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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:27 PM

Obama: ‘Israel Doesn’t Know What Its Best Interests Are’

<snip>

"Shortly after the United Nations General Assembly voted in late November to upgrade the status of the Palestinians, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that it would advance plans to establish a settlement in an area of the West Bank known as E-1, and that it would build 3,000 additional housing units in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

A large settlement in E-1, an empty zone between Jerusalem and the Jewish settlement city of Maaleh Adumim, would make the goal of politically moderate Palestinians -- the creation of a geographically contiguous state -- much harder to achieve.

The world reacted to the E-1 announcement in the usual manner: It condemned the plans as a provocation and an injustice. President Barack Obama’s administration, too, criticized it. “We believe these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution,” said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

But what didn’t happen in the White House after the announcement is actually more interesting than what did.

When informed about the Israeli decision, Obama, who has a famously contentious relationship with the prime minister, didn’t even bother getting angry. He told several people that this sort of behavior on Netanyahu’s part is what he has come to expect, and he suggested that he has become inured to what he sees as self-defeating policies of his Israeli counterpart.

In the weeks after the UN vote, Obama said privately and repeatedly, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” With each new settlement announcement, in Obama’s view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-14/what-obama-thinks-israelis-don-t-understand-.html

34 replies, 2193 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama: ‘Israel Doesn’t Know What Its Best Interests Are’ (Original post)
Scurrilous Jan 2013 OP
oberliner Jan 2013 #1
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #4
geek tragedy Jan 2013 #10
oberliner Jan 2013 #15
geek tragedy Jan 2013 #16
geek tragedy Jan 2013 #17
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #18
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #11
Pirate Smile Jan 2013 #29
elleng Jan 2013 #2
kysrsoze Jan 2013 #9
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #12
Pirate Smile Jan 2013 #28
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #3
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #5
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #6
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #7
delrem Jan 2013 #14
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #19
delrem Jan 2013 #20
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #21
delrem Jan 2013 #22
azurnoir Jan 2013 #8
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #13
DonViejo Jan 2013 #26
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #27
azurnoir Jan 2013 #23
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #24
Eugene Jan 2013 #25
oberliner Jan 2013 #30
Pirate Smile Jan 2013 #31
shira Jan 2013 #32
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #33
LeftishBrit Jan 2013 #34

Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:31 PM

1. Imagine if Netanyahu had said this about Obama or The US

Howls of protest no doubt.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:48 PM

4. Well ...

First ... President Obama said no such thing (in the article).

But more importantly, what President Obama (via an Administration spokesperson) actually said:

“We believe these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution,”


Is spoken from the perspective of the United States ... you know, what United States representatives are supposed to do.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:02 PM

10. Like when they tried to get Romney elected? Spare us the pity party for Likudville.

Also, he's completely right--the country that sees settlement expansion and right-of-Likud policies as the way to go has no clue as to its own best interests.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:27 PM

15. This is the kind of BS I'm talking about

They didn't try to get Romney elected.

One pro-Romney person ran an ad using a public domain news clip.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:30 PM

16. You conveniently ignore Bibi publicy bashing Obama right

before the election.

And hosting Romney as if he were a world leader.

You forget it was Bibi's next Ambassador to the US that suggested Romney's trip to Israel.

Fuck Netanyahu, and any government lead by he and his unholy alliance of modern-day pogromists.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:33 PM

17. Chuck Schumer warned Netanyahu about this interference last fall.

In a previously unreported episode, Schumer told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was betting on the wrong candidate after he bashed the Obama administration over Iran in the heat of last fall’s presidential race, according to a person familiar with the telephone call. Schumer’s implicit message to his friend Netanyahu: Continuing to attack Obama will only undercut their efforts to win strong support from the administration in the president’s second term.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/as-chuck-schumer-goes-so-goes-chuck-hagel-86043.html#ixzz2I6Neoyxy

Netanyahu's Israel will almost certainly get more support from Obama than they deserve.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:34 PM

18. Yeah, but if you can just ignore those stubborn facts then it's


clearly just Bibi bashing.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:48 PM

11. I'm not sure how Bibi would say such a thing since both the USA and PBO


are not setting up, keeping or expanding illegal colonial settlements outside of their country or running an apartheid state: subjugating a people in the name of empire.

It's more likely that the howls you imagine are of conjecture.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:54 PM

29. Howls of protest or not, what Obama said is accurate.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:33 PM

2. He's RIGHT.

Very glad to see it.
If only the Israeli people would take this to heart.

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:40 PM

9. Actually, the majority of Israelis have, and the number is growing

It's the Israeli hardline ruling parties, headed by Bibi, which hasn't. I'm hoping that changes in the next election.

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Response to kysrsoze (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:52 PM

12. It doesn't look like that will be the case.


The far right of Israel may now look like centrists. There's crazy in the works there and his name is Naftali Bennet of Habayit Hayehudi Party.

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:52 PM

28. Yes, Obama is right & watching Bibi & the ever-more-RW-turn in Israel is horrifying.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:41 PM

3. Wouldn't this be true anytime a US President disagrees with certain actions of the Israeli

government?

The Israeli government always believes it is acting in the best interest of the Israeli people. That's a given. And so, if ANY President disagrees with them, clearly the President believes that the Israeli government is not acting in the best interests of the Israeli people.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:52 PM

5. I don't think ...

the actual comment:

“We believe these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution,”


Is questioning whether the Israeli Government knows what its interests are; so much as to say, the United States believes that their actions are mistaken if they are intended to promote negotiations or to create a two-state solution.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:04 PM

6. So the real question would be whether the Israel govenment sees a 2 state solution as in their

best interests long term.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:27 PM

7. From where I sit ...

their actions suggest that would be a negative.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:24 PM

14. Totally.

From where I sit, the "two state solution" is a hoax.

