Israel, already a leader in space technologies is looking to raise its profile in the space game. At stake? Military supremacy in the new century and a boatload of cash.
Activity this past week focused on a high profile meeting between Israel’s space agency head and Mr. Bolden (of recent Muslims in Space, Obama shenanigan fame) over at NASA.
Apparently good things come in small packages (who knew?), and when it comes to satellites Israel packs them in pretty tight. NASA has expressed interest in this miniaturization technology, and Israeli developed radars that can pierce the atmosphere for mapping Venus.
The minister said the conversation mainly focused on NASA’s interest in Israeli technological developments. “We’re going for grandiose collaborations in areas NASA needs us. There are talks about collaboration in at least three areas where Israel is a leading force in the world of space.”
According to Hershkowitz, the US agency showed interest in Israel’s ability to create light satellites which weigh a fifth of American and European satellites while having the same capabilities. Light satellites can be launched from aircrafts and not only from ballistic missiles.
Another Israeli specialty that caught NASA’s attention is hyperspectral cameras which can detect land, air and sea pollution from space and classify types of soils and minerals. The two also discussed Israeli developments in the field of satellite antennas aimed at analyzing photos using radars. NASA is planning to map out Venus, and Israeli technology could help it see through the planet’s layer of clouds. [...]
An agreement of ‘future intent’ has now been been struck with NASA, complete with fancy space words. Impressive!
Key Words for Iranians: My ICBM is bigger than your ICBM. The mammoth 3 Stage Shavit-2 launcher has orbital payload capabilities and can open Israel up to commercial markets - In Space!! (It kills them the Jooz beat Islam into space. Worse, we can come back down.. Right on top of their heads.)
Israel is currently one of only 8 countries capable of putting sats into orbit, and has done so on numerous occasions.
Even sexier, because of Israel’s generally hostile eastern borders Israel launches its satellite rockets opposite the earth’s rotation. A mean feat designed to prevent boosters & technologies falling into enemy hands. This counter rotation launch has necessitated the miniaturization Israel now excels at, putting satellites into lower earth orbits.
Paging Ahmadinejad – Please call your office.
Israel’s advanced home built 3 stage solid fuel Shavit-2 launcher, is now rumored to be capable of 800KG payloads.
That kind of ‘Big Boy’ payload can deliver a lot of thermonuclear juice boxes. It is based on Israel’s multi-stage Jericho ballistic missiles, but those payloads also open Israel up to new markets. The most recent Shavit launch was in late June, the Ofek 9 military satellite.
TEL AVIV – Israel delivered its latest spy satellite into low Earth orbit on June 22, using an improved version of its indigenous Shavit launcher, defense sources here said.
An official Ministry of Defense (MoD) notice of the launch, which took place about 10 p.m., was expected by midnight, once technicians ascertained that the satellite appeared to be functioning. [...]
The Price is Right
Offek and this miniaturization spell commercialization. Which while not entirely related to the NASA news above, is part of the this week’s space focus.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to approve an ambitious plan to turn Israel into a satellite superpower. According to details obtained by The Jerusalem Post, the aim is to increase sales of Israeli space platforms to nearly $8 billion a year.
The multi-year plan calls for the government to annually increase support for space research and development by several hundred million shekels. This investment would focus on new platforms – primarily Israel’s niche market in “mini satellites” – intended to yield billions in sales. [...]
Israel’s specialty, Eshed said, lies in manufacturing “mini satellites” like the recently launched Ofek 9. These weigh just a few hundred kilograms, in contrast to the mammoth satellites of several tons operated by the United States and Russia.
Despite Israel’s advanced technology, sales of its space platforms over the last 20 years have totaled less than $2.5b. Yet the international space market, Eshed stressed, is $250b. a year, and Israel could carve out at least 5% for itself. [...]
The combination of exciting NASA cooperation, and new commercial markets could have important benefits for Israel economically.
Feed naturally into defense applications, move Israel further into the realm of nanotechnology and open new avenues with technological and commercial partners. All the while solidifying our alliance with our favorite ally America well into the new century.
Jews are already in space, we’re just reaching higher.
Obama Triples US Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia. Just like the Deficit!!
