OBAMA CAMPAIGN TEAM ARRIVES IN ISRAEL TO DEFEAT NETANYAHU IN MARCH ELECTIONS

Obama condemns Russia for allegedly interfering in our presidential election.  Look what he did in the election in Israel.

OBAMA CAMPAIGN TEAM ARRIVES IN ISRAEL TO DEFEAT NETANYAHU IN MARCH ELECTIONS

Just days after the Obama White House accused House Speaker John Boehner of “breaking protocol” by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, a team of up to five Obama campaign operatives has reportedly arrived in Israel to lead a campaign to defeat the Israeli Prime Minister in upcoming national elections scheduled for March 17.

The anti-Netanyahu, left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports a group called “One Voice,” reportedly funded by American donors, is paying for the Obama campaign team. That group is reportedly being led by Obama’s 2012 field director Jeremy Bird.

As Jerusalem Post columnist and putative Knesset candidate Caroline Glick reported on her Facebook page, “Obama won’t meet Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington when he addresses the Joint Houses of Congress in March because of Netanyahu’s visit’s proximity to the Israeli elections. And Obama, of course believes in protocol and propriety which is why he won’t get involved.” And yet, Glick adds, “He’s just sending his 2012 field campaign manager to Israel to run a campaign to defeat Netanyahu.”

For all the harsh accusations of foreign interference currently being leveled against GOP Speaker John Boehner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, reports of Obama operatives actively working to unseat a democratically elected leader of a strong U.S. ally is hardly the news it might appear to be.

The Obama White House has aggressively worked to defeat allied leaders it has not liked and to elect or re-elect foreign leaders it does like. As the Times of Israel recently reported, the list of Obama Administration meddling in foreign elections is a long one.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an Obama Administration ally, was hosted at the White House prior to recent German elections. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the left wing Labor Party visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not once, but twice prior to British elections. Those were won by Conservative party leader David Cameron, who himself visited Washington last week at Obama’s invitation to lobby the U.S. Congress against adopting a new sanctions measure to help confront Iran’s burgeoning nuclear program. Oddly, that’s the very issue Obama and the mainstream media now roundly condemn John Boehner for involving himself in.

Most Palestinians hate Obama; US president gets heated reception in West Bank

Most Palestinians hate Obama’; US president gets heated reception in West Bank

The two presidential choppers landed in the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah twenty minutes ahead of schedule. The force of their landing blew plumes of dust and litter over thin lines of ceremonial guards and bagpipers saluting the arrival.

Police block Palestinian protesters during a rally against Barack Obama

Police block Palestinian protesters during a rally against Barack Obama in the West Bank city of Ramallah Photo: AP

By Phoebe Greenwood, Ramallah

5:55PM GMT 21 Mar 2013

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, hit the red carpet first, followed byBarack Obama. The welcome ceremony lasted five minutes, with time for only solemn-faced handshakes and a reedy rendition of the Star Spangled banner before presidential entourage disappeared into Muqata’a building. The red carpet rolled up promptly behind them.

The pageant of love Mr Obama has engaged in with Benjamin Netanyahu may have won over several Israeli hearts, but it may have caused considerable damage to his relationship with the Palestinians.

The first 24-hours of Obama’s visit was marked with early morning rocket fire from Gaza towards Sderot, violating ceasefire agreed with Israel in November.

In Ramallah, empty streets were dotted with truculent Palestinian soldiers deployed to prevent violent protest at the president’s visit. Ramallah’s major thoroughfare, running from the presidential compound to Qalandiya checkpoint, was lined with posters censored with black paint. Their slogans had read: “Mr President, don’t bring your smart phone to Ramallah, there is no 3G in Palestine!”

Just 100 metres away from the Muqata’a, a small crowd of angry demonstrators gathered outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken, contained by flanks of riot police. “Obama get out”, they chanted in the direction of the president.

“The right of return [for Palestinian refugees] is a red line,” an old man swathed in a keffiyeh yelled passionately.

Ahmad, 27, was nursing a broken arm having been shot with a rubber bullet by Israeli soldiers during a protest at Qalandiya checkpoint last Friday but supported the demonstrators.

“When he got the presidency, he said he would do lots for Palestine but he did nothing,” he explained. “Now Palestine is angry, as you can see. Most Palestinians hate Obama – he will only make more problems for us”.

