Netanyahu at the U.N.: Bibi Makes Nice with Obama

In a departure from his recent icy statements aimed at the Obama Administration, Netanyahu took a friendlier approach in his speech at the U.N.

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Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, addresses the General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York City on Sept. 27, 2012

Benjamin Natanyahu offered an unlikely endorsement of President Barack Obama’s strategy on Iran in a speech on Thursday before the U.N. General Assembly. “Two days ago President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear Iran cannot be contained,” Netanyahu said. “We thank and support President Obama for his position. I believe Democrats and Republicans alike share his position, and it is shared by leaders around the world … Israel is in discussions with the United States on this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.”

In both tone and words, it was a departure from recent statements by the Prime Minister, who is said to have an icy relationship with Obama. At a Sept. 11 press conference, Netanyahu angrily declared: “The world tells Israel, ‘Wait, there’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put redlines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”

(MORE: Exit Ahmadinejad: Iranian President Leaves World Stage with a Whimper)

That came after Netanyahu reportedly dressed down U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro over America’s Iran policy in front of visiting members of Congress — and then leaked the episode days before the Democratic National Convention. And in the lead-up to the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu’s administration leaked word that Obama had declined to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister in New York — an allegation the Obama Administration denied, saying the two men weren’t even scheduled to be in the city at the same time.

Obama’s rival, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, an old friend of Netanyahu from their days working at a consulting firm in Boston, latched on to each of these episodes to pound Obama for not being tougher on Iran. “Every American is less secure today because [Obama] has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear threat,” Romney said in his Tampa speech accepting the GOP nomination. “President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus.”

Israeli officials have become increasingly alarmed at Iran’s rate of uranium refinement, arguing that the window to resolve the conflict diplomatically is closing. In his U.N. speech on Thursday, Netanyahu alleged that Iran would acquire enough uranium for a bomb by next spring and that the time to act is between now and then. He called on the U.S. and other world countries to draw a “redline” on the level of Iran’s uranium production. And, in case his audience didn’t get the message, he held up a Tom-and-Jerry-like cartoon of a bomb and drew a thick red line across the top of it.

But Netanyahu also conceded that unprecedented sanctions levied by the Obama Administration are, for the first time, taking a toll on Iran’s economy. “But we have to face a truth: [sanctions have] not had an effect on Iran’s nuclear program,” he said, citing an International Atomic Energy Agency report that Iran has doubled refinement in the past year at its near-bomb-proof Fordow facility.

(MORE: How Netanyahu Learned to Trust Obama)

Obama argues that the harshest sanctions just took effect this summer and more are on the way. “Let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited,” Obama said at the U.N. on Tuesday. “The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he added.

Most countries — including Russia, China and those in Europe — support the U.S. position that more time is needed for diplomacy and that the threat isn’t as imminent as Netanyahu says. Indeed, the timing of his criticism has led some Democrats and Israelis to criticize the Prime Minister for trying to involve himself in another country’s democratic process. “It’s very simple, and it’s no great secret: Netanyahu wants to see Obama defeated on Nov. 6. He wants Romney elected,” Haaretz newspaper’s editorial board wrote on Sept. 13. “But even if Netanyahu can foresee the future and even if Romney would comply with orders coming from Jerusalem, the outcome Netanyahu wants would be catastrophic. Israel would be accused of meddling in domestic American politics, perhaps even of trying to overthrow the President. And just so that the Prime Minister can beat the drums of war. Acquiring that kind of reputation, which would never be erased, would exact a much more painful price from Israel than would even the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Netanyahu’s speech on Thursday didn’t leave much for Romney to put in a press release. So, what changed in the past week that led Netanyahu to back off of Obama? Perhaps he got a look at recent polls showing Obama pulling ahead in key swing states and increasing his lead nationally. It’s one thing to put a finger on the scale when a race is close and quite another to flat out provoke the man he’s likely going to have to spend the next four years working with. Especially when Israel is due to hold elections next year. As the scripture says and Netanyahu well knows: “An eye for an eye.”

MORE: A Diplomatic Solution to the Iran Nuclear Standoff May Depend On Compromises

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Robert Lewis
Robert Lewis

So what a mud duck trying to make the biggest waves Netanyahu spoke between his teeth let alone unable to hold his current position that U.S. president Obama might do well loosing the Nov 6 election who wants a administration sted~fast throughout and election which really didn't change much but the date  simply said allies need stupit individuals changing right before he takes center stage in his own country.

ChristopherCory
ChristopherCory

"I have a very good team of extraordinarily experienced, highly successful consultants, a couple of people in particular who have done races around the world. I didn't realize it. These guys in the US—the Karl Rove equivalents—they do races all over the world: in Armenia, in Africa, in Israel. I mean, they work for Bibi Netanyahu in his race." by Mitt Romney from his 47% video. So Mitt is telling people that he and Bibi have the same political consultants. It all adds up.

