Obama focuses on diplomacy, Netanyahu on sovereignty

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The United States and Israel agree that diplomacy is the best way to resolve the crisis over potential Iranian nuclear weapons, President Barack Obama said Monday, an optimistic view that Israel’s leader declined to publicly endorse.

“Both the prime minister and I prefer to solve this diplomatically,” Obama said as he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began several hours of White House consultations. The U.S. will consider all options in confronting what it sees as the unacceptable outcome of an Iranian bomb, Obama said.

Netanyahu used a brief, cordial session before the White House cameras to remind his host that Israel will decide for itself how to confront a looming threat that both unites and divides the longtime allies.

Israel, he said, must remain “the master of its fate.”

That was a pointed reference to the main question hanging over Monday’s high-stakes meeting: Whether to try to stop an Iranian bomb with a military attack in the next several months. Many in the Israeli government lean toward striking very soon, a course the Obama administration sees as dangerously premature.

Israel must remain “the master of its fate,” Netanyahu said.

Looking directly at Obama, Netanyahu said Iran is right about one thing. Israel and the United States are indistinguishable as Iran’s enemies.

“We are you and you are us,” he said.

Obama will try to persuade Netanyahu to slow quickening pressure among many in his hawkish government to attack Iran’s disputed nuclear development sites.

Each man tried to display unity despite policy and personal differences, but ended up putting some of their divisions on display.

“Israel and America stand together,” Netanyahu said.

The president is expected to tell Netanyahu in private at the White House that although the U.S. is committed to Israel’s security it does not want to be dragged into another war. Obama is unlikely to spell out U.S. “red lines” — markers that would trigger a military response — despite Israeli pressure to do so.

“It is profoundly in the United States’ interest to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We do not want to see a nuclear arms race in one of the most volatile regions in the world. We do not want the possibility of a nuclear weapon falling in to the hands of terrorists, we do not want a regime that has been a state sponsor of terrorists being able to feel that it can act more aggressively,” Obama said.

Obama previewed the Oval Office meeting with a speech Sunday to American supporters of Israel, a key constituency in this election year.

Obama said he doesn’t want war but insists he would attack Iran if that was the only option left to stop that nation from getting a nuclear weapon.

“Loose talk of war” only plays into Iran’s hands, Obama said.

U.S. officials believe that while Tehran has the capability to build a nuclear weapon, it has not yet decided to do so. They want to give sanctions time to pressure Iran to give up any military nuclear ambitions. Israel says the threat is too great to wait and many officials there are advocating a pre-emptive strike.

Obama did not directly call on Israel to stand down, and made a point of saying Israel should always have the right to defend itself as it sees fit.

That was the part of Obama’s speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that Netanyahu said he liked best. Speaking to reporters in Canada ahead of his arrival in the U.S., Netanyahu made no reference to the sanctions and diplomacy Obama emphasized.

Obama is unlikely to persuade Netanyahu that economic sanctions and diplomacy are enough to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and he is unlikely to win any new concessions from Netanyahu on peace talks, the issue that drew bad blood between the two men in previous meetings and led the Israeli leader to publicly scold Obama last year.

Netanyahu has not publicly backed a military strike, but his government spurned arguments from top U.S. national security leaders that a preemptive attack would fail.

“Now is not the time for bluster,” Obama said. “Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres, who had a meeting with Obama Sunday, said he “came out with the feeling that the man is determined to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu was more subdued in reacting to Obama’s comments Sunday, saying, “more than everything, I value his statement that Israel must be able to protect itself from all threats.”

Obama framed military force as a last resort, not the next option at a time when sanctions are squeezing Iran. He said just the talk of war has driven up the price of oil to the benefit of Iran.

Although Israel says it hasn’t decided whether to strike, it has signaled readiness to do so within the next several months. The top U.S. military officer recently called a unilateral strike “imprudent,” a mild catchall for the chain-reaction of oil price hikes, Iranian retaliation, terror strikes and a possible wider Mideast war that U.S. officials fear could flow from an Israeli strike.

Israel says a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence. It cites Iranian leaders’ repeated calls for Israel’s destruction, support for anti-Israel militant groups and its arsenal of ballistic missiles that are already capable of striking Israel. Israel also fears a nuclear Iran would touch off an atomic weapons race in a region hostile to Israel’s existence.

Addressing the powerful pro-Israel lobby, Obama delivered messages to multiple political audiences: Israel, Iran, Jewish voters, a restless Congress, a wary international community and three Republican presidential contenders who will speak to the same group Tuesday.

At the core was his assertion that the United States will never settle for containing a nuclear-armed Iran or fail to defend Israel.

