T Nation

Obama Interferes in Israeli Elections


#1

Seems Obama didn't like Bibi accepting invite to speak in US.
45 community organisers funded by State Dept sent to Israel to twist election away from Bibi Netanyahu.
Listen here, from 38 minute mark:

Anyone familiar with Obama's community organising will recognise the tactics.

Your taxes at work!


#2

Since Bibi was just over here interfering in our political process, I think it's only fair. He also showed up uninvited to Paris creating a bit of a diplomatic row.

Personally, I think he's another extremely right wing whackjob and these guy's tend to be better cheerleaders than accomplishers.

I'd like to see him out, and a more moderate party in place, every bit as and more capable of defending Israel and US interests, without the political circus.

That region is very close to blowing up and when it goes, I'd like to see it handled by the sane and reasonable.


#3

Well, preferences in Israeli prime ministership aside Bibi hasn't come over here yet, so he hasn't interfered. He was invited, big difference. The speech was scheduled for later this month. Also, Obama was informed before the decision was public, although in a partisan move that didn't happen until the day before it went public. But regardless I'm not sure you can blame Bibi for that part.

That still in no way justifies putting campaign managers and strategists into a foreign ally's sovereign elections and trying to directly meddle with the outcome.


#4

Bibi is Likud. He's center right.

I very much like Bibi as a person, but he's very much a moderate.

(Jewish Home is actually my party, and it is much more conservative.)

What this tells you is how left Obama is.


#5

I got a little too far ahead of myself on the last comments.

Despite where he may fall on the political spectrum, what he has done is push for action on Iran hard for the past years, even verbally announcing a plans for a unilateral strike in April or so of 2013 if I remember correctly.

I remember watching the interview and he is a likeable guy with a good physical presence.

What he hasn't done is learn how to take "No" for answer and continues to be a thorn in the side of this administration and other stakeholders, who have decided to go the negotiation route for the time being.

Sooner or later, the political BS has to end, and everybody needs to get on board to give things at least a chance to work out. There's a time for debate but after a plan has to be decided on, the loser of the debate cannot be allowed to sabotage further efforts.

This is why I refer to him as a whackjob, and sadly he is not the only one on the political stage who displays this type of unreasonable and ill-dignified behavior.


#6

Obama thinks that the Iranian negotiations will work. His country doesn't face an existential threat if they do not.

The same is not true of Netanyahu.

If I, as a Northern Irish Catholic, was told that the UVF were developing a nuclear weapon, negotiation would be fairly low on my priority list as well.


#7

Bibi has a really clever ad running now. I found it with translations.

To help you understand the pun, the Hebrew word for "carpet" is just a soft vowel away from the word for "territories."

And, yes, "babysitter" is Heblish.


#8

I have no problem with Bibi or the other Israeli leaders handling Israeli business, they have done it before and they can do it again. They are probably the best at certain operations in the World given the security issues they face.

Although Israel is an ally, given the current state of affairs, I don't think it is the right time for the US to get involved. The US is looked at anytime anybody needs a problem solved. ISIS impinging on the Saudi's is probably a more pressing concern, as is the mini war with Iran breaking out, and whatever is going on in Ukraine. I see no imminent existential threat to Israel that necessitates immediate action, but I do see it potentially occurring sooner if the negotiations break down.

The US leadership has made it's decision on the nuclear issue for the moment. Bibi can either adapt and get on board, or continue to be a thorn in the side and get dealt with.

Let's make it clear that Obama probably isn't the one working the issue, and sooner or later people will be writing books talking about how they advised him on this particular problem. He is the one that has to make the decision though.


#9

The "not unconditionally" bit had me in hysterics.


#10

I am unconvinced that the Iranian diplomacy is anything other than a ploy. I do not think they are coming to the table with clean hands.

Obama is labouring under the illusion that the world will be all-right if it's all left. This is why he is trying to alter an ally's election.

ISIS are a real problem, an ISIS expansion into Saudi Arabia would be distinctly worse issue. However, the potential for Iranian nuclear capacity is an apocalyptically bad prospect.


#11

That was awesome.

How come American political campaign ads can't be that clever?

Then again, any country with that many Jews is bound to come up with come great advertising.


#12

It shows don't know what you're talking about. And it shows why. You get your information from sources that consider Netanyahu a "far right-winger".

And?

That's a good thing. This administration's foreign policy has been a disaster.

Not only is the Republican Party behind him, so too are a number of Democrats. It's Obama who is the odd one out here. Obama sabotaged efforts to stop Iran going nuclear. It's not "political BS". Iran poses an existential threat to Israel and Obama has actively undermined Israel's attempts to deal with them.

