Israel Appoints Negotiator For Peace Talks With Palestinians – Will It Work?


TYT Network

The Huffington Post writes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – under pressure from President Barack Obama to prove his commitment to a two-state solution – is likely to name a new top negotiator for talks with the Palestinians. However, Netanyahu’s choice – Silvan Shalom – is not particularly pro-peace.

Some Homeless Palestinian Gazans Live In Bombed-Out Buildings, Shelters

MSNBC

According to YNet News, aid agencies struggling to shelter thousands of Gazans made homeless by war have resorted to building makeshift temporary homes out of metal due to Israeli restrictions on imports into the coastal territory.

As of February, around 150,000 families were still homeless after last year’s war between Israel and Hamas.

IDF bombardment destroyed thousands of apartment buildings and homes during the conflict.

“During the 50-day conflict, 9,800 homes were totally destroyed and another 8,000 left uninhabitable, according to data from the Housing Ministry in Gaza,” states arabnews.com.

Israel limits the flow of concrete, cement, iron bars and other materials into Gaza. They are considered “dual use” items that could have a military purpose if they were seized by Hamas to rebuild tunnels used to launch attacks.

A UAE association provided 50 mobile homes last year to residents of the southern town of Khan Younis.

More here:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4628829,00.html

http://www.arabnews.com/news/629821

(Updated article)

Israel Spies On Negotiations With Iran: Wall Street Journal

A new article by the Wall Street Journal states that Israel spied on Iran’s nuclear talks with the United States — and used the information to undermine the Obama administration’s position with the GOP-led Congress.

The White House found out about the operation, the Journal reports, when U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted messages among Israeli officials containing details that U.S. officials believed could have come only from the top-secret negotiations.  The WSJ claims it spoke with “senior White House officials” about the incident.

“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” a senior U.S. official told the WSJ.

U.S. officials say that classified information – such as the number of centrifuges that Iran might be able to keep operating as part of a final accord – were then shared with lawmakers in a concerted effort to derail the talks.

Israeli officials deny that and told the Journal that they did not spy directly on American negotiators.

“They say they got their information through other means, such as surveillance of Iran’s leaders or via one of the U.S.’s negotiating partners, such as the French,” states Politico.

The report shows the growing rift between the Obama administration and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which has deepened in the wake of Netanyahu’s reelection last week.

“People feel personally sold out,” a senior White House official told the WSJ.  “That’s where the Israelis really better be careful, because a lot of these people will not only be around for this administration but possibly the next one as well.”

A senior official in Netanyahu’s office fired back, calling the allegations “utterly false” in an interview with CNN, adding that “Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel’s other allies. The false allegations are clearly intended to undermine the strong ties between the United States and Israel and the security and intelligence relationship we share.”

The Wall Street Journal:  “Using levers of political influence unique to Israel, Messrs. Netanyahu and Dermer (the Israeli ambassador to the U.S.) calculated that a lobbying campaign in Congress before an announcement was made would improve the chances of killing or reshaping any deal.”

More:

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/israel-iran-netanyahu-spying-116344.html#ixzz3VQj4yLLv

MSNBC Interview With Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell for an interview – the first since he won re-election.

They discussed several topics, including his recent election, his relationship with the White House, his speech in Congress, and his support – or lack of support – for a Palestinian state.

MSNBC

(Updated post)

What Does Boehner’s Visit To Netanyahu Mean?


TYT Network

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, who invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress this month, will visit Israel in the coming weeks, his spokesman said Friday.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz calls Speaker Boehner “U.S. President Barack Obama’s arch rival and the man who invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make his controversial speech in Congress.”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress on March 3rd seemed oriented towards undermining peace negotiations with Iran. Why – because he wants war? The terms of the deal have not even been released yet? Why the rush? A letter from 47 opposition senators directly to Iranian leadership in regards to the peace deal also made the situation more complex – and “two-faced.”

Senior Israeli officials who asked to remain anonymous said Boehner will begin his visit – which has not yet been announced publicly – on March 31st, states Haaretz. He will be heading a delegation of Republican Congress members.

Fox News Pundit Rivera Stuns Co-hosts By Not Being a Moron


Majority Report

Geraldo Rivera recently made total sense while discussing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Fox News’ TV show ‘Fox and Friends.’ Cliff Schecter joins Majority Report to discuss.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wins?

