Until now, Danny Danon was a marginal character from the extremist back benches. In the next Knesset, he will be at the heart of Israel’s ruling party
Jenn Rubin, when not pushing out Romney talking points is in favor of freeing traitors, claims to be a conservative covering the conservative movement, though she has nothing in common with conservatives other than hating terrorists. A conservative friend says she’s best understood as ‘Likud’ rather than Republican or conservative. There’s nothing wrong with being Likud, but one ought to be honest about it. (Please be sure to read this update regarding this reference)
The update to which he refers took 16 hours to get there, and includes this:
I nor the friend of mine who offered that up are anti-Semitic, but it has apparently hit a nerve that I did not intend to hit and I feel I do need to apologize for that. A friend of mine explains to me that a Jewish-American might find it insulting because it suggests they put Israel ahead of the United States.
I had not thought of that when writing it and was not my intention. Where I finally had enough of Jenn Rubin was her position on Jonathan Pollard that I cannot in any way, shape, or form comprehend as being the right position. It was that position of hers and her positions on national security, terrorism, and Israel (all three of which she and I see eye to eye on) that didn’t make me think twice about using the Likud comparison. Apparently I should have. Likud as a party is tough as nails on terrorism and security issues, but is liberal to left (by American standards) on fiscal and social policy, and that’s what I intended by the comparison, not a suggestion of misplaced loyalty. And certainly not anti-semitism.
I would not call the Likud ‘liberal to left’ on fiscal policy – the forces arrayed against the free market in this country are far different than in the US, and there is a very different balance of power here. But that’s not the point of this post.
What I want to get to is Erickson’s labeling of anyone who advocates for Jonathan Pollard’s release as having dual loyalties (yes, that still comes through in his apology) and of automatically not being a conservative. Over the last year, Lawrence Korb (formerly Caspar Weinberger’s number 2 at the Defense Department), former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, former Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former US Secretary of State George Schultz, and Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree have all come out in favor of releasing Pollard. Of those, to the best of my knowledge, only Mukasey is Jewish and only DeConcini and Ogletree are not Republicans.
Additionally, some 500 American Jewish and Christian leaders called for Pollard’s release in a letter to President Obama in January. That letter cites all of the following (some of whom are already listed above) as favoring Pollard’s release:
Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Senators Charles Schumer and Arlen Specter, Harvard Law Professors Charles Ogletree and Alan Dershowitz, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP, former federal Judge George Leighton, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olsen, Pastor John Hagee, and Gary Bauer.
And 39 members of Congress.
Would Erickson accuse all of them of dual loyalty? Are none of them Republican or conservative enough for Erickson? Surely Hagee and Bauer (at least) ought to be. And if that’s the case, why is Erickson going after Jennifer with a charge like this and not after any of them?
Pollard committed a crime and he’s paid for that crime disproportionately. It’s long past time to let him go. Unfortunately, much of the American Jewish community cannot find its voice on this issue precisely because it is intimidated by the type of dual loyalty charges made by Erickson against Jennifer Rubin. But the American Jewish community ought to find its voice.
Jonathan Pollard continues to sit in jail today precisely because he spied for Israel and not for Russia or China or Cuba. Jonathan Pollard continues to sit in jail today because of Caspar Weinberger’s antipathy for Israel and Jews. Here’s what Lawrence Korb had to say about that when he came out for releasing Pollard.
“Based on the knowledge that I have first hand, I can confidently say that the punishment was so severe because of lack of sympathy for Israel by the U.S. Secretary of Defense at the time, my boss, Caspar Weinberger,” the letter stated.
According to Korb, Weinberg made great efforts to convince the judge to punish Pollard severely. “Although Pollard pleaded guilty, cooperated with the government and asked for clemency – he received disproportionate punishment,” wrote Korb. “In the end Weinberg himself did not put the Pollard story in his biography. Weinberger said that the reason for this is because the affair had been exaggerated beyond minor importance – that is, he finally understood and admitted that the story had been blown beyond proportions. “
Korb emphasized that the average penalty for the offense Pollard committed is two to four years, and even today when the law changed – the average sentence is 10 years. “So if he was sentenced today he could not sit 25 years in prison. Justice will be done if the sentence is shortened to what has already been run to date,” Korb’s letter concluded.
Mr. Erickson should stop bullying people who disagree with him.
There will be a press conference on Thursday night at 8:00 PM in the Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem, where they will officially announce the merger.
Channel 2 said the joint party will be called “Likud-Beyteinu”. Netanyahu will be number 1 on the list, followed by Liberman who will be his number 2.
