Posts tagged Netanyahu
Bloomberg: When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House tomorrow, President Barack Obama will tell him that his country could face a bleak future — one of international isolation and demographic disaster – if he refuses to endorse a U.S.-drafted framework agreement for peace with the Palestinians. Obama will warn Netanyahu that time is running out for Israel as a Jewish-majority democracy. And the president will make the case that Netanyahu, alone among Israelis, has the strength and political credibility to lead his people away from the precipice.
In an hourlong interview Thursday in the Oval Office, Obama, borrowing from the Jewish sage Rabbi Hillel, told me that his message to Netanyahu will be this: “If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?” He then took a sharper tone, saying that if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.” He added, “It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.”
Unlike Netanyahu, Obama will not address the annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, this week — the administration is upset with Aipac for, in its view, trying to subvert American-led nuclear negotiations with Iran. In our interview, the president, while broadly supportive of Israel and a close U.S.-Israel relationship, made statements that would be met at an Aipac convention with cold silence.
Obama was blunter about Israel’s future than I’ve ever heard him. His language was striking, but of a piece with observations made in recent months by his secretary of state, John Kerry, who until this interview, had taken the lead in pressuring both Netanyahu and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to agree to a framework deal. Obama made it clear that he views Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have. It seemed obvious to me that the president believes that the next move is Netanyahu’s.
“There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?”
During the interview, which took place a day before the Russian military incursion into Ukraine, Obama argued that American adversaries, such as Iran, Syria and Russia itself, still believe that he is capable of using force to advance American interests, despite his reluctance to strike Syria last year after President Bashar al-Assad crossed Obama’s chemical-weapons red line.
“We’ve now seen 15 to 20 percent of those chemical weapons on their way out of Syria with a very concrete schedule to get rid of the rest,” Obama told me. “That would not have happened had the Iranians said, ‘Obama’s bluffing, he’s not actually really willing to take a strike.’ If the Russians had said, ‘Ehh, don’t worry about it, all those submarines that are floating around your coastline, that’s all just for show.’ Of course they took it seriously! That’s why they engaged in the policy they did.”
I returned to this particularly sensitive subject. “Just to be clear,” I asked, “You don’t believe the Iranian leadership now thinks that your ‘all options are on the table’ threat as it relates to their nuclear program — you don’t think that they have stopped taking that seriously?”
Obama answered: “I know they take it seriously.”
How do you know? I asked. “We have a high degree of confidence that when they look at 35,000 U.S. military personnel in the region that are engaged in constant training exercises under the direction of a president who already has shown himself willing to take military action in the past, that they should take my statements seriously,” he replied. “And the American people should as well, and the Israelis should as well, and the Saudis should as well.”
I asked the president if, in retrospect, he should have provided more help to Syria’s rebels earlier in their struggle. “I think those who believe that two years ago, or three years ago, there was some swift resolution to this thing had we acted more forcefully, fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the conflict in Syria and the conditions on the ground there,” Obama said. “When you have a professional army that is well-armed and sponsored by two large states who have huge stakes in this, and they are fighting against a farmer, a carpenter, an engineer who started out as protesters and suddenly now see themselves in the midst of a civil conflict — the notion that we could have, in a clean way that didn’t commit U.S. military forces, changed the equation on the ground there was never true.”
He portrayed his reluctance to involve the U.S. in the Syrian civil war as a direct consequence of what he sees as America’s overly militarized engagement in the Muslim world: “There was the possibility that we would have made the situation worse rather than better on the ground, precisely because of U.S. involvement, which would have meant that we would have had the third, or, if you count Libya, the fourth war in a Muslim country in the span of a decade.”
Obama was adamant that he was correct to fight a congressional effort to impose more time-delayed sanctions on Iran just as nuclear negotiations were commencing: “There’s never been a negotiation in which at some point there isn’t some pause, some mechanism to indicate possible good faith,” he said. “Even in the old Westerns or gangster movies, right, everyone puts their gun down just for a second. You sit down, you have a conversation; if the conversation doesn’t go well, you leave the room and everybody knows what’s going to happen and everybody gets ready. But you don’t start shooting in the middle of the room during the course of negotiations.” He said he remains committed to keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and seemed unworried by reports that Iran’s economy is improving.
On the subject of Middle East peace, Obama told me that the U.S.’s friendship with Israel is undying, but he also issued what I took to be a veiled threat: The U.S., though willing to defend an isolated Israel at the United Nations and in other international bodies, might soon be unable to do so effectively.
“If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time,” Obama said. “If Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.”