Yes, Netanyahu is "unreasonable" and "ill dignified". Not Obama though. He's a moderate right? Netanyahu is the greatest leader in the Western world today. He's a Churchillian statesman. Obama is a little puke. And now he's trying to throw an Israeli election. Just a question: if Netanyahu's political machine came to the US and tried to throw a US election what would you be saying?


#13

Up against the other "leaders" of the Western world? Yeah. The aphorism about the one-eyed man being king comes to mind. Only in this case it would be the one-testicled man.


#14

Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper are okay. Abbott and Howard are the best PMs we've had since Robert Menzies in the 60's.


#15

Remarks at a Symposium on P5+1 Iran Nuclear Negotiations
Wendy R. Sherman
Under Secretary for Political Affairs

"As Madeleine Albright once observed - negotiations are like mushrooms, and often they do best in the dark . . .

To begin, Iâ??d like to simply emphasize how important the P5+1 negotiations are. An Iran equipped with nuclear arms would add an unacceptable element of instability and danger to a part of the globe that already has a surplus of both. If Tehran had such a weapon, other countries in the region might well pursue the same goal, generating a potentially catastrophic arms race, intensifying the sectarian divide that is a major source of Middle East tension, and undermining the global nonproliferation regime that President Obama has consistently sought to reinforce.

This is why the President has pledged to ensure that Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon. Our preference is to achieve this goal by diplomatic means. But make no mistake. Our bottom line is unambiguous, crystal clear, and, quite frankly, written in stone: Iran will not, shall not obtain a nuclear weapon.

A major step in the right direction of that pursuit was taken last January when we began implementing a negotiating framework called the Joint Plan of Action. In return for limited sanctions relief, Iran committed â?? while talks are underway â?? to freeze and even roll back key components of its nuclear activities. Specifically, Iran has halted the expansion of its overall enrichment capacity; put a cap on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride; stopped the production of uranium enriched to 20 percent; agreed not to make further advances at the Arak heavy water reactor; and opened the door to unprecedented daily access for international inspectors to the facilities at Natanz and Fordow.

At the time the Joint Plan was announced, many observers expressed profound doubt that Iran would abide by its commitments. But according to the IAEA â?? the International Atomic Energy Agency â?? Iran has done what it promised to do. The result is a nuclear program that is more constrained and transparent than it has been in many years."


#16

Don't Fear a Sneak-Out
Why Iran Can't Secretly Build the Bomb
JACQUES E. C. HYMANS
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/author/jacques-e-c-hymans

"In the recently extended negotiations over the future of Iran?s nuclear program, the main sticking point has always been the number of centrifuges that Tehran will be allowed to keep for enriching uranium. This number is important because the more working centrifuges Iran has, the faster it could achieve a nuclear breakout. According to standard estimates, Iran?s current inventory of approximately 10,000 operational centrifuges could allow it to amass enough weapons-grade uranium for a single bomb in just a few months. The Barack Obama administration believes that it can convince Iran to roll back that timeline far enough to defuse the current crisis, allowing both sides to develop a more normal relationship.

Critics of the negotiations have argued that the United States and other P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) have a misplaced focus on the number of centrifuges at Iran?s known nuclear facilities. According to them, the ?breakout? scenario that has been keeping the negotiators up at night is not nearly as dangerous as the alternative scenario of an Iranian nuclear ?sneak-out.? An Iran that had decided to sneak out rather than break out would play by the rules at closely monitored enrichment plants and other known facilities, while secretly building a bomb elsewhere. Thus, to be effective, a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran would have to flood Iran with international inspectors?something no self-respecting government in Tehran could ever accept. In short, the higher the chances of the sneak-out scenario, the lower the chances of a halfway decent settlement with Iran . . .

Although the chances of an Iranian sneak-out attempt are relatively great, however, its odds of success are extremely low. With the world?s spy agencies devoting huge resources to tracking events inside Iran, any serious attempt at cheating under a new nuclear deal would probably get caught. If Tehran somehow did manage to cheat without notice, its secret program would nonetheless advance slowly. Moreover, even in the unlikely eventuality of a highly efficient secret effort, Iran would still fall short of a bona fide nuclear weapons arsenal. The major powers, then, are right to focus on getting an agreement that limits Iran?s genuine breakout potential, not its highly questionable sneak-out potential."


#17

That it wouldn't be the first time a clever Jewish ruler influenced the political workings of an empire to put an idiot on the throne. Herod Agrippa and Claudius come to mind.


#18

Rancorous partisan politics are endangering 10 years of delicate diplomacy. Netanyahu is attempting to tank the P5+1 negotiations. The Mossad itself has broken ranks with him over the prospect of new sanctions.


#19

Why would he do that? Is he stupid?


#20

This is absurd. Because he (allegedly) committed a diplomatic faux pas by not advising Obama about his visit, it's "fair" that Obama sends an army of political hacks to throw an Israeli election? Are you serious?