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Old 06-11-2009, 11:21 PM   #1
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Talking Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

Unnatural Growth

Bibi Netanyahu says the Israeli settlements in the West Bank must grow to accommodate population expansion. He's full of it.

It must be said that Benjamin Netanyahu has learned a little from Barack Obama. True, the Israeli prime minister has been remarkably slow in grasping that when the U.S. president says he wants a freeze on settlement building, he means a freeze. But at least Netanyahu has learned that the way to reframe your foreign policy is to give a big, well-publicized speech at a university campus.

So on Sunday, June 14, Netanyahu will speak at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv. I can't guess what the prime minister will say. But here's one thing he absolutely shouldn't say: "Construction must continue in settlements to accommodate natural growth." If he does make this argument, no one should take it seriously. It's built on layers of myth and misconceptions.

Let's take them one by one.

Obama wants a baby ban: First is the completely misconceived notion -- put out by everyone from Israeli politicians to American pundits -- that Obama's stance is a decree against having babies in settlements. This is silly. The president is reiterating what's stated in the 2003 road map for peace: Israel must freeze "settlement activity," meaning building and expansion of settlements. The issue is construction, not reproduction.

The fact is that even if all building in settlements stopped cold today, the number of Israelis in settlements would keep rising. Young couples who have bought apartments or houses in bedroom communities like Ma'aleh Adumim and Beitar Illit have done so with growing families in mind and have picked homes accordingly. If a couple decides to have more kids than they planned on, they have prosaic middle-class alternatives, just like couples elsewhere in the developed world: They can use the space in their current home differently, or they can shop for a house elsewhere.

Grown children must live next door to their parents: Obama's critics also claim that he's denying homes to young people who have grown up in settlements. But who said that people in modern societies have a basic right to live in the same neighborhood as their parents? Parents living in Israeli cities know that their children won't necessarily live down the street when they grow up. Settlers may also have to drive to visit their grandchildren. They may have to enter Israel. That's not a denial of human rights, or of Zionism.

Pinchas Wallerstein, director-general of the Council of Settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, admitted this week in an interview on Israel Radio that "natural development," as he called it, isn't meant to make room for settlers' own children. Instead, he argued, the number of homes being built should match the number of settler couples getting married -- regardless of who actually lives in those homes. But Wallerstein's yardstick -- the number of marriages -- is arbitrary. His goal is simply to continue and accelerate settlement growth.

Natural increase is the only reason that settlements grow: Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2007 -- the most recent year for which there are figures -- the West Bank settlement population grew 5.6 percent. That's three times faster than the growth of the Israeli population as a whole.

Partly, that's due to a high birthrate. But more than one third of the growth resulted from continued migration into settlements. The influx isn't a product of some "invisible hand" of the real estate market. Far from it. The Israeli government has encouraged growth through planning, state-initiated projects, and subsidies.

Under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the government pushed development in the major "settlement blocs" -- areas that Olmert hoped to hold onto in a peace agreement. The reason for the rush to build is precisely that no agreement has been reached with the Palestinians over the future of the blocs. By building, Olmert wanted to make withdrawal from those areas more difficult.

That fits an old pattern: Since settlement began in 1967, weeks after Israel's victory in the Six Day War, the purpose has been to "create facts" that will obligate future governments and constrain any diplomatic process. Settlers who are honest with themselves know that their communities were built as part of a political bid to impose a particular vision of the future of the West Bank -- one that could fail at any time. The settlement enterprise has always had the risk of a freeze or an evacuation built into it.

Since we're negotiating, building doesn't matter: Most previous U.S. administrations have avoided confrontation over settlements if peace talks were in progress. Obama is right to avoid this mistake, because construction is aimed at preempting the negotiations.