Liberman used to be a member of the Likud, and broke away to form his own party in 1997. At the time the speculation was this was part of a larger master plan, where Liberman would attract the Russian votes that the Likud couldn’t, and support the Likud with the seats they gained.
The Likud currently has 27 seats, and Yisrael Beiteinu 15. This merger has the potential to increase their seats, as well as practically guarantee that they will be the largest party and bloc in the upcoming election.
Internal surveys say the joint list could win up to 50 seats.
Strategic Affairs minister rejects notion that Palestinian bid for UN unilateral declaration of state will lead to int’l isolation; says Israel ready to renew talks: “We’ve been waiting for Abbas for two years.”
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Saturday rejected claims that Palestinian plans to go to the UN for a unilateral statehood declaration constitute a “diplomatic tsunami” for Israel, saying “we must not be afraid of the September scare tactics.” The Likud minister made the comments during an interview with Channel 2.
Ya’alon said that Israel was taking diplomatic action to stop the UN Security Council from unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian State in September. He pointed out his own recent trip to Moscow to advance Israel’s diplomatic interests and the efforts of President Shimon Peres, who warned South American leaders about the harm of a unilateral statehood while on his current trip to Italy. Ya’alon said that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in the UN General Assembly would not lead to Israel’s isolation or have any concrete effect on the country. He added that Israel was prepared for a Palestinian outbreak of violence as well.
The Likud minister said the government would discuss French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe’s proposed peace conference in Paris in the coming days.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday cautiously welcomed a French proposal to convene Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Paris to try to renew collapsed peace talks. Juppe this week offered to host talks to discuss ideas for a Palestinian state raised last month by US President Barack Obama, aiming to avert a showdown at the United Nations in September.
“We said that in principle this initiative is acceptable,” Abbas told Reuters, two days after his talks with Juppe in Ramallah.
Abbas said the French plan “talks about President Obama’s vision …in which he spoke about a [Palestinian] state with the ’67 borders with Israel, Egypt and Jordan.”
Under the plan discussed with Juppe, “neither side would carry out unilateral actions,” Abbas added.
Ya’alon said that there were “paradigm differences between the two sides.” He stated that while Abbas had expressed willingness to go to Paris, the PA president had not agreed to begin negotiations with Israel.
“We are ready to go to the table. We have been waiting for Abu Mazen [Abbas] for two years,” Ya’alon told Channel 2.
Juppe said he is “slightly optimistic” after his Mideast visit.
“I would be lying if I said I was very optimistic. I am slightly optimistic,” Juppe said after his talks with Netanyahu.
The French proposal calls for Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to meet this month or by early July with an eye to reviving talks which broke off last year in a dispute on Jewish settlement building in land Palestinians seek for a state.
Reuters contributed to this report
JPOST.COM STAFF 06/04/2011 via docstalk.blogspot.com
The United States Senate and House of Representatives treated Bibi like a Rock Star, but you would not know it from the Progressive newspaper of record, the New York Times headline proclaimed:
“Israelis See Netanyahu Trip as Diplomatic Failure.”
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel returned from Washington on Wednesday to a nearly unanimous assessment among Israelis that despite his forceful defense of Israel’s security interests, hopes were dashed that his visit might advance peace negotiations with the Palestinians.”
Two new polls prove the NY Times report about Israeli reaction was totally biased.
A poll conduced by the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz which reported the positive Israeli reaction to Netanyahu’s trip.
“Ha’aretz Poll: Netanyahu’s Popularity Soaring Following Washington Trip”
“A new poll conducted by Dialog, under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs of the Tel Aviv University Statistics Department, showed that 47% of the Israeli public believes Netanyahu’s U.S. trip was a success, while only 10% viewed it as a failure.”
The moderate Jerusalem post conducted its own poll conducted after Obama’s Speech to AIPAC:
When asked in the poll whether they saw Obama’s administration as more pro-Israel, more pro-Palestinian or neutral, just 12 percent of Israeli Jews surveyed said more pro-Israel, while 40% said more pro-Palestinian, 34% said neutral and 13% did not express an opinion.
Other polls taken after the Netanyahu trip agree with the other two:
A Telesker poll published in Ma’ariv on Wednesday found that the Likud had strengthened against Kadima. The poll predicted that the Likud would rise from 27 to 30 Knesset seats, while Kadima would fall from 28 to 27.
Asked who was more fit to be prime minister, 36.9% said Netanyahu; 28.3% said Kadima leader Tzipi Livni; 9.2% said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Israel Beiteinu; 2.6% said Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Independence; and 18.2% answered none of the above.