We also spent a good deal of time talking about the unease the U.S.’s Sunni Arab allies feel about his approach to Iran, their traditional adversary. I asked the president, “What is more dangerous: Sunni extremism or Shia extremism?”
I found his answer revelatory. He did not address the issue of Sunni extremism. Instead he argued in essence that the Shiite Iranian regime is susceptible to logic, appeals to self-interest and incentives.
“I’m not big on extremism generally,” Obama said. “I don’t think you’ll get me to choose on those two issues. What I’ll say is that if you look at Iranian behavior, they are strategic, and they’re not impulsive. They have a worldview, and they see their interests, and they respond to costs and benefits. And that isn’t to say that they aren’t a theocracy that embraces all kinds of ideas that I find abhorrent, but they’re not North Korea. They are a large, powerful country that sees itself as an important player on the world stage, and I do not think has a suicide wish, and can respond to incentives.”
This view puts him at odds with Netanyahu’s understanding of Iran. In an interview after he won the premiership, the Israeli leader described the Iranian leadership to me as “a messianic apocalyptic cult.”
I asked Obama if he understood why his policies make the leaders of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries nervous: “I think that there are shifts that are taking place in the region that have caught a lot of them off guard,” he said. “I think change is always scary.” source – Bloomberg
UNITED NATIONS: Israel’s prime minister declared Tuesday that his country will never allow Iran to get nuclear weapons, even if it has to act alone, and he dismissed the Iranian president’s “charm offensive” as a ruse to get relief from sanctions.
Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly that Israel’s future is threatened by a “nuclear-armed” Iran seeking its destruction. He urged the international community to keep up biting sanctions against Iran, saying the greater the pressure, the greater the chance for diplomacy to succeed.
Netanyahu accused Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of masterminding Iran’s strategy to advance the country’s nuclear weapons program and said his goal was the same as his hard-line predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Netanyahu said.
He stressed that all Iranian presidents serve the same “unforgiving regime” where the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a dictator and the real power.
He also accused Iran of lamenting the human tragedy in Syria, but at the same time directly participating in “Syria’s murder and massacre of innocents.” He said Iran’s regime is propping up the Syrian regime that just used chemical weapons against its own people. source – Breitbart
A ruinous heap
“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1
Israel has warned Damascus that if President Assad chooses to hit back at Israel for any further Israeli military strikes, Israel will bring down his regime.
An Israeli official confirmed Wednesday night that a dramatic and unprecedented message to this effect had been conveyed to Damascus, Channel 2 news reported.
The report said that Israel’s position to this effect also came up during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s emergency meeting in Russia on Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin, during which Netanyahu also told Putin of Israel’s profound opposition to Russia’s sale of sophisticated S-300 missile defense batteries to Assad.
The warning came hours after mortar shells hit the Mount Hermon areafor the first time in the two-year Syrian civil war, and as Arabic newspapers reported talk of Hezbollah opening “a new front” against Israel on the Golan Heights.
Syria vowed last week to respond “immediately and harshly” to any further Israeli airstrikes, after Israel carried out two early morning attacks earlier this month on weapons consignments being stored in and around Damascus en route from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The shipments contained highly sophisticated Fateh-110 missiles.
Confirmation of Israel’s warning to Assad came soon after the New York Times quoted an Israeli official issuing the same threat. The New York Times said Israel was “considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamic militants,” and that an unnamed Israeli official had contacted the paper to warn: “Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. The transfer of such weapons to Hezbollah will destabilize and endanger the entire region. If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies, he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate.”
“Israel will continue its policy of interdicting attempts to strengthen Hezbollah, but will not intercede in the Syrian civil war as long as Assad desists from direct or indirect attacks against Israel.”
The New York Times report speculated that Israel “could be trying to restrain Syria’s behavior without undertaking further military action, or alerting the international community to another strike. That would ratchet up the tension in an already fraught situation in Syria, where a civil war has been raging for more than two years.”
Channel 2 on Wednesday night showed satellite images of what it said was a surgical strike, reportedly carried out by Israel at Damascus airport to target the Iranian missile consignments. It showed before and after pictures of specific buildings that had been blown up, while neighboring buildings remained intact. Israel has not formally confirmed either of this month’s attacks.
Channel 2 said Netanyahu had made clear to Putin — as he also had in recent conversations with US President Barack Obama and the Chinese leadership — that Israel would hold to its “red lines” as related to Syria, which included preventing the transfer of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and other rogue organizations. source – Times Of Israel
The Ezekiel 38 Hook Finally Shows Up
“And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaw…Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” Ezekiel 38
From Times Of Israel: Natural gas from the offshore Tamar field was pumped to Israeli shores for the first time Saturday, four years after its discovery, in preparation for its first use in the Israeli energy market — a move that could transform the Israeli economy.
