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Ahead of close elections, Congress gives Bibi a prime-time appearance

The senator from Jerusalem will take all the help he can get these days.

Speaker Boehner holds a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Congressional leaders following his address to a joint meeting of Congress. May 24, 2011. (Speaker Boehner / CC-BY NY 2.0)

Speaker Boehner holds a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Congressional leaders following his address to a joint meeting of Congress. May 24, 2011. (Speaker Boehner / CC-BY NY 2.0)

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on February 11. Coincidently, Netanyahu’s speech will take place a month and a half before the Israeli elections.

According to most polls, Netanyahu is extremely vulnerable, and is still far from an absolute majority that will win him another term as prime minister. If you think this is the real reason he was invited to Washington, you are in good company. Netanyahu’s campaign, which is having some trouble taking off, is all about his position as “the responsible adult” and “the internationally recognized leader.” Bibi, who doesn’t usually attend funerals of Israeli terror victims, rushed to Paris along with Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman for a photo-up with world leaders after the recent terror attacks in the French capital. But the invitation to Congress is much better – in his previous speech, Netanyahu got 29 standing ovations. Nobody will stand in his way for a photo-op the way people did in Paris.

It is not surprising that the GOP is in the tank for Bibi. After all, Netanyahu all but endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential elections. Israeli and American politics have almost merged in recent years and the debate over America’s Middle Eastern policy sounds to the Israeli ear like a battle between Labor and Likud. This is why the U.S. cannot play a positive role in the peace talks – the American positions duplicate the Israeli debate, and as a result, are completely disconnected from Palestinian point of view. Americans always end up being either surprised or angered by every move Fatah or Hamas make – just as Israelis are.

Going back to the elections, it’s clear that the GOP is much smarter in its Israel politics than the Democrats will ever be. Boehner and his party will not only help Netanyahu, but they could end up embarrassing the president on the eve of an agreement with Iran. The problem is that there will be a considerable number of Democrats who will rush to their help – such as those who joined Boehner in inviting Bibi without consulting the White House. (UPDATE: The response from the White House suggests potential complications here.) Sometimes you get the feeling that some Democrats actually like embarrassing the White House on Israel, since unlike Republican support for Bibi, which can now be taken for granted, Democrats who go against their president are gaining a lot more in return.

What effect will this “bipartisan” support have when the Israeli polls open? It’s difficult to guess. I think Bibi’s problems are of a very local nature. Israelis are simply tired of him, so I am not sure another high profile public appearance will change a lot, especially when a lot of the anger has to do with the feeling that Netanyahu is disconnected from the concerns of the average Israeli. The troubling aspect of this timely invitation is not so much  the prospect of tilting the elections, but what it says about Israeli politics, and more so, about America’s.

Related
What the polls say about Netanyahu’s election chances
The hand that holds the status quo together

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    COMMENTS

    1. Danny

      Is Obama serious this time? White House releases an unprecedented response to Congress’ “invitation” to Bibi by saying that foreign leaders need to communicate their U.S. visits via the State Dep’t and White House, not Congress. WOW!!!

      Could the unimaginable happen: Bibi doesn’t get a visa to the U.S. and has to address his friends in Congress via Skype?

      We shall see…

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn4

        No.

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          Obama and Kerry won’t meet Netanyahu. Unprecedented!!!

          And U.S. media are all over Boehner for this cheap stunt!

          Methinks poor Bibi has outplayed his hand this time. If he has any sense whatsoever, he should cancel this trip.

          But he has very little sense, so it won’t surprise me if he goes and makes a complete ass of himself yet again (Paris redux).

          Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn4

      Bibi is being invited out of purely internal American politics. Obviously he is going to enjoy the trip and it might even benefit him politically, but the election is not close. All polls indicate Bibi is more likely to form a government than Labor. The ‘extremely vulnerable’ narrative has no legs to stand on.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        And what’s “purely American internal politics” about having to pay fealty to a war-criminal to ensure continued slush funds to subvert American democracy and guarantee that ordinary Americans will not be represented by anyone with concern for their interests?

        Reply to Comment
        • ICat

          Here is David Duke coming out of his hole again and talking mumbo jumbo.

          Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn4

          The Republicans invited him to annoy Obama. It is pretty obvious Sparky. Now go get the ball. Good boy.

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            All rather depends on who approached whom, does it not?

            As in: did Bonehead’s invitation come as an unexpected – but delightful – surprise to Netanyahoo?

            Or did it come about after Bibi’s Boys(tm) had a quite word to Bronnie’s Boys(tm) w.r.t. helping out a buddy who’s behind in the polls?