On his last visit to the Middle East in 2009, Mr Obama had made a soaring speech in Cairo saying that the suffering of the Palestinian people was intolerable. “America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own,” he vowed then. But this is exactly what most Palestinians believe he has done.

Emerging from more than two hours of talks with the Palestinian leadership, Mr Obama squirmed on his podium next to Mahmoud Abbas when pressed on his position over Israeli settlements.

“Based on my conversations with both Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas, I believe the possibility exists for a two state solution,” he equivocated. Settlement expansion was not “appropriate or constructive”, he said, stopping short of stating the US government position that Israeli settlement construction is illegal.

“It’s important to continue with negotiations even if there are irritants on both sides,” he said.

“The core issue is how to get sovereignty for the Palestinian people and security for the Israeli people. That isn’t to say settlements are not important. But … I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.”

Hassan Mousa, 47, whose export business was forced to close due to the presidential visit, had no interest in hearing what Mr Obama had to say.

“It’s crazy this visit. All our business shut down for a whole day and for what? He may be the head of the most important country in the world but he is doing nothing for us as Palestinians,” Mr Mousa said. “He is a man who offered a lot but has delivered nothing.”

Mario’s note: Remember when Obama promised us that he would improve our relationship with the Arab world?  Obama seems to have  a reverse Midas touch where everything that is gold turns into tin when he touches it.

Obama an unqualified disaster in the Middle East. They like George Bush more than Obama.

Obama’s Middle East policy in tatters: Column

James S. Robbins7:13p.m. EDT March 20, 2013

U.S is now less popular in the region than at the end of the George W. Bush administration.

President Obama’s first journey to Israel as president comes amid earth-shattering change in Middle East, much of it for the worse. The Arab Spring, which once raised hopes of freedom and dignity, has diverged onto the dark path of Islamist authoritarian rule. In Syria, tens of thousands of people have died in a bitter civil war that might have recently seen its first use of chemical weapons. And Iran continues its march toward nuclear weapons capability, heedless of international condemnation. Obama’s effort to seek peace between Palestinians and Israelis is in tatters.

That’s why the White House has been lowering expectations for Obama’s trip to Israel all this week. He will announce no new peace plan, grand design or major foreign policy initiative. His advisers are calling the trip a “listening tour.” That is what you call a state visit when you have little to say.

Failed beginning

Despite downgrading the trip, many see Obama’s arrival as the sequel to his 2009 visit to Cairo, where he announced a “new beginning” with the Muslim world. Four years later, that doesn’t auger well for renewed efforts in Israel and the West Bank. According to the latest survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, confidence in Obama in Muslim countries dropped from 33% to 24% in his first term. Approval of Obama’s policies declined even further, from 34% to 15%. And support for the United States in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan is lower today than it was in 2008 in the closing year of George W. Bush’s administration. That collapse of support has not happened elsewhere.

In his Cairo speech, Obama pledged a relationship between America and Muslims around the world “based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” But in 2013, interests are diverging, and respect is in short supply.

Of all the strained relationships in the Middle East, the partnership with Israel is the most important and potentially the most easily repaired. Obama is not popular in the country. A poll released last week showed he had a scant 10% approval rating in Israel, with an additional 32% saying they respect but don’t like him. But the president is making significant symbolic gestures to heal the breach, such as visiting the grave site of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. It’s being interpreted as showing support for the Jewish people’s historic connection to the land of Israel, something Obama avoided in his first term.

Unpopular in Palestine

If Israelis don’t like Obama, Palestinians are even less favorable.Washington’s perceived failure to take a harder line with Israel over the final status of Jerusalem, and U.S. opposition to President Mahmoud Abbas’ successful campaign for higher Palestinian status in the United Nations, have engendered a deep sense of frustration. Passions spilled over in Bethlehem this week, when young Palestinians defaced a billboard with Obama’s image and burned pictures of him in the streets. Obama’s symbolic nods to Israel’s history are likely to raise Palestinian ire even further.

The hope that Obama will say the right things in Thursday’s speech at Jerusalem’s convention center is negated by doubts he will follow through. The president has to assure Israelis and Palestinians that he is still engaged if the peace process has any chance of moving forward. In part, this means convincing them that he still matters.

James S. Robbins is a senior fellow in national security affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council.

The whole world turns on Israel.

