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Obama v. Netanyahu

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He'll keep stressing red lines, he says. Without them, "Iranians would have no reason to stop their drive to obtain nuclear weapons." His bombast won't quit. Nor do supportive comments from other Likudnik hardliners.

Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz blamed him for strained US/Israeli relation. "Throughout Israel's history," he said, "the drums of war have never beaten so incessantly as during these days."

Jonathan Cook calls America's special relationship with Israel more myth than reality. It's been "propagated by politicians to mask the suspicion - and plentiful examples of duplicity and betrayal - that have marked the relationship since Israel's founding."

"Politicians may prefer to express undying love for Israel, and hand over billions of dollars annually in aid, but the US security establishment has - at least, in private - always regarded Israel as an unfaithful partner."

Disagreement over Iran is palpable. It's more about timing than intent. At the same time, officials in both countries strongly oppose war. They know potential consequences are too catastrophic to risk.

They're also concerned about a volatile, at times out-of-control, prime minister. For good reason, they don't trust him.

A former US intelligence official said "Israel is far from a trusted ally in the US 'war on terror.' " So why talk of special ties. In part, it's because of the formidable Israeli Lobby. It intimidates virtually the entire Congress.

Israel is also nuclear armed and dangerous. It's also believed to have a potent chemical and biological weapons arsenal. If threatened, it won't hesitate using them. 

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Perhaps Washington prioritizes reigning in this menace. At the same time, US military field commanders have tactical nuclear weapons and other WMDs. In combat situations, they're authorized to use them at their discretion. 

Both countries threaten their own people and humanity. That bottom line counts most.

To meet or not to meet! Mossad-connected DEBKAfile said "Obama's refusal".to see (Netanyahu in New York) because 'the president's schedule will not permit that' left Jerusalem thunderstruck - and Washington, too."

In late September, both leaders will address the UN General Assembly on different dates. Meeting there or in Washington was thought to be one way to resolves differences over Iran.

"By rebuffing Netanyahu," Obama showed he opposes unilateral Israeli action. Netanyahu's bluster doesn't make things easier. He's his own worst enemy. He wants a firm commitment and timeline on Iran.

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Sparring between the two leaders "reached a point of no return." Perhaps they'll meet after all. Finding common ground won't be easy. Repairing strained relations may take precedence. Who knows what's possible dealing with a prime minister who won't take no for an answer. 

Some officials in both countries believe relations between them are deteriorating. Netanyahu's foot-in-mouth disease explains why. A US president's refusal to meet an Israeli prime minister is unprecedented in recent memory.

The last time both leaders met, Netanyahu was overbearing, demanding and offensive. Obama likely deplores a repeat. Netanyahu has more than Iran in mind. After his last White House visit, his popularity soared. It was temporary. He needs all the help he can get.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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exists between 'minorities', as we call them here;... by molly cruz on Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 6:35:22 PM
The question is who is the big dog?  Is it Ob... by Patricia Gray on Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 8:24:44 PM
It is honest contributors like you who induced me ... by K V Ramani on Sunday, Sep 16, 2012 at 12:20:50 AM
I am proud of Obama for spurning Naziyahoo's bully... by Bia Winter on Sunday, Sep 16, 2012 at 7:39:33 AM
It's an excellent example of a real conflict withi... by Jim Arnold on Sunday, Sep 16, 2012 at 3:06:36 PM