            I know which one you (and Bonehead) are *claiming*, but that’s not necessarily the same thing as *believing*.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn4

            I am sure there was some coordination before it became public. The invitation came from the Americans. It was sent to annoy Obama. All this is fact and obvious.

            But the premise of the article and your post are wrong. Bibi is not even remotely behind in the polls. He is in a commanding position to establish the next government. The math simply does not work for anyone else.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            That’s not the line Haaretz takes on the matter: A senior Israeli official with knowledge of the contacts, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, said that the one who had initiated the contacts with Boehner and with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and their staffs was Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s former aide. Dermer, the senior official said, had advanced the idea of Netanyahu addressing Congress in talks he has been having for several weeks on Iran’s nuclear program with senior members of Congress. Dermer is encouraging senators and representatives to advance new legislation that would impose additional sanctions on Iran, contrary to the position of the White House, which believes that new sanctions at this time would undermine the talks and kill the chances of reaching a diplomatic solution. Why would the principled statesmen within Congress interfere in the elections of a foreign state but offering one party a cheap electioneering stunt?

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn4

            Haaretz will consistently take whatever line is most damaging to Bibi.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            K4: “I am sure there was some coordination before it became public.”

            No kidding, heh? More than that, there was “some coordination” before the President was told about it, which is an altogether different matter.

            And, heck, the reports are now coming out that it was Ron Dermer who first sounded out Boehner, not the other way around.

            K4: “The invitation came from the Americans.”

            No kidding, heh? What, you thought this was France, where Netanyahu can simply invite himself along and barge himself to the front row of a u-beaut photo op?

            Of course Boehner needs to issue to the invitation.

            K4: “It was sent to annoy Obama.”

            No kidding, heh? It was also concocted without Obama’s knowlege, and issued before Obama was informed, which is more than a little outrageous.

            K4: “All this is fact and obvious.”

            Maybe, but it also doesn’t address the central question: did all this come about because Ron Dermer approached Boehner with the initial suggestion, or the other way around?

            K4: “But the premise of the article and your post are wrong. Bibi is not even remotely behind in the polls. He is in a commanding position to establish the next government. The math simply does not work for anyone else.”

            Netanyahu may be a man of many parts, but “complacency” is not one of them.

            Paranoia, yeah.
            Vindictiveness, sure.
            But complacency, no.

            What you regard as “a commanding position” is not likely to be Netanyahu’s.

            More like “fright night”, in all likelyhood.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn4

            According to Politico it came from Boehner:

            “The idea has been under discussion in Republican leadership since before the 2014 midterm election. On Jan. 8, just two days after Boehner was reelected as speaker, he called Dermer — a native of Miami Beach, graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and close adviser to Netanyahu — to gauge the prime minister’s interest. The Israeli Embassy gave a “quick affirmative response,” a Republican aide said. Boehner’s office then provided a list of possible dates for an address, and the embassy chose the week of Feb. 9.”

            Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/john-boehner-invites-benjamin-netanyahu-congress-iran-114439.html#ixzz3PYQ6O5kS

            The truth is that Israel has a lot of friends in the US Congress on both sides of the aisle. The Israeli ambassador speaks to them on a very regular basis. Why did Boehner issue the invitation? To annoy Obama. Why did Bibi accept? Because he likes grandstanding and thinks it makes him look like a responsible adult to get numerous rounds of standing ovations in Congress. The two are using each other.

            Now, Bibi is indeed politically paranoid, which is different from classifying his situation as “extremely vulnerable” as the article has done. All polls suggest Bibi will form the next government.

            Reply to Comment
          • Year, Right

            The claimed timeline in politico is clearly wrong.

            “On Jan. 8, just two days after Boehner was reelected as speaker, he called Dermer — a native of Miami Beach, graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and close adviser to Netanyahu — to gauge the prime minister’s interest.”

            That paragraph claims that the first inkling that Netanyahu had is January 8th 2015.

            That is very clearly contradicted by the reports coming from Israel, include this snippet from Haaretz:
            “According to the senior official, Dermer approached Boehner, McConnell and other senior Republican Party figures at Netanyahu’s behest and suggested the idea of the speech.”

            I have no problem accepting that Boehner had to wait until his re-election to the Speakership on January 6th before he could ring Dermer and say “Yep, let’s get this show on the road”.

            So, sure, I have no doubt that the Jan 8th phone call was made, and that it was made by Boehner ringing Dermer, and not vice versa.