Unintentionally, Wallerstein made the point clear in his radio interview. There are already 300,000 Israelis living in the West Bank, he noted. (The figure doesn't include the Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.) If we really make peace, he said, it won't matter if the number has risen to 325,000. A few seconds later, he recalled the trauma to Israeli society caused by evacuating 9,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

The classic definition of chutzpah is murdering your parents and begging for the mercy of the court because you're an orphan. Adding thousands of settlers to existing communities so that later you can claim that evacuating them would be too great a trauma could be another definition.

It's OK to build inside existing settlements. Recently, Israeli officials have claimed that there was an understanding, partly oral, with the Bush administration that construction could continue within or next to the built-up areas of settlements. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says there's no record of such an agreement. The kindest reading of the dispute is that what Washington saw as a discussion, Jerusalem interpreted as an agreement.

But if former President George W. Bush did agree to building within existing settlements, he didn't grasp the issue. One reason for building is to increase the size of settlements, and therefore the area that Israel will keep. Another is to increase the number of people in settlements, so that evacuation looks more difficult. Building within the existing area of settlements doesn't serve the first purpose -- but it serves the second purpose well.

The bottom line is that all settlement construction is political. The "natural growth" argument is a ruse meant to disguise the real goal: determining the future of the territory before anyone has a chance to negotiate. If Netanyahu has really learned something from recent tensions, he won't repeat the ruse in his speech on Sunday.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/c...?story_id=4998
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

I just don't get it.

Jordan, Syria, etc. attack Israel in the fifties, and take the settlement lands on the way back. Then, they use those lands to attack Israel in the late 60's.

Israel takes the land in a war against Jordan and other northern aggressors, and now they are supposed to turn the lands back over to the Palestinians. . . who all but gave the lands to Jordan and Syria etc. in the first place?

Naaa... make Jordan, Syria, etc. pay war reparations to the Palestinians for taking the land, and to Israel for launching a war against Israel, in exchange for Israel turning the lands over to a 3rd party that is NOT Palestine nor Arab.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

totally agree 100% preach...

(oh, and everybody hates obama - even those who like and voted for him)
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
totally agree 100% preach...

(oh, and everybody hates obama - even those who like and voted for him)
Does that include you too?
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

The relations between America and Israel are already changed and they will get worse in the time to come. Arab countries are a lot to do in this matter as Israel is never been a good friend of Arabs and America support them that everybody knows. There are many more reason responsible for such conditions between Israel and America.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

Over 2/3rds of the World (in a recent poll) said they trusted Obama.

He may be wrecking our economy, but apparently the rest of the World LOVES him throwing the US under the bus along the way...
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
Over 2/3rds of the World (in a recent poll) said they trusted Obama.

He may be wrecking our economy, but apparently the rest of the World LOVES him throwing the US under the bus along the way...
Well, as long as the rest of the world approves, that's all that really matters.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
Over 2/3rds of the World (in a recent poll) said they trusted Obama.

He may be wrecking our economy, but apparently the rest of the World LOVES him throwing the US under the bus along the way...
The Russians don't think so...

NO OBAMAMANIA HERE

"We are maybe the one country in the world where there is no Obamamania," Sergei Markov, a parliamentary deputy from the ruling United Russia party, told Reuters.

"For us he is not president of the world but the president of the United States of America."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090707/...s_obama_russia

At least the Russians can see it........
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Now do The Jews hate Obama because of his stand on Israeli settlement?

More on Obama in Russia.

One thing that I think Krauth leaves out: I think this agreement is simply tossing Russia a bone, and has no REAL value. It really solves nothing and does nothing but maybe save Russia a little cash. There isn't going to be any nuke war with Russia, but this agreement hearkens back to the days when they were a superpower, and it probably makes them FEEL like a superpower again, even though those days are gone forever. It's just a symbolic gesture...

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/50563762.html

Obama's plumage from Russia

By Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post

Published on Sunday, Jul 12, 2009

WASHINGTON: The signing ceremony in Moscow was a grand affair. For Barack Obama, foreign policy neophyte and ''reset'' man, the arms reduction agreement had a Kissingerian air. A fine feather in his cap. And our president likes his plumage.

