Tag Archives: Netanyahu

Spot the difference: Benjamin Netanyahu age 28 – Benjamin Netanyahu age 65

22 Jul

In 1978, a 28 year old Israeli by the name of Ben Nitay took part in a debate in the United States on Israel’s borders.

Today Ben Nitay has a different name:  Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why did he call himself Ben Nitay? There are some unconfirmed reasons. Some believe he wanted to make it easier for his American colleagues (he studied in Harvard and MIT) to pronounce his name.

In the debate he is asked as a witness to outline what he sees as a possible solution for the fate of millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza strip under Israeli occupation. He is also asked whether he believes there should be a Palestinian state.

Just listen to his views then, and compare to what he is saying now. The biggest change in rhetoric is his Bar Ilan speech in which he stated that he believes in the 2 state for the 2 people solution.

However in reality, with his settlement policies he has made establishing a Palestinian state even more impossible. And lets not forget, he was so against the Gaza withdrawal in 2005 that he resigned as Finance Minister just before it.

I invite you to watch the video and to judge for yourself.

But dear Israeli compatriots, this is the man who after the current operation will use whatever happens in Gaza to undermine peace with the PLO. The fact that the PLO has cooperated in an unprecedented manner with Israel in areas of security and has recognized Israel means nothing to Netanyahu. Why? because in my honest opinion he does not believe in the 2 state solution. He just pays lip service to it.


#Palestine is on its way

9 Apr

Well, the negotiations are over. And as far as the Americans are concerned, both sides are to blame, but emphasis has been placed on Israel.

Kerry put it very succinctly:

“The prisoners were not released by Israel on the day they were supposed to be released and then another day passed and another day, and then 700 units were approved in Jerusalem and then poof — that was sort of the moment,” Kerry said.

We have to remember that building in the settlements, as much as I disagree with them was NOT part of the deal. But what was part of the deal was the release of the prisoners.

Now you may agree or disagree with the release of convicted terrorists who have killed innocent people, but, a deal is a deal. Netanyahu reneged on his deal. Netanyahu may think that he didn’t because he believes that the deal did not include release of Arab Israelis, but it was never agreed that it would not include them.

So as far as the world is concerned his government broke the deal.

What makes the situation more absurd is that instead of releasing terrorists, Netanyahu could have halted settlement expansion. But no, to him and his allies, between the two options, releasing people who have killed innocent Israelis is preferable to the option of ceasing settlement expansion.

The Palestinians would never beat Israel in the military arena. Where they could beat Israel is in the diplomatic arena. And now that Israel has been given the lion share of the blame for the failure of the talks, they have the upper hand, and they will use it to their advantage. The world is sick and tired of our behaviour and our side of the story. Israel is seen as the country that does not want peace. The Palestinians don’t even have to convince anyone of that. Netanyahu and his allies do a much better job.

And with this advantage in the diplomatic arena, the Palestinians can and will have their own state. Their chances have never looked better. Palestine is on its way.

The domestic implications of the latest Iran deal

24 Nov

My latest article looks at the impact which the latest Iran nuclear deal is likely to have on Iran’s domestic politics.

To read, click here

On Iran, Israel’s military intelligence disagrees with Netanyahu

22 Nov

In a meeting with the foreign press, Israel’s Military Intelligence has decided to publicly support the current P5+1 negotiations with Iran, “even one that relaxes the Western sanctions on Iran.” This is in direct contrast to Prime Minister Netanyahu who does not want the sanctions lifted.

Israel’s Military Intelligence has also decided to come out against Prime Minister’s current strategy of “Zero enrichment” on Iranian soil.

According to Josh Mitnick who attended the meeting:

While Netanyahu has demanded that negotiators seek the full dismantling of Iran’s nuclear capability, the military official said the intelligence branch does not think this demand is realistic. The international community isn’t talking about “deleting” Iran’s nuclear program, he said.

Furthermore, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has called Rouhani “a wolf in Sheep’s clothing” the military intelligence official sees his election as a sign of change:

“The fact that economic numbers are not good and that there is some kind of noise among the public – at least about the economic situation – makes challenges for the regime. That’s probably why Rouhani was elected in such large numbers more than anything else.”

When asked if the officer sees signs of real change in Iran, he said that such a shift depends on the outcome of negotiations.