            But to suggest (as politico is claiming) that January 8th represents the FIRST contact simply isn’t credible, if for no other reason than the Israeli press are insisting that the “invite” is the result of a bipartisan decision by Boehner and McConnell, and not just a unilateral feel-up from Boehner.

            Reply to Comment
        • C.C. DeVille

          You have got to stop using words like war criminal for individuals who have not been comvicted of war crimes. Makes you look small

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            True: the correct phrase to describe Bibi is “unindicted war criminal”.

            Am I to now assume that you will use the same circumspection wrt Israel’s enemies?

            You know…..
            Assad: alleged war criminal
            Abbas: alleged terrorist inciter

            Or is consistency too much to ask?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            I concede your point entirely CCDV. If we are to have a serious discussion about anything we must be scrupulous about language and constantly refer to the alleged terrorism of Palestinians and Israelis and their, alleged war crimes. We must bravely uphold the rule of law and take all possible steps to ensure that alleged war crimes are rigorously investigated by appropriate national judicial authorities, and if that process fails, refer the alleged crimes committed by all parties to authorized international bodies like the ICC. We must remember that every individual is innocent until proven guilty and therefore abhor the arrest and imprisonment without trial of alleged offenders who frequently do not even know what charges have been made against them. Well said, sir.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Barak Ravid (Haaretz) is reporting that Dermer (a foreign agent) initiated it at the same time he is pressuring the US Republicans to defy a Democratic US President on the conduct of US foreign policy. But it’s all “bipartisan”:

            “A senior Israeli official with knowledge of the contacts, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, said that the one who had initiated the contacts with Boehner and with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and their staffs was Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s former aide.

            Dermer, the senior official said, had advanced the idea of Netanyahu addressing Congress in talks he has been having for several weeks on Iran’s nuclear program with senior members of Congress. Dermer is encouraging senators and representatives to advance new legislation that would impose additional sanctions on Iran, contrary to the position of the White House, which believes that new sanctions at this time would undermine the talks and kill the chances of reaching a diplomatic solution. During his State of the Union Address Tuesday night Obama made it clear that he would veto any such legislation.

            According to the senior official, Dermer approached Boehner, McConnell and other senior Republican Party figures at Netanyahu’s behest and suggested the idea of the speech. “Dermer and Boehner cooked up this whole invitation to Congress,” the official said.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            And yes, ambassadors who pull this stuff behind the President’s and the State Department’s back qualify in my view as a foreign agent.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn4

            Brian, all ambassadors are foreign agents by definition so I have no idea why you feel a need to articulate it.

            My previous response didnt go up but you can scroll up to the link to politico which gives a different angle from haaretz. In the politico piece the Republicans initiated. Haaretz can usually be trusted to spin any story in the most negative light possible for Bibi.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            K, you have no idea? OK, I should be more precise. I meant to connote the sense of covert agent, secret agent, because the work was done with the President and the State Department kept in the dark. It was done from the shadows.

            Reply to Comment
      • Weiss

        The Occupation has NO legs to stand on, because a Palestinian Sate is coming whether you like it or not Fascist.

        Bibi’s desperation to stop the INEVITABLE is more dangerous and violent than the cost of peace….

        Reply to Comment
    3. Ben Zakkai

      How mortifying for America. More Congressional standing ovations for Netanyahu. The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves so fast it sounds like a jetliner warming up on the runway. Maybe after Bibi’s done speaking, Sheldon Adelson can sing “Hava Nagila” for the Congress, and then everyone can fly to Vegas for a free night at the tables.

      Not that it matters, election-wise. Buzhi-Tzipi won’t invite Arab parties to join a coalition with them — Arabs in the government! What a horrifying notion! — so their chances of forming a government are about the same as my chances of playing for the Yankees. Bibi will be PM again, Bennett will take Defense and maybe Justice, Deri can replace Liberman as Minister of Corruption, and Kahlon will serve as Secretary of Dental Hygiene. Ho-hum. The real action is happening elsewhere.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn4

        There were meetings and the Arabs rejected sitting in a coalition with Booji after the elections. At least get your facts straight

        Reply to Comment
    4. Ben Zakkai

      Hmmm. Just about all of the media reports on that issue seem to feed off a single Channel 10 segment reporting that Buzhi made overtures that Arab MKs rejected; but the same segment included a Buzhi-spokesman reply stating that it was actually Tibi who made the overture, but it was made clear to Tibi that Arab parties wouldn’t be invited to join a coalition. With all the pre-election maneuvering and posturing going on, it beats me what actually happened or might happen. As I see it, though, Buzhi would torpedo his own chances with the Israeli electorate if he announced an intention to include Arab parties in his coalition, and he’d also be shooting himself in the foot if he did so after the election. So even if the Arab parties wanted to join a coalition — which they might not, since they’re great at saying “No” to everything without coming up with constructive ideas of their own — I just don’t see Buzhi extending them an offer, especially now that he’s teamed up with quasi-Likudnik Livni and renamed his party “The Zionist Camp.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn4

