Despite Smiles, Obama, Netanyahu Seem Far Apart

When 'Bibi' met Obama

Here’s Jim Lobe’s (IPS) analysis of yesterday’s meeting between Obama and Netanyahu:

While reaffirming the “special relationship” between their two countries, U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared unable to bridge major differences in their approaches to Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts following their White House meeting here Monday.

And while Obama repeatedly stressed the importance of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu never uttered the phrase or alluded to the possibility of a Palestinian state during a 30-minute press appearance with the U.S. president after their meeting in the Oval Office.

While Obama said he may be prepared to impose additional sanctions against Iran early next year if diplomatic efforts to persuade it to curb its nuclear programme fail to make progress, he refused to set what he called “an arbitrary deadline.” Israeli officials had pressed Washington for an early October deadline.

Continue reading “Despite Smiles, Obama, Netanyahu Seem Far Apart”

Trivializing the Holocaust

The framing of Iran as an “existential threat” to Israel is shown up for the sham that it is in this critique by Israeli journalist Uri Avnery.

First of all, I want to apologize to all the good women who are engaged in the world’s oldest profession.

I recently described Shimon Peres as a political prostitute. One of my female readers has protested vigorously. Prostitutes, she pointed out, earn their money honestly. They deliver what they promise. Continue reading “Trivializing the Holocaust”

US: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Greatest Threat of All?

Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service give an insightful analysis of events in Washington over the past week. At the AIPAC conference Israel hawks espoused hyperbole towards the “existential threat” that Iran poses towards Israel in the fight to secure foreign policy agenda ahead of the more pressing ‘Af-Pak’ issue, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari conducted summit talks with President Obama.

WASHINGTON, May 10 (IPS) – A potentially major clash appears to be developing between powerful factions inside and outside the U.S. government, pitting those who see the Afghanistan/Pakistan (“AfPak”) theatre as the greatest potential threat to U.S. national security against those who believe that the danger posed by a nuclear Iran must be given priority.

The Iran hawks, concentrated within the Israeli government and its U.S. supporters in the so-called “Israel lobby” here, want to take aggressive action against Iran’s nuclear programme by moving quickly to a stepped-up sanctions regime. Continue reading “US: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Greatest Threat of All?”

Farewell, the American Century

Andrew J. Bacevich Rewriting the Past by Adding In What’s Been Left Out. (via TomDispatch)

In a recent column, the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen wrote, “What Henry Luce called ‘the American Century’ is over.” Cohen is right. All that remains is to drive a stake through the heart of Luce’s pernicious creation, lest it come back to life. This promises to take some doing.

When the Time-Life publisher coined his famous phrase, his intent was to prod his fellow citizens into action. Appearing in the February 7, 1941 issue of Life, his essay, “The American Century,” hit the newsstands at a moment when the world was in the throes of a vast crisis. A war in Europe had gone disastrously awry. A second almost equally dangerous conflict was unfolding in the Far East. Aggressors were on the march.

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Rant against Hypocrisy

If Israel is not a racist state, if Zionism is not a racist ideology, then I do not speak English.

I don’t quite know why, but hypocrisy is the element in political discourse which catalyses my most murderous responses. Perhaps it’s because I like language, or respect it, and believe it shouldn’t be raped.

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Obama Team Debates Stance on Israeli Attack Threat

And another excellent analysis of the US-Israel-Iran triangle and the machinations within the new Obama administration concerning a possible Israeli ‘pre-emptive’ strike against Iran by Jim Lobe and Gareth Porter

A recent statement by the chief of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. David Petraeus, that Israel may decide to attack Iranian nuclear sites has been followed by indications of a debate within the Barack Obama administration on whether Israel’s repeated threats to carry out such a strike should be used to gain leverage in future negotiations with Tehran.

In the latest twist, Vice President Joseph Biden, who has been put in charge of the administration’s non-proliferation agenda, appeared to reject the idea. “I don’t believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu would [launch a strike],” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday. “I think he would be ill-advised to do that.”
Continue reading “Obama Team Debates Stance on Israeli Attack Threat”

Sectarian Rabble-Rousing

Al-Ahram Weekly, the English language twin of the Arabic daily, is an Egyptian state organ. The Weekly has a broader range of opinion than the tame daily, and does often contain interesting articles. The great Palestinian thinker Azmi Bishara, for instance, can be found in the Weekly. Unfortunately, however, Egyptian regime nonsense concerning the Persian-Shia ‘threat’ is also fed into the mix. This article by Galal Nassar is a sad example. Below is my response to his piece:

Continue reading “Sectarian Rabble-Rousing”

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