Update below the fold.

President Obama made quite the speech today on the Middle East, including Israel, our ally, right before Prime Minister Netanyahu visits. And oh, what an, um, interesting speech it was.

If you have the time, inclination, and intestinal fortitude to watch Obama deliver it, and I warn you, he does go on, here it is:

If that is too much to bear, here is a link from the State Department of Obama’s speech. There is a lot at which to look in this speech, from the brief comment about women (you can definitely see Hillary Clinton’s input there – Obama’s words are very similar to what Clinton has been saying for some time – communities do best when the women who live there are treated fairly), to the comments about Israel. The latter are receiving a great deal of attention. Here is what Obama said:

[snip] So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. [snip]

Some people have taken exception to Obama’s wanting to push Israel back 44 years, including Rep. (Col.) Allen West (FL-R) (h/t to Hokma):

[snip]From the moment the modern day state of Israel declared statehood in 1948, to the end of the 1967 Six Day War, Jews were forbidden access to their holiest site, the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, controlled by Jordan’s Arab army.

The pre-1967 borders endorsed by President Obama would deny millions of the world’s Jews access to their holiest site and force Israel to return the strategically important Golan Heights to Syria, a known state-sponsor of terrorism.

Resorting to the pre-1967 borders would mean a full withdrawal by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Make no mistake, there has always been a Nation of Israel and Jerusalem has been and must always be recognized as its rightful capital.

In short, the Hamas-run Palestinian state envisioned by President Obama would be devastating to Israel and the world’s 13.3 million Jews. It would be a Pavlovian style reward to a declared Islamic terrorist organization, and an unacceptable policy initiative. [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

Holy moley – West sure doesn’t mince words, does he?

This is an Open Thread. Discuss the above, or anything else on your minds.

And for your musical interlude, I offer up the incomparable Phoebe Snow, lost too soon on April 26th, at the age of 60.
I spent many hours of my youth listening to her music. Here she is singing her hit, “Poetry Man”:

Thank you for the gifts you shared with us. You will be missed…

UPDATE: So while Col. West doesn’t mince words, Obama does. Many of the talking heads are saying this morning that Obama was hard on Palestine, too, that he isn’t totally caving into them. You might know that Hamas, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007. Hamas does not support Israel’s right to exist.

So, what were Obama’s stern words to Palestine about what THEY would have to give up for Israel to return to 1967 boundaries? Oh, he is so tough: [snip] In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fata

h and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel: How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? And in the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question. Meanwhile, the United States, our Quartet partners, and the Arab states will need to continue every effort to get beyond the current impasse.[snip]

Ooooohhhh, so strong, so forceful! NOT.

Obama has set Israel up from the get-go, which is what Prime Minister Netanyahu seems to think, too. He had an angry phone call with Secretary Clinton Thursday before the speech was given, trying to get Obama to back down on his assertions. Clearly, Obama did not.

The question has been asked repeatedly, how involved was Hillary Clinton in this decision by the Administration. Why? Because of her previous solid support for Israel.The National Jewish Democratic Council had a fact sheet on Clinton’s positions when she was running for president to highlight just how strong her support for Israel was. Here is just a portion of that fact-sheet:

[snip] Senator Clinton has an outstanding record of leadership in the U.S. Senate on issues related to the U.S. Israel relationship. Since her election in 2000, Senator Clinton has compiled a very strong voting record on pro-Israel issues. She has cosponsored key pieces of pro-Israel legislation, including the Syria Accountability Act and Palestinian Anti-Terror Act, and signed numerous letters urging action on behalf of the State of Israel. She has repeatedly voted for foreign aid. Senator Clinton introduced legislation calling for the immediate release of the three Israeli soldiers captured by Hamas and Hezbollah.

Clinton has been a leading voice against the anti-Semitism in Palestinian school textbooks. She joined with the Palestinian Media Watch in February 2007 in releasing a report exposing the continuation of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic language in Palestinian school textbooks. Her full statement on this issue is available (here).