        It isnt clear who approached who but the outcome was that the Arab MKs made it clear that they would not be willing to sit in a coalition but might support it from the outside. This is hardly equivalent to Boojie rejecting the idea in horror as you made it out to be.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          Actually it seems none of the facts are clear in this kertuffle; they’re all disputed. Forgive me my poetic license; but my facts were straighter than yours. You told a half-truth, deceptively.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn4

            You told an explicit lie. It was not ‘made clear that the Arab parties wouldn’t be invited to join the coalition’.

            “According to Channel 10, Tibi said Herzog had spoken to him and Mohammad Barakeh, the leader of Hadash, several weeks ago about the possibility of joining a Zionist Camp-led coalition. Tibi indicated that the two told Herzog it could not be done but did not rule out supporting the coalition from outside in exchange for the allocation of budgets for their constituencies.”

            http://www.timesofisrael.com/ahmad-tibis-raam-taal-list-splits-into-two-factions/

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn4

            The only thing in dispute is who approached whom. And you used that ambiguity to construct a blatant lie. ‘Poetic license’ my a..

            Reply to Comment
    5. US Citizen

      Israel is apartheids standard bearer. Listen to Israel piously scream for us to bomb Iran.. a signatory to the NPT while Israel is not. Remember Israel’s deafening drumbeating for war and complicity in setting up Iraq as a nuclear threat. Our US Congress are nothing but AIPAC whores in our US Congress – doin’ it for the money. No barbaric, thuggish , swinish, Israeli action can fail to be rationalized by the Israel lobby.

      Pathetic isn’t it ? A tiny country the size of Bakersfield Cal that’s 6,000 miles away controls the most powerful nation in the world.

      As for Hamas ? Guess who initially funded and supported Hamas as an opposition to the secular PLO.

      That would be Israel……

      The wall street Journal
      How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123275572295011847.html

      You are ignoring the fact that Israel helped Hamas rise in the 1980s to defeat the PLO and then when the PLO ceased being effective advocates for its people, it embraced it and sidelined Hamas.

      Good news? There will be when the US recognizes a two-state solution, a separation between Israel and this one, the United States.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Mikesailor

      This is a truly stupid move by both the Republicans and Bibi. Inviting a foreign head of state to address Congress, over the head and objections of the constitutional officer entrusted with foreign policy, the President, will help neither the Congressional leadership: who are showing the country that US foreign policy is made in Jerusalem and not Washington; nor Bibi who keeps trying to make Israel a partisan political issue and will probably succeed in doing so. If Israel makes itself a partisan political issue, then the future of US-Israel relations will change very quickly, and not in Israel’s favor. Who can doubt that any Democratic member of Congress colluding with the Republicans to embarrass Obama, will only exacerbate tensions and polarization within the country as a whole. Do you think Americans will be willing to got to war for Israel? No matter how much they scream about Iran? And that is exactly how this is going to play out. If you think that most Americans will approve of this end run by Congress, you must be watching FOX news for, absent a few pockets of true-believers, nowhere else will you find approval.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Brian

      Chemi Shalev:

      On Wednesday, when House Speaker John Boehner pulled out a Netanyahu Congressional speech as a calculated counterattack to Obama’s gloating address, no excuses could help. Washington, literally, was shocked.

      According to numerous reports, Obama’s aides at the White House couldn’t contain the foam on their mouths: “chickenshit”, according to one, was the mildest epithet used that day. The reaction was quickly forthcoming: President Obama won’t meet with Netanyahu…John Kerry will stay away as well. It’s because of the elections, spokesperson Bernadette Meehan explained, with a wink big enough for the entire world to see.

      The astonishment didn’t stop at Pennsylvania Avenue but moved from there to Capitol Hill. Even Democratic lawmakers who intend to go against the administration and support new sanctions were taken aback by the Boehner-Bibi move. “Netanyahu is shooting himself in the foot,” one of them said, “because by turning this into a partisan issue, he may be forcing some Democratic members to choose between Boehner and Obama, which, for them, is no choice at all.” Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, quickly shot down claims coming from both Boehner and Netanyahu that the invitation to address Congress was “bipartisan”. No one consulted with me, Pelosi said, and the invitation is “inappropriate.”

