By Isi Leibler
Israelis will enthusiastically greet U.S. President Barack Obama in the course of his first visit to the Jewish state since being elected president. But they will also be apprehensively listening to his statements and hoping that his meetings will solidify the U.S.-Israeli relationship.
He is arriving at a time when the political influence of American Jewry, the most affluent and powerful Diaspora community in our history, is in decline. This is starkly exemplified by its failure to influence successive administrations to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard, whose unprecedented inhumane treatment is now even raising ugly allegations of discriminatory prejudice.
This erosion of Jewish political influence stems from the combined impact of burgeoning global hostility against Israel, the increasing isolationism of the Obama administration, and the emergence from the closet of highly vocal Jewish minority groups campaigning to pressure the Israeli government.
Israel Hayom Staff
Speaking in Ramallah on Thursday after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. President Barack Obama called for an “independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state” to be established alongside Israel.
SO IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE THEM VIABLE AND TO CONNECT THEM TO GAZA
“The only way to achieve this goal is through direct talks,” Obama said. “There is no shortcut to a sustainable solution.”
THIS IS GOOD. OBAMA IS STANDING BY NEGOTIATIONS
By MUCAHIT CEYLAN and SUZAN FRASER, TOI
Turkey (AP) — Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan called Thursday for an immediate cease-fire and for thousands of his fighters to withdraw from Turkish territory, a major step toward ending one of the world’s bloodiest insurgencies.
In a message read by pro-Kurdish legislators in the Kurdish and Turkish languages, Ocalan said: “we have reached the point where the guns must be silenced and where ideas must speak. A new era has started, where it is politics, not guns, which is at the forefront.”
“We have reached the stage where our armed elements need to retreat beyond the border,” Ocalan’s message continued.
Turkey has embarked on talks with Ocalan to end the nearly 30-year conflict that has cost tens of thousands of lives. His group has been fighting for self-rule for Kurds in southeastern Turkey.
RAMALLAH – US President Barack Obama said Thursday he was not giving up on stalled peace talks in the Mideast but that continued Israeli settlement-building in West Bank is not helping the cause.
Still, Obama suggested that Palestinians should not make it a condition to resuming peace negotiations with Israel. He says there’s no point to negotiations if the expectation is that everything must be figured out in advance.
[At least he didn't say settlements were illegal or illegitimate]
“We do not consider continued settlement activity to be constructive, to be appropriate, to be something that can advance the cause of peace,” Obama said. But, he added, “the politics there are complex and I recognize that is not an issue that’s going to be solved immediately, it’s not going to be solved overnight.”
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2013,
Obama’s Israel visit starts with good cheer
In his first conversation of three hours with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Day One, March 20, of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, the two leaders finally put to rest their long dispute over a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear sites.
In their news conference that night, both reiterated the principle that Israel has the right to independently defend itself against a perceived palpable threat from Iran – even if Washington does not share that perception. (Read more…)
Short documentary released this week warns Obama is selling out Israel by pressure to retreat.
Chamberlain, at left. German Federal Archive
In a short documentary released this week, William “Bill” Langfan, a World War II veteran and witness to the Nazi death camps, warns that U.S. President Barack Obama’s pressuring Israel to retreat to 1948 Armistice lines is another version of the 1938 Munich appeasement of Adolf Hitler.
In the 15-minute-long film, Langfan, who participated in the 1944 Normandy landings and the Battle of the Bulge, remembers reading about the shameful sellout of Czechoslovakia by Britain’s Neville Chamberlain as a 16-year-old growing up in New York. (Read more…)
While Obama’s on Tour, Congress Sends Tough Love to PA
This proposed legislation requires several things of the Palestinian Authority without which it will not receive certain U.S. benefits including significant financial aid and the privilege of being referred to as anything other than “the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.”
By: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, JEWISH PRESS
Palestinian Accountability Act will withhold funds from those who support terrorism
While President Barack Obama is in the Middle East shaking hands, kissing babies and visiting historic sites, there are those in the U.S. congress who are working to ensure that this government engages in serious Middle East tough love. A new bill may finally provide the purveyors of terrorism with a real incentive to join the brotherhood of nations by rejecting violence, dismantling terrorism and bringing terrorists to justice or else forfeit American largesse.
The bill is being introduced at a time when even Americans are being told they cannot afford to continue providing what law-abiding U.S. citizens have come to expect from their government.