 By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

Published: November 19, 2012 407 Comments

CAIRO — While holding itself out as an honest broker for truce talks between Israel and Hamas over the Gaza conflict, Egypt’s new government sought on Monday to plunge into the battle over international public opinion on behalf of the Palestinian cause — an arena where the Israelis, more experienced in the world of the free press and democratic politics, have historically dominated.

In Egypt’s most concerted effort to win more global public support for the Palestinians, advisers to Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who has been an outspoken supporter of Hamas, invited foreign correspondents in Cairo to a background briefing at which a senior Egyptian official sought to blame Israel for the conflict while at the same time maintaining Egypt’s role as an intermediary pressing both sides for peace. “We are against any bloodshed,” the official said repeatedly, arguing that Egypt sought stability and individual freedom for all in the region.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid upsetting the talks with the Israelis, the Egyptian official argued that the West, which supports Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, was essentially blaming the victim.

“It is so strange people are talking about the rights of self-defense,” he said. “The self-defense of whom? Of the occupied people? Of the besieged people? Of the hurt people? No, the self-defense of the most powerful state in the region and the self-defense of the occupying force of Gaza and Palestine. This is what some of the international community are talking about.”

He implicitly compared the leaders of Hamas to George Washington in America or Charles de Gaulle in France: Heros because they resisted foreign occupation by armed force. “Now, there is an occupation going on for decades and these people who are suffering this occupation are trying to resist, are trying to gain their rights,” the official said. “But we are saying no, they don’t have the rights, they have to stay calm, be killed, be occupied, be besieged, and the self-defense is the right of the occupier.”

The official called this “a huge manifestation of double standards that we will not allow.”

He argued that there was “no comparison” between the level of force used by both sides, and that the Western media had wrongly adopted Israel’s use of the term “rockets” to describe Hamas missiles that were better described as primitive “projectiles.” And he compared the Israeli killing of the top Hamas military official, Ahmed al-Jabari, which in Hamas’s view started the battle, to a hypothetical assassination of Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak. “What would be the reaction of the Israelis? Then can you understand the reaction of the other side?”

Echoing an account presented by President Morsi, the Egyptian official said that Israel’s killing of Mr. Jabari had broken an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement that both sides had accepted the day before Mr. Jabari was targeted.

The Egyptian official said that Mr. Morsi had asked President Obama to help press Israel to agree to a cease-fire, while Mr. Obama in turn had encouraged Mr. Morsi to work on both the Israelis and the Palestinians, since Egypt was already in contact with both sides. The Morsi administration appreciated President Obama’s efforts, the official said, though he added: “We differ on the blame issue, because the blame should not be directed toward the Palestinians in Gaza; the blame should be directed toward the occupation.”

In a sign of the Egyptian government’s inexperience at such public-relations campaigns, the official sought to reinforce his points by distributing a handout printed from the Internet, where it had circulated widely without clear authorship. It was titled “10 things you need to know about Gaza,” with headings like “Prison Camp” and “(Un) fair fight.”

Obama’s Disastrous Second Term begins: Scandal, cover up and war: Egypt attacks Israel.

Woman in Petraeus scandal visited White House

7:05 PM 11/16/2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The two women at the center of the David Petraeus scandal — the biographer with whom he had an extramarital affair and the socialite who received worrisome emails that led investigators to uncover the illicit relationship — visited the White House on separate and apparently unrelated occasions. Neither woman met with President Barack Obama during their visits.

Petraeus resigned as CIA director last week after acknowledging an affair with writer Paula Broadwell. In briefings Friday with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the retired four-star general was apologetic and regretful and insisted that his resignation was related only to his personal behavior.

Paula Broadwell, who was writing a book about Petraeus and eventually became his paramour, attended meetings in June 2009 and June 2011 on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is located in the White House complex, a White House official said.

 

Intel officials unable to say who changed CIA talking points on Libya, lawmaker says

Published November 16, 2012

FoxNews.com

Former CIA Director David Petraeus stoked the controversy over the Obama administration’s handling of the Libya terror attack, testifying Friday that references to “Al Qaeda involvement” were stripped from his agency’s original talking points — while other intelligence officials were unable to say who changed the memo, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News that intelligence officials who testified in a closed-door hearing a day earlier, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell, said they did not know who changed the talking points. He said they went out to multiple departments, including the State Department, National Security Council, Justice Department and White House.