Most news outlets are now claiming that Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the recent Israeli elections.  With nearly all votes counted on Wednesday, Likud had won 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, comfortably defeating the center-left Zionist Union opposition on 24 seats. A united list of Israeli Arab parties came in third.

The New York Times:

“After a bruising campaign focused on his failings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel won a clear victory in Tuesday’s elections and seemed all but certain to form a new government and serve a fourth term, though he offended many voters and alienated allies in the process.

“With 99.5 percent of the ballots counted, the YNet news site reported Wednesday morning that Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party had captured 29 or 30 of the 120 seats in Parliament, sweeping past his chief rival, the center-left Zionist Union alliance, which got 24 seats.”

Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday to form a new governing coalition quickly after an upset election victory that was built on a shift to the right and is likely to worsen a troubled relationship with the White House, according to Yahoo News.

In the final days of campaigning, Netanyahu abandoned a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state – the basis of more than two decades of Middle East peacemaking – and promised to go on bulldozing areas and building settlements on occupied land.

Such policies defy the vision of a peace treaty for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is embraced by President Barack Obama and his Republican and Democratic predecessors, states Yahoo News.

The result was in some ways an unexpected victory for Netanyahu:  opinion polls published four days before the vote had shown Likud trailing the Zionist Union by four seats.

More here

(Updated article)

Al Jazeera: Israeli Elections Too Close To Call For Benjamin Netanyahu

Today Israel is having an election, which was called last december by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

To the surprise of many, Netanyahu is “fighting for his political life” against once implausible challenger Isaac Herzog, states the publication Haaretz.

Ballots are being cast at 10,372 polling stations throughout Israel, and will remain open until 10 P.M. There are 5,881,696 Israelis (citizens over the age of 18) who are eligible to vote today for the 20th Knesset, states Haaretz.

Israel’s right-wing Likud and the center-left Zionist Union parties are neck and neck in the polls, and are getting the most votes, claims the news organization Al Jazeera.

Experts say the electoral campaigns reflect the country’s growing divisions towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governance.

Netanyahu’s Likud had for weeks been tied with the Zionist Union coalition at a projected 23 seats each.

A poll conducted one week before the elections by Israel’s Channel 2 claims that the Zionist Union will gain 25 seats to Likud’s 21.

The elections were announced when Netanyahu “sacked” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid over disagreements stemming from the controversial Jewish-state bill, a proposed law that defines Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”.

During a recent visit to Jerusalem, where tensions have soared between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian residents since last summer, Netanyahu vowed to quash unrest and continue building Jewish-only settlements if he wins the elections.

“Unlike Tzipi Livni, who condemns our building in Jerusalem, and unlike [Zionist Union co-leader Isaac] Herzog, who will allow the establishment of a second terrorist state in Judea and Samaria, we will preserve a secure and united Jerusalem forever,” he proclaimed.

Israel has more than two parties with seats in Parliament.

The Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudit), a right-wing Zionist party that supports unilaterally annexing large swaths of the occupied West Bank, is currently projected to gain 12 seats.

The Joint Arab List, a coalition of four Arab-majority parties, is expected to take 13 seats, as is Yesh Atid, the centrist party headed by former Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid.

During the 2013 elections, voter turnout was 67 percent, and pollsters predict that it will be similar this year.

“Israel traditionally has had a high voter turnout,” Dahlia Scheindlin, an independent pollster and writer at 972 Magazine, told Al Jazeera. “The last elections saw one of the higher turnouts in recent years, but it is not that high for Israel. From 1949 till 1999, turnout for national elections was an average of 80 percent.”

Some believe Netanyahu is still favored to win.

“Most Israelis see very little reason to change the incumbent. If he [Netanyahu] wins, and I expect he will, these are the last elections he will win. On the other side of the political map, that means that the Israeli centre-left and left are still nowhere near getting back on their feet,” says Dimi Reider, of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

MK Dov Lipman, a member of the Yesh Atid party, summed up the elections as “a referendum on Netanyahu”, adding that a large percentage of Israelis are still polling as undecided.

More here:

http://news.yahoo.com/israelis-vote-parliament-campaign-focused-economy-050717064.html

(Updated post)

Poll: US Support For Binjamin Netanyahu Has Fallen After His Speech

American-opinion-on-Israeli-prime-minister-Binyamin-Netanyahu-Feb-8-11-March-5-8_chartbuilder

According to a Gallup poll, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “favorable” rating among the American public fell by 7 percentage points after his address, while the number of people with an “unfavorable” assessment of him rose by 5 percentage points.

More here