A funny thing happened along the way to ‘containing’ Iran. Israel lost its historic military edge in the Middle East, and Obama tripled the Bush arms commitment to Saudi Arabia. Haha, the joke it appears is on us. In the last year of the Bush administration the US announced 3 major arms packages.
10 year, 30 Billion dollar arms commitment to Israel.
Multi billion dollar arms sale package to US Gulf allies.
Last year, I wrote that per capita (dollars spent per person) Israel was the largest defense spender on the planet. However, in raw dollar numbers Saudi Arabia was doubling us. According to the Economist, in 2009 Israel spent approximately 16 billion dollars on arms, roughly 3 billion of it coming from US military aid. Compared to the Saudis who spent an alarming 38 Billion dollars on weapons.
Alarm bells went off
Early on in the Obama administration Israel voiced serious concerns to the US at the highest levels. Commitments to Israel regarding arms packages had been broken, and top of the line advanced US weapons were being sold to Saudi Arabia, including guided weapons, smart bombs, and advanced fighter aircraft as part of their 20 billion dollar package under Bush.
Senior sources in the current U.S. administration, and senior officials at the foreign and defense ministries in Israel, have suggested that during the last year of the Bush administration the U.S. sold advanced military equipment to moderate Arab states – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The Americans justified the arms sales with the need to bolster these countries against the perceived threat posed by Iran.
In an address before the National Jewish Democratic Council, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, commented on the matter. “We discovered that the qualitative edge of the IDF has been eroded,” Oren said. “We came to the Obama administration and said: ‘Listen, we have a problem.’”
According to Oren the response of the Obama administration was positive and immediate. “They said they are going to deal with this matter and ensure that the qualitative edge of the IDF is preserved,” he said. “Since then we have embarked on a dialog [on preserving the IDF's qualitative edge].” [...]
The Obama administration and democrats tried to make hay implying that Bush was not Israel’s friend, rather Obama is. They were going to fix this. This week it all came gushing out. Today Israel announced it was agreeing to pick up approximately 20 F35 JSF fighter from the US in a 3 billion dollar deal, in order to ostensibly ‘maintain our qualitative edge’.
The Saudi deal swelled, doubling to 60 BILLION DOLLARS over the next 10 years. Throwing in on top of the 84 F15s, an additional 130+ attack helicopters – Some 60 of them advanced Apache gunships, plus US Blackhawks. This will bring the Saudi air-force well above the 200 mark for advanced F15s, and dwarf Israel’s attack helicopter fleet by a factor of about 3.
Obama came through all right..
He in theory cut some of the munitions & systems going to the Saudis, and instead TRIPLED the 20 billion dollar Bush commitment turning it into a 60 billion dollar arms orgy.
One that will see Israel numbers wise outgunned, outspent, and in theory possibly outmatched in the next 15 years. Shifting the balance of power in the Middle East, a balance which was already tilting of late away from Israel toward Iran & terrorists.
Containing Iran is costing us dearly indeed, and they have not even developed the nuclear weapons yet.
Engagement! Containment! The Straight of Hormuz!! they cried. All of it sounded wonderful over pate in Ivy League circles. In fact, just before Obama took office shelving the military solution became high fashion, put it in a drawer they said. Engagement became the order of the day. But now, strange winds are afoot.
A last resort military solution to prevent nuclear armed mad mullahs depends on a number of critical components. The exhaustion of other options, the willingness to use force, and technical ability. These three factors are now coming into alignment and the Strike Option is not only back in play, its got top shelf billing.
1 – Exhaustion
The toughest sanctions we are going to see, after over a year and a half of delay and failed engagement are now law in the USA. The Europeans may soon follow suit. Either way the card is in play. No one believes sanctions can prevent a nuclear Iran. At best they are a delaying tactic. This latest final round of sanctions may represent the exhaustion of all other options, knocking requirement one off the list in short order, as Iran’s nuclear & ballistic missile programs advance.
2 – Willingness to use force.
Israel, long believed to be the military option wildcard has always been willing to use force. The Israeli public by overwhelming majority in polling has shown it is fully prepared to strike, even if it means going against the wishes of President Obama. Equally, it’s far from a secret that Israel’s political & military establishment is unified over the need to prevent a nuclear Iran. No shocker there, the Israel chapter is closed.