On Saturday, hailed an “important day for the Israeli economy” by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, natural gas from the field was being pumped to a newly erected facility on the coast of Ashdod, connected to the gas field via pipelines laid out on the ocean floor, 150 kilometers long and 16 inches wide.
Commenting on the historic development, Netanyahu drew a link between the event and the holiday of Passover.
“On the festival of freedom, we are taking an important step toward energy independence. We have advanced the natural gas sector in Israel over the last decade, which will be good for the Israeli economy and for all Israelis,” Netanyahu said.
The gas is to be transferred Sunday from the facility to a processing plant in Ashdod. From there, it will flow into the Israeli market. These newly harnessed resources promise to be a major boon to both the country’s public and private energy needs.
The controlling Tamar shareholder, Yitzhak Tshuva, said Saturday’s start of pumping came “months ahead of schedule.” He said the gas flow “will make Israel energy independent.”
The gas from Tamar is expected to help meet Israel’s energy needs for the next 20 years, Channel 2 said, and will save the economy some NIS 13 billion (some $35 billion) per year. Its ahead-of-schedule use will also save Israeli citizens some cash — lowering a planned rise in electricity costs to 6 percent, less than originally planned.
“This is an ‘energy independence day’ for Israel,” said Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom. “This breakthrough is the harbinger of the foray of additional private companies” into the Israeli energy market, he added.
The Tamar deposit, and especially the heftier Leviathan, which was discovered in 2010, are expected to provide Israel with enough natural gas for decades and transform the country, famously empty of natural resources, into an energy exporter.
Leviathan, which boasts an estimated 16 to 18 trillion cubic feet of gas, is expected to go online in 2016, the approximate time when exports are expected to begin. source – Times Of Israel
Israel is God’s Land, and He will fight for it
“And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.” Joshua 21:43
JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinians and Israelis hardened their positions Wednesday over a contentious new settlement push around Jerusalem, with Israel going full throttle on plans to develop the area and the Palestinians trying to block it through an appeal to the U.N. Security Council.
The settlement push — Israel’s retaliation for the Palestinians’ success in winning U.N. recognition of a de facto state — has touched off an escalating international showdown. Palestinians claim the construction would deal a death blow to Mideast peace hopes. Even Israel’s staunchest allies have been outraged by the move, feeding speculation they might squeeze Israel more than usual to back down on its construction plans.
The U.N. move came last week, with the General Assembly recognizing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip — territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel, which rejects a return to its 1967 lines, says borders with a future Palestine should be resolved through negotiations.
Although the Israelis say construction could be years away, the settlement plans have sent a message that within these U.N.-recognized borders, Israel remains in firm control. The plans include 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and intentions to press ahead with two other projects that would drive a wedge between east Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ desired capital, and its West Bank hinterland.
International condemnation was harsher than usual, with some of Israel’s closest European allies, including Italy and the European Union on Wednesday, calling in Israeli ambassadors for rebukes or issuing especially stern criticism. The issue was expected to be high on Germany’s agenda during a visit to Berlin by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ahead of his arrival, Israel showed no signs of bending, holding a preliminary planning meeting for a new development in a section of the West Bank outside Jerusalem. The project, known under its Israeli administrative term “E-1,” is the most contentious of the new settlement projects because of its strategic location.
The Palestinians said they would leverage their new-found U.N. status to seek a Security Council resolution to halt the Jerusalem-area plans. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was determined to block the settlement building near Jerusalem with all legal and diplomatic means.
“The settlement plans that Israel announced, especially E-1, are a red line,” Abbas told reporters. “This must not happen.”
The Palestinian representative to the United Nations said in letters to the council, the General Assembly and the secretary-general that the intensification of the Israeli campaign is clearly part of “Israel’s contemptuous response” to the assembly’s overwhelming vote last week to recognize the state of Palestine.
“Israel is methodically and aggressively pushing ahead with this unlawful land grab and colonization of Palestine with the intent to alter the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian territory, especially in and around East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, in its favor in order to entrench its illegitimate control of the land and prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations,” the letter said.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner criticized the Palestinians for “unhelpful rhetoric” by talking about taking the Israelis to the Security Council as well as to the International Criminal Court over the settlements.