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency said Monday his organization has “serious concerns” that Iran may be hiding secret atomic weapons work, as he acknowledged failure in his latest attempt to probe such suspicions and listed recent atomic advances by Iran.

“The agency continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said in Vienna.

AP/ Times

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58 responses to “Obama focuses on diplomacy, Netanyahu on sovereignty”

  1. Hisham Abukalam Avatar
    Hisham Abukalam

    Always watch the body language with these two. Netanyahu always appears to have the upper hand. 

    1. Hannibal Avatar
      Hannibal

      God this is so true… It’s disturbing. My way or the highway in 2012 election lol

    2. Hannibal Avatar
      Hannibal

      God this is so true… It’s disturbing. My way or the highway in 2012 election lol

    3. $21082311 Avatar
      $21082311

       Right on!!

    4. $21082311 Avatar
      $21082311

       Right on!!

    5. Patience2 Avatar
      Patience2

       Remember, the ‘USA’ is really the Jewnited States of America.

  2. Hisham Abukalam Avatar
    Hisham Abukalam

    Always watch the body language with these two. Netanyahu always appears to have the upper hand. 

    1. God this is so true… It’s disturbing. My way or the highway in 2012 election lol

    2.  Avatar
      Anonymous

       Right on!!

    3.  Avatar
      Anonymous

       Remember, the ‘USA’ is really the Jewnited States of America.

  3. I dont know why I dont like these two me. Obama lies too much and good old Ben is always pissed off.

     

    1. Prophettttt Avatar
      Prophettttt

      These two don’t  like each  other for different reasons,Bibi is arrogant and suffer from a superiority complex, Obama suffers from inferiority complex,and from his inability of realizing  the power of his office.

  4. Bad Ass Avatar

    I dont know why I dont like these two me. Obama lies too much and good old Ben is always pissed off.

     

    1.  Avatar
      Anonymous

      These two don’t  like each  other for different reasons,Bibi is arrogant and suffer from a superiority complex, Obama suffers from inferiority complex,and from his inability of realizing  the power of his office.

  5. Nopressure Avatar
    Nopressure

    Bad Ass—I think it might help bibi’s atittude if he rid himself of the underpants he wears.

  6. Nopressure Avatar
    Nopressure

    Bad Ass—I think it might help bibi’s atittude if he rid himself of the underpants he wears.

  7.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Bad Ass—I think it might help bibi’s atittude if he rid himself of the underpants he wears.

  8. Prophettttt Avatar
    Prophettttt

    Inferiority complex, even when He is the president of the most powerful country.Neither one of these two men has any balls. Obama is timid and indecisive, Netanyahu is a coward ,arrogant, thin skinned ,but a good bluffer.

    1. yu spaek gud mr bibi hve nu boll, yu no salifist mr obama jangul bonny zioniste eet banana

      1. Prophettttt Avatar
        Prophettttt

        lol geo. someday, some college would offer a course called dab’s tongue,and it could be the most popular class to take for fun,lol

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Geezz Prophet … like we needed ANOTHER language …. “Twiterness’ is bad enough. 😉

      2. Prophettttt Avatar
        Prophettttt

        geo, please, send dab after  mr bibi. lol

  9. Prophettttt Avatar
    Prophettttt

    Inferiority complex, even when He is the president of the most powerful country.Neither one of these two men has any balls. Obama is timid and indecisive, Netanyahu is a coward ,arrogant, thin skinned ,but a good bluffer.

    1. yu spaek gud mr bibi hve nu boll, yu no salifist mr obama jangul bonny zioniste eet banana

      1. Prophettttt Avatar
        Prophettttt

        lol geo. someday, some college would offer a course called dab’s tongue,and it could be the most popular class to take for fun,lol

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Geezz Prophet … like we needed ANOTHER language …. “Twiterness’ is bad enough. 😉

      2. Prophettttt Avatar
        Prophettttt

        geo, please, send dab after  mr bibi. lol

  10.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Inferiority complex, even when He is the president of the most powerful country.Neither one of these two men has any balls. Obama is timid and indecisive, Netanyahu is a coward ,arrogant, thin skinned ,but a good bluffer.

    1. yu spaek gud mr bibi hve nu boll, yu no salifist mr obama jangul bonny zioniste eet banana

      1.  Avatar
        Anonymous

        lol geo. someday, some college would offer a course called dab’s tongue,and it could be the most popular class to take for fun,lol

        1.  Avatar
          Anonymous

          Geezz Prophet … like we needed ANOTHER language ….