A Sarid Institute poll broadcast on Channel 2 Tuesday night found that 38% of Israelis found Netanyahu most fit to be prime minister, and 35% Livni. The poll found that the Likud had grown in support at Kadima’s expense.
If the NY Times had any interest in the truth it would have declared that Israelis saw the Netanyahu trip as a success, and as a result the Likud party grew in support. But the truth isn’t the story the progressive media wanted to convey. They wanted to brand the Netanyahu trip as an object failure for the Israeli PM, after all he had dared to “school” the precious infallible President.
Despite AIPAC speech, 40% of 600 Jewish Israelis deem US administration pro-Palestinian in ‘Jerusalem Post’/Smith poll.US President Barack Obama’s attempt to portray himself as pro-Israel in a
high-profile speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday
did not succeed, according to a Smith Research poll sponsored by The Jerusalem
The speech was intended to correct impressions that he was hostile
toward Israel, which may have been reinforced by a landmark address about the
Middle East that he delivered at the State Department last Thursday, and by a
tense press conference at the White House on Friday with Prime Minister Binyamin
In the AIPAC speech, Obama chose not to specifically rule out
the “return” to Israel of millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees, and
did not announce his first visit to Israel as president, as many hoped he would.
But he did insist that Israel must remain the Jewish “homeland,” indicating
opposition to the Palestinian demand for refugees’ “return, spoke about Jews’
yearning for Israel through the centuries, listed many ways in which his
administration was helping Israel and clarified his position on creating a
Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps.
When asked in the poll
whether they saw Obama’s administration as more pro-Israel, more pro-Palestinian
or neutral, just 12 percent of Israeli Jews surveyed said more pro-Israel, while
40% said more pro-Palestinian, 34% said neutral and 13% did not express an
Still, the poll found that the gap between Israelis who say the
administration is pro-Palestinian and those deeming it pro-Israel has narrowed
since previous surveys.
The poll of 600 Jewish Israelis, representing a
statistical sample of the adult Jewish population, was taken on Monday and
Tuesday and had a 4-percentage point margin of error.
defined themselves at the left end of the political map were more likely than
others to deem the Obama administration more pro-Israel – 28% compared to 12%.
Among Kadima supporters, 37% said the administration was more pro-Palestinian;
19% said it was more pro-Israel.
The respondents most likely to label the
Obama administration as more pro- Palestinian were Orthodox Israelis, at 58%,
and right-wing respondents, at 53%. Among Likud supporters, 49% said the
administration was more pro-Palestinian; 11% said it was more
The question asked was exactly the same as in five previous
polls sponsored by this newspaper since May 2009.
The first poll, which
was taken before the first Netanyahu-Obama meeting in the White House – and
Obama’s landmark speech in Cairo in June 2009 – found that 31% considered his
presidency more pro- Israel, and 14% more pro-Palestinian.
The next poll,
taken just one month later, found a huge shift, with the proportion calling the
Obama administration more pro-Palestinian rising from 14% to 50%, and the
proportion calling it more pro-Israel falling from 31% to only 6%.
calling the Obama presidency more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian fell in August
2009 to 4%, and rose to 9% in March 2010.
Since then, the share who
consider this White House more pro-Israel has risen gradually and slightly,
while the percentage saying it is more pro-Palestinian has gradually
Polls taken in March and July 2010 found that 9% and 10%,
respectively, called the administration more pro- Israel; 48% and 46%,
respectively, called it more pro-Palestinian.
The gap between Israelis
calling the administration more pro-Palestinian and more pro-Israel has fallen
from 47% in August 2009 to 28% this week.
Obama fared better in a Dialog
poll published by Haaretz on Thursday, which found that a quarter of the public
considers him friendly to Israel, while 20% called him hostile and 43% described
him as “businesslike.”
The Dialog poll found that 47% of the Israeli
public deemed Netanyahu’s trip to Washington a success, while only 10% viewed it
as a failure.
Nearly half of the public felt pride at seeing Netanyahu
address Congress on Tuesday, while only 5% deemed it a “missed
The proportion of the population expressing satisfaction
with Netanyahu’s performance as prime minister rose from 38% in the last Haaretz
poll five weeks ago, to 51%.
Other polls also indicated a rise in support
for Netanyahu and his Likud Party since his speeches in Washington.
