Saturday May 18, 2013
Israel Delivers 'Or Else' Demands to ObamaJames M. Wall Salem-News.com
Should Obama be reelected, Netanyahu’s threat may prove to be a major misstep.
(CHICAGO) - A message from Israel arrived on our shores this week. It came from the prime minister and defense minister of Israel.
The message was not sent in a diplomatic pouch. Nor did it come in a private conversation between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barak Obama, though we have to assume the same message had already been sent to the White House.
The message was a warning that the Strong Man of the Middle East will go to war against Iran before Election Day, November 6, unless Barack Obama meets two Israeli demands. The warning was delivered by the New York Times in a news analysis, “Israeli Leaders Could Be Dissuaded From Striking Iran”, by the Times’ Jerusalem correspondent, Jodi Rudoren.
Got that Mr. President? Only you can prevent this forest fire from engulfing the Middle East. Israel has lit the flame. Netanyahu has sent the warning: Either you do exactly what we demand—stricter sanctions and a public statement that the U.S. is willing to use military force against Iran—or else we will ignite the deadly flame of war against Iran.
The message carries the ominous deadline language Israel puts on the table in all of its threats. The warning came from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak through a credible source, Uzi Dayan, who met with the two Israeli leaders Monday.
Dayan is currently chairman of the national lottery.
Netanyahu has experience setting conditions that end with the bully’s growl, “or else”. For their part, the Palestinians are accustomed to Netanyahu’s tactics. He has successfully prolonged the failed peace talks with the Palestinian Authority by making new demands that move the goal post further down the field to failure.
“Recognize Israel’s right to exist” was not on the peace talk table until after a few years into the negotiations. Netanyahu decided he would play the “right to exist” card as a demand he knew the Palestinians would refuse to accept.
When the Palestinians make progress toward stability on the world stage with steps like negotiating for recognition as a state, Netanyahu offers some crumbs if the the PA would delay its talks with the UN. The PA wisely ignored him.
Tony Karon, veteran Middle East observer for Time magazine, described the intense discussion within Israeli media, for and against an Israeli attack.
Despite this difference in perspective described by Karon, Netanyahu is depending on his allies in the U.S. to support him as he makes his demands on Obama during the politically sensitive final months of President Obama’s reelection campaign.
Should Obama be reelected, Netanyahu’s threat may prove to be a major misstep. A second term Obama would be free to proceed at his own pace to make his own demands on Israel. Assuming that is, Obama does not give in to the arrogance of Netanyahu’s demands, which appears unlikely, given the strong lead Obama currently has over his opponent.
Of course, anything could happen between now and November 6. Elections do have consequences.
Please visit Jim's Website, Wall Writings
Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at email@example.com.
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