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« Reply #150 on: March 26, 2010, 11:28:25 PM »

Netanyahu humiliated after Barack Obama 'dumped him for dinner
March 26, 2010

For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.

Left to talk among themselves Mr Netanyahu and his aides retreated to the Roosevelt Room. He spent a further half-hour with Mr Obama and extended his stay for a day of emergency talks to try to restart peace negotiations. However, he left last night with no official statement from either side. He returned to Israel yesterday isolated after what Israeli media have called a White House ambush for which he is largely to blame.

Sources said that Mr Netanyahu failed to impress Mr Obama with a flow chart purporting to show that he was not responsible for the timing of announcements of new settlement projects in east Jerusalem. Mr Obama was said to be livid when such an announcement derailed the visit to Israel by Joe Biden, the Vice-President, this month and his anger towards Israel does not appear to have cooled.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, cast doubt on minor details in Israeli accounts of the meeting but did not deny claims that it amounted to a dressing down for the Prime Minister, whose refusal to freeze settlements is seen in Washington as the main barrier to resuming peace talks.

The Likud leader has to try to square the rigorous demands of the Obama Administration with his nationalist, ultra-Orthodox coalition partners, who want him to stand up to Washington even though Israel needs US backing in confronting the threat of a nuclear Iran.

“The Prime Minister leaves America disgraced, isolated and altogether weaker than when he came,” the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz said.

In their meeting Mr Obama set out expectations that Israel was to satisfy if it wanted to end the crisis, Israeli sources said. These included an extension of the freeze on Jewish settlement growth beyond the ten-month deadline next September, an end to building projects in east Jerusalem and a withdrawal of Israeli forces to positions held before the second intifada in September 2000.

Newspaper reports recounted how Mr Netanyahu looked “excessively concerned and upset” when he pulled out a flow chart to show Mr Obama how Jerusalem planning permission worked and how he could not have known that the announcement that hundreds more homes were to be built would be made when Mr Biden arrived in Jerusalem.

Mr Obama then suggested that Mr Netanyahu and his staff stay at the White House to consider his proposals so that if he changed his mind he could inform the President right away. “I’m still around,” the daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot quoted Mr Obama as saying. “Let me know if there is anything new.”

With the atmosphere so soured by the end of the evening, the Israelis decided that they could not trust the telephone line they had been lent for their consultations. Mr Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, his Defence Minister, went to the Israeli Embassy to ensure that the Americans were not listening in.

The meeting came barely a day after Mr Obama’s health reform victory. Israel had calculated that he would be too tied up with domestic issues to focus seriously on the Middle East.

Netanyahu humiliated after Barack Obama 'dumped him for dinner
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« Reply #151 on: March 26, 2010, 11:30:04 PM »

Silence that speaks volumes: blackout as Israel’s leader leaves White House
March 25, 2010

Two separate meetings between President Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, failed to produce so much as an official photograph as a chill settled over US-Israeli relations and secrecy shrouded any efforts to repair them.

The Israeli Prime Minister was due to fly home from Washington after three days marked by Israeli defiance on the issue of settlements and an extraordinary silence maintained by both sides after his three-and-a-half-hour visit to the White House.

The meeting was overshadowed by Israeli approval for 20 homes built for Jews in Arab east Jerusalem — a move denounced by one senior US official as “exactly what we expect Prime Minister Netanyahu to get control of”.

White House staff denied Mr Netanyahu the usual photo opportunities afforded to a visiting leader, issued only the vaguest summary of their talks — let alone a joint statement — and reversed a decision to release an official photo of their meetings.

It was speculated that the talks may have moved beyond the quarrel over Israeli construction in east Jerusalem to final status issues such as the borders of a Palestinian state, as well as Iran and its nuclear programme. However, Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, would say only that Mr Obama had asked Mr Netanyahu for confidence-building gestures and clarification of his position on settlements. He described the talks as “honest and straightforward”.

Mr Obama also held telephone talks yesterday with Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel and President Sarkozy on Iran, the Middle East peace process and global economic issues, Mr Gibbs said.

Before departing, Mr Netanyahu met with Mr Obama’s envoy George Mitchell, who worked for months to get the Palestinians to take part in indirect negotiations with Israel, only to see them balk when Israel revealed plans for 1,600 new homes in east Jerusalem. The announcement came on March 9, during Vice-President Joe Biden’s latest trip to Jerusalem.

