Readers may appreciate some informed comments free from political claptrap, pundits’ prattlings and mad-media mindsets. Even the UK’s conservative Telegraph offers an op-ed which misses the point – but isn’t as off-beam as Obama!
Scanning some informed articles, I’ve cut and pasted a few snippets into this ‘scrapbook’ of quotes from what, in my humble opinion, are noteworthy comments from.:
Israel – a secular media voice: Debkafile (click title to read their case in full)
“While they admittedly operated in a widespread climate of popular despondency and hankering for change, Likud’s rivals also missed the strong underlying trends: [4 in toto]
1. “A common convention has always been that an Israeli prime minister who falls out with an American president must go and make way for a politician able to heal the rift and restore good relations with Washington. This presumption has been superseded by four changes [in Israeli voters, who are]:
- a lot better informed on events…around his country’s borders – hotbeds of instability, civil war bloodbaths and galloping Islamic radicalism….
- not so much worried by the way Netanyahu stood up to President Barack Obama’s policies in the Middle East as he admired his pluck in defending national interests.
Herzog and Livni’s pledge to improve relations with the Obama administration, instead of being a vote-catcher had the opposite effect. While better relations are desired, the average Israeli is not prepared to pay for them by concessions on security.
- most recent waves of immigrants…from Russia and France…have colored [Israel’s] perception of national and security issues. Neither group is stranger to brushes with radical Islam, on the one hand, or arguments with the United States, on the other. Both prefer pro-reactive responses to hostile challenges rather than knuckling under.
- [Thus] the conflict with the Palestinians became sidelined…as a non-issue.”
2. “Opposition parties claimed they lost…because security issues overshadowed the economy. This too was groundless >> average voter not only re-elected Likud for another term, but shrank the smaller right-wing parties. This boosted Netanyahu’s support in parliament from a low 18 seats to thirty…he need no longer be prey to the harrassments of small partners, but will enjoy greater leeway…to get important jobs done.”
3. “Negative electioneering rarely works. The opposition kicked off its campaign with the “anyone but Bibi” slogan and smear tactics against the prime minister, his wife Sarah and their personal lifestyle…The tactic’s very intensity boomeranged, when Bibi craftily turned it into an asset. He reached out to the voter as the underdog who had been unjustly vilified by the “haves.”
Britain – a spiritual blog voice: Cranmer (click title to read excellent post in full)
“The Archbishop of Canterbury made a pronouncement last year which was somewhat unusual in modern Anglican geo-political quibbling and hedging…it makes plain that Justin Welby,
“fully accepts that Israel has the same legitimate rights to peace and security as any other state and to self-defence within humanitarian law when faced with an external threat”.
“The people of Israel have voted to guard those rights. The reaction from the civilised world to Benjamin Netanyahu’s unexpected victory has been reserved, to put it politely. At the time of writing, it is reported that President Obama, the putative leader of the free and democratic world, has still not phoned Mr Netanyahu to offer his congratulations… (emphasis added)
“We know that Barack Obama wants a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders. He isn’t going to get that for as long as Benjamin Netanayhu is Prime Minister, for whom such a proposal is both “unrealistic” and “indefensible”.
“While Israel remains surrounded by enemies – having ceded Gaza to Arab control from whence rain thousands of Katyusha rockets – Obama still advocates a ‘peace plan’ which poses an existential threat to the only democracy in the region. There has been no ‘Arab spring’ in Gaza. Where Spring has sprung, there is no sign of a glorious summer of liberty, democracy and religious equality…and Iran is pledged to wipe Israel “off the map”: the whole of Arabia seems intent on Israel’s destruction. In this context, the Obama ‘peace plan’ is likely to yield genocide on a scale not seen since Auschwitz.
“A Zionist is one who believes that the Jews have a legitimate right to a homeland; that Israel is that homeland; and that Jews have a right to live in that country in peace and security. Conservatives are Zionists. Or, rather, true Conservatives are Zionists. As David Cameron reminded us last year in a speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel:
There is something deep in our Party’s DNA that believes in Israel, the right of Israel to exist, the right of Israel to defend itself and that a deal should only happen if it means that Israel is really allowed to have peace within secure borders and real guarantees about its future… The West has to understand that there isn’t an equivalence between a demo-cratically elected Government of Israel, a state of Israel that is a democracy, that’s a member of the United Nations, that has a totally legitimate right to exist and defend itself – there is no equivalence between that and a group like Hamas…
“The starting point for peace in the Middle East is not the Obama plan…The path to lasting peace is contingent first and foremost upon an unequivocal commitment by the governments of all Arab states that “the Jews have a right to a homeland in Israel and a right to their country”; that Israel has “the same legitimate rights to peace and security as any other state”.
Update 1. 21st March: PM Cameron pledges £10M to protect the Jewish community. Full details and more in next post >>
Update 2. 23rd March: Joel Rosenberg refers to of claims about Netanyahu being racist on the grounds he warned that foreign organizations were mobilizing large numbers of Arab voters. In his commentary Joel enumerates several facts disproving the claim, and reports 3/4 of an Arab town actually voted in favour of Netanyahu and his Likud party!!
He later reports on Netanyahu apologizing to Arab leaders: “I know the things I said several days ago offended some of Israel’s citizens, hurt the Arab citizens. I had no intention to hurt anyone and I am sorry if did…My actions as prime minister, including the tremendous investment in minority sectors prove the opposite. I think, too, that we must never let anyone outside the state of Israel interfere with our democratic process….I see myself as the prime minister of each and every one of you, all the citizens of Israel, regardless of faith, ethnicity or gender. I see all citizens of Israel as partners in building a prosperous and secure state, a state for all its citizens”.
Update 3. 25th March: Senior Jerusalem Official states White House tried to unseat Netanyahu.
NB: Both articles should be read in full to appreciate their logical argument.
Photo credit: The Telegraph, source unknown.