“Ultimately, both sides need to get back into direct negotiations,” Toner said Wednesday. “The path to peace doesn’t go through New York.”
Passing a U.N. resolution will be no easy task, since the U.S., as a permanent member of the council, could veto any resolution.
Two years ago, the U.S. vetoed a similar attempt to condemn settlements, and officials in Washington said a veto would be likely this time as well unless the resolution condemned unilateral actions on both sides.
The U.S., while harshly critical of Israeli settlement construction, believes a one-sided resolution would undermine negotiations. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal resolution has not yet been proposed at the U.N.
Although the U.S. has traditionally protected Israel from U.N. criticism, American officials have condemned Israel’s decision to revive E-1 and would not relish being perceived as giving it tacit backing.
But President Barack Obama could also be reluctant to be perceived as punishing Israel, which is America’s closest ally in the Mideast and enjoys strong Congressional backing. Obama’s Mideast policies and frosty relations with Netanyahu became an issue in his re-election campaign.
The U.S. could avoid an uncomfortable choice by pressuring Israel to back down so things don’t come to a Security Council showdown, said Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.
“If the U.S. can stop the Israelis without the Security Council, they should do it,” he said. “They (the Americans) cannot stop us and use the veto against people trying to save the peace process.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the Palestinians should resume talks with Israel instead of turning to the U.N. “Here is where it’s at, not in New York,” Palmor said. “If they have something to say, let them say it to us, directly.”
Israel has moved more than 500,000 Jews into settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, complicating any future partition of the land into two states. The Palestinians oppose all settlement construction, saying it prejudices the outcome of peace talks, which stalled four years ago over settlements. source – Yahoo News
“Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalm 121
The winds of change have shifted against you
Israel, oh Israel. As the prophet Daniel saw the handwriting on the wall of the palace, so too have you now seen the handwriting on the wall of America. What took place in our national election for president last night had very little to do with the battle between conservative and liberal, or red state versus blue state.
No, what happened last night was a barometer of how we, as a nation feel about the issues in front of us. We didn’t vote with ballots so much as we voted with our hearts, with our passions, and with our national vision of who America shall be for the next four years.
We have said with our votes that the likes and passions of Barack Hussein Obama are the likes and passions of the America people. So here then, is a brief sampling of what the American people voted on and consented to last night.
On the sanctity of life. America showed last night that we no longer value human life. I say this because we re-elected a man who whole-heartedly condones and supports the murder of unborn Americans in the womb of their mother. Since 1967, we have killed over 54,900,000 unborn babies, a holocaust by anyone’s standards. And Barack Obama is more pro-abortion that anyone who served as president before him.
In 2003, Obama was asked if he was pro-choice on abortion “in all situations including the late-term thing.” Obama replied: “I’m pro-choice.” In 2012 he is even more dedicated to the killing of the unborn. Ask yourself this, Mr. Prime Minister…if Obama cares nothing for the murder of innocent lives, why then would he care in the least bit about the murder of Israeli lives?
On Islamic Terrorism. From the moment Obama took office in 2008,he made well-known to the world his love to Islam and the Muslim people. In his Cairo speech, he pledged to support and nurture Islam and the Muslim people. Has he ever set foot in Israel and made a speech affirming his love for the Jews? Has he ever, as president, visited Israel for any purpose of any kind? No, he has not.
So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear. – Barack Hussein Obama. Cairo 2009
He is fighting for Islam, and he is fighting against Israel. He will put the national interests of any Muslim nation over the interests and security of Israel every time. The only reason why Israel still receives support and funding from America is because Congress overrides Obama. But after last night’s election, I dare say you may no longer count even on that. The fact that America re-elected a president who hates Israel should be telling you how drastically the national temperament towards your great nation is shifting. Bible-believing Christians will never stop supporting you, Mr. Netanyahu, but we are not in power in America any longer. We have become the cast out minority.
On Israel. There is so much to say on how Obama feels towards Israel, and this video just about says it all:
On Iran and their nuclear facilities. Perhaps the greatest bit of foreign policy showmanship that Obama has ever displayed has been in the amazing finesse he has exercised in getting Israel to not attack Iran. He was worked relentlessly, tirelessly and around-the-clock to make sure that you didn’t take out the Iranian nuclear facilities with a tactical strike.
The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country’s nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
What further proof do you need?
Israel must go it alone. Mr. Prime Minister, Israel stands alone as the only nation to ever exist that had a national covenant with God. And that covenant, made in Genesis 12 between God and Abraham, is still in effect today. I opened with letter with the precious promise from God Almighty to awake and arise to defend the nation of Israel.