Things get interesting when we look outside of Israel..
TIPP / Investors Business Daily polling on Iran
The White House has been stressing that bi-lateral discussions in the security & military echelon between America & Israel have never been closer. That dialog is focused in many ways on the Iranian threat.
We’ve seen over the past year large joint military exercises involving US & Israeli forces, gaming missile defense & regional war scenarios. The intent is to buttress the new interlink between Israel & America, tying the IDF into the US/European central command regarding missile threats.
Of greater note, much of the dialog seems to involve joint planning of theoretical strike options. Either by Israel alone or perhaps involving US assets themselves should the need arise. A far cry from the American position of just a year ago when military options were shelved, and US official after official landed here in Israel to warn us not to strike..
Since the US pushed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran through the UN Security Council last month, Jerusalem has increased diplomatic efforts to convince the White House that for the sanctions to work, a credible military option needs to be on the table to scare Iran to reconsider its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
An indication that this might have happened came in the latest issue of Time magazine, in an article titled “An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table.”
Written by Joe Klein, the article claims that in recent months, the US military’s Central Command has made significant progress in planning targeted air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, some of which were deemed impossible to penetrate just two years ago.
According to the report, the progress was made possible by the “vastly improved human-intelligence operations in the region.”
Israel has reportedly been “brought into the planning process.” [...]
Winds of Change
Could US military planning, and intelligence views have changed so drastically?
According to former CIA director Michael Hayden, that just maybe the case..
A US military strike on Iran has become more likely and could be justifiable in the future, former CIA chief Michael Hayden said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“My personal view is that Iran left to its own devices will get itself to that step right below a nuclear weapon,” said Hayden, “and frankly that will be as destabilizing as their actually having a weapon.”
The former CIA director stated that an attack on Iran had not originally been a serious option, but in light of Iran’s intensified pursuit of nuclear materials, the military option “may not be the worst of all possible outcomes.” [...]
We know that the 2007 NIE which discounted the Iranian nuclear threat publicly, has now itself been discounted by US intelligence. The Pentagon has drastically changed time-lines for an Iranian nuclear capable ICBM maturing, possibly as soon as 2015.
These events suggest a new acknowledgment that the threat to the US is real. The Washington Obama engagement track has failed spectacularly, while prominent voices in the US House & Senate continue to imply the military option was never shelved at all..
A Nuclear Iran could shatter the Obama legacy
Others have now begun suggesting that President Obama, a leftwing ideologue without parallel, may be forced to strike just in order to keep his ideological dreams alive. The notion put forth being that a nuclear Iran will utterly destroy key aspects of Obama’s core foreign policy visions. Non-Proliferation, and a non-nuclear new world order. Issues which any novice following events could immediately recognize as near & dear to his heart.
Taken as a whole, it might seem as if the Political, Military, and Intelligence wings of the US Govt apparatus have all swung round, up to & possibly including the President himself. If that were indeed the case it would knock off the 2nd requirement – The willingness to use force.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a gathering of ambassadors in Moscow on Monday conceded that “Iran is moving closer to possessing the potential which in principle could be used for the creation of nuclear weapons.”
Moscow’s admission comes at a time when much of the world is beginning to recognize the magnitude of the threat of an Islamofascist state possessing weapons of mass destruction. In a Pew Research poll of 22 countries last month, a majority in 16 of the states preferred a military strike over tolerating a nuclear Iran. In the U.S., 66% preferred a strike, while 24% objected to it.
In Egypt, 55% supported a military strike on Iran, while 16% opposed it. In Jordan, the figures were 53% to 20% in favor.
So even Mideast Muslims understand the danger to themselves — and they understand that their supposed great enemy, Israel, is likely to be the power to rid the region of that grave danger.
So do Americans. IBD/TIPP polls have consistently favored Israeli military action, and did so again by a 56% to 30% margin in last week’s survey (see chart)
These consistent views internationally, combined with rumors of Muslim states willing to even quietly assist Israel should the need arise all point to military force as a credible option.
3- Technical Ability
The last requirement on the list is the great unknown. Clearly America could level the Iranian nuclear program, the top tier of the regime, and even the bulk of the IRGC itself if it so chooses. That is not speculation. America is an unstoppable military juggernaut which could from a distance cut through Iran like a hot knife through butter.