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said she wanted peace talks to resume as soon as possible, a sentiment echoed by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, who said he will urge Arab leaders to support indirect talks.

In Jerusalem the government press office issued a terse statement saying that the talks had been held in a good atmosphere. They went on longer than expected with the leaders meeting for 90 minutes, then again for half an hour after a long private discussion between Mr Netanyahu and his advisers in the White House Roosevelt Room. The choreography of the evening suggested that the talks covered substantive proposals, possibly including an undertaking from Mr Netanyahu to prevent ill-timed announcements of Israeli construction. Yet there is little doubt that Mr Netanyahu’s stance on settlements has left him struggling to persuade a newly confident US President of his willingness to compromise for peace.

White House sources said that observers were right to infer from the news blackout that relations between the two sides were not good but later hinted that some Israeli proposals had been favourably received. Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been shelved since 2008.

Palestinian leaders have said that they will not join any peace talks unless all Israeli construction east of the 1949 armistice line is stopped. Before Tuesday’s meeting Israeli experts expected Mr Netanyahu to agree to a secret freeze on building. However, the announcement of new apartments in a development funded by Irving Moskowitz, the Jewish-American billionaire, raised tempers again.

“Israel is digging itself into a hole that it will have to climb out of if it is serious about peace,” Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said. “There is overwhelming international consensus on the illegality of Israel’s settlements, including in east Jerusalem, and the damage they are doing to the two-state solution.”

Mr Netanyahu’s efforts to persuade Congress that his office had no oversight of the many construction projects in east Jerusalem were greeted with scepticism even within the Prime Minister’s coalition. “Netanyahu decided to spit into Obama’s eye, this time from up close,” said Eitan Cabel, an MP from the Labour Party, a coalition ally of Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party. “He and his pyromaniac ministers insist on setting the Middle East ablaze.”

Silence that speaks volumes: blackout as Israel’s leader leaves White House
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« Reply #152 on: March 26, 2010, 11:32:14 PM »

Almost a quarter of Republicans think Obama 'may be the Antichrist' as 14 states sue over healthcare reforms

By David Gardner
Last updated at 10:23 PM on 24th March 2010

Americans who suggest Barack Obama should rot in hell are apparently deadly serious.

Nearly a quarter of Republicans believe the Democrat president 'may be the Antichrist', according to a survey.

An even greater number compared him to Hitler.

Mr Obama was jubilant this week after securing his £626billion healthcare reform plan.

But his triumph seems only to have inflamed his critics among the evangelical Christians from America's heartland who kept George Bush in power for eight years and have demonised his successor.

More than half of the Republicans quizzed by Harris Poll, 57 per cent, believed the president was secretly Muslim, something he has consistently denied.

And 67 per cent of Republicans who responded believed Obama was a socialist, despite his central leanings.

The startling results came as lawyers representing 14 U.S. states filed lawsuits yesterday challenging an overhaul of the country's $2.5trillion healthcare system, minutes after President Barack Obama signed the landmark legislation.

One joint lawsuit by a dozen Republican attorneys general and a Democrat claims the sweeping reforms violate state-government rights in the U.S. Constitution and will force massive new spending on hard-pressed state governments.

Virginia went to court separately, while Missouri Republican Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder said he would like to join the suit.

The joint suit, led by Florida, was filed with a federal court in Pensacola, according to the office of Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.

In addition to McCollum, the Republican attorneys general from Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington joined the suit.

The lawsuit says the law - which expands government health plans for the poor, imposes new taxes on the wealthy and requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions - violates the Constitution's commerce clause by requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance.

Mr McCollum said: 'It forces people to do something - in the sense of buying a healthcare policy or paying a penalty, a tax or a fine - that simply the Constitution does not allow Congress to do.'

Mr McCollum, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for Florida governor, said the healthcare reforms would add $1.6billion to Florida's spending on the Medicaid health program for the poor.

The Justice Department, which is responsible for defending U.S. law in court, pledged to vigorously fight any challenges to the new healthcare law.

'We are confident that this statute is constitutional and we will prevail,' said Justice spokesman Charles Miller.

The White House agreed the suits would fail.

'There have been hearings about the constitutionality of the law, and I think there's pretty much widespread agreement that it is constitutional,' Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said.

'I think we have governors who might be aiming for higher office who are starting to just send a message.'

The suits were filed just moments after Mr Obama signed the healthcare reforms into law.

But on the most historic occasion of his presidency so far, vice-president Joe Biden managed to put his foot in it.