A look at a map, at the strategic situation of Israeli settlements in the west bank and their need for "security" is enough for me to see that a "two state solution" is a LONG way past being functionally possible.

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Response to delrem (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:37 PM

19. With the Israeli hawks trying to get in to power


one can see a clear path: a trail of tears and a second Palestinian exodus within less than 100 years.

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:44 PM

20. It doesn't look good. And 100 years seems very optimistic. nt

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Response to delrem (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:04 AM

21. The last one starting around 1948.


64 years. So second one within 100 years...

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:22 AM

22. OK nt

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:31 PM

8. article title sounds like yet another loose interpretation

of words said that are disagreeable to Israel's supporters

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:57 PM

13. From the article.

"Obama, since his time in the Senate, has been consistent in his analysis of Israel’s underlying challenge: If it doesn’t disentangle itself from the lives of West Bank Palestinians, the world will one day decide it is behaving as an apartheid state."

PBO is a little late to the dance on this, but I believe that he is giving the Israelis a warning that the West is fed up.

Many already are calling Israel an apartheid state.

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:35 PM

26. PBO is late to the dance? ...

How so? The excerpt you posted reports:

"Obama, since his time in the Senate, has been consistent in his analysis of Israel’s underlying challenge: If it doesn’t disentangle itself from the lives of West Bank Palestinians, the world will one day decide it is behaving as an apartheid state."


U.S. Senator Obama was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Are you suggesting Senator Obama did not make that statement to Israeli representatives meeting with the FRC? Or in his private meetings as President, he has not said these things to Bibi, his predecessors or Israeli Cabinet members?

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Response to DonViejo (Reply #26)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:00 PM

27. Re read what I have wrote. PBO is speaking in a future tense.


What I wrote was that many already see Israel that way for the same reasons.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:13 AM

23. Israeli reactions

As one could expect, the item made the headlines in Israel, and this morning it is the front page story in every paper: Haaretz’s editorial is titled “Listen to Obama.” Yedioth Ahronoth, which is known for going after the Prime Minister personally, has turned Goldberg’s assessment into a direct quote from the president (“Netanyahu is a coward, he is leading Israel to destruction”).

Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Hayom is quoting senior Likud officials who are blaming the President for – the irony! – “trying to interfere with the Israeli elections,” while Maariv is quoting senior AIPAC officials who are estimating that the relations between the U.S. and Israel “will not be hurt.”

http://972mag.com/obamas-attack-on-netanyahu-could-backfire-at-polls/63964/

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:08 AM

24. Bless Sheldon Adelson’s blackened little heart.

Of course it's Obama's fault. Anybody could see that if they looked through Sheldon's eyes: that of a corrupt casino owner that is under investigation by PBO's Justice Department.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:15 PM

25. Netanyahu Issues Veiled Barb in Response to Reported Criticism From Obama

Source: New York Times

Netanyahu Issues Veiled Barb in Response to Reported Criticism From Obama

By ISABEL KERSHNER
Published: January 16, 2013

JERUSALEM — Days before an Israeli election that he is expected to win, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday directed a veiled barb at President Obama, who was quoted this week as denouncing Mr. Netanyahu’s policies.

Relations between the two leaders have long been marked by tension that has erupted on occasion into open hostility, particularly over the handling of the Iranian nuclear issue and Israeli settlement plans. Israeli commentators said the latest exchange of messages seemed to suggest that future relations between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu could be equally fraught.

In a column published by Bloomberg View on Monday, Jeffrey Goldberg, an American journalist who is well acquainted with Israel, wrote that in the weeks after the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade the status of Palestine to nonmember observer state, “Obama said privately and repeatedly, ‘Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.’ With each new settlement announcement, in Obama’s view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation.”

Responding to a journalist’s question about the comments and the timing during a televised visit to a military base on Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu said, “I think everyone understands that only Israeli citizens will be the ones who determine who faithfully represents the vital interests of Israel.”

-snip-


Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/world/middleeast/netanyahu-issues-veiled-response-to-criticism-from-obama.html

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:02 PM

30. Two Questions

1. Is he right in his analysis?

2. Regardless of answer to one, was he justified in saying this on the record?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:13 PM

31. 1. Yes. 2. Does this count as on the record? It was said privately, not publicly.

I happen to think the opinion he stated is shared by a huge number of people - Foreign Policy experts, politicians, the public, etc.

It isn't exactly radical or unusual.

It's like watching a self-destructive friend or family member and being unable to get them to stop.

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Response to Pirate Smile (Reply #31)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:06 PM

32. There's a common misperception WRT settlement growth....

The "experts" out there and conventional wisdom asserts Israel is taking more Palestinian land.

That's nonsense.

Israel stopped building new settlements in 1993. There has been no building on "new land" ever since. The growth is confined to within the settlements that existed prior to 1993. They're not expanding outwards.

Now given that the "world" is ignorant of this, their anguish at false announcements of Israel stealing land is not surprising.

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Response to shira (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:09 AM

33. West bank land under Israeli control.

Looks like Israel has already taken a lot, and if Naftali Bennett gets his way there will be nothing left.



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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:32 AM

34. First of all...

President Obama's public statements are criticisms of the Israeli government, and do not amount to saying 'Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are'. He said it 'privately and repeatedly'? To whom? And did he really say exactly that? It sounds as though someone's trying to stir up trouble.

I would certainly agree that the Israeli government is engaging in some very self-destructive policies, and that the Israeli Right and Palestinian Right reinforce each other to the detriment of their people. President Obama's comments on the matter are mild compared with those of mainstream Israeli opposition politicians.

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