      Even the leaders of mainstream Jewish groups who normally and reflexively support Netanyahu were dumbfounded: no one informed them and no one had asked their opinion. “I was literally sick to my stomach when I heard about it,” one of them told me. J-Street criticized the move, of course, but even the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman called on Netanyahu and Boehner to come down from the high tree they had climbed. I support new sanctions, Foxman told Ron Kampeas at JTA, but this is “ill-advised.” …

      Reply to Comment
    8. Brian

      Shalev:

      …It remains to be seen whether Netanyahu’s bold gamble of infiltrating Washington by force two weeks before Israel’s March 17 elections will pay off for him electorally or turn out to be a double edged sword. Netanyahu may not have taken into consideration that he is dealing with an emboldened and possibly far more venomous U.S. President who may suddenly turn his new found audacity to getting rid of his least favored leader, anywhere in the world. Netanyahu certainly seems to have forgotten that if he wins the elections and returns as prime minister, it is he who will then have to figure out how to survive for the next two years in the barren landscape and scorched earth that he left behind him this week.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Brian

      “We thought we’ve seen everything,” a senior American official said. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us. There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”

      Reply to Comment
    10. Yeah, Right

      It’s an odd look, isn’t it?

      Asking Netanyahu to grandstand because that’s the quickest way to a Big Ol’ Pile Of Lobby Money, well, that’s not necessarily edifying, but at least most Americans can understand the logic: money talks, so Bibi speaks.

      But this?

      This is something altogether different: Boehner is asking Netanyahu to Tell Congress How To Think.

      That’s veering very, very close to a cult of personality.

      Congress risks looking like a bunch of Moonies, with Netanyahu playing the role of Sun Myung Moon.

      Maybe Bibi can also arrange a mass wedding while he’s in town….

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        I laughed. You put a finger on the sheer weirdness of it all.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Brian

      Dermer met with Kerry for two hours the day before the announcement, to assist Kerry in assisting Israel, and said not a word about what he was plotting with Boehner:

      (Haaretz)

      The way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer have conducted themselves in relations to Netanyahu’s invitation to address Congress could discourage U.S. Secretary John Kerry from defending Israel in the international arena, American officials told the Washington Post on Friday.

      According to the Post, Dermer, who on Tuesday met with Kerry for more the two hours, did not mention Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress or House Speaker John Boehner’s public invitation, which was made public the following day.

      Senior U.S. officials warned that the breach of protocol on Netanyahu’s and Dermer’s part could have long-term consequences for the Israeli prime minister.

      “The bilateral relationship is unshakeable, but playing politics with that relationship could blunt Secretary Kerry’s enthusiasm for being Israel’s primary defender,” a source close to Kerry told the Post. “The secretary’s patience is not infinite.”

      In the past weeks, the officials said, Kerry has made more than 50 calls in the past weeks to world leaders on issues important to Israel, such as the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations and the Palestinian move to join the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Brian

      Report: Mossad broke rank with Netanyahu, warned U.S. against Iran sanctions
      Israeli intelligence agency told Obama administrations and U.S. senators that Iran sanctions would collapse nuclear talks, Bloomberg reports.

      Reply to Comment
      • ICat

        Do you see why I told you before that you are maliciously obsessed with Jews and Israel, Brian? I am sure that you must have read as well that Mossad came out in a rare move and completely contradicted the story you are parroting. Your issue is not really about “human rights”. Your issue is Jews, you compulsive obsessive chiwawa that is not capable of articulating an original opinion, but constantly copy and paste the opinions of other to compensate for its own incompetence. Go find a job and quit your obsession, moron.

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          Another joint nighttime raid by the Copy and Paste Squad and the Interest in Israel Police. And terribly ill-mannered again. At least they didn’t ask me about masturbation this time. Or anxiously flash their ‘Certified Certainly Not Homosexual’ Certificate. Just the usual smear.

          Reply to Comment
    13. Mikesailor

      Regurgitated Hairball: I see you still have not read any newspapers lining your box so let me disabuse you of your latest stupidity. Apparently Mossad said that new sanctions against Iran would destroy the talks now under way between the US (P 5+1) and Iran. Now, since I doubt you’re an American (although we do have our brain-dead like any country) apparently the idea of a military confrontation between the US and Iran is an idea you relish? Probably because you will not be in the military nor know anyone who is. Coward comes to mind to describe you although liar seems to fit as well. Now, go back to your box like a good little kitty and stay there until we get a new ball of yarn to keep you entertained.