Gaffe-prone Mr Biden inadvertently broadcast the F-word to America after he introduced the President to sign his much vaunted health reform bill into law yesterday.

After hugging Mr Obama at a a ceremony in the White House, Mr Biden leaned in and whispered in the President's ear: 'This is a big ******* deal.' (Edited: I didn't see the swearing DW)

The remark was caught on microphones recording the event that was shown live across the country. By last night, the clip was being replayed all over the internet.

White House aides seemed to be unembarrassed, with press secretary Robert Gibbs later tweeting: 'Yes, Mr Vice-President, you're right.'

Almost a quarter of Republicans think Obama 'may be the Antichrist
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« Reply #153 on: March 26, 2010, 11:45:52 PM »

Iran says Muslims must act over Jerusalem
Mar 26, 2010 5:44am EDT
Reporting by Ramin Mostafavi, writing by Andrew Hammond

Iran attacked Israel's settlement plans in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, saying Muslims around the world needed to take action.

Announcements by Israel's right-wing government of new building projects in East Jerusalem -- which the Jewish state seized in a 1967 war -- have spoiled U.S. plans to get Palestinians and Israelis back into peace negotiations.

"Expansion of Israeli settlements, destruction of Islamic and Christian sites and wide-scale construction of new synagogues ... show the Zionist plans to accelerate Judaisation of East Jerusalem and unfortunately it is approved by American officials," Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in comments reported on Iranian state radio.

"This has raised the alarm for all people around the world and doubled the need for Muslim and other countries to act seriously," he said, adding that the 22-nation Arab League should take a strong stance at its meeting in Libya this weekend.

U.S. officials have sought to coax Israel into suspending further East Jerusalem projects and discussing core issues such as borders and the status of Jerusalem as part of indirect talks with the Palestinians that have been blessed by the Arab League.

Iran is locked in dispute with the United States and its allies, including Arab states, over its nuclear energy program which they fear will allow Tehran to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it has no such intention.

Israel says it considers a nuclear Iran as an existential threat and analysts say Israel, itself regarded as a nuclear power, could carry out raids on Iranian sites.

Iran, a major oil and gas producer, sees itself as the main champion of the Palestinian cause among Muslim countries.

Iran says Muslims must act over Jerusalem
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« Reply #154 on: March 26, 2010, 11:48:39 PM »

NKorea threatens 'nuclear strikes' on SKorea, US
By Writer Kwang-tae Kim
Fri Mar 26, 6:34 am ET

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea's military threatened South Korea and the United States on Friday with "unprecedented nuclear strikes" as it expressed anger over a report the two countries plan to prepare for possible instability in the totalitarian country, a scenario it dismissed as a "pipe dream."

The North routinely issues such warnings. Diplomats in South Korea and the U.S. have repeatedly called on Pyongyang to return to international negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear programs.

"Those who seek to bring down the system in the (North), whether they play a main role or a passive role, will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army," North Korea's military said in comments carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The North, believed have enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs, conducted its second atomic test last year, drawing tighter U.N. sanctions.

Experts from South Korea, the U.S. and China will meet in China next month to share information on North Korea, assess possible contingencies in the country, and consider ways to cooperate in case of an emergency situation, South Korea's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported earlier this month, citing unidentified sources in Seoul and Beijing. The experts will also hold follow-up meetings in Seoul in June and in Honolulu in July, it said.

The North Korean statement Friday specifically referred to the March 19 newspaper report.

A spokeswoman said the South Korean Defense Ministry had no information.

Gen. Walter Sharp, the top U.S. commander in South Korea, says the possibility of turmoil in the North is of real concern, citing the country's economic weakness, malnourishment in both the military and general population, and its nuclear weapons.

"The possibility of a sudden leadership change in the North could be destabilizing and unpredictable," he said in testimony before the House Appropriations Committee hearing earlier this week.

South Korean media have reported that Seoul has drawn up a military operations plan with the United States to cope with possible emergencies in the North. The North says the U.S. is plotting to topple its regime, a claim Washington has consistently denied.

Last month, the North also threatened a "powerful — even nuclear — attack," if the U.S. and South Korea went ahead with annual military drills. There was no military provocation from North Korea during the exercises.

China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. have been trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons in six party talks. The North quit the negotiations last year.

The fate of the North's nuclear weapons has taken on added urgency since late 2008 as concerns over the health of leader Kim Jong Il have intensified.

