Home / News / Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu to visit President Obama – talks expected to turn toward Iran's nuclear program
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu to visit President Obama – talks expected to turn toward Iran's nuclear program

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu to visit President Obama – talks expected to turn toward Iran's nuclear program

Netanyahu-ObamaIsrael's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be meeting with President Barack Obama tomorrow. The meeting is expected to be tense as the talks turn to Iran's nuclear program.

There are already uneasy relations between the administration and Israel. Early in the Obama administration, the president told Israel that they need to acknowledge a two-state solution with Palestine and to stop building illegal settlements. Israel agreed to the two-state acknowledgment, but continued building illegal settlements.

Human rights organizations have condemned the ongoing illegal settlements, reporting that they have displaced over 30 percent of Palestinians and deprived them of basic rights, such as medical services.

At the United Nations early in the Obama presidency, the president said that America does not support the illegal settlements. Israel then put a ten-month hold on its building and in return, received bunker buster bombs from the United States — something that President George W. Bush would not supply to Israel. But then Israel announced the construction of another 1,600 new settlements when Vice President Joe Biden visited there.

The president was reportedly angry, and sent that message by refusing to allow Netanyahu to be seen in the Oval Office during his next visit. President Obama had demanded concessions from Israel that were not met, although the president authorized giving Israel an additional $200 million for a defensive missile system and eventually dropped the demand for a settlement freeze altogether.

After blocking a U.N. resolution condemning the settlements that the president had been against, President Obama continued to try to bring some type of concession over the expanding settlements, saying, "We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually-agreed swaps."

This statement angered American conservatives, who quickly denounced the president as being "anti-Israel." Although former President George W. Bush's declared that the borders should be negotiated based on the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities, conservatives declared that President Obama had "abandoned Israel" and "thrown Israel under the bus" and religious right leaders claimed that the president's statement was "offensive to Christians."   A coalition of religious right leaders formed an "Israel, You're Not Alone" group to speak out against the president, with some even claiming that the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, were because of God's wrath that the United States was not supporting Israel.

Netanyahu publicly derided the president's statement, saying that it was impossible for Israel to go back to the 1967 lines because they were indefensible.

Despite the ongoing disagreement over the settlements, the United States again supported Israel by vetoing Palestine's attempt to be recognized as a state in the United Nations, saying that continued settlement negotiations would be a better alternative.

It is expected that Netanyahu will discuss a potential strike on Iran over its nuclear program during tomorrow's visit.

Analysts suggest that while American voters say that they are pro-Israel, they do not understand the implications of a strike against Iran or the complexity of what is happening in the Middle East.


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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • zzzzz

    This man, Netanyahu, is pushing, pushing, pushing for war with Iran.

    • http://www.goddiscussion.com admin

      He certainly is.

      Deborah

  • kafantaris

    Has Netanyahu talked with the fathers, mothers, wives, brothers and sisters of the soldiers who may die in the contest with Iran?

    Has he visited their homes to see what emptiness will be there when they are gone? Has Netanyahu recently visited cities reduced to piles of rubble by sustained air strikes?

    To be sure, Iran will sustain far worse devastation, not only from Israel, but also from the U.S. This does not change the likelihood, however, that both countries will also sustain damage in one form or another.

    When Abe Lincoln advised his clients to settle whenever possible, he did so not only because it ends the dispute and uncertainty, but also because in a public trial a client often loses even when he wins the underlying case. BP understood this well last week, which is why it settled. It thus put the loss behind it and is now moving forward.
    In the same way, Israel, as a modern nation should think of smart ways to deal with Iran. Indeed, keen understanding of human nature has been the great asset of the Jews, which has helped them finesse through predominately Christian or Muslim countries.

    Why then has war now become the only option? Even when you become good at it, any battle entails losses.

    And here is another point. Just as in time Iran might acquire nuclear weapons, it might also abandon them. Libya did, and so did South Africa. Perhaps North Korea would also, though no one is holding his breath.

    Not these guys, you say. Perhaps.

    But was it not in Iran where Arab Spring had its roots — in the protests that followed the 2009 disputed election. Yes, the hardliners have put out all those flames. The hot coals are still there, however, smoldering in the ashes. Such is the resiliency of the human spirit, and as we see it now in Syria.

    Let's assume, however, that Iran, as expected, becomes an insufferable bully. Surely, we have dealt with bullies before — and the Jews have dealt with them throughout the centuries. Recent history shows that bullies do not last forever, and have an unkind end lately. Thus if Iran was to become an insufferable bully with its nuclear knowledge, it will only be pushed further into isolation in an increasingly interconnected world.

    If none of this convinces us to put aside our war drums, maybe we should recall the story of the captain and his mate who were about to be executed by the pirates.

    “Let us live for six months,” the captain told them boldly,” and we will train your dog to talk."

    "How we're gonna do that," the mate whispered?

    The captain replied:

    "In six months we may die.

    The pirates may die.

    Or the dog may talk."

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