      Reply to Comment
      • ICat

        What is this baboon always ranting about? Why dose he incessantly make a point of being an “American” though his English language sentence construction is consistently confused and incoherent – indicating that English is either definitely not his first language or he is retarded?

        Reply to Comment
    14. ICat

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/mossad-contradicts-senators-who-said-it-opposes-iran-sanctions/

      “Coontradicting Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency denied on Thursday reports that its chief warned US senators against a bill that would hit Iran with sanctions if ongoing nuclear talks fail to secure an agreement by their June deadline”

      “Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, Yuval Steinitz said Thursday, “I looked into this on Tuesday, and I can state without equivocation: The Bloomberg report is without foundation. The respected senators did not hear, in their meetings in Israel with the head of the Mossad or others, comments to the effect that further sanctions or further pressure on Iran are forbidden.”

      Reply to Comment
    15. ICat

      Lies and Hate shall destroy the enemies of Israel

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/mossad-contradicts-senators-who-said-it-opposes-iran-sanctions/

      “Coontradicting Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency denied on Thursday reports that its chief warned US senators against a bill that would hit Iran with sanctions if ongoing nuclear talks fail to secure an agreement by their June deadline”

      “Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, Yuval Steinitz said Thursday, “I looked into this on Tuesday, and I can state without equivocation: The Bloomberg report is without foundation. The respected senators did not hear, in their meetings in Israel with the head of the Mossad or others, comments to the effect that further sanctions or further pressure on Iran are forbidden.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Not hugely impressed with the Mossad’s account. I should believe whom? A spy agency for a prime minister openly hostile to the President and Secretary of State of the United States? Or the President and Secretary of State of the United States?

        “Jerusalem was also shocked that the Americans had made public remarks that were made by an intelligence official in a closed meeting.”

        I suppose it had nothing to do with this bullshit:

        “According to the Post, Dermer, who on Tuesday met with Kerry for more the two hours, did not mention Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress or House Speaker John Boehner’s public invitation, which was made public the following day.

        In the past weeks, the officials said, Kerry has made more than 50 calls in the past weeks to world leaders on issues important to Israel, such as the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations and the Palestinian move to join the International Criminal Court at The Hague.”

        Whatchya think? Does anything ever embarrass you, American?

        Reply to Comment
        • ICat

          Apparently you believe whatever Mossad is supposed to have said only when it contains something you can use to continue your hate-campaign against Israel and disbelieve Mossad only when what it says is/could be viewed as positive for Israel? What a paragon of consistency and honesty you are when it comes to Jews and Israel! And there you have another evidence that you are maliciously obsessed with Jews and Israel.

          Reply to Comment
      • Yeah, Right

        Note that Kerry’s claim is this: Mossad briefed US Senators that additional sanctions would be “like throwing a grenade into the process”.

        Note that Steinitz gave a non-denial: “The respected senators did not hear, in their meetings in Israel with the head of the Mossad or others, comments to the effect that further sanctions or further pressure on Iran are forbidden.”

        Whoah, Nessie!!!

        Kerry didn’t claim that Pardo “forbade” those Senators from imposing additional sanctions, which means that Steinitz’ statement is a classic Red Herring.

        Perhaps leave Steinitz out of this altogether, since the man has proven many, many times that he doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.

        Why not ask Pardo himself?

        Bibi office has Pardo claiming that [the phrase was] “a metaphor to describe the possibility of creating a temporary crisis in the negotiations at the end of which talks would resume under improved conditions.”

        Which is simply another way of saying that he told the Senators that additional sanctions would have the effect of “throwing a grenade” into the negotiations – the only wrinkle is that we are now asked to believe that he *meant* that this would be A Good Thing and would All Turn Out For The Best.

        Which is indeed odd, since the US Senators didn’t get that impression at all.

        Funny that: US Senators assume that when they are briefed then what is said is what was meant.

        Apparently not: Mind Reading is the order of the day during a Mossad briefing.

        Reply to Comment
        • ICat

          “The Bloomberg report is without foundation”.

          That’s is the FIRST part of your quote. But you intentionally cut it out and started rambling some gibberish? Why would you do that? To falsify and to lie?

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            My, my, what an angry little nonentity.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Oh, he just reacted to the demolition of his distortion and lies by shouting: you “angry little nonentity” at me? Impressive!

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            ICat: “Oh, he just reacted to the demolition of his distortion and lies by”…..

            …. I’m going to stop you right there and ask just what “demolition” you are referring to?

