Friday, March 07, 2014

Netanyahu in Washington again

PM Netanyahu has meet Pres. Obama in Washington again. Prior to his arrival, Pres. Obama gave an interview to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in which he prepared the groundwork for specifically blaming Israel if the current so-called peace negotiations with the PA fail. As happens every time there are negotiations, the supposed neutral democratic western nations, including the US and the EU, issue what amount to threats against Israel. Either you stop the building of settlements or make concessions to the Palestinians or there will be violence or sanctions or boycotts of Israel. Goldberg himself characterized Obama's statements as "veiled threats" to Israel and noted the personal nature of the remarks about Netanyahu. Apparently both the State Department and Secty of State Kerry were upset by this premptive attack by Obama on Netanyahu before he arrived and the feeling is that it will reduce Israel's likelihood of trusting the US in any so-called Framework agreement that Kerry might come up with.

No such parallel threats are issued against the intransigence of the Palestinians. Nor is it ever mentioned that Pres. Abbas does not speak for all Palestinians, excluding those in Gaza controlled by Hamas as well as most of those on the West Bank. Nor that any agreement made with him is not worth the paper it is written on. What a farce. Yet this is what the most powerful men in the US are focussing on when there are major crises in Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Venezuela, Thailand and elsewhere.

Netanyahu did a great job trying to refocus attention on to the Iranian nuclear issue, instead of the Palestinians. After all, what good would a two-state solution be if the Iranians do achieve a nuclear weapon. As Netanyahu pointed out in his speech to AIPAC, Iran needs highly enriched uranium only for a nuclear bomb, and they are developing inter-continental missiles not to attack Israel, they already have missiles to do that, but to attack Europe and the USA. How naieve can the West get? His position that only really tough sanctions can force Iran to suspend its nuclear program makes perfect sense. Letting up on the sanctions as Obama and the Europeans are doing shows weakness and is an invitation to Iran to continue on its nefarious path.

The news of the Israeli naval interception on the Red Sea of a major arms shipment, including many long range missiles, on a ship, the Klos-C, from Bandar Abbas in Iran to Port Sudan in Sudan more than 1,500 km from Israel, broke while Netanyahu was in the US and greatly enhanced his warnings about Iran. The fact that the missiles originated in Syria, were then flown to Iran and hidden in crates containing cement from Iraq, and were destined for Gaza, all supported Netanyahu's claim that Iran is a major supporter of terrorism and cannot be trusted. Although the face of Iran has been softened, by replacing Pres. Ahmedinejad with Rouhani, the regime and its aims remain the same.

Netanyahu then went on to California and signed an agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown for water conservation and development and then visited Silicon Valley, where he high-lighted the fact that Israel has the second largest concentration of hi-tech start-ups in the world, nicknamed Silicon Wadi. Altogether a positive end to an otherwise tenuous visit.


Post a Comment

<< Home