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30 January 2015


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Amen! Remember James Baker denied Netanyahu access to the State Department when Bibi was UN ambassador and was so insulting to the US. Whatever can be done to pay Bibi back by assuring his defeat on March 17 should be done.

nick b


I'm guessing Dermer asked to speak with Goldberg in response to this article he wrote just a few days prior: The Netanyahu Disaster. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/01/Netanyahu-vs-Obama-on-Iran/384849/

Dermer might also be worried after reading what former US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer had to say in Wednesday's NYT:

“He’s a political operative, he’s not really an ambassador,” said Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former United States ambassador to Israel. “What he did was totally unacceptable from a standpoint of diplomacy. To think about going behind the back of a friendly country’s administration and working out this kind of arrangement with the parliament or the Congress — it’s unheard-of.”

Mr. Kurtzer said while it was unlikely the Obama administration would take the extraordinary step of declaring Mr. Dermer “persona non grata” — the official method for a foreign diplomat to be ousted from a country — it could request that Mr. Dermer be reprimanded or removed.

“He has soiled his pad; who’s he going to work with?” Mr. Kurtzer said.


Col: That would take courage.



"Does it amuse others that Dermer threw Boehner under the bus in this interview? To paraphrase - We Israelis always wanted to seek White House agreement but that nasty Boehner didn't let us. All the world is against us..."

Amuse? No. How about fed up and disgusted. When they want what they want, no reasoning will stop them. When they can't get what they want, everyone is against them and an anti-semite.


"To that end they wish to address the Congress of the United States for the purpose of lobbying against the president of the US."

And (possibly) start WWIII. Shades of 1933.


(slightly ot: related Netanyahoo misbehavioral consequence)
It seems the Israelis, after a declaration by Hezbollah that they weren't interested in escalation, have decided not to raise the stakes following the attack in which 2 IDF were killed and 7 wounded. The Hezb attack was retaliation for Israel's killing of their senior coordinator against IS.

Many Israelis ABSOLUTELY FREAKING HATE HATE HATE letting any of the undermen have the last word in anything. It sticks in their collective craw like nothing else. I suspect that the more expansionist portion of the electorate will not soon forgive Netanyahoo for maneuvering the state into a round of conflict where the IDF weren't the ones firing the last killing shots.

Swami Bhut Jolokia

...it is also to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon in the future...

The technology genie is, and has been for a while, out of the bottle. Most nation-states (including Israel) have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon. Preventing any state from developing such a weapon is not an achievable goal; as PL says one would have to maintain these nations in a permanently unindustrialized state. Which is impossible.

What's the end game here?


Things have just got a lot more interesting. According to ZH, Obama is returning the favor by sending his personal world-class marketing team, http://270strategies.com/, to Israel. Absolutely ingenious. Now there's some hope & change I can get behind.




I don't think Bibi is capable of dealing with OTJ on the basis of other than domination. So, I don't think he has an end game other than US submission to his will. OTOH, he is destroying the US sympathy for Israel. pl

Charles I

Perhaps the death of a Spanish U.N. peacekeeper to Israeli Bombs, (sorry Clash) was cause for pause.

Charles I

But they did, they killed a Spanish U.N peacekeeper after their soldiers were attacked

Medicine Man

I think Goldberg is trying to make the case to the Israeli public that Bibi is screwing things up badly. The last sentence of the article Nick b links above speaks volumes.

Charles I

Yeah, that's why that Iranian General's assassination a few weeks ago - the Iranians who are helping fight ISIS in Syria - just when nuclear talks and public opinion are tiling, the ICC issue rears its ugly head has nothing to do with the U.S. either

Swami Bhut Jolokia

PL, I think his end game is the immediate task of getting re-elected, and destroying US sympathy is in his view acceptable collateral damage. If he wins, there's time to make nice; if not who cares--it's the next PM's problem.

His natural inclinations aside he is clearly pandering to the ultra nationalists in his country. It remains to be seen if the (fractured) opposition can get enough people to take the long-term view and vote them in.

On the other hand, if indeed all politics is local, people rarely vote on long-term considerations. Fortunately, his management of the economy is a major issue in the elections. The next 6 weeks will be interesting.


As gratifying as it is to finally see some pushback against this infuriating, piss ant country it's good to remember that its choke hold on congress remains intact.

People like McCain, Graham and Boehner are used to running interference for their Democratic colleagues like Schumer, self-proclaimed 'protector' of Israel, and the rest of the die-hard Israel firsters - none of whom say anything on the record.

All to win for Obama, if he's got the guts.

Margaret Steinfels

The last sentence in the Times article quotes the head of J Street, which has been notably unskillful and unsuccessful in making its case for the end to settlements and a two-state solution.

Still one can hope that this transparent and very public Israeli effort to shape U.S. policy on Iran (and so much else) will finally rouse the American-Jewish community and the rest of us to finally say "enough."

But.....Perhaps more predictive of what is to come are the two paras above it: "Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said Mr. Dermer had been “extremely strong and successful” at his most important tasks, which are to represent Israel’s interests and defend Mr. Netanyahu’s prerogatives at a critical time for Israel’s security.