Kim, who suffered an apparent stroke in 2008, may die within three years, South Korean media have reported. His death is thought to have the potential to trigger instability and a power struggle in the North.

NKorea threatens 'nuclear strikes' on SKorea, US
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« Reply #155 on: March 27, 2010, 11:39:22 PM »

Hello Brother Bob,

I have been and will continue to pray for Israel. However, we know there is Bible Prophecy yet to be fulfilled, and things will go into motion at God's appointed time. Nothing will be able to stop God's appointed time for the Tribulation Period to begin, but Christians should always pray for Israel. As Christians, we know the anointed King of Israel, and we also know that He will not be denied His Throne - the Throne of David in Jerusalem. Israel's King and Messiah is Jesus Christ, and HE WILL BE!
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« Reply #156 on: March 29, 2010, 12:00:09 AM »

Arabs close ranks on Jerusalem at Libya summit
Hala Boncompagni Hala Boncompagni   – Sat Mar 27, 4:54 pm ET

SIRTE, Libya (AFP) – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday ruled out US-brokered indirect peace talks with Israel unless it halts settlements, as Arab leaders closed ranks over Jerusalem at a summit in Libya.

The summit in the Mediterranean city of Sirte also tackled relations with Israel's regional arch-foe Iran, with leaders discussing a proposal to engage in a dialogue with the Islamic republic.

In a speech at the opening of the two-day gathering, Abbas echoed widespread concern that the Middle East peace process was in peril and urged his Arab peers to "rescue" Jerusalem.

"We cannot resume indirect negotiations as long as Israel maintains its settlement policy and the status quo," he said after UN chief Ban Ki-moon had addressed the summit seeking Arab support for the talks.

Abbas accused Israel of seeking to wipe out the Arab identity of Jerusalem through "ethnic cleansing" and insisted that Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem must be the capital of any future Palestinian state.

"We have always said that Jerusalem is the jewel in the crown and the gate to peace," he said.

Ban urged Arab leaders to facilitate Israeli-Palestinian "proximity" talks, saying "our common goal should be to resolve all final-status issues within 24 months."

He also reiterated that Israel's settlement activity in mainly Arab east Jerusalem was "illegal" and stressed Jerusalem must emerge "as the capital of two states."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, another guest speaker, blasted Israel's policy of dealing with the whole of Jerusalem as its united capital as "madness."

"Jerusalem is the apple of the eye of each and every Muslim... and we cannot at all accept any Israeli violation in Jerusalem or in Muslim sites," Erdogan said.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was likewise invited by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi to address the summit, said "now is the time to give peace a chance."

"We have the possibility, we have the responsibility and we feel the urgency," he said.

Fresh US efforts to broker indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks earlier this month were still-born when Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new homes for Jewish settlers in east Jerusalem. Related article: US standing firm in row with Israel

The timing of the announcement during a visit to Israel by US Vice President Joe Biden enraged Washington and the Palestinians, who just days earlier had agreed to give peace talks another chance after a year-long hiatus.

Arab leaders from both the pro-Western and radical camps have also been angered by the opening of a restored 17th-century synagogue near east Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam.

The 13 Arab leaders attending the summit along with Kadhafi are due to adopt a resolution to raise 500 million dollars in aid to improve living conditions for Jerusalem Palestinians.

After a plenary session for speeches, the leaders broke for lunch and returned for talks behind closed doors before wrapping up the first day of meetings.

Arab League chief Amr Mussa, who said before the summit that peace talks with Israel had become "pointless," asked the leaders on Saturday to examine "the chances of failure of the peace process" due to Israel's policies.

He also said the Arabs should open a dialogue with Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the West over its controversial nuclear programme, and set up an "Arab Neighbourhood Zone" that would include the Islamic republic and Turkey.

"I understand that some of us have concerns about Iranian positions. This does not rule out but maybe confirms the need for a dialogue in order to define our future relations with Iran, with whom we differ on many issues," he said.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told reporters that the afternoon session discussed Mussa's proposal on Iran "but most of the Arab countries don't welcome this for now." He did not elaborate.

The Arab summit follows the worst violence in the blockaded Gaza Strip in 14 months, and comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected anew on Friday international calls to stop settlement building in east Jerusalem.

Israeli tanks carried out an incursion into southern Gaza and killed a Palestinian militant on Saturday after the army lost two soldiers in clashes the previous day along the border with the coastal strip.