We are not in the same league as the Americans, but Israel might be able to do hefty damage to the program, as well as Iranian Ballistic Missile production facilities should it be backed into a corner. If we could with international assistance, open a corridor for 2-3 days of sustained strikes utilizing air power, sea based assets, and Jericho missiles it is likely Israel could do some major damage to Iran’s illicit abilities, and knock the program back years if not a decade or two.
The notion put forward by detractors that a serious strike would only delay Iran 2 or so years seems frankly comical. Iran is teetering economically, and its programs have taken 20 years to put together at a cost of endless billions. Any serious blow could be a fatal one. Leaving in its wake an already near collapse and stagnant economy ravaged by 30%+ unemployment, combined with a sanctioned regime starved of capital or ability to regenerate nuclear programs or options.
In any event the Iranians may not leave Israel, America or the Gulf region much choice.
As public opinion solidifies, options exhaust, and political opinions change in Washington. The last remaining hurdle, technical ability may well fall into place.. If it already hasn’t.
In the 48 hours since this was posted a number of events directly related to the analysis above have taken place. The EU has indeed followed suit. Both the EU & Canada have announced wide ranging strict fuel & energy sector sanctions on Iran, effectively closing the current sanctions effort chapter.
The top US Department of State official on Iran, and a point man in the Obama Administration engagement effort at the end of this week is resigning. Is this the most potent signal yet that the failed engagement effort is over? Or that the military strike option has indeed gone top shelf? Perhaps both?
He describes in the lengthy worthy piece how US policy & Peace Processing has become a religion for American bureaucrats & political leaders, a religion he formerly practiced but now no longer believes in..
Like all religions, the peace process has developed a dogmatic creed, with immutable first principles. Over the last two decades, I wrote them hundreds of times to my bosses in the upper echelons of the State Department and the White House; they were a catechism we all could recite by heart. First, pursuit of a comprehensive peace was a core, if not the core, U.S. interest in the region, and achieving it offered the only sure way to protect U.S. interests; second, peace could be achieved, but only through a serious negotiating process based on trading land for peace; and third, only America could help the Arabs and Israelis bring that peace to fruition.
He describes how these concepts have become immovable dogmas of the religion, and how Obama has thrown himself full force into becoming a believer, pursuing them with zeal. The problem is, Miller no longer carries the faith..
Today, I couldn’t write those same memos or anything like them with a clear conscience or a straight face. Although many experts’ beliefs haven’t changed, the region has, and dramatically, becoming nastier and more complex. U.S. priorities and interests, too, have changed. The notion that there’s a single or simple fix to protecting those interests, let alone that Arab-Israeli peace would, like some magic potion, bullet, or elixir, make it all better, is just flat wrong. In a broken, angry region with so many problems — from stagnant, inequitable economies to extractive and authoritarian governments that abuse human rights and deny rule of law, to a popular culture mired in conspiracy and denial – it stretches the bounds of credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most critical issue, or that its resolution would somehow guarantee Middle East stability.
Uh oh.. This is contrary to the very pillars Obama & his administration have laid forth in their endless Israel Assault of pressure. Leak after leak, statement after statement, all highlighting how solving the Arab Israeli Palestinian conflict is the most critical puzzle piece, and a top American national priority interest. The statements have been piling up in fact.
The American left wing has gone so far as to frame the life & death of American soldiers themselves as requiring immediate resolution of the problem.. Of course, that is patently absurd. But the left, seizing on the anti-Israel attitude is making ever rising claims of absurdity and the false memes are spreading fanned by a loving it media. All this despite individuals like Petraeus himself stating clearly this is simply not the case, that these memes are false.
We have seen so far the results.. Absurd efforts to define local zoning laws in Israel all the way from Washington D.C.; A pressure campaign to topple Netanyahu; Frigid Israeli American relations; Threats, public dressing downs of foreign leaders; A total fantasy like American eyeball aversion to the Palestinians or their actions, while Israel is routinely blamed for everything under the sun.. No matter, the Obami soldier on as if on Crusade to borrow from Miller’s religious metaphor.