Senator Clinton sponsored legislation that limited U.S. contributions to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) until it recognized the Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s version of the Red Cross. This pressure resulted in the ICRC finally admitting MDA into the International Red Cross in the summer of 2006. [Senator Clinton’s position paper on the U.S.-Israel relationship]

Clinton’s strong support for Israel has been recognized time and again in the Jewish Community. For example, the Orthodox Newspaper, The Jewish Press, which opposed Clinton in 2000, wrote in support of her candidacy for re-election to the Senate in 2006: “As regards Israel, she has become an important supporter of the Jewish state both in public and, perhaps more importantly, behind the scenes. She is held in the highest regard by those who regularly plead Israel’s cause in the halls of government. For those who initially were wary of her positions on Middle East issues – and we include ourselves in that category – Ms. Clinton has proved to be a pleasant and welcome surprise.” [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

You can see why Prime Minister Netanyahu might be confused by Secretary Clinton standing behind Obama on this, and having this speech made at the State Department. That is as clear a message as she can send.

I imagine the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu will be a bit testy, to be sure, but I also imagine that Netanyahu feels he has lost a dear friend and ally in Secretary Clinton.

There will be more to come from Obama’s speech as it is parsed. I imagine there will be more fallout as well. I have to say, whooey – I would love to be a fly on the wall in the White House today. How about you?

  • Onofre’s arm

    “If you ever have anything to say on this website other than insult, I don’t recall it.”

    Your inability to recall a preponderance of my posts that are completely devoid of “insults”, is either an indication that you haven’t read them, or the fact that you have a lousy memory, or both. I pointed out in the post below, to perfection, the disgustingly effete manner of ridicule that permeates everything you post, but you apparently don’t see it because it’s so deeply embedded in your Narcissistic little mind, that insulting and patronizing people is as casually reflexive to you as saying “Good morning” is for the rest of us.

    You returned here with a comment that STARTED with a paragraph that was dripping with your usual arrogance, you indicated how foolish RRRA was for using Alan West as a rebuttal to “O”bozo, and you snottily claimed you were just coming to NoQ just to see how all of us ignorant knuckle draggers were reacting to Obama’s boneheaded speech, as though slumming over here was so beneath your dignity that all of us should be thrilled that you would show up and bless us with your consummate wisdom. When the old comments show back up, and they will, I’ll repost that first paragraph, and let everyone see what a sickening piece of shit you are, although almost everyone recognizes that already.

  • prime obot

    No Onofre, the real “sad irony” is that you embody, more fully than anyone else here, the worst attributes you ascribe to me. If you ever have anything to say on this website other than insult, I don’t recall it.

  • Onofre’s arm

    Hey Hokma, how does it feel to be patronizingly thanked for a sane and civil response, only to be called wrong and utterly foolish several sentences later? That’s Primate Butt’s M.O., he likes drawing people into debate, but it isn’t good natured debate he’s really looking for, it’s just his way to shore up his pathetically fragile ego by eagerly pointing out how superior he is to you. The sad irony is that he’s actually wrong, ABOUT EVERYTHING, most of the time, he’s just far to stupid and stubborn to admit it. I could have warned you that there is no possible way to have a reasonable debate with Primate Butt, I learned long ago that reasonable responses to him are generally treated with his usual condescending arrogance, it’s more fun to simply treat him with the most contempt you can muster. It’s all that miserable sack of goat shit deserves.

  • Onofre’s arm

    Good to see that you sobered up Primate Butt, I’m sure that the night in the drunk tank helped, how did you explain your absence to your daughter?

  • Hokma

    P.O. – Not a single Israeli supports retreating to the borders pre-June 1967 – it would be suicide. What they support is a 2 state solution – leaving the west bank – but maintaining control over an undivided Jerusalem. Israelis are also opposed to this right-of-return which is a trumped up claim since so-called Palestinians are either from Jordanians or Egyptians and those countries don’t want them either.

    Finally, just because your last name is Jewish does not mean you support Israel. Democrats enjoyed many decades of Jewish support but that is coming to an end. Jews voted for Obama only because of what his election symbolized. Now that they are finally aware of what he actually stands for that support is crashing. While there will always be the weak Jewish capitulators, most needed the earthquake of what transpired last week to realize how dangerous Obama and his advisors are to to future of Israel.

  • bazaranet

    I had a case in life. My friend lost in a real casino the house. Wife left and took the children and the work he had lost. But as another friend once told him that at online casinos, he won a car! Well, first friend went to Internet cafes to register with the casino, got free chips for $ 10 and won in 2 hours which was enough money to rent an apartment. Then he won both the home and car, but his wife has not returned! Because he met a girl who did not cast him into trouble and was close! That is life, my friends!

