President Obama in Israel


team-joebama: President Obama & Israel’s PM Netanyahu yesterday day in Jerusalem

Yahoo! News: Obama was awarded Israel’s Medal of Distinction Thursday night during a lavish dinner. He is the first sitting U.S. president to receive Israel’s highest civilian honor.

The Jerusalem Post: Anyone who believes that there is no chemistry between Netanyahu and Obama should have watched them whispering to each other with big grins on their faces and laughing together when Peres said something amusing.

Jon Stewart on Netanyahu’s Wile E. Coyote bomb

via: israelfacts


Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN meme

Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN meme

“Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exhorted the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday to draw “a clear red line” to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In a theatrical gesture, Netanyahu held up a cartoon-like drawing of a spherical bomb and drew a red line below the fuse, “before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment to make a bomb,” he said. “It’s not a question of whether Iran will get the bomb. The question is at what stage can we stop Iran from getting the bomb,” said Netanyahu, who also accused Iran of aggression.


And a meme was born:

via: cynicalidealism

via: sirkowski

via: unabrow

via: communism-kills

via: dagseoul

via: frompalestinewithlove

via: frompalestinewithlove

via: churchill1874

via: joemande

via: roxygen

via: krister

via: ghamidh: “About here, there’s no more chips. It’s just air.”

via: antizionism

via: newwavecrashing

Benjamin Netanyahu has noticed the direction the wind’s blowing

“I’m not going to be drawn into the American election. And what’s guiding my statements is not the American political calendar, but the Iranian nuclear calendar. I’m talking to [President Obama]. I just talked to him the other day. We are in close consultation. We’re trying to prevent that. It’s really not a partisan issue. It’s a policy issue, not a partisan issue.” — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Netanyahu sent his defense minister, Ehud Barak, to deliver a goodwill message to Chicago mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on Thursday afternoon.

“An aide to Israeli leader said “no comment” when questioned about nature of the meeting and a spokeswoman for Emanuel would only confirm that Barak met with the Chicago mayor Thursday afternoon.

“This marks the second time in six days the Israeli leader has sought, either personally or through back channels — Barak and Emanuel are friends — to distance himself from the perception he is agitating for the president’s defeat in November.”

— Netanyahu To Obama: I’m Not Backing Romney – ABC News

Bibi has, apparently, “snapped out of it.” Good for him. The neocon bromance for political gain sputters to an end.

Remember Romney’s Gafftastic World Tour? Mitt Romney meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office, July 29, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Avi Ohayon/Getty Images)

Romney supports war and military service (as long as he or his sons aren’t directly involved)

Romney’s immigration plan: If you go into military service, and presumably, come out alive, you can stay. You won’t get actual “citizenship” — you’d earn “permanent residency” — but, hey, you won’t have to leave.

Other thoughts on Mitt Romney and the wars and military service he champions:

“The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that’s the way we’re going to keep it. My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.” — Mitt Romney, August 8 2007 in Iowa

image: communism-kills

The Republican Party either needs to get itself some warmongers who aren’t chickenhawks, or it should stop relying on war profiteering to line the pockets of its benefactors. It’s an ugly business when certain men want to send other people’s children to war and call it patriotic. It’s uglier that ordinary people approve.

WTF does Netanyahu think he’s doing?

Josh Marshall: “The cauldron of Israeli politics has been swirling of late with the notion that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has put his chips (both for the future and with respect to Iran) on Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu has put his on Mitt Romney. And as the Prime Minister increasingly works to unseat President Obama, opposition leaders have started to ask who Bibi is more intent on ousting, Ahmadinejad or Obama?

“Now comes word that Netanyahu will give an exclusive interview this weekend to Meet The Press, which gives you your answer. Netanyahu is tripling down on a Romney presidency and will do whatever he can to make it happen.”

Mitt is Bibi’s bitch. Another reason I will vote Obama.

Romney’s Gafftastic World Tour: onward to Poland and the Cold War Part II

Romney left the British shaking their heads in disgust and calling him Mitt the Twit, outraged the Palestinians, acted like POTUS is a position in Netanyahu’s cabinet by promising military action in Iran if Bibi asks… What harm can he do in Poland?

Romney campaign schedule in Poland today (times ET): 

10:15 a.m. Mitt Romney participates in photo spray with Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Gdansk, Poland.
11:20 a.m. Romney participates in photo spray with former President Lech Walesa in Gdansk.
11:50 a.m. Romney visits World War II Westerplatte Memorial in Gdansk.
12:55 p.m. Romney visits Solidarity Monument Site in Gdansk.

Will there be any discussion of how the Mormon Church used to (still does?) baptize Jewish people who died in the Holocaust? My guess: no.

Telegraph: “Mitt Romney continues his foreign tour in Poland where he is due to hold talks with Donald Tusk, the prime minister, and Lech Walesa, the anti-communist leader. On the final leg of a three-stop tour designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials, the Republican presidential contender has chosen to visit a country which has notably testy relations with Russia and is now a key pillar of Nato and the EU. [...] The former Gdansk shipyard electrician who won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize for galvanising Solidarity and went on to become Poland’s first democratically-elected president in 1990 invited Romney to Poland.  