Miller doesn’t see the factors for Peace
He writes that Obama & advisers are trying to manufacture artificially the necessary components for peace and a deal using sheer American will. But that this is an illusion as there are no partners currently, or willingness in the region in order to conclude such a deal irrespective of America’s will, and that in the end this will result in a stunning American failure.
Bottom line: Negotiations can work, but both Arabs and Israelis (and American leaders) need to be willing and able to pay the price. And they are not.
Under these circumstances, the refrain from many quarters is that America must save the day. If the Arabs and Israelis are too weak or recalcitrant, then the United States must support and/or push them to make the deal.
Miller chides the administration for making huge errors in the focus on settlements, and questions the logic behind the Obama strategies themselves as they do not lead in any way to a deal or peace, only to expending more & more American political capital without benefit, concluding..
The believers need to re-examine their faith, especially at a moment when America is so stretched and overextended. The United States needs to do what it can, including working with Israelis and Palestinians on negotiating core final-status issues (particularly on borders, where the gaps are narrowest), helping Palestinians develop their institutions, getting the Israelis to assist by allowing Palestinians to breathe economically and expand their authority, and keeping Gaza calm, even as it tries to relieve the desperation and sense of siege through economic assistance. But America should also be aware of what it cannot do, as much as what it can. [...]
In many ways there are subtle & not so subtle jabs at the Obama admin here, the entire religious framework and Yes We Can attitude gets a thorough lashing in Miller’s piece. Time for believers to re-examine the faith, the statement is directed at the Department of State, the NSC & Obama himself and the message is clear enough, cut it out because No We Can’t.
He posited that the Obama administration on the Arab Israeli conflict was not transformational, but transactional – Trying to focus on the dozens of details and seeking endless concessions to iron them out to produce a deal. But, he felt that as tough as the Obama admin may get to wring concessions, they would have to be respectful of Israel & the relationship to succeed.
He stated that listening to Israel would be more important than lecturing Israel in order to notch gains. That American will & opinion matched that of Israeli will & opinion, that the countries identified with each other on a powerful plane, and that Obama would need to proceed cautiously lest he upset that balance..
Off a cliff
We have since seen the admin push this transactional concept to the very edge right along with the US Israel relationship itself, thoroughly disregarding Miller’s warnings. Precisely because they do not listen, they do not respect, and many suspect they do not care about Israel in the least. I would add to Miller’s provocative & interesting piece that not only he, but a great many are now no longer believers..
If you want to know why you need only look at President Obama and his ugly relationship with the State of Israel.
A critical component of Israel’s long term TEFEN procurement program in the air involves what most would consider a fairly unglamorous transport upgrade. The Hercules class transports are more often than not looked upon as standard equipment and troop movers, a role the Hercules has been playing in numerous air forces for decades now.
Israel’s original SuperHercules C-130j procurement deal initially started in 2008, when the US Congress was notified by the Pentagon of an impending sale for up to 9 specially designed transports. Back in 2008 deliveries were expected to begin around the 2012 time frame. Haaretz now reports that there is (unconfirmed) movement this week on the transport deal – with Defense Minister Ehud Barak & PM Netanyahu having met with US defense officials..
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington this week absorbing the full wrath of the Obama administration, the Pentagon and Israel’s defense establishment were in the process of sealing a large arms deal.
According to the deal, Israel will purchase three new Hercules C-130J airplanes. The deal for the three aircrafts, designed by Lockheed Martin, is worth roughly a quarter billion dollars. Each aircraft costs $70 million. The aircrafts were manufactured specifically for Israeli needs, and include a large number of systems produced by Israel’s defense industry [...]
My understanding of these matters is that the Hercs would cost somewhat more, in the 100 million range mostly due to some serious upgrades above the Super Hercules’ already impressive renewed electrical & systems roster. The total package with optional aircraft over the multi-year deal was estimated to possibly reach 1.9 Billion dollars if all options were exercised.
Word was that we had asked Lockheed to equip the new Israeli transports with unique in flight air refueling capability to ‘extend their operational range’. This beyond the substantial modifications Israel has requested electronically to mate the transports with Israeli systems and electronic counter measures. These initial Hercs are clearly of the Special Operations variety designed for deep insertion & support roles for both men & matériel.