“This administration has repeatedly sought to both undermine and embarrass this prime minister, and the same Democrats who now profess to be so outraged by this have been notably silent,” Mr. Brooks said. “When the dust settles on this — and the dust will settle — I think that he’ll continue to be effective on the range of issues that are important to Israel’s security.”

This operative is paid to say these things. Even so, he sounds pretty confident that Netanyahu and American-Israeli interests will weather this storm, the slap at the Democrats aside (he means they will return to their craven position as soon as this blows over).

What by the way are the "prerogatives," Netanyahu is said to enjoy? Spitting in our faces?


I do marriage counseling. One of the most effective methods of transforming anger/resentment/hate into peace and love in my sessions is having each partner validate the reasonable, understandable needs/desires/feelings/perspectives of the other.

There are undoubtedly reasonable perspectives on both sides of these conflicts Iran/Israel, Palestine/Israel, etc.

different clue

Swami Bhut Jolokia,

I suspect the now-fractured now-minority opposition had its last chance with the assassination of Rabin. Taking that last chance would have involved Peres calling a Snap Election on the basis of accepting Rabin's acceptance of Oslo-for-real. If Peres had won such an election, it would have been a referendum victory on Oslo, and would have given Rabin's surviving Rabinists backing and support to conduct a deep and broad purge through legal means of all the Likudist Assassinationists from government and public/civic culture, and as much as possible into prison. And then the permanent breaking of whatever power they still had left within Israel. But Peres was not the sort of man to do that. That one last opportunity to break and crush Likud, and stamp it out once and for all was lost forever, never to return. In my strictly amateur twenty-twenty hindsight opinion.

So the opposition will stay fractured. It will never again become a majority or represent a majority. Perhaps the demographically-dwindling 2SS-minded liberal zionist Lesser Israelists will give up and emigrate. Perhaps they will stay and eat whatever further humiliation and domination the Greater Likudistanis care to serve them. But they will never govern Israel firmly enough ever again to move it into the serious 2SSS (Sovereign State Solution)future which Rabin was assassinated for seeking.



"Israel's killing of their senior coordinator against IS."

So Israel is aiding the enemies of the United States. That should give Congress pause.

Adam L Silverman

COL Lang,

Goldberg served as a guard at the Ketziot prison camp for Palestinian political prisoners. It is unclear under exactly what terms of service he served. At various times he has claimed not to have been in the IDF/taken the IDF loyalty oath, that he was in the IDF, but didn't take the loyalty oath, and that he holds both US and Israeli citizenship. He has also made differing claims as to what his position was: prison guard or prison counselor. It's always interesting when people can't keep the simplest of stories straight! It's not like he was working clandestine intelligence operations and has a dozen different identities to keep straight a la a spy novel, rather he's a guy who did this one thing and then wrote a book about it. The details contained therein he's contradicted in different interviews he's given and articles he's written. Either he's a serial fantabulist or he's a serial liar.


You are right, but I meant against Hez. Killing the Spanish peacekeeper won't give them any satisfaction. Instead, it makes them look like bumblers and as you implied in your first reply acts puts the spotlight on them, constraining their response. It's an even more sour note to end the 'round' on.


Bibi is spitting in American faces because he has a complete confidence in Israel firsters, from the zionist-infested government and financial system to casinos and retail. Does not this give some pause to ponder on taxes in the US?
"More than 90% of the Israeli prime minister’s campaign money comes from the United States, according to records published by Israel’s State Comptroller Office. “Why get money from Israel when you can get it from the U.S.?”


Probably, to the Izzies that was just a target of opportunity, and an opportunity to piss off the Iranians and spoil US-Iranian talks that couldn't be passed up.

Actually, their bigh handedness in 'reaching beyond their borders' (i.e. violating the sovereignty of their neighbouring countries) gives testimony only to their military supremacy and the lack of threats that would impose on them a degree of restraint.

To wit:
If Russia was anywhere near as agressive as Israel, we'd have MIG's breaking the soundbarrier over Kiew as a reminder who's boss every week. Yet we don't. The Israelis routinely do that over Lebanon.

Margaret Steinfels


One way to analyze the current situation is to talk about how Netanyahu and Obama can't get along. And the NYTimes story by Peter Baker (from DC) and Jodi Rudoren (from Jerusalem) is a perfect example of shifting the subject from one of political and strategic interests to personal relationships (OY! Shades of reality TV).

We also see via quotes and "analysis" everyone tap dancing to cover up the real problems and attempting to get this bad marriage patched up...at least until 2016 when President Hillary will reconcile with Netanyahu.

Story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/world/middleeast/a-strained-alliance-obama-netanyahu-rift-grew-over-years.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Charles I

You may read some detailed analysis of Israeli policy and actions w/r/t Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria here:


The main point made is that Israel Threatened Lebanon with country wide assault if there is another war on the Israel/Lebanon border. Therefore Hezbollah has been using Syria as a beard/staging ground for both anti-Isis and anti- Israeli ops that obviate the deterrent threat of a nation wide attack on Lebanon.

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