Telesker poll published in Ma’ariv on Wednesday found that the Likud had
strengthened against Kadima. The poll predicted that the Likud would rise from
27 to 30 Knesset seats, while Kadima would fall from 28 to 27.
was more fit to be prime minister, 36.9% said Netanyahu; 28.3% said Kadima
leader Tzipi Livni; 9.2% said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Israel
Beiteinu; 2.6% said Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Independence; and 18.2%
answered none of the above.
A Sarid Institute poll broadcast on Channel 2
Tuesday night found that 38% of Israelis found Netanyahu most fit to be prime
minister, and 35% Livni. The poll found that the Likud had grown in support at
Since the last poll taken by the institute during a
crisis over gas prices, Kadima fell by five seats and Likud rose by
The poll found that if an election were held now, Likud would win
34 seats (up seven from the last election in February 2009); and Kadima 29 (up
A Geocartographic Institute poll broadcast on Channel 1 Tuesday
night predicted that the Likud would win 33 seats, and Kadima 22. According to
that survey, 61% of Jewish Israelis oppose Obama’s formula of the 1967 lines
with land swaps as a basis for an agreement with the Palestinians, while only
27% favor it.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to give up Israeli land to the PA in return for major Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria but drew the “red line” at the so-called “right of return,” according to diplomatic messages exposed by WikiLeaks.
Like most of the WikiLeaks revelations, the significance of the Prime Minister’s positions is that they now are direct quotes from Netanyahu rather than assumptions from “anonymous sources.” The idea of a land swap has been trumpeted by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) and accepted by U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell. Under the proposal, Israel would hand over to the Arabs some land from within Israel’s 1949 borders in return for a Palestinian Authority state’s recognition that areas such as Gush Etzion and Maaleh Adumim would be under Israeli sovereignty.However, an Israeli official told reporters that in the Feb. 26, 2009 cable, dated two weeks after the Prime Minister was elected, “Netanyahu [only] expressed support for the concept of land swaps, and emphasized that he did not want to govern the West Bank and Gaza but rather to stop attacks from being launched from there.” He added that Prime Minister Netanyahu himself “never raised the issue of land swaps and the telegram does not quote him as saying so.”
The issue of immigration of foreign Arabs is called by the Arab world the “right of return,” a term similar to that used in Israel for the right of Jews around the world to immigrate and become citizens of Israel.
No serious Israeli leader has accepted the concept, which would in effect reduce Jews to a minority in the country as a result of the immigration of approximately five million Arabs now living in foreign countries. The Arab world says they should be eligible to live in Israel because they, their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents lived in the country before fleeing in 1948.
Arab armies had encouraged them to leave during the War for Independence, promising them they would return quickly after an expected annihilation of the small and fledgling Israeli army.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, according to a leaked cable, said he “would never allow a single Palestinian refugee to return to Israel. Israel, after all, was not asking for the right of Jews to return to Baghdad or Cairo. Israel will only have a peace partner when the Palestinians drop the right of return.”
He added that accepting Arab immigration and dividing the capital in Jerusalem “would only whet the appetite of radical Islam. The 1967 borders were not the solution since Israel was the only force blocking radical Islam’s agenda of overrunning Jordan and Saudi Arabia.”
If Obama Is Trying To Weaken Netanyahu–It’s Working!
It seems that Likud is getting wary–and weary–of Netanyahu:
A Likud rally at the Knesset on Monday aimed at pressuring the party’s ministers to oppose another construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria turned into a protest against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when party activists called for his ouster.
While MK Danny Danon criticizes Netanyahu, he doesn’t want to go so far as to topple Bibi–for fear of clearing the way for bringing Livni into power, but not all members of Likud are showing the same restraint:
Kiryat Arba Likud activist Boaz Haetzni, who was on the party’s list of Knesset candidates in the last election, condemned Netanyahu for breaking promises to oppose the creation of a Palestinian state, allow life in Judea and Samaria to thrive, rule out a further freeze, and condition another moratorium on the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
“After breaking his word so many times, why should we believe him anymore?” Haetzni asked. “He is leading us to the policies of Meretz.
“The conclusion should be if there is another freeze, we must vow to not let Netanyahu remain head of the Likud and prime minister. We must stop him before we end up in the sea.”
Haetzni’s call for overthrowing Netanyahu received applause from more than 50 Likud activists in the room.
We are not talking about a no-confidence vote, but to the degree that Netanyahu considers himself steering a course within a small space with limited options–he appears to be losing support back home for what some are no seeing as nothing less than a betrayal of trust.
And this is what led to his defeat his first time around as Prime Minister.