            Because your post amounted to exactly this: “That’s is the FIRST part of your quote. But you intentionally cut it out and started rambling some gibberish? Why would you do that? To falsify and to lie?”

            There is no “demolition” there, unless you are under the mistaken impression that a rhetorical question is aimed at anyone other than the person who is posing the rhetoric.

            Is that it?
            Really?

            Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          Striking that Steinitz would feel the need to announce that, don’t worry folks, in this instance Israel’s leadership was not “forbidding” the United States leadership to do something. And then Bibi’s own office goes on to basically confirm that the grenade metaphor was used. Surreal.

          Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            “The Bloomberg report is without foundation”.

            What part of that is too difficult for you to understand, little chiwawa.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Merav you’re so far in over your head here on this page it’s painful to watch. Why don’t you run along now and go review the Decent Dan Meridor Chronicles?

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Oh, it seems that Brian hast started “seeing things” and “hearing voices” yet again, and getting paranoid. Now he is rambling about “the Decent Dan Meridor Chronicles” and “Merav” – which only Brian knows what those mean? When anti-Israel haters are caught in their lies and idiocy, they start getting paranoid, hallucinating and rambling.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Oh, people know, Merav, people know. lol!

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Of course, Brian, “people know”, “everybody knows”. You hear that every time from psychiatric patients when they start getting paranoid, “seeing things” and “hearing voices”. ‘need your meds, Brian?

            Reply to Comment
    16. Yeah, Right

      This saga is getting more and more bizarre.

      Apparently Boehner decided that the Crazy Cult … oops, sorry, the Congress… would meet in February to hear the Magnificent Wisdom of the Grand And Exalted One.

      Only The Grandee decided that there’s this important gig at AIPAC in March, you know how it is…..

      [Hard to fault him on the logic: the Congress costs the Lobby money, whereas AIPIC brings in the money-bags].

      Sooo, anyways, Bibi’s diary shows that he’s busy blue-rinsing his comb-over all February, so the earliest he can fit the Crazy Cult in is somewhere in between his keynote speech to AIPAC and the obligatory backroom romp with Adelston.

      Say….. six-ish? Maybe Seven?

      Does that work for you?

      Reply to Comment
      • ICat

        More rambling. When anti-Israel haters are caught in their lies, they start rambling some gibberish only they themselves understand.

        Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, Right

          So it doesn’t appear the least bit bizarre to you that the entire United States Congress has to rearrange its diary to fit in with Bibi’s desire to minimize his own inconvenience by combining that speech with his little love-in with AIPAC?

          That, indeed, on an issue that is supposed to be so “existential” to Israel that Bibi can’t be bothered hopping onto the first available plane, but decided that, you know, it can wait……

          You don’t see any contradiction in that?

          None at all?

          Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Your surreal and weird imaginations confuse you more and more. Keep hallucinating and rambling. That is what fools do. That is the fool’s job.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            “My, my, what an angry little nonentity”? Is that what you mean? Or do you mean the way you degenerated Israeli and American Officials in your idiotic comments on this and other threads? Ask your question again and look in the mirror.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            interesting to see an entire thread disappear on +972.

            That thread demonstrated the idiocy and hatefulness towards the Jewish people of that regular Israel/Jew bashing poster by the name of Mikesailor. Suddenly the thread which was about Gaza, is nowhere to be found.

            Strange. I would have preferred to see it kept open so that people can see the type of hatred which Israel and the Jewish people still have to face regularly. Oh well …

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            I’ll note that you haven’t actually addressed my question.

            So I’ll ask it again: don’t you think it is decidedly odd that Netanyahu considered that Spreadin’ The Word about Iran’s nuclear threat is the most important and urgent issue in the whole wide world, yet when Boehner invited him to address the Congress in February Bibi said that, no, no, sorry, he’s got this AIPAC gig happening in March.

            So let’s do it then because, you know, it can wait till then….

            I think that’s mighty odd behaviour. You don’t think so?

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            I addressed your question and do not feel the need to repeat myself.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            ICat: “I addressed your question and do not feel the need to repeat myself.”

            No, you didn’t.

            You said this:
            “Your surreal and weird imaginations confuse you more and more. Keep hallucinating and rambling. That is what fools do. That is the fool’s job.”

