance to travel is so far israel would need a lot of multi-national logistical support to accomplish this one.
The best answer would be a US direct strike. Clean, swift, and close enough to strike like a springing snake.
Todays space based Radar would make it a greater chance for Israeli planes to travel that distance being detected.
Rabbi Dov said:
There are missiles!!
Israel also may send the aircraft thru the red sea
and nik commented:
especially since amer and isr. have been working together with iran to spread islamic fund. via iran because it keeps the opium/heroin manuf. plants in iran open and working... ever since iran-contra the sabatean-jewish gov't has been helping amer make iran a threat to israel and the world... and forget about amer they are so in bed with iran it would take a forklift to dislodge the two of them... sad but true... nik. out...