Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Bachmann: ‘If We Reject Israel, Then There Is A Curse That Comes Into Play’

Imagine a President of the United States issuing such a statement!  Bachmann just proved she is not presidential material.

TPMDC

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has declared that America has a serious obligation to support Israel — and if not, God will curse the United States, and it will be the end of this country.

The Minnesota Independent -  

reports that Bachmann told the Republican Jewish Coalition, at an event last week in Los Angeles:

“I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle.”

 

Leaked Luntz Poll: Majority of Americans don’t support Israeli flotilla raid.

Think Progress

Via Didi Remez (whose Coteret blog has become an indispensable resource for progressives on Israel-Palestine issues), Israel’s Channel Ten TV News was leaked a memo on a Frank Luntz poll commissioned by the right-wing propaganda outfit The Israel Project analyzing the effectiveness of the Israeli government’s public diplomacy efforts around the Gaza flotilla raid.

A summary of the findings:

1. 56% of Americans agree with the claim that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza;
2. 43% of Americans agree with the claim that people in Gaza are starving;
3. 34% of Americans support the Israeli operation against the Flotilla;
4. 20% of Americans “felt support” for Israel following announcement of easing of Gaza closure.

Consider these numbers against the fact that 84 Senators and 298 Representatives — 71% of the U.S. Congress — signed an AIPAC-backed letter supporting the flotilla raid. The Israel Project has worked with Luntz before, and gotten in trouble for it. Last year, columnist Doug Bloomfield obtained a copy of the group’s “Global Language Dictionary,” developed in conjunction with Luntz, which advocated equating an end to illegal Israeli settlement building with “ethnic cleansing” against Jews. Last December, journalist Spencer Ackerman also discovered that The Israel Project was shopping around an anti-Iran petition loaded up with false signatures.

Israel Eases Gaza Blockade, Will Allow In All Goods Except For Weapons

Huffington Post

JERUSALEM — Israel’s government decided Sunday to draw up a list of items banned from Gaza limited to weapons and materials deemed to have military uses and said the easing of the three-year-old blockade of the Palestinian territory would be implemented immediately.

The list of banned goods replaces an old list of allowed items that permitted only basic humanitarian supplies for the 1.5 million Gazans. Under the new system, the government said practically all non-military items can enter Gaza freely.

“From now on, there is a green light of approval for all goods to enter Gaza except for military items and materials that can strengthen Hamas’ military machine,” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said.

Israel decided on Thursday to ease the blockade under intense international pressure after its raid on a blockade-busting international flotilla bound for Gaza killed nine pro-Palestinian activists.

In a critical shift, Israel said it would allow construction materials into Gaza for projects approved by the Palestinian Authority, such as housing and schools, as long as the projects are under international supervision. Up to now, Israel has banned most construction materials, including cement.

Construction materials are a critical need in Gaza. Thousands of buildings were destroyed or damaged in Israel’s military operation in Gaza a year and a half ago, aimed at stopping years of daily rocket attacks by Gaza militants. Because of the blockade, little repair or rebuilding has been done since the war ended.

The list of banned items was not released Sunday, but the government said it will be published.    Continue reading…

Netanyahu: Activists On Board Ship Were ‘Thugs’ Who Came Prepared To Fight

Huffington Post

JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister claimed Sunday that the Turkish activists who battled Israeli naval commandos in a deadly clash last week prepared for the fight ahead of time, before boarding the ship in a different city from the rest of the passengers.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s charges highlight Israel’s frantic efforts to portray the activists as terrorists and counter a wave of harsh international condemnation that has left the Jewish state isolated and at odds with some of its closest allies.

Last Monday’s operation, in which nine activists were killed aboard a ship headed to the blockaded Gaza Strip, damaged Israel’s ties with Turkey – its main Muslim ally – and brought heavy pressure on Israel to lift the 3-year closure of Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Netanyahu told his Cabinet that “dozens of thugs” from “an extremist, terrorism-supporting” organization had readied themselves for the arrival of the naval commandos.

“This group boarded separately in a different city, organized separately, equipped itself separately and went on deck under different procedures,” he said. “The clear intent of this hostile group was to initiate a violent clash with (Israeli) soldiers.”

Late Sunday, Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying he discussed the international criticism with world leaders, including Vice President Joe Biden, the president of France and the premier of Canada. Netanyahu told them any country would act in self defense if it were targeted by thousands of rockets as Israel has been by Gaza militants.

Videos released by the military have shown a crowd of men attacking several naval commandos as they landed on a ship from a helicopter, beating the soldiers with clubs and other objects and hurling one soldier overboard.          Continue reading…