The Sirte gathering is the first annual summit to be hosted by the maverick Kadhafi, who considers Israel an implacable "enemy" of the Arabs.

Arabs close ranks on Jerusalem at Libya summit
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« Reply #157 on: March 29, 2010, 12:01:28 AM »

With U.S.-Israel ties strained, Obama may make bold move
Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers Warren P. Strobel, Mcclatchy Newspapers   – Fri Mar 26, 8:38 pm ET

WASHINGTON — After 14 months of frustration over the moribund Mideast peace process and nearly three weeks of open confrontation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , President Barack Obama shows no sign of backing down — and may be about to double his bets.

The clash began when Vice President Joe Biden visited Jerusalem on March 9 and Israel announced construction of 1,600 new apartments for Jews in disputed East Jerusalem . Biden condemned the decision, and Obama's top aides publicly dressed down Netanyahu for a step they called "insulting."

Hoping to capitalize on Israel's embarrassment, the administration sought concessions on Jewish settlements and other issues to set the stage for renewed talks with the Palestinians.

That, too, didn't work. This past week, first Obama, then his aides held closed talks with Netanyahu at the White House for two days running. No reporter was allowed near the talks, no joint appearances were made and no statements were released afterward.

An Israeli newspaper commented that Netanyahu had been treated as if he were the leader of Equatorial Guinea .

Obama, fresh from his legislative victory on health care, is planning an attempt to turn the current disaster into a diplomatic opportunity, according to U.S. officials, former officials and diplomats.

The administration is said to be preparing a major peace initiative that would be Obama's most direct involvement in the conflict to date, and would go far beyond the tentative, indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks that were torpedoed earlier in the month.

"It is crystallizing that we have to do something now. That this can't go on this way," said one of the officials who, like the others, wouldn't speak for the record because of the issue's sensitivity.

Because of the U.S. political calendar, Obama has limited time to press Israel before it becomes a major domestic political issue during midterm elections. Netanyahu, who this weekend confers with his closest allies, has limited political space in which to operate, if he wants to stay in power.

His coalition at home is populated with Israeli politicians who support Jewish settlements in the West Bank , oppose any concessions on Jerusalem and are skeptical of an independent Palestinian state next door.

One irony of the current confrontation is that the administration, which had laboriously organized indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians, had planned to use Biden's visit to provide "strategic reassurance" to Israel , in hopes of improving relations with the closest U.S. ally in the Middle East after a year of strains.

Now, trust between the two sides seems to be at a very low ebb.

"There's not a great deal of trust that he believes deeply in the two-state solution," a former senior U.S. official in touch with the White House said of Netanyahu. "There's a belief that he's a reluctant peacemaker here."

The Obama administration is said to believe that Netanyahu has more control over Jewish settlements than he admits, and political flexibility to dump his right-wing partners and form a government with the moderate Kadima party if he chose.

"Fundamentally, he's going to have to decide between his coalition and his relationship with the United States ," the former official said.

From the day of his inauguration and his first major appointment — former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell of Maine as his special Middle East envoy, efforts by Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mitchell have been a study in frustration.

Netanyahu turned aside a U.S. demand last year for a comprehensive settlement freeze, offering a 10-month moratorium that excluded East Jerusalem . Even under President George W. Bush , whose interest was episodic, Israeli and Palestinian leaders held direct talks. Obama has struggled just to start "proximity talks," in which U.S. mediators would shuttle between the two sides.

So American anger was white-hot when the March 9 announcement left the proximity talks stillborn.

Mitchell, who labored for months during frequent Mideast shuttles "is a patient man. . . . but this has to be aggravating," one State Department official said.

Senior U.S. officials are said to debate whether the unveiling of the 1,600 new apartments at Ramat Shlomo was a deliberate attempt by Netanyahu to avoid peace negotiations, or merely symptomatic of his tenuous control over his own government. The Interior Ministry is run by the ultra-orthodox Shas party.

Either conclusion bodes poorly for Obama's attempts at diplomacy. Israeli officials say Netanyahu was as blindsided by the announcement as Biden was.

On Friday, March 12 , Clinton and Netanyahu spoke by phone in a tense conservation, in which the secretary of state relayed U.S. anger at the move in Ramat Shlomo. She demanded that Israel take steps to revive hopes for peace.

The U.S. government has declined to list them, but they're said to include an end to provocative moves in East Jerusalem ; removing checkpoints and otherwise easing conditions on the West Bank ; and agreeing to immediately negotiate core disputes with the Palestinians.