The US has been active in Israel with its own C-130js as well. This US transport photo is courtesy of the USAF - Seen at Israel's southern IAF superbase Nevatim in Dec. 09. The location where Americans man the X-Band Ballistic Missile Defense Radar positioned in Israel by our good friend G.W Bush.
Drop & Mop
Israel has a long history of unique Hercules operational roles, the most famous being the Entebbe hostage rescue which saw Israel insert special forces all the way into Africa while taking over an international airport. If these reports are true, Israeli pressure to get this pre-Obama administration deal on track & moving would be a major coup and signal some cooperation between the IDF & Pentagon, as arms sales to Israel from the US have apparently been quite frozen on almost every level since Obama took office. Including helicopters, heavy ordinance JDAM bombs, electronics & reserve supplies of jet fuel for war contingencies.
Congress pledges support
Despite White House humiliation & Israeli arm twisting of late there is a tidal wave of congressional support to keep Israel on the cutting edge militarily, and supply us with assistance pledges built into the US Israel alliance. Just this week Nita Lowey, the powerful chairwoman of the US House appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations who oversees the military & aid packages for Israel re-iterated solidly that whatever rifts may develop with the White House, the military aid would still be forthcoming..
“There is no question in my mind that the 10-year memorandum of understanding is solid,” Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the US House appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, said of the decade-long US aid plan under which $3 billion will be going to Israel this year. “There is strong bipartisan support for Israel in the Congress that will not falter.”
She said that continuing support is also in place when it comes to the US commitment to Israel maintaining a qualitative military edge over its Arab neighbors and other forms of military coordination.
“The military cooperation, the intelligence cooperation, the focus on Iran, is solid and strengthens every year,” said Lowey, who also sits on the House Intelligence and Homeland Security committees. [...]
With so much pressure coming out of the Obama admin these days, these displays of support & friendship are heartening to say the least. We require our ally’s help, SuperHercs & all.
Worst Relations in 35 Years?
Obama has gone Rogue, declared war on America’s allies.
Confirmation begins to flow out like sewage how the President of the United States cynically drummed up an artificial crisis, with the ally his administration less than 4 days ago called – ‘The best friend America ever had’. Worse, the President was widely reported personally consulting, instructing & coordinating with Hillary Clinton before her scathing 45 minute scream fest toward Netanyahu. One gathers they were rather busy planning & effectuating this engineered crisis, and Chicago style blackmail campaign.
Don’t you worry, some of his best friends are Jewish.
All of this is clearly designed to squeeze & bleed from Israel yet MORE concessions, in order to shore up the Obama administration’s faltering policies & world view. The President of the United States is frankly endangering the State of Israel playing these games. Let’s be clear, this seems worse than Bush & Baker (Baker while in office at State famously declared “F**k the Jews”), at least then Israel wasn’t being strung up by a noose with an existential military threat.
Reverse building decisions in Jerusalem and implement a freeze, despite previous agreements with the USA that building in Jerusalem would continue.
Make appeasement gestures to the Palestinians who despite an open Israeli invitation for unconditional talks, refuse to negotiate.
Release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, terrorists!
Withdraw IDF defense forces from additional territory in the West Bank!! Transfer control to Palestinians (Endangering Israel is the President’s specialty it seems). All of it without ANY peace deal whatsoever.
End the Quartet endorsed blockade of Terrorist controlled Gaza, territory we just finished having to go to war with and allow Gaza to rearm full force.
Remove yet more security checkpoints and security implements in the West Bank, despite effusive praise from both the USA & Tony Blair over how much Israel had already done in this regard, and glowing praise over how Israel has helped the Palestinian economy flourish.
Issue declarations that indirect talks with the Palestinians who only demand more & more, deal with all the conflict’s core issues including; statehood declaration, borders, refugees, Jerusalem, security, settlements. In other words, enter these indirect talks & allow our GREAT FRIEND President Obama to moderate & impose his own solution – One which will clearly be entirely drafted by the Arab League itself, and hoisted upon Israel’s democracy.
Backstabbing Obama sure to be popular fellow in Israel now..
How can we possibly take the President at his word? His credibility internationally and especially with Israel is borderline near zero. This guy keeps breaking deals with us left, right & center..