Unfortunately for the United States, the country Obama represents, the prospective treaty is useless at best, detrimental at worst.

Useless because the level of offensive nuclear weaponry, the subject of the U.S.-Russia ''Joint Understanding,'' is an irrelevance. We could today terminate all such negotiations, invite the Russians to build as many warheads as they want, and profitably watch them spend themselves into penury, as did their Soviet predecessors, stockpiling weapons that do nothing more than, as Churchill put it, make the rubble bounce.

Obama says that his START will be a great boon, setting an example to enable us to better pressure North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear programs. That a man of Obama's intelligence can believe such nonsense is beyond comprehension. There is not a shred of evidence that cuts by the great powers — the INF treaty, START I, the Treaty of Moscow (2002) — induced the curtailment of anyone's programs. Moammar Gadhafi gave up his nukes the week we pulled Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole. No treaty involved. The very notion that Kim Jong Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will suddenly abjure nukes because of yet another U.S.-Russian treaty is comical.

The pursuit of such an offensive weapons treaty could nonetheless be detrimental to us. Why? Because Obama's hunger for a diplomatic success, such as it is, allowed the Russians to exact a price: linkage between offensive and defensive nuclear weapons.

This is important for Russia because of the huge American technological advantage in defensive weaponry. We can reliably shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile. They cannot. And since defensive weaponry will be the decisive strategic factor of the 21st century, Russia has striven mightily for a quarter-century to halt its development. Gorbachev tried to swindle Reagan out of the Strategic Defense Initiative at Reykjavik in 1986. Reagan refused. As did his successors — Bush I, Clinton, Bush II.

Obama, who seeks to banish nuclear weapons entirely, has little use for such prosaic contrivances. First, the Obama budget actually cuts spending on missile defense, at a time when federal spending is a riot of extravagance and trillion-dollar deficits. Then comes the ''pause'' (as Russia's president appreciatively noted) in the planned establishment of a missile shield in Eastern Europe. And now the ''Joint Understanding'' commits us to a new treaty that includes ''a provision on the interrelationship of strategic offensive and strategic defensive arms.'' Obama further said that the East European missile shield ''will be the subject of extensive negotiations'' between the United States and Russia.

Obama doesn't even seem to understand the ramifications of this concession. Poland and the Czech Republic thought they were regaining their independence when they joined NATO under the protection of the United States. They now see that the shield negotiated with us and subsequently ratified by all of NATO is in limbo. Russia and America will first have to ''come to terms'' on the issue, explained President Dmitry Medvedev. This is precisely the kind of compromised sovereignty that Russia wants to impose on its ex-Soviet colonies — and that U.S. presidents of both parties for the last 20 years have resisted.

Resistance, however, is not part of Obama's repertoire. Hence his eagerness for arcane negotiations over MIRV'd missiles, the perfect distraction from the major issue between the two countries: Vladimir Putin's unapologetic and relentless drive to restore Moscow's hegemony over the sovereign states that used to be Soviet satrapies.

That — not nukes — is the chief cause of the friction between the U.S. and Russia. You wouldn't know it to hear Obama in Moscow pledging to halt the ''drift'' in U.S.-Russian relations. Drift? The decline in relations came from Putin's desire to undo what he considers ''the greatest geopolitical catastrophe'' of the 20th century — the collapse of the Soviet empire. Hence his squeezing Ukraine's energy supplies. His overt threats against Poland and the Czech Republic for daring to make sovereign agreements with the United States. And finally, less than a year ago, his invading a small neighbor, detaching and then effectively annexing two of Georgia's provinces to Mother Russia.

That's the cause of the collapse of our relations. Not drift, but aggression. Or, as the reset man referred to it with such delicacy in his Kremlin news conference: ''our disagreements on Georgia's borders.''

Krauthammer is a Washington Post columnist. He can be e-mailed at letters@charleskrauthammer.com.
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