As Josh Mitnick points out in the rest pf his article, Israel’s Military Intelligence already came out on this against Netanyahu two months ago, by telling Haaretz that his election is a sign of “undergoing significant, strategic changes”.

My two cents: As I have mentioned in my previous posts, in Israel there are always several opinions regarding each policy. The fact that the Military Intelligence has come out to dispute some of Netanyahu’s notable Iran policies speaks volumes about the presence of lively, free and uninhibited debate in the state of Israel about Iran. It also shows that there are important people and groups who disagree with Netanyahu’s current Iran strategy. In Israel, no one wants to see a nuclear armed Iranian regime. There is a shared goal, but there are differences regarding the most suitable strategy to get there.

You can read the rest of Josh Mitnick’s article here

On Israel: Khamenei was misquoted

21 Nov

Yesterday, Iranian press as well Persian language press abroad reported that as part of his speech Khamenei had referred to Israel as “the filthy rabid dog of the region”.

It seems that they got this part of his speech wrong.

My colleague Arash Karami from Al Monitor’s Iran Pulse corrected this by pointing to the text and audio (minute 21) file of Khamenei’s speech. I checked them both.

 It turns out that in that part of his speech Khamenei was not referring to Israel but was lambasting the “rabid evil filthy dog of the region in the Zionist regime”. In other words he was attacking a person, in this case most probably Prime Minister Netanyahu.
كه گاهى شنيده ميشود دشمنان ملّت ايران، از جمله از دهان نحسِ نجسِ سگِ هار منطقه در رژيم صهيونيستى، چانه ميجنبانند كه ايران تهديد همه‌ى جهان است؛ نه، اين سخنِ دشمن و درست نقطه‌ى مقابل ممشاى اسلامى است
This was a terrible and insulting attack. What made it worst was the participants shouting “death to Israel” as soon as he said this.
Nevertheless, this is the accurate translation and the Iranian press got it wrong, again.
It must be noted that Khamenei’s official twitter account called Israel a rabid dog afterwards (see below).
Unsurprising behavior from Iran’s most senior holocaust denier who has declared publicly in the past that his regime is not just against the government, but also the people of Israel.

Meir Javedanfar lecture – Iran and Israel: moving towards cold peace?

10 Nov

“Iran and Israel find themselves moving toward an inadvertent detente,” Javedanfar said.

You may think that I am crazy for saying such a thing.

Not I said it, I also wholeheartedly believe it. I also gave an entire lecture about it at Boston College on the 15th of October 2013.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Charles Radin who is the Boston Globe’s former correspondent in Israel for writing about my lecture.

It’s a real honor as Mr Radin is a seasoned professional who I have tremendous respect for.

You can read his notes here on his blog:

Realpoliticks of multiple Middle East conflicts may dictate a (very) cold peace between Iran and Israel

Dear Secretary of State John Kerry: do not land in Israel!

3 Nov

1. The Benjamin Netanyahu diet: you say that you are interested in a diet and you believe in it, and at the same time you eat 10 extra donuts a day. And when your friends and loved ones ask you why you are ruining your health, you say without batting an eyelid that eating more food and extra calories has no impact on a diet!

2. The Benjamin Netanyahu peace plan: you say that you are interested in peace with the Palestinians and you believe in it, and at the same time your government sanctions the construction of new settlement homes. 1700 new ones to be exact. And if your best friend the US who is financially supporting you (and its Secretary of State who is about to arrive) asks why you are building new homes in settlements, you say it has no impact on the peace process.

The first example is made up, the second one is true. Both the same logic, both very Benjamin Netanyahu.

Dear Secretary of State John Kerry: for the sake of peace, please turn your plane around and go back home. We know you are in Cairo and will arrive here soon. Do not land in Israel. You have nothing to see here. Netanyahu’s government only wants to humiliate you with the new settlement announcement, which is timed on the eve of your visit. He also wants to humiliate the pro-peace and pro-negotiations camp in the state of Israel, which is currently headed by Tzipi Livni.  As long as Netanyahu does not take you seriously, we in Israel who are worried about the future of this country and want peace stand no chance.

You must speak to the anti-peace camp in the language which they understand which is isolation. Otherwise you will allow them to trample on the peace process with new settlements. This will ultimately mean the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, while destroying the prospects for a future Palestinian state next to the state of Israel. Failure to stand up to the anti-peace camp will also mean hurting US credibility in the region.

No other way of putting it.


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