I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Joe Klein on Netanyahu and Iran

I frequently disagree with Joe Klein but he gets it right here:
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A great put down of Netanyahu and he get's it right - the Iranians are not crazy.  If you are looking for crazy you probably should look at Bibi.
Via The Agonist

Glen Thrush has more:
Diplomacy is, ultimately, about relationships. Obama and Netanyahu don’t really have one. And that’s created an odd and unwelcome rivalry among allies — a testy liberal-vs.-conservative chess match that mirrors Obama’s contest with Mitt Romney, who has known Netanyahu for years.
“There is a lack of rapport between these two men — they don’t like each other very much. Plus, there are serious differences between our interests and Israel’s own security interests,” said former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who was present for several of Obama’s nine face-to-face meetings with Netanyahu.
 “I don’t think that Netanyahu is trying to influence the outcome of our election, though a lot of people see it that way,” Crowley said. “It’s about agenda-setting. He just watched two conventions where Israel and Iran were mentioned, but not significantly discussed, even with the whole rigmarole [at the Democratic convention] about Jerusalem in the platform. He’s trying to get it onto the front burner.
” But this isn’t just about policy. It’s personal. On the day Netanyahu threw down the Iran gauntlet, someone close to the hawkish, MIT-educated prime minister let it leak that Obama had declined a face-to-face meeting at next month’s United Nations General Assembly in New York to hash things out. The chatter, later denied by the White House, was that Obama said he would be too busy, and one of those unbreakable commitments was with David Letterman. Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81150.html#ixzz26NgJL0i2


  1. Another good catch, Ron. This is the best capsule overview of the places discussed I have seen. As for Bibi's nagging at Obama, it's all about domestic Israeli politics.
    Bill Clinton nailed it when he said as much a couple years ago.

    "An increasing number of the young people in the IDF are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem," Clinton said. "It's a different Israel. 16 percent of Israelis speak Russian."

    According to Clinton, the Russian immigrant population in Israel is the group least interested in striking a peace deal with the Palestinians. "They've just got there, it's their country, they've made a commitment to the future there," Clinton said. "They can't imagine any historical or other claims that would justify dividing it."


  2. Well, I wouldn’t say it’s all about domestic Israeli politics. There is also a not too small effort here by Bibi to help out the party that’s committed itself to doing whatever it is he tells them to regarding the issues effecting Israel. We foreigners can’t vote in your elections, but our leaders can still try to interfere with them. (I’m thinking of Canadian PM Harper’s leaking unflattering comments regarding Obama’s position on NAFTA during the 2008 primaries in the Rust Belt.) That Bibi is hoping for a Republican victory is hardly surprising, and it’s not like there hasn’t been speculation about an Israeli-inspired “October surprise” before this.

    1. I agree BJ
      Bibi is trying to influence the U.S. elections. It's not going to work and will in fact backfire. Romney has all but said he will turn U.S. middle east policy over to Netanyahu. That's going to be a no sale for Americans. Netanyahu thinks he is helping Romney - he's not. He is in the neoconservative/Likud bubble.


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