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Daybreak: Obama Ties Mideast To U.S. Interests

Plus Scuds across the border, street-name showdown, and more in the news

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President Obama at a press conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday.(Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

• President Obama appeared to echo Gen. Petraeus’s view that the Mideast conflict “ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.” [NYT]

• Backed by U.S. officials, President Shimon Peres accused Syria of giving Scud missiles to Hezbollah (Syria denies it). These weapons could easily reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from Lebanon. [WSJ]

• Remember how U.S. officials said yesterday that China had come around on economic sanctions against Iran? Chinese officials say that’s not so much true. [LAT]

• More than three-fourths of both the U.S. House and Senate signed bipartisan letters arguing for strong U.S.-Israeli ties. AIPAC applauded the signers. [JPost]

• Israel issued an unprecedented travel warning urging citizens to leave Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula immediately due to specific plans for a kidnapping. [WP]

• They’re fighting over the names of streets. [NYT]

Note regarding the first item: The relevant section is buried in an unrelated News Analysis, but it struck me—as well as Laura Rozen—as very important.

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Mark S. Devenow says:

The relevant quote from Obama regarding Israel being a drain on American blood and treasure was buried in an unrelated general news analysis but it IS , absolutely and perforce, striking in that it marks the FIRST TIME any American President can be seen explicitly buying into a classic blood libel concerning Israel and the Jews.

Dear Mark or any other Tablet readers.i dont deny he said this but could some kind soul show on the comments page where this exact quote is?

Note that Obama is not saying that Israel’s inability to make peace is a danger to US troops. What he says is that when there’s a conflict, the US, as the dominant world power, gets pulled in. That’s very different from blaming Israel for endangering US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

michael says:

i was surprised that you attributed to General David Petraeus the “view that the Mideast conflict “ends up costing [America] significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.” This was wholey contradicted by an article in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post titled “Petraeus: Israel vital strategic ally”, where Gen. Petraeus was quoted as saying yet again that “Israel is – has been, is and will be a – an important strategic ally of the United States.” Sometime before March 25th, the General called the Chief of Staff of the Israeli military “to reassure Israel that comments attributed to him regarding supposed Israeli intransigence were spun out of context.” Moreover, the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that much of the military devices developed in the US and Israel with money provided by US military aid protect and will continue to protect US troops abroad and the US itself. See CRS Report titled “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel” by Jeremy Sharp, December 2009.

On the other hand, it is not surprising that President Obama made yet another anti-Israel statement. He is perceived by substantially all israelis as anti-Israel. President Obama has visited many, many foreign lands since his inauguration, but never Israel, he has not even bothered to direct a speech toward the Israeli people, in spite of left-wing Israeli newspapers begging him to do so. He visited Cairo to reach out to Muslems, but could not bother to travel the 265 miles miles from Cairo to Jerusalem. So, what is the result — yesterday’s Jerusalem Post reported that 90% of all Israelis strongly believe that the Israeli government should not cave in to President Obama’s reported desire impose a settlement. Prior polls have always shown Israelis equally divided on how much land they are willing to give up for peace. Virtually all Israelis want peace, but 90% believe that a settlement imposed by Obama would not bring peace, only further conflict. To get 9 out of 10 Jews to agree on something is truly astounding. Moreover, President Obama has also united the Palestinians in their opposition to his proposals. Two thirds of Palestinians, in a poll conducted by An-Najah University in Nablus — a Palestinian stronghold — oppose a two-state solution; 77% even oppose permitting Jerusalem to remain as the capital of Israel. Why, you might ask, perhaps because they want all of Israel, and perhaps 90% of the Israelis believe them. See, 93


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Daybreak: Obama Ties Mideast To U.S. Interests

Plus Scuds across the border, street-name showdown, and more in the news

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