The settlement issue (another crisis a few months ago) was the 1st deal Obama broke with us, when he disregarded pledges made by G.W. Bush to Ariel Sharon.
The second deal broken just this week by Obama, was the acknowledgment that Jerusalem would NOT be subject to the and I quote Hillary Clinton: “Unprecedented concession by Israel” to freeze settlements in the West Bank.
Now a third deal has been broken by the President with Israel, regarding the format & substance of the issues to be handled in indirect talks. Israel refused to negotiate core issues by US mediation for what is now obvious reasons.
The President seems to believe the word of the United States of America carries little meaning, no bearing on trust – This is truly heartbreaking for many hundreds of millions around the world who so admire American ideals. Poland learned this, the Czechs learned this, the UK, now Israel knows it too. We are under attack from our #1 ally!? It is bewildering & shocking.
The bludgeon for Obama’s threats?
Vital supplies, jet fuel, & armaments needed to defend Israel from an Iranian multi front war.. This beyond the apparent arms freeze Israel has been under since Obama took office. All of these issues, part & parcel of pledges to Israel made previously to garner our patience regarding a strike on Iran. Now, apparently even the entire American Israel relationship itself is being used as a threat judging by statements from US officials on Sunday shows.
Requests of the Palestinians? The intransigent party who refuses to negotiate? NONE.
The FIRST foreign leader Obama called immediately on his inauguration to the White House? This man here, Mahmoud Abbas! Not UK, Not France, Not Israel, Not Russia.. He signalled then loud & clear what his only priority would be in the middle east. What is it with Obama & the Palestinians?
How can we trust this President? Is he living on the same planet as the rest of us!?
There can be no trust here, these irrational demands, artificial crises, and plain and simple backstabbing behavior must be REJECTED by Israel. Obama is either trying to get our country destroyed, or bring down the government of a friendly country & ally. The majority of Israeli opinion cannot support such irrational appeasement demands just to satisfy President Obama’s Palestinian fetish, or to prop up his failing policies.
Last week the US claimed we insulted them! What was that whole Biden speech about!? Days later Obama has embarrassed Biden way more than we could have even if we had tried. Obama made Biden out to look like a liar, intent on misleading the Israeli people. I doubt that was Joe’s intentions, I believe he may have been just as blindsided as Netanyahu.
UPDATE: This gambit may not roll as ‘Chicago style’ as Obama / Axelrod want..
If we see the counter 1 , 2 punch of both Israeli domestic as well as American domestic resistance to the President’s alliance rift making games, the upper cut for Obama may be a painful one. The Administration deftly used the Friday trash cycle in the US and the Israeli shutdown Sabbath to launch their coordinated volley. But today is Monday, and Israel’s coalition has spoken..
While officials in Washington were quoted as saying that Netanyahu would have to choose between his ties with US President Barack Obama’s government and his coalition partners, ministers and MKs took steps to ensure that he would not have to make such a difficult choice.
Despite American pressure, not one of the 30 ministers in Netanyahu’s cabinet has expressed support for freezing construction over the pre-1967 border in Jerusalem. A check among the five Labor ministers found that they were all in favor of continuing to build in neighborhoods like Ramat Shlomo and Gilo, where the American administration opposes building.
“The consensus in Israel supports continuing to build in Jerusalem and that’s not going to change,” a Labor minister said. [...]
On a Sunday night no less. They are not thrilled to put it mildly it would seem with the public undressing of Israel for such a politically cynical purpose, nor one coming only a week out from the annual conference to boot.
Hillary Clinton, who just finished berating Bibi for 45 minutes & Netanyahu will both be there. That will likely make the Administration look even more volatile & erratic than it already appears to onlookers everywhere, if they have to scale this back!? Biden & Clinton are both going to take huge lumps to the face it would seem for his Majesty Barack before all is said & done I think.
The last key piece is American opinion, in this case fronted by their elected representatives. It is still Sunday night in America, so we will have to see how the reaction unfolds this week. I question the logic, foreign policy and thinking currently going on at the White House, in this I am most certainly not alone. Bibi, Obama, Biden, Clinton, everyone it seems comes out of this pained & bruised. Only the Palestinians benefit?? Has America become a Palestinian client state?
They call it “Smart Power” for a reason I guess, it just eludes me because I’m stupid.