Archive for the ‘Israelis’ Category

Israel urges Biden not to go soft on Iran, Hamas

November 11, 2008

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni urged US vice president Joe Biden in a telephone call to keep up a tough line on Iran and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, her ministry said on Monday.

“Iran, Hamas and other extremists are testing our attitude, and they must understand that the world will not be tolerant towards extremists and terrorism,” she said.

“It is of the utmost importance that we keep up our coordination against the Iranian threat because time is not on the side of the moderates,” she was quoted as saying in the call initiated by Biden, according to the ministry.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R), Foreign Minister Tzipi ... 
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R), Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (C) and Defence Minister Ehud Barak attend a memorial parliament session in Jerusalem. Livni urged US vice president Joe Biden in a telephone call to keep up a tough line on Iran and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, her ministry said on Monday.(AFP/Pool/Eliana Aponte)

AFP

Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Friday issued a thinly veiled call for the United States not to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran because of its nuclear ambitions.

“We don’t rule out any option. We recommend others don’t rule out any option either,” Barak told journalists after talks with visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Tehran denies it wants nuclear weapons, and says its atomic project is purely peaceful.

The previous day, Livni herself said that possible US talks with Iran may be problematic, highlighting possible disagreements with a Barack Obama administration.

“Dialogue at this point may be interpreted as a sign of weakness,” she said.

President-elect Obama warned during a visit to Israel in July that a nuclear Iran would pose a “grave threat,” but he also reiterated his openness to meeting Tehran’s representatives if the conditions were right.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081110/wl_mideast_afp/mideas
tisraelusirandiplomacynuclear_081110192640

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What, exactly, can Israel expect from the Obama presidency?

November 8, 2008

It was the signature line of the Obama campaign, a line that said nothing but signified everything: “Yes, we can.”

It was a line that US President-elect Barack Obama, preacher-like, majestically weaved through his early campaign speeches; a line he used as a refrain to build up, crescendo-like, to the conclusion of his victory speech.

US President-elect Barack Obama speaks to the press in Chicago. ... 

It was a line that appeared in blue placards by the thousands at Obama rallies and that was put to music in a video featuring A-list celebrities.

And now, with the election come and gone and the long, arduous campaign finally over, millions of Americans and people from around the world will be asking, “So, nu, can we?” Or, more accurately, “Can he?” Can he really, as promised, change the system, repair the world and transform the way Washington does business?

Israel is one place where that question is being asked with particular interest and concern, simply because our fate and the fate of the US are so intertwined. Here government officials and the average Rafi will be asking – each in their own way – the question of moment: Can we count on Obama?

By Amir Mizroch and Herb Keinon
The Jerusalem Post

In other words, first of all, can we count on maintenance of the current level of US support and assistance?

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The Next U.S. President and the Middle East

October 20, 2008

By Patrick Seale
The Middle East Times

PARIS — The Arabs should be aware that pressure is mounting in the United States to reduce dependence on Middle East oil – in other words to reduce oil imports. Whoever wins next month’s U.S. presidential election, whether it is Barack Obama or John McCain, is bound to want to shape a new national policy, less dependent on imported oil, for energy and climate change. Both candidates have vowed to do so.

At the  same time, several major car manufacturers – Nissan, Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, Chevrolet, Renault – have announced plans to launch electric cars in the coming two or three years in response to increasing world-wide concern about carbon emissions. Pre-production models of electric cars are the talk of the current Paris motor show.

The Arabs  same time, several major car manufacturers – Nissan, Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, Chevrolet, Renault – have announced plans to launch electric cars in the coming two or three years in response to increasing world-wide concern about carbon emissions. Pre-production models of electric cars are the talk of the current Paris motor show.

The Arabs should heed these early warnings that their current oil bonanza will not last forever – perhaps, at best, for another decade or two. Already, the expectation that the oil price would soar to $200 a barrel has turned into a mirage. Oil prices have dropped 55 percent since July, demonstrating the extreme volatility of the market.

What seems clear is that the Arabs – and indeed other oil producers – cannot hope to benefit indefinitely from the colossal wealth transfer of recent years. They should spend the coming years preparing for the day when oil may not be in such great demand.

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http://www.metimes.com/Op
inion/2008/10/20/the_next_us_
president_and_the_middle_east/2264/

Iran’s Ahmadinejad Continues to Gloat About End of Godless America, Capitalism

October 15, 2008

Iranian leaders say the world financial crisis indicates the end of capitalism, the failure of liberal democracy and divine punishment — marking the superiority of the Islamic republic’s political model.

“The school of Marxism has collapsed and the sound of the West’s cracking liberal democracy is now being heard,” supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday, recalling the fate of the Soviet Union.

Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is backed by Khamenei, said on Tuesday that “it is the end of capitalism.”
Australia has dropped moves to take Iranian President Mahmoud ... 
Ahmadinejad: Everyone knows where he stands…
(AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

Such convictions can be traced back to the ideals of the 1979 Islamic revolution, which Ahmadinejad has sought to revive since he rose to power in 2005.

The firebrand president, who has not missed a chance to denounce Western “decadence” since his election, has exploited the scale of the global crisis to play up his argument.

He benefits from the luxury that the Tehran stock market has been unaffected by the losses that bourses in neighbouring Gulf states have suffered. That stability is attributable to the absence of foreign investors and to the government’s firm grip on economic activity.

