Netanyahu gets tangled up in US election

 
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama on 5 March 2012 Barack Obama will not meet Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly

Iran is not on the agenda. But it is on their minds.

As the big United Nations meeting gets underway, the West's biggest foreign policy challenge is not likely to be discussed.

But Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has bluntly demanded to know when the time will be right to use force against Iran's nuclear weapons programme.

He's asked the question so well that it has been turned into a US presidential election TV ad. The advert ends with the words: "The world needs American strength. Not apologies."

Given that Mitt Romney, author of No Apology, has repeatedly accused the president of apologising for America, it is not too hard to work out whom the ad is backing.

Of course Mr Netanyahu bears no responsibility for how others use his speeches. But Israeli officials do seem to be behind a claim that he had been snubbed by Mr Obama, who won't be meeting the prime minister at the UN.

Some in Israel say Mr Netanyahu is putting a vital relationship at risk.

He's sent a message to the White House stressing that he is not interfering in the American election on behalf of Mitt, with whom he worked in the 1970s.

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One well-connected insider has told me that many in the American Jewish community think Mr Netanyahu has been brazen and insolent”

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So, many in Washington are asking the question: "What is Bibi up to?"

While Downing Street and the White House are united in their public and private insistence that Iran must not get the bomb, they are also deeply unenthusiastic about getting involved in another war.

Some think Mr Netanyahu wants assurances that if Israel doesn't act before the US election, there will be American action after it.

Mr Obama is not willing to give such assurances, in public or private. There is a determination, not least because of public opinion, to negotiate with Iran until it either yields results or it becomes crystal clear to everyone that further negotiations are pointless.

One well-connected insider has told me that many in the American Jewish community think Mr Netanyahu has been brazen and insolent, that his tactic has backfired.

There's a belief that superficially, what Mr Netanyahu wants is simple. He would like to pressure Mr Obama to promise he will take military action, so Israel need not go it alone. But he will not be given this assurance.

So, my insider believes that having raised the possibility of war, "made everyone's flesh creep, and marched us up to the top of the mountain", the Israel leader is now looking for a "gilded ladder" to climb down.

That may reassure the White House ahead of an election, but it still leaves open how Mr Obama or a President Romney would resolve the larger crisis.

 
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  • Comment number 385.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 384.

    1948, when the US was required to recognize Israel Truman was fighting for his political life. His campaign was bankrupt. At the last moment Jewish millionaires jumped in to save him.In 1956 Eisenhower was in re-election campaign when Israel attacked Egypt,he didnot need Jewish votes and money and put a stop to the war..Does Obama really needs jewish votes this yr, I do not think so..

  • rate this
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    Comment number 383.

    So regarding that video
    I would tell Muslims
    Welcome to the real world
    ---------
    You are the first person to call internet a real world....
    Sure Iranian president listens to every word which his enemies Usa and Israel says..thats how he sticks to reality and his enemies talk about what they believe and hardly mention the reality...Pay more attention to reality not to what you believe happens

  • rate this
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    Comment number 382.

    Colonel: when the target is moslems

    The target can be anything
    If you look on the internet, anything+everything is gloried+villified

    So regarding that video
    I would tell Muslims
    Welcome to the real world

    Colonel: you walk out when Iranian president speaks

    Does the Iranian President listen to the Israeli President all the way through?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 381.

    The US president condemned the violence that erupted over the "disgusting" anti-Islam video as "an attack on UN ideals"
    --------------------------------
    As if using UN to wage war against countries is very much according to UN ideals, Sending drones to sovergein countries and killing people,as if, is also in accordance with UN ideals..Free speech is american ideal, not UN's ideal...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 380.

    USA may not agree w/ what Ahmajijhad says but he+other people who don't like us, who sometimes say offensive things, come to UN+say whatever they want every year, b/c we support freedom of speech
    -------------
    You may support it espcially when the target is moslems, and their prophet, but you have no guts to listen to it. You walk out when Iranian president speaks..and then you make fun of him.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 379.

    The US president condemned the violence that erupted over the "disgusting" anti-Islam video as "an attack on UN ideals"

    Obama's statement is unAmerican+
    sends wrong message to UN+the world

    USA may not agree w/ what Ahmajijhad says but he+other people who don't like us, who sometimes say offensive things, come to UN+say whatever they want every year, b/c we support freedom of speech

  • rate this
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    Comment number 378.

    370---
    Rest assured, we will remain disorganized. we are not EU or NATO or allies of the willings or the west..We will remain seperated, the only thing that binds us together is Islam. we will collectly react anything that is digustingly said or created against our prophet,but remain in our own countries. moslems are collectively disgusted by Usa today, some yrs ago it was UK....

  • Comment number 377.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 376.

    #372
    Sorry sweetness I was thinking about Dubya's raising of the debt limit 19 times, yesiir One Nine - he even beat the previous record set by St Ronnie!
    Glas Steagall repeal had plenty of supporters from the the tea party side of the house not to mention the colossal lobby power of the financial sector....but,of course, you already knew that.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 375.

    366.Curt Carpenter
    colonelartist@350
    Still a colonel?
    --------------------------------------
    Its in the middle of all ranks, not low not high...Ordinary rank for ordinary people..I have turned down all offers of brig..Its become my comfort zone.Not too many responsiblities and not too little..I can give orders to some and take orders from some, a perfect balance.

  • Comment number 374.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 373.

    #369
    John, well aware that reality and truth are an inconvenience to be sidestepped ignored or glossed over by the myopic pay per poster.

    I really can't believe the Reps chose Mitt - ok, some of the alternatives were absurd but even so...first you flip then you flop then you reflip...guy should have been a gymnast.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 372.

    362. Billy

    #351
    I thought it was Dubya that screwed up the economy good and proper,

    ***
    If the US government had no democrats who had passed so many laws relating to the fin'l industry prior to its collapse, this would make so much more sense.

    Shall we now look at all the tax loopholes and tax code changes that the democrats have tried to pass? You know, the ones they love to complain about.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 371.

    colonelartist@367"You can think whatever you want to..."

    I do, colonel. You should try it!

    Meanshile, hurrah! for Egypt's Al-Watan and "Fight cartoons with cartoons!" Perhaps change there is real, and the people of Egypt can construct a New Egypt after all -- giving hope to the whole region.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 370.

    364 colonelartist
    If Israel and/or USA start warring / gangbanging with Iran
    will there be a ME uprising / backlash
    ------
    No more than what you are witnessing in Syria, libya, egypt, afghanistan and Pakistan..Your lives would not at all be affected in any manner. You will along with your leaders and media continue to put blame on moslems fighting with moslems,and continue to get oil and gas

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 369.

    362 BTF ‘Nah, it was all down to the guy who picked up the poisoned chalice, wasn't it?/Anyone with special glasses can see that.’

    AFAIR the person you reply to has been here since before Obama was elected and in that time has never seen anything good in him or any Dem, nor any bad in Mittens or any other Rep.

  • Comment number 368.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 367.

    366.Curt Carpenter
    You can think whatever you want to, the fact is we were provocated..If you think that moslems really couldnt care less about their prophet being disprespected like this, then you do not know the moslems at all..It was a disgusted provocation, and reaction to disgust is always disgusting, law of motion, every disgusting action has equal and opposite reaction..which you saw..

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 366.

    colonelartist@350

    Still a colonel?

    Meanwhile, I think we all know that the causes of Middle Eastern violence and unrest have very little to do with Islam, the West, Western provocations or Moslem sensibilities. And things wont change for your people until they embrace that reality and start looking for constructive solutions.

 

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