“[...] Mr Walesa, 68, has both snubbed and questioned the foreign policy of fellow Nobel laureate and Democratic challenger, US President Barack Obama. He refused a meeting with Obama during his May 2011 visit to Poland, saying it would “only amount to a photo opportunity.” In July 2009, Mr Walesa and late Czech anti-communist legend Vaclav Havel penned an open letter slamming Obama’s revamp of an anti-missile shield installation in Poland and the Czech Republic planned by his Republican predecessor President George Bush.  [...] Poland could serve as a platform from which Mr Romney could hit out at Russia – a country the candidate has repeatedly labelled a key geopolitical foe – in a public address in Warsaw on day-two of the visit when he will also meet President Bronislaw Komorowski.”

Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu: the first day of Mitt’s obedience training was a success

Today in Jerusalem, Mitt’s obedience training went very well. Benjamin Netanyahu seemed so pleased at how quickly Mitt learns, that after one meeting they were seen happily scrabbling on the front lawn with a Frisbee. As a special reward, Netanyahu invited Mitt to stay at his home tonight, curled up in front of the fireplace.

Turns out that Mitt thinks POTUS is a position in Netanyahu’s Cabinet… “Romney promised to serve Netanyahu during one of the Republican debates. There was a discussion back and forth between Mitt and Newt about the ME and Iran. Mittens made clear that the policy goals of the Netanyahu government would trump any other policy concern and that he would get Bibi’s approval before he made any statement or took any action: ’I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say, ‘Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?’ It seems that Mitt thinks that POTUS a just a sub-Cabinet position in Netanyahu’s government.”

And this: “Today Mittens met with Benjamin Netanyahu. He also had a meeting scheduled with the Leader of Israel’s Labor party. Turns out that Netanyahu didn’t think Mitt should meet with his political opposition. Guess what happened: The meeting was due to take place today, at 1:30 P.M., at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. [snip] And then Romney went into a meeting with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Bureau in Jerusalem. During the course of the meeting the candidate’s staff contacted Herzog to inform him that the meeting had regrettably been cancelled, “for reasons of protocol.” [...] not a surprise that Romney rolled over when Bibi told him to cancel a meeting with opposition Party Leaders. Romney is a coward who is easily intimidated. He will say and do whatever his handlers tell him to do.”

There’s more:

Romney breaks with every GOP president, promises to never criticize Israel: “Romney unsubtly jabbed President Obama in Jerusalem this Sunday for criticizing Israeli policy. Romney suggested that any public criticism of Israel in public would be off-limits in a Romney Presidency. While Romney is right to say that Israel is a close American ally that deserves our support, that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t ever publicly criticize Israel when we believe it to be in American (or Israeli) interests. Indeed, though Romney said the United States and Israel have “been the most natural of allies” since 1948, every Republican President since then has publicly criticized Israeli policies:  [see quotes from six Republican presidents, including Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan...] …it’s clear that past Republican presidents didn’t shirk from publicly finding fault with Israel when they felt it was necessary. Romney, then, is repudiating his party’s traditional approach to handling the US-Israeli relationship. This suggests either that previous Republican Presidents have “emboldened Israel’s enemies” or that Israel’s ties with America are strong enough to weather occasional public disagreement.”

Good dog!

Shadowed by London failure, Romney announces support for Israeli strike against Iran

Mitt’s feeling a bit insecure so hang on, everybody — we’re going to war again! Wheeee!!

Think Progress reports that Dan Senor, a top right-wing foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney, told reporters in Jerusalem that “Iran should not be able to attain a nuclear “capability” — a significant break in language from state U.S. policy.” Senor stated: “If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision.”

“During an appearance with Romney in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he agreed with Romney’s approach, falsely claiming that “all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota.” U.N. sanctions have delayed Iran’s nuclear progress. A U.N. ban on selling Iran weapons technologies appears to have set back their ballistic missile programs as well.

“President Obama considers a potential Iranian nuclear weapon a threat to both the security of the U.S. and its allies in the region, as well as the nuclear non-proliferation regime. And he’s vowed again and again to keep all options on the table to deal wtih it. U.S., U.N. and Israeli intelligence estimates give the West time to pursue a dual-track approach of building international pressure and using diplomacy to resolve the crisis. Questions about the efficacy and potential consequences of a strike have led U.S. officials to declare that diplomacy is the “best and most permanent way” to resolve the crisis. Obama has also reaffirmed Israel’s “sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs.”

Romney has long supported military involvement in the Middle East and still defends President Bush’s preventative invasion in Iraq...”

Not only is Mitt trying to take some of the American Jewish support away from Obama, but Romney must feel he needs to commit himself to a penis-measuring contest with the President, maybe because of London. Romney’s going to prove he’s manlier than Obama and more willing to order our troops into Iran — at Israel’s request!– so it’s good to know who’d actually be calling the shots if Romney won the election.