Forget Obama, and as much as it hurts to say this, forget America as well. We voted yesterday to return to office a man of Muslim origin who hates you and hates Israel with every fiber of his being. You don’t need the support of the American president and you do not need American military might to defend you. You have the God of Abraham, the God of Issac and the God of Jacob to fight for you.
Let me close with this admonition and prophecy from the prophet Joel. I believe that as you ponder on these words from the Holy Scriptures, it will become quite clear to you the path you must take, and without delay. Time is not running out…it is now gone.
Am Yisrael Chai
“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.
Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:9-16
May the Holy God of Israel lead you and guide you, Mr. Prime Minister. We, the millions of bible-believing Christians still left in America and around the world, stand with you and with the nation of Israel till the very end.
Now The End Begins
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will set out, in his speech at the United Nations on Thursday, an ultimatum for Iran to halt its disputed nuclear drive or risk coming under military attack, an Israeli official said.
Netanyahu faces the world body after U.S. President Barack Obama disappointed some Israelis, in his own address to the annual assembly, by not calling for a deadline to be imposed on Tehran – though he did say time for diplomacy “is not unlimited”.
Israel sees a mortal threat in a nuclear-armed Iran and has long threatened to strike its arch-foe pre-emptively, agitating war-wary world powers as they pursue sanctions and negotiations.
Complicating Netanyahu’s strategy have been his testy relations with Obama as a U.S. election looms, and the reluctance of many Israelis to trigger a conflict with Iran, which denies that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and has pledged wide-ranging retaliation if attacked.
“The prime minister will set a clear red line in his speech that will not contradict Obama’s remarks. Obama said Iran won’t have nuclear weapons. The prime minister will clarify the way in which Iran won’t have nuclear arms,” a senior Israeli official said en route to New York, without elaborating.
Though he has not previously detailed when Israel might be willing to go to war, Netanyahu has said Iran could have enough low-enriched uranium by early 2013 to refine to a high level of fissile purity for a first nuclear device [ID:nL5E8KG2P5].
Israel worries that this final step, if taken, could happen too quickly or quietly to be prevented.
Iran has said it has no plans to enrich uranium beyond the 20 percent purity required to run a reactor producing medical isotopes. That level, however, brings raw uranium exponentially closer to the 90 percent enrichment required for bomb fuel.
Though reputed to have the Middle East’s sole nuclear arsenal, Israel would be hard-put to deliver lasting damage to Iran’s remote facilities using its conventional forces, or to handle a multi-front war.
Netanyahu’s public calls for a U.S. ultimatum have deepened acrimony with Obama, a Democrat accused by his Republican rivals of being soft on the Jewish state’s security. That has stirred American accusations of Israeli meddling in the November presidential elections – something denied by Netanyahu.
“The prime minister will say that Israel and the United States can work together to achieve their common goal,” said the Israeli official on condition of anonymity.
Netanyahu, who heads a broad-based, conservative coalition government, departed for New York on Wednesday saying he would take the U.N. podium for an Israel “united in the goal of preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weaponry”.
But surveys show that most Israelis – apparently swayed by the open dissent of several senior national-security figures – would oppose launching unilateral strikes on Iran, given the risk of alienating Washington and of provoking clashes with Tehran’s Islamist militant allies in Lebanon and Gaza.
A poll published by the liberal Haaretz newspaper on Thursday found that 50 percent of Israelis feared for the survival of their country, should there be a conflict.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in his speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday, said Iran was under threat of military action from “uncivilized Zionists,” a clear reference to Israel. Earlier this week, Ahmadinejad said that Israel would eventually be “eliminated.”
Haaretz also ran excerpts from a leaked Foreign Ministry report that sanctions had caused greater damage to Iran’s economy than anticipated by Israel.
The findings, confirmed to Reuters by an Israeli official, could undermine any attempt by Netanyahu to argue that the military alternative must be considered imminently.
Israeli opposition leader Shaul Mofaz criticized Netanyahu for sparring with Obama and voiced confidence in U.S. resolve.
“I am convinced that the United States, the president of the United States, is determined to prevent Iran going nuclear,” Mofaz told Israel’s Army Radio.
Even within Netanyahu’s coalition there have been misgivings about the pitch of disagreement with the United States.
Danny Ayalon, deputy to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, described Obama’s Iran remarks at the United Nations as “important, albeit measured”.
Speaking on Israel Radio, Ayalon said the Netanyahu government and Obama administration were in discreet contacts and approaching agreement on setting limits for Iran. source – Yahoo News