Charley2
Charley2

America appears to have decided that Big Government, runaway trillion dollar deficits, arrogant trade unions, Fast and Furious cover-ups,  underfunded Healthcare, Cities teetering towards bankruptcy,  DOJ (Secretary Holder) support of Democratic Party agenda, diminished morality, legalizing illegal immigration to the detriment of skilled legal immigrants is fine and the disastrous lack of job creation under the current administration, over 8% unemployment and growing, 25 million underemployed, should continue. That the QE (quantitative easing) program, printing money and using it to buy back bonds from Big Banks, where little of the QE money finds its way into economic stimulus, is acceptable. Even the circumvention of the Republican Congress by the administrative implementation of Executive Branch programs through regulation without required legislation does not matter. All of America live on the DOLE (Michael Grunwald, TIME 17 September 2012), financed by taxes which will eventually have to be paid back by   our children and their children whilst the population is aging and a shrinking ratio of workers to retirees. It almost seems as if president Obama must win to pave the way for a revitalized republican party under Chris Christie who has the "fire in his guts" to address and solve the real problems of the USA as outlined above. It appears that candidate Romney is so busy with defending himself from personal attacks, half truths and out of context extracts from speeches, from vice president Biden's character assassination,  that the real problems of the country are not being addressed. Americans have not yet acknowledged that they are in real trouble. Things are really looking up for the Republicans in 2016.

53underscore3
53underscore3

Post election, I think Obama has a great opportunity to leverage a lasting peace in the middle east.

Obama guarantees the US takes action if Iran crosses a red line (to be set later between the two) in exchange for Bibi getting his hands dirty in Israeli politics and puts Palestinian statehood on the fast track to resolution.

It can be done.  Stuff the "complexity", that will go away once the motivation to do it is there.

If that happened, Obama might just go down in history for that alone.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

This would be a *serious* BFD...

53underscore3
53underscore3

He'd go down in history.  Guess what Romney would be?

Um, nevermind, forget that question.

53underscore3
53underscore3

Looks to me like Bibi probably looked a Nate Silvers' website, then looked at that giant "L" on Romney's forehead.

anon76returns
anon76returns

JNS, if my recollection of history serves correctly, "an eye for an eye" is not from scripture but from Mesopotamia's ancient code of Hammurabi.  Eye for an eye is strict even by old Testament standards.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

I've also heard/read from several sources that what's lost in the translation is the intent to "de-escalate" the situation. 

Certainly the implication that "[you *must* take] an eye for an eye", while gruesome, does prevent the situation from escalating.

However, a better translation is: " [take *no more* than] an eye for an eye".

This translation presents a path forward that helps to defuse a volatile situation.

Sadly, too many folks today subscribe to The Chicago Way...

anon76returns
anon76returns

So that's what the righties mean when they go on about "the Chicago way".  So, what do you do when "he" drops ten points in the polls?  Do you drop 30?  Because that would just seem silly.

anon76returns
anon76returns

Never mind- it is from the Code of Hammurabi, but also used in Exodus.  Maybe Bibi does know better than I do.

gysgt213
gysgt213

Should read Bibi attempts to influence the U.S. election and provoke another unnecessary war fails.  For now.

JohnWV
JohnWV

Only a viable existential threat will disrupt the Jewish state's brutish

pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and racist empire.

An Iran with nukes would better balance Mideast hegemony and just

might make Mideast peace possible.

JohnWV
JohnWV

However did we get it all so backwards? As a signatory to the Non

Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an internationally recognized right to

develop and implement nuclear technology. Israel rejected the NPT and

has no such right. Yet, the Jewish state has ICBM nukes and openly

threatens Iran; actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not

Iran, should be sanctioned and forced to reveal its nuclear

machinations to IAEA inspection. However did we get it all so

backwards?

wavettore
wavettore

Is Iran the

excuse? Or a cybernetic attack?

 

Time for Awakening  

 

Since 9/11 it's the War

on Terror 

One "false

flag" attack so called by error

Blair, Bush, and Israel had a

Pact in store

 Their next

surprise is knocking at your door

 A hidden vile Idea from

those who want "more"

 will use you

and your Belief for the next World War

As "chosen

people" gain while Humankind loses 

Greed wins not by the

swords but by the words of Moses

Daring is to tell you

when, better then to tell you rhymes

could not side with

either one to get ready for our times

to look beyond and past

today to seek for a solution

one only hope is there

for you and spells Wavevolution

 

...................

 

A new type of Revolution

wins with the ultimate weapon:

Your Mind

 

WWW.WAVEVOLUTION.ORG 

Viral Videos
Viral Videos

Fight your own battle, or take your fear-mongering and stuff it in your tailpipe. Choose one of your only two options, Israel.

carlcid
carlcid

Bibi Netanyahu should shed off the crybaby image and, instead, work with the United States, which has exerted so much effort to halt Iran's nuclear enrichment. The Stuxnet virus and sanctions have had their effect and have clearly slowed down Iran's nuclear enrichment. Netanyahu should remember Teddy Roosevelt's maxim: "Speak softly, but carry a big stick". Bibi should stop whining about the "red line", which would only telegraph American and Israeli intentions. Just observe and then act accordingly. With a big stick.

wavettore
wavettore

Is Iran the excuse? Or a cybernetic attack?