Several Iranian newspapers, regardless of their reformist or conservative leanings, have also blamed the global economic crisis on excessive liberalism.

And some officials, such as the head of Iran’s electoral watchdog body, have come up with less conventional theories and branded the turmoil as “divine punishment.”

“These people see the outcome of their bad deeds. This problem has spread to Europe now which makes us happy. The unhappier they are the happier we become,” Ayatollah Ali Janati, who heads the Guardians Council, said in last Friday’s prayer sermon.

Ahmadinejad has recently echoed that, saying “the reason of their defeat is that they have forgotten God and piety.”

— From AFP

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081015152055.72llwkbo&show_article=1

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Below from Iran’s State media IRNA

Iran Will Cut Off Hands of Aggressors: Ahmadinejad

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that the Iranian nation will strongly cut off hands of aggressors.

President Ahmadinejad made the remark an his address to a large crowd of enthusiastic people in Gilan province on Wednesday.

The president is visiting the province on the second round of his provincial tours to follow up implementation of the projects that had been approved during the first round of his provincial tours.

Referring to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, he said the enemies did their best to deprive the Iranian people of their legitimate rights but to no avail.

By grace of Almighty God, resistance of Iranian people under wise leadership of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s flag has been hoisted with pride worldwide and the enemies feel ashamed, he said.

They have confessed to their defeat in the face of the Iranian nation as well as all other nations around the globe, he said.

Addressing the arrogant powers, he said, “You have committed so many crimes and now should stop it, it is time to return to God, justice and a decent life which will be to your benefit,” he said.

“If you inject even dlrs 100 billion a week into your ailing economy, you will not survive,” underlined the president.

“Your fate will not be much better than that of Pharaoh and Nimrod, unless you repent,” he said.

The Iranian nation is unified and will cut off the hands of any aggressor, underlined President Ahmadinejad.

“28 years ago you imposed a cruel war on the Iranian nation but the brave Iranian nation pushed you towards a humiliating defeat,” he said.

“Our youths are capable enough to give you a crushing response,” underlined the president.

The president’s speech was interrupted several times by the crowd chanting “Death to America”.

Tyranny and violation of people’s rights are the root cause of economic recession in the West, the president said.

It is about 30 years that the great Iranian nation has been exposed to economic and political pressures only because they wanted to be independent and believe in monotheism, he said.

“We have heard that since the beginning of Iraq’s occupation, over 100 million barrels of oil have been taken out from the country,” he said.

President Ahmadinejad, along with his Cabinet members arrived in the city of Rasht, capital of the northern province of Gilan Wednesday morning.

He made the initiative to visit different provinces since he took office in 2005 in order to bring the government closer to ordinary people.

The president will also hold a Cabinet meeting in Rasht to discuss the needs of the province.

Bush: Cheney to press for Mideast peace

March 10, 2008
By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Bush, dispatching Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East, said the goal is to get Israelis and Palestinians to hold firm to the promises they’ve made toward peace.

Bush said Monday in the Oval Office that Cheney would “reassure people that the United States is committed to a vision of peace in the Middle East.”

As Cheney tries to help hold together fragile negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, Bush says he’s still optimistic that a peace deal can happen before he leaves office.

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ZUN55Ks0NUE

Bush in Saudi Arabia for talks

January 14, 2008
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – President Bush, on his first visit to this oil-rich kingdom, delivered a major arms sale Monday to a key ally in a region where the U.S. casts neighboring Iran as a menace to stability.

Bush’s talks with Saudi King Abdullah, which began over dinner and were continuing with late-night meetings, also were expected to cover peace between Israelis and Palestinians….

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080114/ap_
on_re_mi_ea/bush_mideast;_
ylt=ApBMty_OmYAW4c64KOiee3es0NUE

Bush predicts completion of Mideast treaty

January 10, 2008
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer

RAMALLAH, West Bank – President Bush on Thursday predicted that a Mideast peace treaty would be completed by the time he leaves office, but undercut that optimism with harsh criticism of Hamas militants who control part of the land that would form an eventual independent Palestine.

Bush said he’s convinced that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders understand “the importance of democratic states living side by side” in peace, and noted that he has a one-year deadline for progress on his watch.

“I’m on a timetable,” he told reporters. “I’ve got 12 months.”

He said he is not sure that the problem of Hamas, a militant Islamic group that took over the Gaza Strip in June, can be solved….

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Rice to meet with king of Jordan

October 18, 2007

By Matthew Lee, Associated Press

JERUSALEM – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was heading for London seeking support from the king of Jordan for a Mideast peace conference after telling Israelis and Palestinians they have a new “moment of opportunity” to forge peace, despite the obstacles.

Obstacles stall Rice’s Mideast diplomacy

October 14, 2007

By Matthew Lee, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opened an intense round of Mideast shuttle diplomacy Sunday, struggling to bring Israelis and Palestinians close enough to make a planned U.S.-hosted peace conference worthwhile.

The two sides are at bitter odds over an outline of a peace agreement that would be presented at next month’s conference, and Rice sought to lower expectations her mission would finalize preparations for the gathering.

Underscoring her less-than-optimistic assessment, Israeli and Palestinians traded shots about the other’s commitment to peace ….

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071014/ap_on_re_
mi_ea/mideast_rice;_ylt=AseJihyU7S6esYHo
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