Another major factor in Mitt’s new wide stance on Israel / Iran is that apparently Sheldon Adelson’s gambling money can buy just about anything, including what the U.S. military will be used for if Romney wins. Adelson is in Jerusalem and will be meeting with Romney this week for Mitt’s debriefing and further marching orders.

image: romney2012

Romney’s Gafftastic “World” Tour: Onward to Israel!

Daily Kos: An example of Mitt Romney’s “honesty:”

  • Mitt Romney on Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: We can almost speak in shorthand. We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar.
  • Mitt Romney on how he’d handle Iran: I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say, ‘Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?’
  • Mitt Romney on Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel’s current prime minister is not just a friend, he’s an old friend.
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Mitt Romney: I remember him [Romney] for sure, but I don’t think we had any particular connections, I knew him and he knew me, I suppose.

“I SUPPOSE,” Bibi shrugged, barely concealing his disdain. heh.

Kevin Drum ponders why Bibi so casually tossed Romney under the bus: “What’s interesting here isn’t that Romney appears to have exaggerated his relationship with Netanyahu. That’s a political misdemeanor. What’s interesting is that Netanyahu seems to be thoroughly uninterested in backing up Romney even a little bit. Mitt Romney? Yeah, I guess I’d recognize him if we passed on the street. He’s the one with the good hair, right? At the same time, he insists that his relationship with Obama is better than we think. This is probably just normal politics — why diss the American president in public, after all? — but it’s still an interesting juxtaposition.”

What can Romney do to earn Bibi’s favor? Maybe try going Full Metal Zionist?

TPM: World War End Times: “The Romney campaign had at time of writing on Friday sent out two separate e-mail press releases chiding the Obama administration for its “refusal to say whether Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.” [...] I suppose it’s possible the Romney campaign is so unaware of the realities of the Middle East peace process, however moribund it may be, that they’re unconcerned with just how inflammatory an American president’s expression of support for an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would be to the Arab world. But even with the stumbles Mitt Romney has made this week on the international stage, that seems unlikely. So, accepting that Romney is aware of the significance, it seems likely he’s prepared to signal a very real, very controversial departure from decades of U.S. peacemaking policy, and put the weight of his potential presidency behind a declaration that he believes Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. That would be a very big deal.”

And here you can see Buzzfeed Politics desperately trying to stir shit up, perfectly in sync with the Romney campaign. But as Josh Marshall points out above, in 2008 after Obama said Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel, “Palestinian leaders reacted with dismay [and the Obama] campaign quickly walked things back.” 

Meanwhile on the Romney plane: Balloon Juice: “The campaign team shows off their superior organizational skillz.”

[original photo via]


Maddow Blog: “Oops: “Mitt Romney is making a big push for the Jewish vote. In classic Romney (i.e., clueless) form, his campaign scheduled a trip to Israel on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av.” Gershom Gorenberg added, “It seems no one on his staff checked a Jewish calendar” before scheduling his trip to Israel.”

Political Wire: “On the eve of Mitt Romney’s trip to Israel, a new Gallup poll finds 68% of Jewish Americans support President Obama for re-eelction, while 25% support Mitt Romney.” 

Naturally, Buzzfeed Politics found some Jewish men in Israel who would happily judge a second Obama term based solely on Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Yep. Naturally. The President’s a secret Muslim, unless we need to bring up Rev. Wright from the 2008 playbook.

But you know what? I welcome more discussion about BOTH candidates’ religions and theological beliefs. I think we should know a little more about Mormonism and how it’s shaped the Mitt Romney we’ve come to know and shake our heads about today. Maybe Mitt’s visit to Israel is the perfect opportunity to finally open that discussion.

Interesting Monday in Israel

Today, Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are about to experience first hand the word-stringer-togetherer Shrilla from Wasilla.

Remember: don’t blame us – blame John McCain.

“Based on [Eric] Cantor’s own standard, he’s just committed a felony.”

Steve Benen discusses Rep. Eric Cantor’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, in which Cantor “undercut the foreign policy of the elected American president“:

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

We’re talking about a powerful member of Congress engaged in foreign policy, vowing to a foreign government to oppose the administration’s policies regarding that government. Ron Kampeas from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news agency said he can’t remember any U.S. official ever doing this. “[T]o have-a-face to face and say, in general, we will take your side against the White House — that sounds to me extraordinary,” Kampeas said this week.

It is that and more. Cantor not only met in private with a foreign leader to undercut the foreign policy of the elected American president, he proceeded to brag about it.

Also keep in mind, a few years ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Syria and met with Bashar al-Assad. At the time, none other than Eric Cantor personally accused Pelosi of possibly violating the Logan Act, “which makes it a felony for any American ‘without authority of the United States’ to communicate with a foreign government to influence that government’s behavior on any disputes with the United States.”

As Adam Serwer noted yesterday, “Based on Cantor’s own standard, he’s just committed a felony.”


Next question: How soon will Issa investigate?

See also: TPM: Cantor Told Netanyahu That GOP ‘Will Serve As A Check’ On Obama