Israel Political Meeting February 29, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu will ask President Barack Obama to threaten Iran strike at Monday White House Meeting

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu will ask Obama to threaten Iran strike

Intensive preparations underway to ensure a successful meeting between the two leaders next week in Washington, despite lack of trust between two sides.

Source: Haaretz, 2-29-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to publicly harden his line against Iran during a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on March 5, according to a senior Israeli official.

Israel wants Obama to make further-reaching declarations than the vague assertion that “all options are on the table,” the official said. In particular, Netanyahu wants Obama to state unequivocally that the United States is preparing for a military operation in the event that Iran crosses certain “red lines,” said the official; Israel feels this will increase pressure on Iran by making clear that there exists a real U.S. threat.

Bibi Obama - AP - 2.2012 Netanyahu, left, meeting with Obama at the United Nations last September.
Photo by: AP

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Officials in both Jerusalem and Washington acknowledge a serious lack of trust between Israel and the United States with regard to the issue of a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. A senior U.S. official who is involved in preparing Netanyahu’s visit to the United States – and who asked to remain anonymous – said intensive preparations are underway to guarantee the success of the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama and to bridge this lack of trust.

The White House proposed to the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday that the two release a joint statement following the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu. The goal of the announcement would be to bridge apparent disagreements between the United States and Israel, and to present a single U.S.-Israeli front in order to leverage pressure on Iran. To date, the United States still has not proposed a text for such an announcement….READ MORE

Israel Brief February 29, 2012: Fogels are remembered on first yahrtzeit

ISRAEL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Fogels are remembered on first yahrtzeit

Source: JTA, 2-29-12

Hundreds gathered in the West Bank community of Itamar to mark the first yahrzeit for the five slain members of the Fogel family…. Read more »

Israel Political Brief February 29, 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Arizona Primary — Narrowly Beats Rick Santorum in Michigan Primary

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Romney wins in Michigan, Arizona

Source: JTA, 2-29-12

Mitt Romney won Republican primary contests in Arizona and Michigan, maintaining his front-runner status.

In Michigan, the state his father governed and where he was raised, Romney beat back a challenge Tuesday by Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, 41 percent to 38 percent, with nearly all of the vote counted.

But Santorum’s strong challenge forecasts a long and difficult fight for Romney to win the nomination for president. The former Massachusetts governor had to outspend Santorum in a state that just weeks ago he had been expected to win handily.

Romney won handily in Arizona, defeating Santorum by 47 percent to 27 percent….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 28, 2012: Republican Presidential Candidates on the issues: GOP hopefuls on Israel, Iran, abortion, Social Security and more

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

On the issues: GOP hopefuls on Israel, Iran, abortion, Social Security and more

Source: JTA, 2-28-12

In advance of Super Tuesday, JTA takes a look at the stances of the four Republican presidential candidates on some issues of Jewish interest….Read More »

Israel Political Brief February 27, 2012: At AIPAC conference, expect Iran talk on stage and behind closed doors between President Obama & PM Netanyahu

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

At AIPAC conference, expect Iran talk on stage and behind closed doors

Source: JTA, 2-27-12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama, shown at a September 2011 meeting at the United Nations in New York, are likely to meet again in Washington at the beginning of March, when decisions on Iran will be coming to a head. (Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90 )

There will be the speeches, and they will resound like an echo. And then there will be the talk.

When President Obama speaks on March 4 to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the group the following day, expect many of the same catchphrases to carry over: A nuclear Iran is unacceptable. Israel and the United States stand together.

The quesion is, how much of the comity will carry over into the private chat that Netanyahu and Obama share on March 5. They will be meeting the same day as Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC’s annual forum, which is expected to attract a record-setting 11,000 to 13,000 activists to the cavernous Washington Convention Center.

Depending upon who is talking and their political affiliation, the two leaders either are marching in lockstep in their Iran plans or they are on opposite sides of a significant gap.

“I cannot think of any issue on which we are better coordinated than on the issue of Iran,” U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told the annual meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Feb. 23 in Jerusalem….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 13, 2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames Iran for attacks on diplomats in India, Georgia

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Iran is behind the attacks

Source:  The Prime Minister of Israel — 2-13-12

In recent months we have witnessed several attempts to attack Israeli citizens and Jews in several countries, including Azerbaijan, Thailand and others.  In each instance we succeeded in foiling the attacks in cooperation with local authorities.  Iran and its proxy Hezbollah were behind all of these attempted attacks.  Today we have witnessed two additional attempted terrorist attacks on innocent civilians, the first against an Israeli woman who was wounded in New Delhi and the second against a local employee of the Israeli Embassy in Georgia.  Iran is behind these attacks; it is the largest exporter of terrorism in the world.  The Government of Israel and the security services will continue to act together with local security forces against such acts of terrorism.  We will continue to take strong and systematic, yet patient, action against the international terrorism that originates in Iran.