  • prime obot

    Yes, Onofre, of course, you stoop to attacking my family. You always do. You are beneath contempt. As are the site leaders who listen to your ugly rhetoric and say nothing. But trust me, it doesn’t bother me. I expect nothing less from you, and nothing more. You are who you are. Which is sad, but not for me.

  • prime obot

    Thanks for the sane and civil response, Hokma. If you really consider Obama’s speech, and Hertzberg’s opinions, “abandonment” of the state of the state of Israel, I would hardly expect to convince you otherwise. I would merely point out that every single public opinion poll taken in Israel itself in recent years indicates that a majority of Israelis agree with Obama’s position, not yours; and that your statement about Baby Boom Jews abandoning Israel for the Democratic Party is not just wrong but utterly foolish; Jews have been voting predominantly for Democrats for many decades, since long before Israel even existed, actually. So what you are saying, by definition, cannot be true.

  • Hokma

    PO – Hertzberg is unfortunately a member of the Baby Boom genetration of American Jews who grew up protected and distanced from the horror of the holocaust, the persecution by the Soviets, and the slaughter by Muslims (even before there was a state of Israel). This is a generation who as a result have turned their back on the Jewish faith and heritage and instead embracing the Democratic Party. As a speech writer for the most anti-semitic President in American history Jimmy Carter Hertzberg’s words are pointless.

    Also Hertzberg misrepresents what Obama said in his speech. For instance Hertzerg referred to the “demilitarized” Palestianian state. IN fact, Obama only called for a “non-militarized” Palestine state. The difference is that the former signifies no arms while the latter only refers to a lack of major arms (ie tanks, cannons).

    Just because an American has a Jewish last name does not mean they are a supporter of Israel. In fact, many are not.

  • Onofre’s arm

    Wow Primate Butt, don’t you think that your precious little daughter deserves more than a drunken, enraged, irrational Obama catamite for a father?

  • prime obot

    Finally: Onofre is worthy only of mockery and scorn. But if anyone hear wants to read a serious pro-negotiation essay, I recommend this from Hendrick Hertzberg, editor of the New Yorker:


    This is not to say that serious people cannot disagree. But serious people do not simply curse. Adolescents do that.

  • prime obot

    I know, I know, you really hate me! HATE ME! More than any other person has ever hated another person, you hate me! Because that’s how much you hate Obama! Because he’s soooooo evil! You have to show everyone else just how much loathing you have1 Good boy! Well done! Curse your clever little heart out!


  • prime obot

    Impressive, as always, Onofre.

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  • Onofre’s arm

    Oh, go fuck yourself you flaccid puny putz!

  • prime obot

    Actually, Onofre, my initial comments on that thread were extremely mild; I simply pointed out that Obama’s remarks on a hypothetical future Israeli/Palestinian border in fact differed not a whit from previous U.S. administrations. You can pretend now that I came onto the site spewing invective; anyone who actually read the thread knows otherwise. You could have debated the issues civilly with me; you always can, and others on this site have done so on numerous occasions over the past few years. But you don’t, and never will, because your emotional problems don’t allow you to do so. Your conduct on that thread, as they always are, were disgraceful. I guess we’ve lost that thread so I won’t be able to ask you to quote directly what i wrote that was so horrible that it would “anyone” want to bash my face in with an anvil; yet another pathetic threat of violence from you under cover of Internet anonymity and safety. But I’m long used to your embarrassingly self-regarding macho strutting here, bashing any “enemies” you can find in order to strut your rhetorical feathers like a proud little peacock. Whatever. I am indeed a man, late 40s, live in San Francisco, and laugh at the idea of your idle little online threats.

    As for RRRA: I stand by my statement. The kinds of rhetoric she tacitly approves here by saying nothing should embarrass and give pause to any person of the cloth. That’s just my opinion, though.

  • one more like

  • FLDemFem

    Hillbuzz has this great video up..called “Under the Bus”. Check it out.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfL-Oj1rQ-c&feature=player_embedded

    It’s worth the copy/paste to see it.

  • FLDemFem

    Try looking at one that was published before Israel became a modern nation. You won’t find any reference to Israel. The editors always update to present usage so that people will know without looking it up what area of the world is being referenced. I know this because I have copies of the Bible going back to 1847, and only the ones published after 1948 mention Israel.