Time for Awakening 

 

Since 9/11 it's the War on Terror

One "false flag" attack so called by error

Blair, Bush, and Israel had a Pact in store

Their next surprise is knocking at your door

A hidden vile Idea from those who want "more"

will use you and your Belief for the next World War

As "chosen people" gain while Humankind loses

Greed wins not by the swords but by the words of Moses

Daring is to tell you when, better then to tell you rhymes

could not side with either one to get ready for our times

to look beyond and past today to seek for a solution

one only hope is there for you and spells Wavevolution

 

...................

 

A new type of Revolution wins with the ultimate weapon:

Your Mind

http://www.wavevolution.org/en...

 

LavXolm
LavXolm

so, it looks like it's Romney, Ryan and Netanyahoo on the Republican ticket; a vote for Another War...

mamaotis
mamaotis

Obama said, "The United States will do what it must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."  In politico-speak that means invasion and another war in the Mideast. The US has been going at it more subtly than Israel but both have had their eye on invasion. Recall that the same approachs were used on Iraq...sanctions and the 'threat' of nuclear weapons (which ended up not existing). The little dance between Obama and Netanyahu is a show for public consumption. Would more Americans please wake up to the likely possibility that we'll be in yet another war and this one could proliferate into a much wider war.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"...Netanyahu alleged that Iran would acquire enough uranium for a bomb by next spring and that the time to act is between now and then."

Right, and the free, clip-art bomb graphic added the credibility he needed for what he's been claiming for the past 19 years. What a maroon.

anon76returns
anon76returns

It does lend an air of Snidely Whiplash-sophistication to his talk.

Eileen Fleming
Eileen Fleming

What Bibi can't make nice about is something every American needs to know about Israel’s WMD’s, as told to me by their Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu:

“Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building

atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit

the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a

nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only

for peace.’

“Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection.

He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for

inspection.

“When

Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two

senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would

visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground

elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they

never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a

result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two

hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a

year.” -excerpted from “BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of

SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker 2005-2010″ by Eileen Fleming

http://www.eileenfleming.org/i...

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

A simple fact:

http://news.yahoo.com/ajc-nati...

On the U.S.-Israel relationship, 61 percent approve, and 39 percent disapprove, of the way President Obama is handling it. When asked which major party is likely to make the right decisions regarding U.S.-Israel relations, 60 percent choose the Democratic Party and 39 percent the Republican Party. 

It's amazing how many people pretend this isn't true or doesn't matter.

sacredh
sacredh

PD, if people would just stop and think about those numbers for a minute a few conclusions would be clear to them. Just assume that there are as many democrats as republicans in the country. The republicans say they're the majority but they're full of sh1t. Just for arguments sake let's say that 40% of the country is republican and 40% are democrats. Let's give independents  the other 20%. Who is saying that the democrats are better suited to handle our relations with Israel? The republicans aren't agreeing with Obama on ANYTHING. So either all the republicans are saying they're better and then all the democrats plus all the independents are siding with Obama or else there are significant numbers of republicans reaching the conclusion that obama is better equipped to handle foreign affairs.

.

We can mix up the percentages anyway we want to, but 60% is landslide territory.

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

In case I didn't make clear, this is a survey of American Jewish Voters. 

sacredh
sacredh

Please disregard my post then.

sacredh
sacredh

"That came after Netanyahu reportedly dressed down U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro over America’s Iran policy in front of visiting members of Congress – and then leaked the episode days before the Democratic National Convention."

.

BiBi needs Barack a hell of a lot more than Barack needs BiBi. It's time he realized that he can't call Obama's shots for him.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Hey sacred,

I think Romney's drop in the polls has produced a "Come to Yahweh" moment for Bibi and (finally) gotten him to talk nice to Obama.

sacredh
sacredh

Nate has Romney up 1% in the new calculations. Not up overall...that's crazy.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Thanks, Jay. It looks like stamping feet and whining doesn't get attention for Netanyahu, so will playing nice work instead? Today, Netanyahu's silly cartoon bomb ala Clouseau is funny in a Romneyesque way, but his mix of begging for attention and wishing for violence with Iran is not. Let's hope Obama stays the slow-pressure course and ignore Bibi's rash behavior. Jay's dead-tree article (it's still behind paywall, have to buy the paper version) shows daily life in Iran under sanctions. Alas, Bibi's BFF Ahmadinejad still doesn't get the hint.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

filmnoia
filmnoia

Unlike many of the Reich Wingers who are still in denial , Netanyahu is starting to "smell the coffee" and realizes what is going to happen on 11/6, so he had better play nice/nice to someone he's going to have to deal with.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

My thought exactly, filmnoia.

Nothing like a 3% drop in the GOP candidate's polls, to get Bibi to "talk nice"...

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Too late.  President Obama will watch out for Israel, but Bibi is history and any future correlation that may occur will be coincidental.