Clinton and Netanyahu were both keenly aware that they were scheduled to speak on March 22 in Washington at the annual conference of the powerful Jewish-American lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Netanyahu called Clinton, who was in Moscow , on March 18 and delivered his response to the American demands. Israeli officials say he insisted that the Palestinians had to make concessions too, not just Israel .

Publicly, the administration moved to tone down the rhetoric, and meetings were arranged with Clinton and Obama, who had canceled an Asia trip to be in Washington for the health care vote.

Netanyahu's speech at AIPAC gave no ground. He declared: " Jerusalem is not a settlement; it's our capital" and described a limited U.S. role in the peace talks. The next morning, he went to Capitol Hill , where Democrats and Republicans alike showered him with promises of support for Israel .

It looked for a moment like the Israeli prime minister had weathered the storm.

At the White House , however, distrust of Netanyahu ran deep. Maps were prepared, showing how Israel had all but encircled Jerusalem's Old City with Jewish settlements and even religious theme parks — "facts on the ground" that would preclude a peace deal. Palestinians also claim the city as their capital.

By all accounts, the White House meetings went badly, both in substance and tone, as the Obama team pressed Netanyahu to make concessions on Jewish settlements and other issues. Netanyahu balked at some of the requests, which the administration hasn't made public.

Now, the ball is in his court.

With U.S.-Israel ties strained, Obama may make bold move
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« Reply #158 on: March 29, 2010, 12:02:45 AM »

Replace Temple Mount mosques with Jewish Temple, rightist campaign says
By Chaim Levinson and Haaretz Service
14:51 28/03/2010

A right-wing group announced a campaign Sunday ahead of the Passover festival calling for the construction of the Jewish Temple on the location of the existing temple mount mosques.

The extreme right-wing Our Land of Israel party (Eretz Israel Shelanu) said it intended to mount an extensive bus campaign, with the slogan "May the Temple be built in our lifetime," along with an artist's rendition of the completed temple.

One of the party's leaders, Baruch Marzel, said that it was "a legitimate campaign meant to convey a message to the Arabs."
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"The mosque on the temple mount is temporary," Marzel continued, referring to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques, "and it's only a matter of time before the Temple which the entire people of Israel are waiting for will be built."

The Our Land of Israel party was formed in late 2008 by Marzel and Rabbi Shalom Wolpe as a reaction to what they saw as a weakening of more traditional right-wing parties such as Habayit Hayehudi.


"Habayit Hayehudi, which fancies itself as representing the right, has turned into a left-wing party that placed at its head an anonymous professor who is not ready to commit himself to the minimum - maintaining the settlements and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria," Wolpe said at the time.

Wolpe and Marzel claimed at the party's formation that the Likud party had turned into a party that is persecuting all Jews loyal to the Land of Israel. They cited the efforts by the Likud party leadership to marginalize Moshe Feiglin as an example.

Wolpe added that the Israeli government has turned into "an enemy of the people.

"This government collaborates with the enemy and helps it during a time of war," he said. "Everyone should check the Even Shushan dictionary, in an effort to understand the definition of such behavior," Wolpe said.

Replace Temple Mount mosques with Jewish Temple, rightist campaign says
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« Reply #159 on: March 29, 2010, 06:12:26 AM »

I decided to check the Iranian news service. I found some things that are not in any other news service. There is also alot of propaganda too. DW

India successfully test fires Agni-1 missile
New Delhi, March 28, IRNA

India on Sunday successfully test-fired nuclear-capable, short range ballistic missile (SRBM) Agni-1 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from Balasore off the Orissa coast.
"It was a fantastic mission carried out by the Indian Army. The test-fire of the Agni-I missile met all parameters," director of ITR S P Dash said.

Blasted off from a rail mobile launcher, the surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, roared into the sky trailing behind a column of orange and white thick smoke Sunday afternoon.

"After piercing the sky, the missile re-entered the earth's atmosphere and its dummy warhead impacted in the waters of the Bay of Bengal in the down range," Indian official media website reported quoting Defence official as said from the launch site, adding that the guidance and re-entry system worked well.

User of the missile, the strategic force command of the Indian Army, executed the entire launch operation with the necessary logistic support being provided by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at the integrated test range (ITR).

Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15 metre tall Agni-1, which can carry payloads weighing up to one tonne, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.