Netanyahu blames Iran for attacks on diplomats in India, Georgia

Source: JTA, 2-13-12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for a terrorist attack and an attempted attack on Israeli Embassy employees in India and Georgia.

An Israeli diplomat’s wife in New Delhi was injured by a car bomb, and a second bomb was disabled in a staff member’s car at the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Monday in what appeared to be related incidents.

“Iran is behind these attacks; it is the largest exporter of terrorism in the world,” Netanyahu said in a statement issued following reports of the attacks. “The Government of Israel and the security services will continue to act together with local security forces against such acts of terrorism. We will continue to take strong and systematic, yet patient, action against the international terrorism that originates in Iran.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 13, 2012: Facebook page begs Bibi Netanyahu Don’t strike Iran before Madonna concert

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Don’t strike Iran before Madonna concert, Facebook page begs Bibi

Source: JTA, 2-13-12

A new Facebook page is calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refrain from striking Iran’s nuclear sites until after Madonna performs in Israel.

A day after Madonna announced last week that she is launching her new world tour in Israel in support of her latest album, the Facebook page “Bibi don’t start a war with Iran until after Madonna’s show on May 29” was established by Israeli artist Kobi Zvili. It has received 790 likes.

“We are hereby to declare that this page and it’s organisars (sic) are anti war of any kind,” a statement on the information page reads. “We are pro peace. We love Madonna, and it’s just our humorous way of dealing with not so humorous life in the middle east. We send our neighbors in Iran a message of unity, and hope Madonna will grace their country with a visit on her upcoming tour.” Read more »

Israel Political Brief February 13, 2012: After New Delhi attack, fears that Iran-Israel attacks could escalate

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

After New Delhi attack, fears that Iran-Israel attacks could escalate

Source: JTA, 2-13-12

Two people were injured when a bomb went off outside the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India on Feb. 13., 2012.
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Two people were injured when a bomb went off outside the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India on Feb. 13., 2012.

Iran and Israel appear to be locked in an assassination contest.

Israeli leaders blamed Iran for two assassination attempts late Sunday and early Monday — in Tbilisi, Georgia, and in New Delhi, India. The bomb in Tbilisi was disabled before it could be activated, and the attack in India wounded the wife of an Israeli diplomat and her driver.

The attacks follow a number of reported attempts on Israeli and Jewish targets, most recently in Azerbaijan and Thailand. They also follow a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists and military figures associated with Iran — most recently on Jan. 11. Iran has blamed Israel for being behind those attacks. In keeping with Israeli policy on such issues, Israeli officials have declined to comment.

Experts warn that the attacks could get worse.

“It’s clear we’re already in a situation of escalation, but what’s still not clear is how far that’s going to go,” said Michael Adler, an expert on Iran at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

If Iran manages to kill Israelis, it could invite an escalated response from Israel….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 12, 2012: US Threats to cut Egypt assistance could impact Israel, US Mideast influence

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Threats to cut Egypt assistance could impact Israel, U.S. influence in Mideast

Source: JTA, 2-12-12

If U.S. aid to Egypt is cut amid deteriorating relations between Washington and Cairo, a crucial lever of U.S. influence in the region would be gone, with implications not just for Israel-Egypt relations but for America’s ability to contain Iran….Read more »

Israel Political Brief February 12, 2012: Hackers threaten to wipe Israel from the Internet

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Hackers threaten to wipe Israel from the Internet

Source: JTA, 2-12-12

Hackers threatened to remove all traces of Israel from the Internet on the same day that it crashed the CIA’s website…. Read more »

Israel Political Brief February 7, 2012: Israel and the US close ranks on Iran ahead of March meetings between Obama & Netanyahu

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Ahead of March meetings, Israel and the U.S. close ranks on Iran

Source: JTA, 2-7-12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama, shown at a September 2011 meeting at the United Nations in New York, are likely to meet again in Washington at the beginning of March, when decisions on Iran will be coming to a head. (Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90 )
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama, shown at a September 2011 meeting at the United Nations in New York, are likely to meet again in Washington at the beginning of March, when decisions on Iran will be coming to a head. (Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90 )

It’s one of those coincidences too tempting to believe is a coincidence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is delivering a speech to AIPAC about what should happen next with Iran and likely meeting with President Obama to discuss Iran options on the same day that the International Atomic Energy Agency convenes in Vienna to consider a report about Iran.

Netanyahu’s office confirmed over the weekend that he would address the American Israel Public Affairs policy conference on March 5, and sources say a meeting with Obama is likely. The IAEA board is meeting the same day — hours before the speech — to consider its inspectors’ latest Iran report. The most recent such report came closer than ever to indicting the Iranian regime for making weapons, and it helped spur stronger international sanctions against Tehran….READ MORE

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