            Reply to Comment
    17. Mikesailor

      Gussie: You’re back. And just as ridiculous as usual. I’m the poster boy for your hatred? Thanks for the compliment. As for Gaza, I seem to remember that I asked why the Israelis were so scared of the ICC or other NGO’s investigating the massacre Israel promulgated. And of course referred to your racism which, frankly puts the old South Africans regime to shame, both for its apartheid racist policies and its aversion to ever telling the truth. Nice to know you are still a racist idiot. I guess there is some things in the world that never change. Bye for now.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Gustav

      Mikey

      I am a racist? And you are the one who baits Jews with phrases like …

      “Juden, Juden uber alles”

      And claim that we Jews whine about the holocaust.

      Besides that, you are just a regular fellow and just love us Jews to death … (sarcasm).

      Reply to Comment
    19. Mikesailor

      I have nothing against Jews. I don’t like most Zionists and Zionist supporters and I don’t like you. In that I think I show exceptional good taste. As to whining about the Holocaust, as I’ve said, the Holocaust does not give you nor anyone else the right to brutalize, kill and steal from Palestinians. To believe otherwise is a gross disservice to the memories of those who died. It does not give you a special dispensation to commit crimes with impunity and the more you use it as an excuse for committing crimes, the less relevant it becomes. It is not a special Jewish hurt as I’ve said, for many others died during WWII. It is either a universal lesson about man’s inhumanity to his fellows; in other words, as an object lesson of where the dehumanization of the “Other” ultimately leads. You and your ilk have stripped the Holocaust of its relevance by trying to use it as an excuse reserved to Jews, especially Zionist Jews, rather than as such a lesson. You have devalued both it and the concept of antisemitism. For who would listen to one who abuses the “Other” while crying crocodile tears over the bones of the innocent?

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “in other words, as an object lesson of where the dehumanization of the “Other”

        What a hypocrite!

        So what do you call phrases such as ….

        “Juden, Juden Uber Alles”

        And claiming that we whine about the holocaust? What do you call that if not dehumanization of us?

        By the way, I defy you to show us where I or any other Zionist use the Holocaust as an excuse for murdering and oppressing Palestinian Arabs.

        We use their terrorism and their rocketing of our civilians as the reason for shooting back at them and for trying to limit their ability to murder more of us. You may or may not agree with our response but please don’t lie that we use the holocaust as our excuse.

        The only thing which we use the holocaust for justification is the idea that we want a Jewish majority state. And not just the Holocaust, but 2000 years of persecution of us while we were minorities in both European and Arab countries. Yes, we use the Holocaust and 2000 years of persecution for wanting self determination and being a majority in our own state so haters like you won’t be able to treat us like a punching bag with impunity.

        PS
        I cannot give a flying f…k whether you like me or not as an individual. I don’t like you either. But don’t leave it at that. Admit that you don’t like me for being a Jew who is willing to stand up for our rights. And you don’t like most other Jews either for the same reason.

        You only like dead and vulnerable Jews, Mikey!

        Reply to Comment
    20. Mikesailor

      Gussie: I don’t really care if you’re a Jew or not. I consider you a despicable human being. Isn’t that enough? I think your use of the “Holocaust” and “2000 years of persecution” as an excuse for stealing land from, and killing men,women and children who are trying to defend themselves from European interlopers as a war crime of the highest magnitude.I admit that I am anti-Zionist. I admit that I don’t see justice in anything the Israeli Jews have done to the indigenous Palestinians. I think it’s a racist, cruel, prevaricating state which should never be supported unless it changes its prevailing political ethos to becoming a state for “all its citizens” with “equal rights for all”. Otherwise it is merely a festering boil on thee backside of humanity..sort of like you.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Mikey

        I don’t care what you think because you are an unabashed Jew hater. According to people like you, Jews are always wrong because that is the natural order of the universe.

        How do I know? Because only Jew haters bait Jews with phrases like “Juden Juden uber alles”, claim that we whine about the Holocaust and that we use the Holocaust as an excuse to oppress Arabs.

        Reply to Comment
    21. Gustav

      Oh and one more thing, Mikey dear.

      It is because of Jew haters like you that we felt it necessary to return to our ancestral homeland and create our independent nation. So that we can defend ourselves from haters like you, whether Arab or European.

      Console yourself with that thought.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “….defend themselves from European interlopers as a war crime of the highest magnitude…..”

        Where did say live, Mikey? Did you say America? How come a person with your views lives in a continent like America? You should go back to Europe or Arabia where your ancestors came from. You are a first rate hypocrite for not living up to your ideals.

        A person with your views has no right to live where you live because you preach to us that we even have no right to live in our ancestral homeland where we lived before the Arab invaders took over our lands as well as other people’s lands all over the Middle East and North Africa.

        Reply to Comment
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