India successfully test fires Agni-1 missile
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« Reply #160 on: March 29, 2010, 06:38:27 AM »

321 civilians killed in 2009 massacre in Congo
Rukmini Callimachi, Associated Press Writer
Mar 27, 8:04 pm ET

DAKAR, Senegal – At least 321 civilians were killed in a previously unreported massacre in Congo in late 2009, while villagers that escaped their rebel captors were sent back with their lips and ears cut off as a warning to others of what would happen if they tried to talk, according to an investigation by a human rights group.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in its report released Saturday that at least 250 more people were abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army rebels during the attack in the Makombo area of northeastern Congo, including no less than 80 children.

Human Rights Watch's senior Africa researcher, Anneke Van Woudenberg, called the massacre "one of the worst ever committed by the LRA in its bloody 23-year history."

Yet the killing spree, which occurred from Dec. 14 to 17 in at least 10 villages, had gone unreported for months.

The majority of those killed were men who were tied up, some bound to trees, before being hacked to death with machetes or having their skulls crushed with axes. A 3-year-old girl was burnt to death, according to the report.

The rebels then abducted many of the children and women, who were forced to march to a town over 60 miles (96 kilometers) away. Those that walked too slowly were executed and villagers told the rights group that they found bodies all along the trail from Makombo to the town of Tapili in northern Congo.

The Lord's Resistance Army is considered one of Africa's most brutal rebel armies, and its leaders are the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant. Originally based in Uganda, the rebels were pushed into the area straddling the northern Congolese border with Central African Republic. The 2009 massacre is only the most recent of a pattern of atrocities.

Exactly a year earlier, after the governments of the region attacked an LRA position, the rebels retaliated by killing at least 865 civilians during the Christmas 2008 holiday season, according to Human Rights Watch.

The attack three months ago was especially horrific. Children abducted by the rebels were forced to execute other children who had disobeyed the rebels. In several instances documented by the rights group, the children were ordered to form a circle around their victim and take turns hitting the child on the head with a heavy object until the child died.

Adults were mutilated and sent back to their villages to act as a visual warning to those that might have considered alerting authorities.

In one instance the rebels cut off the lips and an ear of six victims who were sent back "with a chilling warning to others that anyone who heard or spoke about the LRA would be similarly punished," says the report.

321 civilians killed in 2009 massacre in Congo
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« Reply #161 on: March 29, 2010, 07:07:46 AM »

Tens of thousands protest Israel in Syria
Fri Mar 26, 10:05 AM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria — Tens of thousands of Syrians and Palestinians have gathered in a Damascus square in a government-orchestrated "march of anger" against Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem.

The crowd at the central Youssel al-Azmi square waved Syrian and Palestinian flags and pictures of Hamas leaders as they shouted anti-Israel slogans Friday.

Senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazzal condemned what he called Israel's "brutal aggression" on holy sites.

The U.S. and Arab countries want Israel to stop building Jewish homes in east Jerusalem — the section of the city that Palestinians want as the capital of a future state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses, saying the entire holy city must remain Israel's eternal capital.

Tens of thousands protest Israel in Syria

I get so tired of people who complain and protest Israel building on it's own land and how the poor Pals are so mistreated even though they are being mistreated by their own people. All the worlds ills are blamed on Israel. How such a small country can cause all the worlds troubles is beyond me.
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« Reply #162 on: March 29, 2010, 02:21:20 PM »

Quote
I get so tired of people who complain and protest Israel building on it's own land and how the poor Pals are so mistreated even though they are being mistreated by their own people. All the worlds ills are blamed on Israel. How such a small country can cause all the worlds troubles is beyond me.

First, thanks for sharing the fascinating articles. For whatever reason, they aren't in any of the news.

Regarding Israel, the flames are being fanned for psychopathic hatred of Israel. These are signs of the times in my opinion - near the time of Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled. As the appointed time draws nearer, we know that things will get much worse. We are watching Israel being isolated and abandoned by her allies - including the U.S. Other developments in the Middle-East indicate the entire region is on the verge of war. The Obama administration has made things worse - not better. The enemies of Israel are being emboldened, and the stage appears to be set for big events. If the time is now, nothing will be able to stop it. All Christians should pray for Israel.
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« Reply #163 on: October 26, 2012, 10:56:53 AM »

The Lord's day is getting closer! Even so, come Lord Jesus.

grandma
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1 John 4:4   Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.
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