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Netanyahu Speaks, but Today’s the Day

Activists head to Hill with some partisan rancor

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Prime Minister Netanyahu addressing the AIPAC Policy Conference last night.(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Every fifth-grader knows that the United States Congress holds the power of the purse—which means that whatever Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in his speech later this morning to a special joint meeting, money will be somewhere on his mind. He promised in last night’s keynote before a capacity crowd at the AIPAC Policy Conference that he will focus on the “great convulsion” shaking the Middle East and outline his vision for a Israeli-Palestinian peace—but even if he makes no mention of the $3 billion aid package to Israel currently being considered in the Capitol, thousands of AIPAC delegates will be making it their top talking point in scheduled meetings with their representatives later in the day. Also on their list of requests? Cutting off American funding for the Palestinian Authority if the money is going to help Hamas, in the wake of its recent unity deal with the ruling party, Fatah.

This all comes in the context of the ongoing Republican-led fight to cut billions from the overall U.S. budget. So it’s worth noting that one of the people who attended a private, bi-partisan meeting with Netanyahu yesterday was casino mogul Sheldon Adelson—one of Bibi’s leading backers in Israel, thanks to his financing of the free right-wing daily Israel Hayom, and a key Republican donor who has given millions to former House Speaker, and now presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich. According to Ben Smith, the meeting devolved into charges from the Democrats in the room (like Debbie Wasserman Schulz and Steve Israel, two Jewish representatives that happen also to be the heads of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, respectively) that, in the aftermath of President Obama’s twin speeches last week, Republicans are turning support for Israel into a partisan wedge issue. Bibi, wisely, stayed out of it: “The [Republican Jewish Coalition] and [National Jewish Democratic Council] argued between them,” Israeli Embassy spokesman Jonathan Peled told Smith. “The Prime Minister stressed bipartisanship … and the importance of keeping Israel a bipartisan issue, as has always been the case.”

Bibi Present, Jewish groups Debate Partisanship [Politico]
Full Text of Netanyahu Speech to AIPAC [Algemeiner]
Earlier: The Top Issue for AIPAC? Iran.

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The precise details need to be confirmed, but I believe aid packages to Israel are subject to certain stipulations, the most important of which being that most of the aid must be earmarked for purchases of American products. I’ve seen one report describing the terms of this deal putting that figure at 75%. In trying to account for the durability of these packages, this fact ought to be taken into consideration. American purveyors of arms, technology and other exports wield significant clout politically, and this is a multi-billion dollar shot in the arm for them every year, not to mention a boost to manufacturing companies based in key Southern and Western states, whose votes politicians vie for.

It might be worthwhile to unearth some of the details surrounding these contracts.

Yaakov Hillel says:

The United States has suffered enough from the Arabs, Whether we are speaking of 9/11 or their other plans to destroy the Tunnels under the Hudson river, Attack in LA Airport and all their attacks through out Europe, with the Americans and Europeans pouring utterly Billions of dollars down Islamic drain to comeback as a pile of burnt American flags. We remember very well how they danced in the streets on 9/11. How thick could the western and especially leftists be. These people in a few years, when they become majorities in European countries. Holland will have a Muslim majority in 2017 due to their extreme birthrate as compared to the idigenous population of that country. Then every homosexual next to every athiest will find a place to hang from every light post starting in Holland and through out Europe to follow. This is exactly what their leftist supporter desire, or is it? It depends what is greater their antisemitic trends or their desire of self preservation.

Jerome says:

Bibi is now stressing bipartisanship!

Bibi should stop playing dangerouse games with the leader of Israel’s only real ally. A few days ago he deigned to lecture Barak Obama and throw a hissy fit about indefensible borders knowing that Republicans would seize on his remarks to use against Obama. Most Democrats (nothwithstanding right wing hysterics) are still strongly on Israel’s side, but if Bibi’s antics continue the Dems may begin to peel away and at the very least resist supporting policies forwarded by Likuidniks and their right wing fellow travelers.

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

First, Obama placed an unethical and unrealistic demand of Jews: Refrain from residing in certain villages, towns and city neighborhoods, only because you are Jewish, which clearly is a racist demand; and do so in your ancestral homeland, which is an added insult.

Then Obama placed an unethical and unrealistic demand of Jews: Go back to the lines from which you can’t defend yourselves, and do so contrary to UN Security Council Resolution, 242, which has been the basic term of reference in all peace talks.

In placing these demands, Obama has caused the Palestinian Arabs to refuse to compromise since even the President of the US, a long-term, close and mutually loyal ally of Israel places such demands, why should they ask for less?

Thus, the question is: Does Obama want to see peace or rather Israel’s demise, derived from a deeply rooted hostility towards it, its people and its leaders….??

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

The secretary of Israel’s cabinet, in a Voice of Israel radio interview has just stated the following: If the Palestinians accepted the legitimacy of Israel existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people now, 90% of the conflict will be resolved and the rest can easily be resolved in no time. But, if they refuse to do so, there is little chance to ever reaching peace. The ball is in the Palestinian court.

Thus, one wonders, why not accept Israel’s right to be, to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people?

After all, this would be a declarative statement which would both show good will, without taking any risks, while relying on historic rights of the Jewish people and its connection to the Land of Israel; on ethical rights of accepting the right of the Jewish people to naitonal self-determination and independence; and, on legal rights, accepting the concept set up by the San Remo Conference, 1920, Leauge of Naitons, 1922, and the United Nations, 1947.

Not accepting Israel’s legitimacy as the naiton-state of the Jewish people, on the other hand, provides a very clear clue as to the real thoughts, feelings and plans of those refusing to accept it as such…!!

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Netanyahu Speaks, but Today’s the Day

Activists head to Hill with some partisan rancor

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