      2.  Avatar
        Anonymous

        geo, please, send dab after  mr bibi. lol

  11. Hannibal Avatar
    Hannibal

     Netanyahu stated:

    “Yes, and it is not a secret that it will happen with U.S.-Gulf support and that is why they have been warned, but before you ask, you have a look at the new map of the world and see that there is no nation with this name.”
    referring to Lebanon. 
    The PLO failed, The Syrians failed you will fail ya kalb…

    1. Prophettttt Avatar
      Prophettttt

      Hannibal,Tell that to those who always talk about negotiations with the most racist state on earth.A sate which claims that Alah granted them its land,when Alah didn’t tell me that.Since when God was in the real estate business? I always wonder why is it taking Alah over six thousand years to deliver his promise.
      I guess the answer to this question is that , their claim is just a big lie.
      As a good Jewish friend of mine said once; “If we were really the chosen people,and If God had promised us any land, He would have promised us a piece of land such as sunny and beautiful Hawaii , instead of sending us to the desert so that we spend the rest of our lives fighting with the Arabs”.
      They want us to recognize their illegal  state when they can’t even see us on the map.One can seek peace with peaceful people and peaceful nations,but not with nations which were built through lies, massacres , ethnic cleansing,and land stealing.
      Israel is the first Taliban State in our modern history.
      This guys’ arrogance gets under my skin, but He is a coward and has no balls.He is by far the weakest leader Israel had.
      He ‘s such a thin skinned man, with the biggest bluffing mouth.As long as He is the PM OF Israel, Israel won’t be a threat.Ok I put my helmet on now,lol

      1. Nopressure Avatar
        Nopressure

        I wonder why the overwhelmingly majority are silent on Netanyahu’s statement implying that there is no nation of  Lebanon on the new world map but to the contrary very loud on Ahmadinajad statement.

        I am not condoning either one but Isn’t the same thing? 
        I am going back to my bunker…lol 

    2. libnan1 Avatar

      It’s not they will fail but they FAILED many times 4 or 5 times. Hey Sponge bibi your head looks like sponge bob’s. Lebanon will always be a thorn in your eyes.   

    3. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Guess he doesn’t use Google …. 🙂

  12.  Netanyahu stated:

    “Yes, and it is not a secret that it will happen with U.S.-Gulf support and that is why they have been warned, but before you ask, you have a look at the new map of the world and see that there is no nation with this name.”
    referring to Lebanon. 
    The PLO failed, The Syrians failed you will fail ya kalb…

    1.  Avatar
      Anonymous

      Hannibal,Tell that to those who always talk about negotiations with the most racist state on earth.A sate which claim Alah granted them its land,when Alah didn’t tell me that.Since when God was in the real estate business? I always wonder why it took Alah over six thousand years to deliver.I guess the answer is that their claim is nothing but a lie.
       They want us to recognize their illegal  state when they can’t even see us on the map.One can seek peace with peaceful people and nations,but not with nations which were built through lies, massacres , ethnic cleansing,and land stealing.Israel is the first Taliban State in our modern history.
      This guys’ arrogance gets under my skin, but He is a coward and has no balls.He is by far the weakest leader Israel had. He ‘s such a thin skinned man, with the biggest bluffing mouth.As long as He is the PM OF Israel, Israel won’t be a threat.Ok I put my helmet on now,lol

      1. wow, do you ever bounce back quick lol, arent you spring loaded today prophet,, nice to have you back how ever long you last before the pleasure police get a hold of your ip adress  🙂

        1.  Avatar
          Anonymous

          Thank you for the red carpet geo;).loaded and packing,lol
          Don’t judge me by how many times I fall,but by the number of times I get up and walk.
          Now, zipping my lips in fear of the pleasure police,lol.I would like to have this welcome extended ,as of “Extended Stay”
          Hannibal’s comment was very seductive,and I could not resist.

      2. Nopressure Avatar
        Nopressure

        I wonder why the overwhelmingly majority are silent on Netanyahu’s statement implying that there is no nation of  Lebanon on the new world map but to the contrary very loud on Ahmadinajad statement.

        I am not condoning either one but Isn’t the same thing? 
        I am going back to my bunker…lol 

        1. Prophettttt Avatar
          Prophettttt

          LOL. Get yourself a Helmet because you will need it.

    2.  Avatar
      Anonymous

      It’s not they will fail but they FAILED many times 4 or 5 times. Hey Sponge bibi your head looks like sponge bob’s. Lebanon will always be a thorn in your eyes.   

    3.  Avatar
      Anonymous

      Guess he doesn’t use Google …. 🙂

  13. Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel Avatar
    Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel

    Don’t worry Israel haters. Obama hates us alright.

  14. Don’t worry Israel haters. Obama hates us alright.

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