“To me the question right now is who changed those talking points and why. … I’d say it was somebody in the administration had to have taken it out,” King told Fox News. “That, to me, has to be pursued.”

Petraeus left Capitol Hill around noon, after testifying in private hearings before the House and Senate intelligence committees. In his wake, Republicans and Democrats battled over whether his testimony should raise more suspicions about the administration’s handling of the attack.

King and other Republicans indicated they still have plenty of questions about the aftermath of the strike.

“No one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points,” he said.

Petraeus’ testimony both challenges the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the attack was a “spontaneous” protest over an anti-Islam video, and according to King conflicts with his own briefing to lawmakers on Sept. 14. Sources have said Petraeus, in that briefing, also described the attack as a protest that spun out of control.

“His testimony today was that from the start, he had told us that this was a terrorist attack,” King said, adding that he told Petraeus he had a “different recollection.”

Still, the claim that the CIA’s original talking points were changed is sure to stoke controversy on the Hill.

“The original talking points were much more specific about Al Qaeda involvement. And yet the final ones just said indications of extremists,” King said, adding that the final version was the product of a vague “inter-agency process.”

King said a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the Al Qaeda affiliates line “was taken out.”

A congressional source familiar with this week’s testimony also told Fox News that the language in the CIA talking points about Benghazi was changed from “Al Qaeda-affiliated individuals to extremist organizations” — which had the effect of minimizing the role of terrorists in the attack.

“It really changed the whole tone of it,” King told Fox News.

Democrats, though, suggested Republicans were taking the whole issue out of context.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said claims the talking points were changed are “completely wrong.” Besides, he said, the affiliation of Ansar al-Sharia, the militant group suspected in the attack, to Al Qaeda is still being examined.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said the discrepancy can be attributed to the classified talking points that some saw versus the unclassified version that others, like U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, used.

Lawmakers are focusing on the talking points in the first place because of concern over the account Rice gave on five Sunday shows on Sept. 16, when she repeatedly claimed the attack was spontaneous — Rice’s defenders have since insisted she was merely basing her statements on the intelligence at the time.

But a source said Rice had access to both classified and unclassified information on Benghazi. King said the administration has “hidden behind” the claim that Rice was only using the intelligence community’s best assessment. But he said Petraeus’ testimony suggests their best assessment conflicted with what Rice said on Sept. 16.

One source told Fox News that Petraeus “has no idea what was provided” to Rice or who was the author of the talking points she used.

“He had no idea she was going on talk shows” until the White House announced it one or two days before, the source said.

Obama in his first post-election press conference Wednesday, called the criticism against Rice “outrageous” and told those lawmakers to “go after me” instead.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff also came to Rice’s defense Thursday, saying after a House intelligence committee hearing that Rice was given the intelligence community’s “best assessment” at the time.

“Those who have suggested that Ambassador Rice was politicizing the intelligence or misrepresenting what the intelligence community was putting forward as its best assessment are either unfamiliar with the facts, or willfully disregarding them,” he said.

Report: Rockets Fired from Egypt Hit Israel

7:27 PM, NOV 16, 2012 •Bt  BY Daniel Halper  

Two major Israeli newspapers are reporting that rockets fired from Egypt have hit Israel.

“Terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula launched rockets into Israel Friday night,” reports the Jerusalem post. “The rockets fell near an Israeli village on the southern border, causing some damage, but no injuries.”

The Israeli Daily Haarretz reports, “Rockets fired from direction of Egypt toward Eshkol Regional Council.”

It appears no damage was reported in connection with the rocket fire from Egypt. Earlier today, the Egyptian prime minister visited Gaza to express solidarity with the Palestinians there.

This new front comes a day after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv and on the same day Israel’s capital Jerusalem was the target of rocket fire. Those attacks were courtesy of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“After Tel Aviv metropolitan area, capital under fire too: An air raid siren was sounded in Jerusalem and surrounding communities early Friday evening. After residents reported hearing blast sounds, security forces confirmed that one rocket had landed in the Gush Etzion area near a Palestinian village,” 

“There were no reports of injuries or damage. This was the first air raid siren sounded in the area since the IDF launched Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip. Air raid sirens were sounded in southern communities throughout the day and a barrage of missiles hit the area.”